Thursday, February 28, 2013

In which we discover that the aftermath is always painful..

Hey everyone! Thanks SO MUCH for all the super nice comments on my last post, as well as Eric's. And thanks too for all the facebook and twitter love (we can be found on the Twitters Here For Sara and Here For Eric by the way) Seriously, you guys are the best!

So.... How have I been feeling in the 72 or so hours post marathon?
Well. I went from horrible pain and suffering (seriously- that cold weather did a number on me) to moderate pain and agony, to feeling (on day 3) like I had just completed a long run of 20 miles or so.
UGH. I must say that whatever that freezing cold rain did to my legs was less than ideal.
I've been kicking my own ass trying to recover though. Lots of moving around (it is unavoidable in my line of work) disgustingly painful foam rolling, and today I did 40 minutes on the oldest stationary bike known to man. It felt fine, but was interesting in only the way that old school exercise can be!

Recovery at it's finest.
You can't see it, but there is a legit bottle of bourbon helping as well...

So what did I do right during this last training cycle?
I followed my plan basically to a T. I did my runs as prescribed, did not slack off on my workouts and really made it thru in fine style (fine style should never be included in a sentence that involves ME...) I took my rest days when I was supposed to, I did not add miles where they did not belong, I took pretty good care of myself and I foam rolled like an effing BOSS. I also spent a lot of time practicing my running nutrition and feel that I might have finally found a solution (I'll write more on this another day!)
What did I do wrong? I didn't put as much enthusiasm into my core work as I could have. I think core is boring and stupid even though I know it is very beneficial and, sadly, not stupid in the least, *sigh* I prefer to lie on the floor of my workout room thinking about thinking about my core workout for about an hour before I do it with just enough effort to barely squeak by. I am lazy as shit. Also, my coach wished for me to spend quite a bit of time utilizing visualization techniques, positive thinking mantras and such. I must admit that I slacked off on this almost 100% (with the exception of the Derry race- when I made sure that I could, in fact get to the mental place I needed to be in.) There is a legit reason that I blew this off (Kelsey, stop yelling... I knew I'd have to confess to this eventually but wanted to make sure that I didn't freak out/bomb/loose my nerve first!) Bottom line, I'm already really good at that shit. Fearless pro equestrian right here- ice water runs thru my veins, I win my flipping classes in the warm up I'm so bad ass and I'm annoyingly cool under pressure (in the equestrian show ring, that is...). *listen to me talk smack!! haha* I figured if I could just dial into that shit while running I'd be golden. And I can. Done and done. I've had years and years of practice on this, not to mention that my overactive ADHD little brain can't handle much in the way of deep thinking/quiet meditation... More on this later though, as I DID (despite what I'm saying now) spend some time on this and I came to some interesting conclusions (a blog for another day!)
What do I plan to do to improve for next time? Hmmm.
I need to man up on the core work. Blah. Hate.
My sister is going to force me to do yoga. Stupid. Stupid.
I might need more speed work but the track is snowed in... Dumb!
Oh and hills. Gotta get back on that spectacular bandwagon of misery.

I am on the right.

So yeah, that's the plan for now. I'm really excited to get the Boston training underway although I haven't decided yet if I'm shooting for a PR or a good time at that race. Clearly, a PR would be a damn good time so that is clearly the answer to that question... One of these days I plan to run another Marathon MDI style just for the fun of it, but until I bust out that 3:33:33 I'm going to put that nonsense on hold...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tales of a marathon n00b.

Winter Storm Q. My savior! It would totally get me out of running 26.2 grueling, terrible, painful miles. Since my last long run I have been dreading the Hyannis marathon. My runs invariably went like this, 16 -17 miles of cruising fun followed closely by 3-4 miles of pain suffering and double digit paces. Ugh!

Like this. But colder.

But now I was saved! An epic blizzaster, on race weekend! Only I could be so lucky! My mood took a turn for the better! No longer was I stressing out. I was laid back and carefree! All the while my Exclusive Dating Partner got rather ornery. She needed to BQ for 2014 so that she could run this years Boston foot loose and fancy free, and having her BQ race canceled by a blizzard was not in her plans. She became rather difficult to live with, especially given my state of euphoria.

Sara checking the weather, except more flames.

However, as soon as I had written off the pain and suffering, things took a turn for the worse! (dun dun dun) Things went from immanent cancellation, to probable cancellation, all the way to "Its going to be windy and raining, but fuck you guys, we're running anyway."  

Oh Shit.

I just really needed to work in this picture. In other news, I'm old. Carry on.

Next thing I know, we are on our way down to Scituate with *ALL* of the things packed. Because who the eff knows what to pack for 27-46 degrees and rain/snow/wind/death. I sure don't. So, I packed everything. I could have run in 95 degrees and sunny or 4 degrees and snow. 

