Wednesday, January 9, 2008

T-Minus 4 Days!

Almost half a year of training. 168 days of waking up before the sun rises, giving up my lunch hour, and fundraising. 24 weeks of running everyday, lifting weights, and eating more carbs then I ever thought possible. 5 months of giving up my beloved Friday night happy hours. And for what? So I can suffer through 26.2 grueling miles in the Florida sun? Yup, pretty much.

If you asked me back in August why I was doing this, I would have made a joke. In fact, I did make a joke out of it. I made a lot of jokes...and I still do. Before I officially signed up with TNT, I texted myself a list of reasons I wanted to do this. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that if you take the battery out of your cell phone, it erases your saved messages. Damn. I’ve only read that list a couple times and I really wish I could remember everything on it. Prove I can. What else am I doing now? Get in shape. Great cause. Why not?! Whatever my motivations were at the time- I’m glad I did this. These past 5 months have made me a stronger person- not only physically, but mentally as well.

Not to be cliché, but I have proven to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. There were plenty of times when I questioned my ability to keep going. Take, for example, the day I first started running. It was a hot July day and I forced myself to do 2 miles- I did a mile out and back. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know which was tougher- those 2 miles or the 20 miles I did a couple weeks ago. They both pushed me to my limit and forced me to keep going, even when I wanted to stop. I know it sounds bizarre but- I was, and still am, just as proud of myself for finishing those 2 miles, as I was when I finished the 20. I don’t think it’s so much the distance that matters…its how hard you push yourself to get there.

When I would tell people in August that I was running a marathon, I would get one of the following responses:

How far is that? All marathons are 26.2 miles. It doesn’t matter where you run it, or when you do it…its 26.2 miles. Well actually, I guess I should take that back… (WARNING! Useless but kind of, interesting information to follow) The marathon was created for the 1896 Olympics (the inaugural modern day Olympics) in Athens, Greece to commemorate the run of the soldier Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens. Contrary to popular belief- his run was actually 24.85 miles. During the 1908 London Olympics, the race was extended to 26.2 miles so it would end in front of the royal family’s viewing box. Why couldn’t the royal family have sat at, I don’t know, mile 20!!!
Oh My God! Where? When? WHY?!! Yes, I am. In Disney World, January. I’m doing it to raise money for Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma research. Would you like to make a donation?
How far have you run so far? Well, I’m in training, so no, I haven’t done the entire thing just yet. But I have really great coaches and I’m training real hard.

and as for the most common response…

Laughing directly in my face. Some people try and hide it, but most just laugh at me. YOU’RE running a marathon. Hahahahaha. One girl who was training for the half switched over to the full when I told her I was doing it and said (right to my face) “Oh, you’re doing the full? Haha, then I can definitely do it!”

But lately, the main question I get…

Are you ready? Well I f’n hope so! I have busted my butt and listened to my coaches. I have done the workouts, ate the gu’s, read the books, and gotten the sleep (okay, maybe not so much for the sleep but…). I’ve scouted the course, planned when to refuel, and come up with a race day plan. I’ve booked my flight, reserved my hotel and have my outfit ready.

Then why don’t I feel ready?

Right now I have a mixture of emotions. I go from being 100% excited and can’t wait ready to go to holy shit you have got to be kidding me. I can’t do this, what the hell am I thinking! No, no, no. Again it sounds corny, but if I believe I can do, I’ll be able to do it. That’s the cool thing about running. You don’t have to be great at it, you just have to want to be. Sweet Life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wouldof made a good post...

I ran 20 miles this Saturday. I should have made it 21, just for shits and giggles because then I could make a real fun post comparing my feelings towards my 21 mile run and 21st Birthdays. Like I could talk all about how nervous and excited I was coming up to the big day. I mean 21 miles? Me? I don't think so... No more need for a fake ID? Now that's just crazy talk! Would I be able to make it 21 miles!! Would I be able to take 21 shots!! Then after I talked about my preparation, I could talk about the actual experience. How I've been training for months, running everyday, and slowing building my endurance up. How I trained for years, chalking ids, sneaking into bars, passing out under picnic tables, and slowing building my tolerance up all the while. Oh man, we could take a look back to the beginning, when I honest to god was dying after a 3 mile run. How we used to sneak Zima's into the back of TK's mom's mini van and be drunk off of them. After all that, I'd go into how much I built up this event. That somehow this was the run that was going to determine if I could run a marathon. This was the night I was going to prove (i dunno what) to my peers. Then I would finish by saying how happy I was that I was done with it. That I could finally get rid of my fake ID. I guess I'm a runner...and a legal one at that. Yeah, that would have made for a great post. Sweet Life...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

13 miles is "semi long"????

