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  1. 15 points
    I’ve been doing a lot of writing here - for myself mostly because it’s pretty mundane. But maybe someone has a lot of free time on their hands and enjoys sifting through my mess. And my return-to-running training log is here for the spreadsheet lovers. Week 1 - 2 Week 2 - 5.6 Week 3 - 12.4 Week 4 - 18.4 Week 5 - 23.7 Week 6 - 19.5 (10 miles on Monday of Week 7) Week 7 - 39.5 (10 miles from Week 6) Week 8 - 28.2 Week 9 - 26.3 (taper-ish for Augusta 13.1 race) Week 10 - 66.1 (Hinson Lake 24 Hour - lots of walking) Week 11 - 21.0 (reverse taper) Week 12 - 42.6 Week 13 - 38.7 Week 14 - 27.0** projected Week 15 - 39.2** projected race week It’s been years since I’ve felt truly invested in a marathon cycle. The first Boston Marathon I ran in 2015 was likely the last time I truly had a focus on marathon-specific training. After getting into ultras, the specific workouts of road racing were speckled throughout my running, but I relied mostly on mileage and experience to get me feeling confident at the start line of a 26.2 mile race. I am excited! When reflecting (& reading) about how I felt in late March and mid-July, I wish so badly to go back and tell myself it will be okay. Even the time between boots were filled with trepidation. Things weren’t clicking. And if I really reflect back about consistently feeling good about my training, it was late spring of 2017. 18 months is a long time to feel eh about running. Sure, I had some fantastic races and great experiences in those 18 months, but I also remember it just not feeling as good as it does now. I’ll pin the blame on overracing and overtraining, but that doesn’t mean I’d change any course of events. I’d hop in my Delorean and do the exact same thing. Stupid? Maybe. But I am not apologetic about my experiences that led me to today. Back when I was still in the boot, I made a couple of versions of my training plan to get to the start line of the NYC marathon. I gave myself plenty of fluidity in mileage, time frames, and workouts. They were all modified versions of the lowest mileage Pfitzinger plan - the same one I used for Boston 2015. The podiatrist said it would take about 5-6 weeks for things to feel good again. And up to a year of random injury site pain - some real, some phantom. It was hard to navigate the first few weeks because I became anxious with everything that didn’t feel great. And honestly, a lot of things didn’t feel great. Slowly, things started to return to normal. I noticed the first day I stood at the sink and brushing my teeth felt normal. I noticed the first day that I walked across the gym and my stride felt normal. I noticed the first day that I lifted weights and I could bear weight on both legs. I cross-trained between running and walking. I ran paces that were 3-4 minutes slower than my typical training paces. I exercised as much patience as I could stand. And things started to change. I felt stronger and happier. My stride returned to normal. Things were clicking again. Every milestone in the recovery process has seemed almost like the first time I’ve done it. Workouts that I’ve done hundreds of times suddenly gave me butterflies. And I loved having that feeling again! 20 milers were a dime a dozen in 2016 & 2017. But suddenly I had to remember how to do them again! Do I bring gels? Do I bring water? Is it better to do 2 out-and-backs or 1 longer followed by 1 shorter? It was like falling in love with running all over again. And here I am, less than 2 weeks from standing in Staten Island with 50,000 other runners, feeling ready to tackle 26.2 miles.
  2. 11 points
    I feel like all my posts have been full of dread and woe for months as I complained about aches and pains and slowness. Yet here I am in the midst of Monster Month, with four weeks to race day, and somehow I'm feeling energized and optimistic! Go figure. Shouldn't I be exhausted and sore and negative about now? Well, not so much. Just finished my two biggest weeks, with 54 and 51 miles. And my gimpy ankle has healed up. My balky knee still aches sometimes, but less and less. It seems the prescription for healing was More Miles. Sure I'm sore and achey after my long runs, and getting up off the couch can be difficult. But by the next day I'm able to get back out there relatively unscathed. I guess this training thing works. It helps running in perfect weather conditions. Winter training sure beats summer training. I never overheat, and don't need to worry about hydration. Enjoying the beauty around here is good for the mojo as well. I've had several great runs along the Pacific coast cliffs nearby. There are some great trails there. I got to see a whale as I went by a whale-watching spot. I also enjoyed running with hundreds of butterflies as we are in the middle of a huge butterfly migration at the moment. I can see for hundreds of miles all across the LA basin and to the snow-capped local mountains as I climb over our local hills. It's pretty great. A week ago I did my first 20-miler for this cycle, to close out a 54 mile week. I expected to be tired and just go at whatever pace worked. I ran along the flat coast virtually the whole way and just enjoyed myself. The pace gradually dropped to about 8:10-8:15 for miles 8-19, which was about as good as I had hoped for. I didn't fade until the last mile when I started to wear out. My pace is still slower than a year ago, as it has been on all my runs, but I've accepted that. Just glad to get the miles in. Last Wednesday I repeated my 4x1 mile workout, and I was able to find more speed than a few weeks ago. I managed 7:00, 7:02, 7:00 and 7:16, which beat the 7:20s I ran before. That was encouraging, although still slower than last year. And I had nothing left on the last one. But still, encouraging. Saturday I ran a very hilly 13 with a friend and the pace was decent. Then when I got back to the car I realized I had lost my key somewhere along the way. Phone was locked in the car, and friend was running home. I had little choice but to run the extra 3.8 miles home. But I still felt pretty strong after 13, and it was another beautiful day, and it was all downhill or flat...so I trotted on home and was happy to do it and log more miles. So this week is not too tough, but it finishes with a 21-miler over a huge hill that is my usual pre-marathon litmus test. If I can do that without dying too bad, then I will feel ready. Right now I feel pretty good about it. All systems are go. My Boston goal is just to have fun and break 4, but I'd like to do about 3:45 if all goes well. I know I can run about 8 minute pace for 20 miles. It's all about that last six. Long term, I'm thinking Chicago 2020 may be my next one. So to qualify to skip the lottery I need sub 3:40... So many of my friends are fighting injuries, so I'm just happy to be healthy, and getting another decent marathon done. At my age, I never know when it might be my last. Enjoy your runs. Life is good.
  3. 10 points
    Allow me to reintroduce myself. I used to post in the old Loop hosted on the Runner's World site. I was known there as Kingcoffee. I used to love posting blogs and reading other peoples blogs and comments. I stopped doing that because my life became so busy that I could barely find the time to run much less write about it. I started my own company and it took up so much of my time that I didn't have any left for much else. I thought that, if I started my own company, I wouldn't have a "job" anymore. I quickly discovered that I had traded my one job for 5. I posted one blog in this new Loop but I wasn't able to get back to it to respond to any comments or questions. I hoped at that point, to become a regular again but my life quickly returned to the hectic world of running the business, sleeping, running and family. I'm six years plus into running my business now and I think there may finally be time to be a regular contributor. With the extra time commitment of running a business, there has been less time for the activity of running as well. My running fitness has declined, partly due to aging but more so due to lack of training. I have been able to run more consistently lately though and I was able to run a faster 5k last year than I have been able to run for quite awhile. With being so busy with work, I wasn't able to sign up for many races since most of them are on Saturdays. I'm the type of runner who mostly runs, in order to be able to race. Luckily, Friday 5k showed up in time to save my running life. What is Friday 5k? So glad you asked. A runner who lives much closer to Dave (you all know Dave), started Friday 5k but he started it on the west side of Michigan because that is where he spends most of his weekends. Friday 5k races take place on prime numbered Fridays beginning in April and ending in September. There is no entry fee and no t-shirts or medals but the races are timed and you can see your results shortly after the race is over. The races are paid for through donations. The only requirement to participate is that you have to become a member but membership is free. There have been numerous different things thrown into Friday 5k's. At first, the races were held at different places and you only found out where the evening before the race. At the end of one season, we were invited to run all ten of that year's 5k's in one day. Most racers only ran a few of those races but I ran all ten of them in one day. There was a little walking in the last 3 races that day but mostly running. Another year, the races all had different names, complete with theme songs and special prizes. One of those races was called the Aim Low 5k. I received a prize, which was a book titled Aim Low. The book is hilarious and yet also poignant. Another one was called the Sunshine Day 5k and we finished the race to a recording of the Brady Bunch singing Sunshine Day. Somewhere there probably still exists a video of me, my son and 2 foster kids skipping toward the finish line to the music. Now the races are all held at the same venue but there continues to be different contests and prizes tossed into the mix throughout the season. For the last 2 years there have been teams. This year there are no more teams but there will be an event where racers start at different times which are based on there previous Friday 5k times and the idea is that everyone will finish close to the same time. Kind of a handicap race. Some of you may wonder why I switched my name from Kingcoffee to Runningthrumymind. The main reason is that I stopped drinking coffee. Also, I intend for most of my blogs to be about the things I think about while I'm running. I do my best thinking when I'm out running. Running, particular my long runs, usually become a form of meditation and my mind goes rambling around while my body rambles down the road, (or trail). I hope some of you find this entertaining and I hope to be able to continue to write these on a regular basis.
  4. 10 points
    Sweet Mags: What in the hell are you doing? Rob: What the hell does it look like I’m doing? I’m blooping. Sweet Mags: Good golly! I haven’t heard you talk about those losers- er I mean Loopsters in like a hot minute. Rob: Well, if you recollect last year was a bust. I ran like 3 miles total last year after screwing up my back. Didn’t even get to go to Rehoboth to spectate in a sparkle skirt cause I was sicker than a dog. Sad times. Sweet Mags: Oh yeah, I remember you whining about that. Well, I know you’re running again because I can smell your clothes. Gosh, I’ll remember the good times when your undies didn’t fill the house with the smell of hot garbage. I mean, I guess you’re in a better mood and less of an asshole now that you’re running again. Rob: Not just running. Also, sleeping and lifting. Sweet Mags: Lifting my turds out of the litter box? Rob: Weights, jerkface. Since December. It’s been a real blessing, Sweet Mags. It’s like all I had to do is get a lot of good sleep, lift weights, eat reasonably and the running came back. Sweet Mags! The running came back. Sweet Mags: Get a hold of yourself!!!!!! Rob: Never! It’s called a runner’s high and I’ll do anything for another hit. Even bench press with the meat heads and go to sleep early. Sweet Mags: You’ve gone mad. Mad! Rob: Anyway, it hasn’t all been good. There was that incident with the HOKAs. Sweet Mags: The marshmallow shoes? Rob: Yep. The shoes some people call hookahs and not in an ironic way. Sweet Mags: They were almost as fugly as your Altras. Rob: Don’t talk about my Altras. That’s a line you do not cross. Sweet Mags: So what was the deal with the marshmallow shoes. Rob: Well, you know I get a good discount at the running store I work at on the weekends. Sweet Mags: Why can’t you work at a pet store and get me discounts? Rob: Cause people who have pets are insane. Sweet Mags: I mean, you have a valid point. Rob: Anyway, I bought a pair of Hoka Bondi. You know cause the damn Clifton 5 is still to narrow for my hobbit foot. One run in and my knee was screaming. Not only that, but I felt like I was going to trip over my feet with every other stride. It was a nightmare. So I took them home and burned them in a sacrifice to the running gods. Sweet Mags: Did you make s’mores out of them? Rob: You know I can’t lie to you. I returned them and exchanged them for Saucony Triumph 5’s. Sweet Mags: That’s my boy Rob: Thankfully, the Saucony got their shit together after the very disappointing 4’s. Sweet Mags: The Triumphs are cool, but you know I’m a barefoot runner. I don’t need to be shod with shoes that are just going to impede my performance. Rob: The barefoot movement died. Sweet Mags: You died! Rob: Shut it! Sweet Mags: I’ve already ran 6 hundos this year. Rob: I’ve ran about thirteen miles in January and about that much in February and I couldn’t be happier. I did my first threasy in over a year tonight! Sweet Mags: What do you want, a cookie? Rob: A couple of eggs and a Greek yogurt would be bomb. Sweet Mags: Greek yogurt tastes like ass. Rob: You should know. Ok dude, I gotta finish this bloop. Go chase your tail. Sweet Mags: Tell the Loopsters they suck. I’m OUT!
  5. 8 points
    It's 7:02 and I just hopped off my friend's Vespa at the entrance to the park. I run to Lakeside for bib pick up. The lady tells me, "It's 7:04." FuckFuckFuckFuckFuck. The race starts at 7:10 sharp and I'm still a good 10 minute walk from the start line and my left shoe is on wonky. My hair is stupid from squishing my ponytail into the helmet and my hat is in my hand. What does a ten minute walk translate to in running? I find out soon enough when I hear the horn blow and I'm still a few hundred feet away. I stop to retie my shoe and then pick up the pace to the start. I wasn't going to actually race this race. My lungs have been crap. I'm 30 pounds heavier than when I ran this series two years ago. I've been injured all winter. But I'm going faster than I thought I could and feeling okay. The back of the pack is already gone and they are starting to take down the cones at the start as I fly through. I start my watch. 9:05 Huh. I didn't think I could run this pace right now. It feels sustainable. Is this comfortably hard? I don't remember anymore what that feels like. I don't remember what I'm supposed to feel like racing. I wonder if it's my muscles or my mind that are out of practice. This feels good and I decide to try to stick with this pace. So much for not racing. I come up to The Hill and I still feel okay. I'm picking off people at the back and getting picked off by faster people who were late like me. I focus on my effort. This is the hardest part of the race. It's so easy to burn yourself out on this hill and it's only halfway through the first mile. I'm working but I'm not burning. My lungs aren't on fire. I think to myself that I may have just pulled off that whole "equal effort" thing that they are always telling you to do on hills but I never seem to be able to do. I reach the crest and start to gun it on the downhill. I refuse to look at my watch just yet. I don't want to feel like I should be doing anything more or less. I'm working but I'm not burning. I know I used to push it so much more but I just don't feel ready. I don't think I'll be able to keep it going. I'm not there yet. I get to the mile marker and peek. 9:23 Okay. There was The Hill. Shake it off and get back to pace. Mile 2 is some downhill and some rollers. I'm still feeling good and fast. I think I can ride it out at this pace. I glance at my watch 8:50. Holy shit. I haven't seen an 8 on my watch in forever. A little voice whispers that two years ago I was flirting with the 7:50's at this point in the race but I let myself let that go. Those aren't my paces anymore. I haven't put in the work for those paces and I'm so much heavier now. I let myself accept that I am working on both things but neither one is immediate. I hold on and click off the mile at that pace. Mile 3 starts on the big downhill. Here is the best part of the whole park. It's the payoff for The Hill and all the rollers. I fly and I start to get to that edge but I know I don't have the discipline to hold it. I let myself fly while I prepare myself for the next part. It's the worst part of the race. It's flat and wide and there's nothing to look at. I tell myself that I can not hold whatever pace I am at once I get to the flat and I need to be okay with that. I need to know it's coming and not see my slowing pace as a failure. I am on a downhill. I should be going faster here than there. I steal one glance at my watch. 8:19 Oh it feels so amazing to feel my legs move this fast. I let myself just enjoy it while lasts. If I could close my eyes and just feel it, I would. But I get to the bottom and the hard part begins. Every race in this park ends after this section and years of conditioning have taught me to hate it. This is where you hurt. This is where you struggle. This is where you do everything in your power to hold on. This is where your lungs burn and your legs scream and you have a million arguments with yourself to just keep going, keep pushing. I don't think of the distance. I know I'm slowing but I don't look at my watch. I set my eyes on each bend in the road far out in front of me. Three turns to the finish. Two turns to the finish. It's just after that last turn. I hear someone come up behind me and I let them kick past me. Don't chase them. You're not there yet. Just keep this pace. You're doing well. Just hold on. I cross the finish line at 28:18. And I'm so happy and proud of myself. I check my watch again to make sure. My running has been so discouraging lately, I had no idea I could actually push myself. Immediately I know that I'll be back for the rest of the series. Immediately I know that I want to find that edge again between as fast as I can and faster than I should have. Immediately I know I want to remember how to burn.
