Friday, October 19, 2012

May All Your Hills Be Downhill

"May All Your Hills Be Downhill"

This may have been the start of everything.

Tim and I ran the Nashville Rock n Roll Country Music Marathon in April. Coming off a great half marathon season - 4 in between 1:42, 1:40, with my PR in January at Disney, 1:37:40. I was ready to head into full marathon training feeling ready, confident. I followed a great plan put together by Tim's training partner (Ironman, cross country and track coach for 15 years, triathlete, duathlete, this guy knows his stuff). I felt properly prepared for a good first marathon.

Then we experienced Nashville. Nashville is full of hills, Rolling hills. Constant hills. It was considered a heat wave the weekend we were there, but being from hot humid FL I never gave this a second thought. We went to the expo happy, talking to everyone, ready to go. We met the artist who created the official race poster - and when we got a copy signed, he wrote "May all your hills be downhill". I thought it was great.

Long story short, I ran a 4:21. Miserable. Not a horrid time for many people, but horrid for me, for how I prepared, for how I SHOULD have raced. What I was capable of racing. 3:50-something was the goal. 4:21 was embarrassing. I felt it by mile 13 - I knew I was in trouble. I ran, jogged, walked, shuffled my way through the end.

May all your hills be downhill.

To make myself feel a little better, I applied to the Ultra Beast. Send in your race resume and 3 sentences on why you think you should be accepted. I talked about my 14 half marathons, my times, my ugly full marathon, my black belt training, being a mom, etc much as I could fit into 3 sentences while trying to be witty and sharp. 10 days later I heard that I got in. Yes! The $250 entrance fee was the easiest pmt I have ever sent - no question, I was doing this.

May all your hills be downhill.

I have told the Ultra Beast story. 2nd big race in a row that did not end the way I planned. What was going on with me! I have honestly not felt great running. Sure I was and am doing good long runs, did my 1000 lunges in a ten mile run, hills, carried sandbags, more miles, Yasso workouts, tempo runs.....but nothing feels good. I have had a handfull of runs where I feel good and strong and fast. Otherwise it just feels like so much work. I keep thinking, this should be easier. This should not be so hard at this point. I am being advised that it's the humidity, the heat, kids are in school so I can't run till after 9am (which means it's HOT). Still. It's frustrating. I feel old. I'm 0 for 2. I finally realized, wait, I'm over the hill. It's all downhill from here.

May all your hills be downhill.

I think I was jinxed. "May all your hills be downhill." Of course! Now I am over the hill, and it's all downhill from here. Tomorrow I am running in a 5k that Tim decided last minute that we should do (his company is the title sponsor for the event, and we were just going to volunteer....but he thinks I need to see that I can run and it will be a mental boost for me. I am afraid it will be just one more notch on my "you suck" list). Marine Corps Marathon in 8 days. My goals are to feel good. Not great - you need to feel like you are working hard and putting out some effort - but I don't want to be miserable and frustrated and sad. Here's hoping for downhills that help you speed up a bit - not the ones that signal the end of the journey!