Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pineland 25K, Torture Day, where fun with friends makes things OK!

I wasn't expecting to have an amazingly fast Pineland race. My plan was to run at whatever pace felt good for the day and to enjoy it- a day traipsing over hills and fields and through sasquatch filled woods with friends is a day well spent. Mostly, I was aiming to have a really fun day!

The Pre Pineland Pizza Party is possibly the highlight of the entire weekend. Get a group of runners, Ironmen, and crazies together- add in some wine, ice cream and about a dozen large pizzas and you have quite the party.
As is always the case, the PPPP was pretty cold- the temps had managed to creep into the low 60's after a downright frosty start. Chilly.

See these people? They are COLD!!!
I seriously love these people, we talked about all the important things in life (running, meeting people from the internet IRL, marrying people from the internet IRL, eating, eating WHILE running, marathons, and on and on we went... SO fun!) We ate an amazing amount of food. I made a bold choice to have a pizza pretty heavy on the veg and spice- in retrospect not smart, but I am not an elite winning trail runner and sometimes you simply must live a little. (live to regret, haha.)

Race morning dawned pretty cold. I could not make it to the start in time to see the 50 milers run away because I am lazy. No other valid reason! I did make it there in time to see the 50k'ers start which was very exciting. By the time they were getting underway the weather had transitioned from cold to WARM.

Compare today's attire to yesterday's. Compare today's weather to yesterday's. Say fuck it and eat chips!
After the 50k was underway I had 2 hours to prepare (so, talk to my friends. try to eat and basically fail. watch Sarah E run thru at mile 18 out of 50. apply sunscreen and bugspray liberally.)

Sarah N and I were taking a crack at the 25k with 450 other silly people. We spent some time mulling over our race plan possibilities but kept getting distracted by the ever rising temps. We did snack a bit, she lost AND found an earring, Eric drove in on his bike, we mulled around and chit chatted. Good stuff. Mostly, we undressed more and more and grew hotter and hotter!

Bottom line, it was 80 damn degrees when our race started. The end! (I lied, this is not the end..)

Putting on a happy face while noticing high levels of BO all around me. Too early for that, yo!

IT WAS HOT as BALLS. Blazing Sun. Basically, the start of this race felt like the end of MCM a couple weeks ago- BLERGH! What the hell, I freeze a horrible death all winter and now I am being poached. No middle ground!! At any rate, we lined up, already sweating, ready to get the madness underway!

My usual view. Backs and elbows,
I struggled thru the first few minutes of the race- I hadn't had a great week at all and my legs and body were already telling me that the miles could be trouble. Luckily, after a bit my legs loosened up and I thought we might be in for a pleasant little run.
HOWEVER. The one thing that I really can't cope with became a issue VERY early on. My stupid stomach started kicking up fits- to make a long story short I basically could not eat or drink without experiencing horrible cramping and moderate nausea. To cover 15 miles on an 86 degree day without being able to take in something is next door to impossible.

I managed to get to the 10k mark in fairly good form. I saw Sarah H and Sarah N since the course is all full of switchbacks and tricky turns. I tried to drink. I attempted to FORCE myself to have a blast because I really wanted to.

Pineland. You just go UP and DOWN. I don't think there are any flat areas! I actually had fun running through the fields- they are usually my least favorite part but I liked them this year. I suffered more in the woods- who knows why! It was just how the day played out. My legs felt pretty good but I did bonk hard at 12 because I just could not eat- it was a drag. However, I have had a few GREAT races this Spring and I'm not really concerned about one icky one (but I will complain anyway, hahaha!)

The final loop is about 5 miles or so and at that point I had to back way off any "pace" I was trying to hold- I could feel that I was entering med-tent territory and I thought that would be a really dumb idea during a race that was for nothing but fun! I did a lot of walking during those miles. I marveled at how much sweat I could produce. I concentrated really hard on not vomiting all over my shoes. (that took a lot of energy.) I had also given up on trying to have an amazing time and decided to redirect my energy into simply not dropping out because that was very tempting!