  6. 8 points
    Remember that the little cold I had the week before last? Well I guess that took more out of me than I thought it did. I still had a little bit of a cough, I still had some stuffiness in my nose, but I felt OK. Anyway, I have a whole list of things it didn't quite go right in Vermont and I'll go through those for whatever they’re worth. Call it making excuses if you will, but when you have a decent training build up you sort of expect to do fairly well on race day. When that doesn't happen there should be a reason why. And in fact I think I have a few reasons excuses. Excuse number one. The weather. Leading up to the race - as is mandatory for runners – I was stalking my weather app pretty religiously several times a day and it looked like it was going to be amazing on the 26th, with temps in the 50s and low 60s, a light breeze, some cloud cover or a lot of cloud cover. Not bad for a spring marathon. Except that all changed a couple of days before the race. Suddenly, it was lows in the 60s, highs in the upper 70s, chance of thunderstorms in the morning and sun by late morning. Lots and lots of sun. I don't know anybody who likes running marathons when it's in the upper 70s with lots of sun. And it turned out that Sunday was exactly as forecasted. Excuse number two. Sub-optimal training. Yeah, I know in my last post I talked about how I had missed a few days here and there, a couple of long runs with the wedding and the funeral, but that I thought overall things had gone fairly well. And they did. In reality, though, that was more positive self talk than truth. I had one high mileage week that went really well, but the other high mileage weeks that I had planned turned out to be average or even below average. You can't fake marathon training. Excuse number three. Ankle injury! I suppose this one gives me license to actually call it a reason as opposed to an excuse. This was completely not my fault. I'm not even sure how it happened. But I'll get to that during the race recap, when I talk about the later miles and what the storm did to a very small part of the course. Excuse number four. Race day logistics. I think everybody knows how cheap I am. This shows up often in the lodging accommodations that I make for race weekends. On this particular weekend, I was at first shocked at the hotel prices in Burlington, VT. After I began looking and seeing what I considered outrageous rates, I was reminded that Burlington is on the shores of Lake Champlain and therefore sort of a tourist destination for many in upstate New York. I also remembered that race weekend was also Memorial Day weekend. And apparently Burlington – and the local hotels – is really popular on Memorial Day weekend. Ever resourceful, I looked for hotels in nearby towns, thinking I could find a much better deal. When I found a Fairfield Inn in Plattsburgh, NY, only 20 miles from Burlington, I jumped all over it. When we arrived at the hotel, and I talked to the desk clerk about getting to Burlington, she said, “Well, you can take the ferry or you can drive around the Lake.” Wait. What? Lake Champlain is a big lake, if you haven’t checked the map. It was not 30 minutes to get to Burlington like I had assumed when the Marriott app said it was 20.9 miles from the hotel. I was an hour and a half ferry ride or an hour and a half drive around the lake. After driving 10 hours from Detroit on Friday, we’d be driving three more hours (round trip) on Saturday, plus driving over the marathon route. The hotel was nice enough to give us a late checkout, and even said they’d extend it later if my race wasn’t going well. Excuse number five. A 45 minute late start. I suppose this should actually be part of Excuse number one, since the delay was for a mandatory starting line evacuation fifteen minutes before the start time, due to a fast-moving thunderstorm. For a while it looked like it was going to miss us completely to the south, but just as the cell hit the New York side of the lake, a big blob of rain peeled off and headed straight for us. Just as we were walking up to the start area, they were announcing the delay. We sat under the awnings of a convenience store across the street, watched a little lightning, heard a little thunder, and tried to stay mostly dry until we were given the all clear. On the plus side, the delay gave me a second chance to use the POP. Finished up with five minutes to spare and had zero issues in the race. After so many Code Abbys on training runs this spring, that was huge. I was also inside during the national anthem, so I was able to stay sitting down. Mrs. Dave was not a fan of the wait. Now, mind you, I’m not complaining. There has been little to no whining at the Schultz house about my monster positive split and 4 hour plus finish time. Sure, I wrote about BQ’ing again. But, seriously, it’s a spring marathon and I’ve learned many times that spring marathons and I don’t get along that well. I like my marathons cold. 30-40o cold. And, hey, since Rehoboth in 2017 I haven’t been able to run one at all, so getting to the starting line healthy and happy – even if I was a little low on mileage – was the real prize. I was already a winner. Flat Dave was ready. Vermont City is billed as a marathon and relay. You can run the marathon, or you can be part of a relay team, with options for two to five runners. If you want to run the half, you have to buddy up. In the past, I’ve sort of hated the relay runners, but I’ve changed my tune on this. Despite having runners passing me from time to time throughout the 26.2 miles, it was nice having lots of folks around the whole way. It also kept the spectators more involved since there was a near constant stream of racers coming by. Normally, by mile 14, it starts to get sort of lonely out there. I’m also a fan of their race course, even though it’s a tough one. It takes you out on three loops and an out-and-back section, all of which pass by the starting area, so your family and friends can see you multiple times without having to navigate street closures and unknown traffic patterns in an unfamiliar city. #1 is a 5K loop through some of the old city neighborhoods. Lots of trees and cool old houses. After that is a 10K out-and-back away from town on a winding parkway. There are three bridges that cross over the road, all with people on them, cheering. Section #3 is another 10K, this time a long loop through a more industrial area, a couple of nice newer neighborhoods to the half way point, and then some parks and rail trails back to downtown. Finally, there’s a ten mile loop that does a couple of pretty active neighborhoods and another park before the last four along a bike path next to the lake. It’s a net 100 foot drop from start to finish, with two ugly hills (each over 100’ in ½ mile) in Miles 9 and 16. The expo is medium sized. Plenty of vendors and sponsor booths. And free pizza for lunch! OK, so let’s race. Mile 1. 9:22. I was running a marathon! I started behind the 4:00 pace group. Figuring for a 9:00+ start. The first mile actually climbed 120 feet, but it didn’t feel that steep. I was fresh, I was happy, it was still cool, I was running as slow as my normal warm up pace. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not so crazy that I missed seeing Mrs. Dave and T-Rex. Big waves because I was running a marathon! I followed the flow, trying not to get anxious and weave past anybody. Mile 2. 8:40. Downhill to Mile 2, but those streets were pretty close quarters and often enough there was a truck or a car that hadn’t been cleared despite the signage that there was no parking that day, forcing us to bunch up to get past. Not as bad as Philly. Mile 3. 8:38. I passed the 4:00 pace group at about two and a half. This mile was kind of fun. There’s a pedestrian mall through the center of town and we ran through it twice. The first time was here in Mile 3, people sitting on both sides, separated from the course by a strip of caution tape, eating breakfast and cheering for us. Mile 4. 8:12. My cheering section was there, right on cue. Starting the out and back section was a steep drop (130’ in ½ mile), and then gentle rolling the rest of the way out. Here we saw the lead wheelchair racers coming back. The roadway tilted dramatically on the curves, which was sort of annoying, but since it wasn’t for long and it alternated from left to right, it wasn’t too bad. Pretty section. Mile 5. 8:28. Out here I was just trying to find a solid rhythm, something I could hold onto for the rest of the first half, then see what I could do in the second. This is where the marathon leaders passed us. About ten guys and then the first woman. Always fun to watch people running fast. Mile 6. 8:28. Same. The 3:45 pace group passed me coming back and I checked the time. I was just about two minutes behind them. Almost exactly where I’d hoped I would be by 10K. Mile 7. 8:23. The turnaround was just after the 10K point. I went wide and took it easy. Sweaty. It was humid. If the sun would stay behind the clouds, it wouldn’t be terrible. Mile 8. 8:32. Solid. Would have been nice to have someone to pace with, but you play the hand you’re dealt. Mile 9. 8:59. What goes down must come up. 130’ in a half mile to get back up to town level. Took it easy and it didn’t hurt. I was just about on pace according to my plan, and Mrs. Dave had gotten the tracking update that had my predicted finish at 3:45. What she said was, “You’re going SO FAST!” Mile 10. 8:18. This was the last time I’d be “going so fast.” This mile drops 120 feet in ¾ of a mile. I went with the slope and eased into the next section. A half mile later I was climbing again. Only 100 feet over the next mile, so there was that. Mile 11. 8:55. And then the sun came out. The sun was not my friend that day. It was only a mile and a half on this one section, but it was a straight mile and a half, oriented north-south (we were running south) with the morning sun nearly directly overhead. And that big bright yellow ball of fire might as well have been Kryptonite and I was Superman. I tried to stay positive, hoping that maybe the clouds would come back or that once I got to the top of the next hill I could recover. Or was I just fooling myself? Mile 12. 8:54. Made it to the top of the hill and kept the foot off the gas. Another mile to the half and then we’d see. At least the sun was behind me and would be for most of the next 10 miles. There was intermittent shade along the streets, too. Hopeful. Mile 13. 8:42. This was a nice area with plenty of trees as we wound through the neighborhood. BTW, if you don’t like lots of turns in your marathon (Sara, I’m looking at you), Vermont City is not for you. I counted 54 significant turns – not during the race obviously – ten just in Mile 13. Mile 14. 9:13. There was water right after the half mats and I took a quick walk break, gathering myself for the next nine miles. I passed the half in 1:54, still well on track for my 3:50 C goal. I had in my mind that if I could make it to Mile 22 where the final stretch on the bike path would be easy (haha!). Psychologically, this meant I only had nine miles to survive instead of 13. Mile 15. 9:00. And it almost worked. We spent the next mile on a bike path, near the lake and through a couple of park areas, mostly sheltered by more trees. Surely at this easy pace I could make it to the end. Mile 16. 11:15. Except I apparently forgot about the hill in the first half of Mile 16. It’s on Battery Street, the main thoroughfare between downtown and the lakefront parks. The locals call it Battery Hill. It’s almost exactly a half mile from top to bottom (or in this case, bottom to top). 94 feet. Mrs. Dave and T-Rex were there for me, and I stopped for a few seconds to shed my SPIbelt (now empty), and let them know that the next ten miles were going to be ugly. They were 100% positive. Easy when you aren’t the one dying of heat stroke at Mile 16, I guess. As I headed up the hill I felt my watch buzz, then realized that – like almost always – I’d forgotten to turn off the auto-pause. Oh well, the race was chip timed. Someone would have my accurate time. Not that it was going to be anything to brag about. I asked a guy about half way up the hill if he was responsible for putting that hill there. Not sure he understood what I was asking. Mile 17. 10:32. 17 was one of the few straight miles. Rolling terrain. I started switching my watch to see my heart rate, walking until it dropped back down to 130, then running again. It never got crazy high – close to 180 just once – but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Something to keep my mind occupied anyway. Mile 18. 9:34. 70 feet of down over this one. Half way through we started a couple of weird loops into and through some neighborhoods. The locals were OSOM. Beginning at the first corner, they had water, oranges, and ICE POPS! The sun had been out pretty much since about mile 14 and it was starting to bake. The yellow signs were out. I was soaked head to toe. Nothing I’ve even eaten in my whole life was as cold and refreshing. I had sucked down about two thirds of it (grape), when – BAM! – my ice pop popped out of its plastic wrap and dropped to the ground. I almost cried. Mile 19. 10:16. Out of the neighborhood and then into a park. I was grabbing ice pops every chance I got, which was pretty often. But not often enough. My seat on the struggle bus was secure. Mile 20. 14:47. Passing the Mile 19 flag, we exited a parking lot at the corner of the park into some woods. Remember that thunderstorm from before the start? Just inside those woods, the rain and the several runners ahead of us had turned the path into a black quagmire (I’ve always wanted to use the word “quagmire” in a bloop). Four feet wide, trees close on either side, caution tape designed to keep runners on the path. Except the path was more of a tough mudder obstacle. Most of us went to the left, but it was still rough and slow going. Single file, walking slow for the 50 yards until we spilled out into the next neighborhood on the other side. Such an adventure. I must have stepped wrong on something somewhere in there, because as soon as I started running again, I felt a serious pain in the front of my ankle. WTH? I stooped down and loosened the laces on my shoe, but it was to no effect. I hobbled and limped for several feet, then tried to run again. Nope. Now what do I do? Like always, one foot in front of the other. I loosened the shoe some more. Kept walking, testing a few jogging steps, walking some more. When I told the girls it was going to be ugly, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind. More ice pops, lots of walking, some guy with a garden hose. I tried to turn off the auto-pause, since I had nothing else to concentrate on, but couldn’t remember how to do it while I was running. Pretty sure there’s a way. Finally gave up after 2-3 lap resets. This was my Mile 20, and the first half of 21. Mile 21. 12:22. I stopped as I exited the neighborhood and asked a volunteer to borrow her phone so I could text Mrs. Dave to let her know how things were (weren’t) progressing, and suggested she call the hotel. I expected those last 5 miles to take a long, long time. Funny, though, as soon as I handed the phone back and started off again, the pain was gone. Like, really completely gone. Pinched nerve? Whatever, I wasn’t going to complain. At that point I could go back to worrying about the heat and my aching legs. That was also when the yellow signs that they’d been displaying at the water tables were replaced with red ones. Sweet. Mile 22. 11:43. There was one steep little drop, to a sharp left, then another left onto the bike path for the last four miles. I flew down it pretty fast, figuring I had nothing to lose. If I can believe Garmin, my pace down the hill was 7:15. Of course, it was only a couple hundred yards, so it didn’t do me much good either in the grand scheme of things. Mile 23. 10:33. My memory of the elevation for these last four miles was that it was mostly downhill. I expected to gain at least a little boost. It felt like it was uphill the whole way. And the path (and the trees lining it) was just wide enough that the sun had plenty of room to beat down on me. And there were no more ice pops. Mile 24-26. 12:22, 11:35, 11:07. Things were sort of blurry through here. I remember the lake being close by and wondering what 50 degree water would feel like. There was a girl and a guy swapping places with me and I’d catch snippets of conversation. She was from NYC but going to school there. He was local. This was her first marathon. Last .2. 2:08(8:31). This actually was downhill and I tried to come in at least looking strong. Mrs. Dave was trying to get a picture of me, but there were two people right in front of me, so I slowed down enough for the photo op, then sped past them and found the finish line. Not my best marathon. Not my worst. Official time – 4:19:42. A 25 minute positive split. But a finish is a finish. I’ll get another one under four hours some nice, cool, fall morning. Next came the painful walk back up Battery Hill. The same hill. That’s where we were parked. Then the 90 minute drive back to Plattsburgh, a slow shower, and – since T-Rex had work on Monday afternoon – we were on the road home. Yep. I ran a marathon, showered and started driving. Actually, Mrs. Dave was driving. Since we were close to Montreal and I’ve never been to Montreal, it seemed a great idea if we took a little detour north (maybe 30 minutes’ worth) through Quebec. Pcubed has an office there and I thought it would be fun to take a pic of it to show my peeps at work. Except when we got to Montreal, our view was completely blocked by a new bridge being built across the St. Lawrence River. This is the best view I had. And with the related construction detour and an accident on the freeway, my little half hour excursion turned into two hours. We got as far as Toronto and had to call it. Stayed the night there and drove the rest of the way Monday morning. Oh yeah, I drove for a few hours Sunday afternoon and when we stopped at the hotel in Toronto my ankle – the one that caused Mile 20 to be 15 minutes long – was painful and swollen. Guess it was a real thing, despite Miles 21-26 being pain free. It’s better today, finally, but I had to give it a regimen of ibuprofen and ice for a couple of days. Race photos were free to download thanks to a local race sponsor, Kenney Drugs. These four didn’t look too bad, and the finish line photo may be the best race pic I’ve ever taken. Hey, folks, I’ve run another marathon. Most of last year I spent wondering if that would ever happen again. Knee pain. Physical therapy. More PT. Surgery. Recovery. More PT. A painfully slow comeback through the late summer. Next up, #20. Exactly when or where I haven’t decided yet. Due to finances, I may try to stay close to home. Air Force is in Ohio. I still need Ohio. It’s also in September and I don’t know if I want to be ready for a marathon in September. I’d basically need to start training tomorrow. Nope. Maryland, Iowa and Tennessee are the next three closest states.
