{26.2…again}

I have this silly dream of running 26.2 in every state that I just can’t let go of.

There is just something about 26.2 that pulls you back in.  Runner’s World recently featured a collection of stories, 26.2 Reasons We Love the Marathon, about what makes this distance just so special.  I thought about making my own list, but they just got so many of them spot on that I can’t dictate the difference between their ideas and my own.

Some of my favorites from their list:  it’s a reason to travel, post-race beer, the good its runners do for worthy causes, it’s an excuse to get a new wardrobe, the signs (on the course), because it takes over your life-and it’s awesome, the unique thousands of fans cheering on runners, the post-race feast, the swag, it makes the world a better place-really!, playlists, finding your own **** yeah moment (if you don’t know Shalane Flanagan then this means nothing to you), running the same course as the professionals, the best shower of your life afterwards, the runner’s high and the final .2.  People joke about the last 1,155 feet, but the final .2 moment is different for every race.  It is truly a moment that is unique and rewarding and special every time.

This goal has never been about accomplishing the list as fast as I could.  I never wanted the goal to interfere in an overall negative way with life in other ways.  I like the slow process of building on this goal every year.  I like getting to really see a place when I run a new state whenever possible. Each year it is fun to plan where the next race(s) will be.

So it is, I find myself training again.  Spring marathon training officially began last Monday for me. Even though the snow and cold are just taking hold for good, I know that in a few months (ok, more than that perhaps) warmer weather and greener sights will be back. To help me tackle my ultimate goal, stay on track all winter and feed my need to explore, I’m signed up to check Indiana (Carmel Marathon) and South Dakota (Brookings Marathon) off the 50 State list this coming spring. While I’m excited to get back to following a training plan, I was kind of enjoying running when I could and focusing on the BeachBody LIIFT4 program.

This training cycle I will be running 4 days a week and lifting 3 days a week. I’m going to continue another round of LIIFT4, but I will follow the workouts consecutively by doing 3 each week. My weeks will not match up with the program weeks because of this. The eight week program will become 10.5 weeks long. I know yoga is going to need to be a regular part of my training along with a focus on core and hip work.

Due to running these upcoming races six weeks apart, my mileage will be a little higher than training for San Francisco. That was a pretty low mileage training plan to begin with as I eased my way back into training for my first post-babies marathon. I’m thinking my body can handle this now.

If I’m being honest though, I do have some serious concerns about how I’m going to make all this happen, but having a goal race on the calendar is usually the best way for me to stick to something. I feel my best self when I’m active and training for a race. To accomplish this, I HAVE to get better about getting to bed earlier. I HAVE to get better about leaving work right away a couple of days a week. All of these things will enhance my overall health, but actually doing them is a challenge. My new Fitbit will be reminding me everyday of what my goals are.  And like I mentioned before, 26.2 sort of just pulls you back in.  It can make you irrational in a wonderful way.

As with any new training plan I try to focus on my week ahead only. Dwelling, stressing or worrying about future week plans does not build confidence. When I see some of the miles on my training plan in two or three months, I can start to feel intimidated. Even though these upcoming races will be my 16th and 17th marathons they never get easier really. Running 26.2 miles is always going to require hard work, perseverance and overcoming unexpected obstacles. While my body knows what to expect and can complete the distance, it doesn’t mean it’s a cake walk for me.

I can’t wait to explore two new states on foot. Half the fun of my goal is getting to see a new city/state, taste yummy food and local beer, and feed my exploring needs.  I will be posting training updates to help me stay accountable and to serve as my training log since these are helpful to look back on.

26.2.  Here we go…again.

Sarah

{No 26.2 miles or bourbon for me today}

  
Today I was going to run the Kentucky Derby Marathon.  I signed up in February after starting a training plan and successfully running three long runs on weekends in a row.  I finished 13 miles mid-February and felt amazing.  I registered and booked my flight and hotel.  I pinterest planned my weekend…hot air balloons Friday night, race Saturday, Opening Night at the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps Saturday night.  Maybe check out Louisville Slugger or a bourbon sampling.  

  
Later in February I started not feeling great.  I was so tired all the time.  I was feeling nauseous off and on throughout the day.  I was gagging on green vegetables.  Alcohol hadn’t sounded good in a while.  In early March my milk supply started dropping.  What was going on?  

I said I swear I felt pregnant several times, but that couldn’t be.  I knew there was a chance I could be since we were on the not trying, but not not trying plan.  EXCEPT I had taken two pregnancy tests the month before and both were negative and I had my period.  It wasn’t until this happened that I registered for 26.2.

Except…I was pregnant.  The tests taken slightly early for my long cycle.  The period actually a hemorrhage that showed up in an ultrasound in mid-March after two positive tests the week before.  Everything is ok now!

