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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/17/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 8 points
    Garbo said, "GO WRITE", so here I am. There was a promise of pie. *Looks hopefully in Dave's direction* I just noticed the thingie is called "Blog Entry". How dare it. This is a bloop. Anyway, I have not much to report. A few years ago I blew out my ITB and that was not fun. Then I got kicked off my first 50K for being too slow and that was not fun. I kept trying to run but it was just a cascade of injury, and that was not fun. I did run a bit when we lived in Canada and that *was* fun. There was this trail through the park down the road from where we lived. We lived on the edge of Mississauga, and the trail would take me over the bridge into Toronto. It was a great trail, with a river....not a huge river, but not a small stream either. There were some parts of the trail that were dodgy like they were going to crumble at any minute and you'd end up in the river. Stream. Whatever. Other parts were exposed and those were hot little suckers in the summer. One time I jumped over a stick and it wasn't a stick and it moved and I think my scream reverberated around the whole of Mississauga/Toronto. 😅 The trail, if you went far enough, would take you right along the back side of Toronto airport and I imagined if I were an evil person I could scale the fence and get up to some shenanigans. There were fun burned out trucks and stuff along one part where the fire department would practice. Anyway then came the inevitable injuries and thick, slick, compacted snow and ice so that was that. These days I bike...though who knows how long that will last as my knees have started complaining. Seriously, getting older is a pain in the ass. Anyway, I bike The Sufferfest, which, when done hard enough, is almost as good as running. Not quite, but it gets me closer than anything else. I did a Knighthood which was "fun". Holy cow it hurt like crazy and I cried but I'm a Knight of Sufferlandria now. It was so fun I did it a second time. Also, a couple of months ago I rode 100 miles with the husband for his birthday. We didn't think he'd be able to do it as he broke his neck back in June. But he was cleared to ride so off we went. About 10 miles in my brain told me that I'd been in the big ring for the past 10 miles, so how about I complete the remaining 90 in the big ring? So I did. That may have been the beginning of the knee issues but shhhhhh we'll just ignore that. Anyway, that's all I've got. Hope you are all having the time of your lives out there on the road and trail. Run a mile for me, because I miss it with a deep ache. Sigh, but Meh, what can you do? 🤷‍♀️ You just keep on keeping on doing what you can while you can. ❤️😘
  2. 8 points
    I'm also here because the garbanzo'd one told me to. My year has been going pretty well. I finished my masters degree! I ran 8 half marathons this year. I paced 3 of them, and successfully paced 1 of them. I am now up to 68 lifetime pikermis! I haven't run a full marathon since 2016, but I am currently signed up for 2 (Illinois Marathon and Grandma's Marathon) and am in the lottery for Chicago and New York, where I will win -$500ish in entry fees if I get both. Ouch. Is anyone else signed up for a late April marathon who would want to be an accountability buddy? Back to the pacing - I've started pacing with OnPace, based out of the Green Bay area. They have been pacing the Zooma women's races and are quickly expanding. Through them, I'm excited to be pacing the Zooma Bermuda Half Marathon in February! Getting to Bermuda will involve me spending the night in JFK Airport... but then I'll be in Bermuda! I ran across Iowa in June with my relay team, Runderbolts and Lightning. We've run other Ragnar races together, and we get along really well even though we're from all over the place. I'm finding it hard to know what to write about...which means I should bloop more often. Catch you on the flippy floppy!
  3. 8 points
    I had a few good years. Lots of age-group awards. I qualified for and ran both NYCM and BOS. Running has pretty much sucked ever since. The last five years have looked like this: Illnesses: pneumonia, bronchitis, arthritis in the big toe Injuries: ITBS, stress fracture near the arthritic big toe joint Surgeries: toe nail removed (because there was a bit of mold growing under the nail!), nasal septum surgery (which did NOT help with my snoring) But the really weird thing is that every time I recover, I keep on running. You'd think I'd give up, even though I can't seem to get ahead of the injury/illness/random surgery game. Last week was my first run after the stress fracture, and my husband Bruce said "I'm really proud of you" -- for running one whole mile. Seriously? That was the easy part. The hard part was NOT running for six weeks. I turned 65 this year. Maybe I should expect these things. But I don't feel 65, especially when I'm running. Maybe I'll write more later. Right now, I'm heading out for a little run. - Emma the Unlikely Runner
  4. 8 points
    I started keeping a journal when I was 19. I wrote almost every day for the two years of my LDS mission, and about every week or so for several years after that. Sort of like my running, there were some pretty significant gaps from then until ten years ago when I started this marathon thing and found the Loop. Since then I substituted my bloops for most of what I would have written in the journal. The vast majority of that writing is about running, and not so much about the rest of my life. But the point of journal writing is to leave a record of yourself, and that's a big part of me, even in this, my advanced stage of life. One of the things that drove me to be so prolific (I went months of writing every single day of marathon training) was the positive response from the Loop for it. Sharing my new experience of running and racing marathons with a supportive community was exciting and validating. I'd spend a good portion of my runs thinking about what I was going to post. It made for a heightened awareness of my efforts in training as well as the sights and sounds of the world around me. I have a fair level of (although not professionally diagnosed, Dr. Google seems pretty clear) ADHD, and knowing I was about to "report" on those miles helped me stay much more focused. No lament here about the death of the Loop as it was, or nostalgia about the way it used to be. But there's no doubt that seeing just a few posts here and there besides my own has reduced the incentive to put it all out there, as it were. If no one but me is interested, why go to the effort? A big part of the fun was the post-posting interaction. Did I write something funny? Who laughed? Was I going through a tough stretch and got some much needed encouragement from runners who were going through the same or had gone through it? Did a workout or a race go especially well and dozens of comrades gave me kudos? And that's just about the running. The good will, condolences, virtual hugs, tension-relieving jokes, cheers and advice extend to whatever part of my life I cared to share. Those are all still there and appreciated just as much, just from a much, much smaller group of friends on this forum nowadays. But, it's been ten years since I started here. Since I'm old already, things don't change for me as quickly any more. And I no longer have things like searching for romance, expecting and raising children, buying that first home, new jobs, finishing my education, and all those other things that shift our circle of acquaintance and the activities that fill the days of a lot of my old friends from the Loop. It's been joyful to watch your lives unfold. Great memories for me. My rotating desktop picture right now is a shot of ten people, most of whom had never met before the day it was taken. But you'd never know it looking at the smiles, shoulders leaning into one another with familiarity, arms congenially on shoulders, a few glasses raised in a spontaneous toast to friendship. A couple of them I've never physically seen again, but count each one as a warm and good friend. I've seen them gain friends, spouses, children, grandchildren. I've shared joy and heartache, triumph and defeat. We created something very special on the Loop. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Since most of them (unlike myself) have moved on to Crossfit and/or babies and/or world traveling, or just receded away from online blogging, our little corner of the internet has gone kind of quiet. I'm not complaining (OK, maybe a little). Nor am I announcing my own departure from the Loop. Just reminiscing. The point is, if there is one, I'm still here. I plan to keep writing here and leaving this bit of myself as a record that, "Hey, world, I existed." Thanks for reading. I'm enjoying a well-deserved break from marathon training at the moment. Still need to decide on a spring race. Still thinking about Atlanta since there will be Loopsters there. And the Olympic Trials. But it's March 1, which makes for a tough training environment here in the frozen tundra. Not that Michigan is the worst place in the country to run in the winter, but it can be messy. Of course, I have a treadmill in the house now, so ... Anyway, then next fall will be another BQ attempt. I'll try to pick an easier course next time. Think I mentioned the local 5K that I often run in November. I have a string of AG wins there and it supports the school where the boys ran. Then Connor got this new job and he starts in a week and a half and I'm helping him move 1600 miles to Tacoma, WA. Leaving on Friday to load the truck and drive it west. That's the day before the 5K, so I'm a scratch for 2019. Now I'm thinking about finding a race in the PNW while I'm there, because running.
  5. 7 points
    Dear diary: I have a confession. Emily Sisson is a runner. A runner who just finished 10th at the 10K world championships. A runner who ran a 2:23:08 marathon debut at London this year, finishing sixth and ahead of her training partner, Molly Huddle. A runner who was the 2015 5k national champion. A runner that we in the Running World refer to as "Fast." And I broke her. It started out innocently enough. The day is October 25. It's a glorious morning at the track. Just a few people are here. A sprinter running repeats on the back straight. The shot put boys sunning and playing handball. I'm in lane 9, minding my own business. And then emily sisson flies by. She's in lane 1, being paced by her hubby. They're running mile-and-a-half repeats. He leads her out for a mile or so and then falls off, leaving her to finish. If you've never been a few feet away from a world-class runner in full flight, you don't know what it's like. So fast, smooth, graceful. A gazelle in motion. She's pushing really, really hard. I realize it must be because of me. I'm in lane 9, running 13:10 pace. Even though the distance around lane 9 is much longer than lane 1, I'm keeping up with her. If keeping up means I'm running about a lap every time she runs a mile. She is clearly annoyed that the old guy is dusting her doors, if dusting her doors is an actual phrase, and I'm fairly certain it is not. She pretends never to see me, although I'm sure she's watching out the corner of her eye. Between the 1.5 mile repeats, they pause for water (sissies) and talk with her father-in-law, who doubles as coach, race photographer and bodyguard. Maybe that's tripling. Please note that although she keeps pausing between repeats, I continue on my way, never stopping, never wavering from my 13-minute march, never going fast enough to get a ticket in a school zone. She, on the other hand, is uncorking a pace that only a few people on the planet can maintain. So I'm calling it even. Mile and a half after mile and a half, she hammers. I'm certain it's because my 13:10 has forced her into pushing her pace to the limit. I want to tell her it's not a competition, it's only an exhibition, please no wagering, but Letterman hasn't been on the air in a long time, and it feels like the father-in-law will shoot me if I try to come within a couple lanes of her. Do starter's guns hurt? It's a joy to watch her blur go by again and again. No crowds, no glory, just a runner suffering on a lonely community college track in Arizona on a hot, windy day. So THAT'S how these people get to be so fast. By running fast. Who knew? And then, my 4 miles are over. She takes off on a cooldown run somewhere off the track, likely to Flagstaff and back. And that’s that. I can sense I have pushed her to her absolute limit. She posts a video later in the day of the workout. I feel honored I was able to help her out. And then. FOUR DAYS LATER on the same Instagram account, she posts that she is being forced to pull out of the USATF 5K Championships in New York because of a "small flare-up" getting back into training. Coincidence? I'm guessing not. Never race before the race, Kermit the Frog once said.* And clearly my relentless 13:10 pace forced her to maintain a level too high. She wasn't at the track today for her Friday session. I hope the father-in-law doesn't find me. And that was the day I broke Emily Sisson. Thanks for listening, diary. I feel better. I hope I never run into Sara Hall in Flagstaff ... (frame grab stolen from em_sisson on instagram since i figure she's already suing me anyhow.) *awaiting wikipedia sourcing on quote
  6. 7 points
    This past summer I really, really wanted to start building up a good base again. The idea of the 3 x 13 Trailfest series scared me. The problem was that I really had no idea how to train for the back to back days plus add in the fact that my body was still being a jerk on some days. I managed to be super consistent with some form of exercise. Biking became my go to if I thought I'd do more harm than good by running. And some of my results this summer were excellent -- PR on my summer 5k trail series. I really wanted to see if all of my running in the summer heat and humidity had paid off. Mind you I did virtually NO speed or interval training other than my 5k series and the 5 mile race back at the beginning of August. I ended up signing up for the Atlantic City Half Marathon against my better judgement. It's my local race but every time I've ever raced it in the past a major storm with 20-40 mph winds blows in. By the time the race date had rolled around my training from mid August to mid October had been sub par and super light on mileage. One week I ran S-I-X miles. Ugh. And then the ideal race weather that had been forecasted changed to forecast a storm blowing in on race day. Double ugh! But I'm smarter than I used to be. I knew I had just managed to run 39 miles in 3 days and I'm fairly good at racing a half marathon. And weather can’t be changed. What's the worst that could happen? I have to walk it in? BFD. I get to do this. Sunday morning rolled around and the weather was still good. The weather app showed rain starting at 10:00 (2 hours after the start). Perfect. I stretched and rolled. Drank my coffee and had some gluten free oatmeal with peanut butter. Drove the 30 minutes to the start and arrived by 7:15. Found some meter parking 1 block from the start. Score! Used the bathroom at Bally's Casino with success. Wahoo! LOL Found a hallway by the front doors to do some more stretching. Finally at 7:45 I went out onto the boardwalk to line up. The starting corrals were in front of the next casino so we had to fight through the spectators to enter from the rear and then I had to weave up to get to where I wanted to start. Hmmmm....good question...where did I want to start?? My secret goal was that I wanted sub 1:54. A sub 1:54 would give me a qualifying time for NYCM. My qualifying time used to be a 1:49 which I was within 50 seconds of getting before my injury, but time marches on and I will have a new and improved AG for 2020. I made it up to the 3:55 pacer -- an 8:58. I needed an 8:42 pace. I figured it would be a good place to start given my lack of speedwork. The gun went off and we started down the boardwalk. Immediately someone caught their foot and went down. Running the boardwalk is akin to running on the trails. The boards are warped and not even, some were super soft and felt almost rotted and then there are the dreaded popped nails. Thankfully the dude tucked and rolled and got back up. There was no easing into pace. The pacer immediately dropped into the 8s. I did my best to keep up but I was working and this was within the first 1/2 mile. I put my best poker face on and reminded myself that I'd warm up and things would get easier. We made a left and headed down onto the roads. Speaking of warming up I was warm....already. I had decided to wear shorts, my green heavier tank and a thin windbreaker. I hate being cold, but I also know I get hot fast. In the pocket of my jacket I had 3 gels and in the back pocket I had my car key. Before we even hit the first mile I was unzipping the jacket and tying it around my waist. I know better. Ugh! Mile 1 - 8:36 By mile 2 I knew the pacer was going WAY too fast. Her watch chimed and she yelled out the pace is to fast! I look down at my watch and see 8:15. LOL The pace group slowed, but I figured at this point I've pretty much shoved all of my chips in to the pot and it was too late to change my bet. Mile 2 for me chimed in at 8:28. The race runs up onto an elevated highway before going down into a tunnel. My GPS signal was lost down in here and from that point on I'd hit the mile markers before my Garmin chimed. We ran all along the north end of the island, behind casinos and around some townhomes. Cheering is minimal. Flop, flop, flop went those damn gels against my legs. I finally grabbed the pocket and shoved it into the front of my shorts. Miles 3-5 were 8:31, 8:26, and 8:14. At some points you'd feel absolutely no wind to the point that your sunglasses fogged. Being as I run around here all the time I knew that meant as soon as we turned the wind was going to be full on in our faces. At around mile 6 I was running close to this little boy. He was 9 years old and crushing it. Solo, no parent. Flop, flop, flop went the car key against the back of my leg. I shoved that into the back of my shorts. So I want to make sure you get the picture. Green shirt, yellow jacket tied around my waist with a pocket full of Gu shoved down the front of my shorts and another yellow pocket with car key shoved down the back of my shorts. I'm sure I'll be getting a call from RW to model soon. Ha! I took a Gu at mile 6 and then walked through a water station to get a bit of fluid. I was definitely riding a line of how much longer I could keep up this pace. 8:39 At mile 7 we headed back towards the boardwalk. I mentally was talking to myself -- "when you get to the boardwalk you know all you have to do is a bit past the finish line and then run to the turnaround to head for the finish." Miles 7 & 8 -- 8:43, 8:33. The Gu kicked in and I did feel a little better, At mile 9 we cruised past the finish line so I knew I had approximately 2 miles to run before I could turn around. So close, yet so far away! You can do this! No, I can't. Yes, .... oh look there's my bike friend!! My cycling friend always escorts one of the lead runners. Today he was leading this beautiful looking strong woman into the finish line! I yelled out to him but I don't think he heard me. Mile 9 - 8:31 I grabbed some water, gatorade and/or a gel from the aid station. I took I few bites of gel and sipped some water and willed myself to keep going. Mile 10 & 11 -- 8:37, 8:42 Finally the turnaround was just ahead. Thank the Lord! A guy behind me kept yelling, "Water! Where's the water?" I thought he was kidding because we had passed an aid station not too long ago. Apparently he wasn't. I think he had a full breakdown on those poor volunteers. I'm hoping he was running the half and not the full because if he was running the full he was in bad shape for 14 more miles. It was hot(ish) and humid(ish) so maybe that's why he was struggling? As soon as I hit the turn around I was playing mental math -- if you run 10 minute miles that will give you a finish time of xx.... was the NYCM qualifying time a 1:54 or 1:55?? I just couldn't think. My right quad was seizing up and we were now running into the wind. I was leap frogging a couple who were running and then walking. I did manage to pass them for good at some point. Mile 12 -- “This is stupid. I hate racing. I'm never running another full because a half is so freaking hard!” 9:00 Just keep running and don't think. There's Bally's. You can stop when you get there. The 9 year old came flying by me into the finish. "Go, little dude!" Mile 13: 9:06 Oh my gosh the finish line!! Then I heard someone yell, "Go, Gwen!" I tried to figure out who it was but all I knew was it was a tall, thin man in a Boston jacket. My oxygen deprived head would not let me figure out who it was. According to Garmin my last .1 was at a 7:33 pace. I couldn't believe it -- 1:52:46. I got it! I staggered over to massage guy and had him massage my poor right quad. and then I grabbed all sorts of food. I came across tablets where you can check your time. Punched in my number and let out an audible gasp when I saw I came in 2nd out of 99 in my AG. Oh my gosh! Sometimes you just have to roll the dice and give it a go. Yep, awards were in the pouring rain. Didn't care one little bit! (As for the guy who cheered for me at the finish it was the guy who leads the track workouts I have attended. Lol)
