Hi everyone! This blog is about me running marathon. Or at least training for one… Why? Because it’s something I totally don’t know if I can do, but it’s also something that IF I can do it, then I will also realize how short I have been selling myself all my life.
Now please bare with me here… This first blog will be pretty long since I am going to start from the beginning of my thought process of how I finally decided to train for a marathon. I promise that the daily blogs after this will be much shorter! Thanks in advance for your patience and for at least skimming through to get caught up to date.
Something happened when I turned 40 this year. For one, 10 extra lbs. of weight just gravitated and then adhered to my derriere and hips almost overnight. I kid you not! Another thing that happened is I started contemplating my life. Like most people who hit 40 and don’t realize how they got there so quick, I too, came to the realization that I am not getting any younger. Someday in the not too distant future, I am going to be 50. Okay, so it won’t happen for 10 more years, but still. It’s there. That number is hanging over my head like a flashing neon sign. “50, 50, 50”… So, I started thinking, “Just what have I done with my life? What have I actually accomplished? What can I be proud of?” And then my mind went blank. Crickets could be heard in the silence of my brain. Not a good thing when my life could be more than half over already. I did a little soul searching and tried to think of something I could do that I could look back on and go “Way to go, me! I DID that.”
I know it’s kind of silly, but I always wanted to go back to college to get a four year degree. But the older I get, and the more that life goes on, I feel in my heart that making that a reality is more than likely not going to happen for me. Too much time and money involved and for what? The job market stinks and besides, my husband and I already work for ourselves. I don’t need a piece of paper for that. (Thank goodness!) Okay, so what next? I have a friend who has run several marathons. And another who is not as athletic and she ran one as well. And I watch Biggest Loser and saw how all those people were able to run one. I started thinking to myself, “Why not me too?” And then the thoughts about it kept lingering and wouldn’t go away. I have been “thinking” about running a marathon for months now. Why decide to move off of the couch now you ask? Because I am not getting any younger and because it’s “now or never” is my answer.
I called my friend who had run several marathons and she gave me some really good pointers and told me she’d send me about a book on marathon training that she had found invaluable when she started out. She sent it to me and as soon as the book arrived, I dug deep to see how realistic this might all be for me. To be honest, I almost gave up before I even started. After reading some of the things in the book I kept thinking to myself, “I can’t do that!” But then a little voice kept coming back and saying, “If you don’t at least try, you will regret it.” The book is called “Marathon, by Jeff Galloway.” It is an EXCELLENT resource for anyone considering running a marathon. It really breaks everything down for you and gives you an outline to go by so that you can be fully trained within six months, even if you are not in the greatest shape or have never been a runner before. I have not started his method yet, but I plan to, especially to prepare for the longer runs.
Since I made up my mind to go for it, I decided I had better get some accountability in this venture. I know that if I don’t, I’ll never make this marathon thing a reality. And so, here I am creating this blog in the hopes that people will actually read it and help cheer me on to the finish line.
I began my “training” on Sunday Aug. 22nd. Now don’t laugh, but the first thing I did was go to the Kroger grocery store to scout out a good magazine for incentive. I was looking for something that showed some athletic bodies that I could goal set towards. I found a magazine called “Oxygen” that just so happened to have out their “Glutes Training for Women” issue. Uh yeah, that was enough incentive to make me get off of my butt! Looking at those women, especially the chick on the cover made me very motivated to do something more than just “think” about running a marathon. Okay, so the girl on the cover is probably young enough to be my daughter, but I can dream I can still have a body like that, can’t I?!
That afternoon, I hit the treadmill to see what I was capable of and to see just how long I could last without keeling over. My goal was 5 miles. I thought that if I could at least do that, then I had a chance at being able to train up to 26. I ended up at 4.8 miles jogging on level 4 with no walk breaks. Considering that I have never been a runner and have basically not worked out all summer long, I think I did pretty well. I didn’t time how long it took me because my treadmill was supposed to be keeping track. Unfortunately, I hit a button and it halted everything just short of me getting to the 5 mile mark. Boy was I ever MAD! I was so disappointed to get so close and not reach my goal… I was more determined than ever to finish. Since my four year old son was whining to get on the treadmill and do his run (he’s such a little big boy), by the time he got done playing around on it, I was too “over it” to get back on and finish. Besides that, I felt like my bladder was going to fall out! The thing most on my brain was how in the world to people pee when they are running 26 miles??? Well, I’ll let you know when I find out, because I can tell you right now, this girl ain’t gonna make it 26 miles without a bathroom break!
