Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December Challenge: Days 29 - 30

Looks like this challenge will spill nicely into the new year. I think I'll have to come up with some different parameters/rules for what I'll be doing in the new year. I can't believe how busy this week has been, especially considering how I was trying to lay low.

I bought some sushi from Kroger's sushi bar. Seems kind of odd, but it was really really good! I don't know sushi well, but it was tasty enough for me. I don't care very much for raw fish and supposedly I'm allergic to shellfish, so this one is veggie: carrots, cucumber and avocado and there were sesame seeds inbedded with the rice. Delicious!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Challenge: Days 22 - 28. Yikes

It's simple. I don't remember what I've done.

I know I haven't been doing as much as I'd like. It's been a bit crazy with work, the holidays, traveling for Christmas, yadda yadda yadda, same excuses everyone has.

The year is winding down, and all I hope is to get some time off to relax and take a break.
Hope to get to the pool today!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Challenge: Day 17...18...19...20....21!!! Ahhh!

Wow, so the days have really passed by quickly. Tis the season of busyness I guess.

I am not even sure what I've done! I do know I went swimming on Saturday. Did 1000 yards freestyle and 150 kickboard. The kicking was done between bouts of anger after being frustrated with how the breathing was going. I swallowed a lot of water and choked a few times. I just know I'm lifting my head too much and can't seem to get it right. Oh well, practice makes perfect I suppose. I did manage to go 100 yards 3 times again, at the end of the workout too.

Totals:
Swimming 1000 yards freestyle, 150 kickboard
Foam roller a few times but still not enough
Not sure if I did anything else... the days are flying by

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Challenge: Day 16















Swimming progress! I went 100 yards without stopping 3 times! And I think I breathed properly a few times!

I started with 50 x 10 freestyle. I rested about 45 seconds in between each one. Then I did 100 of  reaching drills (not very successfully I'm afraid... was sharing a lane and I tend to go a bit crooked with that drill). Then 50 elbow drills, again, not too successfully. And then... I did 100 nonstop - x 3! Woot! I don't know how long I rested between them. It was somewhere around 45 - 60 seconds. The last 100 was a bit rough. However, during the 100s, I think I finally got my head in the right position to breath by just turning. There were a few breaths that felt really good. It's such an awkward feeling.

After the pool, I got on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Borrrr-rrriing. Man I hate treadmills. Also, my knee started hurting at 1.5 miles so I stopped and walked the rest. So it hasn't gotten better yet. But I also haven't been on the foam roller. I've been stretching, but not doing my hip stretches. Why? Why haven't I??? Grrr. This was not a happy moment, especially since I spent some time today looking at what races I want to do in 2010.

Totals:
1000 yards freestyle
150 yards weak-ass drills
1.5 mile running

December Challenge: Day 15

Figuring Out How to Get a Workout In


Plan A: Get up early, as I do for spinning, and hit the pool by 6 a.m. when it opens.
Didn't happen. I'm not so good with the 5 o'clock hour.  L. A. Z. Y.
Plan A

Plan B: Go swimming at 4:00 p.m. before the rush, but while there is only 1 lane open. And run a little after that.
I had a meeting at 9, so I packed up everything I thought I might need at the community center and started my day. Especially because of the pools having limited hours and lanes open, I feel better if I have options in my bag. So I packed stuff in case I could have a "dry" workout or a swim. Good thing I did. I was working onsite all day, and the afternoon just kept stretching out... 4 came and went, I couldn't leave early.
Plan B

Plan C: Total Body strength class at 6:00 p.m.
Ding ding ding!!!
Yay, at least I did something. I really wanted to get cardio in, but it didn't happen. I had another meeting at 8:00 p.m. so I couldn't run or bike after the strength class.

The whole going to the gym thing has been an adjustment for me again. Every bit of time throughout the day counts, and I'm not really fond of planning my day so closely. I enjoyed how during the marathon training I would just run when I felt like it. But I know that I'm doing more now and getting stronger, which is the goal. Being prepared for whatever I may be able to accomplish at the gym is very helpful. I feel like I need to carry around a catalog of workout supply options in my car - shoes, shorts, bike shorts, class money, bike shoes, swimsuit, towels...

Total for the day:
60 minute Total Body strength class

Monday, December 14, 2009

December Challenge: Day 14
















I started the day off with a spinning class at 5:50 a.m in the shoe pictured above (actually two of them), the last class at the community center until after the new year (bummer). It went really well - it was hard, but I felt like I was in control rather than just surviving like in the first class I took!

I liked this instructor better than the one from the first class. She took the time to tell us how to fit on the bikes and gave pointers and heart rate zones throughout the class. There was a chart off to the side to check heart rate zones and I had no problem getting and keeping myself anaerobic. We stood up and "climbed a hill" for 3 minutes quite a few times while "recovering" on a seated hill. Ugh!

On another note, I am pretty excited about a great article in the Active.com email newsletter I get. It basically teaches you how to build up swimming over 12 weeks to be able to swim in an olympic triathlon. So I'm not the only one that has to rest between 50's!?!?

Totals:
Spinning 60 minutes
Abs
Pushups (wimpy ones)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Challenge: Day 12 and 13

Saturday I slept in and went to the pool right at opening time at 12:15. I was a little early so I sat in my swimsuit and towel in the locker room and played games on my phone. That passed the time quite nicely.