  7. 6 points
    I guess I’ll try writing a race report. This will be the first race report since I wrote about my first marathon a little over a year ago. Yep - Marshall was my first and I did a second at the end of March this year. It was the Carmel Marathon and it didn’t go as well as Marshall. I went a little more aggressive and blew up around 20 miles like so many do. Enough about that. So not long after Carmel, I decided that I wanted to do a 50K trail race. For years, I’ve been far more into trail running than road running despite the fact that I almost never run on trails. My so-called excuse was that I spend so much time running already that I can’t really justify spending more time driving at least 25 minutes one way to the nearest trail. Trails appeal to me for a lot of reasons. The scenery obviously, but I’m also not ashamed to admit that running long is more interesting to me than running fast. That explains my lack of speed workouts generally, but trails give you the excuse to go slower. You’re supposed to walk the uphills and the technical stuff on trails, right? So I decided that I’d run one of the closest trail 50Ks to where I live. It’s called the Rough Trail 50K and it’s in the Red River Gorge here in Kentucky. How “Rough” could it be, right? I signed up in April and kind of put it in the back of my mind because it was a November race. Sometime early summer, I mentioned to one of my running buddies who does a lot of trail races (he’s done Western States and the Vol State 500K and he’s done Rough Trail twice) that I’d signed up. His response - “You’re making a mistake. You need to do something that’s easier than that one for your first”. A real confidence booster, right? Well he probably had a point. Although I’ve randomly done some trail running, I hadn’t done any in quite awhile and had never done a trail run longer than 10 miles. So one of the ways I started training in late spring was to start limiting my runs to a heart rate lower than 140. When my HR gets to 140, I start walking or at least back off. When it drops below, I start running again. I figured this would mimic the constant shifting from run to walk you do on trails where the terrain is a bit technical and more importantly it would boost my endurance. So basically, all of my running the last 6 months or so has been slow. I’ve not done a single interval, tempo or anything that closely resembles speed. Eventually, I got around to asking my trail running buddy if he would take me out to “the gorge” to do a practice run and show me around a bit. Our schedules finally synced up sometime in August and I headed out for what was essentially my first trail run. (Just throwing in a couple random pictures from the gorge that aren’t me since the race hasn’t posted the photos yet) Well….he’s supposed to be a buddy, but I think he tried to kill me. He basically took me on a section of the course that had most of the big climbs. It was a run that was about 12 miles and it took me 3 hours. And it left me broken. As in, I couldn’t run for 5 days after that because my legs were so sore. And I went out and tried to run every day. I immediately considered dropping down to the 25K option. There was a 10 hour cutoff in the 50K and I’d just managed to only run about a third of it in 3 hours. As it turns out, he is a good friend because that run put the fear of this race in me. I started going out to the gorge anytime I could find someone to go with and I started driving to a more local trail for 10 mile runs on the other weekend day each week (and some Friday afternoons). I upped my road running as well and turned in a 250 mile month in September. The most I’d ever done before that was just under 200. Over 100 of those miles were on trails. I kept it up into October culminating in a 16 mile run that covered the last half of the course and was very similar to that first trail run...only longer. I’d made a lot of progress. I wasn’t even sore the next day and I was able to run. I had one more taper 10 miler on an easier section of the course and the hay was in the barn. I can’t say I was confident, but I felt better about my chances than 2 months prior. I’d essentially run the entire race course at least twice at that point on various runs. But still, I hadn’t had a run longer than 5 and a half hours, and I was figuring at that point I was going to shoot for 8:30 in the race. So I might be 3 hours into uncharted territory. I made a race plan that essentially had me holding myself back for the first 17 miles. That first part has most of the easiest sections whereas the majority of the big climbs were all in those last 14 miles. Two days before the race, a running acquaintance of mine - Marcelo - messaged me and asked if I wanted to carpool. I agreed and I told him that I was aiming for 8:30. He said he was too, so now I had someone to run with as well. Race day was pretty cold. And that’s a good thing for me. It was going to be about 23 at the start and climbing into the 40s. I decided on shorts, calf sleeves, two short sleeve running shirts and a very light jacket with gloves and a buff over my ears. I ended up being comfortable the whole day and never took off the jacket. Don’t worry, I don’t remember many details about the race, so this will wrap up pretty soon. And anyway, running and racing to me is more about the entire journey and not the single day of running/racing. The race started and I was mildly successful at holding myself back during that easier first half. Well….maybe not so much! I did keep the effort where I felt it needed to be, but I was going quicker than I figured in my planning. At the first aid station at 8 miles, I was already about almost 30 minutes ahead. At mile 13, that was now about 45. I was 50 minutes early at that 17 mile aid station. So I’d pretty much failed in holding myself back, but I was feeling pretty good. So that is where I figured the real race would start. There’s about a 7 miles stretch to the next aid station and it had a lot of climbing - including one of the biggest climbs leading right up to the aid station itself. Marcelo had dropped back around mile 18 and said he'd catch up. I didn't see him again until about mile 25. I ran most of that time alone with nobody passing and nobody to pass. When I got through that section, my cushion was now up to 53 minutes over my plan so I’d basically held even with the plan. I wasn't gaining on it anymore, though and was also starting to feel the miles and hours in my legs and pretty much everywhere else. From that point, there are two other aid stations in fairly short order. I gave back about 10 minutes of my cushion in that stretch as I just really didn’t feel like running on the easy stuff anymore. At the same time, though, I also started thinking about the chance to break 8 hours. Here is a photo from around that time: By the time I got to the 27 mile aid station, I was feeling a little better. I’d had some food at the previous two and maybe that was working its magic. I also chatted for a second with a running friend who was working the aid station and that gave me a boost. I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t have the shot of Fireball she told me earlier that she’d bring for me (for the record, I don’t like Fireball at all but it was something fun to think about). Or maybe she’d already drank it herself. At that point, the 4 miles left felt doable. Never mind that the longest climb of the race starts at mile 28. (Trail running tip that I learned - At that last aid station, I asked one of the aid station workers to fill one of my bottles with coke. Do not do that. Within about a minute of running, the shaking caused the carbonation to activate and the bite valve popped open and coke started spraying out a little bit. I stopped, took off the cap, chugged half the bottle and poured out the rest.) The last 4 miles was pretty uneventful. Marcelo didn't stop at the aid station and left me on the downhill. I got to the last climb and I worked my way up in the fastest time I’d ever climbed it. I caught and passed Marcelo at the start of the climb. When I got to the top, he was nowhere in sight. At that point, it gets a bit difficult mentally because the climb is over, but you still have to drag yourself along for 2.5 miles on flatter stuff to the finish. I was doing math at that point and figured I should be under 8 hours. But it would be kind of close. I got to mile 30 and then to mile 31 and I still wasn’t quite sure where the finish was. I started wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. In training, I’d just take the trail back to the parking lot, but the finish was in a slightly different place along a trail I’d not used. As it turns out, Marcelo did actually take a wrong turn at the top of the climb and ended up running an extra half mile. By the time I got to 31.3 miles, I was starting to get nervous about that sub 8. But that’s about the time I spotted the finish line chute about 15 feet above me around a curve. Finish time 7:53:20. I was 60th overall out of the 140 registered. Honestly, it went about as good as it could have. Garmin says it was 6900 feet of elevation gain. Strava says it was somewhere around 6,000. Not sure why they are never closer. The race says 6500, so maybe that’s what it was. It was 2 plus hours longer than I’d ever run. Sure there was a fair amount of walking during the uphills and technical sections, but I never stopped moving forward except to grab food and fill up my water bottles at the 6 aid stations. Nutrition and hydration weren’t ever an issue. I basically drank Tailwind most of the day and had a little bit of aid station food each time to supplement. I think I had a few brownies, some mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a small pickle and some potato chips over the course of the race. There were rumors of grilled cheese sandwiches at the last aid station, but they must have been gone when I got there. I was kind of stiff and sore that evening and more so the next day, but nothing too bad. The day after I went for a 2 mile walk, but I was still a bit too sore to run. So the question in my head now is what next? I’ve considered doing the Atlanta Marathon Loophest next spring, but I’m not sure I want to do another road marathon right now. And the failed spring marathon this year is in my head. Training goes so well in the cold months of winter and then the race ends up being warmer than you’re used to. Fall races seem to be the opposite. I also REALLY enjoyed this race. Despite the fact that it was supposed to be a mistake as my first, I think it was tailor made for me. I’m sure better trail runners than me would disagree, but I thought there was a lot of the course that wasn’t runnable and I kind of liked that. I’ve looked at a couple of spring trail ultras but haven’t pulled the trigger on those either. I’ve got to make up my mind soon because races that I do have to be in cooler months. So that means mid-April or earlier. And that means training starting real soon.
  8. 6 points
    I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. I just get distracted easily these days. I’m still doing the thing. I still wake at 4 and run until I don’t want to. I still train for races, though maybe 1 or 2 a year instead of 5 or 10. I still love the woods more than the roads and still love the dawn more than dusk. I still consider the loop the reason I’ll always run. It’s the same old me. Now, where’s my pie? -me
  9. 5 points
    After my trail marathon I did the usual rest and recovery - five days of no running and then some easy runs for a few weeks. Then just as I started my first tempo run in an attempt to get back to training, I hurt my foot. I don't remember turning my ankle, but suddenly my foot hurt just below the ankle bone. It was sore but I could run on it, so I kept going and figured it would go away. It did not. I managed four miles before deciding to cut my run short and limp home. I iced it and took ibuprofen. The pain seemed centered on one spot, so I worried about a stress fracture, but that didn't really make sense. The next day I saw a doctor and she said it was definitely NOT a bone problem. It was ligament damage. Take time off, blah, blah, blah... So I did. But I had two races already signed up for; the first one only 12 days away. The pain faded to a dull roar in 2 days, but then it just kind of stopped improving. I could walk with minimal pain. A jog would hurt a little. Not too bad. But not getting better. It reminded me of plantar fasciitis and other foot ligament problems I have had, all of which took over 6 months to heal. With those ailments, I ended up running through them eventually, as running did not seem to make it worse. So I'm guessing the same here - Loooong recovery period. Nagging pain. So I didn't run at all for the 12 days and then lined up for a 5K. This race was part of my annual golf weekend with my hometown buddies. We golfed Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Palm Springs,, followed by massive eating and significant drinking. So I waddled to the 5K on Saturday EVENING with about 8 extra pounds in my belly, and weariness from 4 days in the sun. I was running with three other friends including my brother, and we figured to all be close to the same pace. Of course they had the same handicaps as me with the golfing and eating and drinking. My foot problem was a handy excuse but I can't say it really slowed me down. Normally I would hope to win this competition but with post marathon and injury downtime and no speed work for the last six weeks and a sore foot, I was lacking in confidence. The race was "Run with Los Muertos" in the tiny town of Coachella in the desert (home of the large concert event). It was tied with a Day of the Dead festival with a parade and concert and art fair. 95% of the people there were Hispanic and all the announcements were in Spanish - no English. It was fun to see all the little kids in costume and face paint. The race was about 300 people, and not too competitive. It started after sunset and they had lights on the route. It was kind of fun running in the dark. Strategy: Well, my warmup was OK. Felt like crap at the beginning but after a mile or so I felt about normal. The foot hurt a bit but I wasn't limping. The dry desert air was very noticeable so I drank a lot of water before and during. I hoped to run about 7 minute pace and see if that was workable and go from there. Also planned to run with my 3 buddies (and beat them) if possible. At the start my brother set the pace so I followed him to get into gear. Once the crowd cleared I saw we were right about 7 minute pace and it felt doable. The first mile I was working pretty hard, but it was a race after all. Pretty normal for a 5K. Right about a mile (which came in at exactly 7:00) I started to notice my breathing getting heavier. Brother started to pull in front and I couldn't stay with him. It was hard enough to just keep going. Then another friend rolled by. I hung on him for a few seconds but then he pulled ahead. Ugh. My pace was 7:15 in mile 2 and I was suffering. I tried to maintain for a while but then buddy #3 breezed by me, along with some other people. I was clearly not going to be able to beat any of these guys. So I downshifted. Eased off until it was more like tempo pace. Still working but at a pace I felt I could hold. Not dying. The towel was thrown. It was just about getting to the finish with something respectable at least. I hit mile 2 in 7:45, but my pace bottomed out just over 8:00. Once I got to within 1/2 mile of the finish I started to pick it up, since I now had some reserves. I caught a couple people and tried to finish respectably strong. Mile 3 was 7:34. The course was short (I had 2.98 miles) so my time of 22:10 was not even that good. On the plus side, my foot never got worse - it was just a nagging pain, and it wasn't any worse after the race either. So I just accepted the defeat and will use it to motivate me in the future. Now I am going to take another two weeks off (maybe?) and hope this improves. Then I'll do my usual and run through it. Because I already signed up for a Turkey Trot. And then I'll need to start getting ready for Atlanta... On the other hand, my golf game made huge improvements as I played the best golf of my life and got two huge PRs. I shot a 103 and didn't finish last every day, and can now reasonably consider breaking 100 for the first time. So that was nice. It was a fun weekend with the guys, and I also got to see Loopster Peg for a few hours so that was great. Life is good.
