marine corps marathon

Right, so I’ve got this marathon I have to run on Sunday : )

Actually, I’m pretty relieved it’s still going to happen! I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.

mcm

With the government shutdown, a lot of things were uncertain…including this event. Apparently, we were on a need to know basis and the Marines had decided that we didn’t need to know how close it probably came to being cancelled. With such short notice, if any of the course had to be altered there would have been no way to get a new one re-certified in time.

Fortunately, (for many reasons besides this race) this is no longer a concern and race day is almost here!! I have all of the usual pre-race jitters like: weather (which looks to be a non-issue!!), getting sick (bah!), taking the right metro train on race day, getting to my corral on time. You know, all of the things outside of your control that could go wrong. However, I know that once I arrive in the right spot, at the right time and feeling healthy (pleasepleaseplease) I’ll finally be able to relax and enjoy the experience.

Because after running over 400 miles during the last 16 weeks…26.2 more seems like just a drop in the bucket!!!

mcm training

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signs of fall

I know it must be October because the leaves are changing…

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These damn things have been in the house for less than 24 hours and already my teeth hurt

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The Marine Corps Marathon sent me an eCard yesterday…along with my bib number.

mcm ecard

Oh. My. Already?????!!

core yoga

Sprinkled throughout my latest experiment with Insanity and running…I’ve also been keeping up my yoga practice. I finished a month-long yoga challenge at the end of April. May wasn’t quite as consistent as I had hoped it to be, but I was still getting it done a few times a week.

I’ve been sticking with Tara Stiles, since after her challenge I had built up a very nice comfort level with it. Plus, her DVD collection offered so many different options…anything from 15 minutes of easy-going yoga to a strength building hour-long practice.

However, today I decided that I was getting a little too ‘comfortable’ with it and decided to mix things up a bit. After my daughter went down for her nap, I took a break from packing (have I mentioned that we’re moving?!?) and took Shiva Rea’s Core Yoga DVD out of the case for the first time.

shiva rea

First up, I was a little confused by the menu. It offered a “Yoga Matrix” and apparently what this meant is that you can piece together your own yoga practice out of seven options (plus a 2 min shavasana). Thereby being able to customize your practice based on your primary focus for the day and also how much time you have available.

yoga matrix

Cool.

So, for my first try I selected: 1) Water Core (no idea what that was, but it sounded far less scary than the “Fire Core” alternative!) 2) Creative Core Lower Body 3) Agni Namaskar (Again…no idea what that was, but since I already worked out today I figured it was best to avoid the “Upper Body” choice.)

I have to say, this was by far the most interesting yoga practice I’ve ever done. It was definitely more ‘traditional’ than Tara Stiles. Tara doesn’t play into the whole ‘make an offering’ thing, she doesn’t get all ‘earthy’ on you and none of the Sanskrit names are used for her poses. I’m not necessarily saying I like one more than the other, it’s just that they’re very different and there’s an adjustment period. Shiva Rea is more traditional in some of those aspects, but then in others she’s in a league all of her own!

Right, so, Water Core. I enjoyed it, but there was some weirdness going on. In fact, there were moments when I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. Partly because she was flying through odd tai-chi-like-movements and partly because of the interesting/blurred out camera editing…

what the

^^^What’s happening up there??!!^^^

Then we moved onto the Arni Namaskar. She opened up by letting us know we were about to embark on a practice centering around 109 push-ups.

Crap.

I just DID 109 push-ups this morning during Insanity!!!! *sigh*

I already felt invested in this, so there was no other choice than to hit the deck.

It was definitely a lot of push-ups, but it was broken-up into 12 rounds and as it turned out it wasn’t so terrible. I really enjoyed the rest of the video.  It’s so hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, but there is something missing from the more modern-style of yoga that is present in traditional practices. There’s a flow in the traditional ones that makes it feel less like a workout and more like fluid movement. If that makes any sense.

I think from this point forward I’ll be sure to mix up both the traditional and non-traditional practices since I feel that they each have something great to offer!

the marathon plan

Allow me to think ‘out loud’ for a moment.

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to play catch-up for marathon training. I know that I won’t be able to train the way I WANTED to…not that I won’t be able to train AT ALL. Sorry, I guess I should have been more clear on that.

