Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Race Week!

And just like that, it's race week!  I'm amazed at how fast this training cycle went. I think that training for a triathlon and a marathon at the same time for much of the summer made this cycle go by even faster than usual. I'm so thankful that I've stayed healthy and have felt good during most of my runs.  Here's my goals and strategy for the race on Sunday and how you can track me!!  (warning, lengthy post to follow, feel free to scan it or skip it if running isn't your thing!)


I usually set A, B, and C goals for a race but this time around I only have one "real" goal which is to finish in less than 4 hours. Sure, I want to have fun and finish with a smile on my face but I'd be lying if I said that my sole focus wasn't coming in under 4 hours, even if that means 3:59:59. I came fairly close in Des Moines when I ran a 4:03:34 so hopefully I can shave ~ 4 minutes off of that time.  I know I am a stronger runner than I was 3 years ago when I ran Des Moines so hopefully all of my hard work pays off on Sunday.

That said, I am trying to prepare myself mentally to not reach my goal.  It will be challenging and I don't want to beat myself up if I don't run a sub-4 hour marathon or if I don't PR.  After my RA diagnosis, I never thought I'd run another marathon so I will also be focusing on appreciating that my body has healed enough to allow me to run this race.


My plan is to line up with the 4 hour pace group but try to run my own race.  I want to stay slightly ahead of them, but not too far ahead as I need to be careful about not going out too fast.  John and my run club buddy will be running with me, too, so we'll be able to cheer each other on and motivate each other.  I'll definitely bring headphones and listen to some Taylor Swift as soon as I need the motivation/distraction which could be earlier in the race.

For fuel, I've changed plans as it was just too hard to carry the number of apple sauce packets that I will need.  I thought about carrying 3 and having Phil hand some to me when he is spectating but I felt it was too risky to rely on him as it can be tough to spot spectators, and vice versa.  So 2 weeks ago, I started training with Huma gels.  They were recommended to me as they are not super sweet, they are chia seed-based, and they are all-natural.  I felt great on the 2 long runs that I had them on so I feel confident about using them on race day.

For a distraction, I'll once again turn my pace bracelet into a prayer bracelet and will dedicate each mile to a different person.  It was fun to look back on my last race recap and read my reflection on my prayer bracelet:

'The prayer bracelet proved to be a great strategy, though.  I prayed for marriages, both new and seasoned, babies, a friend who is trying to have a baby, nephews, a niece, and faux nephews and nieces.  I prayed that single friends would meet their husbands soon.  I spent the final 5 miles praying for an aunt who has cancer, as well as the sister and mom of two friends that are battling cancer, too.  I said Hail Mary's and Our Fathers and thought to myself (and said out loud a couple of times) - this is so hard.  But I made it through, with a bright, shiny PR (and very sore, beat up legs/feet).'

A couple of those prayers have been answered, 2 of which I bolded, which is neat to see.  It's always fun to decide who to pray for during each mile and it really is the best distraction. I know for sure that I will be dedicating the last 3 miles to a friend's mom who is losing a battle with lung cancer; hopefully thinking of my friend, her mom, and her family will give me some perspective during those miles.  

How you can track me:

If you care to follow along from afar, you can sign up to track me.  You can look me up by my name, which most of your know, or by my bib number which is 6320.  The cut off for signing up to track me is Saturday night at 7 pm.  Thanks in advance to those of you who will be cheering me on from afar!  I really appreciate the support and encouragement!

One last note:

The local Black Lives Matter chapter has announced their intention to disrupt the marathon and shut-down the course. Their plan it to stop the race at mile 25 and not allow runners to finish the race.  I hope and pray that this does not happen.  I don't want to get into a debate about this organization in this post because it's too complex for a post about a marathon but I will say that it would be very heart breaking if they succeed in doing this.  So while you are sending me good vibes for my race, if you could also send up a prayer that the protest is a peaceful protest and doesn't prevent me from finishing my race, that would be great.  I've got enough to worry about without having to worry about this!

And now my focus this week will shift to eating well, drinking lots of water, and getting as much sleep as I can so I will be ready to attack my goal with gusto!  Wish me luck and send me lots of good vibes on Sunday!!!


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Good luck! I have signed up to track both you and John. I wish I could be there to see you cross the finish line under 4 hours, but I know you can do it without me. However I will be sending good vibes your way all day! I am so proud of you for tackling this and so happy that your body is allowing you to do so! Go and get 'em, tiger!

