Sunday, May 31, 2009

Foot. Blue Ridge Relay. Mud

Well, that nagging pain in my right foot when I run is still there. Not terrible, but almost enough to affect my gait. Still right on top, slightly towards the outside. So - I am considering Not running for a week or so and start riding my bike instead. Was just saying I've been lazy for Not riding my bike to work lately. Have the Sunrise 8k in 2 weeks, so I hope it is healed by then. I know - wishful thinking that it will hela in that short of time, but I don't want to think it will last that long. Both my runs during the week and then again this morning were all in humid weather, 67° on Tues/Thurs and slightly better at 63° this morning at 6am.
Still looking around for fall/future marathons. 2 different people have asked me to do different events with them this September. A Mud Run down in Columbia, SC. Sounds fun...the one in Greenville I am Never available for due to our company golf outing or the Greer half marathon. The other is the Blue Ridge Relay...208 miles run in stages by a group of up to 12 runners. Not sure that sounds like fun, but it would be good to see a few friends I haven't seen/run with for many many years. Need to decide on both soon...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Windermere times...

For no good are my mile splits.

2009 1st Windermere Marathon Stats
1 8:40 8:40
2 8:34 17:15
3 8:42 25:58
4 8:53 34:51
5 8:44 43:36
6,7 17:43 1:01:20
8 8:54 1:10:15
9 8:50 1:19:06
10 8:44 1:27:50
11 8:37 1:36:28
12 8:48 1:45:17
13 8:37 1:53:54
14 8:49 2:02:44
15 8:51 2:11:35
16 9:03 2:20:38
17 9:02 2:29:41
18 9:23 2:39:05
19 9:06 2:48:11
20 9:40 2:57:52
21 9:30 3:07:22
22 9:58 3:17:21
23 10:14 3:27:35
24 10:30 3:38:24
25 11:54 3:49:59
26.2 11:47 4:01:47

Yep - last two point two miles hurt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Windermere Marathon Race Report

Woke up early (4am) and flipped on the tv. Watched the end of the 2009 Boston Marathon, so had some good motivation as I got ready. Got on the yellow school bus at 5:45am to drop off the Half Marathoners at Mirabeau Park and make our way to the start at Post Falls, ID at the Greyhound Track/industrial complex. Met some nice people (Mike, local, running his 7th, this one with very little training and Rex from IL, who also had some under his belt but was getting back into it with this one) and had time to talk as the bus driver tried to figure out where he was going (just follow the signs and the people pointing; it is not the right place if there is No One in sight!). Not too many people milling about (heard about 350 entered the full, 650 in the half), but doing the usual. Stretching, trying to stay warm in the 47° temps. Sun was already up before we even left the hotel...wish I had brought sunblock I thought as I watched someone put it on. I did go with my sleeveless tech shirt and throwaway long sleeve shirt & gloves, black Race Ready shorts, hat, 4 Gu's (2 vanilla, 2 plain), one of my waist band water bottles and a regular water bottle, chapstick and my 2130's (red with ~200 miles on them). Oh yeah - an ankle band timing chip that was new for me, but didn't think about it once it was on. 7:30am and the gun goes off. 1st 2.5 miles or so was a loop in the industrial park then heading out to the trail going west. Very flat. Leader already had a good lead within the first 1/2 mile. Tossed my gloves at the start and my shirt as we passed the start. Got on the trail and soon crossed the Spokane River and the state line. Ran on and off with Mike for a few miles before he fell back, taking it easy as he should for what his training was. I was going thru in 8:40's or so, feeling good. Not pushing either. First of my "twinges" was the bottom of my left foot after 3-4 miles. Didn't last very long and never returned. Another group came up behind me and chatted while we ran. Rex brought up the FIRST training program. Another girl and I had the same pace for awhile (she was trying to Boston qualify with a 3:45, but was not happening as I was still running 8:45's and she wasn't feeling her best). The river was beautiful...running on our right side and at times, that was the only sound. That and birds. Miles 1-8 went by very quickly and I was thru 10 miles in 1:27???

