Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Can basically be summed up by a series of fails! Not even kidding. When we left Atlanta it looked like this:
Morning of the race I woke up with a few tummy issues (really shocking I know) and wasn’t really in the mood to eat, which got me really worried. I choked down a quarter of a bagel, a banana, and a cup of coffee. Definitely not as much food as I had hoped. At this point, the forecast was still calling for rain/mix midmorning and heavy clouds, so I picked out my outfit accordingly. I decided to go with some sweet pigtails to cheer myself up a bit. I was in good spirits heading to the start and was determined to put the morning’s fails behind me.
Miles 1-7: I chewed down a pack of Luna Moons in the starting corral and started to look for the 4:15 pace group. My goal was to run with them for at least the 1st half to keep my pace even and conservative. I teamed up with the 4:15 pace ladies around mile 0.5 and just tucked in behind them to settle in. After about 2 miles I was already feeling a little hot, but I figured it was because the sun surprised us and came out, but by mile 3 I figured out what was going on. The pace ladies came out of the gate a little excited and we went through the 3 mile marker in 25 flat. I saw the clock and just went ‘Oh Sh*t’. Instead of dropping the pace they just kept chugging along and I was not in the mood to lose them yet. By mile 5 we were over 6 min ahead of pace. They had us on track to go sub-4 and then some. I was starting to worry I was going to PR the half while I was at it, and knew that was NOT a goal I wanted to accomplish today. So basically my ‘conservative’ start was way out the window. Once seeing our mile 5 split, the pace ladies slammed on the breaks. I wasn’t in the mood to drop gears that far, so I went on in an even pace with what I had trained for (9-9:30ish). I did not see them again until sometime in the 20’s. I took my first power gel (vanilla, tasted like pudding) around mile 7 (Success)! The weather remained perfect for the rest of the race (mostly sun with some clouds, temps around 50). Too bad I didn't have my sunglasses.
Miles 7-12: Shortly afterward, I was joined by a nice gentleman who was also frustrated with the 4:15 fiasco (He was tall, dark and handsome, let’s hear it for speed dating). Alex was from Birmingham and running the half due to ITBS, but had run the full several times. He gave me a guided tour of the neighborhoods we went through and told me a few things to remember for the second half (it’s a double loop course). He was a huge help (besides his desire to push the pace)! The elevation map showed only one hill on the course at mile 10/23, but it really was a series of long hills for about 3 or 4 miles from 7-11/19-23. Alex told me which one was the longest (1.5 miles long) and where to play it safe. We parted ways at the split around mile 12. I came through the half around 2:02 and was happy with my pace, but wanted to reign it back in for a little bit knowing I would have the late hills again.
Miles 13-20: Around the half-way point, I was joined by a runner named Joe running his first full. He was looking for someone to pace with, and I was looking to put on a breaks a bit, so we were a good match. Joe amazed me with how strong his training was. He ran 3-22milers and 2-20milers. I admitted to him that I ran one 19miler and a bunch of 13-15 milers. If anything, I think it helped his confidence. I took another gel around 14-15 (right as planned) and then we were joined by Rachel, another victim of the 4:15 pace group. Rachel was running her 7th marathon and determined to finally break 4:15. Rachel and I ran the rest of the race together and really help each other keep a good mindset. We lost Joe around mile 18 when we started to push the pace back up a bit. We kept it comfortable through 20, both knowing that that is where the race really begins.
Miles 20-Finish: It was only after mile 20 that I let myself actually think about what I had left to do. I was really proud that I never had the “15 miles left” thoughts at any point in the course, and it worked really well for me mentally. My word of the day was patience, and I think I totally (beside the pacing fiasco) accomplished it. Rachel and I took it one mile at a time from 20 in. Since most of this was in the hilly section, we did walk during aid stations just to make sure we got our powerade in and give us a mini-break from the hills. That was the only walking for the entire race though. Around 22, I got a shout of from one the cops, “Pigtails! You’re back!” which was really surprising but fun. I thanked him and replied that I wasn’t coming back for another loop. I did not take my 3rd gel at 21 (mini-fail), but I did consume many oranges along the course and never felt any major sugar blues (WIN!). This was probably one of the best-aided courses I have been on. I have tons of good things to say about it, but more on that in my next post.