  10. 4 points
    Delayed write-up and post due to crappy life in the beginning of October. (Subject of another post for another day.) I love running this 5K every year. The start is less than a quarter mile from my house, it’s a certified course, there’s a lot of runners around the same speed as I am, and it supports a scholarship for a student at the local high school. I was nervous about the race, more nervous than I should have been, but I was training well for the AC marathon, and thought a PR (and possibly a sub-20) could happen, so was putting unnecessary stress on myself. In the back of my mind I thought there was a chance to place overall too. The opening ceremonies started promptly at 8 (the race at 8:30), so we woke up, took care of DD, had a good cup of coffee, and walked up to town for the ceremonies. The race is in memory of a high school student who died years ago. He was very active in the school and participated in both cross country and marching band, so the marching band takes the opening ceremonies very seriously. A very moving rendition of Amazing Grace was played, followed by the National Anthem, and then speeches were made by the student’s family. After that , there was about 15 minutes until the start, so I went for a nice warm-up run. Fall had arrived the week before, so I was expecting a warm, but cooler-than-I-trained-in weather for the race. I wore a light jacket over a tank top and shorts for the walk up, and quickly removed the jacket- best part of having a stroller – holding all the extra clothes I always wear. I planned on a mile warm-up with some strides at the end. About halfway into the mile I was pouring with sweat. Apparently, it was an incredibly humid morning. I finished my planed warm-up, and got back to DH, who was running with DD in the stroller so I could race hard, gave them both a kiss and lined up towards the front of the crowd. Several hundred high school students run, and they all want to be on the line (and all sprint the start too fast anyway), so I lined up behind a majority of them (as do all the other non-students). The starting gun sounded right on time, and all the kids not paying attention screamed and started sprinting. Happens every year and is quite funny. 😁 We took off up a slight incline and ran the straight shot to mile one – 6:26. Right on my target, but knowing the course, I knew mile 2 would be slower. Plus, I was hurting. The course is a triangle, mile 1 up one side (slight uphill), mile 2 wanders some, but is basically the hypotenuse and is more steeply uphill than mile 1, and mile 3 comes back down the other side to the point of the triangle and is a nice downhill, but a little steep in places (there is also a surprise uphill with half a mile left if you are not familiar with the course – DH was very distraught over this the first year he ran it). There’s a U-turn at 1.25, and I just barely got to see DH and DD as we made the turn off the main street to start the hypotenuse, that was a nice distraction. I found myself as 5th female, but I wasn’t going to be able to change that. We started up the biggest incline and mile 2 clicked off at 6:31 – not bad for the uphill, but my legs were done, and I was overheating (I should have been in only a sports bra, which is how I prefer to run). I reached the peak and made the turn for home. I cruised the downhill, but couldn’t pick up much speed, and the little uphill took any speed left out of my legs. Mile 3 passed by in 6:37. It’s an awesome slight downhill for the last quarter mile, so the sprint home always feels fast – the last 0.1 flew by at a 5:42 pace! Based on chip time (20:22), I was 7th woman (crossed the line in 5th though), and first in my age group- so I snagged the best race prize ever – a cupcake from the local bakery!! I am always on a quest to break 20 minutes – my unofficial (non-certified course PR is 20:12) and my previous best on a certified course was 20:31 – SOOOOOO, BRAND NEW SHINY CERTIFIED COURSE PR!!!! YAY! 😀 Maybe with cooler temperatures and less humidity with a little more 5k centered training that sub-20 will be mine! (working on it for a Turkey trot)
  11. 4 points
    I hate that saying by the way. “It is what it is” is what people say when they wNt to give a smart answer to something that really doesn’t have an answer. I sprained my ankle a few months ago while I was playing chase with my 4 year old. I jumped on the bed and barrel rolled off and slapped my ankle on the tile floor it hurt for a bit, but I didn’t give it much thought until a few days later when it started aching on my runs. That’s what it’s been ever since, an ache. I keep telling myself it will go away. I do the ankle strengthening exercises and I even took a couple of weeks off. Sometimes it keeps me up at night because it’s aching. I probably should have taken the summer off when I injured it in July, but I never really considered it until now when it’s nice out and I want to run. I just got new shoes and they help a little, but the ache is still there. I don’t know. Will I race this season? Will I run farther than 10 miles without my foot falling off. Will I ever be able to play chase with my kid without her taunting me about that time I fell off the bed? I don’t know. Time will tell. Right now it is what it is.
  12. 3 points
    The Short: It's no secret that I went to Indy with the goal of running 2:45:00 or better. I truly felt like my fitness was there, whereas before my past OTQ attempts I've always felt more comfortable with 6:20ish but tried anyway since that is so close to the 6:17 average needed. My pace plan was 6:20 for the first 10K, then 6:15 from there on, dropping lower towards the end if I was up for it - and although I never looked at my watch I averaged 6:19 for the first 10K and 6:14 from there to the half. Mother Nature dealt a brutal south wind, which we turned into around 13.5 miles of the mostly north-south course. I kept telling myself that I was strong enough to run 2:44 even with the wind, but it turns out I wasn't; I finished in a PR of 2:46:08, 68 seconds shy of what I need to be able to run in Atlanta on 2/29/20. God has different plans for me, and I know they are better than mine, but that doesn't lessen my heartbreak over this. Official results are here. My dad's finishing video is here. You can read more about my training cycle and philosophy for this race here. Final stretch The Less Short (truly long is to come, as usual): The elite field at Indy Monumental on 11/9/19 was by far the largest it had ever been, with the timing being great for runners to notch an Olympic Trials Qualifying time, recover, and rebuild towards the Trials on Leap Day 2020. The course is known for being flat and the weather cold, and this year the race had 2:45 pacers and performance bonuses for any athletes hitting the standards. For me another major draw was that it was a drive-able distance away (about 7 hours), and it fit better with my work and family schedules than other race options. While I think the California International Marathon course is faster, I figured less travel stress would even things out. During the week before the race, I talked to a few women about pacing together. I hypothesized that the 2:45 pace group would go out too fast, because pace groups almost always do, especially when you have people amped up about a very specific time standard. I wanted to start at 6:20 for the first 10K, then drop to steady 6:15s for the rest of the race. I hoped I could drop to 6:10 or under for the final 10K, but staying at 6:15 would get me under 2:45:00. My coach trained me for 6:10-6:15 goal pace, so 6:17 wasn't nearly as intimidating as it has been in the past for me. There were 4 other women who expressed interest in the "conservative start 2:45 group" as we called ourselves, and we figured we'd pick some more up along the way. I think nearly every one of the 62 women in the elite field was aiming for 2:45 or under! I'll write another post about the wonderful elite hospitality at this race. Race morning was cold - 28 degrees with a windchill of 19 at the 8 a.m. start. I'd spent most of my season worried that it would be too warm for this race, but it was cold enough I wore a full singlet, arm warmers, an ear warmer headband, and gloves for the whole race. There was also a significant south wind that increased throughout the morning. I started the race calm, confident, and ready to execute, telling myself "you are a sub-2:45 marathoner". I started with 3 of the women I planned to work with, Tawny, Sam, and Stella (we could never find our 4th, Jen, but I later learned she dropped out with a calf injury). Tawny's husband Dustin ran with us and told us every turn in advance, helping us navigate the tangents well. With the size of the event (19,000) and the half and full marathons starting together, the first 5 miles were more crowded than I'm used to, but for the most part I could stride out and keep a steady tempo. Before the race, I'd decided that I would work with my group, use the 2:45 pace group as a gauge, and run by effort. Several people told me that Garmins would be wonky for the first 6-7 miles due to the many long underpasses we ran under and the downtown buildings, so taking manual mile splits was recommended. I decided against doing so because I didn't want to mess with my watch, which was the best decision for me, but I don't have my actual mile splits because of that (only the splits from the course mats). The course had clocks at every mile marker, and while I missed a lot of the markers early on, I saw all of the important check points. The miles rolled by quickly, and I focused on staying relaxed, running the tangents, and working with those around me. Our first elite bottle station was around 10K, and I easily grabbed my Generation UCAN. I started the race with 3 gels in my shorts for peace of mind, so that even if I missed all of my bottles I'd be fine with what I had plus water from the course aid stations. Shortly after the 10K mark, the half marathoners split off and we had more room to run. Power of the pack (pacer is in orange) I can't tell you much about the course, except that it was flat. I just focused and executed. It felt like a pace I could do all day. Our group was solid and the large 2:45 pace group was 30-45 seconds ahead of us. A man running with us kept telling us at each mile marker some rendition of "we're on 2:44:30 pace", and it wasn't until mile 8-10ish that we learned he was one of the 2:45 pacers! He'd gone out more conservatively while the main group with the sign had gone out fast. We all laughed when we collectively figured it out, and I told him, "I thought you were just a very helpful guy...well, you are a very helpful guy, but you're official too!" Our second bottle station was around 20K, and I picked up my nuun energy plus a gel there. I ended up giving half of that bottle to a man running with us, because I really wasn't sweating and didn't need much fluid. Before I knew it we were at the half, in 1:22:05ish. I thought something like, "that was the easiest 1:22 half I've ever run, I feel so fresh, I bet I can run 1:21:50 for the second half and come in at 2:43!" Endorphins were flowing and the power of the pack was real. At some points my hands got numb and cold, but overall my body temperature was ideal. Halfway there The course is a large loop, starting out going north, going a bit west, then coming back south. Around mile 13.5 we turned south and into the wind. The 18+ mph headwind was tough, but I tried to draft off others and not stress about it since I couldn't do anything to change it. I was planning to take my second gel with my 30K bottle, but around mile 17 I decided I was ready for some calories and used one from my shorts pocket. Our group had slowly been both losing and picking up people, and between 17-18 it really dismantled and I never saw the 2:45 pacer who'd been with us again (the pacers were planned to run to mile 20 so I assume he stopped there). I'd been following just behind Tawny for several miles, and she looked so strong. I kept telling myself to just stay with her and we were going to do it together. At mile 18, she abruptly slowed. I went past her, encouraging her to come with me (I later learned she suffered with a lot of cramping in the final 8 miles). I felt like a million bucks at 18, and was comparing how I felt to that point in the Phoenix Marathon in my head ("only 8 miles to go - I'm doing this!"). At mile 20, I thought about how much better I felt at that point than at 20 in Grandma's Marathon, with almost exactly the same 20 mile split (2:05:3X). I felt confident that on my fourth try, I could actually do this thing. The wind was relentless, but I just kept telling myself that I was strong enough to do it anyway. Doubt creeped in at times, but I pushed it away - positive thinking is so powerful and is something I think I have down. I didn't run with anyone from 18 on; I was blowing past people who were struggling, and people who were finishing at 6:00 pace were blowing past me. I slowly sucked down the gel I'd pulled off my 30K bottle between 18-22ish, mainly for the caffeine boost and distraction. At mile 22 I told myself that there were only 3 miles left, since the last mile takes care of itself. I was feeling fatigued and started pulling out every mental trick in my play book: running the mile I was in, looking ahead and pretending a rope was pulling me towards the next person ahead of me, thinking about my dad and Jon at the finish line, thinking about how I wanted to give my dad a plane ticket to Atlanta for his birthday, remembering my whys, and thinking about what felt good instead of what hurt (my hamstrings were screaming but my calves and quads felt strong). I had Hebrews 12:1 written on my arm, and for a good portion of the final miles I just repeated "Hebrews 12:1, Hebrews 12:1, Hebrews 12:1" over and over to myself. My arm sleeves covered this, but I knew it was there I got to 23 knowing I had to keep moving. I threw every ounce of energy I had in me into fighting the wind. The long straight stretch running south to the finish was something I'd looked forward to from the course map (no turns! lock in and go!), but in reality it was the worst part of the race. I did everything I could think of to make it feel better; I pushed down my arm sleeves and pulled my ear warmer off my head. I told myself that the man passing me was 2:44:50 and I had to go with him. I tried to latch on to anyone who passed me. I used the energy of the crowd. I told myself that I was a sub-2:45 marathoner. At the mile 24 clock, I got worried. By my shaky (but distracting!) math I needed to run 6:10-6:15 for the final 2.2 to make it, and I was struggling. Before the race, I'd had grand plans to finish the final 10K at 6:05-6:10, but I didn't have it in me. The wind just ate me up, and I was too worn down to pick up my pace; instead I was slowing. People all around were yelling at the women coming by, "You can get the 2:45, but you've gotta move! You've gotta move now!" I kept trading off positions with another women I'd run much of the race with (and who is pictured below finishing steps behind me), and a man was running on the sidewalk encouraging her, "Amy, no one closes like you, you can do this!" I pretended he was talking to me and I fought to stay with her. I fought with everything I had, but when I saw the mile 25 clock I knew it would take a miracle, or a 5:45ish final 1.2 miles. I refused to give up, but all I had was a 6:43 final mile and only a 6:42 pace final 0.24 (this is how I truly know I physically gave it all - I could not pick it up at all at the end; generally we have a little extra gear because our minds are stopping us but our bodies have a little left in reserve). I passed the mile 26 clock around 2:44:50, knowing that I had only fit 26 miles into the time I needed to fit 26.2 into, and it stung so hard. I ran with all my heart for the final 0.2, although my heart was a little broken at that point. However, I crossed the line joyfully and thankfully in a PR of 2:46:08. 68 seconds away, but 66 seconds closer than I've ever been before. Clock shot The obvious is that I gained a PR from this race. I bettered my previous marathon best, which I ran in perfect weather on a net downhill course at CIM, on a flat loop course in brutal cold wind. I gained a greater appreciation for training and the every day process during this training cycle; that was the best part. I gained new friendships and bonds with amazing women. I gained the guts to go for it on an imperfect day; previously I always thought everything had to be just right to even try, but now I think I'm strong enough that things just need to be pretty good, and that's a big step. So many people told me that my race was a sub-2:45 performance, and I truly believe it was, but the USATF doesn't wind-grade times, so... Sometimes I feel like a broken record saying that I'm going to keep trying, but after my fourth try for it at Indy, I know even more that a 2:45:00 is in me. Should've adjusted the arm sleeves & headband, but was barely able to function! Stay tuned for more race details! "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. - Hebrews 12:1
  13. 3 points
    I asked Daddy-O if Ernie Pooks Running Shoes was coming back to the Gram any time soon. Well, EPRS appeared today! I have to post as agreed by contract. No Doubt. ——- I was listening to a Marathon Training Academy podcast the other day. Lots of driving of late - It’s My Life. Usually I only like the RRs but they were interviewing an author in this episode. Susan Lacke. She is a triathlete, runner, former alcoholic and smoker who is deaf. She wrote a book titled Running Outside of Your Comfort Zone after getting burned out from trying to qualify for Boston. She had become lost as a runner. She had lost her why. Fearing she was never enough. It struck a chord with me. After getting injured I wondered if my running would ever be enough. She found courage - a false sense of bravado - in the middle of the night which I could identify with: Remember The Climb at Bryce Canyon? Don’t Speak. Please just hand me my ass. Thankfully I have Cathy who is just as happy to do these crazy adventures with me! It’s like Susan Lacke wrote this book about Cathy & me! Cathy was the only one who responded with a “that looks like a Hella Good time” when I emailed everyone about the triple Trailfest. Sometimes I’m a little more Ob-la-di ob-la-da than some people can take. #sorrynotsorry Thankfully C gets me and may be just about as crazy as me. She sent me a screenshot the other day about someone wanting to run the Bryce Canyon Ultra. (She really really wants to run a 50k this year.) I replied that I was going to send her a text about doing a crazy race a month but didn’t because I am trying to be disciplined. She replied, “Goal for 2021?” I didn’t even have to Push and Shove. Damn, I love that girl. ———— After finishing the book I bought the author’s 1st book - Life is Too F*cking Short To Go That Slow. It was short. Not sure I would’ve read it if I knew the storyline. Much of it hits too close to home. But anyway one of the tag lines from it is “Don’t be a dumbass!” Well with that running through my mind I couldn’t let myself back out of my workout. I got out today in feels like 25* weather on my bridge on the Atlantic Ocean that has no wind protection. Did my 1st workout of hill repeats - 3 x ~.25 @ 8:00 pace. The whole run ended up at an 8:37 pace. All I have to say is that running in the ungodly humid and hot weather when I was Looking Hot this summer certainly seems to be paying off! —-—— I’m in the process of moving to a new town. All of my old, safe running and biking routes are gone. So far I’ve been hit by a car on my bike and stopped while running in the “safe” part of town and told that I was being watched/checked out by a very slow moving vehicle and that I need to be careful. Sigh. I just Want To Throw My Toys Around. Not going to lie. This made me super sad, but I did do the big girl thing and buy some pepper spray. The one good thing about the new town is that they have an active running group. I’m going to see if I can meet them Sunday Morning. —— My hamstring seems to be Happy Now so I boldly wrote a New training plan. Settle Down if my leg gives me issues I’ll back off, but Running is good now...like really good. Don’t Speak. I know I need to build up my base and I’ll be careful. A Hal Higdon hybrid of Intermediate and Advanced 1 marathon plans. I’ll End It on This. I’m Just A Girl living my Platinum Blonde Life. Have No Doubt.
