Saturday, February 28, 2009

Done and done

So here's the rundown on the race today, compared to my freak-out from the other day:

I've done this before.
Yeah, but it felt like the first time. Especially at mile 18.

I can do this again.
Yep, and I did. It wasn't fun today, and I was in a lot of pain at the end. I walked more than I ran from mile 17 to the end. It was hard. But it is done.

The training is done -- I didn't skimp, I didn't cheat the hard work.
I didn't skimp and it was still hard. I know if I hadn't done the work, I would have quit today. It was just that hard.

My shoes are just new enough.
Yep, the shoes were fine. My feet hurt like they usually do after 26 miles, but they didn't cause any other problems. But, alas, the pink shoes did not bring me my magic 5:00 finish, drat it.

The weather will be fine.
I wish. The sun was bright and shiny, temps in the mid-40s. Winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour. Totally sucked. Literally sucked my soul out of my body. The hills were barely noticeable compared to the wind. At one point, a big chunk of cardboard (think giant moving box!) came out of nowhere and whacked me full on the body before continuing in the wind on its merry way. OK, I'm sure I would have seen it coming if I hadn't had my head down trying to keep from blowing off the trail.

I am doing this for me. It doesn't matter if I break 5:00 (God, I really, really, really want to break 5:00), just that I have fun, don't get hurt, and cross the line upright and smiling.
Good thing it didn't matter, 'cause I didn't break 5:00. Hell, I barely broke 6:00 today. I did cross the line upright and smiling, and I didn't get hurt. So that's gotta count for something, right?

I've done this before (but not in two years...). Yeah, I know I said that earlier, I just have to repeat it to myself again... and again... and again...

I'm trying to remind myself that I can't call it a comeback, that it is really more like the first time. And combined with the weather, it felt like a first-time effort. But I finished, and there were a few chunks of time in there that I doubted that I would, so that really has to count for that.

Just getting to the start is a battle won.
Call me Victor!

48 hours to go.
It's done. It's two months to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, when I get to try it again. This time, instead of losing my soul at mile 14 like I did today, I'm going to try to lose that monkey on my back that I've been carrying around, the one wearing the little shirt that says "5:00 marathon."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Freakin' out a little

I've done this before.

I can do this again.

The training is done -- I didn't skimp, I didn't cheat the hard work.

My shoes are just new enough.

The weather will be fine.

I am doing this for me.

It doesn't matter if I break 5:00 (God, I really, really, really want to break 5:00), just that I have fun, don't get hurt, and cross the line upright and smiling.

I've done this before (but not in two years...). Yeah, I know I said that earlier, I just have to repeat it to myself again... and again... and again...

Just getting to the start is a battle won.

48 hours to go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking good so far

Looks like the weather is shaping up to be pretty great for race day (crossing fingers as I type that so as not to jinx):

Low of 39
High in mid 60s by late afternoon
10 percent chance of rain
Low winds
Low humidity
Partly cloudy

Might be a nice day for a little run, huh?

Tonight's run is a nice relaxed 3 miles on the treadmill while watching the Biggest Loser, but I may hit the streets instead if the weather's like it was last night -- mid 40s until 6:30 - 7:00 pm. Hard to beat that. The wind is the only tricky thing up here on the front range, though -- it can get crazy-windy on a dime, so I'll do a game-time call on that.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Third time?

We have received your application for the
ING New York City Marathon 2009

Entry #341855

Third time is the charm, right? I'm hoping this is the year my number gets drawn for the New York City marathon. I've got a hotel booked (out in BFE near La Guardia, but whatever, we'll use subways) just in case, and I've got my fingers and toes crossed that this will be the year.

Friday, February 20, 2009

One more week

So, we have a short run set for tomorrow. By the time we're halfway through, we'll be one week away from Cowtown. Tick, tock. Time to boogie. I'm kinda getting nervous, kinda not. On the way from a party tonight, I drove home on the same streets as the last 8 miles of my 20 mile route. And all I kept thinking about the whole way was, "Dang, that's a long way. And I ran that, plus the first 12." So, I feel ready physically. I know mentally that I can do it, too. So, what's the big deal? Why am I kind of freaking out? And should I be nervous that I'm not freaking out more? Every race is its own beast, and you can have a good day or a bad day and that can make all the difference. Weather plays a huge role, and a few degrees fluctuation one way or another can swing the experience either way. I'm test-driving the last potential wardrobe combination tomorrow and finalizing the nutrition plan as well. I'm mostly set. It's all done but the running.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time to make the doughnuts