See me there? That is the pose of a strugglebus of a runner. Wow.
I finished. 2:21 or so, 9:07 pace which is actually nothing short of astonishing!

I felt disgusting but I certainly have felt worse which is both awesome and disturbing. I tried to get on the ball and rehydrate but my stomach really didn't want to play. I quit running 100 times. I sat on a random table and had Eric take my shoes off of my filthy feet. #love

The pic does NOT do the dusty slimy legs justice! It was grosssssss.
I was hoping to stick around to see all of my friends make a victorious finish! But mostly I grouched around feeling not my best and complaining loudly to anyone who would listen.

I amused myself by taking unflattering sick looking selfies. I don't have to share them but why not!

I was very happy to see Sarah N run thru shortly after I finished. She finished looking really good which made me and my sick face jealous! Obviously eating chips pre race is her key to success! ;-)
Not too long after, Jocelyn finished the 50K and won her age group- apparently she is superhuman and impervious to heat- and an amazing trail runner as well! (she is also awesome- I was so glad to finally meet her in real life!)
Danielle had called it a day around the marathon mark because, like me, she could see the med tent beckoning (we have both been in the med tent. Don't need to do it again!!!) She promptly organized a sweet new running club for smart people who want to run maybe a mile, and then drink beer. I immediately joined and can NOT wait for our first drinking running club event!
Maddie zipped thru taking second in the 50 miler because she is amazing, she basically signed up that day which proves her badassery. She was actually so fast, even after 50 miles in the sauna that I almost missed her running thru the finish. So, so awesome!

(there were many other people who I cheered for! but in my depleted state I'm not realllllyyy sure who! sorry.)

I spent some time sitting clammily under a tree sipping gatorade and trying not to regurgitate it. Lovely. (and I totally win over my stomach because I did NOT barf!) I spent some quality time admiring my amazing finishers prize which was so large and incredible.  (and I was happy as always for the free Darn Tough socks! and I wasn't feeling up to drinking my two beers, booooooooooooooo.)

So large.
I made it long enough to watch Jamie finish her first 50K with the ever awesome Isaac- it was GREAT to see them after much too long!! (well, it has been forever for Jamie and her hubs Mike- I basically see Isaac at every race hahaha!)

WHEEEEE There goes Jamie and the best pacer Isaac!!!
 I really wanted to stay and watch Sarah E finish the 50 Miler but the suffering was too great and we decided to skeddadle. It's lame when the silly race at Pineland messes up the social part! Maybe I will just spectate next year :-(  (needless to say she crushed it- every time I saw her she appeared to be having the time of her life and she sprinted her way to an incredible first time FIFTY FUCKING MILE finish!!!)

Anyways, another Pineland in the books. It's really not easy to run there! I'm glad I made it to the finish and I am thankful that there was no vomming.
I might not have had a stellar day of running but I had a WONDERFUL time seeing so many of my running friends who I rarely have time to catch up with. They are a really great, caring and slightly insane (in the BEST way possible) people. It's great to see them and to see them running like a bunch of badasses!

I also got an excellent care package from my friend Leslie (YES, the Leslie who JUST BQ'd!!!! She might have had a lousy MCM but she got back on her fast feet and BQ's the shit out of VCM on Sunday. Incredible! And she sends ME a care package... #notworthy)
Anyway, care packages like this really cheer a girl up and make me appreciate my running friends all over again!

Amazing care package!!
That's it on the running front. More to come soon on my late Spring and Summer plans- I'm hoping not to fall off the face of the earth again this season. We shall see....


Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's Pineland Time again!!

It is true.
I wait until the last possible minute to commit to any race in the Pineland Trail Running Festival.
Even last year when a 50k was the final hurrah for my spring season I waited until the latest conceivable second to hit "send" on my entry.

