Sunday, April 29, 2012

Marathoner x 2

Well, the DerbyFestival Marathon is over and done with. I am a two time marathoner.

First and foremost I am so happy that I finished, and that I finished healthy and strong. Was it the day that I was hoping for? No, it honestly wasn't. I'm still a little bit bummed about the experience and my finish, but I'm trying to look past that. I crossed the finish line in one piece, got a great medal, and had my two biggest cheerleaders (mom and dad) and the best coach in the world (Josh) there to see me through. At the end of the day, that's what matters most.

I'm working on a detailed race report so stay tuned! For now, my finish stats:

I hope the rest of you racers had a great weekend! For anyone who just got to go out and run, I hope you enjoyed every minute that you got to put one foot in front of the other.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finish Lines & Starting Corrals

First off, the Finish Line

I finished law school!

Well, assuming that I passed all my classes (and Tax is really the only one I'm worried about) I am officially done with three years of higher education. In most states that means I get to add "esquire" to the end of my name, but in Kentucky we do it a bit differently: instead of Jennifer Siewertsen, esquire:
But just in case lets keep those fingers/toes/whatever crossed about the Tax final. I won't find out for sure whether or not I'm doomed to summer school until the 8th so for the next two weeks I'll bask in the blissful solitude of optimism and believe I'M DONE!

Perhaps sensing my blissful mood at the end of all formal education, the Bar Prep company delivered a most amazing package to me today

The enormity of the event hasn't really hit me yet. Unlike a race, law school is something you spend three years training for and wait. When I left the exam there wasn't a finish line or a medal to wear, just some greasy a@$ wings and beer at Hooters (yes...Hooters). Maybe once I actually get to wear the floppy hat and hood (which I must return promptly after commencement is over) I'll realize that I'm in fact a Juris Doctor now. Wish there was a medal though.

Next up, the Starting Corrals

We're officially 2 days away from the start of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon. There is just about one word that defines how I feel about this fact: panic.

Saturday's 8 miler was wonderful. It was a little rainy and cool, but a great last-minute confidence booster. Monday morning I went out for a really nice run around the block - as per the training plan - to just keep the legs loose. I'd been feeling a twinge in my right hip/glute which I chalked up to my hilly 8 miles Saturday & then sand vball Sunday. Monday's run seemed to help, so I wasn't too worried.

Monday night, though, the illusive and deadly grapefruit knee was back. Yesterday it was at it's prime. I couldn't really bend my knee past 90 degrees and squatting or kneeling was damn near impossible. Needless to say I skipped my last scheduled "workout" for ice and tennis ball treatment. Today it's better - not quite as swollen, more mobility - but I've developed a really tender bruised spot where the pain is from all the tennis ball rubbing and foam rolling. I'm pushing the Motrin and water and spending some quality time with the ice pack in hopes of getting back to 100% by race morning.

The worst part is that this feels like an excuse to be petrified. I've run hard during training, I won't deny that. I've put in my miles and done it mostly alone. Before the Flying Pig I was nervous that I couldn't finish just because it was new and hey,  I had no idea. Now that I know I can do it, it feels like anything less than a stellar finish is a failure. Obviously I know that's not true; every race is different, every road to the start line is a new one. The knee problem is just an excuse to embrace the fear, and to give myself an excuse to fail.

So courage it is then.

There are a couple things I'm wishing for this week:

  • An awesome marathon experience! (duh)
  • Catching up on all of YOUR awesome blogs! I love sharing in your journey and I'm so behind. Prepare for mass commenting by yours truly
  • I'm really hoping for a blogger meet-up with the lovely Julia from over at Pain Pride & Perseverance. Did you know we went to College together? True story! 
In the meantime, I'm testing out some "healthy rice-krispes treats" (don't be skeptical!) while Josh is out running on his own in "our" park. I'm so proud I could burst! And then i'm super annoyed that I'm stuck inside with a swollen knee. Now I know how Ali Mc felt with her newly running hubby. Gotta take the good with the bad :)

Happy Running!!

Anybody ever had an "injury" or a flare up before a race? How did you handle it?
Anybody racing this weekend?? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Final Countdown

Today is my last day of school - forever!

As excited as I am by this proposition (and i'm very excited) there's just too much to do right now. I'm going to be MIA until after my Federal Tax final (Monday) and then the big ramp up to the Derby Festival Marathon.  9 Days! All of these deadlines really got into my head last night on my run.  Nothing but negative thoughts for 45 straight minutes: My shorts are rubbing, my feet hurt, what's in my shoe? My shorts are really tight, did I gain weight? I feel so blobby, I'm hungry, I'm not going to want to eat when I get home @ 10..... and on and on and on. Not even thoughts of a cute, squirmy, loving pound puppy could turn it around. My legs and lungs were just fine, my heart and head failed the test.
This week's wish was an easy one: stop taking this time for granted. Now that we're down to the wire, I should be enjoying my accomplishments and savoring the journey. I've always believed that the hardest part about a race is making it to the starting line. No matter what, I'll be at the starting line next Saturday and I'll have overcome an ambitious training plan and busy spring to get there. It's time to stop worrying about all the details, all the extras, and all the numbers and start loving these moments.