  14. 3 points
    October 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 376.4 - a monthly mileage PR, barely! Sep. 30-Oct. 6: 88 Oct. 7-13: 91.7 - but on the Sunday through Saturday week of Oct. 6-12 I ran 100 for the first time ever! Oct. 14-20: 92.1 Oct. 21-27: 80.4 Oct. 28-Nov. 3: projected at 60 It was too cold for this! Races: Oct. 5 - Panther Run 5K as a "bonus" race that my coach added at the last minute in 17:52 for first female and my first 5K in the 17s! Winter arrived, some days Workouts: Oct. 2: 10 miles moderate (1 warm up, 1 cool down), which was slated at 5-10% slower than goal marathon pace, or 6:29-6:48. My coach noted on my schedule that I'd "win" this workout by keeping all of my miles within that range, so I won with 6:35, 6:45, 6:38, 6:46, 6:42, 6:39, 6:41, 6:47, 6:38, 6:33. My grade-adjusted paces were a little more even, because I ran a rolling route (480 ft of gain). Oct. 5: After the Panther Run 5K and as part of a 16 mile day, I had a 30 minute progression run, starting at 8:00 and finishing at 6:00. I set my watch to take half mile splits and aimed to drop 15 seconds off my pace each half mile. The half mile split paces were: 8:04, 7:30ish (I messed this one up by hitting lap and splitting it into 2), 7:19, 7:02, 6:51, 6:43, 6:34, 6:08, 5:53. I was happy to feel strong on this; when I saw it on my schedule I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it after the race! Daniel and Michael ran this with me, which was quite helpful (every other workout I ran this month was solo). Oct. 8: 10 x 1K with 1:00 recovery jog in 3:37, 3:37, 3:34, 3:33, 3:38, 3:39, 3:36, 3:38, 3:35, 3:35 (that is 5:43-5:54 pace), 3.2 warm up plus drills and strides, 2.1 cool down. My coach told me "5:50-5:55 pace and no faster", but 5:50 effort is sure different in 42 degrees than it is in 70 degrees, so I kept having to reel myself in! It looked like a long workout on paper but it went by quickly. Oct. 12: During my 24.5 miler I had 10 x 1:00 pick ups to marathon pace-ish at the beginnings of miles 12-21. My paces were: 6:03, 5:58 (decline), 6:01, 6:28 (incline), 6:17, 6:06, 6:03, 6:17, 6:36 (uphill), 6:17. I liked doing this in lieu of 24 all easy, because it broke up the run and got my legs turning over, but it was just a light stimulus so didn't leave me any more fatigued than 24 easy pace miles. Oct. 15: 10 x 4:00 at tempo/2:00 at MGP (that's 60 minutes total alternating 5:55/6:15) - I ended up with 10 miles at 6:01 average with 4:00/2:00 split paces of: 5:53, 6:11, 5:55, 6:06, 5:54, 6:04, 5:53, 6:24, 5:54, 6:11, 5:51, 6:12, 5:56, 6:09, 6:02, 6:20, 5:57, 6:24, 5:58, 6:18, 3.2 warm up, 3 cool down. The workout was technically over 11 seconds before I stopped, but I wanted to run to 10 to see what my 10 mile time was. I had no idea I was going to be so close to 10 miles in an hour; while I exceeded expectations with my paces, after seeing 6:01 average I wished I'd have run 2 seconds/mile faster! I had a much harder time finding 6:15 pace than 5:55 pace, which is evident in my splits. I know tempo effort well but marathon pace in training (especially coming off tempo pace) is something I am not good at settling into! I was pretty excited to run an unofficial 10 mile PR and 15K PR, the hard way (uneven pacing) by myself in the dark. Oct. 22: 12 x 1K with 1:00 recovery jog in 3:37, 3:37, 3:39, 3:40, 3:40, 3:42, 3:44, 3:38, 3:37, 3:39, 3:47, 3:40 (2.1 warm up, 2.5 cool down). My goal was 3:35-3:40, so 9 of the reps were on target and 3 were not, so I'd call it a mediocre day. It was windy, and at the beginning of the workout it seemed "not that bad" whereas at the end it seemed "terribly windy." I think hitting the pace early on took more out of me than it would have without the wind, making hitting it later more difficult. I took 1:00 standing recoveries instead of jogging after reps 7 and 11 to try to get back on pace. 1Ks were easier on Oct. 8! Oct. 26: 10 miles at 6:10, which ended up being 6:02 average via 6:07, 6:02, 6:04, 6:07, 6:04, 6:01, 6:00, 6:04, 6:02, 5:53 (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down). I was a little nervous for this workout, I think since it was my last long run workout before my marathon so I wanted it to go really well. I kept telling myself that 10 steady at 6:10 shouldn't be an issue since I'd done 10 at 6:01 alternating 5:55/6:15 on Oct. 15 - but in my head 6:10 is still really hard. Once I got started I felt great, and my pace kept drifting more towards 6:00. I started the workout in a short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, and gloves (it was 44*, wind chill 38*), but around mile 3 I peeled off my shirt and tossed it in the ditch - also a good skill to practice before race day at a fast pace. Around mile 6, it started raining! Cold rain is my least favorite, and luckily it was a light to moderate rain, but the portions running into the wind were pretty cold. Weather.com had told me the rain that wasn't going to start until after I finished the run - although the day before it had 90% change of rain from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., so I'm not sure why I trusted it. When I saw my average pace at mile 9 I really wanted to continue to 13.11 for an unofficial half PR, but I made myself stick to the distance my coach had given me, although I did try for that sub-6:00 final mile. Oct. 29: 6 miles with 5 at MP and 1 hard, full recovery, 4 x 800 at 5K effort with 2:00 recovery in 6:15, 6:14, 6:10, 6:08, 6:18, 5:59 / 2:55, 2:55, 2:53, 2:52 (2.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down). I felt alright on the marathon pace work, but then my legs did not want to turn over any faster. I think I could have used another easy day between the Oct. 26 workout and this one, and I mostly accomplished the workout but had to really work for it (and 5K effort was not 5K pace!). I also walked for a few minutes on my full recovery, and milked the 2:00 jogs for all I could between the 800s. On my warm up, I'd told Abby that it didn't even matter how this workout went, because my cycle had been solid, and I stand by that, although I wish mile 6 and the 800s had been a little faster and come easier! Doubles: Oct. 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, (a tiny 1.1 miler on Oct. 12 in order to hit 100 miles), 14, 17, 21, 25, 27, 31. Strength work: Weekly totals of 2:36, 1:50, 2:09, 2:25. Yoga: Weekly totals of 1:20, 1:52, 1:41, 1:37. Favorite workout: The Oct. 5 Panther Run plus progression and the Oct. 15 workouts really showed me that I'm stronger than I think I am, but Oct. 8 and Oct. 26 exceeded expectations too - so I'll just say I am feeling very blessed this month! I said "Vogue" pose & this is what happened (they are too young to understand!) It's the days of sports bra & gloves workouts! Long Runs: Oct. 5: 16 miles via 3.5 warm up, Panther Run 5K, 30 min. progression run, 5 mile cool down. This didn't feel like a 16 mile morning since it was so split up! Oct. 12: 24.5 miles (7:42) - The Big One, with some pick ups as described above. Due to some route miscalculations, I ran a half mile over the scheduled 24, and it was really hard to restrain myself from going to 25! It was 28 degrees at the start of this run, which was a bit shocking considering I hadn't done any other long runs this season in weather cool enough to even wear a shirt. Missy and Rebecca ran the first 12 miles of this with me, and then Rebecca was with me off and on for most of the remainder. I stopped to pee during mile 15 and didn't get my Garmin stopped, so my average pace was a little faster than this, but it was still an easy run - actually the slowest pace I've run a 24 miler at ever in training, but that was by design (it's taken me a week to recover from most 24s in the past, plus this was tons of time on feet). Oct. 19: 22.4 miles (7:44), with heart rate caps of 132 for the first 10 and 140 for the next 10 (then easier final 2). My HR monitor wasn't working so I went by paces that these HRs usually correspond with, with 8:00ish for the first 10 and 7:30ish for the second 10. Earlier in the week I'd tried to talk my coach into adding a 2 mile fast finish, but she said no, and when I had 2 miles left I was sure glad she'd said no! I really enjoyed this run, and Missy and Rebecca ran 16 of it with me (I did 3 from my house to our meeting spot and 3 back home after they finished), but around mile 19 I started feeling pretty out of gas. I'd been traveling for work in the 3 days before this run, returning home the evening before, and that always tires me out. I also didn't fuel very well (just water before, and one scoop of UCAN in water during), which I am sure didn't help. Oct. 26: 16.8 miles, described in workouts above. Favorite long run: The 22 on Oct. 19, because I had so much fun with my friends during that run! Missy took 3 videos and several photos of us while running. She is a good multi-tasker! Missy took this of Rebecca & me on Oct. 19 Running highlights/thoughts/randomness: I really enjoyed this podcast with Sarah Hall. She is my favorite professional runner and I am really pulling for her at the Trials in Atlanta 2020! I got podcast mentions at 1:59 here and 1:38 here. I ran my first ever 100 mile week! The weather was pretty bipolar this month - one morning I'd be in shorts and a sports bra, and the next in tights, long sleeves, gloves, and an ear warmer! On Halloween morning there were snow flurries. I got 3 new pairs of running shoes that are pink! It is so dark even at the end of our runs again... Pink power! The New Balance have a bright pink sole. Life highlights/randomness: We continued to foster the stray kitten we found last month, which we named Biscuit - she goes to her permanent home on Nov. 2. My cousin Bill visited from Colorado. We took our annual pumpkin patch visit. My birthday fell on a Saturday. Albani went to her first ever school dance - isn't 6th grade too early for these?! Halloween results in excessive amounts of sugar at our house, as per usual. Stand off on our deck So much cuteness Catching throwed rolls at Lambert's You have to take visitors from out of state to Lambert's Halloween Wars would be impressed This was in my hotel room when I was traveling for work - I was impressed Pumpkin patch fun Jon is the world's greatest farmer We all painted pumpkins Foster siblings (I wish Nugget & Bandit would do this!) Bandit We love Skip-Bo! I can barely handle this cuteness - I just wish Bandit would participate Our church's fall fest Gotham City Ready for her first school dance Books: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett Roar by Stacey Sims Theme of the month: Ready or not! My next 26.2 is right around the corner, and I am ready to run with joy the race set out for me, no matter if it takes me 2:44 or 3:44!
  15. 3 points
    After NH, I planned to hold my base and gear up for a 5K on the 9th next month. Then Connor got a job. It's with a small, non-profit in Tacoma, WA. This gives us two children in the PNW, so my secret plan to retire out that way is slowly coming together. Anyway, he starts on the 18th, and dear old Dad is helping to get him and his stuff out there, which involves me being in Louisville on the 9th. So, there went my plans for a fast 5K on the back of all that hard fought for summer training. I also have to sacrifice my string of AG wins for this race. But that's what Dad's do, right? And I love road trips, even if I don't get to stop and take in all the sights, and even if it's in the middle of November with the possibility of nasty weather looming. We do have plans to see my Dad and T-Rex on the way through ID, plus Big Mac is in Seattle, so I'll be able to see her as well. It'll be fun. Ten runs since New Hampshire. The first one was the Wednesday after. An easy three that wasn't very easy, telling me that I needed a few more days of rest. Then there were a few 4 milers that went better, with more rest and better (cooler) fall weather. I was planning 6-7 for the Saturday after that, but talking to a friend (yes, I have real life friends, too) we decided to run together and he was going 10, so we did 10. And he wanted to go early in the morning, so we started about 6:00 in the dark. I like to see where I'm going nowadays, but it was fine. I took him over the Power Road Footbridge, which has a fair amount of street lights on the way. By the time we finished, the sun was up, it was a beautiful fall morning and 10 miles of fun were behind us. Last Monday it was cold and wet, so I dreadmilled it for 4. Will I ever not hate it? On Tuesday I was still sort of hoping that Connor's schedule would let me run that 5K before driving down, so I ran 6-1/2 miles with 5 x 800 @ 7:00 pace. Felt like I was close to fitness for a 5K at that pace. Another couple of weeks and it would have been a good morning. Skipped Wednesday to help Mrs. Dave get ready for dinner guests, then did another 6-1/2 the next day. This is longer than I'd typically run on a weekday so soon after a marathon, but I don't feel like wasting the gorgeous fall weather we've been having around here. Four easy ones on Friday and then skipped Saturday because I spent most of the day getting the lawn ready for winter. By the time I was done, I didn't feel like doing anything except lay on the couch, so that's what I did for a couple of hours until the church Halloween party. This was more interesting than usual because there was a new guy who wanted to talk about running. He's got some PF and had no clue what it was. If there's one thing I know about, it's PF. Celebrated my ten year Marathon-iversary on the 16th. Ten years, twenty marathons, and one Boston. What a ride. I only wish I'd started sooner.
