Friday, May 30, 2008

Almost finished

I've got a long way to go, but I have come a long way. Yesterday when I finished my 2 mile run, I did it with a smile the whole way. It is a crazy feeling looking at the 18 week schedule that I had and to think that I did it. I remember looking at it at the beginning and thinking about how long away it would be before I actually finished. I also remember thinking about how hard it was going to be along the way. It has been hard. I have been tired for quite some time and really have wanted this training and race to just be here. It is here now. That is a good thing and an exciting thing.
Melissa is picking me up from school and we are heading straight to South Bend. It is supposed to be raining the whole way. Luckily, the weather cleared up for tomorrow morning and it looks like there won't be any precipitation. I'm glad for that. I lucked out by not having any real big rains when I was training and I am glad to not have to do the big race with any rain falling. I'm also happy because without rain, Melissa and the girls will be able to enjoy the day a little better.
I got bad news from my friend Rob. He's not going to be able to run. As of right now, he thinks that his leg might have a slight break to it. He doesn't have a doctor appointment set up quite yet, but he's getting it checked out. I worried about this when he told me that he hurt it. I don't know if waiting changed whether he would have ran or not, but I know that he has been in pain for weeks and that could have been avoided.
Tomorrow is the big day. I am sure I will have plenty to write about when I'm all finished.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

3 cold miles

This morning was really cold. I was suprised at how cold it was when I opened the door. said that it was 43º outside but with the wind felt like 39º. I don't think that was true, it felt much colder, especially with shorts on. I got most of it in. I think I only got 2.5 miles in, but it felt like enough.
Throughout Hal Higdon's training schedule he says that the pace you run should be one that you could comfortably hold a conversation in. I decided to test this, but added a little twist. I wanted to see how well I could sing while running. I know, it sounds rediculous, and it was. I was singing a few of the songs that we sang at church on Sunday morning. I was able to sing the songs pretty well. I was suprised at how well it came out. There were definitely a few notes that I didn't hit, but for the most part I did alright. It was a neat little test to try out. I had fun doing it too. It helped for a little while to forget just how cold it was while I was out there. I've got two more training runs before the big "race." I am excited to get those over with.

Monday, May 26, 2008

One Week Left

I can not believe how far I have come. If I think back to when I began this journey a lot has happened. I think to the time that I told Melissa that I wanted to run a marathon and how she wasn't a big fan of the idea. Tonight, Melissa told me of how proud she was of me that I had done all of this. I told her right away that I am not done. I am actually quite far away from being finished. I know that I have been in the training program for 17 weeks and have done quite well at keeping to the schedule, but I still have a long way to go. Tomorrow morning I have 3 miles. I have 4 on Wednesday and then 2 on Thursday. Then I've got the big run on Saturday. I really do believe that I will be able to do well at the race, but I know that it will be a totally mental thing. I am definitely not expecting a trophy, only a finishing medal.
Early projections for the weather in South Bend Saturday say it will be a high of 74, low of 54 with scattered thunderstorms. Let's hope that it stays around 54 until about 11:00 and that the thunderstorms wait until we are out of town and on our way back to Aurora.
It will be fun once all of this is all over. My next quest is to improve on my 5K time. But, as always, one thing at a time. This week's goal is preparation for the marathon. I need to carbo-load, rest, pack and just mentally prepare for the race. I can not wait to have all of this over with. I have worked for this time for quite a while and want it to be here and done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

6 miles

Today's run was quite easy. I had 6 miles to run. The hardest part of it all was getting out of bed. I was worried for the run that my body wouldn't feel so great, but it didn't. I'm just really concerned about the marathon coming up that my body is going to break down or something. I think I will be concerned all the way to the finish line.
I heard from one of Melissa's cousins that ran a marathon in Cleveland last weekend about the importance of not walking if you haven't trained with walking. I am so scared that mentally I will break down and walk and not be able to get my stride back. I know I have trained pretty well and should do alright, but I also know that I am going to have to mentally battle to be able to finish well with no regrets.
I haven't run with the ipod for awhile. The big reason is because I know when I run the marathon I won't be able to have music, so I am trying to not be used to it. It has been fine. I have just found myself singing songs in my head the whole time anyway. It is a good time.
My friend Rob that is running with me is trying to finish strong in his training. Both of his legs are sore. He is hesitant at going to the doctor for fear that they will tell him that he can't run. I told him to go three weeks ago, he still hasn't. I am concerned, but not to a really large degree. He should be able to finish. He also isn't one that worries about speed for his races. He told me that he has never finished a marathon under 5 hours. He stated that he "enjoys the course." I liked that line. I am sure he will be fine. I am also sure that the day after the race he will be at the doctor. I hope he is alright.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's been a while

