Monday, February 8, 2016

Let the Tapering Begin

Less than 2 weeks out from marathon number 5...

The realization that my next marathon is just days a way is really starting to sink in.  Waves of emotions crash over me periodically throughout the day.  One moment I am fired up, excited and ready to attack the race to see what I can do out there.  Other emotions drown me in my own fears and anxiety.  This was supposed to be my "make up race" since I had gotten hurt and couldn't reach my goal at my last race (and the one before that one I got sick).  But when I had to jump right back into 20 mile runs two weeks after my last marathon, I quickly realized my body and mind could have used a break.  Luckily, despite my continuous training I have managed to completely heal from my injury and even build my pace (that had taken a huge hit) back up.  Unfortunately though my pace is not back to what it was nor is my desire to push as hard as I know I could if I were not so over trained.  Of course, we never know what race day brings, maybe things will click for me and I will crush it.  Or then again maybe I will be reminded why I don't run back to back marathons.  Either way, I would be lying if I said I am not excited to get out there give it my all and have some fun in the process.  I will never give up on my dream to BQ, nor do I have any plans to permanently give up the full distance any time soon, but I think a little break from marathon training will certainly do me some good.

Here is a recap of this past week...

Monday: There is a new stereo system in our group fitness studios at the gym I teach at.  For the 10+ years I have been teaching aerobics, I have always been able to pre-choreograph my classes to either music I choose or the music I am provided with in advance.  Now, with the new system, I'm having to wing it each week.  (I could go in and make a couple of playlists but ain't nobody got time for that).  So I have to admit, I'm a little anxious each time I go to teach spinning now.  But this week, the list I selected was great, the class was full with my regulars and some new folks, and we had a blast!  After class, I wanted to do my last official leg day, so I headed over to the weight area.  Knowing it would probably be the last time I lift legs (heavy) for up to two weeks, I figured why not go hard.  Kinda wishing I hadn't lol, but it was a fun. 

Tuesday: It was GORGEOUS outside.  Temps in the low 80's, humidity not too high and plenty of sunshine.  Decided go on a device-free 5 miler on a different part of the trail I typically run on.  I drove a little bit further up the road to run this portion of the trail because of it's "hills" (they're not too impressive here in Central Florida so we gotta go looking for some) and because of it's curves and changes in direction.  I figured it would be some good practice for next Sunday.  I enjoy going device free occasionally.  I feel old school and I also feel I am able to enjoy and appreciate my surroundings more.  I do, however, find it difficult to pace myself and miss that measuring tool when I do not have it with me.  But it's probably a good thing because it will teach me to listen to my body better rather than staring at my watch the whole run.

Later Tuesday evening, I attended Hot Yoga.  The class was packed, the energy was through the rough and it was probably one of the best Yoga practices I've had!  Before leaving for class, Nolan, my oldest, asked me to do some poses with him.  He is so awesome.  He just loves to learn and has really taken a liking to what Hunter and I do.  I'm sure there are not very many four year olds who can do 18 inch box jumps and know how to properly execute a clean and press.  I know he's so young and will come into his own, but seeing him eagerly want to learn everything we love and do makes us so proud!

Wednesday: Hunter had one of his NFL clients coming in at the time I was planning to workout, so I figured I wouldn't bother them (actually them bother me by talking my head off lol) at our gym and headed over to LA Fitness to get a quick lift in.  Since it's all upper body for here on out, I hit my back, chest and shoulders pretty hard.  Walking out of the gym, I could barely feel my arms.  I was excited and scared at the same time!  Went back to work for a little bit then headed back to LA to teach my night time Yoga class.  I had a couple of new students that evening and they did great.  I love having new people in class, it's so awesome to see people try new things.  It's a great reminder what it's like to be a beginner at something, how intimidating it can be at first, how frustrating it can be when you can't do what everyone else is doing.  The first time is always the hardest but sticking with it can be so rewarding.  You just never know what you're capable of until you try!

Thursday: All of my ambitious workouts of the week were finally catching up to me and by this day, I.Was.Sore!  Thursday was humbling.  Realizing yet again I am not superwoman, I was really needing some foam rolling in my life.  I needed to run a couple of miles but almost talked myself out of it, almost.  I figured I had 3 options.  1. Not run at all (which I knew I would regret). 2. Suck it up and go kill myself with some speed work. OR 3. Just lace up and head on an easy run from the gym (our work).  I chose 3, figured it was a good compromise of the two.  Storms were expected later that day and the wind and sky were certainly indicative of that.  It was warm and a little humid, but the wind helped cool things down somewhat.  It also made running a little difficult, but again, I need to prepare myself for anything and everything on Sunday, so I was grateful for it.  I ended up having a solid 5 miler with an average pace of around 7:40.  I started off without my watch, only because it wouldn't pick up satellite, and just focused on my breathing and strides.  I felt I had settled in to a good easy pace that I figured was around 8:30ish.  My watch finally popped on and I was running a 7:35 minute mile.  I was pretty pleased with what I thought to be a nice easy, slower pace was actually back to my typical 5 miler pace pre-injury.  My body is really beginning to cooperate but my confidence needs to catch up.  I know that sounds silly, but my mental game took a way bigger hit when I got hurt than my body did.  It really messed me up and I'm struggling to get my confidence back.  I haven't raced in so long, and I think going out and having a great race will really help start building that back up.