  16. 3 points
    I ran my first ever 100 mile week! Ironically, it wasn't exactly planned. My coach schedules my mileage Monday through Sunday, which is how I prefer it (Strava also tracks weekly mileage that way), so it was only by luck, or maybe fatigue, that it happened on a Sunday through Saturday week. You'll have to read the rest for the full explanation! You'll also notice that the little extra 0.1-0.3 I have on almost every run was an important part of accidentally hitting this milestone. Sunday 10/6/19: AM run: 10.14 miles easy effort PM run: 3.30 miles easy effort Extras: glute yoga Notes: I was scheduled to run 8 and 5 milers, but it's a long story. I almost didn't do the second run because it was optional since I'd run a longer morning session, and the weather was cool and down-pouring most of the day, but when it stopped raining around 6 p.m. I went out to finish the mileage, and I'm sure glad I did! Monday 10/7/19: AM run: 9.21 miles easy effort Extras: core workout Tuesday 10/8/19: AM run: 3.19 miles warm up, 10 x 1K with 1:00 recoveries on the road (7.26 miles total), 2.16 miles cool down. My 1K times were 3:33-3:39, or 5:43-5:54 pace. My goal pace range was 5:50-5:55/no faster, so I was in it or a tad under, but 5:50 pace sure feels different at 45 degrees than at 70! PM run: 4.21 miles easy HR < 132 Extras: post-run yoga Wednesday 10/9/19: AM run: 10.30 miles easy effort PM run: 4.20 miles easy HR < 132 Extras: full body strength workout Thursday 10/10/19: AM run: 12.25 miles easy effort Extras: yoga for tight hamstrings Friday 10/11/19: AM run: 8.14 miles easy HR < 132 Extras: Core workout, hip opening yoga Notes: My stomach was really unhappy on this run, plus we got rained on in 40 degrees, and I came very close to stopping early, at 7 miles when my friend Abby finished her run. If I learned anything from this week it's that every bit counts! Saturday 10/12/19: AM run: 24.50 miles easy effort except for 10 x 1:00 pick-ups to marathon pace at the beginnings of miles 12-21 PM run: 1.12 miles easy Extras: post-run yoga Notes: On my 24 miler (turned 24.5 due to route miscalculations!), I felt strong but not fast, and a few hours after I decided to look at my rolling 7-day mileage to see how many miles I had on my legs. When I saw it was at 98.9, I texted my coach a screenshot and asked if I could do a 1.1 mile shake out, and she said to go for it! My only regret is that I want to say I did 100 miles in a week with only 3 doubles, but technically the 1.1 miler made 4 (although I could have easily tacked 1.1 miles onto any other run this week, except for Friday's, hah). Surprisingly I felt fine on the 1.1, and then started thinking I should go 1.7 to make Saturday into a full marathon, but the appeal of the perfect round 100 won out. It would only be possible to leave this mileage alone if you'd done lots of 100 mile weeks before! I was scheduled to possibly have 100 October 14-20 (a Monday though Saturday week), but my coach wanted to see how I handled my October 15 workout before deciding for sure, so now we can truly go by how I feel instead of striving to hit a number - arriving at the starting line in Indy on November 9 healthy is faaaaaarrr more important. 24 I was very excited to hit this milestone, although it didn't feel any different than the 90-some mile weeks I've done (basically just like this 96 mile week). I used to think that I could only run a max of 40-50 miles a week without getting injured, but let this be proof that if you gradually increase mileage and have coaching guidance, you can do a lot more than you think! I've been going up by about 5 miles per week per training cycle, so about 10 miles per year. It took me 5 years to go from 50 to 100, but I did it with fewer injuries during those 5 years (two) than I sustained during any other 5 year period of my adult life. Kipchoge says that no human is limited, and although I think I have some limits, I like pushing them. I was pumped that I finished my first 100 mile week on the same day he ran a 1:59 marathon! Mind-blowing.
  17. 2 points
    I certainly hope Dave gets home to bake us all the pie we earned. He seems to have gotten lost in the PNW. *** Pie picture stolen from Dave’s FB page. It’s easy to steal when no one is home. I’m hoping he puts turkeys on for decoration.
  18. 2 points
    The short version – I thought I put in enough training, but “the wall” hit me good, and the marathon humbled me… as it should! Not super disappointed because it was my best effort for the day, and I have a lot more respect for the distance again. BQs are not easy and that's why they are magical! I will be trying again! The Atlantic City marathon is my 17th marathon, but only the 3rd that I have raced, and the first that I have raced in 10 years. I followed a Garmin-provided training plan pretty-well but missed the longest runs just because I didn’t want to give up family time for 3 hour runs. My longest training run was 16 miles and I thought I could push the final 10 miles. Spoiler alert. I was wrong. Oops. A week out, the weather looked perfect - 50-65 degrees, partly cloudy with light winds. Then Nestor formed in the Gulf. I studied the hourly forecast obsessively since Thursday. The storm was supposed to get to AC around 10am, and ramp-up the wind and rain between 11 and 12 with winds out of the ENE (a direct headwind for the final 5 miles with 4 of those miles on the exposed boardwalk). Not a good forecast for someone aiming for a 3:20-3:30 with an 8am start time, and the forecast was pretty much spot-on. Possibly dumbly, but I’ll never really know, my race strategy was to try to go slightly faster in the first half to maybe beat the increases in the wind. So, I started at the fast end of my goal time. There was not much to note at the start. Parking in the garage was easy. I found an out of the way bathroom in the casino that had no line and I got to the start with a nice 15 minutes to spare and easily made my way to the 3:20 pacer. (side note – only 50% of us starting in that area were NOT wearing the Nike shoes – maybe that’s why I missed my goal– Ha!). The weather felt pretty nice, but oddly I didn’t feel chilled at all so maybe it was warm and humid. I wore a thin t-shirt, shorts and detached sleeves, which was perfect for what happened. There was a countdown clock at the start line and the race was off exactly on time! Nice organization. My plan was to stay with the 3:20 pacer and see what happened. He went off on the fast side and our first mile was 7:18, but we settled in around 7:35s after that. It was a great group. I was happily chatting away as the first 6 miles just clicked by. I was feeling good- amazing even! DH and DD were at the 10K split cheering for me, and I waved and smiled as I passed. Life was good! We got back to the boardwalk at mile 8ish and DH and DD were there again. I separated from the group and ran over for a DD high-five and was still feeling great! We passed the finish line at mile 9ish, and slight fatigue started to creep in, but nothing too bad. Then something happened between 10-11. I got a slight side-stitch, which has been happening in some training runs too. Then I lost my place in the course. I thought we were coming up on 12, when it was only 11 – bleh. The wheels started to come off here. (I rolled my sleeves down hoping that would help – it didn’t) I decided to slow up to hopefully get rid of the side stitch, so dropped from the 7:35 miles to 8:05 for 12 and 13, which would still be good for under a 3:30. It started to drizzle. I started to hurt. Where did my awesome feeling go???? Thankfully, my Mom was cheering on the second half of the course, and she was at 14ish. I was hurting, but as a veteran marathoner, she had the sage advice to keep going you never know how you’ll feel in a few miles. She was right I slowed to 8:30s ( BQ still possible) and started to feel better from 15-20. I was trying to mentally convince myself that there was only a 10K left, and that got me through to mile 21, but then we turned into the wind, and steady rain. My Mom was awesome at getting all over the course to support me, but it wasn’t helping my physical state. My words to her at 21ish were “everything just hurts.” It did. I tried to focus on body parts that didn’t hurt, but that just pointed out how even things like my nose hurt with the wind and rain. Oddly, my muscles were feeling as good as could be expected, but all my joints hurt. The tip of my toes hurt, my feet ached, kneecaps were screaming, hips throbbing, ribs and shoulders were tight, and my nose, even the tip of my nose, had a stinging sensation. At this point my running slowed to 9:30 and that was a struggle. I knew BQ was out of the question. Finishing was going to be hard enough, and I HAD to finish so I could wear the shirt. It is a cool shirt! Haha! At 22 I was done. Completely done, and thirsty. I was drinking every water stop, but I was thirsty, which I’ve never felt before while running. I focused on running to the next water stop. Then I was going to walk and enjoy Every. Last. Drop. of the Powerade and water! I did just that! BUT oh, walking hurt too, and differently. It accentuated the hip pain but helped with the rib pain. Whatever, I had to pick up some form of run, or it would take forever to finish and I was getting cold. (I put my sleeves back up – Yay sleeves – I do love those things). So, I shuffled along at an 11:00 pace, but would get a disconcerting pain under my ribs and I was also making some horrible grunting noises. Since my time was shot already, I’d just walk every time that pain would start and pick up a shuffle when it went away. Miles 22-26 were between 10:30 and 12:45 pace. To be honest, I felt so bad, I didn’t even notice how windy and rainy it was until after I finished, so I doubt that impacted my race too much. To sum up how I felt in those last 4 miles… The 3:50 pacer passed me with 100 yards to go, right where DH and DD were cheering and said, “you can’t let me pass you now in front of the kid,” and I just yelled back, “sure I can!” and I did. BUT I still finished under 3:50 and I was 5th out of 71 in my age group and 25th woman overall, which I believe indicates the tough conditions of the day. Today, I am proudly wearing my “finisher” shirt as, even though my time wasn’t what I hoped, I am proud of my effort and that I put it all out on the course yesterday. Plus, I can say I finished a marathon in the remnants of a tropical storm! Oh, just as a kicker, today the weather is absolutely gorgeous! Race day thoughts: “I’m happy I did not qualify for Boston – I’m never racing a marathon again.” Day after race day thoughts: “This race would count as a good long training run…I wonder what local marathons there are at the end of November? Maybe I could run Philly better…” Contemplating it at least! 😊 Lessons learned: Marathons are a special form of hard and you can’t underestimate them. Only racing a marathon can show you what racing a marathon is like (kind of like only childbirth can prepare you for what childbirth is like– and that is the only comparison that can be made between those two things). I don’t think a perfectly flat course worked for me. The only inclines were before mile 5 and I think the complete flatness contributed to the joint pain. There was no variation on what was being impacted with EVERY step. Don’t wear shoes that do not fit perfectly – duh – stupid rookie mistake for someone that is not a rookie. Practice fueling – my fueling while running was pretty much non-existent, which probably contributed to that wall-smack. Not what I hoped for, nor what I expected, but a finished marathon is a good marathon (since although in some pain today, I believe nothing is injured)!
  19. 2 points
    In June of 2012 I began my life changing journey of running. I was drawn into it after going cheer on my daughter as she was running her first half marathon. I did not get to see her train as she lived some 45 miles away and did not get to discuss running with her as she is somewhat of a person who keeps things to herself. Somehow she and her mother talked me into signing up for a 2013 January half marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida. I just think they wanted a winter vacation. With my little girl living away I did my running basically on my own, mostly alone and out by myself. The race day events in Florida came and I finished, my daughter finished and we all had a memorable week in the sunshine. As my running continued, my daughter’s running slowed to just doing 2 or 3 more races, and those were made difficult from injuries before ending all together. Meanwhile I kept on going for several more years, 8 more half marathons and numerous 5K and 10K events. During this time my training and normal running was done on my own and out on the roads by myself. Even my latest half marathon ( Note I did not say my last) became a virtual half marathon, which I had to also run alone. Sure I did run a lot of the winters inside on a track where others would run for 10 or 15 minutes and the elderly would stroll around for a bit, but still I was mostly running alone. On race days, I was not racing, but running to do just a bit better than the last time I raced. Even though I was with hundreds of other runners who where there for similar reasons, I was basically running alone. I think that running alone has been the hardest part of this whole running game. Today my running future is in question as to how much I will be able to do and how far I can run as my body is fighting me all the way. The near future for me just may be limited to short evening walks with the hope of one long weekend morning outing. This will all depend on what my Rheumatologist will tell me next month. Sadly it looks like I will be taking these future walks alone as my wonderful wife has a different exercise and work day schedule than I do. Oh well, I have come this far by being mostly out on my own with my thoughts, I suppose I can do it for a few more years. Hopefully one day, when I retire, I will have someone to walk along with me for many more years and not be doing it alone.
  20. 2 points
    My friend Cathy and I have been talking about doing the Grand Circle Trailfest for almost 2.5 years. The Grand Circle Trailfest is 3 days of racing roughly a half marathon each day. Each day you run just outside of a National Park -- Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon (Horseshoe Bend). Three years ago I sent Cathy the promo video for this race and she was excited as I was! We were all set to sign up and then I had the whole hamstring tear. Fast forward 2 years and I told her I felt I was ready to do this. At some point this past winter/spring I was at her house (in CT). We realized from a logisitics point we would have to fly to Las Vegas on Tuesday to pick up our bibs on Wednesday to run the races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Does it make sense to go to work on only Monday?? I tossed out the idea to Cathy about leaving on Sunday and flying to Los Angeles for a quick trip to California. A quick text to Bangle and suddenly we had great Pacific Coast accommodations. Now all we had to do was train for 3 back to back to back half marathons that were at 4500-8000' elevation .... at 11' sea level! 😳 And then Cathy fell down her stairs and messed up her knee 2 months before race day. And then I got hit by a car while stopped at a red light on my bike 8 days before race day. I think the driver looked left to make a right on red and just rolled right into the back of me. All I know is that I felt my bike being pushed so I turned around and there was a minivan running into me. The next thing I know I'm laying in the middle of the street slowly being pushed forward as my top lip is dragging against the pavement. Thank God the driver jammed on the brakes when he heard me yell. He was horrified and kept stammering on about how he could've killed me and that he would pay for my bike. I had to calm him down. Did an overall scan of my body -- bleeding lip and one severely jacked up pointer finger. Phew! I can still run Trailfest!Priorities! In the next few days I would find the handlebar had gone into my left hip and I had a bruise on my right thigh and knee from the crossbar and pavement. Could've been so much worse. Cathy and I flew into LA on Sunday morning. Had a great lunch with a view of the Pacific Ocean, watched some football with Bangle and had a fun dinner prepared by Mrs. Bangle. The next day Cathy and I drove up to Santa Monica, found the original Muscle Beach where Cathy convinced me to climb the rope and enjoyed the sunshine and sea breezes. BTW Don't climb a rope with sandals. You end up with rope burn on the top of your foot. Bangle took us on a driving/hiking tour of his hilly running route. The next day Cathy and I headed via airplane to Las Vegas so we could pick up our sweet ride to drive to Kanab, Utah (the Trailfest headquarters). We nicknamed the Jeep -- Prince Barney. We tried to hike out to a slot canyon on Wednesday but gave up after 1.7 miles of crazy sand. (3.4 miles round trip) We did a self guided driving tour instead. We woke up bright and early on Thursday to drive to Bryce Canyon. It was FREEZING! 23*!! Thankfully Trailfest has bag drop at the start of all races so we had warm clothes that we shed right before the race start. Immediately the race started out on a slight uphill. Within 15 seconds my heart was beating out of my chest because of the 8000' elevation. I came to a stop and said to Cathy gotta walk, sorry. It got better as we went. I could cruise all of the downhills with a little pitter patter run and then run up a part of the uphill and then switched over to a walk. The view at the top of the first climb was stunning. Bryce is known for these rock formations called hoodoos. Honestly the first day Cathy and I just kept taking picture after picture. We were given a challenge by the RD to take a jumping picture. Challenge accepted! There was some really amazing ridge running. After the aid station there was a crazy zigzag climb up the side of the mountain. It just kept going. Every uphill climb I pushed really hard. It was fun! Cathy and I stayed together until mile 11. She kept telling me to go so on a downhill section I just kept my pitter pattering little feet moving. We had to run through a very rocky, wide, dry river bed to finish. It was pretty uncomfortable. I ran/walked into the finish at a pretty good clip. My finish time was 4:15 with all of the photo taking. 13.90 miles with 1900 feet of climbing. Immediately at the end of the finish I felt horrible! I'm still not sure if I had elevation sickness or caffeine withdrawal (no coffee in the morning). I ended up getting sick on the side of the road. It took a good 3 hours before I felt semi-ok. We drove the scenic drive through Bryce after the race. Indescribably beautiful. My pictures do not do it justice. The next morning I stretched and rolled and felt pretty good. We headed off for a trail just outside of Zion National Park. The first 3 miles there was a nice downhill that got your legs warmed up. The elevation was only 4500-5000'. Oh so much better! Our view on the road: After an aid station at 3.2 miles we headed off onto the canyon rim. The views were beautiful and so different from the day before! Today's RD challenge was to hula hoop on the rim. I didn't see the hula hoops so I stuck with jumping. One lady told me I was crazy because I was so close to the edge. I'm assuming she meant crazy awesome! At around mile 6 Cathy told me to go. Her knee was really bothering her. After making a friend and getting them to take my picture I headed out solo to finish the race. While not as scenic as Bryce I absolutely loved, loved, loved the middle section of this race! I could have run there all day long! Soft dirt and sliprock (which isn't slippery) everywhere. I must've passed 50 - 100 runners. The climb up out of the canyon on the dirt road was a grind. I played frogger. I ran on the flats and slight downhills and caught so many people just walking. I'd eye someone walking the uphill and run until I passed them. 13.85 in 3:13 with 1500’ feet of climbing. Cathy looked super strong running into the finish! We decided to refuel at a great little outdoor cafe before heading into Zion. Hands down the best food we ate. (MeMe's Cafe) If you have never been to Zion National Park GO!!!!! It is outstanding, amazing, fantastic, stupendous! On the way out of the park we stopped to see a buffalo/bison that was hanging out with a person. Apparently his mom died so humans had to raise him. On our 3rd and final day I was mixed with sadness that it was our final day and fright (my quads were barely functioning!) The course we ran was on a Navajo Indian reservation in Page, AZ. We look sleepy but ready to go. Within 3/4 of a mile we came up to Horeshoe Bend! It was just beautiful! But in the shade it was absolutely freezing! I was worried about cutoffs. We had to make it to the aid station by 10 am so we quickly got on our way. As you can see the course was not super friendly to very tired runner legs. It was a combination of red sliprock that had a very rough surface and sand. I pushed Cathy so we could make the cutoff. I know she probably had several choice words for me, but I knew she didn't want to miss the cutoff and I wanted to finish together. I The views along the Colorado River were stupendous! Bouldering/ rock scramble climb: We finally made it to the aid station and were able to continue on. (The shuttles in the morning were delayed -- as they were the 1st day -- so the cut off time was extended.) Immediately after the aid station we descended down into the Waterholes Slot Canyon. The slot canyon was beautiful! Went from wide to narrow. When the sunlight shown down and hit the rock it was fantastic! We climbed back up out of the slot canyon and had about 3 miles left....in the sand on (what I would call) a fire road. It was hard! But oh so beautiful! I did not want the epic trip to be over, but the sand made me want it over! Lol. Yes, this is a climb up a sand dune! No matter how hard I tried to capture the beautiful colors in the distance I could not do it. It was like a pastel painting. Cathy and I decided to run 30 seconds and walk 30 seconds for the last mile and a half. It would cut down on the time we were in misery! Hah! A fellow runner asked if he could hop on our Conga line and we said sure! 11.25 miles in 4:02 with 1300’ of climbing. Our plan was to head into the Garnd Canyon but we were much farther away from the rim than expected. We ended up taking Prince Barney on some dirt roads near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We Thelma and Louise-d around on those roads seeing how fast we could go! It was hilarious! That night we went for our last dinner at the Iron Horse (ate ther 3 times because it was convenient). If you saw us trying to walk/run across the street you would have died laughing! The next day we had booked a tour guide to take us to White Pocket, Wire Mesa (slot canyon) Trail and a quick trip to see the Paria. Quintessential mid-west picture: White Pocket: Because I hadn't climbed enough in the past 3 days! Wire Mesa Slot Canyon: Petroglyphs in the Canyon: Bee hives: Paria (type of mountain): After our tour it was time to head for the airport in Las Vegas. I took Cathy on a quick drive down the Strip and then it was wheel up. It was hands down one of the best experiences I've ever had! My tips for doing a trip like this would be to go someone who has the same idea about the vacation as you. Are you racing the races? Are you there for the scenery? After the race are you going to want to sleep or are you going to go sight seeing? Cathy and I had pretty much discussed all of this beforehand and I couldn't have imagined doing it with anyone else!
