Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Great Pumpkin 10K!

I don't seem to do many 10K races. I'm not sure if that is because they aren't as popular as the ever cringe inducing 5K, or if I'd just prefer to spend my money on a longer race. Regardless, I think I have only run a grand total of 4 10K's ever.  (and maybe that is ok?)
We all know the story of how, after running Around The Lake on one leg, I then ran Beach To Beacon 6 days later and hated every second of it. I was hoping that that this would not be a repeat performance. While I might not have been in a mood of great enthusiasm "Trying to talk myself into loving to run" I believe was my FB post of the AM, it was still a much better time than B2B (I also had a full week more to recover- this made a difference I think!)
I requested a nice, sunny, warm day. FAIL. It was not a deluge like the last two races but it was drizzly, windy and cool. With Sandy looming on the horizon it could have been much worse, but I still complained. A LOT. To anyone who would listen...
The whole gang! And we are all shivering uncontrollably at this point...
We got there in plenty of time for me to sit in the car for 40 minutes complaining about how cold it was (and therefore, not warming up... good solid plan!) But whaaaaaaaaaaaa it was cold and damp and I'm so sick of racing in the drizzle disgustingness! I told Eric that I didn't feel like running and would spectate while he PR'd . He said that he had already called doing that and so I could not. MEH.

We got out of the car. We almost missed the start (if only we had walked slower!) we met up our friends who looked just as excited as we felt. Well, maybe a little more excited as there was a cute costumed doggie hanging with them!

Eric needed to run faster than 53ish minutes to PR. That seemed likely. I needed to run faster than 43 something to PR and I knew THAT wasn't going to happen because who in their right mind runs that fast?? I remembered a time long, long ago (or 4 weeks) when I tried and failed to help my exclusive running partner to PR (failed) and so I devised a potentially risky plan... Last time we ran together for the whole race (which is the funnest, duh) and I tried to be the worlds best pacer which apparently I'm terrible at. This time, the gun went off, we ran the first mile together like we were young and in love and THEN... I dropped him like a bad habit and took the hell off.

Whoops. HEH HEH.

Anyway, I ran along faster than I would have liked to in a perfect world, assuming that he would chase me. I REALLY didn't feel like murdering myself and my legs were less than thrilled with my faster-than-marathon speed but it was alright. The thing about a 10K is that you have a little more time to think than in a 5K but not enough time for your thought to become severely mentally challenged- like in a marathon.

Here is what I thought about:
-I wish a marathon was 1 mile. Actually, I wish all races were 1 mile or less. Maybe 0.3 miles.
-I wish I could run an 8:50 pace and WIN!!!
-Well now I'm hot. Isn't THIS a slap in the FACE??
-Hang on, did that guy just say that we got to the 5k mark in 27 minutes?? That can't be right. (it wasn't)
-.....omg what if he was right...????????
-Shit I'm slow and stupid. I think I hate running.

*sigh* Anyway. I finally finished and it was in 44:49. That would be my second best 10K time ever so not too bad. I was 3rd in my age group and felt cheated since there were only prizes for the top 2...

I grabbed my coat and went back to look for Eric and THERE HE WAS!!!! Crossing the line in 47:49. And his first words were: "I'm KINDA MAD AT YOU....." Hmmm, I thought that might happen! I gave him a donut and he forgot all about his troubles as he basked in the glow of accomplishment and great speed, congratulating me for being clever enough to force him to give chase. Then he complimented my amazing womanly good looks and high IQ.  (OK, OK.. It didn't play out exactly like that. but close enough... Really close. Right Eric??)

It was still cold and nasty so once everyone finished we dashed out of there as fast as possible. Racing is less fun when the weather discourages ambling around talking about our amazing racing domination (yeah, that happens quite a bit...) So to recap: we ran fast, ate donuts, froze, left. BOOM!

I feel that my Halloween race outfit deserves mention. Grey tights, socks, arm sleeves and gloves... I was 50 shades of grey. I'm a crafty girl...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Post Marathon Aftermath...

Post Marathon recovery time was delightful. I took several guilt free days "off" (I wish they had been off my damn feet, ALAS, they were just off from running...) My legs were sore and crabby but uninjured. I felt 100% better than after Around The Lake! Not to mention the fact that I was on a legit post awesome run high for a full 48 hours after (maybe more) which I'm sure was very annoying to everyone around me. Too bad suckers!!
I think I ran 14 miles total last week and they were all nice and easy.
I'm only planning to get into the mid 20's this week but already did hills and a tempo run so clearly things are sorting out in the leg department. YAY!
So what's next?
So Excited!!!!

