Friday, January 28, 2011

One reason...

I'm a mother to three. Three fantastic little children. I adore them. I am proud of them. I am very very grateful to have them in my life. Not everyone gets the chance to be a Mom. I know this and I feel lucky that life has gone my way and I'm a mother to three healthy children. They are kind, thoughtful, well behaved and funny.
They do really well in school. Other people tell me how well mannered they are. I know I must be donig something right.
Despite all this goodness, some days I feel like I am floundering around without a clue how to Mothers these boys.
It is overwhelming at times and also, scary.
Some moments, I feel like I fail them. Many days, I feel unable to solve the problems around me. Each day is almost like an experiment. "Let's see if this works..."
Sometimes it does. And sometimes it doesn't. And I don't always know why.
As Mom, and the one who is with the boys more hours of the day, I tend to feel like the 'bad guy.' After all, I'm the one who gets mad when wet towels are left on the floor. I get ugly when the same child leaves all his clothes on the end of his bed day after day after day. I am incredulous that they are unable to turn off their lights, flush the toilets, put the seats up to avoid making a mess for the next person. Most of all, I can't stand it when they bicker and fight with each other.
Deep down, I know I am just doing my best to teach them. To help them.

I feel like the same little battles are fought day after day after day after day after day after day. It may never end. I may never succeed. That's what I feel like. No matter how hard I try to remain patient, or calm, nothing works. I try new methods and revist old methods. Nothing.
I am spoiled with sweet snuggly hugs and I-love-you-Mommy kisses at night. My recovery drink. They are charming and loving and that is my daily boost.

However, I feel like a lost soul trying to figure out how to do something nobody ever taught me how to do. I am a girl with three boys. Now that they're not babies, I feel out of my league.

I've alluded to the many reasons I continue to fill my days with workouts. Why I keep training. Why I race.

While I think I might, in the big picture, be 'succeeding' as a Mom, on the day to day level I often feel a failure. I feel lost. I feel like I'm wandering around without an organized training plan!

My sport squashes that distressful feeling. I feel successful and capable and strong when I am training. I never forget how to swim. I can run right out the door on a moment's notice. I don't talk back with myself. I don't have fights with anyone about my schedule. I don't push anyone over "by mistake." I do what I am asked to do. That feels good. It fills my needs. My raw need to feel good about what I am doing in life. To feel like I know what I am doing.
That's It!
I figured it out by writing it down.
I know what I'm doing when I train and race. I understand it. I may not always do it well. But I try! In fact, just today, I failed. I couldn't do what was asked of me. However, I know Why I failed. I understand it. And, I am confident I will do better next time.

I don't think I feel the same confidence with motherhood. The stakes are too high. I'm molding little people after all!! It's a massive responsibility.

My training and racing are for me. That's it. If I succeed in my goals, I feel great inside and am lucky to share that excitement with those close to me who understand. With those who support me and know how much it means to me. If I fail, I need to reach deep inside and deal with it. The consequences end there. I haven't missed an opportunity to teach a person right from wrong. I haven't said words that I'll regret in 15 years.

If a day comes my way that is sprinkled with personal frustration as a Mom trying to figure things out, I can still run 10 miles hitting whatever pace I set out to hit, and call it good. My psyche intact, I hammer on with the rest of things.

I don't think I ever viewed it this way before.

Simply put, my training hours are the hours of my day that I feel truly confident in what I am doing. That, gives me peace. It's my peaceful, uncomplicated, conflict-free place.

My role as Mom is way more complicated. It's a million times more difficult. And it's the Most important thing I'll ever do.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Charleston Marathon-- It all came together

I knew I needed to mix things up a bit this year. I was right. This marathon was Exactly what I needed, in so many ways. . My 2010 racing season was successful but not full of the spark and passion I usually feel. I can't pinpoint the reason but I have several theories. I'll just leave it at that.
Despite the lackluster feeling I had during a few of my races, I signed the dotted line to race Ironman Lake Placid again in 2011. I want it back. I want to go the distance again.
However, before I began that training, I had a deep urge to revisit the marathon. I had done 6 'flat' marathons ( 2 more as part of an Ironman ) but I was left with the feeling of unfinished business. I knew I could go faster. And I felt this was the year to do just that.

