Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Blog

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Thanks for following! Shamrock Marathon training starts tomorrow :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Podium Finish

Last two weeks of training went something like this:

Two weeks to go:
Ran a few times pretty easy, played tag with my cross country team (for an hour and a half!), "long" run of 13 miles (around 45 miles total)

One week to go:
Ran a few times really easy, two miles at marathon pace on Thursday, 4 miles easy on Saturday... and the marathon (16 miles before the race plus 26, 42 total)

I was so busy with work that I didn't make it a priority to post anything.. plus there wasn't much to report since we were tapering anyway. The biggest struggle for me was that last week. I didn't wear a watch at all because I was forcing myself to run slowly... I just didn't want to know my pace. I also had a hard time with the whole carbo-loading thing, but I sucked it up and did it anyway. Three days of almost no running and what felt like constanty eating. I thought I would enjoy it a little more but nope.

So.. the race. I really couldn't be more happy with how it went. I was really worried because we found out it was going to be a high of 82, and it was going to be a challenge to stay hydrated. After the first two water stops I actually stopped to take a few cups of water and I walked through them to make sure I got enough fluids. I stopped a few other times to take orange slices and gels and say a few word to my family (my fans). I noticed that I quickly caught up to the people I was running with before the water stop. Eventually I would catch up to the people I was running with and pass them. There was a water stop every two miles, and I was completely focused on my water stop strategy for the entire race.

I went through a bad patch from miles 11-13, and I was starting to worry because my race plan was not quite working out the way I had hoped. I was supposed to average 7:00 for the first 8 miles, then drop it down to 6:50 until mile 18, then run 6:40s for the last 8.2 miles. My pacing was pretty erratic all the way up until the halfway point, although I ended up coming through in 1:31 and some change which was on pace. After the next water stop I decided to stick with my 6:50- 7:00 pace until I felt better. Fortunately I worked though it and was able to pick it up on a downhill section. I started passing TONS of people. I was constantly picking off people from miles 14-16 toward the end of the Mohawk River trail. When I came out of the trail into the city of Cohoes around mile 16 one of the race officials told me I was in sixth, which was a surprise to me. When I looked ahead I saw two women in the distance and I got really pumped. I ended up running a 6:30 mile, followed by a 6:40 and picked off a bunch more people. I went through a few brief points where I got worried I was going to hit the wall, but I powered through it. My last mile was a 7:14 and I sprinted the last .2 miles. Only two people passed me in the entire second half even though I technically slowed down to a 1:34 half.

So, yeah I wish I had broken 3:00, but I'm happy to have stood on the podium in my first marathon. I'm also really excited to run another one. I wish I could run one again this weekend! But of course, we have to be smart and take a little down time and start training again for a spring marathon. We decided to run the full marathon at Shamrock instead of the half marathon... so stay tuned for Keep it Simple Part Deux!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pee Man & The Marathon

This past weekend was a great one. We were able to spend a lot of time with the family doing all sorts of fun things. Mollie will write about the marathon first, because with her amazing finish, she deserves the first post. However, I need to mention one of the weirdest things I've seen.