The first thing about Pineland is that it is the greatest social event of the entire year (depending on who makes it to MDI which is also a big deal.) But one does not wish to spend the most fabulous running party totally soaked to the bone and shivering in 40 degree weather (like in 2013, the year I passed!)

Once I saw the forecast I knew it was going to be awesome so I bit the bullet and signed up.

Sunday, you look totally decent! Keep up the good work. No shenanigans!
Nothing too insane for me this year, I'm sticking with the 25k. I want to have fun and nothing about the 50k sounded fun, or particularly smart given my already exciting Spring adventures. And clearly, nothing about the 50 miler sounded great at all. I would just straight up die.

The honest and brutal thing about Pineland is that the course really is a tough old broad. I'm not a trail runner at all so any mention of running off the pavement gives me hives. The hills are relentless and the fields are both boiling hot and muddy. There is danger around every turn like ticks, sasquatch and the very real possibility of falling down (I have seen people racked right out. I'm not quite sure how given the (honestly) relatively tame terrain but if it happens to others it easily could happen to me!)

The FINAL and MOST IMPORTANT thing about running at Pineland is that it is a damn good time. You see all of your friends! You get to run through what feels like insane conditions if you are a road runner (and you get to hear the real trail runners scoffing at what a wuss you are!) and if you manage to finish you get two free beers! You might get to partake in the pot luck lunch unless, like me, you are put off by pot luck in which case you will just drink your damn beer and have a great afternoon. OH! And you get a free pair of socks, which makes me very happy. And there is a gigantic cock rooster which always makes me snicker inappropriately because I am 12 in my heart.

Giant. Rooster.....Pineland 2014 post 50k insanity
 I ran the 25K in 2012 faster than a speeding bullet. That isn't really my game plan this time...

Two free beers! After the fastest 25k ever run by anyone ever. WOOF.  With Danielle who loves trail running so much that she is doing the 50k this year! Total badass. 

I'm really excited for the weekend, I had a nice easy week of running last week- between needing a little down time after the 39.3 Challenge and having horse show fun, low mileage sounded right. I'm back to doing some fun running this week and feel like a little Sunday adventure fits into my plans nicely!
I'm also pretty pumped for my friends doing the 50K (crazies!) and the 50 miler (OMG stop!) and hope to see them out on course and to enjoy the after party with them as they celebrate being completely and totally insane (I can say this because I have been called crazy too... and they know that I love them!)

So let's get after it kids. Remember not to blast off like you are running a 5k and, more importantly, remember that we all deserve between 7-32 donuts upon race completion!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

In which I document my equestrian adventures!

It's always fun to get out and horse show for the first time of the season. Even after a long, rather dreadful winter and therefore having the possibility of slight unpreparedness, it is nice to get out and about.

Since this isn't an equestrian blog I'll keep it short and sweet! (For horse people reading my blog there are many details I am omitting like the details of my warm up, my prep, a blow by blow of each test....)

Dressage training and marathon training are very similar- I have said it before and I'll say it again. If you put the work in you will get results. You certainly might have an off day, or an off season but as long as you look where you want to go (literally and figuratively) you will get there!

I hauled to NY to take advantage of a great show grounds, excellent footing and to get the chance to see some pretty big classes of competition. (I'd rather see what I'm up against- and at this point in the season many people are still laying low. Still, this show was very well contested.)

Chauncy moved up a level this year and the demands of his new level are quite high. I felt that training at home had been going well and I felt confident that unless he decided not to play that we could put together a very professional test.

Professional Riding Attire
Day one, nice cool weather and a very respectable performance. A couple of minor early season bobbles and a few things that I knew could be improved on. Finishing on a 65% and 3rd in a decent sized class (12 people in 4th level is solid for early season) made me very happy.

Teeny baby ribbons.... Chauncy wanted NO part of this photo. Little stinker!
Day 2, hot as balls, like REALLY hot, we cleaned up a few of the bobbles and put forth a totally solid effort. BIG win in this class- 7 percentage points ahead of the 2nd place horse. A 69.5 had the little beast leaving the show as the high score 4th level horse. GOOD BOY!!! So much love.
He was a great little guy, he definitely thinks it's time to play with the big kids. I love it! There is nothing more fun than knowing that your horse is ready to rock it.

