Sunday, May 27, 2012

10k PR.....6 days after a Marathon PR

 Last Sunday I ran a PR in the Colorado Colfax Marathon.  On Saturday I ran a 10k and got  a PR.  Last year at this time, the furthest I had ever run was a 10k and I ran the same race in 55:10.  Yesterday I went 46:16.....a 9-minute improvement in a year of training.  It's a very empowering thing to look back at the roads I have run to get to this point.  The race was in Berg Park....where I often trained for this last marathon.  I had bad days there and good days.  I had hard runs and easy runs.  I cried and I laughed there.  Racing there was fun since I knew the terrain so well and knew exactly how far I had left to run, where the shade was, and where every little hill or turn was.  I managed 11th place overall, and I was the 2nd woman.  My husband was 3rd place overall with a 41:56.  We are planning on trying to find a few more 10ks to run throughout the year since I feel like finding my pace was a little tricky.  

My parents did the 2 mile walk. My sister and 2 of my nephews (age 12 and 8) did the 5k.  Here's a photo from the race:
I'm the one in bright yellow on the right behind the kiddo in orange.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Colfax Marathon RR - Boston Baby!

I started running in April 2011.  I ran my first marathon in November 2011.  Rimrock Marathon near Grand Junction, CO.  Finish time: 3:40:29

Ran the Moab Half Marathon in March 2012 (did not do nearly as well as I wanted to) 1:45


My husband, and little brother were also signed up for the marathon (we did our first one together back in November too).

Got to Denver late Friday night.  Went to the expo on Saturday and picked up this:
Got a little overwhelmed and actually cried a little while shopping for gear....not cause I was sad, or scared, or worried....just cause I didn't know what else to do.  I put alot of pressure on myself when I set goals.....I really wanted to be 3:30.  (the new Boston is 3:35).  I think since I had run 26.2 before, my body was reminding me how good it does NOT feel at mile 24 and that I needed to be mentally ready to endure (which I can proudly say I did).

Up at 4:00am at the hotel.  Throw on clothes and put Sentry (my fawn Doberman running buddy to bed next to my mom).  I give him a big love and lots of pets and thanked him for all the help training.  I know he didn't understand as his head sank into my hand from being so tired but I know that he helped me through a lot of really long runs and cold runs.  I tear up a little.  It's time to go.  We head to little brother's apartment (conveniently located 1 mile from the starting line).  He had breakfast waiting.  We chow down, nerves are setting in.  We all hit the bathroom and then jog to the park. Start time in 15 minutes.

The first mile and a half was crazy with all the Half-Marathoners. I was working to take it easy (my goal pace was 8:00 and I wanted my first mile to be 8:15-8:30). Garmin says 8:14...close enough.  As we split to the right and the Halfers went left, all I could think was that we were separating the men from the children (I know that running a Half is not all much easier than running a Full but I needed to be empowered at this moment after fighting the crowd).

Just after heading out of the park there was a Will Ferrell look alike donned with a dark red curly wig, belly shirt, and a cowbell (of course) rocking out to Blue Oyster Cult with his blue honda parked next to him with a sign holding up the trunk that said "DOUBTERS CAN SUCK IT".  This would become my motto for the race.  I gave him a thumbs up.  Run through Fire Station #1 downtown Denver, run through MileHigh stadium....pretty cool, run along Cherry Creek trail, down Colfax where the cowbell guy and DOUBTERS SUCK IT sign shine again (another thumbs up from me, and turn up Perry to Sloan's Lake (around mile 8).  I see my mom and dad and my beautiful Sentry.  They cheer me on.  My pace is going great.  Miles 2-9 are all just under 8:00.  The aid stations had been awesome but I needed a restroom.  Unfortunately, I had been plagued with Aunt Flow showing up a few days late (should have been on the tail end of things but I think my nerves about the race made her delay until the night before the unfortunately I was cramping and enduring Aunt Flow at her strongest moment).  A REAL bathroom shined like a beautiful sunrise....I took the opportunity to use a real toilet and appreciated the real sink to wash my hands. Thought for sure the split including the bathroom stop would be 12:00.  It was an 8:45 after all.  I must have shot out of that bathroom like a gazelle. Head around the lake and I see my folks and Sentry again.  What a boost.  Leave the lake and keep heading west. Miles 11-14 all under 8:00.  Mile 15 was an 8:08.  Mile 16 is the turning point to head back down Colfax (downhill baby).  Felt great turning that corner and knew I could hold 8:00s.  Mile 16-20 were: 7:55, 7:47, 8:00, 7:42, 7:47.  Cowbell guy again. At this point, there is not doubt left in my mind.  I'm going to rock this race.  Did I mention my time at the half was 1:45...right on pace including the bathroom stop and equal to my best half marathon time from March.   Mile 21-24 were 8:14, 8:11, 8:27, 8:06.  Cowbell guy again. It hurts.  I want to'd be SOOOO easy to stop.  It hurts everywhere.  No matter how hard someone trains, I think mile 24 is just've come too far to quit, but you're not close enough to drive it home.  The tank feels empty.  You've come so far.  I'd come so far but there's part of my brain screaming that no one will care if I quit and it's not worth it to's just too hard.  I push through.  I start eyeing "ponytails" (my dad calls girl runners ponytails) and I work to pass as many as I can.  Beginning at mile 17 the Urban 10-Mile racers had merged with us and were crowding the course...not to mention driving me CRAZY!  They are rocking out to their headphones running 3 and 4 people wide in matching outfits blocking the path completely ignoring the fact that some of us have a job to do and we have already run 16 miles...have some respect for other racers...seriously.  So, back to the ponytails....I'm passing them but they all have orange bibs (10-mile bibs).  Finally I pass a ponytail with a green bib (a marathoner). "Yes, who's next?"  Here's the hill on 17th.  I swore to myself the day before that I would pass people on this hill and would not let them pass me after it.  I have trained hills like crazy, even on easy run days.  There she was....dark ponytail dressed in all red and black (very intimidating outfit).  I could tell she was a green bib even though I couldn't see it.  She looked like I felt...tired and driving it home.  I keep my eye on her....I drive steady up the hill and pass lots of 10-milers (ponytails and men). I also pass 3 or 4 marathoners without ponytails.  Mile 25 was 8:37...not a great split but I was passing people so it was good enough I guess.  Garmin was freaking out from the buildings quite a bit so some of those ending splits might be messed up.  Cowbell guy one more time.  Final thumbs up to him and I tell him "thank you".  I enter City Park.  Less than a mile to go.  Ponytail in black and red is still ahead.  I'm gaining on her.  I get close enough to try to drive past her.  She kicks in and forges ahead.  I try to catch her or hang....I hang but can't catch her.  I see the finish.  She drives ahead and so do I.  I pass two more marathon men and lots of 10-milers.  Finally.  Done.  I'm happy but totally spent. 3:31 and change on the clock. I see my brother.  Then my parents.  Then my husband.  I grab a gatorade and a water.  I can't open the water.  I'm about to cry. My hips hurt.  I'm done.  I'm overwhelmed. It hurts so bad. This is not the moment to remember.  I'm not going to elaborate or if I read this blog before my next one I won't really want to run another one.  I know I did my best because I felt pretty terrible.  So tight.  So tired.  My dad opens the water.  I grab a banana and more water.  No chocolate mile?  No oranges?  Such great aid stations through the entire race but I had my heart set on chocolate milk.  I'm bummed. They have Pepsi (which I don't like at all and that's SOOO not what I wanted). I stick with water.  I hit the restrooms and then head back to my brother's apartment.  The longest mile walk home ever for all 3 of us.  My husband went 3:20 (a best time by 16 minutes).  My little brother went 3:06 (missed Boston by 1 minute 6 seconds) but a best time by 17 minutes.  My official chip time was 3:30:21 even with the long bathroom stop.  Made the Boston cut free and clear with 4:39 to spare and a best time by 10 minutes. 14th place woman (out of 500).  6th in my age group (out of 174) and 130th overall (out of 1,166).  I can definitely say I am pleased.    I can definitely say I am pleased.

