FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Slow and Steady

Can I say I am thrilled I am running my dream race as my first marathon? The NYC Marathon just has something about it that draws me to it. Maybe it's the opportunity to run with 50,000 other runners through the streets of all 5 boroughs. Maybe because NYC, specifically Manhattan, is probably my favorite place on earth and the finish is in glorious Central Park. Most likely, however, it's probably because it will be my first and ONLY marathon. I know a lot of people say they are "one and done" and then get the marathon itch desperately needed to be scratched... I just don't think this body can take much more!

Following Jeff Galloway's run/walk plan has helped mentally, somewhat. When running, I can feel better knowing I only have to run for two minutes. I can handle that! But holy sh*t, that 1 minute walk break goes by 4 times as fast!! My short runs during the week have been great. I hit the treadmill at the gym and the runners around me really keep me going, like I am proving something. I'm a runner, dang it! Yesterday I managed to start off walking 1 minute, then ran the next 11 minutes to complete my first mile. I would have managed the 2nd mile the same way if I hadn't had the bladder of a frigging hummingbird! How does one sweat buckets, take in only 16 oz of water and *still* need to pee? First 1.8 miles in 21:30, (insert bathroom break), then another 2 miles in 25 minutes. So close to 4 miles. The right hip and the left heel are feeling it, though. Came home and iced the hip and rolled the feet on a frozen water bottle. Feeling much better this morning.

A major milestone last Sunday for Charlie and I was running our first half, Hope Runs Here, since the shit-show Festival of Lights Half Marathon in Brooklyn, November 2013. We went from one extreme to the other! 22* with a windchill of 'colder than a witch's tit' to 75*, God-knows what humidity, running 13.1 on the surface of the sun. The saving grace was that it was in MY town, 5 minutes from my house, running many of the roads of our regular route. We got to pass my niece's house where my 8 month old great nephew "cheered" me on, and since my cousin wasn't out (when I TOLD him to be) I harassed him from the street. The furthest we ran up until the half was 10.45 miles, and I had to walk much of the last 2 because my left big toe locked up on me. Never experienced that before. So, the plan the week before the half was TONS of water and a daily banana.

I really ate well and hydrated the week before. I stuck to the plan. I worked a race with the timing company the day before and that really helped lift my racing spirit. I just couldn't plan for that heat. We started out well, under a 13:00 mile the first 2 miles, and then hit the port-o-potty. I thought that was going to be a sign of things to come, but the bladder held up after that, however, the brain slowed down. After passing Keri's house at almost mile 4, along the bay, where there is usually nice wind gusts, the air was still, and hot. Did I mention it was hot? No shade? No wind? Humid? I knew we were at the back of the pack and I am SO okay with that now. It can't be about time for me right now. It's about getting out there and finishing. Just after that we met a 68 year old woman named Louise and chatted with her through the beautiful Smith Point Estates. Such an inspiring woman!

We walked a lot with Louise. Then she found another friend and we were able to start our run/walks again (like it was Louise's fault...). This course had phenomenal race support! Water at every mile, EMTs riding the course, ambulances every few miles... they were certain to take care of anyone in need. I was asked several times if I was okay, maybe because I was melting right before their eyes.We plodded along. Slower, but feeling good. I started to notice a twinge in the left calf but willed it away, maybe with a little more walking. After turning down Pinetop and being showered by several hoses and sprinklers, I was only 2 short blocks from my house, but heading home wasn't an option. I needed to get this run done to prove I could do it again, even if it was almost an hour slower.

There was a course limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes. Under cooler circumstances I may have made it. By mile 11.5, on William Floyd Parkway, a police officer was telling the back of the pack they should not turn off and instead head to the marina and the finish line to beat the clock. There was no guarantee I would beat the clock if  I did short the course, but on top of not making the limit I would feel guilty about short-changing myself. Charlie and I decided to stay on course and grind it out. All finishers got a medal, whether they were timed or not. My medal needed to mean something more than just race bling. It had to prove I could do that half mary again. It is half way to a marathon, which is only a little more than 4 months away. A few of us pushed on.

I am sad to say we didn't beat the clock. We had a finish time for a split second and I managed to get a screen shot before the timing company amended the race results. I managed a "sprint" at the end and Charlie and I crossed the finish line hand in hand. There is no picture of that because the race photographer must have punched out. But I finished, 13.1, and I wasn't hurting. I didn't start sweating profusely, feeling the need to both regurgitate and defecate at the same time. My system wasn't in shock. I was able to receive all of my friends' congratulations and love for getting back out there and making it count. I am very thankful they stuck around for us!!!

I even enjoyed a post-race beer and I NEVER drink beer!
our truly earned race bling

race results- not dead last (like Brooklyn!)!

Not the best picture but the gang is ALL here!

We got to enjoy a post-race party and socialize. There was no hour long commute ahead of us! I could only imagine how I would have looked getting out of the car after a ride like that! The 5 minutes nearly did me in! Maybe that was because we stupidly (sorry Gigi, Jan and Laurie) parked at my niece's house which was over a mile away! I believe I walked that mile at 1.0 mph. I was begging a couple of kids to go get a ride for us. 

Since we did the half, we are ahead of the marathon training plan. There will definitely be some schedule adjusting of long runs. For example, I am not too sure I will be doing a 17 miler on my son's birthday on 8/2 or the 23 miler on my birthday in September, especially since we have tentative plans to run the NYRR 18 mile marathon tune-up on 9/20, Charlie's 49th birthday. It's three 6 mile loops in Central Park. There's a 4.5 hour time limit on that. Definitely need to pick up the pace.

I am doing all of this to for the EJ Autism Foundation. I'm still fundraising and am just over half way to my $2,500 goal. I have a big paint night/raffle event coming up in July, and if I get a big enough crowd, I might just hit my goal a few months early!