jeez, it feels early, so early that I'm like the Dunkin Donuts guy, slogging his way back to the store to start all over again. Except me, I'm headed to the treadmill at the hotel. First order of business is almost always to turn the freakin' heater off in there -- somebody insists on turning it ON to make that place almost 76 degrees, which is just too hot when you're rocking 5 miles. Yes, it's cold outside, but when you run, you get hot, and if it's flippin' bikram yoga hot in the room, somebody (ME) is going to pass out. Then, I have to negotiate around the middle-aged businessmen (and don't remind me that I'll be 40 at the end of the year and will thusly qualify as middle-aged meself) for the good treadmill. They are usually strolling at 3.0, if that, in their loafers and blue jeans, I sh!t you not. No wonder they turn up the heat -- they're not generating enough energy to stay warm. Ugh.

In any case, I'm' headed downstairs now. Probably will only get in 4 or 4.5, depends on how I feel once I get down there and if any of above-mentioned folks are there, too. One more week to go, and not only is it time to make the donuts, but it's also time to start the weather dance, as the 10-day forecast for race day calls for showers the days leading to the race, but race-day itself dawning partly cloudy and 46, rising to a high of 74. Ugh, might be a tad too hot for me, but dry is always good. Will be watching like a hawk for the next 10 days. Have a great Thursday!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Taper Time

never before in my marathon training have I yearned for taper as much as I am right now. I am physically, emotionally and psychologically drained, and only part of this is from the training for the race. The travel, a lot of stuff going on at home (job stuff with Hub, the not yet resolved moving questions, Elder Child getting mono AND the flu at the same time, the onset of organized hockey and gymnastics for TDP DinoBoy) and the running are all kind of coming together to make a perfect storm of one tired momma. And as much as I'm looking forward to the race, I am more looking forward to the recovery phase that comes afterward.

Except that recovery from Cowtown will last about, oh, a week, before I kick it back into gear for the Oklahoma City Marathon at the end of April. I've been wanting to do this race for a few years now, but have never been in marathon shape in the spring. Last year got derailed since I was only doing halves, and the year before I had switched into tri training for the first time by spring. So, I'm very excited that I'm going to be race-ready for it this year. And hopeful that this taper will do the trick and re-energize me to have a good race so that I'll be in a good mindset for OKC. I'm sure it will.

But for right now, the focus is on fueling properly, letting the little aches and pains heal, and getting the race strategy in place. We did 10 miles on Saturday morning, in pretty good weather, although it was a little damper and chillier than we'd hoped for. We got a quick tease of the sun before it hid behind the clouds for the rest of the morning, but the wind was light and the temps weren't intolerable. The group ran the first 5 miles at just under 11-minute miles, then negative-split the back end, but I just couldn't keep up with the faster pace on the back end. I was fine as long as I kept with the steady pace of my own, so the group slowly pulled away from me. No matter, I ended up finishing in just at 1:45, so I kept my pace right at 11:00/mile, right where I needed to be.

So that's it around here. The weekday runs are 4, 6, 6 this week, with a whopping 6-miler on Saturday morning. That's the lowest mileage week in a LONG while, and I think I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Mmmm, originally uploaded by ccervant_99.

so, I came home last night and Hub had to go get cookies for TDP DinoBoy's Valentine's Day party today. While he was out, he picked up a box of these. They taste just as yummy as they look. Very nice.

Two weeks to go before marathon day. Feeling good so far, despite a couple of minor twinges in the right knee. Felt no residual aches from Sunday's run at all, so I have to see that as a good sign. Tomorrow's run is only 10 miles ("only" 10? how jacked is that? ha!), and then six next Saturday. It's nearly time!

Meanwhile, have a great Friday the 13th!!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

It's Taper Time!!

wahoo! last long run of this cycle is done, Done, DONE! And I must say, it was pretty good. I was bummed that I couldn't do the 20-miler with the training group, since that's the whole reason I joined the group in the first place, but we had other commitments yesterday. Namely, TDP DinoBoy had his First Reconciliation at church at 10:00 am, so there was no way I could be at both places at the same time. And there was no choice to be made, really. This is a really important event in his life, and we all wanted to be a part of it. Even if he did spend all of three minutes in there with the priest! Either he's a really good boy or he left out a lot!