On the trip down I tried to put on my game face. All these terrible long runs had put me in a terrible state of mind and I knew that if I wanted to do something other then suffer, I needed to get some kind of positive mind set going, because if I went in feeling as shitty as I had been, it was all over before it even started. So, I spent about 1/2 of the 3 hour drive down telling myself how awesome I was, and not believing it for even a second.

Yeah, pretty much. (Thanks Coach)

At some point I had decided that it was my lack of proper nutrition that was my limiting factor. So, starting Saturday morning, I ate the shit out of *EVERYTHING*! Huge breakfast of pancakes and veggie sausages. Big lunch of filled pasta of some sort, even though I was not even remotely hungry. Dinner at The OG (Olive Garden for those not so cool kids.) I ate until I literally had to unbutton my pants.

Eff you nutrition.

I slept a bit the night before the race. But not a ton. I had not decided what I was wearing or if I was going to bail at the 1/2 way point, and if I did what sort injury I could possibly fake that was impossible to completely validate. So making those plans kept me occupied during the night. Then before I knew it, it was time to wake up. Race Morning. 

I continued my nutrition plan. Eat all the food. Everything bagel, cream cheese and coffee. Times two. My entire training I had eaten gels of one type or another at 35-40 minutes, invariably skipping one or two for various reason. This time there was no fucking around. 8 gels. One every 30 minutes. Period. I decided to bring my fuel belt, equipped with slightly diluted Infinit. 4 little bottles. One every hour, just to be sure. I also promised myself that I would not miss a water stop. Drink and eat everything. If I was going to crash and burn, I was going to rule "not enough nutrition" right the fuck out.

We met up with some friends from the tubes. I only kinda remember what was going on because I was still trying to figure out what I was going to wear. What they had on was of no help to me, sparkly red skirts are not my thing. In the end I decided on shorts, a long sleeve mock turtleneck, and my vest, to go along with my fuel belt. At the last minute Sara convinced me that a pair of light throw away gloves was a good idea as well (Thank the Lord). 

Before I knew it we are out in the cold rain and I am trying to do my dynamic warm up as the tail end of the Star Spangled Banner wafts through the icy air. We headed to our various spots in the crowd, me to get some warmth, Sara and Evan to line up where they should be. And we are off.

Picture this. But more rain, less people and... Well, not like this at all.

First couple of miles were basically running with everyone, dodging puddles and dodging people dodging puddles. Just to complicate things, earlier in the week my Garmin had decided to shit itself, so I was running with a plain old stop watch. For the first time ever. I also had a pace chart in my pocket, that I never looked at. Anyway, the first mile marker I saw was 15 (this being a 2 lap course for the 7 of us doing the full). Not helpful. Then I saw the first water stop. And immediately ignored my nutrition plan. (Who gets water between miles 1 and 2 of a race?!?!?!)  Slightly after the water stop I managed to find mile marker 2, glancing at my watch I notice that I am already 16 seconds behind pace. But I'm cool. Hey, I can make up 16 seconds, even if I don't, over 26 miles that is like 0.5 seconds off pace. Just keep it easy and steady. (I know!! I am shock at how level headed I was as well!)

This would be like one of the small puddles.

Then, I started knocking off miles. I fell as far back as 18 seconds off pace and as close as 10 seconds off pace. Miles seemed to come surprisingly fast, yet awfully slowly. I hit mile six and told myself I was a quarter of the way there. Gels were going down without a problem. Infinit was being consumed. Don't get ahead of yourself I said. There is a *long* way to go. 

I went through the 1/2 way point, 8 seconds off of pace. I had managed to stay on pace, for 13 miles within 8 seconds with just a watch and my gut. Color me shocked.

Bailey, this is for you!

At that point the 2,300 1/2 marathoners peeled off and left the 380ish of us dumb-asses left to do another lap. It would have gotten a bit lonely, if I had not found a running buddy. I use "Running Buddy" very loosely, because I am pretty sure that this particular woman who I was running with thought I was an ass hat. 

Exhibit A:  In the first mile after all the 1/2 marathoners left
                 Eric - Wow, it's awfully empty streets now.
                 Woman - (After removing her head phones that I did not see) Yeah...
                  Woman's eyes- You're an idiot.

But, she was going my pace so she was stuck with me. And after awhile we were the best of friends. In my head at least. For the next 6 miles, we ran. Shoulder to shoulder. Picking people off slowly but steadily. In those 6 miles, I went from 8 seconds off of pace to a full minute ahead of pace. There is a 50% probability, that this was due to the fact that she was trying to get away from me and a 50% chance that we were just running well together. My ego says we were running well, so we will go with that.