I searched for the perfect race and found it in South Carolina. The Charleston Marathon was to be held on January 15th. It gave me enough time to train and enough time to heal and rebuild on the bike and swim for Lake Placid. Perfect.

I worked so hard all fall. The weather was fairly cooperative. It wasn't until the last month and a half that I had snow and ice to deal with. The temps dropped and the roads became harder and harder to run fast on. I faced icy winds, frozen fuel belt bottles, and boring roads. I live in a mountainous area and this race down south was dubbed as quite flat. So I struggled to find routes that would simmulate my race course. As a result, I ran back and forth on a few short stretches of semi-flat roads all season. It got old.
Yet I had no choice. I had to put my head down and just do it.
I ran and ran. I ran two runs a day at times. Some days I ran fast. Some days I ran long. I did more strength work than I have before and I focused hard on my form.

Finally. It was time. Time to 'laugh in the face of my birthday' to quote my friend once again.

As you know from my previous blog, I flew south in the hands of my husband. He was so comforting. He is an excellent pilot and got us there quickly and without any issues at all. I have had a huge fear of flying in his plane. I've travelled with him a lot over the years but I've been very afraid of it since becoming a Mom. I have to say though, after this trip I feel much more comfortable. It all went really well.

Let's get on to the race!!!

Mark and I arrived on Thursday. We found our hotel, got settled, found a quick dinner and watched TV before bed. Our hotel was very nice. Clean and best of all, a super comfy bed. I was in bed by 10:15 Thurs night and didn't get up until after 8!! It was perfect.
Friday was a beautiful day in this pretty southern town. We layed around in the morning, watched the news, drank coffee and then headed to get my packet. We found the race start and then made our way to the finish line where the expo was held. I ran a quick and easy 25 min warm up and felt Amaaaaaazing. It was SO effortless and easy to hold a very quick pace. Ready!!!

The expo was small. I didn't need anything for my race. I was all set to go. However, I had mentioned to Mark that I had no clue how I was going to carry my 4-5 gels. He found this contraption.

Maybe I can carry the gels in this thing??

I didn't buy it...
nothing new on race day. It was uncomfortable and strange anyway.

So I moved on and found these little friends! So cute.
Isn't this what everyone shops for at the expo?

The rest of Friday was spent in bed. I was determined to keep my feet up. We got back to the hotel and I hopped up and turned on the TV. My pink recovery socks were on, water bottle next to me, and well that was that! Mark left for a run.
I sat.
and sat
and sat and sat.
My lower back felt sore. Tight. My neck was stiff. I feared getting sick all week. Why was my neck stiff? Were my glands swollen. I drank Emergen-C all week long and had 3 packs on Friday alone. Nevermind what I said a week ago, I don't like taper!

I must say, laying on your butt makes you totally lazy. It really makes you want to just lay there More! I got so dopey and lethargic spending a nice sunny day inside on a bed! I thought I was going to go crazy by the time we were leaving for dinner!Crazy because while I wanted to escape my hotel room, I also wanted to just crawl under the covers and ignore that 'thing' looming over my head.

I broke loose for an early dinner in quaint downtown Charleston. We had such a nice cozy meal.

This weekend was turning out to be so incredibly peaceful and relaxing for the two of us! The 'stress' of a marathon is nothing like the 'stress' of a Half Ironman for example. There is just nothing to do when prepping to run for 3 hours. No bike check in to get to, no bottles to fill, only one sport and a few items to wear! I was enjoying it. We were just hanging out, talking when we wanted to, and generally enjoying each other's company. It was really nice.

Ok...I did actually go there to bust my butt and tear up a race course!
Here goes....

After 8 hours of sleep on race night, the alarm buzzed at 5 and I was ready to rock.
I took a hot shower, ate, got dressed and then yapped at my hubby for taking This picture.
I mean, Why? Why when I was bent over grabbing stuff from my bag?
That's all I have for pre-race at the hotel. Here I am getting my stuff together...

At the hotel getting ready...

It was a chilly start to race day. I think it was around 35 when we toed the line. I was excited. I knew I could function quite well in those temps. Perfect for a Maine girl who trained in temps well below that for the past few months.

