Sunday, April 30, 2017

It Takes An Army

I can do hard things.  Really hard things.  

Let's face it.  Running and life is hard.  But, the hard is what makes it great!   




This week I didn't focus on running.  To be honest,  I have been pretty damn scared that all of my hard training would be in the toilet because of my stupid shin.   I've touched my shin five-thousand times in the last two weeks.  'Is it hurt?'  'Am I sore?'  'Stress reaction?' ' Shin splint?'   The uncertainty consumed me. 

I drove myself mad.  I ran very few miles to continue nursing my "maybe-I'm-hurt" leg.  This new found madness forced me to focus on other areas of my fitness.  I am still attending my weekly kick-boxing class where I once again thought that calf raises were a good thing.  LOL - My goodness, I was sore!  I have also been focusing at home on core strength and have been working on my plank skills and pushups.   It's a whole new kind of sore.  

Amidst all the chaos that is life and marathon training,  I have learned an invaluable lesson.   It takes an army.  



Running and training for a marathon is not a one-man job.   Of course,  I am in control of my success. I am the one actually running the race.  I am the one with the 4:45 am wake-up calls on a Saturday morning.   I am the one with the sore muscles.   am the one who cries tears of joy after accomplishing such a feat.  I cross the finish line.   

But, we've all heard that there is no "I" in team.  There is no "I" in army.    I would never accomplish completing a marathon without the ones around me.  

My most important army is my husband and my kids.   I do try to do most of my training runs early in the morning before work and before my family is out of bed for the day.   Unfortunately,  that can't happen for my long runs.  Long runs are time consuming!  A three-hour run, then turns into an ice bath, followed by a shower and a huge breakfast to restore depleted calories.  Those Saturday long runs are entire morning commitments. 

I run knowing that my family is fine and my husband has it under control.   Sometimes, my mother and father-in-law help too.  It really does take an army. 

And, then there's YOU!  My internet army.  My friends in our little corner of the internet.   Some I've met,  some I can't wait to meet.  I couldn't do this training without YOU!  I value all of the advice.  I love the compassion, the camaraderie,  the joy,  the tears.  All of it.  If it weren't for my running and blogging friends near and far,  I simply couldn't do it.  So, thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  Thank you! 





Saturday, I had an important 20 mile training run on the plan.  I didn't want to skip it due to my nagging shin.  But, I also wanted to be smart as well.  Grandma's Marathon is only 7 weeks away.  My training is ramping up in mileage.  I knew that I would be disappointed if I didn't at least try to run the miles.  My shin was feeling good after 5 days rest,  so I went for it. 

My plan was to take it easy, see how it felt after a few miles, and go from there.  I only ran Monday this week and the run was fantastic with great tempo splits.  5 days off did me good.  

I finished my 20 miles in 3:08:18.  9:25 per mile.  The first 16 miles were at marathon pace 9:09, which made me very happy.  I really struggled to complete the last 4 miles though.  My body was cramping from my hips to my knees.  I had strange cramping on the inside of my quads even.   My running partner told me that she only saw me eat once during the 10 miles she ran with me.  She literally willed me to keep going and pointed out that if I could continue, I should.   She knew that I would be so disappointed in myself if I didn't get to 20.  

She was right.  I didn't eat enough the 2nd half of my run.  Fueling is a weakness.  I need to work on it.   It takes an army.  If it weren't for Heather and her encouragement,  I would have stopped at 17 miles and walked home.    After the run she texted me this,  

"Holy shit.  You're hard core.  I KNEW you would've been so upset with yourself if you hadn't hit 20.  I was prepared to drag you by the pony tail if I had to.  In a completely loving way, or course. " 

I texted right back.  

"THANK YOU!!! Seriously, I love you!"

You see, we can do hard things.  It sometimes take an army.   We can make our minds and our bodies do crazy things if we work hard.    Surround yourself with family and friends who "get" you and the sky is the limit.

I am happy to report, other than the fact that I'm walking like a 100 year old grandma and I'm sore in the most crazy places,  I have no shin pain.  WAHOO!!



Well, army - thank you!

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!










30 comments:

  1. I love this post! I often say it takes a village to train a marathoner, but I like the army perspective better. It's so true. My army commander (my husband) isn't super happy with me running while I'm on LOA from work. Hopefully once I go back, he'll calm down.