  21. 2 points
    It's been 3 months since I've posted on here. Since then I trained for a marathon. And I didn't get hurt. But it was summer (so, a little warmer than usual around here). And I wasn't really motivated. Because you see, it was a trail marathon. So when I didn't really get enough miles in, I shrugged and said, eh, no matter. It's just a fun run in the woods. Time will be ridiculously slow anyway, so, whatever. So I enjoyed running and didn't push it when it got hard, and (not coincidentally) stayed healthy and happy. I maxed out at 17.5 miles and 42 mile weeks. The race was the Skyline to the Sea Marathon. It starts at the top of the hills outside San Jose and runs mostly downhill to the ocean near Santa Cruz. It's all trails, mostly single track, and all shady and beautiful through a redwood forest. I'd been wanting to run this one for years, but needed the right motivation. It came when Mild Sauce agreed to meet me there and accompany me on this little run through the woods. So I found myself in another part of the world, and I found myself behind the wheel of a large automobile, and I found myself on a beautiful trail, with a beautiful girl, and I asked myself, well, how did I get here? It was a seven hour drive, that's how. Got to Santa Cruz Friday night and scouted the local establishments. Found one up to the Sauce's standards. So we had a couple beers Friday. Saturday was open so we explored the area with a long cliffside hike. Then of course we had to ride the circa 1924 Giant Dipper. A must for any Santa Cruz visit. Sunday was race day. We had to ride the bus over an hour to get to the start. The bus driver took the loooong way around and up the hill, but we managed to arrive in time to pee and get our bibs. Then the race director talked to us in the parking lot and pretty soon said 3-2-1-go! We were still a jumbled mass in the lot and casually headed over to the trail. There were only 130 people, but the race got to the trail in 50 yards so it was a little crowded, but amazingly most of the fast and slow people were in the right place so it worked out pretty well. It started out with a pretty steep downhill and I was full of energy so I may have gone out too fast. Saucy said so anyway. What do I know about trail running? I felt easy and was enjoying cruising along with a group at a pace that seemed effortless (about 9:00). But of course with an expected five hours ahead of us, I probably should have backed off. Same as it ever was. But it was fun. And beautiful! The course did not disappoint! Huge trees, narrow trails with rocks and roots, bubbling streams, water flowing underground... Here are some shots from the website. So I cruised along. Saucy stayed nearby and by the time we reached the first aid station at 6 miles we had separated from the others and were mostly just running alone, the two of us. The shade kept it cool, despite temps near 80 in the area. The next section was mostly uphill for 4 miles and we did lots of walking. Then it would be mostly down the rest of the way. But, boy, those downhills were getting to my quads! Not just the steady decline, but stepping down over roots and rocks constantly was even more jarring. Sauce led the way most of the rest of the way, and I was working to keep up. Although she stopped and walked whenever I asked, I still felt the pressure to keep going, because it was a race, after all! I had a goal to break 5 hours, because, why not? And it seemed like it would not be easy. Gotta keep pushing! We hit half way in right around 2.5 hours. But mostly downhill now, right? Well, yes, but, those quads... We got to an aid station at 15 and I was spent. And then there was more uphill... My God! What have I done! Well, no matter. It's just a fun day in the woods, right? We walked and talked. When we reached downhill I ran, but it was steep, and my legs were not functioning properly. I tripped about ten times but never went down. But the later it got, the more nervous I was about it, so I slowed over the hard steps, just putting more pressure on my quads. I was getting more tired and between the shadows and my bleary eyes I knew I was one step away from disaster. And there were some steep drop-offs close to the trails' edge! But I persisted. At one point about 17 I slipped on a rock and landed on my butt and felt dizzy, so Sauce gave me her stashed rice krispy bar. Apparently I wasn't fueling properly. Me! Shocking! I never eat enough. It helped. But after that there was even more walking. Oh well, walk in the park. Enjoyed the beauty. At about 20 we reached a wider trail that was groomed. Basically a dirt road. So I was able to settle into a shuffle that didn't tax my legs as much and we started making better progress. That lasted 3-4 miles until the last aid station where they said the last 2 miles were mostly uphill and sunny. Ugh. But we were going to make it. Had to walk the ups, but then we finally heard the finish line cheers, and cruised down a steep hill (OW!!) and to the finish at last. 5 hours and 15 minutes of fun. Would have been good for a 3rd place age-group medal last year, but only 5th this year. Darn ten-year categories. All the winners were at least 5 years younger than me. But the finisher medal and shirt were quite cool. The post-race spread was NOT impressive, sadly, but we went out later for pizza and beer to celebrate. My legs were thrashed, but I never fell, and I had a fun time with a buddy cruising through a beautiful place. I can check trail marathon off the list. Now I'm recovered and I have a 5K, a 3 mile turkey trot, and a 10K on the calendar in the next 4 months. Next long one is a half in Atlanta 3/1. No more marathons until next Fall (Chicago is the plan, lottery permitting). Meanwhile I'm going back to enjoying my runs with my local group and running for fun.
  22. 2 points
    Still deciding which was harder. Didn't do the Baconator Awards last winter. I suppose they'd run their course and it was time to move on. As for myself, I wasn't anxious to repeat the previous winter's torn meniscus so I skipped doing any runs that might have been bacon-worthy. I'll probably do the same this year. Since I bought that dreadmill for Mrs. Dave, she hasn't used it, despite getting all the way through a Couch-to-5-K program over the summer. Not that there was any "anti-D" pressure from me. Really. With the New Hampshire Marathon on Saturday, our travel plans had us leaving Thursday afternoon, as soon as I could get home from a half day at work. So, Wednesday's intervals would be my last before race day. It was wet. Rain. Cool. Not "almost snowing and totally miserable" rain and cool, but you know what? I don't have anything to prove. I can run whenever, wherever and however I want. I've run in all kinds of conditions and will do so again, when I feel like it. This week, I didn't. That's how Wednesday's intervals also became my very first treadmill intervals. As part of the family room decor, it sits in a corner facing a blank wall. Not much of a view. But I can mount an iPad if I want to watch something. I've been listening to a Daniel Silva book, so I blue toothed my phone to a speaker and listened while I ran. Not sure I trust this thing 100%, either, but I used the numbers that were there. Easy jog for 1.5, then 2 x 1.5 @ 7:30 pace. The run was good. The book (House of Spies) is excellent. We drove through Ontario and stopped for the night in Syracuse at a Tru hotel. I'd only seen a couple of things about this place, but they're by Hilton, and new, so we figured it'd at least be clean. I walked in the front door and my first thought was, "Disney!" They were missing Mickey and all the other characters, but the layout and color scheme was exactly what I'd expect to see in the Magic Kingdom. Mrs. Dave had gone ahead while I parked the car, and when I opened the door to the room, she said, "Disney!" But, it was new, clean, nice and had the normal sort of hotel breakfast in the morning. We'd stay there again. It was five and a half more hours to our hotel for the next night, in Tilton, NH, about 20 miles south of Bristol. Once you get to Albany, you leave the interstate and it's smaller roads most of the rest of the way. Driving through the Green Mountain National Forest was fun. The colors at the higher altitude were amazing. I'd have taken pictures but I was driving. We listened to the new Malcolm Gladwell book, Talking to Strangers. Highly recommend all of his stuff. Makes you think differently about your whole life and the world we live in. After we checked into the hotel (Super 8 - quite a bit older than the Tru, but good enough and the most reasonable place within 50 miles) we drove the 20 miles to check out the course, pick up my bib and eat. If you're into big city marathons, this isn't for you. There were 160 finishers this year. The "expo" is in the basement of the local middle school and isn't an expo at all. They have registration tables, shirts and generic bibs from RoadID (not even the name of the race on them). That's it. But the volunteers are all friendly and know what they're doing. There were some travel mugs fr swag, but I don't need a travel mug. We drove the course, which reminded me of how tough things were going to be. This is not an easy marathon (if any of them are easy). The elevation change from the start to the highest point is only 286 feet, but almost none of it is flat. 1,100 feet total, some of it really steep. I'd looked at a pacing plan from findmymarathon.com, but it was too complicated. On top of that, I've made no secret of the fact that this summer has really messed with my head as far as training goes. The early October race date meant no 3-4 weeks of cooler fall weather to give me confidence at then end of all the miles. Race day weather was going to be perfect - 40o at the 9:00 AM start and 60o at the finish, with lots of shade. I had no idea what kind of effort I could sustain over 26 miles. I'd 2, maybe 3 runs in decent conditions. So, I decided to run on effort - I've done a few marathons before, so I think I know what "too fast" is by now, since I most often start out exactly like that - and see what happened when I got to the top of the hill at the half. A good plan if I could execute it. I will also say that if you're looking for a beautiful time and place to run a marathon, Bristol, NH in early October should be near the top of your list. We paid the $8 each for the pasta dinner, sponsored by the local Masons. I'm not one myself, but despite all the conspiracy theory based books I've read and History Channel specials, I have no issues with them. This group seemed pretty harmless and they put together a nice spread of spaghetti and 15-20 different sauces, plus bread and salad, with cookies and cake for dessert. We talked to a few of the other runners and then went back to Tilton for the night. Tried to go to bed early, but couldn't sleep. So I did an extra crossword and finally turned off the lights at 11:00. Then I spent the next four hours tossing and turning - I assume from nerves, no matter how I tried to convinced myself that I've done this too many times to be anxious about running a marathon, I couldn't get more than a few minutes of dozing at a time. Seriously, what was wrong with me? I did manage to stay in bed until 6:30, so even though it wasn't a good night's sleep, I was at least physically rested. I hoped, anyway. Bagel with PB and a banana for breakfast, then off to Bristol. As forecast, the sky was clear, there was a gentle breeze and it was just under 40 degrees. Cool. With Mrs. Dave as my private gear checker, I stripped down to just my shorts and t-shirt and waited for the nation anthem to finish. There was one guy in a catsup bottle costume. I hate costumed runners because they always seem to beat me. There was a banana guy at New York and for the first 8 miles all I heard was, "Go, Banana!" Then he dropped me and I felt annoyed for 18 miles. They had B-tags for timing, but no starting map, so timing was based on the starting gun. Not really an issue with 160 marathoners. There was also a 10K that started with us, but there was no crowding and I never had to weave around anyone. And the 10Kers turned around at 3.1, so things got really spread out after that. Mile by mile: Mile 1. 76 feet of climb. 8:48. Running through a small New England town for a half mile and then you're pretty much in the country. No pressure. Easy to start. Don't get excited. Don't work. Also, no cheering crowds except for the few volunteers at the two intersections we passed. Mile 2. 87 feet of climb. 8:44. What looked like a 10 year old brother and sister pair about 30-40 yards ahead made me think for a second I should be going faster, but then I remembered my normal crash and burn marathons and stayed with the easy effort. We hadn't gotten to the hard part yet. The first few miles are supposed to be easy. Mile 3. 51 feet down followed by 81 up, then 50 more down. 9:00. This was a pattern I'd see a lot. 7:30 pace on the down, but close to 10:00 going up. Newfound Lake to my left was beautiful in the morning sun. The wind from it was pretty chilly, but not enough to make me regret leaving the gloves with Mrs. Dave. The 10K leaders were heading back our way. They were pretty spread out, too (only 99 runners). The first woman was in 3rd place overall (she ended up 5th OA). Impressive. Mile 4. 89 feet up. 9:15. I was pretty glad to see the end of that first 4 mile long sustained climb. I had my eye on a couple of guys in front of me, but it was too hard and way too early to try catching them. Maybe I'd have something left in the tank for the second half. Mile 5. 90 feet down. 8:24. Hammer Gel #1. There must have been someone behind me also named Dave, because there was a SUV with 3-4 people all shouting, "Go, Dave!" I didn't have my name on my bib or my shirt and I didn't recognize any of them. They leap-frogged around the whole course, yelling for Dave. Eventually, I'd still see them but they were waiting instead of cheering, so I must have left the other Dave behind. Mile 6. 8 up, zero down. 8:51. I think I was a little disappointed with that. I knew I hadn't done nearly enough hill work over the summer, since hills are sort of hard to come by in L-town, but I had hoped to get farther than Mile 5 before I felt it in my quads this much. But I also remembered that my plan was ultra conservative on the front end, so this mile was really still a recovery from the first 4. I've learned that this is WAY too early for me to push the pace, even if I don't like it. Mile 7. Up 12 and down 9. 8:40. Did I mention that the road was open? Not much traffic and not many runners. No need, really. One of the two guys I'd been following had come back to me. He walked through the water table at Mile 6 and stayed with me for just the next half mile or so. Mile 8. Up 21, no down. 9:08. The other guy I'd been following made a pit stop in Mile 8 and I went past him. I knew there was a big hill coming near the end of this mile. Mile 9. 110 feet climbing, 122 feet falling. 9:23. The hill at the end of Mile 8 and the beginning of 9 was pretty nasty, but Mrs. Dave had driven around and was cheering there. She'd also apparently recruited the course volunteers to cheer with her, because the whole group was yelling for me. One of those downs that doesn't feel good, either. One where you have to spend more energy trying to slow down and not fall flat on your face. Pit stop guy caught back up to me as we made a sharp left and fell off the edge of the cliff. We ran together for just a little bit. Enough to find out he was there with his wife and they were from Florida. He was having as much trouble with the hills as I was. He thought maybe he'd have to drop back and run with his wife later. I lost him on the next big hill, which came immediately after reached the bottom of that one. He was about 6'3-4" with really long legs. When I slowed to maintain my effort level (that turned out to be barely a fast walk by the top), I lost him. Mile 10. 129 up and 119 down. 10:27. I've run 10 and a half minutes miles in marathons before, usually most of the last 6-10 miles because I've gone out faster than I should have. Mile 10 was a new thing. Made me reconsider my life choices. There's always some point in a race where I wonder if I'm really cut out for this marathon thing. At least this time I had a legitimate outside reason for it. This was the steepest and highest climb of the day. I ran until it didn't seem wise to do that, then I speed walked until that was too much, then had a final stretch of power walking to the crest. Holy moly, I was so happy to have that done. Mile 11. 25 up, 31 down. 8:45. This restored my self esteem. 8:45 was pretty close to what I had wanted to do for the first half of the race anyway, and being able to do this after the first 10 was reassuring. If we thought Bristol was small, Mile 11 ended in the town of Hebron (pop. 602 if you include East Hebron). Mrs. Dave had made it there and I got another little boost. She's an incredibly enthusiastic cheerleader. Mile 12. Up 46, down 49. 8:47. With a pair of reasonably flat miles together, it seemed like I might finally get into a little groove. Mile 11 started a 6 mile out and back section that included the half way point. Saw the leaders start coming back, so they were about 5 miles ahead of me. There were a few quiet shouts of encouragement back and forth along this part, but most people seemed to be feeling like I was - not much energy to make any noise. A slight nod, a barely audible, "Good job," was the most we could manage. Mile 13. Up 30, down 12. 8:43. Groove gotten into. I mis-remembered where the turnaround was, though. I thought it was right after the half (no mat or sign or anything, btw), but it wasn't. This was good news and bad news. Good news in that after I got to the final climb at the turnaround, there would only be 12 miles to go instead of 13 and also that I had 3 solid miles of not climbing very much. The bad news was that I had another 100+ foot climb before I could turn around for those last 12. Mile 14. 19 feet descending, 112 feet ascending. 9:41. With no marker for the half, I glanced at my watch (I really need a name for this thing) and saw I was at just a few seconds over 1:58. Not exactly on target, but if I could make it through this last pull, I had an outside chance at my A goal (BQ of course), and a solid shot at B (sub-4). So I worked a little more than on some of the others, although there was a short section near the top where I had to go to the speed walk. I was still feeling pretty good, and figured if the worst I did was 9:41 the rest of the way, it would be a good day. I was not going to do the math, though. Mile 15. 