Monday, September 30, 2013

Wineglass Week 10:Taper Week 1

Checking in to let you know I survived week 1 of taper for Wineglass :) It was touch and go there for a while but I made it! No matter how many big races I do, nothing can prep you for what taper brings.

Quick Run-Down
Monday: 47 minutes spinning, 23 minutes elliptical
Tuesday: 6 mile Treadmill progression run
Wednesday: 6.8 miles total (with 8x800m Yassos)
Thursday: 4 Easy miles with my Sister
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 easy miles
Sunday: Rest (AKA Climbing stadium steps and cheering for the Bills)

Total Running Miles: 26.8 miles
Total Cross Training Time: 70 minutes
After my last double digit run, stretching and enjoying the morning
Taking-time-for-myself kind of schedule
(Lauren did a great post this week titled "Work but don't forget to live", definitely something I thought about as I was destressing and taking me time this week)
Monday: Solid 15-20 minutes of stretching before bed
Tuesday: 55 minute massage
Wednesday: Slept in about 30 minutes extra just laying in bed relaxing.
Thursday: Spent time with my sister and nephew
Friday: Mental massage aka Therapy
Saturday: Day & night date with my man
Sunday: Beer. Football and family time! 

This week a big focus for me was taking extra time to give my mind and body some TLC. Stretching, rolling, taking time for myself, watching my intake, all of it. Yes I try and do these things in general but I will be the first to admit I am not normally good about stretching/rolling on a regular basis.

I have had good success with getting a massage about 2 weeks out from the big day, helps loosen things up and release the tension that training (and life) can place on your body. I have also found that a good session with my therapist about a week before makes a big difference as well. Using emotional stress can be a good way to fuel a run/race but going in with a clear head is incredibly important. Being able to push in those last few miles can be much easier when you know exactly where to dig to find the motivation you need.

This week definitely had some ups and downs, with a kick ass track workout that left me feeling more confident- down to some emotional stressful times as well. It happens. 

Now it is officially less than a week until race day. I.E. excessive weather checking, chatting it up with Mcmillan, packing lists, play lists, basically everything you can do obsessively I will be doing that.

Definitely ended the week on a better note, the weekend ended up being just what this girl needed. Saturday morning did my last double digit run, by running out to a race that John was going to be running. I made it in time to run his warm up with him (I obviously left house way earlier as I was running there and he was driving), and was able to be there cheering as he ran a 21 minute 5k [so much for his 2 knee surgeries already this year!]. Being able to be there and cheer for him definitely made me happy. We got to spend the rest of the day and night together as well, some time with his family and then date of us getting lost making our way through a huge corn maze.

Sunday was spent doing the ultimate taper exercise....going to the Buffalo Bills game at Ralph Wilson Stadium- I already have a post written for you on why this is the best way to taper. Be prepared, it's a good one. Basically I spent a lot of time this weekend doing things to distract me, and help me NOT think about running- sometimes that's exactly what you need to do.

Anyone else go to a football game this weekend?

1 week until your big race- what are you obsessively doing?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bear with me....

Yesterday afternoon was my first official I'm-so-pumped-up-and-excited-for-the-marathon round of obnoxious smiling and happy tears....while sitting in the Target parking lot. I'm really a weirdo, accept it. 

Last night was also the first official I'm-racing-a-marathon-in-a-week-I-really-am-questioning-EVERYTHING round of obnoxious short tempered snarks and sobbing session. Lucky this one wasn't quite as public. 

I'm not telling you this to make you feel bad or anything, I'm telling you that I am currently in second D of the stages of grief: taper edition...I'm telling you this because I'm a human being. I feel like we get caught up on OMG-bloggers-are-not-human-they-never-have-a-hard-time and well, I'm letting you know that isn't the case. 

I'm going to make sure I relax and take some time for me, and I'll be good. Hell I'll probably be having another one of those obnoxious smiling fits jamming to "wake me up" by the end of the day. So goes taper people, at least in my little world. I've worked incredibly hard to get to this point, that point where I am actually going into a marathon as a race....not against some BQ time, not against another runner, but against myself and what I know I am capable of. 

I've accepted that it's time to trust my training, and trust myself, trust the taper...

I've also accepted that it's time for a taper snack....yeah I definitely embrace the food part of taper. Wholeheartedly. Pardon me while I go inhale some Starbucks, goldfish, and a lara bar. 

Roller coaster days (not just during taper)...
what's something that you take time to do for yourself?

Thoughts on bloggers being seen as fake because they only share the high points?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last Track Workout & Accepting Taper(sort of)

The fact that I am officially in taper mode really hit me last night as I sat on the track stretching after completing my final set of yassos. I have never tapered the same way twice for the marathons that I have done so far, BUT I can pinpoint the exact moment in each cycle where it really hit me...THIS IS HAPPENING.

As for my final track workout of this training cycle....

8x800m, I thought about 10 (true Yasso's) but knew better. I set my watch to interval workout mode and didn't look at it until I was done.

The first few felt hard, as they usually do....but once I had a few done they started flying by and before I knew it I was onto my last one. I definitely had 2 more in me but I knew it wouldn't be smart. I was incredibly surprised, but happy at my paces for the intervals: it was definitely one of those boosts I needed. Even though my last track workout was different intervals (5x1000m, 4x400m) I definitely felt stronger and saw improvement with this one.

Yesterday was one of those days where all the little things were adding up- one of those days where I knew something was coming. I'm one of those people that pays attention to the little details, and I have learned over the years that those little things mean way more than the big things.