  7. 8 points
    Hello again. I know, I just blooped. But hey, why not. Remember when there used to be twenty new bloops a day? You'd put one up and it would be off the front page in a matter of hours? Well, I just felt like writing again, so here I am. I'm tired and I feel old. Just finished a nine mile run with 4x1 mile intervals and plenty of rest in between. I was by myself running along the beach. It's a run I have done often before. Normally I run the speedy miles in the 6:40-6:55 range. Well, normally meaning in prior years. Today, with my slower recent speed times, I was just hoping to be close to 7:00, maybe 7:15. Well apparently even that was out of reach. After 1.3 miles of warmup, I tried to get my ass in gear, but I found myself at 7:17 pace and dying after 1/4 mile. Ugh. I had to pull back a little just to keep going. Pace dropped and dropped. After 3/4 it was 7:35. I pushed hard the last 1/4 just to get it down to 7:30. Phew. Trotted for 3/4 miles and stopped for water. OK, lets's do another one. It felt a little easier, as it often does once I'm warmed up. Still 7:25 pace felt like as fast as I could go. What the hell? Just no zip in the legs. I feel like my stride may be shorter since I'm tighter and sore. Of course all the miles I'm doing is a good excuse too. I got in a decent groove and pushed the second half and managed a 7:21. OK, well, better... I took a whole mile trot to recover (8:40), plus a stop break in the middle. The third one was OK, and I got to 7:19. But I was tired. I spent the next 3/4 mile debating whether I should just skip the 4th. But I figured I had to get home anyway. Might as well work hard and get it over with quicker. 7:40 pace felt pretty hard, but I worked it down to a 7:27 by the end. Best I could do. Damn. I used to do 7:30s for miles at a time - not that long ago. Oh well. I trotted home. Part of it's getting older. Part is I'm working back into shape and tired from all the miles. Perhaps my bum knee is limiting my form. Maybe some speed will come back. But I'm trying to accept the idea that it's a downhill curve from here. I'm watching my older club mates slow down so I can see my future. Of course they all still kick ass in their age group, and I'm not giving up. Just venting a bit. Still happy to get the nine miles in. Carry on.
  8. 8 points
    Hey you! With the running injury. You identify so much as a runner that you are currently calling yourself an injured runner to explain your lack of running. We know that every serious runner has been injured, yet that doesn't make it any easier when you're the injured runner. It's so easy to lose track of how it feels to be sidelined when you're not, no matter how many times you have been before. The hole in your daily life seems ever-present. This wasn't your plan, and you may never embrace it or even get beyond disdain for it, but it isn't about that. It is about adapting to the new plan. God's plan is better than anything we could dream up, even though it often doesn't feel that way, especially for us Type A planner runners. When our plans don't work out, it's because He has better ones. Trusting that is hard no matter how strong your faith. But faith also means knowing that tomorrow will be better than today. You'll be back there; never lose that faith. It may not be tomorrow, or the next week or month or even year - or without false re-starts and bumps in the road - but you will get there. Never stop fully believing. It's okay if your belief falters sometimes though; don't feel guilty if this happens. It's okay to not be positive at all times. It's okay to mourn for the races you're missing. It's okay to be disappointed as the DNSs accumulate. It's lonely. It's likely many of your closest friends are runners, and you're not seeing them as often since you can't meet to run, plus no one wants to talk about cross-training (including you!). Maybe not running makes you less energetic and social too. It's okay that as you become more and more excited about your friends crushing races, that you become more and more sad that you're not. Other runners often say, "It's only running," but it's okay to disagree with that. Sure, it IS only running, but it overflows into countless other areas of your life. People tell you to do the things that you avoid when you're training, but maybe you realize that you don't feel like you miss out on anything at all? You don't want to stay out late or have another glass of wine or go camping or skiing. You want your normal routine and passion back. People will say "enjoy your well-deserved rest" and "your body needs a break". It's okay to roll your eyes when they turn away. They have the best intentions, but they don't understand. It's okay to feel bad about how upset you are about not running. It's okay to think, "Who am I to be so distraught over this when so many people have so many bigger problems?" while simultaneously having a breakdown. Big goals take big risks, and any time you are training for PRs you are riding the line between running your best and getting hurt. Take what you learned about yourself and move forward. Address your weaknesses; this will help your injury recovery plus it will also help your times later. And finally, keep calling yourself a runner; you still are. Signed, A runner with injury experience *A couple of posts by others that really spoke to me during my injury can be found here and here. **I wrote this while was injured, but didn't hit publish until I began running again. I had this fear that I might never run again and then what right did I have to tell anyone else who was injured anything? But I ran a glorious 64.8 miles last week! I made this face most of the time I was injured
  9. 7 points
    The traffic girl on the morning news is always crying for the weatherman to forecast afternoon highs in the 80s. What's wrong with her? End of Week 3. Feels like I'm starting to settle in to a nice training rhythm. Hitting all the miles, dialing in on GMP better. This is how it's supposed to work. Forty miles total. Tempo Monday - Cloudy. 71o. No wind. Four miles that I ought to be able to run at 8:00-ish easy. And I probably could have, except I started out at 7:36. I've also learned over the years that once I start, it's hard to slow down. I guess that's why I need all these weeks to try and get it right before race day. That also would explain why it's so common to crap out before reaching the end of a marathon. Anyway, 7:46 followed by 7:48, and then I was dead. So I walked a couple hundred yards, wondering what to do about the rest of the workout. Then I ran 7:32, showing I likely could have muscled through another mile at 8:00-ish and it would have been a good day instead of a failed tempo. Maybe I'll remember that this week. Tuesday Recovery - Cloudy. 76o. Nice breeze. Averaged just about 9:00, faster on the front end than the back due to the wind and the slight downhill on the way out. Felt sort of OK, which is about what I expect the day after a tempo that was harder than it was supposed to be. Wednesday Intervals - Clouds and sun. 79o (ick!). Moderate wind. Was going to do these 6 x 800s on the track, but when I got there and saw the crew working on the new turf, I also saw some other official-looking guy who informed me that the track was closed for the construction. The crew was there last week, but this guy wasn't. So I pretended I wasn't planning on running there anyway and talked to him about how it was good there were added two lanes to the track as well and that I was happy to do my workout on the streets. Does that make me a liar? So, half a dozen half miles at 7:24, 7:19, 7:25, 7:32, 7:28, 7:15. Eventually those should be down under 7:00 pace, but this is good for now. At least I finished them all on schedule, unlike Monday. Thursday Recovery - Rain and 64o. Windy. Felt better than Tuesday, no doubt because the temp was more runner friendly. I said rain but it was pretty mild. I wore my hat but didn't really need it. 6 miles @9:00. Friday Miles - Sunny. 78o. Breezy. Much better, despite the heat. 8:40 average for 6 miles. Saturday Pace Run - Sunny. 65o. Almost calm. Nothing like an early morning run. By early I mean about 7:00 AM. Sun's up by then, but it's still nice and cool. Couple of easy miles followed by 4 at something close to GMP, but without stress. If that's slower than GMP, so be it. Should be 8:30, plus or minus. 8:24, 8:27, 8:20. 8:12, 8:29 (so I did an extra - sue me). Not perfect, but in the neighborhood, and I felt strong so it worked. Spent the rest of the morning working on T-Rex's new fan belts. The power steering one was easy, but the A/C and alternator was a pain. The adjustment was too well hidden to get any leverage on it by hand, and no room for tools. So I spent two hours trading between a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a tie rod end puller, rotating it a quarter-turn each time until I could get the new belt on (after I just cut off the old one). As always, I saved over $100 and I have more time than money, so ...
  10. 7 points
    Two weeks ago, it rained Monday through Friday and I was over running in the rain. If you live within a 6 hour radius of Atlanta, you probably feel my pain. So. Over. The. Rain. I took my speed workouts to the treadmill and cranked it up to speeds that were close to what I had been running on the track. I noticed after my Tuesday workout I had a bit of soreness in my foot (the same one that wore a boot last year) and then again after my Thursday workout. I had one of my biggest training runs scheduled that Saturday and went in filled with trepidation. Running had been going so well since last August and I had just a few weeks left before toeing the line at Georgia Death Race, my goal race for the spring. I told Chantal and John I was a bit nervous about my foot as we climbed up and down Coosa and the DRT, but the off and on soreness was manageable and I was relieved when we made it to John's car parked at Skeenah Gap, 6.5 hours and over 7,000' of climbing later. However, the pain intensified through the evening and after texting with my coach, we decided it would be best to give it a few extra days rest. I ran again on Wednesday and it seemed to be okay enough. I finished up the rest of my workouts as planned for the week and ran 2 hours at Sawnee Mountain with Steve, who was visiting from Michigan. That evening, the soreness was back again and I was feeling really frustrated. My coach gave me a pep talk, filled my workout calendar with swimming and cycling, and I tried to keep from panicking. Somehow, the week off of running wasn't too bad and aside from the boredom factor, I was actually feeling good about giving my heart and lungs a good workout, but keeping my foot happy. As it got near to the end of the week, my foot was feeling better, but I was full of nerves wondering if I was going to mess something up by even running a few miles over the weekend. And I was signed up for a trail marathon with over 4,000' of elevation gain. After conferring with my coach, we ultimately decided that I could just do the 5.7 miles out and back in the beginning and pull the plug if it felt terrible or go up to 2 hours and just have a planned DNF. I was actually okay with the planned DNF. I thought I'd have more fear about it (and spoiler alert: maybe I did?), but it actually seemed like it was the right thing to do so I wouldn't ruin the rest of my spring. I stopped early at Hinson this past year and the sun still came up the next day so maybe somewhere in my head, I knew the only person that would even remotely care would be me. Thursday night, my plans came together thanks to Dan and I was going to be riding with him, Gary, and Jeremy on Friday. We all met at my house and Jeremy graciously made the drive to Charlotte in heavy traffic and rain. Everyone agreed on burgers at a place in downtown Charlotte and I wolfed mine down in minutes. Though I wasn't particularly tired, I managed to fall asleep somewhere between 9:30-10 and slept really well. We got to the starting area just after 7:00 a.m., picked up our bibs, and dropped off our food donations. I saw a few familiar faces like David, Jenster, and Laurie and got a few photos with friends before we got started. At the race start, a bunch of people took off down the fire road and I tried to settle into a comfy pace. I didn't have any dog in the fight and wanted to just run some miles without pain. After a week off of running, I felt really, really fresh. My legs were poppy and I felt like while I putting in some effort, I was also super comfortable. I cheered everyone on as we saw each other through the 2.8 mile turnaround and then started chatting with Kent who had been keeping nearly the same pace as me from the beginning. We had a few miles for me to briefly explain I had been contemplating bailing at the first aid station, but I was feeling so good (and pain free!) that I wanted to try to make it the 2 hours instead. We hopped onto the single track at mile 5.7 and I was surprised to find the next section very, very runnable. The miles ticked off and I barely looked at my watch. Kent and I talked about any and everything runners talk about it - races, running, family, jobs, etc. He was keeping the pace conversational and it was exactly what I needed. As we neared the 90 minute mark, I took a moment to try to text my coach to ask what I should do because I was feeling so well that I wanted to run more than 2 hours. Unfortunately, I didn't have any service and I kept checking every 10 minutes or so hoping I could get something to him quick. We came up to the 11.7 mile aid station at almost exactly 2 hours and I let the devil and angel on my shoulder hash it out as we grabbed aid. The smart, good, angelic runner would have dropped at the point and begged off a ride to the start. The dumb, bad, devilish runner prevailed and I guiltily felt like I stepped off the high-rise diving board as I knew this meant I was 99% committed to finish by opting to go on. There would still be a chance to drop at the other aid stations, but I knew it would tough to make that call. The next section to furthest aid station is considered one of the gnarliest. Sasquatch Summit is full of boulders and hand-over-hand climbs and is followed by the Soul Crusher, another gnarly climb with steep grades. I was loving this part of the race and all my vertical training made it seem really, really doable. When we got near the aid station around 17 miles, I was still in great spirits. Jeremy looked surprised to see me still running and gave me a double high-five and Dan, not surprised at all at my dumbassery, also gave me a high-five. I grabbed a pickle and a handful of chips and topped off my soft flask with a mix of Gatorade and water. Kent told me the next section was kind of boring and while I wasn't looking forward to boring, I was happy to be cruising comfortably and not in any pain. We got passed and passed people a fair amount in this section and added another runner to our caravan who is also running GDR (& Western States!), Brett. The three of us navigated to the last aid station together and then took off down the trail, fists full of pickles, Oreos, and chips. The mud was extra sloppy in the final miles, but I have been running in mud all winter. I just plodded right through it and laughed as splattered across my legs. The rain had held off, I was just a few miles from finishing a race I thought I'd DNF, and I was having so much fun just running happy. Even Hallucination Hill didn't phase me. I was just plodding along between Kent and Brett, yapping away and swapping stories (and maybe taking a few selfies). Brett decided to hammer out the last 2ish miles solo and took off towards the finish. Kent and I continued along and though our conversation quieted a bit, we still were in good spirits as we came into the final stretch. Once we saw day hikers and heard whizzing cars on the highway, we knew the finish line was close. I came in with the biggest smile, happy my devilish move paid off and that I could go home with my heart full. I gave Kent a fist bump and then swapped war stories briefly with Gary and Jeremy while we waited for just a short time for Dan to come in. Everyone was happy, exhausted, and caked in mud. The rest of the day sealed the deal on a really fun 32 hours. Some things will have to remain like they do in Vegas, but let's just say I'm never sorry to have another adventure to say remember that one time....
