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  1. 8 points
    It's 7:02 and I just hopped off my friend's Vespa at the entrance to the park. I run to Lakeside for bib pick up. The lady tells me, "It's 7:04." FuckFuckFuckFuckFuck. The race starts at 7:10 sharp and I'm still a good 10 minute walk from the start line and my left shoe is on wonky. My hair is stupid from squishing my ponytail into the helmet and my hat is in my hand. What does a ten minute walk translate to in running? I find out soon enough when I hear the horn blow and I'm still a few hundred feet away. I stop to retie my shoe and then pick up the pace to the start. I wasn't going to actually race this race. My lungs have been crap. I'm 30 pounds heavier than when I ran this series two years ago. I've been injured all winter. But I'm going faster than I thought I could and feeling okay. The back of the pack is already gone and they are starting to take down the cones at the start as I fly through. I start my watch. 9:05 Huh. I didn't think I could run this pace right now. It feels sustainable. Is this comfortably hard? I don't remember anymore what that feels like. I don't remember what I'm supposed to feel like racing. I wonder if it's my muscles or my mind that are out of practice. This feels good and I decide to try to stick with this pace. So much for not racing. I come up to The Hill and I still feel okay. I'm picking off people at the back and getting picked off by faster people who were late like me. I focus on my effort. This is the hardest part of the race. It's so easy to burn yourself out on this hill and it's only halfway through the first mile. I'm working but I'm not burning. My lungs aren't on fire. I think to myself that I may have just pulled off that whole "equal effort" thing that they are always telling you to do on hills but I never seem to be able to do. I reach the crest and start to gun it on the downhill. I refuse to look at my watch just yet. I don't want to feel like I should be doing anything more or less. I'm working but I'm not burning. I know I used to push it so much more but I just don't feel ready. I don't think I'll be able to keep it going. I'm not there yet. I get to the mile marker and peek. 9:23 Okay. There was The Hill. Shake it off and get back to pace. Mile 2 is some downhill and some rollers. I'm still feeling good and fast. I think I can ride it out at this pace. I glance at my watch 8:50. Holy shit. I haven't seen an 8 on my watch in forever. A little voice whispers that two years ago I was flirting with the 7:50's at this point in the race but I let myself let that go. Those aren't my paces anymore. I haven't put in the work for those paces and I'm so much heavier now. I let myself accept that I am working on both things but neither one is immediate. I hold on and click off the mile at that pace. Mile 3 starts on the big downhill. Here is the best part of the whole park. It's the payoff for The Hill and all the rollers. I fly and I start to get to that edge but I know I don't have the discipline to hold it. I let myself fly while I prepare myself for the next part. It's the worst part of the race. It's flat and wide and there's nothing to look at. I tell myself that I can not hold whatever pace I am at once I get to the flat and I need to be okay with that. I need to know it's coming and not see my slowing pace as a failure. I am on a downhill. I should be going faster here than there. I steal one glance at my watch. 8:19 Oh it feels so amazing to feel my legs move this fast. I let myself just enjoy it while lasts. If I could close my eyes and just feel it, I would. But I get to the bottom and the hard part begins. Every race in this park ends after this section and years of conditioning have taught me to hate it. This is where you hurt. This is where you struggle. This is where you do everything in your power to hold on. This is where your lungs burn and your legs scream and you have a million arguments with yourself to just keep going, keep pushing. I don't think of the distance. I know I'm slowing but I don't look at my watch. I set my eyes on each bend in the road far out in front of me. Three turns to the finish. Two turns to the finish. It's just after that last turn. I hear someone come up behind me and I let them kick past me. Don't chase them. You're not there yet. Just keep this pace. You're doing well. Just hold on. I cross the finish line at 28:18. And I'm so happy and proud of myself. I check my watch again to make sure. My running has been so discouraging lately, I had no idea I could actually push myself. Immediately I know that I'll be back for the rest of the series. Immediately I know that I want to find that edge again between as fast as I can and faster than I should have. Immediately I know I want to remember how to burn.
  2. 7 points
    There were no tanks or flyovers, but I tried to show I was Keeping Bangle Great by doing my annual 4th of July 5K, here in beautiful Redondo Beach. This would be my 17th year doing this one. In keeping with my current blasé attitude toward racing, I was not super excited and didn't have any special goals. Since I seem to continue to get slower as I age (go figure!) it gets a little depressing to find a consistent goal (like sub-20) getting further and further away. So I don't stress it - vow to do my best and chase easier targets. Today I had several, in the person of club teammates. Coach Ed, as usual, was a good one. Now that he is 67 I have been able to beat him the last few times. He always starts fast, so I try to chase him down over the first two miles and it gives me a good visible target to keep me going. Another one is 33 year old Evelyn, who is bouncing back from pregnancy. At top shape she beats me, but right now we are about the same speed and have been training together. Then there is 65 year old Mark, who narrowly beat me last year, which bugged me because I didn't think he had the speed. He doesn't do any speed work at all - just runs. But danged if it doesn't work for him. This is me and Evelyn before the race. As for time goals, I hoped to break 21. I planned to get out under 7 and try to run 6:45 pace. I did 21:13 last year in this race and 21:14 in my last 5K in May, so I aimed to beat those. The day dawned with a heavy marine layer - so it was cloudy and a little humid, but not too hot. Maybe 60. There were literally hundreds of teenagers warming up in packs as all the local high school teams turned up. Over 2,100 participants, with a huge amount of slow joggers and walkers. I felt sluggish warming up, as usual, and positioned myself about 6 rows back from the start. Just after the gun a couple teenagers went down in front of me, but I avoided disaster and got around them. I eased into pace and my rivals all shot ahead. I've gotten pretty good about starting slow. Maybe it's age, but I don't let adrenaline bolt me out at 6 minute pace anymore. 7 minute pace felt hard enough already thank you very much. By the time we cleared the first two crowded turns after 1/4 mile I could see Ed at least 50 yards ahead of me. Then the course is a steady uphill for about 3/4 mile, so I tried to relax, stay steady and not burn out. The racing would begin in mile 2. I got to one in 6:57. Happy with that, and I wasn't hurting too much, so it was time to start pushing. Another teammate had been running with me most of mile 1, and this was a guy I should be beating, so it kind of irked me enough to shift gears. I could see my 3 rivals up ahead, and oddly they were all very close to each other, about 50 yards ahead still, but I was closing the gap. As we got over the hill I started to pass more people and gain confidence. Mile 2 rolls through 3 little up and downs - just enough to make you suck wind on the ups. I was gaining on my peeps and feeling like I was on track, but it was definitely hurting. Ah, yes, the 5K burn in the chest. Embrace it before it sinks into your legs... There is a sharp U-turn on this out and back course at the half-way point. I passed Evelyn just before the turn, and then passed Ed just after the turn. But Mark had pulled a little ahead and was obviously running a little stronger than the others. I knew that barring disaster, I had the others beat. About 1/4 mile later I caught Mark and gave a little hand wave. And that little SOB starts chatting like its a fun run. "Hey, how's it going..." Grr. I was non-verbal and just trying to breathe at this point. I tried to move on by and keep racing and that jerk just stayed with me as we continued to pass other people. Dammit. Hit mile 2 in 6:47. OK, I'll take that. Mile 3 is mostly downhill, so I was hoping I could drop that down closer to 6:30 and still break 21. After cresting the last hill and re-gaining my wind, I tried to push the gas a little more on the down. But there was little left in the tank. And Mark kept hanging on. A couple times I thought I lost him, but I'd turn and look and he was right there tracking off of me. OK, fine, I should be able to out-kick him at the end (I said to myself). The downhill was not as helpful as I hoped and I was just trying to hang on and get to the finish. We turned the corner and kicked the last 1/4 and damned if he didn't move ahead and dust me. Kudos to him. That's him in the white. Mile 3 was only 6:50, although I managed 6:20 pace for the last sprint. My time was 21:23, just missing my goals. But still, not too far off, right? I am 57 now... Ended up 6th in my AG, 185th overall, with an age-grading of 73%. I can live with that. I held out hope that my chip time might beat Mark, but no, he beat me by one tenth of a second! Well, I beat the others anyway, and I'm still injury-free and grateful for that. In other news, I decided to sign up for a trail marathon in October; Skyline to the Sea near Santa Cruz. It's through a redwood forest and mostly downhill. And I will get to run with Loop Superstar Mild Sauce, which was enough reason for me to disavow my promise of no marathons until next Fall. Besides, it's just a trail run, not like a REAL marathon, right? I can go slow and not worry about speed and just have fun. But I will have to bump up my summer mileage. Next week I'm off to Kentucky for a week to experience real summer heat and humidity. NOT looking forward to that. The running part I mean. Life is good.
