Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanks to some Fabulous People

So many people helped me on my journey to 26.2.  These are in no particular order.

My mentor groups on  Love these guys as much as you can love people on the Internet you have never met in real life!  I was a part of two mentor groups this year and they both helped me get to where I am today.  Huge thanks to Sandra and Tim who have been encouraging me since middle of December of last year!  Thanks to Tim, Pete, Debbie, and Erica, the rest of Tim's group!  You guys are all wonderful people and I have enjoyed training with you guys the past few months.  I hope to keep up with you guys once we move on!  I loved having you guys check up on my logs and hope you will all continue our journeys together!  The people in both groups gave me advice, encouraged me, "inspired" me, and believed in me!

My ninjas...where would I be without that fabulous group of ladies!  I always refer to you guys as "my mom's group" but in reality you are all so much more than that!  You guys were there for me every step of this journey from the day I said I wanted to do a full marathon.  You all always believed in me.  When I started to doubt myself, you would not let me!  I hope all of our kids graduate high school, go to college, get married, and have babies together!  Well, maybe not together but I hope we experience the rest life has to offer together! helped me through a dark time and never gave up on me.  Thanks for being there to support me in the middle of that dreadful hill!  You should have been further up the hill.  The frat guys were still up drinking from the night before!  They were offering beer to all the runners.  You are a wonderful person, mama, and friend.  Thanks for everything BFF!!

Karin...Thanks for doing this journey with me.  Shame mine is over and you still have a bit of time!  You can do this and you will!!  I wish I could be there at the finish line with you.  Thanks for being there Sunday for me!

Colleen and Jacqui...thanks for trying to be out there on Sunday.  You guys trying to get there and wanting to be there for me means more than I can put into words.  You guys have also "seen" me during some dark days and you have supported me too.

Robyn...Also thanks for trying to get out to see me.  Hope the kiddos are feeling better!  Thanks for all the support and advice you gave me!

Ted...I firmly believe if you had not helped me out in January with orthotics I would not have run a marathon on Sunday!  I know you laughed at my feet but you never told me I could not run a marathon.  I actually remember your email response when I told you I wanted to come see you for orthotics.  You told me to make an appointment and you wanted me to run a marathon.  I never thought it would be this soon!  I know some other professionals would have told me I should not be running but you never told me that.  I am sure I was a pain in your butt over the past few months.  Thanks for feeding into my anxiety at times too.

Chris...I miss you so much!  I am ready to train with you anytime you are ready to!!  Like I said on facebook, thanks for making me run 2 years ago.  I told you I would never tell you no.  Who would have thought I would finish a marathon!  I am serious!  I want to train with you again!

Brian W...You encouraged me to do a triathlon last year.  Actually, you tried to get me to do a 5k 2 years ago and I said you were out of your mind!  How funny is that!!  I am sure I was a pain in your butt too but you have always encouraged me and answered my questions.  Hope we can do another triathlon together next year!

Paul...Thanks for giving me tons of tips and things to think about when we were visiting.  That talk alone got me through my 17 miler run after my sucky 16.  Can't wait to hear about Boston!!

Mullica Hill Women's Triathlon Club...Thanks to the lovely 4 ladies who got me over the wall around mile 20!  I am so glad you guys were there.  I was trying so hard to keep running and knowing you guys were somewhere there kept me moving.  I just could not let you guys see me walking!!  I hope to train with this group of ladies for some triathlons next year. 

Distance Dreamers and other bloggers...I am so glad I found you guys when I first started blogging.  It has been great to read about your running journeys.  I have learned quite a bit from reading your blogs.  I am inspired by quite a few of you!
Random spectators...I could go on and on about the people along the course on Sunday.  I wanted to marry the guy at the water stop somewhere in Manayunk who had a box of brownies.  I think that was the best thing I have ever eaten!  I saw him on my way back of an out and back loop but I did not have the energy to run to the other side of the road.  There was a guy right past mile 13 who yelled "Run Meggan, you got this baby."  I think he got me through the next mile.  I also appreciated the man somewhere between miles 24 and 25.  He told me I only had to run about 3/4 of a mile and then there were plenty of people to get me to the finish.  Just so much energy and support on the course!

My family (both of our families!)...Thanks for coming out in the cold Sunday morning and running all over the city to catch me at different times.  Thanks for helping me out with the boys so I can do these races or train.  Thanks for coming to my first race in 2009.  I know you guys all thought I was crazy when I changed my registration from the 5k to the 10 mile!  I love that you have a plan for spectating the Philly marathon if I do it again next year!  Your support means the world to me.

