Wednesday, November 27, 2013

RT 66 Marathon Recap

I survived! It was so stinkin cold. The temp at start time was 24F, and never got above 27F. This is what I looked like prior to the start:

I had absolutely zero plans of freezing to death prior to the marathon. One of my friends went with me to cheer me on (and drive me home). Luckily we found an open lobby of an apartment building and took refuge until it was time to go to the corrals.

This is what I actually wore to run in, plus the gloves and facewarmer in the previous pic:
For future reference, the top is: UA tank, Nike thermafit longsleeved shirt (w/thumbsleeves), and a bcg jacket for the outer layer. I wore UA thermals on the bottom, smartwool PhD socks, UA hat, and Nike gloves. I also wore a cheap $1 knitted headband thingy from walmart over my nose and mouth to keep my lungs from burning.

I warmed up around 2 miles into the race. I had handwarmers in my gloves, and they were essential to my survival. The outside of my right foot hurt for the first 6 miles. I think that might be an injury, but I'm choosing to ice it and ignore it for now. Everything else was going great until my knees started hurting around mile 11. I can blame my IT bands for that. Thankfully, I'd kept up with my foam rolling, so my hips didn't hurt, and the knee pain wasn't awful. Around mile 22, my body was tired and the mental aspect of the marathon came into play (see pic below lol). I originally planned to stay with the 5hr pacer and then speed up to the 4:45 pacer if I could; thankfully this plan did not work out. I never saw the 5:00 pacer; at the beginning of the race I saw the 2:25 Half pacer and decided to stay in her vicinity. Around mile 25 or so, the 4:45 pacer caught me. I saw her, and told her that I needed to stay ahead of her in order to meet my goals. She told me that she was on pace, maybe 40 seconds ahead. I stayed ahead of her for the rest of the race. For the last .1 mile, I passed this random dude. He sped up. Then I sped up. And then we proceeded to race each other to the finish line. It was exactly the push I needed, and the guy thanked me afterwards-turns out it was just what he needed too.

I don't normally post proofs, but this pic is just priceless. The only way I could deal with the mental aspect of the run after mile 22 or so was to get angry. This is probably why I have frown furrows permanently etched between my eyebrows.

 But I did manage to take a nice pic too.

I finished!

It took us forever to get back to our hotels via the shuttles, but eventually we made it. I felt like I'd never be warm again!

And now, for the important part: I achieved a 53 minute PR! My time in the OKC marathon was 5:36:49; my time in the RT 66 marathon was 4:43:02! I beat both of my goals: sub-5hr and 4:45. I'm pretty excited! I know that I'm still slow compared to a lot of other runners, but I am making progress and that's what matters. :D

Always one to have a plan and a schedule, I start training for the 2014 OKC Memorial Marathon on Dec 23. I'm going to try to take a running break for at least a week. I tried to do a short shakeout run on Monday, and only made it 0.25 miles before quitting. My right knee just froze up, and that was that. I've been foam rolling regularly. I've had to ice my foot too. I hope that whatever is going on with my foot just goes away. ::fingerscrossed::

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Let the taper begin!

I ran the big 20 miler today! I am officially in the taper now. Last time, I was a little bit crazy in the taper. This cycle, I am very excited to taper. None of my long runs have been fabulous, until today. I struggled a little bit in the last 2 miles, but I started fingerspelling country and state names in order to mentally distract myself from the pain. Yay for studying while running! My knees were hurting a bit.

Only one mile was over 11 mins, and it was just barely there (11:01). Runner's World tells me that this time will lead to a 4:30 marathon time, but I don't think I can maintain my pace through the last 6.2 miles. Sub-5 hours is definitely possible (and that's my goal), but I think my time could possibly be 4:45. It depends on the hills. My long run route is relatively flat, and the marathon is quite hilly. I've been working on hills though, so we'll see how it goes. Adrenaline should have some affect as well.

I have decided that I will not do sprints during the taper. My IT bands have been pretty tight lately, and I think that sprinting is contributing to that. I'll still do hills though. After today's run, I'm excited to see what I can do after a taper. The RT 66 marathon is going to be fantastic! :D

Friday, October 11, 2013

Over halfway done!

Ok, so we can all agree that I suck at blogging. But I'm busy with work, school, plus I have to actually run. This is week 12 of training. So far, it's going fairly well. There have been some weird issues going on, but I'm trying to figure out how to manage them. I've run 5 races so far: 3 5Ks, one obstacle run, and one half marathon. I've got 2 new PRs and 1 age group placing. As Inigo says, "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up..." (kudos to you if you have to complete that quote in your head. We should be friends!)

