Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Wrap

This weekend included much laying around and doing a whole lot of nothing besides eating, running errands, playing on the computer, and cleaning our very nasty master bathroom (which is now less nasty).  I decided to change into my running clothes around 3pm on Sunday after all that excitement.  On the way out I even convinced the hubs to go with for a few miles.  Since when I am left up to my own devices and have no schedule to dictate my weekly workouts it seems I choose laziness.  I believe this week was a grand total of 4.5 miles with some cross training.  Awesome.  Therefore the plan was to go out easy see how I felt and try to get between 7 - 8 miles done.  I also tried out some new running gear, including this visor.

I'm happy to report it worked great!  My forehead was a little toasty towards the end but I think it's because I'm not used to hats or visors.  Can't wait to try it out on some longer runs.  

Ended up running just over 7 miles at a 9:13 min/mile pace.  Legs were well rested and everything just clicked.  My left hip started to ache the last couple of miles so I made sure to stretch well when I got home (as opposed to my usual sit down at the computer or head straight to the shower with no stretching).  And I'm much happier now that I didn't waste the entire weekend being a complete sloth :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time Warp

Where does time go?  I feel like I was sucked in some sort of time warp - I can't believe it's the end of the day on Thursday and nearly the end of the month!  I returned from my wonderful 10 days off of work to e-mails that took nearly 2 hours to get through and an immediate trip to Dallas.  Everything is just taking longer to get through and I forgot several passwords this week.  You know it's been a good downtime when that happens.  Thank goodness I returned during a 4-day work week.

Not much in the way of any sort of exercise this week.  Besides being work crazy I got sucked into a new book as well.  I have to know "who did it" before I go crazy!  Anyways, I had a wonderful 3.5 miles on Tuesday before leaving for the airport and I hope to go to the gym tonight before dinner. Maybe...  It has nice to enjoy running by leaving the garmin (I really need to give the poor guy a name already) at home and not worrying about any sort of schedule.  I know I need one to keep me in line and I'm sure I'll be back at it soon.  I'm hoping for a solid middle distance run this weekend and the weather looks excellent for it.

Good luck to all you racers this weekend! There are a ton of you headed to San Diego - can't wait to read everyone's reports!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Post Marathon Thoughts

I've enjoyed my week off after the marathon.  It helps not having to work (I love not working!) I know a lot of people are anxious to run again after they race.  Not me.  I relish in the lack of activity and gorging of food...  It has been amazing.  It was hubbie's bday this week - therefore Kobe Beef at Aja Steak - DELICIOUS, like butter.  But oh so expensive.  Next up Terminator Salvation which means movie popcorn and sour patch kids.  Don't knock the combo until you try.  I have hooked many, many, many people.

But don't get me wrong I have had lack of exercise pains.  I have had the urge to get up and go Then I think better of it.  I ran/ walked 3 miles on Thursday.  It hurt; I had abnormal pains in the knee and quads.  I took it easy  and I am okay with that.  Mostly I when I think of running this week I fall back to sleep and think better of any sort of exercise.  It... has... been... fantastic...  but now I'm ready to go.  

Hubbie is gone for the weekend.  Indy 500 to see a bunch of half naked chicks fighting and lots of beer.  Good times :)  This weekend  the only plans are to clean and well, workout... maybe. I'm ready to find the next race, the next thing to train for.  I need something to do.  Anything to take my mind off of a job I dislike greatly and have to return to sooner than I'd like. My friend sent my a new 12 week training plan that she used to Boston qualify (not that it is my goal at this time - just break 4 hours).  I went to Barnes and Noble bought a few running related books, one of which may or may not be Advanced Marathoning.  I have been endlessly researching summer and fall races.  I am signed up for Chicago in October since February which I swore mid race Cleveland I would not run.  Now I'm thinking of the Peoria Steamboat 15K  over Father's day weekend, maybe a 1/2 in 4?  No, that's crazy talk.  Anyone have a great race in the next 5 weeks I can travel to? I love to travel!

Do you have a suggestion - a great summer race (15K to half marathon), your fav training plan, anything.  Let me know! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cleveland report in pictures (and more words)

First, thank you for all your kind and supportive comments on my last post!  It has helped me so much over the past few days.  I'm feeling a lot better today, only pain remaining is in my left hip, quads, and shins.  With the gorgeous weather and my week off from work I am itching to be outside so I hope to be able to get an easy run tomorrow.  

In my rush to post my race report I realized that in the last post I 1) misspelled/used incorrect grammar 2) did not give a complete story of my race day experience.  