My aunt and uncle...thanks for watching the boys the day of the marathon and for my 2 longest runs!  I know my boys are tough so thanks for all your help.  They love you both so much and so do I!

All of our friends...All of the emails, texts, phone calls, and facebook messages have helped me so much.  It is nice to know that so many people believe in me!

My boys...I love getting L out of his crib in the morning.  The first thing he says to me now is "mommy run?"  I hope to get a runner out of one of my boys!  I feel like I am setting a great example for them. 

And John...I do not know where to even begin.  I can only wonder what went through his mind earlier this year when I seriously started talking about the Philly marathon.  If he had any doubts or reservations about it, he never once voiced them.  I made a promise to myself that training for the marathon would not take away from too much family time.  Most of my training took place at 5am on the treadmill to honor that promise.  When I felt beat down, you were there for me.  When I was convinced I could not do it, you told me I could.  Thanks for realizing that running makes me a happier mama!  I guess training was not that bad since you have already asked me when my next one would be.  Thanks for supporting me, encouraging me, believing in me, and loving me.  Love you so much babe!!

Philadelphia Marathon Race Report

Where do I even start?!  I took off of work on Friday to head to the expo and I am glad I did.  I hear it was mobbed on Saturday.  My sister went over with me and joked that she was shopping at a running expo and she hates running!  I saw tons of stuff I could have bought but I contained myself.  As for Philly marathon merchandise, I bought my boys "Future Runner" shirts and myself a mug.  I really did not want to spend the money on a shirt or something to wear until I ran the marathon.  I knew if I did not finish it for some reason, I would never wear the clothing I purchased. 

Yes, I was a dork and brought my camera to the expo!

My awesome brother and sister in law sent me flowers on Friday from my niece and nephew!  Made me cry!

Race Day

We were up at 4:30ish and left the house around 5.  We did not have to leave as early as we did but we were able to park in a close garage.  If I do this race again next year, we will still leave that early.  I was told just 30 minutes later and the roads were backed up and parking garages were already closed.  John and I just hung around the art museum area.  I had a banana and some peanut butter and ate that around 6. 

He left me around 6:15 to head back to the car to get his bike.  I chatted with some other runners and then made my way to my corral.  They were very prompt in starting the race.  I crossed the start line right about 7:25. 

I was surprised when I saw John right at the start.  Here is a quick wave at the start!

I saw my father in law right around mile 1.  John said he got to his dad right after I passed him.  I was feeling really good!  My pace per mile for the first 9 miles was anywhere from 10:38 to 11:21.  There was a decent hill at miles 9/10 that slowed my pace down but mile 10 was still 11:40.  Right after the hill peaked I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said "Running for my wife."  I had a feeling I knew of this guy so I took my chances and asked if he worked at TD Bank.  Sure enough I was right, it was Bill!  He works with my sister in law and he lost his wife this past summer.  He ran the half and we chatted as we ran the next few miles together.  It was a good distraction after that hill!  Let me back up a few miles!  I saw Amy, my BFF (I always cringe at that!) around mile 7.  I was told she might be there but I was not supposed to know that.  She was in the middle of a hill on the Drexel campus.  She told me her husband lived on campus and she knew that was a tough hill.  She said she knew that was where she needed to be.  I stopped for a second to give her a hug and tell her I love her.  She smacked my butt and yelled "get up that hill Chach!"  It is amazing I was able to get up that hill after seeing her!  I was hyperventilating thanks to my emotions.  Shortly after that I saw my parents, my sister, and my father in law.  I think I saw John before seeing them again.  I am really not sure, everything is running together right now!

Here are a few more pictures John was able to snap!

The energy level was amazing!

I think this was around mile 6/7
So back to mile 13.  I was still running with Bill and trying to get him to run the full with me!  I had no luck and had to say goodbye to him at the split!

I was dreading this sign something fierce!  I was so tempted to head to the finish line but felt such a sense of pride to go to the left and continue on to Mile 14!

Right past this sign I saw my awesome family again!!

There was not much smiling after this!

This was right after I ran past my family.  A guy yelled "Run Meggan, you got this baby!"  I think I ran a mile just on that!

In a way, it was all downhill after mile 13!  The rest of the marathon course takes the runners out to Manayunk.  It is a very lonely run!  Because of road closures, it is very difficult for spectators to get out here.  I really had to dig deep to keep moving a few times.  I ran the first half with a desperate need to go to the bathroom.  I did not stop because the lines at all the water stops were crazy long.  I knew the course would thin out after the halfway point so I waited.  This killed me!  I stopped at mile 16 and lost 6 minutes according to my Garmin.  I was ok with that.  My problem was getting my legs moving again.  I just could not get my pace back to what it was.  Miles 17-26 were in the 12 and 13 minutes. 

