Posts Tagged ‘Marathon’

Happy Sunday, Gang!

First question – HOW IS IT ALMOST SEPTEMBER?!  What the heck!

Anywho…now that that’s out of the way…..

 

As a coach, an athlete, friend, daughter, cousin, and sister….but most specifically as an athlete and coach….I find that keeping a positive attitude about the workout or practice or run or experience makes all the difference.

We’ve all seen the cliché sayings/images that read something like this:

 

Or like this:

 

And honestly, as a coach and an athlete, they’re incredibly helpful and true.  A few people who take my spinning classes read this blog – they can attest to the positive nature in which I approach working out.  Often you’ll hear me say things to the class like….

“Yes, you can!”

“Stop telling yourself no.  Change your attitude!  You love this.”

“You’re already doing it, keep going.”

“DO. NOT. STOP.”

and my favorite….

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!  THERE IS NEVER A GOOD TIME TO GIVE UP!

This is me and my attitude TO A “T”.

I mentioned, about a week ago, about my experience with The Steamtown Marathon last year.  I have not divulged all of the details of said Marathon.  There were a lot of things were not perfect for that day.  There were a lot of things that did not go my way that day.  In fact, one might even say it was THE WORST EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HAD WHILE DOING A RACE….and yes, Heather and Jen….it even includes the monsoon we ran in during THE LOVE RUN half marathon in March (which we are TOTALLY doing again this year!)

I find that through awful experiences, it’s important to not just accept that you are not having a great time but to see how you can improve for the future and most importantly LEARN from said experiences.  I’ll admit it.  I was incredibly defeated after the marathon.  I stopped posting on here.  I stopped talking about running.  In many ways, I stopped believing in myself.

After a few months….okay, let’s be real…more like 5 or 6 months…I finally reclaimed my stake in enjoying running.  On many runs since then, I have been able to refocus and reevaluate what I did wrong and what I did (if at all) right.

Here’s what I learned:

1.  I was WAY over trained.  Prior to the Steamtown, I had only ran 1 other marathon.  I got it into my head that I could just – Poof! – qualify for Boston.  I know, I’m crazy.  I started following a running plan that was going to make me faster and have me running like 6 times a week.  Keep in mind, many of my friends know I already do this but I am not always running the same distances….I just enjoy running – some times is 2 miles…some times its 8.  It varies.  I don’t have any real goal.  This training plan, however, had me checking times…and doing intervals.  I didn’t realize how “in over my head” I was until it was too late and I was burned out mid training.

2.  Mind REALLY DOES CONQUER over Matter.  I have witnesses than can verify this:

I broke down at mile 14.  My hips started seizing at mile 8 but I pushed through.  Steamtown DOES NOT have a half marathon, like many other marathons….there was no “stopping” until 26.2.  I turned the corner at 13.8 and thank god I had my phone on me….I called my Dad.  No answer.  I called my Mom.  No answer.  I called my sister.  No answer.  I called my Dad, again.  No answer.  I called my sister, again…..she picked up.

The tears just overflowed.  There was no stopping them.  I was walking.  Crying.  Grabbing my hips.  Becoming hysterical.  Basically, what it felt like, was the tops of my legs (you know, where they fit into your hip socket?) were grinding into my hips….BONE ON BONE.  Of course, I don’t think this was really the case…my body was just in all sorts of a mangled position.

As I turned the next corner and continued to cry to my father on the phone – who, as a side note, told me there is no shame in not finishing, especially if I am hurt – an ambulance appeared.  I ended up sitting in said ambulance for a good 20 minutes.  I calmed down.

I contemplated not finishing.  I contemplated just being driven to the finish line. One of the EMT guys on a bike offered to ride next to me for the next mile if I wanted to continue.  These are the things that went through my head:

OMG, PAIN!

I can’t stop.  I’ll be a quitter.

I always tell people to keep going – if I stop now, I’ll be a hypocrite (and yes, I realize I shouldn’t care what people think).

Mind over matter, Katie.  You can do this.

Would it be the worst thing in the world to stop?  Plenty of people don’t finish Marathons.

YES IT WOULD BE TERRIBLE TO NOT FINISH!  HEATHER AND JEN CAME UP HERE TO WATCH YOU RUN AND EVERYONE KNOWS YOU’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR THIS.  DONTGIVEUPONYOURSELFYOUCANDOTHIS.

