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


MarathonChris said...

Thanks for the note on my site, for sharing such great lessons learned from your marathon, and for sharing such interesting and personal facts about yourself!!! I hope you have enjoyed your visit with your daughter. The best of holidays to you!!! :-)

Backofpack said...

Lizzie Lee - I hope you are having a wonderful time with your daughter. I really enjoyed this post - lots of interesting information, and wonderful stories of your life. Have a safe trip home!

ShirleyPerly said...

Dear Lizzie, wish you and your family the best during the holidays. Great lessons learned and interesting facts! See you in blogland in 2008 :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lizzie for this post. I have not yet made it to the marathon as yet. I'm printing this post to refer to when I do.

I've enjoyed corresponding with you through the blogs. I hope you are having a wonderful time with your daughter. I'm glad you get to share her adventure personally by visiting Thailand.

I would find it difficult to resist a run along the beach. Hope you have a wonderful 2008.

Susan said...

Looking forward to hearing of Thailand!

MarathonChris said...

Hi Lizzie Lee,

Looking forward to hearing about what is next for you!! Hope you had a great time in Thailand!