Tag Archives: 26.2 miles

I did it!!!

I ran 26.2 miles. I crossed the finish line with a smile. I FINISHED A MARATHON!

The weather was perfect, the volunteers were great, the crowd was awesome, the scenery was fantastic.

Wow…

The months of  training paid off. I felt strong more than most of the way, I never doubted whether I would finish or not, I had fun, and I was even able to give a little kick at the end and cross that finish line strong.

I ran this city and I finished…all of it…I ran long and far…and I couldn’t be happier (or more sore!). I will share more details later…for now, I’m still celebrating (and recovering).

Congratulations to everyone who finished a race this weekend, especially to those who ran Detroit with me. We rocked it!

26.2 miles…success. 😀

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LET’S DO THIS!

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miles of dedication. nine left…is one for you?

Well, it’s upon me. I never thought it would come this quickly, but I’m glad it’s here. In fact, I’m excited…in a way I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before. It’s a feeling I can’t describe, but it’s great.

Ok, so what’s upon me you’re wondering (since clearly the marathon isn’t upon me just quite yet). October is upon me! The month of October is here…which means the marathon is closer than ever. While it is a somewhat intimidating thing that I only have 16 days left until the big race, it is also extremely exciting.

In just 16 days, I will run through the streets of Detroit…I will run across an international border (twice)…I will do something I have wanted to do for a long time and I will do it in a city I love…I will feel anxiety before the sun rises…I will likely feel my anxiety disappear as I enter the first mile (the mile being run for my mom)…I will do my best to pace myself…I will remember my training and get myself through all 26.2 miles (the last mile being run for my dad and the last two-tenths of a mile being run for me)…I will cross the finish line…I will finish a marathon! (I just got chill writing those last two “I will…” phrases :-D)

Man…I can’t wait…

I can’t wait to run those miles…to finish those miles…for each of you who have been reading my blog; who have been supporting me; who have told me I have inspired you (still, the number of responses of this nature that I have received boggle my mind and put a smile on my face); who inspire me (thanks, Christina); who have rollerbladed and/or biked alongside me (thanks Kay-Kay, Amanda, & Adam); who have run with me (thanks, Chris, Jeremy, Kelly B., Amy, Ang, & Kelly T….and anyone else I may have missed); and who have encouraged and motivated me.

I…can’t…wait…

But, I have to and I will…my patience is in full force. There are still 16 days of training, tapering, rest, carbs, and electrolytes before the big day. These days are big ones and they remind me that I can wait…because I need these days and I need to take full advantage of my workouts and cross-training and rest during these days.

I can wait…

I can wait, while being anxious and excited, and ready to do this!

It’s going to be good, my friends. SO good.

Those miles…

And, during each and everyone of those miles I’ll be thinking of you…I’ll be running for you. My miles are dedicated to you. And, there are still 9 miles left to dedicate…is one of them for you? I would love to dedicate one of those 9 miles to you…leave a comment on this post, and pick a mile number that’s still left (the miles are listed over on the right sidebar of this blog).

So here we are…October is here. Race day is almost here.
9 months of training…success.
9 miles left to dedicate…let’s do this.

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26 days til 26.2

Today is a magical day. There are only 26 days left until I lace up my running shoes early in the morning downtown and head for the start line. In 26 days, at 7AM the clock will start. Thousands of runners will take off to accomplish what they have been training for over the past weeks and months. I will be one of those runners, and I can’t hide my excitement.

I’ve been wanting to accomplish this for quite some time now. My goal: run, enjoy the route, and finish. Sounds like it should be simple enough, right? Well, I sure hope so. If you ask me, there is nothing “simple” about running 26.2 miles. The physical, mental, and emotional strengths that I have surprised myself with this year are things that I am not about to brush off with a “no big deal.” The truth is…this is a big deal.

