Tag Archive | Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon

A Long Time On The Couch

I’m thinking of changing the name of this blog from “A Long Run” to “A Long Time On The Couch In Front Of The TV.”

Last year I ran three or four half-marathons; a couple of long, mountain trail races, the Peachtree Road Race and a marathon.

I was like:

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I ran 1005 miles last year. Really. Seriously.

This year I’m like:

couch
Seriously. I haven’t run a single step this year. I’ve probably watched 1005 thousand hours of TV instead.

For real. The only things I’ve done this year other than work and grocery shopping are go to church to run sound on Sundays and go to church committee meetings two or three times. Oh, and I took that trip to Selma a couple of weeks ago.

But the thing is, I don’t WANT to do anything. I only want to lie on the couch. Alone. That’s all.

I drive past Centennial Olympic Park on my way to work and I see they’re starting to set up for the Georgia Marathon. The race is Sunday. I think I’ve run it five years in a row. It was my first half. It was my first marathon.

I see the set up happening now for the thousands of runners, and I feel guilty and ashamed that I won’t be running this year. And instead of that making me want to run, it makes me want to curl up on the couch and hide and berate myself for being such a loser.

Tybee Island: Race Day!

And we’ve finally made it to race day!

My Race Report

Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon

A Nickle Bag of Funk

Fannies On The Beach

Tybee Island: Day 1

The first day of my trip to Tybee Island and Savannah for the 2014 Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon.

When In Tybee…

More details and pictures coming through the week, but I just wanted to give shout outs to all the great places I got to spend time during my trip to Tybee Island for the Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon! I can’t even explain what a wonderful time I had.

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Ocean Plaza Beach Resort

Stingray’s

The Breakfast Club

Fort Pulaski National Monument

The Crab Shack

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Tybee Island Marine Science Center

Seaside Sweets

Tybee Island Pier & Pavilion

Lighthouse Pizza

Fannie’s On The Beach

Tybee Island Beach Cam

I Did It! – 26.2 – 4:58:02

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I went into this race, the Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon, knowing that my training had fallen apart during the last month. I’d only run 37 miles in the last three weeks. My initial goal was to break 5:00:00. I’d have to run a 11:26 pace to do that.

I knew that my body was feeling pretty good with all the “rest” I’d gotten, but I knew at the same time, I wasn’t in the same shape I had been aerobically three weeks ago. I realized I’d have to run the smartest, most disciplined race of my life to hit my goal. I’d have to pace, drink and GU just right.

I had my Garmin set to track elapsed time, distance and last mile pace. (If I set it to more than three data fields, my old eyes have trouble reading it while I run.) Sometimes I also show my heart rate on my watch, but I generally know if I start getting out of breath that my heart rate’s too high.

I also had a 5 hour pace band on my wrist that I got at the race expo. It gave me the splits I’d need to hit for my goal. This turned out to be incredibly helpful!

I also had seven Chocolate Outrage GUs and my water belt.

The gun went off at 7am and about 20 minutes later, out of Corral 14, I hit the start line.

Course Map

I did a pretty good job hanging close to my pace time. Some people can hit every mile split within a second or two of their goal pace. I’m not one of those people. I’d go a little under and make up for it by going a little over. I tried to feel my breathing and run relaxed and under control.

I can’t begin to explain how wonderful, friendly and welcoming the people of Savannah were as we ran through their neighborhoods. It reminded me that although Atlanta isn’t exactly rude, it is kind of hard. It doesn’t have the spirit and soul of the south anymore. Old men and children waved to us from their porches. We ran in the shade under huge oaks draped with spanish moss and along cobblestone streets. It was delightful!

Then, around mile 11.5, the full split off from the half, and we ran on the expressway – the Harry Truman Parkway to be exact. It was hot. But it made me giggle when people were bemoaning “the hills.” It was clear they didn’t do their training in Atlanta.

We ran about 2 miles on the parkway and then turned and ran about a mile and a half to the Savannah State campus. We hit the entrance at mile 15. It had gotten really warm by this time, there hadn’t been much shade, and I was a little worried because I didn’t seem to be sweating. I had drunk a couple of cups of water at every water stop – there’d probably been six or seven by this point – and I’d sipped my water bottle almost dry. I’d had three GUs, one every 45 minutes.

Halfway around the campus loop at mile 16, I started feeling spent – not sick or dizzy or anything – just overheated and thirsty. I hadn’t walked at all at this point, except to drink at the water stops. I’d been running for three hours straight.

It was time for another GU, so I ate that and drank the last sip of water in my bottle. We ran on through the campus and did a lap around their track in the football stadium and left the campus at mile 17. Thank goodness, there was a water stop really soon after.