Ah swimming... flailing through the water, gasping for air, trying to understand what my body is doing in that lane. I started out by warming up a few laps. Then I did 6 x 50 freestyle (or stephstyle). Then I got a kick board and kicked for 100 yards while pondering different swimming tips and videos I had looked up online. While I was kicking, a woman with a pumpkin-face swim cap started swimming laps in the lane next to me. I tried to discreetly watch how she was breathing. She looked like she could have been in one of the instructional videos I've looked up online. I gave her form a 10.

I did a couple of the drills I had learned about and do think it helped. One was for reaching. You reach with one arm and then keep that arm there out in front while the other arm comes up and then you can follow through with the paused arm. Hard to explain, but basically it is to help you reach and rotate properly. I felt like I was more efficient after I did that drill.

I went back to freestyle after the drills and finished up with a total of 1000 yards. I have to rest after 50 yards but was really determined to see if I could go farther that day. I did manage a very slow 100 yards (twice) before I felt my chest was going to explode. I can't believe how bad I am at this!

Sunday: notta.

Totals:
1000 yards swimming
Stretching

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December Challenge: Day 10 and 11

I'm not doing so well at this daily posting thing.

Day 10 was a big fat nothing.

Day 11, I got back on the bike in front of some Netflix (this time it was a Mythbuster episode) and rode kind of hard. I went up a few gears for 2 minutes and then would come down and spin easy for 2 minutes. Did that for probably 20 - 25 minutes of the time.

Sorry not pictures...looks like I also need to work on not being so boring.

Totals for the day that I actually did something (which was Friday):
Bike on wind trainer: 35 minutes
Stretching

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Challenge: Day 9

Wednesday was a crazy windy day. A good day for staying indoors, I set my bike up in front of some Netflix (queued up the Best of Will Farrel SNL...not as funny as I had hoped) and rode for about 30 minutes at a pretty relaxed pace. The setup is below for those who haven't ever seen...

How odd it looks from outside...



















And from inside. The wind trainer is loud. It's definitely an activity to when no one else is in the house. Usually I'm in the garage-basement (or garagement I think I'll call it). It is nice and cool in the winter and isn't as disturbing for the other inhabitants of the house. But we had a water leak and still haven't put it all back together yet. So living room it is!






















Totals for the day:
Stretching
30 minutes on the bike trainer

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Challenge: Day 8

Finally a decent workout!

I did the Total Body class at the community center - this being the second time I've done the class. It went a little better this time, though I am sore today in the lower back. We did pushups again. Grrrrr...  There will be celebration when I can actually do pushups. And she kills our hamstrings. My left one complained a bit, so I took it easy on that side's exercises. I have decided that it is a great class to take - you can control how much you get out of it, and when else am I going to put some bumpin' music on and lift and contort my body into all kinds of strength positions? It certainly beats lifting at home, not only from a good workout standpoint, but also the enjoyment factor.

I told Krista that I sometimes have a hard time believing I ran a marathon in October.

After the class we hopped on a couple of stationary bikes and rode while chatting. Felt good to move the legs after that class.

Totals for the day:
Stretching
60 minutes Total Body class
20 minutes easy bike

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Challenge: Day 7

Spinning did not happen at 5:50 Monday morning as originally planned. I was fighting a really bad headache.

Running with Krista did not happen at 5:30 Monday evening because I had to work late.

Mythbusters watching did happen at 9:00 Monday evening because after a late dinner that was all I had the energy for. But I fell asleep during the show and don't know if Jamie died after being painted head to toe in gold paint. I'm guessing he lived.

I need to find out where all the energy packs are hidden on this level.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Challenge: Days 5 and 6

Two days in a row of nothing. Booo. We had our bath tub refinished Saturday morning. A guy came over around 10:00 and was done by 1:00. That meant no showers until it had dried and we could caulk (which I did Sunday morning) and then that is still drying. Puts a damper into the workout schedule if you sweat like I do. I could have gone to the community center where there are showers, but I instead spent the weekend very busy doing errands, seeing people and generally just forgetting about strength and stretching.

So, two days off in a row have definitely left me recovered from spinning and the total body workout that I was so sore from last week. Jumping back into it - more spinning this week as well as swimming. And I'd like to get some short runs in on the 'mill.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Challenge: Day 4

Friday has been a day off from cardio. I did some stretching and ab work.

We just signed up for a Netflix account (which is awesome if anyone is wondering). I had the thought to look for any instant queue workout videos, and there were a few. I started one playing while I was doing my abs on the exercise ball to see if I'd ever actually want to do it. That particular video got 2 thumbs down. The pastel set colors made me nauseous and I ended up wanting to hurt the overly-energetic girl on the right. I've never been one for workout videos though... they're free so I might as well try them!

Totals for the day:
3 x 20 crunches on the ball
3 x 10 ball overhead passes
Stretching

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Challenge: Day 3

Very very sore from the spinning class still. Wow.

I went for a swim, hoping that would help flush out some of the soreness. I'm not sure it did, but it sure did feel good while I was in the water. I stretched a little bit while I was in the pool. Heaven.

I started out with my own lane. But then I got booted by the staff because of swim lessons. The guy in the lane next to me (which was remaining open) offered to share, so I had my first lane sharing experience! I started out following him and he then explained to me we'd do sides, not circles. Duh. He was way faster. I don't know why I thought we'd do circles. One time he scared me as I turned to do a stroke and saw him right next to me. Just surprised me. Usually I got a mouth full of water when we'd pass each other...perhaps some good introduction to open water swimming? It made me think about the swimming leg in triathlons, and I'm still amazed that everyone swims that crazily and close to each other without drowning.

