Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A revised plan

I found out a week ago that I probably won't be able to run TCM this year due to a major work training that weekend. Which sucks. This would have been year 5 and I really wanted to run it to beat my time from 2009. I know I can do it, but running a marathon this fall in under 5 (my goal) will be not quite the same.

So I'm looking for another race. It might be Mankato. It might be something else. I just don't know.

I did sign up for the GoFar challenge with the Fargo Marathon in May. I'll be running a 5K the Friday night then the full marathon on Saturday AM. Mike thinks I'm crazy, and I might be, but I'm also looking forward to the challenge. Plus - 3 medals! One for the 5K, one for the marathon and one for completing the challenge. That part makes me excited. It's all about the medals.

But then I need to come up with something for fall. Mike wants me to run SF's. But the route sucks ass. Flat and open with no shade. I've ran that route before and it's awful. The half is much better.

So a fall marathon...that's what I'm looking for. Or a miracle that I don't have to be at work in October.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plan for 2011

Irishman - March 12
Fargo Marathon - May 21
SF Half - Sept 11 (maybe)
TCM - Oct 2

I'll have some 5K's and 10K's in the middle there, but for the most part I think this is my plan for the year. I want to get two marathons in this year so the next few months will need to be focused. MS and I are starting P90X Saturday, which will get me stronger and better in 12 weeks, then I can focus on running too. I'll be lighter and stronger and ready to go.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Training must begin

Tomorrow starts Week 1, or week 16 as Tom Holland counts them down rather than up. Of course tomorrow is a rest day, which is good because I need one more day to get my head straight and get my plan in place. I'm excited to try this method. Tom Holland's plan is to run 4 days a week, 2 days of weight training and 3 days of core work out, and one full rest day (Monday's).

My friend MB and I are planning a marathon (or maybe a half since it IS winter). I wanted to run the Austin Marathon, but I'm not sure I'll be able to afford the trip. BUT I need a plan to train so I can keep a goal. So MB and his wife and I are laying out a marathon course so he and I both can have a race to train for.

I'm nervous because it is winter and I do live in the tundra, and we all know that I haven't been doing well this year. I'm hoping that now that I live in ONE place, that my focus on training will be easier. Here's hoping.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


So I'm in recovery mode this week and easing slowly back into running again. I'm still not happy with my performance last week. Not at all. well, a little - I'm glad I "finished" but to go 30 minutes slower than last year is eating me up. I know I didn't train as well as last year, I know this. But it bugs me. Why didn't I? I've done 4 marathons now, I know what to expect, I know what's going to happen so why didn't I train better? I don't know and I'm really annoyed with myself.

So I've been reading The Marathon Method, by Tom Holland. E had suggested I run the Austin marathon with him and Scott February 20, 2011. Well, by my calculations, I have a couple weeks to get back to "normal" and then 16 weeks to get ready - right on track with this book. It has pretty good reviews. I've read half and I'm now to the training programs. I need to read those very carefully so I make sure I follow them. I'm excited about this and though my knee is still hurting at times, I think this is something I need to do to redeem myself.

Today while I'm baking a pie and attempting a baking surprise (a cake shaped like a pumpkin) for KC and MB and their kids, I'm watching "The Spirit of the Marathon". Watching them run the Chicago marathon today (when the 10-10-10 Chicago marathon is actually going on) makes me excited. I should be out running today...it's gorgeous...but my knees are twinging. So I'm running in spirit instead.

Soon. And I think Austin is on the horizon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

TCM 2010

Lots of lessons learned from this race. I'm surprised I finished. It was truly amazing considering all the crap that led up to this one. So let's recap...

So marathon weekend began Friday night. I had to work late and we didn't get supper until almost 8:30. Ugh. Packing/laundry all the fun stuff took place and I thought I was ready.

Saturday, I headed in to work to clean up a few things and MS finished packing up the car. He met me at work and we left my car there. The drive up was uneventful, other than we were cutting it close on time so we didn't eat lunch (and breakfast was a granola bar). This is where my horrid need to follow the plan I set up came into play and proved detrimental.

I had my per-race massage scheduled at 1230 with Keith. I snagged the bathroom while he was finishing setting up so I wasn't there when he and MS met. MS mentioned his lower-back issue that he has had constantly (and the chiropractor isn't helping - shocker!) so Keith asked if he could borrow MS for 10 minutes. I said sure. Then he came out and needed 30 minutes (MS is a mess). So that shortened my massage - which was okay, I didn't need that much.

