Saturday, October 31, 2009

summary of training - nyc marathon

the ing nyc marathon is hours away. i am excited, but not too nervous... just yet. maybe tomorrow morning. i still need to figure out exactly how i'll get from the hotel in times square to the ferry but that's a minor detail.

this is a summary of my training for the 2009 nyc marathon, a journey from may 18th, 2009 through october 31st, 2009. i'm comparing some of the stats to my training before the atlanta marathon (my bq, nov 2008) which i ran about 16 weeks into training for the goofy challenge with a mini-taper --

# of runs - 145 (usually 5-6 runs/week)

miles - 1,114.29 (atlanta: 710)

average mpw - 48.21 (atlanta: 44.03)

highest weekly mileage - 68.16 (atlanta: 58)

runs missed due to injuries/sickness - 17 (some laziness; wisdom teeth surgery; recent nausea) (atlanta: 1 day); another injury-free round of marathon training!

# runs of 15 miles or more - 11 (atlanta: 7 runs over 13 miles)

hours of running - 164 (atlanta: 104)

average pace - 9:00 (atlanta: 8:44)

races - 2 and a dns (va beach rnr half, horsey 5k, dns bourbon chase)

pr's - 0, :(

quality workouts - 21 of 36 workouts (yeah about that)

other workouts: (aka, major slacking)
bike - nope
yoga - 5 times (2hrs)
abs - 19 times (crunches/planks/fit deck)
pushups - 2,532
you have to admit - those are pathetic stats for yoga and abs over a period of 24 weeks/168 days! definitely need to attack the non-running workouts.

compared to atlanta, i believe i have a lot of potential for a nice pr. i've run many more miles, though i don't feel like i ran as many speed workouts this time around. the main question is whether or not i can stave off the crappy-feeling on race morning. we'll see how it goes down.

i have a couple time goals in mind, depending on whether i'm having a 110% kind of day or not. the most important goal is to enjoy the run, atmosphere and sights and hopefully stay dizzy-free long enough to find the finish line.

thanks for all the good-lucks and for following along the past 24 weeks of ups and downs. see you on the other side!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

keeping the taper exciting

in case things haven't already been crazy enough for the past 5 or so months (long days, lots of driving, little time for myself/to relax), i hit a deer this morning. plowed it down.

in my defense, i was driving even safer than normal. i was right at the speed limit (55mph) and i wasn't even looking at my phone. suddenly, i saw an object dashing into my headlights. the deer crossed the four-lane, divided highway from my left, and time seemed to stand still as it galloped directly in front of my car. it was freaky, especially since it's pitch black dark out at 6am (in the country, no lights). for a split second i thought of zombies (random) until i recognized that it was a deer. i braked, but i didn't slam on them. loud boom. the front right side of my car slammed into the right hind leg of the deer, and i started crying almost immediately. i'm such a girl sometimes.

i didn't know the proper protocol for hitting a deer so i continued on to work. apparently you're supposed to pull over, call the police and they'll write up a report. if you see me on america's most wanted... you'll know why.

it could've been much worse. apparently deer come flying through your windshield sometimes. i was lucky to not hit it straight on as it would've mangled the front end. my right headlight case is cracked, but the lights still work. the front bumper has a couple cracks, but it's not immediately noticeable. a piece is missing off the side bumper and the side panel is dented above the right tire. some of the guys at work gave their manly input of $1000 estimates for the repairs - no biggie, that's what insurance is for. so far, state farm has been very helpful and easy to work with. (let's hope i don't have to bad mouth them when i get the car to the shop!)

i was made fun of all day by the guys at work - getting called the "deer slayer" and hearing tales about how the baby fawns were standing by the mama deer saying "wake up mom". one of them also drew me a picture:

pure skills. good thing he drew a circle around my head so i would know i was stick figure.

i used to give the guys at work a hard time for hunting innocent deer. now i think i might ammo up and join them (not really... but it is annoying that they are stupid and charge out into the road).

in actual running news -- i took monday off because i was exhaused. i spent 9 hours trying to make a 5 hour drive on sunday (thank you rockslide at the nc/tn border) and driving, you know, is very taxing. i really don't get how sitting in the car makes you feel so tired but it does.

tuesday i was so not in the mood to run. i am all too ready to milk the "i'm recovering from a marathon so i don't have to run this week" excuse. i managed to slog out 3 piddly miles. whatev, it's taper.

today (wednesday) i got in what was probably my first ever fartlek run. i know you're supposed to maintain some of intensity while decreasing mileage in a taper, but i didn't want to induce the "off" feeling. i settled for a semi-push effort, successfully reminding the legs that they can turn over and practicing some random, positive self-talk (relax your arms, breathe easy, surge - you'll feel better, etc). it turned out to be a nice little 5 mile run.