Race day brought some cooler temperatures to the Cleveland area. Morning temps were in the mid to upper 40's.  The day topped out around mid 50's  What I consider ideal racing temps!

I'm all sorts of squinty goodness here.  I must have been REALLY excited.  Actually I was just nervous/anxious/unsure and I feel like a dork when taking a picture by myself!

Only my hubbie was at the start and I lost him as soon as I lined up next to the 4:15 pace group. It was a little chaotic since there were no barricades between the racers and the spectators. Where I lined up I found myself surrounded my the red bibs that were half marathoners.  I found a couple people wearing Chicago race gear and tried to soak in the cool morning while listening to pieces of conversations happening around me.  

Shot of my view before the start.  

Yes, I have some strange looking form here just before mile 13.  Jacob took the picture just as I finished high fiveing my friend Rachel (jumping in the background). I love this picture though because of the people cheering - it's my 2nd family  My bestie and her parents and sister.  My sister is there but hidden.  They made signs (I've never had anyone make a sign for me!) that said Run Booger Run and something else I couldn't read because I zoned out and saw it too late.

Apparently I decided to dress in the ROY section of ROYGBIV. Red/White shoes, orange shirt, yellow headband.  I wanted others to see me coming!

This is around mile 23.  I was HURTING and had just resumed my running.  Around 21 I had texted my hubbie saying I wasn't doing well.  Hubbie, Sister, and BIL surprised me at 23!  My sister handed me the oranges I forgot to take at the halfway point.   I was so out of it I couldn't get them out of the bag.  She took them back to help a sister out :) I am extremely grateful I had support and someone to run with me.  Loo told me funny stories and talked while I grunted in response or said nothing at all.  Plus she was able to get me back on pace.  And is the only girl I know that could get picked up at mile 25.75 of a marathon. (The skinny long legs and boobs I was not blessed with help) Thanks Loo - You're the best!!!

The rest of the race I zoned out.  My SSIL and SS jumped in around 24 or just after.  Since they had run the 10K they knew what the race of the course held for me so they helped by telling what was ahead or how much longer I had on a specific streets.  It helped a lot to just have others around me I knew even if I didn't talk to them.  

I finished in a sprint mostly to get away from creepy guy, took a bunch of food and tried to find the family.  Once I found my sisters we took a picture together at the CNN tent then I was on a (slow) mission to find the beer tent :)

Enjoying my free post race beer by Lake Erie.  I was laughing because only in Ohio would they have miller lite in a can for your post race enjoyment.  Love it!  All my family found me at this point and we sat around laughing and telling stories.  
The "swag"  Really the shirt doesn't look as obnoxious in the picture as it does in reality.  No worries, I will still be wearing it on my runs.  I don't have a problem with obnoxious colors.  

I didn't take a lot of pictures and not really sure why.  Normally I am crazy picture taker.  My SSIL (step sister in law) has a lot more, like ones that include my actual family, and I hope to have copies by the end of the week. 

Maggie felt left out of all the race hoopla so I let her "borrow" my medal.  Actually as soon as I took the picture she decided it would be more fun to try to eat it.  

A few thoughts post race...
  • Always put chapstick in your pocket.  My lips are nice and wind/sun burned.  The one piece of skin I forgot to cover race day and am regretting I did every few seconds.  
  • Good beer, excellent margaritas, and supportive family and friends (and RBFs!) who make you laugh/are there for you with a kind word will cure any heartache and make you remember what is important.
  • I enjoyed getting others excited by running this race - maybe not in that they will go for a run but that they support the community.  My SB (step brother) wasn't looking forward to the race and didn't see the point or fun in watching runners.  Afterwards at lunch he said he couldn't believe how much fun and motivating it was watching family and strangers.  He had stories of people running Sunday and was asking tons of questions.  I loved every second of telling stories and sharing my experiences! 
  • Wright socks were not my friends this race.  I have 2 of the largest blisters on the outside of each big toe.  I have had bad blisters during training but nothing like this after a race where it wasn't wet and with socks that promise no blisters...  onwards to find my perfect sock.
  • I need to expand my horizons when it comes to fuel during the race.  I am not handling the GU this year and this marathon reinforced that issue.  Recommend your race fuel - how are the shot blocks?  flavors?  I saw something about GU gushers - anyone tried?  I can't chew luna moons or sport beans, takes too much effort/jaw hurts.  
  • Thinking about new race training plan.  Any suggestions?  Anyone want to help me?  I am open to anything but I have a unique travel schedule that changes weekly.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Report

well...I finished....

short version I finished 4:22:21 way, way, way off any sort of PR.  It was a struggle.  I almost gave up.... several times.  I'm not too happy with how it all went down today.  But I finished so that is the upside!  

