Monday, October 25, 2010

The final week.....

In today's thoughts...

1. Why do I always have to pee about 5 miles into a long run? Will I have to pee 5 miles into MCM? Will I pee on myself cause there is not a place to stop or because I don't want to stop? LOL ;-p

2. Went to a Physical Therapist last week. My right hip flexor and quad were REALLY angry last week after my wonderful last long run of 18 miles. I was a bit freaked out to say the least. He did some work on it. He is also a chiropractor, a certified Active Release Therapist and an athlete - so he gets it. He adjusted my hips too. I've never had that done - never been to a chiropractor before. Interesting. I have been on a regime of Rest/Walking/ Heating/rolling/stretching/core work/stretching/icing for the last few days. Things are less cranky. :-) I will do some light activity this week on the bike trainer and some wee little jogs. PT did not think things were so bad that I could not run. It is overuse and some imbalances in my body - which I knew I had too - stuff to work on this winter.

3. I am excited about running this thing! Wow! I am also excited about getting to meet a bunch of the people that I chat with through twitter. It will be great to put real faces and voices to this crew. I also get to meet my coach in person! It is going to be a fun weekend all around.

4. Next post will be next week after all is said and done!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts as I enter the taper zone

Wow, in less than 2 weeks I will be starting my very first marathon! It got here quick.

1. Sunday, I ran 18 miles - some of it on part of the MCM course. My coach wanted me to keep a steady pace throughout the run. It is something that I have struggled doing on my long runs. I tend to go out too fast and then fall apart. OR start out too slow and never get up to speed. This Sunday my run was awesome. I kept my pace steady for every mile - except the last when I took a minute off my pace just because I felt good. WOOT! Now I can only hope this is how I feel as I go in for the last 8 miles of the marthon and that I can continue to hold this pace for the whole race.

2. Why is it that ONLY yesterday I realized that I had a pace alert feature on my low-tech garmin? This was immensely helpful in keeping my on pace. I felt like such a dolt when I realized this alert existed. I could have used it all summer. I new it had many other features, just not this.

3. Right quad still talking to me. Lots of rolling, stretching, icing - repeating. It feels a little stiff starting out on a run, but then warms up and feels good. It is good if I keep moving around post-run, but if I sit or stand in one place for too long it gets stiff. I hope it sorts itself out by race day or at least performs as well as it did yesterday for 18 miles.

4. I miss Orangina, my bike. She looks so sad. We haven't been on a ride together since my last triathlon race on September 26th. :-( We are schedule for a ride the first weekend of November up in Gettysburg, PA. This will be a good part of marathon recovery.

5. I am still nervous about Oct 31, but I feel more ready since Sunday's good run.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

17 Days.....

I am almost to my taper time. I have an 18 miler this Sunday and then it will be the taper coasting to the Oct 31. My goals for my runs over this week and going into race day is working on steady consistency in pace and NOT going out too fast. Starting slow and ramping up into the groove.
I have been nursing some quad and hip pain on the right side since the half marathon run a couple weeks ago. I also thought I had a kidney issue going on - turned out to be a muscle that was acting out. I am now feeling much better. Last night I ran a little more than 5 miles. It was to be an easy run. After running nearly mile with no socks to the run store (forgot to pack socks!), and then getting going I was feeling good. I could have kept running, but I am sticking to the coach's plan, that is why I have him.

Work is busy still and my world has been eaten alive by marathon training. Looking forward to race day and November being a more relaxing month.

I was so inspired watching Kona Ironman last Saturday. Not signing up for any ironman or half ironman at this point, but a 70.3 is on my list of things to do - just not sure when yet.

Enjoy your training and your racing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Relay Race Report - Half Full Triathlon

First let me say that this was the best run event ever! Kudos to the Ulman Cancer Fund for their inaugural event in Columbia, MD.

I participated in relay match and got matched with two other women (Yvette and Theresa)- one local and one further south in VA. We met up at packet pick up on Saturday. We spanned the age groups -20's, 30's and 40's. We coordinated our Sunday morning meet up time and we were off.

