Friday, January 28, 2011

Long Run Day

Today, I had 17 miles on the schedule. 17 long, slow miles. I have to say...I was not looking forward to it. Maggie woke me up at 5 am and I took her and Buster downstairs so Trevor could sleep. After I let them outside for a bit, we all fell asleep on the couch. I just didn't want to get up and get going. I had planned to leave at 8. I didn't get out the door until 8:45 and even then, it was all I could do to actually go.

I heard this quote once: "There are only two times to train. When you want to and when you don't". So off I went. I took this picture before I went and thought that I looked really old. I am Miss negative today!!!

I got out on the run and it wasn't so bad. It was just long. 3 hours. I changed up my planned route a few times for different reasons. Most of my route was flat, but my final route adjustment meant that I was climbing a HUGE hill in the last mile. As I was pushing up that last hill, I thought "who's idea was THIS". I got to the top and I remembered another quote "I never said it would be easy, I said it would be worth it". It better be. That's all I know. I sure as hell better be.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I am into the third week of my marathon training. Its a 16 week program and it is just as hard as I expected it would be. I have never trained like this and I'll be is hard. I do three runs per week: speed work, tempo run and a long run. I usually just go out and run. When training in the past, I have had a mileage plan. This is different. Its not just about putting in the miles, its about the quality of those miles. Sometimes that is more fun, sometimes it is not.

I get really anxious about things. I find myself stressing about a workout. I get obsessed with hitting an interval RIGHT ON, leaving little room for error. I am still having some issue with my pacing, which I believe is normal. I did some speed work on Monday that just about killed me. When I was done, I felt very proud of myself. I can also tell that it is working. Right now, my long runs are really slow. So slow, in fact, that I have a difficult time going slow enough.

I am much more in tune with my runs. This type of training really makes me focus on what I am doing. That is a good thing. I am really anxious to see how this ends up. May 1st is the Eugene Marathon and that is when all this training will be put to the test!!

In the meantime, I am realizing that it is good to do something different, to mix it up and step outside the normality of things. I guess that is the only way we grow.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I love Miss Delaware!

Every year when the Miss America pageant is on TV, I can't help myself from watching. Its not my thing, I am not a beauty queen at all, I never wanted to be Miss America. I don't really even remember watching it all that much when I was growing up. However, these days it is almost like a car wreck, I can't look away. I have a dear friend who was Miss Washington in the early 90s, so I feel almost a personal connection to the pageant. I always wonder what Annalee thinks of certain girls.

While it is not my thing, it occurred to me this year that these women train for this event like we train for a marathon or triathlon. They have a team, experts, a plan. It costs lots of money, takes all their time and focus. So no matter how you feel about the pageant, I think you have to respect the hard work they put into it.

I like to hear the platforms that these women have chosen. This year, one in particular struck a nerve. Miss Delaware's platform, was Alopecia. A condition that she has. Alopecia is thought to be an auto-immune disease that causes people to lose their hair. There are all different forms of this. Some lose all their hair forever. Some lose some of it for a short period of time. Miss Delaware, Kayla Martell lost her's around age 10 and it never grew back. She wore a wig during Miss America, but most of the time does not wear it. She is most comfortable in her natural, bald state.

The reason this resonated with me is because I had this condition when I was young. I remember when it started. Easter of 1986. I was sitting at the dinner table at my Aunt Pearl's house. I had a hair clip in my hair. I pulled it out to reposition it and a bunch of my hair came with it. I ran my hands through my hair a few times and clumps of my hair came out. I was 12 years old, 6th grade.

Over the next two years, I lost probably about 50-75% of my hair. We went to every doctor we could find to figure out what was wrong. My maternal Grandmother had lost her hair when she was young and it never grew back. She wore a wig her entire life, I never saw her without it on.

I remember taking all different kinds of medicine. One in particular was a big yucky yeast pill. I would cry at the dinner table when I had to take it. I remember traveling into Philadelphia to see a specialist. I don't have very many pictures of myself during that time. I kind of block it out. Everyone said it was due to nerves and if I could learn to handle stress it would all be better. If that's the case then I will surely lose all my hair again because I still cannot manage my stress. I need more counseling on that than is even possible.

I put up so much of a defense around myself during that time. It was almost like I was in denial about what was happening. I refused to even consider wearing a wig. I acted like it didn't bother me. I was 13 years old, in New Jersey, in the 80s. Hair was important. Big hair. I had none. That was hard. I think this time in my life is part of the reason that I remain so distant with people. I make them work to get close, I believe that started during these years. I had my circle of friends and I knew I could trust was the others I had to be concerned about.