  11. 7 points
    Hello, hello, hello! Here we are already into the last week of January. Time is flying by, so we’ll probably all be singing Christmas songs again before we know it. I’ve been posting for several weeks about how happy I am to not be training for anything and that I’m enjoying running just to run. Welp, time’s up. At 13 weeks to go until Kentucky Derby, it’s time I start to do a little more than just run for fun. I still haven’t decided how I’m going to treat this race, but I want options. This means I need to get myself up at uncomfortable paces again. The track is SO miserable in the winter so I might not start that up for another month or so, but it’s tempo time! I plan to add a mile or so to a weekly tempo run every couple of weeks. That should get me to a fast half marathon distance by race day! This week in running has been pretty chill for the most part. Chill as in both laid back AND cold. I think I’m starting to figure out how to properly dress. Shut up, weather app. You don’t know anything! Monday was 4 FREEZING miles with running buddy Brooke. The bridges made some awful sounds as we ran across them. Luckily I work with some sharp engineers that came up with some solid explanations. Brooke said it was like the bridges that collapse as you run across them on Super Mario games. We did pick up the pace a bit haha. Tuesday was more cold and more coffee. We didn’t take any pictures though. Step up, Wade and Alissa! This one was another 4 miles. There was talk of a 5th mile, but I just wanted the coffee. I didn’t run at all on Wednesday through Friday, which wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I got sick (again!) and figured I needed a break. I didn’t take a total break though at least. I managed to work out pretty hard with kettlebells on Wednesday and I played some basketball on Thursday. Friday just ended up being a little too busy. That happens. I wasn’t exactly ALL better. I look awful. Saturday I ran 7 miles. For the first 2 or 3, I felt pretty good! After 5, I started to feel pretty run down (pun intended). Sometimes you think you’re all better after a good night’s sleep, but there’s a little bit of sickness still there. That was this morning. Oh well, I don’t think I broke anything haha. I’ll be working on a training plan over the weekend to ramp up to be ready for the Kentucky Derby Mini. I wish that I was a little more fired up mentally, but I think that’ll happen. It might just take a warm day. Hurry up, Spring!
  12. 7 points
    I ran 2,500 miles last year and only raced once, in March. Okay, well I did a Turkey Trot too, but it was with no bibs or chips, just a timer. I think I was top 5 though. I started 15 or so feet from the line and had to work my way through the crowd as I gained speed. About 100 yards in I had to dodge a little kid (8yr old?) who had sprinted and was now bent over with his hands on his knees huffing and puffing. With 3 more miles to go he was in for a long morning. I continued passing crowds until about half a mile into it and then found folks running around my pace. First mile was a 6:43. Some downhill and extra effort had me passing a few more folks. A younger, college guy started pacing with me and we traded spots some. Some friends of his cheered him as we went by. Some uphll before hitting mile 2 caused him to drop back slightly, but he was on my heels and stayed there on the next downhill into mile 3. Mile 2 was a 6:33. A flat greenway took us back to the finish. I used to mile repeats here when I lived closer to it. I got into that zone and though maybe a sub 20 was possible, but just ran. College guy couldn't keep up. I had seen what I thought was the lead guy not too far out, though I knew I wasn't going to catch him nor the 3 or so folks between us. I crossed the line and I think the clock said 19:something, but my watch read 20:04. I figured the clock was not quite right because I didn't start my watch until I crossed the start line, a few seconds after the go gun. There were no awards or anything after, just water and snacks. My son and a nephew crossed a couple of minutes later. I then jogged back onto the course and caught up with my daughters, nieces and sister-in-law who were in fast dog-walking mode. A good day! I signed up for the local Charlotte marathon which is in November. I haven't had much motivation to start any kind of training yet. However, I have running buddy Tim who is training for Boston, so by default I'm somewhat training for a marthon. My marathon last March got me a BQ, but I was *only* four minutes and 10 seconds under my age requirement. The cutoff was 4:52 under. Oh well, I wasn't dying to go and mainly applied just because of RB signing up. Tim has high hopes and aspirations for Boston. And so far his training is going well. He wants to possibly place in the top 3 for his age group, which at Boston, ain't easy no matter what your age. He is 63 and needs a low or just under 3 hour finish to do that. So, damn! Yesterday (Sunday), he had 18 miles with 10 @ marathon pace (suggested target = 6:50) and wanted me to join. I do not have that speed or endurance, but agreed to start with him and fade accordingly. I did cut back the warm up miles to 5ish though. He didn't. I had mapped out a mostly flat and somewhat downhill 10 miles for the fast miles. That worked out well, but the wind yesterday morning managed to situate itself to be in our faces on all of the uphills. I fell behind as predicted after about 2 miles. I stayed pretty close though through mile 5, then he stayed stronger as I faded a bit more. My goal became to keep the overall under 7 minute pace. My slowest was 7:12, but I finished with a 6:57 average. The last two miles were a gentle downhill plus a tailwind. that helped me keep it under. RB Tim held on for a 6:47 overall! He is inspiring me and this run with him gave me a bit of a confidence boost to work a bit harder and maybe get more motivated.
  13. 6 points
    I really enjoy the Rock the Parkway half marathon, and it's one of the few events I run year after year: 2015, 2017, 2018, and now 2019 (I wanted to run it in 2016 too, but it didn't work out that year)! This year I planned to wait until the last minute to commit to running it, since it was 3 weeks after the Chisholm Trail Marathon and because I wasn't running well enough to be competitive until fairly recently. The marathon went well enough that I thought I could run a half time that would be in contention for a top 5 female finish at Rock the Parkway, and my recovery went very well too, so I was in. It helped that I received an email from the race director inviting me back to build this year's elite field! I didn't taper for this race (78 mile week), but I felt fairly fresh going into it. I figured that I was in shape to run about 1:24 on the hilly course, but initially my main goals were to be competitive and to negative split (having fun is a given!). However, the day before the race I read my 2018 race recap, which reminded me that I'd set a Missouri state record for females age 37 in the race last year, which quickly turned into me looking up the record for age 38. It was 1:24:58, so my secret goal because to beat the record. I thought it would be pretty close, because I was pretty confident I was in 1:24 shape, and perhaps a little arrogant about the accuracy of my race predictions after I'd predicted my marathon pace exactly and also remembered the time I made a marathon pace band that was 2 seconds off my actual finishing time. I knew I wasn't in PR form, but I felt confident I was going to have a good race for my current fitness level, although I don't really know why. My realist husband thought that a 1:25 would be a really good day, but I didn't let that sway my 1:24 feeling. Preview, because I wanted this to be the first photo Race morning came, bringing great racing weather - high-30s and sunny. My friend Jessi and I carpooled over to the race from my sister's house, which is less than a 10 minute drive. Due to a road closure, I had to drive a different route to the race than I usually take, and it threw off my parking plan, so we ended up sitting in a traffic jam of runners' vehicles until I decided to park on a side street that I figured was about a half mile away from the race. We wanted to run at least 2 miles to warm up anyway, so it worked - plus if I'd waited it would have cut into our warm up time. Between the parking fiasco, chatting with Jessi, finding a bathroom, sorting gear, and getting in about a perfect warm up (2.5 miles + strides and drills), I never really even thought about the race. No pressure! On the starting line, I saw two fast women who I knew could currently beat me, Pasca and Raquel. I also knew that Jessi was much more fit than me, but I didn't see anyone else I knew would be faster. I hoped I could take 4th. After the gun, I was immediately in 4th behind those three. There were several men around and in front of me, but no one to settle in with. I made the start photos I'd decided prior to the race that I wasn't going to look at my watch at all. This course is too hilly to run an even pace even if you are watching it, I'd run it mostly without looking last year, plus after my recent marathon went so well with no watch-watching I've become even more committed to not doing it in races. Mile 1 felt like the perfect pace for 13.1 miles at my current fitness. Miles 2 and 3 are pretty much all uphill, and I kept telling myself to be very conservative and hold back on the climb. By then the field had thinned out more and I could see several men I wanted to chase down, but I made myself be patient. I maintained effort through mile 4, then I gave myself permission to up the effort a little bit, because I was getting into a groove and feeling good! This is why you shouldn't run even pace in this race Based on a little almost switch-back turn between miles 5-6, I knew I had a very solid 4th female, and baring disaster it was unlikely I was going to move up or be passed. I wanted to see where my fitness was, so I kept time trialing and pressing ahead, picking off men as I could. Fun note: after the race sorted out in the first couple of miles, I didn't get passed by anyone. This race always makes me a little nervous during miles 6-7, because I can tell there is a lot more downhill than uphill as it rolls through some neighborhoods and by one side of a park. I enjoy the downs, but I know I'll have to run back up them in the next couple of miles. There is a climb in mile 8, and it's funny how that hill seems so much worse some years than others! This year it did not seem too bad, and I continued to pursue and pass men who were ahead of me. Really, the course as a whole seems much more hilly some years than others, and this year it felt less hilly (in 2017 it felt mountainous). Cruising along solo | tucked my gloves into my sports bra around mile 4 Somewhere between miles 8-9, I felt like I had enough gas left in the tank to push a little more for the remaining distance, so I did. I also decided I was going to look at my total time on my watch at the mile 12 mark to know if I'd have a chance at the state record time. This gave me a checkpoint to look forward to before the finish line! Around mile 10, I caught up with a man and encouraged him to push ahead with me. He'd been running pretty steady and it had taken me many miles to gradually pull him in, so I figured we could help each other to a stronger finish. We ran side by side for about 1.5 miles, which was nice after having no one to run with for most of the race. He then fell back a little bit, and I pressed on, feeling strong and frequently thinking, "I feel better here than I ever have at this point", "That hill was much worse 2 years ago", etc. When I hit the mile 12 sign, I took a look at my watch, and I knew I was going to get the record and probably run in the 1:23s, so I pushed to finish it up at fast as I could. I had a side ache during the last mile, which made it seem longer than any other mile of the race, but it's also a fast mile (downhill). It was my first sub-6:00 mile post-injury, in 5:55! Grade adjusted it was only 6:09, but I'm still counting it (although I have since run a sub-6:00 in training at the end of a tempo workout). Miles 11 and 12 were also faster than I'd run any other miles post-injury, at 6:09 and 6:07. My final 5K was 18:48, which I was ecstatic about because I wouldn't have even thought I could run an open 5K in that time right now (and maybe I can't, I need 10 miles at tempo to warm up!). I finished in 1:23:35 with a smile on my face that was even caught in some finishing pictures! Happy finisher! I am smiling & not stopping my watch, but I still managed a weird photo with my gloves tucked under my sports bra strap & weird arm swing...future goals! Splits Splits on left/grade-adjusted splits on right The women's race was pretty anticlimactic competition-wise; the top 4 women were in the same positions from 200 meters in. 5th finished 4:01 behind me, and 3rd was 1:39 ahead of me (although I think she was farther ahead earlier on), so nothing was close. Jessi finished in 2nd in a blazing PR of 1:17:25, and I was so happy for her! For me, getting the age 38 state record was my personal victory, and running faster than I expected was really exciting. Although I was incorrect on my time prediction, I nailed my 4th place female prediction, haha. While I ran faster on this course in 2017 and 2018 (1:23:15 and 1:22:42), my time wasn't drastically slower this year, and my final 5K this year was the fastest final 5K I've ever run here! Although I've run several halves faster than this (I'm not even going to count how many, probably 8+), this almost felt like a PR because it was by far my best performance thus far post-injury. A couple of months ago I couldn't even run a 3 mile tempo in 6:23 pace! The post-injury break-throughs are really sweet. I felt the same way after the Chisholm Trail Marathon (nowhere near a PR but celebration for a post-injury best). I guess that although I've run these paces before, I certainly don't take for granted that I will ever do them again, or even that I'll train or compete again. Throughout the race I thanked God that I was out there racing so many times! Official results are here. My new state record can be seen here. Jessi & I waiting for the awards I ran into my college friend Codi after the race - I hadn't seen her in over 10 years & was so pumped! After the race, Jessi, Raquel (3rd female) and I ran the worst cool down course ever (about 100 ft elevation gain in 0.8 to get to the car). Jessi and I changed our shoes and grabbed jackets from the car, then we all made our way back to the finish line area. The announcer was calling our names and saying we needed to go to the awards stage for awards that were about to start. We cut our cool down short to go to the awards, which we then waited 40 minutes for. The overall awards ceremony was also hilarious because no one was actually watching it. I cheered as loud as I could for Jessi and took pictures of her receiving her trophy, and she did the same for me, but we were each others only fans, haha! We then finished the rest of our cool down mileage holding our trophies, back up the 100 ft climb to the car. Oof! Poorly attended awards ceremony My new coach (more to come about that!) was really optimistic about my performance 3 weeks after a marathon and building towards my next marathon in 10 weeks. I'm excited to keep putting in the work! I'll get to see Jessi's marathon debut in person at Grandma's Marathon in 10 weeks too! "Their trust should be in God, who richly gives all we need for our enjoyment." - 1 Timothy 6:17b
  14. 6 points
    Hi. My name is Eliz and I'm afraid to go fast. I'm your typical Goldilocks character. I like to challenge myself (I go on adventures through the woods and have no problem staying with strangers that I have never met before), but I also like to be comfortable. In my ideal world, the temperature would always be 72 degrees, except when I'm running outside, then it would be about 68 degrees. The perfect shoe has a wide toe and about 1/4 inch of room from where my longest toe ends and the front of the shoe. Dress shoes would look like stilettoes but feel like running shoes. My pillows would always be fluffed just right. MJ would never raise her voice again. I would never burn my tongue when taking a big gulp of coffee. I want to go fast. I want to be faster, mostly for time's sake. I dream of the day where my easy runs are at least 10 minute miles. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid of pain, I'm afraid that I won't be able to tell searing-giving-your-all 5K pain from legitimate, you should stop running cuz your hip is falling off pain. Perhaps that's the Goldilocks in me, perhaps I have a little paranoia from all those years I ran with an injury that no amount of rest would completely heal, perhaps I just have a really unrealistic expectation of pain. In any case, I've realized the past few years that I am simply afraid to go fast, and it's been hindering my development as a runner. That's where that Peloton app has been pretty helpful. The coaches (that's what I like to call them, I think their job title is 'instructor') have set paces they tell you to go, which naturally are based on normal ranges for runners. So, on a treadmill, a 4.5 is a power walk, 5.0 is a light jog, 6.0 is a light run, etc. As a good student, I like to do exactly what the coach is asking of me, so I end up going a lot faster than I would normally go. Most of the time, it works and I amaze myself at how well I'm doing and how fast I'm going! There was one run where I got under 9 mm pace (for just a little bit, not average), which normally would seem untouchable to me at the end of a workout. There are other times where I have to remind myself to be humble. It's exciting. I haven't tested the speed outside - too much snow, or melting snow turned ice or too cold of weather. I am looking forward to see how things work out, though, and I'm really looking forward to that 5K in April. My only hope: that I can be brave enough to go fast and smash that previous PR. Gratuitous engagement photo (by the great Morgan Miller Photography)
  15. 5 points
    I think I might be falling in love with running again. Actually, with exercise in general. So, I guess with me. I'm falling in love with me again. Running has really sucked for a long, long time. And you know how that goes - it sucks, so you listen to excuses to not do it. Then it sucks more, so you avoid it more, and so on. Sprinkle that with back problems every time I started making progress and just life in general. Whatever, I talked about all of that on my last bloop. I kind of knew that I needed to go to the gym to work on my back problem but I found it really hard to actually do. I wanted to want to go to the gym again. I wanted to enjoy my time there. But I just couldn't get it started. I couldn't make myself want it bad enough. Discipline is a muscle and mine was just as soft and flabby as my ass. And running was a struggle. I went from being down to run whenever, for however far and whatever pace my RBs were going, to struggling to keep up, struggling to enjoy myself and struggling to not stop. I missed it and I'd get these little gems here and there - runs that reminded me of how running used to be - before it would go right back to sucking. I honestly thought about leaving running behind. Deciding that it was something I had done while I did it but that time was gone. Maybe I would revert to my old insomniac smoker self. Maybe it was time to box everything up and look for the next phase of life. Then I had a parting of ways with someone and literally that day, that moment, it all came back. All I wanted to do in the whole world was to go for a run. And it felt good. And I went to the gym and it felt like home. There was no more trying and wanting to want, it was like I stepped back into myself. I reverted to my larky athletic self. I feel optimistic about the future again. I don't care so much about pace atm, I just want that feeling. When you’re running and just running and your body is digging it and the endorphins are flowing and the miles are ticking by and all is right in the world.
