Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Want It Bad.

You know those people that say they want something and stop at nothing to get it? Yea, I'm one of those people. At least right now, I am.

I woke up this morning, and over a cup of coffee, reviewed my calendar for today. Mentally going over 'to-do's', whens and also deciding the best time to get my run in today. I glanced to Sunday, Christmas, to see my scheduled mileage for my long run, and it hit. Nine weeks. Nine weeks until the Cowtown Marathon. Nine weeks of training have already passed. Even as I type this, I get a chill down my spine and goosebumps on my arms...and that taste in my mouth.

I started getting that taste as I finished my long run two weeks ago when I hit the Big 10. I got it again this past weekend. 12.93 miles, knees aching and could barely walk, I had that taste. The taste of accomplishment. The taste of desire for your hard work to pay off. The taste of crossing that finish line. The taste of that damn medal in your hand.  Heck, I will probably kiss, lick and try to take a bite of that damn medal. The Cowtown Medal is one of the most awesome race bling pieces I have drooled over as well.

I think about this race every waking moment. Every piece of clothing or shoes I wear, step I take or anything I put in my mouth is hyper-analyzed on how this will affect my training for Cowtown. I eat, sleep, breathe marathon training right now. I set a goal to run my first marathon before I turned 35. I'm 33, with 35 nowhere in sight, but the timing is perfect and the desire is high. I want this goal accomplished. I want this goal even more than I wanted to graduate college. Every atom of my being wants this.

Here's to setting my goal. Here's to getting halfway to my goal. Here's to nine more weeks of pushing toward my goal. Here's to wanting it bad!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Big 10 Tribute

Last week, I looked over my training schedule and realized I hit the double digits this week. I spent 3 days stressing about the mileage and the weather. I looked up weather reports, probably 10 times a day. I researched when and if to take Gu or as I took, a Hammer gel. I made sure I had all my wet and winter gear ready to go along with charging my mp3 player for two full days. I mapped out my full route after deciding where I'm meeting up with my running buddy and how far she wanted to run. After all that prepping, it hit me...it's the anniversary of J.J.'s death. If you don't know about this anniversary, please feel free to read my post, "Remembering Why". Instead of getting sad, which will happen whether I like it or not, I remembered last year's tribute run, and decided to make the big ten miler this year's tribute to J.J.

Sunday morning, I could not sleep past 6 a.m. I think I finally fell asleep around midnight or 12:30 a.m. the night before. Not sure if it's nerves or excitement, but this has been the pattern lately before my long runs. The weather was definitely Texas' introduction to winter. Cold, windy, rainy, and in the low 40s. I layered up, got all prepped, and at 7:15 drove to my planned start place. My planned route had me starting at the north branch of our library, and taking a little bit more than half of my "running buddy" route. It was about 2.5 miles, and honestly, it wasn't that bad as long as the rain didn't blow directly into the side of my face. Right after the first mile or mile and a half, I misjudged a puddle, and got my feet soaked up to my ankles. I almost ran back to my car for dry socks, but decided against it since I knew I was running in 8.5 more miles in the rain.

I met my running buddy at her house. Actually I stopped at the sidewalk to stretch my legs because they were feeling tight and out she comes through her garage door. After we laughed and decided we were certifiably insane, we took off for 5 miles. Yes, it was cold, and yes, we laughed and chatted like it was a sunny 60° day, and our pace was faster than normal. We were also in awe of the man who passed us on the same loop. She even had to remind me to take my Gu. I didn't feel like I needed it, but later, I was glad I did. Once we got back to her house, we were pumped and feeling all sorts of hard core badassery.

After we chatted for a couple of seconds, and I promised to call when I made it home, I headed back to my car. I did just fine and even got some weird looks. I had to stop once to judge where in the world I was going to dodge that big puddle again. The streets were getting a little busier than earlier, and I didn't feel comfortable running on the street in that place. I ran in the grass and the puddles still came up to my ankles, but I was already soaked to the bone, and only a mile at most away from finishing the run.

I trudged, not ran, the remaining of the route. I became chilled to the core. I debated thoughts of walking, but I knew I could not. This physical challenge was a representation of my mental challenge. I topped a little hill and saw my car. Elation came flowing through my mind, and I pushed...hard. The rest was literally downhill. I sprinted to the end point and smiled through sweat, rain, and even a few tears that I made the Big 10. This Big 10 in particular.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lackluster Running Week

Last Sunday, I ran 8.76 miles in blustery, 30-something, but sunny weather. Even though I was actually pretty scared to run it, I did it, and only the last 1.5 miles hurt. Not the "man, my muscles are tired" kind of hurt, but the "oh dear lord, just let me make it a few more steps" kind of hurt. The pain went away when my legs stopped quivering about an hour after I walked through my door. The run was great despite the cold wind, and P did a great job of making my Shakeology for recovery, drawing a bath, and even making sure I ate a good breakfast and had hot coffee. I ended up spending the rest of the day in my pjs and loving every minute.

Monday, I knew I’d be a little sore. My upper quads and hammies reciprocated with making me cringe every time I tried to sit down, stand up, and walk. P, T, and the Cy-Guy giggled at me the sight of me struggling to make it to the kitchen, the bathroom, and heck, even the couch. I still got in a great upper body workout too with P90X.

Tuesday. No desire to run, and didn’t. I didn't even attempt Plyos, which I love.

Wednesday: P practically forced me outdoors for a run.

Thursday: Met my walking group and walked a brisk 2.5 miles with them, and went home afterward instead of my planned 3 miler.

Yesterday: Yay, it’s a strength day, so that meant I’m building up my legs and back with P90X, and still no desire to go out for even a short run.

Today is a rest day from running, which in my world, it means it’s a yoga day along with some Kenpo X. All I hope for is that my mind clears, and I get the running urge in the morning. The calendar shows a 10 miler, December 4 is a tough day anyway, and the weather looks like this:

Yea...here goes nothing.