Towards the end, I realized I was super tired. So I stopped. I totaled 700 yards. I still took short breaks every 50. I guess it's like when people start running and all they can do is make it to the end of their driveways.

Totals for the day:
14 x 50 yards (700 total)
Stretching

December Challenge: Day 2

At 5:50 a.m. Wednesday morning I was pedaling on a spinning bike trying to focus on the woman leading the class. 5:00 a.m. is too early to put my contacts in, or so my eyes told me.

The class was an hour long and pretty rough. The nice thing with spinning is to some degree you can make it your own effort. I didn't want to kill myself, so I went easy (or so I thought at the time) so I could last the entire class and feel out what the instructor does.

There were a lot of "hill climbs" both out of the saddle and seated. The out of the saddle position kills me. My hills were just more like gentle rollers rather than a trek through Mt. Adams though. We also did periods of sprints. There wasn't anything too difficult, but I am definitely feeling it already!


Total for the day: 
60 minutes spinning
Stretching

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Challenge: Day 1

One word. Iamaweakling.

The day has not gone as planned. Typical. Internet issues and a long lunch obligation caused me to have to shift things around. Instead of swimming, I went to some sort of Tonal or Total Body Class at the community center which was code for Weights Weights Weights. A woman with a loud mic proceeded to kick my ass with a bunch of exercises. I met my friend there, and I don't know if I would  have to the motivation to go back without her. I've never been one for the aerobics class setting.

We needed approximately 20 things for this class. A step thingy, blocks for the step thingy, a mat, two different pounds of weights, an elastic band and a ball. We used it all.

It started out with leg exercises, which weren't too bad, though they were definitely challenging. Then there were a lot of different arm exercises. Those were bad. We even had to do pushups (which I can't even do yet).

Kicked my butt.

Total for the day: 1 hour of kickmybutt weights class. A decent start.

December Challenge: 31 days

I have decided to step up the training and give myself a workout challenge and boost. Inspired by Steve in a Speedo's 14 Days of Nothing, his 2 week period of not training that he is currently writing about on his blog, I thought just yesterday: hey tomorrow is December already...what if I did 31 days of something? some serious training around getting stronger, healing my IT band and going into the new year feeling great. And then I can write about it on my blog keeping my fingers crossed that it might actually be half-way entertaining/enjoyable to read. And so it begins... DECEMBER CHALLENGE!!!! (cue lightning flashes and some dramatic music).

Details of the Challenge.
1. I will work out every day. Something.
2. I've broken it down into cardio and non-cardio/strength.
3. I will write about what I did every day.
4. I will try to include pictures if I can because everyone prefers a picture book.

Some of the Activities I Plan to Do.
From the non-cardio camp:
- Lifting
- Abs
- Pushups (currently working on being able to do real pushups, a challenge within the challenge)
- Stretching, including the evil foam roller (very important. sigh.)

From the cardio camp:
- Swim
- Bike (haven't tried this with the IT band yet, we'll see)
- Run (small amounts here and there)
  hmmm.... those last 3 sound like a triathlon....

So, it's on. I'm committed and now I've put it on a blog where my millions five readers will see.

Plans today? Dragging my bike and wind trainer out, queuing up some Netflix, and seeing how my leg does on the bike. And swimming later, hopefully. I will be back here later!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Swimming!

Since my IT band keeps frustrating me, I've decided to switch gears for a while and try some other things to help it heal. I'm worried about losing cardiovascular fitness, gaining weight and losing my endurance since all I can seem to run is 2 miles before I have to stop. Not to mention this band needs to heal so I can start training again in January. Solution? I joined the local community center so I can swim. It's under construction right now, so there is a 25% discount. Plus you can do a pay-as-you-go monthly membership with no fee. So it is a really good deal for a place with a pool!

There are two pools in the facitily. The Leisure Pool has a lazy river, kid water things, a big tube slide, and oddly enough 3 lap lanes. The other pool is the Competition Pool, which is shared among the community center, high school and middle school. It's very nice, but I think it's going to be harder to get a lane there most days. Plus I learned after my first swim on Sunday that it's kept at 76º while the leisure pool is kept at a bath-water temperature of 88º. I'll take warm over cool, I'm not a competitive swimmer by any means.

I haven't attempted lap swimming since I had a membership at Lifetime Fitness. I have never had lessons or anything, so I'm not really sure I'm doing it right. I have looked up some pointers online for freestyle on triathlon sites and just try to keep those principles in mind while I'm swimming. Who knows. It feels OK. The hardest part is the breathing. It's hard for me to get the rhythm down. If any swimming readers have pointers, I'd love to hear them!!!

Sunday I went for the first time. The center opened at noon, so I went a little early to be sure I'd get a lane. A bunch of high school girls went to the competition pool side, so I went into the leisure pool side so I wouldn't have to compete for a lane. I don't mind sharing a lane, this was usually how I had to swim at Lifetime since it was always crowded. However, no one else was on the leisure side yet so it was just me and the lifeguards. I got a lane (the only one open because swim classes were about to start) and warmed up a little. Since I was the only one there, all 4 lifeguards had nothing to do but watch me, which was not what I wanted since I am self-conscious about looking like a flailing gorilla in the water. Soon the swim class started, so I began my freestyle crawl down and back, breathing every 3 strokes and trying not to look dumb.