  16. 5 points
    Vertical Mile Challenge – June 15, 2019 Rocky Face Park | Hiddenite, NC Race 6/12 for 2019 goal! Halfway there! It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything, and that’s because my world has changed quite a bit in the last month. I’m now living back in my home state of North Carolina, and have a lot of time on my hands while I find a job. I haven’t been using all that time to run though. I’ve let the stress of everything (that I’ll write about some time) get to me and haven’t used running as an outlet for it, for some reason. Nonetheless, I was signed up to run the VMC and I wasn’t about to puss out of it – trained or not. An abbreviated version of the history of the race goes like this: In 2011, some dudes wanted to create a race in where you complete 5,280′ of vertical in the shortest distance possible. They happened upon a park that is 15 minutes from where I grew up, and voila! 2.2 mile loops, eight times, for 16 miles and 5,280′ of vert. All aboard the pain train! Jenster is the one that told me about this race. It was only $25 to register and is SO close to where I’m living and grew up. It was such a no brainer! I hadn’t ran in three weeks leading up to the race and finally got in a few runs the week of the race. My niece and nephew are great running motivators and ask me every day if we can go running! Jenster and I The race started at 8am, so I got up at 5:45 so that I could leave by 6:30, get a great parking spot, and pick up my packet. It was a cool morning, and in the upper 50’s when I got there. There were just over 200 people running, which is the biggest group they’ve had thus far. Word is getting out, apparently. There were plenty of PoPs and a bathroom so I even got to use a real toilet! The smaller size of this race was perfect. This shows the bit of pavement we had to run on and the part of the rock that people climb. Not knowing a bit of the course or exactly what to expect, I started in the middle of the pack. We ran for less than a quarter of a mile on pavement and then hit the trail. Right away you could see there were going to be lots of roots – they had spray painted most of them bright orange. It was crowded up until we reached the rock face about half a mile in. I was not warmed up enough before we started the hike uphill. My first start up the hill While it was still cool, you could tell that rock was going to heat up quick – there wasn’t a breeze yet either. The straight uphill portion was at least a half a mile long and felt like it’d never end. I was using the footwork I’d learned while mountaineering in the snow – taking sideways steps so that I didn’t burn up my calves. Others were also using the switchback strategy so as not to go straight up the rock, which I did some as well. There wasn’t a trail so you just made your own way up the rock face. At the top, they had a water only station that was stocked with ice cold water. It tasted like the best water I’d ever had in my life. When you get to the top, you run through the woods briefly and get to another small rock portion, then hit the woods again and start going downhill. There were lots of switchbacks, rocks, and roots. This was a great way to start my NC racing again! I actually missed those roots! Towards the end of the loop, you come to another rocky portion and this is the portion you can see from the parking lot. This is also the portion that people rock climb on. There was a really steep part that was killer on the feet and toes! Just before you get to the start/finish line, there are some rock stairs and then you’re back on the pavement. At the start/finish, there is a bigger aid station with food and other drinks. I didn’t get anything after the first loop and just kept going. I should also note that when I crossed the line, my watch was reading just under 2 miles. Focus! Just after I started the second loop, I tripped and fell. I wasn’t picking my feet up enough, caught my toe on a root and BOOM! It was enough to scrape the skin off the top of my left knee (the knee that ALWAYS takes the hits!) and a little off my other knee too. My left wrist was what I caught myself with so it was a little scraped up as well. I didn’t run nearly enough trails in CO so I’m going to love getting use to it again! NC trails are far better than CO trails, in my opinion. Anywho, I had a few people ask me if I was ok and I gave them a thumbs up. It hurt for maybe a 10th of a mile and then it was fine! Just a flesh wound! I told one of them that I was due for some trail rash. Scraped the skin right off! It wasn’t long before I started seeing people getting treated by medical folks. I was also hearing that they had received a 911 call from someone and were looking for them. Shit was getting real and we were all starting to see and feel the effects of the terrain and heat. I didn’t consume anything besides water until after the third loop, which was a Huma gel and half a banana. When I hit the halfway mark, it was just over two hours and I ate a lot more. I grabbed some Gatorade, a pickle chunk, half a banana, and took a packet of 3 salt tabs. It hadn’t even dawned on me that I should have brought more salt tabs. I was lucky I even had the one pack. This was definitely early on in the race… haha! I had been playing leap frog with several people and kept seeing the same faces. The winner had finished before I even hit the halfway mark. I was also getting lapped by some folks as well. At this point, it was hard to tell who was on what lap and you didn’t really know unless you asked. A lady came up from behind me on the first or second lap and was asking me what model of Altras I was wearing. She said she’d never heard of the Timps and would be looking into getting some. We’d run into each other during all but the last two laps and she’d started calling us the Altra gals. She would pass me on the uphill and I would pass her on the downhill. I even started to “ribbet” when I went by her – haha! That 57 year young lady ended up beating me by 20 minutes! By the way, that’s the farthest I’ve ever run in the Altras and they were great! I’m on the far left I started off fueling well but didn’t continue to. I wasn’t taking in nearly enough when I needed to. I was only drinking a cup of Gatorade and eating half a banana. One of the laps I dipped a potato in salt and ate that – all that salt tastes so gross! The sixth lap was the worst and I was feeling pretty bad by the end of the seventh lap. I had been feeling like I was going to cramp up since the halfway mark, and I was just hoping and praying that it’d hold off – that could be a serious game changer. I even thought about this race possibly being my very first DNF. My back was also getting super tight and I kept having to bend over to stretch it out. However, my brother, sister-in-law, and three kiddos had come out to see me finish! They were there in time to see me start the last lap. I got some food and talked to them for a minute. My nephew and nieces didn’t know what to think about how I looked and that I was scarfing down watermelon, pickles, and banana and drinking Gatorade – all of which I could barely carry over to the bench, haha! By that time, I was averaging 40-45 minute loops so I told them I’d be back in about that amount of time. As soon as I took off for the last loop, I felt re-energized and great! Seeing them was what I needed to finish strong! There was a much smaller field at that point, and I felt like I was way in the back of finishers. I was letting the aid station volunteers know that it’d luckily be the last time I saw them! When I crossed the finish line in 4:46, my family was there to record me finishing. My nephew thought my bloody knee was the coolest and he was getting down really close to look at it. He hugged me and told me he was proud of me, dawwww! It’s over! Race Stats: Starters: 203 | Finishers: 184 | Gender Place: 25/48 | Overall Place: 128/184 Garmin Distance: 16 miles (supposed to be 17.4) | Garmin Vertical: 4,091′ (not 5,280′) I noticed a comment on Strava that the course has been off every year and that everyone always gets the vertical amount that I got. That is WAY off, by more than 1,000′! I wasn’t getting the 2.2 miles per loop either. I thought that I wasn’t getting a good GPS signal. Maybe that’s still true? Surely it wouldn’t be off that much and they still claim it as a vertical mile race…. who knows. Post Race It’s been three days since the race and I have been SORE AF! Getting on and off the toilet is THE WORST. This is certainly in the top of times that I have been the most sore. This time last year I ran the Leadville Heavy Half and I think I was this sore after that as well. I plan to run this race again next year so this will just be the weekend of pain from here on out! I’d love to make this a yearly occurrence! I also plan to get out there and run and hike the course as often as possible. It’s so close! Hopefully I’ll actually be ready for it next year. I haven’t signed up for a July race yet but it will likely be a 5K with my 8 YEAR OLD NEPHEW!! Yaaaaassssss!
  17. 5 points
    At least, I feel the worst on Wednesdays lately. Since Tempo Tuesday is my only real tough workout each week, I've noticed that I really feel it the next day. To make things doubly interesting, I've also inserted a long-ish weekday run on Wednesday, so, tired for a long run. Last Wednesday was just OK. But what really kicked me in the gut was the shingles shot. Mrs. Dave and I are the age where we need to get a pair of vaccines for it. The first one (back in February) wasn't bad, but this time she had a fever the next day and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. That was on top of the Wednesday post-tempo hangover, so those 11 miles were a real struggle. On Thursday I laid on the couch after work and watched two movies - Small Soldiers, and something else equally bad that I can't even remember. But I was in absolutely no shape for a run of any kind. By Friday I was back to normal, though, and thought about stretching the miles to make up for it. Then I remember what a bad idea it is to try to make up miles, so I just went the 8 I had planned. They were pretty great - most of them at or near 8:00 mm. Not easy pace, but felt strong. Saturday's long was another debate about catching up for the 16 I'd missed the week before (did 10 after FIL's funeral), but discretion won again. 11 was the plan this week, and it also went pretty well. A little too fast at the end and a little too slow at the end. This was after seeing Endgame. I'm not happy with Marvel right now. No spoilers, but I disagree with what happened to ... nevermind. A careful, easy 6 on Monday, setting up for the longest tempo of this training cycle. 8 miles with a miles w/u and c/d, 10 total. I've been starting most of these too fast and dragging my tail on the second half. My solution was to run this as a cut-down, or a progression. Really careful at the start and as fast as possible at the end. In my head, the plan was to split it up into two miles segments, with a pair at 8:15, a pair at 8:00, then 7:45, and whatever was left for the last two. It ended up being an almost perfect progression. 8:12, 8:11, 7:58, 7:53, 7:48, 7:39, 7:36, 7:27. It was hard to hold back those first few - 8+ felt SO SLOW! - but glad I did. Those last two were tough. Then I mowed the lawn because with all the rain we had in April it was pretty out of hand. Really green but extra long. Anyway, it looked like that was the only time I'd be able to get to it and with more rain coming it was only going to get worse. Finished just before it got dark. This is the last big week. 60 miles. Looks like I'm going to make it.
  18. 5 points
    Last week was up and down some. After the good/bad Tempo Tuesday, I had a decent Wednesday (7), then a really good 6 miles on Thursday. There was trouble Thursday, though, because I wasn't running six miles - I was running ten. Just after six I turned into the wind for the ride home and ... BAM! Hit me like a ton of bricks. Back in mile 5 I'd passed a woman on the sidewalk, we waved and smiled. After a quarter mile or so of the struggle bus, she came past me from the other direction. She smiled and waved again, but I think my return was more of a #everythinghurtsandimdying grimace. Yeah, those last four miles sucked the big one. I thought I'd swing past and see how the new train through the woods was going. Turns out they've run a dozer through the woods but haven't made any other progress on creating a path, so it was a total mess from the recent rains. I had to walk for a quarter mile-ish, then finally abandoned the trail for a side road. My white shoes are still white, but they don't look new anymore. Then of course any bad run (even if it's only partly bad) sets the mind up for more bad things. Stepping out of the shower I felt pain along the inside of my left leg. Farther in than where I'd expect shins splints. And I haven't had shin splints since high school. So obviously it had to be a stress fracture, or at least a stress reaction. I googled a couple of things and asked Loopville. I was not encouraged. Mrs. Dave poo-poo-ed my theory. This was actually on Tuesday before the ten miler, and didn't seem to bother me when I was running or walking. In true runner fashion I decided to ignore it and hope it went away. If my Friday (6) and Saturday (15) runs were OK, I was prepared to take it seriously and count myself lucky I hadn't yet registered for Vermont. Getting ready for the six, I took a more careful look at the area and noticed some bruising. When I moved it away from the bone, the flashy part still hurt, but the bone didn't. Not sure if that's an actual medical test, but it made me think this was not a bone issue. The six went well. Fifteen on Saturday gave me 52 for the week and 167 for the month of March. That's the most in almost two years. That Saturday run was decent. I got rained on from miles 5-10, which was also when the wind was in my face and that kind of sucked. This was also opposite of my fourteen miler from two weekends before, when I started slow and finished faster. Partly because of the rain wind in the middle, and partly because the route had more elevation gain on the back half, until the last two miles. But I never felt as dead as I did on Thursday. This was just a good, long run. And with seven weeks to go, I'm feeling pretty confident. If the north Vermont weather at the end of May cooperates, I think I'll be set up for a good marathon in the 3:40-50 range. That's 2020 BQ territory and I'd be pretty happy with that (duh!). 56 miles this week, beginning with five yesterday. Felt tired, from last week I assume. No problem with the leg and the discoloration is fading, so I guess that means no sfx. This weekend was originally going to be my Pikermi tune-up race, but I couldn't find one. Now I'm debating whether to run a hard 13.1 or just have another long run - perhaps a MP test. Next week I'll be losing the back half of the week to the wedding, including a Saturday 16 miler.