At the beginning of 2010, I told myself this would be the year. I would run and finish a marathon. I knew that to get to that point though, I would need to commit — no excuses allowed. The commitment goes beyond committing to run the miles — I have taken the time needed to run the miles the right way, have worked hard to finish each of my runs as strong as possible, I have changed my eating and drinking habits (water is God and pre-run, mid-run, and post-run food should be chosen wisely), and I have even changed my social habits  (saying “no” to much more than usual, coming home earlier than usual so I can sleep and wake up early the next day for a long run, and reassuring my friends that I won’t be “lame” after Oct. 17). Holy commitment!

So far, I have done it. I have kept running, kept writing about my running, and have somehow managed to “stay committed even when I’m not motivated” (for those of you who have been following my journey for awhile now, you might remember that notion from awhile back…sound advice one of my best friends, Kelly, shared with me).

I remember when Summer came around the corner and I had already been running, but I needed to start following a bit more strict training plan. I started. I kept up with it, but allowed enough flexibility to be sure I maintained motivation. As long as I fit workouts in, stayed in shape, and was able to finish my long runs, I knew I was on the right track. Sure, there have been a handful of times when I was ready to stop (I hate even daring to use that awful word, “quit”), be done with it — who really needs to run a marathon anyway? What was I proving? Who was I doing this for? But, I carried on. I need to run a marathon. I am proving to myself that I can finish this, that I can really do something major that I have wanted to do for years — I can take something huge from start to finish. I am doing this for me.

As horrible as a few of my long runs have been, I am thankful for them. They are reminders for me during a long run that if I was able to finish a long run “like that one [insert a number from 7-14 here]-miler in [insert summer month here] in the middle of the afternoon in ninety-some-percent humidity” or “like that one at 6AM in 92% humidity” (yes, 92% humidity at 6AM!), then I can finish that same distance, and longer, during the beautiful Fall months. Oh, and don’t forget the great runs…where I have finished and felt like I could just continue on and finish a marathon right then and there. Those runs keep me going, too…maybe even more so!

It’s not just the runs…but my friends and family, too (yes, that means you…thanks for continuing to read my ramblings). They, and you, have kept encouraging me — some have even joined me on their bike or rollerblades — and have continued to remind me how insane I am.

I guess I am a little insane. But, aren’t we all? I’ll just have a medal to prove it 🙂

Until then, there are still more training miles to be ran. They won’t run themselves, and I haven’t crossed that finish line yet…so this isn’t over yet. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (or the clock at the finish line, if you will) but there’s no stopping until I cross that line.

This weekend…I have my longest run of training ahead of me. A 20-mile run. 20 miles! I’m looking forward to it because I know I will be that much closer to the start line, and to the finish line, and I’ll be that much closer to accomplishing my biggest goal of 2010.

And, when I cross that finish line in 26 days…how sweet it will be. When I can finish my blog post with “26.2 miles…success,” how sweet it will be.

254 days of training down, 26 to go…success.

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Getting Back On Track

I love change. I think it is completely necessary in accomplishing goals, innovating, and ultimately a key to greatness. The one bad thing about major life changes though? Getting off schedule…having no routine…feeling dizzy and off balance (so to speak) all the time. As you may guess, that has been me lately. Amidst moving, driving across the country, starting a new job, applying for scholarships (for grad school that starts in the fall), I have twenty million things going on at once, not to mention the main purpose of this blog, training for a marathon!

Well, now that I am just about settled in in my new location I can get back on track with working out again. Woohoo!

I just signed up for a free trial membership at Lifetime Fitness, so I’m going to check it out and see if I like it. The location is great for me while I am living where I am right now. If I move once school starts though (which is pretty likely), the available locations won’t be as great so I’ll have to see what the minimum amount of time is that I can sign up for a membership if I end up liking it. There are plenty of gyms though, so I’m not worried about finding a place to workout for the too-cold days, the too-humid days, and the cross-training/strength training days.

Since I start work on Monday, my goal while getting back into a routine is to workout where I can fit it in which will probably be at night. I will have a one -hour commute to work, so I’m going to try the evening workout thing at first. Eventually, I might try to get ambitious and workout in the morning, before work. No need to get to ambitious right now though. I don’t want to be defeated by setting goals that I already know are unrealistic.

