Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Counting down...

If you noticed the clock to the right...I have 4 days until my very 1st marathon - the Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) in Washington DC. Voted the best marathon for families, the MCM honors the dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism of its participants. Runners from all walks of life participate in the largest marathon not to offer prize or money, earning the nickname as "The People's Marathon". The MCM is the 4th largest marathon in the United States and the 8th largest in the world. The race will be held on Sunday, October 31.

I have debated several times about posting earlier but couldn't put any thoughts on paper. One minute I'm excited, the next nervous. I have been training for this event for 6 months. Robin, my friend and running partner, will also be running the race along with our TNT coaches - Dave and Meg. This will be their 3rd MCM. They have answered every question I can think to ask..so thank you Dave & Meg!

I chose the MCM as my first official marathon for one main reason...they are celebrating their 35th anniversary and last Friday, October 22, I celebrated my 35th birthday. So needless to say the medal will have a rather large 35 on it...which excites me! I'm sure some don't enjoy getting older but the fact that I just turned 35 and started running a year ago and am tackling two marathons this year still shocks me.

October 31 also has two other meaningful events in my life - on that day in 2005, my grandfather passed away and Will & I first heard Abi's heartbeat on the sonogram. We had our fair share of worries trying to get pregnant that year but I firmly believe that my grandfather passed allowing Abigail to come into our lives, so the day has always been special to me. And in regards to MCM being my first marathon...I will not be alone...over two-thirds of the estimated 30,000 participants in the 2010 MCM will be making their race debut. Simply amazing!

I wish I could say that I was running MCM under the Team in Training name but the North Texas team does not train and travel to this race. However, there will be other TNT chapters there so I expect to see alot of purple shirts. I will be wearing my purple TNT "Train with a Purpose" jersey because every time I run I want to support TNT! Likewise, 1 in 5 runners is running MCM for some type of charity organization. To see all the charities that benefit from MCM,
click here. I am still fundraising for my official TNT event - White Rock Marathon on December 5, 2010.

I also wanted to take a moment to update you on Georgia, one of my honored heros who inspires me during training runs and also race day. Georgia is doing well and is in first cycle of maintenance. Her and her family participated in two big events this month - the Leukemia and Lymphoma's Society Light the Night Walk and the Livestrong Challenge 5k. All kids in treatment were invited to ride in pedicabs among the walkers/runners to offer support and inspiration. Also, as a fellow TNTer, I want to give a "shout out" to Jenn, whom I don't know personally, but she is a friend of Georgia's who completed the Denver Marathon on October 17 in Georgia's honor!

Last I have two THANK YOUs I want to post...

First, with the race being held on halloween that means we will miss taking our kids trick-or-treating. So THANK YOU Mom (Dad and Grandma) for taking care of them this weekend and making sure they receive tons of love and candy! I couldn't be traveling and running this event without your support.

Second, words cannot express how grateful I am to Will. His support and encouragement of my running keeps me going. Even yesterday, Mark Remy - a writer for Runner's World - declared October 25 National-Married-to-a-Runner Day. Remy even went so far to suggest we blog about how awesome our spouse is...so here it is...Will - you are AWESOME! On a more serious note, I couldn't ask for a better partner in life...you are steadfast and strong in taking care of our family. I love you!

So wish me luck and send a prayer my way for a successful race day!

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Sunday, October 3, 2010


The agenda for Saturday morning...20 mile training run...READY, SET...

I ran the first 10 miles with the team. I ran side-by-side to another teammate....Jessica. She was on the winter team last year and is a mentor this season, like me. We have really gotten to know each other a lot better this season. She is quite funny and I enjoy running with her and reading her running blog. She can definitely turn on the speed especially on race day...and I'm inspired by that. Serene, another teammate from last year, ran with us and a new teammate Melissa joined in as well. I mention these ladies and others in previous posts because they are part of my life...most are new friends...and they are one of the reasons I love running. When you are out there running you can talk about things and confess things that you probably wouldn't just standing around in the parking lot. We laugh, we cry, we run!

Robin, my friend and regular training partner, who is running Marine Corp at the end of this month with me had a recovery weekend so I was on my own for miles 11-20. While I was running the first 10 which went by rather quickly...I was very worried about the second 10 and confessed that to Jessica on our run. My confession...I had NEVER run more than 4 miles alone. I consider myself a social runner. I love running with others and I run my best when I'm surrounded by friends (so I thought). So needless to say, I wondered if I could pull this off. Deep down inside I knew this was going to be a "make it or break it" moment. It would either give me the confidence I needed for the Marine Corp marathon or pull me into a downward spiral of negativity.

When we finished up mile 10 and came into the parking lot, I stretched, refueled and took about a 15 minute break. Inside I was ready...I was happy and wanted to prove to myself I can run alone. Jessica, Melissa and Serene cheered me on as I ran out of the parking lot.

I bet you are thinking I have some witty comments about my run...some very personal thoughts that went thru my mind but honestly all I can say is I DID IT! My plan was to run two 5-mile loops but when I was supposed to turn right to finish up the first loop I knew there was a chance I wouldn't go back out for the final 5...so I kept running straight instead of turning. Going straight wasn't on ANY of our training routes but I was convinced it would run into a street that would get me back to the parking lot and I had my phone so I knew I was ok if I got lost. I must admit this was the longest part of the run and I finally had to pull out my phone to check my GPS but I was ok.

I was on my own and I was running and I was OK!

That was around mile 15. Now I knew I just had to keep running because I was not close to the parking lot. My garmin watch tells me my mileage, pace, time...whatever I want to know actually. So that is exactly what I did...I kept running our training routes until I knew I would hit 20.

At mile 19 I was turning the corner to run the final 1 mile into the parking lot and there was Dave and Meg (my coaches along with their son Landon). I was so happy to see them. Meg gave me some super encouraging words and sent me on my way. Tears rolled down (like they are now) as I ran the final stretch in.

I sent some text messages and posted on facebook about my 20 miles because I was so proud. Yep, I'm patting myself on the back because this was a defining moment for me and I wanted to share it with everyone. My biggest flaw...self-doubt. And on a beautiful Saturday morning in less than 4 1/2 hours I kicked my self-doubt to the curb and pray it doesn't return.

I maintained an average moving pace of 10:50 for 20 miles. I'm scared, nervous, excited...I'm feeling every ache and pain my body throws at me. But I think I'm ready...I think my training has paid off. So with lots of prayers and support from those closest to me I believe I am going to cross the finish line.

And if you are so inclined...I am still fundraising!

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