Sunday morning came early. I was up at 4:30 am so I could get the dog walked, get dressed and be in transition between 5:30 - 6 am. It was chilly! I had on my CW-X summer weight running tights, run shirt, and then a jacket and sweat pants. I had a long day ahead of me. I met up with my relay team. We all got our body markings, discussed the chip hand off, and then it was time to hang out until the race start. They had area next to transition for relay teammates to put chairs and stuff to hang out. Before the race we were down at the Team Fight tent hanging out as our swimmer is a member of Team Fight (an Ulman Cancer Fund team). I even met Doug Ulman at one point in the day. Nice guy.

Finally, it was time to get the show on the road. I found 2 of the 3 guys that I knew were racing and wished them good luck. And watched all the swimmers get on their way. This race did the swim start as a time trial start, so the people in each wave entered the water two at a time and started their swim. Everyone seemed to liked this very much. While our swimmer, Yvette, was swimming, Theresa and I headed up to transition. She prepped and waited. And I hung out at off the side to cheer the timing chip hand off and Theresa out onto the bike course. The relay wave was one of the last waves to go off - so it seemed like forever when all the individual athletes are coming to T1 and taking off. In reality it wasn't really all that long, but patiently waiting hasn't necessarily been one of my strong traits. Yvette comes in, takes off the chip, Theresa puts it on and she is running with her bike out of transition. Okay NOW the real waiting starts. 56 miles......with HILLS.... I felt bad for Theresa as she had not had the opportunity to ride this course prior to the race. While she was out cycling, Yvette and I hung out at the Team Fight tent. Yvette had to leave for a family event, then I finally went up to hang out in the "relay lounge" in my chair.

I had worried about nutrition for this event. Since I would be up and out the door early and then waiting a long time until I ran. I ended up doing okay I think. I had a pb&j and banana in the morning along with my joint juice (it is helping my old joints) and some coffee. During the wait period I had another banana and a cliff bar. And about 30 minutes before Theresa came in on the bike I had another banana. I drank water all morning and pee'd about a 1000 times it seemed before I ran.

So 4 hours passed and Theresa was in yet. I was starting to get worried. She had an injured calf which is why she was not running and then I knew those hills were tough. I heard from one of the race coordinators that there were some people getting picked up on the course and that there were some women who were walking up the hills. oh no. The bike course was to close at 1:30. We were inching closer to 1 pm. I needed to get a long run in today whether or not it was a part of this race and I was hoping since I had been here all day that it would be at the race! I was so happy to see Theresa coming up the hill into transition! Yes, she made it in. And no she was not one of those women walking up the hills. I high-fived her and put on the timing chip and headed out to the run. It was just after 1 pm.

I have been working on my run form and at the same time trying to just let myself run without stressing about every little thing and looking at my pace all the time. So while I had the garmin on, I tried not to look at it while I was running. I just tried to find the pace that felt good. The run course was great. It did have hills that were tough, but I powered through them. For the first half (and first loop) I did have others around me. I had one guy run with me as I was keeping him going since I was fresh and he was wearing down as he was doing the whole race. I ran into Roy, one of the guys from my tri-club. He was walking and didn't have much further to go, so I egged him into running with me until we split - him to the finish and me off to the second loop. That worked well. I was on my own then at that point which was approximately 7 miles. I just kept going. I was feeling really good. The hill going up around mile 11 is when I started poking a bit. My knees were starting to ache. I just kept going. I wasn't going to walk. I knew I could do this and finish strong. The volunteers were still out there and the aid stations still well stocked. It was great as I knew I was one of the last people out on the course. As I came into the finish area, it was a bit quiet as there weren't many people left. There were a few people cheering and Theresa my from my relay team was there waiting for me to come in. I was done! My knees were talking, but I was done. 2:37:21. A new PR for pokey me on the half marathon - and I love that it was on a hilly course AND I stopped to pee at 3.2 miles where there was a port o john at the aid station. Did I mention I was well hyrdated? ;-p

I got my finisher shirt and medal and went to the food tent. YES while there were only a handful of people still out on the course they still had space blankets, shirts, medals, and food and PLENTY of it. I could have had a free beer, but I knew that would not have been good at that point. I tried to eat the banana and part of the chipotle burrito that they handed me, but I couldn't. I was just tired. I did drink part of a coke.

I waited around at the finish to see the very last person come in. Thankfully, she also had some family and/or teammates waiting for her too. That is a lonely spot to be in.

Nice race. I am glad that I decided to do the relay match even with up early and wait around part. Having a good half marathon run before the Marine Corps Marathon is good too. Now, let's hope my knees hold out for the next few weeks.