I drank a cup of water and poured one on my face. This cooled me off and the GU kicked in and I felt better.

18 miles is where I’ve lost it completely in my other two marathons. I was about four minutes ahead of my goal time at this point and felt like I could probably experiment with walking for 30 seconds at the beginning of each mile. I knew I needed to conserve my energy.

The walk breaks turned out to be a good strategy for a couple of reasons. In my other two marathons, I started walking at mile 18 with no real rhyme or reason because I was tired and wound up giving up and walking way too much of the rest of the race.

The 30 second planned walk breaks in this race let me get my heart rate down a little (once it gets too high, it’s tough to get back down) and also gave me something to look forward to at the end of each mile. I’d look at my watch and see 18.73 miles and tell myself, “Just keep running! You can rest in just .27 miles.” It really helped me break the end of the race down into manageable chunks mentally and physically, instead of thinking of it as “Oh my God! I’ve still got to run 7 more miles!”

At some point during mile 18, there was another blessed water stop. I drank a couple of cups of water and asked if they could fill up my water bottle. The young man said, “Just go over there and dip it in that big garbage can full of ice water that we’re using to fill our pitcher.”

I tell you, if there is a heaven, it will be like that moment when I stuck my entire arm down into that bucket of ice water. I think that was the moment that got me through the end of the race. Not to mention that it simply refilled my water bottle. There should be a new parable written about that moment, because Jesus was in it!

I went on with my run-walk plan but really started wearing out about mile 20. But I was SO close to meeting my goal. I didn’t want to ruin it after all the mental and physical struggle I’d gone through over the last four months training and the last four hours running! So I kept chugging.

About 22.5, we had looped around to run the “back” of the out and back section of Harry Truman Parkway. Only a 5K left to go. I wasn’t even pretending anymore. I was unhappy. I won’t say I was miserable; I wasn’t even particularly hurting. I guess the way to explain it is that I felt “empty.”

At mile 24, I wanted to quit. I just wanted to walk it in. I walked for the first minute of that mile. I was fighting myself so hard. It was that same moment I had in that 20 mile training run where that thing clicked in my brain at mile 10 and I quit. That “thing” was screaming at me to quit, to give up.

I KNEW if I came this close and then gave up with two miles left I would never forgive myself – literally. And I was actually afraid that if I blew this shot at breaking 5 hours, I’d feel like I had to do all this training again and take ANOTHER shot at it. Like I told somebody earlier in the race, I don’t ever want to have to get up at 4:15am again in my life unless the house is on fire and somebody already tried and failed to extinguish it.

I didn’t have some big inspirational moment where I gave myself a “You Can Do It!” pep talk. I just put my head down, looked at the pavement, gritted my teeth and ran.

At one point I was actually running and hollering – that holler you make when you’re frustrated and tired and angry and don’t want to be doing what you’re doing.

1.2 miles to go and I’m grinding. My brain is big and empty. There’s nothing but road.

So close. Still on pace for the goal. Run. Run! Finish strong.

Can’t manage a smile for the race photographers. It would be a lie anyway.

Turn the corner toward the finish line. .2 miles to go. I’m going to make it. I hear the PA announcer blabbering words, but they mean nothing. Why isn’t he telling everybody gathered at the finish line that I’ve DONE IT?!?

I cross the timing strip. Hit the stop button on the Garmin. And there it is.

4:58:00

I take my medal, look up at the sky and say out loud, “Thank you, Jesus!”

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26.4 miles
4:58:02
163 avg heart rate
11:17 avg pace
2819 calories burned

Splits

Target Pace: 11:26

  1. 11:03
  2. 11:30
  3. 11:12
  4. 11:34
  5. 10:58
  6. 11:15
  7. 11:30
  8. 10:57
  9. 11:16
  10. 11:21
  11. 11:05
  12. 11:15
  13. 11:02
  14. 11:07
  15. 11:17
  16. 11:01
  17. 11:30
  18. 12:05
  19. 11:01
  20. 11:10
  21. 11:22
  22. 11:19
  23. 11:20
  24. 11:16
  25. 12:10
  26. 11:33
  27. 3:51.5

Total weekly miles: 36.4

Compare to Last Week

Weeks to Atlanta Thanksgiving Half-Marathon: 3-ish

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It’s Almost Time!

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A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran: http://youtu.be/iIpfWORQWhU

46

There are plenty of worse ways to celebrate a birthday. 

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Here’s to 46 more!