My plan was (if it worked out this way) to run 1:27 the 1st 10 miles, 1:30 the 2nd ten miles. That would leave me 6.2 miles to run a 10 minute pace and break 4 hrs.

We had a detour around (Barker) mile 9 that took us thru our 1st residential area. All of this had been relatively flat if slightly downhill. Back on the trail was familiar territory for me for the next 6-8 miles. Mile marker 10 (I think) was interesting. Still off trail, water stop void of water in cups and no one saying where to go. I glimpsed someone off the left, but to get there - had to go around a fence on my right. Once around it - some gentleman told me I was supposed to have cut thru off to the left. Now he tells me!
Anyway -
Kept cruising and slowly and steadily passed people. We were pretty spread out, but someone was always in eyesight ahead of me. Saw a few bikers, walkers and small pockets of people cheering us on. This was not NYC! Was feeling pretty good except my right knee (the outside, around the back some) was sore. Lasted a good while, but then that twinge pretty much went away. I finally went over the 9:00/mile pace at mile 15! Mile 17 - another interesting moment. Passed the marker, but it said 16. Time was about 2:33, so I knew I was at 17, after minutes of getting my brain to focus on the math. Funny how different things are after 2 and a half hours on the move. I was then wondering, and for the rest of the race - was it really going to be 27.2 miles? Not knowing where I was in relation to the finish and not being able to see the downtown area made that thought stay with me. Still felt all right thru 22, then could tell I was slowing. Manageable and not off pace totally either. Still a beautiful trail (aside from a 2 mile stretch thru another neighborhood, where I Just missed getting stopped by a train! "but it never comes at that time of day on a Saturday". Went by a lake and would eventually go thru parts of Gonzaga.
Last 3 miles...pain now in both legs. Thighs felt heavy, arms getting tingly, left calf had just a few shooting cramps that never held. Couldn't get enough water. One cup to refill my waist band bottle, one cup to quickly drink and one cup over my head. The sun stayed at our backs with no cloud cover as it rose up, heating up to the mid 60's as 11:30 neared. I'd run, try to keep moving until ~4 minutes had passed, or a disheartening vision of a bridge came into view. Tossed my last Gu unopened - the heat would have made it difficult to swallow/keep down. Would check my watch repeatedly and try the math to determine if breaking 4 hrs was possible. It was until 2 miles left, when I gave up that hope. I was with a group of 4 guys and we would pass each other back and forth as each of us walked at our own time. As I got onto the island in the middle of the river downtown, it still seemed I had further to go to reach the finish than I did and even knowing I had 1.2 miles left did not keep me from walking some. With 4hrs gone, I had little to push for. No one running with me, no one really at that point on the course either. Back over a bridge, winding thru the riverfront park, then over the final bridge. 2 emcees were doing play by plays and I heard my name (mis-pronounced) and that I was from Simpsonville, SC - if they said anything else - I missed it. 4:01:47...Got my finisher's medal, walked some before relenting and let someone take my ankle band/timing chip off. Found water, bananas, bagels, oranges, chicken on a stick and chicken broth. Had some of it all.
Time was closer than I thought it would be to 4 hrs...not sure about the 26 mile marker, but I guess I did the last 1.2 the same as mile 24-25. My last race prediction was 4:05, so beating that and a 7 minute PR from NY in November made this a Great race for me. More thoughts to follow on the post race...seeing if I can beat Megan in post race posts! Photos soon...promise!

Handrails are my friends.