This disgusting event occurred at the start line of the race. Mollie and I are lined at the start, with only one row of bodies in front of us. We ran up about 3 minutes before the race started to grab our spot. To my left, I've been eyeing this man who had ridiculously short shorts on, was built as though he was a 50+ year old man who has run his entire life and had a beard and sunglasses on. I don't know what type of top he had on because he was wearing a black lawn-trash bag over his entire upper body with a head hole cut out and his arms by his side coming down out of the bottom of the bag (that's not the weird part). He was hopping around, shifting his weight, legs moving to keep his body warm, not an unusual start line activity. At this point the most disgusting event occurred. I looked to my left with my head facing forward, as not to look like I was staring, and watched the man take an empty water bottle, put it up the right inside short leg and then I watched the bottle magically fill with a liquid that resembled apple juice. My God, this man was peeing in a bottle. I immediately thought to myself, well the race is going to start in about 1.5 minutes and the porta-potty line is long, so "you gotta do what you gotta do". With no hesitation, like it was an everyday action, the man removed the bottle from under his shorts and lifted it toward his face.
At this point, standing about 4 feet away, I was staring straight at him, with my jaw dropped. He took that bottle and pounded all of its contents. He took that pee straight to the face, people. I could not believe what I just saw. I started saying out loud, "That guy just drank his pee!" I repeated it over and over again, grabbing Mollie and making her look. She was not happy with my distracting her from her pre-race focus, but I could not help it. I didn't ask for this distraction either! I was just eye-raped by this pee-drinker! Gross! We both watched the guy put down the bottle on the asphalt, nonchalantly, and take off his trash bag tuxedo. Holy crap that was nasty- he clearly wasn't hydrated. After that interesting event, I had about 30 seconds to get my head straight, focused back on the race. Then, a countdown over the p.a. rang out- "5-4-3-2-1-hoooorrnnnn"- the race began...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yikes. Two Weeks?

Well, I have to say that it's pretty cool that we are nearing our marathon race day. It all seems so far away until you're just about on top of the date. I'm beginning to feel a little bit of anxiety about it all, but not necessarily about the marathon itself. Frankly, it's about the faster paces that I'm turning over in my head. I have to fit in some "tune-ups" on Saturdays and wait for it... a 1.5 mile time trial for a fitness/wellness class I'm taking. True, I could just breeze through it with an easy pace and be considered in the 85th percentile of the population (being that America is now officially 20% obese), but I prefer to give it a go and see where I stand. Somehow, I can work it into one of my speed days without disrupting too much. It may be an encouraging experience, being that I have not run a short distance for time (in shape) in a long time.

We just finished our last "long" run on Sunday. Mollie cruised with me during a 17 miler. Unfortunately for us all, I had spent that Saturday putting in a new bathroom floor. This required about 5 hours of back and forth for each measure and cut between the bath and the garage, separated by an 8 step stair case. Yes, I could have placed the mitre saw next to the bathroom, but that would have made such a mess in the house that I didn't want to go there. Wow, did I feel that the next day. My glutes, quads and hamstrings were all sorts of sore the next morning, making for a slow and painful run. I don't think I'll ever forget that lesson.
Luckily, the bathroom looks great and the run was completed! The pain is only temporary.

Mollie and I have such a great time up in NY. Apple picking was really fun the last time we did that and we're going to keep our eyes out for a good pumpkin too. Can't wait to see little Mia!
It's right around the corner!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Two Weeks... To Go!

"When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life."
-Greg Anderson

This past week I reached a goal that I had silently set for myself, which was to win this ridiculous cross country race in Richmond. I've run it twice before and finished second both times. There's something about being second that really gets to me. Plus, both times I have run this race my time has been awful. My 6k PR of 20:17 is faster than I've run on this 5k course before. So, I was happy to win the race and happy to run 19:45. The time doesn't really matter, especially considering I've followed up both of my previous Maymont races a week later with a road 5k over 2 minutes faster. Ok, enough about that. The course is ridiculous though, I'm not exaggerating.

The rest of training this past week went well. I was not sore at all from the 22 miler, which was kind of unexpected. I took Monday off, ran 4 miles easy on Tuesday, 7 miles in 50 minutes on Wednesday, and took off Thursday (mainly because I was so exhausted and stressed from work that all I wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed- which I did). On Friday I ran the 5k and totalled 9 miles. Saturday I ran about 3 miles at the meet, sprinting up and down various parts of the course while my team raced. On Sunday I took it easy and ran my 17 miles with Pete. Total: 40 miles for the week.