Longish version

Today was one of those days that I questioned why I thought it would be a fantastic idea to run a marathon.  Thought of selling my Chicago marathon entry for October because I'm not running another marathon ever and all that.  I had some GI issues and girlie issues but I am not blaming it on that.  It was one of those days that ended up not being my day.  I didn't follow my own marathon plan and it hurt me in the end (and middle).  

Miles 1-9 - My hubbie and I stayed downtown literally right outside the start line.  Thanks hilton point.  You may have been a crappy hotel but I didn't have to go far!  The run started off with my playlist all screwed up.  I said "screw it" and put it on random after a 1/2 mile of trying to fix it.  No big deal.  I don't think I went out too fast in the first mile. In hindsight.  yes, yes I did.  These early miles passed really quickly.  Besides the annoying girls trying to hang with one of the pace groups with a zip up sweatshirt that was swinging around hitting everyone as she weaved in and out cutting off people.  ugh. The whole time I was thinking maybe my pace was too fast and I would pay later.  And oh, I did.

Miles 9-12 - Not feeling good at ALL!  Long uphill on an exit ramp/highway.  No ankle pain - yay.  Instead left hip/IT band issues I have never experienced before.  I tried to ignore.  No crowd support at all, which was fine but I started to feel nausea's, was in pain, had to pee, and had GI issues. Mind you, I never, ever, ever, stop during a race and most training runs for the bathroom.  ever.  Just before 13 the half and full marathoners separated and I made my first porta potty stop.  No good.  

Mile 12.5 - 13 - Yay my family and friends!  My BF husband who just finished the half jumped in to run with me for  1/2  mile.  They gave me a boost.

Mile 13.5 - 16  - I take a turn for the worse GI wise.  Just before mile 16 I nearly did not make it to the bathroom.  Nasty.  I wasn't hurting other than my stomach which is the most frustrating kind of pain.  I ended up wasting nearly 5 minutes on this stop.  The difference between meeting and missing my goal.

Mile 17 - The 4:15 pace group I held off for so long passed me after my break. I lost it mentally and physically at this point.  I almost was a DNF.

Mile 18-23.  Run. Walk.  Swear.  Repeat.  Oh with some feeling nausea and thoughts of giving up or walking the rest thrown in.

Mile 23 - 24 - Hubbie, Brother in Law and Sister find me to run with me!  Sista goes with me to 26! They give me much needed support and oranges.  Yeah, oranges!  BIL and hubbie leave to go walk to the finish.  

Miles 24.25 - Step sister, step brother, and step sister in law join in on the party.  I told them not to take offense but I wasn't going to talk other maybe grunt until the end.  Made up some time and started hitting sub 10's finally.  

Mile 24.5 - end -  My sister got hit on my some 50 year old creep.  He was cool and that he's done over 50 marathons, 1 just 3 weeks ago.  Not cool and that he was hitting on her and uber creepy trying to hit on her.  I think he told me I had a nice ass just to continue to talk to her. She bailed around 26 - I don't blame her :)  No she left b/c she didn't want to act like she ran the thing although the looks she got when she went off course were funny.  Thanks to the announcers I kicked it and finished strong.  They called out my name several times (pronounced my new last name correctly!) and my whole family besides my sister missed my finish.  Oh well.  

The most frustrating part was I lost my plan and I wasn't hurt.  I hurt but no more than one should when running 26.2 .  I gave up on myself.  How I was feeling was so defeating. 

The medal rocks and overall it was a nice course. Although the hill at 21 sucked!  I forgot about it.  Not much in the way of crowd support but the race went smoothly and was well executed. Although the women's marathon shirt looks like a school crossing sign (bright greenish/yellow). Bart Yasso was at the expo and the start but I was too chicken shit to go talk to him/take a picture with him. I don't do well with strangers.  Especially famous strangers :)

Next up the few pictures I have from the race...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ready to Run (and Rock) Cleveland

Gorgeous day for a 4 miler.  Thanks to my 14 and 15 hour travel days this week I haven't had much time to run in my last week of taper.  The time off had me wanting to be a little speedster (well speedy for me).  I had to keep reminding myself to take it easy.  