8/16/13: Hottest Friday Night 5K
28:32 (almost a PR! dang it), ave pace 9:12. Wiley Post Park, 82F
21/68 in F25-29

Sizzling Summer series overall: (rankings based on gun time)
F25-29: 9/34 (top 26.5%) <----top 10 of my age group, ya'll. :D
Overall F: 59/173 (top 34%)
Overall: 138/283 (top 48.8%)
Total time 1:30:19

8/31/13: Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival 5K
31:57. Ave pace 10:18. Tuskahoma, 85F at 8:30am, full sun. (In other words, a heat stroke suck-fest. This is why I slowed down.)
2/18 in F24-29. This is likely to be my only age group placing for a long time, folks. I can't place in city races because I'm a turtle. If the heat isn't too bad, maybe I could win my age group next year. I never got my medal for this race, which makes me sad.

9/28/13: Gravedigger Obstacle Run
1:51:14. I was seriously scared of this race after my experience in the mud factor, but this was amazingly fun. Seriously, it was one of the best races I've ever run, and I will do it again next year. I at least touched all of the obstacles, but I didn't complete 5 of them. I ran this with my bootcamp friends. It rained for the entire race, but the temperature was perfect while we were running. I fared much better after this race-I only had a few bruises, and my left ankle was a little sore. No broken skin, and no sprained ankles this time.
25/42 F25-29
73/135 F
191/299 overall


After: (OMG it was so cold once we stopped running, hence the terrible pic)

This is me on the following Tuesday. I am a fan of periodical locker-room selfies, but I love how I can see the bruises on my underarm from the 2x4s that I hugged at the top of one of the platform obstacles (I'm scared of heights!). Plus, it's sort of nice to look back and have something to compare myself against.

I have had the Spirit of Survival (SoS) Half on my calendar since they announced the date for this year's race. My LRS announced a 5K on the same day, and I immediately dismissed it because I can't be in two places at the same time. Then one of my bootcamp friends kindly pointed out that the half started at 7:30 in Lawton, but the 5K didn't start until 3pm in OKC. Plenty of time to get from point A to point B, with some time to shower and eat in between. So, I present to you the craziest thing I've ever done (to date): 2 races in one day, one of which is over 10 miles long lol.

SoS Half, in Lawton. I had to leave at 5am to get to Lawton by 6:45am. The race started at 7:30am. It wasn't nearly as cold this year, but I still consider 44F to be below my comfort level. As usual, I started out a little too fast. My first 2 miles were both under 9 mins. Funny how last year, my first mile was in the upper 9s, and that was way too fast. Anyway, things were great until my left hip started hurting around 10 miles in, and I started getting a cramp in one part of my abs. The ab pain was enough to stop me and I had fingernail marks in my palm. This feels different from a side stitch; I'm not sure what's going on. Sucking in will help reduce the pain, but I still have to ride it out. In all, I had 3 ab cramps during the run. The hip pain was bad enough that I had to fight to run the last mile. My A goal was 2:15, and my super-secret goal was 1:59. I knew around 8 miles that 1:59 was impossible, but 2:15 was attainable. When I approached the finish line, the announcer said "and now we're at 2:16." I was so angry! I knew that I had probably gotten 2:15 on my chip time. It wasn't until later that I was able to check the results: My gun time was 2:15:57, and my chip time was 2:15:26. But my previous time was 2:36, and I was over there upset about a 20 min PR! But I'm very happy that I met my goal time.

Time: 2:15:26, ave pace 10:20 <----20 min PR!
23/39 F25-29
108/253 F

So I went home and showered, tried to eat something, and then went to work to meet my bootcamp friends so we could carpool.

Runtoberfest 5K
I ran way more of this race than I thought I would be able to. It's amazing how running with very motivated friends can help you push yourself. My hip was ouchy, and the cranky ab attacked me 2x during the run. We had to walk one hill, but other than that I think I ran most of the run. I was fairly calorie-deficient at this point, so most of it is a blur. Actually, most of the day is a blur too. I fell asleep by 7pm lol. I wore the tech shirt from the half during the 5K; I think my favorite part of the entire race was a guy cheering on the sidelines. When I passed him, he saw my shirt and said "hey I ran that this morning!" I said, "I did too!" and kept running right past him. That made me feel a little bit badass. :D

Time: 30:38, ave pace 9:53
80/199 F25-29

This was my last race in the F25-29 age group. My 30th birthday is this coming Monday. I don't have any races scheduled until the Nov 24 marathon. The Putnam City Cancer Classic 5K that benefits my workplace falls on the same day as my 20 miler, and I'm not willing to compromise that long run in any way. I think I'll go cheer on my friends, and then go do my long run. The 5K is at Lake Hefner, but I might go do my long run at Earlywine instead. The wind coming off of the lake can be really cold, so it'll depend on the weather. I'll probably have to pull out my thermals by that point.

I am in an ASL interpreter program at school, and they have an upcoming ASL walk at the OKC zoo on October 19. If anyone local reads this, please consider going! I sort of groaned a little bit because it's a walk (I want to run!), but it's still going to be a good time. I have a scheduled 18 mile long run that evening. Because my 30th birthday is on the 14th, I am going to make that long run a 30K and do 18.64 miles.

