Saturday, October 17, 2009
Proud of Myself for Working Through the Hard
If you used to follow this blog, you know that I haven't posted in awhile. That's because I was working harder than I ever have before. I went back to work teaching at the end of August. This was about 2 weeks earlier than usual. And of course that happens when I'm training for my first marathon. One of you readers commented that it would be the hardest thing I've ever done and you were right. I knew the marathon itself would be hard, but I underestimated how hard the actual training would be. Right know I want to give a shout out to all working moms who have ran a marathon. It would be hard enough training for a marathon without having a full time job, but adding my teaching job PLUS being a mommy and a wife I was pretty much spent at the end of every day. So I'm sorry about my absent blogging and commenting, but I've been on survival mode for a few months and am now just trying to feel normal again.
On my heaviest training weeks, on a good day, I'd wake up early to run 3-4 miles, get ready for work, the kids ready for school, work for 7 hours, volunteer coach cross country for an hour after school, come home and fix my family dinner, run for 4-5 more miles, and then eat my own dinner. I was eating around 8 o'clock nightly. Then on my 2 weeks of running 40-43 miles a week, I had to add in finding someone to take my oldest child to his soccer games and go to cross country meets that were 3 hours and finally add in an Open House. Again, I am still recovering energy wise and my marathon was two weeks ago.
I ran the Portland Marathon on Oct. 4 and it is a fantastic marathon. My husband went with me. We flew in on Friday morning, got our rental car, found our hotel, and then tried to plan a route to get there since many roads and bridges were going to be closed the morning of the marathon. This is a closed marathon which makes it really great. It has fantastic crowd support and is MP3 friendly. I could not imagine running a marathon without my music! We got to do some sight seeing Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday morning I was up at 4:45 am to get dressed. They told me that even though the marathon started at 7 am, we should be there before 6 and she didn't mean 5:55! We made it into downtown Portland around 5:45 am. It's the first time I was at a race in complete darkness. It's not easy going to the bathroom in a port-a-potty in the dark let me tell you! I went to the bathroom serveral times and I was getting nervous because my 1st 1/2 marathon started when I was in the bathroom. I did not want that to happen again. I made it out with about 2 minutes to spare! My hubs tried so hard to take pics of me at the beginning of the race, but our batteries were dead. He got some more battries during the race.
I felt really great the first 9 miles. After that I started feeling pain in my toes. My toes normally get blisters while I run, but this was a different feeling. I felt like my big toes were going numb. I made two critical mistakes for this race. First- bought new, cheaper shoes. They were my brand but a cheaper model. I do NOT know what I was thinking. I guess I thought since they were Saucony they would be good no matter what. I think I bought them a 1/2 a size too small. Second- a new running belt that I hadn't tried out before running. That wasn't my fault exactly. I ordered it online and expected it to come in much sooner than it did. Twice while I was running the stupid thing popped off my waist and I had to adjust it while running. At one point, I was running holding my i-pod cord with my teeth while wrapping the belt back around my waist!
A marathon is a different kind of animal than a 1/2 let me tell you. During a 1/2 I don't see people stopping to walk, stretch, or puke like I did during this race. It's a fairly easy course too. Many people I know have ran this for their first marathon. I saw so many supports holding signs for their loved one, ringing cow bells, bands playing along the course. It was really great, but I just wish I enjoyed it more. My toes were hurting so badly and then my calf started to hurt extremely bad. I was worried I would have to get it wrapped, but I didn't. But even through all of that pain I never thought about quitting. I stopped running twice...once to get more water in my fuel belt bottles and once to call my husband to tell him I was almost done. Unfortantly, my cell phone had also died. Luckily he was there and watched me finish. I finished before I thought I would. I think I said I would finish around 4:30 but I came in at 4 hours 5 minutes. I think I could have broken 4 hours if it weren't for the stupid shoes! At the end, I was done. It was so hard to walk. But the volunteers are there for you there as well as medics. They gave me my space blanket to keep warm. It seems weird after doing such vigorous activity to eat badly, but that's what happened. They were there giving me mini candy bars, Grandma's cookies, bags of chips, string cheese, a little bit of fruit, and my favorite....a large bottle of chocolate milk! Then I got a medal, a rose, a tree seeding, and a pin. Plus, my coveted finisher shirt!
For a full week afterwards, I could not walk normally. I had to wear sandals or flip flops since my toes were so swollen. They are black under my nails which means they will probably fall off. It was weird to hear myself say, "Walk normal," while completely sober! I took the Monday off of work to try to recover a little. But still through all of that pain, I still want to do another one. Someday! Just to see how much better I could do with the proper equipment. And out of 15 training weeks, I am also proud that only 1 time did I not get a run in. I ran through pain, injuries, colds, and a vacation where I fell and thought I broke my arm around mile 5 and still finished my 15 mile run. I am proud that my body could do this. This body of mine that was once prediabetic, asthmatic, sleep apnea and infertile ran a marathon. Not only that, but I am almost to my goal of running 1,000 miles this year. This body of mine! I just can't believe what a transformation I have made. I am usually very hard on myself, but finally I am filled with so much pride. Before if it was hard, it was so EASY to quit. Now, quitting is not an option for me! Here are a few pics, but we don't have many due to technical difficulties.
That's me in the pink coming around the corner for the finish!