  3. 7 points
    The traffic girl on the morning news is always crying for the weatherman to forecast afternoon highs in the 80s. What's wrong with her? End of Week 3. Feels like I'm starting to settle in to a nice training rhythm. Hitting all the miles, dialing in on GMP better. This is how it's supposed to work. Forty miles total. Tempo Monday - Cloudy. 71o. No wind. Four miles that I ought to be able to run at 8:00-ish easy. And I probably could have, except I started out at 7:36. I've also learned over the years that once I start, it's hard to slow down. I guess that's why I need all these weeks to try and get it right before race day. That also would explain why it's so common to crap out before reaching the end of a marathon. Anyway, 7:46 followed by 7:48, and then I was dead. So I walked a couple hundred yards, wondering what to do about the rest of the workout. Then I ran 7:32, showing I likely could have muscled through another mile at 8:00-ish and it would have been a good day instead of a failed tempo. Maybe I'll remember that this week. Tuesday Recovery - Cloudy. 76o. Nice breeze. Averaged just about 9:00, faster on the front end than the back due to the wind and the slight downhill on the way out. Felt sort of OK, which is about what I expect the day after a tempo that was harder than it was supposed to be. Wednesday Intervals - Clouds and sun. 79o (ick!). Moderate wind. Was going to do these 6 x 800s on the track, but when I got there and saw the crew working on the new turf, I also saw some other official-looking guy who informed me that the track was closed for the construction. The crew was there last week, but this guy wasn't. So I pretended I wasn't planning on running there anyway and talked to him about how it was good there were added two lanes to the track as well and that I was happy to do my workout on the streets. Does that make me a liar? So, half a dozen half miles at 7:24, 7:19, 7:25, 7:32, 7:28, 7:15. Eventually those should be down under 7:00 pace, but this is good for now. At least I finished them all on schedule, unlike Monday. Thursday Recovery - Rain and 64o. Windy. Felt better than Tuesday, no doubt because the temp was more runner friendly. I said rain but it was pretty mild. I wore my hat but didn't really need it. 6 miles @9:00. Friday Miles - Sunny. 78o. Breezy. Much better, despite the heat. 8:40 average for 6 miles. Saturday Pace Run - Sunny. 65o. Almost calm. Nothing like an early morning run. By early I mean about 7:00 AM. Sun's up by then, but it's still nice and cool. Couple of easy miles followed by 4 at something close to GMP, but without stress. If that's slower than GMP, so be it. Should be 8:30, plus or minus. 8:24, 8:27, 8:20. 8:12, 8:29 (so I did an extra - sue me). Not perfect, but in the neighborhood, and I felt strong so it worked. Spent the rest of the morning working on T-Rex's new fan belts. The power steering one was easy, but the A/C and alternator was a pain. The adjustment was too well hidden to get any leverage on it by hand, and no room for tools. So I spent two hours trading between a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a tie rod end puller, rotating it a quarter-turn each time until I could get the new belt on (after I just cut off the old one). As always, I saved over $100 and I have more time than money, so ...
  4. 6 points
    I normally don't do monthly reviews, but May was just such a special month that it deserved it's own highlight. And, the reason why I don't do monthly reviews is because it takes me a good 4 weeks to write one (I started this June 12th).I entered the month of May with high anticipation, lots of exciting things on the calendar. I was nearing the end of the best half marathon training cycle I'd ever had, and also nearing the end of 10 months of preparation for the biggest event of my life thus far: getting married.The wedding was probably a really great representation of me & the hubs. There was chaos and stress leading up to it, then a delightful & casual rehearsal dinner, a quiet & simple ceremony (with a few goofy moments) and then a reception that can only be described by the shrugging emoji. I learned that I am a terrible party planner and that I should just hire someone to do something on that scale in the future. <-- Hopefully I'll never have to do that again. So many friends and family helped out and I am forever grateful that they put up with me that weekend. If you want to see more wedding photos, check out the blog our photographer did. After the excitement of the wedding weekend, I came back into the office to catch up on emails, and found out I had been selected for a major national honor: the inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health list, selected by the de Beaumont Foundation. The list recognizes leaders in public health who are strengthening communities with new ideas, creative problem-solving, and innovative solutions, and I am so proud to be included in this year's list. The list of leaders and their accomplishments highlight the kinds of solutions and innovations that will be needed to improve the health of communities across the country. It's a thrill to be included among a group of public health professionals who embody the values to collaboration, creativity, and innovation that are so critical to advancing the field and improving health. All the honorees. Can you find me? I had to keep it a secret for a whole week, and when that announcement was finally made, I was able to turn my focus to the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Half Marathon, which I wrote about earlier. I smile thinking about how I smashed my previous PR by 7 minutes and now am hungry to do more, when less than a year ago I was questioning whether I ever wanted to do another half marathon. Funny how a little success after so much struggle can change things. All that hard work and it was finally time for my new husband (!!!) and I to go on our honeymoon. We spent a week at El Dorado Royale resort, nestled along the Carribean Sea between Cancun and Tulum, Mexico. This is absolutely a #nonsponsored recommendation, but we had a delightful time, the food was delicious and we felt so rested after that trip. Or, we would have, had we not been flying home the night a mile-wide tornado hit the area, left a shit ton of debris on the airport runway, and caused us to spend from midnight until 4 am in the Wichita airport. A 5AM arrival when you should have gotten home at 10PM the evening before isn't exactly restful. But I digress. Mother nature strikes again. Here are the two best photos that represent what we did on our trip: dressing up for dinner and lounging by the pool. That was May. I've decided it's my good luck month, because it's also the month I met my husband, got engaged, and even set on the path that lead me to my current career, hitting grad school on the way and, most relevant for this blog, running. I told my husband that I just might get an emerald birthstone ring, because this month has given me so much over the years. I still have 3 5k's to write about from June, so based on the timing of this, expect those in August 😂
  5. 5 points
    June 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 252.1 May 27-June 2: 70.1 (2:03 strength training) June 3-9: 77 (2:08 strength training) June 10-16: 62.6 (1:44 strength training) June 17-23: 51.7 (0:25 strength training) June 24-30: 32.2 (0:30 strength training) After my final little workout before Grandma's Farm road running for the win Races: June 22: Grandma's Marathon in 2:47:44. While this wasn't a 2:45:00, it was my best marathon yet (30 seconds off my PR, on a slower course). It's difficult to be upset about a 2:47, but it's also difficult to be content with a 2:47...lots of details here. Workouts: June 4: 2 x 2.5 mile tempos with 2:00 recovery in 5:56, 5:58, 2:56 / 6:02, 5:53, 2:57 (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down). After a couple weeks of feeling weak on workouts (related to bronchitis), I felt strong again on this one and it was a much needed confidence-boost since workouts before the marathon were quickly winding down at this point! My 5:57 average was my best tempo workout of the season, in 66* and 95% humidity. June 8: 6 miles at MGP, 1 mile tempo, 5 miles at MGP, 1 mile tempo (continuous; no recoveries) in 6:17, 6:13, 6:17, 6:13, 6:12, 6:12, 5:55, 6:15, 6:12, 6:12, 6:14, 6:12, 6:04 (then 5:57 pace for 0.11 because I had to run to 13.11!), with 2.2 warm up and 3 cool down. This amounted to a 1:21:15 half marathon and I wrote about the details here. I was thankful to almost hit this one; the final mile was supposed to be sub-6:00 so I came up 5 seconds short - but I averaged 6:13 on the MGP miles (supposed to be 6:15 this day, although 6:17 would do on marathon day!), so maybe it evened out. June 10: 3 x 10:00 tempos with 2:00 recoveries in 5:57, 5:55 pace for 0.68, 5:55, 6:02 pace for 0.68, 5:56, 5:52 pace for 