This morning I'm going to head out to my favorite park and run just to run. No pace, no time, just run. Can't think of a better way to wash yesterday's blues out of my mind.

Well, after I finish a chapter of tax.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good, Good and Great

The ladder part of last week was conspicuously absent of exercise. I can't even remember anymore why we skipped Wednesday's walk - weather maybe? - or why I cheated myself out of Thursday's run - no time, probably. Obviously nothing memorable, just the little excuses that crop up and come between me and a run.
Dailymile really knows how to make '0' days look depressing
Friday was an off day for a whole different reason. Remember back in March when I confided that I have a totally messed up digestive system? Well my super exciting endoscopy was bright and early Friday morning. I'm happy to report that this time was worlds different than last time - great staff, excellent drugs and the doctor was top notch. Turns out my stomach is super lazy and doesn't bother to flex and squeeze when I eat. Jerk! The good news is that it doesn't seem bad enough that I'll have to seriously alter my diet (this is awesome seeing as though the gastroparesis diet usually excludes fiber, whole wheat, raw veggies/fruits, peanut butter, fat and caffeine). Two new medications for six months and I should be good to go!

We got home from the procedure around 8:30 a.m. on Friday and I did just about nothing for the rest of the day. When I woke up Saturday I wasn't really sure whether my planned 20 miler would happen or not. I was actually a little worried about it, to be honest. As I geared up Coach Josh gave me all of the pep I needed to get out the door. I planned it so my route was based on the Derby Festival Marathon Route.

And then, I just did it. I ran 20 miles!
Not only that, but I ran them pretty fast too! Here's Saturday's 20 miler vs. my 17 miler 2 weeks before

I'm pretty excited, to say the least. On top of that, I've managed to stay on track with my healthy - and lazy stomach friendly - eating habits despite easter.
Fresh fruit & pizza w/ veggie cheese & turkey pepperoni - YUM!
Another busy week at hand and only 17 days until the Derby Festival Marathon. Well, 13 days until my Tax final so I guess I should start training for that? Nah, running's more fun so we'll do that instead. 

Happy Running!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Wish List: Get it DONE!

Alright, so my 20 miler Sunday didn't happen. I know, I'm bummed too. What did happen is that Saturday was my big event for school and I knocked it out of the park. Then I slept for 3 hours, then watched Louisville lose in the Final Four and sleep some more. Sunday morning I woke up early and started laying out my running gear. I knew before I opened the blinds that I wasn't going to make it. Rain. Lots of rain. I waited 45 minutes, hoping that I could just wait it out. Then the lightning and thunder came. While I was prepared to do just about anything to get this run in, I just don't run in thunderstorms.

Determined to get something comparable in, I headed to the Y. I hadn't made it to Yoga in awhile and was really happy that I went. The class was challenging, fun, and of all things playful. I even managed my first inversion!

After Yoga I had almost 2 hours to kill until my first sand vball game of the season so I hit up the Elliptical & the treadmill. Overall, nothing hardcore but I was moving or working from 12 - 4:30, which is just about as long as my 20 miles.

So far this week has been about maintaining. Now that I'm officially in 'taper' (despite my little 20 mile blunder) I'm trying to reap the benefits: lots of water, lots of rest, lots of stretching, good miles.
There is only one thing on my wish list this week: 20 miles on Saturday! My hamstrings are still sore from Sunday's yoga, which totally surprises me, so I'm trying to take it easy a little bit. Getting my 20 in is a must for my confidence for the race. 

I looked at my training log for the 2009 Flying Pig and was surprised by a few things: one month before the race, i was only averaging 18.8 miles/week with a total of 224. This time I'm averaging closer to 21 miles/week with a total of 277. Prior to the flying pig, my log says my longest run was 14.5 miles. Already I've done 17.5. Knowing that I won't be as fast this time around, feeling confident in my training is going to be a big help come race day. 

I couldn't be happier with March. 

I feel horrible about not mentioning this, but I think I was worried about jinxing it: I won a sweet giveaway a month or two ago! I won the new C9 by Champion for Target line from Ashley @ HappyHealthierBear.  If you don't already read her blog, check it out. Her thoughts on moderation and her truly interesting approach to running make for a really great read. So after some haggling and some size exchanging I'm outfitted in the newest line of C9 clothing!
The lighting is horrible - the clothes are fantastic!
Is there anything better than new (free!) running stuff? 

Tonight Josh and I are going for a walk in our new neighborhood! We solved our housing problem and found the best rental house ever in a perfect neighborhood. Pictures to come :) 

Happy Running!