Every time I finish a big "race" event, I get a little sad and depressed as the enthusiasm of the race wears off and I am left with nothing to train for or to look forward to. I have to admit that I love training. Working towards something makes my day and it gives meaning to my otherwise meaningless life. I heard this from a movie recently--"I did it to feel alive!". It is not that I don't feel alive but in truth running, cycling, swimming and participating in these events gives my Type A personality something to work on.
With that in mind, I have started looking for my next big race. At first, I thought it was going to be the St. George Marathon as my neighbor told me that she had a great connection and could get me in this late in the game (it is in about a week). Unfortunately, after she made her phone calls, the answer was no. I am feeling a bit devastated and sorry for myself at the moment. I know, I should feel happy that I am given the extra time to just chill and get my feet back from my first marathon, but I am on fire! I feel on fire and I feel that I have already done the training so I might as well just get it done, but I can't. I have to suck it up and look for another event to participate in.
Consequently, I went online and that is usually a bad sign. I get looking at stuff and next thing I know I am registering and putting things down on my planner. So, what do you think I found? You know me, it has to be something crazy and completely loony toon.
No, it is not the Grand Slam from the Dennis menu nor the Wimbledon one. It is the Utah marathon running
one. Yes, I am going to sign up for the Grand Slam, 4 marathons in 2010. I never thought I would sign up for 4 marathons all in one year, but I figured since I will be already training for one, I might as well register for others and get them all in. There are 5 to choose from and I think I have narrowed them down to these four: Ogden Marathon (May), Park City Marathon (August), Top of Utah Marathon(Sept), and St. George Marathon (Oct).
To prepare me for these marathons: I want to do the Canyonlands Half Marathon on March 20th and the TOU 1/2 Marathon on August 2010.
Also, let's not forget about my other great goal: Ironman 70.3 (shooting for the Boise Ironman in June).
Everything seems to fit perfectly with the dates. What do you think of the goals?
As you know, I completed my very first marathon and I loved every minute of it. I really kept waiting for the moment when I hit the wall, but it never came. The first 10 miles flew by and all I kept thinking was that it was a perfect day for a long run! The air was nice and crisp and the wind kept pushing us down the canyon. When I got to mile 10, I looked around and I just got a huge sense of happiness and thrill that I just wanted to go faster. However, my mind kept telling me, pace yourself, pace yourself, you have still 16 more miles to go.
When I got to the half point mark, 13 miles, I looked down at my watch and I was at 1:45minutes. I knew that I would meet my goal and that I was definitely on track to reach it. As I kept running, I kept reading the t-shirts from the other runners and the signs that loved ones had left for their runners. Each one of those signs, I imagined that they were left for me. My hubby was at school on this day and he couldn't miss it unless he wanted to fail, so I was running solo, but all through out the run, I kept imagining telling him all about it.
Close to mile 17, I started feeling a little bit light headed and realized that I had missed my scheduled GU. Quickly, as I reached mile 17, I got my GU out and got it down and got some drink down to go with it. Overall, I took 5 GUs, 1-15minutes the run, 1-45 minutes into the race, 1-1:30minutes into it, 1-2:20minutes, and the last one at 3:15minutes.
Miles 1-17 are all down the canyon and then we start hitting the neighborhoods, after mile 19 we go into my neighborhood, to the streets where I run all the time. As I reached mile 19, my feet were getting tired and I looked down at my watch and realized that I had plenty of time left so I could afford to walk through the aid stations and even walk for a minute after too if I needed. I started thinking why I wanted to finish in 3:40minutes and the obvious came to mind--you can qualify for Boston. But the answer came right away--I don't care about qualifying for Boston. I have no desire to go there so at that very moment said, a finish of 4:00 is what I want, if it is less, it is even better but 4 is all I want. So I decided to definitely enjoy the last 6 miles of my race. As I saw other runners, I greeted them and smiled at them. I was happy. I was living my dream and I kept saying that to myself over and over, making me happier and happier.
At mile 20, I knew that my family and friends were receiving a text message letting them know that I had just crossed 20 miles and that brought me an intense sense of happiness. I knew that at mile 21, my friends and my children would be there for me so I ran as fast as my tired little legs could go and was not disappointed when I got to 21 mile marker and saw my cheering section. My children and cycling friends were there waiting for me. Cheering me on! I was so happy and thrilled to see them. I waved at them and smiled at them and even stopped to pick up my little girl and give her a kiss. I couldn't find my little boy--he was playing with the dirt behind one of the cars. I saw him when I had already gone around the corner and I just waved and told him I loved him.