So basically….I decided to keep going.  I got out of the ambulance.  Started running.  The EMT guy could only follow me for a mile…and I went three more miles before walking.  Found some strength….went another 3 miles.  By the time I got to mile 21 I was like…that’s it, I’m done.  But I was at mile 21!  I couldn’t give up then.

I told myself – no matter how you do it, just finish.  At that point so many things didn’t matter.  And yes, you could say it was a pride/ego thing….but I knew that I could finish.  I found a nice woman who hung with me – walked – talked – jogged – for the last four miles.  Until I finally crossed the finish line.

3.  If I had not pushed myself – just a little bit more – I would be incredibly disappointed.  I know.  I get it.  It’s okay to not always finish things, especially if you physically can not.  Unfortunately, I am incredibly stubborn.  I couldn’t help but think:

-If I give up on myself, how will I carry out other incredibly difficult tasks in the future?

-If I stop running, what does that say for my belief in myself?

-If I don’t finish, what will this mean for any task I try to take on in the future?  That if it gets too hard – mentally or physically – I’ll just say…well it’s okay, I tried.

But then I remembered Yoda:

You either do, or you do not.  Simple.

The choice was mine.  I decided to take the harder of the two.

And I was (and still am) incredibly happy/proud of my perseverance.

There are eleventy billion articles about the power of positive thinking and sports.  You can google them for your reading pleasure.

Basically, what I’m getting at is this:

STAY POSITIVE

DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF

ANYTHING WORTH DOING WILL BE A LITTLE (OR A LOT) DIFFICULT

YES, YOU CAN

STOP TELLING YOURSELF “NO”

YOU GOT THIS

JUST KEEP GOING

 

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I totally lost touch with my blog….clearly.  Evidence being:  I haven’t written since the summer time!  Eek!

With that being said….rather than regale y’all with a recap of the last four or so months and the usual, “where I’ve been” post…..I’m just going to get right back into it.

For various reasons – my writing dropped off – life got busy – too many irons in the fire – you pick whichever idiom fits into that mold.  All of them are true but the truest is that I kind of lost my desire to write.

When is a better time to start back up then on the first day of the year?  Well, any day is really a great day to start…..”if not now, when?”…..right?

Like many people – I am resolving to make some changes this year.  I’ve decided that 2014 is going to be the year I am in the best shape of my life.  Details on how that’ll happen shortly….I’ve also decided to really connect  – with everything – this year.

Pretty Much….

In reality….I dug up last year’s resolutions….just to kind of gauge where my life has gone/changed/if at all…..  They looked like this:

2013 Resolutions:
1.  Practice Yoga 1-4 times a week.
2.  Continue to see my therapist.
3.  Join a Crossfit Gym.
4.  Get a Real Teaching Job at a local High School
5.  Learn to say ‘no’ and not feel bad about it.
6.  Volunteer.

Reflection: 

While I didn’t necessarily accomplish EACH of these…..I did manage to accomplish the important ones.  #2 and #4.  HUGE!  Just the fact that I got a teaching job – albeit a Long Term Sub position which ends soon (as far as I know) – I have had a purpose for the first half of the school year which is such an important part of my life.

I did #3 but it was in a roundabout way.  I am teaching spin at the location I do crossfit.  Did I mention one of my resolutions this year is to be in the best shape of my life.  I’d like to volunteer more and definitely do more yoga….my schedule is insane right now….so one of my resolutions will address this….

It’s always nice when you can look back at realistic goals and know that you weren’t too far off…..you know?

Greatest Moment of 2013 – Getting my teaching job at Ridley.  I literally was on the verge of a meltdown on my way home from a job interview that I thought I was going to have to take which would have changed my entire life…..when I got the phone call about Ridley.  It was a rollercoaster of emotion day.

Some of my students - with their thinking hats on :-)

Some of my students – with their thinking hats on 🙂

Worst Moment of 2013 – Steamtown Marathon.  If you’ll remember, I kind of started blogging again because I was training for this marathon.  Turns out – my heart was just not in it.  But THANKFULLY, I have two amazing friends – Jen and Heather – who came up to watch my struggle to the finish and kept me motivated to finish.  Thank god for my father – who I called at mile 14 and just kind of fell apart emotionally.  I have officially retired from marathons but other fitness goals are on their way 🙂

While I might look good - I feel awful - about 100 yards from the finish line.  Photo credit: Heather Van Horn xoxo

While I might look good – I feel awful – about 100 yards from the finish line. Photo credit: Heather Van Horn xoxo

SO……here we go…..

