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Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

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Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  jon c on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:57 am

Marathon to Marathon:  Matter over mind

Personal issues update

If any of you read my Boston report, you know I had been struggling with some personal issues.  I am happy to report that I have been making slow and steady progress towards forgiveness of those who let me down.  I am in a much better state of mind, have gone to a professional counselor and it seems to be helping in the sense that it is giving me some tools with which to cope.  I am very thankful for these developments.  Still have a ways to go, but I can see progress and that is encouraging.

To BQ or not BQ…..

At the end of Boston I was unsure where I would be heading next in my running journey.  Part of me just wanted to let things go for the time being.  Another part of me felt like my Boston 2014 experience was so good, that I would be missing out by not attempting to BQ again.  Well, the second scenario won out.

So the thought process I had was that I had not been running big mileage weeks, and had little tempo training going for me in the last year.  So I suspected that I would be a bit short conditioning wise.  So I looked up Hal’s eight weeks between marathons schedule and started to follow it.  The first four weeks went well, then things began to unravel.  I began to have a calf issue after I ran with the local Girls on the Run event.  I was supposed to be Hannah’s race buddy, but she developed a knee issue, so I was assigned one of the other girls in her class to run with.  I was happy to do it, but somewhere along the way, I pulled my calf muscle.  Maybe if the girl hadn’t started the race like she was shot out of a cannon (sub 7 minute pace)……..I am 57 you know.  Haha!  No one to blame but myself.  I had a lot of fun being Macke’s race buddy, and they also allowed Hannah to do the race using her scooter which she was able to do pain free.  She seemed to recover ok after 10 days or so.  My calf was very sore for close to a week.  So I ran one day the following week and felt OK.  Then we took off on our family vacation and I didn’t seem to find time to run until halfway through the following week when we were in San Diego.  I noticed immediately while running in San Diego that I was developing an adductor (groin) muscle issue.  I could run on it but it was painful for a mile or two and then would lessen.  This scenario repeated itself for the next week.  One week from race day, I attempted to run six miles at my planned pace (around 8 min. miles) to see how it would hold up.  I was able to do it, but it was painful.  Interestingly, by the latter part of the week, the pain lessened somewhat.  I took my new Garmin 620 out for a test run the day before the race, and the muscles were almost pain free compared to what they had been.

The race I had picked was in Iowa called Marathon to Marathon.  It is run from Storm Lake, Iowa, to the small hamlet of Marathon, Iowa.  Thus the name.  It is a relatively flat, fast course if the conditions are right.  It is also very rural so you are out in the open and are subject to the elements, whatever they might be.  In June, you can expect just about any kind of weather other than snow and ice.  There was a chance of rain with strong south winds (gusts to 30) were expected.  Fortuitously the course primarily is run east and north.  Over half the course was wind aided on this day.  The other sections there was a cross wind.  This also helped me decide to take the chance and run it.  At the finish, they serve you a breakfast if you’re so inclined which came in very handy for me.  The cost is $55 if you sign up early so it is very reasonable.

The race

So race morning arrived and storms were forming west of town about 100 miles and were moving east to northeast.  The decision was made to start the race and off we went at 6am.  My plan was to try to stick close to 8 minute miles if I could.  I hoped to stay strong at least until mile 16, which was when we made the final turn to the north to run the last 10 miles wind aided.  Because of the storms that developed, it stayed cloudy most of the race which kept the temperatures down a bit (60s with increasing dew point).  I was almost getting a bit cold toward the end.  I had anticipated warmer conditions and was wearing a tank top with the option of removing it if it got too warm.  Ironically about an hour or so after I finished, storms moved in and there was a downpour that some of the runners still out there had to deal with.