This video may provide you with a bit of inspiration...watching it makes me cry a bit! The backstory is that at Western States (100M), the cut off is 30 hours. If you come in after 30, you don't get counted. This year, a 70+ year old woman was the last one to finish. Her finish was so spectacular that the winner of the race, Rob Krar, who finished in 14 hours, waited for her and ran in to the finish with her. Check it out:

missris said...

Good luck! I know you've trailed really hard (and smart) and will do an amazing job. I will be tracking you!!

Marlys said...

I will sign up to track you, too! I love your prayer plan - wonderful idea and to offer up any suffering you are going through at the time to those you are praying for! I think you need to add your Dad to the list as he overdid it last Thursday and his ankle is swollen and tender. He is struggling with walking but getting better each day. He worked 10 hours on his feet that day and drove antoher 6 hours, so he is paying for it.
I pray the race doesn't get stopped by that group. Very selfish idea!
We;ll be rooting for you!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Woohoo! Good luck Lisa! Strong thoughts headed your way. I know you can do it! And I always like he idea of a prayer bracelet because it seems like it would help your mind a bit drift from the thoughts of pain and all the hard work your body is doing.

Unknown said...

Woohoo! A Huma convert! Haha. I'm so glad you like them. What flavors have you tried? My favorites are Raspberry, Strawberry, and Lemonade. Blueberry, Apple Cinnamon and Mango are okay, and I haven't had the others.

I'll be writing my race strategy in a few days, I'm still thinking about it and trying to devise a good plan.

Nora said...

Just signed up to track you! So excited for you and this race. I know you can meet your goal. Lots of prayers and good vibes your way this Sunday and as we talked about, fingers crossed that nothing interrupts your race. xoxox

Carolina John said...

You got this in the bag! I'll keep you from going too fast at the start then you can leave me behind when it's time. I only feel about 70% confident about my ability to go sub-4 since my focus has been on going slow and long to kick off 100 miler training. I'll likely come in around 4:05 or something.

Mostly I can't wait to hit up the Twins game and see the rest of your city! So much fun awaits. I wish Kyria could be there too.

Caroline said...

Good luck Lisa!! I'll be thinking of you and sending speed/strength your way!!

Jenny said...

All the best for your race! It's been a big time commitment and you've worked hard to put in the miles so you certainly deserve to achieve your goal.

Good luck to both you and Carolina John!

Stephany said...

Good luck, good luck, good luck! You have trained so hard and I just know you will do well. And just think of where you are now compared to where you were when you were just diagnosed with RA! It's amazing, really.

And gosh, I really hope nothing interrupts your race. I don't understand why they would target the last few miles of a marathon? Not cool!

Jeanie said...

All the best luck in the world, my friend! I'm thinking that a couple of years ago one might wonder if you'd ever run a marathon at all, much less so soon. This is just terrific! Good luck on every level!

Abby said...

Many prayers are being said for you! And I will be cheering you in from AZ all morning Sunday! I get super excited to think about this - as after your RA daignosis, we didn't know if you could ever run again.

and look at you now! Running a marathon, and trying to a sub-4 hour marathon! That is amazing!! So so so proud of you, sister!

Love that idea about the prayer bracelet!

Emilie said...

I am all signed up to track you! So excited for you and so proud of how far you have come. I totally understand wanting to meet your sub-4 goal but I think this race is such an incredible testament to your will and drive and the fact that you'll be at the starting line this weekend is a huge accomplishment all in itself. So so so excited to follow along and will be sending all the good vibes and prayers your way!!

Amber said...

I just signed up to track you! Hope it works since I have a Canadian number!! So so proud of you to be tackling this marathon, it is such an amazing accomplishment for you. I know how hard it has been to go through your RA diagnosis and I too remember when you weren't sure if you'd be able to run again nevermind run a long distance race such as this one! So proud of you and so excited for you and crossing my fingers your race is not interrupted by protests.

Also that video Kyria shared is SO AMAZING!!!!

Leigh said...

Good luck this weekend Lisa! Not that you need it though as you killed your training and you are going to do so well! My fingers are crossed that the race goes on as planned and is not interrupted

megabrooke said...

Good luck! I love the idea of a prayer bracelet!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I hope your race went well today :-)