Staying strong for the ones I love most …

Trying to jump back into normal life after running a marathon is not a pretty picture. Alarm clocks continue ring early. People still need to eat. And laundry doesn’t do itself. But that’s OK with me, because it all reminds me of why I push myself so hard.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you stay strong for the ones you love most!!!

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I did it …

One year, 7 months and 10 days after getting sick with meningitis again, I ran a full marathon! All my fears that this part of my life were over are behind me now. And despite feeling pretty beat up physically at the moment, I feel FABULOUS !

Well, I hope you all had a day where you DID IT!!!

Everything hurts and I’m dying (I’m so extra) …

This morning I ran an easy 3-miler. It will be the last time I run until race day. You would think this “easy” run would, in fact, be EASY. But it’s not. These last few miles I have come to call the “hypochondria miles”. The last of my tapering drama insanity nutso-ness is summed up in what are truly the final steps of my marathon training. I worry about every feeling I … um … feel.

Why does my Achilles feel that way? OH MY GOD IT MUST BE A TEAR!

Why am I breathing like that? MY LUNG MUST HAVE COLLAPSED.

Does my heart usually do that? YES, YES IT BEATS.

Is this harder than it should be? MY GOD ITS ONLY 3 MILES! HOW CAN I POSSIBLY MAKE IT ANOTHER 23.2?!?!

Good Lordy, I literally have to tell myself to SHUT UP and just RUN.

Well, I hope you all have a day where everything doesn’t hurt and you don’t think you’re dying!!!

Hang in there …

Confession: I have been known to grow attached to and name inanimate objects. Come on people, it makes life more fun! I have named my cars, my cell phones and most recently my Fitbit, Fabio. Unfortunately, Fabio is not doing well. His days are certainly numbered. He has cracks and scratches all over his face. And a big dent all along his left side. His band is also separating from his face so you can see his innards. It’s disturbing!

But I can’t replace him. At least not yet.

The steps we have traveled together are some of the most meaningful I’ve ever taken. Literally, in sickness and in health. From steps in the hospital supported with a walker to some of the fastest steps I’ve ever been blessed to take. Needless to say, Fabio has been through a lot with me. But get this, he has never stopped working. Not even after I accidentally went swimming with him. WHOA! He’s like a tried and true friend. Which is why I’m having a hard time replacing him. Call me crazy, but I have a race in just over a week and I’d really like to have Fabio complete it with me. I would like it to be the final lap in our epic journey together.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you hang in there!!!

Celebrating 18 awful miles and I yelled at a squirrel …

Long runs are hard. Some are easier than others but even when they are easy they are still hard. This morning I dragged my body to the curb for one of my last long runs before race day. I wasn’t feeling IT to say the least. My body is tired. Accumulative fatigue is REAL and I am riddled with it, HA! Anyway, because I wasn’t feeling IT I did everything I could think of to make sure I set up a good fueling station for myself. On my long runs I often loop back by my house where I can easily grab the fuel I need so I don’t have to carry it all with me. My supplies usually include water, Gu, granola bars, half sandwiches, fruit, whatever I feel I may need or want. It’s so helpful … usually. Today I don’t know how much worse my run could have been without it. Seriously, I was dragging. On top of that just as I was leaving my house I reached into my purse to grab my pepper spray and got one of the worst paper cuts of my life. This thing goes across the whole tip of my index finger. And despite being covered with a bandage it burned from my salty sweat. UGH.

So between my feet feeling like they were covered in concrete blocks and the pain in my finger I was pretty miserable out there. All of this misery didn’t make me immune to the other issues that come up during long runs either. Like the nuttiness. That was alive and well. Simple math was out the window. And I yelled at a squirrel. Yup, you read that right. I yelled at it. I came across a particularly spry little squirrel this morning. Not unusual, but this one just seemed a little sassier than the rest. This is the long run talking here. He was so fast and flitting all across the street. Then he stopped and looked at me. Like I wasn’t running fast enough to scare him. Good grief! It was at this point I lost my grip on reality and told him out loud that he was being a little show off. Yes, I scolded a squirrel. Not my prettiest (or sanest) moment that’s for sure.

I finished my run over 30 minutes later than I predicted I would. It was THAT bad! But despite all of the yuck and the fact that I yelled at a wild animal, I couldn’t be happier with myself. It’s taken a lot for me to get back to running this kind of distance. It’s been a tough and emotional road. But I’m doing it. Again. And I couldn’t be more grateful. Running, even on my worst of days, is still a gift that I will never take for granted. Not ever.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you look past all the bad and see only the good!!!

A runner’s paranoia …

I’m sure that most people who don’t run don’t have a clear understanding of the Marathon Training Taper. If you aren’t in a personal relationship (of any kind) with a runner during this time period, consider yourself lucky. If you are, know that I think you are one brave soul.

I’ve mentioned before that the actual taper involves a significant decrease in running miles so that legs have time to repair and get stronger. Again, there is a science to all of it. I don’t completely get it, but I believe in it.

There is a whole other aspect to tapering that is also coinciding with your muscles healing and getting stronger. To put it bluntly. Some of us runners lose our ever lovin’ minds.

It’s a time when the runner fear meter goes off the chart. Every ache and pain is a fracture. Every sniffle and sneeze is a life threatening illness. You are convinced that Mother Nature and her wicked weather patterns are clearly out to get you. You are sure alarm clocks won’t work, cars won’t start, Garmins will die and shoelaces will break. And you know that food poisoning is just one swallow away.

Yup. That pretty much sums it up. At least, for me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t paranoid!!!

Bored … 

I’ve decided to get my miles done on the stationary bike to give my legs and back some extra rest during my taper. I am so thankful for the stationary bike. You have to triple the miles to mimic running miles but it allows you to keep training your legs without all the pounding. Cycling on the stationary bike got me through marathon training in the past … when I had a broken foot! It works and it’s a godsend. But I forgot one unpleasant thing about these indoor, not going anywhere miles. Yup, one.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t bored to tears!!!