Overall I think it went well. I ended up being able to go 50 yards before I had to take a breather. For 25 yards I could breath every 3 strokes. Coming back about midway down the lane I'd have to switch to breathing every other stroke. When I tried swimming before at Lifetime, I could barely make it down the 25 yards. But I also think I was going too fast. It's hard to swim slow, in my opinion.

I was in the water for about 50 minutes. I warmed up with the breast stroke and side stroke, or my interpretations of them anyway. I did a clunky freestyle for a while and then grabbed a kickboard and kicked for a few laps. Then I did more freestyle. I'm not sure how many total laps I did. Either 8 or 13 down and backs, which is 50 yards or meters each (not sure which the pool is yet). So I totaled somewhere around 400 - 650 yards or meters. I have no clue if that's good or bad. I figured to have my heart rate up for 50 minutes was a good start.

Back in the locker room after I was done, I snuck a picture of how goofy I look in a swim cap. My swimsuit is bright, construction barrel orange. No one will ever miss me coming.



















After the pool I went to the dreadtreadmills and ran for 1.75 miles. I just had to see how my band would feel after the swimming. It felt fine. I began to feel the very early twinges, so I stopped when that happened.

So overall, I'm very excited to swim for a while! I wish I had someone who could give me some pointers in the water. Maybe I'll meet a friendly swimmer one day. I know there are classes offered too, so maybe I can check that out. Who knows, if I'm ever able to swim more than 50 yards at a time, maybe I can do a triathlon this coming year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Soccer: A Variation of Speedwork


Last Friday night I subbed in on a couple of friends' soccer team. They were lacking in girls and had a double header, hence the desire to have more flexibility on the team for subs. Since marathon training was over (never wanted to do this while I was training because I figured I'd be pretty sore), I did it. I have never played soccer in my life, not even a pickup game. So I was a little very nervous I'd make a fool of myself. While I didn't make any game-saving plays (in fact we lost both games), I was pretty good at putting pressure on the other team's ball carrier and running all over the place. I tried to kick a goal once – that was dumb. Overall, it was so much fun.

It is absolutely amazing how much running you do in soccer – and this was only indoor, so a much smaller field. My first time out, I starting bounding all over the place and quickly got winded. We didn't get a chance to warm up before the game, so that didn't help. My chest burned. I was breathing as hard as I can breathe. It was crazy! It was a speed workout like no other.

Playing soccer makes me want to go to the track and just run as fast as I can over and over. It was definitely eye opening about what kind of a runner I have become: long distance endurance, slow and steady. I'm not a sprinter. But I do want to get faster and work on that kind of strength because I know it would help distance running. Soccer players are amazing!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Evil Foam Roller

My IT band is getting slowly better. Yesterday I ran for 23 minutes before it started to hurt at all. But it needs more help.

So I got one of these: (the short one in the upper right on its end)















Let's just call it what it really is, a torturous piece of foam.

I worked on one of these when I went through the short physical therapy for my hip hurting during the marathon training. It was 2 minutes each side of hell. But, it ended up helping a LOT. So I decided it was about time I'd get one so I can start running normally again.

What you do with it is lay on it on your side, starting at your hip. Then you roll yourself along it all the way down to above your knee. Then back up. For a long time. On both legs. Ouch.

So here I go to roll away...

Monday, November 9, 2009

IT Band

IT Band. (ii-tee • band) 1. Iliotibial band.   2. Super tight piece of crap in my leg stretching from my hip to my knee that causes my knee to hurt.

Two runs now have been cut short. But I hope that my knowledge gained from Oxford Physical Therapy, some ice, some rolling with the rolling pin, and the resurgence of my stretching (I have been bad) will get me back in a couple of weeks to regular pain free running.

In the meantime, maybe I'll hop on my bike trainer to keep up the cardio. Though biking has always hurt my knees... so maybe that won't work. We shall see!



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Slow Recovery


Well it's been a slow recovery from the marathon. I have done a couple of runs, the one at Sharon Woods hurt my knee. The trails are quite off-kilter there and I don't think my post-marathon legs were ready for it. And then I got the slightest cold, which has turned into a giant sinus snot-fest. Which has in turn made it very difficult to sleep/breathe. And then there's the humongous amount of work I've had lately. All of that = running not so much. So the Mason Mini this weekend is definitely out of the question. No biggie. It's OK, a break is good.

I'm feeling a lot better today and will see about going for a little run tonight after the hubby gets home. We're going to test the track conditions in the dark. We're not sure if there is enough ambient light around the school to run now that 6:00/6:30 track time is in the dark. (Thanks stupid planetary movement!) Track time just might have to be done solo for me this winter if there isn't enough light. Or we might be able to go on the weekends. I am the only one during the week who can leave work willy nilly (ok not really willy nilly, but I have a much more flexible schedule).

Operation Shrink the Beagle should be starting up soon too, maybe today or tomorrow. Dexter weighs a whopping 35 pounds, 5 pounds heavier than our bigger dog, Harley. The vet said as she pointed at him, cocking her head a little, and I quote: "Uh... no more weight gain for this one. He's lost his waist." He's a butterball. He is lazy and doesn't find much joy in exercising himself, so I'm going to start walking him a mile or so a day and see where that gets us. Beagles are known for having heart problems as they get older, so I don't want this chubby-wubby to have anything more going against him.