I am really excited to run this race. I missed it last year due to a prior real life commitment and so am even MORE excited to be able to make it this year!
All that OMG I LOVE RUNNING chatter aside I definitely don't think I'll be busting out a PR next week and that's cool. Everything was so awesome at the Maine Half and MDI that I feel like I might be due for a less than delightful race, but I could be wrong. Either way, I love Half's because you get done really fast and in plenty of time for lunch!

Well thank you!!!

I totally bailed on any "extra" mileage this week because my stupid toes hurt and I'm sure I'm on the verge of loosing all my toenails! I'm scared to look. So I won't.
There seem to be many exciting plans on the horizon but I'm not going to overwhelm the interwebs with them right now. (can you feel the suspense???)
I have a 10K with a bunch of friends today which should be fun, and then we are going to see what this big overhyped storm brings for the next few days. I'm just hoping for the first non rainy race in ages so, Sandy, please hold off!

Friday, October 26, 2012

In which I am a ghostwriter...

Some people are just too damn lazy to write their own blogs...

Getting to pose as an Ironman for a blog post was quite fun for me. (maniacal laugh!)

Go here to check out my excellent work!!!

Oh and Andy? You might think the smack talk backfired but it didn't. My cheesecake/wine training plan is still in full effect and working amazingly well for me. You're gonna have to work awfully hard to catch up with me so good luck with that.. (more trash talk...!!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm clearly a very serious athlete...

I have a big-long-epic-awesome blog coming up soon about how to recover from a marathon like a boss (hint: it involves lots of candy..)
But for today... This picture from MDI really puts my fashion out there. And IT IS AMAZING!!
Someday I'll be famous/fast/award winning enough to have GATORADE or similar in big bold letters on all my garb. But until they come knocking at my door, ready to give my slow poke butt freebies, this is how I plan to dress. Badly.
Proof right here. I look like a bag lady!

Monday, October 15, 2012

MDI Marathon, a lengthy racap of a lengthy race!

Three Words: BEST. RACE. EVER!!
I mentioned in my post yesterday that things leading up to this marathon (training or lack of training, pressure- or LACK- of pressure) were much different than for Around The Lake.
This trend continued right thru race weekend which was a pleasant surprise!
There is absolutely no denying that in spite of the less than stellar weather (it rained- HARD) it was an amazing race. I loved the course despite the undeniable challenge that it presented, loved how I felt the whole time, had a TON of fun with a delightful group of people and am honestly still on cloud 9 from the whole experience.
So much so that I signed up for 2013 MDI at 9:00 this morning *ahem* *crazy*
OK. We'll start from the beginning (I hope to find more pics soon- I didn't have a great camera so this will be word heavy picture light I'm afraid.)
I made it to the expo!

I made the drive to Bar Harbor on Saturday after working for a few hours, running two easy miles, packing everything I owned and eating a PB&J and an entire bag of twizzlers. Oops. My friends were already up there, being of a more organized mindset than myself and I was excited to see all of them! The expo was quite easy to navigate (being small) and I was quickly able to obtain my race number and my extra extra large jacket. Which was actually an XS cleverly disguised as an XL. I'm grumpy about this as I wish to wear my marathon jacket everywhere I go!

A blurry group photo after a delicious carb loading dinner!

I met up with all the cool people that I run with at the hotel and proceeded to eat ALL the cookies that Meg had baked and brought. They were delicious- that girl is a genius!!
As usual the amazingly organized Danielle acted as party planner extraordinaire and that meant that I could just follow her around and not think. I really enjoyed this and it reminded me that I need to go to many, many more races with her ASAP (yes, I'm already counting down...)
I got to meet the adorable Christy and Ally (who came all the way from TEXAS! and I thought MY trip was long....) Sarah was there as well, to run her second Marathon is a 3 week period (Danielle did as well, those girls are BADASS!!!) To offer up serious course support and bedtime stories Andy bravely showed up and now apparently can't wait to join in the running next year (smart!)
Since most of these peeps blog too (and blog better than I do...) I'm not going to give away details of their races other than to say that there was some serious ass kicking going on. I have some fast, amazing friends!!! YOU GUYS are INCREDIBLE!!

