Wednesday, March 26, 2008

#785 and the Metaphor of the 22nd Mile

I am dim and not feeling very clever these days. Things are not so bright over here and I feel like I am perpetually stuck in the 22nd mile of a marathon. Maybe it isn't the 22nd mile for you or maybe you have been so lucky in life to never experience the self doubt, fatigue, hopelessness and frustration that happens when you hit a hard spot. Really, I envy you but I also hate you (but not really). Me though? I am not so lucky.

Anyway, that is why posting has been light of late. I've been down. In a rough patch but I am thinking of it as my 22nd mile and I always get through that no matter how much I just want to quit or sit on the sidewalk and cry. So I will get through this too.

Not searching for pity here and I am not trying to be all secretive. But the gist of it is that I am currently looking for a job. Again, maybe you are lucky and never had to look for job but it has never proved a fun challenge for me. The uncertainty, the what ifs and the future is somewhat frightening. I feel quite overwhelmed by life right now. I hope, I really do, but I just don't know if it is all going to work out. So it is, the 22nd mile of the marathon.

I'm dealing but not always so positive these days. Ironically my friend Fishstick commented while I was lamenting my current situation that I am always "so upbeat and positive." Of course I felt flattered because right at that second I felt anything but positive. But I thanked her and explained that I was relieved that is what she saw as that is how I want to come across. I know no one wants to hang out with a self-wallower and people just don't like being around negative people. People want to be around people that make them feel good. And me? I don't like to be alone. I want to be the one people want to hang out with. I want to be the one that makes people laugh and brings them up. And most of the time it is so easy to be that person. But these days, admittedly, I am having a hard time with my commitment to the positive and happy. I'm trying though.

Okay enough of that!

Moving on to the finish line and, hopefully, success! Roll it out: Com'on number 785! THAT is my number for the GA ING marathon. I am bib number 785. And for those that like to race day stalk click here.

My current plan is to go out with the 3:30 pace group--or try to since last year I was unable to line up with them. But if that happens again I promise to not try and chase them down from the 6 hour pace group as that didn't work out so good last year.

I am not hopeful about a 3:30 but I figure it is a reasonable goal to shoot for since I ran 3:37 at Chickamuaga. My main goal is to just do better than last year which is 3:44. And anything under 3:37 will be considered a successful race.

The taper is going as the taper goes: I feel fat and lazy and antsy.

Here is last week's breakdown:
Sunday: 22 miles. I don't know about time but it was a really strong run. Probably one of my strongest long runs.

Monday: Here was where I was really naughty and did a recovery run on the Leita. It was just 4 miles but it did a number on my lower leg muscles.

Tuesday: I took it easy and hit the Greenway for just 12 miles on my bike. I finished in under 45 minutes.

Wednesday: I met Steph and she was naughty and let me run too fast at the Leita. Again it was just 4 miles and my legs were none too happy. I swam for 30 minutes afterwards.

Thursday: 5 miles on the treadmill practicing paces from a sprint to recovery.

Friday: 10 miles with last 6 hopefully at marathon pace. Felt right.

Saturday: 6 miles easy at a recovery pace and then Steph and I were naughty again. We rode 30 miles on our bikes around Roswell. But it was totally worth it because it was so much fun.

Running; 51 miles
Cycling: 42 miles
Swimming: 1 mile

And the taper continues:
Sunday: Since it was Easter and Ryan was out of town in the morning I was hard put to get my workout in because the gym nursery was closed and I only had a short window before church. So I after the kids hunted eggs and had breakfast I drug them up to Carmella's school armed with toys, a jump rope and a soccer ball. I instructed them to play on the field while I ran for 30 minutes around the track. You'd think this would have been easy but darn kids kept complaining about hands being cold and wanting to go play on the playground. I relented them on the play ground since they were only out of my sight for half of the track and I gave Beau my socks for his hands and ran sockless. Not ideal but I got it done! I have no idea how many laps since I lost track after the sock hand off. Guessing at least 3 miles but no way was it more than 4.