  19. 5 points
    Flashback to the end of September 2018 (from memory): There’s a local 5K in the town by our house held by the high school every year. It’s a great race, we live within walking distance the start and finish, it’s reasonably priced, and supports a scholarship for a local high school student, so no excuse not to run really. Side note - the bakery in town provides cupcakes as prizes to the age group winners – best award EVER! This year it was 4 weeks after I was cleared to run- about 10 weeks after DD was born. DH said he would join me and push DD in the stroller, which kept me from trying to race…probably a smart thing. It’s the only organized race I have ever been able to convince him to do, plus, he joined me in the ice cream mental recovery 😊, so no time goal, but I wanted to run the entire thing. We started towards the back of the crowd and took off at a nice semi-easy pace. DD slept for the entire time, waking up at the finish, so I think she enjoyed it! The up hills got a little difficult, but we maintained pace. DH, not having run anything in over a year, and not used to running with the stroller, struggled a bit, which was too be expected, but I’m proud of him for not stopping. I felt pretty good, but I didn’t have the stroller. We finished in under 31 minutes, just under a 10 min/mile pace. Awesome for both of us! 😊 AND a very enjoyable run with the entire family!! No cupcake for me this year, but I hope to get back there again for 2019. (DH did stop by the bakery to surprise me with a purchased one though – Yum!) DD’s first 5K:
  20. 4 points
    It was supposed to be a trail run. Between the rocks, steepness, and my getting old, there was much more walking than running.. The snows of yesteryear await the snows of September. MapMyRun shows the average gradient as 7.8%. Maybe I can feel not so bad about it now.. Only one climb on the route, how bad could it be ? ha. One of the few runnable bits of trail, Once I could run all day up here. Now I have to take a rest, quite possibly more than one. Since I'm resting anyway and the fish are rising, usually pack in a rod and do a little fishing, while panting in the shade. Up at the end of the trail, a deep rocky lake below the Continental Divide. I heard voices, then saw four guys skiing down from the Divide on that dirty patch of snow. Saw them later and said it seemed like a lot of walking for a little skiing. They probably thought the same thing about my fishing.. Thunder rolled in and it was time to beat feet out again, past the pretty little streams. Torrential rain and hail on the way out. Usually September in CO is calm, mild and reliably sunny through the day. Now we broke the weather, anything can happen. On Saturday ran my annual race, 5k at church to fundraise for IOCC. Our friends Carl and Mary came to support the cause, Carl ran away from me (won in 20:18) and Mary walked with DW. My times at this race: 2013 22:37, 2015 23:25, 2018 24:27, 2019 25:50 A pattern emerges.. hm oh dear. Still running though, call it a win. I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet Had my head stoved in, but I'm still on my feet And I'm still, willin'
  21. 4 points
    Since I have a 10 miler coming up this weekend (Colorado Women’s Classic – my May race!), I thought I’d share this enthusiastic race report. I’ve been under the weather this week, and have been dealing with some heavy stress (which is probably why I’ve been sick), so I’m not expecting this weekend’s race to be quite as awesome as this one was. Nonetheless, I get to JFR around a bunch of awesome, inspiring women on Mother's Day! Raven Rock Rumble 10 miler – Lillington, NC November 20, 2010 The weather was absolutely perfect for the run on Saturday. It wasn’t too chilly (upper 40’s) and the sun was blaring. My friend Erin and I drove the 1:15 to the race location and walked the 1/4 mile to the sign-in table. It was a nice warm up! I decided to run in shorts and a sleeveless shirt because I knew I’d warm up after the first mile. Everyone else was all bundled up with their gloves and beanies looking at me like I was nuts. I started off kind of fast and knew that I should slow down. I couldn’t get myself to do it because I feel like a gazelle when I’m running on trails! Plus, right from the beginning it was single track and we were running single file. I would dart out and around someone the first chance I got. The trails were magnificent and covered with wet leaves. The wet leaves made it hard to see the roots that were sticking up in the path. Many people ate it, more than once, including Erin! There were some crazy hills and one even included some steps; the ones that take two steps per stair. That hill kept going and going and going! I actually ended up passing a lot of people on the hills. I couldn’t get myself to walk up them knowing I was in a race. I’m too competitive! At the turnaround I saw that I was the 8th female and knew I could catch a few of them. I passed several of them on the hills and just kept going. Throughout, I stumbled about four times, the last one being the almost fall but I never fell. Luckily! I did tell Erin that she was “officially” a trail runner because she fell and had blood Erin’s trail rash! The last hill was kicking my butt and I ended up walking for about 10 seconds. I had to keep going though because I knew if I walked for too long, it would be hard to start back up again. I finished in 1:26:47 – 1/6 in the 25-29 age group, and 3rd woman!!! They jacked up the results and left me out somehow. They recorded my time and are in the process of getting it sorted out I did get a beanie and a cool Montrail T-shirt I had a great race and am so proud of myself!! Yay me!
  22. 4 points
    The highlight of this trip of course was the wedding, but since there ended up being some interesting adventures besides that, it seems a shame to ignore all of it. There’s a ton of stuff from the last two weeks and just a little running. Feel free to skip whatever you like. A few weeks ago I had nearly reached my limit with Mrs. Dave’s mother of the bride crises. No way could I tell her to just chill the heck out, whether I agreed with her or not. Nor could I bring myself to give Big Mac a stern lecture about doing things her mom’s way. So, I was caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. In desperation, I called out the big guns - a couple of very close, very dear friends who I knew would be able to talk her down from the edge of the cliff - and asked them to weigh in on the wisdom of battling over things like the wording of invitations, and also giving assurance, that everything would work out in the end and it would be a lovely, beautiful wedding and everyone who attended would only remember how beautiful the bride was. They came through with flying colors, despite dealing with their own issues because they’re awesome like that. There was still concern over T-Rex’s dress, but that resolved itself with a week to go, so it seemed that we’d survived the worst. Unfortunately, my father-in-law (who was 88 and hadn’t been doing well for several years) took a downturn the week before the wedding, throwing another little monkey wrench into the works. I don’t mean to make light of his condition, but he had developed a pattern of falling into a health crisis for most of the grandchildren’s weddings. One time he tore a muscle trying to unclog the toilet and missed one. That story will live on forever. This time, he experienced severe pain and spent 3 days in the hospital, coming home just a few days before on home hospice. They had found a spot of cancer last year and because of his age and other issues had decided not to treat at the time. This time tests showed it had spread significantly (as expected), and it seemed the end was near. How near, no one could say - days, weeks, months. But, the family soldiered on, caring for him while preparations continued. FIL was not expected to attend, and we had a home nurse called in to be with him, with prayers that he would last at least through the day. True to my word, I did not run from Thursday when we left until Monday following the wedding. I thought about it every day, but never out loud. So proud. One of the early dates the Mac and Ben had was at a tiny hole-in-the-wall Italian place called Zouave near the University of Washington campus. They were walking past it and looked in the door, more out of curiosity than anything. It appeared to be closed, but the owner/chef saw them, asked them in and served them himself. Who does that? Anyway, the night before the wedding they took his parents and us there. It was pretty amazing food. The owner was overjoyed to see them and, after a round of hugs, gave them free dessert and a bottle of wine (which they don’t drink, but it seemed a shame to refuse - they’ll find it an appropriate gift someday I’m sure). Ben pointed out the place on the other side of the restaurant where they’d sat that first time and informed us that it was there when he’d known he was going to marry her. Wedding day came and almost everything went perfectly. Mac left her earrings at her apartment, but the brothers were staying there and brought them in plenty of time. In our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - we’ve been encouraged to use that whole, awkward mouthful - most are more familiar with the term “Mormon” of course), the preferred marriage is performed in our temples. We believe it gives a more permanent (eternal) stamp of divine approval. They’re generally small affairs with 20-40 close family and friends. We were on the high side of that. It was quiet and spiritual, just the way we like it. For the record, I did not cry (much). It had been a rainy morning - normal for April in the PNW - but by the time we went outside, it had stopped and stayed dry the rest of the day. Another little wedding weekend miracle. After a few pictures, the party moved to Anthony’s Pier 66. This place was as ostentatious as Zouave’s was understated. The food was just as good. Instead of a big reception, they had chosen to host a luncheon for the wedding party plus another 30 or so. (The real beauty of this arrangement was the zero amount of responsibility for setup and clean up for the family.) Despite the clouds that were still around, the view of Puget Sound was gorgeous. There was music, childhood slides of the bride and groom. Very relaxed, very casual. We toasted the new Mr. and Mrs. I danced with the bride. I may have cried a little. And then they were gone. They stopped on their way out of town and spent a few minutes with her grandfather, who was still alert enough to say “hello” and wish them a wonderful life. The wedding business properly disposed of, we took Sunday to recoup, look after FIL, and get ready for phase two of this trip. Also, I went for a run. Was going to go for 10, but sort of wanted to get as far as Green Lake. That ended up being an extra mile one way, so it was 12 miles. Missing half of the previous week and expecting to miss at least a couple of days that week, I decided it was fine. The first ten were pretty nice, especially when I picked up a running buddy at about mile 3. We ran to the lake at about 8 minute pace (dropping 100 feet per mile), talking about racing and training and stuff (he’s a tri-athlete but is doing more trail ultras lately). He broke off after that to go home and I climbed the 100 feet per mile back. The last two miles were a challenge. I also fixed the gutters on their house. While on the roof, I saw that the gutters needed a good cleaning. How does one live in Seattle and not take care of your gutters? There was an inch or more of leaves and gunk all the way around. What I’d figured to be a half hour of repair turned into 3 hours of sliding along on my touche, reaching in and tossing handfuls of the stuff onto the ground. There was 40 feet or so of TV cable running along the gutter. I kept wondering why they’d put it there since there wasn’t a TV on that side of the house. When I reached the end of the cable I discovered where they’d previously had an antenna attached to the roof. They had just left the cables there, through at least three changes of cable and satellite dish providers - who knows how many years? I took it down. Phase 2 was a short hop to Boise (uber-cheap tickets on Alaska Airlines) and a rental car to Idaho Falls to visit my dad. He’s 86. Considerable slower than he used to be, but still mentally sharp and as ornery as ever. Originally, this was also for T-Rex to visit with a “friend”. That plan had a hiccup when he announced that he had a serious girlfriend, but the tickets were already bought, so we just shifted the focus to grandpa. She’d also left most of her summer clothing at school before we decided that she needed to stay home this until fall. I had another run the next morning (Wednesday). Nine miles. I considered making it a tempo, but I wasn’t sure about how I’d do at 4,700 feet above sea level, and a couple of miles out it was hilly, so I just ran. It was chilly but with no humidity, shorts and double shirts with gloves was plenty warm. Had some stomach issues in mile 5, desperately enough that I tried stopping at a farm house. I figured at 8:00 am, someone would be up. I guess they much have been already out working because no one answered the door. Tried a couple more over the next mile (houses were all about ¼ mile apart, btw) with no success. No POP, no gas station, no forest, no hotel - literally, no place to go. Luckily, the urge subsided and I was able to make it back unsullied. 8:30-8:45 pace for most of it, despite the door knocking and the wind in my face on the way back. A little slower than most of my runs lately. Not bad. Here’s a thing about small town Idaho. Half of T’s clothes were in storage at her dorm, the other half was at my brother’s house. I called him on our way (about a half hour from Dad’s) to make sure someone would be home. “Um, no. we’re in Utah this week.” I asked him if there was a way to get into the house to get the clothes. “Just open the door. It’s open.” 250 miles away. For a week. “It’s open.” Anyway, about halfway between Dad’s and Rexburg, Mrs. Dave’s phone rang. Her dad had passed away just then. It was not a shock, like I mentioned before. His illness and dementia had been difficult for the family for several years, as it was for him. There was sadness of course, but also relief, and peace. Ever practical, Mrs. Dave took a few minutes to discuss and arrange with her mother and sister, then urged us to keep going with our plans. There was much more than I’ve put down here, but this is enough for now. T-Rex had done a great job putting her things together and it was a piece of cake getting what we wanted out and into our extra suitcase. We bought a few things for dinner later (Dad doesn’t cook much) and dropped her off to visit with the boy (the same one - officially now “just a friend”). We grabbed a sandwich while Mrs. Dave continued her discussions with her family about arrangements for their dad. The funeral wouldn’t be until the 27th, so we would finish our trip, go home to Michigan and then return for it. Next morning (Thursday) I went into town. I’ve always headed west and up into the hills before from Dad’s house, but I was still worried about the altitude and since I’d spent the previous morning climbing wanted to have a break. Was hoping to get to the downtown are, but by five miles I wasn’t quite there. Next trip to Idaho maybe. The advantage of running through miles of retail is plenty of opportunity to stop and evacuate, which I needed at mile 4. Having to pit stop on what seems like every single run is annoying. 8:20-8:35. Last year Dad bought a 1986 Olds 442. He’s pretty proud of it. As far as I’m concerned, the 80s-90s muscle cars are overrated, but we all went for a ride a spent an hour at the Idaho Potato Museum. Did you know the average American eats 120 pounds of potatoes a year? Marie Antoinette wore potato flowers in her hair? Neither did I. Another thing about small town Idaho is that airlines aren’t very keen on flying there. Hence the Seattle-Boise and rental car arrangement. Flying directly to IF would have been crazy expensive. Our other reasonable option was flying to SLC and renting the car from there - about the same distance from IF as Boise. Anyway, the flight home from Boise was at 6:00 AM, so we drove the four hours that night, snoozed at a rest stop outside of town and got to the airport just after they opened for the day (BOI is not a 24 hour operation). Fun times with a 3 hour layover in Denver, getting into Detroit at 5:00 PM. Skipped the Friday run after traveling all day, and got up on Saturday to an all day rain forecast. This was technically a cutback week, but after missing my long run on the wedding day I wanted to get 16. But I didn’t want to run in the rain. Airplanes are germ carriers as well as people carriers and I’d just spent a long day in two that were half full of crying babies and toddlers traveling to grandma’s house for Easter. Plus remember I’ve decided not to run in bad weather this year. But it wasn’t raining yet, so I decided to break the 16 into 3 legs from the house like I used to do when I wasn’t sure I could run 16 miles all at once. 5-5-6 was the plan. Once I got going, though, 5 seemed a little short, so I went 6. Started slow, stopped (of course!) at a gas station at mile 3, finished the first leg in 52 minutes (8:40 avg). Windy, but no rain yet. Grabbed a Hammer Gel and a couple of swallows of G at the house. Those first 6 went so well I decided to do 6 for the second leg as well, thinking that if it started raining, I’d have at least 12 miles instead of 10-11. Leg 2 was 51:22 (8:34 avg). Still no rain. Felt a little creaky starting the last leg but worked it out in the first half mile and felt pretty good until the final mile, which sort of sucked. 34:12 (8:33 avg). So, the total for the 16 miles was 2:17:34, an average of 8:36 per mile. I’ve had 3:45-ish in my head lately as my target for Vermont, and this is easily in line with that. 3:45 is a 8:35 pace. Makes me wonder if I should shave another 5-10 minutes or so from that. Didn’t do much the rest of the day. Or the next. Got away with that because it was Easter Sunday. Work had a community service activity scheduled Monday, which was better than actually working. I helped assemble some new shelving for their records storage room. Destroying the old shelves was the more fun part. After that we reorganized another storage room and took a crap-ton of stuff to the dumpster. 6 easy miles in the afternoon (8:29 avg). Felt tired. Then Tempo Tuesday. This was 9 miles total with 7 at tempo pace, whatever that is. I like to think it’s near 7:30, but realistically I’m happy with 7:45. I also picked one of the more difficult routes, west into the wind and a steady climb on the way out, which would leave me gassed for the second half. I was actually kind of worried about it. 7:48, 8:11, 7:56, 8:01, 7:34, 7:43, 7:40. So, 7 miles at 7:50. Not stellar, but all things considered, close enough for this week. I’m OK with it. Today Garmin has my V02 Max at 50 and the race predictor has me with a 20:50 5K, 43:12 10K, 1:35:40 half and a 3:19 marathon. Haha. OK, time for some pics. First, the wedding. My 100% unbiased opinion is that Mac is the most adorable bride in history. These are just a few that I took with my old iPhone5. Sisters! Oh, and then there’s this from the Potato Museum. The story goes that a Hollywood columnist once said that Marilyn Monroe would look sexy even dressed in a potato sack. So her publicist had the brilliant idea to prove it. Sixty years later, I think they were right.
