Brace yourself: this is one VERY LONG RUN ON SENTENCE!
I’m currently on a yoga-high. I can’t quite remark on the last time I’ve set foot in a yoga studio, but goodness did it feel great to be back!
I have been plotting that after I pushed myself through the Vegas race I would reward my body with some TLC in the form of flexibility and “static” strengthening. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t stand still; even when I’m apparently standing in one spot I’m always moving my hips side to side or bobbing forward and back on my toes….my body doesn’t like being still except to sleep…and oh how I love sleep ;)
So I bought a lovely unlimited month at YogaWorks on Groupon. I attended the YogaWorks 1/2; simple as simple gets. No crazy strengthening poses; just good ole stretching and focusing on body alignment. It felt delicious!
My Uncle Dave and I headed to Vegas for our annual race weekend. Last year the race was at night, however I travelled solo last year, so my Uncle got his first feelings of a night race. Mainly his sentiment: I feel like I’m wasting time in Vegas when I should be doing something, but don’t want to expend too much energy prior to the race. Eh, I was pretty ok with sitting, eating, drinking, and sleeping. The morning of the race I slept in, went to breakfast, went back to sleep, woke up and went for a late lunch, then started stretching and gearing up for the race. Our hotel room overlooked the pre-race staging area; so I watched all the marathoners filter in and head to the start line; can’t lie; it made my stomach flip a bit. I knew I didn’t prepare all that well for the race, but knew I could complete it feeling slightly better than Long Beach, since I wasn’t moving apartments the same weekend = more energy for race time. I toyed with whether to go out pushing hard and let myself hit the wall whenever and suffer through the rest (sounds like exactly what I signed up for, us crazy runners) or to start slow and get slower. I started with a faster corral, since originally I thought I’d be adding to my PR earlier this year…..so I kept my legs turning over and thought about form for a few miles; then my breathing eased in and felt like I could hold it for a while. I ran with the 2 hour pace group for a few miles…then started letting them drift away. My legs were feeling less than conditioned from the start line, but I only started feeling the fatigue set in around mile 9; took some electrolyte capsules which cleared my head, and then pushed….except my push was no longer getting as much distance traversed. I told myself; stay uncomfortable, thats the best you can do. So I decided I’d be happy with the race if throughout it I stayed uncomfortable….so that I did. My muscles yelled at me for not training properly, but they kept chugging; slower and slower, but they still did :) Crossed the finish line, looked at my watch for the first time since mile 1; and felt the bit of disappointment that any runner who has an inkling to want to keep pushing his/her PR feels…..it was a race no where near my PR, and guess what; it could have been if I had just trained.
I have to say congrats to RnRLV; they cleaned up the race spectacularly compared to last year. Last year’s race was a disaster; I’m sure you’ve read the reviews. They staggered the start time of the full and half, had the two courses meet up only near the end of each of the respective races, and had the marathon course barricaded (yes, runners are animals and need to be kept separate); so the marathoners had a clear path through the hoards of half marathoners for their last 2.2 miles. The start and finish were not at the same location this year, so it spread the spectators out as well as where all the participants were staying on the strip and traveling to/from. Congrats RnR for pulling this race back together. And they served Chocolate Milk! Was delicious at the end :)
So after the race I moseyed back down to Mandalay Bay from the finish at Bellagio (p.s. the fountain was going off when I finished…eh, a sign?)…..took a quick shower and got off my achey feet. Signed up for Surf City Half, wrote out an 8 week training plan day by day, and checked out the YogaWorks schedule for this week; wrote all the classes into my calender. OCD? Nah, just if it is written down, I’ll hold myself to it. I’ll publish the training plan as soon as I figure out how to do anything on my iPad….I’m tech challenged!
Since my last post: I ran the Detroit Turkey Trot with my Dad Thanksgiving morning in Detroit. To my happy surprise it was extremely mild temperature while I was home; race temp kept me comfortable in capris and a long sleeve…no hat required this year! It was great running with my Dad and our traditional breakfast in Downtown Detroit at SixPack….no not that kind, but yes that kind! Being home for Thanksgiving was great, lots of food, drinks, and company; and plenty of boardgames! And for the first time in 30 years of the Detroit Turkey Trot they handed out medals…ahh, exactly why I run ;)
And in a last ditch effort last week to feel semi ready for Vegas I dragged Tara out for a run after work! Tara disclaimed that she hasn’t been running since Long Beach, but was planning on going to the gym after work. My response, “Want to go running with me instead?” She said, “are you serious? Sure” Love it! So we took off down the beach path, I think I ended up doing 7.5 miles; and what a great way to make yourself go faster….Tara turned around first, I wanted to make it back to my old pier…and so running back I had to catch her, duh…so I had to go faster than we had been going before. When I reach her, she picks up speed….she was pushing me, it was great! AND, she beat me up the hill along superior. I told Tara to let me know when she’s ready to train for a marathon…she would be an awesome training partner! She is competitive when running, pushes the pace, yet still vulnerable and enjoys encouragement…..yes; exactly how I feel when running with some one else! So I may be waiting 16 more years until Tara’s baby boy turns 18 ;)
And to make the post a novel: Erika stated she wants to run a marathon for her 30th birthday. It got my wheels spinning….maybe I want to address the devil that ripped out my heart not once, but twice during 26.2 races…..mentally I’m healed, I don’t feel defeated by the terrible races. And I’m starting to feel motivated to hit a training plan that demands all I’ve got. These half’s I got to used to just “doing” without training. I know I could get a lot more out of them by training, but for some reason I’m not as motivated…with a full marathon I can’t just do it…I HAVE to train. Thats the challenge I like; one that I know I can’t beat without putting my mind, body, and heart into. I had 1 great marathon; and had a training partner for all but the last long run. Marathon 2 and 3 I trained solo; tried different styles; was more than prepared; quite possibly over-trained; and bonked terribly. So Marathon 4 will be with training partners; Erika and my ski buddy Maxine…who is wicked fast and British. Her kids are about my age and she qualifies for Boston over and over. Yep….she wants to run my long runs with me… I warned her of my slow legs; but my want and will (that needs to be strengthened with each run) to get faster. If someone else tacks me to it, I will be more loyal to pushing workouts a little harder. Runner loyalty; it speaks volumes. So…I’m not committed, but by writing this it feels more real…..haven’t signed up, but have a good base plan: yoga for a month, half marathon training over the next 2 months; will put me in great shape for a 4 month marathon training program. Eh, sounds like it may just be time :)
Happy Running, Happy Vegas, Happy Thanksgiving Day and Turkey Trots, and welcome back Happy Yoga!