0.69 (2.2 warm up, 2.6 cool down, because I can't do math). My goal pace on this one was 5:55-6:00 and my coach said "don't go any faster than 5:55!!" - so of course I planned to try to average 5:54, but I could still feel my June 8 workout on my legs so in the end I was happy to stay in my range. I think that was probably the point of this workout - getting some last-minute gains on tired legs - because I generally have 2-3 days between workouts instead of 1. Probably the only reason I was able to stay within my range was because it was 61 degrees and only 67% humidity, but I'll take what I can get! June 12: 2 x 2 mile tempos with 3:00 recovery in 6:05, 5:55 / 6:08, 5:55 (3.2 warm up, 2 cool down). This workout was interesting because I felt super sluggish on the first miles of both repeats, and then strong on the second miles. My goal pace again was 5:55-6:00, so I was slow on the first miles but it was good enough overall. I always feel tired, "off", and sluggish at some point during my tapers, so I didn't let it bother me - plus this was my third workout in 5 days, which is very atypical (i.e., has never happened before), but as I mentioned above made sense as a final push in the final days to make gains. During my 3:00 recovery I kept telling myself, "This is the final 2 miles at tempo of this training cycle!" to pump myself up to try to finish strong. June 17: 3 x 0.75 "tempos" in 4:17 (5:44 pace), 4:12 (5:36 pace), 4:14 (5:40 pace) with full recoveries (which ended up being 2:25 and 3:02), 2.3 warm up, 2.2 cool down. I had instructions to not run these faster than 5:55 pace, so I failed and they weren't a true tempo workout, but on the other hand this showed me that I can actually run 5:40ish pace for a bit. It was a super short workout that got my legs turning over but didn't fatigue them. I also blame/credit Rebecca's speediness plus the rain that was falling and making it difficult to see my watch for making me run these faster than tempo pace. Doubles on June 3, 4, 5, 12 Strides on June 20, 21 Days off running: June 18, 28 Favorite workout: The 13.11 mile workout on June 8, hands down. But I enjoyed all the tempo work too! Mainly I'm glad there were no track workouts this month, hah. Our new favorite post-long run/workout pose #fastbraid for Rebecca & #sweatsoakedbun for me! Better together #jumpingjune Long Runs: June 1: 22.4 miles (7:29 / 2 fast finish in 6:22, 6:12). I had 21 scheduled, so I ran 6 before meeting Rebecca, who wanted to do 15. I wasn't sure if I'd be strong enough to run my final 2 at MGP (I was not quite back to 100% post-bronchitis), but in the end I eeked out 6:17 average exactly on them, although it wasn't easy! As always, the fast finish made me wonder how I could ever run that pace for more than about 2 miles, hah. I then jogged back to Rebecca and ran in with her, hence the 22.4 total. Any excuse to run farther, right (sorry, coach!)?! June 8: 18.3 miles total with a workout, detailed above and here. June 14: 12.3 miles (7:26) for my last "long" run of the cycle. I had this run on a Friday morning so ended up running it solo, and it was fine. I often feel terrible when tapering, so to feel okay is winning in my book (I do not ever expect to feel good any more during marathon tapers)! June 22: The Marathon for a 27.4 mile day, counting the warm-up...plus my watch said I walked almost 6 miles! Favorite long run: June 1 is the clear choice since June 8 won favorite workout, June 22 won favorite race, and June 14 wasn't even long. Final 20+ miler of this cycle - done! I laid on the ground a lot this month I still don't practice yoga, but friends are trying to convince me... Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I listened to this podcast about the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon. They noted that of the 1,400+ runners in the race, only 1 participant negative split! That made me feel a lot better about my positive split. They interviewed the first overall male and second overall female, and both noted that the final 4ish miles were hot and hard, a sentiment everyone seemed to agree with, including me. I was mentioned briefly in the podcast as well. I remembered why tapering is not my favorite, but also that it really, truly works - marathon pace NEVER feels strong and smooth except on race day. Missy can take a selfie while running! My face is melting here It's raining, it's pouring Massage + cupping Sooooo humid! Life events: We adopted a kitten! More pictures here. He and our established cat are slowly making friends (this is a whole blog post in itself!). Albani and I attended an ABA BBQ that included water guns for kids (those were a major success). We had company the second weekend of the month, my brother-in-law's family. We did lots of gardening - "we" referring mostly to Jon and Albani! We also began selling blackberries at a local farmers market on June 15, and have sold out every market (up to 150 quarts in 2 hours!). Albani worked on her summer reading program through our public library, and I did the adult program. We are enjoying our winnings! I traveled to Minnesota and Wisconsin with my parents; an additional post is coming about vacationing before and after Grandma's Marathon. Albani got her ear pierced. So much cuteness My best action shot How we want to look How we really look Plus kids with water guns Global running day tribute (also I ran that day, twice) Loved this Bandit is pretty kid-friendly Our older guy deserves some photographs too! We officially own cat furniture now Not quite friends First Farmers Market Ear piercing excitement It stings! "I never wanted a little brother" - Bandit Ibbetson They were playing here but Bandit looks evil! Nugget has a lot of energy My best shot Books this month: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick Commonwealth by Ann Patchett Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins Theme of the month: Replace can't with maybe. Most of the year I thought "I can't" about the 2:45 at Grandma's, but during my taper I thought "maybe". "Maybe" didn't mean yes, but it was a step up from a hard no!
  6. 4 points
    I've made a commitment! Sort of a commitment that is. I picked a marathon to attempt a BQ, but I have until August 31 to sign up before the price increases. As such, I have not signed up yet, and really haven't made any commitment to the race yet. (Working on baby #2 might come first--we'll see) The commitment part is only that I started a training plan (good training for possible future pregnancy too). The goal race is the Atlantic City Marathon, and my training plan started on July 1st. I'm using the Marathon Advanced plan provided by Garmin, which is time based and starts at around 30-35 miles per week at my paces. So far, I've been pretty good at completing a majority of the assigned runs, but have "failed" at two workouts. The first was a 90 minute long run that I cut 2 miles short due to lack of bringing hydration with me (DUH it was close to 90*), and coming off of a summer cold, The second was a hour-long run with 40 minutes at a "steady pace." I managed two miles of the steady pace before a cramp made me decide that finishing the run in quarter miles of running with walking until the cramp subsided was not worth it. First two weeks = 27 miles per week - not exactly marathon training distances (but it IS only week 3 - I was running around 30 miles per week before starting the plan), and the current week is going better - for now. I'm at 22 miles so far, with completing (yay hydration!) a 90 minute long run on Sunday and a 3 x 10 minute tempo run (5.7 miles total) today with easy runs to fill in the rest. That same "steady pace" run looms ahead, along with a handful of "recovery threesies" to total 16 more miles - big jump in mileage... We'll see about the steady run based on the record-setting heat and humidity predicted for later this week. I might cut it to an hour of easy, or 40 minutes (or 30 - same as last week) with 20 at pace- also depends on whether I can find time for DH to watch DD- it will likely be too hot at the times I can get out for long stroller sitting. I'm getting on the bandwagon to complain about running in heat and humidity. Don't get me wrong, I really do LOVE 90* and low humidity days for living (less happy about the high humidity we've been having, and the almost 100* coming this weekend), but summer is THE BEST! However, I don't enjoy seeing my paces slowing with each hard effort. I keep telling myself, that I will see AMAZING things once the temp/humidity drops, but since I've never before trained outside through the summer, it's hard to convince myself this is true...I'm stubborn-HA! Every so often I miss the treadmill, and its predictability of weather and paces. Anyway, I'm going to quote Des Linden, and just "keep sowing up" and optimistically dream about the zoooooming that will happen in September/October! 😎 Enjoy the sun and sweating everyone!