It has been a while since I have written. I got my 12 miles in this past weekend and it went well. I didn't feel any discomfort in my body after going all week without running. I unfortunately am going down that same path this week though. I set my alarm for 6:00 this morning and woke up to Madeline laughing at 7:10. Needless to say, I didn't run today. I only had 4 miles to run today, but I am frustrated because, it was only 4 miles! I have been looking forward to the short runs for the final weeks and feel like I am going to miss them. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel any sense of guilt after not running, but I knew that I could definitely do these runs without any problem.
I was going to spend this morning working on listening to God. In our Bible study we have talked about the importance of prayer and lately we have been talking about the importance of listening to God. I have not done a good job in my prayer life of just listening for God's voice. I usually just get my normal formatted prayer in there and I am done after that. I don't spend enough time just waiting for God to speak to me. I know that in that time I have missed a call from Him. I know tomorrow when I have 6 miles to run, I will work on listening to what God has to say to me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not a good week

My milage total for the week is zero. The girls have made for quite a few tough nights of sleep. This morning, I woke up to my alarm and was exhausted. I went back to sleep for another hour and a half. It felt great.
I have a 12 mile run to do on Saturday. I think I will do fine. I just can't wait until race day so I can get this thing over with. I told one of the girls that I work with that I just wanted to go out today and run the 26.2 to just have all of this over with. I think last week was a burn-out type week. I got all 40 in and my body feels that way. I don't want to skip any more runs before the race. I've only got two more weeks to go!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I was tired

I had my alarm go off at 5:45 this morning, then hit snooze and went back to bed for almost two more hours. It was sleep that I needed very much. I had a really busy day yesterday and needed to get some rest. I've got 8 miles to do tomorrow and hope that it isn't going to rain.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

20 miles, what a long day!

I got all 20 miles in today. It went pretty well for the first 18 1/2 miles, then I started to think about being finished. I struggled to get home today. It was rough.
I started my run at about 6:30. I got out there and did the first loop of 8 1/2 miles and felt great. On the first loop I saw Mr. Stone, we high-fived as we passed each other. It was a terrible high-five. We almost missed.
On the second loop I did pretty well. I felt like my pace was consistent through the whole run and that I was able to keep it up with out feeling fatigued.
The last loop of 4 miles was the toughest. I started it with my head held high and feeling as though I was so great because I was going to have done all of the miles without walking once. Then I got the "W" word in my head. I mentally challenged against walking for about a mile and a half. then my body just stopped. I walked for about a block then started up again (talk about being tough to start running, 3 hours into the run.) I did it though!
After the run, we got to go over to a friend's house to celebrate her graduation from her masters program. It was fun to see everyone and to hang out with friends from church. After the picnic, Melissa's brothers came over to help with yard work. We filled up a pickup twice with mulch and spread it out in the yard. It looks a lot better with mulch. I'm proud of the work we did.
Lastly, I had a softball game tonight. It didn't go so great. We started off well, but then th other team got a couple of homeruns in and closed it out. I didn't play that great. I got on base a couple of times, but overall didn't feel the game went well. I made a few defensive lapses, but nothing that was critical. After the game I had to stay and be umpire for the next game. I did alright, I only blew one call which I feel is a success in our league.
On the way home I had my allergic reaction that I have had a few times in the past couple of years. My eyes swelled up and I got hives all over my body. Luckily, I told Melissa and she was waiting for me at the door with medicine to get it all under control. It's scary when it happens, lucky for me, it hasn't ever been in a place where I have been unsafe with my reaction. I am really afraid that it will happen to me and I won't be able to counteract it which will put me in a real bad situation.
It was a really long day. I did a lot. I can't wait for this race to finally get here! I want this training to be over with.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5 miles

Today's run was tough. I got out of bed thinking about just going back to sleep. That's not the best motivator to run 5 miles. I finally got out the door and did pretty well. My first mile was about 8:30, so I had to slow it down a bit. I am working on pacing. I just did the 5K last week and had a pretty fast pace. I need to get out of that mentality. Especially for Saturday's 20 mile run. I'm pretty nervous about that run. I do believe that I can do it and finish all of the miles. I am worried about boredom and just cheating on miles to get home. I am really going to work hard to make sure that I get it all in. I can't believe the long run is already here. It seemed like it was forever ago that I was even thinking about taking on this feat. I am really excited to be this far.
I didn't run with music again today. I spent the entire time praying for our friends that are expecting twins. They found out yesterday that they are having a boy and a girl. They got some bad news about their boy. From some of the initial screening, he showed signs of downs syndrome. She seemed in good spirits yesterday, but I can't imagine the feelings of nervous anticipation waiting for their next test. It is quite a big thing to have out of a child and I can't imagine what it is like. I have heard from other people that have said that they have gotten this diagnosis and nothing bad happened, but it is still a reality that there is a chance.
After hearing this news, when I was at home and saw my girls, I gave both of them a big hug and kiss just because I am just so proud to have the both of them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