Something like that.

At about mile 18, for some strange unexplained reason, I knew I had this race in the bag. I had never run over 21 miles and had died a miserable death at the end of those runs, but I *knew* I had this. It was getting colder by the minute and the rain was coming down harder and harder. It didn't matter. I had this. I believed it. 

At the rest stop just before mile 19 or 20 I lost my running buddy. She stopped to take in some nutrition or just needed a break, I am not sure. I looked back to see if she was coming and then motored on. A small piece of me hoped that she would catch up, her being my new bestie and all, but I was not waiting.

It got tougher from there on out. My hip started to yell, even though it has never done so before. My glute/hamstring/calf/Achilles chain of muscles (especially on my right side) decided to be rather grumpy. I out loud (luckily I was running mostly by myself again) told them to shut their pie holes and keep going.

At mile 23 a bit of doubt set in. Since I was ahead of pace I started calculating  the minimum pace I could run and still make my goal. Not a good sign. I tried to ignore my head, but knew I was slowing down. I was still reeling people in though, and this kept me going. 

I read a cheesy blurb on the internet at some point during training and it decided to pop into my mind at this point, it went something like this:

Two dudes have just finished racing and the slower guy asked the winner how he ran so fast. So the fast guy asked "What do you think about when you are running?" and the slow guy is like "I picture a wolf is chasing me so I run faster." then the fast guy replies "That is what I think about too, except I am the wolf."

And it is supposed to be all profound and stuff and printed on a picture of a sunset with the silhouette of a hot girl running.

Just like this. Except maybe with wolves. Also, her form is terrible.

Anyway, that popped into my head, and I used every ounce of cheesy profoundness to keep me going. Each person ahead of me was my prey and I was going to get them.

Me finishing. 3:56:31
Notice all the people around me? That's right, I ate them.

I know I slowed down. I know I missed my "A" goal ever so slightly. But, I feel like my inner wolf ate well.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hyannis Marathon, where I almost drowned...

The race was on, we had made it to Scituate, we had eaten ALL the carbs, game faces were intact and we were ready to get the hell out and run a damn race! I have to give a big thank you to my Aunt Annie, Uncle Bill and obviously, Evan. They housed us and did not care that we pretty much ransacked the place... They fed us SO much food and I drank ALL Bill's beer (after the race...) Love you guys!

                                                The world knows not to mess with US...

