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Days 102-Tempo, 103-Swim, and 104-Spinning of 112 #timeforsomeinspiration

First things first:

  • YEAH!!  I am sooooo happy to be back home in Ann Arbor.
  • Yes, it is a track party even if you’re the only one there and they try to lock you out.
  • Damn!  Oklahoma University LOST the WCWC to University of Alabama.
  • Cool!  University of Alabama is the first SEC school to win the WCWS.
  • The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is one of the finest memorials and museums I have ever visited in my life (more on this at the end of the blog).
  • There was NOTHING inspirational about my tempo, swim, or spin this week, and with 9 days left to the marathon, I thought I’d share some inspiration, also at the end of the blog.

Tempo Wednesday
After Monday’s solo 13-mile run, I decided to take a rest day on Tuesday and headed out the door on Wednesday a.m. for my tempo run. Sadly, because it was only 6 miles (3 fast miles at that) and I knew exactly where to go, I procrastinated getting out the door and had to run the whole thing in the sun starting at about 8:00 a.m.

Things you don’t usually run into while running in Ann Arbor.

This is basically the view along the entire running route when one runs along the Oklahoma City River Trails. Not much to look at, but I appreciated the ease of finding the place and doing an out and back run, as opposed to navigating downtown Oklahoma City.

When I run solo, I struggle with reconciling how I “feel” with what my pace is, which basically  means Christy is going to have to run with me the rest of my life.  I don’t care at this point if she is interested in this or not.  We all have to do things we don’t want to do at times.  Christy P has helped created this beast of a running monster I’ve turned into, and thus, she shall suffer the consequences.

Alas, mile 1 I was clipping along at a sub 9:00 pace and felt good.  Mile 2 was a fast time (about 8:38), but it felt good.  I wasn’t tired and I saw the benefit of being able to maintain this pace and not having to “speed up” for miles 3-5.  Good idea, right?  Um…..well, mile 3 was tough and by mile 4 I decided to be flexible-miles 2-4 would be my tempo miles and my easy miles would be 5 and 6.

As a matter of self-preservation, and after having run a fast second mile, I opted to invoke the “flexibility” clause of marathon training and run easy miles for 5 and 6.

Which begs the question….what is an easy mile?  Honestly, 8:53 at the beginning felt like an easy mile, but 9:56 and 10:01 at the end did NOT feel like easy miles. My latest thing is that I will be running along and feeling fine and I look down and see I’m running a “fast pace” and then when I try to slow down, I feel like I’m barely running.  Resolving this/coming to terms with this/mastering this, is something that I will need to get my head around during the next 9 days!  And if I can’t figure it out, I’m hoping the following two Guardian Running Angels will be able to help me out:

Mental Marathon Sherpa Perros on the left and Pacer Hong on the right.

Swim Thursday
Nothing much to note about Thursday’s swim except that even on the last day of what turned out to be both a physically and mentally exhausting vacation, I was up at 5:00 a.m. to head to the Oklahoma City YMCA by 5:30 a.m. for a lap swim.

Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA in Oklahoma City was very, very hospitable to me! I am grateful to them!

At the YMCA in Ann Arbor, they have a “Thought/Question of the Day” that they post at the front desk.  In Oklahoma, they have ones you choose.  This was my message for the day:

Thank you, Mr. Jobs.  Nothing like a little motivation to remind me why I have been working so hard for the last 103 days!

Because my tendonitis in my right arms is still giving me some problems, the majority of my time in the pool was spent aqua jogging, which, by the way, apparently makes you the pool pariah. I know I look ridiculous!  I get it!  Especially when I get in the 3-4 feet of water and  my aqua jogging turns into aqua recumbent biking so my toes don’t scrape the bottom of the pool.  It took me 60 minutes to swim 1,100 years-500 of those yards I was aqua jogging and it took me about 40 minutes; 600 of those yards I used my arms and legs and did that in 20 minutes. Bottom line-it’s much faster to swim with legs and arms!

Spinning Friday
Woo hoo!!  Back in Ann Arbor  for my first workout with Christy P in 9 days!  I know 9 days doesn’t seem a lot, but when you go 25 years without seeing someone, and then you start seeing them at least 5 times a week over the course of 8 months-9 days is like a drought!  Especially when that person has become your mental marathon sherpa!

Sadly, all the alcohol I should have been drinking while in Oklahoma as part of an alcoholic coping mechanism (Disclaimer:  I am NOT making fun of alcoholics or alcoholism.  It is a disease.  I understand this.  I am making fun of myself for feeling the need to be drinking to cope with problems), I consumed last night when I got home in a celebratory manner and, as a result, woke up at 5:50 for a 6:00 a.m. spinning class.  I got there at 6:20 and left with Christy at 6:45.  I figured, what the hell?! I’m in taper mode. I’ve earned this. Hey, at least I got 25 minutes of exercise in.

