Wow – where did the time go? An 18-week training plan seems crazy in Week 1, and now I’m at the point where I might just be dumb enough to sign up for another marathon if someone asked me. All of my “long” runs are done – now it’s time to taper. Taper. What a beautiful word. Tapering is
the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition…for many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance…the final three weeks of any marathon-training program are the most critical stage of training.
Seems hard to believe – the final three weeks of training are the most critical! How often in life do we go-go-go and don’t pause to slow down, save up our energy and re-charge. What is an area of YOUR life that could benefit from tapering in the weeks ahead? Any marathon training plan clearly calls out the days of exercise and also the days of rest. The rest days are even more important to honor each week. Make sure YOU take rest time to reflect, recover and recharge THIS week.
Who’s sick of seeing me in pictures each week running in snow? Me too. I’m ready to take some pics of me in shorts and sunglasses. Well…if that’s what you want then this post isn’t for you. Last weekend, Eden Prairie literally had 1-2″ of snow on the ground for 4-5 hours, and then it all melted away. Guess when I planned to do my 20-mile run? Yep. I ended up running 21 miles in snow and cold yet again 🙂 Had to get out my snow running gear (wishful thinking that I packed it away I guess)
As I was getting ready to leave the house for that long run (the longest run of my training plan), I kept looking outside at the snow and thinking how far 20 miles sounded. This is when your brain starts to work against you. I looked over to see what the outside temperature was, and I was instantly inspired – THIS was the sign that I needed (26.2 is the distance of a marathon!):
And then I had my hill run on Wednesday (down to twelve “half hills” now). Yet again, “time to run” somehow translates to “time to start snowing”. Fun times. I’m getting a bit faster on hills, and I feel great the entire time, but what I’m most proud of are the near perfect sine waves I can create 🙂
Thankfully, through all of my runs I only fell once (and let’s keep it that way!). It was the night that we got 9-10″ of snow, I had driven up our driveway and by the time I could get out the door for a run 1/2 hour later there was snow covering my car tracks. I got about 20 steps from my front door, stepped on a slippery spot where my tire had compacted the snow, and I fell in my own driveway. Sigh. That’s one of those that you bounce up from as fast as you can and pretend that nothing happened and hope that no one saw you. At least I fell into fluffy powder.
I was slowed by a few obstacles this week. Twice in the past week (and it hasn’t happened throughout the last four months), I was stopped on my run by trains. And I also kept running into massive snow piles on sidewalks. Again, this didn’t happen all winter, but for some reason this week the plows clearing parking lots decided sidewalks were a better place to pile the snow than in far away parking spots. Bring on the trains and snow piles and whatever else ya got – nothing is stopping me at this point 🙂
This is the time during training that I feel “fragile”. Your mind starts thinking about every little hazard that could twist an ankle and impact your race. Do I stop playing racquetball? Do I stop kicking the soccer ball with Megan in the backyard? Who left those shoes just laying in the hallway and the dog toys scattered everywhere? Do I dare risk carrying the laundry basket down the stairs? Do I stop taking stairs in general? If you see me wrapped head-to-toe in bubble wrap next week just smile and wish me good luck in the race. No need to judge. Until you’ve run 450+ miles (so far) in my shoes, you don’t know what I’ve been through – heh heh 😉
There were several cool, powerful, and impactful things this week:
- I got a full-page article with a big color photo in the Eden Prairie News. Great article to create awareness and spread messages of fighting stigma. I was shocked to see this article taking a full page – so cool! The sports reporter who covered this grabbed some things throughout several of my blog pages and even came up with the “Dos & Don’ts” section (maybe only visible in the printed copy) – glad I agree with it 🙂 I’m not so hip on the news lingo (which I think is used in web page design too – funny how things do or don’t translate). Someone asked me if I was “above the fold”. Well…maybe I wasn’t “above the fold” (front page articles used to entice people to buy the paper) in Eden Prairie, but this month I was “above the fold” in the Rochester Sentinel – sure it was only 10-pages but at least I wasn’t below the fold – ick, how embarrassing.
- I got my official marathon running jerseys. One is long-sleeve and the other is sleeveless. Yikes, I’ve only been running for training – now I need to start doing some curls and shrugs to build up my arms and shoulders in case it’s a warm day for my tank top finish photos 🙂
- I got my Boston Marathon welcome packet in the mail. It has my runner passport (necessary for me to get my official race # when in Boston), a welcome packet, and a catalog from Adidas where I can spend up to $250 for a 120th Limited Edition Varsity Boston Marathon jacket (zowy – maybe I’ll start another fund-raising campaign for that!)
- March 26 was the four year anniversary of Katherine’s death. The support I got (especially online via Facebook) was absolutely amazing. On December 8th (Week 1 of my training) I wrote a post “YOU are running with me” – I absolutely felt that this week – thank you all! My sister loved doing jigsaw puzzles and none of us could come anywhere near the crazy talent she had for putting them together. We did a 1,000 piece puzzle that day in her honor, although we broke every rule of hers when we did it (e.g., we did the edge first; we did the edge at all; we did a puzzle with writing/pics so we could see where they all could go; we laid all the pieces out on the table so we could see them all). Everybody helped but Megan was my true partner in making sure we got it done that day. I don’t think any of us know quite what to do on this day, but doing a puzzle just feels right as we can bond yet also have plenty of time for quite thoughts and reflections.
As of this post I’m over $15,600 in donations. I continue to be humbled and so deeply touched by the support I receive every single day. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many generous and loving people. What a great way to honor my sister’s life as we all are saving lives!!!
YOU can still help with a donation by clicking here. I am definitely hitting $20,000 – one way or another that is happening!
As always, I can’t thank you all enough for reading these messages, being there for those around you, and helping fight the stigma of suicide and mental illness. WE are saving lives. Thank you.
Hey Boston, see you in three weeks!