We awoke close to 5, planning to arrive in Hyannis around 8:30. Though the rain had let up for quite a while during the night it was back in full force. Absolutely down pouring in a most apocalyptic fashion. 
Even though I was significantly more nervous than I had expected to be I ate two breakfasts (after years of competition I don't worry about nerves- they do not affect my performance but are a nuisance!) Evan and Eric looked pretty calm and we managed to get our acts together and hit the road right on time. The rain continued to come down in buckets. It was cold- around 40 and we had heard that it was going to become progressively colder and windier. I can honestly say that despite the fact that the weather was pure shit none of us were letting it get to us. You can't change the weather but it doesn't help to cry about it! 
We arrived to a pretty quiet expo (which did not last long!) registration was easy and well run and it was nice and warm inside.We were able to meet up with some awesome new blogger/twitter friends. I love meeting people from the internets in real life so this was great!
Hello Carpe Diem Crystal,  Couch to Ironwoman and friends!
Way to rock it out in your FIRST marathon, and Sherpa/relay :-)
We loved meeting you guys!
The race started right on time, it was a big congested crowd at the start but that's to be expected in a fairly big race in a not-so-large town. I was pretty much stop and go for the first mile but was cool with getting off to a calm start. It still clocked in at 8:15 so all was well. At mile 2, despite the steady rain I pulled off a layer of disposable clothing. GOOD BYE "First Run" shirt from 2011...For the first half of the race I was right on target and running a super steady, totally maintainable pace which felt terrific. I followed my nutrition and hydration plans perfectly and really felt good. The weather did not feel good but I was trying my best to avoid thinking about it, and to avoid drowning in gigantic road covering ankle deep puddles or the equally bad mud pits (that we ran thru to avoid the puddles? good choice?) 
At mile 13 things became a bit interesting. I had noticed my legs getting cold at mile 10 and at mile 13  I was basically brought to a halt as my right hip cramped up to the point that I inadvertently exclaimed out loud. I eased up for a little bit and gave consideration to calling it a day at the Half. I hadn't come to run a half though and decided to run a couple more miles and see if it worked out. I had, at this point made it to the halfway point in 1:45. Right on target.I had no choice but to ease up for a couple miles to let the cramp work out. I felt like I had enough gas in the tank to be able to accelerate with little to no difficulty once I felt better. Around mile 15 I tried speeding back up to the 7:50ish pace that I had been consistent at and found that it was close to impossible. My cramp returned forcefully but when I eased back (to 8:30) it went away.Trying to do math in one's head isn't easy in real life much less at mile 16 or so. I knew I had a few minutes to play around with. I also knew that the weather had become much worse, the rain was coming down hard and cold and the wind had picked up miserably. And I was getting cold. VERY cold. At mile 20, with cramps now in my hamstring, hip and foot, so much water in my eyes that I couldn't see, mud in my shoes and so cold I couldn't feel my hands, feet or face I just had to LAUGH. Because what else can you do? I basically said, screw it. I don't have great legs to run on at this point but I'm gonna finish this damn marathon strong. This, for the first time in my short marathon career actually made me think that I've got the balls to do this shit. I ran my first marathon on pure adrenaline, my second on a day of good luck that my training did NOT account for and now this- less than ideal conditions but on a day where I really fell back on the fact that I trusted my training. I went to the bad ass place in my head, blocked out any bummed out feelings I wanted to have about seeing my pace fall off a cliff, I manned the fuck up and ran my damn best. And honestly, despite the fact that each step was basically brutal for the last 4 miles I kept it around 8:30's, thanked every suffering volunteer and knew that in each DAMN STEP I was giving 100%. 
                                         Finishing with encouragement from a stranger.
I've never hurt so badly in my life.. Did I BQ? Hells no. Did I totally crash and burn? HELLS NO. 3:38:08. Awfully damn close but not a heartbreaker. I ran my best. I could not have done anything better under the truly horrid conditions. I have NEVER run a race in worse weather (and I hope that I never do again...) To my friends who ran MDI last year- THIS race made that one look like a dry sunny day... 
Evan found me at the finish. He had rocked is first Half ever in 1:54 so had been getting warm for quite a while... He was able to get a pic of me finishing and then had to listen to me try to talk- between being very tired and having a terribly frozen face my words were poor. The poor kid had to help me out of my number, shoes, gloves as I was a worthless box of rocks. I paid up the $20 for a shower and in the time it took me to struggle out of my dripping wet clothing developed wracking chills. Gross. since the shower wasn't that warm the shakes continued, literally rattling my brain (not that it made any difference to my mental state, haha!) I ended up jumping into the 200 degree steam room and it saved my life. Unfortunately, this whole process took so long that I straight up missed Eric's finish....

Eric finished strong. REALLY strong. 3:56:31

I was so bummed to miss his finish that I kinda cried the whole way as I showed him how to find the gym and showers.  Luckily, Evan had seen him finish, let him know that I was alive and snagged that picture too! Eric ran a kick ass race but he's going to write a whole guest-blog post about it this week!
Needless to say I was really proud. His training has been solid and I knew he could do it- but it was such a shit day that the variables kind of take over. 
Evan and I waited around for Eric to thaw and we had a big race recap. The poor kid had been sick for weeks, a horrible cold, bronchitis, tons of antibiotics and next to no running. He did a hell of a good job and I can't wait to see what he can run healthy and trained. He's gonna be solid...
We moseyed on out after a bit, demanded that Evan chauffeur us back to Scituate where we demanded that Bill buy us Pizza and make us snacks. Heehee!
We proceeded to fall onto the couch and watch a strange hodgepodge of Game Of Thrones, 60 minutes and the Oscars. Good times! 
Then we ate ALL the Advil and went to sleep. The End!

Our typical post race winners picture.
Great race you guys!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's go time!

Today is race day!!
We arrived in Mass last night and my cousin Evan and I needed to have a photo op, obviously...


Then, reality set in and we remembered that we actually have to run a damn marathon (or a half, if you are smart like Evan) in some rather rainy conditions.. 

These are our scared faces. Yes, we are related. And AWESOME.

So. Off we go. Time to run a damn race, whoot!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

24 hour countdown, with fingers crossed!

Even though the official word has not arrived as of yet, we are continuing to operate as though tomorrow is going to be a big race day. And honestly, looking at the weather (as NASTY as it is going to be) it would be surprising if they called it off.
So, 40 degrees, 30 MPH winds and driving rain HERE WE COME!!!
I will leave you with this, an amazing sequence of photos outlining the awesome that has been today... (and this is a post from Sara, even though the blog claims it is Eric haha!)
 I clearly know how to keep the ears warm!
Gahd, my fashion is amazing. 

My Mom bought me this adorable cheeta as a lucky race charm.

In other news, either this glove has legs or or SOMEONE (RUFUS) just wants to cuddle with it.
This is the "dog couch" and is nasty.