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  2. That's great news!! I was worried to hear you were having issues in the midst of the high mileage weeks still ahead. I hope the shin is over its attitude ;-)

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  3. I love your "this is my thank you dance" gif - SO cute!
    You're so right - friends, family and internet friends are so important when training, especially for a marathon! I love the encouragement and positivity from people - it really makes a difference.

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  4. That's an amazing 20 miler, Sista! A long marathon training run truly consumes a whole day, sometimes two if you are "spent" the next day. Sometimes there is little energy to do anything else. You should see my house! (No, really you shouldn't! LOL) It's wonderful you have the support you need! I hope the shin calms down. Thanks for linking, Gina!

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  5. Sounds like you are being really smart with your training! I don't run long enough to need fuel, but I was hurting during my 90 min bike ride this weekend - I definitely will need to take some fuel if I do that route again.

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  6. Awesome 20 miler at an awesome pace!! I knew you could do it!! You will have an amazing race at Grandma's!!

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  7. It certainly does take an army! It's so much harder when you have little kids too. Hope your shin is feeling better!

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  8. That's great that apparently the shin is not an issue.

    Despite how slow I ran today, it was hard & I was all sorts of sore during, but not too bad afterward.

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  9. Great to hear the run went well, even if you're sore afterwards. I walked around the grocery store today after my run, and I wasn't very quick. I considered that my cool down.

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  10. Brilliant post! It truly takes an army. I posted a race recap today and at the end wanted to thank people for their support. The list ended up being so long!

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  11. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS girl! So often we think that we have to do it all, and do it ourselves. It is bollocks. Reach out before you break!
    Great great great job on your 20 miles!

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  12. ...and that is why the Team is in front of my name. We definitely don't do this in a vacuum. I'm beyond thrilled for you. Plus your body is going to adapt now so the next 20 won't feel as hard. And you got invaluable fueling insights that are going to pay off come race day. Way to go!

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    1. Thanks Marcia! Have a fun date with Wendy!

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  13. That's great that your shin did not hurt after all those miles!
    If I take 2 GU's during a 20 mile run then I'm lucky. I stink at eating/fueling on a run.

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    1. Fueling is definitely something I'm working on for sure!

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  14. LOVE this post and your Thank You dance, too. A 3 hour run is a huge commitment - you and your army are doing so well.

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  15. I love everything about this post! Congrats on getting your 20 miler done and yay for no shin pain!!

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  16. I am so happy to hear that your shin wasn't an issue on your 20-miler! It sounds like you'e got a great running partner!

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  17. So glad you had a great 20 miler with no shin pain! It really does take an army! But ultimately it was your decision to rest that allowed you to get out there and do it, so be proud of yourself for that!

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  18. Yay for no shin pain!!! That's huge!

    I'm kind of worried about a weird foot pain I'm having. And I don't like it...

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  19. Doing hard things make you stronger! Love the support that gets us through our hard runs.

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  20. This was such a great read as I mentally prepare to start training for my first marathon. I know that I'll be depending on my husband to help out more with our son while I'm out on my training runs, especially the long ones over the weekend. There definitely is no "I" in team.

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  21. Congratulations on that 20 miler! My 9 this past Saturday was painful enough...I can't even imagine 20!! Yes, it definitely takes a lot of support from friends and family ...especially when there are little ones involved. Good luck and hope that shin stays healthy!

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  22. Yay to no shin pain and to 20 miles- that is awesome! I love the shout out, so sweet! Fueling is always an issue for me too- and I need to figure it out! I love Saturday long runs but you are right, it can consume the whole morning! Go team!

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  23. It absolutely takes an army! I can't tell you how many times my parents have had to help watch the kids so I could do a long run or big races like Boston would never happen without them.

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  24. it's so, so true!! without all the support, we probably wouldn't even get as far as we have! and even the "loners" out there have a support system. we can't do this all on our own.

    I'm SO glad you made it through your 20 miler, especially after worrying about your shin all week!!

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  25. I just broke my ribs and I haven't able to train! I feel your pain, thanks for the read it made me feel better!
    -Shiro

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  26. Running has changed my life too. There are so many advantages of running!

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