Amazing the difference between day 2 and day 3. Day 2: Worse than day 1. So much harder going down stairs. Even going up was tough...handrails were my friends. Very good friends. All along the outside of my thighs, gettting up towards my hips (which surprisingly felt fine during my run). Left calf still had a twinge of a cramp there. Lower back never did hurt (guess I finally paid enough attention to my long-run posture). Today - could take stairs two at a time. Still walking a little loose and my legs/thighs are sore, but they certainly don't scream to the touch as they had been. My recovery plan is to walk during lunch tomorrow and see how that goes. Running is still out as I expect my foot ache would start up again. May walk again Thursday before a weekend out of town. May walk/jog a 5k on Sunday just to get the legs moving. We'll play next week by ear and see how this week turns out. Will register for the Sunrise 8k run tomorrow as the early registration deadline looms (May 23rd).
Started looking at Fall Marathons today. That's a good sign that I am not completely disgusted with them (and the resulting pain). My brother is planning on the Richmond Half Marathon - so I will likely run that with him. That - along with my daughter's 1st birthday and Thanksgiving - may interfere with a decent nearby 26.2 race. First glance had Jacksonville, Atlanta, Outer Banks, Chickmaugua (sp?) south of Chattanooga, and Kiawah - anywhere from Oct to Dec. I'll keep looking! Next post will be about the actual race - I promise. Photos too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day after Windermere.

I'll post more about the actual race - but just a short note on the first day after. Finally slept more than 6 hours and didn't wake up at 4am like I had the previous full week. Alarm set for 4:45am though, so not much more. Flights back home were fine. Very full. Only (somewhat) new pain in my right foot - that little spot of muscle up towards the ankle. Sunburn still pretty way I can sleep on my left side for a few days. Walking a bit slower with a more pronounced gait, very difficult to walk stairs without the hand railing. So good to be home - sadly, my daughter didn't recognize me right off after being away for a week. I was still able to rock her to sleep later on and we were back to bonding. :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

4:01:47!! New PR

4:01:47. On pace for sub 4 thru 22, then heat got to me. Last 2 miles particularly SLOW! Got a nasty sunburn, exhausted now, long day of flying home tomorrow. No injuries - just tight legs as expected. Happy with the PR.
more soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

night before Windermere

So I have my packet...Bib 141. There are about 350 in the marathon and 650 in the half, so a very good showing for an inaugural event. Hosted at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park, expo was fine. Got a nice participant long sleeve shirt (with zippered neck) and bought a t-shirt (only $8!). Skipped the pasta dinner here and tried Luigi's in downtown Spokane. Chicken parm...very nice. Not overly full, so that's just about right. I do feel nervous already (tight shoulders), with slight soreness in my legs. Hmm, what will that mean for tomorrow? Temps: starting temp of 48, finishing temp (at 11:30am) of about 65. Have my gear ready for tomorrow, planning on taking the bus at around 5:45am for the 30 minute ride to Post Falls, ID.
Thinking about the good luck wishes I have gotten...more things to think about and help me thru to the finish! Thanks to all who passed them along.
Going to cut this short and will try to relax. Been waking up at 4am every day while I am out here, so the 5:15am wake up call is just a precaution.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taper is over!

Had my last run before the marathon. 5 miles this morning in a light rain, so I used my older shoes so my race-day shoes wouldn't be wet. Wasn't so bad. Tried to stay close to my marathon pace of 9:00/mi, and was slightly faster. Went East this time and exactly the place I was going to turn around was exactly the place where the trail was closed (doing road/bridge construction). It'll be interesting to see how being off the trial is in that stretch. Looks like race day temps will get up to 62 or so by the time I finish, so I will definitely be wearing my sleeveless technical shirt (sadly - no GTC logo). Tomorrow night will check into the host hotel, get my race packet and find some more pasta to eat. Will make sure I drink plenty tomorrow. Not much left to do....
Had a random thought today - just that this is my 3rd marathon and each of them are point to point courses. Not that that is a rare thing at all, just a little useless fact!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Going out of business....score!

So my co-workers and I were driving home from work today and there's a store with a big "Going out of Business" sign, 40-60% off. It's a sports/outdoor store and we thought we'd go check it out. Didn't think we'd find much as people were exiting with shelving as we arrived. It was a little chaotic, with things everywhere. Thought I'd check out the shoes. Rummaged thru 5 rows of miscellaneous shoes and what did I find?? TWO pair of my Asics 2130's. Different colors even. 40% off. So yes - I now have 2 new pair...I should be set for the rest of the year!!

