Saturday, December 1, 2007

Closing the Year with an Everest - We All Have an Everest

Everything started on May 19, with a regular mom-daughter phone conversation: A decision was made, we'd run a marathon the same day in our respective cities.

A running plan was developed. First phase of 10 weeks to go from nine years without running, to run for 20 minutes in a row. A second phase, a marathon plan. For the latter many plans were reviewed and discarded. The one selected was one I had since 2005: Furman Institute of Running & Scientific Training, FIRST. It better fitted in my life style as only required 3 days of running. Heard many things: How can you train for a marathon running only 3 days a week? I believed in the Institute results and I followed it.

As a Project Manager geek I treated this as a project: Plan, Execution and Control; analysis of every week's results and risks to understand what went on and how to accommodate all the variables that play a role in our daily life: work, traveling, getting sick, weather conditions, commitments, sadness, pain, frustrations.

Good and very bad things happened, but still, my plan was executed to perfection and I feel accomplished for that. During the race I applied everything I learned during 26 weeks. I ran smart, I trusted myself, I put a lot into it, and I enjoyed the journey. I am still in that race bubble as I have now a PR for a marathon, yes, I've established a marathon record, my marathon record.

Lessons Learned?
  • Planning is a key
  • This endeavor is not a random endeavor that can be achieved without a disciplined approach
  • Unexpected things and frustrations will occur: step back, reorganize and move on
  • Shoes and carbs: key resources
  • Push yourself
  • Fall in love with the worst part of the plan (e.g.: hills?)
  • Monitor progress
  • Adapt training to the available routes (or treadmill!!!). It MUST be fun
  • During training we not only train for running, we train to learn and understand food needs, body's temperature, heart rate, in summary, body's needs.
  • Keeping the goal in mind is important, but no need to focus on it. Focus must be on the present training day
  • Rely on close friends and family for a boost
  • Mind has superiority over the body. We have so much power that we can beat a cold. I did.
I learned some years ago from a Venezuelan climber something that always have pounded in my head: Jose Antonio Delgado (qepd) always said: "We all have an Everest", yes, we all have a dream and we need to wake up to make it happen.

  • Wake up and make it happen. JUST DO IT!


Total Miles Planned = 423.2
Phase I=50 /Phase II=382]

Total Miles Executed = 455.2 (108%)
[Phase I=82 (164%) /Phase II=373.2 (98%)]

Total Time = 98h 36m 26s
[Phase I= 20h 51m /Phase II= 77h 45m 26s]

Average Pace = 13:00
[Phase I=15:15 /Phase II=12:30]

Fastest Mile 11/13/07 = 10:14

Slowest Mile 05/28/07 = 42:51 (First Day of running: Wasn't Lizzie out of shape? 1 minute run/1minute walk, imagine how I was after the minute run!!!)

Calories Burned = 46,025
Pounds Lost = 7 lbs.

Ok, I was tagged by Petra and Maddy. I'm it. As somebody said this is the electronic version of chain emails, but ... here I am, closing the year and sharing 5 facts about myself, some random, some weird.

1) I never went to Kindergarten. As I have suffered asthma all my life my mom over-protected me and didn't send me to school until I was almost 7. Mrs. Mate, a very strict Spanish woman, was the tutor in charge of my instruction since I was 4. She taught me literature and math for 2 years, from 9am to 11am from Mon to Thu. So at 6 I have read Don Quijote de la Mancha, the Masterpiece of Spanish Literature, and I also knew how to divide. But I never learned how to use scissors or glue, so I was and I am a total spaz with my fine motor skills. My sis Sara had to always come to my help because the night before of any art homework I had unintentionally ruined the materials, made holes in the fabrics used for embroidery, mixed colors in a horrendous way, etc. I challenged this 6 years ago and I confess I suffered in the classes, but my first piece was selected for a College Poster and a College exhibit.

2) I was born and raised in Venezuela, but all the members of my childhood world were immigrants from Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Trinidad, France and Colombia, including my family. So, I could not understand when I went to elementary school that there were Venezuelan kids with Venezuelan parents and Venezuelan grandparents.

3) I had the gift of nursing a kid that was born prematurely four months after my beautiful daughter. Enrique A. Montbrun is 20 today, and has recently initiated his dream: a website dedicated to baseball (beisbol). One of his greatest moments was 14 years ago when he met Andres Galarraga a humble Venezuelan player for the Colorado Rockies.

4) I wear 90% of my time black & white. 9% brown/beige and 1% other colors and maybe this 1% only happens once/twice a year. All my clothes, work suits, summer clothes, casual clothes, night gowns, swimsuits and running gear are mostly black and white . If they have a color added is because there was nothing else available in the market. If they are of a different color is because somebody gave it to me as a gift. Blue jeans are the exception.

5) My dad (qepd) was a perfectionist and perfect measurement of time was one of his obsessions. He could not accept to hear "it's 7:10 pm" if it really was 7:08 pm. So he always corrected everybody. The night he was about to die with a severe leukemia that consumed him in a month I decided not to sleep to help him with the oxygen mask, so he did not get desperate. He passed away that night and after giving him a kiss, I saw the clock, it was 4:37 am. I called the nurse and she confirmed he's died. She asked me at what time and I said 4:40 am. At 6:00 am we took mom home and I went to my dad's study room, and sat in his chair to feel his presence. I felt something that touched my hand and I had the immediate need to look at his clock. It was stopped at 4:37 am. When I told the story to my family, my sister's mother in law Luisa (qepd) commented: "He could not permit that you weren't precise with the time of his passing".


Dear All, I am leaving on vacation next Thursday 12/06 to Thailand to be with my daughter. I will be there for a month and probably won't post anything until I come back in January.

Thanks for being part of my Running Journey and we'll continue sharing in 2008 our wonderful running experiences.

God Bless You All, and have a Blessed and Happy Holidays.

lizzie lee