I have a full month to make sure the base I have been working on is solid, before getting into full training mode. The break I was somewhat forced to take on my recent road trip across the U.S. actually helped motivate me even further. I was going crazy not being able to workout everyday. Also, I have had multiple people tell me how much they are enjoying this blog, and I have learned that I have even motivated a few people to start working out, or start working toward a goal they have had for quite some time.

More than anything, I love that this has inspired others to take action. The more I talk to people and the more feedback I get, the more excited I continue to get about my training. I have to admit that the snow outside isn’t as motivating as the sunshine and the beach, but I love the snow so I’m okay with taking my workouts inside for a few weeks. I wouldn’t have it any other way. People are better motivation than weather, anyway.

So…for all of you Michigan people who have been working out, or want to start working out, what better way than making each other accountable for what we do? We can workout together, we can communicate via this blog, or we can even get together for coffee/dinner/whatever and chat about what is working and what we need help with. I prefer not to post publicly where I will be, etc., since this blog is public; however, feel free to leave a comment if you want to join in on the fun and we can figure out good times to get together. It doesn’t matter if we workout together once a month, once a week, or we grab a drink every now and then–we’ll do whatever we have time for whenever we have time available. After all, we’re all in this together, to keep everyone motivated. I’m writing to keep myself motivated and accountable, and the feedback I have received has motivated me even more. Some of you have even started your own blogs to keep yourself accountable (yay!), so let’s keep it up. I’m mentally ready for Sunday, October 17…and soon I’ll be physically ready!

Are you ready?

Oh, that reminds me! For those of you who aren’t as crazy as I am, remember that there are options other than a full marathon on Sunday, October 17. If you’re interested in being down there for the excitement and still want to show off your accomplishments, remember there are multiple races you can register for at the Detroit Free Press Marathon web site. You’ll find them all at the web site, but for your convenience the races include:

  • Marathon (26.2 miles)
  • Marathon for wheelers and hand cyclists with disabilities (26.2 miles)
  • Half-marathon (13.1 miles)
  • Half-marathon competitive and non-competitive walks (13.1 miles)
  • Five-person team relays – distances from 3-7 miles (26.2 miles)
  • 5K Fun Run and Fitness Walk (3.1 miles)
  • For those of you who want to bring the kids, there is a Kids’ 5K Fun Run (3.1 miles)

Well, it is time to get all of my information in for my free trial at Lifetime. I’ll let you know how I like it.

Taking steps to get back on track…success!

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goal: 5 miles on the treadmill…accomplishment: 6.5 miles on the treadmill…get it!

I chose to do a treadmill workout tonight because I wanted to work on some pacing and posture. As much as I hate the treadmill, I love using it as tool for working on my pace. After dinner (I made some delicious fatayers), I relaxed a bit and hydrated so I’d be ready to go for a late night treadmill run. Finally, when 9pm hit I knew I had to go workout or else I wouldn’t do it, and not working out was not an option for me today. Remember what I said when I started this blog? No excuses!

Like I mentioned yesterday, I registered for a 10K this coming Sunday so this week is crucial in making sure that I can finish the race strong. I set the treadmill and off I went. I hit 5K right around 29 minutes, which was a bit slower than I would have liked, but it was sub-30 so I’m okay with it. My goal when I got on the treadmill was 5 miles, but as I kept going I knew if I could hit 6.5 miles tonight then I could surely finish 10K (6.2 miles) on Sunday. I worked on my pacing and gradually increased my speed, and I finished 6.5 miles in 59 minutes. Look at that! I set a goal, I pushed the limit, and boom…accomplishment! What a good feeling.