So nothing too great to mention about spinning class except this:

Not sure which song to reference-“I don’t need anything but you,” from the “Annie” soundtrack or Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited.” Both could come across mildly creepy, but if you take the following lines for just their base meanings, I think it works: “Together at last,” and “Reunited and it feels so good.” Am I right or wrong? Hmmm.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Oh. My. God. This experience for me in Oklahoma was profound.  The memorial grounds are just striking in their simplicity-from the monument to the landscaping-and the museum is one of the best I’ve ever been too.  They do an amazing job of recreating the chaos of the day.  If you are ever in Oklahoma City, I think it is well worth your time to stop by.  Below are a few pictures.

A panoramic image that is “bent” in the middle. The Gates of Time are the east and west entrances to the memorial framing this outdoor room. The east gate is inscribed with 9:01 and the west gate is inscribed with 9:03. The bomb went off at 9:02-9:01 represents when life for Oklahomans was “A day like any other day” and 9:03 represents when everything changed forever.

A non bent view toward the 9:01 gate.

“The Field of Empty Chairs,” a battalion of 168 rest places-one for each person who lost their lives. They are the chairs missing from the dinner tables all across the state. There are 9 rows to represent the 9 floors of the Murrah building.  Each chair bears the name of a victim and the chair is placed in accordance to what floor they were on when the bomb exploded. “It would make me proud if someone got tired and they could maybe sit in my mom’s chair.  I’d probably walk up and say, ‘Hi, I’m Clint Siedl.  This is my mom’s chair.” Clint Siedl, 7 years old when his mom died.

Outside the west wall, a chain link fence is host to mementos left by visitors. People are just compelled to leave something out of respect. I think it’s to let people know they were there and that they’re sorry. I left the lanyard I was using for my WCWS tickets.

2012 marked the 12th running of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. All monies raised support the memorial and museum.

I found the museum displays to be absolutely beautiful. I know they were capturing chaos and destruction, but they were just done so amazingly well. I spent a good hour crying that day.

This was one of my favorites.

It is remarkable to me what a beautiful job they did composing/arranging the real artifacts with the photography.

Time for Some Inspiration
Not wanting  to end on a sad note, I thought I’d share some recent inspirational messages that have inspired me.  Courtesy of Lynne Mixer and Runners World:

“The first person you have to inspire every day is yourself.  Running will do that.” Marc Parent, Runner’s World columnist

“Running is not a private activity.  People are watching.  Show someone what it’s like to want something.” Marc Parent, Runner’s World columnist

“Games require skill.  Running requires endurance, character, pride, physical strength, and mental toughness. Running is a test, not a game.  A test of faith, belief, will, and trust in one’s self. So hardcore all to itself to define the pain.  When game players criticize, it’s because they aren’t willing to understand, not because they’re stronger.  Running is more than a sport; it’s a lifestyle.  If you have to ask us why we run, you’ll never understand.” Jessica Propst

Carry on friends, carry on.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. #

    welcome home Kristi, you have plenty of time to complete the prep

    June 8, 2012
    • YOU ARE AN AMAZING HUMAN BEING! DO YOU KNOW THAT?!!? I’m here all cuz of you! You like the photos I posted that you sent?

      June 8, 2012
  2. KG,
    You and Christy P. have done a wonderful job of showing everyone why the hardest part of running a marathon is just getting to the starting line. You both have had ups and downs and challenges along the way, which I have enjoyed following. I know that you will both do great on your big day but even if you don’t you need to take pride in journey to the starting line and the people that you have inspired to get up out of their chair and go do something.

    And one other thing I am proud of my Alma Matter ROLL TIDE!!

    June 9, 2012
    • Jeff:
      Thanks so much for your supportive words! Yes, Christy and I have had some ups and downs-both pretty high and pretty low. Although I’ve trained for four previous marathons, I’ve never paid as much attention to how I feel emotionally and physically about EVERYTHING-food, training, strength, weather, insecurities, confidence, etc.-as I have for this one. If I have motivated one person to consider running or think about how they feel about themselves and any struggles they have going on in their lives-then I’m happy about that!

      Cheers, KG

      PS You SHOULD be proud of your alma mater! Alabama did a magnificent job at the WCWS. And they are lucky-Jackie Trainer will be back for two more years! WOWZA! And, if U of M is going to get knocked out of the tournament at the Super Regional level of competition, I’m glad they went down to the team who ended up being the champions!!!

      June 10, 2012
  3. Wow — what incredible photos of the memorial. Really, really well done. The Field of Empty Chairs is haunting and beautiful. Made me cry for sure. Glad you’re home and on the last few days of training — good luck to both of you Ch(K)rist(i)ys!

    June 9, 2012
    • H-Love: Glad you liked the pictures! It was an emotional museum/memorial visit for sure. And yes, very glad to be home indeed! xo

      June 10, 2012

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