Saturday was a "semi long" run. 13 miles at Sunken Meadow. Since when do I classify a 13 mile run as semi long?? Really Colleen? Really? Susan and I tackled those dreaded hills and finally at our last practice at Sunken Meadow discovered you can do a 3 mile loop and totally avoid both Snake and Cardiac Hills. Hmmmmm do you think the coaches strategically planned on waiting until now to share this information with us or do you think it was an ironic coincidence? I should also note that we got lost when attempting to run this new route and in turn, led 2 others on the wrong path. Guess that's what you get when you choose to follow me...

So during this "nice little 13 miles" Susan and Coach Dave started talking to me about being a mentor for the Long Island Marathon. Ummmm what?!! I don't know if its more crazy that they want me to be a mentor or that I'm considering it. I mean really, lets get through this one before we start up this crazy talk about another. Now, I'm not totally saying no to the idea- I'm just not saying yes either. I think practices start in February which would give me about two weeks off- which I need to take so A. my body will be able to recover from the severe beating it will encounter during the Marathon and B. so my body will be able to recover from the severe beating it will encounter during my first Friday Night Happy Hour in 5 months. But then again, I've already invested so much time, energy and money into getting in shape and looking good while doing so (minus the ugly sneakers and fanny pack of course) to not continue running. Buttttt- Friday Night Happy Hours are one of my favorite things ever. I've also heard that the Long Island Marathon kinda sucks. Apparently most of it is along the Wantagh Parkway and there are no spectators. That doesn't surprise me being its right near my house and I've never even heard about it until this year. I've also been talking to my college roommate and we might try and run a half marathon together. I mean I'm sure I can do 2 halves even if they are one weekend after the other as long as I train appropriately. Let's be serious- I've done AT LEAST a half marathon for the past 3/4 weeks in a row....Sweet Life.

Friday, December 7, 2007

18 miles

Wow! So much to update about. I guess the biggest so far is that I completed my 18 miler on Saturday! Now, I want you to picture 18 miles- that's a looooong way. I'm sure you know that, but really...take a second and imagine to yourself how far 18 miles truly is. Now, picture me running all of it. Can't do it? Don't worry, neither can I, which is why I mapped it out. This map isn't the actual route I took but holy crapola!! I ran pretty much the entire height of long island! Pure craziness.

Susan, my running partner since like week 2 wasn't there because she had her first tri practice. She is starting to train for a Half Ironman Triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run)! Yeah, starting to train for that while still training for Disney. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but she is training for the full marathon but competing in the half. Good thing Joanne was at practice because 18 miles by myself...would not have been fun. As much as I enjoy Joanne's company, I wouldn't exactly describe my workout Saturday morning as fun. Probably because of that whole I refuse to admit to myself that I enjoy it aspect. For the record, we will say that Joanne and I had a good run and workout and established pretty much everything for the big day. We decided that we are just going to have *fun* with it. Enjoy our walk breaks. Take them at each mile marker rather then every 10 minutes. (which is pretty much the same but we decided it would be easier to take it at the mile markers then have to keep worrying about looking at a watch). Take in the experience. Finish strong. More importantly, finish together.

Unfortunately I can't bask in my glory of 18 miles because I'm already freaking out about next week when I will actually have to do the entire height of long island...then a little more. Ahhhh and that's not even the marathon! It is however the day I have been freaking out about since I first saw it glaring at me on my schedule back in longest training run ever. I'm not talking to date, although its obviously that too, I'm talking this is it. This is the dress rehearsal for the big day...20 miles! I think I'm freaking out about it more because I don't wantto do it, rather then I don't think I can do it. I mean I already did 18- I know I can do 20- but ahhhh its freezing out and lets be honest, I'm slow which means its gonna take FOR-EV-ER. Took me just under 4 hours to do 18, so I'm thinking its gonna be just over 4 for 20. That means we are looking at a 5-5:30 hour marathon! Now, I know I've said it before and I'm gonna say it again.