He did not want this photo shoot either but I bribed him with snacks.
I have about a month to get ready to show again, and if he feels ready we will have another advancement in the level that we are doing. I'm excited for the season and really pleased with the way the winter training is coming together.

Riding horses is fun, and I'm a big fan of getting a happy horse into the show ring and having things come together. Basically, no matter how many times I finish a great marathon nothing can beat the feeling of nailing a dressage test! (there are about zero people in the world who can directly relate to what I just said hahaha!)

Luckily for my running blog there are more on foot (human foot) adventures coming soon. More on that later this week!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Maine Coast Marathon: Part 2 of the 39.3 Challenge

I had watched the forecast all week and all week I knew that the shit was going down on Sunday.
Damnit you guys! Why is this marathon always 85 degrees?

Knowing that (stupidly) I have no control over the weather I kept an unusually positive attitude about the whole situation. I assume this was because I knew I was planning a pretty easy day but who knows, maybe I am finally becoming a really uplifting and zen like person...? Probably. 

Eric and I got to the start with about 10 minutes to spare. You can tell who was in charge of the schedule for this day! (me!) We spent those 10 minutes standing in a potty line. Slathering me and spraying me in SPF 50, because I'm so pale and delicate. Talking to friends and taking almost zero pics to prove it which is sad and dumb.

Luckily Michelle came along and we took a pic!! She gave us her shirt and I still have it!
At 7:30 we were off and I prepared to entertain myself in one way or another for the next 100 hours. or 4-ish. Whatever.

I did not wish to die out there. I have never run any kind of multiple day challenge like this so I had no idea what my legs might do to me. I am also still trying to respect the temple that is my body post Boston. And it was going to be 7564987637 degrees out so there was that whole challenge to contemplate.

Anyway. I was in a good mood and really excited to see a new marathon course so off I went at a very responsible pace.

I really ran this race like a mature adult which is completely shocking.
-I did not get crazy like I *sometimes* do and try to pass all the people
-I had water at EVERY aid station, and gatorade too starting at mile 10 because dehydration is bad
-I had a little snack every couple of miles so that I would not pass out from starvation

All of that is awfully boring.
What you really want to know- in bullet points:

-Is that from mile 3-7 I REALLY needed a bathroom and since there was none I had a major struggle. Seriously. FINALLY I found a porta pottie with a LINE and I was enough of an adult to wait my turn, because pooping randomly while running sounds terrible.

The race needs more bathrooms. Clearly this was at the start....  Fun fact: I ended up running a couple miles with the guy in the blue and orange diamond shirt. Like mile 19-21. Funny that he is in this pic!
-Eric drove around the course to be the best support person ever, to give me snacks and to make all the other runners jealous. I'm not lying, I had multiple people tell me how lucky I was and I agreed completely because I am. My husband is hot, and wonderful and brings me snacks while I run all day long. I am the luckiest woman in the world!

-I hung out with the 4 hour pace group for 12 of the middle miles and had the most terrific time! As sad as I was not to be running with Isaac in the 3:45 group I knew that was not my pace for the day. The 4 hour pacer was a blast and we talked about so many fun things- I have NO idea who she was but I want her to be my new friend!

I passed 100 photographers and have 4 pics. All like this. You get the idea...
-I tried to run a pace that matched up in a fun/smart way with the conditions. If it was shady and nice I'd run a bit quicker. If it was really hot I would slow down. When the breeze picked up I'd pick up too! It was really fun. And pretty logical now that I see it on paper, haha.

-At mile 21 I saw an ambulance in the distance and then I saw Eric. "Who do you think is in that ambulance" he said.... It was Leslie. I was horrified. At that point I had seen quite a few people dropping out, or projective vomiting, or falling down like trees. It was not ideal, I think the temp had spiked right up to 80 at that point.

