I Used to Love You

So if you didn’t know, I’m training for a marathon! I am embarking on Week 5 of base building miles. That is building up to a consistent level of miles each week before the real long miles begin. Each week I’ve done between 15 and 18 miles each week for a total of 63 miles in a month. This number will only go up but the only thing that hurt was waking up at some God forsaken hour to get these miles in before the heat and work.

Anyway. A lot happened in a month so here are the highlights.

I Love Running. I Hate Running.
By week two, I absolutely hated running. Questioned why I was doing it. Am I out of my mind? You’re gonna hear the good the bad and the ugly from me so all that glitters ain’t gold. This crap is hard some days and I want to just quit but if it wasn’t for folks waiting for me at 5am and what not, I would still be in bed.

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This pic shows how much I really did not want to be running outside in the hot on this particular day. It’s a hell of a lot to wake up every weekday and weekend to rise and run. Especially when you don’t feel like it. But after about two weeks, I got into my running groove. Waking up was easier. I was getting faster. My breathing thru the humidity was getting better.

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So each week I suck it up and keep it moving. Keeping my eyes on the goal. If it was easy then everybody would do it right?

Road Trip to Emporia, Williamsburg, Richmond, Emporia and Home

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In the midst of my training and busy work schedule, I had to take the boys down south for Vacation Bible School…solo. Took Mateo to be with Grandpa for VBS.

[“Grandpa's House”]image

Then Khalil and I went to William & Mary for his first college football camp.

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While he was at Williamsburg during the day from 8am to 8pm, I drove to Richmond to work out of the state office there. A Mother’s love for her son while still keeping her job.

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The folks in that office were so kind to me that they took me out to lunch.

I did this trek for two days but I still got my runs in. One 3 mile and one 5 mile.

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[“I miss magnolia trees”]image

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Then took Khalil back to Emporia on the fourth day so he could finish out VBS with Mateo and drove home to MD that same day. Six hour drive solo.

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Melvin texted me to say “check the glove compartment”. He left this card in as a nice surprise.

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
While I was in Richmond, I was notified that I won the FB cover photo for the Richmond Marathon because of my #richmondready marathon story.

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[“Winning FB Cover Photo”]image

While in Richmond I got to meet the sports company, Sports Backers, that is putting on the Richmond race. Very nice folks. I drove some of the course through VCU and Virginia Union. All my young life, I lived an hour away and never explored Richmond. It’s a charming city. I will in November. At least 26.2 miles of it.

Second Race of the Year
Last year I went race crazy and did a ton of races. At least 8. After that, I hated running and stopped cold turkey. This year, I have only registered for three races. The Frederick Half in April, today’s Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k and the Richmond full. That’s enough. If you hear of me trying to sign up for another race, please shake some sense into me! I ain’t playing!

Today’s 5k was awesome though. All female race. T-shirt and medal for $40. Not bad at all! There was a time I used to be scared of 3.1 miles. My strategy today was to run the whole thing. And I did; only walking through two water stops. Felt good. Also it was so great to reunite with all the women I’ve encountered on the pavement over the years. We may have run a few miles together but we become fast friends.

[“BGR Takeover at BWC”]image

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It’s a lovely running community and I’m so glad to be a part it. Even though I hate running most days. But if this blog doesnt do anything else, I hope it inspires somebody to get out there and move for their health. Or dare to do something else or different. Why not?

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Never Say Never

What the hell have I done now?

Me. The tomboy who ran the Sprint distances (100, 200, 4×100 relay) in high school track. The skinny girl who came in next to last in cross country only because Coach Atkins asked me to try it. Mind you that was only 3 miles. The thick girl who ran four half marathons last year after saying she wasn’t interested in long distance races. The pessimistic chick who said she would NEVER run a marathon…has the nerve to train for the Richmond FULL FREAKIN MARATHON in November. Back in my home state of Virginia. Wooooosaaaaah.

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If you know me, I get bored easily. Always looking for that next project or adventure. Welp! This is a new adventure that I never wanted to happen. Some of my marathoner friends said that I would want to. Even Melvin knew! How come I didn’t know?  Never had the desire to run for six hours. Either way, last year I was “half crazy” so this year I’m going straight up full crazy! Why not?

So Let the Training Begin!
I will be working with a running coach. Lydia Shell of Titanium training. She’s run 20+ marathons and is a marathon pacer so I think I’m in good hands. She developed our schedule and will even map out and run long runs with us.

“Lydia Shell, My Running Coach”image

This week was Week 1. I will be running 4x a week for the next 24 weeks.  This week I ran 15 miles. Some were 3 miles, some 4, one 5. In rain, sunshine and humidity and all before the sun came up. I remember when I used to be scared of 5 miles and not a morning person. Who am I?!?!

“My Running Buddy Amena”image

Fall Marathon/Summer Training
I would rather run in 10 degree frigidity than in the summer heat. Last year, I ran through the winter and spring. Loved it but got burned out from all the races and quit cold turkey due to the summer heat. I really wanted a spring marathon but since I wasn’t “trained up” I opted for a fall marathon. A lot of my “runboos” will be training for other fall races so we are in this all together. Alesha, Rashanta and I will be running Richmond so you’ll hear more about them a lot.  #miserylovescompany

“Planning Mtg for Pre-Training Training”image

One Mile at a Time
Over the next 24 weeks, I plan to share my successes, challenges, highs, and lows plus a few pictures along the way. Might not be every week but you’ll get a flavor of what it takes to complete this thing. I have quite a few work trips in the midst of training so that makes it more interesting. At times I may want to quit, so will need your encouragement.

All of my run posts last year encouraged others to start walking and eventually running. You never know how your testimony can affect someone else. But if I can do it, anyone can.

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26.2 miles. All or nothing. Here we go. You ready?