  23. 3 points
    The short: I decided to jump into a race that my local running club OMRR hosts, accurately called Sweatfest, in Missouri's July heat and humidity. Albani and I both ran the 2 mile, which started at 8 p.m., and I ran the 10 mile, starting at 9 p.m. The state records in both events for my age were very weak, so I was able to break them. I also broke the overall female 2 mile state record (which was also clearly very weak - we all know short races are not my forte!) with 11:37 chip/11:39 gun (I should have gotten farther up on the starting line!). But the largest success of the night was that I actually fell asleep when we got home from the races! Official results are here. State records are here: 2 mile and 10 mile. We are very sweaty The long: The perk of running a Saturday night race: my house was spotless by 10:30 a.m. The downsides of running a Saturday night race: I spent most of the day not resting, and also worrying that I was either eating too much or too little or the wrong things (spoiler: it was the third). I remembered why I don't want to do any evening goal races; someone suggested the Rock 'n' Roll Vegas marathon to me for an OTQ attempt, but I think I'd have to be carted off to the looney bin by noon on race day if I tried that! I hadn't run this race before, but I usually volunteer at it, so I was familiar with the event area and course. Part of the "fun" of the race is that it takes place mid-July when it's inevitably steamy. They even have a contest for who loses the most water weight in sweat! There are 2 mile, 5 mile, and 10 mile distance options, with the 5 and 10 starting together and running the same course. OMRR selected these distances because there are not very many certified courses of these distance in Missouri, so the state records are easily attainable. The records for my age were 15:39 and 1:19:22, meaning that I could run my easy training pace and break them - if they had been fast I wouldn't have tried to break them in an oppressive summer night race! I ran the 2 mile course for my "warm up" (it was 85 degrees with a dew point of 76, so I was sweating just walking across the parking lot), did a few strides and drills, and lined up to see what these marathon legs would do. I didn't really know what to expect considering a) the weather, b) the time of the race, c) I hadn't run anything hard since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) I sure hadn't done any training for a 2 mile since, oh, high school! I also hadn't raced anything shorter than a half marathon in 10 months. I decided I was going to just run hard and see what happened. Thinking about lining up The first bit of the 2 mile Chasing two females Ditto As we took off, two females went out fast. One looked high school aged and the other looked around my age and very fit. There isn't much time to make up ground in a race like this, so I tried to stay relatively close. I passed the older of the two within a half mile, and then passed the 14-year-old at around 0.75 mile and told myself "now you have to hang on to this!" I tried to work up to each man who was ahead of me. The course had a hair pin turn at halfway, which was not easy to navigate running fast, but after I got around it I kept reminding myself to keep the pedal to the metal because the end was already close. I didn't look at my watch during the race, but my first mile was 5:39 per my Garmin. Towards the end of the 2 mile This turn was terrifying Final stretch As we headed back to the finish line, my legs started to remind me that this is not what we do! I kept trying to work up towards a man ahead of me, and caught him as I turned to go up an incline towards the finish (spoiler: he then out-kicked me going into the finish). I knew I had a solid female lead at that point, and the upcoming 10 mile was in the back of my mind, so I eased off going up the hill. When we turned down the final stretch towards the finish and I saw the clock in the 11:20s, I tried to really notch it down, although I'm not sure if I actually did. I finished in 11:37 chip time, which also meant I positive split like a champ (5:58 second mile per my Garmin, but Strava short-changed me and said the course was 1.99). It is always more difficult for me to negative split in any distance in the heat - hot races often end up being more like regression runs, which is not the ideal way to run anything, but what can you do? Seeing the clock at 11:29 Done! That's my fastest 2 miler as an adult, although I've run workouts pretty close to that (in better weather). All-considering I was happy with it, especially because the overall state record was 12:00. I am sure there are hundreds of females in Missouri who could run faster than I did, but lucky for me they haven't run a certified 2 mile road race in the state! It was also a good confidence boost that I may be able to try for a 5K PR this season, because I think I could have averaged about the pace I did for this race for another mile if it had been cooler and I hadn't been holding back for the upcoming 10 mile (plus I am actually doing a speed work block at the beginning of my next training cycle, which can't hurt). Albani ran the whole way in her 2 mile (no walk breaks) and finished in 22:06, for 4th in the 14 and under age group. She hasn't been running at all, but was really excited to do this race and is already asking to repeat it next year! She was disappointed that she didn't win an award, but I gave her my 2 mile trophy - we also realized that if I hadn't run she would have gotten 3rd in her age group, because the second overall female was 14, but don't tell her this. After watching her finish, I drank some water and ate some watermelon, we took some photos, I received my award, and then I headed out to jog a mile cool-down/warm-up. She begged to run this race, then made this face See, this turn was terrifying! Focus Look at that stride! Happiness Great finishing clock shot Me being a dork at the 2 mile awards I also wasn't sure how the 10 mile would go, considering a) the weather, b) it started at my bedtime, c) I hadn't run any long runs or workouts since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) it was my first time racing with a headlamp. I figured I'd start out at 6:30 pace and try to work down, maybe getting in a solid progression run and finishing at 6:00 pace, but I thought if I could average my marathon pace I'd be doing good (spoiler: I couldn't). Nick, a friend through my running club, was also running it with a similar pace in mind and we decided to run together. First 100 m of the 10 miler After the start there were 4 men ahead of Nick and I, but we didn't know who was in the 10 mile and who was in the 5. By the turn around at 2.5 miles we'd passed 2 of the men and were gaining on the others. I looked at my first split (6:23), told Nick I didn't want to go any faster, then just followed him. Coming back to finish our first tour of the 5 mile course, we passed another man and pulled up with another. The second went with us, and told us he was running the 5 mile. We ran with him until he started his finishing sprint and pulled ahead. Then we went through the finish line to start the second lap of the course. My headlamp is intense! I felt okay on the first lap, but I wasn't sure if I had the reserves to run a good second lap. I felt pretty dehydrated and took water 7 times during this race, which I have never done before in anything except a marathon! I could tell Nick felt a lot better than me, but I just kept telling myself to stick with him until the next mile. Then we'd get to the next mile and I'd tell myself, "okay, just until the next mile...okay, just until the turn around, etc." I was slowing down but I wasn't looking at my watch (it would not have mattered if I did). Around the halfway point of the 10 mile Just after the turn around at 7.5, I suddenly needed an urgent bathroom stop! I told myself, "Only a little over 2 miles left...you can run straight to the porta-potty by the finish line..." but as we came up on the mile 8 mark I knew there was no way I was going to make it. I told Nick I had to stop because it was happening one way or another, and I wasn't pooping myself unless it was en route to a 2:45 marathon! The perk of it being pitch dark out and not having any other runners close to us was that I just had to take one step off the course into the ditch. This has never happened to me before in a race except when I had cryptosporidum, and I blame it completely on the fact that I ate 2 full meals that included fresh garden produce before the race. But after I went, I felt much better! We won't talk about that car that suddenly drove by and honked at me (they were honking at everyone running though, at least)... Although I felt immensely better after my pit stop, I was still fading (the 10 miler was another solid regression run for me, hah!). Nick had generously run up a little ways and eased off the pace while I stopped, so I caught back up with him. I told him he could feel free to go ahead; I could tell he was much stronger than me. He said there wasn't any reason to; we would finish together (he also had a huge overall male lead and even if he kicked it in he wasn't going to run a great time for him). Although my last few miles weren't pretty, they would have been much worse if I hadn't been trying to hang onto him! Around mile 9 my shoe came untied, and by that point nothing really mattered so I quickly tied it. I was pretty glad to see the finish line coming closer, and I told Nick, "I am not kicking", hah. We finished side-by-side, although my chip read 0.22 faster than his so I technically won overall. I felt bad about that because he would have had absolutely no trouble smoking me if he'd wanted to! My time of 1:06:16 was a new single age state record for females age 38, despite being a slower pace than my half marathon state record. I stopped my Garmin for my pit stop and shoe tying, which took exactly 45 seconds together. I cooled down or a mile, which gave me 16.5 for the night and for my first long run after Grandma's. I grabbed my 10 mile award as soon as I could, but we still didn't make it home until about 11:15, so by the time I made a smoothie and showered it was midnight, i.e., way too late for me! The best thing about the race was our awesome running community and club. Albani said the best part of the race was the ice cream truck! Overall record Twins!