I felt good all morning. It was finally time to start the race. I was bundled at the start line but just before the gun, I shed the extra stuff and was down to shorts, a short sleeve shirt, 2 layers of warmers and gloves.

At the Start with my pacer

The announcer got us ready and the next thing I knew, I was pushing Start on the garmin and off we went.
Legs were on. I felt smooth, steady and happy. It was going to be a great day.

Mile 1 7:19 Too fast. The guy leading our 3:15 pace group declared we went out too fast. I agreed. Yet it was so terribly easy. It was supposed to be. Don't let it fool you Ange!
mile 2 7:23 Ok, that's good. Hold 7:25 all day long for my goal, Jen had said. Start slow and build.
We ran along the water with big pretty houses. It was very nice. A sign held by a kid said, "GO MOMMY!" I decided it was for me. I was smiling and having fun. I wondered where Mark would end up. He didn't even have a course map. How did we let that happen?
Mile 3 7:18 Still easy.
I was hungry. I had to go to the bathroom. These things Ticked me off. I stopped drinking water 60 min before the race! I used the bathroom abotu 12 times in the last hour. Seriously, WHY does this happen to us women?? Ignore it Ange.
Still so easy. My shins were tight...I felt my legs but not enough to worry.
Mile 4 7:16 Am I going to fast? And wait....where's the mile marker. .15 later the course mile marker appeared. Hmmm....what's up with that? I was running without crowds and along the edge of the road. I was not weaving at all.
passed a water table.... saw my watch a few min later and decided that since I was hungry I would take a gel. I slowly sucked it in for the next little bit.
Mile 5 7:09 woah girl...hang on! And where is the next water?? I timed my gel all wrong. SLow down Ange.
Mile 6 Hey ! there's Mark!!! Hi! I smiled and waved and told him my ave pace. And, I got water. Phew. All set now. 7:12

Mile 7 7:16 I knew I was way ahead of my planned ave pace to hold. But I felt too good. My HR was totally in control. My perceived HR that is..I didn't wear my monitor. I felt steady and comfortable. I was going to hold right here.

mile 8 7:17 Hey there's Mark again!! I threw him layer # 1 of my arm warmers. He told me my brother said Hi. :) The course was certainly a LOT flatter than anything I have ever run on. But there were a few gradual climbs....long long gentle grades. Miles 7-9 were just that. Just enough to notice but not hurt you really.

Mile 9 7:09 I did decide that if a portopotty was easy to get to, I would spare the 20 sec and stop. I wanted to get this out of my mind. Hey! A HILL! A true hill! up and over without a problem.

Mile 10 7:37 I made that stop. A Very polite man allowed me to go first. thank you!! I hurried, grabbed a water and went back to business.

Mile 11 7:07 Ok, back on track. By now I was noticing that all the mile markers were off. I got to mile 11 on my Garmin. .2 later, their sign appeared. Grr...surely they would fix it by the end.

Mile 12 I took another gel. We headed off the main road and through an area of windy paths around a small pond with huge geese roaming. The volunteers were amazing and everywhere. I haven't mentioned that there was musical entertainment ALL OVER the course! It was fantastic and motivating. I cruised along to drums and dancers and kids playing the sax. Good stuff when you're bored out on a race course.
Did I say bored?
Well...I got a little bored at times. I was focusing big time on my time. I knew where I had to be at mile 15, mile 20 etc etc. I knew how many minutes I had to go the next 3 miles... for example.
However, around this point in the race, I was running alone. I was sandwiched between a group of men running out in front of me and who knows who was behind me. Portions of the run felt like a training run. While on secluded curvy paths through a park, it was just me out there. It took serious disclipline to maintain my race-day focus.
I didn't fly 1000 miles for nothing.
Game face stayed on. But as I said, I loved the music.

My legs were still spot on. I felt nothing. I was steady. That's it. It was completely easy for me to hold this pace. 7:25 never hit my watch unless I was at a mile that I was fueling.
I made a point to stop, Drink the water, SIp some sports drink and then more water. Otherwise, it would spill on my shoes, cause a blister, and I wouldn't be hydrated. So I lost a bit of time. I didn't care. I was ahead of pace and wanted to be smart.

this was one of those miles. I had a gel, got some water, and then began again.


mile 13 7:08
mile 14 7:06
mile 15 7:05
mile 16 7:05 How am I doing this? I still feel FINE!
mile 17 7:12

mile 18 7:15 I have very little memory from these miles. I know that I was hot and desperate to see Mark again. I wanted to throw him my gloves and just have a friendly face. We'd been off by ourselves on those paths for so long. I needed some spectators again.