I bought a bad ass Ninja Star shirt.
I love it.
Can you tell I had just woken up? UGH, BLAH!

I packed ALL my shit last night. ALL of it.
And here's to hoping that I actually need it!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stormageddon Update....

We are more or less in a holding pattern here in Maine.
The great news is that the officials running the Marathon have been excellent at keeping us informed.
We expect an official decision on the race status at 4 PM tomorrow.
Hahahaha.... Glad it won't be THIS bad!

As it turns out it looks like Hyannis will be experiencing mostly heavy rain, and remarkable (possibly 50 MPH!) winds.
Ummmm. Less that ideal? But much better than snow!
We're operating as though this marathon will take place. Getting stuff packed and organized. Refusing to fall face first into a large vat of ice cream and/or wine... (for the time being.)  My taper tantrum has ceased much to the relief of my exclusive dating partner and I'm pretty much ready to man up for whatever we end up doing.
I have prepared a slightly crazy back up plan but am planning on taking care of shit at this marathon as long as they will let us run. I'm seriously contemplating the purchase of some rainy day gear- as much as I don't like adding tons of layers the thought of 3.5 hours in driving rain makes me feel prune-y to say the least.
Planning to spend the day working (duh) eating (DUH) and getting everything ready to leave the house and head for Mass at 4:02 tomorrow afternoon. (good, positive thinking!!)
Fingers crossed. Let's do this thing!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In which it appears that the shit is about to hit the fan....

This morning I sent my coach an email that read like this:
Dear Kelsey,
That is all,
This is why.

Double Fact.

I'm seriously contemplating what Plan B is going to be if this weekend goes as is currently is forecasted to. It seems very unlikely that a race can be held in blizzard like conditions. It seems just as unlikely that I can run a sub 3:35 in hurricane force winds with even a couple inches of snow on the road... And honestly (no need to hate) I haven't spent 16 weeks training HARD to injure myself now, or to run less than my best effort. Yeah, I'm a jerk like that!
Marathons are not easy to find here at this time of year so it isn't like I can just bob over to town x, out of the storms path and get my marathon in. *sigh*
There isn't much I can do about it now. Between being at the very end of a taper and now dealing with the shenanigans of this stormy mess I have had a few moments of irritation.
(yes, I know this isn't life or death. yes, I know that the world does not revolve around marathons. yes, I know that "in the big picture" blah, blah, blah...) (anyone who trains for a marathon just wants to do it, ya know?) (and yes, I'm sure that whatever plan B ends up being will be fun and successful.) (But for this moment of today I just want to be grouchy!!)
See? Grouchy!

I'm currently operating as though things are going to be a "go" on Sunday. By tomorrow evening we should have a somewhat more factual (or, at least a closer-to-the-day) forecast which will make the decision easy. I am crossing my fingers that it turns out ok and that this storm will go out to sea, up to Canada or just vanish into thin air!
Let's all be hopeful!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

One Week... ONE WEEK!!!

With one week to go until Hyannis I am officially ready. FOR IT TO BE OVER!!!
No lie, I'm just ready to get this shit over with.
Yeah, yeah. It's "about the journey blah blah blah" Please don't make me barf...

No we should not

At first tapering makes me a little bored and antsy. THEN in turns me into a terrible runner. My legs weigh 600 pounds each and (according to them) have never run a day in their lives. Any training that they have done since December 1st has been forgotten in favor of sluggish behavior and malaise. GROSS!


Marathon training is hard work dammit, even when it is a good training cycle as this one has been.  Remembering back to the last time I had a legit taper (in July, I didn't taper for MDI because I hadn't really been training. That's the way to do it!!) Anyway, I didn't really enjoy that taper either. Yes, I was pretty nastily injured but I also felt worse and worse as each easy run was checked off my training plan. I think it's all just a bunch of mental hulabaloo but that doesn't make it pleasant...

This is a good sign.
I hate the ones at mile 18 that lie about being "almost there!"
I have been complaining excessively to my poor coach about all my various imaginary maladies and severe boredom in my training log. Luckily, she finds me amusing and continues to put up with my shenanigans. Eric has taken to wearing ear plugs while in speaking distance from me as to avoid the constant flow of marathon disaster jargon. 
I kid, I kid. Kind of...

I plan to, thank you very much!
In reality, all moaning and wailing aside I feel (except for an hourly, I mean daily, oops weekly) panic attack, as prepared as I possibly can be. At this point there is NOTHING that anybody can do about it even if I am woefully unprepared so I might as well just suck it up.
One week. I'm ready to do some epic shit and get it done!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Middle-Aged Household Status (a cohabitors guest blog)

So, I was tapped to be an epic guest blogger here on Middle-Aged-Runner, even though I still dispute the fact that I am middle aged, and calling me a runner is a stretch. I will not go into the details here on what was used to coerce me into writing this entry. No, not that. It mostly involves food and beer, and maybe some cheese and crackers and some wine. I like wine. Anyway.