Some of the little things: ordering my marathon race day outfit from Saucony (like you didn't see that coming), talking to Heather about how we are going to put beer in our gear bags so we can  celebrate at the finish line together after we both PR, Chatting with Hollie about random running things, Finding out that my friend Joe is indeed going to help run me in the last few miles keeping me pushing, a few email conversations with some of my favorite inspirational bloggers, the fact that my trucker mouth was on overdrive, NAILING my know those little things. Oh, and Bart Yasso RT me. THAT JUST HAPPENED.

All those little things made me feel like I got smacked in the forehead with a sign that says- relax, it's OFFICIALLY taper time. No more tempo runs, no more track workouts, only 1 more double digit run, this folks is what we call the home stretch.

Now it's time to remind myself over and over....AND OVER that the work is done and I need to take it easy. It's hard to take it easy. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this, Heather just talked about it yesterday. We both are aiming for PR's at Wineglass so as hard as it is, we KNOW what we need to do between now and race day.

I wrote a few posts about my taper emotions before Cleveland Marathon earlier this year, I went back and re-read them last night and found myself laughing. You can read "Lesson's From the Taper" and "Stages of Grief: Taper Edition" if you have nothing else better to do than laugh at the hot mess of things that go through my head while tapering for a marathon.

Officially hung the flats up last night, and they wont be laced up until 10.6.13.

It's time to relax and enjoy the parts about taper that you CAN enjoy (like the eating, sleeping more, general laziness, playlist making, etc.). Accepting the taper is not easy, but accepting defeat after a race you weren't rested enough for is harder. 

Oh and I highly recommend earlier fall marathons like this- because while you are being lazy in bed at night, all the TV shows are having their season premiers. Just throwing that out there. 

What fall TV show premiers are you watching?
(I can't describe my excitement for Scandal, among others)
[Did anyone else watch the series premier of The Blacklist the other night?]

Do you look at the little things for the signs, or does it take something big for you?

Have you ever met a famous runner/athlete?
[I have met Katherine Switzer before which was amazing, but I am really excited to meet Bart Yasso at Wineglass!]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Running Beyond the Lyrics

Something I actually like about tapering (there aren't many things...besides more food), is playlist making. I pretty much have it down to a science, which totally shows my OCD but I really don't care.

I've got one of the widest range of music collections that you will ever see, hell there is even some Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas tunes on there, right before Blue man group, some Skillet, some Demi Lovato, some Shinedown, Halestorm and even some Miley.... okay you get the picture.

Something I really love mixing in to my playlists is worldess/instrumental songs, basically songs with kick ass beats without the words to distract me. Don't get me wrong, I love running to songs I know all the words to- it distracts me from the miles and the soreness and the monotony of one step after another when things get hard. BUT there is something to be said about the trance I have been getting in while listening to sick beats.

Last night I had a good wordless jam session on the treadmill, and thought I would be nice and share some of the power beats I like to jam to with you.

Without further ado, here is a short list of songs that don't have words, that you NEED on your running playlist(some of them may have occasional words but not much).You can thank me later.

1. "Crystalize" by Lindsey Stirling 
[I found this amazing violinist thanks to Pandora, I pretty much love running to her music, this song is one of my favorites though] Also by Lindsey-- "Elements", "Shadows", "Moon trance" and "Spontaneous me".

2. "Apologize" by Hollywood Undead 
[There is a version of this with words, but I like it better without. The beat is sure to up your cadence regardless of how tired you may be]

3. "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" by Trans Siberian Orchestra 
[I know, I know...Christmas music? YES really. Just try it, I promise you won't be sorry]

4. "Rods & Cones" by Blue Man Group 
[I became obsessed with the BMG soundtrack in 2004 after seeing them live in Vegas, I particularly love running to this one because it's got that happy upbeat tempo going]

5. "Braveheart Theme" (Techno Remix) 
[It starts slow, maybe the first 45 seconds- but then the beat just really picks up]

6. "Perfect Outlaws" (From American Outlaws)
 [John suggested this one, definitely good one for movie buffs, I mean it's definitely got that "home stretch" kind of feel]

7. "Tapestry" by Intervals
 [I mean, you really can't run to this and not speed up. "Momento" is another good one by Intervals.]

Do you run with music?

Do you ever run with instrumental or only with lyrics?

What is YOUR must have song on your running playlist?
(So I can totally add it to my Wineglass playlist!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wineglass week 9, training with a life.

Quick Run-Down

Monday: Rest
Wednesday: 31 minutes Elliptical, 15 minutes Core/strength training
Thursday: 6.2 easy miles
Friday: 30 minutes Elliptical
Saturday: 6.2 mile Treadmill run
Sunday: 18 mile long run

Total Running Miles: 52 miles
Total Cross training time: 76 minutes

So I put on my big girl panties, pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got my ass into gear this week. Mentally I was really trying not to let last week get me down, I don't have time to struggle with that kind of thing right now. I have time to move forward, visualize race day, and get my rear through the next 2 weeks until the big day.

I actually felt like I had a life outside of work and training this weekend.  Friday night we went to The Fringe Festival, where I saw a bandaloop show and found what I want to do if I decide to change careers. Dancing on the side of buildings, hell yes (obviously heights don't bother me).  We also went to see Cirque du Fringe in the Speigeltent which was really cool- there was a little Russian girl who did things with hoola hoops that put me into a trance. I also really liked the fact that we all dressed up to go, nice to be a little more girly for a night.

