Six Days to Go

Days till race: 6
Miles: 13 miles (when I ran Sunday)
Time: 4 hours
Feeling: Determined

I knew I had to do it.

I’ve been off and on with my training in the last month but with just a few weeks to go before my half marathon, I knew I needed to get serious. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to run as consistently as I could. I did eight miles on Friday, with the plan to do 10 on Saturday and have that be the longest I would run.

But then I didn’t run Saturday. So I knew I had to run Sunday. The rest of my team got up at 8 a.m. to do their run. But I wasn’t prepared to do that.

After church (and after doing some shopping), I motivated myself to head over to the gym at work and do at least 10 miles.

If I could do 10, I could do 13.

I started running at 7:30 p.m. Four hours, 3 bathroom breaks, 1 bottle of Gatorade and 1/2 a bottle of water later, I’d run 13. 1 miles. It wasn’t easy.

The first three miles, oddly enough, were bad. I felt like stopping immediately. But by mile four, things turned around. I hit  a stride and felt okay with the run. When I made it to mile 6, I told myself I was almost half done. At 8 miles, my mantra was “two more miles to 10.”

By 10 miles, it was 10:45 p.m. or so. I wanted to stop. But I figured I’d come this far. And I’d have to do it in a week. So I kept running. “Breaking Bad” kept me company.

I crossed my finish line around 11:30 p.m. and – no lie – it was pretty emotional. I didn’t cry, but I was just astonished that I’d done it and the progress I’d made. I cooled down, stretched, then went home and demolished a turkey sandwich and a glass of milk.

This morning, I woke up with my legs a little achy. My calves were tight. My hips felt a little off. But I wasn’t dead. I could walk. Stairs were a bit of a challenge, but I could walk.

Major improvement.

I had a pow wow with Pam at work about yoga poses to help me loosen up my muscles (she’s a go-hard — she got on the floor to show me a move, in some very cute stilettos!).

This afternoon, I picked up my race singlet (eek!) and my race day information from Team in Training. Lots of good stuff in there. And lots I still need to do to prepare for this race.

First order of business: write my name on my singlet.


April 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm 1 comment

Surprise! You’re a runner!

Day: 61
Miles: 7.89 miles
Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Feeling: Surprised

I almost feel like instead of counting my days of training, I should be in countdown mode now. My race is on May 2. Less than a month away.

Since I’ve been slacking on my training, I knew I had to go outside and run no matter what. The goal was to run for two hours, but it started to get dark. So 45 minutes into my run, I turned around. And almost tripped on some uneven sidewalk in Seekonk.

In my head, I knew I’d run more than 6.5 miles, because I passed that turnaround point about two lights back. I wanted to get as far as I could before turning around. The lack of light stymied me though. So I headed home.

Meanwhile, I kind of like the idea of coming home and having how long I ran be a surprise. So I logged onto MapMyRun and put in my route.

7.89 miles.

First thought: “WOW”

Second thought: “I should have kept going so I could have made 8 miles!”

So I’m pretty amped right now. I’m still behind on the training schedule — the group ran 11 miles on Saturday — but I feel like I’ll be able to have a respectable showing. I even stopped to walk tonight! Imagine what I could do if I ran straight through?

I think what surprised me most was the time. When I’m on a treadmill, I can try to slug through an hour and I never feel like I feel right now. And I would never have thought I could do nearly 8 miles in an hour and a half on a treadmill. So this is case #7,568 for why running outside is better than running inside.

So the plan for tomorrow you say? I’m getting up early and I’m going to do a strength training workout before work. Then, after work, I’ll put in some more miles. Maybe not 8, but I’m going to run. The goal is to run six days a week as the schedule says, but to also add in separate strength training workouts a few times a week — something I should have been doing more consistently from the beginning.

What’s that? How’d my weekend plan go? Eh, it didn’t. I ran 2 miles on Saturday evening after I got off from work, and Easter, I was so stuffed it was all I could do to wobble to my couch and take a nap. I didn’t even make it to the running store to check on some water bottles (which would have come in handy today because I was super thirsty on this run).

So hopefully I can pop by the store tomorrow after my workout and get that remedied. New toys will inspire me to run. Shoot, maybe I’ll even go for 8 tomorrow — after a good long stretch.

April 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm 1 comment

The real Superstars

I haven’t given you guys nearly the amount of shine I should have over these past few months. Below are the people who have donated to help fund Leukemia & Lymphoma research by sponsoring my half marathon.

You guys are superstars!