  7. 4 points
    Assuming that New Hampshire 2019 is still the target, as of Saturday I am now officially 1/3 through training.Last week had some good days and a couple of bad ones. The summer is killing me this year. No doubt it's the same as always, I just can't remember from one year to the next how terrible running in humidity is. Then there's the fact that I'm old. And I hear everything gets harder as you get older. Since I've never actually done that, I suppose it's a matter of seeing up close what all those old guys told me back when I wasn't one of them. Got new shoes. Since the Cumulus 21 has been on the market, I've been able to upgrade to the 20 that's been half price directly from ASICS (and free shipping). I learned that there are also now regular models, LE models and MX models. I got the MX because I liked the color better (light gray) and it's also a couple of tenths of an ounce lighter than the other two. Couldn't find anything that explained what the real difference is between the three shoes other than available colors and that MX weight reduction. I'm liking the ride. This is my 19th pair of Cumuluses. Tuesday - A glorious, 61 degrees for my early AM run. Lately I've been having Code Abby problems, no matter how hard I try to be empty before I start. Once, twice, doesn't seem to make any difference. This run was a notable exception and it was just a great run, recovery from Monday's tempo. Wednesday - 4 x 1200s for Interval Wednesday. As it happened, Abby didn't stop by until near the end of rep 2, which also happened to be right next to a POP at some baseball fields, so I got to finish the rep at full speed and take a break when I wanted. I like intervals. Times for the 4 were: 5:39 (7:32), 5:29 (7:20), 5:36 (7:28), 5:27 (7:17). 65o. Thursday - This one was icky. 75o and nasty, soupy, humid. Sucked wind the whole way. This was actually supposed to be 10 miles, but I have an early meeting at work on Thursdays, so my new running in the morning plan has a little hitch on Thursday. I can get 6 in, but don't have the motivation to get up any earlier to do 4 more. So I switched Friday's run, which was 6. Good thing because 10 would have killed me. Friday - Ten miles, easy. Another 61o morning, and with a recovery day before it was a sweet one. Went off the planned route a couple of times, then had to do runner math, trying to get the mileage right by adding a couple of extra turns. Despite two episodes before leaving, Abby came along in mile 5 and we had to stop at the Kroger store. What a b!tc# she's being. Saturday - The best thing about this run was Abby didn't come. I drove a friend to the airport, which put me an hour or so behind schedule. Was up late the night before, helping T-Rex with a paper, so I wasn't 100%. Decided not to eat breakfast before, either, which was another mistake. Temp started at 69o, but the sun was out with my late start and it got warm pretty quickly. Was hoping for a relaxed but solid pace run, but by mile 5 (3rd pace mile) of 12, I called it. Stopped at a gas station for some water (probably should have worn the fuel belt and hydrated en route, too), and managed to struggle through another mile at something close to pace. The only thing that got me to run most of the mile after that was a guy who'd come out a side street and was following me. Couldn't let him pass me, so I kept moving with just a couple of breaks in the shady spots. Ended up with ten, with 4 of them at pace and one almost (8:22, 8:26, 8:28, 8:25, 8:45). I also think this being my highest mileage week (49) in a long time had something to do with my ticket on the struggle bus. Glad that week is over. Monday - This morning was 66o, but not as humid. I also implemented a new Abby-avoidance strategy, jogging out a half mile from the house, then back to stop at my own toilet. Almost worked, too. Instead of stopping at the Mobil station two miles out and breaking up my tempo, I was able to finish all 5 tempo miles and just had to struggle against making a mess for the last cool down. Good solid splits, too. 8:19, 8:17, 8:05, 8:04, and 7:54. Cutting back to 40 miles this week, then another build phase. Seven weeks to get through the rest of July and August, then hopefully the temps with fall and so will the times.
  8. 4 points
    Tuesday - 75o and sauna-like, with the alternative of 95+ in the afternoon, so I accept. Seven miles @ 9:03. Wednesday - Intervals. This week I did a 1600 ladder (400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400) on the streets. With the morning runs I don't want to take the extra effort to go to the track. This keeps my warm up/cool down shorter since the two closest tracks are almost two miles away. Another soaker (not rain, just humid). Happy enough with the paces, though. 7:06 for the 400s, 7:09 & 7:12 for the 800s, 7:28 & 7:22 for the 1200s, and 7:21 for the 1600. Thursday - Six humid miles @ 9:03. Friday - Six miles @ 8:51, with 3-6 closer to 8:30. Guess that means I recovered on Thursday. Saturday - Didn't do any pace miles last Saturday since I felt like crap, I wanted to get some this week. Four of them in the middle of 8. 8:22, 8:26, 8:13, 7:58. The plan was to make them all even paced, but decided to let the last one go wherever. That turned out to be a bad idea because I was whipped for the last two after pushing it under 8:00 on number 4. Dope. Monday - Thought I was in heaven. The humidity dropped yesterday and it was under 60 degrees. Five tempo miles - 8:21, 8:21, 8:12, 8:10, 7:54. Felt amazing. Met with the dermatologist between the run and work. This was a second six month followup after having some basal cells removed last summer. Nothing to report, so I'm cleared for a year now.
  9. 4 points
    Monday night. I was sitting on the couch having my heart broken via text when I saw a shadow move across the wall. Something big – so big I could hear its wings – was flying through the air. Fthpth fthpth fthpth Before I could process what I was seeing, the creature landed on the handle of a broom I have leaning in the corner and I could see that it was a waterbug aka American cockroach aka palmetto bug. I might have uttered some of my finest combinations of swear words but I don’t remember exactly. I was up, shoe in hand, ready for battle. I whacked it with all my might but the monster dodged me and fell behind a box off books I have waiting for donation. I tried to continue the attack but the ghastly beast was gone. I shook it off and sat back down on the couch. I had been sleeping there for the past two nights after I found a waterbug on my pillow on the way to bed on Friday. I noped right the fuck out of there and took shelter in the living room. You see, there was a day last week that I had killed another one on my bedroom wall so after the pillow incident, I decided the whole room was godforsaken. I know that NYC has this reputation for being roach infested and overrun with rats but this is a problem I’ve never had to deal with before. When I moved into my first apartment building, a friend had told me that every building has bugs and what measures to take to keep them out of your unit. Basically garbage out every day, dishes always washed, food sealed, counters wiped – no exceptions. I have followed this ever since but waterbugs still come in every now and then when it’s wet and hot. I’ve had maybe four of them in the seven years I’ve lived there and all four had been properly vanquished with a shoe. Oh wait let me back up - a waterbug FLEW. IT FLEW! Through the air. Using its WINGS!!!! I was horrified. I have never seen this behavior before and when, every once in a blue moon, one of my fellow New Yorkers mention, “flying roaches,” I’d quietly roll my eyes at their gullibility. Flying roaches were a myth. Like alligators1 in the sewers and rats2 as big as cats and Cropsey3. Okay... so maybe there was some truth here. A few minutes later, another one went crawling across the wall and again I was ready with my shoe and so shaken I didn’t even flinch at the cracking sound it made when I smashed it. Then the dogs got riled up and chased another one airborne across the room. This one landed on my exercise ball and managed to escape my wrath when I smacked it with a flip flop that wasn’t strong enough to kill it. It bounced from the ball and scurried into my yoga mat and disappeared when I gave chase. After a few more hits and misses, I decided to cut my losses. I called my dad to come get me and the dogs. The bugs had won the apartment. You always wonder what you’ll grab in case of an emergency? I’ll tell you: some clothes, enough socks to last half the amount of days that the underwear you pack will, a tooth brush, your glasses and contact case but not your solution, a razor for your pits, four pair of shoes but not the ones containing your very necessary orthotics, and some dogfood. Then I spent the longest 45 minutes of my life waiting for dad to arrive. I missed one in the kitchen but it gave me the idea to defend myself with the spray bottle of vinegar that I keep for the rare occasion one of my pups leaves a puddle not on the wee wee pad. Apparently vinegar will kill them in a few hours so I figured I’d spray first and smash later just in case I missed. It worked well on the next two bugs that made their presence known. It really, truly felt like I was under siege by the time pop came through with the rescue. So, at any rate, I’m living with my folks now. I’m back to running in the park that started it all. (See! Not entirely nrr, right?) I went back yesterday for clothes and put out some combat traps. I’ve been in touch with the building and the exterminator is coming on Friday. No one else in my building has complained but two other top floor units in a separate building that may or may not share a roof with my building are having the same problem. Hmmmm… 1 https://gothamist.com/2019/02/08/alligator_in_the_sewer_day_history.php 2 https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/giant-rat-killed-pitchfork-marcy-houses-believed-gambian-pouched-rat-article-1.946931 (Warning the pic is disturbing) 3 https://curiosity.com/topics/cropsey-was-the-terrifying-boogeyman-who-turned-out-to-be-real-curiosity/
  10. 3 points