Saturday I got to have some girl time with my mom and my sister while shopping and going to lunch. This also meant holding my nephew the entire time, definitely a good way to spend a rainy Saturday morning :) After that I got in a decent treadmill progression run and then had dinner and movie date night. Again- it's almost like I have a life, WOW! :)
I got to spend Saturday morning with this little peanut, which obviously made me super happy.
I was not sure how this week was going to go with 2 long runs, but I actually think it really helped me. Mentally it was a boost, and physically my body is starting to feel closer to normal. Oddly enough, after one of my highest mileage running weeks of the year I feel better today than I have in weeks. 

Re-hydrating and caffinating after yesterdays 18 miles
I stuck true to my word and did not run the Rochester Half marathon yesterday, as much as I wanted to. I still went (I did my long run while the race was going on so I could still watch people and cheer), and it was hard, like really hard. I run these streets every day, and racing on them would make for a great PR. But I am focused, I am driven, and I want my marathon PR in 2 weeks. As hard as it was to sit on the sidelines for this race, it was also amazing because it fired me up and got me excited for Wineglass. My excitement level has been, well....lacking. Between being sick and other things going on- this was a much needed boost and motivation enhancer for me. I was able to warm-up with John and a friend, cheer on some awesome people during the race, and even run in with a friend during the half.

This coming week- well there will still be some workouts, but nothing over the top. Nothing you do in the 2 weeks prior to any race is really going to help you- but going too hard or far CAN hurt you. I'm looking  forward to doing intervals one night this week, another mental boost for sure. Other than that, still working on getting my breathing back to normal from being sick, and just trying to get through the next 2 weeks.

Have you ever found it hard to spectate a race (mentally)?

Got any carb-rich recipes I need to try?
If they include sweets you get extra points.

Do you have family time you plan for i.e. "Girl days"? 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Article Reaction "The Slowest Generation"

Secret: sometimes I have no clue what I want to write about on a particular day (and other days I have 50 posts in mind). There have been a few occasions I have waited until I read the WSJ at work to see if there was anything interesting to chat about. I used it with an article about waving, and an article about celebs running.

The article titled "The Slowest Generation" (WSJ writer Kevin Helliker) certainly caught my eye while sipping my morning brew at the office.

Helliker talks about how placing in his age group doesn't carry the same weight as it used to, and that is mainly because younger runners are competing nowhere near the level baby boomers did when they were 20-30 years old. Times that win races and age groups these days are certainly different from 30 years ago, there is no denying that. But I feel like we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. If I beat someone who is older than me, it's thought that I ONLY beat them because I am younger. But if someone older than me beats me, I am thought to be lazy and slow, in turn making our generation look bad.

"Many new runners come from a mind-set where everyone gets a medal and its good enough just to finish" - This quote definitely stuck a chord with me, because sadly it's true. If you didn't come from a competitive background before doing road races, you wouldn't have had the same experiences with running. It was odd to me when I started running road races to get medals for finishing. I have quite a bit of hardware from my high school and college days and you can bet I didn't get those just from finishing. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my half-marathon/marathon finisher medals and it makes me happy getting them- but giving them to everyone does change the premise of what that medal really means. 

One thing I have seen at a few races (I particularly remember this when I did Around the Bay) is that depending on your finish time you get a different color medal. This gives people something to work for, no matter what your level of fitness- you have a goal to attain and if you want a different color medal you are going to have to earn it. 

"Perhaps the fastest growing endurance event in the country, the Color Run, doesn't time participants or post results". 

1. Helliker--The Color Run is NOT an endurance event- I dare you to tell Kara, Shalene or Meb that what they do is on the same level as a Color Run.  

2. It's not a race if there isn't a clock. If you want to give people a reason to train and work harder, time them. I guarantee if you start timing things and posting them, you'll see a lot less people walking through the finish line. 

3.While yes these have brought more people into the running scene, Color Runs and obstacle races should NOT be associated with road races- they are on 2 completely different levels

4. YES there is a place for these EVENTS, I think they are great at trying to get people active. I think it's good to incorporate FUN into running and training, but over emphasis on that is exactly why our country has seen a decline in the competitive field. 

5. Maybe if companies like Competitor group would stop treating runners like they're just another Joe schmoe from off the street than the competition level would go up. You want people to train hard, race hard and start breaking records- don't take away their endorsements just because they aren't an NFL linebacker (and you know I love football, for real). 

I'd be lying if I said this article didn't leave me fired up. 
I have always been a competitive person, no doubt about that. I thrive on it, it's one of the many reasons I love racing- some get sick thinking about the start line and I get excited. I'm fired up because I love to race, I love to push myself I love to see how far I can go. Those of us who have worked incredibly hard to get where we are (in life and in running) are being thought of as "parade goers" instead of the feisty driven people we really are.

 I know that sports and athletics are not the be all end all for everyone, I know that running and fitness are just a tool for health for some and I appreciate that. But this is about so much more than just athletics, where is the drive in general where are those youngsters that are hungry for success in any element?

I don't want to knock people who are trying to lose weight, those who do color runs or other fun runs as motivation to get moving. I commend you on trying to make healthier choices. But where's your drive, where is the push to get better? Pick a race and try and better your time each time you do it, pick a gym that is hosting a biggest loser type competition. 
Push your limits and let the power of competition make you better. 


Un-timed races (read: events) are doing no one any favors. You aren't holding people accountable, and you aren't encouraging competition.

You don't want a race to be a parade? then give them something to work for, make them earn that medal. 

You want the younger generation to be more competitive? Then stop babying them, stop coddling children and teens all the time- make them put effort in at school and athletics or whatever they are doing. Stop giving kids everything and start making them work for it. 

