April 29, 2015

Avenue of the Giants Marathon Training: Week Whatever

This coming weekend is the Avenue of the Giants Marathon. I'll be walking my little heart out as a testament to life being GREAT after a hip replacement. I think I've only mentioned this in passing.

Shit. I could've been amassing huge pageview numbers all this time if only I'd been posting about my training.

Shit. Posting anything would have been a solid step toward increasing pageviews.

Too late now...I'm just cringing over this lost opportunity.


If you've never walked a marathon, you might not know that you actually do need to train for it. I was in denial about this for the first 8 weeks of my training program. In fact, I completely ignored those first 8 weeks. Ignored. They didn't exist. They never even happened.

My #marathontraining began on January 19th. Because I have GOALS, I jumped right in with 13 hilly miles. Two weeks later I did another 13. From there, I tried exponentially increasing my long walk mileage every two weeks for ....ummm... two weeks. And then BOOM! I was staring down the barrel of my first 20 miler. My training plan gave me time allotments instead of miles to hit. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the pictures and read the whining about HOW FUCKING LONG 5 AND A HALF HOURS IS. Walking fast up and down hilly trails for over five hours is something I don't care to repeat until the Apocalypse is upon us and I need to walk to fucking Walnut Creek to obtain life-saving medical supplies or some such shit.



Luckily (I guess?), we are in the middle of a drought and I've had amazing training weather all spring.

Okay, I've done three walks of 20 or more miles which got progressively less enjoyable. About two-thirds of the way through the last one, all I could think about was how totally not fun it was...how boring it was...how I really didn't care to ever walk that long again. I wanted a ride home but was in the middle of a regional park/cow pasture place with NO ROADS so that was not even an option. So I ate my last BBQ ribs (yes, I bring real food on my hikes) and said, shut up, bitch, to myself. You are so fucking lucky to GET to do this. You could be limping with a motherfucking CANE. Finish the damn piece. I was so right.

I finished. Slowly, but to the bitterly smiling end.

In addition to these few really long walks, I also do shorter walks. My weekly schedule has consisted of two 3-mile walks usually around my neighborhood, one speed session on a treadmill to monitor and standardize a speed faster than my goal pace, and a "hills" workout. At first I did real hills, but then the down part was not feeling good on my hips and also seemed to take forEVER, so I switched to long intervals on the StairMaster...3 or 4x15 min HR@AT with 3-5 min rest between.

Walking can be dangerous.
Trying to text and hike was stupid.
Between the walking and the rowing and the strength training, I think I'm pretty ready.

Now for my GOALS:

Primary: Don't get kicked off the course. The first cut-off is 3.5 hours at the half. Then the course opens to traffic at 7 hours.

Secondary: Average pace of 14:30/mile, which works out to finishing in around 6:20.

Tertiary: Break 6 hours, which would be averaging 13:45/mile.

The first goal is definitely achievable. The second is only slightly faster than my first hilly 20-mile hike...and the course isn't particularly hilly so quite possible. The third is a stretch...especially since I did a timed 10 miles and averaged 13:2something on very flat terrain. Of course, I was wearing new shoes which SUCKED.

Hoka Stinson ATR.
Very soft and bouncy and unlike the Stinson Tarmac.
This is why I don't do posts about training. They are super boring. Well, mine are. Uneventfully well-prepared. I am so excited for it to be over so I can focus on rowing. Now THAT won't be boring.

Do you find the end of a training cycle to be a grind? Or do you get super excited as you get closer to your event?

Do you like your shoes soft and squishy or more on the firm side?

What do you think would be the hardest part of walking a marathon?

April 4, 2015

March was busy.

The month began with difficulty. My amazing, 91-year old mother-in-law passed away. Yes, she had a long and beautiful life, but she left too soon. She was still getting around pretty well and was very mentally spry...we were all predicting triple digits. She took a bad fall that didn't seem so bad at first, but bleeding on the brain worsened and there wasn't much anyone could do. I definitely feel the loss. My life was richer for having known her. I think all who knew her feel the same.

My wedding anniversary (17 years!) followed immediately. We both completely forgot about it until the following day, so no one got in trouble. Within the week, two children's birthdays happened... someone turned 10 and the next day someone turned 6. The 10-year old had a laser tag party, but the 6-year old had a Frozen fairy pirate party WITH a bounce house AND a piñata. I fucking HATE piñatas. This was the first party in which I ever allowed one of my children to have a fucking piñata. I was also the last. What a fucking nightmare. First of all, I hate how the kids all shove each other out of the way and someone always gets hurt or feels gypped about FUCKING PENNY CANDY!!!! WTF? Grub-festing vultures. I hate it. And then there's always the potential for someone to get his/her head bashed in by the wildly, candy-crazed, bat-wielding piñata-striker. And yes, that almost happened several times at this party. My attempts at crowd-control were totally unsuccessful. The kids did a fair job of whacking the fucking thing, but grandpa really stole the show when he delivered a crushing blow that sent candy scattering into the open space across the yard and over the fence. Enough about the fucking piñata. Instagram has some party pictures, if you're interested...which you're probably not. And then my oldest stepson turned 30 and my parents had their wedding anniversary (which I am just now remembering...shit...I forgot to wish them a happy, happy).

I've been doing a lot of rowing. Uhhhhh...well...a couple of times a week anyway. I really only like to row when it's like this...

If I can see ripples, just forget it. Call me a pussy if you want, but I do this for FUN and windy chop isn't FUN.

I've been doing a lot of hiking. A 20-miler a few weeks ago and a 21.67-miler last week. The first was in 4 hours and 55 minutes, and the second was slower at 5 hours and 23 minutes. That is a LONG time to be walking alone all by one's lonesome. No, I don't listen to music or podcasts. Just all the voices in my head.

I've been lucking out with the weather for my hikes. We may be experiencing severe drought here in the State of California, but it is helping keep my training more enjoyable.

I've also been lifting on a regular basis. No pictures of that because by the end of my workouts I can hardly move let alone grab my phone and snap a photo. Also my coach would die laughing and banish me from the gym.

Then March ended and April began. The very first day marked my one year anniversary for my new hip. I celebrated by taking a selfie in silver lamé booty shorts while standing on the edge of my Lego-covered bathtub...

I am so glad I decided to have the surgery. It is like living a new life. Well, it's like actually LIVING. Hmmm...not like living. It IS living. Occasionally I get pangs of sadness when I realize how negatively affected every facet of my life was by the constant pain, but the pangs are fleeting. It's mostly happy, happy, joy, joy here :)

Since my posting is sporadic at best, and this has pretty much become a lame mommyblog, I'm wondering if anyone will read it anymore. Of course, lame mommyblogs can be very popular...

Maybe I should post more about my training? As a SAHM, I have the luxury of working out whenever I want...as long as it doesn't interfere with the 200 miles a day I need to drive while chauffeuring my children hither and yon. You think I'm kidding.

Do you drive a lot in your daily life? Do you LIKE to drive?
–I've put over 10K miles on my car since December in just regular daily life driving. Fortunately, I do like to drive. Maybe not this much though. *sigh*

What has been the best decision you've made in the past year?
–hands-down hip replacement.

Do you like piñatas?

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