Veronica M. Miller
Alisha & Chanseng Thounsavath
Pamela Cotter

Jean Plunkett

Vanessa Deggins
Amanda Milkovits
Dr. Peter G. Brassard
Lori & Wayne Vincent
Edward Fitzpatrick
Jim DeLillo
Karen & Rick Gregory
Alicia Garcia
Fatimah Rashad
Darby Baham
Cynthia Needham
Steven Hall
Ashley Harris
Paul Davis
Scott Alexander
John Hill
Lisa Vernon Sparks
Charreah Jackson
Kinra Milhouse
Chris Bilotti
Quinnaco Huddleston
Scott MacKay
Margrett Sullivan
Kevin Pearson
Calvin Sims
Georgia Nicholson
Alexandra Merceron
Abbie Buford
Amos Buford
Drs. Rubinstein & Ducoff, Inc.
Carol J. Young
Russatta Buford
Adrienna Edwards
Kinra Milhouse
John C. Quinn
Juanita Vann
Edna Green-Perry & Melvin Perry
Bettye Simmons
Valerie Leslie

Don’t feel bad if you don’t see your name on the list — there’s still time for you to donate! Click here for details!

April 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

Day 57: I’m focused, man

Day: 57
Miles: 4.83 miles
Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Confession time.

After the St. Pat’s race, I checked out. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t working out. I was just chilling. No lie, it was great. But I felt guilty. And I knew that the longer I waited to get back on the training wagon, the harder it would be.

I ran exactly once last week.

This week, I did better. But not fantasically so.

I eased back into the workouts with first a 3 mile run on the treadmill and then the nearly 5 miler the next day. I haven’t been able to run outside because it’s been a little drizzly here in Rhode Island. I’m really looking forward to getting out there this weekend.

So the plan — Because I really do have exactly one month until this whole shindig goes down — is this:

  1. Run Friday. It doesn’t matter how long, or how far, but run.
  2. On Friday, go to Rhode Runner and get some supplies for my fuel belt. I bought the fanny pack last year so I could run with my camera and other essentials in my first 5k. From what I’ve been reading, I’ll need to carry my own fuel and snacks to keep me going during this race. Might as well practice my fueling strategy now.
  3. Run for two hours on Saturday. At my pace, my race will be at least this long. It’s supposed to be nice, so I figure now is as good a time as any to get a REAL long run in.
  4. That long run? Run it at 8 a.m. — yeah. this is a hard one. My race is in the morning and I normally do my running at night. I’ll try to incorporate more morning runs as I get closer, so that I’ll be used to the heat and humidity.

I’m a few weeks behind in my training schedule, but after running nearly 5 miles the other day, I’m somewhat confident that I can actually do this. I didn’t feel like dying afterward, which is always a plus. Granted, I would need to run an additional 8 miles or so on race day, but that I could get through nearly 5 with minimal problem is progress.

And let it be known: I have no shame in walking.

My goal is to finish the race the best I can. If I need to walk for a bit to catch my breath, I’ll do it. But the goal is to run as much of it as I can.

Gotta hunker down and really hammer out all of the kinks and logistics of this all or else this is going to be a nasty, nasty race.

In other news, I’m REALLLLLLY close to raising my fundraising goal of $1,500. As of 6 p.m. on April 1, 2010, we have raised $1,225 for blood cancer research. AND I know some checks are in the mail to be credited to my account so I’m feeling pretty good about whether I’ll reach goal.

That said, you can still do your part! Click here to donate!

April 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

I’m fully committed

Everything is moving so fast.

I got my recommitment packet in the mail today.

Recommitment is the point where you tell Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that you plan to meet your training goal and will participate in your race as scheduled. For me, that means that I agree to raise $1,500 and will run my half marathon on May 2.

It also means that I have to raise my entire fundraising amount by April 23 in order for it to be counted. That’s less than a month from today.

So far, we have raised $1,055 for Leukemia & Lymphoma research. That’s 70 percent of the goal.

If you want to donate, please consider doing so prior to April 23 so that I can meet my goal.

We’ve come this far — just a little further to go!

Click here to Donate!

March 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment

Race pictures are no bueno

Just saw my pic from the St. Pat’s 5k.

I look a hot and tired mess. 

So I figured I’d share, lol. 

The pics are copyright protected, but you can view my shot by clicking this link:

I’ve got to remember to smile as I approach the finish line of my half marathon. We will NOT have a repeat of this!

March 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

One race down, one to go

Pam, Maria and I after the race -- WITH OUR MEDALS!!!


I got a medal!

Well, everyone did.

But that’s beside the point.

I finished the St. Patrick’s 5k in 37 minutes and 23 seconds by my watch.  But I just checked the race Web site. Here’s my stat line:

2820 TALIA BUFORD   26 F 1740 EAST PROVIDENCE   37:17.5 12:01   40:26.0

Okay, so that’s place, name, age, gender, race number, city, net time, pace and finish time.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Meanwhile, I’m super proud of Maria and Pam, who both kicked butt in the race today. All that training paid off ladies! (Quietly, I may even be able to talk Pam into another race this season. But we’ll see.)

It was HOT. There was only one water station (around the 1.5 mile mark) and the sun was beating down on me hard just after I hit mile 2. I also think I may have gotten a tan. Who forgot sunscreen today?

I took a ton of pictures at the parade with Pam and of the scene at the race. But I’m pooped. I’ll try to post them later. I’ve never been so tired after

March 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm 2 comments

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