Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 92: Slaughtered that 16

16.3 in fact!

If you read any recent posts, you'll know I haven't been having the best few weeks ever. And, if you're into the whole astrology thing, Susan Miller's horoscope for us Cancers makes me want to just hide under the bed. But today was a welcome respite from the challenges of late.

I did my usual get-up-at-4:30am-to-eat-oatmeal routine, then slept until 6.  Practice started at 7am sharp and today we had a special Mission Moment.

Virginia told us her story, and thanked us for helping fund the very research that saved her life.

Virginia and her husband Van have been married for over 45 years and each have fought their own battles with blood cancers. In 1997, Virginia was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenus Leukemia (CML). At the time, the doctors told her she had only 3-5 years to live. Her husband took care of her through a barrage of painful and debilitating treatments and researched day and night until he found a clinical trial for the drug Gleevec. Gleevec is a cancer-treatment that targets the cancerous cells while leaving the heathy cells intact, and a good part of the research around this drug was funded by the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. The treatment was a success and not long after, Virgina and Van found Team in Training.

Since then, the couple has raised over $300,000 for the LLS and run / walked over 27,000 miles.

When you hear stories like that, and you see the dedication of someone who has come through a battle with Leukemia and not only won, but continues to contribute so that the people after her have a similar chance - it puts things in perspective. I shed my cranky pants and got ready to run.

With Virginia's story ringing in my ears, and Bouv's grin in my heart, I attacked the 16-mile run with 27 other brave souls on this beautiful Sunday morning.

The first 7 miles headed east into Santa Monica / Brentwood, round the golf course and back to the starting point where there was water, snacks and Gatorade. My calves were super tight today, and I knew it was going to be a few miles before they loosened up. We had a few folks in our group who are training for the 1/2, and were pushing the pace a bit, so we probably took the first 7 a little too fast. We knew this to be true when we passed one of the groups running longer intervals than us. From San Vincente & Ocean, we headed south until we got to the pier and joined the crowds at the boardwalk. From there we were running down to the Venice Pier (yeah, right past my house :/) and then back up to SV.

We continued along at a healthy pace, and the boardwalk wasn't too dreadfully crowded. We hit the pier and took an obligatory photo, then, we told ourselves, it's just the run home.

Probably around mile 12 or so, I started to feel the results of our speedy pace set in. My hips and calves started to "misbehave" as my old coach Ramon would have said. But our mighty little crew kept it super strong until the very end. My cardio was feeling great, even if my legs hated me.

I said goodbye to my awesome teammates and headed back to my place where I had the best tasting grinder (yeah, I'm from Massachusetts, it's a grinder) from my local and then, since I don't have a tub for the old ice bath, I put on some bathing suit bottoms and a sweatshirt and stood in the surf for 10 minutes or so.
Not a bad way to end the morning after another run of awe-inspiring lengths with my crazy Team in Training friends.


today's mileage: 16.3 miles
season mileage to date: 216.8 miles

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 90: Slogging through

This week has probably been the most meh as far as training has been concerned. Which isn't terrible considering we're 90+ days in. One bad week is not going to make or break me or my training, but being a bit Type-A about Team in Training, I still feel bad about it.

I was supposed to run Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

I ended up running Tuesday and yesterday (Friday).  I don't have any super good excuses, like being sick or traveling - it could be the overall stress, but in my mind that's not really an acceptable excuse.

And yesterday's run just felt heavy and crunchy. Wah waaaah.

Then I slept in today instead of running. It was only supposed to be a short one - at least that was my rational when I turned off the alarm, shoved my head under the pillow and went back to sleep.

Tomorrow we run 16.  It is not a pleasant distance, although I will say I don't remember exactly my last 16 mile run, I just remember it is HARD. So I am laying low today, going to watch some bad TV, eat some pasta and play some Rocksmith - Saturday night's around here are *hot* let me tell you.

Friday's mileage: 4.1 miles
season mileage to date: 200.5 miles

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Day 87: short + sweet

Yesterday was an off day, and today I dragged myself out of bed for my usual 45 minute run.

...

Honestly, I'm just not feeling the writing today so I'm going to keep it simple.

I got up, I ran, I had coffee.

The end.

today's mileage: 4.2 miles
season mileage to date: 196.4 miles

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Day 85: Half marathon +

I wasn't sure how my body was going to be for this run, between the travel, stress and jet lag but I'll take anything that doesn't break my legs.

We had to meet at 7am about 30/40 minutes south which is pretty brutal for a Sunday morning.

Our coach explained the route which sounded very hilly, apparently just like the marathon I signed up for which has a hill at mile 18. Gross.  Anyway - it was a beautiful morning, although you could tell it was going to be warm. Our course was a down and back along the coast, past the light house and the turn around spot was a golf course my neighbor frequents - then back.

The first uphill we took was awful - long and windy and steep. But then the course was more rolling hills and the views were really spectacular.


As we were huffing up the last hill, Wendy noted the mileage and I remembered that this run wasn't just serious mileage, but also the first 1/2 marathon I've run since my broken legs. It brought the first real smile to my face in the last few days. I guess after this insanely emotional week, turns out 14 miles by the sea was just what I needed.

today's mileage: 14.1 miles
season mileage to date: 192.2 miles

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Day 84: Long days

Yesterday was all about Nonna so I didn't get out for a little run like I thought I would.

This morning for both my training and my sanity I knew it would be a good thing to head out for at least a little run. I decided to go to end of the road and back to a little boat dock near my house - my road is pretty hilly, and we have 14 hilly miles ahead of us tomorrow.

It was misty and grey, not quite raining, and very much aligned to my mood.

I headed to the rehab / nursing home to see my grandmother, and spent every possible second there up until the time I was going to really jeopardize catching my flight.  I jumped in the car and drove from Massachusetts to JFK, and made my 5pm flight. I was pretty dead tired on the plane but didn't want to nap for fear of not being able to sleep later tonight.

I just got in, and made my overnight oatmeal, and now I am off to bed...need to get up at 4:30 to eat, then a little nap before heading down to Palos Verdes for tomorrow's long run.

today's mileage: 2.5 miles
season mileage to date: 178.1 miles