My 2014 Resolutions:
1.  Stop chasing after things or people who ignore me.

2.  Be a better friend – devote more time to them.

3.  Slow Down – allow myself to enjoy the moments.  2013 went SO fast.  I need to reflect more.

4.  Roll with the punches – I have gotten a lot better at this….but I still tend to get worked up in situations that are out of my control.  Who’re we kidding, we’re not really in control of anything…..

5.  Continue to search for and GET the elusive full time teaching position that gives me a real salary and benefits.

6.  Get into the best shape of my life:

-Crossfit 2 times a week

-Train for a Half Iron Man

-Run 20-30 miles a week

-Teach spin 2-3 times a week/Ride with a group on a regular basis

-Swim at least once a week

-Eat better and drink less alcohol (truthfully, I don’t really think I’ll miss alcohol that much – I just can’t handle the recovery time any more)

And that’s all I’m listing.  While I’ll have some other small goals – I feel that putting down TOO MANY goals can be overwhelming.  So there it is.

Oh!  Also – I plan on attempting to write EVERY DAY in 2014.  Whether that’s here or for my own self – who knows….but I just gotta do it….

Happy New Year!  What are your resolutions?

with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away, like an ocean
But you can’t see, but you can smell
And the sound waves crash down

I was bummed out last week….but not for the reasons you might think.  I hid away last week…I pulled away…I retreated like the tide ebbs.  Lame on my part….I know…but some times when you’re faced with an issue you’re not sure of what to do, you have to just keep to yourself and reevaluate the topic at hand.  And then I was like…..what am I doing?  This is MY LIFE….why should I let someone else judge me….?

 

Truthfully – my life is kicking butt lately.  I only have good things to report. 🙂

First and foremost – I finally got a job!  It’s a 12 week Extended Time Substitute job so it’s not all year but it’s something and I have this feeling the rest of things are going to fall into place with it.  Basically another school district is looking at me too, so here’s hoping that falls in line right after this first one ends.

Secondly – I am officially off the market.  That’s all I’m going to say about that except that he is amazing and wonderful and makes me happy and it is unlike any other relationship I’ve been a part of.  The communication between us in incredible and alone makes me want to be a better person on a daily basis.

Thirdly – I am house sitting for two weeks.  To give you an idea as to what kind of obstacles I am facing…..

 

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It’s a rough life, I tell ya.  A pool, hot tub and two bbq’s?  What’s a girl to do??? 😉

The only rough part is that I do start school on Monday (a week earlier than everyone else) but that’s okay – it’s only for a short time that my commute will be about 50 minutes each morning.  I don’t even care!  I am SO PUMPED!

Amidst all of this – yes, I am still running.  I logged 37 miles last week.  I didn’t get a long run in on Sunday – probably because I was exhausted from teaching back to back spin classes on Saturday morning.  So far this week I’ve only logged 12 miles.  Today I plan to do some speed work – here’s hoping that works out!

The rest of the week is devoted to getting things ready for school next week (outside of running!).

How’s everyone else been?

Now, more than ever….I want to qualify for Boston in ’14.

I heard the news on the radio on my way home from school and was just stunned.  I couldn’t believe it.  The only thing that I thought was….this is a sign.  It’s a sign that I am supposed to do this.

Qualifying for Boston (as many have probably read or just even know) is typically on the “to do” list or “dream races” for many runners.  Some, maybe not…BUT…I have to be honest…there is something about seeing others don the blue and yellow that kind of makes me jealous and motivated.

For my age group (eek! 18-34….SIDE NOTE:WHY DO YOU THINK I AM AS FIT AS AN 18 year old woman?!?!?!?!…end rant)…..the qual times for the age group I fit into: 18-34 is: 3hrs 35min.  That’s bookin’ it!  That means I have to pace myself to run about an 8:10/mile.  That’s……..not impossible.  I just HAVE to put the training in…..I can do this.  I WANT TO DO THIS.

I am signing up for two…I think….the Steamtown Marathon in October and the Philadelphia Marathon in November.  That’ll be my best chance.  I’d really like to give myself the chance to do it….

I’m even going to follow a training plan!  WOOT!