So then we busted down to the hotel to check in (opposite side of the city) and traffic was horrendous. So a quick check in and back up to Keith's for kinesio taping - which took an hour longer than we had planned and we still didn't do what were supposed to (which hindered me Sunday). And we still hadn't eaten. At one point I was standing up arm stretched out to my side and my head turned the other way and I became nauseated and had to lie down...twice. Luckily Keith had some yogurt, which helped. It brought my sugar levels back up so I was clear headed again.

Then it was off to pick up my packet. It was 6pm and the expo closed at 7pm. Ugh. Not how I had this planned, but in hindsight the packet pickup was EMPTY so I was able to get in and out super quick, and the handouts were numerous because people were trying to get rid of their stuff. We got 3 cups from the Fargo Marathon (an option for next year) and handfuls of mini Larabars. Mmmmmm.

Then back to the hotel to drop off the stuff and time for food. It was after 7 before we got to TGIFriday's (which seemed a better option than Chevy's or IHOP), but they were sooooo sllllooooowwwww. We finally got our food at almost 8, snarfed what we could and then I took half of mine back to the room for Sunday AM (but forgot a fork so I didn't eat it anyway).

We were so tired. We both showered and then crashed around 9:30 and crash we did. I was exhausted, nutrition starved, and very nervous for Sunday.

Sunday AM - I woke at 4am, wide awake. At 4:22 I got up to go to the bathroom, then went back to bed to cuddle. I need cuddling because I felt like I could throw up. A little before 5 I got up and got ready. Of course I ended up realizing that I had forgotten a few important things - my pace tat, my accelerade, my endurox, to name a few. But I figured I could do without them. MS walked me to the train station (I asked for that so he could know where to go and so I would have a little last encouragement before I had to head to the start.

The marathon changed some of the procedures at the Dome, which threw me off a bit. They had specific areas open, which I got in, but not before they did a bag check. Then they changed some of the times for races (at least it seemed) so that threw me off too. But I did what I could to keep things normal for me.

Anyway, I got to the corral and, trying to be optimistic, I started at approximately 5:15. They didn't have a 5:15 pace team this year so I just started between 5 and 5:30. 5:30 was the only pace team with balloons, which was weird too, but I figured if I could stay in front of them for most of the race, I'd be okay.

I missed the national anthem - some young guy singing way too low so I heard the last few measures. The wheelers took off and they gave them a 10 minute head start (which I think was different). So the elite didn't start until 8:05, and we were just standing there trying to stay loose. Another weird thing - you know how people always take off running as soon as they can and then have to stop and walk then run, then walk before they hit the official start line? Yeah...that didn't happen. Everyone.Walked. And maybe 10 feet before the line we started running. Weird!

I felt pretty good the first few miles, in fact, I only walked through the water stop between 2&3, otherwise I ran for the first 6, albeit slow. I saw MS at 4 and dropped my throw-away shirt and ear guard there and kept going. Then MS met me at 6 I think and from there on he stayed with me the entire race - riding ahead and taking pictures or getting gel shots and Gatorade ready for me. My legs were tight so I took those meeting moments to stretch.

The downfall - I was passed by 5:30 between 10 and 11. This was my breakdown point - I started crying and just tried to keep running. I tried to stay with the pace team but I couldn't even do that. MS kept encouraging me, "This is your race, honey. Run YOUR race." He was right but it took awhile for me to get there. I kept imagining Year 1 when the sweep bus came up behind me a few miles later and how I didn't want that to happen again. I may not have trained well, but I didn't want to fail either. And the sweep bus would be a total fail.

It took me 3 miles to get there. MS would ride ahead and see where 5:30 was and then time how long I was behind them. That helped. And thank God for math because I was able to do the math to figure out if I could still finish under 6 or not. That helped. So after that it was just a matter of keeping moving forward. MS was worried about the 2pm deadline, but I was on my clock so I was just looking for under 6 hours. With his help, I made both.

