Friday, September 21, 2012

Big Girl Panties

It's been tough blogging lately.  It's really busy at work and today was my attorney's last day.  I've also been slightly under the weather with a sinus infection all week.  I'm starting to feel a little better but had a momentary freak out thinking it could linger until the marathon and I'd be all weak and frail while having to run 26.2 miles!  (Yes, I can be dramatic at times).

 Last weekend was a weekend full of 20-milers!  It seemed almost everyone I knew had a 20-miler to run, whether it was with me on Sunday along the lake, on Saturday at a local trail, or in another location (Fox Valley 20-miler).  I was able to help out some of my friends and plenty of other runners last Saturday during their 20 miles on Old Plank Trail.  This 20 mile run was hosted by my FNRC group and we even had a local grocery store sponsor it and supply us with water, gatorade and fruit.  I positioned myself near the aid station located around mile 9 and 11 (it was an out and back course).  It was fun seeing my friends run past but it was especially fun chatting with some strangers as they were doing their 20 mile run!

(L-R) Maggie, Julie and Kelly

Manning the aid stations (L-R): Kathy, Kim, Me
I am really glad I went.  Watching all of my friends and all of these strangers in such good spirits running 20 miles really gave me some inspiration for my 20 miler (which was the next day).  I will say though...when I was watching everyone finish, I was really jealous they were done and I still had to run 20 miles!

Last Sunday was my 20 miler.  Since I am a part of CARA, I'm automatically registered for the Newton Ready To Run 20-Miler which goes almost the entire way down the lake (point to point course).  I ran this run last year (read about my misery here) and it was definitely one of my most miserable runs of the training season.  So I was a little nervous going into it this time.  Last time it was cold and rainy (and I was not dressed properly since all summer it had been 90 degrees).  This year it was about 65 for the start but full sun and probably in the 70's when finished.  I thought I might do a little better in these temps than last year's temps.

I have come to the conclusion that this run (and maybe this distance) is just not my favorite.  I don't know if it's the course.  I don't know if the fact that I'm running 20 miles...I feel like I should just add the 6 more and do a marathon.  I don't really know what it is about this particular run.  It's just not my favorite.  My pace leader is one from our normal run group that leads the 7:00 start for our long runs.  I typically don't run with her and from what I remember, I feel she starts too fast.  I'm spoiled by my normal pace leader, who I love! But the 7:00 a.m. leader was the one leading our group at this 20-miler.  And needless to say, she was just running fast.  Myself and a few friends dropped back around mile 5.  I ran the first 12 miles with Megan and Bob from my normal Saturday runs.  Megan was sick and not doing well and Bob said he had a cramp in his calf and side.  They decided to drop back from me around 12.  I was unsure what to do at this point.  Do I keep running alone or stick with Megan and Bob?  I knew they had each other so I didn't feel that I should stay because they needed someone.  My wonder was...did I need someone?  I decided to just go along and try to finish it out "alone" (with the other hundreds of people there).  And around mile 15-16, I just started struggling mentally a bit.  I was tired and just wanted it to be over.  Physically I felt ok.  But I started walking frequently after mile 16 since this run is not chip timed and I just didn't care to push myself AT ALL!  I ended up coming in around 3:40 (my garmin was screwed up so I looked at my phone time when finished).  That wasn't too bad considering it includes all water stops, the stop when my friend Megan fell and we stopped with her, the bathroom break, the vaseline break....At the marathon, time stops for no one!

Yankee Runners: Bob (in red), Megan (in Yellow), my friend Curtis (in the Green)...and me
(and a few others I keep forgetting their names!) to the title of the blog post...Big Girl Panties.  First, can I just say I actually hate the word "panties"!  Seriously, I wear underwear!  Ok.  That's another story.

