Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five days. FIVE. And race predictions.

Oh shit. Five Days. Which actually means YAY FIVE DAYS (it does, I'm pumped.)

We have things to talk about. Important, critical things.
Last week I finished up all of my hard workouts, 800's, mile repeats, everything went according to plan. I felt awesome, things were going swimmingly.
Of course, I was careful to monitor my recovery. Snowbank ice baths included.

Sitting in a snowbank is cold and stupid.

On Saturday I began to experience my normal phase of 'OMG. I'm broken" phantom taper pains, which I have grown to love over the years and more or less ignore.
Here are a list of my favorites:
-sharp stabby ankle pain
-a funny feeling in my foot that is tendontis *for sure*
-sore back
-sick. gettin' some kinda sick.
-bad feelings in general

I have learned to ignore all of that nonsence and move along with my damn day, ain't nobody got time for that.
And then.... I went out to run on Sunday and discovered that I had a FOR REAL pain.

OK, ignore those panicky caps.
I did have a pulled muscle in my thigh. I knew how I got it (horses, curse you!) and I was smart enough to call it a day and not act like some kind of ninja hero.

Monday I was 80% better.
Tuesday I was fine.

Crisis averted. Until the stabby pain comes back, that is.
I plan to continue my snowbank recovery methods and excellent foam rolling techniques to avoid as much real life pain as possible.

Quality time on the roller. Silly pets. UGH!
In relevant news...
So, in a truly shocking internet moment I am ready to declare my finishing time prediction.

-According to the McMillan calculator my 800's indicate that I shall run this race in 4:41:00 which is just absurd. Hahaha! I got slow!
-According to the McMillan calculator my 13.1 time indicates that I shall run in 3:23:00 which I see as optimistic. Boston is crowded. Has hilllllllzzzzzzz. Is 26.2 miles long. CRAP.
But honestly, the takeaway story from this is that I suck big time at 800's.

On a sidenote it has honestly occurred to be to leave Hopkington at a BLAZING pace and see how long I can maintain it, just for shits and gigs (but I won't do that. that would lead to certain death at mile 16 or, best case scenario, projectile vomiting and the worrying feeling that I might crap my pants which I would prefer to avoid. who knows why..) If doom was not a 100% guarantee, or is a marathon was only a mile long I'd definitely be down for this time of tomfoolery. However, in real life no thanks.

I will close out my blog of profound thoughts today with a preview of my future...
A future event that I am delight to be experiencing with a few of my favorite Maine runners!
(Chicago isn't ready...)



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One year ago....

Today was one of those funny days where there was a lot of "one year ago at this exact time I was doing thus and such marathon related activity...." Weird.
Thankfully, what I still remember as a highlight of the day, pre swat team time was that Eric and I got engaged. My part in fighting the terrorists is to make sure that my joy in that moment doesn't get lost.
I just said to Eric "We don't really have a "story" from that day as many others do, (since thankfully our friends, family and the two of us had left the finish about an hour prior to the first bombing) But, if you hurt a runner, or their family I take personal offense to it because we are a close knit community. You mess with them, I get pissed"

Good things happened on 4/15/13 too....

Bottom line, we will all be back there. Stronger. More badass. Ready to prove that you don't mess with any of us (New England-ers, runners, humans.....) 

We have 6 days and counting.

More on these final few days tomorrow :-)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

11 days and counting!

It seems we are really in the final countdown phase around here!
The really REALLY nice thing is that the weather is improving exponentially, every day seems to be a bit nicer and the snowbanks have melted to a much less ominous 10 foot or so level.  Yikes!
Honestly... I can't ever remember a Spring when I was more excited to see the temps hitting the low 50's, it feels amazing and I am so excited for better weather!

I typically am not a huge fan of taper time but thus far, I feel fine. Kelsey and I have figured out that I operate best with a 2 week taper, and that as long as she keeps me pretty occupied with amusing workouts up to the (almost) end that I don't freak the hell out. So while half my brain thought it might be time to get fat and lazy the other half is just as happy to still have mile repeats and such on the docket.

