Country Music Marathon Goals

27 04 2012

I can’t believe its almost race day.Ā  EEEEPP!

For the past 16 weeks, my legs have been logging more miles than they ever have before, and now its time for the pay off. Bring it on Nashville!

Here’s my goals for tomorrow:

1) Finish!

I haven’t run a marathon since 2006. At the time, I was still lifeguarding at the beach. One of the guys I worked with told me that I wasn’t going to finish- sort of in jest, but sort of not. Believe me, those words stuck with me as I was running, and I refused to walk and I refused to quit. When negative thoughts came into my head, I pushed them aside and told myself I was going to finish. He was NOT going to be right.

This time around, I didn’t have anyone telling me I can’t do it. In fact, I’ve felt an incredible amount of support, and have been so thankful for it! My biggest challenge this time around (at least in my training) has been myself. I’ve let my negative thoughts get to me, and have stopped runs short because I was hurting or I just mentally wasn’t in it. I’m going to be my biggest challenge in getting to that finish line. I need to squash the negative thoughts and KNOW that I can do it. Sure, it will hurt, but the glory of the finish line (and the thought of an amazingly yummy brunch) will motivate me to get through!

2) Have fun!

If I don’t accomplish this, there is something seriously wrong with me. First, I’m going to be in Nashville, an incredibly fun city! I’ve been there a few times before and love the live music scene, and can’t wait to get my line-dance on! Second, I’m going to see LOTS of people I know there, from different walks of my life!

I’m staying with Michelle, my college roommate:

This picture is a few years old, and now she’s got a 2nd little boy too. I can’t wait to meet little Micah, and see how big Isaac has gotten! Michelle’s not running, but her hubby is!

A few of my friends from DC are racing too! Stacie, Caroline, and Anna are all running the half!

We’ll all look this good when we race. šŸ™‚

My new Tampa friend, Mary is also running the full. She’s hoping to BQ! She’s in phenomenal shape and I can’t wait to hear all about her race!

My other college roommate, Leah and her friend Kitty are running as well! Leah’s doing the half and Kitty is doing the full.

These would make great running outfits, eh? Haha! This picture is from Halloween; Kitty is Summer and Leah is Winter. (I cropped out Spring and Fall, sorry!) I’m wondering if they’ll dress up for the race?

And finally, I’m SUPER excited because BILL WILL BE THERE TOO!!

He happens to have a gig on Friday which is within driving distance to Nashville. What are the chances?! So, he’s going to be there to watch me race and I couldn’t be more excited about it! His smiling face and encouraging words are definitely going to help get me through this thing!

If you’re wondering about the time-goals I’ve set, here they are:

A Goal: Finish in 4:00 or faster

After I discovered the McMillan running calculator and it spit out that I should be able to complete a sub 4 hour marathon, I set my sights on that 4 hour milestone. It’s been my goal all along but I think I’m going to have to dig deep to achieve this. I have doubts that the amount of training I did fully prepared me for the marathon, but what’s done is done, and I can’t go back and add more miles in now. I need to push those doubts aside, and be confident in the level of fitness I have. I know that I did get in a hilly 17-miler and a pretty good 20 miler among some other 13-16 mile runs, and hopefully these will carry me across the 26.2 miles.

B Goal: Finish between 4:00 and 4:15

I’d be happy to finish in this range for sure. I believe my last marathon in 2006 was a 4:45 or something, so crossing the line at 4:15 would still be a good 30 minute PR. Nashville is also pretty hilly and I didn’t really take that into account when hoping to go sub-4. But, we’ll see!

My bags are packed, and I think I’ve got everything I need.

Good luck to everyone else who’s running this weekend too!!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Marathon Checklist

25 04 2012

It’s Marathon Week!!! EEEKKK! I can’t believe it is T minus 4 days til my marathon!

I figured I’d share with you a few of my marathon essentials (and sort of use this post as a way to double check that I’ve got everything packed!)

1) Running Shoes

I have been a Mizuno’s gal since I started running tris in 2008. I’ve got super narrow feet and these seem to work the best for me.

I bought this pair about a month ago so I’d have enough time to break them in before Nashville.

2) Running Clothes

The weather for this weekend is looking pretty stellar:

(I just hope it doesn’t hit 82 ’til later in the day!)

So I decided to go with my Nike Tempo Shorts that I wore at the Rock N Roll USA Half, and I’m my Lululemon tank. I’ll probably bring an old long sleeve tee to keep me warm at the start, and then dump it along the way. Look for me in something really similar to this:

(just pretend that tee is a tank!)

I found these shorts at Ross and I thought they would be perfect for a race on St. Patty’s day. I actually really love ’em, and they make me stand out in the crowd.

As for the tank, I couldn’t find a picture of it on the Lululemon site, so I’m not sure if they make it anymore šŸ˜¦ It’s really comfortable, has elastic on the bottom so it doesn’t ride up, and it has a pocket with a zipper on the back!