Mile 19 7:12 I made a plan to really really push those final 6.2 miles because this thing Had to start hurting!! I was ready to suffer. It was too 'easy' so far. I was cruising and feeling good.
mile 20 Magic mile 20. Where things are supposed to get tough. In my head, I wanted to be sub 2:30 at this point. I was 2:24. (I am pretty sure that's what it was...) I was pumped. I had this thing. IF I held my pace, I'd be sub 3:10!!! WHAT!? NO way. Hold on Ange, hold on. I caught and passed those men that had been cruising in front of me. The mile marker was way off again. I caught some people who were finishing up the half marathon course. We ran by the water on the Riverfront. I picked up my step to more drummers. I smiled because were were running on the pretty roads I warmed up on the day before. I stepped on the same pile of glass I had Friday and chuckled becuase I didnt' have to worry about my bike tire getting cut.
I still felt good.

mile 21 I see Mark!! Yay!! I stripped off my gloves and arm warmers and chucked them to him. Happy Birthday!! I tried to yell it every time I saw him. (since I forgot it first thing that day. ooops.)
I yelled, "CAll Jen! tell her I'm at 2:33 at 21.2 and I have 1/2 a gear left!" he laughed
7:17 Not bad. Holding on.

mile 22 7:18

feeling pretty good. We're running away from Town. Away from the finish line. Kind of brutal. No more specators. Just runners and the road.

Mile 23 7:13 Alright...somehow it's all ok. I'm still here. I'm still in the game. Keep that cadence up.
I ran by this band again. I was on serious focus mode now but this is what I heard, "Number 22, number 22, number 22 is the girl in blue. The girl in blue with the purple head band, the girl in blue is number 22."
I had to laugh.
It was either that or cry.
Because finally, the hammer was dropping. I took a gel. I had some water. Almost there. Hang on Ange. You can suffer for 3 miles!! PIECE Of cake!

mile 24 It hurt. I was drawing inward. I saw the two women ahead of me run back towards town. I had many people saying, "good job" and other words of encouragement and yet, I could barely reply with the same back to them. I was pulling in and reaching deep. And, what was up with my toe? It suddenly hurt and felt warm and strange. I put it out of my mind.

7:25 Still on pace. Barely. And it was really really starting to hurt.

It was like somebody flipped a switch. I went from feeling FINE and in total control to Total shutdown.
SUddenly my legs threatened totally rebellion. I felt serious cramping coming on. I had three spots that were very very unstable. I knew I had to slow down or risk walking to the end. I was that close to falling. My legs were truly about to seize. I focused on my cadence. Turn it over. Stay loose. Just move just move just move. You got it hang on hang on hang on ..... things like that repeated through my brain.
Mile 25 7:24
One more mile. I can Do this. ONE mile! Seriously. How Hard can that be?
Um, excrutiating! One Mile can SOmehow be excrutiating!!
mile 26 7:46 that was the only mile that got me. I let that pace fall below my 7:25 cut off. It's ok. I was rounding the corner.
26.2 OFF goes the watch 3:10:34

I was done and it was a HUGE PR. Massive. 17 minutes off my old PR.
My goal was 3:15 or faster and I did just that.
oh yeah, I was the 3rd woman!! when they announced that I just chuckled. ME? Third at a marathon! Wild.Just wild.

Best of all, I had a blast. I loved the race. I loved the feeling of working super hard, building my fitness, and then having it pay off. In so many ways, I accomplished what I set after. Success.

The passion and sparks are back.


A few more pictures from the weekend......

OUCH! I took off my shoe at the finish and my sock and shoe were covered in blood. My toe was all messed up.