People thought I was sick, they thought I had cancer. They didn't ask me about it though. I don't remember anyone really saying "what's wrong with you". I didn't ever talk about it with even my closest friends. I don't remember being teased. I had gone to school with the same kids for my entire life and I got along with everyone. I wasn't popular, I was just neutral, so no one seemed to care. At least that is how I saw it.

I don't remember worrying about it growing back. Really, I don't remember much about those years. I do know that I hated school and I have often wondered if that was because of how I looked, but I don't remember thinking that. It makes me uncomfortable to talk about it even now. I know that it caused a great deal of stress and worry for my parents and I really remember hating that. I remember wanting to act like it didn't matter because I didn't want it to matter to them.

After two years, it grew back as quickly as it had fallen out. Going to get my hair cut for the first time in over two years was one of the best days of my life. And so life goes on. I haven't had any issues since then. In fact, I have a healthy thick head of hair.

I do worry that it will happen again. It occured to me a few years ago that this all happened when I was going through puberty, so what if it happens again when I go through menopause. I asked Trevor if he would still love me if I lost all my hair. He said that he would grow his hair long to make a wig for me. That may be the nicest thing any person has ever said to me.

When I saw Miss Delaware and heard her talk about her life with Alopecia, all these memories came rushing back to me. I am so thankful that it was only for a short period of time. I am so thankful that it isn't something that I had to manage for my entire life. I commend this woman for being so strong and so comfortable in her own skin. I have hair and am not as confident as she is. People say that beauty is only skin deep, but let us be you look matters. To everyone.

I don't know why it happened to me. I don't think of myself as a nice person, so if it was to make me didn't work. I do think that I am a compassionate person. I don't stare at people who are different. I am inclusive and understanding. I know what its like to be different.

Here is a link if you want to know more about it. I wish this had been available for me all those years ago....
click here

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When your strength becomes your weakness.

The last couple years it has been a joke in our house that I have one speed when I run, swim or bike. That speed is "ON". I can go forever at the same, consistent speed. When we run marathons, my last mile is the same pace as my first mile. Trevor says "my wife will finish between 5 hours and 5 hours and 4 minutes, no matter what the course is like". When talking about triathlons, people ask what my strength is and I always say "pacing".

I started a new training program this week, the idea is to get faster. I want to be faster. I think I am faster, I have just never pushed myself. I never do speed training, I always just run. This program has changed that. Every run has a purpose, a set speed for a set distance or time.

Today, I was to run 13 miles at a 10:27 pace. I ended up averaging 10:17...I was all over the board, I couldn't hold it steady at 10:27. I am relearning how to pace myself. Its hard to believe that I really have to work on the one thing that I though I was really good at! This will be a challenge and I enjoying it so far.

Today's run was about 55 degrees and rainy. I wore shorts and January. Last Saturday I ran and had to turn around because the roads were so icy, so I was thankful for the warm rain today! Trevor met me on part of my run with Buster and Maggie and we ran as a family for a little bit. I loved that. We'll see what next week brings!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Marathon training.

Today I registered for the Eugene Marathon and I started training.

My best marathon time is 5 hours and 4 minutes. I did that in Newport this past June. I would really like to improve on my time. I found a training plan that I really like, one that I really think will help me improve my time. There are some time projections that I need to do in order to drill down the training. I did those projections a few months ago. Then, I ran a 10K on Jan 2nd and had my best time ever. I went back and recalculated my times. This training plan seems to have much more confidence in my abilities that I do.

I hemmed and hawed, went back and forth and finally decided I was going to put my trust into this training plan. I was going to follow it and see where that got me. Today, my first training day, was speed training. I was set to do some mile repeats. This means I do a couple warm up miles, then I run three miles at a certain pace, with a minute in between to recover. When I looked at the times I was supposed to run those three miles, I got really nervous. It was a lot faster than I have ever run (hence the title "speed training"). I honestly wasn't even sure I could do it.

I left the house this morning with my trusty new Garmin 310XT - this thing is is my training guide. I set up my entire workout and just followed along, checking my pace every little bit to be sure I was on track.

The time came to do my first fast mile and off I went. The funny thing is that I was going too fast...way too sprinting. In my mind, I was envisioning that as the pace I needed to run. I spent the rest of the mile slowing down to get to the correct pace. The weird thing is that I felt scared of it. I realized that and thought how silly it was to be afraid of it. Instead, I wanted to have fun with it. So I changed my mindset, settled in, relaxed into it and just ran.

I did all three miles at exactly the pace I needed to go. I was really proud of myself and actually started to believe I could do this marathon in the time the training plan projects. I went online and registered. It asked what my projected finish time was, I put it down. It asked what my best marathon time so far was, I put that down too. Looking at them, my new goal seems almost ridiculous. I laughed and hit "submit". What the hell.

