Category Archives: Running

Marathon’ed

Well, we did it!

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I managed to eke our way through the marathon.  (I had signed up right at New Year’s.  I finally signed up for my husband about three weeks before the race, since he had kept saying he would do it and then kept putting it off.)

I’m really happy I finally did it (having quit mid-training a couple of times before), but I’d been hoping for a slightly faster time.  On one hand, it’s too bad I didn’t hit the goal (well, the one I had beyond at least finishing the marathon).  On the other hand, aiming for a better time might be the only possible reason I would run another one …

It was terrible during the race, but both my husband and I recovered pretty quickly I think.  Sure, for the day after, the thought of stairs horrified me.  And sure, my husband actually worked from home for a day because he works on the second floor of a building without an elevator.  But two days after we were both doing okay!  So that’s something.

My husband, by the way, is a much faster runner than me, and has never run a marathon either, but he tempered his pace to suit mine — which anyone who has run long-distance probably recognizes is quite a feat.  He took breaks when I wanted them and started running again when I said so, which is really difficult in such a long race that requires such individual pacing.  He claims it wasn’t so bad because otherwise he would never have had the stamina to keep it up at his pace.  That might be true, but doesn’t really off-set how hard it must have been to run at my pace.  And my mom pointed out (twice…) that I’m really lucky to have a husband like that.  And I agreed.  Twice.

Marathon tomorrow

The marathon is tomorrow!  The overall feeling I’m having right now is: “FINALLY.”  We’ll see how I feel afterward.

The free shirts that they gave away for this marathon are actually really nice!  I was surprised, because I ran the associated half-marathon several years ago and that shirt is … not … the best.  My only disappointment is that it’s long-sleeved, and I think it’ll be pretty warm, so I won’t actually wear it tomorrow.

I spent the day “preparing” by going to a baby shower :P It would’ve been totally fine except it was a 2-hour drive away, so I feel a little stiff from all the driving.  Hopefully that won’t affect me too much tomorrow.  I tried to eat only the healthy stuff at the shower (somehow I managed to turn down one of the delicious-looking cupcakes!).  In fact, I’ve been trying to eat healthy pretty much the whole week — I’ve heard it really helps on marathon day.  I hope that’s worth it … and I am definitely going to indulge afterward.

The baby shower was really adorable.  It was thrown by my friend’s mom, who asked us all to bring our favorite baby book from childhood, which I thought was a really cute idea.  And one of the women gave the mom-to-be a bookshelf for the baby room, which was a great tie-in to the theme.  Plus, my friend’s sister is kind of a chef, so the food was delicious.  Totally worth it :)

Almost marathon time!

I haven’t talked much about my running recently.  Well, I’ve been doing it!  I signed up for the marathon way back on January 1st, and the race is coming up in 3 weekends.

A couple weekends ago my husband and I ran 18 miles in preparation.  It is kind of draining to do anything for 3 hours straight.  Running for 3 hours straight (actually, 3.5 hours) is particularly draining.  But I think it’s pretty cool that we ran through 4 cities/towns.  Plus, that was just one way!  (We do an out-and-back route, which just means we come back the exact way we came.  I prefer it that way because then, when I’m halfway through my run, I really have no choice but to run back — otherwise, I might quit.)

Here are a couple of purchases I’ve made in the past 15 weeks or so to help with running:

1. Gu Chomps.  As one might guess, it is pretty difficult to do hours of sustained exercise without any fuel, even if you’ve eaten well the day before.  These are basically little bites of pure carb/sugar to help push a little extra energy into the body.  I greatly prefer the chomp form (which is kind of the texture of a very soft gummy bear) to the gel form (which is more liquidy and meant to melt in your mouth, but translates into a texture that is absolutely disgusting to me).  I also prefer the Gu Chomps over the Clif Shot Bloks (same idea, different company).  I’ll be bringing the Chomps on race day.  Incidentally, Jelly Belly makes absolutely delicious “sport beans” … a.k.a. regular jelly beans, but with the prefix “sport” so that you feel more athletic when you eat them.  Those taste amazing, but I brought them on a previous half-marathon and they were way too difficult to chew.  By the time I needed some sport beans, I definitely didn’t have any extra energy to waste on chewing anything.

2. A foam roller.  Running is tough on the body, and for me it’s particularly tough on my joints and muscles.  There’s not much I can do about the joints, but using the foam roller definitely soothes some of the muscle ache for me.  Basically, the idea is to use it for self-massage.  It can be a little painful, but that actually doesn’t bother me much, and I think it really does make a difference (along with stretching).  The area I use it most for is my lateral thighs, because I think I have a little IT band issue (like a lot of runners), and I’m trying to avoid it becoming a big IT band issue.

I’m excited for the race to come.  Plus, honestly, marathon training is just so time-consuming, it’ll be a relief to cut way down on my running hours.  I could use some extra time for writing instead!

New year, new job

Happy New Year’s, everyone!  I’m starting a new job today, actually.  I’m not sure what to expect — the new boss was very cordial in person, but she sounds a little crazy over e-mail.  Still, most of my dealings with her should be in person from now on, so that has the potential to work out.

I’m also a little concerned about splitting my time between this new job, writing, and training for a marathon, eek!  I signed up for one in the first week of May.  This time I put the money down up front, because I’ve been pretty far through training before (my longest run in the past was 17 miles — getting up there!) but never gone through with it.  Now that I have an actual registration confirmation, I’m hoping this is the year I actually do it!

So as I was saying, it seems like it’ll be difficult to find time to write this year.  But that’s one of only two New Year’s resolutions I’ve come up with — write!  It’s funny, I’ve said I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid, but it’s so much easier to find time for a hundred other things besides writing.  There’s other stuff that seems more “necessary” — laundry, exercise, checking e-mail … But this year I want to make writing just as much of a priority as those other things.  Wish me luck!

A tentative new goal?

I think this spring I’m really going to try to run a marathon.  For real this time.

I’ve been toying with the thought for a few years now, and I’ve managed a couple of half-marathons.  The longest I’ve ever run in one day is 17 miles, which isn’t bad.  The problem with distance running is that it just requires so much time.  I’ve been trying to work on my speed for the past couple months, and I only run a mile or two.  That may or may not be the best way to do it, but hey, it takes around 20 minutes and then I’m done with my workout for the day.

But then I watch shows like The Biggest Loser (except I haven’t seen last night’s yet so don’t spoil it for me!).  The contestants start out ranging from 200-400 pounds, and this year they’re all going to run a marathon.  Granted, they haven’t done it yet, but previous contestants have challenged themselves similarly in the past, and succeeded.  So if they’re doing a marathon, gosh darn it I should do one too.

The problem is that the people on The Biggest Loser luckily get a few months of their lives where they are not doing anything else!  Whereas most people have a full-time job and some people have kids (I don’t, another reason to try to run a marathon now while I have more free time) and I’m also trying to find time to write the sequel to Lone Wolf, which has been going at a snail’s pace as of late.  We need more hours in the day, don’t you think?

Maybe if I cut out reality shows like The Biggest Loser itself, I’d gain a couple of hours right there …

Nah, let’s not get crazy with it.