In any case, this scheduling conflict left me to do 20 miles on my own today. And I wasn't really looking forward to it, not because I wasn't looking forward to it, but because it was supposed to be hot today, and I was left to come up with my own route for it, I had just shook the last of the cold I caught last week, and I had been under the (false) assumption that my iPod had gone AWOL since back before Christmas. So I was facing 20 miles on city streets in sweltering conditions, completely on my own, with no tune-age. Ugh. But, this is how great this run was: 1) It was warmer than I prefer, but the clouds kept the temperature reasonable, and the sun under cover; 2) I mapped out a totally awesome 20-mile loop with a mix of regular routes and new terrain that ended up being a perfect mix of flat, hill, quiet back road and city sidewalk; 3) the cut-back mileage last week helped me recover enough so I felt strong all day long; and 4)I found my iPod yesterday afternoon, in a side pocket of the car, and had time to load up an awesome mix of music to keep me moving. And, all those factors led me to have a great run.

I woke up right before 5:00 and decided to wear bike shorts instead of the new tights I bought yesterday (my old cropped tights bit the dust on the treadmill in Boulder this week -- I LOVED those tights, esp. since they weren't really tight, and they had a rocking back zip pocket for my phone, hotel key, etc.), along with a short-sleeved tech shirt and my Marine Corps long-sleeved tech shirt over it. I knew I wouldn't need my jacket, gloves or hat. I had a pack of Clif Bloks in my belt pack, along with my phone and some money in a zippie bag. My water bottle was filled with my super-awesome, nearly-patented half water-half Gatorade mix, with a pinch of salt thrown in. I ate half a PowerBar smoothie bar before I got started, and jammed the rest in the belt pack for fuel after the first hour. At 5:17, I stepped out the front door, locked into the satellites, turned on the iPod and hit the road.

There's not much to say about the run except that it was good. There was nothing extraordinary about it, either positive or negative. The first two hours were pretty much in the dark, and I saw very few other people, either on foot or in cars. I drank every two miles, and after six miles, I started taking a bite of the powerbar every twenty-five minutes. I could feel a hot spot at the bottom edge of my left side about eight miles in, but after a bit it faded and I didn't have any problems with my feet or legs after that. I stopped at mile 10 to duck into a 7-11 and buy a bottle of water. I refilled the bottle and then drank the rest before dumping the empty bottle in the garbage and resuming. I got a little waylaid by construction where I didn't expect it, but I ended up taking the right way in the end. The lady behind the counter was curious as to why I was looking like I did at 7:00 am, though!

There were some hills I wasn't expecting about miles 12-13, but beyond that, the route was pretty flat and manageable. When I turned to head south on the last leg, I was running directly into some pretty strong winds, but it wasn't as bad as what we'd had on the trails on our 17-miler. Plus, it was cooling, so it felt good.

I know I slowed down at the end, but I feel like I could have done another 6 miles and maintained roughly the same pace. Ultimately, I ended up finishing the 20 miles in less than 3:45, which is better than I expected. I really thought I'd have finished in four hours. So I was happy with it. When I got back, I took a 10-minute soak in ice water before warming up, and I feel like that helped keep me from locking up. Post-run breakfast was a Texas-shaped waffle with peanut butter and syrup and a biscuit with butter and jam. Then it was time to head to the rink for ice hockey practice. Naptime had to wait until after lunch.

for posterity, here are the splits and the summary:

Mile 1: 10:42
Mile 2: 10:55
Mile 3: 10:58
Mile 4: 10:53
Mile 5: 10:45
Mile 6: 10:47
Mile 7: 10:20
Mile 8: 11:03
Mile 9: 11:00
Mile 10: 11:08
Mile 11: 12:35
Mile 12: 10:54
Mile 13: 10:37
Mile 14: 11:00
Mile 15: 11:18
Mile 16: 11:37
Mile 17: 11:34
Mile 18: 11:50
Mile 19: 12:46
Mile 20: 11:47

Total time: 3:44:40
Total Distance: 20.0 miles
Avg Pace: 11:14/mile
Calories: 2786

Extrapolated to the full distance, we end up at 5 hours, 2 minutes. Close enough to taste. Hmm. We'll have to see how this plays out, now won't we? For now, it's taper time and hoping that the madness isn't too unbearable. rock on!