Sunday, February 16, 2014

By this time next week...

I will be celebrating finishing my 1/2 marathon at the Happiest Place on Earth.

It is pretty apparent that I will walk the whole 1/2 marathon. Fast walk, but walk. I can't maintain a reasonable run speed. If I run, my walk parts slow down too much to maintain a 16 minute pace. But that's okay. Near as I can tell based on the walks I've done I can do it.

This weekend my sister came to town and we did the Electric Zombie 5k. I walked most of it (started jogging early on but not so good for me). We walked around the outside of the Texas Motor Speedway in the dark. "Zombies" were around the trail to scare us. Somehow the entire trek was uphill. How is it possible... we were going in a circle!? I think we only did 3/4ths of a circle actually. That's the only explanation.

This week is my rest week before the big day. I'm glad because then I can stop feeling guilty when I don't go to the gym (except I'm going to just do my water aerobics and Body Pump on Wednesday morning). I'm getting excited. And nervous. And ready for it to just be done!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

I'm getting it!

So all the time I've been training and struggling I kept hoping there would be one moment where I would "get it." Where, like all of those inspirational movies, things would just magically open up and I would be able to do that impossible task. But, I'm a realist if nothing else and know life doesn't work that way... or does it?

I've mentioned before I need to do a 15 minute mile and how concerned I feel because I don't know that I've ever accomplished this. (MAYBE in PE in high school... MAYBE, I think that was the bare minimum to get a "C")  All along, I've not been able to do a 15 minute mile. No matter what I've been doing I've not been able to get there.

Enter Frank.  Frank is this older guy from my water aerobics class (by older I mean OLDER... he's 72, just 5 years younger than my dad).  Frank is a marathoner. Frank has run in the Boston Marathon, one in Austin, New Orleans, here in DFW, etc. He has over 350 trophies and medals from his running. Even more impressive - he started at about age 50. Frank ended up with a heel spur in like October/November I think and has had a long road to recovery. All along Frank's been offering to help me train and so a few weeks ago when he said something about it, I replied ok - Tuesday morning 6 AM tell me where to meet. After that we've gone out on Saturday mornings - meeting at his house at 5:00 AM.  That's right, I arrive at his house AT 5:00 AM. We go out and he drags me around a course. He's given me some good tips on improving my breathing, my stride and all that.

Last week and last weekend (the week before last? I mean the week before last weekend) I was really struggling with my calves. They just tightened up every time I started exercising and on last Saturday's walk about 2 miles out I was hobbling and we turned back. That was one of the worst times I've had with this training, in part because I felt like I was wasting Frank's time. So I did a little online research and found I MIGHT be overworking myself and so I took Sunday (my new normal exercise day off once I started going out with Frank on Saturday), Monday and Tuesday off from walking. Saturday I also went into the fancy running store and bought a new pair of shoes. I knew my other ones were from July and so it was probably about time anyway and I needed to get them broken in before the big day.

Wednesday morning I go to my usual early am water aerobics class (class starts at 5:45) and then did my 30 minutes on the track. When I started out I was going at a pretty good clip. As I kept going, I realized I was on track to do a 15 minute mile so I kept going. And I did it! I was so excited I almost cried. To me, this means I CAN do this 1/2 marathon.  For so long when I couldn't get the pace I needed, this meant it wasn't going to happen. I wasn't going to magically accomplish something on the big day I hadn't been able to do any of the days before. Now that I KNOW I can do a 15 minute mile, I KNOW I can finish the 1/2 and that's very important.

This morning I went out as usual with Frank. I mentioned to him on Thursday that I made my goal of a 15 minute mile. I'm not sure he believed me. We were 4 miles out when he checked his watch and realized we'd only been gone an hour. He was so impressed and it makes me oddly happy I could impress him. Next Saturday we go out for 13 miles (even though both he and Kayteadee say if I can do 10 miles I can do 13, I feel like I need to do my 13 miles to know I CAN do them). The following week a simple 3 miles and then I go to my race. Now I know I can do it I feel so much better. I no longer feel like I've been wasting the past many months. So I have Frank to thanks for this breakthrough. Frank, and these fancy magic shoes -