It's so close

My training is complete. The only thing left to do is finish the race.

Coach Kathy says we runners-in-training are as prepared as we're going to be and that we can't increase our fitness by the weekend, so we should just take it easy and not get hurt this week.

We did six miles last weekend, and I've been running very few miles this week to let my body rest for the weekend.

Tomorrow is a day of hydration... all water, all day. Maybe some Powerade Zero (I LOVE that stuff). I'm not supposed to be on my feet much. I like this plan.

As you'd expect, I'm excited about the race and eager to cross the finish line. But I think at this point, I'm most looking forward to dinner on Saturday. I'm planning to eat lots of noodles and maybe even some chocolate cake. NO guilt. All delicious. It's going to be awesome! :)

Also as you'd expect, I'm nervous. I'm worried about my toes hurting during the race. I think my shoes are a bit small once my feet start swelling after several miles, but this is not the time to get new ones... Not sure what can be done to prevent that.

Despite the nerves, I'm trying to stay positive. I have run 13.1 miles before. I can do it again. I am visualizing the finish line. I am thinking of my wonderful mom, sister and boyfriend who will be waiting there to give me hugs. It's going to be a good day.


Mission accomplished

Yesterday, I did it. I ran 13.1 miles, the distance of a half-marathon. It took 2 hours and 45 minutes.

It was our last long training run before the race, April 25. Run leaders told us to treat this run as a "dress rehearsal" for race day. I certainly did.

I spent all of Friday hydrating. Powerade and Water all day. I had plenty of carbs Friday evening, as well. For breakfast, I had a PB&J sandwich (my favorite!). On the trail, I ate a Snickers Marathon Bar. It was good. Chocolatey. :) I think that's what I'll bring with me for the race.

My group and I stopped for two bathroom breaks. I'm hoping I won't need those stops on race day. Other than that, I hope the memorial run goes just like yesterday.

Today, my legs are sore. Walking is OK, but climbing stairs is a killer. I can't imagine trying to run today, but I do plan to hit the gym for some abs and arms.

Next Saturday is an easy six miles so we can rest up for race day the following weekend.

I can't believe how close I am to the end. I've come a long way.


In loving memory

It's no secret that I haven't posted in a while. I could say I've been busy. Or lazy. Or not feeling creative.

But all of those excuses would be lies.

The truth is that my grandmother passed away two weeks ago. I've been feeling pretty down and not in the mood to do any of the things I normally love: seeing friends, writing this blog or running.

But even that's not the whole truth.

My grandma was subscribed to this blog. She would receive an e-mail every time I published a post. And she replied — to all of them.

She sent sweet notes with words of encouragement. Or links to running articles. My favorite e-mails were the ones that said those simple words: "I'm proud of you."

I've always thought I'm a lot like my grandma. She, too, was a writer. She loved to meet people. She loved to laugh. She loved being around friends and family. I'm not too proud to admit I shared even some of her less-positive traits: big feet and a lack of organization, for example.

I haven't posted in a while because I know that after I hit "publish post," an e-mail will go to her account. And she won't respond.

That thought has been just too much to bear for the past couple of weeks.

But the half-marathon is coming up quick. I have a 13-mile run this weekend. My grandma wouldn't have wanted me to quit writing or running, for that matter.

So instead of focusing on my loss, when I push "publish," I'm going to remember the best part: She was proud of me.

In loving memory of Mary Ellen Cooper


It's official

I am registered for the OKC Half Marathon. I have 54 days until the race.

So excited!


Good Day Sunshine

Saturday's run was a preview of what running in spring time must be like. The sun was shining. The wind wasn't so fierce. And I didn't need gloves. It was wonderful.

Several of my group members were missing. And those of us who showed up seemed a bit sore from the previous Saturday's 10 miles. We were a bit more sluggish than usual.

Still, we finished strong.

Next week is 11 miles. We're getting close to the half-marathon distance.


Double digits

Why, oh why, must the Creek Turnpike trail be so hilly?

Five miles along there Saturday morning was hard work. Thankfully, five miles was only half the run.

The other five took us on a nice, flat jaunt through Jenks. It rained a bit, but the weather was undoubtedly the best it's been for a training run so far.

Within two hours, my group and I finished our 10 miles -- the longest run many of us, including myself, have done to date.

I ate a laffy taffy at the half-way point. It's not the sports-electrolyte snack of champions, but the pure sugar definitely helped boost my energy.

Last week was the poker run. I'm embarrassed to admit that I couldn't finish the five miles. I had done a seven-mile run the night before, and I don't think I had enough water to hydrate afterward. The consumption of a few adult beverages later in the evening probably didn't help either. I had to turn around before the two-mile mark. :(

You live; you learn, I guess.

My upcoming Saturday runs look like this, in terms of miles:
7, 11, 8, 12, 8, 13, 12, 6, HALF MARATHON

It's getting closer. I'm getting excited.


Good week for running

I am surprised to say this, but ... nine miles wasn't so bad.

In fact, I wanted to keep going. And I'm bummed that this Saturday's run is only five miles. (It's the POKER run. You get a playing card at each mile marker. Then you get to make a hand at the end and play. You should come out. $5 donation. Meet at Veteran's Park.)

This running thing really is addicting.

I did four miles last night and the night before. I downloaded some more songs from iTunes, so my playlist is pretty good.

I'm feeling confident about my ability to finish a half marathon. And I can already tell that I'm going to keep training after April. I might give a full marathon a try. (I can't believe I just said that.)