Wednesday, September 23, 2009

22 Mile Training Run

Wow! When I look over the last year that I started running I really do feel a little amazed. I mean for me anyway I never thought that I would have ever wanted to run a marathon and now I'm going to, and I never thought I would run 8 miles, 12, 14, 20 or 22 miles...ever! Today I completed a 22 mile training run for the first time! 4:43 (not counting my water and potty breaks). For me this is a huge accomplishment, just to say I ran 22 miles. Let me tell there is a lot going on in a 22 mile run, a lot of time to think and a lot of time to reflect on the last 16 weeks of training. Really for me it is a time to reflect on the last 10 years and everything that has brought me to this point.

With the kids back in school I can't take off early for my runs, I have to get the kids up and to the bus stop by 730 am, which means I hit the road by 8am. I have a water belt filled with Gatorade that I wear and I pack my power bar gels, I try to use these at least every 45 mins, I find that they work for me. The first 3 miles of any of my runs are hard going, my right hips always seems to take some time to warm up and my muscles are sore and stiff.I have had some issues with my right hip and knee and these seem to get aggravated after about 10 miles, then I have to take some time to stretch out my hip.

I was feeling good from miles 4-8 really just finding a nice groove and feeling good, I thought briefly..maybe I can do 24 miles..(that thought was later shattered at mile 11).

Mile 8 was a potty stop and stretching time then off over the first of 2 bridges in this 22 mile route. Yes I did plan that on purpose, thought it would be a nice challenge. Again good idea at the time.

Mile 9-10 is the Great Neck Bridge and I hit this again at miles 12-13. At mile 13.1 water and potty break. I stop at another 7-11 which there seem to be located at least every 3 miles. I am so thankful to those folks working there always letting me use the bathroom and never refusing to take my very sweaty dollar bills.

At about mile 13.5 I run right into a huge spider web and freak out! I nearly strip out of my clothes and yes had a bit of a melt down. I'm sure people driving by thought I was having a seizure or something. It was a huge spider and if I didn't see him jump off me I might have stripped until I was sure he was no longer on me!

After I recover from my spider situation I head back over the Lesner Bridge for the second time this is just past mile 14, I stop long enough to look over and snap a photo. Off again.

I was feeling pretty good, tiered and hot from miles 15-16.5 then started to feel fatigued at mile 17 I could feel my hams tighten up and my hips were hurting, and a new pain developed, I started to have lower pelvic and abdominal pain, tightness in my groin area and my thighs were really starting to burn. I felt my pace slow and my legs were not going as fast as I wanted them to. I hit my land mark that let me know I had 3 miles left.

I felt like I was giving it my all and my legs were hardly moving, it was hot, my legs were sore and heavy, it was all I could do to keep moving forward. I wanted to stop and walk so bad, but I kept telling myself, just to that sign, just to the fire station now just a little further.

There is a church with a huge cross out front that is the land mark that lets me know I have 2 miles left. This is were I had to say a little prayer and I had to dig a little deeper to keep myself moving. This is where my son always seems to catch up with me.

When I get to the point that I want to quit I feel like crying and I try to think about all the things that I have been through and I tell myself I can do this to. I move forward.

I think of my son the day the doctors told me he had cancer, I move forward. I think of the first day after his surgery to remove the cancer and I see that little boy of 17 months lying there so helpless, I move forward. I think of all the struggles that he had to endure, the chemo, the surgeries and the long nights of wondering my me, why him, why and I move forward. I move forward with tears in my eyes thinking of that little boy with so much life in such a little time and I move forward. I think of the day I picked out that little baby blue casket for my little boy and I move forward. I move forward and I cry with each step I take, cry because it hurts still today as it did 10 years ago. But I move forward. I give it all I have the last 2 miles tears and all.

There are days that I didn't want to do this, didn't want to breath, didn't want to do anything all I wanted was that little boy back in my arms. It has been a long road for me.

10 years later, I am running for my son, running to remember running to honor and finally running to let myself free. No longer running from the pain or the emotions, I had to hit those head on over the last few years. I have had to learn to love again and open my heart up again.

This journey has been a good journey for me, I am in a better place now. My son is at peace, it has been me for so long that has not been at peace. I'm ready to be at peace, I'm ready to honor him and let the world know how much he meant to me and how much of a better person I am because he was in my life!

I'm ready for this marathon! Bring it on!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon

What a gorgeous day to run! Exciting and exhausting, I reluctantly ran my second 1/2 marathon, the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon.

After the last long run I had, my 18 mile training run, I had my confidence shaken. I was fatigued, sore and just wore out. I questioned my goals and my physical ability to complete my goal of running in the Chicago Marathon in Oct. 2009.

I had signed up for the Rock and Roll months ago, so I was already committed to running, even though I really didn't want to. I had not slept well for the last 2 days, as usual I was coming off a 3 day 12 hr stretch from working in the ED. I was exhausted and near tears the night before the run.

My parents are out here in Virginia visiting, so my mom wanted to see me run. We were up at 0430 after only a few hours of sleep. With at least 15,000 runners, I was nervous and not ready to run. I just kept thinking, "you were supposed to do a 10 miler training run this week whats 13.1!?"

It was a great day to run, the weather was perfect and the music and people were great. Although I was tiered I tried to enjoy myself. I ran it in 2:26 which was 6 minutes slower than my first 1/2 Marathon, but this course had 2 trips over a bridge, the last course was flat.

What I learned today is that you have to get back on the horse, if you have to stop to stretch it is better to than to injure yourself, your not a quitter if you have to walk for a bit, and that your mother will always be proud of you whether your first or dead last place.

I got some of my motivation back, some of my confidence is showing and I am realizing that my goal is to finish the marathon, bring awareness to childhood cancer and raise money for childhood cancer research, I have completed the last two. Now to run and finish the Chicago Marathon!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Thanks to all my wonderful friends and family, we have met our goal of raising $3200!!

Thanks to you we have raised this money for Rally Foundation and their commitment to Childhood Cancer Research.

I am so blessed to have the friends and family that have been so supportive to me.

Words can never express how thankful I am! Look out Chicago, here I come!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where did August go?

August was a long month with a lot of long runs, 12 mile, 16 mile and the last 18 mile that made me cry!!

Sept first! and I am on my last 6 weeks, now running at least 5 days a week and working with a personal trainer 2 days a week.

I'm at the final push with the last 2 long runs of 20 and 22 mile runs!! I'm getting scared and finding it hard to stay focused. But know that does not matter, I just have to gut it out these last 6 weeks and make it count. Push past the fear and doubt and just get those miles done! Its all guts and glory now baby!

6 weeks and counting. Going to bed early so I can be up early for a quick 5 mile.