So you want to hold a competitive race? Give them a reason to come. Yes Competitor Group I am talking to you. Hell, my favorite 5k (Bergen Road Race) has competition because they MAKE it competitive, they MAKE people want to RACE. Competitor Group pulling elite support, has actually taken away from the competitive running scene. 

I really don't mind Color Runs or Obstacle Races(I'd be hard pressed to do another one though)- they get people moving, they are trying to help our country's weight problem and they allow people to be active and have fun. Some of those people might find they want to be more competitive after doing a fun run and they find their way to road racing, more power to them. 

The fact is, Helliker is bashing our generation-
"Of course their are countless super-elite young athletes. And only because the young have no need to prove they're not old was I able to outrace so many of them last month. Still, apathetic competition offers little competition to some aging athletes"
I only hope that people of our generation read this article and get fired up like me. Take it as a challenge to get better, to get faster and work harder. I do NOT want to be thought of as the generation of people who are content and who run in 'parades' and not races. This is not just about running, it's about life- do we want to be seen as the generation that just sits back?

What about you, are you a competitive person?

Thoughts on how "masters" athletes are thought to be better than our generation? If we beat them, it's because we're younger and if they beat us it's because our generation is not competitive. We can't win.

What do YOU do to push yourself?

P.S. Kevin Helliker of the Wall Street Journal, if you're reading this- I challenge you to a race, and then a sit down chat. Battle of the minds- I don't think you'd walk away saying there is no competition in my generation.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Finding my way back: With a long run

First of all happy hump day everyone, ever since I started ONLY working Monday-Friday I really appreciate the whole "half-way" through the week thing much more.

Today is a little different, I'm not used to recovering from a long run mid-week, but I guess 22 on a Tuesday will do that to you. If you are new to my little corner of the world- NO I don't normally run 22 miles mid week but being sick last week forced me to rearrange my training for this week.

I know some might question why I didn't just ditch the run, or push it to this coming weekend. But neither of those were good options considering I am less than 3 weeks out from my goal marathon at this point. This 22 mile run was key for me, I was not born a natural endurance or distance runner so my long runs are incredibly important for me and my training both mentally and physically.

Okay, so prepping for a 22 miler can be interesting enough but I was thrown off trying to prepare for one knowing I was going to work all day.
You mean this isn't what you wear before your long runs?
I came in a little early, with my Starbucks as usual (although I made it a triple shot day, I mean come's going to be a long one) but made sure to fill my water bottle up ASAP so I could work on that all day too. Brought plenty of food/snacks for the day to make sure I fueled up enough.

I mapped a route while I ate my lunch, and apparently was NOT paying attention. It was not the smartest route, but sure why not have a whole bunch of hills in the first half. This bit me in the ass later, I actually would have been better off running hills the entire time.

Finally around 3, I got the green light to head out. Quickly changed, got my sneakers on and headed outside. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing the weather was. 63 and sunny with a little breeze-couldn't have had more perfect weather for a long run.

I set out along Route 65, it was actually pretty busy but there is a good enough shoulder for most of the time. I found myself huffing a puffing a little pretty quick, residual crap in my lungs from being sick- just what I wanted to feel less than 2 miles into my long run, but I pressed on. I was in a good mood, enjoying the views and feeling pretty good besides the altered breathing. I knew I was starting too fast, and tried to reign it in and just take it easy.  I actually hit a lot of the hills from my last 10k, as I ran through Mendon Ponds Park. After leaving the park I got back onto another main road but it was far less crowded with cars, but the hills remained the same. I was still feeling pretty good, my legs actually didn't seem to mind the rolling hills and liked being able to use different muscles. My confidence was building as I was imagining things for race day.
 (8:06, 8:00, 7:50, 7:53, 7:46, 8:01, 7:57, 7:53, 8:01, 7:51, 7:59, 7:56)

Around 13 I started feeling drained. I was realizing the effects of last week, and I was letting it get me down. I was actually dreading getting onto the flat canal path, I knew it was going to be harder on my legs after starting faster, and starting on the hills. Mentally I lost it at this point, I'm not proud of it but I was throwing myself a pretty big pity party in my head.
(8:06, 8:06, 8:07, 8:02)

View on the canal path, during a quick stretch break trying to shut my legs up.

The last few miles I just did everything I could NOT to give up.  I was throwing little tantrums in my head, and my body was starting to get cranky. Then I realized how hungry I was, and that gels were NOT going to satisfy that right now. Finally I made my way back to the office and my watch said 21.75, normally my OCD would kick in and I would run circles around the parking lot until I hit 22, but I called it good enough and sat on the curb by my car. 
(7:50, 7:48, 7:50, 7:52, 7:44, ~7:53)
And the #proof photo (Just for you Hollie! :) )
I played roadkill on the sidewalk for a while, then proceeded to pick up Panera on the way home. I've been trying to eat out less right now, but after working all day and running for 3 hours- I didn't have any desire to cook. So I went home, took a long shower and then sat in bed with compression gear, Panera and some Netflix while I waited for John to get home.

Some Good Things
I got the miles in (okay, minus .25).

I do feel better going into Wineglass getting this last super long run in.

This is my fastest paced 20+ run ever, and on probably the hardest of the routes I have done.

Some Bad Things
I really need to get my breathing back to normal, it was uncomfortable and annoying.

I'm definitely lacking some physicality(maybe not the word I want?) after last week, hopefully some more runs and some cross training this week will help.

