I surrender. I give up. Stick a fork in me – I’m done. There are many ways to say this, but they are all equally difficult to say out loud. And now, this is especially difficult to write down. There are so many people who have encouraged me and given me advice and now I feel like I’m letting them down. I decided that I’m not going to run the Columbus full this month, after all. I’ve been struggling with motivation this entire training season. Turns out that training for a marathon is easy…if it is your first one! Okay, maybe not exactly easy, but in comparison to training for your second marathon, it is a piece of cake! At least that has been my experience.

This weekend I was supposed to run/walk my final long run – 18 miles before the 3-week taper. I had a super busy weekend with work so I decided to take Monday off and run it. Meanwhile that weekend I found out that my dear hubby was not planning on making the trip to Columbus with me this time. I had assumed that he and my son would be coming. This was the proverbial last straw. Now let me stop here and say that I’m not in any way throwing my hubby under the bus. He has been extremely great and supportive through all of my running and races over the last few years. I had simply assumed that he was planning to make that trip and I was wrong. It is more difficult to go when the race is out of town – boarding the dog, etc. I get it. And let’s face it – not tons of fun for spectators waiting for hours in the cold. You have seen the signs “the most boring parade ever”!! I was already lacking motivation (clearly) for training for this race, but I just could not picture me successfully running it knowing that no one would be there at the finish line. Truthfully I doubted that I would be there at the finish line too! The way my training had gone I had very real doubts whether or not I could finish. Not to mention I had a hell of a time by myself just parking and navigating my way to the start line for the 1/2 in Columbus last year. This anxiety would just be multiplied this year with 26.2 in front of me. Rather than be devastated and alone in the streets of Columbus I finally decided to just pull the plug on this race once and for all. My sweet husband tried to convince me that I wasn’t quitting, but rather starting the race and not finishing would be quitting. But, my dear, sweet son, was there with the hard hitting truth. “So you are quitting, huh?” he said to me, shaking his head. Ugh. I just don’t feel ready – that is the honest to goodness truth. And frankly, I don’t want to walk. I ran it in 2011 and if I ever do it again, I want to run. Yes, I know I have issues!

In closing I’d like to quote Mark Cuban, one of the entrepreneurs from one of our favorite shows, Shark Tank. “And for those reasons and those reasons alone, I’m out.”

My View from the Back of the Pack

Sun Aug 24, 2014

The back of the pack. It is the story of my life – my running life, that is. This could very well be the title for an entire new blog in and of itself. Let me ‘splain.

I ran my long run on the towpath this morning. 8 miles in 95% humidity made the 65 degree morning feel more like 85. Humidity really slows me down. It was difficult to breathe and I felt like I started to sweat just getting out of my car. All in all, not a bad run for me. My average pace was 11’12”, and given those weather conditions, and the fact that I did no walking, I would call that a victory! Physically I felt pretty good too. I drank a sip of water at every mile and that seemed to work just right for this distance. My ankle felt strong and all was good.

Why then did I feel so discouraged during the run then? Well, I got passed. A lot. I got passed by a young couple, a group of runner friends, a cross country team, an old dude, an old couple of dudes, and a handful of other “natural runner types”. Finally at one point I looked back after I heard yet another person coming up behind me, and she said, “you are fine. I’ll pass.” I immediately said, “yep, story of my life” She said something kind like, “You are doing great!” or something like that and trotted on down the trail. But it started me thinking about it. I am not a fast runner. I’m just not. I always say things like “my race, my pace” and “a mile is a mile no matter how fast you run it”, but the truth is – I would rather be fast. I would like to be the passer sometimes rather than always be the pass-ee. I would like to be able to actually have a fighting chance to place in my age group in a race sometime. I would like all these things and I was thinking about all of these things this morning on the trail. I was feeling pretty discouraged and down on my performance as a runner. These sorts of thoughts can really mess you up and send your run into a nosedive. These sorts of thoughts can trigger the negative tapes going in your head and pretty soon you are walking. And that has happened to me in the past. But today, I took it a different direction. I started reflecting on where I had come from. I started thinking about things like…

I am the girl who used to weigh 30 more pounds 5 years ago, before running changed my life.
I am the girl who hated running (and sweating) in gym class as a kid – so much so that I “forgot my gym clothes” on a regular basis.
I am the girl who would have bet money that I could/would never run a marathon.

These recollections started to shift my mental focus. Rather than wanting to trip the line of runners passing me by or flip the bird to every cheerful skinny blond with a ponytail who chirped out a “good morning” as she floated by, I honestly began to get some new perspective and let the “irritable runner Lisa” go. Well, I’m not gonna lie, the bikers with their incredibly loud and persistent little bells (seriously, a simple “on your left will do” folks) still do make me want to punch them in the face, but hey, everyone has their things, right?! No, my view from the back of the pack didn’t seem so bad anymore, compared to the alternative – NOT BEING IN THE PACK AT ALL!! So yeah, I’ll take the back of the pack anytime and twice on Sunday. Put please, just make sure there are still bananas left when I cross the finish line.