35 pounder, sulking after I told him he has to start exercising

Friday, October 30, 2009

Warm Fall

I'm watching the weather and next week we're in for a "quiet weather pattern" which I suppose means good things. I'm enjoying sucking up the last bit of shorts and t-shirt running weather. Yesterday I ran out on the road at a 9:30 pace. Just for 3 miles, but it felt good. I felt pretty energetic. My knee is a little sore from running the off-kilter trails at Sharon Woods. I need to stretch and get back into my physical therapy exercises. Today was 80º! Unfortunately I was stuck inside an office all day. At 4:45 I put on my jacket, zipped it up, walked down the stairs and was shocked at the heat wave waiting for me as I was free of the building.

I'm planning to run 6 miles tomorrow or Sunday. I'm not sure about doing the Mason Mini in two weekends since my knee is a little sore. I don't want to aggravate it too much, but would love to do the race and see how fast I can do it. I did it last year at a pace slower than I just ran the marathon. So I suppose I'm improving slowly.

I'm trying to think of something to add to my running this winter to keep it interesting. So far all I've been able to come up with is:
1. location destination runs around the city/parks (especially for the long runs)
2. people to run with (but I don't have many friends who run...or do I)
3. snow shoe running, should we actually get snow (I've heard it's fun)

I'm jealous of runners' blogs I read where they talk about their running friends and comradere. Working by myself and running by myself is getting old  :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Plans

It's simple.

My immediate plans are to:
1. Up my weekly mileage over the next few months.
2. Get stronger - that means strength and core training. For real.
3. See where I'm at speed-wise.

My longer-term plans are:
1. Get faster.
2. Run the Flying Pig Marathon.
3. Do some duathlons this spring/summer because they're just so damn fun.

Let it begin!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Running In Fall

We are having a beeeeeautiful fall this year. I love fall – and it is definitely my favorite season to enjoy a run... crunching through the leaves, cooler temperatures and the amazing
colors.























I ran at Sharon Woods yesterday and took my phone along to capture some of it. I try to visit this park every fall. Even if we have an "ugly" year, somehow the trees there are always able to show off a lot of color.



































































And I saw a hot air balloon. Also saw a guy running the loop barefoot. Ouch!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Columbus Marathon - the experience

Sunday October 18th, I finished my first marathon! Yay!!!!
Time was 4:57:41 and I met all of my goals.
1. Finished.
2. Finished running across the line, thanks to a lovely downhill finish approach! :)
3. Finished under 5 hours.

It was an awesome experience and very, very fun. I hope this isn't too long and boring of a report. There is way too much to try and capture. This is chock full of photos (26 even!) so hopefully that helps make it more interesting. I can thank Erin Powell for the wonderful documentation of the race day! And Greg was able to snap some of me as well.

FRIDAY
As Greg and I pulled onto 71 North to head to Columbus, it hit me. I started laughing my butt off and said, well I guess there's no turning back now- I'm going to run a marathon this weekend! It suddenly seemed so insane to me. Other people run marathons, not me. My friend Sarah flew up from Florida to run the marathon also, and we picked her up from the airport late Friday night. We chatted until 2 a.m. - it was nice to catch up.

SATURDAY - marathon eve
Saturday I woke up at 8, wide awake. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't. We all got up and headed out for breakfast around 10. We soon discovered that not much of downtown is open on the weekend. After visiting some places we wanted to eat at only to find them closed, we ended up heading toward the Convention Center where the race expo was, hoping to pass some food along the way. We did find a Max & Erma's in a hotel that was open and had some hot soft pretzels with our lunch.

The expo was pretty dinky so we breezed through that pretty easily. We picked up our packets and shirts and posters, then walked the cold, windy route back to the hotel, which was only about a half mile away. Sarah got the best hotel location EVER. Here are the port-o-johns, just yards from our hotel.






















Knowing we just were supposed to rest, we holed up in our hotel suite and watched college football games. I was soooo tired. I didn't want to nap, though I could have, but I was hoping this fatigue would help me sleep well that night.

At 5:15 we had dinner reservations at Due Amici with my friend Jennifer who was in town. I had a mushroom stuffed ravioli in a pesto sauce that was delicious. They also had great bread with olive oil. And lots of water, of course.

After dinner we walked back to the hotel and chilled out some more. I began to get stuff ready for the next day. I wrote my name huge on the top of my shirt. Friends who have done marathons before advised me to do this and it was great advice! I felt like a rock star out there when people were yelling my name. I got all my gels together. Stretched. I was so tired. So I went to bed at 9, read for about an hour and finally fell asleep around 10.

SUNDAY - marathon morning
At 4:30 I woke up with a very, very painful headache, while in the middle of a dream that we had overslept for the race. My neck/back hurt from the bed and pillow change, leading to the headache. I jumped out of bed and popped some Advil and then laid back down. Originally I was going to get up at 5:30, but figured I should stay in bed until the Advil worked and my headache was gone. It worked and I got up at 6.

First I ate my two little containers of applesauce. I munched on a half of a mini-bagel. Then I splashed water in my face and woke up a bit more. I ate some Sport Beans (yum) 30 minutes before the race start time.

Here I am furiously tying my shoes. I only tied my shoes once the entire day. Usually I have a weird thing of untying and retying them compulsively before a race.

















At 7:20 we walked downstairs, met Jennifer (who would be teaming with Greg all day going around to see us) and went to the start line.
Ready to go!!!!!























THE RACE (Photos courtesy of Erin Powell and Greg)
The entire race experience was the coolest thing I've ever done. I was super nervous and somewhat in denial about actually running 26.2 miles. But I knew I could do it.

The morning was cold. Probably about 38º. But dry!

















We're somewhere in there.

