The 4 FA-18s that took off right before us

2 hrs post-race and too tired to be nervous to fly again

Mark talking to the kids before we took off on our final leg home

looking down on pretty estates as we departed Williamsburg, VA

strange 'crop markings...' in New Jersey

Over looking NYC and Central Park

home sweet home

( and yes, the race course was measured almost a 1/4 mile too long. It was long on the 10K and the Half marathon. Absurd really. That aside, I would recommend this race to anyone. The volunteers did a great job on the course and the music was great.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flying High

Yesterday morning came quickly. I woke up anxious, nervous, sad, excited, and completely unsure about my long trip south in our little Cessna.
First, I had to get my little boys ready for school and hug them goodbye. The morning went by fast and smoothly. The kids are troupers and got ready with tolerated my giant tight hugs every 7 minutes. They were sad to see us leave but very excited for a weekend with Grammie and Grampa.
Finally, there was no avoiding it. It was time to hop in the plane.
The cards lined up beautifully for us. A major snowstorm that dumped several feet up and down the east coast hit us on Wednesday. Schools were closed and most commercial flights were canceled. LUCKY!!! If that storm hit one day later we would have had a major issue. Instead, the skies were blue and the winds were in our favor.

My husband flew us safely and smoothly. Once we were in the air on our first of two legs, I calmed down nicely. Take off is the worst part for me. I feel very vulnerable. However, 10 minutes into the flight I realized I had to go to the bathroom. I kept my mouth shut. Shortly thereafer, Mark proudly declared that if the winds continued to be so strong at our back, we wouldn't make our first stop until Virginia! VIRGINIA???? There was NO Way I could imagine 'holding it' from Maine to Virginia. It was bad. It's not like you can just sweetly say, "Um, honey, is ok if you just pull over quickly at that gas station? I drank too much coffe...." yeah right. NOt really a choice. I was on FULL Try to relax and not tthink about it mode. I read vorociously and survived until Delaware! I was proud. In all seriousness, Mark did great. He is so understanding of my fears and all he could to reassure me. He is completely at ease up there so that is comforting. I had a little uncertainty when he was turned around or holding a map with two hands and reading those heiroglyphics. Why aren't you watching the road? I'd ask him...
Oh, Auto pilot. Ok, what's that about. Why should I trust Him???
It was all good. A super easy flight.
Two 6 hour legs. We departed Maine at 10:30 and arrived at 5:30 with a 45 min stop. Not bad!!
Below are a few pictures from our journey.

Looking out at our home as we flew away........

my personal pilot

the cockpit

the runway and the hanger were plowed out but that's about it....

another look at Oxford Hills

The photo above is looking at the Manhattan skyline (hard to see) and below is JFK airport in NYC

We're here!!! 5:30 p.m.


I'm feeling great today. Mark and I are having fun relaxing together. It's Amazing to me how easy it is to prep for a Run event rather than a Tri. Wow...there's not much to do! I slept 10 solid hours last night and now I feel completely ready to race hard.

I have a super hard goal for myself. And that is why I'm not putting it out there until I'm done. It's the way I need to do it this time.

The weather is beautiful. IT's bright bright sunshine and comfortable. I'd say 40s right now. By No means Hot South Carolina weather which is Great for this Maine girl in January.

Friday, January 7, 2011

In the Blink of an eye

another year has passed. Just 12 months ago I was living my last 24 hours as a 30-something.

Here I am today, on my Birthday Eve as my Mom would say. I managed to get through that first year of my new decade without much ado at all. Forty hit and I didn't shrivel up into an old person after all!!! In fact, it was not that bad. The only time I noticed I was 'old' was when someone asked me my age. Otherwise, guess what, I was the SAME me.

Tomorrow I'll turn 41. Over the past few weeks, as this date approached, I haven't been entirely thrilled with this new number I'd be forced to call myself. And then, something happened. I realized I shared this birthday weekend with an amazing woman whom I admire greatly. She said something to me and it struck me as perfect. Read on.


I was in my husband's office this morning. On my way out, Mark told me that the woman who heads their wellness program wanted to meet me. She was busy and I had to leave but he said to me, "She wants to know what inspires you."

I've been thinking about that ever since. The answer is both complicated and ridiculously simple.

But first, I would want to ask. "Inspires me to do what? To train nearly every day of my life? To choose to race in endurance sports? To try go faster every time I toe the line in a race?"

Is that what they mean? Because I would answer differently for each of those things.

I'm going to keep it simple though.