Then it asked what size shirt I wanted. This, to me, is even more difficult than the training, the time projection and the actual marathon! I want the shirt to fit and I never know how it will fit. Will a medium be right, will it be too big or too small..which is worse...back and forth, back and forth. I swear, I have issues!! I finally settled on a medium and hoped for the best.

I'm keeping my time projection to myself. I'm not ready to share. I can just say that when I meet that goal, its going to be pretty amazing...especially to myself.

A fellow blogger posted this quote today...seemed like it was meant for me:
"You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resolution Run Race Report

I don't usually like to do 10k races. I guess I have become a snob. I feel like I can run 6 miles from home. I can get up and run when I want and where I want. I don't need others to run with and I really don't need another shirt. So, when our friends at Battle Ground Fitness told us they were putting on a 5k/10k on January 2nd, I was apprehensive. I knew they would put on a great event, so I told all our friends to sign up and we signed up too!! This was a good move...

The race started at 10 am. This ended up being the perfect time. It was like 20 degrees, so we needed a little time for the sun to come up and try to heat things up a bit. I think every person we know was there to run with us. I love that about our group of friends. Someone says "hey...want to do (fill in the blank) and everyone else pretty much says "hell yes!".

I had decided that this year I want to work on my speed. I am pretty good and pushing myself to that line between comfortable and uncomfortable, then backed off just a bit and I can go forever! This year, I want to push past that line and it was going to start with this event.

I think the fasted I have ever run a 10k is right about 58 minutes. Usually I do them in about 66 minutes, slow and steady. I told Trevor my goal for this day was 56 minutes. Trevor wanted to do a sub 8 minute mile. It was strange to have such a specific goal. Usually I have a comfortable goal, not a goal just outside that zone. This goal was a lot outside that zone.

The race started and off I went. I have a new toy - my Garmin 310XT heart rate monitor/GPS, so I can watch my per mile pace. I LOVE it!! It is totally changing the way I train.

My first mile was 8:45. My next was 9:04. Honestly, the hardest part was my kept trying to convince my body that I was running to fast, that there was no way I could maintain that pace. Then I remember that I had set a goal and I needed to see it through. The miles ticked by, I saw Trevor and he said he was running the pace he had set as well. That was good news.

The course was a basic out and back, nothing to worry about but the run. I loved that!

I made the final turn back towards the finish line and I realized that I was going to finish just under 56 minutes. Trevor met me about 100 yards from the finish and ran me in. I was thrilled with my race performance. I want this year to be the year that I don't just do things, but I do them better. I want to push myself. I was really proud. While my time may not be blazing for other people, it was for me and that was all that mattered.

After we all finished, there was an all you can eat buffet at Bones Steakhouse, right by the start/finish area. WOW!! Was it ever yummy! We loaded up on breakfast goodies and hung out with our friends. Trevor won first in his age group...pretty awesome!!

It was a great start to a new year. The event was really great, we will totally do it again next year. I hope this sets the pace for the year...what a year it will be!!! Welcome 2011...let's see what we can do.

Two Weddings

New Year's Day we attended two weddings. It has been years since we have a been to a wedding. Before Trevor and I got married, I HATED weddings. We had been living together for many years and most people thought we were actually married. Every time we went to a wedding, people would ask when we were getting married. Trevor wasn't ready to get married and he would always joke about it. I didn't find it funny, mostly because I felt like people were judging me. Like something must be wrong with me if he wouldn't marry me.

Here's a tip for all of you out there....people who aren't married don't like it when you ask why they aren't married. Just like people who don't have kids don't like it when you ask when they are going to have them. Its just rude. So please stop doing it.

Anyway, now that we are married, I really enjoy weddings. I love to see all the details and know that those details were given a lot of thought, a lot of effort. I know how crazy people get about weddings, how things that shouldn't matter suddenly become the biggest issue in the world.

The two weddings we attended on Saturday were beautiful. I joked with Trevor that maybe the Universe thinks we need some focus on our vows...two weddings in one day?? I listened closely to the advice and vows. It is good to be reminded that a marriage is something entered into at will, something that needs to be honored and valued.

It still sometimes amazes me that people have the guts to get married...the guts to stand in front of all their friends and family and pledge their life to another person.

The other thing I love about weddings - the guests. It is a great equalizer...everyone has "those" guests, "those" family members. Some of us ARE those guests and family members. You know them, you see them at every wedding and I love that!

Being at the weddings made me think about our wedding and our marriage. It again made me so grateful that I have Trevor. I always joke that we have to stay married because no one else would want us! The thing about it is this: I may not be the perfect wife, but I am the perfect wife for Trevor (at least I better be). And Trevor may not be the perfect husband, but he is the perfect husband for me. I can't imagine being more at home than I am with him.

So to Garrett and Sheryl and David and Alyssa....I wish the same for you - be each other's perfect mate. Thanks for letting us be a part of your day.