44 days until the RT 66 marathon! I have a few kinks to work out,  mainly my IT band and mysterious ab cramps. I am making extra sure that I foam roll regularly; I've sort of slacked on that over the last few weeks, and I hope that that is why my IT band/hip acted up during the half. I don't know what to do about the random ab cramps, beyond knowing that sucking in makes it go away a little bit quicker. I have plenty of time to figure all of that out though. This is my motto for this cycle/semester, because both running and learning ASL are tough. But I am tougher.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Training starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the big day! I have been counting down to July 22 almost since I finished my first marathon. Today I weighed and measured myself and took some before pics. I'd like to see what kind of changes that my body goes through this time. When I trained for the OKC Memorial Marathon, I was still working 2 jobs, and my eating habits were not so great. There was a lot of redbull, coffee, and mcdonalds in my diet. I gained about 10lbs over the course of training, and it was not all muscle. This time, I'm eating healthier snacks and I'm doing weekly speedwork sessions. I bought a new scale last night that measures weight and body fat percentage. This morning I weighed 102.6 and the body fat percentage was 20.4%. I'm not entirely sure that I trust this new scale, as my weight is about 4lbs less than normal. But we'll see. I'm going to try to track my calories every day on

I've been told that the Rt66 course is quite hilly, so I'm adding hills to my longest mid-week run on Tuesdays. The vast majority of my Tuesday runs will be on a treadmill. I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm going to do the hills towards the end of the run when my legs are already tired. I hope that it will be enough. I am planning to drive to Yukon to run what I've been told is a legendary hill with some friends at least once this fall. This is my hills plan:

Date                Mileage           Hills Workout
1: July 23       3          1m run, 1m hills, 1m run
2: July 30       3          1m run, 1m hills, 1m run
3: Aug 6          4          1m run, 2m hills, 1m run
4: Aug 13       4          1m run, 2m hills, 1m run
5: Aug 20       5          2m run, 2m hills, 1m run
6: Aug 27       5          2m run, 2m hills, 1m run
7: Sept 3         6          3m run, 2m hills, 1m run
8: Sept 10      6          2m run, 3m hills, 1m run
9: Sept 17      7          3m run, 3m hills, 1m run
10: Sept 24    7          4m run, 2m hills, 1m run
11: Oct 1        8          4m run, 3m hills, 1m run
12: Oct 8        8          5m run, 2m hills, 1m run
13: Oct 15      9          4m run, 4m hills, 1m run
14: Oct 22      10       5m run, 4m hills, 1m run
15: Oct 29      11       5m run, 5m hills, 1m run
16: Nov 5       9          5m run, 4m hills, 1m run
17: Nov 12     6          3m run, 2m hills, 1m run
18: Nov 19     4          Easy run, no hills
One Hill:         1%-5%, then 6%-7% for 4 mins, then back down to 2% for 2 min.     

I have a few goals for this training cycle:
  • Track calories every day
  • Drink a minimum of 55oz of water daily
  • Complete 90% of my scheduled runs
  • PR in both the SoS half and Rt66 full
In other news, I have met 2 of my between marathon goals: run a sub-30 minute 5K, and do a 5K race without any walking breaks. Funnily enough, they did not happen in the same race. My sub-30 came on the 4th of July. I ran the Stars & Stripes Forever 5K at Stars & Stripes park. My time was 28:13! My first mile was 8:33, so I went out too fast as usual. I ended up taking 2 brief walking breaks that I can remember.

On Friday, I ran the second race of the Sizzlin Summer Series, the Hotter 5K. It was so very hot! The temp was still 93F at the 8pm starting time. I managed to run the entire race without stopping though! I picked a girl that was running just the right pace that I could keep and I followed her for quite a while. Then I picked it up at about 2.8 miles or so and sprinted to the end. I wish I had started the sprinting just a little sooner though-my time was 30:03. So close to a sub-30! The weekly speedwork has been paying off!

Training starts tomorrow with treadmill sprints in the morning!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mud runs, sprints, new shoes, 5Ks, and training

I can't believe that its been 2 months since the marathon! I've been pretty busy since then. On June 8, I did the Mud Factor run with the bootcamp people from my work gym. It was awesome, scary, and painful! I'm proud of myself for not skipping any obstacles, despite the cement blocks that were my shoes. I came out of it with a nasty scrape and bruises on my knees, and both ankles were out of commission for a full day afterwards (due to the deep mud, or so I'm told). Here are the girls after we finished:

And the damage to my knees:

I haven't pulled the trigger by signing up yet, but we're talking about doing the Gravedigger on Sept 28. This race will hopefully have a lot less mud, but more high obstacles. I did ok with the mud in the mud factor, but I am terrified of heights. One girl said that I was visibly shaking after climbing over the first 15ft-tall A frame. There were 3 A frames: a flat wall with ropes that you climb up, a cargo net over a second one, and then a 70ish degree wall with ropes halfway up that you had to grab to get over (this was the source of my still-scarred knee). I will most likely do the race, but it is the week before the SoS half, so I bought different shoes and I'm going to tape my ankles with KT tape just for some added stability.

