It’s here! The Eugene Marathon is on Sunday. I’m so ready. I just need to stay focused and relaxed this week. I finished up last week with a couple of really smooth and easy runs. Here are those numbers before I move on to pre-race and totally unrelated (edit to add: long-winded, super personal, emotional) ramblings:
Yin Yoga (Zach came with me, it was great!)
Super easy run on the waterfront with no watch.
Yoga at home
12.0 miles/1:43:51/8:39 average pace
Zach had another 20 miler so we drove up to the Banks Vernonia trail again where I did my 20 a couple weeks ago. This time we started up on the north end of the trail – I did an out and back and Zach ran point-to-point and then I picked him up at the other end. It was fun running a new stretch of trail! The run felt great and easy.
Total miles for the week: 31.5
So, as I said, I’m feeling REALLY great heading into race week. I can’t even believe how smoothly this training cycle has gone. In the past, I’ve been plagued by injuries and fought mental burn-out. I have never made it all the way to race week without feeling “let’s get this OVER with!” This time, I’m genuinely excited. I think there are a few reasons for this:
Perspective- I think attitude this time around and I think that made all the difference. After dealing with some heavy stuff in my personal life the past few months, I wasn’t as obsessed with the running thing. I couldn’t bring myself to be distraught over something as petty as a bad run. I was grateful for the release and freedom I felt when I ran and could not possibly be disappointed by the experience. I was a lot more flexible, a lot easier on myself. I let myself run slow, and I let myself run fast. I ran with friends, I tweaked my schedule. I was just more laid back about it. Don’t get me wrong, I put a lot of effort into it, but I let it be a positive experience. Furthermore, I think the fact that I am “only” (HA!) going for a Boston Qualifying time and not a PR is helpful. I feel like the BQ is a reasonable goal and I feel that a PR would be reeeeeally hard. So letting that go from the beginning has helped me keep a light attitude. Plus, after training and completing the Ironman last year, this seems like a walk in the park at any pace.
Diet- The last couple of months Zach and I have made a very serious change in our lives by changing the way we eat. We’ve always been aware of our nutrition and even though we indulged pretty often, we tried to keep a balanced diet. Lots of veggies, lean meat, no fried food or junk food (very loose on this rule.. lots of “treats”). However, we never ever thought about where our food comes from. We ate a lot of cheaply made packaged and processed foods full of preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients shipped in from all across the world. We have a lot of friends that talk about eating local and buying free-range meat and stuff, and we always thought they were just hippies (kidding! Not really!). But we were also a little intrigued. Living in Portland and being surrounded by hippies and environmentalists is bound to wear you down. So, long story short, we’re IN. Like, IN IT. We’ve cleaned out our cupboards, we’ve changed our shopping habits (and adjusted our budget), we’re going to the farmer’s market, we’re going to the local butcher. Zach hacked up a free-range chicken and made homemade stock. We simmer beans or grains on the stove for hours most nights. We pay a ridiculous sum for some part of a cow that I have seen a picture of. We buy eggs from a local farmer for 6 bucks a dozen. I’ve eaten barley, whole wheat pasta, spelt bread, and more fruits and vegetables then I thought was possible. It is FANTASTIC. Shopping and cooking and eating has taken on a whole new meaning in our lives and it’s wonderful. It is very fulfilling knowing we’re doing the right thing for our bodies, environment, local economy, and souls. Now who’s the hippie? Also I’m losing weight as my body adjusts- currently at my ironman training weight. My tastes have changed and I don’t crave the foods that I used to. I’m almost never hungry which is very different for me. I feel great and am excited to keep following this path. I could talk about this all day!
Yoga- I’m realizing now this whole post is a can of worms and it is going to be hard to be brief. These aren’t just the reasons my training has gone so great, these are the reasons my life is going great. More than anything, I sincerely believe the yoga has changed my life. I had a very special and memorable introduction to yoga on November 23, 2009 and since that day everything has changed. That was the day after Ironman Arizona, and I was so sore and scraped up I could hardly move. I had just completed the biggest athletic accomplishment of my life and was very obviously turning a page. I had a lot of emotional conflicts going on in my head and didn’t know where my life would be heading next. I no longer had IRONMAN as my reason for living. It was done. And I was scared. That day, my best friend and certified yoga instructor Inga lead me in some reeeeeeally gentle yoga poses and gave me the first glimpse of how yoga isn’t just stretching or strengthening or balancing. It is a way of life, a philosophy. We talked about how it has changed her life and how it seemed like exactly what I needed. It was the exact counterpose to my IM training. It isn’t about goals or training for a future event, it is about living in the present moment. It isn’t doing, it is being. It isn’t about my ego, it’s about my heart. It’s not about what other people think of me, it is finally, truly about what I think of me. It is acceptance. Patience. Stillness.
Sigh. I’m really getting off on a tangent here. Part of me wants to go back and delete that and part of me wants to write a f-ing book. We’ll just leave it for now and keep the book on the back burner. ;) Before I change topics let me actually address how this has helped my training- I know for sure that the stretching has helped, but I think it is mostly that my attitude has changed and I’m better prepared to handle the stresses of training. I’ve joined a studio near my house and am going a few times a week. Plus, I’ve been doing more practice at home and even meditating. Good stuff. Once again, I’m very excited to see where all this leads. I’m especially excited that my awesome friend Emily is preparing to start yoga teacher-training this year. She’s going to be great at it. I’m very lucky to have friends that teach yoga. I’m very lucky to have such great friends.
New topic! Weather. It’s looking pretty good for next weekend. It’s supposed to be rainy and cool all week (upper 50’s for high temps) and then clear up for the weekend with highs in the low to mid 60’s. That would be fine, although I would prefer as little sun as possible. It won’t be very warm at 7:00 am either way, like mid 40’s probably. Perfect!
I only have three runs this week and am going to take them all pretty easy and getting my running buddies involved. I’m planning on running with Deana on Tuesday, Zach on Wednesday, and Emily on Friday. I’m also going to do a lot of yoga this week, again with friends- Emily and Anne tonight, and Amy and Alisa tomorrow night. I’ll do some other classes on my own throughout the week and plenty of meditation and stuff to keep me relaxed. And of course, I’m getting a pedicure- a pre-race ritual!
Final topic, San Jose Sharks. I love me some hockey, and can’t get enough of this playoff action. Zach and I have remained a loyal Sharks fan after moving away from the bay area, investing in the Center Ice cable package and hunting it down when they play on regular cable in the post-season. They were once again the top team in the west in the regular season, and are once again in the playoffs. They beat Colorado in the first round and the second round opponent is TBA but that series will begin this week sometime. They’ve never made it to the Finals and I’m really hopeful this will be their year! I have a history of making playoff hockey a part of my marathon routine and so I’m looking forward to the distraction of watching them play this weekend. Go Sharks!
Allright I think that’s all. This is really long, sorry! I will end with a few pictures from yesterday’s run in Vernonia. I’ll be posting again this week with more specific goals and stuff for my race. Thanks for reading!