I finished the playlist *I think*.  Now begins the arduous task of packing.  Most of my stuff is in piles all over the house :) Then  leaving tomorrow late morning/early afternoon for Ohio.  Dad will be grilling out tomorrow night for dinner.  It will be nice to hang out around the house instead of going out which is what we usually do.  Then Saturday is the expo and dinner with 14 people in Cleveland!!! We are staying downtown Saturday instead of my dad's house close to the start line so I just need to wake up and walk outside :)  (Thanks Hilton points) I'm excited to hang out with my family and all my friends who will be around or in town because they are running the 10K and 1/2 marathon.  It's going to big one big par-tay!

I probably won't post again here until after the marathon.  I will most likely be updating facebook though :) Not sure if the cleveland website has live time tracking available but if you want to take a gander check out this link. My bib number is 2126.  

Hope to "see" ya on the other side with a good story to tell and lots of pictures!  Good luck to my fellow RBFs who will be in Cleveland too - Audrey who will be running the half and Maria who is running her first marathon!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

4 days and counting

4 days and some odd hours until race day... I'm getting nervous!  I'm always nervous before races but I'm really feeling anxious.  Maybe because I haven't done a race longer than 10 miles since Dec 2007.  Plus, I have no idea how my time will be on Sunday.  My training felt all over the place this time around.  I do not expect to PR and my training times started out (and continued) to be much slower than I expected.  Obviously it would be wonderful to come in under the 4:06 I ran in Dallas but I am no way planning for it nor will allow myself to be disappointed if I don't. I really hope to not go over 4:15.  I never signed up for this race with a specific goal in mind and never really formed a solid one in recent weeks.  Cleveland was to be used as a precursor to the Chicago marathon so I can have a better idea on how to train to break 4 hours.  So we will see what race day brings!

I have started the obsessive checking of all weather related websites.  Today reports a high of 60 and clouds.  So in the 50's at the 7 am start.  That would be my most perfect race day weather.  Of course it is still too soon to get excited about this possibility.  I received my information e-mail that includes my bib number.  Number 2126!  I have nothing good or bad to say about these numbers so I'm going with good!  

This week I have one more day trip on Wednesday to NY.  It is going to be difficult to wake up at 4:30 am - we just found out we are going to the Cubs game tonight with friends!  Sleep will have to wait until Weds night :)  Hopefully I'll be able to catch up before Sunday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Home Again

It's so nice to be back home no matter how brief.  After a weekend in central Illinois I have returned for only a few hours to my extremely messy home until I need to catch a flight to Rochester, NY for a day trip.  6:30 am flights = no fun. 

No running this weekend - opted to rest my bothersome ankle.  Hubby and I did go for a nice walk on Saturday around the very hilly neighborhood.  Other than that a lot of sitting around.  I am feeling sluggish from the lack of activity and food. The food options given to me this weekend weren't the healthiest (deep fried or heavily buttered/cream covered are the normal options) I made best with what I had available and tried to eat smaller portions.  Even though the MIL doesn't quite understand (gets mad/frustrated/takes offense) that I don't want to over fill my plate and eat multiple helpings. I think I did my best politely declining :)

Last night started the crazy running dreams that plagued me  before my other marathons.  You know the ones where 1) you end up in the wrong place  2) miss the start  3) can't find the finish/get lost.  Last night I ended up in New Orleans surrounded by high school friends I no longer talk to. They were mad at me for not partaking in their mardi gras festivities the night before.  Also, I think I ended up lost and somewhere else mid race once I finally found the course as everyone who was supposed to be there ditched.  I'm hoping they subside tonight as I have to be up for the flight by 4 am - ugh.  

And in other movie related news as I am the movie freak...  we did catch Star Trek on Saturday.  Awesome!  It's a great action film that I think even none trekkies/trekkers will enjoy.  Perfect castings, some funny parts (thanks to Scotty!), and fantastic fight scenes/action sequences.  Plus it made sense - no holes in the story.  Next up Angels and Demons then Terminator.  The summer movie season is off to a fantastic start!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Run Happy!

I love the smell of freshly cut grass.  Living in the city it's not a smell I get to enjoy often but today I did!  The maintenance crew was out in full force this morning/early afternoon cutting the grass in all the parks I run by.  I wore my Run Happy shirt and was definitely feeling happy on my last "long" run before next weeks marathon!!! There were a lot of interesting people out enjoying the day which makes for excellent people watching (and the helps the time pass by even quicker). The ankle pain was more of an annoyance today and less of a concern so that helped the happy thoughts too! I ended up running today instead of this weekend as we are making a trip back to central Illinois to visit his parents in a few hours.  Although they have a nice running path down there everyone makes me feel guilty when I leave for an hour or two (even though we don't do anything other than watch tv!)  I don't mind it ended up being a fantastic morning for a run!