    The short: I decided to jump into a race that my local running club OMRR hosts, accurately called Sweatfest, in Missouri's July heat and humidity. Albani and I both ran the 2 mile, which started at 8 p.m., and I ran the 10 mile, starting at 9 p.m. The state records in both events for my age were very weak, so I was able to break them. I also broke the overall female 2 mile state record (which was also clearly very weak - we all know short races are not my forte!) with 11:37 chip/11:39 gun (I should have gotten farther up on the starting line!). But the largest success of the night was that I actually fell asleep when we got home from the races! Official results are here. State records are here: 2 mile and 10 mile. We are very sweaty The long: The perk of running a Saturday night race: my house was spotless by 10:30 a.m. The downsides of running a Saturday night race: I spent most of the day not resting, and also worrying that I was either eating too much or too little or the wrong things (spoiler: it was the third). I remembered why I don't want to do any evening goal races; someone suggested the Rock 'n' Roll Vegas marathon to me for an OTQ attempt, but I think I'd have to be carted off to the looney bin by noon on race day if I tried that! I hadn't run this race before, but I usually volunteer at it, so I was familiar with the event area and course. Part of the "fun" of the race is that it takes place mid-July when it's inevitably steamy. They even have a contest for who loses the most water weight in sweat! There are 2 mile, 5 mile, and 10 mile distance options, with the 5 and 10 starting together and running the same course. OMRR selected these distances because there are not very many certified courses of these distance in Missouri, so the state records are easily attainable. The records for my age were 15:39 and 1:19:22, meaning that I could run my easy training pace and break them - if they had been fast I wouldn't have tried to break them in an oppressive summer night race! I ran the 2 mile course for my "warm up" (it was 85 degrees with a dew point of 76, so I was sweating just walking across the parking lot), did a few strides and drills, and lined up to see what these marathon legs would do. I didn't really know what to expect considering a) the weather, b) the time of the race, c) I hadn't run anything hard since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) I sure hadn't done any training for a 2 mile since, oh, high school! I also hadn't raced anything shorter than a half marathon in 10 months. I decided I was going to just run hard and see what happened. Thinking about lining up The first bit of the 2 mile Chasing two females Ditto As we took off, two females went out fast. One looked high school aged and the other looked around my age and very fit. There isn't much time to make up ground in a race like this, so I tried to stay relatively close. I passed the older of the two within a half mile, and then passed the 14-year-old at around 0.75 mile and told myself "now you have to hang on to this!" I tried to work up to each man who was ahead of me. The course had a hair pin turn at halfway, which was not easy to navigate running fast, but after I got around it I kept reminding myself to keep the pedal to the metal because the end was already close. I didn't look at my watch during the race, but my first mile was 5:39 per my Garmin. Towards the end of the 2 mile This turn was terrifying Final stretch As we headed back to the finish line, my legs started to remind me that this is not what we do! I kept trying to work up towards a man ahead of me, and caught him as I turned to go up an incline towards the finish (spoiler: he then out-kicked me going into the finish). I knew I had a solid female lead at that point, and the upcoming 10 mile was in the back of my mind, so I eased off going up the hill. When we turned down the final stretch towards the finish and I saw the clock in the 11:20s, I tried to really notch it down, although I'm not sure if I actually did. I finished in 11:37 chip time, which also meant I positive split like a champ (5:58 second mile per my Garmin, but Strava short-changed me and said the course was 1.99). It is always more difficult for me to negative split in any distance in the heat - hot races often end up being more like regression runs, which is not the ideal way to run anything, but what can you do? Seeing the clock at 11:29 Done! That's my fastest 2 miler as an adult, although I've run workouts pretty close to that (in better weather). All-considering I was happy with it, especially because the overall state record was 12:00. I am sure there are hundreds of females in Missouri who could run faster than I did, but lucky for me they haven't run a certified 2 mile road race in the state! It was also a good confidence boost that I may be able to try for a 5K PR this season, because I think I could have averaged about the pace I did for this race for another mile if it had been cooler and I hadn't been holding back for the upcoming 10 mile (plus I am actually doing a speed work block at the beginning of my next training cycle, which can't hurt). Albani ran the whole way in her 2 mile (no walk breaks) and finished in 22:06, for 4th in the 14 and under age group. She hasn't been running at all, but was really excited to do this race and is already asking to repeat it next year! She was disappointed that she didn't win an award, but I gave her my 2 mile trophy - we also realized that if I hadn't run she would have gotten 3rd in her age group, because the second overall female was 14, but don't tell her this. After watching her finish, I drank some water and ate some watermelon, we took some photos, I received my award, and then I headed out to jog a mile cool-down/warm-up. She begged to run this race, then made this face See, this turn was terrifying! Focus Look at that stride! Happiness Great finishing clock shot Me being a dork at the 2 mile awards I also wasn't sure how the 10 mile would go, considering a) the weather, b) it started at my bedtime, c) I hadn't run any long runs or workouts since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) it was my first time racing with a headlamp. I figured I'd start out at 6:30 pace and try to work down, maybe getting in a solid progression run and finishing at 6:00 pace, but I thought if I could average my marathon pace I'd be doing good (spoiler: I couldn't). Nick, a friend through my running club, was also running it with a similar pace in mind and we decided to run together. First 100 m of the 10 miler After the start there were 4 men ahead of Nick and I, but we didn't know who was in the 10 mile and who was in the 5. By the turn around at 2.5 miles we'd passed 2 of the men and were gaining on the others. I looked at my first split (6:23), told Nick I didn't want to go any faster, then just followed him. Coming back to finish our first tour of the 5 mile course, we passed another man and pulled up with another. The second went with us, and told us he was running the 5 mile. We ran with him until he started his finishing sprint and pulled ahead. Then we went through the finish line to start the second lap of the course. My headlamp is intense! I felt okay on the first lap, but I wasn't sure if I had the reserves to run a good second lap. I felt pretty dehydrated and took water 7 times during this race, which I have never done before in anything except a marathon! I could tell Nick felt a lot better than me, but I just kept telling myself to stick with him until the next mile. Then we'd get to the next mile and I'd tell myself, "okay, just until the next mile...okay, just until the turn around, etc." I was slowing down but I wasn't looking at my watch (it would not have mattered if I did). Around the halfway point of the 10 mile Just after the turn around at 7.5, I suddenly needed an urgent bathroom stop! I told myself, "Only a little over 2 miles left...you can run straight to the porta-potty by the finish line..." but as we came up on the mile 8 mark I knew there was no way I was going to make it. I told Nick I had to stop because it was happening one way or another, and I wasn't pooping myself unless it was en route to a 2:45 marathon! The perk of it being pitch dark out and not having any other runners close to us was that I just had to take one step off the course into the ditch. This has never happened to me before in a race except when I had cryptosporidum, and I blame it completely on the fact that I ate 2 full meals that included fresh garden produce before the race. But after I went, I felt much better! We won't talk about that car that suddenly drove by and honked at me (they were honking at everyone running though, at least)... Although I felt immensely better after my pit stop, I was still fading (the 10 miler was another solid regression run for me, hah!). Nick had generously run up a little ways and eased off the pace while I stopped, so I caught back up with him. I told him he could feel free to go ahead; I could tell he was much stronger than me. He said there wasn't any reason to; we would finish together (he also had a huge overall male lead and even if he kicked it in he wasn't going to run a great time for him). Although my last few miles weren't pretty, they would have been much worse if I hadn't been trying to hang onto him! Around mile 9 my shoe came untied, and by that point nothing really mattered so I quickly tied it. I was pretty glad to see the finish line coming closer, and I told Nick, "I am not kicking", hah. We finished side-by-side, although my chip read 0.22 faster than his so I technically won overall. I felt bad about that because he would have had absolutely no trouble smoking me if he'd wanted to! My time of 1:06:16 was a new single age state record for females age 38, despite being a slower pace than my half marathon state record. I stopped my Garmin for my pit stop and shoe tying, which took exactly 45 seconds together. I cooled down or a mile, which gave me 16.5 for the night and for my first long run after Grandma's. I grabbed my 10 mile award as soon as I could, but we still didn't make it home until about 11:15, so by the time I made a smoothie and showered it was midnight, i.e., way too late for me! The best thing about the race was our awesome running community and club. Albani said the best part of the race was the ice cream truck! Overall record Twins!
  11. 2 points
  12. 2 points
    Or San Diego. We still haven't turned our AC on yet...
  13. 2 points
    Agreed that summer sucks. The heat and humidity this week for us is supposed to be record setting....oh joy... So I wrote out what I think your training is: Monday- Tempo, Tuesday - EZ, Wed -- Intervals, Thursday -- Med. Long Run, Friday -- EZ, Saturday -- LR with miles at pace. If I'm understanding your plan isnt that too many hard days?? Tempo, Intervals, MLR AND LR WITH PACE miles? 4 out of the 6 days look pretty hard to me. I went on line to look at Hanson Advanced and Higdon Advanced and it seems like you are combining all the hard of both plans. Maybe back off some speed since the summer heat isn't going anywhere? Just my $.02. If I've learned anything from watching all of RE's PRs the past ccouple of years it's the value of the 1-2 minute over GP runs. Build aerobic capacity.
  14. 2 points
    I assume the 20th pair is free.