10 miles 5/7/08

I ran 10 miles this morning before school. My alarm went off at 4:45, I got up and was out the door a couple of minutes after 5:00. Luckily, it wasn't raining (yet). I got off to an ok start. Unfortunately about thirty minutes into the run it started raining. At about the same time that it was starting to rain, the Gold Bond wore off. Let's just say it wasn't ideal running conditions. I did ok in neighborhoods where the trees did some shielding of the rain and helped to keep the rain from falling directly on me, but out in the open it was pretty rough. I spent a little time walking today just because mentally I was having a tough time getting into the grove, but overall it went alright. This is a run that I am happy to have completed. I looked at this one as one of my toughest of the training schedule due to the fact that it is during the work week and a pretty long run. It's over, and that's all that I have to say about that.
I didn't bring the ipod because I didn't want it to get soaked during the run. I was stuck with my thoughts and there wasn't a whole lot going on in my thoughts. After the rain started I was basically counting my steps. I didn't enjoy the rain and that made the run tough. I am planning on much better weather tomorrow. 5 more miles!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Long Week - run #1 - 5 miles

Today's run went pretty well. There were no problems and I felt just fine at the end. Hal Higdon says if you are able to hold a conversation during your run or if you aren't gasping for air at the end then you are definitely going at a good pace. I fit that category well today. I felt great at the end of the race. I didn't feel over-exerted at the end and felt like I could just go into my day without having any recovery time. It's crazy to think that. When I think back to last summer when I ran 5 miles in Toronto with my brother, I was a mess for days. The whole day I was in pain with plenty of aches. Today I ran 5 miles with no issues. It is amazing to know how far I have come. Really, I won't know how far I have really come until after the week is over. 40 miles in a week is a long way to go. I've done 5. I am sure it will be good.
While running I thought about our small group meeting that we had last night. We didn't have a normal meeting, but rather had a meeting to discuss things about our group. We talked about what we do well and what we could improve on. We also talked about areas at the church that we could serve in. It was good to do. The idea of increasing the number in our group came up as well. With that idea comes the idea of splitting later on. I am a fan of both, but am cautious as to how it could be done well with our group. The problem is that we are all really good friends, if we split, we definitely wouldn't be seeing each other as often. I wish it were easy, but it isn't. The good think in all of this thinking is knowing that there are people out there that are desparate for relationships just as we were years ago. With our focus being on trying to search others out, they would then have the chance to have some of what we have had over the past years. That is not a bad thing. That is what we need to do. Now it is just the doing aspect of getting to that place.

Monday, May 5, 2008

5K on Satuday, that's it

I ran a 5K on Saturday. It was territory I had never experienced before. There was definitely not a world class field. I finished third in the race, second for men. It was crazy. I always wondered the feeling of running at the lead and what it was like. To be honest, I didn't even look at the course map because I always just run behind the person in front of me. That's what I had to do with the person that finished in front of me. I didn't know where to go and we were keeping a good pace so I just kept it too. We got to a corner and didn't know which way to go (the course had some poor markings at places) so we guessed, luckily, we were right. As I came to the finish, I gave Ozzie the Cougar a high five and our Dolphin mascot as well. I didn't have the energy to try and get second place in the race. Also, the last probably 400 yards were on the sidewalk. It was not the best situation for passing. I had a good time.
After the race we had a pancake breakfast. It was fun. Melissa and the girls were there and we got to talk with plenty of people from school. It was a good time. Funny enough, there was a trophy ceremony at the end and I got one. It was rediculous. Melissa is still making fun of me. Even better, I won a raffle prize of a $50 certificate to Dick's Sporting Goods. I think I will be picking up new shoes with that some day.
This week coming is my big week in training. I've got 5 miles tomorrow, 10 on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday and 20 on Saturday. This week should be pretty interesting.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1

It's May 1st, I can't believe it is already May! Melissa wished me a happy May today, that was nice. I got up and got to running. Today, I just focused on speed. I ran one mile, walked some, then ran another mile and was done. I have got a 5K this weekend and I just wanted to experience some 5K speed. I finished my first mile in 6:50. I felt really good about that. After that mile, I walked for awhile. There are train tracks that I pass each day and I wanted to be like Maniac Magee and see how hard it was to walk on the train tracks. I started trying and did quite bad. I could only make it for short distances. After awhile I got pretty good. I would also like to say that I have not seen a train on these tracks in years. Melissa was concerned about safety. When I was done playing around on the tracks, I got to my last mile. I finished that one in 7:15. There were a couple of "hills" on that run that definitely slowed me down, but it went pretty well. I could say that overall my run went well. It didn't stick with the schedule that I am supposed to be doing, but I needed to give it a try before Saturday's race.
While running I was thinking about Mark 10:25 that says that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. I was thinking about money that we have invested and other financial things that we have going on. I was thinking about how we know that now is not a good itme to move because of the knowledge of knowing that we would lose money if we were to sell now. I was wondering how long the disciples thought about this when Jesus told them to stop what they were doing and to follow him. It is true, the fishermen could follow him and if it didn't work out they could go back to fishing, but they had to stop everything. They had to compromise all of their finances and to follow someone that they didn't know and hope that what he was saying was the truth. Matthew, the tax collector, didn't have the luxury of being able to return to his job. If he left, he would not be able to return to his profession. He would be finished. Luckily for all of them, they made a good choice.
I wonder if I have missed a calling at some time because I passed it off quickly just due to the fact that I thought it wasn't a good sound financial decision.