While I do feel better about Wineglass, I don't feel overly confident. I wish I could say this run was the "oomph" I needed but it wasn't. 

I need to get my mind back where it the 3:XX or bust (haha you thought I was going to tell you my A goal) mode. I need to find that drive and determination that I seem to have misplaced. 

I NEED to go cheer people on at Rochester Half/Full marathon this weekend. I need to feel that desire to RACE, I honestly need to feel that pain of standing on the sidelines. I need to feel that because it will get me so revved up heading into taper. 

I do have another long run this weekend, about 2 hours or so, and I'm hoping that one gives me the boost I need. I don't want to waste my "good run" on a non-race day, but I also need to have one of those confidence boosting runs heading into a hard 2 weeks of taper.

I'm proud of myself for getting this run done, I could have dropped it all together but I didn't because I knew I needed it (even if it felt less than stellar). 

So yes this was a good run, not a great one- but I am happy with the pace, happy I managed to do it- and hopeful that I can get back to feeling like myself over the next 2.5 weeks.

Have you ever done a mid-week long run?

Ever lost your "oomph" while in the final weeks before a race?
If so, what did you do to get it back?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Teacup Training:

I refuse to call this past week Wineglass marathon training- because..well...there wasn't training. So we will call it teacup training because I pretty much drank tea and laid in bed all week.

I mentioned Friday that I have been struggling with illness all week. It was definitely frustrating and I know I will have some residual effects to deal with but I will get through it.

Please let this serve as a reminder to take care of yourselves, it's definitely that time of year and I know I am not the only one out there training for a big race. Be proactive and try and help save yourself the time, hassle and frustration of being sidelined with illness. You know all those things you have been told as a kid, wash your hands, get your vitamin C, don't play with sick kids.. all that jazz. They may not be 100%, but any little bit helps.

I'll show you my 40 mile couple miles less than planned week....

Friday: 4 miles easy
Sunday: 11.6 miles total, 35 minutes pilates

Total Running Miles: 15.6 miles
Total Cross Training Time: 35 Minutes

Yes, I did run on Friday, after having sub-100 temp in the morning and afternoon....4 easy miles was something I mentally needed more than anything. My fever did spike again that night, but a double dose of NyQuil sure helped take care of that.

Saturday I opted to sleep in for a while before packing and heading on the road. We went to Buffalo first to pick up our friend Mark, and then the 5 of us (John, his twin brother and his girlfriend, and Mark) set off for Erie, PA. I wasn't feeling fabulous all day, but it was definitely better than the rest of the week.

We may have played on the playground for a while at packet pickup.
Nothing like 5 adults running around on the jungle gym and swings :)

 After packet pickup and some other shenanagins throughout the day we settled into our Bed & Breakfast we were staying at.  I took another round of NyQuil Satuday night because I knew I needed some more solid sleep and a little more cold medicine working in my favor. Apparently I had a heavy pour because in the morning I was told these stories of all the funny things I was saying while sleeping. Sweet, I'm sure I have said funny things all week now and John just won't tell me. Oh well.
View from the B&B we stayed at

Sunday was the Erie Marathon. John's brother was running this as his 4th marathon and a PR attempt (which he did get), and Mark was running it was a training run for a 50 mile race he will be running next month. We spent the morning cheering, running, making chalk signs and having a great time at the race. Just like going to IM Cuse a few weeks before Musselman gave me inspirational boost, this race is doing the same for Wineglass for me.

I did run, technically twice while we were there. I ran 7 with John which was definitely a good thing to be able to do. I ran a little less than 2 solo while running back on course trying to find Mark, and then ran the last 2.5+ of his "race/training run" with him.

I believe whatever was causing my body to be over dramatic (come one, 100+ for 5 days just screams drama queen), is finally gone. I haven't been over 100 since Friday night, thank goodness for that. I'm definitely still kicking the thing, breathing is altered and definitely don't have my normal energy but I am on the upswing.

Where do I go from here?
Well I have been talking to a few different people, as well as consulting a few of my books. What I see as being my best option is to push back some of my runs a few days. So that 22 miler that was supposed to happen yesterday (Sunday), is now going to be happening Tuesday (Yeah, this ought to be an interesting long run after work). I pulled out some of the fluff runs next week and kind of scrunched in a few things. Next week (2 weeks out) I will resume my originally scheduled taper plan, so this week is really the only one altered.

In the spirit of full disclosure, yes I am concerned. Yes I know I am a strong runner and I know that a week shouldn't change much. But I also know how my body feels. It's not telling me anything or whispering anything to me- I just know that my breathing is still altered from being sick, my body is all sorts of tied up after laying around in bed for a week, and that I missed some key workouts. With all that, I know that I have some ground to cover this week, you bet I am going to do what I can- as for it being enough, we will see. This is my last real week of training before a 2 week taper. Nothing I do after this week will really help me on race day anyways, so this is the time to make it count. No I can't make up the 40+ miles I was short last week,  BUT  I can put what I do have into making this a kick ass week.

I am a runner, I am an athlete and I have overcome MUCH more than a damn week long feverfest. At this point I either have it or I don't. I have lofty goals and I know its going to take work to get there. I'm not expecting October 6th to be sunshine, daisies and puppies- it's going to be grueling. I'm going to have to push myself further than I ever have, I am going to hurt, I am going to want to stop, I am going to want to cry (either good or bad or both), BUT I won't spend those 3+ hours dwelling on this craptastic week. I will think about all those amazing runs I had that built my confidence and my endurance. I will think about those PR's I have broken on this journey to hopefully a marathon PR. I will think about the awesome support I have in my life.