So the first 8-10 miles I moved along at about an 8:05-8:10 pace.  So far so good.  The cross wind proved to be a little tougher than I anticipated.  It would almost seemingly blow me off the road onto the gravel shoulder, it was almost humorous.  At around mile 12 I noticed that my legs really started to feel bad, almost like they do after 20 miles.  This was something new to me, and I really didn’t know how to react.  Immediately I started to consider quitting and just starting over another race later in the summer or early fall.  I had to remind myself that I was still on pace, and to continue to run it mile by mile.  It almost became a game of “just run one more mile and then you can decide if you’re going to quit.”  So the half was 1:47 and I sort of lost track of where I needed to be in order to BQ.  I knew I had to average 8:23 to do it.  I began to bleed time a bit sooner than I had wanted to or anticipated.  I began to steel myself to the possibility that even if I finished the race, I might not make my 3:40 BQ time.  Saw my family at miles 17, 19, 21, 23.  I kept telling Connie to go up the road two miles and see how I was doing then.  I have never run a marathon where my legs felt so bad so soon.  Honestly wasn’t sure if they were going to hold up, cramp up, collapse, it was a completely foreign thing to me.  This running stuff is just stupid……  Smile

Somehow through all of this, my body never quit going and moving forward despite what my brain was telling me.  And that tailwind kept blowing me forward.  So in the late teen and early 20 miles I was in the 8:30s and 8:40s.  I knew I was bleeding time.  Then I got to mile 24.  Looked at my watch, and saw I had almost exactly 20 minutes to finish the race and still BQ.  Almost incredulously, I realized that I needed two 9 minute miles and an extra 2 minutes to finish the .2.  Well, the adrenalin kicked in and suddenly I was running an 8:15 pace which I sustained through the last 2.2 miles.  Finished in 3:38:25.  So I did get my BQ despite my not thinking it could happen.

The aftermath

What did I learn from this?  What I learned was that my body knew intuitively how to push through the discomfort and somehow knew how to block my negative thinking because of how it has been trained the past nine years.  So my body did not listen to my brain.  Also that a tailwind is nice to have.  No doubt.  Without it or if portions of the course were against that wind, the outcome would clearly have been different.  Also, because of an altered gait due to the groin issue that was not completely resolved before the race, I am more sore than usual and am still having some trouble moving around a few days later.   I am hopeful that this is not an injury that will be longer term and won’t detract from my base of training that I plan to do this summer.

This race probably taxed me more mentally than anything else.  In fact, I would consider it one of if not the most mentally taxing race I have ever run.  I am still a bit stunned that I did BQ with my lack of conditioning and suboptimal training.  Go figure.  I’m not going to complain, that’s for sure.  Since the time is only 95 seconds under the time necessary, there is no guarantee that I’ll make the cut for Boston.  I am simply thrilled that I did BQ once more to at least give me that opportunity.  I hope that it will work out and that I’ll be able to see a lot of you who have already qualified for Boston 2015.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  ounce on Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:38 am

I guess that you have proven that it's not always mind over body.  Gratz on another BQ.

As far as the personal issue, if someone that I had a great amount of trust betrays that trust, I can't trust them ever again.  I'm just that way.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  jon c on Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:51 am

@ounce wrote:I guess that you have proven that it's not always mind over body.  Gratz on another BQ.

As far as the personal issue, if someone that I had a great amount of trust betrays that trust, I can't trust them ever again.  I'm just that way.

Thanks for your comments. Appreciate your encouragement!

I am that way also. To be clear, forgiveness does not mean that what happened was OK. Far from it. It means that I make the conscious choice to forgive and move on and not let the people or the circumstances have power over me anymore. And yes, it means that I am probably going to have to find new friends. Otherwise the anger eats you up inside eventually. Forgiveness is more for the person doing the forgiving, not the other way around.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  mountandog on Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:03 am

congrats Jon
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:42 am

Nicely done, Jon and I hope to see you again in April.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Jim Lentz on Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:34 pm

Great job, Jon!
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Nick Morris on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:32 pm

Great work Jon!! Way to push through everything. It shows that you have a lot of mental toughness...
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  jon c on Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:35 pm

@mountandog wrote:congrats Jon

Thanks, Michael!

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Nicely done, Jon and I hope to see you again in April.

I hope to see you also Michele!

@Jim Lentz wrote:Great job, Jon!

Thanks, Jim!

@Nick Morris wrote:Great work Jon!!  Way to push through everything.  It shows that you have a lot of mental toughness...