Monday: 30 minute continuous swim.

Tuesday: 10 miles easy

Wednesday: 6 miles easy

Thursday: Plan is 6 miles with pick-ups.

Friday: Is 3-4 miles on the treadmill with 2 miles at marathon pace. 30 minute swim maybe. I swam way too fast on Monday (was being bit of show off) and now my lat is sore. Dumb ass.

Saturday: Swim or walk for 30 minutes with some strides for good measure thrown in.

Sunday: Marathon!

Okay, now I've got questions:
Half or Full?
What is your number?
What are you wearing?
When are you going to the Expo?
Are you being a rule breaker and wearing your ipod?
Time? Goals?
What are you doing after?

And one last thing . . . I already know what Monday will be like (thanks Baraboo!)


  1. difficult times stalk us all at some time. Hopefully, they will ease up before they break us. Usually there are some amazing lessons to be learned. My heart and love are with you. You're my first born-you and yours will not suffer if there's anything I can do about it.

  2. I will be stalking your race Ms Natalie!

    Hope you blow it away!

  3. I will also be a stalker as we're so very evenly matched in our goal times...I hope we'll both do well in our marathon aspirations.

    I sometimes suffer from depression and realize without the LOWS, I wouldn't appreciate the HIGHS. Life is like a roller-coaster ride, and I often suffer from motion sickness. What would Garp say, Life is a box of chocolates...

  4. Have a great time at the race, Nat! Cool weather rolled in just as ordered :-)

  5. "This, too, will pass."

    Silly, but it helps me.

    I hope you get to feeling more yourself and better soon.

  6. Things will get better! You've been an insipiration to me while I train for the GA ING Half. I'll be rooting for you - go Nat!

    #21073 (yes i am in the sloooow lot) :-)

  7. My number is 1300-something, but it's not correct since I am still signed up for the full and need to change to the half. I will be at the expo on Saturday, unless something really opens up in my schedule tomorrow, around lunctime probably.

    No goals for me, taking it easy, for real, have a triathlon in two weeks that I want to do great on and don't want to tear my legs up too much.

    After the race I have to get at least a 40, maybe 50 mile ride in. My 1/2 IM is only 6 weeks away!!!! So no slouching on the long rides for me.

  8. Go. Get. It. Nat. I won't be stalking until the second half.... chill out on that first 13.1 wouldya?

  9. Change is scary but think of all of the changes you've gone through in your life and how they've all turned out OK. This job thing might just be a good thing.

    I'll be here to hold your hand (and keep you running slower) regardless.

    Don't know my ING number yet since I need to switch from the whole to the half but I'll be in my pink running skirt and Team 65 Roses shirt (unless the pink clashes, and then it will be the blue). I'll be waiting for you at the finish - you can cheer for Doug with me : ).

  10. Hang in there, Nat! I am looking for a job too, so I can definitely relate that it's no picnic. I'm being laid off from my current job and they can't even agree when my last day will be!

    Anyway, I hope you don't stay down too long. The marathon will help. Good luck!

  11. "Trying times are times for trying harder"
    You have a BIG family that loves you, Ryan and the kids very much. You will get thru all this but it will take some work.
    When you feel "unlucky" look at those beautiful children and if that doesn't change your attitude... I don't know what will.

  12. And don't forget your beautiful dog!

  13. Hey Nat,
    I know I am late commenting but I have been SICK. Stupid, Stupid Sinus Cold...........
    I do not have any advice but I will hang out with you no matter how you are feeling. Unhappy or not, I will make you laugh!

    My number is 19086 and my bib name should read Fishstick. HA!!

    Love Ya Sista!

  14. Don't worry about what WE think. It's normal to have feelings. You're not a robot, afterall. Have a fantastic race on Sunday, and good luck with the job search. Love ya!