  15. 2 points
    AG of 73%! Amazing! And I’m glad Michael V up there gave you the “sugar-coated” version of the East Coast weather. My head nearly baked off during last Saturday’s run. 🤯
  16. 2 points
    The short version: One of my race day mantras for Grandma's was "When God is your everything, you can do anything!" I hoped that "do anything" would mean accomplishing my Big Dream Goal of a 2:45:00 or better marathon, but instead on June 22 it meant holding on for a 2:47:44 through a rough final 4.5 miles. Although I didn't grab an OTQ, I had an amazing experience working with numerous other women who were pursuing the same dream. I never felt like I was racing anyone, but instead that all of us were on the same team against the harsh competitor of the clock. Although I was 30 seconds off of my PR, I believe this was my best marathon because the course is not as fast as the CIM course. In addition, for the first time I am no longer scared of the pace I need to run to net a 2:45; it felt strong and smooth for over 21 miles. After running 4 marathons between 2:47-2:49, I don't know if I have what it takes to run a 2:45, but I DO know that I'll never regret trying, and that I'll keep trying and enjoying the journey! Official results (plus finishing videos) are here. Run Superior! The long version: During my taper for Grandma's, I decided I was going all in on race day; I was either going to run under 2:45 or blow up trying. I rationalized that I didn't need another 2:47-2:49, so if I tried for the standard, completely bombed, and ran 2:55, 3:05, or 3:15, it didn't really matter - particularly in this race where anything out of the 2:30s wouldn't place. 2:46 or 3:46 would produce the same significant outcome: not qualifying. I felt confident that I could run 6:20 pace for the marathon, but I needed 6:17 pace...amazing what a difference a few seconds can make both mentally and physically! If I'd have estimated my fitness at 6:30 pace, I wouldn't have gone for it, but none of us can estimate our fitness exactly (although I did before the Chisholm Trail Marathon!), so trying to run 3 seconds faster per mile than I thought I was ready for was a gamble I was willing to take. A lot of my confidence was based on one killer workout, since my bronchitis half didn't give me much to go on, but I'd been running solid mileage and tempo workouts for the previous 2 months during my abbreviated build. I knew numerous women would be chasing the standard at Grandma's - so many, in fact, that the elite field filled before I applied at the end of March. I thought that if you had a qualifying time you got in, but learned that was not the case and once the field reached capacity no more elite spots were awarded. While I did miss the elite perks I had last year, I still felt this race was my best chance at a fast time, and was excited that I'd likely have a lot of women to work with during the race. I reached out to several other women I knew or had connected with through the #breaking245 pursuit (thanks, social media!), looking to build a pace group of women who wanted to start a little slower and build into goal pace. Most of the ladies I spoke with wanted to start closer to 6:15, which wasn't for me, but my friend Jessi and her training partner (who is now my friend, but who I hadn't met before the race) Chandler were in for my pace plan, which was something like: miles 1-2 at 6:25, 3-10 at 6:20, 10 on at 6:15. I talked to a couple of other ladies who were interested in connecting, and my coach Nichole planned to start with us for the first half mile or so in her pursuit of 2:49. I ended up doing the exact math on two similar pace plans, and memorized where I wanted to be at the 10K, half, and 20, which was 39:20-39:30 at 10K, 1:22:35-1:22:55 at 13.1, and 2:05:40-2:06:00 at 20. I feared it could be a logistical nightmare trying to connect with Jessi, Chandler, and Nichole before the race, but we all ended up meeting up easily and getting on the starting line together. The temperature was wonderful for late June, at about 50 degrees, but the sun was powerfully bright in the clear sky. The 7:45 a.m. start was delayed until 7:53 a.m., and while we were all dying to get going I kept thinking that every minute we waited was a minute hotter it was going to get. But soon we were off! Jessi, Chandler, and I stayed together in the crowds as the field gradually thinned out. It remained crowded for quite a bit longer than last year, and there were packs and packs of women all around. After racing by feel in nearly all my races for the past 18 months, I looked at nearly all of my mile splits during this race. I just figured I'd be the idiot who would run 2:45:01 due to not looking at my watch! I also didn't want to go too fast too early, which is generally not an issue for me, but could happen when tapered, in good conditions, and with so many women around. I didn't obsess about my watch or look at it between miles, but every time it beeped I checked my split. The beginning miles passed quickly and on pace, and I occasionally chatted with Chandler and Jessi and others around us. The effort felt strong and smooth, and we passed the 10K in 39:05, which was a little faster than I'd planned, mainly because miles 1-2 had been 6:20 instead of 6:25. I told Chandler and Jessi I thought we should stay at about 6:20 through the half instead of dropping to 6:15 at mile 10, and they agreed. The half came in 1:22:37 and I said to myself and out loud to Jessi and Chandler, "All we have to do is that again, about 15 seconds faster." It felt do-able. I began saying the mantra "I'm qualifying today" to myself. We picked up with several other women at various points during the race, and everyone had the standard on their minds and race agenda. It was such a supportive environment, and I loved being out there with so many strong women! Before the race I prayed that every woman chasing the standard would achieve it, and I continued to pray that during the race. We were all on Team OTQ together. Chandler & Jessi leading one of the many packs we were part of during the race At several points during the race, we passed women who I did not expect I would ever be passing; women whose training I followed who I expected to comfortably surpass the standard, women who had histories of times in the 2:30's, women in pro racing kits. My heart went out to those who were suffering early on; the marathon can be cruel. The sun beat down on us, even though the temperature never rose out of the 50's. I took a cup of water and a cup of ice at every aid station, drinking the water, then drinking the melted ice water before dropping half of the ice into my racing crop and the other half down my shorts (fun fact: cooling your crotch is one of the most effective ways to cool yourself, due to all of the veins and arteries in that area). Around mile 18, I felt a dip in my energy level for the first time. I started on my third gel (I took my first and second around 10K and 20K), and quickly perked up from the sugar and caffeine. Relief followed, and I pepped myself up: "Only 8 miles to go! You've got this! You're qualifying today." Jessi was feeling really good and picking up the pace. I didn't feel comfortable dropping under 6:15 at that point, so after seeing mile 19 come in 6:08, I wished her the best and backed off slightly (a little too much in mile 20, but I was still feeling good). Chandler and I stayed together and Jessi really put the pedal to the metal. I'd told her before the race that based on her half times I thought she could run 2:40-2:42, and she did (2:41, with her final 10K in the 36's - in contrast to mine that was 42:07, ick!). She was a brilliant racer with starting off conservatively and then dropping the hammer. Chandler and I passed mile 20 in 2:05:37, and I calculated that we could run the final 10K in 39:20 (6:20 pace) and make it. I again told myself, "You're qualifying today!" Chandler asked if we were still on pace and I told her we were perfect. I saw a runner from Kansas who I really admire, Raquel, up ahead of us, and pushed to reel her in. As I pulled up by her, I started to feel fatigue creeping in. I asked her if she could help me in, and she told me she would do anything she could to help me qualify; she already had a qualifying time. Runners are amazing people! Unfortunately, I got separated from her at an aid station and couldn't pick back up to her, though. With Raquel after the race The course is net uphill from mile 18 to 22.5. It's gentle so you don't really notice it during the race, and even Lemon Drop hill is pretty minor, but on tired legs it can affect pace (I remembered this from last year but chose to ignore it). Around mile 21.5, I really started running out of gas. Strong and smooth became struggling real fast. I tore into my "emergency" gel around mile 22, hoping I'd get the boost I'd gotten from my mile 18 gel, but I didn't perk up this time, plus I choked on the gel, coughing until I made it to the next aid station for water to wash it down. People ahead of me began pulling farther ahead of me. I was passed by a couple of men, and ordered my legs to go with them, but they wouldn't go. Chandler pulled ahead and encouraged me to come with her, but my body wouldn't. I kept my self-talk positive, "It can turn around, you're still on 6:17 average, you can do this, your body can do more than your mind wants to allow, it's not about how you feel it's about what you're trained for, that guy up there is 2:45 - catch him." I tried everything I could. It didn't work. Qualifying was fading away and there was nothing I could do to catch it. I stayed positive, while at the same time knowing I wasn't "qualifying today" after all. Course elevation I pushed with all I could for those final miles, and it certainly wasn't pretty, but I got it done. My body just didn't have any more to give; I felt out of gas, even though I felt fine aerobically and was never breathing hard. Fatigue pulled my neck and head backwards, as it tends to at the end of marathons. I saw the mile 25 clock tick by in 2:38:59, a time about 2 minutes slower than I hoped to see at mile 25. I was lightheaded in the last mile, but we can do anything for a mile! Seeing the finish line was such sweet relief. I stumbled in and stopped my