Saturday, December 15, 2012

Countdown to My Solo Marathon Run: Approaching the Zero Hour

In a few hours I will get up to breakfast, prep and head out for my much anticipated solo marathon trek. I am excited and feel prepared. I got some awesome last minute tips from the Team Fox Coach last week on how to run in the cold and/or rain, it is all about layers (I'll share more details in a future post) and why one should not take any NSAIDS (like Advil, Naproxen, etc.) 24 hours before a long strenuous workout such as a marathon run. Doing so can impact the functioning of your kidneys and more. He reminded me to have fun as have so many.

So why is my head filled with questions the night before instead of filled with thoughts of falling into sweet, deep zzzzz's? Like...

Will it rain? How much? Will I have enough battery power on my cell and I-Pod (filled with music loaded and selected courtesy of my #1- my daughter Krystal) until I cross the finish? Will I make it all the way in my Puma H-Street's the most minimalist, close to barefoot running shoes I own and feel the most comfortable running in or switch to something with more support, New Balance Minimus when I meet her at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge Greenway?

Will my Mom be up, in good spirits and health for me to make a pit stop at her place, so she can share in the experience of my first marathon run or will there be a set back at mile 6? If there is a setback how do I handle it? Do I stop and cancel my run? Mom's health and helping her navigate her ups and downs with Parkinson's Disease has been a priority and marathon challenge in itself. I am grateful that my older brother is spending this weekend with her to lend a hand until permanent care is underway. But, what if, I am delayed at her place? Can I and should I try to make up the time? Should it matter? Would doing so set me back in the progress I have made in physical therapy for my knee? One of the top physical therapists taped me good, but can my body still take the pounding to the end?

My mind is full of questions that only the morning can answer. These are the variables that are not in my control. But, instead of fighting them, or panicking over their presence I have decided to try a new approach tonight, that of making peace with the fact that pondering is part of our human existence. It is what separates us from animals (unless you are Pinky and the Brain). Our mind needs to ponder, to plan and prepare for all scenarios for the organism's survival and for our plans to come to fruition.

Remember Pinky and the Brain and Brain's pondering if Pinky's pondering what he's pondering?

Brain: Are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Pinky: I think so Brain, but...

Too funny!

Starting to feel some semblance of zzzz's coming on. So to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Countdown to My Solo Marathon Run 4 Days: Carbo Loading Lunch

All this for just $4. Who says you can't get a bargain in New York City?

Carbo lunching for my run on Sunday.

1 large banana- $0.55
1 red bean bun - $1
1 12 once cup of soup (1/2 veggie, 1-2 chicken noodle)- $2.45
5 packs if saltines (10 crackers)- Free

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Countdown to My Solo Marathon Run 5 Days: From "Cheers" to "Friends" to the End

There are so many wonderful sayings about friends. When I was a girl I remember friends saying we would be "friends to the end," and the reply back would be "friends to the end." Which if to the end, or infinity goes beyond today's usage of BFF's (Best Friends for Life).

We also had "blood buddies." If you and a friend where brave enough and felt your friendship was as deep or deeper than your blood family you would make a small cut on a finger or the palm of your hand and co-mingle your blood, a sign of commitment to the blood buddy. You won't find that expression in a Google search easily, but a similar sign of the deep bond of a friendship can be seen in the use of the expression "blood," instead of calling friends by their given names. As are calling friends bro, sis or momma, which has no male equivalent expression in English, the closest one "daddio" used in the 50's just meant "dude," though in Spanish friends may call one another "mami" or "papi."

The imagery that goes along with many sayings are exemplary of the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words."

I love this one from SearchQuotes.Com: "Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest. It's about who came and never left your side." How true.
And, I will add that in family many ties go beyond blood relation to if we did not share DNA I would still want you in my life. That is as tight a relation as you can imagine. Lastly we have the partnership relations that reach an end but the friendship continues.

In our adult lives friendships can develop in the space of our 9 to 5's, who we room with in college dorms or an apartment or during after work social activities.

Remember the TV series Cheers that aired from 1982 to 1993? Setting: a Boston Bar. Catch phrase: "where everyone knows your name." Then came the Friends series from 1994 to 2004. Setting: New York City. Catch phrase: "I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too." We don't know the how or why's behind our meeting. Just the good that comes of it and blossoms as we age.

On my commute to work today I thought of all the friends who have supported me in one way or another as I trained for the ING Marathon, as I planned and prepared to give it a go and do a solo run, in fox costume and all. Who have been at my side through the the marathon we are all engaged in, day in and day out the marathon challenges of life. I have had a tough go on many levels in 2012 as have many of my dear friends but no matter our own challenges we remain at each others side. A call, an email, a text, a FB chat or wall post, a dinner, a lunch, an after work drink, a run or power walk to chat and catch up.

Music is so much a part of my life. In addition, to words and imagery. When I think of my friends I think of  Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Friends" that starts with the lyrics:

"I hope the day will be a lighter highway. For friends are found on every road. Can you ever think of any better way. For the lost and weary travelers to go?"
"Making friends for the world to see. Let the people know you got what you need. With a friend at hand you will see the light. If your friends are there then every thing's all right"

And, Dionne Warwick and Friend's "That's what friends are for."

As the days wind down to my solo marathon run I want to take time to say THANKS! and, I HEART YOU! to all my wonderful friends, you know who you are - double ;) You will be in my heart as I trek 26.2 miles and always!


Mo's Dragon Marathon Fundraiser for the Micheal J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Continues.

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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