Picture #2 of the pictures that are all the same. Apparently this is how I looked ALL DAY.
-I had to stop for the bathroom again at mile 23 which is silly. I did consider the possibility of puking all over someone's yard for the last 2 miles but I did not. I didn't only because I walked for a minute to reestablish. Gross. I still can not believe how hot it was for the final 5 miles. It was warm starting at mile 10 for sure but I talked myself out of noticing it! By the end of the course there was no denying that it was a legit sauna- the air was oppressive and smothering. REALLY tough conditions.

Anyway, after all of this I finished and felt a little strugglebussy and barfy. Immediately I was given multiple medals and my jacket for finishing the challenge (this was a very efficient process that my post marathon brain almost couldn't handle!)
I decided to take my flip belt off and got it stuck on my legs and just couldn't cope with the challenge that presented. Luckily Eric appeared and got the damn thing off me and we tried to find a shady spot.

I was able to get my act together enough to go and somewhat coherently see my friends finish and to say hello to Danielle who runs secret marathons only, and since they are secret we never see each other at races. SAD!!! (Danielle I'm kidding. Sort of. Let's run a marathon together!)

I was the 7th overall woman in the Challenge which I find quite remarkable and brag worthy. Top 10 for the win friends!

7th place is never bad.
Despite the hot, humid and tricky conditions I had a great time at this race. I'm not entirely sure if I would do the challenge again but it really was a great time and a fun way to do something completely new and different. I loved getting the extra medal because I enjoy prizes and the jacket was really decent too! I thought that the marathon was really well run and despite my wish for a few more on course bathrooms I have zero complaints.

Eric and I headed out post race to recover with beer and ice cream which seems to have worked- recovery was a snap and I was barely sore. Winning.

Post race fun is key.

Another great weekend of running in the books. I am switching gears this week and heading out for what hopefully will be a nice weekend of horse showing. Much like marathoning Dressage riding is a great equalizer, especially after a long Maine winter. When I decide to show in May I always remember that it might be an adventure! At any rate,  May is always a great month for having my worlds collide and I like the excitement!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When the Marathon punches you in the FACE....

Sometimes the shit hits the fan! Maine Coast Marathon edition.
My poor friend Leslie had a wonderful marathon up until mile 21 when she overheated, fell into a ditch and had to get whisked away by ambulance to have many IV's and to spend a few hours recovering. NO FUN! Luckily, she is fine now and will certainly live to see another day, and another chance to get that amazing race that she has worked so hard for.

CRASH 'N BURN! We all do it!!!
I can't really speak from her point of view since it was her turn to have a tough day on the marathon course but I know how it feels- it sucks. End of story. I was basically in the same place a year ago and can really sympathize.

I think that if one chooses to be a competitive athlete on any level the chance of failure is always there. Failure is a scary thing, and a scary word- but when you train for a specific goal and it does not happen it can be hard to see your effort as anything but a failure. (even if you have run like a badass for 21 miles, or even if you win your AG but were 30 minutes off your goal time...)

Sometimes the wheels just come right off the bus....
There are options.
You can stop putting yourself out there, you can live the safe life and not take the chances and risks that might lead to failure. It is really hard to feel like you have "let people down" when things don't go your way and it is tempting to isolate oneself from the people who support you the most. It can be really jarring to end up in a ditch but it happens! Literally or figuratively.

This is a drunk guy in a ditch. Basically, after mile 20 we all act like drunk guys.
Option two! Own that shit. Take a couple days to pout, a little time to evaluate your goals and then get the hell after it. Shout it from the rooftops because what do you have to lose? I doubt that I am ever going to be an amazing Olympic runner but my goals are still big to me, and it is risky to own and name what you are trying to achieve- but do it. Get after it.

And at the end of the day, win or lose, PR of DNF your friends, family and running community are going to stick with you, support you and celebrate or sympathize with you 100% depending on how your day goes. I have been on both sides- celebrating an amazing day and having people pick me back up after an awful one. If there is ONE thing you can count on it is the unwavering support of your team of support people (including random internet friends. Obvs.)

