Thursday, September 27, 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward (TOU Part III)

Top of Utah Marathon - Logan, Utah 2012

as promised, I have some final thoughts about my 4.5 months of training and race day at Top of Utah, Logan.  In addition, the race day pics arrived.  I rarely purchase the photos because normally I'm not a fan of my pics, but this time was different.  
 Lucky -  Run Wild Soccer Locker & City Runners shirt on 

This time, the photos perfectly document the day of running down the canyon to Logan.  
They capture the spirit, the intrigue, the mystery of the marathon.  
They capture a magical, fun day. 
They capture love of running 26.2.  
They capture friendship and support.  
They capture the inevitable pain that WILL always come in the final miles. 

 The Perfect weekend , and why it was:
*the weather was perfect - cool start and LOW humidity
*Chad, Terri, and Kristie there to support me
*I was very well trained
*my mental prep was better/stronger than EVER - I'm finally figuring this marathon thing out - this is exactly why I'm still in the game at number 24,  and heading to Boston for marathon number 25.  

*keys to,  and thoughts about the training:
*1st time to purchase a training plan.  I purchased a 12 wk McMillan plan - I've typically been of the opinion that a custom plan was not needed, but I  believe this,  "for me",  focused plan,  & "phase" plan was beneficial.  I filled out extensive details about ME.  
**strengths -(can handle high mileage, like to train HARD), **weaknesses -(speed), 
**likes - (yasso 800s), 
**dislikes (mile repeats - dislike,  but willing to do if needed or recommended) 
**want to race, but not over race
very detailed information was submitted to McMillan

 they sent a program that was good for "ME" - a challenging, speed and mileage focused plan, with some variety that I like.  Perfect!  (well worth the $$s)

*having a motivated, no whining, "like-minded" training partner - this helped to make the training fun,  and much easier than doing the tough workouts solo.    

*7 weeks before the marathon, I joined a 6 week boot camp - 2 days per week - focused on shorts sprints, squats, lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc
*YOGA - always yoga - if you know me, you know I totally, 100% believe in yoga.  I'm lucky to have a GREAT yoga teacher. 

Interesting notes:
**I went into this marathon at a higher weight than I've been for my last several marathons, but ran a 6 minute PR (maybe a "life lesson" for letting it go)
**yassos 800s - 10 X 800 @ 3:43 avg (July 24th), and 10 X 800 @ 3:42 avg. (August 15th) - working up to the 10 X 800 workouts is my favorite marathon workout.  I've tried them several times, but this is the first time they worked out, for me, as B. Yasso describes.  (3:43 marathon finish time)
**1 year ago, a friend was discussing the desire to run 8:30 pace for 26.2 miles.  At the time, I could not even IMAGINE that for myself.  That goal was not even on my radar.  My avg. pace in Logan - official 8:30 avg. (Garmin - because I didn't run the tangents correctly - 26.4 - my avg pace - 8:28)  
the lesson - NEVER, EVER put limits on your abilities to achieve what seems like crazy goals.  
(thanks Terri)
**I was so excited about the marathon that day that I totally forgot to eat my "apple-a-day" 
You may,  or may not recall, my 2012 resolution was to eat an "apple-a-day 2012".  Ooooppps!  
on Sunday, I had 2 apples, so that I will still end 2012 eating 365 apples - so it's all good! 

with HARD work, the imaginable becomes doable, and achieved

Song of the Day - Mandisa "Stronger" 
(click "Stronger" above,  to hear song)

Imagine hearing this song at mile 22-23ish, while desperately trying to hang-on and finish. (some of the lyrics)
Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you Stronger

Try and do the best you can

Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end
God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

a chill bump moment, & tears almost ensued, but I had running to do.....

the clowning is done,  the "race" has begun, 
mile by mile,  we RUN TO FINISH IT!
focused and determined !
(notice the 2nd picture at the top, & then look at these taken late in the race - the high arms, and thumbs up - a sure sign, I'm TIRED, but I WILL FINISH IT ! ) 
Tired, hurting, but driven!  

Recovery - Ryan Hall and MEB style
all smiles now!  

If you missed the previous post (part II) go back to that to see the post race celebration pics.  (Sept. 21st)

After saying our goodbyes to Kristie and Terri, Chad and I started walking to the car. Shortly after completing my 24th marathon,  with a 6 min PR (a BIG deal to me), I tell him, and I quote:
"I'm done!"  (meaning done with "going for marathon PRs", not done with running)  
"I don't think I can go ANY faster than that!   well, maybe I can, but I don't think I have the gumption to try."  
with this statement, at the time, I was sincere and serious.  
Happy and fulfilled, I was ready to say, no more......
the next morning, I head out to complete my 30 minutes of movement.  I'm about 5 minutes into my walk when Mandisa's "Good Morning" song comes on.  (google it if you haven't heard it).  My walk picked up speed, my head lifted high, still celebrating the day before.  My thoughts immediately went to the future & goals.  this was my thought that day..... 
 "3:43 - I ran 26.4 (that extra .2 cost me almost 2 min), I think I can go sub 3:40, like 3:39:50. maybe I will give it a try!" 
 (yes, I'm sick and need help - but I do enjoy this illness)
Before we left Utah to return home, I had my goals for 2013 outlined. 
They are BIG!  
They will be CHALLENGING!  
They will be FUN ! 
Bring it 2013, I'm READY !  
Today, was my first run in 10 days (#marathonrecovery)
I'm excited to be back at it.
the future is BRIGHT
I will run a few weeks of easy mileage, and then back to the  "real fun stuff"

most of all, I'm thankful that I seem to have an undying desire to do better/ be better
I will share my 2013 goals in a future post. 


Jill said...

I am smiling ear to ear for you, my friend. HUGE Congratulations!!! :)

Lisa said...

Love this!! And I love your ice bath - how perfect :)

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are GREAT! You totally have to buy them! I finished marathon #3 and had a tough time, I was soo glad to be done and told my boyfriend never ever!! Well, right now I'm sitting on the couch and look for races... maybe even a 50k!!

Host PPH said...

Those are great pictures specially when both of you are goofing around in the middle of the race.