Anyway, I’m not focusing on speedwork anymore. Whatever my finish time ends up being will be okay with me at this point. I’m also cutting back to three running days a week (for now), to allow for an additional rest day. Below is the breakdown of my upcoming mileage. The first column shows what the original training plan called for, the second column is what I plan to run and the third column shows the increase in mileage over the previous weekend’s long run. (I have an 11 mile run scheduled for this weekend)

mileage

As it stands I’ll have only four weeks out of the next nine (mind you I still have over two months of training time left) where I will need to be a bit aggressive with a two mile increase over the previous week. I have kept ALL four of the scale-back/taper weeks and I will only fall one mile short of the 20-miler (thinking that’s safer than increasing by three miles to achieve it)…finishing on the precise week the original plan calls for.

As of right now, my gait is one hundred percent fine. In fact, it’s better than it was before the injury…mainly due to the fact that the black toenail I had on that same foot made some serious progress during my break and is feeling MUCH better during long runs now.

I think anyone who knows even the slightest bit about running knows that injuries happen. Sometimes they happen regardless of you following all of the expert advice (like it did to me last month) and sometimes it happens because of poor judgement calls.

At this point I’m well enough to run, I know it. I knew when I had to stop and I know that for the moment it’s okay for me to go. I could make it to the finish line with absolutely no more problems or I could get sidelined again. No one can predict that.

I haven’t just been out there randomly running 4 or even 8 miles….for the last year I’ve been consistently averaging 25-30 mile weeks. I’m not new to this. I put my time in. The training. The work. Over the last year I’ve raced in 5k’s, 8k’s, 10k’s, a half-marathon and a relay. I’ve gone for long runs in humid 95+ degree weather and I’ve been out there jumping over ice patches with temps nearing single digits.

I know that some people would see this set-back as a perfect excuse to back out, but you know what? Excuses are fine for other people. I hear them all the time. I don’t judge. We all have our thresholds. For me personally, I’m not a fan of excuses. Right now if I were to give up training TWO MONTHS before the race…it would be an excuse. It would be GIVING UP. I’d rather walk the entire marathon (and people, there’s no shame in that) then give up because I’ve got some hard work ahead of me.

the frozen runner

Officially a week after my half-marathon and I haven’t been doing much running. I wasn’t sore afterwards, I just really didn’t have any desire to lace-up. I got a 4 mile run in on Wednesday and then a 3.5 mile walk on Thursday. I was hoping to get at least one more run in by Saturday morning, but it didn’t happen.

So, I was a little worried about the 5k I was planning to run yesterday. Not only did I not do a whole lotta’ running leading up to it, BUT…it was also the coldest morning we’ve had since last winter. 29 degrees when I left for the race. {bbbrrrrr}

I was freezing, my toes were numb and I was literally shaking from the cold. Yet I kept reminding myself how much BETTER this weather is to run in as opposed to the ridiculous heat and humidity that I was training in during the summer!!! Yes…I’ll take stiff legs, frozen joints and numb toes over 90+ degree temps any day of the week!

I was also pretty excited about this race because I was running with a few members of my Moms RUN This Town group! This was our first official race day together and I’ve gotta say…not only do we ‘run this town’, but we also clean-up at races!!! Two members took first place in their age groups, I took 2nd in mine, another took 3rd and two members won door prizes!!

The course was hilly, but beautiful. There was one area where the fall leaves on the trees parted and we were treated to a gorgeous view of the river. Even in the midst of running like a maniac, I still had one of those moments when the tension suddenly dissipated and it was impossible to ignore the gorgeousness surrounding me.

I didn’t have high hopes, performance-wise, for this race. Just under a week after my half-marathon, only one SLOW run leading up to it and the hilly course didn’t sound like PR material to me. Surprisingly, I ended up finishing at 26:49 almost a full minute less than my last 5k!!

sportin’ my diva half race tee from last weekend!!

Then to round out my race weekend….this morning I volunteered at a local cycling event. This was my first time volunteering. I was pretty excited to do it, it felt like I was giving back for all of the fantastic support I’ve received during my own races in the past.  This was the first of what will likely become an annual event. They ended up with less than anticipated registrations, but everyone was enthusiastic and the organizer’s did a phenomenal job!!

No races for me next weekend!!! But I’m off to DC the following weekend for the MCM10k!!!

13.1

Oh, and as a follow-up to my Half Marathon Recap

In case you were wondering, YES I was totally suckered into buying up all kinds of 13.1 memorabilia. Well, more accurately my Aunt was…she was far too generous at the expo the day before the race!

I may not be a big fan of stick-figure families on the back of my vehicle, but definitely bring on the half marathon merchandise!!!

BeeCause Sneaker Charms

Milestones Sports

For the Divas Half Marathon Entry in my Race Journal