My number and humongous aqua jacket.

I woke up the next morning at some ridiculous hour and heard it pouring rain. "Don't worry" said Danielle "it's just coming off the roof!" In disbelief I RAN outside to look and she was right. For the moment the weather was cooperating....
I ate 3 bagels (the little ones), took 2 Advil, 2 Pepto and 2 Tums (to be on the safe side) drank a Gatorade and told Meg and Danielle all about my unfortunate butt-poison-ivy incident. Sometimes in the morning my words just come out, sorry girls.
Then I proceeded to get very, very nervous and loose my ability to speak. And everyone was glad!


We all seemed to be more or less ready to race despite the fact that it was about 38 degrees and legit raining at this point. Given the fact that none of us had slept well this is remarkable.
Here's the tweet to prove it (lucky Andy... and thanks Andy!!)

Yeah, this happened...

I saw Jen at the start, who was fully recovered after her SUPER fast Tufts race and was ready to rock it. We all were actually, as it was teeth chatteringly COLD!
The gun went off and we all moseyed along for the first, and only downhill portion of the race. Right away I started reminding myself of my "taking it easy" plan. "You can't go TOO FAST" I hollered at myself "YOU CAN'T DECOMPENSATE LIKE LAST TIME... because you need to drive your own damn self home....!!!" This was definite inspiration to run slowly, carefully and not like a fool....
It took until mile 4 for my feet to thaw and then they felt very odd, like there was stuff in my shoes. Apparently that is what happens in freezing effing cold weather as clearly, with the exception of my feet, there was nothing in my shoes. My legs started to feel awesome at mile 4 and I felt like I was running at a really easy happy pace that I could keep up forever!
I saw Meg, Ally and Andy around mile 5 and it was nice to have a cheering squad because I was drowning a little in the rain at that point. I also really needed to pee, but decided to ignore it in the hopes that it would go away (hmmmm...)
The miles seriously flew by as I kept my eyes out for the amazing scenery and only saw fog, cloud banks and rain. My legs felt good and I never got out of breath, leading me to believe that I was probably running about a 9:30 m/m pace.
UNTIL.... at mile 12.8 or so Andy drove up on his bike. "BRADLEY" he yelled at me "YOU. ARE. GOING. TOO!!! FAST!!!!!" I replied with confusion that it simply was not possible and what time was it??? "NINE. THIRTY. EIGHT." He shouted back. "OH shit I AM going to fast" I squeaked. "Well... I feel ok, I think I'm gonna be fine" Was my declaration at that point. After he rode off I started of having dark thoughts of crashing and burning at mile 20, throwing up on everyone around me and hearing Andy smugly say "I told you so...." I did NOT want this to happen so I mellowed out. For exactly 5 minutes. (and as it turns out, Andy was not actually chastising me for being too fast. he just meant that he was having to bike around too much to find me... not a bad misunderstanding in retrospect! I was quite amused when he explained this to me though.)
Things just felt too damn fine! It was the strangest!  Mile 13-18 flew by and I happily ate some GU, had a little dance party, and mentally prepared myself for the last 10K. Oh, and I REALLY had to pee at this point...
At mile 20 I was starting to hurt a little and get tired. I felt like I had slowed down but Garmin-less running is a guessing game. I saw Andy again just after mile 20 but didn't ask about the time because it didn't matter one way or the other. I knew that from 20-26 I would have to take it mile to mile and man the EFF up...
At mile 22 I gave up and scampered into the woods to finally pee. I WAS DYING. I simply could NOT run any more and HAD to go. The whole process took less than a minute- maybe 45 seconds (remember that- it is important...)
For the last 2 miles I was tired but never hit the wall like I did back in July. I started taking it step to step instead of mile to mile and could not wait to cross the finish line and stop running!
My eyes were so waterlogged that I couldn't see the clock until I ran across the finish and in amazement I say 3:35:40. My first thought was HOLY SHIT I kicked the CRAP out of my goal time!!! My second thought.... I shouldn't have taken a pee break because I would have BQ'd AGAIN (on a tough as nails course....!!!!) Honestly I could have cared less because I was so pleased with how the whole race played out for me, especially since I was convinced that I had under trained like a boss. I was seriously, seriously excited. And shivering freezing cold!
I wrapped myself in 200 space blankets and walked up and down the road eating bagels and trying not to let my legs cramp up. I was also scared of the notorious GI problems that I have, sneaking up on me and THANK GAHD they did not (who knows why..) Andy turned up and gave me my bag of dry clothing- I have never been so happy to see dry clothes ever. EVER! 
After not too long at all everyone else finished and there was much celebration over successful runs, huge PR's and finally being able to get the hell out of the weather! Even though it was a crapola day there were a ton of people out on the roads cheering us on, the volunteers were incredible and it was a really well run race. With fantastic finishers medals. And, evidently, beautiful age group prizes- and I'll never get to find out because my depleted brain didn't think to check- I won my AG- and (very) sadly, they don't mail prizes. DUMB me!
All of us got together for a little after party lunch and to rehash the day in epic detail. You know you're in a group of runners when shots of pepto are being taken instead of actual shots.... All afternoon and evening the Twitter was exploding with excited MDI chatter! Clearly, a very fun and successful day for all... We all went our seperate ways for the long trips home, and I believe that there was much cake eaten by a few lucky girls! (you know who you are and I'm jealous that I didn't grab a slice. or the whole thing..)
I'm taking a few days off now before moving on to my next race adventure. And yes, after yesterday my plan to only run one Marathon a year was blown all to smithereens... I officially have the bug now and am planning my winter accordingly!
So one more time- congratulations to ALL of us who braved the mountains and conditions yesterday and came away with some fabulous race memories (or, with good stories to tell if nothing else!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's GO TIME!!! Marathon DAY IS HERE!!