A few weeks after the marathon, I started doing sprints on the treadmill every Monday morning with my trainer. They've gone about as I expected:

Week 1: dizzy
Week 2: almost puked
Week 3: horrible cramps
Week 4: almost puked/cramps
Week 5: migraine about an hour after sprints (I think this is coincidental...)
Week 6: NOTHING BAD HAPPENED!!! Finally.

They still suck, but I'm doing better, and we're doing more sprints with less rest time. I've already seen a difference in my speed and 5K time, so they're helping a lot. I'll continue to do them once marathon training starts on the 22nd. I bought a garmin footpod and Wahoo ANT+ adaptor for my iphone so I can measure the actual distance of the sprints on the treadmill (we step off to rest while the treadmill is still going). They're sort of cute, and they'll also help when I do the Choctaw 5K on Labor Day weekend in the land of no GPS/cell signal.

I went to a natural running form clinic at the local running store (Red Coyote). I've been fighting shin splints since March or so. They seem to strike at random, but I can almost always deal with them if I wear my calf sleeves and take ibuprofen before the run. I almost always wear them to sprints, and about half of the time on long runs. Anyway, at the clinic they suggested that the fact that I heel strike is likely the cause of the shin splints. So I've been working on that, mainly by being sure to push my hips forward rather than back (as is my normal habit apparently). I also bought a pair of Brooks PureFlow2 shoes as my next pair of running shoes. I've been gradually transitioning to them-I'll run the first half of my mid-week runs in my glycerins, and then switch to the pureflows for the second half of the run. Last Saturday I ran the last 3 miles of my (fantastic!) 8 mile long run, and it was awesome. I am going to take at least another 2-3 weeks to transition to the new shoes. I'd like to be in them completely by the time I start marathon training on July 22. They're very bright! I would have preferred a blue pair, but this is the only color they had. In retrospect, I guess I could have asked them to order a different color for me.

They also have a bizarre tongue! It's attached to the outer side of the shoe. Very odd.

I am on a 5K kick lately, which is a bit odd since I hate 5Ks. They're too short! But I've been going to the weekly social 5K at Red Coyote, and I'm doing the Sizzling Summer Series of 5Ks. The first one (the Hot 5K) was on June 21. I PR'd! My new 5K PR is 31:44, which beats the 32:14 set in the Putnam City Cancer Classic last November. I went out a bit too fast, and paid for it at the turnaround with some fun abdominal cramps. I need to do some googling to find out why this is happening-I think I read somewhere that over-hydration can be a cause. But I don't want to die of heat stroke, so... idk. But if it weren't for the walking that I had to do because of the cramping, my time would have been under 30 mins, which is one of my goals! Almost there. I may not try to PR on the next 2 races (Hotter on 7/19, and Hottest on 8/16) because of the insane temps that are Oklahoma in July and August. All 3 races are at 8pm on a Friday night.

And, finally, I start marathon training in 20 days! I'm going to run the Rt66 Marathon on Nov 24 (and the Spirit of Survival Half Marathon on Oct 6). I've already put my schedule up by my desk at work, although it is still subject to change. I need to figure out where to add hillwork, because quite a few people have told me that the course is a very hilly one. My trainer says Fridays are a good day, and an online forum suggested doing it during the longer mid-week run on Tuesdays. So I have 3 weeks to figure that out.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Marathon recap

I loved every minute of the marathon. Every stinking minute. My fueling plan worked out just fine, I met my finishing time goal (<6hrs), and the weather was fantastic. But I digress.

I got up around 4:15am. I ate a turkey sandwich around 4:30 or so, and half of a banana. We left at 4:55am. We got to the corral areas around 5:45am. It was what I consider super cold (47F), so I shivered for most of the time we stood there waiting to start. Liz used the early start option, and so she started at 4:30am. There were so many people at the starting area that none of the apps on my phone would work, so I couldn't track her. I was in the 2nd of 2 corrals, and I lined up about 50 feet beyond the 10:30 pace sign. There weren't any slower signs than that, and my pace is ~12:30. I didn't want to be at the very end, but I also didn't want to make the mistake of getting too far forward and running too fast. Every year, they have 168 seconds of silence to honor the 168 victims of the Murrah Building bombing. This year, they added an additional 3 seconds to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Those 171 seconds were so very long, and so very emotional. There were easily 20,000 people there, and the intense silence was amazing. Only one girl spoke, and I gave her some very unfriendly looks. She appeared to be foreign based on her accent, but she was so rude. My husband made the mistake of wearing one of his EMT jackets, so people kept asking him questions. The disrespectful girl kept trying to ask him how she was supposed to get into the corral (she was a pacer).