I'm really looking forward to seeing my family in two weeks, doing some apple picking, and of course running this marathon. After the marathon, I'm also looking forward to a few other races I have planned. I'm not sure if I'm going to run another marathon in the early spring. I think it might be a good way to keep my base going over the winter before switching gears for my first track season in a loooong time. Not sure if a steeplechase is in the cards but hopefully a few fast 5ks and 1500s. I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's get through the next two weeks before I make any more big plans.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

22 Miles. Yup, That's Right.

I've been extremely bad about updating my training here. My life has been centered around work for the past few weeks and my training has taken a slight hit. Fortunately, it seems that my reduced training volume has really helped my iron levels get back to normal. I knew it would be tough to fit in my runs once school started up again but this year has been straight up ridiculous. I'm on another committee, plus I have six classes with two preps (since I'm teaching two subjects) which means I also have to write double the lesson plans. We also held our first cross country invitational which was totally worth it but a royal pain in the ass.

So... last week was pathetic. I ran 5 miles, and then 7 miles of fartlek, did NOT run on friday or saturday morning but ended up running about 5 miles while setting up cones for the meet and running to put volunteers in place. I was supposed to run 17 miles on Sunday and ended up doing 18 in 2:18. I slowed down a lot in the last few miles because it was so hot and I was really dehydrated (I only had a 20 oz bottle with me). I actually stopped at Starbucks and asked for water when I was 2.5 miles from home. I don't know if I would have made it if I didn't get that water. That's a whopping 35 miles for last week.

This week I ran 5 miles at our cross country meet on Tuesday, then 5 miles on Wednesday and 6 miles on Thursday. One of those days was a fartlek day that I did a lot of sprinting but I don't remember right now and don't feel like getting up to check. Yesterday was the first cool, rainy day in what feels like forever and I ran 9 miles with Bella. Then today it was still 64 when I woke up (I even got to sleep in!) and overcast. It warmed up a little during the run and rained a little but it still felt sooo good compared to every other long run I've done for this marathon. Since this was my last real long run before the race, I wanted to push it and run a solid pace for the entire run. Well... I ended up running 20 miles in 2:25 and then tacked another 2 to make it my longest training run EVER... and finished in 2:39:26. I averaged 7:14 per mile for 22 miles! The fastest I did any of my long runs this summer was around 7:40 pace and I felt like garbage for the last few miles then. Today I felt great. I won't overanalyze this, but sure am happy to finish my last long run with a good day.

47 miles this week... This definitely gives me some confidence for my race in 3 (yikes!) weeks. I would also like to mention that I am borderline addicted to Lauren Fleshman's Picky Bars and everyone should buy them from her website They have helped me get through my work day AND my training. AND they taste amazing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tag! You're It!

Last week I ran 44 miles, 20 of which were a long run I did in NY. My other runs last week were Tuesday where I did 5 miles in the morning and a 6 x1000 meter workout in the evening. On Wednesday I did 6 miles in the AM, and 6 miles in the PM. And... I drank a few too many martinis after the long run. Won't be doing that again. The ride home from NY was rough.

If you though that was bad, so far this week I ran 5 miles on Tuesday and a 7 miles fartlek workout today with my cross country team. Well, actually we had a 50 min long session of tag inside since there were severe thunderstorms. I can't even remember the last time I played tag, but it was seriously a lot of fun. I felt bad for all of the other teachers who were in their classrooms doing work while I was playing tag. Of course, I had to stay later to get the rest of my work done but I felt a lot better after my run than before.

We travelled to NY for labor day weekend to meet my niece and for my cousin's wedding so I missed THREE days of training in a row. The first two were because I had to work through practice a few times just to get my lesson plans done and everything else ready for school. The third was me being lazy. I missed running yesterday because I had to do lesson plans while my team was running again, and I was starving by the time I got home. Hopefully I can get back on track, but I've just been so stressed and busy. I've already lost two pounds, and I am definitely not trying to lose weight. At least I've been able to remember to take my supplements every other day.

Tomorrow is Friday!! I know I am not going to feel like running after work, and I'm not sure if I can squeeze in a run in the morning. We are hosting a cross country meet this weekend and then things should settle down a little. We have basically two more weeks of training and then we start our taper, so I really have to make the effort to get my training in. This 18 week training plan is no joke.