I'm here...alive, a little tired, but ready to write again. The spring is over, school is out, and my life is mine again. As any mom of a school-aged kid can attest, their schedule becomes your schedule and you spend 90% of your day in the car. I'm thankful t-ball did not overlap (much) with LA Marathon training; I'm not sure I would have had enough energy for both. Sprinkle on a healthy helping of additional volunteer gigs, a new business, and a very busy husband (four trials, five months ::insert grimace here::) and I quickly found myself over my head.
It was a tough spring. Days flew by and I never seemed to get everything done. But as the long, hot summer stretches in front of us, some recent social preening has opened up my fall calendar to focus on what I need. Scotty fell so in love with baseball that we are already signed up for Fall Ball. Like Charlie and his golden ticket, I found myself the lucky recipient of an entry to the St. George marathon. The Las Vegas Chapter of Medals 4 Mettle just continues to grow and some very cool collaborations are on the horizon. My new business, Presentation Matters, is swimming along nicely. I feel like I can finally breath again. Maybe some people dread the summer months with the kids at home; for me, I'm excited to have the Bear with me and already agreed to pay him as my assistant when he comes on jobs with me. (do I need to get him a W9? How exactly does this work?)
With Scotty entering kindergarten in the fall, I'm shifting the focus of the blog from motherhood/children to more about running/weight loss. He's old enough now to feel embarrassment by his mom sharing stories on the internet. The blog has been moving in the direction for a number of years anyway, so it seems like a natural fit.
So...running. The recovery from LA was one of the longest and hardest ones I've had. Even the ultra, with the lack of sleep and chaos of Brian's hospitalization, I was able to make it to Hill Day on Wednesday. After LA, on Tuesday night, I texted a terse "Not gonna make it" as I laid supine on the couch. My legs, oh my legs. Maybe it was the heat or dehydration or the copious amount of Chardonnay I tearfully consumed in the days after the race, but man, I was hurting. Emotionally, I felt as though I had let everyone down. LA was supposed to be my sub-4 marathon that would set me up for a Boston-Qualifer in the fall. Not only did I not make, I wasn't even close. I spent a solid week beating myself up over my performance, eating golden Oreos, and licking my wounds. Boston had never seemed so far away. Maybe I just didn't have it.
It wasn't until Reinier suggested running the Summerlin half marathon that I felt that familiar spark of interest. Summerlin was April 12, about 4 weeks post-LA. Technically, I should be fully physicially recovered (assuming I put the pita chips down). Mentally, 13 miles sounded amazing, but could I beat my time from last year? I had run it in 1:52 and was delirious proud of that time. Thankfully, before I could continue this negative spiral of setting unrealistic goals and never making them, a friend pulled me aside and said the course had changed and was much harder. Don't go for a PR, he said, just aim for under 2. I took it to heart and practiced on the course. I learned ALTA is a four-letter word and wtf, Far Hills? Adding a monster hill at mile 9 seemed downright cruel. I recalibrated my expectations, drank a ton of water, and gave it a go.
Turns out, Summerlin 2015 will go down as one of my favorite races ever. Running without expectations is so freeing. I mean, I still had my Garmin on, and yes, I wanted to do sub-2, but my brain wasn't screaming at me at every mile. Some Boot Camp friends from out of town surprised us on the course at different mile points, and I almost started crying when I saw them. Not only did they provide extra water (it was hot!), but conversation and a great mental break. Kat was waiting for me at the base of that monster hill as we had agreed, and her pacing helped me concentrate on the mile ahead. This half will go down as one of the most joyful, fun races I've ever done. I breezed in at 1:57, hot, thirsty, but redeemed.
All sights are set on St. George for now. Over the last few months, I've worked to increase my speed and get my weight down. Qualifying for Boston means 3:40 or less; that equates to around 8:22/mile. It's getting more and more competitive to get in, despite a qualifying time, so faster is better. With the beautiful St. George elevation profile, I'm hoping the net-down course will give me some extra speed. I ran a 5K at the end of May with a new PR of 23:43 (7:38/mile), which was nothing but a gift from God considering we had people over the night before and I drank like, 2 bottles of wine. (all of this drinking...this is not making me sound very good. It was an ill-advised decision, without a doubt. I do not recommend drinking the night before a race). Considering I wasn't even sure I was going to make it to the race because of my throbbing headed, I was shocked by my PR. Yes, I spent several minutes dry heaving at the finish line, which seemed like a suitable punishment. Yet I took 3rd place overall and even got a tiny plaque. Life is weird.
Happy to report, I've shelved the booze and am opting for water these days. Weight is coming off and I officially weigh less today than I did at my wedding. I'm less than what my driver's license says, and since I've gained a 1/2 inch of height from Pilates, I should probably head to the DMV soon since I'm essentially committing fraud. (when I told Brian this, he just rolled his eyes). With so many new people at boot camp these days, it's been a chance to reflect on what I've done over the last four years. I want to tell them, "Be consistent! Follow the program! It works!!" It really does. It's fun to feel strong and to run fast. I never thought I would get here.
But there's still a ton of work to do. I hope you stay with me as I blog about my fifth marathon. Lord knows it's a giant roller coaster of emotion. Buckle up!
And with that...here we go! :-)