It took us about 15 minutes to cross the start line. Here's the aftermath of discarded clothing after all the runners were gone.






















Sarah and I started out running together. Once she warmed up, she went ahead. I wasn't sure what my pace was - it ended up being a little slow in the start. But I just kept running how I felt, figuring I'd settle in after a couple of miles.

I remember the race in approximate chunks, so here it goes:

Miles 1 - 5: We ran through some really cool neighborhoods with awesome houses. I felt great, and just kept chugging along. The miles were ticking by pretty fast. I was very aware of my feet and legs. My legs were numb due to the cold. My left foot's shoe didn't feel like it was tight enough....

Then I saw Erin and Roman!















They were on the left side of the street so I veered over to run closer to that side. Erin snapped 5 million pictures and both of them were cheering and yelling at me. It was awesome.

Miles 5 - 13: After heading back towards downtown, I saw Jennifer and Greg around mile 8 maybe? They were on the left side and cheering. Greg made an awesome sign. He gave me my sunglasses which I had forgot in the hotel room and I gave him my long sleeve shirt I wore in the beginning to stay warm. I had all intensions of just ditching it on the side of the road, but for some reason couldn't part with it forever.

There is frost on my hat! And that lady in pink is totally checking out my butt.






















Then I think we ran through German Village, where I saw Roman and Erin again! I'm in a sea of half-marathoners (blue on the bottom of their bibs), who were soon going to be done.















It was fun to watch for Erin and Roman, as I didn't know where they would pop up, so it was kind of a game for me to keep myself occupied. It definitely made the time go by faster. They again screamed at me and it was so cool to see them.

After running through German Village, we were back on High Street. I wasn't looking forward to this, after looking at the race map, because it was just a long 5 mile stretch downtown. Turns out it was one of my favorite parts of the course. Before the half marathoners split off to finish their races, I saw Erin and Roman...again!
















This time they jogged with me and Erin sprinted ahead to take some pictures.















I was complaining about the hill. Not really a hill, more of an incline. Columbus doesn't have hills.















Right at the State House, where we all started, I saw Jennifer and Greg again. They yelled "You look great! Almost there!" which was our ongoing joke for the weekend. I wanted to flip them off, but there were kids around and my big red gloves don't hide.























In truth some people were almost there- the half marathoners. I thought I'd be mad at seeing them be able to finish already, but I wasn't. I was happy to keep moving along. After they turned off, the course greatly opened up. I was practically by myself. We continued on High Street and then turned into fraternity row and back into another neighborhood.

Miles 13 - 17, OSU Area: There weren't many people out along fraternity row, but what can you expect early on a Sunday morning from college kids, right? The street was very rough and I had to watch the ground so I didn't stumble. And then around mile 15...I saw Erin and Roman! Yay!!! Erin shouted at me that I had sped up, which I knew, but didn't know how much. I was feeling soooo good. At this point I was just waiting for things to start declining.
















At some point we were running on campus. This was by far the worst part of the race. No one was out except one group that was giving out Gummy Bears, which I took gladly! Candy to suck on gave me something to do. I was beginning to lose a little steam. I was getting warm so the hat came off and arm warmers got pushed down. Apparently Roman and Erin were trying to see me in this area, but the course map was wrong, so they missed me.

Miles 17 - 20: After the OSU area, the course wound its way into another beautiful neighborhood. Most people in this area were chatting on corners with their coffees. It was very pretty, the trees were gorgeous and the sky was as blue as it can be. When I passed mile marker 18, I thought: this is it. Uncharted territory. What is going to happen now? I watched a woman drop her gloves, stop, and then eeever so slowly reach down to pick them up. Those gloves would have been gone if I had dropped them - no way was I stopping to bend over for anything at this point.

When I passed mile 20, a weird, bubbling, emotional cry came up out of me. 20 miles! I'm going to do this! I had two pace bands on- one for a 4:45 finish and one for a 5:00 finish. I was trying to stay in between them. At the beginning of the race I was closer to the 5:00 finish, but since I had sped up, I gained some padding with every mile that I would allow me to finish under 5 for sure. As I ticked away the miles, I began playing the math games, realizing that even if something bad happened and I had to walk a mile, I could finish under 5. So this realization made me pretty happy. Plus until mile 18 I was pretty certain I had been running a strong pace faster than any of my long runs, which made me feel like I had accomplished something there even if the rest of the race fell apart. Everything was beginning to hurt, but I still had my breathing under control for the most part. My legs hurt, my knees hurt a little. My feet hurt a little, but not too bad. My neck hurt - I stretched that the most. But I just kept telling myself over and over that it was just pain and would go away later. More good advice from experienced marathoners :)

Miles 20 - 26.2: I hadn't seen Erin and Roman since somewhere around 15. It had been awhile and I was really getting tired, mentally and physically. I wondered if I would see them at all before the finish because maybe they just needed to head back that way. But then, at mile 22 (and the picture to prove it) they were there!
















My spirits were immediately lifted and I slowly chugged down the street towards them. Erin ran with me a little and called Greg. She said I had to say something. I said I couldn't! She said just yell then. So I yelled into the phone when we heard Greg. After their visit I was much more energized once again. The course was making a lot of turns. There was a big downhill at one part, which I thought would be nice...but my legs screamed at me! It was a little scary and definitely not a good thing at that point in the race. Now I understand what people mean about Boston and how the downhills can be just as bad or worse than the uphills in a marathon.