watch, knowing I'd run a good marathon but that it wasn't enough. I must have looked pretty bad, because two volunteers grabbed me as I crossed the line and walked with me for a while (this was captured on my finishing videos for all infamy, hah). I normalized and picked up my medal, shirt, and lots of water before getting a few finishing photos and seeing my parents at the side of the chute. I fought for this My fatigue lean In hindsight, I'd say I was ready to run 6:20-6:25, so by trying to run 6:15-6:20, I suffered hard at the end and couldn't hold pace. It's crazy what a difference 5 seconds a mile can make! I thought I ran out of glycogen because of the pace; my coach thought I just wasn't quite strong enough to hold the pace through the end due to my short training cycle (I only began working with her on April 1) - Strava made this video to summarize my training cycle, although I don't know how many weeks it summaries. Either way, I wasn't quite there for this one. Running how I did isn't the smart way to run a marathon or the way to PR (anyone will always get more out of themselves with a more conservative start and negative split), but I was close enough to 2:45 fitness that I had to risk it and try! Jessi netted her OTQ & Chandler grabbed a huge PR! It's hard to be unhappy with a 2:47 marathon. However, it is very difficult to be satisfied with a 2:47 marathon, given the Olympic Trials standard! Funny, before the race I said I didn't need another 2:47-2:49, but I got another one anyhow, and of course I am thankful that I got it over a time in the 2:50's or over 3:00. I will also always treasure the experience that I had working with so many other women going all in that day at Grandma's. And it's still true that when God is your everything, you can do anything. Every marathon I understand more why the Christian faith is often compared to a race. In both, we press on to a prize worth fighting for. The world is hard and everyone has struggles that don't make sense, but what a prize awaits us in heaven! Races are often a struggle, but the finish line is so sweet. "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ." - Philippians 3:14 Splits - my Garmin usually short-changes me (it read 26.19 in this one) Splits with grade-adjusted paces 1 Splits with grade-adjusted paces 2 I agree that CIM is a faster course! How not to pace the end of a marathon
  17. 2 points
    Somehow I never remember what happened before until after it's happened again. I swear I've never been as gob-smacked by the summer heat as I was last week. This is not fair. Last Monday's tempo was not bad. 77o, 16 mph. Ran north and south. 7:51, 7:50, 7:52, 7:36. That's a 7:44 average and felt strong the whole way. Heart rate stayed around 160, slowly climbing throughout. Tuesday was 84o and normal for the day after a good tempo. That is, I felt pretty tired. And like every summer day I thought it was too damn hot. 8:30-50. Wednesday was 3 x 1600. 84o again. Mrs. Dave invited the missionaries over for dinner, so I pushed off the run until after 7:00 pm. That made the sunlight less direct, which was nice and provided more shade than I usually get. Ran the Target Path, which laid the traffic lights out nicely with the 1-1/2 mile w/u and c/d. None of the miles were interrupted with a signal. Again, felt pretty good all the way, although it was definitely an effort. But it's supposed to be, right? 7:41, 7:37, 7:32. That was the last good run of the week. Thursday was 86o and almost no wind. Tried to find more shade, but there wasn't a ton to be found. Out on Haggerty to Eight Mile and West to Meadowbrook. Felt a bagillion degrees hotter than it had on Wednesday. Lasted until about 2-1/2 miles from home. That's when I ducked into the Firestone store and used their drinking fountain. Figured that would be enough to get me through the next half mile, which was mostly shady, and then it would be downhill with the sun behind me for the last two to the house. Nope. Walked and stumbled and bumbled all the way in. Haven't had this ugly a finish in I don't know how long. Probably last summer, but who can remember? My plan for Friday was to get up at my normal time (5:30am) and run before work. With no early meetings on Friday it doesn't matter a ton when I get there. Plus it was the day before most of the building will be gone for the week (it's traditional to take the week of the 4th off), so there wouldn't be much happening anyway. It was better, in part because it was ONLY 70o, in part because there was no sun for the first 4 (of 6) miles, but mostly I think because I was going stoopid slow. 9:30-45. My body thanked me. Then we get to Saturday. I've been running plenty of miles here at the end of Week 4, but this was my first double digit run in a month. Another morning run, so I didn't expect the heat to be a big factor, even though the dew point was 70o and the actual temp was 72o. (Read that as crazy humid.) I tried maintaining a comfortable but solid pace after a couple of miles to warm up (I was warm at the start, so maybe that was a waste). After two miles of that I had to stop for a light, and when I started up again, I could tell it wasn't going to happen. So I took a longer break at the next mile (half way) and tried to go again. Then I backed all the way off the pace and figured to just slog it in. Nope. Nope. And nope. So, this week I'm running all my miles in the morning, and I expect them all to be slower than they were the first four weeks of training. This morning, for example, the 4 tempos averaged 8:22, and I really didn't have much more to give. That's over 30 seconds slower per mile than the last two weeks. Hope it's a short summer.
  18. 2 points
    It's so easy to forget how the summer affects us every.single.year. 100% humidity here in Missouri for the win... However, I think we get really great training gains from it, so keep showing up, and your times will plummet in the fall!
  19. 2 points
    Bugs in nature = cool. Bugs in my house = WHAT THE EFF THIS IS THE GROSSEST THING EVER
  20. 2 points
    As for the person who broke your heart via text: send the bugs to him.
  21. 2 points
    Vertical Mile Challenge – June 15, 2019 Rocky Face Park | Hiddenite, NC Race 6/12 for 2019 goal! Halfway there! It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything, and that’s because my world has changed quite a bit in the last month. I’m now living back in my home state of North Carolina, and have a lot of time on my hands while I find a job. I haven’t been using all that time to run though. I’ve let the stress of everything (that I’ll write about some time) get to me and haven’t used running as an outlet for it, for some reason. Nonetheless, I was signed up to run the VMC and I wasn’t about to puss out of it – trained or not. An abbreviated version of the history of the race goes like this: In 2011, some dudes wanted to create a race in where you complete 5,280′ of vertical in the shortest distance possible. They happened upon a park that is 15 minutes from where I grew up, and voila! 2.2 mile loops, eight times, for 16 miles and 5,280′ of vert. All aboard the pain train! Jenster is the one that told me about this race. It was only $25 to register and is SO close to where I’m living and grew up. It was such a no brainer! I hadn’t ran in three weeks leading up to the race and finally got in a few runs the week of the race. My niece and nephew are great running motivators and ask me every day if we can go running! Jenster and I The race started at 8am, so I got up at 5:45 so that I could leave by 6:30, get a great parking spot, and pick up my packet. It was a cool morning, and in the upper 50’s when I got there. There were just over 200 people running, which is the biggest group they’ve had thus far. Word is getting out, apparently. There were plenty of PoPs and a bathroom so I even got to use a real toilet! The smaller size of this race was perfect. This shows the bit of pavement we had to run on and the part of the rock that people climb. Not knowing a bit of the course or exactly what to expect, I started in the middle of the pack. We ran for less than a quarter of a mile on pavement and then hit the trail. Right away you could see there were going to be lots of roots – they had spray painted most of them bright orange. It was crowded up until we reached the rock face about half a mile in. I was not warmed up enough before we started the hike uphill. My first start up the hill While it was still cool, you could tell that rock was going to heat up quick – there wasn’t a breeze yet either. The straight uphill portion was at least a half a mile long and felt like it’d never end. I was using the footwork I’d learned while mountaineering in the snow – taking sideways steps so that I didn’t burn up my calves. Others were also using the switchback strategy so as not to go straight up the rock, which I did some as well. There wasn’t a trail so you just made your own way up the rock face. At the top, they had a water only station that was stocked with ice cold water. It tasted like the best water I’d ever had in my life. When you get to the top, you run through the woods briefly and get to another small rock portion, then hit the woods again and start going downhill. There were lots of switchbacks, rocks, and roots. This was a great way to start my NC racing again! I actually missed those roots! Towards the end of the loop, you come to another rocky portion and this is the portion you can see from the parking lot. This is also the portion that people rock climb on. There was a really steep part that was killer on the feet and toes! Just before you get to the start/finish line, there are some rock stairs and then you’re back on the pavement. At the start/finish, there is a bigger aid station with food and other drinks. I didn’t get anything after the first loop and just kept going. I should also note that when I crossed the line, my watch was reading just under 2 miles. Focus! Just after I started the second loop, I tripped and fell. I wasn’t picking my feet up enough, caught my toe on a root and BOOM! It was enough to scrape the skin off the top of my left knee (the knee that ALWAYS takes the hits!) and a little off my other knee too. My left wrist was what I caught myself with so it was a