Conquer Columbus – Week 5

July 6, 2014

I’m feeling much better this week with my gluten free/wheat free diet! It has not been difficult really at all and I don’t feel as hungry and or “hangry” as before when I was eating wheat. I don’t have cravings for things and overall feel comfortable gliding through the day and through meals as they come. We have experimented a little with recipes – we struck out with bread made from mostly almond flour – too sweet and smelled like crab! But, we did hit a home run with a gluten free pizza crust recipe! We will just keep trying different things so we can expand our gluten free horizons.

Here is my summary of the week’s training:
Monday – Ran 45 minutes at lunch – 4.06 miles
Tuesday – 60 minute Power Yoga at lunch
Wednesday – Ran 50 minutes at lunch – 4.3 miles
Thursday – 60 minute Power Yoga at lunch
Friday – 4th of July – rested
Saturday – Long run of 5 miles ONLY!! (Supposed to be 8 on my training program)
Sunday – Rest day

I’m feeling VERY unmotivated about my marathon training. I’m not sure what to do at this point. I’m behind on my long runs and not sure what to do going forward. These are my options at this point as I see it:

1. Drop down to the half race (not sure if I can even do that)
2. Shift to a run/walk program and still do the 26.2 (not a huge fan of this)
3. Buckle down, find some motivation somewhere and tweak my program so I can still run the 26.2

I got some good feedback from my runner forum on facebook on my options, but I’m still not sure what to do. I don’t like to give-up so a big part of me wants to just DO IT, but I have to dig deep and find a reason. One run at a time, but there has to be a plan. So much of this is mental preparation. Still thinking…

Conquer Columbus – Week 4

This week’s training summary:
Mon – Ran 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning. I was out of town for a conference.
Tues – 60 minutes of yoga in my room before the conference began.
Wed – Ran 50 minutes outside in Ann Arbor with a new friend! Fun running a bit of the University of Michigan’s campus.
Thurs – Scheduled rest day on training plan
Fri – Ran 3 miles outside at lunch. Tough – muggy!
Sat – Rest (feeling eh with starting my “no wheat” plan)
Sun – 2 mile walk with the fam. First official day with no wheat. Feeling a bit headachy and tired.

Conquer Columbus – Week 2

Conquer Columbus – Week 2
June 15, 2014
Well, this week started off VERY rough. My first run on Monday with the girls was awful. It wasn’t that it was so humid, but my body was sore everywhere. Well, really my legs. I began to get panicky. I felt great during my last half and immediately after – so much so that I wanted more and signed up for the full Columbus. Almost immediately after I signed up my legs felt tight. I posted my dilemma to my fellow runners on my facebook group and got tons of great advice. Coach Jenny confirmed that I should crosstrain for this week and that I had plenty of time to train. Nuff said! Oh, and I already knew that I had to get into see Shana, the best trigger point massage therapist ever! She can work miracles.
So here is a summary of my week:
Mon – Ran 3 miles at lunch with the girls
Tues – Yoga at lunch; Got my massage tonight – so awesome! She said my legs were the tightest she ever felt and she said that felt different than before – like inflamed. We talked about wheat and how cutting it out of the diet can have a positive effect for lots of people. I decided to get the book, Wheat Belly and do some of my own research about this, but this could be a good change for my family, especially with Zach’s arthritis. More to come on this…
Wed – Rest (shopped for vacation!)
Thurs – Yoga
Fri – Rest and drive 8 hours!
Sat – Cross –trained 45 minutes on recumbent at hotel and did some ab work
Sun – Rest – walked on beach for about 45 minutes

Conquer Columbus – Week 1

Sun, June 8

Well, here starts my next journey – Conquer Columbus!! I ran the half in Columbus last year (October) and decided to kick it up a notch this year since I felt pretty good after the Cleveland half in May. So, here goes! I finished my first week of my 20 weeks of training for the race today. I’ve been a little sore – hard to really pinpoint where – in my calves – sort of. I do need to make an appointment with my trigger point massage to get a “tune-up” and then I think I’ll be good to go. That’s way I was okay to take an additional rest day this week. This week’s lessons are to remember to listen to my body and to take one run at a time rather than get too ahead of myself. Easier said than done for many things in life! Here is how the week came together:

Mon – Ran 40 minutes outside at lunch (3.7 miles)
Tues – 60 minutes of yoga at lunch
Wed – 4.6 miles in the morning before work to celebrate National Running Day!!

National Running Day Selfie!!

Thurs – 45 minutes of yoga at lunch
Fri – Rest day – all day conference in Columbus
Sat – Rest day
Sun – First long run! 5 miles at about 7am (64 degrees with 67% humidity)

Total miles: 13.3
Cross training: 105 minutes
Rest days: 2