I don't care about my marathon time...I just want to cross the finish line.

This is actually the only long run I really know how long it took me to do, but for the most part we have been pretty consistent with a 10 min mile pace. I mean its probably good that I have some idea on my time... Anyway, I'm proud of my 18 miler, dreading my 20, feel absolutely fine about my 13 miler tomorrow, and can't believe the marathon is just over a month away! Ahhhhhh! Well the actual marathon freaking out can wait until the second I'm done with this 20 mile run. And I guarantee I will start really freaking out about it the second I'm done. Well, to be honest...I will prob start freaking out around mile 15 of my 20 miler.

In other news, I bought what I can only describe as a runners fanny pack.
Ha Ha Ha Okay, done making fun of me? I am doing this for you, loyal readers of my rarely updated blog. I am going to sport this pack so I can carry a disposable camera with me during the race. Good idea huh! Also, I'm going to need a place to keep my gu's, cliff blocks and salt. Yeah salt- weird right? Apparently you sweat all (or at least too much of) the sodium out of your body and need to eat salt in order to replenish it. Ummmm okay. Whatever. I've learned to trust my coaches without question and just do what they say. They say run, I say how far. They say eat this disgusting orange flavored gu, I say how much. They know what they are talking about and were able to get me to this point, so I'm not going to start second guessing them now. No, I'm just going to lace up my ugly sneakers, snap on my fanny pack and run...making sure that I don't forget to stop and take a picture with Micky Mouse while guzzling down a packet of salt. Sweet Life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turkey Trots and Treadmills

Against my better judgment, I went out Wednesday night for a couple drinks (and by a couple I really mean about 8 too many vodka's with splashes of cranberry). At least I successfully managed to over tip the bartenders by 300%, get in a fight with the bouncer because I didn't want him to put a stupid "x" on my hand, sneak my underage brother into the bar, and have a heart to heart with Frank, the taxi driver on the way home. Although I'm not positive what time I actually got home, I know the sun wasn't up yet so at least I had that going for me before I had to run the 5 mile GC Turkey Trot.

Let's just say that those 5 miles weren't my proudest, but that's okay because I finished. My time was like 52 min, so that's like a 10 something mile pace and although I know I could have pushed myself more, I'm not about to get all bent out of shape about it either. I haven't worried about time before, so I don't know why I should worry about it now. My goal’s never been to finish Disney in under x amount of hours, it’s just to finish.

But then again, I think it's the competitor in me that is still worried about the time. Not so much for the marathon, that I will honestly be happy as long as I finish. But this 5 miler…I should have done better. Regardless of what I did Wednesday night.

Saturday's long run was 13 miles again. We've done 13 a couple of times now and I feel comfortable with the distance. Susan and I were actually talking about how we could have kept going at the end. I mean I know I could have kept going another mile or 2 or 3 but 6…ahhhh yeah I don’t know about that. And that’s exactly what I’m going to have to do next Saturday. Ahhhhhh 18 miles! That’s redic. Literally crazy. I’ve been stressing about it all week. Actually, that’s a lie…I’ve been stressing about it since August when I first got on this whole “wouldn’t it be fun to run a marathon” kick.

Yesterday I was scheduled to do 5 miles and because my weekday runs are longer and I can’t really do them during lunch, I am forced to run after work which means…the dreadmill. Gross. I mean I got a great workout in last night and did a random hill workout at a faster speed then normal because I wanted to really push myself yesterday. I think it was really me sub-consciencly punishing myself for a shitty performance at the Turkey Trot. I did the entire 5 miles of hills and only stopped to walk twice. Both times were after long sprints at the utmost incline…thus well deserved.