little scraped up as well. I didn’t run nearly enough trails in CO so I’m going to love getting use to it again! NC trails are far better than CO trails, in my opinion. Anywho, I had a few people ask me if I was ok and I gave them a thumbs up. It hurt for maybe a 10th of a mile and then it was fine! Just a flesh wound! I told one of them that I was due for some trail rash. Scraped the skin right off! It wasn’t long before I started seeing people getting treated by medical folks. I was also hearing that they had received a 911 call from someone and were looking for them. Shit was getting real and we were all starting to see and feel the effects of the terrain and heat. I didn’t consume anything besides water until after the third loop, which was a Huma gel and half a banana. When I hit the halfway mark, it was just over two hours and I ate a lot more. I grabbed some Gatorade, a pickle chunk, half a banana, and took a packet of 3 salt tabs. It hadn’t even dawned on me that I should have brought more salt tabs. I was lucky I even had the one pack. This was definitely early on in the race… haha! I had been playing leap frog with several people and kept seeing the same faces. The winner had finished before I even hit the halfway mark. I was also getting lapped by some folks as well. At this point, it was hard to tell who was on what lap and you didn’t really know unless you asked. A lady came up from behind me on the first or second lap and was asking me what model of Altras I was wearing. She said she’d never heard of the Timps and would be looking into getting some. We’d run into each other during all but the last two laps and she’d started calling us the Altra gals. She would pass me on the uphill and I would pass her on the downhill. I even started to “ribbet” when I went by her – haha! That 57 year young lady ended up beating me by 20 minutes! By the way, that’s the farthest I’ve ever run in the Altras and they were great! I’m on the far left I started off fueling well but didn’t continue to. I wasn’t taking in nearly enough when I needed to. I was only drinking a cup of Gatorade and eating half a banana. One of the laps I dipped a potato in salt and ate that – all that salt tastes so gross! The sixth lap was the worst and I was feeling pretty bad by the end of the seventh lap. I had been feeling like I was going to cramp up since the halfway mark, and I was just hoping and praying that it’d hold off – that could be a serious game changer. I even thought about this race possibly being my very first DNF. My back was also getting super tight and I kept having to bend over to stretch it out. However, my brother, sister-in-law, and three kiddos had come out to see me finish! They were there in time to see me start the last lap. I got some food and talked to them for a minute. My nephew and nieces didn’t know what to think about how I looked and that I was scarfing down watermelon, pickles, and banana and drinking Gatorade – all of which I could barely carry over to the bench, haha! By that time, I was averaging 40-45 minute loops so I told them I’d be back in about that amount of time. As soon as I took off for the last loop, I felt re-energized and great! Seeing them was what I needed to finish strong! There was a much smaller field at that point, and I felt like I was way in the back of finishers. I was letting the aid station volunteers know that it’d luckily be the last time I saw them! When I crossed the finish line in 4:46, my family was there to record me finishing. My nephew thought my bloody knee was the coolest and he was getting down really close to look at it. He hugged me and told me he was proud of me, dawwww! It’s over! Race Stats: Starters: 203 | Finishers: 184 | Gender Place: 25/48 | Overall Place: 128/184 Garmin Distance: 16 miles (supposed to be 17.4) | Garmin Vertical: 4,091′ (not 5,280′) I noticed a comment on Strava that the course has been off every year and that everyone always gets the vertical amount that I got. That is WAY off, by more than 1,000′! I wasn’t getting the 2.2 miles per loop either. I thought that I wasn’t getting a good GPS signal. Maybe that’s still true? Surely it wouldn’t be off that much and they still claim it as a vertical mile race…. who knows. Post Race It’s been three days since the race and I have been SORE AF! Getting on and off the toilet is THE WORST. This is certainly in the top of times that I have been the most sore. This time last year I ran the Leadville Heavy Half and I think I was this sore after that as well. I plan to run this race again next year so this will just be the weekend of pain from here on out! I’d love to make this a yearly occurrence! I also plan to get out there and run and hike the course as often as possible. It’s so close! Hopefully I’ll actually be ready for it next year. I haven’t signed up for a July race yet but it will likely be a 5K with my 8 YEAR OLD NEPHEW!! Yaaaaassssss!
  22. 2 points
    This sort of thing has been missing around here lately. Missed you a lot, KRG.
  23. 1 point
    OH, how I love to read about months like this... P.S- all the congrats, all the way around. P.P.S- YOUR SHOES! ♥️ Your bridemaids blue flowered dress! Your cake!
  24. 1 point
    Congratulations ! Times two, or more ! Your job sounds fascinating - that must be very rewarding. Read some of the other bios, one of your co-honorees has run 49 marathons. On top of the Phd. I get tired just reading about the things you kids under 40 get up to 😉
  25. 1 point
    It was worth the wait: you had quite a month! Congratulations on all of it! And Caribbean honeymoons are a good omen, by the way--we had one 27 years ago. Second row, third from the right, by the way. I'd know that smile anywhere.
  26. 1 point
    Congratulations on such a wonderful May full of amazing things!! Huge PR and wedding AND business recognition on top of it all! Awesome month!! I can't wait to read about the 5Ks when you get around to writing them up. I know how that is... I have a RR from June 1st that I need to post still.
  27. 1 point
    I always thought distance-based was better, but I found myself running hard to get easy runs done faster - not really the point of easy runs. With time-based, running faster doesn't make the run end any sooner, so I find it keeps me from "hurrying" easy and recovery runs.
  28. 1 point
    I've been enjoying doing most runs by time instead of mileage, sounds like you are, too!
  29. 1 point
    I’m tempted to run the AC 1/2. Nice flat race as long as the weather is good. Good job running any hard miles. I’ve been able to do some intervals but anything looking like a tempo is a no go.
  30. 1 point
    Good job on what you've accomplished (in the heat) so far!
  31. 1 point
    Summer training is hard but it produces HUGE benefits in the fall. It really is true that when the temperatures drop, your paces will drop dramatically.
  32. 1 point
    1/10th of second!!! Grrrr....
  33. 1 point
    I can't believe that guy beat you.
  34. 1 point
    I was on the East Coast last week....a good reminder about real humidity. We definitely have it made in So Cal! Congrats on being thisclose to beating all the usual suspects. You may be getting older, but so are they
  35. 1 point
    One of the many amazing things about running is that it's so much about personal development! We can all better ourselves and our PRs. We all have big reach goals and it's a big deal when we get there whether it's a 2:45 or 3:45 or 4:45 or 5:45 marathon, or running a mile without walking - and we can all relate!
  36. 1 point
    So I conducted an experiment the last two days related to running in the heat. It's been super hot here as well and I'm trying to make sure my easy runs are as easy as they should be by keeping my heart rate below 140. On Sunday it was a feels like temp of 95+. I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill in the air conditioning. Result: 4 miles at 9:41 pace with an average heart rate of 124. On Monday, I ran outside in the early evening with the feels like temperature in the low 90s. Result: 6 miles at 11:24 pace with lots of walking when my HR got above 140. Average heart rate of 138. In the heat, doing runs that are supposed to be easy by pace just doesn't seem to work for me. I spent all last summer doing "easy" runs that left me completely exhausted. I've got to do them by effort to make sure my training is as good as it should be. It means swallowing my pride a bit to post them on Strava, too.
  37. 1 point
    I get it you strap on a pair of running shoes, and you're a runner. We come in many flavors. I just started about 5 years ago, I got to where I could run 9:30 pretty consistently. Took a little time off over this past winter, now getting under 10 is a struggle. I can't imagine under 7. Great work.
  38. 1 point
    Who is this cockroach that broke your heart by text? Let me at him ... I really hope extermination does the trick. Sounds absolutely awful.
  39. 1 point
    Wait a sec - heart broken via text? AWFUL! 😢 As for the bugs, nuking is too good for them. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, even with our insect friends, but not in my house - that's war!
  40. 1 point
    We had those in South Florida but THANK GOD they were only ever in our garage. I mean, flying cockroaches, just wth
  41. 1 point
    Don't worry. It takes several weeks to get faster, and if I remember you had some extended time off, right? Get the miles in and focus on effort. Not 100% yet, but probably a little one (200 runners) in Bristol, NH, called the New Hampshire Marathon. Saturday, October 6.
  42. 1 point
    Agreed! It's virtually impossible to slow down once the feet get moving fast. Well at least until you/I blow up! 💀
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    YYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
  45. 1 point
    We ALL missed you. Loved reading this! Congratulations on a great race!
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
    Aww thanks, Dave! 😊
  49. 1 point
    Nice to see you again! Excellent report! Way to crush that downhill.
  50. 1 point
    Wow, this race sounds and looks intense! I’m impressed that you gutted it out. I’d love to do something like this. Take care!
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