Monday, October 26, 2009

testing, testing, 1-2-3

to sum it up - last week was pretty boring, but i like to talk about my boring running anyway.

week in review (10/19 - 10/25):
total miles: 32.25 (guess i could technically call it taper and not laziness)
time spent running: ~ 4 hours 40 minutes
avg hr: 154.50
avg pace: 8:51/mile (avg temp: 60.25*)
off days: 2

monday - off. it's no secret, i'm still not feeling 100% (and i'm quite nervous about it). i felt ok monday, but thought a day of rest wouldn't hurt after the 20-miler since i've been feeling like junk anyway.

tuesday - easy 7 miles. most of it in the dark. i hate winter.

wednesday - race test workout, take 1. came home from work to a plugged-in-yet-dead garmin. wimpy excuse, but i took it. easy 3 miles instead.

thursday - race test workout, take 2. ran my warmup miles over to the track to discover there was a jv football game going on. i swear i looked online and it said @whoevertheopponentschoolwas. easy 40 minutes instead. found a tennis ball which kept me entertained, but when i'd bounce and catch it while running i'd get that lightheaded/dizzy/nauseous feeling having to look up at it. what is wrong with me :(

friday - easy 5 miles before work. half-asleep.

saturday - off. county cross-country meet all morning; wasn't really digging a run afterward. the team i sorta help out with (more so when i'm actually home) swept first place in all four categories - girls varsity, girls jv, boys varsity and boys jv. overhead some kids from another school ask "why did we even bother coming".

on a side note, the boys xc coach and his wife are expecting. he's missed some practices lately because of it, and when he told his team one of the middle schoolers asked "expecting what?" so naive. :)

sunday - race test workout, take 3. finally handled. 3x2 miles at threshold pace. initially i told myself i'd do the first set at my starting goal mp, and pick it up for the 2nd and 3rd sets, as i have been planning on starting out slower and speeding up as the race goes on. it's quite the intimidating thought really, i'm supposed to be xx seconds/mile faster 20 miles into the race? oh ok, sure. anyway, my brain wasn't functioning and i went out too fast and basically all 3 sets were screwed up.

1st set - 7:18, 7:24 (no, i have no desire to run a 7:18 pace.)
2nd set - 7:35, 7:38 (this would've been ok if i'd stuck to the original plan and not gunned threshold pace in set 1)
3rd set - 7:07, 7:28 (nope, won't be handling a 7:07 either)

guess i shouldn't plan on negative splits.

i was also beginning to feel that ever-familiar "off"/lightheaded feeling in the 2nd set. grrr. this was supposed to be a "race test" to see how i might handle running harder vs my standard easy pace (which is manageable).

the "off" feeling first came on after a hard interval workout a few wednesday's ago, and i'm rather concerned about trying to run hard this weekend. i have some goals i'd like to hit of course, but if it comes down to it - i'll pull back and try to enjoy a jaunt through the city. i'd rather run slow than drop out, pass out, or worse... i won't lie though, the possibility of training for 5 months and having to run a marathon easy kinda stinks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the beginning of the end

well last week was not much to talk about. i rested hardcore, saving up for an attempt at one last long run, and actually started to feel better.

week in review (10/12 - 10/18):
total miles: 39.24
time spent running: ~ 5 hours 45 minutes
avg hr: 159.33
avg pace: 9:00/mile (excluding walks; avg temp: 55*)
off days: 1

monday - easy 30 minutes on the treadmill, theory being i wouldn't have to twist around to check for traffic. i was finally starting to feel better after a few visits to the chiro and was a bit robotic for fear of "undoing" the adjustment. i know, that's not how it works, but i was still a little stiff-neck.