Do you talk in your sleep? Any funny stories?

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ups and Downs- Finding the perks in it all.

Life and training in general can be a roller coaster. This past few days alone have had some significant highs and lows. From a 10k PR, Boston Registration high....all the way down to a fever of 100+ for 5 days. But let's focus on the good things of those lows, don't want to be a Debbie-Downer after all!

1. I have been super productive this week: by making all $12 (or whatever it is) I spend on Netflix each month worth it. Scandal, Burn notice, Titanic, Safe Haven, and I don't even know what else. But I have been a productive movie watcher. 

2. I was always concerned my side of the bed wasn't broken in as much as my fiances, I'm pretty sure we are all caught up now....In bed by 4:30 each day will help with that.

3. I was worried that the store wasn't selling enough NyQuil, I didn't want them to go out of business, so I have been stocking up to help boost their sales.

4. I'm in desperate need of a new pair of running shoes right now, but you don't need them if you can't run. So this sickness has just been buying me time, very thoughtful.

5. It's been pretty hot here all week, but with a fever can come the chills, so John didn't need to worry about pushing the covers off himself at night because I was wrapped up in ALL of them like a burrito and not sharing(meanwhile it was 90 outside). I was just trying to be nice and make it so he didn't have to exert energy kicking off covers. I know, I know, he owes me!

6. We saved on our gas bill this week, because anytime you wanted to cook something you could just fry an egg on my forehead. This is my new way of saving money on bills. 

7. I'm going to have a ton of new friends soon!!! All of the NyQuil shooters I have been doing EVERY night might be enough to get me into AA, they have coffee there at least right?

8. While I haven't been running or working out, at least this sickness has my body so sore that I physically feel like I have been running a marathon every day. So at least I feel like I have been running, that's something right?

Okay, being straight with you. Yes I'm cranky, yes I am tired, yes I am beyond frustrated. Getting THIS sick with a little over 3 weeks until Wineglass, seriously has me on edge. This was supposed to be a solid week...Yassos, aerobic runs, 22 miler..and right now it's Friday and my mileage is at a big old 0.

Am I concerned this is going to affect Wineglass? Yes. But the thing is that I can't change this. I have been doing everything I can all week trying to get better. My body is run down and obviously needed the time. You don't have a 100+ fever for 5 days just because.  Maybe I've been pushing myself too hard, maybe my already weak immune system is just shot, I don't know what it is but I've got to have time to get better.

The first few days I was handling it pretty well, but now I'm downright emotional. I don't know if it's just because I'm sick, 5 days without exercise endorphins or what, but I've kind of been a mess.

I just have to keep telling myself....

Today was the first day my fever dipped back below 100. If I can muster up some energy I might try and run a few easy miles later. Shake out the legs, get the mind working, and see how much this thing has taken out of me.

I don't know what this weekend holds, we are going to Erie for the weekend to watch my B.I.L. run the marathon. Maybe I'll get my long run in and maybe I won't. Pace is out the window but I'd like to get some miles in. I am going to have to figure out my schedule for the next few weeks to see the best way to get back on track.

Tips for getting back on track after being sick?

Tell me some good things going on in your life- let's try and focus on the positive!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


On my journey to get a BQ, all I could focus on was the time. 
The time I needed to run to even qualify to apply for registration into The Boston Marathon.

The overwhelming emotions I had that day I ran a 16 minute PR and earned my first BQ(Marshall University Marathon 11/11/12)--It was nothing short of incredible. I wondered what, if anything could come close to that feeling. 

Today it became much more real.

On the journey to get "that time" I forgot about the fact that the journey didn't end there. 

There was still this day, where my 14 minute buffer allowed me to register on day 3. 

There is still race day, running through the streets of Boston and experiencing the magic of Boylston street. 

It seems fitting to register for Boston on the anniversary of 9/11/01. Just as we didn't back down then, we won't back down after the events in Boston this year. I know that both are 2 very different events, and nothing can compare to the tragedy of 9/11 but what I am saying is both events brought out the patriotism, strength and pride. 
There is no end to the pride I feel today, to be running the 2014 Boston Marathon.

I feel like the journey is just starting, and I have never been more excited. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pound the Ground 10k Recap

This was a weird race for me- I had a very specific goal.

My PR is from 2.5 years ago... when I ran a 10k right after a 5k and still managed to PR.

10ks are hard races to come by, they used to be the most popular race distance many years ago but I'm pretty sure 5k took that title(seeing as you can find a 5k pretty much anywhere, any time of year on any given weekend)

I chose this race not because it's small, not because of where it is, I chose it because I needed a 10k and it happened to fit into my schedule. I wanted a PR and I needed a PR and a sub-42. The reasoning behind all of this will come in time. I knew it would be a little more difficult doing this 6 days after a hard half marathon, but I had to take the chance.

It was a small race(less than 100 people), on a hilly course, so I knew I was going to have to do the work. There would be no pancake flat course to help me out, there would be no super-fast field to push me. I was left with no choice but to do this all on my own. Honestly, I was concerned but knew if I pushed I could do it.

John and I got to the race early, he had planned a trail run with a friend while I was racing, but started early enough so he could be at the finish. I did my warm-up and my legs didn't feel great. My feet were sore, but looking back I really think it's because my current shoes are seriously over their limit. I need to order new ones and have been dragging my feet about it. 
The moment I put my flats on my feet felt instantly better.

Standing at the start line I was actually at ease. We were all joking around, and I started to feel a little more confident. Before I knew it, it was time to go.

