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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Final Stretch - with a run through Texas


Last week, I didn't post an entry.   The week before last, I only did one midweek run.  Then I left for Texas.   Saturday morning, I did wake up at 6:00 a.m., but instead of heading out for 12 mile run, I headed out for Austin, and my brother-in-law's college graduation.   After three hours in the car, we arrived at the hotel just in time to change and get to the graduation, then there was dinner and drinks, and fireworks.   The next day was breakfast, and family photos, oh, and packing up said brother-in-law.   (I didn't actually help, but Justin did).   Then dinner and back in the car to Dallas.  Monday, I worked from my in-laws house and finally made it out for a run that afternoon around five o'clock.  I ran about 30 minutes, and vowed never to run in the evening while in Texas again.   The next day flew by, and Wednesday morning I woke at the crack of dawn.   It wasn't intentional, - I had been eaten alive by mosquitos the day before and couldn't sleep due to the itching.     So, I ran about four miles.   It was 8:30 am when I got home and I am pretty sure that I sweated enough to fill actual buckets.   Thursday and Friday went by with no running.  I planned to do 10 miles on Saturday.   The training schedule only said 8, but I missed the 12 mile so I thought I would add an extra two to even it out.  Well, apparently failing to sleep due to my itching finally caught up with me and I overslept and didn't get out on my run until about 9:30.   I had to be at my sister-in-law's graduation from high school at noon, so 10 miles was out of the question.   At 2.3 I thought I was going pass out.  Seriously.   I walked into the house and straight to an ice cold shower.   I hate cold as you may have picked up from previous blog entries.  (If you missed it, check out "8 miles in the Rain" and "The Ice Bath").  I have vowed never to run in Texas again.   

We flew back to California the next day, and on Monday morning I set out to do 8 miles.  With only a week left until the marathon, I didn't want to over-do it, but I was feeling pretty good.  For the first time I ever - I maintained a pace under 11 minutes for the first 7 miles.  The last mile, I went up to 11:11.  I never thought I would see that type of improvement.   I have no intention of matching that pace in the marathon.   In fact, I hope to stay between 12 and 12.5 minute miles.   At the beginning of the season, I said that speed was all about perception, and that remains true here at the end.   I am  excited by the improvement that I have seen.  Even the tortoise has someone behind him.

As I go into this next week, I am getting nervous.   The farthest I have run so far is 19 miles and yet I am facing 26.2.   To make matters worse, the hip pain that has plagued me - but not stopped me - all season, flared up yesterday worse than ever before.   As has been the case for the last few weeks, work continues to be stressful and I am may ultimately end up trying a case next Wednesday.   I am concerned about the weather, I am concerned about what to eat and drink this week.  I am especially concerned about whether or not I will get enough sleep in light of my toddler's recent decision not to sleep in his own bed.  I have a lot of doubts about my ability to accomplish this endeavor.   I play games in my head, - just like I have all season.  Sometimes I calculate the the pace I need to keep in order to finish the race in under six hours, 13.74.   Sometimes I promise not to be hard on myself if I have to walk the last six miles.   Sometimes, I think about how after doing this, I will probably keep running (not right after doing this - more like a couple weeks after this).   I even go so far as to think about doing half marathons in the future or celebrating my 40th birthday with a triathlon (40 is two years away -  that should be enough time to recover, right?).   I wonder about what Justin is going to do with Oliver while I am running.  I wonder if I am going to actually physically collapse at the end.   I have a great deal of uncertainty about whether I will have enough nutrition on me, and whether it is suddenly going to upset my stomach.   I am, well, a little bit of a mess.  

This time next week, I will have run a marathon.   I will have raised over $3200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.  I will have honored my Dad, my Cousin, the mom of one of my closest friends, Justin's great grandmother, and my sister-in-law's friend's father.  I wish I didn't personally know so many people affected by Leukemia or Lymphoma, and I wish there weren't so many other people, that I don't know, affected by this disease.  But, as this journey from zero to 26.2 comes to a close, I feel thankful.  Thankful to have a body that can make this journey, thankful that so many of those people are still with me and can support me in this endeavor, and thankful to all those who have donated.    So, thank you my dear friends and family, for your generosity of spirit and boundless enthusiasm.   

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