Splits sucked:
Mile 1: 10:57
Mile 2&3: 23:06
Mile 4: 11:35
Mile 5: 11:22
Mile 6: 12:41
Mile 7: 13:57
Mile 8: 12:29
Mile 9: 13:35
Mile 10: 12:30
Mile 11: 13:00
Mile 12: 13:16
Mile 13: 13:51
Mile 14: 13:44
Mile 15: 12:42
Mile 16: 14:55
Mile 17: 13:28
Mile 18: 14:57
Mile 19: 13:37
Mile 20: 14:28
Mile 21: 15:07
Mile 22: 14:29
Mile 23: 16:22
Mile 24: 15:08
Mile 25: 14:09
Mile 26: 13:39
Last .2: 2:36

I guess the good thing is the last 4 miles were negative splits. But there's not a whole lot of consistency here. And I did finish: 5:51.46 (official chip time)

I felt like a running virgin for this race - I wore brand new race clothes (I had washed them at least) but they actually didn't cause problems. But I forgot so many of the obvious things - eating, for one; my during race process - I guessed the whole way; my recovery plan - I didn't have one; and so many other things. Just the lack of training was awful. I have to be more diligent for the next one.

I kept thanking MS for his support and he said at one point, "This is something you're passionate about, I'm glad to be here to support you." Which made me feel about this / / big since it is something I'm passionate about but I didn't make it a priority this year.

So if I'm going to run Austin, or Fargo, or Akron, or something other than TC next year (though it would be fun to run TC next year since it's the 30th year), I need to come up with a game plan. I have a week to recovery and make my plan. Crossing fingers I can come up with a decent one that will be doable and workable and successful. I need to do better the next time. I have to!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One week!

I'm getting excited for the marathon next week! I'm concerned on my running, but hoping my mental game will keep me going. I ran yesterday and was having splits that were normal a year ago, so that's good at least. Despite my lack of training I haven't lost everything I have gained in the last few years. (Of course the guilt in me makes me wonder how much faster I would be now if I had been running and training more...but alas...)

So I'm making my plans. I have a pre-race massage set up for Saturday with Keith, then I'm going to run to get my race packet, then back to Keith for some kinesio taping. I'm very stoked for this. After my back hurt so bad at the SF Half, I need something to help for another 13.1 miles. He's (most likely) going to tape my knees and legs too to help that. It'll be good though...every little bit helps.

So this is taper week, but the weather is looking beautiful. It's going to be tough to keep it at taper pace, but we'll see. I might just push it a little bit more since I haven't really pushed it this year. We'll see how it goes. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Judging the run

My half marathon Sunday got me thinking. This isn't unusual - I generally do think while I run, but I dug deep on Sunday.

Maybe it was the beautiful weather and the streams of speedy runners passing me. Maybe it was my lack of training and just trudging forward. Maybe it was all of it. But it got me to thinking how running is not a race against others; it really is a race against yourself.

Now, I know this isn't a novel concept. It's been said time and again that you're only running against yourself, even if you're in a competitive race because if you let your mind beat you, your body will beat you too and in the end you'll be beat.

But it really triggered as I watched women and men of varying shapes and sizes run 13.1 miles. There isn't a set body type for running. Anyone can run (like Ratatouille where anyone can cook!)! And truth - you can be fat and fast, you can be thin and slow. You can be old and run, you could be young and not able. There are no hang ups. You just have to lace up the shoes (or not, if you're a barefooted fiend) and go.

As I would pass runners or (more often) was passed by runners, I realized that I'm not running against them. I'm running with them. There were women who passed me who initially I judged that they shouldn't be because they were heavier or older - but they had trained better. There were women and men I passed who I initially thought I shouldn't be - they looked like they should be in shape and able to run like greased lightning - but I don't know what was wrong. They could have been in pain (as I was with my back), they could have been on the verge of throwing up, they could have just been lost in thought and got their rhythm off, they could have been using their walk/run training program ...

Basically what I'm saying is there are a myriad of reasons why people run, why people run or walk they way they do, why they are walking at that moment, why they can run as fast or as slow as they do... all of this should mean nothing. Use it as an inspiration, but don't judge the other runners. They are out there with you, running or walking as you are, and all hoping for the same outcome - to finish, with a respectable time (for them), and get the medal/t-shirt.

I'm not in my greatest shape this year, and Sunday proved that. But I was able to finish with a semi-respectable time given my training. Others trained harder and didn't make it. Others probably trained less and did better. But the truth was, the race was only a race against me. Could my head and heart hold out long enough to give me the strength and stamina and endurance to finish? Yes. Yes it can.