Anyway, finally we started! It took me over 13 minutes to get to the starting line. You can just barely see the starting line in the picture above (it's that white thing right to the left of the tree). I had a lot of trouble getting my nike running app to work because there were so many people there. I finally got it settled about a mile into the race. I tried very hard not to start out too fast, and I think I mostly succeeded. My first few miles were in the 11 minute range, which is faster than my average pace of ~12:30, but still slower than my epic 9 min first mile of the SoS half. I ended up taking off my arm warmers somewhere around miles 7 or 8. Mike met me at miles 12 and 18 to reapply the sunscreen so I wouldn't roast like I did on the 20 mile long run (we succeeded-no sunburn!). I managed to stay with my pre-determined fuel plan: Gu at miles 4, 9, 13, 18, and 22. I took beans when needed, usually about 2 miles after Gu. I started taking powerade at the water stops around 10 miles in. The plan was to alternate powerade and water, but towards the end I started getting both powerade, water, and pretzels at every stop. The temperature by noon was close to 80, and it was hot. I was very happy to see that the later water stops had wet sponges so I could wet my head.

My left hip started hurting around mile 14. It got bad enough that I took some aspirin around the 18 mile water stop, and then tylenol around mile 21. Nothing that I thought would be a problem hurt-my shins were completely fine! I was surprised by the hip pain. At that point, I just kept going on. I walked up any hills that I came to, and walked through water stops. One of the girls that I work out with was waiting between miles 25 and 26, and seeing her gave me the extra boost I needed to get to the end. My last mile was one of the faster ones-my pace was 12:08 lol. Once I saw the finish line, I started cheesing like a dork. I almost cried when they handed me my medal-it was close!

My time was 5:36:49, well under my less than 6 hours goal. I finished pretty strongly, but was gimpy once the adrenaline wore off. My hips and knees were fairly sore. I had asked Mike to bring me muscle milk at the finish, and they had bananas, so I avoided post-race incoherency. After the picture-taking was done, we went home. I drank 2 more cups of chocolate milk, and ate some pasta. Then I slept for 4 hours. I was really stiff once I got out of bed again. I have a blister under the skin on my heel; hopefully it won't burst. There's also a chance that I'll lose the second toenail on my right foot. I cracked it a few months ago during a long run, and it's still pretty sore after Sunday.

On Monday, I was a bit stiff in my hips and knees, but it got better as I moved around. Against a few people's advice (but not that of my trainer-she ok'd it), I did a light arm workout on Monday. If it had been a leg day, I totally would have skipped it. But since it was arms, and my arms were fine, I went ahead and worked out. I think it was beneficial to loosen up a bit. Plus, I have a mud run on June 8, and I need to get my upper body ready. Yesterday I was still a little bit stiff in the hips, and today I'm fine.

Here are my stats & splits from the results page:

163/204 in F24-29
862/1135 females
2259/2740 overall
Gun: 5:50:46
10K: 1:15:13 (1:04:22)
15K: 1:53:14 (1:52:32)
Half: 2:37:01
27K: 3:26:46 (3:13:34)
32K: 4:10:46 (3:57:34)
Time: 5:36:49

The difference between the gun and chip times is 13:57, so the times in parenthesis are what the app said my times were, based on my chip time (I think lol). I wish I knew what my half time was, because it was almost certainly a PR.

Finally, here's my medal! :D

I signed up for this year's SoS half yesterday, and I am planning to run the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa in November. I've been bitten by the marathon bug, it seems. :D

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Well, the race is tomorrow.

I can't believe that it's already here. I've trained for 180 days for tomorrow.  The goal was always the marathon, yet it's seemed almost like an abstract date in the future that won't ever actually be tomorrow. Yet here it is. We picked up our packets this morning. I laid out my clothes 2 days ago (lol):

I pinned my bib to my shirt. I have bib holders on my spibelt, but unless I want the bib on the side or right over my quads, I'll need it pinned to my shirt. I'm wearing some red Ascics armwarmers in honor of the Boston marathon bombing victims.

I'm pretty nervous. I think I'll be ok once I start running. I know how to do the running-it's everything else that scares me. There were so many people at the expo that my anxiety level went through the roof, and tomorrow will be just as crowded. There are over 10,000 half marathon runners and 3500 full marathoners, and we'll all line up together tomorrow morning. I'm going to line up as close to the back as I can get. Maybe if I hang out with some slower people, it'll help keep me from running the first few miles too fast. My first mile in the SoS half was a 9 min mile, which is 3 mins faster than my regular pace. I'd like to try to avoid doing that tomorrow. 

I sort of failed at the taper in terms of cross training, but I haven't run since last Tuesday. My last workouts were on Wednesday, where I did kickboxing, leg day in weights, and then spin. I never went beyond a 2 in resistance in spin though, and didn't even break a sweat. I decided to skip the last 2 runs (3 on Wed, 2 on Thurs) because my left shin has been grumpy. My last run (4 miles on Tues) was sort of painful. It could have been the compression sleeves though-they feel like they've been hurting more than helping over the past few times I've worn them. I did go to weights yesterday, but I was sure to wear clothes that I absolutely couldn't work out in (nice jeans and a handknit cashmere sweater), and I wore my glasses. I can't work out in my glasses. They'd fall off at the slightest bit of jumping or sweatiness. I folded towels for the entire 30 minutes of the workout, while they did a super intense arm workout. I cheered/trash talked from the sidelines lol.

