Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two words.....


It wasn't easy and it was close....3:50:09...thank goodness they take up to :59 seconds past the qualifying time. That was the hardest race EVER.

Running Buddy made me this T-Shirt.....and I can't wait to crack open the champagne tomorrow with her! Right now, its all about the beer and the relief. Full race report tomorrow as I have taken the day off from work! It was an interesting race.....

Thanks for all the kind comments and support friends!!! It sure is nice to be a part of such a tight nit community of runners!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

One Deep Breath

I can't believe that tomorrow is almost in tomorrow I will be running my 7th marathon. This time, it's not about "just finishing" but about racing. I have never in my life "raced" a marathon but this time it's real. I'm still a little on the fence about my pace but I'm shooting for an 8:40 mpm which should bring me in just under the 3:50 finish time I need for Boston.

To say I'm nervous is putting it so mildly that it's almost not worth mentioning.

I went to the expo yesterday to get my number and chip and of course do a little frivolous the way I found a very cute podium jacket with the Shamrock logo.....makes me feel "elite" Ha! 

Anyway, as I was wandering around the expo with purchases in hand, I came across a vendor who was selling t-shirts that said "One Deep Breath" and in an oval surrounding the saying are some other motivating quotes such as "keep life simple, enjoy every moment" etc. Well, it certainly caught my eye as I have been sweating and sitting on pins and needles all week.

Is it really that simple to just take "one deep breath"? 

Yes, it really IS that simple to take one deep breath today.....because each time I do, I feel just a little more relaxed and a little less stressed and it reminds me to just breathe and enjoy. It will be what it matter what I do.

So, a few mantras to take with me tomorrow.....thank you to the Laminator and Frayed Laces for "Don't Deny Your Awesomeness" and I will remind myself at the start and throughout the race to take "One Deep Breath."

It has been one HELL of a journey since my running of the Shamrock last year at this time with my Running Buddy who is also stressing and nervous. I realized just how much I have been through emotionally and physically and I know in my heart I am a much stronger woman for it.

So, here I go ready or not!!! And the weather?? P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!!! Upper 40's at the start, mid 50's near the end and FULL ON SUNSHINE with very little wind.

Here are some random pictures of my, Wonder Boy (at the Hair of the Dog 5K) and Bailey (just before he passed away)....enjoy and send the good marathon vibes blogger buds!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hardcore defined

This weekend, I may have discovered  one element that can define one as a hardcore runner......freezing rain. Yes, running in the freezing rain. I suffered through weather conditions that would send most normal minded people onto their couch all day with a good movie or book. 

I'm not sure the word "miserable" does me justice when I describe how I felt running my 20 miler in the rain on Saturday.

The forecast was for a coastal storm to start creeping up through the Carolinas this weekend and it all began Saturday morning. I got awake to darkening skies....and Running Buddy and I both had our last long run scheduled for that morning. We had not planned to run together, but we both knew the impending conditions. Neither of us wanted to suffer alone. So after a few texts and some last minute planning, we made it out to the official starting point of the Shamrock Marathon ready to simulate 20 miles on the course. As soon as I picked Running Buddy up, the rain started.

Luckily for us, it was an easy start with the wind to our backs and we were both pretty well layered (another plug for that very cool Nike jacket I bought a while back). We made it about 9 miles until we hit the boardwalk into the wind and that's when the misery started.

The wind must have been blowing 10-15 mph steady with gusts up to 20 and the rain was beating us to death. We ran about 20 streets up the boardwalk and exited onto the trolley lane heading to the north end. That was around mile 12. By this time, things were starting to get really tough.

Running Buddy and I trudged up towards the north end in blustery wind driven rain. By mile 14, we were soaked, tired and hungry so we stopped to eat. More trouble began as we tried to start back up and my Running Buddy got panicked over being cold and wet. She says "Kelly! I'm miserable!" We really didn't have much further to go and we were not far from the car on the turn around, so, after asking "What would YOU do??"....Running Buddy put on the tough girl panties and made it all the way to the turn around with a potty break near the end.

So, what defines us as hardcore runners? Probably more adverse conditions than I could list in my post. I know that my Running Buddy has suffered through major bouts of trots and hydration issues and now she has learned to brave the elements. She is becoming hardcore.

But I realized something about myself on that miserable run on Sunday....3 hours in 40 degree temps with wind and rain. I discovered that I have strengthened my ability to endure pain and misery. I guess you just do as a result of running which inflicts some pain on you most of the time. But the will to go on when the conditions just SUCK.....that's strength I never thought I had.

So, I like to think that yeah, I'm a bit crazy and obsessed in my running....but I've become a little more hardcore.

Miserable highlights:
1. Major boob burn from a soaking wet bra that has now turned into a dry scab ouch
2. Hands so cold from wet gloves, I started to see stars
3. Hallucinated a port a john that actually turned out to be a transit bus...hell they were the             same color.
4. Drymax socks WORK! Hey, the socks were soaked and I swear it never felt like it.
5. The Nike Jacket stayed dry for about 15 miles...but then it was a wet rag. 
6. My Nike Livestrong capris beaded the rain the entire 20 miles and ended up winning the "driest piece of clothing" award from yours truly.
7. The mind can talk the body into anything the heart has the will to do.....just believe in the run. (That's my feeble attempt to get all deep and philosophical) 

So, that's the story in all its glory....time for taper!

Summer Vacation