Thursday, June 23, 2011

Remembering to breathe today...

18 days ago I ran my first official marathon. It was hard. It felt like it would never end. I finished it but I didn't fully enjoy the triumph because I knew I would have to do it two more times in the next month or so. Marathon training has been one of the most exhausting and stressful things I have ever done. I am still not totally sure that it was worth signing up for three of them so close together. 
This week has been brutal too. In nearly every area of my life there has been a break down and it has been stressful and emotionally exhausting. I can't think of one thing that was reliably comforting this week. Lots of drama and hurt and stress. I feel drained and empty and like I have nothing left to give. Absolutely nothing. If it were up to me I would lock myself in my room and hide under the covers for the next three days just to recuperate from this week.  That's how bad it was. 
Instead I will be flying to Seattle tomorrow to run my second marathon. It will be a three day weekend full of traveling and expos and lots and lots of running. This will be such a different experience than the San Diego marathon. This time I will be alone. No one will be traveling with me. No one will be meeting me at mile 5 with a sign or running with me at mile 11. No one will be there at mile 25 when I fall apart and feel like I can't take another step. There will be no fanfare at the end after I hobble my way through the finish and reach the other side with a medal around my neck. There will be no one but me and my own two feet.

I'm glad it will be in Seattle because I absolutely love that city. I am looking forward to the weather and the change of scenery and if I'm really honest... part of me is really looking forward to the solitude. My introverted self is screaming to have some time to rest (sad that at this point I consider running a marathon rest). I really don't feel like I have anything to offer anyone at the moment and if I were home I think I'd just fall apart from the fatigue of it all. At least this way I can do nothing but focus on running and surviving the 26.2 miles of pavement I have waiting for me.

My schedule is pretty full and I still haven't figured out the logistics of how I will get around the city once I arrive... I guess we'll just see how it goes when I get there. I do hope to get a chance to go back to Pike's Place and take some photos and walk through the market again at the very least.

It is going to be a tough weekend but for the first time this week the toughness is for me. It has nothing to do with anyone else and their demands or shortcomings or misunderstandings. Nothing to do with work or relationships or friendships or family. It simply has everything to do with reaching down deep and finding the strength to conquer a marathon... for no one but me. I am not doing this for anyone else but myself. Running has always been the one thing that no one could take from me.  It gave me joy and strength and hope and peace and a sense of so much pride in who I was.... in who I am. If I let this disastrous week stop me from remembering that and fighting for that... than I will have let everyone else dictate my ability to prove that I am worth the fight. The only way I know how to fix that is to run and to run far. If I am successful it will either destroy me or it will be just the medicine I need to feel revived again.
I guess we will find out when I cross that finish line...

Friday, June 17, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday... a little late

1. There are certain shows that just make me happy. I don't know what it is but there is just something completely comforting about them. What's funny about it though, is that they are really random ones... Just a few I can think of... Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights, Drop Dead Diva (a lifetime tv show... I can't believe I'm admitting I watch that) Deadliest Catch... I have no explanation but on nights when I am up late and suffering from insomnia and the rest of the world is peacefully resting and I feel completely mad cause I can't sleep... these shows give me comfort. Yay for the little things.

2. Speaking of the little things. My BFF Kelly found this awesome tumblr that totally made my day.
One of my faves: #357. Changing into sweatpants. SO true.... one of the best feelings ever. Especially if you've been dressed up all day! Check it out. I'm sure it will make you smile. :)

3. The interns and residents at work crack me up sometimes. I can't tell you how many places I have found lines of surgical sutures attached to things. The most recent one was a phone cord. lol Obviously a teaching moment. Other fun places I've had to cut practice sutures from... chairs, blankets... the list goes on. Good times.

4. I recently started going to the Chiropractor and it has been time consuming (3 times a week I have to go for now) but it has been helping! I've been noticing some funny issues with my running form and I pretty consistently have neck, shoulder and back pain so when I found a deal at a local art and wine festival (random!) I decided to sign up for a consultation. So far, so good. When I ran my SD marathon my usual back and knee pain didn't flare up until mile 20ish which is amazing.

5. Just to give you an idea of how completely jacked up my spine is. Here is a picture of my x-ray. Your neck is supposed to have a very clear C-shape to it, with the rounded part of the C going toward your jaw line. My neck is so out of whack that its S-shaped and is basically going the opposite way it's supposed to go. Not good times.