I have drank so much water over the past few days. I don't think I could drink much more. We ate spaghetti with newman's own marinara sauce and some meatballs for a carb-loading meal.

This will be on my car by tomorrow night:

In case anyone needed further proof that I am addicted to working out and endorphins, I start training on Wednesday for the Mud Factor Run on June 8. My trainer is going to focus heavily on my upper body strength. She said I could have Monday off, but only Monday. lol. I'm going to try not to run for at least an entire week. My shins need the break. Hopefully I can ease back into it after that.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Great white shark in an innocent happy clown fish body. That's me, apparently.

Yesterday I ran my last long run of marathon training.  The 8 mile run was a bit painful, as my shins have decided to be grumpy again. I've been icing the left one especially. I think that it's partially psychosomatic, because I didn't work out at all on Friday or Saturday, so one little 8 mile run shouldn't have much of an impact. Here I am before yesterday's run:

I wore my marathon shirt :D It's very bright lol.

My husband and I drove the marathon route yesterday. It took us quite a while; over an hour. I guess I didn't really think the course would be that long, but I can do it. I just have to focus on moderating my pace. I'm a little worried that I'll run too fast and wear myself out quickly. In the SoS half, my first mile was a 9 minute mile because I was so excited. That's roughly 3-4 minutes faster than my normal pace, and I'm running slower now than I did then because of the angry shin. Hopefully I won't give in to the adrenaline and can at least hold myself at a 12 min pace. The hills on the course aren't too bad-there is one bridge that looks terrifying because it seems almost straight up, but it's 2-3 miles in, and is therefore over quickly. The rest are manageable. There's one stretch of the course where they are doing construction on the road, and the part that we'd run on is very rough. The concrete is literally crumbling, and it was hard to drive on. I really hope that they fix that before Sunday. If they don't, I'm going to walk that portion.

Last week I had full-fledged taper madness going on. My anxiety level was through the roof, and I compensated by working out. A lot. After the 12 mile run on the 13th, I did a leg workout. I did spin before lifting weights on Monday, the 15th. I did another leg workout on Tuesday after I ran 7 miles. Then on Wednesday, I did a full leg day (kickboxing, leg day in weights, ran 3 miles, and spin). All of that was probably a mistake (as my shin is reminding me), but I needed it for the mental health. Working out was the only thing that made me feel better. I ran 3 slow miles on Thursday and then didn't work out again until my run yesterday. I feel much calmer (and more rational) now. I was all prepared to go lift weights this Friday, just to take the anxiety edge off. Now I think I'll still go, but I'll just sit there and chat while they lift weights and I fold towels. I'm still going to go to kickboxing and leg day on Wednesday, but I'll modify the exercise so that I'm not really doing much. A week from now, I'll be able to say that I'm a marathoner. :D

Oh, and my gym Coast 2 Coast Fitness Challenge team won! We reached 3000 miles about 2 weeks ago. I'm super excited to be a part of the winning team, even though my team members were a little crazy with their competitiveness. Need an example? I sent an email on Monday of the week before we won, saying that we were almost there and how exciting that was. The team captain sent back a reply saying that my ferocity surprised him. He called me, and I quote: "a great white shark in an innocent happy clown fish body. You are smelling blood and want to viciously bite off the legs off of the poor Weapons of Mass Reduction surfers while they are just now content to catch a wave once in a while." All I said was "yay we're almost there," and he got vicious competitor destruction from my email. See? They're crazy. And I want to make a shirt that says great white shark in an innocent happy clown fish body.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Less than 2 weeks left!

The OKC Memorial Marathon is 2 weeks from yesterday. I'm pretty excited, and a little bit nervous. I'm pretty confident that I can do it, but I'm not sure if that's confidence or if I'm simply naive. I don't think it'll be easy, but if I can control my pace, then I'll be just fine. My bff and I have decided to run the race separately. She will do the early start, and I will do the regular start. We'll run a few miles together when I catch up to her, and then I'll wait for her at the finish line. So plans have changed just a bit, but if I can just be mindful of my pace, I'll be ok.

I have always had a problem with my face turning red easily. It happens fairly frequently when I work out, especially if we get my heart rate up for a long period of time. A couple of months ago, I puked after a workout. We actually had to stop it. My trainer said that it was obvious that there was a problem when my face went from my normal beet red to white. My head was pounding and I couldn't hear because my ears were throbbing. And then I puked. Fun times. Last week I did kickboxing before weights, and my face reached an epic shade of red. I actually matched my hot pink under armour tank.
It took a few hours to fade lol. I don't know if this is always going to happen, or if it means that I need to work on my cardio more? All I know is that I am required to wear my HRM at all times when working out with my trainer. I'm ok if my head pounds, but I need to stop and get my heart rate down if my ears throb.