I Made It

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ERASURE – BLUE SAVANNAH

http://youtu.be/zxEBv5U0Yok

The 12 That Should’ve Been

I was supposed to run 12 this morning. My last “long run” before next Saturday’s marathon. I hadn’t run all week, so I really needed to get this one in. I knew the wind was going to be howling and it was supposed to feel like about 35 degrees at 5am. But I figured one last suffering, painful run might kick my ass out of this funk I’ve been in and make me feel like I’ve earned this marathon. I laid out all my winter running clothes last night, charged up the Garmin, and was bound and determined to tough it out.

When I had to get up at 3:30 to secure all the flower pots shooting around my balcony like air hockey pucks, I decided I’d just run on the treadmill. I realized there was really no reason to do that at 5am. So I reset my alarm for 7. Then I just turned it off.

The Georgia/Florida game doesn’t kick off until 3:30, so I’d have plenty of time to go downstairs to the gym and run, go to the pharmacy and the grocery store, and still make it home in time for the game.

I opened my eyes about 8:30 and watched the clouds blow past outside the living room windows. It felt so good under my blue fuzzy blankets in front of the space heater. I had no desire to go downstairs and pound the treadmill for two hours. But I knew I’d feel guilty and hate myself if I didn’t.

I laid there longer. I let my mind wander. I thought about what would make me happy as opposed to what I felt like I was supposed to do.

Then I got up, fed the cats, made Cookies and Creme Pop Tarts, laid back down on the couch, and watched “The Twilight Zone.”

I didn’t feel guilty. I felt relieved.

I understand completely how it’s come to this. I decided to challenge myself to go from a 20 mile a week runner to a 55 mile a week runner too quickly. I knew better. I was trying so hard to prove myself, I bit off way more that I could chew.  I burned out mentally and physically before I ever got to race day. I let my pride make the decision instead of my brain. (The outrageous thing is that I seriously considered training to run a 50 mile race in December.)

I could’ve very well run this marathon on 40 miles a week. That got me through my last marathon. I’ve even run one on 30. Why did I feel like I HAD to hit that 55 mark? (And I did. And I WAS really proud of that.)

But now I don’t know which is worse, or if neither is bad; the fact that I made a stupid decision or that I’ve burned out and quit/failed.

I actually fascinate myself, I can usually identify EXACTLY why I do the crazy things I do. But that doesn’t mean I stop myself. And what I’ve done the past few week prior to this race is set up all my excuses ahead of time for when I fail.

I think I’ve eaten one decent meal in the last couple of weeks. Mostly it’s been Pop-Tarts and tater tots and granola bars and Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Coke. I’ve run once in the last two weeks. I’ve fallen into a depression. I’ve started cutting again.

So see, if I don’t meet my goal time (and how could I now), it’s not because I failed as a runner. I just failed as a person. (I have no idea why that feels like a better thing.)

I was telling Boo earlier this week how scared I am about my trip to the race next week. He suggested that I drop back to the half and just go down there and have a fun, relaxing time. But as much as I’ve quit already, I’d rather die than have to tell people I didn’t run the full. I don’t know why. Nobody cares. But it would haunt me forever. I don’t know why.

I’m struggling SO hard trying to figure out who I am and why I’m here. I’ve always identified myself by external achievements. I was a softball player. I was an uber-Christian. I was a shot putter. I was a brilliant theology student. I was a wife. I could drink with the boys. I’m a runner.

But when those things are gone, who is Deanna really? Who am I without those labels I can wear on the outside? I don’t think I know. Maybe I’ve built up such a strong, protective suit of armor that it’s almost impossible to find me in there anymore.

Every time something has happened to strip me of those external labels, my life has gone into a tailspin of depression and confusion. When those distractions and definitions are gone, I have no idea why I’m even here.

Isn’t life supposed to be more than this? Why do I have to be here all by myself without someone to love me? Will I ever be happy, or will I always have to stuggle through these periods of sadness and depression and hurt and self-doubt?

Lots of times I’ve said to Boo, “I’m crazy.” or “I’m a bad person.” And he usually responds. “No. You’re just D.”

I’ve only recently understood that. For a long time I thought he meant that like a funny, depricating thing like, “Yep. That’s just you.” Sort of like those infuriatingly condescending Nathan Deal for Governor ads right now where he says, “That’s just Jason.”

But it’s only been in the last few days that I’ve realized the depth of what “You’re just D” really means. No matter how much I want to be something else, I can only be Deanna. And that’s supposed to be OK. Now I just have to figure out what that means and HOW to be OK with it.

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0 miles

Total week miles: 0

Compare to Last Week

Weeks to Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon: 1