Like I said in my previous post, I did run the whole marathon!  I walked a few water stops and walked 2 or 3 times to untwist the lid on my water bottle.  Other than that, I ran!  I actually felt as though the little walking I did to drink hurt more than the running did. 

Mile 17...Hello wall!  It was terrible.  My mind just started to wander.  This is where a running buddy would have been very nice.  I had myself convinced I am a terrible mother and I was doing everything wrong with my boys.  It was a very dark few miles!  Somewhere around mile 19, I saw a team member from my Tri club.  I have actually know this woman since I was 8 years old.  She ran past me in the other direction and told me that I was about 1/2 mile from the tri club ladies that came out to support us.  Just seeing Lisa on the course helped me but seeing those 4 women got me over that wall!  And then I was in Manayunk.  The spectators were crazy there, very high energy!  Unfortunately I could not finish the marathon in Manayunk.  I had to run the 6 miles back to the finish line.  I saw the lovely ladies one last time and then the course got very lonely again.  Don't get me wrong, there were runners around me but no one was chatty. 

I got to the point where I could not even talk to the spectators or volunteers.  Our first names were on the bib numbers and that was incredible!  It was so nice to hear people cheer specifically for ME!  The last five miles all I could do was raise my arm some to wave to show my appreciation.  I remember a man standing between markers 24 and 25.  He told me that I just had to run 3/4 of a mile and then there were plenty of spectators to get me to the finish!  I think that is what got me to the finish line. 

About 1/4 mile from the end I saw my friend Karin.  She told me she would throw stuff at me if I started walking!  It was so nice to see a friend that close to the end.  I wish I could be at her first marathon but I don't think a trip to Disney in January is in my future. 

And the next thing I knew, I was at the finish line!!

I am happy with my first marathon.  I did not have a real time goal in mind.  I would have loved to finish in under 5 hours but I knew that was very ambitious.  I am happy with my time.  I am happy I ran the whole thing.  I am happy I can now say I ran a marathon. 

Will there be a second?  Of course!  I cannot wait to train and run a second marathon.  I have said all along that I did not think this would be my only marathon.  I definitely have some work to do before I run my second one.  I do know it will be in 2011 but most likely another fall marathon. 

My mind is still all over the place regarding yesterday.  I have a few more blog posts in mind and will get to them over the next few days.

A big thank you to everyone who believed in me!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I ran a freaking MARATHON!!!

And I am too tired to even think about it!  I have so many thoughts going through my head right now but I can't keep my eyes open.

I did run the whole thing, well just about the whole thing.  I walked a few of the water stops.  I just can't seem to drink out of a cup while running!  I walked 2 or 3 times to untwist the lid off of my fuel belt water bottle too.  Other than that, I RAN a marathon.

Sure, some people would say I jogged a marathon but for me, I ran it!!

The course was long but here are my stats according to my Garmin.


Friday, November 19, 2010

So antsy today

I cannot sit still!  I took the day off of work and hung out with the boys this morning.  We hung around the house, went to Barnes and Noble and then met my mom and sister for lunch.  My mom took the boys and my sister went to the expo with me.  I did not want to go crazy buying Philly marathon stuff because I am afraid to throw the horns on my marathon!  My sis bought me something for Christmas and I bought "Future Runner" tees for my boys.  I talked to the Clif Pace Runner group and I am hoping to be able to run with the 5:00 group on Sunday.

I have not been able to just sit and relax since I got home.  I had a very nice delivered to wish me luck from my niece and nephew.  Of course they are 4 and 1 so it was more my brother and sister in law.  Needless to say, I started to cry.  My emotions have been all over the place this week.  I feel like I am pregnant or something and I know that is NOT the case!!

I am hoping for a good night sleep tonight and a great first karate tournament in the morning for J!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  I can't even think straight long enough to post this because all I can think about is my marathon in 3 days!!!
2.  Still trying to figure out what I am wearing for it.  Weather is now sunny and 50ish.  I have heard 49 and 51 so let's split the difference!
3.  I have so many emotions and thoughts right now.  I am trying to get it all on paper but I just can't!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taper sucks

There, I said it!  I hate everything about this week.  I am exhausted.  I am miserable.  I have no patience for my kids.  My weight is up a good 3 pounds.  I have never trained for a race like I have this marathon so this is my first time dealing with a true taper period.  I am not a big drinker and don't typically drink when I am training but I may have to have a glass of wine every night this week!