Rachel and I made it through the hills in good time. Afterwards we had a long straight away in a warehouse district for miles 23.5-25. Unfortunately a head wind had kicked up, so these miles were a little more challenging. At 24 I felt the pop and let out an “Oh no!” and then explained to Rachel my blister/toe had just exploded. She quickly glanced at my feet and responded, “Yeah, don’t look down”. At mile 25 we had over 11 mins to get Rachel to the tape under 4:15 and we started to move. We had been joking earlier that mile 26 is the longest mile ever, and unfortunately it was literally true. My mile markers had been slightly off on my garmin all day, and they fixed with a long mile 26. Instead of having 1.2 left we probably ended up with closer to 1.4, which was just enough for us to miss 4:15 by about 1 min. Either way, we were both ecstatic coming across the line with big smiles and were incredibly happy with our race. The 4:15 ladies finished about 100 feet in front of us with their yo-yo pace.
Post Race: This was by far the best I have felt mentally and physically during a marathon. I loved every minute of it and tried to smile at every camera I saw (I tend to have angry looking race photos)! I finally feel like I get the marathon and now am very excited to run (and really train) for another. It was a huge confidence boost. Now I want to start tackling time.
Race goals: Two out of three ain’t bad.
1. Fuel: Though I only took 2 gels, I did supplement with probably 4-5 orange slices and the wall never even crossed my mind. HUGE WIN!
2. Feet: Um, yeah. I eluded to what happened at mile 24, but here is a pic. Thank heavens I didn’t look down until after the finish. I actually had quite a bit of foot pain from 20 miles on. BIG FAIL.
Have a great Monday! Thanks to everyone for their support and stay tuned for a pros/cons about the race as a whole tomorrow.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
First, Big THANKS to Tall Mom for the high-five today! If you’ve never checked out her Friday high-fives, give it a look. It’s a great idea and it always puts a smile on my face.
Today’s fueling report is about pancakes (again). I am travelling to Birmingham tomorrow with two friends who are both running the half (their second). To wish us all luck and help us carbo load, one of their roommates is throwing us a Pancake/Good luck dinner tonight with a whole bunch of friends! You all know how much I love pancakes/all things breakfast related, so I was elated when she asked me if it was a good idea! I probably should mention that she is also the brave soul who is dog-sitting for me this weekend. I think she is up for Friend of the year! I don’t think I’ve ever had such an exciting send off before a race! I just have to remember to pace myself with the pancakes! Don't want to pull anything in a pancake induced furry.
I’m sure some of you have noticed that the south is getting another visit from Old Man Winter today. As a transplanted northern, I quickly learned that there are a few things southerns can’t handle: snow and living without the ability to deep-fry. The snow only seems appropriate since it snowed the day before my last race and nearly shutdown the city. The good news is that it is a straight shot on I-20 from ATL to Birmingham (Yes, that same highway 20 ride that the Zac Brown Band sings about), so we only need the main roads to be clear. As long as I get there, I can make it work.
Hope you all have a great Friday and a good running weekend! I promise to do my best to keep you updated about the race and take some pics!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
1. Fuel. I hit the wall hard in my first marathon and have never developed a good fueling plan or routine in any of my marathons. In previous fulls I have fueled little to none and I've paid for it. I have detailed all my fueling attempts in my Fuelin’ up Friday reports and I really appreciate everyone’s recommendations! I have a plan and a fuel that work fairly well for me!
Goal: Don’t hit the wall. In fact, don’t even flirt with it. Its Valentine’s Day, flirting should occur at the post-race party.