Happy Mother's Day to all you fantastic moms out there.  And good luck to all you who are racing this weekend!  Especially Melanie who taking on her first marathon! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy 5th of May!

Happy cinco de mayo!  You know what that means - margarita's, chips, and guacamole!!!  What everyone in Chicago goes for Mexican food like it's going out of style on this day?!?  We planned to arrive early and beat the crowd.  That didn't happen since we went for a workout later than expected... so we went for some fish and chips instead.  It may be no El Mariachi table-side guacamole but it was still good and no wait.  In and out in 30 minutes.  No fish and chips may not be the healthiest but a little is okay :) 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

All Over the Place

I am all over the place these days.  Can't keep a thought in my head longer than a few seconds, leaving post its all over the place to remember anything.   Here's a little overview into my whacked out head.  
  • my ankle, or should I say right lower leg, is making me nervous.  I'm now walking with a slight limp as the pain has move from the inside ankle to the top of the foot and bottom of the calf muscle.  just becoming all inclusive.  I don't ever go to see a doctor but may need to make an exception...
  • had a great 12 miles Saturday despite the right foot/ankle pain.  
  • realized on my run the 1 reason I like winter running versus spring.  in winter there is no one on the path!  Saturday ran past 3 different organized run/walks that blocked the path as well as all the other people that come out when it's nice.  sometimes it's just too much. 
  • weather is gorgeous here and all I want to do is run around outside.  
  • i keep wanting to check the extended forecast for Cleveland but need to remind myself constantly it's pointless.  
  • saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine last night.  My very impressive review - meh... Action was good for the most part (some cheesiness) and I love me some Hugh.  Overall the story and character development really was lacking.  Yes, I know it's based on a comic book but you can't have major holes in the story and never have your characters who are together/good friends/mortal enemies never really connect or never provide a valid reason for the relationship!  
  • hoping for better from the upcoming Star Trek and Terminator these next 2 weeks.  
  • finally finished American Wife last week.  Read this book!   Incredible story and amazingly written.  It is a fictional story based on events in Laura Bush's life.  The book is broken into 4 parts, each  occurring at a different address, in which a significant life event occurs with all the other minor events that may occur to make life what it is.  Here's a fictional glimpse into what may happen behind those closed doors.  
  • now I need to find another book that I want to read.  I have a few on the bed-side table but none I really want to pick up right now.
  • eating (and drinking) like crap these past few days.  really need to get a handle on it over these next 2 weeks.  Hopefully it's not too little too late.  
  • eating well may be tough at the in-laws next weekend.  I just hope they don't start on me having babies since it's mother's day.  who am I kidding, they did before we were married I imagine it's going to be the same or worse now.
  • went to my favorite bar/restaurant today (we go nearly every weekend) and they changed their menu.  of course it included getting rid of my favorite wrap and salad!  the replacement was no good.  I'm sad that I now need to find a new weekend place.  
As you can see, all over the place!  You have to love the taper madness... only 13 days until race day.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Best if Consumed by...

Almost 2 years ago when training for my first marathon I discovered the wonderful world of gu's and trying new things to consume on the run that didn't make me want to hurl.  During my experimentation period I came across the delicious luna moons (no they did not ask me to say that). Although actually a bit too chewy for me to eat during the actual run (I hate that they stick to my teeth and that my jaw aches while trying to chew and run) I do love them pre-run or during mid-range runs.  

So Tuesday before my run I was feeling a little sluggish and needed a little energy boost before heading out so I grabbed a pack out of my box of 24 in the cabinet.  Ripped into that little guy and threw one into my mouth, bit down, and... ugh a solid mass.  Nearly broke out a filling that little moon.  Flipped the little package over to see in faded black lettering "Best if Consumed By" OCT 08. Who knew these suckers expire?!? And why was it in my cabinet for so long?  Gross!   I checked the remainder of the box, they all expired this week... I think I may be okay for a little while longer though.  I mean were not talking about milk :)

I did skip the run Thursday and opted for the gym. I really should not go so long in between my weight sessions, although luckily not too sore today.  Ended up on the bike and it didn't bother my ankle during the actual session, afterwards I was sore.  Able to ice and elevate while catching up on The Office and 30 Rock :) Complete rest day today - 15 days until Cleveland!