Personally, I had a lousy year of running in 2014. I would not have appreciated the goals I have met so far in 2015 if I had not fallen on my face several times. It hurts to fall, but the feeling of earning success the next time is completely worth it.

ME: in 2014.Crap!
I know a few people who had a tough day on Sunday. After being able to control your training, nutrition, recovery and preparedness- having the weather throw you a curve ball is tough. I also know how much I respect the athletes that had the tough race. They are amazing, dedicated runners- and really great people, and I really can't wait to see them drop the hammer at some point in the (near) future.

Onward and upward friends, chins up, get out there and run like nobody is watching (or like I am chasing you- that would be scary!) And know that we are all wishing you the BEST of luck for next time!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Maine Coast Half Marathon: where the madness begins!

Saturday dawned cloudy and cool- just the way all race days should start!

Eric and I live about 90 minutes from Biddeford where the Half Marathon both started and finished, and where the Marathon on Sunday finishes. We could see no reason to make the crazy drive on Friday to pick up our bibs so we headed out early in the morning to make sure we had plenty of time to park and pick up all of our stuff. We arrived at 7:00 and had ample time. There was plenty of parking and picking up our numbers took 30 seconds- maybe.

Since it was pretty chilly (45, overcast) we split our time between staying warm in the car and taking pics with some of our friends. It was a great race for catching up with our athletic compatriots after a long winter! (we just can't hang out unless there is a race, obvs.)

Let's all dress in black!
There was a wave start which was a little chaotic. Luckily, there were only about 1,000 or so runners in the Half so it certainly wasn't mayhem. More of a "nobody knows what is going on" situation which was no big deal.

Not time to run yet? Take more selfies next to Jen, who has a healthy glow!
There was a lot of runner congestion for the first couple of miles so I'm sure that the wave start must have helped that. Eric and I did not have plans to push a crazy pace so having a little traffic was helpful- it was the kind of weather where one gets tempted to run too fast! (and then not be able to walk, much less run 26.2 tomorrow.)

Since we are both running Garmin-less it was another chance to run by feel instead of the clock and it went really well! We maintained a conversational pace and the weather stayed great- it might have warmed up to the mid 50's but it was about as good as it gets. The course was nice, a few rolling hills but the views were worth it. (overall- a fairly flat course, and a very pretty one!)

I had completely run out of Picky Bars- my running snack of choice so I figured what the hell- time to try something new on race day! Luckily nothing horrible happened and I REALLY enjoyed my Honey Stinger pb&honey bar (with a chocolate bottom.) Sounds delicious doesn't it? It was. And it stayed down for the win. Who tries new food on race day seriously, risky move there woman!

We basically had a solid, sensible run. We had a great time running together, we saw some friends cheering, we wondered if the Pirate aid station is manned by aid station bandits or if it is legit (we love them) and we were really curious about who wrote the numerous little signs to someone names Swiz (I believe it was swiz... we are very interested in the story behind this!)

When we see friends we throw jazz hands and... gang signs??
UNFORTUNATELY at mile 12.5 Eric's feet gave up, he had to walk and I ran away from him like a loving wife. He finished like, 30 seconds behind me so you all can see that it would have killed me to hit the pause button. We were both in the 1:54 range which is just about right! I think it would have been miserable had it been 80 but since it was not, the pace was pleasant. I really enjoyed the experience and definitely think it's a great Spring Half course. (and a fast one- LOTS of fast times out there today!)

We found friends post race and hung out in the slightly warmer weather for a couple hours catching up. I had one demure beer so that I can run tomorrow without vomiting (well, without having a beer filled excuse anyway) so Eric got my spares since he is going to save his feet for another day. It wasn't the warmest after party in the world but we had a great time!