tuesday - 30 minute walk on the treadmill. look at me! taking it easy. i took it serious - it helps that nausea/dizziness is the worst feeling ever. i wanted to feel better for good.

wednesday - easy 45 minutes on the 'mill. feeling a little better each day.

thursday - 30 minute walk on the treadmill. yes, the walks were definitely tallied up in my mileage.

friday - off; loooong day of work + driving.

saturday - big day. easy 60 minute run outside! a whole hour, and not on the treadmill. felt alright, other than the fact that it was freakin' freezing.

sunday - even bigger day. 20 miles easy. was not pretty. it was a little disheartening to see a slow pace and feel the way my legs felt later in the run. i'd had a very light week and my legs couldn't have been much fresher, but i definitely got tired/achy around mile 16. i was glad to have pulled out one last 20-miler though.

it'd been 3 weeks since i had done laundry, so all my 'fancy' running clothes were tied up sunday. i threw on some old soccer shorts from like 1998, a long-sleeved under armor shirt, and a (cotton) t-shirt from high school (circa 2001). it was kind of nice to go "back to the basics"; like lance and his bike, it's not about the clothes.

it seems like the training plan has gone from being crumpled up on the desk to the bottom of the cross-cut shredder. however, it's officially taper time; i can do easy! less than two weeks to go; i've never been good at countdowns. do you count the present day? do you count the day of the event? oh the confusion.

Monday, October 12, 2009

one good run

week in review (10/5 - 10/11):
total miles: 26.33 (yeah...)
time spent running: ~ 3 hours 44 minutes
avg hr: 157.00
avg pace: 8:45/mile (avg temp: 60.3*)
off days: 4 (yes, 4)

at least i covered the marathon distance in a decent time, it just took all week?

i took monday off thinking it would be my scheduled rest day for the week. i sure didn't plan for an insane amount of nausea/whatever to take over for a long, extended weekend? i don't wish it on anyone. suckssss.

i'm feeling better, but i'm not 100%. the chiro helped - i could definitely tell i felt better, but then after attempting an easy run on saturday i slipped backwards on my progress. i spent a lot of time in bed saturday/sunday watching hbo (madagascar 2, marley & me, kung fu panda), random movies on lifetime, saved, knocked up, watching hbo replay the same movies... so i'm pretty sure i got the "take it easy and rest" part down. i went back to the chiropractor today to get realigned, again felt better, and limited myself to a 30-minute easy test run this afternoon. it was alright, but not normal still. today i also started to think that part of this nausea has to do with my less-than stellar nutrition lately. i can't remember exactly what i've shoveled down over the past week but i know i've been rather lenient on the crappy-carb intake. here's to more greens/vegetables and less chocolate/chips/pretzels.

i really only got in one good run last week. my wednesday quality workout went well, until i got "sick" anyway. the workout was supposed to be 3x(1 mile interval pace with 1 minute easy), 3x(1000 interval pace with 2 minutes easy), and 3x(400 repetition pace with 3 minutes easy), plus warmup/cooldown. the nausea/crapness kicked in during the last 1000m so i nixed the 400's, but i figured i'd gotten through the meat of the workout anyway.

3 x 1 mile: 6:43, 6:37, 6:36 (goal pace: 6:31-6:40)
3 x 1000m: 4:11, 4:14, 4:10 (goal pace: 4:03-4:15)
the 1000m's were actually 0.64, so they're supposedly even (slightly) better than they look.

i do wonder if this workout pushed me over the edge, as i haven't quite been on top of my quality workouts, but it didn't feel like death. it wasn't easy of course, especially with such short recovery periods. it was more of a comfortable strain, if that makes any sense.

originally i was hoping to hit 55-60 miles this week, but i'm just going to play it by ear instead. i really want to get in one last "true" long run this weekend, so hopefully i'll feel better by then.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

much ado about nothing


i didn't participate in the bourbon chase. huge bummer, and i felt like a loser friday night/all day saturday.