My trainer's boot camp class is going to sign up for a mud factor run in June. I'm not in her boot camp class because of my work schedule, but I am super thrilled to be included! It's going to be so much fun. I can barely wait! We're going to work on getting ready for it after I've recovered from the marathon (hopefully the next day lol). Last week made a year since I started working out. Here is a pic of me last June at the kayak/5K, and then a pic of my arms after weights today.

I think I'm making some progress. I look forward to making a lot more.

Finally, today was the Boston Marathon. I excitedly watched the elite races this morning at my desk, and went on with my day. When I got back from lifting weights, the news was reporting bombs going off at the finish line. The details are still a bit confused, but my thoughts are with the runners, their families, the victims, and everyone involved. It's just horrible, and not a place you'd expect something like this to happen. I'm horrified. The OKC marathon folks have announced that there will be tighter security measures, and so far they haven't canceled the race or anything.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

One month to go!

We are officially one month away from the marathon. I'm both excited and nervous. The last couple of long runs haven't really gone as I'd like, but the 20 miler is coming up next week. We've both had some issues with blisters and properly fueling before the runs. Liz and I will be in Texas next weekend for our annual trip to the DFW fiber fest, and we're going to run the 20 out at some nice trails there. If everything can just come together smoothly for that run, I will be ok. At worst, we'll need to do the early start, and that means getting to the starting line at 4:15am. I really don't want to go that route if we don't have to.

I don't have a whole lot to talk about, so I'll just show you the past few weeks in a random collection of pics. :D

I broke my kickboxing gloves. I'm not sure whether I should be happy or sad about that.

 I'm growing some muscles. In May I'm going to post a weight-lifting update post to show how far I've come in a year.

This is what I'm planning to wear in the marathon.

I have quads.

Liz and me after our 15 mile long run. She looks amazingly happy for someone who had very very horrible blisters on her feet. I never photograph well.

I've been having some shin/calf problems in my left leg. I didn't realize that my current shoes had 350 miles on them, so I bought some new ones. They're identical to my current shoes (I sharpied the old ones to differentiate between them). The shin problems haven't gone away totally, but the intensity has lessened. I use the new ones for running only, and the old ones are my cross-training shoes now.

I recently deleted over 100 pictures that look similar to this one from my phone. The treadmill automatically stops at an hour, so I have to stop and take a picture of it so I can keep track of my time/stats.

I feel so organized now. The last time I bought Gu at Academy, I went ahead and took an empty box as well. Obviously I love the chocolate flavor. I also like extreme cherry and extreme pomegranate beans.

My work gym does regular fitness challenges. This one is a team challenge, and the first 6-person team to log 3000 miles (aka LA to DC) wins. You get miles for running, biking, and classes. See that No Limits 2.0 team that's in first place? That would be my team. :D

A week from today is my last day at my second job. It's a tad bit stressful there, and the benefits were no longer worth the stress. After a year of working 70 hrs/week with no regular day off, I'm pretty sure I'm going to take a lot of naps, catch up on my knitting and TV, and have time to plow through books again. Oh, and I'll have more time to work out, which is always a bonus. I'll be quitting right before the taper begins in my training, and I've heard lots about taper madness, so hopefully I won't go completely insane.

I'm already thinking about my post-marathon training plans. Obviously I'll need some time to recover, so I probably won't do much running in the first half of May. I'm going to start training for the SoS half on July 22, so between May and July 22, I'd like to cut down on my walking breaks. I know that I can run 3 miles without stopping, but I want to make that the norm. I also want to PR in the SoS half, but I'm not going to push myself a whole lot. I'm already planning to run the Memorial Marathon next year as well, so I'd like to try to PR that one as well. Basically, I'm going to go easy on half training, and then crank it up for the next marathon. We'll see how that goes.

Finally, I'm a college student again! I'm enrolled in a sign language interpreter program at OSU. I think it will be a pretty decent backup plan for a second job, or if anything goes wrong in my main, grant-dependent job. It takes a while to get through-I'll graduate in May 2016. Coincidentally, the grant that pays me runs out in June 2016. So we'll see. The vast majority of the classes are in the evenings. I hope that continues to be the case. I'm pretty excited! I bought a backpack today :D

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Milestone Week

This week (well, last week really, but both weeks are the same) marks the point where I've gone further with training than I did for my half marathon in October. My last 2 long runs were both 13 miles, so I did 13.1 just because that's a half. I ran the first one with my bff out at her house, and it was a great time. We always have so much fun together! We're most likely going to get arrested for disturbing the peace during the marathon-that's how loud we are. My weekly mileage is up to 25 miles per week. My left ankle has been a little grumpy ever since I tried Zumba a few weeks ago. The class was a bit awkward. My longest mid-week runs are on Tuesdays, and I'm up to 7 miles now. I just don't think I can do 7 miles and then go to Zumba again. Also, I sort of suck at dancing. So there's that.

