Monday, January 7, 2013

Doubting 'Thomas'

One week to go until Houston marathon and I am in taper hell. I wont bang on and on about how it feels because I'm guessing you all know, far better than I I'm guessing. 

I have been/am under the weather too which is not helping my head at the moment one bit. I caved on Saturday and went to the dr's who gave me an assortment of pills and potions (bronchitis) to take so hopefully by Sunday I will be back to normal. 
My kids are all coughing and my eldest is throwing up so we are just a picture of health, I'm hoping I can avoid the throw up part but once one of my kids gets something they are very good at sharing with the rest of the family. I also still have my weird stomach thing lingering on. It's been a month now and things aren't back to normal so I will go see a dr about it after Houston. I have a feeling I have some nasty bacteria hiding out in my stomach and it's time it left!!!!! 
But there's no point stressing about it, there's nothing I can do so time will tell what kind of health I'm in when I line up on Sunday.

I am missing my 100 mile weeks so much. I have decided that in the future I want to keep my miles high in the run up to a marathon and just drop the intensity the week before. The holidays have not helped in any of this. I am a creature of habit and the added stress of no school and having my hubbie home messing with my routine has not helped! I had the packed lunches made last night, clothes laid out, bags packed all ready for school today then both kids were sick so no school. It turns out they saved me some embarrassment - school starts back tomorrow :D

The timing of the Houston marathon is not great and I think I'll listen to Coach Doug and pick a different one for next year. Any recommendations? I think I'd like to do one in October/November and then maybe a 2nd in March (probably the Woodlands). 

Coach Doug thinks I'm capable of 2:57 on Sunday. He has suggested a race plan but I think my head isn't quite there yet. I'm not 100% certain yet but I think I'm going to start off with the 3 hour pacers and sit in until the 18 mile mark. If I'm feeling it then this will be the earliest point I'll make a move but may hold off until 20 miles. I am not sure of my speed but am confident about my endurance, not sure that makes sense. But I feel like the longer the race goes on the more it plays into my hands ie if I can get to 18/20 miles and feel ok then I think I'll make it. I want to negative split, I want to feel in control and own all 26.2 miles. I don't want to do my usual start off too fast and spend the rest of the time dying a long slow death. 
I do have some fire in my belly but my lack of races in leaving big question marks for me. Let's face it someone with a 1:28 half PR has no business going for a sub 3 marathon but that 1:28 was a bit of a disaster. I had a emergency 'bathroom' stop in the trees and suffered with a sore stomach for most all of it. So I know I'm faster than that....but how much?! 
I have been eating these big miles up and throwing down some nice faster miles towards the end when my schedule has called for it. I have completed some monster speed sessions and have hit all the paces set. But the last week has been a mess with tendentious rearing its head for a couple of days, illness and general family chaos. I feel like I must be losing fitness but I guess the taper is done for a reason and I do trust Doug but I do have to keep reminding myself all the work I've done hasn't been undone because of the taper but that's how it feels!

In all honesty I just want it to be Sunday so I can get this one out of the way and start putting in the big miles I want to average for 2013. Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to it, I'm desperate to race, I want to get that time so stinking badly! But I also know this will not be my fastest marathon, there's more to come and I want to move passed this one and get serious about this 26.2 business.

I've asked Doug if we can stay between 90-100 miles for the year and he came back with 80-100 to which I said 89-100 and it's a deal ;) I know that by putting in consistently high miles I will get the kind of marathon time I want. I also want April/May/June to be jam packed with speed work. I want more 200 and 400's than I've had hot dinners. I want my 800 and mile time to be as fast as I can get them which means a return to the Rice Uni Allcomers I ran a couple of last year. I want a far more respectable 5k time all while putting in high miles week in week out.

I also want to get some core/strength work built into my routine and keep it there (my core work has fallen since my miles got big). 

Want, want, want, want, want!