i got "sick" (for lack of a better term) wednesday evening during my speed workout. i was nauseous, light-headed, and my vision was off (similar feeling to what happened on two long runs 4-6 weeks ago). i completed 6/9 planned intervals and knew i needed to cut it short. i stopped and just stood there, trying to calm my senses down and ward off the nausea. eventually i trotted the 2 miles back to the hotel. i was shaky, dizzy and just feeling off. it's hard to explain.

after a light dinner, i called the team captain to commit to the relay. i figured i'd feel better by friday as i've had this crap-feeling before, and of course i thought it'd be a fun time and wanted to do it.

i still felt off thursday. i felt nauseous sitting/walking around work, couldn't focus on anything on the computer, and felt like throwing up (thankfully, never did). i skipped my run for the day and went to pick up some warm "running" clothes from walmart for the relay. (starter brand anyone?) i was still being hard-headed about running the thing even though i feel like garbage.

friday morning came and i didn't feel any better. i considered going to an "urgent care" type facility, but again, what are they really going to do with a symptom of nausea. i made an appointment with a chiropractor over in lexington. the appointment wasn't until 4 and i needed to meet up with the team at 1:30. i called the team captain to let him know my dilemma and that i felt like crap. i felt horrible backing out on them, but i was also afraid of collapsing somewhere on the side of the road in the dark (my first leg wasn't going to be until late at night). i also didn't want to get motion sickness riding around in a van all night.

continuing my hard-headedness, i rescheduled my chiro appointment for monday morning. i decided to try some pepto bismol and dramamine and hoped it could help me survive the night. (that was my first sampling of pepto, disgusting!) i was en route to meet up with the team when the captain called back to let me know they were able to get a replacement for me if i wanted it. i figured the cards had fallen into place, i needed to rest up and feel better.

so here i am, all bummed out, spending the day resting and watching movies on hbo. i've seen a couple of the bourbon chase teams today here at the hotel which makes me feel even more loserific. i guess this is a smidgen of how it feels to train and train for something only to get injured or sick right before the big day. (i say smidgen since it was such a last minute thing.)

i am feeling mostly better now, thankfully. i was able to re-reschedule my appointment with the chiropractor which seems to have cleared up the nausea. i did have some, umm, bathroom emergencies friday night though, which would not have been friendly out on the road with the team. isn't pepto supposed to prevent/stop those sorts of things? needless to say, my mileage is shot for the week with taking three days off. i am just hoping i can get in a solid long run tomorrow. quality over quantity, right?

to whomever my teammates were going to be, i'm sorry to have ditched on you. i really really wanted to run! :(

Thursday, October 8, 2009

oh what have i done

do i know people in kentucky who run? no.

however, i met a guy* at the 5k last weekend who (i assume) asked the race director for my number (from my registration form) and then called me wednesday to see if i could fill his spot in the race. the relay is friday-saturday, as in tomorrow. i've done last minute, random things before, why not the inaugural bourbon chase.

i'm not sure how i'll feel on sunday for my scheduled long run, but really, these kinds of opportunities don't come around often. sorry ol' jack, but i'm trading you in for a one-night stand with kentucky's finest bourbons.

i can't wait to hop in a van full of 6 strangers and drive/run around the boondocks of kentucky all night long. have i mentioned it's supposed to rain all night, with low's in the 40's, and i don't have warm-running gear here?

this is gonna be interesting. see you on sunday, if i survive.

good luck to all the marathoners this weekend!

*sorry ladies. i'm not sure if he's married or not but unless your tastes are similar to anna nicole or whoever's dating hugh hefner these days, i don't think you'd be interested.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

but i have boobs!

[i'm easy. wonder what kind of hits i'll get with this title.]

week in review (9/28 - 10/4):
total miles: 61.00
time spent running: ~ 8 hours 56 minutes
avg hr: 145.71 (too much easy running, perhaps?)
avg pace: 8:42/mile (avg temp: 59.8*)
off days: 0 (sorta... two non-stellar days)

monday through friday, heavy legs. still not sure what's going on with them entirely, but they felt better during saturday's 5k and they weren't as heavy on sunday for an easy 18-miler. i was tired and slower than i would've preferred on sunday's long run, but i think it was probably just from running 15 miles on saturday. i took monday (10/5) off completely so hopefully that put an official end to my concrete legs.

