From 264.2 to 26.2 round three: how I plan to be successful.

Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great. If you’ve seen any of my recent Instagram or Facebook posts, you’ll know I’ve decided on a whim to run the Santa Rosa Marathon again this year. It was my first marathon in 2016, and I didn’t expect to run it again this year. After watching my husband train for and run the Eugene Marathon and have a killer PR, I decided I wanted to push myself to train for a marathon sooner than CIM. Lucky for me, the nice people at the SR marathon hooked me up with a discount code 😊 (feel free to use!). I also love that this race is just down the road from where I live so no hotel necessary and I can convince my better half to come drop me off and pick me up 😏. I also hope some friends and family might make it to the finish line.

But I digress.

I was toying with the idea of running another marathon WHILE I was knee deep in running the Eugene half. Might as well think about running while you’re running, right?!?!

I realized that if I wanted to run another marathon though, I had to make some big commitments. I really did not do my best training for CIM last year because of the fires in town. Those took up most of my October training because the air quality was so poor. It was a total mind boggle for me. I want to do better this time but I know that means a lot.

I have a few plans in place to really help me refocus and have a solid training plan

  1. I am going in knowing what to expect. My first marathon I trained on my own with some plan I found online. It was probably way too ambitious of a plan for me. I did not stick to it very well. During CIM, Coach Patrick was great with my plan but I did not execute as well as I needed to, looking back. I really was fearful after the fires and freaked myself out. You may remember I even tried to drop out of the marathon and went so far as to request a downgrade, but manned up and did it. Which was very rewarding.
  2. I am going to lean on others to run with. Yes, Vanessa “I only run solo” Wallace plans to find friends to run with. I have a few great friends who are also either training for a marathon around the same time as me, or just love running, who will do some of my long runs with me. I’ll also probably tack on to some friends to help get me through some of the mid-week short runs when my brain is totally toast and I wanna just skip it.
  3. I am going to write more about my training. I think I want to log and journal more for personal use, but also write more regular blog posts recapping things. I think that will help me with my accountability!
  4. I’m going to add in strength training to my routine. A strong core and upper body is going to help keep me up right for that long of a time. I think it will also help me have a little mental break from running. I am very fortunate that I have been given an opportunity to try out a new strength and conditioning gym for a few weeks this summer, so I’ll see how that works out for me!
  5. I have already planned some indulgences during training. I already know after whatever my longest long run is, I’m gonna go back to the float pod place and I’m having a milkshake that night. #treatyoself
  6. I am going to let this be a focus for me. I’m going to roll with the punches this time around on marathon training. My work schedule has become a little more fluid now that I’ve been promoted, so I will be doing less errandy stuff and more office stuff which means I am not tied to as many set events during the day as I was. I’ve been able to come in earlier than before and work on a more fluid timeline to get things done, which means running can totally fit in to my routine more than before when some really long days strained me.
  7. I am going to consider switching my long runs to Saturday’s. I’m not sold on this one yet, but part of me is considering making Saturday my long run day so I can recover and sleep in on Sunday’s. There’s literally no day during the week I sleep in. This would also mean I have to find a new weight watchers meeting to go to, since I currently go Saturday’s, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
  8. I am willing to get uncomfortable. The last two marathons I don’t think let myself get as uncomfortable as I should have. This time around, I’m gonna work hard. I’m gonna play hard. I’m gonna put it all on the line and go all in.
  9. I am going to find out just how tough I actually am. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I am ready for some self discovery. I’ve always learned something new about myself while marathon training. I look forward to seeing what I learn this time around.

So there you have it. I’m excited to tackle this again, though I’m also a little scared because it’s gonna be really hard.

I know I can do it. I look forward to seeing how it all goes!

Cheers to 26.2!

Vanessa

Always earned, never given. California International Marathon recap.