Mon. 8/27: Now I know I shouldn’t have done this, especially with me not being in shape and all, but I REALLY wanted to do 5 miles. The next day I got done with work and decided to try again. This time, I did not disappoint! I went 5.2 miles on the treadmill and it took me 1 hr. and 5 minutes! Can you give me a big Whooooohoooooo out there!? I was so stinking happy until about an hour and half later. Then my knees were killing me! I realized that although the mind was willing, my 40 yr. old body sure was every bit of 40. All I can say is thank goodness for a product called “Icy Hot.” I slathered it all over my knees and back and I felt much better. Found out that my husband’s cousins are thinking about doing a ½ marathon and I am excited that I may have someone to train with. They live a couple hours away from us, but it would be worth the drive to have someone to run with.
Tues. 8/24: I decided to weigh myself. Suffice it to say, I could stand to lose about 15 pounds. If I can do that while training, great, but I will tell you right now, I am not going to lose sleep over it. Goal number one is to finish a marathon. If some weight comes off because of the training, then of course, I’ll be happy. Since I worked out on the treadmill for two nights in a row, I decided to give my body a rest and I didn’t do any training on this day. Starting to think that I need to goal set on the runs so I can get consistent with them. I plan to work on that this weekend so I can have little goals to fulfill along the way.
Wed. 8/25: I went to the gym and worked my glutes! Armed with my incentive “Oxygen Magazine” pages, I tried to do every exercise that I could. I spent a little over an hour doing everything from weighted squats to dead presses, the Smith machine and lunges. By the time I left, I was pretty sore and quite sure that I had pushed my limit.
I took Thurs. and Friday off…
Sat. 8/28: Found out there is a 5k and 10k run coming up on Sept. 11th. Perfect! I am definitely going to sign up to do the 5k. After an afternoon of lazing all day at the pool with friends and eating non-stop snacks and crap, I decided to once again work-out. I got back on the treadmill and ran another 5 miles. This time, I ran on level 5 for much of the run, but had to take frequent walk / jog breaks on level 3 and 4. Since I had just finished eating a grilled hamburger and French fries dinner, and was really bloated, it took me an hour and 10 minutes to complete 5 miles. Note to self: Running is better on an empty stomach.
Sun. 8/29: Thank goodness for friends! I walked for an hour with a friend from my neighborhood. We live in a subdivision that has lots of big hills so this was a good work-out. By the time we were done, I still felt pretty good. Concerned about having a prolapsed bladder, and have a Dr. appt. on Tues. to confirm it. That will definitely slow down the training process!
Mon. 8/30: Took the night off. The bladder is really bothering me. My husband and I are without our child this week since he is at Mimi’s so we took advantage of the “time” and ran all over town doing errands and then went out to dinner. I had fish tacos and a salad so I at least kept it half healthy.
Tues. 8/31: So today catches me up to date on this blog. Went to the Dr. and thankfully, my bladder is intact, but she had a lab done to make sure no infection is going on. In the meantime, she suggested the AZO Standard until the results come back. I also have to go in for an ultrasound on Thurs. because she thinks I may have a cyst on my right ovary. I am hoping that is all it is. Maybe that could be accounting for my bloating?! I stopped off at the grocery store on the way home from the appt. and got myself some sushi. I figured that would be pretty healthy. I didn’t work out again today because after work we had grocery shopping to do and then we went out to dinner again. It’s a bad excuse, I know. It reminds me of the comedian James Gregory who joked that one of his relatives was planning on starting a diet the following day and then said, “I can’t start my diet tomorrow, we’re supposed to be eating at Cracker Barrel!”
I am feeling totally guilty for not having worked out tonight. Should have done something…
I am going to get a good pedometer and some running shoes this week. My marathon friend had recommended a certain running store called Phidippidies. I plan to check it out on Thurs. night. It is supposed to be a great store to get running shoes because they test your foot and how you run in your regular shoes and do all these things to see what kind of shoe you need. The store is owned by the person who wrote the marathon book I am reading and supposedly all the people who work there are runners. Am hoping to glean some good advice when I go there. I checked out their website and they have lots of affiliated running events. Wish I lived closer to that area. I am thinking that most of their runs are too far from me.
I have decided that each night when I end my blog, I will leave off with an encouraging quote. Tonight I leave you with this one: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” –John Bingham, running speaker and writer