there are just shy of four full weeks left until new york. to close out these last few weeks, i think i'm going to shoot for 60 miles (this week), 55-60 next week, 45-50 (week 1 of taper), and then ~50 the week of the marathon (which includes the 26.2, so not much mileage otherwise).

ohh and i got my start info! if i am interpreting it correctly, it appears i'm in wave 1 - blue start, professional men. i hope they realize i'm not a man. i'm not trying to undergo testing like caster semenya. i know, there are like 14,000 people in each wave and i'm just thrown in with the pro men. if only that meant i would be sardined in with ryan hall!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

keys to success

ahh cement legs. you've been so faithful to me, never leaving my side over the past few weeks. i'm so.... grateful?

i have tried a number of things in hopes of cheering (and lightening) up my legs. ice baths, epsom salt baths, ice packs, extra stretching, very slow easy runs, and even a massage. none of it seems to work.

i've been wanting to run a local race here in ky just because i'm here. so far they've all been on weekends i was gone, but the cards fell into place this weekend. it was a small-town 5k, but i just wanted to run a race for fun anyway. no pressure, no goals. well, i was going to try to make it a threshold workout, but that's slower than my 5k pr so i really wasn't putting pressure on myself. considering my heavy leg syndrome lately, i really wasn't expecting too much.

friday's easy run was s-l-o-w and as usual the legs were being disagreeable. i kept it short and ran 6.40 miles, telling myself i was saving what little i could for a weekend long run. i got back and ate some "green giant immunity blend" vegetables, mac 'n cheese, and ghirardelli cookies. the cookies are a mere 310 calories each, healthy. they seem to be magical though and i suppose i will have to sacrifice eating them before every race.

saturday morning i made the half-hour drive over to the metropolis of georgetown, kentucky. i parked and hit the road for some miles. what do you know, cement legs.

my plan was to run for about an hour, register for the race, jog around to stay loose, run the race, and run some more after. for the pre-race run, i hoped to run 2 miles easy, some miles at threshold pace, and then easy until the race where i wanted to crank it back up to threshold again. the first two miles were dreadfully slow "in town", and then i turned onto a 4-lane highway with a wide shoulder. apparently, this is what my legs prefer to run on.

i didn't get down to threshold pace, but my legs did manage to pick up the pace as soon as i hit the wide shoulder. (legs, what's up? i can't be running on highways everyday here.) i got in 3 miles at/below goal marathon pace and then cruised back to main street to register for the race. although it wasn't threshold, i was glad my legs still knew how to turnover.

i registered for the race and jogged around to stay warm/loose while trying to not look like one of those hardcore people since i definitely do not run at hardcore pace. it was a small race with a few hundred people. i was hoping i could place well and was content knowing a pr was not going to happen. i wanted to get in some threshold miles, try to push some concrete out of my legs and finally cross "run a local race while i'm here" off my list.

the air horn sounded, and we were off. i counted the number of females in front of me but (for once) exercised patience and held back. for probably the first time ever in my life, i did not start a race too fast. a lot of people did go out too fast, and i passed them easily in the first mile. lesson learned, finally!

mile 1 - 7:10, right in the threshold zone, right where i need to be. surprise! it wasn't even uncomfortable. (what the heck legs? you need company in order to run well?)

mile 2 - 7:10, pat on the back for some consistency. i never see this, especially not in a 5k. i almost went crazy thinking about my smart running! don't go out too fast, run your own pace, work the hills. i smiled, waved and said thank you or good morning to the volunteers and police officers. i was feeling good, which also has never happened in a 5k.

mile 3 -6:47, yeah buddy. crank it home. i started picking it up around 2.5 miles. caught up to a guy running in front of me and then beat him.

mile 3.1 - 0:35, (5:47 pace). uhhh. again, another "never". as in, i never see 5's on my watch.

so, this racing smart thing actually works. who would've thought? start out strong and even, maintain pace, push harder, finish feeling good. what a concept! only took me, like, 11 years to catch on.

i met an older woman at the race who just started running in april. this was her 5th race/5k since then, and she placed 2nd in her age group! she was very excited and i couldn't help but be excited for her. placing well at a race just feeds the running fire and i hope she sticks with it.