I cooled down and did a lot of stretching. Here am I now after a cold shower, icing. The more I run, the more I remember how truly important post-run stretching and ice is on a regular basis. I am certainly going to keep it up, because I certainly do not want tight muscles, or any injury for that matter. I need to take care of my feet too…starting to get a few blisters. Hate ’em, but they’re an inevitable part of running so I suppose I will have to live with them and just take care of my feet for the next nine months. You can bet I’m already planning a pedicure at the end of October!

Also, since I’ve been doing my best to eat foods that give me fuel and energy, and replenish the vitamins and nutrients my body needs and uses in workouts, I’ve been feeling much better. Everything I ate yesterday was not the best food, and I could tell quite a difference. The more I work on my eating habits and more I learn about what different foods provide, the more enjoyable healthy eating actually is for me, and the better I feel!

Four days left until the 10K. Tomorrow, I hope to get an interval workout in. Thursday will be a 5-mile run. Friday will be repeats. Saturday will be a rest day, prior to the Super Bowl Sunday morning race.

Keep up the good work everyone…let’s do this!

Tuesday treadmill workout…success.

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day three

I woke up today to sound of rain–a sound that has become quite unfamiliar to me since living on the left coast. This is only about the third time we have had rain since I have lived here…and every time, it is a novelty for me. I was looking forward to rolling out of bed and going for a run in the rain. Before forcing myself out of bed though, I reached for my Blackberry and was pleasantly surprised to see a comment from Amy, my running buddy from high school cross country. Man oh man, the fun and mischievous times we had–thanks for reading, Amy…I’m looking forward to getting in some good runs with you! I was also thrilled to see message in my inbox from another running partner, Angela, filled with encouragement and an invite to run together as well as with her running group–thanks Ang, can’t wait to join you for some runs!

Now, by the time I finished checking my mail on my two Blackberrys (Yes, two of them…one mine, one for work…ridiculous, I know, you don’t have to tell me. The work one doesn’t get texting though, hence never converting to just one.) and forced myself to finally roll out of bed, the rain had stopped. That was probably for the better though because by the time I convinced myself to go for a morning run (rather than waiting until I got home from a long day of event set-up at work), the sun had slightly started to fight it’s way through the clouds and the ground had started to dry which meant fewer puddles.

I pulled my hair back, put on shorts and a tank top, and laced up my running shoes. Before leaving, I double-checked the training plan and today’s direction was to run an easy 2-3 miles. Since I had just two hours to run, eat breakfast, shower, and make it to my supervisor’s house to pick her up to go to our event set-up, I had to be on my way and be diligent about the run while keeping in mind that this was an easy 2-3 miles I should be running.

Off I went, with the intention of running on the treadmill in the cardio center. Unfortunately, the two treadmills were being used, so after a quick ‘hello’ to the maintenance men who were just starting the day’s work, I headed to the path along the beach. Off I went, past the nice men down the street who work on projects in their garage almost on a daily basis, and shortly thereafter I hit the path along beach. Off I went, iPod in hand and Kings of Leon streaming through my earbuds. I got into a good groove, and I kept it going. I did start to get slightly tired mid-run but assured myself that I could keep this up–after all, every year on the first day of high school track season when we were all out of shape and the cold of a Michigan March stung, we ran 3 miles…all of us, sprinters, mid-distancers, and long-distancers…and we made it. No excuse now.

Finally, I was slowly approaching 24th St., which was yesterday’s turnaround point. I knew I could make it to 25th (which actually meant 26th in the back of mind), so I continued. At 26th St., I was feeling good but remembered not to push it – not to mention there was a slight schedule I was on – so I turned around, and also changed my iPod to the Genius Mix of “Teen Pop” which included just enough pick-me-up beats to get me through the rest of the run. I made it to the end of the path, about a 3-mile run, at just around 30 minutes. That was a perfect pace for what I needed to be an easy 2-3 miles.

Feeling good, I walked back past the men in the garage working on their project for today and back home. I got back, had a bagel and orange juice for breakfast, then scurried to get ready.

Just in time, with a cup of coffee to go, I was ready to take off and pick up my boss right on time.

Day three…success.

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