As long as I can breathe
Tere Zacher

Before I start I want to apologize for not blogging for the past week. I had a marathon on the weekend and I just got caught up with a ton of things to do before leaving town. Then I deliberately decided to leave my computer at home so I could focus on -finally!- resting for a day and a half before the race.

I generally am very anal when it comes to racing and training, but I have learned to let go of things I can't control. Going to Rio not knowing if I was going to race or not was a huge thing for me (I tend to be a planner and a control freak) and, when I realized I was not going to race there I extended my marathon training for a marathon in Utah this past October 1st. My training cycle was great but not ideal. I will explain in detail. I was able to do good training runs now that I know what works for my body and what not. When I started running I started with a coach that seemed to work for some people. Not long into training with him I got injured (over and over again) and I realized everybody that trains with him gets injured quite often. I also noticed there was a lot of jealousy and bad-directed competitiveness among the people that train with him. However, I was afraid of leaving because I didn't know much about running at the time and, well, sometimes we are afraid to let go something (even when it's not serving you or is less than mediocre) for fear of the unknown. I finally took the plunge and asked Kevin to help me write my workouts. He has changed completely the way I was training (we put special emphasis in recovery so I can keep training hard and fast. I only run 65 miles per week and I take two full days off per week. I do plenty of hills and hill repeats, really fast and short stuff at the track and I do tempo runs on my long run. I basically don't run miles without a purpose). So, my training cycle went as well as it could. I have to say (because I really can never praise it enough) I am very lucky to have discovered Skechers before I started being one of their athletes. Since I started running in my Skechers (I prefer the Ultra R) I have been healthy and injury free. Those shoes have made such a difference! (see? it pays off to leave what you know for fear of the unknown, even though you may end up with a much better deal!).


But, not everything was perfect on my training cycle. I got really sick in Brazil and I don't think I have quite recovered well. Then the weeks before the marathon I was traveling. First we went to Guadalajara, from there to Leon (Awesome trip by the way, I am always so humble to be able to speak in public and share my life experiences), coming back I conducted a two day Team Building Seminar for Arion Care and Arizona Hiking Adventures, and all this was at the same time that I am coaching, had a couple of swimming meets and I am teaching Spanish after school (before heading to the pool to coach). So, rest was not something that I was able to have before running 26.2 miles, but it was what it was and I I love doing all these things. I really do. Plus, I have learned that happiness is accepting what it is without wishing it was different...


...This brings me to my mindset at the race: I arrived to the hotel on Thursday and, after stopping for food and diet cherry pepsi (I know, it's so bad for you but I love it) I got in bed. My stomach was really upset but I thought it was nerves and tiredness. I took an epsom salts bath and I went to bed early. I woke up early the next day and I was still not feeling great. I decided to stay in bed for a little longer and skip my run. At this point there is not much more I would get from it. I have learned to listen to my body and sometimes running less ends up adding up. I went to get my bib, dropped my fluid bottles and went back to bed. I ate because I know you have to eat before a marathon but I was not hungry and my stomach was really upset. I called Kevin and told him I thought I was very nervous because of how my body was feeling. But, I have learned to focus on the present moment because that is all we have. Living in the past or in the future is living in a lie since the past is gone and the future hasn't arrived. So all we have is the present moment. What good does it do to worry about my race tomorrow when I am still in the hotel room?. That night I did a meditation, watched TV, read a little and fell asleep. 

Saturday morning I woke up at 3 am (race was at 6:45am) and ate some oatmeal with banana, honey and raisins. I also had some powerade and I went back to bed. I went to the start line at around 5am and my stomach wasn't feeling great but I really thought it was just adrenaline and nerves.  The race started and I was pumped up but not feeling strong. I stuck to my plan of taking the first half slower than the second half and kept looking at my garmin to make sure I was not getting ahead of my plan. We all feel great the first miles of a race but we have to remember you don't win a marathon in the first 6 miles. By mile 3 I took a sip of water and it didn't sit well. I threw up. This is the first time that I throw up while running in a race so I made sure to do it in a big way. I ended up throwing up at least 8 times (I can't wait to see the pictures of the race course, I did notice the photographers snapping pictures while I was throwing up!). I assessed how I was feeling. Do I feel great? no. Can I breathe? yes. If I keep running, Will I die? probably not. That's all I needed to know. I knew it wasn't my best day to race but I also knew that's how it was and I had to do the best I could with the conditions I was given. I have learned never to take for granted a run because I have had to stop because of not being able to breathe so, when I can get air in, I don't want to stop even if that means not running as fast as I can or not feeling as smooth as I generally do. Overall, I am very happy with the way I performed because I was able to stay in the present moment for almost the whole race (I ended up in the top 5 in a time of 2h 45m 14s). 


This was a huge victory for me. I have had a great running year but I was not able to finish my previous marathon (in March) because of a bad asthma attack. So being able to finish was just awesome. I also won an all expense trip to ibigawa, Japan to race there since I was the first master (fifth overall, first master, it pays to be old!). I do forget I am almost 45 years old because I know my best races haven't yet arrived. I know I still have a lot of PR's in my body and I can't wait to keep training and getting them. 


I came back to Phoenix on Sunday and I still am not feeling well. I think I am just tired but I am keeping an eye on how I feel. I did cryotherapy yesterday (I love it!) and my muscles feel great. I already miss running and I can't wait until I go out and hit the pavement again (but i will make sure it's not before a week). 

Hope you all have a great day! I will be posting again every day from now on :)

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