This week is number 14 of my 16 week training program to run a marathon. That leaves me breathless to think about how close I am to race day. I’m totally prepared as far as endurance goes. I know I am physically capable. That will be part of what I tell myself when I encounter the mental ones.
I realized I missed the opportunity to nod to Deadpool by naming my last blog post , “Should’ve Worn the Brown Pants.” It’s funny which ones get the most traffic and that one was certainly at the top of my visits. Thank you!
Near the start of our training program, I shared a photo that had the quote “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” We discussed how it would be a perfect saying to remember during the race and even a great logo for the t-shirts we get for being in the program. When I mentioned that I’d write it on my arm, Amy in my group suggested fake tattoos. I looked into it and the further in I got, the more I realized we weren’t getting tattoos unless I designed it myself in an almost unreadably small font. So, I found the stretchy band bracelets that can have anything you desire printed on them. I put in an order and they finally arrived last week, so I excitedly brought them to our Thursday run. While not every marathoner was there, the people who were put on the bracelets for a photo. I was filled with so much joy by how grateful and appreciative everyone was for the gesture. It really made my day. The bracelets were printed with the saying and ordered in the colors of the shirts that we get with the race logo on them.
This past weekend, I ran a 5k race on Saturday and a half marathon race on Sunday. I placed in a 5k race for the 2nd time ever. Both were during my marathon training. I got 3rd in my age group (30-39 year old female). My watch didn’t give me the PR, but I did technically beat my best time. I’ll take the win, though and work on the speed in a ‘chip timed race.’
Sunday was the half marathon in Peoria. Last weekend, when Maureen, Jane, and I ran together, we agreed to run this race in 5:1 intervals. That is run for five minutes and walk briskly for 1 and repeat through the race. We skipped the first interval to break free from the crowd and complete a good warm up mile (which takes longer than 5 minutes…shocking!). We had a few comments from people like “Don’t stop now, you can do it,” to which most often Jane spoke up and told them that the walking was something we’d planned to do and then thanked them. My legs felt mostly fresh the entire time. The crowds around the race were incredible. There was a lot of music being played loud, organized [and disorganized] cheering, people holding signs, and people giving high fives. One group of frat guys even stood on both sides of the racers in a line of high fives. It was energizing to have such a supportive crowd. Towards the end, I was feeling a little out of breath. Jane and Maureen went on at one of the walk breaks and I used the time to take the walk, which separated us a little, but we were within the last mile of the race. When I picked back up, I was ready to finish and I was pushing myself forward while trying to encourage the people around me. Although, one of my cheers involved me saying, “Ugh, I can’t die with like 1/4 mile left, that would suck.” I’m pretty sure I got a laugh, though. My finishing time was 2:21 and my watch gave me credit for a personal record despite my best being 2:19. Again, I’ll take whatever accolades I can to pat myself on the back for a job well done. Honestly, that is a great time considering I only skipped the first and last intervals and I really did use my walk breaks and walked a few of the water/electrolyte beverage stops. Especially after I accidentally inhaled red Gatorade and spit it all over myself and everyone around me and was coughing out apologies with my red spit. I finished the race strong and actually like [most of] my race photos. Someone even complimented my physique and said that I look like I’m much healthier than I have in the past and that I look strong. I love hearing that.
No bathroom emergencies. Last weekend was a fluke, I hope. I overheard a few comments about my race belt where I carry my hydrations and gels. Yes, I’m prepared folks. I’m not sure I understand why you feel you need to mention it to your buddy next to you that “she looks really prepared [haha],” or “I don’t carry my own gels around like some people do.” I’m ignoring you to be polite,but it would also be polite to worry about yourself instead of checking out my arse while I’m trying to challenge and push myself. If you missed a gel, I might have a spare if you’re not a huge jerk about it.
I came near tears when I got separated from my other two running buddies. I was thinking about how I’d have to prepare to run alone in the full marathon if I got separated. I was thinking about how this was my last big race before the big event of the full marathon. I was thinking a lot. I got out of my head by talking to people around me who were kind enough to enjoy the small talk for a few moments. It was a day I’d expected rain, but instead had overcast skies and a warm and humid race that left my clothes completely sweat soaked by the end. I couldn’t even get my phone to unlock with the thumbprint because there was nowhere to wipe the sweat off of my hands on me. We had a couple of post race beers and chatted with other people we knew. It was an all around fun time, I’d say. There was very little negativity and it wasn’t enough to disqualify all of the positive things I experienced. I love racing in Peoria from the two races I’ve done there. I have had more fun with the crowds cheering and the support than any other town I’ve raced in. The thought crossed my mind that it was strange how much I enjoyed the crowds despite my anxiety when I’m out in public and there are crowds at the stores or festivals. I suppose its different when you need the energy to complete a task.
The race is less than 20 days away. I’m into taper time where my miles pull back a little before race day. It still seems so far off, yet I feel like I need to plan out so many different things to ensure a good race day. I am more ready than I would be had I tried to do this alone. I am more nervous than I have been in the past, but I have the confidence that I’m physically prepared for this challenge and that the only thing left to overcome are mental and I’ll need to deal with them as they come.
I am going to run and finish a 26.2 mile race with friends by my side, my husband cheering me on, and a body that is prepared to cross a finish line. I am tough and I will prove it!
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them. I’m also open to suggestions on subject matters to write about. I love to share my experiences and I really appreciate any feedback you have.
Which race photo didn’t I like? This one….