Sunday, 21 November 2010

My Marathon!

On October 17, 2010, I finally completed a marathon. After thirty years of dreaming of running a marathon, I finally did it. It was awesome. Long Beach Marathon, Long Beach, California. It was a good one. Another blogger has done a great job of blogging the whole marathon - his experiences are very similar to mine and I saw most of the same sights and people. I was happily surprised that I wasn't in featured as "can you believe this old lady is out here?"

And then, I have to tell you, I had a few problems. You can see that if you look closely at my time... which is not even accurate. It was worse than that! In the first few miles, my back started cramping. I thought it would work itself out as it frequently does. But it only got worse. I still was determined to enjoy myself and do the best I could.

If it had ended at 15 miles, I would have had a great race. But marathons go beyond 15 miles. They go beyond my 20 mile longest training workout. I discovered the true meaning of "hitting the wall." I never really knew what that was. I had "intestinal problems" which made me hit every porta-potty from about 12 miles to 18 miles. And my back was hurting so bad. At a couple of points there were people with "the stick" who had volunteered to roll it on your legs, or whatever. I asked if they could roll it on my back. It provided tremendous relief. (I bought one after I got home - it is awesome.)

At a point or two, I thought to myself - what the heck am I doing out here? I am old, I am not a skinny little runner. I am slow. I am not your typical marathon runner. I thought of some of those folks who wish anyone taking longer than 5 hours would just stay home.

And then I remembered a stupid movie I saw a year or so ago. About a silly man who said he was going to run a marathon and hadn't trained and had no clue. He was pitiful. I thought about myself watching that movie and wanting him to finish the marathon and how I didn't think he should just stay home. So, I figured, I had paid for my admission to this thing, I had trained seriously for six months. I was having a bad day, but I still could finish it and have my marathon.

I was in so much pain, at one point a woman came up behind me and told me, "it's your race, you have eight hours to finish it, don't sweat it." That was nice.

There were many special moments. The race was awesome. The course was pretty and flat and there was lots of support and lots of spectators. The first 8 or 9 miles were along the ocean which I loved. Winding through neighborhoods in Long Beach was really fun for someone from the arid mountains of Colorado. So different! On Sunday morning, we got to pass by churches full of people. At one point, I saw a house with a Broncos flag waving in the breeze. Very nice! A couple of times nice people walked along with me in the last 10 miles. It is so nice to have a conversation to take your mind off the pain!

One of the most memorable moments came just after I finished though. I had gotten my medal - it is a nice one. I had gotten my little space blanket. I had gotten a little bag with apples and bananas, and some water. And then a man came and put his hand on my shoulder and thanked me. I couldn't imagine why he would thank me, so I asked him.

He said "I have been behind you for miles and miles. I was in so much pain, and I could see that you were in pain, and I knew if you could keep going, I could keep going." Wow.

It was not the experiences I would have wanted to have. I wanted to be able to stay strong and finish strong. But I did not have that experience. I had a different one. It might have been an abysmal performance, but I did it, and I will have that for the rest of my life.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Training for a Marathon

This is a picture of my shadow - I was trying to take a magnificent photograph of the front range of the rocky mountains while I was walking this morning - and ended up with a bunch of crazy photos on my iPhone - this is one of them. And the fuel belt does not make for a svelte looking shadow, I must add. Walking and chewing gum? Maybe not so easy...

I am truly training for a marathon. I have not managed to do one before. I have done 5 half marathons, but never a whole enchilada. And funny, I never finished a half and said "Gee! I wish I had 13.1 more miles to run!!" But I have always wanted to run a marathon. And at the age of 58, I figure it is now or never.

I love, love, loving my running club. It is so wonderful to have these wonderful people to meet up with at 5:30 on Saturday morning. Yes, 5:30. A.M. I love that too.

I have backed off some other commitments, so I am thinking I will have time to keep this blog a little more current. Would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Frozen Shoulder

I have got a frozen right shoulder! Thankfully, this does not affect my running - or fast walking. My training is on track. And going well. I am extremely happy with my decision to join the running club - it is awesome to have people to meet every Saturday morning. It is a major motivator.
But a triathlon this summer? I don't know. I need to get in the pool and see if I can even do a breast stroke.
I am doing the few exercises my ortho dude gave me.
I have an appointment for PT next Friday.
Aging is not for the weak-hearted.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

April Stuff

Well, I did something very daring in April. I joined a roadrunners club. And I am very excited about it.
Here is the sad thing (for me). I have always known this would be a dilemma, so it always kept me from joining a club. But I just wasn't making the kind of progress I need to make in order to do a marathon this year and I needed to take drastic action - hence the club. Back to the sad: I am too slow to go with even the slowest runners, so I joined the walkers.
The happy part of that is that they are excellent walkers. These are no slackers. These are some very fast walkers. They are accomplished walkers. Most of them have finished half-marathons and some of them have finished my coveted goal - a whole marathon... walking! Probably faster than I could "run" it.
So, I have happily joined them. I have a plan - a multi-colored spreadsheet. I have followed it faithfully. April will be my first over 50 mile month in over a year. I am very excited.
It is so much more motivating not to be always alone. When I have told someone I would be somewhere, it is easier to be there. And so much more fun.
I plan on doing the Bolder Boulder in May (that was my first race - in 1987!) and a mountain (I edited out the name since my blog was coming up in searches for that race) half-marathon in August. I am registered for the Boulder Marathon in September, but I don't think I will be able to squeeze a 26.2 out of that. I think I will do the half. I am not sure what full marathon I am going to do, but I am going to do one in Fall 2010.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

March Progress Report

I can't believe I have left this blog alone for four months! I have actually been training. I have actually kept that weight off... but did not lose more. But I did manage to keep weight off over holidays, a death in the family, a car going south and costing me thousands and thousands of dollars, a workplace that has decreased in size by 50% - having to lay off my assistant, etc...... It's been stress.

I registered for a MARATHON. It is in September. It is The Boulder Marathon, the one I have always wanted to do. It is local - which means it is at altitude. But as you may have gathered from the first paragraph, I have had some financial "issues," so doing a destination marathon is not going to happen this year. I really have to work to convince myself that a marathon at all is going to happen. 26.2 miles. Wow. I know the state I have been in when I have finished every single (5 of them) half-marathon. I have never once finished a half and said - "Wow! I wish I could run another 13.1 miles!" But I have always, for my entire life, wanted to run a marathon. And if I don't do it now - at the age of 58 - I will never do it.

I need to register for a spring half - I haven't done so yet. The one I wanted to run filled up before I registered. So, I will likely run the Colfax - it will be the first time I have repeated a big race. I try to do different ones all the time. It is in early May.

My training - I am up to 7 miles on my long run now. I am waiting for it to get up to 40ยบ to go out and run 7 this morning. I am trying out my new fuel belt. I have never worn one before. As you can see from the photo, I have a new pair of shoes - Brooks Adrenaline (how freaking cute are they?) and a new bra that match. Very important for your shoes and bra to match. I have worn Brooks Trances for the last three or four years, it was quite a leap for me to switch it up and get the Adrenalines.

So, I think I am on track. I have so much more to say, but I have to get ready for my run! I can't wait to catch up with you all. So many bloggers have moved on, but some of you remain, and I know there are new folks for me to get to know. Can't wait!!!