So today is the day.
Marathon number two is upon us....
Things have certainly felt a little different this time around. I had such a long recovery post July marathon/nasty shin injury that I feel like my training just started (well, 6 weeks ago...!)
I haven't had a single horrible long run possibly due to the fact that my longest run since July has been 19 which keeps me out of that 22-26.2 mile trouble zone. A friend of mine compared those last miles to climbing Mt. Everest and getting to the elevation when (even with an oxygen tank) your body starts to fail. The judgement falters and every step feels like it takes a lifetime.
Um, yes. Excellent comparison!
My goals for this race are very, very reasonable.

Goal #2- Start slow.
Goal #3- Be flexible, if I'm feeling good I feel like I should be able to do this at about a minute slower per mile than I did in July which puts me roughly at a 4:01 finish. I'd take it. The EMAIL OF DOOM from MDI was a bit intimidating, no lie. I'm willing to believe that half way thru marathoning over the Alps I might seriously need to stop, take a breather, eat a few pancakes, sit and read Harry Potter and send a few texts before continuing on. I'd just like to be done by lunchtime, dammit! Don't get between me and my FOOD stupid race! 
Bottom line, I don't have a "real" time goal to meet this time. I'd like to be a little more relaxed this time, perhaps not projectile vomit (that was fun, not...) cruise along at a pace that doesn't kill my legs too terribly but also brings me in before lunch! Yes please.
Even though my training has felt more limited this time around I still need to give a shout out to my family, friends, excellent exclusive dating partner and all the cool people in my life for accepting the fact that hey, my name is Sara and I have a running problem! This shit takes up a lot of time and energy and (per the norm) I have been a terrible Friday night date because that's long run day! Thanks you guys, wish you could all be here today but I know you're thinking about me (as in: rolling your eyes at my legit insanity!)
I'm feeling excited about this race, glad it's not 23,585 laps around a lake, pleased that it's not going to be 85 degrees and humid and I'm excited to see friends and to meet new ones! (always fun to meet people IRL!)
Now on to some amusing items:

Possible the best text about running EVER thanks to my cousin Jen

SEXY DATE NIGHT!!!!! This is how we roll. HOT.

HAHAHA! What happens when you imap a track workout.

