Sunday, December 9, 2012

Countdown to My Solo Marathon Run - In Lucky #7 Days I will "JUST DO IT!"

Since the beginning of the year I have been planning and preparing to participate in the 2012 NYC ING Marathon. My first half marathon time was not very good (2012 NYC Half Marathon), just over 12 min/mile. I had been hoping as I ran more regularly and trained, to get from the back of the pack (NYRR Purple Power!) to the middle or thereabouts (a bib of a different color). If I could just bring my pace down to a 10 min/mile pace or less. So, after a few weeks of PT (physical therapy) I was planning on how I would train for a marathon and worked it over the summer.

I followed tips from experienced marathon runners and the Team Fox coach, Michael. I did some speed and hill workouts (Central Park is almost all hills so great training and ouch- tough). I focused on form and started to make changes to my diet. Eating healthy carbs, less sugar, drinking lots of water and taking vitamins. Sleeping more and eliminating stress where not feasible challenges to beat at present so there I had to accept the limitations they presented in my training and run with it.

I had to followup with a pulmonologist about testing for my EIA but did not have time. So I opted to follow a walk run strategy. Whether I ran and took walk breaks or ran a few miles straight didn't matter. I FOF'd- Focused on the finish.

Like many adults, head of households, sandwiched between, care giving responsibilities for elderly parents, guiding one's young adult children, work etc. it is a tricky task to find enough time to train for such a long run. You need to set aside at least 3 hours for weekend long runs. Do you do it in the morning before your family gets up? Can you, do it in the evening before dinner? Do you end up using your time off from work? Is it possible to do a long run near your home or to you have to commute somewhere? Anything over 14 miles I opted to commute which had the side effect of blowing a whole day. So to counterbalance I did this every other week.

I liken so much of my running experiences to metaphors for life. And there is something to be said on why while on their treks no matter the distance, many runners say they found religion, some sense of religiosity, spirituality, connection with a higher power, creation, communion with nature, humanity and self. You establish a goal, make many preparations to reach it, then along the way you are learning from your achievements as well as mistakes. Enduring pain. Evolving. Becoming a better you until your goal is met or in some cases reset.

We all know about the reset button on our appliances, but we forget and get frustrated when hurdles come our way in life that we have the ability to reset and change course so we can still reach our goals and dreams.

A few weeks before the marathon I injured my knee during my longest training run, 20.5 miles in Central Park. So, I decided although the NYC Marathon was cancelled that as soon as my knee was feeling better I would get back to training while continuing with PT. I would do my own, solo marathon run before the end of the year and before X-Mas weekend. My longest run since was last Sunday 10.27 Charity Miles to support The Global Fund fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Can I double the distance and then some next Sunday, December 16th? I say Yes! I CAN! And, I WILL, finish what I started. I will just have to reset my expectations of finishing in 5 hrs. 15 minutes to JUST DO IT!
South Africa's- Oscar Pistorious an inspiration.
There will be a 40% chance of showers. But while some consider rain an ominous sign I see it as a lucky one. Water cleanses, purifies, brings forth life. I think of how it quenches the thirst of crops and fills livestock troughs. If it is pouring rain or ice cold then I will fall back on plan B running Saturday Dec. 22nd.

I have been at my Mom's who has PD since Friday. When we talk about my run she is excited but also adds half jokingly how in the time I run she would just finish getting bathed, groomed and dressed all by herself- my reminder of why I am in it to the finish.

If sporting a Team Fox jersey, along with fox ears and tail helps draw attention and lead anyone to find out more about Parkinson's Disease and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research then I have reached my unspoken ultimate goal number one! In addition to my fundraising (

Still I hope for more sunshine than rain :)

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