At mile 24, my mind was all over the place. 2 more miles... no wait 4 more miles... wait (check pace band, check watch) oh no I slowed down a lot! No wait, (get out fingers) 24...25...26... YES two more miles!!! Holy crap there's only 2 more!!! 2 is a very small number!!! During the whole race I never thought about how many miles were left. But at 24 I did. I wanted to speed up so bad, but my knees were weak, probably because my legs were so tired, and I didn't want to risk having them get all tweaky and painful. Slow and steady, I trudged along.

Somewhere along here there was a slight incline and people handed out individually wrapped buckeye candies when you got to the top, after running under big OSU colored balloon arches. Yum for later.

At the last water stop, I took my water and then stopped and bent over. I just needed to stretch my back. A guy next to me asked if I was OK and I told him yes, just needed to stretch. He said "we're almost there!" And I said "yep." This was the only conversation I had with another runner that entire 5 hours. The volunteer that gave me water looked right into my face and told me there is only .5 miles to go. I didn't know whether or not to believe him, as people like to shout out all kinds of interpretations about how many more miles they think you have. But after another run along a beautiful street with cool houses, the course turned and BAM! Back on Front street.

This is the home stretch!






















Oh wow. So many people and many of them were cheering and yelling my name as I passed. I immediately picked up the pace and a huge goofy grin spread across my face. I was going to finish the marathon!!!! I didn't feel anything anymore. I just looked ahead. And then I saw Greg, Jennifer and Sarah (yay she finished too!) along the side, cheering. I rounded the last corner and saw that it was downhill (sweetness!) and ran as fast as I could without falling over. Erin and Roman were on the side, but I don't think I saw them. I had tunnel vision. I crossed the line and looked at my watch - 4:57:40. Yay!!!!!!!!

Cool balloons...






















Closer....






















Closer.......






















Crossing the line. 4:57:40 was the official time...the clock here shows how much of a delay there was to crossing the start line!















And now I was done.

I got my medal, my mylar blanket, and my free beanie hat. I then continued along the food corral, looking at my options. Mmmm donuts... no ew. That sounds awful right now. Bagel? My throat seemed to tighten. I found the biggest half of a banana and ate that. Then I suddenly thought about what I had just accomplished and got a little blubbery again. I just ran a marathon and it was awesome!! Then I was exiting the food area...cruel of them to put 5 or 6 steps coming out of the food area into the celebration area. I made it up them and then walked back towards the Starbucks we were all meeting at.

Greg and Jennifer, awesome cheering/support crew, outside of Starbucks. It was a long, cold day for spectators!!

















I saw Greg and Sarah, then Jennifer and Pete, then eventually Erin and Roman found us too. It was all over and amazing. Sarah and I began gushing about different spots on the course and different experiences. There is just so much that happens along the way, I haven't even covered half of it here. So many people, so many thoughts and emotions, so much dialogue with yourself that you never have in other situations.

Finishers! Sarah finished in 4:37!!

















Me and the best race-supporting hubby ever.

















This was by far the coolest thing I've ever done. I am pleasantly surprised by how good I felt for the duration. The weather and flat course definitely had something to do with that. It was a perfect day.

Afterwords, we walked back to the hotel, showered, and checked out. Then we went to a restaurant down the way called Barley's for grub and beers!

















Erin and Roman: the coolest marathoner-chasing friends EVER!!!!

















My medal.























So now it is over and done. I had so much fun. It was an amazing experience: from the training, to the race weekend, to finishing the race – I've never done anything like it and look forward to doing another one!






Friday, October 23, 2009

Marathon Report Coming Soon...

It's almost been a week. I have the account of the marathon written, but need to add some pictures to keep it interesting :) I will get it done before the week's time.

I'm feeling better already. Yesterday I ran 2.5 miles, the first run since the 26.2. It hurt a little, but my pace was good and I barely breathed hard or broke a sweat. The first couple of days after, I couldn't walk well. If my legs weren't locked, I couldn't support myself. That made for some wobbly attempts at walking on rough ground and some near falls. By the Wednesday, I felt a lot better and today I barely notice anything, so yippee!

Stay tuned for the very long report.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 16 - Columbus Training, the final stretch

Sunday - 5.8 miles
Monday - 3 miles
Tuesday - 1.5 miles...7 laps at the track. So short!
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 2 miles slowly
Friday - 0 rest
Saturday - 0 rest, walking around Columbus to the expo and meals

Friday, October 16, 2009

2 more days...








Yesterday I ran my last little jog before the marathon. Now it is just two days of resting, though Saturday is going to be a busy day in Columbus.

My bib number is 3910. Apparently you can follow runners on this website if you know their bib number/name. Plus there is the TweetMyTime setup I posted about in my last post.

Sunday's weather is still looking to be cold but dry with maybe even some sunshine! I hope so!

I'm looking forward to this. It's going to be quite an amazing challenge.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Columbus Here I Come!

This Sunday I will run my first marathon. I'm very excited. And very nervous. There are a lot of unknowns: what will the weather be like, will anyone see me, how will I feel, will I finish, will I get blisters the size of Rhode Island, etc etc.

But I suppose there are a lot of knowns as well. I know this is my first marathon and that I really really want to finish it. I know I've trained relatively well. I know Columbus is flat (yay!). I know this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done, physically.

So, there's not much left to do except rest, pack, wait and sleep well this week.

Here are my goals. The first is the only real goal. The second two would make me very happy.
1) Finish.
2) Finish feeling good and able to run a good clip across the finish line rather than crawl.
3) Finish under 5 hours.