Racing a Robin!

I am out in Spokane, enjoying the nice temps. (42 for this morning's run and no rain as predicted - race day is still supposed to be a low of 41 and a high of 62 with some sun!). Ran this morning after a 2 day break. Will run Thursday to keep the same schedule as the week before NYC as that seemed to work fine for me. Got out on the trail at 6:15am just to get 4 miles in. Came out of the hotel at Mile Marker 9 and headed West toward Spokane. Wasn't concerned about speed, but went out faster than I expected to. Tried to picture me 11 miles into the race (I was hoping the mile markers would match the race distance, but no luck). I will always be 2 miles ahead though, so that's good! Got to the 11 mile marker and there was the office I am working at. I knew I'd be able to see it as it is at Mirabeau Park where the half-marathon starts. I turn around and head back having seen a few walkers and a handful of bikers (it is Bike To Work week out here), no runners. Running past a trail head there are a line of wooden posts, had to be 20 of them or more. A robin started flying beside me, slightly ahead, wanting to land on a post. Guess my running made him/her nervous as they kept going, putting 2 feet down on another post but never stopping as I was still beside him and continuing on. I sped up thinking if I passed him, they would be able to stop and hang out. After 15 yards or so, I thought I would be far enough ahead soon. Then he veered right and away he went. Oh well.
I tried to slow my pace down to marathon pace the last mile, but didn't quite get there. Felt pretty good though. I was kind of getting worried about how my body was going to handle this race. I still am to some extent, but at this point, what can you do?! Got my day-before gatorade and a power bar, plus a bottle of water for the start and 1st few miles. In NYC, I do remember my hand hurting afterwards from carrying the bottle for 5 (?) miles, so I don't plan on holding on to it that long this time.
My run Thursday I will run East ~3 miles or so before turning around. Not like it's going to give me any advantage come Saturday, but it'll be good to recognize some places.

Friday, May 8, 2009

T minus 8 and counting! Mid-taper time

So one week from tomorrow morning is the Windermere Marathon. I fly out Sunday afternoon, but went ahead and packed pretty much everything but my race day shoes. I am working 5 days next week, but am bringing so much more running stuff than anything else. Clothes for my mid-week runs for 40° weather, socks, race day clothes, not entirely sure which top I'll wear (leaning towards GTC long sleeve technical shirt, so the exact same thing I wore for NYC), a throwaway top, jogging pants to wear on the bus to the start line, all my GU, vaseline, gloves, hat, windbreaker in case of rain. I'm sure there's more in there - I just hope my shoes fit - otherwise I'll be unpacking and re-packing it into a slightly larger bag. I will be checking this bag - so it had better make it out to Spokane! I'm flying thru Memphis and Salt Lake City (1st time to Utah! Mark down state #42 I think).
Now to backtrack...Runs immediately following the 20 miler were fine. 4.3 and 7.7 on back to back days. Had some slight calf pain after the 7.7 that lingered. Just to be safe - I skipped my 12 that weekend (still played golf though). Felt fine for my two runs this week and expect to be fine for my 9.4 tomorrow. I sure like the taper! Runs seem easy - like this is the coasting part, but I sure know what's ahead. NYC is only 6 months past and is still fresh - the memories of the last 6 miles, trudging along, afraid to stop for any reason while wondering why I was doing that. During NY - I did not have the same memories from my 1st out in San Diego back in 2001.
My mileage these last 7 weeks matches the amount prior to NY exactly - except for the 12 miler I skipped this past weekend. So - that said (0), and how I've been feeling (-2), and the course differences (+4), and the spectators (-5), I expect to be about the same, give or take a minute or two. I doubt I will break 4 hrs, just for the fact that I will rely more on myself to keep going and not have a crowd to pull me along (Who wants to walk when there are Hundreds of people lining the street at that spot?!)...but maybe the river will be pushing me down the valley...hmmm, there's a thought!
More while I am out there!