Wish me luck everybody. We'll see what happens out there on the road today!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

How to be the BOSS of the MARATHON
(the final chapter)
(I know you are all soooo bummed out about that!)
I promised pictures of the chaos of my house-of-athletes and am about to deliver in a big way!
But first! I have to admit that I am glad my MDI plan doesn't involve the goal of a PR or a BQ. Upon reading the "final instructions" email I discovered that the MDI people gave a dire warning!
"Don't plan to PR. the course is horrible and hilly and almost impossible. you might die. just be glad to cross the finish line, fool..."
I took slight (but very slight) artistic liberty with that but essentially that was exactly what they wrote.
And yet, I'm looking forward to this.
Special kind of stupid up in here!
OK onto the good stuff.
To train for a Marathon you don't have a lot of time to pick up your house. And you are so exhausted that you don't give a crap about this...! It's more important to run 50 miles a week then to clean after all. DUH...
The shoes. SO MANY!!!
Arranged lovingly on my shoe rack built of paint cans and a board. Classy
I will make one for you for a slice of pie and a beer!

The pantry.
And a bottle of Bourbon. Keeping it real, keeping it real!

A whole DRESSER devoted to athletic garb!

Race numbers on the bathroom sink. That makes sense.
Along with cortisone for the poison ivy that's on my butt (story for another day)
And the stuff for chafing. Nice....

Race medals randomly hanging from a bathroom light fixture.
What, this isn't what everyone does with their hard earned bling??

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and the UGLY!!!!

Part IV in how to train for a Marathon like a BOSS!!!
(a quick one today. this lady isn't built for daily blogging...)
Bottom line, when you're running 400 miles a week (or 4, like I have been this training cycle) things are going to fluctuate wildly between Good, Bad and just heinous and ugly.
I'm trying to become more realistic and not gnash and stew too badly when things get bad... And on the flip side I'm trying to keep a handle on the enthusiastic jumping up and down and "squeeeee-ing" when things are good! (that's a complete lie.)
The GOOD! The race is upon us! (maybe this is bad. or ugly?)

I'm excited and feel that I'm ready enough.
Ready enough to cross the damn finish line and BE DONE that is!

The bad (but honestly, I don't really care. I'm a messy girl.)
My house looks like THIS!
I hang race medals in the bathroom for heavens sake... WHY??
I'll have a picture tomorrow to prove it...
And the fact that a 60 year old guy who was also wearing 2 sparkly headbands beat me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

And the saga continues!

How to train for a marathon like a BOSS part III:
Go to the Tufts 10K and (wait for it....)
I really wanted to run this race.  But for once in my life logic and reason actually prevailed and with a marathon 6 days away, I decided to sit this one out in favor of supporting a couple of lovely ladies.
This choice made me die inside just a little bit. But in retrospect it was wise...
I am suspicious that this will be a must do for me next year, it's easy to get to, beautifully organized and they give fantastic tech shirts (which almost makes up for the notable lack of finishers medals... total rip off!!) It was a gorgeous day which certainly made for some excellent spectating conditions.
The well dressed racers!!! I LOVED the pink sparkle skirt.
I LOVED the knee high "bacon" socks.
These gals know how to dress for success!
(says the queen of fashion...)

We arrived in plenty of time and good thing, because they started lining people up close to an hour before start time. I'm sure with 8,000 women this made for a smooth start but I would have been "eh" about standing around for so long pre-race. I like my warm up routine and standing like sweaty sardines for 45 minutes usually isn't part of how I roll...

While waiting for the start I was struck with serious race envy and did some pouting.
Yeah. I behave like I'm 5 when I can't run!!

I want to run fast like these girls. HOLY crap they are quick!

The thing about a 10K is that there is very little waiting around time. We looked around the expo a little (timed this very well to avoid the crowds. timed it very BADLY for seeing people, whoops!!) thought about snacking, had water spilled onto us by a sketchy strange dude and then camped out to watch the finish. Not shockingly the fast ladies started cruising thru around the 31 minute mark. HOLY shit, they were just flying! Made me realize my dire need for speedwork! There was a light trickle of fast finishers until around the 45ish minute mark when people started pouring thru the finish. Including Jen who PR'd like a BOSS!  Not too long after that the girls I was actually there to watch came zipping by, meeting their time goals and looking good!  Both of them were really pleased with how they did (it was the first 10K post-baby for one of them and the first 10K EVER for the other! Good job you two I'm wicked proud!)
Then, since it was, after all, a RACE we all went out for TONS of pasta (which was totally justified being that it was post athletics) wine (which actually improved our sobriety since we shared a couple bottles) and cheesecake (which was totally vegan, obvs, and probably had negative calories since there was more sharing involved!) Basically, as you might have noticed my rules for food change when there is sharing involved. (or standing, or only having one bite, or eating/drinking anything before, during, or after running.)
So, another fine day for me in my taper and perhaps the first thing that I have done that might improve my chances of successful marathon completion.
Seriously counting down at this point. More wise words to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to train for a marathon like a BOSS: Part II