18 up and 107 down. 8:08. If only I could do that for the next 12 miles. Sadly, while the bulk of the ups were over, there were still a few nasty little climbs to go, and no more triple digit descents. Maybe one day I'll do one of those Revel runs that drop a few thousand feet from start to finish. It was also nice to see that there were people behind me. I wasn't DFL! Just kidding. I was working hard enough, but really felt pretty good for 15 miles into a marathon. And I was running downhill mostly and that was awesome. Mile 16. 13 up and 42 down. 8:34. I will admit I was a little disappointed that this mile wasn't closer to 8:00, but that was just the mileage talking. While the weather was perfect for a marathon (still sunny and beautiful and in the 40's at that point) and I'd had a good summer of work, I wasn't ready for all those hills. Even if it was downhill the rest of the way, the next 10 miles were going to take all I had. Mile 17. 58 feet climbing, 46 falling. 9:00. Those 58 feet came all in a really, really short distance and took all the wind I'd gathered in the previous 2 miles out of my sails. Still, it could have been worse. And 9:00 miles were certain to keep me under 4 hours. Came back through Hebron and got more cheers from Mrs. Dave, et. al. I'd been thinking about making a pit stop for a few miles, but it hadn't reached the point of urgency (all gas), so I kept skipping the POPs, including this one. But I did have to think about where the next one might be, and that was distracting. Mile 18. 74 feet climbing, 49 going down. 10:02. This was a stretch of 2 miles with the hardest hills since the half. And Mile 18 is a terrible time for a serious climb. I seem to remember the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon having it's most serious climb at about Mile 18. That was an awful race. I hadn't planned on needing to drop to the walk strategy up this one, but it was a lot steeper than I'd expected. A woman who'd been in my running neighborhood for a fair amount of the race came up behind me going up one of the hills. I'd catcher her going down, but when I slowed on the next one, she'd power up and pass me again. Mile 19. 51 feet up, 36 down. 9:32. One. More. Hill. That wasn't entirely the case but there was a drop down to the lake shore and things were pretty flat for the next four miles. Running right next to the lake I spent most of my time looking at the water - so clear and clean - and wondering if it was too cold for me to swim. At least, plunge my head in it fr a few seconds. It wasn't hot at all, but who's brain is coherent at Mile 19? Not this guy. Interesting about this small race, the water/Gatorade cups weren't all the same. Some of them were styrofoam, which you don't see a lot anymore. Of course the problem with styrofoam cups is that they don't smash like you need them to in order to drink while running without it all going up your nose and over your face. So I walked for a few steps to get some G into me and dowse my head with water. Mile 20. 11 up, 61 down. 9:11. This was also about where the Wall was. I didn't hit it too hard, but things were becoming a real struggle and would be for the next few miles. Normal. Mrs. Dave had started passing me on the road and stopping to give me some more cheer and takes pics. It was more than awesome to have her there every few miles with a smile and a yell. I'd brought my phone in my SPIBelt since they didn't have tracking and we weren't sure about vehicle access to the course, and here I decided it was bothering me, so I tossed it in the car. Mile 21. 2 up, 10 down. 9:53. Those are Marshall elevation numbers. This would have been a sub-9, but the urge pee I'd had for most of the race had finally reached the don't-ignore-me-anymore stage, so I grabbed the water/Gatorade combo like at the last table then ducked into the genteelly labeled "Marathon Restroom." LOL. So I lost a minute there, and when I came out I found my long legged pit stop friend from Miles 8-9. He was solo, so I guess he was still feeling OK. I pulled up even with him but he dropped off again pretty quickly. I saw my other friend from Mile 18 ahead, but I couldn't close the gap on her. Mile 22. 0 and 4! 😯 9:04. This may have been the toughest mile of the day. Totally flat for once and I just couldn't make my legs go any faster. They let runners who didn't think they could meet the 5-1/2 hour cutoff start early and there was a girl with two guys I'd seen coming back ahead of me on the out and back section who were obviously part of that crowd. They were having a great time, though - walking and running whenever they felt like one or the other. Who knows what they had in their "hydration flasks". Mile 23. 41 up and 29 down. 9:31. Another stupid hill. Passed another guy from earlier in the race with about 5K to go. I offered to have home come in with me but he was hurting too much. There were a few more ahead of me and if I could stay with it, I thought I had a chance to catch a couple. That's always good motivation when your legs are dead and everything hurts. The watch had me at 3:29. Not enough time for that BQ (unless I could run 3 miles at 7:00 pace - ha!), but sub-4 was pretty secure. Mile 24. No climbs and 10 feet of drop. 8:40. The drop came right at the end of the mile and just before the start of the (finally!) last hill. Mile 25. 39 for the final climb and 73 down into town. 8:48. This thing was pretty mild compared to the rest of the day's work, but it was another of those short and steep ones that had me speed walking the last bit. This time, though it wasn't as part of my strategy. I just couldn't keep a running pace. But I did manage to pass a woman with pigtails right at the top of it. There were two more ahead I could see. One was the woman who dropped me up the hills earlier (I recognized her red backpack in the distance) and another in black who'd passed me up one of the steep hills in Mile 9 or 10. Maybe. Remember the first few miles that were all uphill? We were back on that same road going the other way, so the course really gave it back when we needed it. Mile 26. No up. 88 down. 8:10. That "no up" is according to the Garmin numbers, but I'll tell you the truth that there was a little bump right at 26 - maybe 30 feet? We went up a cross street to finish in the school's athletic field. That final little insult let me pass that one more woman. Mile 26.2. 20 feet, all down, including a crazyass drop from the street into the parking lot. 7:02 pace. I could hear Mrs. Dave well before I could see her. Have I mentioned how awesome she is? The clock still had "3" at the beginning. Forgot about pictures and was totally looking down at my watch (need a name!) when I crossed the line in 3:56:40. Mrs. Dave reminded me that I haven't broken 4 hours since Marshall. FIVE YEARS AGO! And there's no comparison between the two courses. If I'd chosen a different course, the 2021 BQ ticket would have no doubt been punched. So I'll take the sub-4 and the moral victory, and plan another assault for next autumn. This was a fine marathon. Small of course, and all the things that come (and don't come) with that. Lots of elevation changes, so don't come here if you're looking for an easy race. Accommodations might be an issue, but that can be worked around with a little creativity and flexibility. It's a summer tourist area just a couple of hours north of Boston, so there are plenty of options, especially since the summer is over. Now for some pics. Flat Dave ready. It was pretty chilly at the starting line. There's pigtail woman. Didn't know I'd be seeing her again at the end. There's tall pitstop guy. Cruising and feeling pretty good. That lake was gorgeous. Did I mention my 2nd Place in the 60-69 AG? Guy in the yellow hat was 1st in 3:42.
  23. 1 point
    Total mileage: 76.0Not as high as I had hoped it would be. Had a few days where I just wasn't feeling great, and I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity, so some days became easy days or running for time days, which always means I lose some mileage. The silver lining is I hit a beautifully round number without even trying!I'm putting a hold on marathon training. Still planning on doing a half marathon that I signed up for in mid-October, but there's enough flux in life right now that being able to have the mental capacity to do the 16-20 mile runs just isn't there. I'm okay with it. If I'm being honest, I wasn't that excited about the course of the marathon I had chosen and I'd rather put in the effort for something that I think I will thoroughly enjoy. My first marathon (and only so far) was such an amazing experience from start to finish that I can hardly see improving on the entire marathon experience. I had a fantastic one, I know I'm capable of putting up an improved time, and yet I'm okay if I never prove that.Favorite workout: a 45-min guided Peloton outdoor run, with 13 minutes of warmup, followed by a 8-9-8 minutes at marathon pace, with 3 minute recoveries in between. I did this workout on a hilly section of trail that is near my house and was really pleased with how my splits turned out, given the hills. When I run on these long rolling hills, I aim mostly for an even effort, as opposed to even pace, and that works really well for me. It's also the strategy that I've employed over my last few PR'd races.Splits: 10:34 (downhill), 11:23 (uphill), 11:13 (uphill)Marathon goal pace is 10:38Favorite long run: a 10-miler in which I listened to several episodes of the LA Times' Dirty John podcast. I now understand why everyone was obsessed with it and why they made a mini-series on it. Completely fascinating. I binged the entire podcast in about a day and a half, and had to Google the story before I finished because I just had to know how it worked out. Highly recommended if you haven't listened to it and enjoy Dateline-type stories.Oh, and the run was fine, too. A bit slower than I would have preferred, but legs and MJ felt good.In life news, I had a leadership training at home, while my husband got to fly to Amsterdam for a work conference. On the surface, it hardly felt fair until he reminded me that he flew 30 hours round trip for a 36 hour stay. My commute was definitely better.Photos from the month: Jeff with Refrigerator Perry the cat Hotel Mirror selfie while at the leadership training (we had a fancy dinner) Fall flowers in one of our beautiful wedding gifts Trying to read more books, rather unsuccessfully, but I also listen to a lot of podcasts, so thought I'd recommend some of my favorites from this month:If you are a bachelor fan, Here to Make Friends is doing some live shows and recapping the first ever season of The Bachelor. It's hilarious and delightful.Dirty John, by LA Times1619, by New York Times MagazineClean Sport Collective PodcastFrom the Front Row (the 9/25 podcast features me!)Did you have any favorite runs that had nothing to do with the actual running like I did this month?
  24. 1 point
    I finally ran a 5K time starting in 17! Everyone won & PRed! This local race was a last-minute addition to my schedule. Back in July, I noted all of the races I was interested in on my training calendar and told my coach to choose which ones she thought were the best fit for my biggest season goal, the Indy Monumental Marathon (this truly shows how much I trust her!). I wrote the Panther Run 5K/10K/15K on there as a fun local event that's not competitive but has a little prize money, but she passed it up initially since I likely wouldn't have anyone to run with. After the warm, humid weather at the Indy Women's Half the week before put me at 0 for 3 for decent weather races this season, she threw out the possibility of me racing the 5K at Panther if the weather was decent and if I recovered well from the Indy. Both happened, so Panther happened! It was 59 degrees race morning, and it's amazing how cool 59 feels when you've been running everything in 70+! When deciding whether or not to race the 5K earlier in the week, I'd talked to my friend Mike who was running it, and he said he thought he could run the first 2 miles with me at my goal pace, 5:40. I knew I'd need someone with me to really push it, so I was happy to connect with him. A friend I ran with at Pitt State, Daniel, was also running the 5K, and my training partners Abby and Rebecca were running the 15K and 10K, respectively - plus I saw hundreds of other familiar faces and enjoyed the hometown race feel! I thought of this race more as a workout - as if my coach had put 3.1 miles at 5:40 pace on my training schedule. In the past I've gotten really scared of paces that fast (after it, that is pretty much my sprint!), but I just decided I'd run it until I couldn't run it anymore, and hopefully I'd be close to the finish line at that point. I also knew that even if I blew up at halfway or 2 miles I could most likely still win the race, so it was an easy gamble to take. I was caught on film during my warm up Kids sprinting out faster than 5:40 pace From the gun, several kids and teens got out fast, but by about a half mile in Daniel had a lead on the field and Mike and I were together in 2-3 overall. We hit the mile in 5:39 (per Garmin - Strava had me a little faster), and I felt the best I ever have after running a mile that fast. I have been racing without looking at my watch recently, but I don't have a good grasp on 5K feel (beyond: hard), and as I mentioned I attacked this more like I approach a workout, so I looked at my splits during this race. Mike was letting me set the pace, and by halfway I'd gapped him and was running alone. I could see Daniel ahead of me, but he was too far up to help. I told myself to stay on the gas, and hit my second mile in 5:41 (again per Garmin, with Strava at 5:40). Towards the beginning of mile 3 - focus I have a really hard time negative splitting 5Ks, and although I felt strong and like I was moving well during mile 3, when I looked down my pace was 5:47. I told myself to get it back down to 5:40, but I also knew that as long as I stayed around there I was going to PR and break 18. We turned onto the last long stretch of the course on Benton Street to come face-to-face with the 5K walk, which was going out in the opposite direction we were coming in. I suspected I was going to be really close on breaking 18 since the course had measured long on my Garmin in the past, so I kept hugging the tangent and just hoping that the walkers would move over for me. It was shocking how unaware most people were! I later asked Daniel if he went through them or around, and he said he and the lead cyclist went around, so I was the first rude person going through (Mike said he went through after me though!). But no regrets! It probably slowed me down a bit, but I think the hardest part of that final mile was not having anyone to run with; I always run better with someone pushing me. The finishing clock started with the 15K race, then they started the 10K when it was at 10:00 and the 5K when it was at 20:00, so when I saw it ticking 37:4X I knew I was going to make it! My finishing kick was non-existent, but I suppose 5:40 really is about as fast as these marathon legs will turn over. I stopped my Garmin at 17:54 shortly after the line. I was the second overall person behind Daniel, who ran 16:59ish. He said he was either just under or just over 17:00, but I'm giving him 16:59...the reason we don't know for sure is because there was an error with the results, with some times being +13-15 seconds off watch times. Of course this would happen to me when I finally break 18 (mine is officially listed at 18:06 - insert crying face here)! But, I have my Garmin and Strava data, and I am trying not to be upset about it. The main thing is that I don't know what my official PR should be, since I stopped my Garmin just after I finished. 17:52? Strava gave me 17:42. I will probably use this as an excuse to run another 5K soon to try to make this conundrum irrelevant with a faster time. Garmin data Strava data (my HR monitor didn't work correctly during the race, which is why it says "this was easier than your usual effort"...it sure was not!) From Strava This should be a negative split course, but the elevation isn't as dramatic as it looks (I didn't really notice it at all) After the race, I was supposed to take about 10 minutes then start a 30 minute progression run. I took 16 minutes, but that was because both Daniel and Mike were willing to run it with me (which I was quite thankful for!) and were getting a drink, etc. I started at 8:00 pace and dropped 15 seconds off the pace each half mile in order to finish at 6:00 (actually I finished at 5:53). I was pleasantly surprised with how strong I felt doing it! I could NOT have managed anything close to this after the Brookhaven 5K - I barely made my 6 mile cool down at 8:15+ pace that day. I then ran 5 more miles easy for 16 on the day (Daniel did those with me too, and we still walked into the awards ceremony on the tail end of the 5K awards). Rebecca won overall female in the 10K and Abby won overall female in the 15K, so it was a podium sweep for my running group (yes, we did plan to go for that)! We enjoyed the very lengthy awards ceremony/give-away extravaganza (I won a $120 Pilates gift certificate and a $25 gift card to Eat Fit Go!), then had an amazing brunch. Celebrate good times Winnings It's funny that I did so much research to find the "perfect" 5K to run this season and landed on the fastest course in Oklahoma at Brookhaven. That course was pancake flat, had few turns, and had deep competition. I even had a lighter training week going into that race, but I did not have a good race there, even taking the weather into the consideration. I trained straight through this race (88 mile week), was a week off of racing Indy Women's Half, didn't commit and sign up until Thursday evening (the last preregistration opportunity), ran most of the race alone, and the course is mediocre (more turns and elevation than ideal, but not bad). I suppose that I run best when I am least concerned about it! I'm thankful to be part of such an amazing local running community, and I'm thankful that my coach thought this race was a good idea - perhaps the most shocking part is that I did not even ask to add it! I was disappointed with my performance at the Brookhaven 5K, but I was content with leaving that as my best 5K of the season. One of the many things that God taught me through my last injury was to be content regardless of my running performance. Philippians 4:13 ("I can do all things through him who gives me strength") is often used by athletes to credit God for performances, which is fantastic but not the whole story. In context, Philippians 10:13 reads: "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." The theme? Being content in any situation. God gives us strength to be content because of Him. bRUNch My face here is proof the 5K is painful from the third step (unless you are under the age of 16) How bad the 5K hurts during the third mile, hahahahahaha!
