Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Did Hurricane Joaquin cancel your race this weekend? Sign up for the Annapolis Running Classic! Get 10% off with this code: SABREF15
Did Hurricane Joaquin cancel your race this weekend? Sign up for the Annapolis Running Classic! Get 10% off with this code: SABREF15

Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS!  Thank you to my very generous donors. You can still make a donation to help the families of our fallen heroes through TAPS’ programs for grief counseling.

Ahhhhh, hello taper week. I know a lot of runners get freaked out by the “T” word, but I don’t. I love tapering time. Perhaps its the subconscious realization that I may never be an ultra-marathoner because running super long distances is, for me, very hard and borderline un-enjoyable, or perhaps it’s more that I know I need to rest and recover and allow myself the rejuvenation that comes with 3 weeks of fewer intense runs and less mileage and getting psyched for a big event that you’ve been preparing for. Think about it– not many big important events in life have a taper time. I certainly never see brides at their calmest the three weeks before their wedding. High schools and universities don’t schedule finals week three weeks before graduation. Marathons practically require tapering, so it’s definitely the best part of training for 26.2 miles. Some runners freak out and get cranky; I don’t. Continue reading “Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

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Week Fifteen/Fourteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

WE DID IT!!!
WE DID IT!!!

Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS!  Last week, at this time, I was at $330 and 55% of my goal. I cannot believe how much that increased in just a week! Thank you to my very generous donors. I can’t believe I met my goal, and all it took was a simple ask for help. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

It’s Peak Week. Week Fifteen. After this week, I have three weeks of tapering before the big day. My strategy for getting through Peak Week is this: Get through one run at a time; don’t think about tomorrow’s run. Get as much rest as I possibly can. Eat foods to recover. No ditching runs— if I have to wake up super early to get one in, I will get up super early to get my run in. No backing down when I am on the trails– if I am tired, I will power through. I will not let my problems off the trail interfere with my runs. I will foam roll and plank and foam roll some more to keep my achy leg issues at bay. I will not let my past successes scare me out of creating new successes. There will be no doubt in my mind that I am strong and that I have prepared well enough to do what I have set out to do. And I will treat my last long run of the training season as my dress rehearsal for the race. Overall, I will rise above and be amazing. Continue reading “Week Fifteen/Fourteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Nine/Eight: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Photo Courtesy: The Baltimore Marathon
Halfway there! Photo Courtesy: The Baltimore Marathon

Fundraising Update: I’m at 25% of my goal with $150 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. Thank you to all who have contributed! I can’t do this without your generosity and support.

Last week was exhausting, in a good way. I feel like I am getting in touch with my inner athlete. I go stand-up paddle-boarding at least twice a week now, and the results are already starting to show. My stomach is a little tighter and flatter and my running feels stronger because my core is stronger. And I feel gladness coming back to my life, slowly but surely, with every time I go out on the water. Life has felt bleak over the past couple of years, but the stagnancy is clearing away, all because I had the courage to do something new and evolve through trying new experiences. It passes the time anyway.

I’m also scared and excited that I have two marathons to run within 8 days in 9 and 10 weeks. I can’t believe I signed up for that. I may have to let go of my dream of a 4:00 marathon with Baltimore so I can survive the Marine Corps Marathon, but you know what? I’m letting go of the clock. I’m running two marathons within 8 days of each other. I’m raising money for an organization that is the definition of humility and strength and doing my part to give back. While I still have goals for each race, I’m also trying to put things into a bigger picture and realize that my running is about more than what the clock says. I’m coming back to who I am, and it feels really great.

Looking ahead to this week, I know I will breach 30 miles just fine. I’m looking forward to running my first race since June– the Potomac River Runners Leesburg 20K. The break from racing has been great. Last spring was boom boom boom with races once or twice a month. I may have gotten a little burned out with all the races I was running. I’ve just enjoyed running my own training schedule and routine for now, incorporating cross-training, and putting the focus on one major event (now two) instead of a big event every other weekend. I’m really only running this race because it is the halfway point in marathon-training: the half-marathon time test. Even though 20K is short of 13.1 miles by 0.68 miles, it’s still enough to gauge where where I will be on race day. Even if I don’t end up running my goal pace in Baltimore or at Marine Corps, it’ll be nice to know if I have been on track. Continue reading “Week Nine/Eight: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Raising Money and Training

Tending bar at Maddy's Pub in Washington, DC, May 2010 as part of my fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training
Tending bar at Maddy’s Pub in Washington, DC, May 2010 as part of my fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training

While most runners are taking time off to cross-train and condition during the harsh cold winter months, I bet most runners have already decided which races they will want to participate in for 2014. Endurance events like marathons, half-marathons, and triathlons are increasing in popularity, making some of the biggest, most popular races in the country sell out in record times or require lottery entries to participate. If you find yourself shut out of some of the most popular races in the country, you’re in luck: most races partner with local or national nonprofits and keep a limited number of race slots open for runners who want to raise money through their training. As endurance events continue to gain popularity, this is a win-win situation for runners and resource-strapped nonprofits both. Continue reading “Raising Money and Training”