I have a hotel room booked for Saturday so will leave in the afternoon and hit the expo to pick up my package then I'll have an entire evening to myself. I've never been away from the kids for a night before but knowing my husband is in charge will hopefully allow me to relax?! A few friends are running and are staying over night so hopefully I can meet up with them and find a good place to eat (makes me nervous eating out the night before a race - I was thinking about taking my own food but how would I heat it up?!) 
On the eating front, I also feel like I've put on so much weight  despite the scales telling me otherwise. I just feel like a taper messes with my head more than it's worth. I'd rather go in to a marathon less rested but have my head in a good place than go through this again! 

But it's is just running isn't it folks. I am reminded on almost a daily basis how lucky I am to have the life I have. My kids are healthy (well, you know what I mean) I found one of the good ones husband wise, I have my health. Life is good and it has been good to me. I get to run, I get to run my guts out on Sunday and then will be met by the 4 faces I love at the end. Life is good.

Freezing yet enthralled at Sea World San Antonio last week (the hats were purchased at the Alamo an hour or so before, sooo cold!)

For once I didn't say 'no' to the lolly pops. Well, who can refuse a princess and her brothers on her birthday?! 

We surprised the kids with 2 nights in a 'fancy hotel' once their Daddy got home after missing Christmas and being away for 7 out of the last 8 weeks. 

One last thing. I have people tell me how 'I've got this' that it's 'in the bag' etc etc etc. I think 'how do you know?' Their wishes and kind thoughts whilst appreciated mean zero to me motivationally. Doesn't that sound awful, but it's true. Then there's this one guy. My favourite guy. Who doesn't think I'm going to make sub 3. He hasn't come out and said it directly but he keeps telling me not to be too disappointed if I don't etc etc etc. He is my favourite guy because that's what makes me tick. Don't tell me I CAN do something, tell me I CAN'T. Doubt me, think I just don't have it. It will be his words I carry with me on Sunday, his voice I hear at miles 5, 13, 18, 20, 22 etc etc etc. I wont be devastated if I don't get under 3 on Sunday but I will be if I don't give it everything I've got and there's no chance of that happening and for that I thank you Mr Doubter.
Now do me a favour and post some doubt filled comments ;)


  1. I can't wait to read your post-race blog!!!!!!!! Go get 'em!! (and then get that nasty bug out of your stomach!)

    1. eek, bit nervous about thinking about that post race blog! Fingers crossed it's a happy one ;) Weirdest thing, 'tummy' back to normal, I guess all those big miles were upsetting me????

  2. Pre-race taper time is awful on the brain & mental prep! IGNORE it!
    I'm the same way with wanting to continue my training mileage & intensity the week before, but the rest will pay off when you want to be smashing the last 12-miles :)
    you will do amazingly! you've DEFINITELY got 2:57 in you...!!!
    good luck!

    1. Thanks, I've been keeping busy and trying to ignore the taper madness! I get to race on Sunday with VERY bruised legs as I decided to move the entire contents on my daughters room to my sons and vice versa, ANYTHING to keep busy!!!
      As of yesterday I didn't know if I was going to race (chest still very tight but I'm hoping it will be ok and let me do what I want to do?!)

  3. I am glad you were able to write and get it ALL out here on your blog. Sometimes all we need to do is put it in real words so we can let off a little steam.

    Sorry you guys have been sick. I hope that it has allowed you to get a good excuse to rest a little..and get plenty of fluids in. Get well!!

    I like that you are so committed to your goal and that you want to run the high mileage. I am finally getting back up with mine (still much lower than yours!)and it does lend to better endurance.
    Taper is crazy. I think I might keep my miles higher next time as well.

    I want to do Woodlands too at some point, so maybe we will eventually meet!

    Have faith! I know you can do it. You will be smart and not head out of the gates like a gut-shot cat :) Save plenty in the tank for a speedy sub 3.

    1. Thanks. I am still feeling a bit sorry for myself as my chest thing is hanging around but fingers crossed by Sunday it will have gone enough to allow me to run the way I hope I can.
      It would be great to meet, let me know when you plan to do the Woodlands and I will either run too or come cheer you on!

