Oh how summer flies by…
After Shiprock Marathon in May and then my Memorial Day Riverfest 10k, I participated in the One Run for Boston Relay across the country. I was very humbled by the entire experience. I don’t really know what to write about it since it encompasses so much; signing up for it, planning it, running the actual leg, the aftermath, tracking the progress for 3 weeks, reflecting on it, etc. It’s just so much.
Summer Violin camp students wore yellow and blue to support Boston on the day we participated in the One Run for Boston relay. Great supporters!
I have been running quite a bit since Shiprock. 30-40 miles per week. My husband (GutterRunner) ran a fantastic Half Marathon at Steamworks in Durango, CO in June and decided that he is done baby-ing his Plantar Fasciitis and decided we should train for another marathon. I honestly wasn’t sure that I was ready since I did PF Changs in Arizona in January and had 13 weeks to get ready for Shiprock. I was a little burnt out on following a training program (I’m a die-hard when it comes to training programs….if it says run, then I do, come hell or high water). He convinced me I could do it so we put in for New York Marathon and didn’t get in. So during the first week of July, we did a lot of “race shopping” online and decided on Santa Clarita, California Marathon on November 3. We also decided to use the Hansons Marathon Training Method that I’d used for my previous two races. As we made this decision, we looked at the training program and counted back the weeks and days from the race and it worked out that the first day of the training program was the very next day, July 4. So I put my happy face on and got to work.
My husband (Ryan) and I both read Dean Karnazes’ book this summer…Ultra-Marathon Man and it was an eye-opening read. It taught me not just about running ridiculous amounts of miles, but rather that you have to live your life to live it…not to work your life away in an office somewhere. So many occupations are monotonous and really don’t have an impact on your life and how it’s lived. They’re mundane activities that we do to pay the bills so we can live but I think if we spent more time living and less time working that we’d be happier. 75 years ago most people didn’t go to “work”, they stayed home and raised a garden to eat and did crafts or forms of art or performed services for others that were in need of that service and would barter or be paid for it. Life was simpler. Now, people go to work for endless hours…sometimes never really actually getting anything done…and rarely doing anything that really impacts their LIFE. I saw a commercial before a documentary that began with “Americans love to work.” I felt abused by the commercial. We shouldn’t love to work. We should love to live.
A few days later, we were at a get together with some friends and someone asked “So, what do you do?” Ryan responded “I run and grow a garden and collect koi. And I like to read.” They seemed put-off that he didn’t answer with what his “occupation” was. I realized that his work is not his life…it’s not living to him…it’s just his job that pays the bills that he performs in order to do what he wants but he doesn’t let it run his life and he doesn’t see himself as a zombie going to work and performing mundane tasks on a daily basis. Love him.
All the sudden it’s September and I have less than 7 weeks until race day. Hansons Marathon Method has been moving along at 50-60 miles per week. I have felt utterly exhausted since May and have worked to push through. I would randomly fall asleep on the sofa in under a few minutes (not typical for me). I kept telling myself it was burn-out or just getting older and less tolerant. It continued…persistently. I realized my pace runs were slower than a year ago!!!! What the @$&???? So discouraging!!!! I started to evaluate and realized the exhaustion came before May. There were days in April and even March that I just seemed overly tired and in a non-training way….a more internal way. I started to get worried. My mom began having thyroid problems at 35 and was finally diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years ago. Her mother and aunt had it years ago also. I’m a firm believer that my body is designed well to heal itself. I rarely take medications and I have been to the doctor twice in the last 10 years. I buckled down and decided to get some bloodwork done. Results came back and my thyroid is functioning beautifully (for now). Oh, but the Iron….and the B12….super super super anemic. Uh-oh. Started reading more about runners and iron. Oh gees. This is a serious epidemic. I will now take a blood test for iron at least twice a year. I have changed my diet over the last few weeks and have been taking some small iron supplements on the side and am feeling much better.
Last week was redemption time. I had been suffering from the anemic exhaustion and was feeling very defeated (didn’t miss any runs though even on the bad days). Last week started out with a tough hilly and sandy trail run for 9.6 miles with a friend. The next day was the first day of Hansons Strength workouts (Speed work (5k pace) is for the first 10 weeks then it switches to Strength work (half marathon pace-ish)). 6 x 1 mile @ 7:19-7:28 pace. Nailed it. Felt great. Wednesday is rest. Thursday Marathon Pace run (7:38-7:49). Best run I have had in a long time. Right on pace for the entire run. So happy. Finally! Friday and Saturday were easy. Sunday long run 16 miles at “long run” pace 8:19-:8:28. My average ended up 8:15. Yes!!!!!! Oh how I have missed the Runner’s High for the last 6 months! Tears of joy.