As promised to myself, I walked through the remaining aid stations and drank my water/gatorade in peace. I walked a minute or two to let my legs refresh themselves. My neighbor Louise followed me around from mile 21 to the end and she caught me at mile 22 to take pictures as well as at mile 23 and 24, then she went to the Finish Line to wait for me. After crossing mile 24, I knew that I had it in me to run to the end. No need to walk anymore. I had rested and I could continue running to the end. At mile 25, I met my sweet friends the Bytheways and seeing them gave me the extra enthusiasm I needed to go to the end. Sarah was there and her face was exuberant with joy and I knew that she was feeling the same excitement I was feeling for accomplishing this one goal. I saw her again around mile 25 1/2 and I was again so happy, especially when she said "next year, I will be there running along with you". I wanted to cry at that moment because I knew that she was being truthful. Then I saw Spencer starting to run on the sidewalk to keep me motivated and that was all I needed. I ran to the end. As I got to the 26 mile marker, I left any doubts of finishing behind and I sprinted to the end. Yes, in my heart I still had one last effort and I gave it all to the end. As I crossed the finish line, only joy filled my heart. In my head, I kept hearing cheers and a strong voice kept saying "you did it! Chubby you did it!" As I waked to the Finishers Corral, I smiled and was so happy to be part of the club, not only any club but the sub-4 Marathoner Club. I finished in 3:51:22. I was 26th in my age group. Yes, 26th!!! I am in the top 10 percentile for this marathon.
As I bent down to stretch, my feelings took over and tears started spilling down my cheeks. I had done it. I had just brought to life a huge dream. A dream that just 2 years ago seemed an impossibility was a reality. Not only had I completed my dream, but I had completed it in less than 4 hrs.
My first marathon left me happy and looking forward to many, many more!
PS: Flickr Slideshow below of all the pictures that my friend Louise took of my great adventure :)
Little princess is back to Pre-School! She is so excited to be back at the Sports Academy and take swimming, gymnastics, movement, and tennis. She really wanted to be in "real school" with big brother Bryant but she was born a little late in the school season so she has an extra year to wait.
Living the dream is what is all about! Today, I got to make a dream a reality. The happiness that the event brought me is indescribable. I didn't cry all during it, actually I smiled most of the way but once I crossed into the "Finisher's Corral" I was done for. I bent over to relax my upper body and tears just started spilling down my cheeks. I have done it. I have made my dream a reality.
More story to come later, for now, just the stats.
I am a marathon finisher...which in my book qualifies me for the title of "I am a runner!!!"
I will be number 2494 during the Top of Utah Marathon 2009. I have been looking forward all day to picking up my packet and seeing my official runner jersey. Part of the fun of running a race is picking up the packet. I love going to the conference and seeing the other runners and seeing the gear/gadgets that the sponsors are marketing.
Our jersey this year is way cool! It is a bright orange, think construction worker orange, which is perfect for running as they make the runner visible to traffic. I also scored a lanyard with a water bottle. I kept the lanyard, my son quickly took my water bottle and drank all the water, LOL.
If you are out there, look for me, I am number 2494, not very fast but not very slow, just middle of the pack. Most likely, I will be smiling :). Good luck to all my fellow runners!
My very first marathon in less than a day!!!
The big day is upon me! 22 hrs left.
I have to admit: I am freaking out!!! Had an awful night with dreams about the marathon and seriously every bad scenario came to the dream from a blister, collapsed arches, to falling down!
Today, I get to pick up my packet. I will have a little steak, a little rice (I don't like pasta very much), lots of water and hopefully the nerves will allow me to go to sleep around 8pm.
If you see me today and I am not in the best of moods is because I am just freaking out and having a heck of a time controlling my nerves and fighting the "I am a failure thoughts".
Just thinking about this coming Saturday and its grueling event sends shivers down my spine and questions start popping in my head. Do I have what it takes? Am I going to start crying at mile 22? Am I going to give up at mile 23 and say no more! As I tell my friends that I am doing this event this coming weekend, thought first thought that comes to my mind--are you freaking crazy Isela! Second, you actually paid to be a part of an event that may make you cry Mommy!
The past month's runs have been packed with thoughts of of insecurities and of lack of self-confidence. Each time I reach my house which just happens to be the marker for mile 21 of the TOU marathon, I try to visualize race day. I try to pump myself up and I keep repeating in my head "girl, you can do this!" The trick with it all, is that I have to believe it. I have to believe in myself. The popular cliche is so true "man is his own worst enemy". I can bring myself down before I have even started. Thus, I have decided to have a pre-marathon manifesto to help me during the marathon.
1. I will rest the recommended number of days before my race day. Yes. This means no lifting. No swimming. No active taper days. It is going to drive me insane, I know.
2. I will drink at least 8 cups of water a day before race day and at least 6 each day prior.
3. I will not eat too much sugar in the 5 days prior race day.
4. I will try to fill my thoughts with me crossing the finish line.
5. I will not be sad because my hubby cannot be there that day.
6. I WILL stop and walk while getting a drink at the aid stations.
7. I will start slow and not kill my legs on the first 13 downhill miles.
8. When I reach mile 21 and I see my friends there, I won't cry Momma, instead I will smile and keep going.
9. When I feel that my legs are about to give up and my heart is about to fall, I will command my brain to push me forward, walking is better than giving up. Life has thrown worst things my way, a few miles of running should not defeat me. Friends, if you see me and I am ready to give up. Please, I beg you to push me forward. Do not let me defeat myself.
