Sunday, April 29, 2012

Testing. Testing. 1-2-3.

Let's see if I can't get back into this whole writing thing again. 

Since I last wowed my zero readers with tales of running glory, I have completed one more marathon.  I have two more races scheduled for 2012: 1) Ragnar Relay - DC (in September) and 2) MCM (October). After having a kick-ass long run yesterday where, not on purpose, I somehow ran at half-marathon race-pace the whole 16 miles as if it were nothing, I am tempted to sign up for a half in the next couple of months to see if I have it in me to break my current record of 1:58:51.  According to my GPS yesterday, I finished 13 miles in 2:00-ish hours (the -ish is because I don't remember the exact seconds)... so maybe.

In the interim and so that I don't lose my fitness in between now and my next scheduled races, I am continuing to run between 32-37 miles a week, where most Saturdays I run 16-17 miles, and every third Saturday I drop to 12 miles to give my body a rest.  That plan seemed to work for me between MCM and the National Marathon, so we'll see.

And since I'm throwing stuff out there, my goal this spring (when I have no races on the books) is to improve my core strength.  Hopefully, writing that down keeps me honest.  But since I am being "honest", I haven't done one thing yet to meet the goal.  So I need to get on that.  I also need to do more hill running... since Ragnar has me running through the mountains.  My plan for that is to replace my Tuesday treadmill run with the hilly road outside my own front door.  And maybe more incline on the treadmill.

That is all.

Last week's tally:

M: 5.2 m on treadmill at 9:15 pace / 2% incline
T:  5.2 m on treadmill at 9:15 pace / 2% incline
W: 8.4 m on trail at 9:20 pace
Th: 5.2 m on treadmill at 9:15 pace / 2% incline
S: 16.2 m on trail at 9:10 pace
Su: 2.1 m on treadmill at 9:40 pace / 0% incline

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Am a Marathoner

I kicked 26.2’s ass, clocking in at a respectable 4:24:24.  (Even with a potty-break mid-course.)  And it wasn’t as hard as I expected.  I never “hit the wall” after mile 20.  I mean, it got harder at the end, but I never considered walking instead of running when the going got tough because that would mean a slower finish time.  (Ego is a powerful thing.)

My marathon experience was somewhat trite in that I almost cried near the end of the course – not because I hurt, but because I was so emotional thinking about my journey over the past 3 ½ years.  (Screw random health conditions!)  The whole experience was an affirmation that I am tough, sturdy, and that I can do hard things.  It was a really good day.

Also, I have to note some of the creative signs that kept me entertained along the way.  In the spirit of David Letterman’s old Top 10 lists, here were my own top 10 favorite signs spotted along the MCM course:

10.  Someone is chasing you
9.  There is a Kenyan ahead of you
8.  Your feet hurt because you’re kicking so much ass
7.  Run like you stole something
6.  Zombies behind you
5.  Chuck Norris never ran a marathon
4.  You’re winning!
3.  You exercise really good
2.  This is the worst parade ever!  (Where’s my candy?)
1.  Because 26.3 would be crazy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Running Miles Is Lots of Fun. I Think I'll Run Another One.

I could recap a months worth of running, but that would make me bored just typing it out.  I can only imagine that all of my three readers would lose interest after the first few sentences.  (Maybe I lost you already.)  Sufficed to say that I eased back into my training schedule after injury.  In these  in the last three weeks especially, I met my mileage goals.  I did change up my training by swapping out my regular 5 mile Monday run (which was never part of the schedule I followed - just something I added in for kicks) with shorter 2 mile recovery run on Sundays.  I think that helped keep me limber and not overtrain.  And this past week, I tackled what was the most intimidating part of my training plan: an 18 mile run on Oct. 3 followed by a 20 mile run on Oct. 11.  Major accomplishments.  I have now entered my taper, and I'm feeling excited and confident (but also happy to give my body a little rest.) 

When I finish this marathon, I don't know if I'll sign right up for another marathon right away, or wait a bit.  Ask me on October 30.  But I must admit I love knowing that I am capable of running these crazy distances.

Weeks 11-15
Miles actually logged: 163.5
Miles I was supposed to log: 171
Pace: 10:00 / mile -- 8:30 / mile, depending on the distance and the day

Today (10/11):
Miles actually logged: 5
Miles I was supposed to log: 5
Pace: 9:40 / mile -- 8:35 / mile (tempo run)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Can Do This!

My first week back, and I took it slow and easy. I completely deviated from my schedule and worked around when my ankle felt good vs. not so good. I decided that I was running too aggressively early on, so I made sure to slow it down even more toward the end of the week... hence the 10 minute miles on Friday and today. I feel pretty good about this. I am definitely not feeling 100% when I run, but after today, I have the strong feeling I can do this, and that I will be ready to run 26.2 on October 30... albeit slower than I had originally planned for. But that's okay. Next weekend, I plan to do a 16 mile long run. I have also decided that rather than running regular training runs Monday through Thursday, and long runs on Saturday, I'll skip the Monday runs and replace those with shorter recover runs on Sunday. We'll see what this does for me.
And that's it. Now off to the Warrenton airport to watch airplanes dance through the sky all day and cheer on the McShuttle pilot. ("[Insert our last name here] are winners!")