As you wish.

Things here at the middle-aged household are coming down to a more normal level after hitting a peak of insanity recently due to horses, snow storms, races and parallel peaking marathon training plans. And by more normal level, I mean that while we now have more time in which to do household things like vacuum, do dishes and fold laundry (HA! like the laundry will *ever* get folded!) We are both going taper crazy whilst and at the same time. It’s a good time. Actually, to tell you the truth, it’s not too bad. We keep each other sane and talk each other off of the arm of the couch before anyone does anything terrible. (FYI - Danielle has perfected the art of couch-arm-talking-down, I learned everything I know from her.) 

This is a fact.

With under 2 weeks to go until Hyannis (which is an ‘A’ race for both of us, my 1st marathon (No, the run of an Ironman doesn’t count. (Also, I love parentheticals.)), and Sara's 2014 Boston qualifier) talk has begun to focus on logistics and weather. I find myself constantly refreshing future forecasts hoping to will the weather into being warm and wind free come February 24th.

Oh magical intertubes make the weather awesome.

Also, I am in a constant debate with myself about nutrition and what to carry and what will be supplied by the aid stations. Annoyingly, Sara is very cavalier about nutrition and if she can get a gel or two down she is all set (she tends to eject said nutrition after (or sometimes during) the race so who can really blame her.) My current plan has me downing no less than eight (8) packets of the gooey, slimy things at intervals that are very unlikely to have conveniently placed aid stations. Ugh! I don’t want to think about it anymore! So much stress!

On the plus side, despite the fail that was the Mid-Winter Classic X 2 20 miler, I am feeling strong and fast (just maybe not long enough (TWSS)). 

Mid-Winter Classic Team Pic - Also, I love the GIMP.

As you can tell I need some work on the positive thinking side of things. I have set up a few mantras for just this reason.

Here is a small sample:

  • Why do I do this to myself?
  • I quit.
  • Is this all you've got?
  • You might be able to do this, on a good day.
  • Don’t let the geriatric old lady get away, damn.
  • How many miles left?

I’m told that these might not be ideal.

The only other thing going on is the constant battle that Sara fights with herself about getting a new pooch. We have plenty of four legged children running around (3) who are constantly underfoot, barking annoyingly and eating all the pompoms on the winter hats.

Including my fantastic Jyane Cobb hat :-/

But, she keeps seeing cute puppy pictures on the FB and then goes about making puppy eyes at me asking if we can get one more. I of course say, “Sure! why not? We have plenty of room!” thereby making her realize that if I agree to it, it must be one of the most terrible ideas ever, and the crisis is averted. For at least the next few hours. Or until she sees the next cute puppy picture.

Hopefully, Sara will stop being lazy and start blogging again so you don't have to deal with my incoherent blathering anymore. ( I can feel the followers fleeing as we speak.)


Friday, February 8, 2013

Marathon Training Cycle #3- What is different this time?

I feel like with only ONE more long run to go and just over TWO weeks until Hyannis that the countdown is officially on!
I have been training pretty damn hard for the past couple weeks but feeling good. A little tired (my bedtime should probably be 8:00 from here on out) and hungry as shit but my legs/hips/feet are A-OK. I'm confident that they are going to stay that way and therefore do not feel that I'm jinxing myself! Anyone who read my blog during Marathon training round #1 and #2 knows that I'm typically grievously injured by this time. So this is a new trend!
So what has been different this time?
Well... Coach Kelsey has kept me the hell in line. And really limited the amount of junk running that I do. Every workout has a purpose and I'm not just meandering around like a dummy running 10 milers at an 8:30 pace daily (yes, I'd be ok with that. my life has been harder lately!)
I think y'all know that I almost never give product shout outs on here. But I've had amazing, amazing luck with Aspaeris Pivot Shorts. I had hip pain of DEATH for months on end at the beginning of fall and seriously thought I might never get over it (it kept me up at night, bothered me during every run, had me flat on my back at the Chiro on the regular...) I also had hamstring pain, lower butt pain, side butt pain, pain pain pain....
Anyway. I started wearing these little gems at the beginning of this training cycle and BOOM. It was like my hip/side butt/low butt/hammy had never been a problem. I wear them for running and recovery.
My one complaint is that they are *not* cute and that I don't feel like I could ever wear them without tights or similar... I tend to prance around the house in them shouting "runners lingerie!! sooooo sexy!!" and generally making a spectacle of myself.... Lucky Eric.
I figure the lack of cute brought on this adorable color in the Gen2's!
I NEED THESE in an XS! (unavailable, tragic...)