I started too fast off the bat, after about half mile reigned it in but it was still faster than it should have been. I settled into my 2nd place overall (1st female) very quickly although there was a guy holding on near me.

#$%^ Yep that's about what I could say with that. I was cursing myself for starting too fast but forced myself to calm down. There was still plenty of race left. At this point I lost the guy who was holding on to me, he fell back as the male lead pulled forward. Cue running in no-mans-land.

I couldn't see the male leader anymore due to turns in the road, so I just told myself to hold this pace and stay steady.

Finally getting into a groove, and also jamming to some power songs on my iPod. 

This mile I got to see the most people out of the entire race. We turn off onto a side road (water stop on corner) and only go down about a half mile then turn around and come back....on my way back I finally saw some people coming towards me, got a few high fives and cheers from other runners.

After making the turn back onto the main road I tried hitting it a little harder, but this section of the course is deceiving. It's rolling hills that don't look too bad but were definitely enough that I was fighting it. I just kept telling myself to keep going, John was waiting.

John and his friend were standing at the top of the road before the last turn down into the finish. I cruised down the hill and tried not to fall (it's all gravel, makes it hard not to lose your balance).

(6:39 pace)

After the race, I talked to the guy who won for a bit as well as some other runners. Then just hung around with John and our friend while waiting for awards. Something nice about small races- no fighting over bananas (I ate like 5), lots of space to relax and stretch out.

There was a few "snaffoos" with the race timing system, many people were listed under wrong race (there was a 5k and a 10k). I was listed under the 5k, so I had to sit there for a while waiting for them to change it (along with others)... it was a little frustrating (they questioned whether I won) but in the end it all worked out.

I ended up (basically where I started) taking 1st female and 2nd overall. The time was my goal and I hit it and that made me really happy, but adding placing in was just icing on the cake. After I got my award one of the vets came up to me and said you should have "chicked" ALL of the guys. I laughed and told him I had to let at least one guy beat me joking around. 

I love my trophy, something way different than the other awards that I have.
Definitely one of my favorites.

My previous PR was 43:03 (from 2011) so I was happy to put that to rest, and meet my goal of sub 42. Basically I have no idea how to pace a 10k, seeing as my splits were all over the place but I will work on it. This race left me excited for some future races when I am more focused on speed.

What is your favorite award you have won at a race?

Does your area have a lot of 10ks?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wineglass: 4 weeks out

Quick Run-Down
Monday: 90 minutes spinning, 25 minutes core/stretching, 20 minutes elliptical
Tuesday: 12.4 mile easy run with Hollie
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 8.11 mile easy run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 1.64 mile warm-up, 6.2 mile race
Sunday: 17.27 mile run with Laura

Total Miles Running: 45.6
Total Cross Training Time: 135 minutes

This week was just....a blur. After RNR 13.1 it was nice to cross train at the gym on Monday, and even better doing long easy shake out with Hollie on Tuesday before flying out. Wednesday was a busy day being the first day back at work after vacation as well as my birthday. I ended up taking an unplanned rest day, normally I am all about "Birthday run" but decided "birthday relaxation and family time" was much better idea.
My sister (left) and I at my birthday dinner, I'm pretty sure my nephew is getting cuter daily.
Thursday's run was nice easy miles, but took me longer to warm-up than I would have expected after a rest day- I will chalk that up to delayed race and travel soreness. Friday was another busy one, and decided to take a second rest day even though I just had one Wednesday.  We will call that a smart play for me, I have had a lot going on and been pushing my legs- I need to be smart with a month to go to Wineglass.

Saturday morning I had a 10k race, I went in with VERY specific goals and luckily hit them. My legs didn't feel fabulous but they did what I needed them to do. Recap to follow this week- maybe a little more on specific goals as well.

Sunday's long run was an early morning run with Laura. She is another local runner, and it was our first run together- it definitely helped get my butt out of bed early Sunday morning knowing I had someone waiting for me. The run didn't feel great physically (I couldn't even choke down 1 whole gel), but I got the miles in and we held a good pace so we will leave it at that. I owe this one to Laura for keeping me going.
Ice bath after long run, first time all year I had to actually bundle up to do it at the air temp was about same as water temp.
Thoughts 4 weeks out from the race:
My legs have been holding up well, with mileage, paces, races and even with me being a super slacker on stretching. BUT I don't think I want to test my limits and see if I can keep this up for another 4 weeks and still have the race time that I want.

What does that mean? It mean's I need to be smarter the next 4 weeks. I need to stretch more, and I also need to fine tune my diet.

As for the smarter with training: On my easy runs if I don't think I can hit an easier pace, I will force myself to the treadmill to slow my ass down. I also need to stretch way more, foam roll, and focus on giving my legs better recovery.

Unfortunately this also means I am considering dropping the Rochester Half Marathon from my race schedule. As much as I love this race and it's my home city and all- I don't know if I have enough self control to NOT race it. After coming within 13 seconds of my half-marathon PR last week, I am itching to get after it....but 2 weeks before my goal marathon is not the time to do that. As much as I can say "I will run it at marathon pace", I know that it would be VERY hard for me. It's too easy to get caught up in the adrenaline and excitement of racing. I won't make any decisions until the week of the race, but one way or another I will be at the race (cheering or running).

I also need to get my nutrition on track- between vacation, traveling, eating on the go a lot, MULTIPLE birthday celebration dinners this week- I haven't exactly been watching my intake. No I don't need to diet, no I'm not giving up "treats", I just need to get back into my normal routine.

Do you end up having multiple birthday celebrations?