I had my final long run on Sunday. Not only did this mark the longest run of 2014 but it also marked the first time in several training cycles that I have run over a 20 miler. I managed 21, over hill and dale, in gorgeous weather, with no problems at all.
I don't trust good long runs- I typically hate a significant part of each one so I'm not sure what to think. (other than I deserved it!)

Wheeeeeeeee!!!!! Long run OVER!!!

Upon arriving back home Eric, my family and I had a tiny taper party, where we drank beer, ate all of my Mom's brie, olives and almonds and I sported some spiffy compression gear and sat on an ice pack.

Beer and compression for the win!!
I'm a little nervous that we are going to have an 80 degree marathon day and considering the conditions here, I'm not sure how well I would handle that.
The other side of my brain is scared that it is going to be 40 and pouring down rain.
Apparently, my biggest concerns are weather related. I can handle THAT- so much better than being worried about a broken ass!

I was quite delighted to be a featured runner on Oiselle's blog yesterday. You can read all about it here! My super fun Q & A....
They are a bit confused about my equine profession but it is sweet that they pay attention to the fact that I am, indeed, an equestrian.
I liken this to speaking to my riding friends about running. "You are running a marathon?" they say. "That is like, 5 miles right?"
Close enough. :-)

So with 11 days to go I'm feeling physically and mentally well, quite hungry, thankful to be uninjured, and really looking forward to the big event.
Speaking of hungry... I don't know what is happening but I have been having rude cravings for BEEF!!! I typically enjoy an occasional steak and what not, but ALL thru the past few weeks I have been having a real need for cheeseburgers. It's serious.
This is what happens when you send your vegetarian fiancee to the store for beef and cheap wine:

Hahahah! Wow close call!

So, I have my grass fed beef beef in hand, an extended forecast to fret over (it doesn't extend quiiiiite far enough!) and I'm excited,
Bring it on!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What I think about while running.....

My training is coming along nicely and with just over 2 weeks to go I feel relatively comfortable with my current state of fitness.

This has been such a completely wackadoo winter that I am still hesitant to throw down an estimate of my Boston finishing time. Per the norm, in the past week alone I have firmly concluded that I am a PR worthy top finisher, and also have decided that I will be lucky to cross the finish line in less than 24 hours. My emotions really are all over the place...

In reality with the glaring exception of a fairly horrid 13 mile long run/speed work expedition last weekend (in which I still hit my goal paces but wanted to throw myself into traffic the whole way) things have finally (and I DO mean FINALLY) been falling into place.

Going into Boston last year I felt great. I am feeling like despite the shat winter we had, and the struggle I had with my butt/hamstring/piriformis/whateverthefuck I'm about at the same point that I was a year ago. I feel better than before Smuttynose last October because I have thusfar managed not to have any long runs that have finished on one leg.
I feel that this is probably a good improvement.

Anyway! I actually don't intend for this post to contain endless paragraphs of me waxing poetic. We shall save that for next week when I am tapering, begining to feel especially emotional, and getting excessively verbose.

For now I want to reminise about all the amazing things that I have had the opportunity to mull over while running hundreds of miles by myself over the past few months.
You know how down in the Boston area there are thousands of runners out and about, congregating in the midst of their final long runs? So many people that extra traffic police are called in to allow the runners to seamlessly glide thru traffic?
Well. Here in my neck of the woods I am the ONLY runner. Needless to say, traffic control is easy. In the absence of other humans I need to entertain myself with my thoughts, and here they are.

Yeah, now they think that they might have heard its black box pinging. BUT. I had it stuck in an alternate reality- a super exciting scifi hybrid of Lost an Dr. Who.
Too bad that didn't work out. Since the plane isn't stuck on an island of hotties in a parallel universe I'm just sad about the whole thing...