Oh, and also on Thursday, I figured I could use another place to run (when the weather is bad) and throw some weights around on my lunch break, so I took advantage of the Planet Fitness "Join for $1" deal that was expiring that day.  It took about 5 minutes to sign up, I didn't want the tour, and I am now an official PF member, hehe!  This shall be interesting.

Friday: Hunter left super early this morning so it was just me and the babies this morning then me running the show at the gym.  It's definitely a little hectic getting the kiddos off to school and then rushing back to get to work.  But I managed and we had a killer MetCon this morning, our ladies always bring it and I love it!  I had a ton of work to do but wanted to knock out some upper body.  Now that I have so many options as to where to work out, it was hard to chose.  But with the work that needed to get done at the gym, it was an obvious choice just to stay here.  So I quickly changed into my workout gear, put some Juicy J on Pandora and went to work.  My shoulders are super sore and my legs kinda hate me, so I figured I should just focus on core.  I did about 45 minutes focusing mostly on core but threw in some things to really get the heart rate up, including kettlebell swings and ropes.  I usually like to push it a little harder on Fridays since I won't lift again until Monday, but with the race coming up, I decided to hold back a little bit.
Friday night was our Moms Run This Town Winter virtual event.  I always love these events since I am not able to make much of the group runs and this is a great opportunity to catch up with the ladies.  Since I had the kiddos, I was able to run, but because our gym was a sponsor, I really wanted to go for a little bit.  The swag for the event was sick!  We got our medals of course and a bunch of samples and info in the bag, but we also got a headlamp, wine glass and jacket!  And Nolan even got to be a happy helper and hand out a couple of finishers medals to some of the ladies, which pretty much made his day.

Saturday: Since Hunter was out of town, it was just me and the munchkins until later that night.  That meant it would be another treadmill Saturday at LA Fitness. 

I have actually grown to like my 8-10 mile treadmill runs.  I am able to get into a great zone on there with some awesome people watching.  And some times I even have someone running next to me to chat with.  I got to chat with someone on Saturday for about 4 miles and I was keeping a 7:45ish pace, so that felt pretty good.  With the race next weekend and my body still pretty sore from the week, I figured 8 miles would do it for my last mid-distance run.  I did them in a little under an hour and was ready to spend the day with my babies.  I was pretty excited about my new Asics outfit so I snuck into the spinning room to take on of those obnoxious gym mirror selfies. 
Walking out to my car from the gym, I noticed I had been "flipped."  My MRTT car magnet was upside down meaning fellow MRTT mama had come across my car.  I figured it was form the event the night before and I didn't see it because it was dark.  But I was still excited to see I was flipped.  So of course the boys and I had to take a selfie with it.  Please excuse my youngest, Lincoln, he's my wild child!

Sunday: Hunter got back Saturday night so Sunday was our typical family day.  Grocery shopping, food prepping, soccer and of course the Super Bowl!  Nolan scored his teams only 3 goals at his game and Lincoln actually participated in his game for the first time this season and scored a goal too, so the boys were on fire!  We were so proud of them and went to Froggers to celebrate.  They enjoyed playing video games and coloring but had no interest in the funnel fries we ordered so guess who ate those!?!  Oh well, cheat day.  We had some time to kill before the Super Bowl so we went down to the pound in front of our house to throw rocks in the lake and feed the ducks.  I also wanted to get a shot of the Pose of the Day for the Runners Love Yoga Instagram challenge I have been participating in. 
I got a great shot of the pose but more importantly, I got a beautiful shot of all four of us at the pound.  Moments like these mean that absolute world to me.  There is nothing extraordinary about setting at a retention pound throwing rocks in it, but to our sons it was one of the most exciting things they got to do.  Hearing their laughter, seeing their smiles and experience the world through them is a feeling like no other!

This coming week will be full out Taper Madness!  Easing off the heavy lifting, lighter and shorter runs and a lot of focus on sleep an nutrition for me this week.  No risk taking not to injury myself, lol, and just trying to relax, stay positive and focused.  I have no idea what to expect on Sunday.  I will have no control over the weather, the course or the competition.  But I do know that I am prepared, I am a strong runner, I am confident in my ability to finish and I will be proud of my for crossing that finish line, regardless of the outcome.  So marathon number 5, I'm coming for you!

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