Thanks, Nick! I agree with you that I am mental.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  fostever on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:46 pm

Good one Jon, guess you'll be in Bean town next year too!
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Julie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:30 pm

Congratulations on the BQ and for pushing through. One of my good friends ran that, too (she's my "Lincoln Mom" from my running group) and she also mentioned the storms. Glad you all stayed safe.

I wish you the best on the forgiveness issue. I have really struggled with that, too, but I do think it's best for  the offended person to forgive for their own sake, even if sometimes that feels like letting the other person off, which I don't think logically it really is. Emotionally, though, I think it's tough! glad you're making progress, though.

Oh and I meant to ask, did your daughter get an insulin pump? My friend's son got his a few weeks ago.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:40 pm

@jon c wrote:

Thanks, Nick!  I agree with you that I am mental.

Aren't we all Smile
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  nkrichards on Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:28 am

Nice job...on the race and the personal issues.

Looking forward to seeing you in Boston.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  jon c on Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:48 am

@fostever wrote:Good one Jon, guess you'll be in Bean town next year too!

Thanks, Steve! Hope to see you there.

@Julie wrote:Congratulations on the BQ and for pushing through. One of my good friends ran that, too (she's my "Lincoln Mom" from my running group) and she also mentioned the storms. Glad you all stayed safe.

I wish you the best on the forgiveness issue. I have really struggled with that, too, but I do think it's best for  the offended person to forgive for their own sake, even if sometimes that feels like letting the other person off, which I don't think logically it really is. Emotionally, though, I think it's tough! glad you're making progress, though.

Oh and I meant to ask, did your daughter get an insulin pump? My friend's son got his a few weeks ago.

Couldn't agree more with you Julie on the forgiveness thing. It is more beneficial for me to choose to forgive. It certainly does not let the others off the hook. I will have a hard time forgetting. But making the choice to forgive is ultimately a healthy thing to do.
We are hoping to get Hannah into an insulin pump within a year. Getting finances in order is the priority. Don't want to finance it, if you know what I mean.

@nkrichards wrote:Nice job...on the race and the personal issues.

Looking forward to seeing you in Boston.

Thanks! I'll look forward to seeing you and hopefully a lot of others. Not sure if 95 seconds cushion will be enough. We will see.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Alex Kubacki on Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:38 pm

Way to gut it out Jon. I'll bet the experience from the 50 helped pull you along too. Congrats on getting back to Boston.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  jon c on Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:18 pm

Thanks, Alex!  I'm sure the 50 didn't hurt my cause.  Hope we can see you in Boston this year.
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  Julie on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:00 am

About the insulin pump - my friend is on a very, very tight budget (stay at home mom in the Bay Area in a mobile home) and they did some fundraising. It might be worth considering (she held an online Norwex party and it was nice just to even let friends know, hey you can buy or you can donate because many of us wanted to just outright give and help her). Hang in there!
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Re: Marathon to Marathon: Matter over Mind

Post  jon c on Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:45 pm

@Julie wrote:About the insulin pump - my friend is on a very, very tight budget (stay at home mom in the Bay Area in a mobile home) and they did some fundraising. It might be worth considering (she held an online Norwex party and it was nice just to even let friends know, hey you can buy or you can donate because many of us wanted to just outright give and help her). Hang in there!

Thanks for your thoughts, Julie! Our financial deal is that we have a very high deductible. We will be switching plans this fall and hope to save enough to purchase it early next year. If we can do that on the new plan, it offers 100% coverage once the deductible is met. And since our new plan deductible will be only about half of our old one, we hope to get the rest of our medical covered for 2015. That's how we hope it works anyway. In the meantime, she gets along fine with her shot protocol. She has proven to be a tough kid. We are thankful that San Diego taught us to mix insulins. At Children's in Omaha, their protocol calls for twice as many shots as what Hannah has to take routinely.

One disadvantage to the pump is that it makes it easier to cheat diet wise. In my opinion, the less insulin you use, the more beneficial to the health of the person there is. Limiting bad carbs would be beneficial to all of us, not just diabetics.
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