10. No matter my finish time, I will rejoice and pat myself on the back for accomplishing this one dream. I may never be able to fulfill my dream of visiting Scotland but by golly I should be able to finish a marathon in my own backyard.
Thank you all for your wonderful and inspiring stories. It is great to hear of your achievements in life. The loomy buttons are on the way to me and they should be here by next Monday, if not sooner. You will be able to put your button on your knitting bag and display proudly your love for looming.
Our winners are (thanks to the number generator)...
Congratulations to all the winners!!! Please contact me as soon as you can. You have until midnight (MST) Wednesday, Sept. 9th to claim your prize. Prizes not claimed will be given away to another participant (using again, the number generator).Again, congratulations for participating.
Didn't win one, don't worry. You can get your very own by clicking on the sidebar link and buying one or two or ten! The new button design says "I *heart* Looming".
My fourth half-marathon took place this last Saturday in the gorgeous area of Cache Valley. The day started at 5am. Took a quick shower to open my eyes and wake the brain a little. I am used to waking up and getting my running clothes on and rushing out, however, during race day, I take a shower to be fully alert. Hubby prepared my oatmeal and put it in my trusty GNC blender bottle and I was ready to go. I met my friend Laurie (her very first 1/2 marathon!) outside and we walked over to the park to ride the school bus up the canyon for the start of the race.
The day was chilly and we had to wait an extra 20 minutes for the race to start. We don't know what the problem was just that we started off late. I hugged Laurie goodbye and wished her lots of luck and we took off. I had a goal in mind and I knew that to meet my desired 1:45 I had to run an 8:01 minute mile pace. The beginning of the TOU 1/2 is all down hill and although it may seem like an easy thing, it can be a killer! If you go too fast down the hill, you can kill all your energy in the first half and that would leave you limping the last 6 miles.
As always, the first two miles are the hardest: first you have the entire crowd that you have to work your way through, second your body is warming up. Unfortunately for me, I had a third issue on my hands. My calves were hurting, hurting badly. I don't know what was wrong with my body but my calves weren't feeling all that well. I am one who just flies down the hills, however, the pain in my calves were preventing me from doing just that, however, I think that the pain actually helped me by making me slow down. Thankfully, the pain went away around mile 5 and then I was in happy land. I ran and was thrilled each time I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I was hitting less than 8minute miles!
About mile 8, I saw a few families cheering for their loved ones and then I realized that I was getting close to the founders' house of my MS team. As I neared their home, I saw them outside cheering for the runners and I just had to scream at the top of my lungs "Go Team Taylor!" to which they all turned around and just cheered me on. I had the greatest feeling at this moment, as I knew that part of my cycling team was out there cheering for me. I love my MS (Multiple Sclerosis) team!
Miles 9-11 were hard, the route gets flat and it is right on the main road, lots of cars and no scenery. I guess I like running down the canyon and seeing the trees. At the end of this section there is small uphill and unlike last year, I didn't flake out or slowed down, instead I buckled down and increased my speed. As I saw other runners stopping to walk, I knew that I couldn't, I had to keep going. As I looked down at my watch, I knew that I could definitely meet my goal if I kept the same pace.
As I turned up the road after mile 11, I was in regular territory, I run this all the time. I know the terrain, I can run it even with my eyes closed and I know that I can kick it in and do close to 7:30miles as long as I keep my head in the game and give it my all. As I passed over mile 12, I looked down at my watch and knew that the goal was just within my grasp. One last effort to the end, no slowing down, no reprieves just yet. One last effort to the end. Focus on someone and catch them. Focus on that finish line and ignore everything around, it is only me and the finish line.
Crossed the finish line at 1:43:07! 13.1 in 1:43:07 that my friends is a 7:52 average pace!!! I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that I could run this fast. Me the Chubbette ran a sub 8 minute mile half marathon! Not only that, there were 1300 women signed up for this marathon, a total of 2000 participants. I ended in 65th place in the Womens and 16th in my age group!!! Dude, I was in the 10th percentile! I am so pleased. I can say that I gave it my all and I was quite pleased with my performance :).
I am feeling so happy and thrilled about my running accomplishment, I have a little loomy giveaway. Tell me a story of your last accomplishment that made you feel superb--it can be an athletic event or even washing and folding 10 loads of laundry (believe me, that is an accomplishment to me). Hit me with your stories below. I will choose 5 lucky winners for the cute little Lambie button, leave a story by 8:00pm MST Saturday, Sept. 5th.
Thank you all who helped me find the perfect name for Nyah's little vest. At the end, Prepster just kept coming back to my mind. I knew that it was meant to be when I was describing it to one of my friends and all I could think about was the word Preppy!
I hope you like it as much as I do and as much as Nyah does. The pattern is only available in one size 4T. However, I am working out some math right now to provide sizes in 2T and 3T. The pattern is available at LoomKnit.com in the Free Monthly Pattern area.
Again, thank you for helping me name the Prepster!