First half of 2015 in the books. Last half of 2015 in the books (so I say now, haha)
We basically shut the party down (crazy us, it was like 12:00 at this point!) Had lunch and went home to get ready to do it all again plus 13.1 the next day. I was really pleased that my legs felt great after the mornings efforts and I felt as ready as I could be to drop another 26.2.
If only the weather could have stayed perfect....

**I know I have a few people waiting for the contest results. Unfortunately, Leslie's race did not go as smoothly as she had hoped for... As most of us who were there know the weather played a major part in quite a few health issues for runners.  Thankfully, she is fine which is all that matters! I'll have a few more details later this week**


Friday, May 8, 2015

Random Friday thoughts!

It seems that there are only 24 more hours until the madness of the weekend begins.
The marathon isn't until Sunday though, so you have until Saturday night to place your bet!
Win Oiselle attire! Injinji socks! Beer and candy!

Having some time away from the 40 or 50 mile weeks that people like me do for marathon prep has given me some time to reflect on some random things, most of which apply to running.

-Hot weather acclimation! I have actually been reading up and educating myself on how the body adjusts to warmer temperatures. It is fascinating- needless to say it is a remarkable process how the human body adapts. Oh and PS: I am NOT yet acclimated to hot weather running. So there's that.

Eighty Degrees.

-With all of the tapering, and recovering of late what is my favorite thing?
Holy crap does it ever pile up. It is impossible to keep up with it during peak training. Seriously, who the hell has time? I need a maid.

Gross. This isn't even half of it....!

....and in the same line of thought....
-The MUCH smaller grocery bills!!!
I eat SO much SO often when training hard. We can't keep up with it. Nobody can. I steal lunch from my parents (my barn/job is adjacent to their home) and my Mom gave up and cooked a whole Thanksgiving turkey during my peak weeks. Thanks Mom!!

-I gave my sister a pair of Hoka's that were a tiny bit too small for my fussy feet. She LOVES them! I like it when people get excited about gear that I like too. I basically have her outfitted in Oiselle and Hoka now and she will soon be a track star! (or a Nurse. Whatever.)

Somebody loves her Hoka's!!!
-Spring is just the best, warm (HOT as balls) temperatures, no bugs yet, beautiful amazing days! After a super busy weekend of tons of yardwork and a million other things Eric and I had a little outdoor relaxation time which was 100% fun.

-Things are always busy. We all have places to be, things to do, miles to run, work work work go go go. STOP. For five damn seconds and smell the roses. Or daffodils. It is easy to get caught up in the shit and the trend of being the busiest person who ever lived. I'm totally guilty of that myself and need an occasional reminder that it is ok to take a moment to just enjoy life.

I grew these amazing flowers. By planting some bulbs like, 5 years ago but still...

And now, on to the weekend! It is going to be a fantastic adventure and I'm really excited to see how things play out.
Oh, and to make mention of my potential "finishing time" (or, total hours to complete the challenge.) When I ran 35 miles on a cold day back in November it took me 6:12:30. I think it is safe to say that I certainly can expect this to take 6:30 minimum. Probably more since it's gonna be a sauna. I'm in it to enjoy the sights- not to win it!
(send your good luck thoughts to my friends trying to BQ! Send me good thoughts just to finish...)


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Prep for the Maine Coast 39.3 Challenge

Happy Wednesday morning friends!
Have you checked out my contest yet? If not go place your bet!
Take a guess and win some Oiselle!!

Back in the middle of the long, cold winter that JUST ended Eric and I decided that some spring time adventure racing would be great motivation and something fun to look forward to.
And speaking of Spring- it feels more like Summer out there! At least the hot temps showed up a little bit before race day this year. Maybe we will all be slightly acclimated....?

Yeah, it is HOT! Look at the sweat dripping off of Eric hahah gross.
 When you and your spouse decide that signing up to run a 39.3 mile challenge is your definition of "FUN" you might spend a minute wondering if you are sane. Questioning our mental health did little to deter either of us and just like that, we were official bib owners for the Maine Coast 39.3 Challenge- a 13.1 on Saturday and the full 26.2 on Sunday.