Sunday (9/4):
Miles logged: 5
Miles I was supposed to log: zero
Pace: 9:45 / mile

Monday (9/5):
Miles logged: 5
Miles I was supposed to log: zero
Pace: 9:40 / mile

Tuesday (9/6):
Miles logged: zero
Miles I was supposed to log: 5

Wednesday (9/7):
Miles logged: 6
Miles I was supposed to log: 8
Pace: 9:40 / mile

Thursday (9/8):
Miles logged: zero
Miles I was supposed to log: 5

Friday (9/9):
Miles logged: 5
Miles I was supposed to log: zero
Pace: 10:00 / mile

Saturday (9/10):
Miles logged: 10
Miles I was supposed to log: 16
Pace: 10:00 / mile

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm Baaaack!?

I ran.  I ran, I ran, I ran.  And I am happy to say that my ankle survived my first post-sprain run intact. It definitely felt a little sore, but it wasn't a sharp or strong pain, so I kept on.  I set out to do 4 miles, and did just that.  (No more, no less, although I had to talk myself down from doing more than what I set out to when I encountered the packs of Potomac Runners on the trail.  Shockingly, I kept my ego in check and ran smart.)  I am debating whether or not I will run tomorrow or wait until Monday.  It might do me good to rest since I spent the last 8 1/2 hours painting in my kitchen, and my muscles are sore from that.  We'll see what I'm feeling like at 5:45 tomorrow morning.

Miles I was supposed to log: 8
Pace: 9:40 / mile

Miles logged: 4

Friday, September 2, 2011


So I started off week 9 kicking all sorts of ass.  I woke up early each morning (that's right!) and ran before work.  On Saturday, I was on the road by 6:00 (before dawn), planning to run a 16.5 route as my long run, and do it all before Hurricane Irene's winds made the run more challenging.  (Wind = hills = not my favorite thing.)  And I was chugging along thinking only 2 more miles to go, and don't I just rock, and isn't it great that I can run these long distances with pretty much no problem.  And then twist, crunch, crash.  My ankle rolled, and I crumbled to the ground, laying there for a good couple of minutes before I could move.  Fortunately, I had my phone in my water belt, so I called my support vehicle to ask to be picked up.  I had sprained my ankle and I ended up spending the whole day in bed with my foot propped up on a pillow with ice.  Sunday was somewhat similar, except I had no ice with since Irene knocked out our power.  Needless to say that I didn't do any running all week, although today, my ankle feels pretty good (with a sports brace to prevent lateral movement.)  Thus, I am going to attempt to do a short run tomorrow morning.  Here's hoping I'm as ready to go as I think I am, because I am uber-twitchy and need to run.

Monday (August 23)
Miles logged: 5.65
Miles I was supposed to log: 0
Pace: 9:20 / mile
Tuesday (August 24)
Miles logged: 5.65
Miles I was supposed to log: 4
Pace: 9:20 / mile
Wednesday (August 25)
Miles logged: 7.25
Miles I was supposed to log: 7
Pace: 9:40 / mile
Thursday (August 26)
Miles logged: 5.65
Miles I was supposed to log: 4
Pace: 9:20 / mile
Saturday (August 27)
Miles logged: 14-ish
Miles I was supposed to log: 16
Pace: I never stopped my watch after the crash, so I have no idea what my pace was

Saturday, August 20, 2011

14.5 Before Breakfast... How 'Bout you?

Today when I left the house at 6:00, the sun was not yet up and it was barely hovering at 70 degrees.  Awesomeness -- a reminder that Fall is right around the corner.  I cannot wait for this fall.  Running in 60 degree weather.  Tackling my first marathon.  Halloween.  Tall suede boots.  But I digress. 
I set out to do 14 miles today, and ended up doing 14.5.  Why?  Because as I was nearing the 14 mile mark, I all of the sudden felt bad about doing less than I had run two weeks ago, so I pressed on.  I wouldn't want to run with a bruised ego this coming week, so it was worth the extra half mile. 
It also bears noting that my legs felt tired after 12 miles.  I realized after the fact that I forgot to take my second gel.  But I was also running faster than my target pace.  Bottom line: I don't know if my tired legs should be attributed to one or the other, or both.  Regardless, next week I'm scheduled to do 16, so I do need to slow it down.  That will be a challenge because I am half the time fighting the urge to race other runners on the trail.  Yes, I run imaginary races every weekend.  Who knew I was so competative?  Subsequently, it is this mentality which I need to get over so that I don't find myself injured a month before the race.

Miles logged: 14.5
Miles I was supposed to log: 14
Pace: 9:20 / mile