6. I recently finished reading the novel that Kelly wrote. I have read a few different revisions of the book and I have to say that this was hands down my favorite. I am a difficult reader to catch. I don't read novels very often mainly because I don't find many of them interesting enough to spend the time reading them.... but this book was amazing. I may be biased because she is one of my best friends but seriously it was good. So good that when it was over I felt a sense of loss because I became so attached to the characters. It was filled with such insight and depth and compassion. It was beautifully written and had me in tears at points. She recently acquired an agent and is in the process of finding an editor. I can't wait to go buy her book someday and turn to the person next to me in the store and say "The girl who wrote this is one of my best friends!" Truly amazing!

7. I am slightly on the verge of burn out. This week I work 6 days in a row and then I have one day off and then I come back for 3 more days, then I leave right after to go to Seattle to run my second marathon. I don't have enough time to do anything. Time to clean my house properly, time to go to church, time to sleep, time to run enough, time to stop and have some "me time", time to study for the CCRN exam, time to actually see my friends more than once a month. I feel like I've had this issue for a while now and I'm starting to sound like a broken record. Don't really know how to fix it because my schedule doesn't look like it will be changing for a while.... but something's gotta give or I'm gonna have a melt down. Anyone have any ideas?

Friday, June 10, 2011

I did it... all 26.2 miles and then some!

I DID IT!!!!!!!
I ran my first official marathon!

Welcome to the land of torture. 26.2 miles of long grueling road. Over 32,000 people ran the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon. As you can see my corral was 32... it took me an entire hour to get to the start line!

An hour full of butterflies and excitement and "omg WHAT have I gotten myself into" and "oh lord its 6am and its already hot... this can't be good" and of course "well I guess there is no turning back now!".
It took a lot of gear... smart on my part because at one point they ran out of water cups during the race. I was able to refill my water bottle thankfully but being in the high 70's it was a brutal day to run a marathon and there were many folks who got heat stroke. 
 My racing bib that is now hanging on my wall at home with my medal. :)

 Mile 22 marker...  I felt a little like the sign at this point... a little broken and slightly unhinged. haha
One of my soon to be fellow marathon maniacs! Mad Hatter Fancy Pants. This man runs a minimum of 2 marathons a WEEK. He is currently going for the world record which is over 106 marathons in one year.
And people think I'M crazy for running 3 in two months.... geez, talk about determination!

Funny thing this guy did was at about .2 miles after the START line he holds up his sign "WOOT! YOU'RE ALMOST THERE!" and on the back it says "Only 26 miles to go!!!"
haha.... that's just mean

 Now I will admit this was hands down one of the most difficult things I have ever done but I was lucky enough to have some amazing people who came out and cheered me on. These folks below were with me along the course and at the finish and a few of them even ran a mile or two with me. Thanks to my bff Kristen aka "Snuffy" who caught me at my meltdown at mile 25 and ran the rest of the way with me until the finish. Bethany who was the best travel buddy ever made the trip SUCH a blast. Martin and Adam, Kristen's husband sat in the hot sun and got up early on a Sunday to come see me run this ridiculous distance. Seriously I have the best friends ever.
 Chris' dad also came out and ran from mile 11 to mile 12 with me which was so much fun and SO needed at that point. It was at the end of our steady 3 mile hilly portion of the race and I was slowing down quite a bit until he jumped fences and met me down on the freeway and ran beside me for a whole mile! Chris' family is the best. :)
At the end of the day I was incredibly relieved to be done and so very proud! Marathon #1 is officially in the books. Now it's time for Seattle and San Francisco!
Post race dessert :) What a way to end a day

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I am running 26.2 miles tomorrow!!!!!

Tomorrow I am running my first OFFICIAL Marathon. I'm kind of freaking out! I havent slept much the past few days. In fact I was up for 30+ hours because I got off of a 12 hour night shift at work and then drove straight down to San Diego. Slept 10 hours last night and I still feel like my head is a helium balloon, floating above my body.
Hopefully the adrenaline tomorrow will carry me through. The countdown has officially begun and in less than 24 hours I will have a 26.2 mile marathon medal around my neck!

Ready to Rock San Diego!!!!