As I said, a friend of mine is celebrating her birthday today. She is remarkably tough, strong and clearly very wise. If you know her you will agree with me when I say she has NO intention of letting Her number slow her down. To quote her and join her in her sentiment I will say this, "I will LAUGH in the face of my birthday."

Exactly Kim. Thank you. Thank you for that line because it is EXACTLY one of the things that inspires Me each and every day.

Racing is in my soul. It's been part of me since I can remember. It's what I do. I am a competive person and nobody is Ever going to change that. In some ways, I don't really need inspiration. I'm just driven to do this.

And yet, as this big birthday looms over my head, I am going to choose to Celebrate my age. You know why? Because I am 41 (almost :) ) and I am not really any different than when I was 33. In fact, my 41 year old self could Kick my 33 year old self's butt. {we'll leave out the minor detail that I had two kids were were 3 and 1 and I was pregnant...} I have gotten Faster and Stronger with age and I LOVE that because I did not start from nothing! I started at age 8 and I have worked my tail off to keep myself in this shape. I can go to a race feeling pretty confident that I will have to make others work to beat me. Ha! At 41!!! THAT inspires me. I don't want to let that go. And I don't intend to. I might need a bit more sleep, a few less calories, a little more stretching and all that jazz we hate to admit, but on race day- I am still ME. No matter what my number is.

Again, Thanks Kim!!! Happy Birthday to YOU today !! And tomorrow, I too will LAUGH in the face of my Birthday because age is NOT going to stop me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Starting to feel it......

I recovered from my little meltdown yesterday quite quickly. I really don't know where that came from. I cried, I shook it off, and I moved on.

In a very short period of time I have gone from feeling super tired and achey all over (not sick achey but post long-run that I crushed achey)to rested and a bit zippy.

I had some fast little 800s yesterday. Not a lot and not obnoxiously fast but... enough to keep things honest and truly test the fitness.

I can safely say I am ready for this 26.2 mile run. I feel good on my feet. I warmed up quickly and with an effort that Felt like zone 2, I was knocking off a pace faster than a month ago that left me begging for mercy. Success.

Thanks Jen. Thanks soon to be 41 year old body. You're doing juuuuuust fine.

Today I headed out for a 'work the hills' run. If you could see the hills that I get to face on a workout like this you'd laugh along with me. These bad boys go UP, down UP UP down, UP UP UP so that my normal 7 min pace becomes 12:35....ouch.
So I worked it and felt amazing. I felt strong and powerful and like I could keep running hard for well, about 3 hours! At least I HOPE!
I am feeling so fit and strong. My confidence is high and while I am nervous and excited, I am relaxed and sure of myself at the same time. I'm totally at peace with the decision to do this race. It was a good move for me.

So, Next Thursday morning I will drop my little ones at school with a few (read: 10) extra BIG TIGHT HUGS. From there, Mark and I will head to the airport.
This trip is a bit different than others we've taken in that the airport is only 10 miles from home and the plane seats 4. My husband is flying us south that day. He is totally fired up and well, shocked! that I asked him to do this for us. I knew it would help justify a trip to S.Carolina And make it even better since the race is on his birthday.

I'll be ok. GOod books and no worries about what I pack. Ironically, we'll get there a heck of a lot faster than if we took a commerical flight. We can stop where we want. We can drink a full water bottle we bring on our own. The pilot can explain all the little bumps and thumps to his -trying not to be too freaked out- passenger.

I do wish the kids could come. That's the only downside. I truly love having them at my races. Instead, they'll be well cared for and spoiled nicely by my parents so we'll all be ok.

One week to go.... If I feel this good now I can't wait to see how I feel next week.

LOVE taper!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Maybe it's Taper??