No, Aspaeris did not pay me to say all this stuff. However, they did dig up 3 pairs of XS in the original design shorts and were possibly the best ever customer service so they deserve a legit shout out. (and guys, I really need the Gen2 so whip me up an XS STAT!!)

And yes, like every other runner in the universe I wear pro compression.
I don't need to extrapolate as we all know them and love them.
Lester does too...

In addition to wearing the compression like it's going out of style I have been foam rolling like a BOSS, doing tiny bits of spin/core cross training (like, once a week which is apparently tiny in my world) and the couple of days that my legs have felt BAD I have **GASP** taken the day off.
Seriously, I'm much more fun to be around when I'm not running with my pain face on!
If all goes according to plan I'll be toeing the line in Hyannis more fit and less injured that I have ever been at the start of a Marathon. If it wasn't a 26.2 mile race I would be feeling supremely confident but I respect the mileage too much to get cocky. If nothing else, I'm putting the work in and all systems are looking good for a solid race!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

In which I share our Mid Winter Classic 10 miler mishaps.

Once upon a time Eric and I had to do a long, long run. Our wise coaches decided to let us run together (yay!) and to have us one run lap of the Mid Winter Classic 10 mile course before it actually opened for the business of the race. A solid theory, as then we would have 10 miles with aid stations to finish up with! Brilliance at its finest.
The one thing they did not count on. (or several things)
Eric and I are rarely on time and can not do math. (actually it's me- I am never on time, EVER EVER. nor can I do math so I defer to my exclusive dating partner.)  OK, here's the key issue. If the race had started at 10:00 like it should have (in my head) instead of 9:45 it would have been fine. If 10 miles can be run in 1:30 at a 10:00 pace then we would have been fine. (Eric's math done in his head. solid work.) So we both messed up. And laughed about it... Oh well!
We ended up starting lap one at 8:10 planning to do 9:30's and NOT taking into account the fact that I would need to pee like a Russian Race Horse at mile 4. it only took a minute...) Needless to say, we would be cutting it a little close.

As always, despite our issues we showed up all ready for a team photo!!!

Thundering Herd Team Picture.
Clearly not altered.

The first 10 miles went fine, a little windy for the last 3 miles and both of us got very cold. I think that we were both pleased with how the first 10 went and didn't let the lack of time issue bother us at all.  Luckily, Andy was nice enough to collect our bibs for us and stash them lovingly in the back of the car. As we ran the last point two miles we realized that there was just NO WAY that we were going to make it to the start on time. No way, not happening!

Yes, this happened.
First time EVER missing the start completely!!

Eric RAN to the porta pottie and I shuffled to the car, got our bibs and Danielle managed to snag this gem of a photo. OH GAHD, this says it ALL! but what could we do? Nothing... (also, this might be the BEST race photo EVER TAKEN!)

The whole race ran off at top speed as I meandered over to the start. Hours later (or just over 2 minutes) with the race starter guy looking at us with an unprecedented level of confusion we ran across the start (before he went and picked up the mats!) "We are trying to make an entrance" I told the starter, and he looked at me with such a level of perplexed irritation that I gave up with the chit chat. After crossing the start to appease the guy we had to stop AGAIN to pin our numbers on with frozen hands. I actually could not do mine and Eric had to like I was some kinda little kid. 

This was, by FAR, the funniest situation that we have ever been in during a race. "OMG." Said Eric. "WE ARE DFL!!!" Left and right people were looking at us like we were a bit slow and sad. "We missed the start" we would explain "WE CAN TELL" they would unsympathetically reply. We ran fast, as fast as we possibly could! Nobody was going to leave US behind!!! And... After almost a mile we saw the sweep vehicle and I was very excited. Finishing after the DNF collection truck was not really part of our solid long run plan. As we crested a little hill we saw it stretching out in front of us: the whole damn race, ALL the peoples and (once again) those 3 pesky hills. Time to le the fun begin!
We kept to a pretty reasonable pace, ambled thru the aid stations to snag cups of Gatorade, we saw quite a few people that we knew and all was well. At mile 18, plagued with some nasty side stitches Eric told me to run on away and I did even though I felt bad. My finishing time was right around 1:35 and on a normal day I would be horrified by that (what is my course PR? A 1:14 something??) But this was not a race, it was a damn long run. (it was also a pretty kickass damn long run!!) Pretty quickly I saw Coach Kelsey who looked scared that I might pull a Derry repeat and throw up on her (I did not.) I asked if I could do one more mile to make the week a nice, even 50 and she gave the green light as Eric came running around the corner!  He finished strong, I ran weird circles around the parking lot (prompting some comments from strangers) and made it to 21 for the day. Effing badass. 