Part two of my expert series.
And I use the term expert in the most serious way possible because I am really the greatest EVER...
Yesterday we covered the fact that I chose hills/preparedness over speed for marathon training cycle round two (the modified, crappy, but much more fun version!)
I worked the hell out of the hills around here and could literally see my speed work declining. My stupid inflamed foot tendon was balky during speed work so all the more reason to skip the dreaded tempo runs!!! (yeah, I missed maybe two, total fail, obvs....)
At 11:30 on Sunday AM I made the excellent decision to go to the other side of town and run a 5K, just to see how the speed was holding up. (with 6 days to go until the Marathon my conclusion was that this was the very best way to kick off my taper!)
This was perhaps the best show of judgement ever since less than 24 hours before I had run 15.5 straight up a mountain. Yes, I'm smart, a bright girl indeed.
I kinda figured I'd shuffle along and head home with a 26 minute slog under my belt. However, my competitive nature and my desire to win a JUG of syrup kicked in and I ended up placing 2nd with a 21:51. Decent, for an old lady who has avoided speed work like one might avoid Ebola for the past few weeks!
I also dragged Eric and my Dad along and they were fast too. Just not as fast as I am, HAH!!
The syrup. The fashion. Be jealous!!!

I ate a LOT on candy corn post race and proceeded to feel very sick for a long time. As an expert runner I feel the need to warn people away from refueling with pure, straight up JENK food. I'm sure that this is a stunning revelation to most of you out there, I know it was for me!
In retrospect running this race was not a bad idea at all as my legs felt fine the next day and my morale was bolstered by my ability to still run a respectable 5k.
And yes lucky readers. More words of wisdom from yours truly tomorrow!
(don't count on this streak continuing. I only have so many smart things to say after all...)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to train for a marathon like a boss!!!

You want to know how to train for a marathon like a BOSS do you??
Well, you have come to the right place then.
According to MDI (who clearly know ALL) since this is not my FIRST marathon then I AM AN EXPERT!!! (???)
Thank you guys, for recognizing my obvious prowess *ahem, ahem*
My training has been creative this time around.
Just getting back into a regular running schedule 5 or so weeks ago left little time for epic long runs of doom. I have squeezed in two successful 19 milers (good enough!!) but have concentrated on hills.
The only thing one hears about MDI is: "OMG the EFFING HILLS!!"
So, deciding that fast would not be a viable option this time around I'm just going for prepared.
Here are a couple of examples of my amazing hill running skills.
Or perhaps just fine examples of the hills in my town? Yes. that's more likely..
My 8 mile loop. FML.

15.5 Miles. OF PURE HELL! PURE HELL!!!!!!!
Sweet Baby Geezus!!!! Want to come run hills with me? It's fun, I promise (LIE! LIE!)
The good news for today is that with FIVE days left there will be very few mountains in my training plan for this week.
I'm getting a little excited. This is proof that my cheese has slid right off my cracker because no one in their right mind should be excited for an uphill marathon, right?
More suggestions for epic marathon training to come tomorrow!
(yes, I'm promising more than one post this week. which means that all posts will be terrible since my recent claim has been "quality over quantity") (or maybe I'm just a suck-o blogger?)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Maine Half Marathon: The official rainy race report.

 It has been a while since I've run a Half. If my old, faulty memory is correct my last Half was my simply amazing record-smashing PR setting run at Great Bay which was in April. Quite some time ago...

Back before I hurt my leg in May I signed up for the Maine Half knowing that:
a: I love this silly race
b: it would be a great final long run before I started to taper for MDI
c: if nothing else it would surely be nicer out than last year
(anybody remember last year? monsoon much?)

The plan changed somewhat over the months. Since my running skills had greatly diminished since my July Marathon (but yes, I am finally running on a well behaved leg) I knew that running slow-ish would be smart. I also chose to add some extra miles in to make it a more legit long run, since I have done very few for the past couple of months. Gotta tell my legs what's up if they're going to slog thru 26.2 in a couple weeks after all....