  4. oh,...I see I missed my chance earlier.

    There is no friggin way you can run 6:45 MM for 26.2 miles.

  5. I just started reading your blog - but we sound very similar. I just ran my first sub 3 in November, and it was those people that not in words but in the way they responded to me all but told me I was crazy for thinking I could run sub 3, that gave me more "fuel" to my sub 3 fire to make it happen. One of the best pieces of advice I was given by a 2:50 mother runner, was to find a male runner, who was aiming for a similar finish time, and stick with him. I found a guy in the first 2 miles that was shooting for 2:55 and asked if I could run with him. I say he was my angel. We ran together for about 16 miles and he ended up finishing about 40 seconds ahead of me. we kept each other going. It helped me in a huge way, and I am a solo runner 99.9% of the time in training. Best of luck to you!

    1. ooooo, I need to look at your blog! Sub 3, well done! Yes, I had it pointed out that most people in the 3 hour group will be guys so maybe I can work with one or 2, it helps so much in training when I do have my speedy friend to help push along the faster stuff.
      Thanks for the suggestion, I think I will do just that! Maybe at mile 20 he'll even say to me 'I don't think you've got this' now THAT would be GREAT!!!!! :D

  6. Oh, I get this post so well! I have the same issues with taper, but I know taper works. You will see. You've run really high mileage and I have a feeling you will be shocked as to how light on your feet you will feel at the beginning of the race, because of this taper. I always feel terrible during taper and I often (if not always) get sick. However, I always seem to be fine come race day.

    Taper makes us feel insecure. The decrease in endorphins, the hormonal changes associated with recovery...all add up and make us feel miserable. As you wrote, you did everything in your power to meet your goal: high mileage, coaching, speed, etc. Sure, it is easy to say you could have done more (e.g., strength, core, etc), but as an objective observer I think you pushed yourself just enough. You will be able to do more next time, but the body needs to adapt to load first.

    I hope everything will come together for you on race day. I like your race plan, and I like what Katie said as well. You will make the decision that works for you. Oh, and what Raina said in her last comment:)

    So excited for your race!!!

    1. I like this post so much, thank you. Good to know I'm not the only one who has all these crazy head things going on and that they are to be expected! I thought about not racing on Sunday and treating it as a training run and going for Austin a few weeks after (I felt so awful yesterday) but today I'm a bit brighter, my chest is less tight and I'm just hoping my health doesn't let me down on Sunday.
      Find a similar paced guy and stick to him like glue (and hope he doesn't blow up ;)). Eeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!!

  7. I am excited for you! It's always interesting to read how others respond to the same things. I'm quite the opposite of you. I love the "You got this!" etc. type comments. The negative comments make me insane. They don't fire me up, they really do tear me down. I can't stand a bit of negativity anywhere and will ignore social media during the taper for that very reason. I admire that you let that motivation fuel your fire. Have a GREAT race and get after it!! ;)

    1. I have been in races as a kid and what someone has said to me has been the nail in their coffin! I had this HUGE rival when I was around 9 :D and she won everything all year. The next cross country season, first race, my dad told me I was going to run with her until I couldn't run anymore! It didn't matter if I finished or not, I was just to stay with her. 'ok dad'. So I did and just at the point when I really thought I can't stay with her anymore, one more step, one more step, she said 'you're running really well Vicky'. I felt so patronized! I thought there's no way on this earth this chick is beating me, not today!!!! We battled forever and destroyed each other!!! But she came 4th and I came 3rd. ha, psycho at age 9 :D I need one of these guys in this race to say something similar. You probably think she was being saying something nice.....oh wait......maybe she was but that wouldn't have helped me if I'd thought about it that way ;D

  8. Awesome job today! Bot the sub 3 but so close. You ran a very smart and consistent race. Proud of you. Sub 3 in the bag next time, no doubt!