My marathon is coming case you didn't know.  In fact, it's two weeks away (October 7).  The first two marathons I relied on a lot of support to help me through it.  Actually, for the first one, most of my support decided they weren't coming!  So I didn't think I was going to have much.  I knew my parents would be there at various miles and that really helped me.  I knew my friends from Ohio, Jodi and Dave, would be there somewhere to cheer me on as I ran past.  And I knew I was going to start with Kelly, whoc was running her first marathon as well. So as much as I was freaking out that I would have NO support...I ended up having quite a bit.  Kelly ran the first 10 miles with me (which I'm confident was a huge help mentally), Dave and Jodi ran with me around miles 16.5-18, which was a surprise to me and really gave me a mental boost (until I started walking at 18.5), and my parents jumped all over the course via the EL to provide hugs, water, and photos.

For my second marathon (the IL marathon), Kelly helped me out by jumping in around mile 14.5 and running (and walking) with me all the way until about mile 25.  And since I was miserable that whole time, I really relied on her being there and helping me through that.  BIG THANKS KELLY!  I was grumpy and even cried at mile 24.  But Kelly was all smiles and encouragement (and even sang throughout since my headphones weren't working).

For this 3rd marathon, I thought it was time to "man-up".  It's time I put my big girl panties on.  I really didn't try to get anyone to come out.  I haven't been asking anyone to come out.  I know Kelly said she would be there and wanted to run a little with various people throughout, and people from my run group (F'N Runners) that weren't running the marathon are coming out to provide a cheering squad.  But my thought was...I can't rely on anyone this time.  It's going to be chaotic so I can't "bank" on Kelly being there.  I can't assume I will have someone because if it doesn't happen, I don't want to mentally get defeated during the run.  In my mind, I'm running this marathon "alone".  My parents might not be there this time either (for various and very good reasons).

I may start with my friend Shelby but she is having some hip problems.  I know others starting around me but I don't want them to run me up.   And I don't know why...but now I'm starting to freak out a little.  Sometimes I mentally lose it near the end of my long runs if I'm alone from my group and can't push myself.  I don't want that to happen to me at the marathon.  It's the last 5-6 miles I'm really worried about.  More than anything, I want to beat my best time of 4:53.  And even though sometimes I feel that should be no problem, sometimes I doubt myself and am not so sure I can do it.

The truth is, I think I may have more support than I know.  And after speaking with my boss (that is leaving today)...he is showing interest in jumping in with me for a mile (he lives right by there and does a little running).  But I definitely am not relying on him.  He wanted to go last year and didn't.  But I will provide him with the necessary info and if he shows...bonus support for me.  And I know my F'N Runner group is amazing.  And Kelly is amazing...and if she isn't there for me, it's because she is providing necessary support to someone else (totally understandable).  Actually, I did just remember my friend Becky threw out there that she wanted to come...So maybe I'm just totally making myself crazy here for no reason.

Thanks for listening to my little rant.  I just wanted to get it out there now and maybe hear some words of encouragement from all of you, and then I could put it behind me.  It's my 3rd marathon. I should know what to expect.  I shouldn't be worried.  I know I can do it.


  1. Oh, my gosh!!!!!! Now I AM FREAKING OUT. I am running a very very small event for my first marathon, will have hubby there to cheer me on and hopefully brother and his wife. I am running alone. My running buddy, Aimee, is way too busy to train for it but says she'll be there to run the second half with me. The first 13.1 are all on me.

  2. Oh, my gosh!!!!!! Now I AM FREAKING OUT. I am running a very very small event for my first marathon, will have hubby there to cheer me on and hopefully brother and his wife. I am running alone. My running buddy, Aimee, is way too busy to train for it but says she'll be there to run the second half with me. The first 13.1 are all on me.

    1. Ha! Sorry Reen! I don't mean to freak u out! Actually now that I think about it, I ran from mile 10 to the end by myself with the exception of the 1.5 miles around 16... during the first marathon! Having Aimee during the second half will be great for u! Don't listen to me and my worrying self! Lol

  3. Anonymous9/22/2012

    Good luck at the Chi marathon. I will be at aid station 2 cheering you on. You can do it and do it well.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for helping at the aid station!

  4. I'm so glad I was able to help you out in the last 2 marathons! Wow! We really have covered some crazy distances in the past year! Haha wishing you lots of luck and wishes for coooool weather on marathon day!!! I hope that I can run part of it with you again this year!

  5. You will definitely be fine Amanda! I am so proud of you!

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