I could have never said a word about my plan to run 26.2 today, but I was following my dream and still getting after my goals. Even though I have not been frequent in blogging or instagraming as of late, I’m still working hard on my dream to run a marathon in every state.  I am just once again experiencing a delay.  

  
I’m not upset about the delay at all.  How can you be when it means another bundle of joy.  I’m sure this will temporarily make my goal and dream a little more put off and for sure even more of a challenge, but babies are only little for a while.  Having one has taught me that the first year goes by so fast.  There will be challenges, but it is only for a blink of an eye in a lifetime that these unique challenges exist.  

 

My favorite running shirt already!

 
I’m working hard to balance being a full time working, pregnant mom of a one-year-old who is also a baseball coaches wife.  Fitting in runs and workouts now is near impossible with the husband gone so much.   Caring for my son, home and everything else some days feels like a workout by itself.  

  
I’m still planning on some spring and summer races depending on how things are going. I already feel so much better running this time around.  So much less pressure and discomfort.  Time will tell.  I’m sure I will again be documenting the journey to a family of four.  Sometimes I still can’t believe it!

Currently I’m recovering from a nasty cold and my first experience with pink eye.  Wash those hands people!  

Stay tuned!!

Sarah

{enjoy fall…}

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With fall nearly over and cold weather temperatures here, I have to say I enjoyed this fall.

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But, I don’t think people know what that means. I don’t just mean I enjoyed it, I mean I got out in it and enjoyed all the changing season had to offer. And I documented it with lots of photos I love.

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I played in leaves crisp to the running shoes and bright to the eye. I explored the reds, oranges, yellows, and browns throughout my home state. I explored new trails and old trails taking in the sights of fall-shades so brilliant you almost can’t imagine them. I saw plants with their flowers long gone and trails blanketed with leaves. I ran through the woods enjoying the freedom and glory you only experience when alone just you and the trail.

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I hiked paths along rivers, lakes, streams, and forests…alone, with my husband, and with friends. I saw tracks, animals, and signs of old life in those woods. I watched leaves fall doing their delicate dance and swirl before falling to the ground for one last display of color.

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I listened to fall. I heard the wind blow through the trees, the branches and leaves creating their own music and rhythm like a fall symphony. I heard animals of fall collecting, gathering, scurrying, and seeming to enjoy the same things I was. I heard leaves fall from their trees and land ever so softly on the ground. I listened to the water move slowly and quickly soon to be stilled during winter months. I heard the light pounding pattern of my feet as they hit the soft ground below.

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I smelled the scents of fall. The crisp, earthly leaves…the grass and its greeness still holding on. I smelled the dirt that has a scent unique to fall as Mother Earth prepares for the cold days ahead. I smelled the crispness of cold fall mornings. I took in the scents of apples on trees and the smell of late flowers of autumn.

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I felt fall’s wind on my neck, in my hair, and on my ears. I felt nature’s contrast of cold mornings followed by autumn’s sun slowly warming me with sunshine. I felt raindrops on my face and the soft Earth beneath my feet-the perfect spring to a runner’s step. I felt leaves I collected in my hands, and the contrast of roughness of a tree’s bark compared to its leaves. I enjoyed the warmth of my morning coffee in my hands as I hiked through nature’s splendor.

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I thought about life. I worried about things big and small. I forgot my worries. I planned the trivial details of the week’s to do list. I dreamed big and let my imagination run wild. I thought about fears and losses. I remembered the things experiences I’m grateful for. I thought about my past. I imagined the future. I thought about nothing. I thought about everything.

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I danced, smiled, laughed, and felt full of contentment as I stood in falls subtle sounds, leaves falling all around me as if I were in a movie, taking in every color and painting a permanent picture in my mind to last me through the long days ahead while bottling the crisp scent of fall in the woods. I felt the peace that you only feel when you’ve spent a day in nature-a feeling another person or place can’t quite replace or create.

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When I say I enjoyed fall…that was what I meant.

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It had been too many years since I’ve enjoyed fall. I mean really enjoyed fall. There are only days left.

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Slow down. Get out there. Enjoy fall.

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Pilgrim Pacer Race Report is almost done!

{Motivation Monday}

Source: baa.org via Sarah on Pinterest

 

Today is the Boston Marathon! My dream running goal is to be on the starting line in Hopkinton one day. Since that is obviously not happening today, use the 65 second tour of the race to motivate you in whatever goals you have for the week. Whether you are running your first Boston or your first half marathon this week, good luck and congratulations in advance.

Know that some of the miles will feel good, some of the miles will feel bad, perhaps even terrible, but some miles will feel awesome. The sense of pride as you cross the finish line whether it is race number one or number 31 will never stop! Bask in your hard work and sense of accomplishment, and enjoy the feeling as it carries over into all that you do! Running is rarely ever just physical work; the impact on the spirit is far greater.

Good luck to runners in Boston today!

Happy Monday!

Reedsburg Half Marathon post to come.