Today I rested.  I have a few more days to rest before running a little local 10k at the annual Riverfest this Saturday.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

2012 Training Pictures

As my big race is next weekend (marathon #2), I decided I'd post some pictures from the last 18 weeks of training:
Deer at Berg park.  I always see deer on this quiet little trail next to the river.  Love it!

The new Newton Gravity shoes.  Love. Love. Love.

My two training buddies.  Sometimes we all run together.  Sometimes they run together. Sometimes I get one-on-one runs with each of them.  Couldn't have done this thing without either one of these guys.  Love them heaps and heaps.

Spent the winter running in all kinds of new winter running gear. Since I just started running last April I had to stock up on all this fancy gear this year.  This is my favorite New Balance top cause it has built in wristies to cover most of my hand, plus built-in pull-over mittens for extra coverage when my gloves aren't enough.  Couldn't live without the pink "dork belt" (that's what DH and I call the hydration belts as we both swore we'd never wear these things cause they are for dorky people that run so far that they have to carry water!)

I have put in 774 miles in 2012 so far.  I am looking forward to the big race next weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I'm a Stupid Idiot

The past few weeks have been crazy.  Multiple violin performances, the end of the year recital where all 32 of my violin students performed, got new shoes, had a 59 mile week, and then a 62 mile week. I'm so ready for taper.  
Thursday morning I get a call from the Big Band conductor at the local college.  They are having their concert the following night and would like my husband and I to come swing dance as part of their show.  (We are the two-time swing dance champs at the local college's Swing Into Spring fundraiser and the Big Band provides the music so they knew who to call).  So we agreed since dancing to a live band is one of the most fun things EVER!  We chose all "safe" moves to not twist or sprain or stress anything since we just had our highest mileage week ever.  We chose to do a few aerials...but safe ones...all went well until our final move...the Pancake.  I don't have a video of us doing it, but this is what it looks like:  So, on the landing my patella hit the stage.  As you can see in the video, when the pancake (me) flops back to the ground, it'd be real easy to let the knees drop a little too far.  Essentially my patella dropped from 5-6 feet in the air down to the oak stage.  Ouch.  It hit hard but it's definitely not broken....just bruised and a little sore.  
Well, it felt ok on Saturday so I went ahead with the Easy 4 listed on my program.  Today was 18 @ marathon pace + 20-30 seconds per mile.  Well, I felt painless and great til mile 8, then it started brewing. My left hip started compensating for the right knee pain and then all went to crap. By mile 15 the pace was dropping off.  At mile 16 (I was headed home) I saw a nice set of steps where I chose to stop and cry for a minute.  I was so mad at myself for choosing to dance, then choosing to run...and run hard....and for not being tough enough to endure the pain.  I am stupid.  
So, now it's a little swollen and it hurts. I am not running tomorrow....or again until it's better. I have trained 748 miles so far for this marathon (race is in 2 weeks). I guess this rest is a great way to start a mad taper!  
I am stupid.