Are you controlled enough to "not race" a race?

To Run Rochester half or not?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

RNR Virginia Beach Half-Marathon

This was one of those races that I REALLY didn't know how it was going to go until  it was actually race time. I knew I would be capable of a PR (if I could handle the heat, and my legs were feeling good), but I also knew it would be completely possible to just have a rough race with the conditions.

I ran 10.45 miles with Hollie at an 8:35 pace on Saturday. It took a full hour before my legs felt somewhat normal. I didn't know if it was keeping pace with the sluggish feeling from the rest of the week, or from sitting on a plane and in airports all day prior. Either way, the run didn't leave me feeling any better for Sunday.

Saturday we hit the expo, and then did a grandma style early dinner (which I actually prefer the night before races) , then hit the mall for a bit, and got large bowls of ice cream. Yeah not exactly the traditional  "pre-race style", but that's how we roll.

Sunday morning we were up bright and early, shuffled around the house in my sweats for a little bit then made a PB&J and got myself ready. I have found that getting up early and eating PB&J works really well for me on race day.

We made our way to the start, waited a while for porto-potties---then made our way to gear check and eventually the start line. While walking to the start the announcer was getting everyone revved up for the hand cycles to start and I looked at Heather and told her I was starting to get excited. If there is something I can always count on- its the adrenaline of the start line to really get me going. I have said a million times... I LOVE the start line. I get pumped very easily but I tried to keep it tame... I still had no idea what I was capable of. I haven't actually raced a half since last fall. The 2 halves I have done this year weren't exactly optimal conditions(Flower city half the day after the duathlon, and the other was the half at end of Musselman). Not that this 75+ with 95% humidity is optimal but you get where I'm going with this, this was the first attempt at racing one all year.

I was insta-sweating, but tried not to think about it too much. This was exactly how Cleveland started this year, humidity was high, but almost felt a manageable at start and quickly escalated. I rolled through the first few miles at a little over 7 each.

 Note this is also the first half I have run without GPS, so it was an adjustment for me. I had a basic watch on, and their were clocks at mile markers so I had a decent gauge of how I was doing.

I told myself to just keep trying to run multiples of 7's as long as I could. Around mile 4, I somehow found my stride getting quicker and I just mentally was getting amped up even more. I found my splits going faster, and decided to try for a PR. I wanted to maintain steady pace and not kill myself right away which require self control, but paid off. Around miles 7-9 I was really feeling the heat as there was no shade on the military base. Mile 8-9 in particular I felt tired and my calves were whispering mean and dirty things sweet nothings to me.

 I kept waiting for the turn that would take us back on main drag. Finally it came. and then I had something that happened that made me VERY nervous. I got the chills. Folks, you don't get the chills when it's that hot...unless you are pretty dehydrated. I saw people being pulled off the course left and right by medics and probably would not have reacted well if someone tried. So I spent the last few miles bobbing and weaving avoiding the medical tents from seeing me. I took some water at a stop and pushed forward. At this point I wasn't really paying attention to my watch but knew I was going to be very close to a PR, I just didn't know how close. Around mile 11 (?) you go back over the bridge (the only 'hill' in the course), I saw a few girls in my range and pushed up the bridge to pass them... I pushed a little much and got to the top and felt very nauseous and wanted to throw up.... luckily it passed when I started going down the other side of the bridge.

 The rest of the race was kind of a blur for me. I remember there were more spectators... and I remember stepping onto the concrete of the boardwalk, hating it, being able to see the finish but feeling like it was so far away. I didn't have the kick I would have liked. and part of me wished I looked at my watch and saw how close I was. I crossed finish in 1:30:55, my PR is 1:30:42.... 13 measly seconds.

After the race I pretty much made way way through the food area, downed a bunch of water, Gatorade, got my picture taken, grabbed my gear bag and headed to the beach for family meet up areas to wait for everyone.

This is pretty much what I looked like. Tush in the sand, downing fluids and goldfish and not moving.

Post-race was fun, relaxing and enjoying the beach- hanging out with awesome people, and cooling off with an ocean dip. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning/afternoon on vacation if you ask me.
I'm not sure if I was so happy to be done, or in the ocean, or both.
Kristy, myself, Hollie & Heather
Thoughts on the race:
* I'm proud of the race that I ran, I played it smart and started more conservative leaving me with a little more energy to play with as the race went on (and the temperature went up).

*I didn't have the kick I normally do- maybe I just didn't have it in me, maybe it was the concrete boardwalk, maybe it was the heat....either way, not as strong as I would like- something I want to get back to working on.

* Am I sad/mad that I didn't PR? Absolutely NOT. I ran a strong race, and didn't go into it with the intention to PR. Of course I would have been ecstatic if I did PR, but I certainly won't beat myself up over this race.

*This was my first Rock N' Roll Race. Do I think it was worth the extra money to do such a big branded race? Maybe. The course was fair, the miles were marked, there were adequate water and aid stations, I really don't have any complaints about the race itself. As for the bands on the course, I guess it was a nice distraction but I ran with my own music so it wasn't that big of a deal for me. Overall it was a well run race, and a fun atmosphere, can't ask for much more than that.

*Spending the weekend with great friends laughing and enjoying each others company was the best part. I could have gone down there and not raced but still got the time with them and been just as happy, but yes I am glad I ran. I absolutely can't wait until November when Hollie, Heather and I will be together again for another Epic reunion! I also get to see Kristy again in a few weeks when she comes to Rochester so that will be fun too!

Have you ever run a RNR race?

Last time you surprised yourself in a run/race?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...