I knew going into this that the timing was not going to be ideal for me to do anything at a brisk pace. I am not the kind of runner who can stay healthy and happy and also run constant high mileage at race pace. However, I AM the kind of runner who can take it down a notch and have a blast. That is my plan for the weekend. (My next serious marathon will not be until late fall, I respect my body and know my limits!)

Eric hasn't run a marathon in a couple of years but went into his training with gusto while the weather was still just awful. And then..... His plantar fasciitis flared up for the first time in years... He had to back way off the mileage because health trumps all- even an attempt to win 3 medals and a sweet finishers jacket!
The good news is that he has still been active and plans to run the half and play the full by ear. Smart man.
YES!!!! Sweet bling for the win.

I'm really excited for this challenge, it will be a whole new experience for me and I'm not really sure what to expect. Possibly pain and suffering? I certainly am not fully recovered from Boston- while I feel fine and my shorter distance runs have been great fun I can feel that I'm not ready to push any kind of pace, especially for longer distances.
My goal is to finish healthy, to have fun, to cheer for my friends and enjoy the incredible scenery. I also plan to fully enjoy my 3 (yes, THREE!) medals and to wear them obnoxiously and proudly for a week post race. Or an hour, whatever!

I'm going to run a few easy miles this week since nothing good can come from overdoing it- I'll be overdone enough come Sunday night!
I think it is going to be fun- and yes, I do have an odd definition of fun. :-)


Monday, May 4, 2015

Marathon week contest time!!

It is Maine Coast Marathon week! I'm getting really excited to see my running friends and watch some big PR's go down!

To celebrate this exciting time I am having a contest! I know, I don't really do that sort of thing but now seems like a great time to start.

So here is the deal!
A year ago I met my now friend Leslie at Maine Coast- she is the tall one in this pic!

Many running friends, mostly short ones...
Unfortunately she had an off day and suffered a grievous injury in the process. No good! Luckily, she made a full recovery and during that time plotted a training plan which would bring her many victories and put her in wave 1, corral 6 in Boston next year. (ok, I totally made that part up. however, she did get damn fast!) The important takeaway message is that Leslie is shooting for her VERY FIRST BQ!!!!

Wins at racing and being awesome! (I mean look at those tights!)
Leslie is a runner who is very good at posting her workouts on Facebook. I began to notice her training routine popping up on my feed a few months ago and as a fellow running nerd I was excited to follow along. I can typically guess with decent accuracy how a runners race will turn out if they are posting (honest) data for me to ponder. When I guessed her most recent half marathon result *to the second*, I ran out and bought a lottery ticket.
And lost.
But, it got me thinking....!

SO, in honor of Leslie's return to marathoning and attempt to BQ I am having a really spectacular contest (with prizes!)

Can you guess what her marathon finish time will be for the race on Sunday???
If you can, you win. Easy, right? Channel your inner me.

I am a fan of data so here is some:
-She ran Race The Runways half marathon in April in 1:33:30
-She has run some big mileage during this cycle, at fast paces (tempo runs in the low 7's, mile repeats in the upper 6's, long runs at a sub 8 pace. Really impressive stuff. Her final long run was 17 miles at a 7:43 pace. Speedy.)
-She needs a sub 3:40 to qualify for Boston- or a sub 3:35 to get her 5 minute security blanket.

Leave me a comment below with your best guess. One per person please!
If you happen to be an anonymous user please let me know who you are or I will keep your prize if you win!

Winner will be announced with pomp and circumstance next Monday, after the spectacular race weekend has wrapped up. (more later on what the prize/s are. let's just say that there will be candy and maybeeee a little Oiselle thrown in for good measure!)

I won't be able to watch the victorious finishes of my friends as I will be bringing up the rear of the pack- I am running the double (half and full marathons) and have no delusions of grandeur. But more on that later..
For now, let the guessing begin!!!