Monday, August 16, 2010

Marathon Training

Since this is fresh on my mind, I thought I would start with my Marathon Training.

Overall, I am so very pleased with how well it is going.  Here is what the training schedule looks like:

Monday - cross-train
Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - Half the distance of Saturday's run (last week that was 6 miles)
Thursday - 3 miles (hills or speedwork)
Saturday - long run (last week it was 12 miles)

So, right now it is hard for me to imagine running for 26.2 miles (which I'm hoping will take about 4.5 hours).  But, we'll take it mile by mile.  Until we get to 20.  That's the longest our group will run before the race.  The last 6.2 miles are on our own, during the race.  That's the scary part.

What I find difficult about Marathon Training:

It is a huge time commitment.  I knew that going in and Tom had to be on board, too.  This is definitely not something that impacts only me.  And time is a precious commodity in the Holton House.  Seriously.

Tom is very active, too.  He cycles and that takes a lot of time, too.  He has trained for and completed two Centuries (100 mile rides).  And those 60-75 mile rides takes hours.  HOURS!  So, each day we have to coordinate our training schedules.  Sometimes I get really mad at him.  I'm just being honest here.  And it's no secret to him.  Trust me!  It just seems that I am constantly working around his schedule and in my mind I think "but he's not training for a marathon!"  Shouldn't MY training come first???  Shouldn't everything I want come first????  Geez!!!

We duke work it out, though.  He will cut a workout short so I can leave earlier if we have therapy or something for Harlie.  Or if I have to work at my part-time job (you know, the one I'm going to write about some day?).  Sometimes he gets mad at me because I don't give him a lot of notice of my schedule.  But, in my defense, my schedule is so nutty that my brain can only handle looking ahead a couple of days at a time.  Really.

Nutrition.  There are days that our schedule is just too tight.  And if I had the ability to schedule things not so close together, I would.  Believe me.  But, that just isn't always an option.  I'm often at the mercy of openings with a therapist or doctor.  And to get to see the person we need to see, you take what you can get.  So, eating right and when I'm supposed to is a true challenge.  You're supposed to eat within 30 minutes of a workout, but often that 30 minutes is the only time I have to shower and get dressed to dart off to an appointment.  I realize that this is important, however.  So, clearly I have to make more of an effort to do whatever I can to eat right so I can continue to run.  And run safely.

The training group that I'm running with (Sportsbackers) divides all us runners into groups.  And each group has several "coaches".  They send weekly e-mails to "motivate" us.  At first, these e-mails were really hard for me to read.  Training started in the beginning of June, and I had a lot on my mind with Harlie's heart surgery coming up in July.  So, reading about finding motivation and how you need to focus on running, blah blah blah, was really hard.

Running - and this marathon - simply CANNOT be my number one priority.  Period. Even IF I desired that, I couldn't make it happen.  And it is hard to think that most people there have the desire and ability (or luxury in my eyes) to do that, and I don't.  It just was another time for me to feel different than everyone else.  And I was afraid that would impact my ability to finish the race.  I thought that kind of focus was a necessary training element.

Well, I'm happy to report that - so far - training has not required that kind of focus.  My motivation to run comes from deep within, so all that other stuff, I just don't need.  And feeling different than everyone else?  Well, maybe I'm getting used to it.  Because I just don't notice anymore.  And THAT my friends, is a welcome change!

What I find good about marathon training:

While training is not my number one priority - it ranks pretty high up there.  So, while it's not my main focus - it gives me a new, different focus.  ME.  And I think that's a good thing - for any mom that feels divided in too many places.  And it's really nice to have a goal that I'm working towards.  And one that doesn't involve Harlie.  Almost all of my goals for the past FOUR years (hard to believe sometimes) have been her goals.  And I have to say, I like focusing a little on me for a change.

And I enjoy it.  I really do.  I actually enjoy running.  And I think it really helps with stress.  I like the people I've met because of running and I like the group I run with on Saturdays.  I like our conversations.  I like the support we give each other.  And I like feeling like I'm a part of something.

And a part of me can't help but think of those that can't run.  Their bodies just don't allow it for whatever reason.  Gee, I wonder where that comes from?  So, I almost feel like it's my duty.  I have legs that work, and a heart and lungs that can provide oxygen to my body.  I think of Harlie during my runs and wonder what she'll be able to do and wonder how she's done all she has.  And when I feel tired, I think of her again and keep running.

So, I'll keep on running.  And hope for no injuries that keep me from achieving my goal - 26.2 miles on November 13th at the Suntrust Richmond Marathon.  WooHoo!  For all you locals, come out and cheer us on - be there or be square!



Heather said...

great read Christy. and marathon training is so much more fun now that you are a part of it. so thanks for making my training that much better! and you can do it Christy. I can't wait to run across the finish line with you in November. you rock!

Ann said...

I wish I was a "local" because you can bet I'd be out there cheering you on. Yes, it's so important to do something that's all about "YOU" on occasion. Bravo to you Christy.

Grandma said...

Keep on going have it in you to can do it.

Just Diane said...

You are my hero, Christy. Seriously. I can't even commit to turing on the dang wii for a little exercise. And I know that I could make the time to do it... but time gets away from me when I am taking care of home and kids and kids activities. I need to move closer to you and receive some of your motivation!

You go, Christy. Go on with your awesome self.

Ms. Crabass said...

Christy- That's some serious awesomeness. I really think it's wonderful as well as important for you to take this on as "Christy-time". High five all the way...I too, wish I could be there to cheer you on!


Sue Mitchell said...

You go girl! Good for you! I admire anyone who can run that far, but especially someone with so much on their plate. It takes a highly organized person and you are the one! I can't wait to read about the part time job.

Janis @ Sneak Peek At Me said...

Goodness me. I feel like a schlump (is that a new word?) compared to you. I can't even eat right or exercise for 2 minutes...

Sara Cohen said...

wow, you really are amazing. I've been following your blog for a few years...your mom ordered some burp cloths for Harlie and I've followed your care page and then blog since. I always think you are amazing but the fact that you can and want to train for a marathon is truly incredible. I ran my first two years ago and took my training as my first chance to do something truly for me. My family has a had a rough past 18 months (nothing compared to what you go through on a daily basis) and I needed some me time again. So I am training for two marathons this winter. The feeling of finishing is like no other. I wish you the best of luck and think you are an incredible woman and mother. Good luck!

Susan said...

I'm very impressed that you're doing it! It shows the strength of your family that you have their support. I couldn't even dream of taking on that type of commitment. Not that I want to, really I'm not the running type. Although I can imagine it would be good for me. Get some bars and easy snacks to have around and even eat in the car if you have to. You have to have fuel. I know you're going to make it!