Not these planes. But I love them... I'm 6 :-)

2: Thigh Gap
I am not sure if I am ashamed or proud to admit that I did not think "thigh gap" was a real thing. I was honestly sure that #mindthegap was a reference to being fearful of falling on the tracks and being struck by a train (logical)
Who the ever loving fuck has a thigh gap.....? (not me) People actually CARE about this- for real?
I am upset on a lot of levels. I refuse to stand in a knock-kneed-duck-toed-ass-popping way to improve my faulty thigh gap.
Actually.... I refuse to think of it as faulty. Thigh gap is the biggest bullshit I have ever heard of.
I have spent quite a few miles mulling this over and feeling frustrated about how society/fashion/photoshop make people feel than an unattainable body is desirable.
Can your body do awesome things? That should be the main objective.
(and more disturbingly, this trend is not just in the 13 year old demographic. Grown ass women are perpetuating it. Barf.) Rant over. (almost!)
There is a lot of *helpful* info on the internet about how to get a thigh gap like this ....Awesome..... which I would like to rename "how to be disordered."
Rant really over.

3: Cookies, Beer and Steak.
Because, running.
Want to have me over for dinner????

Beer is good for ya.
 4: How hard it is to run 30 minutes at Marathon Pace
 ......and yet somehow I run 3.5 hours at MP day on Marathon day. HOW. HOWWWWWWW??

5: I think about how 45 degrees is my perfect running weather. Not to mention that after the winter we had 45 is perfect for shorts and tank tops!
Then I think about how bad it would be to get an 80 degree marathon day and I get a bit scared.
At that point I typically start thinking about thigh gap again, as it is better to be slightly disgusted than horribly, horribly terrified!

6: The HILLS. OMG.
Woof (pic not current- our snowbanks are still 10' or more...)  

 That's it for now. My internet silence has been astonishing lately, mostly due to very long work hours and silly things like marathon training which seems to take hours a day...
Taper is here as of Monday! so....... Maybe more time for internetting?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Winter!!! One Month until Boston!!! More Winter....!

And the winter.... trudges..... ON.

1 week ago. 15 inches of pure, pure crap!!!!!!! And 1 cute horse.

The past couple of weeks have been, believe it or not, dominated by more truly horrific weather.
I have lived in Maine for 34 years and have never seen such madness!

This gorgeous foot of snow/ice was 4 days prior to the 15 inch snowmageddon. EFFFF.

Trying to look past the crapola that are the conditions...
Things have been decent.

I had a bit of the sick last weekend which was crummy timing as I had a 20 on the schedule- which I did because I'm not a complete slacker. Duh!
Continuing in the theme of this training cycle, it was absolute shit for the first 10 then absolutely perfect for the last 10. This is truly mind boggling and, if nothing else, leaves me with feelings of happiness as (apparently) I am quick to forget the first half of my run.

I often wonder if my feelings of malaise have to do with my spectacular cross training???

Because clearly, this is not exhausting. Good times. 

When I'm not busy clamboring thru 10 feet of snow I have been doing yoga, which I win at weekly. (or a few times a week) (I have logged more wins at snow-walking that at yoga if we are being honest.....)

In the true competitive spirit of a runner I decide in every class if I am the top finisher or a disgrace at life. It can go either way, especially since I am slightly delayed and can not do any inversions. Also, I have the flexibility of a 2x4 and approximately zero balance.
Regardless, I LOVE yoga and think it's the activity to thank for my current healthy body. (and I must admit, that I get scolded for my post practice fist pumping and declarations  of "WINNING AT YOGA!!!!" but I don't mind, I have a lot of fun there and can take a scolding.)

With less than a month to go I am feeling pretty strong (today) relatively quick (today) and completely badass (today.....)
Come chat with me tomorrow and I will tell you how weak, slow and pitiful I am.
HAH! Typical marathon training. All kinds of shenans.
Since the weather has been so wacko I feel that is partially to blame.

Late March??? Late January maybe.

I am hesitant to make a guess at my Boston finishing time just yet because this winter has given me a training cycle that I have never seen- and hope to avoid at all costs again- thank YOU.
But in upcoming days I plan to talk about my bets for my finish time, training details, Fall marathon plans, and other amusing things.
So stay tuned!