2. Feet. In all of my previous marathons I have had bloody feet and even bled through my shoes twice. For the most part my bloody toes haven’t been too painful, just gross. However, after Goofy a few years ago, my feet were a disaster, complete with toenail loss and some crazy blood blisters. Since I have to wear closed toe shoes at work, it was a hard recovery week. For this marathon, I am running in a full size larger (9.5) than Goofy (8.5). The bigger size felt like clown shoes for the first few runs, but when I put on some old 8.5s to walk the dog the other day, I really noticed how much better the clown shoes fit my feet. I've still had some blistering, but I think it is mainly due to my feet being fat and there hasn't been any bleeding.
Goal: Don’t have bloody feet. Some blistering is acceptable.
Trust me, You don't want to see what's inside. That wasn't even one of the toes that lost a nail!
3. Brains. I’ve had confidence trouble in the late miles of previous marathons. I think a lot of this probably had to do with very low blood sugar (see goal #1), but nonetheless it was still something I wanted to focus on. I did all of my long runs solo (with a few guests for 3 or 4 miles). I really focused on staying calm and consistent, and not letting any little things trouble me. I think I had more quality runs this training cycle and I am really excited to see how it turns out on race day.
Goal: Keep my head in the game (or race).
I had my last date with the elliptical this morning as well as a nice long stretch. Legs feel good and attitude is ready. Now I just have to remember to pack all the essentials.
Hope everyone has a great Thursday!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Quick apology for Wednesday’s whiny tirade on Mother Nature. She does the best she can and I didn’t mean to freak out on her. The good news is that the forecast has changed and ice cubes are out of the forecast! Now I just have to worry about finishing 26.2 miles!
On to Friday’s fuel report.
As I mentioned on Sunday, the double latte powergel just might be my go to. The taste is a better coffee flavor than the Gu Espresso Love gel I tried a few weeks ago and the texture was WORLDS better. I was half way through it before I even noticed. Since it does have 50mg of caffeine, I will probably have a few of the fruit flavors that Redhead (Thanks again!) recommended as well.
Unlike previous marathons, I actually have a fueling plan for race day! This is a huge step for me because fueling has been mostly absent from my previous races. Though I can get away with it in the half, not fueling in the full has really shown. This blogs not called Running on E for nothing folks. Pre-race I will probably go with my standard Elvis (peanut butter and banana on a bagel). During the race my plan is to eat a gel about every 7 miles (as water stops allow) with a caffeinated one around the halfway point. This should create some impressive bra stuffing with my powergels (its like a poor girl’s water bra). I may even be a B-cup at the starting line, which should also help with my quest to get a Valentine’s date. I may carry a pack of chewy fuel (beans or sharkies) as well, because there is plenty of space in my bra for extra and you can never have too much. Post race I plan on having a free beer or two to rehydrate and celebrate. I'm getting excited just thinking about the race!
Anyways, Happy Friday to all! We've got a rainy one here in the ATL, but I'm ok with that because Mother Nature is my girl.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I’m not sure when our relationship went bad, but you’ve taken it too far. When you produced that bizarro Wizard of Oz inspired day for my Halloween Half (70*& cloudy at the start, then by mile 2, 50* & raining so hard my shoes were squishy for the rest of the race), I nearly froze to death and was an odd shade of blue at the finish. I was running with a first-timer and not worried about time, so I forgave you. Then when I volunteered for the Thanksgiving Half and you produced a perfect running day, I was bummed to not be running, but enjoyed the sun nonetheless. And then this past January, when I ran the Red Nose Half and you decided I didn’t need water or feeling in my facial features, I forgave you because I was just using it as a training run.
But this time you have taken it too far. When I looked up the weather for my rapidly approaching full and saw this:
I knew it was personal.
What the hell is that anyway? Are you going to be throwing ice cubes at me all morning? Is Vodka on the rocks going to be falling from the sky? Does this mean that the heavens finally got their icemaker to work? Ug. I’m serious. I am a good, earth friendly person. I walk to work everyday. I recycle and I pick up my dog’s poop. I volunteer at races and encourage others to start the sport. Give a girl a break and stop picking on me on race day!
I am giving you 9 days to fix this.