saturday (10/3) am run: 6.76 miles, 57:46 (avg pace 8:32), avg hr (158), 50*
saturday (10/3) am race: 3.1 miles, 21:36 (avg pace 6:58), avg hr (178), 50*
not sure where i finished overall, but it was good enough for first place female!

what about those planned post-race miles, you ask?

saturday (10/3) am run: 1.00 mile, 8:09, avg hr (154)
after finish the race and getting a quick cup of water, i turned around and headed back out on the course to cheer on the people still finishing. i did a mile loop, ending up at the finish again and well, stopped. still need to work on the post-race mileage, but otherwise a successful morning.

apparently, all it takes is eating super delicious, high-in-calories chocolate chip cookies the night before and getting in a 7-mile warm up in order for me to run well. cookies, quite do-able. seven mile warmup? not so sure... maybe i will be running 33.2 miles in nyc.

thank you, georgetown, ky and your horsey 5k for restoring my running spirit and (hopefully) relieving my legs of their heavy load.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

over the top

earlier this week i received the "over the top" blog award from kelly, and then felt double the love when jess tagged me with it again today! thanks friends :) in order to accept the award, i must play along and then pass it on, so here goes...

answer the following questions with only one-word answers:

1. where is your cell phone? desk
2. your hair? debatable
3. your mother? funny
4. your father? wise
5. your favorite food? chocolate
6. your dream last night? unmemorable
7. your favorite drink? water
8. your dream/goal? ambitious
9. what room are you in? warehouse
10. your hobby? running
11. your fear? failure
12. where do you want to be in 6 years? retired (yeah i know, i just turned 25)
13. where were you last night? hotel
14. something you aren't? decisive
15. muffins? allergic
16. wish list item? beach-house
17. where did you grow up? sc
18. last thing you did? ate
19. what are you wearing? steel-toes
20. your tv? cable-less
21. your pets? none
22. your friends? awesome
23. your life? excellent
24. your mood? tired
25. missing someone? no
26. vehicle? escape
27. something you're not wearing? hardhat
28. your favorite store? grocery
29. your favorite color? green
30. when was the last time you laughed? september
31. last time you cried? september
32. your best friend? j
33. one place that you go over and over? work
34. one person who emails you regularly? coworkers
35. favorite place to eat? carinos

these things always feel like a cheesy myspace survey, but yet i love doing them all the same. i am passing this one along to fellow runners who are currently suffering through enjoying their tapers/marathon redemption recovery. i know i have a hard enough time writing a post on a regular day, let alone while tapering/taking some time off. (so no excuses taper-ers!)

aron of runner's rambles, preparing to run cowtown and clinch a bq.
matt of kitchen of a runner, gearing up for chicago.
carlee of chasing forrest gump, looking forward to hartford.
marlene of mission to (a)nother marathon, recovering from an awesome marathon redemption.
morgan of caution: redhead running, getting ready to chase down matt in chicago.
glenn the running fat guy, winding down for long beach.

running?? oh right... been doing a little of that lately too. nothing exciting. actually, i'm struggling again this week and really starting to wonder/worry about nyc. i'd consider deferring to 2010 but my parents already bought their plane tickets and hotel reservation to come watch. at this rate it looks like it will become a fun run.... sigh.

monday (9/28) - easy 5.3, cut short, my concrete blocks-for-legs were not cooperating so i thought i'd go easy on them. 64* and slightly crispy air, welcome back asthma.
tuesday (9/29) - easy 10.2, legs felt a little better but still heavy. 55*, wore the one t-shirt i packed. i figured i had a couple more weeks of tank-top weather before i needed to bring warmer running clothes. not enjoying the crisp-air-induced-wheezing, but i think the cooling temps made my easy pace feel easier.
wednesday (9/30) - easy 20-minutes and upper body workout. nothing like ending the month with a bang.... or fizzle.
thursday (10/01) - very slow and depressing 5k (distance by chance). lead legs; they're kind of sore but not really. they just don't want to turn over. after an extremely slow, plodding warmup i knew the planned interval workout was not going to happen. combined with an emotional breakdown (or something) i called it quits. i am in a funk! (again!) i swear, i think i'm running-bi-polar.

only one month until nyc... i wonder how well a 4-week taper would go over? can i just start now?