  25. 1 point
    The Short: I decided that running the Indy Women's Half for the third year in a row would be a beneficial fitness check and practice trip to Indianapolis six weeks prior to my goal race there, the Indy Monumental Marathon. Since the race morning weather left a lot to be desired (a humid 74 degrees), my goals for the race were to complete the best I could in the field and hopefully hit marathon goal pace. I am not sure anyone was more shocked than I was when I finished 3rd overall in a new half PR of 1:20:29. Although I'm still dying to add a sub-80 to my resume, I was pumped to PR on a day I was sure I wouldn't! My official results are here, the race leaderboard is here, and my Strava activity is here. Podium Stats The Long: My race in Indy last year did not go as planned; I started it slightly injured and finished it very injured, then was very unhappy about taking 10 weeks off running. On the other hand, my 2017 race there went well and was where I ran my previous half PR of 1:20:50. The event is well-done, the course is flat and fast, in 2017 and 2018 the temperature was around 50 degrees, and I was excited to return in 2019...until I wasn't. During the week leading up to the race, I became fearful about getting injured, only because I had at that point in my training last year. Everything felt fine, but I couldn't shake it. I was never worried about my race performance because I was just worried I would get hurt, which was odd because I am not superstitious or anything of that nature! I kept reminding myself that I'd started Indy already hurt last year, and this year I was going in feeling strong. Summer has really been hanging on this year, and although we got a couple of cool mornings during the week leading up to the race, the race morning forecast kept getting warmer as race day grew closer. When it was a couple of days out and looking like it would be 69 degrees with 100% humidity, my coach and I discussed a pace plan. She said she thought my training indicated I was in shape to run a 1:18 (6:00ish pace), but that the weather would slow me down by 15-20 seconds/mile. We decided that anything under goal marathon pace (6:17) would be a win. While I was disappointed that Mother Nature wasn't cooperating, this really took the pressure to hit any certain splits off. I didn't really taper for the race; although my weekly mileage was lighter than usual at 75, it was because I had Wednesday completely off. One week before I did a significant 20 mile workout, followed by days of 12, 9, 15, 0, 10, and 7 leading up to race day. My dad and I drove to Indy from my home in Missouri, leaving early Friday morning. We went to the race expo, explored the area a bit, and found our Bed and Breakfast by about 5:30 p.m. For awhile I thought I'd be going to the race by myself, so I wanted accommodations that I could easily run to the starting area from, but my thriftiness couldn't handle a $300 downtown hotel, and the BnB was only 1.1 miles from the start, in almost a straight shot (i.e., it would be very difficult to get lost!). We had several rooms, sspace to sleep 4, and free parking, and were pleased with the BnB (except they were very strict on breakfast times). Expo fun I was honored to be featured as one of the "Five Women to Watch" for the third year. When I picked up my race booklet and read about the other four women, I didn't feel like I belonged in the feature though. I thought it was unlikely I'd be able to beat any of the other 4, and there are always a few fast women who are not featured, so I predicted I'd be racing for 5-8th place. Look at those 4 ladies' credentials! When I woke up race morning and checked my weather app, it was even worse than I'd expected: 74 degrees. I was mentally ready for a warm one, and during my 3 mile warm up I decided I wasn't going to look at my watch. I'd had a sub-par long run workout the Saturday before in similar weather, and that day I couldn't get my pace down to 6:15 for the life of me, so I just didn't want to see splits in the 6:20s and get upset. I'd made peace with no chance of a 1:18, and I also felt that as long as I started and finished healthy I was in a great spot (what a difference a year makes!)! As the race started and everyone settled into pace, I found myself in a pack of about 10 women. There were two women out in front of us, although I suspected one of them was in the 5K (she was, and the other was Pasca Myers, a top contender). The other 3 women to watch were in the pack, in additional to several other women I recognized from previous years races. There is a lot of power in running in a pack, so I thought it was an ideal situation! The pace felt right effort-wise, and as the miles clipped away the pack dwindled. I settled in right behind two women in blue tanks, one of whom I recognized as Sarah Pease, a pro runner for Oiselle. By mile 6 all of the others had fallen off the pack and it was us three. The woman who wasn't Sarah (I'll call her the girl in the hat) was pushing the pace. I felt strong but not ready to pick it up, so I let her pull away and then it was me and Sarah. Since she is from Indy, many people were cheering for her so I just lied to myself that all the "Go Sara(h)"s were for me, haha! I also kept thinking, "How is this happening?!" in regards to running with her; she has quite the impressive resume and just competed in the U.S. Champs 10,000 m. I follow her on Instagram and she is a runner I really admire. Trailing the second female (Sarah Pease is behind her) I felt strong, but from the hair pin turn just after mile 6 I knew there were a whole slew of women not far behind, so it wasn't just Sarah I was competing with. I also had the second place woman in the hat in my sights, so I was pushing towards her. When we went up an incline between miles 9 and 10, I pulled slightly ahead of Sarah and thought, "Well, this is it!", although I still felt like I was in some alternative universe running with/ahead of her. The second place woman had a good lead on me, but I had over a 5K to cut into it the best I could, and I wanted to try, so that really kept me pushing. Focus Fatigue The race felt hard but also controlled the whole way. I felt like I could maintain my effort through the end, and the closer I got to the finish line the more confident I was about a third place finish (by around mile 12 I knew it was unlikely I was going to catch second). I smiled through the final mile and kicked it in, seeing the finishing clock in the 1:20s and knowing I'd somehow managed a PR, and hearing the announcer call my name and my dad cheering his heart out! My dad's video of my finish is here and is heartwarming. PR in sights I had to stop my watch at the line to capture the PR - I also had no plans to buy the photos! Drenched in sweat & happiness Since this month I had two performances I was happy with in humid 70+ degrees, I suppose I have to stop saying that I never run anything worthwhile in this weather; although I do believe I would have run significantly faster in cool weather, I held my own in this one. I have come to the conclusion that my performance in warm humid weather is less predictable. Some days it bothers me more than others, and I'm not sure what the difference is. Top 3 And although I sure still want to add a sub-80 half to my running resume, the confidence-boost I got from this race was just as good as if I'd have run a 1:18-1:19 in cool temperatures. Four weeks prior to running 2:47:14 at CIM, I ran a half marathon in 1:23:53 in temps in the 70s, so I was mentally prepared to be completely calm with a 1:22 half. Really, as long as I walked away from this race uninjured I was counting it as a huge success after last year, no matter what my time was. Now I just have to hope that fall arrives before the Indy Monumental Marathon on November 9! Either way, I'll be there fighting... "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7 Awards ceremony Top 10 Top 20 Oh the irony that they gave us scarves!
  26. 1 point
    Don't ask me why I go through the same cycle of mind games every summer, where I figure I've suddenly reached the end of my running career because I can't finish a run or my pace is just so slow it's not even worth the trouble to get out the door. I have no answer. Then, fall comes along, the temps drop, the humidity plummets, the wind freshens, and all is right in my running world. When I go back and look at the numbers, they really don't look that terrible anyway, so what was I even worried about? Of course I'm 60 and it's bound to be all downhill from here. But it doesn't seem so long ago that this was all so effortless. Or I just have a short memory. That last statement is absolutely true, which explains everything. So, last week and the start of this were perfect examples of what I mean. Tuesday - I'd read that the trail through the woods behind the high school had been finished (paved) and decided to check it out. I'd thought about going the week before, but that was the week I had early runs and the trip. Didn't feel like fighting what might have been spider webs or brave an encounter with a skunk or other varmint in the dark, so I waited. Tuesday afternoon I went. They did a very nice job clearing things out and laying a smooth later of asphalt. This day was warm. And sunny. And humid. Just like summer. Late summer, but definitely summer. The day before I'd had a failed tempo run (remember? 5 miles of a planned 8 and 5 miles of 400 jogs with extended walking to get home), and still felt lousy. The trail is all shaded, which helped. After a mile on the street I went into a park and ran a mile around the dirt trails there in the shade. This was supposed to be 6 miles but when I left the park I was ready to be done, so I just went straight home the way I came. 5 ugly miles. Slow. Wednesday - Intervals. Yassos with the Marshall Twist. 12 x 800, or 3 sets of 4, with the fourth one faster than the other 3, 400 recovery in 3:00+/-. Brought some G and a towel for a quick swig and wipe in between sets. Ran shirtless, which I never do. But it was almost 80o and I wasn't in the mood to carry the extra weight in sweat around the oval. Plus, after Monday and Tuesday I expected to need all the help I could get. After a mile warm up, I sucked it up and gave it my best shot. 3:36, 3:41, 3:43, 3:35 - Goal for NH is 3:45, so I tried to stay at 3:40-45 for the first 3. Could I do 12 of these? 3:44, 3:41, 3:43, 3:32 - Just what I'd hoped for, AND I knew I had 4 more in me. I was reasonably confident, anyway. 3:37, 3:42, 3:42, 3:33 - There you go. Never felt like I was flying, but I didn't die (always a goal). Left thigh was getting pretty tight, so I couldn't put on any more gas for the last one like I normally would. But this is the biggest interval test I do and it went well. Better than I feared and as good as I could expect. There were a few other people that came to use the track while I was circling for those couple hours. One time around I guess I startled the one woman doing C25K or whatever, maybe some intervals, too, but I couldn't get a sense of the pattern she was doing except 200/200s at the end. Thursday - Supposed to be 10 miles - the last weekday double digit run. Almost as warm as Wednesday, so expectations were low. Went through the new trail again and a route that would give me as much shade as possible. Finished through the new trail again. Amazingly, there was a young deer standing next to the trail just inside the trees at the east end. At 5:00 in the afternoon. He watched me run by and didn't seem at all surprised or concerned. It was slow. Good thing it was supposed to be slow. Felt worse. Just too tired. I should remember that's normal, but I'm always disappointed when it's hard. I swear when I was 22 I could crank out a dozen miles and be as fresh as a spring morning when I finished. That's probably not true, but that's the way I remember it. Anyway, only did 9 and the last one was nasty. Friday - Marginally better. 82o. Went slower on purpose and I think it helped. Only going 6 miles probably helped more. Saturday - At least my long run would be in the morning. That should be way easier. Maybe I could even do it as a pace run. Haven't had one in ... since July, I guess, and that was only 4 miles. Anyway, bailed on that idea early in the first mile because it was humid like the jungle. 16 slow miles, walk through Hammer Gels at 5 and 10, sips of G every 2 miles. Time on the feet. Things were acceptable until about mile 10. That's when I noticed a couple of hot spots - one on the left Achilles and the other on my right foot at the ball. Rats. Stopped to tighten the laces, which helped a little. So much sweat had soaked my socks and shoes, loosening everything down there. Of course the rest of me was drenched, too. A mile later I decided to try a Hail Mary and called Mrs. Dave for a change of socks. We met up at mile 12 and I tried switching the new socks, hoping for at least a shuffle home the remaining 4. Just a few steps convinced me that it wasn't going to do the trick and the best thing would be to cash in my chips. 12 miles in warm and humid conditions was worth 18 in Dave's Book of Running, so this long run was good enough for summer. I have had two decent LRs with fast finishes in the last month, so I'm calling it good. Checked the feet back at the house and I think I made the right call. The Achilles had a little blister just beginning and the right foot was just a red spot, but wasn't far behind. I'd hate to have had serious blisters just in time for my taper. Monday - That's right! It's taper time! But it's early in the taper, so I still had 10 miles for Tempo Monday (8 @ 8:20-30). The good news was that fall arrived over the weekend and the humidity left. Monday afternoon was 73o and felt much cooler. A sturdy 21 mph wind made it feel even cooler. Not marathon cool, but good enough for a nice, hard tempo. Please! Let me get a good long tempo for once. 8:32, 8:21, 8:26, 8:16, 8:24, 8:07, 8:21, and (what for it!) 7:40. If I'd held the pace down instead of going all crazy at the end, I expect I could have gone several more miles at that pace. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! As it happens, I actually had chicken for dinner. Really. I've had chicken for dinner every night since Sunday, in fact. Leftovers. With only Mrs. Dave and I at home, that Costco rotisserie lasts quite a while. Back to the tempo run - it felt amazing. Glad I didn't give up after Saturday. No issues with the almost blisters. Better socks. Tuesday - A touch warmer, but not as windy or as humid. With a good workout behind me (for once), I also wasn't worried how slow it was going to be. 7 easy miles that were actually easy. Yay. 9:00 pace. Felt a sort of pain under the ball of my second toe (the one that gets pushed on top of #3 because of my bunion). Hope that turns out to be nothing. Watching the forecast for Bristol, NH now. A couple of days ago it looked like a good chance of showers on the 5th, but cool. Today looks even better. If it stays, I'm calling this perfect weather for running a marathon, even if it's a stoopid-ass hilly marathon.
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