In January I was chosen as an ambassador for the California International Marathon. An honor I was not expecting. I had spent the better part of 2017 sharing my joy, spreading a discount code and celebrating running through my social media. I had big plans to lose weight and get stronger before marathon training began. That definitely backfired on me and all did not go according to plan. In fact, I put on about 20 more pounds over the course of the year. My training was completely derailed when the Santa Rosa fires struck and I couldn’t run outside for two weeks. Finally, on November 5th, I decided I wasn’t going to run the marathon. I was 13 miles into my 17 mile run. I gave up. I called for a ride. My head won. I emailed to downgrade to the relay. I texted my running coach. I let my doubt get in the way. I waited for a feeling or relief to come and it never did. I imagined myself getting a relay medal instead of the 35th annual marathon medal and not being able to say I ran my second marathon. I felt disappointed that I had let myself give up so easily. Then, in a moment of clarity, I got home (we had been staying out of town), put on my running shoes and went back out and finished the last four miles. And decided I was worth putting everything out on the line for. So I took back my quitting and knew it was going to be a long road to 26.2, but made up my mind to complete my goal.

Friday: expo fun!

This weekend I kicked it off on Friday and enjoyed some amazing time at the CIM expo. First I picked up all my stuff and spent a bunch of money (oops!).

Then I had the opportunity to volunteer at the expo. I love volunteering for events when I can! I also got to meet fellow CIM ambassadors which was a treat.

After enjoying some pizza and ice cream with family from the area, I tucked myself into bed.

Saturday: race prep

Saturday morning there was a shakeout run. It was a great way to get in a few miles. I ran with one of the CIM ambassadors Stephanie (blogger at Run Strong Run), who I have tried at two different events to meet up with! I ran two miles but then walked back to the Capitol building for some fun photos and a dance party video 😊<<<
ent the rest of the day having lunch, hanging out with Mr. Ftof and eating pizza for dinner because the alarm was set for 3:30, so I was in bed at 7:00.

Sunday: race morning<<<<<
ut of bed at 3:30 and fought with an unhappy belly for a while. I got dressed and got in line for the bus at 4:45. You have to take a shuttle from Sacramento to the starting line in Folsom because it's a point to point event. It was early! On the bus I thought to myself that my former 264.2 pound version of myself would never envision my current self running a marathon. That feeling was a good way to start the day.

I got to the starting line around 6, and went to the bathroom a few times (I was paranoid and went like three times lol), checked my gear and waited to start. I found Stephanie again who was unofficially pacing the 6 hour group. Her Christmas tree headband was the best!

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he first ten miles seemed to fly by. It was strange how quickly those went by for me. There were rolling hills and I felt really strong and good during them. Flip side was that I probably spent a lot of energy on them. I was so focused on staying as close to the cutoff pace as I could (6 hour cut off), that I tried my hardest to hold on to those 13:44 miles. I was good for a while until about the 13.1 when I started to slow down. I was doing 4:1 Run:Walk intervals. I told myself after I got to 13.1, to get to 16. Then I told myself to get to 20. Then I told myself to get to 23, and finally to finish. I was so lucky to see Ann and Mary along the course, two awesome ladies who have done CIM before and are local to the area and are Facebook followers.

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t mile 18 I really wanted to give up. I was so tired and had so much longer to go. My dreams of getting to the finish line before the 6 hour cut off were long gone and I was just hoping a volunteer would still be there with medals when I got there. But I knew I couldn’t give up. I had come too far to give up now. So I changed my intervals to 2:3 Run/walk and just told myself to finish. I hit the wall around mile 22.6, but just kept doing what I could. I was GOING to finish.

And suddenly I was at mile 25. I don’t know how it happened. I turned a corner and recognized where I was. I saw the Capitol building. I knew I was close. I picked up my pace and suddenly could run again. I saw a fellow CIM ambassador Art, who cheered me on, giving me the boost I needed. And I gave literally everything left that I had. Every ounce of it. And at this point, I started crying. I had achieved the unthinkable. I had done something that felt so unattainable. And after 6:41:19, I had done it. I had run my second marathon!

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ugh it was the hardest thing I have ever accomplished, even harder than my first marathon, and it made the victory that much sweeter.

It wasn’t the best training I’ve had and I don’t feel size wise and Fitness wise where I would prefer to be, but it is a sweet victory to celebrate. I realized this weekend that because I have different goals that aren’t as elite as other runners, that does not take the value away of my goals nor does it diminish their accomplishment. I didn’t PR or BQ like other runners were shooting for but I finished my marathon. And that is something to be celebrated.

I may already be debating what Fall marathon I’ll be tackling in 2018…. but first I think I’ll rest up a little and stick to shorter distances.

Thank you everyone for your support. I am so grateful to have achieved this goal with you behind me❀️