3) Nathan’s Quick Draw Hand Held Water Bottle

Mine’s hot pink, and I’ve been using it for pretty much my entire training. I really love this thing. Yeah, it a little heavy when it’s full, but it didn’t take long for me to get used to it.

4) My Garmin 405 CXĀ 

I got this as a Christmas present and now I never go for a run without it!

5) SpiBelt

I bought a SpiBelt at the Gasparilla race expo. I had been running with my iPhone in my hand since the day I got my phone. Yes, I know, weird/stupid. I know I could have bought an arm band, but I just thought it would be too bulky. I decided that holding it in my hand wasn’t too bad.Ā  At the time, I was also using my phone to track my pace and distance, so I could deal. However, when you’ve got one hand holding a water bottle and one hand holding an iPhone, it gets really awkward. Since I didn’t want to give in and buy an armband, I figured a SpiBelt would be a great solution. And, I love it! The phone fits perfectly and I can still run the earphones through the small opening at the end of the zipper. It stays put and doesn’t rub. WIN!

6) Nutrition

I certainly want to make sure that I have enough energy to get me through the race, and I want to try to prevent headaches so I’m bringing some peanut butter Gu, some vanilla AcellGel (which I just got in the mail!), some Acellerade Powder (which I also just got!) and some salt tabs. Anyone know if I need to pack my gels in with my liquids? šŸ˜‰

(Yes, I was so excited that I opened the package in the car.)

And, because I’m really picky about my peanut butter, I’m bringing a few packets of Justin’s to spread on toast on race morning.

8) Aquaphor

Instead of Body Glide, I’ve started using Aquaphor. I think it works just as well, and I can put it on my lips if they are chapped.

9) Hat and Sunglasses

IĀ  just got this new hat at the IronGril Expo. I have a TINY head (I can wear kid’s hats), so finding a hat that fits me is always a challenge. I bought the hot pink one that you’ve seen on me in pictures:

But I hate the way it fits my head. I bought it back when I did my first tri so that my parents could pick me out on the run. Not sure it it helped, but it helps block the sun and soaks up a little bit of the sweat.

It’s probably not smart to use a new piece of gear for the marathon, but I don’t think it will be a problem.

I’ve had those sunglasses for a VERY long time. They’re polarized sunglasses I got at a surf shop in New Jersey when I was still guarding. A small head makes it hard for me to find sunglasses too, but this pair of Bolle glasses gets the job done!

10) Sunscreen

I use the Sport line of Neutrogena. I actually just grabbed a new bottle this week, since it was on sale at CVS!

I think that’s it! Now time to pack! Anything else I’m missing?

Question of the day: What are your running essentials?

What’s Your Motivation?

4 04 2012

I’m less than four weeks out from my marathon, and I’ve been slacking on my workouts. Not because I’m super busy at work, or my schedule hasn’t allowed me the time to train. No, it’s my own fault. For some reason, I’m seriously lacking in motivation to get my long runs done. Some days, I’ll feel really good, and go out and run 10. Last weekend, my plan called for 14, but I convinced myself I could run 20. Unfortunately, my mind and body got the best of me and I struggled to get through ten.

Sunday’s run:

It might not look too bad, but here’s what I had done the Monday before:

Monday’s run:

Um, big difference.

There were no huge elevation differences between the two runs. Conditions were roughly comparable. I think the biggest problem was in my head. Sunday, my plan had been to run 4 x 5 miles. I’d stop at my car at mile 10, refuel, and go out for my last ten. I was HURTING on my last two miles (as you can see by my splits), and after stopping at my car, I found it SO HARD to go back and run ten more. So I got in my car and drove back home.

What I think I’ve been struggling with is the mental part of running. My mind just isn’t in it. I don’t know if its that I’m on a high from my half marathons and really want to see what I can do in the half marathon distance, or if it is that I’m ready to start training for tri season. I just get bored on the runs, and let myself give in and quit.

The other day, I was talking to my boyfriend about how I’ve been feeling on these runs. He asked me, “What’s your motivation? Why do you want to run a marathon?”

I had to stop and think about his question, because it wasn’t something I really had put much thought into. But it is SUCH and important question. Why am I putting my body through these long runs? Do I want to do this, or and I just forcing myself to do it because everyone else is running a marathon?

Mama Pea wrote a post recently about why she stopped running. One of the things that caught my eye is that she had a whole list of the wrong reasons to run, and only one right reason: “Because you love it.”

When it comes down to it, I do want to run the marathon. I want to see how far I can push myself. I want to feel the accomplishment of running 26.2 miles. But, no, I don’t love running. I enjoy how I feel after a good run; I enjoy the friends I’ve made. But training for a marathon is hard. You’ve got to log a lot of miles before race day, to make it to the starting line.

Callie wrote an encouraging post yesterday on this same topic. And I totally relate with her reasons why she runs. I need to remember these reasons as I attempt to log my longest run to date this weekend- 20 miles. YIPES! I know I can do it, I just need to get my mind and body to agree.

So friends, I ask you – how do you stay motivated during your long runs? How do you beat the boredom? What motivates you?