I am down to 5 days!  I have three more runs left before the marathon.  I have less than 10 miles to run.  The rest of this week should fly!  J has his first karate tournament Saturday morning and is allowed to go to class three nights this week to prepare.  We had a family dinner last night so the three nights are tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday.  I am leaving work early today to take him.  I am actually leaving my office at noon today and will not be back in.  I have to go to a client's office and then run some errands before I pick J up for class at 4:30.  I took a vacation day on Friday to head over to the city for the expo.  My mom will take the boys for a few hours so I can go over kid free!  I am looking forward to browsing at the expo.

I signed up for a pace group for the marathon.  I am not stuck on a time goal but I would like to break five hours (yes, I am a slow runner!) so I signed up for the 5 hour pace group.  I am not going to kill myself if I can't keep up though!  My main goal is to run the whole thing!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Running in the dark

I need to start and get over my fear!  Winning this great giveaway would help me out!!
Great giveaway!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weather Stalking!

I am 9 days from the marathon and I can officially start stalking the 10 day forecast!  Sunny, 55, and 10% chance of precipitation.  I know anything can happen but that is PERFECT weather for a 26.2 mile run! 

Now I can seriously start to figure out my outfit for the race.  I have been raising money for the Susan Komen Foundation.  I am waiting to get the shirt in the mail and then will try it out.  If that works for a few quick runs and I am confident with that shirt, that will be the one!  I am also thinking my running capris will be good for that temp.  It will be chilly before the race starts but I will warm up right away!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trusting my training

Or at least I keep telling myself that!  I registered for the Philly marathon on April 1st, the day registration opened.  I started to seriously consider it in January, February I was about 60% sure I was going to do it, and by the end of March I was about 95% sure.  Everything I have done fitness related this year has been for and because of the Philly Marathon!  I did not focus much time and energy on triathlons like I originally planned.  My main goal and focus for the year was 26.2!

I followed the training plan.  I made modifications as I had to but I ran the miles.  I need to trust my training over the next 10 days!  I just wish it were easy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And the taper begins!

I just finished a 10.2 mile run this evening.  Running at night is no fun but I had to do it today.  I can't believe I always worked out at night up until a few months ago!


12 days until my marathon
25 more training miles
7 more runs
and hopefully lots of rest!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back from vacation!

John and I got back from New Orleans last night!  We had a fabulous time but missed the boys like crazy.  I ran two of the days we were there on the hotel's sucky treadmill.  We walked all over the place, ate some good food, had a few drinks, and enjoyed each other.  We even saw Ellis Marsalis perform Friday night.  I had no idea he is one of the top jazz performers until my father texted me how jealous he was about 10 minutes before the show.

Philly marathon is in 2 weeks and was in the back of my mind the entire time we were in NOLA!  I need to sit down today and check out the plan for the week ahead of me.  I am also running 8 today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My lucky number?

#12051 will be my bib number for my first marathon!!!

20 miles and 20 days left

My first marathon is 20 days from now.  I still can't believe it is coming up so quickly. 

I ran 20 miles yesterday and felt great!  It got a little sucky around mile 20 but I told myself to HTFU and I pushed my way through it.  Once I hit 15 miles, the last 5 miles flew!  I ran the whole 20 miles other than 2 quick 15 second walk breaks for a decent drink of water.  I went through 16 ounces of water, 16 ounces of Gatorade, and 3 gels.  I tried the Roctane gels at the suggestion of Julie from Hot Legs Runner and liked them.  I did not think I would like the flavor but it was not bad.  I think I will be hitting up the running store before the marathon. 

After my run I drank chocolate milk but could not even think about food.  The thought of food made me sick to my stomach.  I made sure I stayed hydrated and I still don't want food today. 

I am confident that I can physically run 26.2 miles!  Now it is all mental. 

I am going to head to the basement to run an easy few on the treadmill today.  I took a rest day a few weeks ago after I ran 17 and I think it slowed down my recovery.  I am the kind of runner than needs to run a few easy miles the day after a long run to loosen up my legs.  I may run/walk a few miles but I feel as though I need to do it.  Tomorrow afternoon I am heading to a friend's chiropractor office for a nice massage and I cannot wait!!

I am hoping for a good run in the morning and then again Wednesday morning.  John and I head on vacation Wednesday morning for a few days but I plan on running at least one day!