  24. 3 points
    March 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 320.4 Feb. 25-March 3: 90.3 (2:40 strength training) March 4-10: 86.2 (2:37 strength training) March 11-17: 77.7 (2:21 strength training) March 18-24: 71.3 (1:01 strength training) March 25-March 31: 50.2 (1:37 strength training) Matching March! Races: March 24: Chisholm Trail Marathon in 2:57:18 for 3rd overall female - because why not bust the rust with a full marathon after 6 months of not racing?! I was this excited before the marathon! Workouts: March 6: 5 mile tempo at 6:23 via 6:28, 6:25, 6:24, 6:26, 6:15 (3 warm up, 4 cool down). I figured if this workout went really well I could start at 6:30 and finish at 6:15, so I was pleased to do nearly just that! It was 11 degrees, which is colder than I'd prefer for a workout, but the wind was almost nonexistent, which helped a lot. Although I want to work back down to running my tempos 20+ seconds/mile faster than this, this was the best workout I'd had since my injury in September (a streak which continued through my other March workouts). March 10: 12 miles at marathon effort at 6:41 via 6:56, 6:49, 6:44, 6:40, 6:44, 6:44, 6:41, 6:44, 6:43, 6:35, 6:33, 6:20 (3 warm up, 3.3 cool down). Since this was my only long run workout, I really needed it to go well, and it did! The 6:20 final fast mile was certainly harder than marathon effort - but I was stoked to be able to throw that in there. I still felt pretty good afterward, and my cool down miles ended up being faster than expected (7:19 with a quick drink stop, 6:56, 6:52) and my average pace for all 18.3 was 6:56. I was super tempted to run 20 miles instead of stopping at my car at 18.3, but I didn't want to over-cook myself 2 weeks out from the marathon so I restrained myself. It was really nice to feel good enough to want to do that though! March 13: Progressive split tempos of 4-3-2-1 miles with 0.5 recoveries (1 warm up, 0.6 cool down). My splits were were 6:39, 6:40, 6:35, 6:33 / 6:37, 6:27, 6:30 / 6:22, 6:22 / 6:13. Since it takes about 10 days to get gains from a workout, this was my last real effort before Chisholm Trail and I wanted to make it count! I'd set my goal paces at 6:45, 6:35, 6:25, 6:15 for the 4 portions, but since we were in a wind advisory on workout morning I figured I'd have to adjust. Once I got going, though, I felt really strong and ended up exceeding those goal times (averages of 6:37, 6:31, 6:22, 6:13)! The 4 mile and 3 mile repeats felt brisk but comfortable. It's funny how 6:30-6:40 felt like a pace I could sustain for quite awhile, but dropping a little from that for the 6:22s and 6:13 was pushing a lot more. All in all, I was pleased with this solo workout in 20+ mph wind (I ran a 0.8 mile loop course so it split up the wind at least). I typically would run a much longer warm up and cool down for any workout (I need a 2 mile warm up minimum!), but the total volume of this as I did it was already 13.1 miles and I didn't think I needed to be running any farther than that 10 days out from my marathon. It would have been a better workout to do within a long run, but I didn't have any more of those left! March 19: A little final tune up of 3 x 1 mile at marathon goal pace (6:41, 6:38, 6:40), 0.5 mile faster (6:01) with 0.5 recoveries (2 warm up, 1.5 cool down). I ran this on gentle rolling hills to make myself focus on effort and not my watch. I was trying to stay between 6:40-6:45 on the miles, so I was very close. As per always, marathon pace felt awkward; I always want to either speed up to tempo pace or slow down to over 7:00, because it's not easy but it's not hard. I will never understand those people who say their marathon pace feels easy and run it or faster all of the time in training - I will never run mine in training without purposely targeting it! The faster half mile was the fastest I've run on anything except strides in about 6 months, so yay. Doubles on March 6, 7, 11, 14, 18. Strides on March 1, 9, 12, 18, 22, 23. Favorite workout: Both of the long ones - March 10 and March 13! Baby Peck is joining us for runs now! Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, it was again pitch dark when we finished our runs for awhile Sunrise miles at the end of the month! Long Runs: March 2: 23.2 miles (7:23). I was thrilled with how strong I felt on this run (more about it here). I ran by feel without looking at my watch, and was pleasantly surprised to see that my final 5 miles were 6:50-7:04 pace, which I figured was about my current marathon pace (I revised that to 6:45 after my March 10 workout). It's nice when your longest long run of your training cycle is also your fastest paced up to that point! I ran with Claudio and Rebecca (plus Jack for the first 8), and the miles went by very quickly. I drank both nuun energy and Generation Ucan before the run, and had nuun energy and one Accel gel during, which all sat flawlessly in my stomach and are all part of my race day nutrition (on race day day I eat breakfast 3 hours before also, and I take 3 Accel gels during a marathon). March 10: 18.3 miles (6:56), described in workouts above. March 16: 12.2 miles (7:25). I ran the first 3 miles with Amy, then the rest solo. I tried to run the final mile at marathon pace by feel, but it ended up being 6:26, so I guess I felt good, because that was faster than my current marathon pace! March 24: 27.6 miles via the Chisholm Trail Marathon (6:45 for 26.2) plus a little warm up and cool down. March 30: 12 miles (7:24), in a final blast of winter with Rebecca and Claudio. We had to start late due to thunderstorms, then the temperature dropped throughout the run and it was ridiculously windy. I felt good for being 6 days off a a marathon but knew I shouldn't push it, and this distance worked out well since that is what they were doing with their marathon tapers. Favorite long run: The 23.2 was fantastic! The marathon wins the favorite race category, clearly. :-) We approve of 23 milers Smile if you ran 23 miles! On March 16, Amy ran 22 & I ran a measly 12 Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I hit my first official 90 mile week on a Monday through Sunday week! I'd been hitting 90+ on the rolling 7 throughout that week, with a best of 93.5, but the Monday through Sunday total felt a little more official. I front-loaded the week slightly since we were supposed to have a snowpocalypse on Sunday, but I was able to run outside, albeit in a snowstorm, on Sunday morning. The winter weather didn't stop me from finishing the 90 mile week, but it did stop me from running any farther that day than I needed to get to 90 (6 miles)! The week was easier than most weeks I'd run in the 80s since I only ran 3 miles of it hard! I ran double digit runs on the treadmill two days in a row due to windchills below zero, on March 4 and 5. I can't believe I did this either! After some really bad weather runs wore me down in January, I decided I wasn't going out when it was below zero. I learned that I don't mind the treadmill when I go to my friend Amy's workout room while she does the elliptical next to me and we chat the whole time! People told me that fitness comes back in waves; often you don't see a linear decline in paces but suddenly things improve dramatically. I didn't believe that until it happened! I averaged 6:41 pace for 12 miles on March 10 during an 18 mile long run (then ran two 6:5X miles during my cool down), when not long before I could barely hold that pace for 3 miles. My March 13 workout was also a huge jump from anything I'd run in recent months, and in retrospect was probably overly ambitious to attempt, but I did it. I then ran a marathon at 6:45 pace when less than two months before I couldn't even average 6:30 on mile repeats. Although I hope to build from here, I was so thankful to have these break-throughs, and am thankful to be feeling SO.MUCH.BETTER. Maybe my body just hates winter! Post-marathon insomnia struck again; I couldn't sleep on Sunday night at all. I worked on Monday, and didn't feel as bad as I expected to. I recovered well from my marathon; I was a bit sore in my quads and hamstrings for two days after the race, then I was back to feeling pretty good by Thursday. I had a work trip a few days post-marathon that left me tired, but we had a lazy weekend March 30-31, which was nice! Rolling 7 day mileage PR I pulled out my screw shoes for a March 3 snowstorm run! I am often angered by how unhelpful this is; even after I ran a 2:57 marathon with it, it still predicted I could run a 2:40 marathon... Life events: Albani had spring pictures at school. Albani had spring break from March 11-15 (right after daylight savings time started, which I think is brilliant on the school's part). She and Jon visited my in-laws, and the Tulsa zoo with cousins. We started many seeds for our garden, and did a lot of transplanting. We had a great family weekend in conjunction with the Chisholm Trail Marathon, with my parents, sister, niece, and nephew. My 16-year-old niece ran my shake out run and strides with me the day before the marathon! School picture day Backwards night at Awana Art After my pre-marathon shake run Balloon animals at the marathon expo Cousin love Sister love Books this month: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold After Anna by Lisa Scottoline Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley Feared by Lisa Scottoline Joy School by Elizabeth Berg I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, & GPS Technology by Caroline Paul Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg Theme of the month: Giving myself grace. I have certainly learned that I can't force fitness or any certain paces, but that doesn't mean I still don't get mad at myself about that inability at times. In February I stopped trying workouts because I wasn't enjoying them and they felt terrible. This month I had the itch to get back into them, and I was nice enough to myself to celebrate each improvement instead of comparing to where I used to be. I went into Chisholm Trail knowing it wouldn't be anywhere near a PR, but ready to celebrate whatever the marathon brought! After the race, I didn't allow myself to be upset about narrowly missing 2nd place and not being able to reel in 1st, because I truly gave all I had that day and no one can do more than that!
  25. 3 points
    This week, anything that may try to work itself into being a sour, lemon head will be promptly turned into lemonade. After getting the past couple weeks frustrations out via tears and sweat, I’m done. Only sweat and silliness from here on out – hence the silly pictures throughout this post. I will say, my neck has felt a bit tweaked since the accident. I have full range of motion and there is no pain, but it constantly feels like I slept on it wrong. Just to be safe, I think I’m going to get it checked out. I don’t want to cause any long-term damage if there’s something I can do now to help it. Monday: Barbell Strength – All the sessions I missed during the holiday break really set me back as far as the weights I was able to do. Before break, I was able to have 10lbs on each side for biceps but am currently only able to do 7.5 on each side. Keep in mind, this class is high repetitions so that might not sound like a lot of weight, but it’s a decent amount when you’redoing lots of reps. I’ll get back there though! Tuesday: Treadmill “5K” – Much to my surprise, I’m enjoying doing some of my runs on a treadmill. I keep my $10 Planet Membership going because it’s so cheap, nice to have when the weather is bad, and is walking distance from the house (but I only walk if it’s really nice out – which means I’m probably not going if it’s nice out). I made sure my Jaybird earbuds were charged, and zoned out to music while I ran. Since I never listen to music when I run outside, it’s an added plus when running on the treadmill. I typically just stare out the window or the reflection of my running legs on the window glass. I did a progression run where I increased a .1 speed each mile. I didn’t touch the incline. Mile 1 – 6.5 or 9:13/mile (after it took some time to get full speed) – 9:18 Mile 2 – 6.6 or 9:03/mile – 9:03 Mile 3 – 6.7 or 8:56/mile – 8:56 Last .2 – 7.5 or 8:00/mile 9:03 average / 28:58 My goal was to run 5K and you’d think, as long as I’ve been running, that I would remember that a 5K is 3.1 miles and not 3.2. I did this two weeks in a row now so it wasn’t a fluke! HA! Wednesday 2fer: Spin – After a long day at work (normal hours – it just draaaaged), it was nice to get on the bike. However, it’d been over a week since I’d been to a class so my butt got sore pretty quick. It’ll be fine after the next class. I think it’s really important to let cycling newbies know that they will be sore until about the 3rd class, otherwise there’s a chance they won’t come back! Spin ended at 5:15 and barbell started at 5:30. This one is even funnier b/c I’m pretty sure that’s a dude in the picture! HA! Barbell – I was obviously a bit tired after spin and had planned for this class to be lighter weights. I basically kept 7.5 on each side the whole class, and didn’t use any weights for the leg portions. The instructor was new and it was her first solo teaching class. It was super rocky but I still give her A for effort. However, I just wasn’t getting enough out of it AND I just don’t think I want to be there until 6:15 every Tuesday night. I likely won’t go to that late class again. Those kind of 2fers sound good until you’re actually doing them. I think I’ll be sticking to Monday barbell, and spin on Wednesday with some extra stuff on my own afterwards – maybe just some pushups and pullups. Thursday: Group Fitness Instructor Info Sesh – I went to find out more about becoming a group fitness instructor. First off, now that I will have to start making car payments every month, it’s really effected some of my goals for the year. I won’t be able to travel as much for races as I wanted I likely won’t be able to sign up for and run a race every month AND I don’t think I can currently afford this course. I mean, I probably could but I want to be smart with my money. The class, which is EVERY Thursday night from February to early May (and you can only miss 2 classes), is $125; the ACE exam that I will have to take after finishing the course is about $300, and a separate spin certification is around $80-$100. There’s a chance I could afford it all, but I need to think in the present. Ultimately, I don’t think I’m going to do it – yet. They will be having another class in the summer which I can reconsider at that time. There’s always the option of becoming spin certified and just teaching elsewhere. I would love that! We’ll see… gotta be smart. Friday: I spent the afternoon at the Nissan dealership (like 4 hours!) and had just planned to look at some options – I ended up purchasing this… 2018 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X – 4×4 BABY! Meet Black Betty (Bam-ba-lam)! So many things about the interior reminds me of Bessie which is really nice. Plus, I kept the all-weather mats I had in Bessie and they [mostly] fit! I’m not the biggest fan of black and REALLY wanted blue, but you can’t be toooo picky when buying a used one. I love the name and that song is super catchy and bouncy! Black Betty doesn’t represent any of the supposed things that it did when the song was written (like a whip, a gun, or a vehicle to transport folks to prison), so she’ll make her own meaning! Saturday: This was one of those days that I reallllly needed to run, especially since I’d only ran once in the week and has 13 miles on the schedule as my long run, but I didn’t want to do anything. So I didn’t. Sunday: Long Run – Since I’d only ran once in the week but I really needed to get in some miles, I played it safe and only ran 10. I could tell I’d only ran once because I couldn’t even keep in in the 9:30 pace range. My legs were pissed at me for slacking and didn’t wanna go any faster. 9:48/mile average. Oh man! This tweet that I found totally reminded me of an embarrassing moment I had about 8 years ago! I was running with a new friend, for the first time, and we had left from her house. I wasn’t feeling well most of the run and REALLY needed to shit as we were getting closer to her house. She directed me to the bathroom upstairs so that’s where I did my business. When I flushed the toilet, it wouldn’t flush and overflowed onto the floor!! Yes, my shit went allllll over the floor. Apparently they’d already been having issues with the toilet. She insisted that I leave it and not help her clean it up! Now that the car-buying and insurance situation is behind me (hopefully!), it is time to move on and take back my weeks. It has been a really difficult two weeks, mostly mentally, but it’s time to get back to it. Let’s do this!
  26. 3 points
    It's amazing how much of this very physical sport is mental.
  27. 3 points
    Bonus points for "eschewing intervals" - especially in an early morning post.
  28. 2 points
  29. 2 points
    Spring will start in the Northeast next week. There is a huge Woodpecker that shows up in my neighborhood every year 3 weeks before Spring and it arrived 2 weeks ago. That woodpecker is never wrong. Good luck at Boston!
  30. 2 points
    Marathon training always brings anxiety into my life. I can never stop thinking about how far do I need to run this week and what kind of speedwork do I have to do and what else is on the calendar and what's the weather going to be like and where am I doing my long one and what time do I have to get up and shit I hate carrying water and how am I going to fit 3+ hours of running into the weekend and am I going to hurt myself and and and and …. GAH. I like the training, but hate the obsession … I hope you will give yourself permission to enjoy your workouts, no matter what they're geared toward.
  31. 2 points
    1,500 miles and a BQ is a year a lot of people would kill for. I mean, for a BQ I'd at LEAST give someone a dirty look. Happy holidays to you too.
  32. 2 points
    PR for sure! Go get it, you bad ass fucking shark!
  33. 2 points
    Love the way you encourage him. He's lucky to have a friend like you!
  34. 2 points
    You're going to have SO MUCH FUN! Negative splitting a marathon is the way to go, seriously.
  35. 1 point
    Yay! Liz is back! All is right in the running world again.
  36. 1 point
    I always thought distance-based was better, but I found myself running hard to get easy runs done faster - not really the point of easy runs. With time-based, running faster doesn't make the run end any sooner, so I find it keeps me from "hurrying" easy and recovery runs.
  37. 1 point
    Amazing and so inspiring! You're a wonderful role model for your little ones, especially your daughter! Go you!!
  38. 1 point
    I couldn't agree more. One thing I really noticed with my first long-term injury versus some other layoffs (injuries or otherwise) since is that the longer I'm running, the quicker I come back. And stressing over how slow and out of shape I am coming back actually seems to hinder the process of getting it back. Its a heckuva lot to ask for us Type As, buuuuuut if I can manage to zen everything down as much as possible, the comeback is better AND faster. My husband always adds, "and women" to the "memory like an elephant" thing.
  39. 1 point
    All downhill from here, and to quote a favorite movie, "...but it's a lovely ride."
  40. 1 point
    I think you should have put up a picture of the dress on the Loop facebook page and we could have all hit up our local JCP's for Mrs. Dave. Being a parent of the bride or groom is tough spot. Picking a dress is hard!
  41. 1 point
    Awesome that you've taken the time to decide what you REALLY want to do. Not everyone either does that or can actually figure it out. And I'm with you on the easy, trail stuff and even Ultras. After this next marathon, I'm going to target a fall 50K on a course with tough terrain and give up focusing so much on weekly mileage. It gets to be a grind after awhile.
  42. 1 point
    What was the deal with that bike? Was he supposed to veer off and leave you but no one told the runners? Did he have a Code Abby? So many questions. You have a long history of just skipping through races with a smile on your face. I think one where your mind is in the crapper isn't the end of the world.
  43. 1 point
    Great job, Chris!! That is a crazy race elevation profile!!
  44. 1 point
    Owls are cool. Hope this week was better than last one.
  45. 1 point
    I had the same delay in prepping for 5K training. I haven't been running as consistently as I needed to be, so I've had to work in a buildup of mileage for the training plan. It shaves about 2 weeks off of training, but I figure if I don't PR at my goal race, it's pretty easy (and relatively cheap), so sign up for another 5K a few weeks later. I miss City Park races!
  46. 1 point
    I’ll work on incorporating some apple pie into my upcoming bloops! 😉
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    I'm so glad you got to do this! Also so jealous of your sleeping super power (I am the opposite!). Your "down time"/easy race is still insanely impressive. 58 miles!!
  50. 1 point
    A beautiful trip. I'm jealous.
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