Ever have one of those days that you just suddenly and without warning burst out crying?
Seems to be one of those days today. Just a few days ago I was boppin' around the house feeling completely content and happy. I felt productive and fresh. The house was picked up, the Christmas clutter (which by the way, I love during the season but now I am Over it...) was mostly gone, and I was accomplishing tons of things on my kid's first day back to school.
Yesterday was fine.
Today, I'm not quite right. I woke up with a headache. (that is a LONG story that is a tad personal and complicated but let's just say I Thought I had found a 'cure' so to wake up with one today really ticked me off.) My morning to sleep in (until 6:30--that is Late for me!) was disrupted and I was basically woken for good at 5 a.m. I crawled downstairs sleepy eyed and less than energetic and immediately felt major discomfort in my back. My back?? Not injury discomfort but "I got my butt kicked by my trainer yesterday discomfort."
I shook it off, washed my face, and moved on. Feeling happy that my pants are definately looser (this has been an ongoing issue for me so it's a big deal. I refuse to step on the scale for fear of disappointment but my clothes tell the true story) I headed back into the choatic world of getting my 3 boys ready for school.
Nothing interesting happened. Same old thing. Ten minutes before leaving my oldest asked me for a "postcard with a Christmas scene on it." Huh? It's January 5th. Why?? Turns out he knew about this Before vacation. Yup. Ok. No. They're GONE! Fine. Ok. I'll get one. Grrrr.....
Then my little one started hollering because he couldn't find the Liner to one of his snow boots. Excuse me? Just why, Why?, does he need to take the liners out of his boots every single time he takes his boots off and What on earth does he do with them to cause them to be Lost for the next time he puts them on??? I tell ya....
As we walk out the door, I hear, "oh no! My basketball stuff!!" I had asked another one to put a bag together so I could grab it on my way to pick them up later. He had forgotten.
And, Nick's gloves were wet and I saw that they were ripped too. So, I took them, put them to dry, grabbed his beautiful warm dry new ski mittens and put them in the pile with his hat. When reaching in the back of the car for my hug goodbye at the school, he was acting slow and sneaky. I looked behind the seat and he was putting on the Old ripped wet gloves. I Don't GET IT!??! He cutely said, "sorry sorry sorry mommy!! I really do like the new ones you bought me...." ? I don't get it.
All normal day to day stuff. I have really good kids. They do super well in school. They never get in trouble. Ever. But, they are totally normal and they drive me to the state of Mommy goes insane from time to time. Sometimes the repetition of motherhood makes me lose it.
I drove away, shook my head, and started thinking about what I needed to accomplish in the 3 hrs I have 'free' today. (blogging wasn't on that list...oops.)
About a mile from home, a song came on the radio. There is nothing nostalgic or personal about it. I rarely even think of it. Ok, I Never think of it. It's just a song.
And without warning, I BURST out crying!!! ? I couldn't stop! I cried and cried and all the little things bothering me in life right now just felt right there on the surface.
Blek. what was That about?

I'm ok now. But instead of feeling productive and fresh in the New Year, I feel disorganized and stuck.

Maybe it's taper.

Except, Taper JUST started!!! I am not at all rested and zippy yet! NOt at all. SUnday I had my last long run. It went really well. My Coach called it a "Stud Run."
After that, I felt puffed up and ready to tackle that 26.2 next weekend.
I worked with my personal trainer yesterday and held planks with a 15 lb plate on my back.
Yes... I can turn 41 on Saturday with my head held high. Bring it on. I'm not done yet.
Today, I have some nasty 800s to attack. Again. Last time they left me searching for the best spot to loose my breakfast. I held on but yikes, it hurt.

Taper often brings less volume but more work. You hold on to some intensity but try to rest up the body and legs. It's not as easy as it sounds on paper when planning the season.

I am not too anxious (aka-nervous and freaked out) about the race yet. I am doing this for me. Only for me. I don't know a single competitor down there. I have nothing to proove. My old PR should be easy to crush but my new goal is going to be super tough. And yet, I am feeling fairly confident and just ready to see what I can do.
Will a PR be enough? Not really. My last marathon was October 2007 in Chicago. The heat wave that weekend caused the race directors to close down the course at the 4 hr mark. I had already finished, but it wasn't a PR for me that year. The year before, I ran the Maine Marathon. I was fit enough but I had just crashed my bike a few months early. The problem was I had a torn rotator cuff that was not yet diagnosed. All I knew was that my shoulder hurt like heck and I couldn't raise it up or move it forward and backwards. So, I ran that race with 1 arm in a way. That was my PR race. 3:27
I can beat that.
By how much? We'll see....

I don't think taper or race anticipation caused my little meltdown today. Who knows.
I'm over it now. I guess we all need to have a little cathartic moment now and then.