This week has been super busy workout-wise. Monday was a bit scary. I did an arm workout with my trainer, and we did cardio on the treadmill in between arms sets. I normally struggle with the treadmill workouts, but it's usually ok. The treadmill was set at a 12% incline and the speed was 4.5, for 3 minutes. I was ok until the second treadmill bout. I didn't have my HR monitor on, so we can't be 100% certain, but I think my HR spiked above my max. Despite resting after the cardio, I couldn't make it through the last arms set. I got dizzy, my head was pounding, and I couldn't hear. I ended up puking in the bathroom. My trainer was super worried about me-she said my face went from the purplest she's ever seen to very white when she came to check on me after my shower. The workout ended around 1:30, and I didn't feel better until 8pm or so. What really concerned me is that I couldn't fill out the mileage sheet for the Coast to Coast challenge after my shower. My trainer said that I have to wear my HRM every time I work out with her now so she can check.

My 7 mile run on Tuesday went ok. I went a little slower than normal because of Monday's incident. On Wednesday, I (probably) went a little overboard. I started off with kickboxing at 7am, and I broke my gloves. I think they were already broken from the previous time, because I wasn't punching very hard.

I also did weights yesterday, and it was a leg day. I don't know what the proper terminology is on this, but I squatted 65lbs! There was 20lbs total on the bar, and then I'm told that the bar weighs 45lbs by itself. This was my first time to do barbell squats on anything other than the smith machine. It was pretty cool. I ran 4 miles after weights, because I didn't want to take an extra shower and come back after work to run. That sort of didn't matter though, because I ended up going to my first spin class, and while awesome, it resulted in a 3rd shower for the day. My butt is so stinking sore today, but I really enjoyed the class.

Oh, and I am hungry all.the.time. It seems like all I do is eat. Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 Stats and Updates

A lot has happened since my last real post. I ended up returning the Saucony shoes a few days after buying them because they were defective. They had a piece of hard plastic in the side that was rubbing on my feet. I ended up getting the Brooks Glycerin 10s that I wanted.

The polar hrm that I won also didn't like me. It read my resting heart rate as 210 and flipped out when I tried to do exercise, so our purchasing dept is returning it for me. Hopefully I'll get the replacement in a week or so.

This past Sunday was my runiversary. I celebrated by skipping my planned makeup run (I had to skip thursday because of work issues, and had planned to make it up on Sunday), and then working at the second job. I sure do know how to commemorate anniversaries.

Liz and I ran her first race, the Sandridge Santa Run 5K, together, on Dec 8th. I am so proud of my bestie for sticking with running and doing so well.

Clearly we don't care about how we act in public. This is why we're BFFs.

Now for 2012 stats:

I ran 423.06 miles.
I ran 109 times.
I raced 5 times:
     Redbud Classic 10K: 1:15:31 (PR)
     Chesapeake Riversport Challenge 5K: 37:33 (technically a PR, but it fell)
     Spirit of Survival Half Marathon: 2:36:45 (PR)
     Putnam City Cancer Classic 5K: 32:14 (PR)
     Sandridge Santa Run 5K: 44:35

I ran for approximately 91 hours (excel is fighting me on making the formula work, so that was quick adding up with a calculator).
I ran the most miles in September (63.21), just barely beating December (63.15).
I ran the least in May (9.68), which proves that I must have a race on the schedule in order to stay motivated.

I registered for the Marathon on Jan 2. If I had paid attention, I would have registered on Jan 1 and saved myself ~$35. Oh well. My gym is also gearing up for another fitness challenge. This one is the annual Coast to Coast challenge. You make teams of 6 people, and you run. The team that gets the ~3000 miles that would take you from LA to NY first, wins. Most of the runs have to be done in the gym to count, so it's quite fortunate that I prefer to run on the treadmill. You can count 15 miles per week outside of the gym, and most of the fitness classes count for 3 miles. I am on the team that won last year (I did not participate last year as I hadn't joined the gym yet). It's really nice to know that, barring injury, I will actually be an asset to the team, rather than the person who is always picked last.

We are 74 days away from the feared 20 mile long run. It just so happens to coincide with the annual DFW Fiber Fest weekend, where I go to my other best friend's house in TX and we go play with yarn for the weekend. We'll do the 20 miler there. This will be my 4th year to go, I think. Maybe the 5th? I'm not sure. Liz will go with me, and we will run.

We're 96 days away from the marathon.

ETA: I have my first toenail injury! lol. Lost/damaged toenails are common amongst runners. I apparently cracked the second toenail on my right foot during my 12 mile long run last Saturday. Oops.

Friday, January 11, 2013


I promise I'm still here. On Dec 30, I got the wild hair to make a spreadsheet with all of my running stats/data from 2012. I wanted to post that on New Years Eve, or maybe New Years Day, but it's taking me forever to do! I just can't post until I have that done (blame the OCD). But I'm still running. I've registered for the marathon, so it's set in stone now. I found out today that I won the drawing in my work gym's last fitness challenge, and I won a heart rate monitor strap (and watch? I think?)! I am so excited about it! It hasn't come in yet, but the data lover in me will thoroughly enjoy it.

I am really trying to get my update post together with stats. My goal is to finish it before my 1 year mark of running (Jan 20, 2012).