The best news was that Eric decided to jump on board for his first half since GBH too, and for his longest race since his Ironman insanity. Have I mentioned that he's crazy? Super crazy. He indicated that he might want to PR at the ME 1/2 and I eagerly leaped all over that news with obnoxious gusto and grand plans for world domination.
My shirt and very lucky looking number. I do love the shirts from this race!

We had a very excellent plan involving how to run this race and allow Eric to PR like the boss of the Half Marathon.
Well. It was something like this: "start slowly finish fast"
And it was all my doing. This was all my plan. I'm a jerk face who drags people to races and forces them to run faster/longer/harder then they want to.
Yes, I am available for coaching. Excellent coaching. Accepting new clients for SURE.  HAH.
Strike one of the day: Coffee was impossible to find. Apparently coffee shops don't open until very late on Sundays. Finally, at 6:40 we obtained coffee and bagels. This would have been excellent if I had not wished to start running at 7:00.
Strike two of the day: I forgot to pack my sports bra. OH SNAP. Thank you sweet baby Geezus for making me a barely A cup. They were still awfully bouncy and totally got chafed.
Strike three of the day: It rained. Son of a beech tree.

See? Rain.
I headed out at 7:00, 30 seconds post coffee and bagel consumption. It was no big deal. I felt great, and oddly, I'm not lying! I honestly was VERY excited to run, VERY excited to race and VERY excited to be awesome. (duh!) I ran 3 miles to the start and located Eric quickly enough to waylay my concerns that he was going to hide in the shrubs until the gun went off. This seemed like a very real possibility as he wasn't quite as over the top excited as I was (imagine that! maybe he has logic and reason?)
I ate a honey stinger waffle and drank a small cup of Gatorade. Nutrition excellence at its finest (again, no lie! this shit works for me. total middleaged endorsement of said products.)
Strike four of the day: The Garmin died a tragic death. DOOM!!!!
Despite yet another strike, the steadily worsening rain, a belly full of breakfast and my flapping boobs I was still annoyingly excited to be racing. Seriously, I'm such a tool sometimes!
The gun went off and we took off at a blistering and totally unreasonable pace. I mentioned this to my running buddy and he just continued on. I completely forgot that my job was to be a pacer and, instead, was delighted with this turn of events! DELIGHTED!!! I scampered merrily along literally beaming, singing and prancing along like running was the best thing EVER!!!
This all went very well until mile 10 when I heard these horrible words in my left ear "I'm really fading...."

I'm about to offer up a fine example of why I deserve to be nominated for the girlfriend of the year award. *sigh* (on a side note: even after this debacle Eric claims that he is not looking for a more supportive replacement... like I said, he is a lucky man...)

Here is what I said: "NO YOU ARE NOT!!!!" "WE ONLY HAVE A FEW MORE MILES!" "YOU CAN DO THIS WITHOUT THINKING" "AND YOU ARE AN EFFING IRONMAN!!!!" (so quit your whining.) See? I am a very kind, loving, caring woman. HAHA!!!

To my right there was a lady with a working Garmin who mentioned that we were cutting it close but could make it if we maintained our currant pace. "SO KEEP UP WITH HER!" she yelled menacingly to my ever more cross looking exclusive running partner.

We ran on. There was no stopping! And no walking! No quitting to be had!!! It poured harder and harder and I started to shiver which made me very crabby. The last mile was not so easy and according to my watch (the kind that tells time) we were going to miss the potential PR by a heartbreaking amount of time. Bottom line though, sometimes it's just not the day to PR. I know that better than anyone as I had to fight with my 5K PR for a YEAR before I finally kicked it in the teeth.

Our finishing time was still very, very respectable in 1:53:08. And Eric was not mad that I spent 20 minutes shouting at him (or that I encouraged the 6:37 minute pace at the start... whoops!!)

I was cold, cranky and shivering so I ran back home (total of 19 for the day) and leaped into a hot shower which was very painful on my freshly chaffed boobs. UGH! Ladies, NEVER forget your sports bra. I think forgetting your shorts and being forced to run in your knickers might be a better choice. Lesson learned, time to act my age and start making lists!

Recovery was done up right with friends, pizza and beers drank from glasses roughly the height of my entire leg. Yes please!!!

So a decent race, a few extra miles (which only hurt a little...) as I work towards MDI, challenges overcome, almost a PR, and most importantly beers consumed! (and no one was injured during or after the events which inspired this blog so perhaps that is the best news?)