Then we drank ALL the Gatorade, took off layers of sweaty frosty clothing, saw some friends and I met  The famous, and fast, Mainerunner "Ummmm do I read your blog??" I creepily asked. Yeah, I'm a strange rando blogstalker, bwa-hahah! Sadly, between my lovely parking lot running circles and my desperate need to get out of my sweaty clothing I missed seeing quite a few people post race. I'm sad about this and hope to see you all soon!

All in all a very solid day despite the botched and totally amusing race start fail. I have nightmares that it happens at a normal race, usually after I try to find my shoes and discover that I only have swim flippers to run in (so clearly, it could have been worse.) I'm pumped to have had a solid long run since we're officially counting down to Hyannis at this point. three weeks to go- I have a feeling that tapering is getting close on the training plan!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January recap plus my second run in with THE LAW!

January was a pretty awesome month in the running department! 
I'm pretty geeked out to see my mileage climbing but I'm more excited that I have happy legs! 
Here is how it played out..

Miles run: 171, highest mileage since June- but BEST mileage EVER!
Number of spin classes missed due to weather, or just not having a class to go to- 3 (sad face)
Number of races run- 1
Number of PR's set for NO PR 2013- 1, oops!
Number of times that running made me vom on my shoes- 1
Number of shoes used in 2013- Despite the vom I'm still on pair #1
Number of Ipods purchased in 2013- 1 (I killed 2 last year...)

171 is an excellent number of miles and I feel great!!!So, do I feel like my foray into being a coached middle of the pack athlete is paying off? HELLS YES. For the first time ever I fell terrific in the middle of a marathon training cycle (I'm tired- but that is normal!) I am not second guessing anything because I know my training is solid. We build our houses out of bricks, not sticks around here people... No, every run has not been a perfect 10 but they can't be... The miles are going by easier though and the proof is right there: I PR'd last weekend with a lot of extra challenges. I would never try to be a competitive equestrian without an amazing coach (nobody should..) and I doubt that I'll ever want to go it alone with my running either. There are experts out there- skip a couple of dinners out and pay them to make you awesome. 

I mentioned the other day that the avoidance of the speeding ticket on the way to Derry was #1 in my multiple encounters with THE LAW.  #2 was on the way home from a very adult errand running trip with my sister (sometimes you just need a new bike trainer and Trader Joes...)  I don't like making fun of old people because it happens.. But gosh! I do hope that when my driving skills start to slip that my future imaginary children will take my keys for the good of humanity. (and yes, I agree that young people, middleaged people, ANY people can and do have accidents. Don't be hatin' on me!)

A quality FB post.And finally, I leave you with this question... Yeah, yeah... I know I do! #not

How do I...? Hmmmm, I forget....
20 miles tomorrow starting around 8 AM. Wish me luck and a happy belly! (and legs...)

Friday, February 1, 2013

In which I show the world race pics and solve a mystery...

I have officially recovered from the trauma that was that silly, silly 16 (make that 19) miler last Sunday. I had a wonderful outdoor run yesterday, up hills into a 25 MPH headwind. Painfully reminiscent of Derry conditions but fun none the less. Yesterday was the last day for the Chilly Challenge that I've been doing for Team Giraffe for the month of January. We had a slow start but powered the hell up for the last couple weeks to take the win! I like to win AT ALL THE THINGS so this was a good way to kick off the year. Nice job everyone!!
I was so very excited to find free race pics! I look the same in EVERY one which is a miracle considering that I felt like vomitous death for a long while.
Thanks for the comments on my last post, friends! I do not mind if you laugh at me- I DO all the time! It is worth noting that I take enough pepto pre race to keep them in business. Gross. time to try something else, apparently. (are y'all sick of hearing about my GI issues? yes? too bad!!) 
What the hell is that tool in back of me so happy about???

WTF am I so happy about???

On Monday I got an exciting and very mysterious package in the mail that contained the most wonderful shirt I have EVER seen! I think that everyone knows about my absolute obsession with all things kale and I could not believe that I was lucky enough to get this glorious shirt!!

I kinda CAN'T eat more kale. But I will try.

Eric and I came up with all sorts of theories on WHO could have sent it to me and why. Finally, hitting a brick wall (despite our amazing detective skills) pics were posted to the internets. AND the mystery was solved! Apparently I do not have an internet stalker, because Eric's super nice sister sent it to me! I much prefer that to the slightly creepy alternative, haha! I pretty much love it and have worn it every day because I hate doing laundry so it hasn't made it in there yet!
I plan to eat LOTS of Kale leading up to this weekends long and tedious 20. (and lots of candy but we don't need to talk about that, right?!)