I have to work out during lunch today which means I wouldn’t be able to do my scheduled 6 miles, but I’m gonna make up for it with another pretty intense workout. Unfortunately coach Dennis was doing the mid-week coached run this morning at 6am and I wouldn’t have time to go to that and make my 7:02 train, but he explained the workout to me at our coached run on Saturday, so I’m gonna try and mimic it the best I can on the treadmill today. It’s actually nice out and me, being totally unprepared, didn’t bring anything to run outside in. Although it is nice out, I don’t think it would be that smart to simply wear shorts and a t-shirt outside and run…especially because I’m still trying to get over this cold that I’ve had for the past 3 weeks. Ahhh I’m getting mad at myself because this morning I even thought to myself “o, you should pack some warmer clothes to run outside in…just in case. But beings that I was running late (obviously…I don’t think there ever is a morning that I’m not running late…) I just threw a pair of shorts and a short sleeve shirt in my bag and ran out. So I guess its another day on the treadmill…but I guess that beats another hung-over morning running through the streets of Garden City. Sweet Life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sad News

I just received devastating news. As you all know, I am running this marathon in order to raise money for Leukemia and other blood cancers through Team In Training. Every member of the Team has an honored hero, or somebody that we are running in honor of, somebody who is either fighting, successfully fought, or lost the fight to cancer. Deborah, one of my teammates just sent out an e-mail to the team letting us know that her honored hero, Brendan, lost his fight yesterday. He was 2.

This just goes to reaffirm why myself and thousands of other TNT’rs are doing this. Not because we like to run, not because we like to wake up at ungodly hours of the morning to train…we are doing it for kids like Brendan. We are doing it because we are healthy and we can...and we will continue doing so until we reach our goal. Not the goal of crossing a finish line, our goal to help find a cure. If you haven’t already donated, please consider making a donation by clicking the link to your right.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

(Happy) Sweet 16!

Happy Sweet 16 to me! No, I’m not talking about the crappy MTV reality kind of overblown drama filled show with annoying girls spending Daddy’s money kind of 16th birthday. I’m talking I ran 16 miles this Saturday!!!

No matter how much fun of the show I make, 16th birthdays are a monumental and changing point in most girls’ lives and I was no exception. It’s an age where you are no longer a child, really start to “find yourself” and form your identity as an adult. Does that mean that I’m starting to develop myself as a runner? It’s like I just finished my freshman year of high school. I have become close with my teammates and overcame so many obstacles to get to this point…but yet I am still a youngin. I am anxious but scared of what the future holds for me. I know with the guidance of my teachers, my coaches, I will be able to graduate. I will be a marathoner.

It’s weird because before this run I don’t think I really admitted it to myself. I also don’t think I really comprehended how long 26.2 miles was. I still don’t think I comprehend how long 26.2 miles is…maybe that’s because I have no sense of direction…maybe its because I’m scared to map it out…

I don’t know if I will ever consider myself a runner. It’s just not an adjective I would use to describe myself- words I would use? Well, I like to have fun, travel, and go out. I think it’s the word “like” that gets in the way. Do you have to like something in order to be it? Yeah, I talk about not being a runner, but at the same point I guess I am very much a runner. I mean, I’m logging between 20 and 30 miles a week, giving up my Friday nights to rest, Saturday nights because I’m exhausted from my long run, and all day on Sunday because my legs literally feel like jelly. Because it takes up so much of my time, I guess it’s only fair to call myself a runner…right?

I’m planning on signing up for a 5 mile “Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving and another 5 mile race in the beginning of December. When I told Kate I was gonna do them, I immediately followed by writing “WHO THE F AM I?” (we talk via email like its IM). This is a sentence that pops up quite frequently in our emails. What on earth would possess me to voluntarily sign up for a race the day, oh excuse me…the morning, after what is arguably one of the biggest party nights of the year?!!! It’s not like I plan on winning the race…I just think it might be...I don’t know…fun? But can it possibly be more fun then the anniversary of never ending free buckets of Jimmy cosmo’s? (Side note…Jimmy is a bartender who used to work at the fill and he makes the world’s best cosmopolitan. No contest.) So what if I might get a t-shirt for the race, but who knows, after a night of “Jimmy cosmos” I’ll most likely be needing much more then just a free t-shirt. Then I’m planning on doing the Wantagh Snowball Run in the beginning of December which is going to require me to wake up even earlier then normal, map out a 7 mile run to do by myself, then end up at the start of the race and do the last 5 of my scheduled 13 mile run as the race. The reason I’m doing that? Simple…free beer at the end of the race!

So there you go. Thanksgiving eve I am planning on forfeiting a great night just to run 5 miles and get a crappy t-shirt. Then two weeks later I am redoing my schedule so I can get free beer at the end of the race. So that leaves me once again wondering WHO THE F AM I? At least I’m not on some self centered MTV reality show. Sweet life.