For anyone interested in seeing how the morning plays out, the Columbus marathon has partnered with TweetMyTime to link my checkpoint times with Twitter. The checkpoints are at the start, 10K, halfway point, 20K, and finish. (Of course this is all based on it working properly.) So, there are a few ways to follow me on race day, even if you don't have Twitter (the race starts at 7:30 a.m.):

1) Twitter: If you're already following me on Twitter, then you know what to do.

2) Facebook Status/Newsfeed: I've enabled my Twitter feed for the marathon to also post to my Facebook status. So every time I cross a checkpoint, my status should be updated with my current time and pace.

3) Cell Phone Text: If you subscribe to my Facebook Status via SMS, you will get the updates sent to your phone via text message. It's not a lifelong commitment; you can easily unsubscribe after the race is over ;)

4) This Blog: Come to this blog where I've added a Twitter gadget on the right. You should see the Twitter updates there.

So, that's it! I have a couple more easy runs this week, but other than that I am resting it up. Here goes nothing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 15 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 3 miles
Monday - 13 miles (awful awful run)
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 3 miles easy
Thursday - 0
Friday - 2.5 miles
Saturday - 0

One more week to go!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Bad Run

I don't want to dwell on this run more than I already have, but yesterday I ran 13 miles, my last long run before the race in two weeks, and it was nothing short of disappointing.

The progression went like this: I started off fine, and was holding back to run at the very easy 10:56 pace my body seems to naturally fall into for these long runs. Then around mile 5 I started getting tired. This was followed by being really tired. Then I started cramping. Then I was nauseous (I've never been nauseous on a run that I can remember). My feet hurt really really bad and I was getting blisters on the insides of both of them (in my marathon shoes, by the way). I hurt all over. I was shuffling and had to walk a few times. I ended up an entire minute slower than I started. Then when I stopped my legs seized up and hurt soooo bad. There was no relief: walking hurt, sitting hurt, stretching hurt. It was weird.

I know this is kind of whiny, but I just can't imagine what will happen if I feel like this on race day. I am hoping that it was a fluke. I know for a fact I am low on iron also and have started taking my supplements again. Honestly, that could have been it right there and I hope it was. But I also know this is how it goes, some runs are good and some are bad. It just freaked me out thinking about marathon day. Aren't I trained better than this? To run 13 miles should feel easy by now, dammit!

Then again, I've never done this before.

Anyway... here's a picture of an air-puffed Frankenstein walking down the sidewalk.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 14 - Columbus Training

Sunday - walked about 5 miles, does that count for cross training??
Monday - 5.5 miles
Tuesday - 5 miles at the track
Wednesday - 0
Thursday - 0, last physical therapy appointment
Friday - 3
Saturday - 0

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week 13 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0, much needed rest
Monday - 2.1 easy peasy miles
Tuesday - 4 miles at the track. (7 x 800s)
Wednesday - 0 rest
Thursday - 0, so tired. Fell asleep right before my run was supposed to happen.
Friday - 0 Oops. Didn't get up in time before we left for Chicago.
Saturday - walked a lot?

A trip to Chicago really ruined my training this past week/weekend. The plan is to push hard this week, as it will be my last big week before the marathon, so every bit counts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Track Night

First day of fall and the King's Collision Center temperature clock read 87º! And it was muggy, also. At least there was a water bottle waiting for me after each lap at the track if I wanted. It threatened to rain on us the entire time, and there was a short set of sprinkles that felt good.

Cool cloud off in the distance.

















Krista joined me this time for my Yasso 800's. I really do think it's greatly helping me to be able to push in the longer distances. Maybe through the winter I'll try something else, shorter and faster, to try to get my speed and leg turnover up.

We warmed up 1200. Then she and I did 4 x 800. Krista then headed off to the stadium stairs and did those (yikes! I haven't done that since college!). I continued on running 3 more 800s. The last one was hard. I felt it in my legs. But I never slowed down, which I'm happy about. I probably could have gone one more, though it was getting really hard to breathe. More than my legs, the breathing thing is what holds me back I think.

Anyway, our splits were mostly around 4:20. Last few were 4:18, so I'm happy about that. I know that is horrendously slow, but whatever.

Greg and Roman were there too. Here is Greg demonstrating to Roman how he can make his hand flutter really fast, er... something.

















I wore my marathon shoes. Broke them in nicely I think. Maybe another long run in them and then I'll put them in the closet until race day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

18 Miles!

Saturday Greg and I went out to Miami Whitewater. I ran 18 miles and Greg ran 8. Sorry, no pictures. This is just going to be a boring wordy post.

Greg did the first loop with me, which is about 8 miles if you stretch it all the way out in the parking lot. We went at a steady 10:55 - 11:00 pace and chatted. He was starting to feel it by the end, but did great. The most he's ever ran (about 4 years ago) is 6.2. I was very impressed.

We got back to the beginning and I stretched briefly. I was so tight. Then Greg went to cool down and play some disc golf while I ran the loop again, to get to 16 miles. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. When we first started on the first loop, it was hard to hold back at the slow pace. During the second loop, I kept looking at my watch, fulling expecting the pace to start showing well into the 11's. But I managed to hang on at 10:57... until about 13.4 miles. It was getting too hard to maintain the pace, so I let myself slow down to whatever felt right. When it was all done, I averaged 11:34. I'm still pretty happy with that, especially considering it was kind of hilly and I ran up all the big hills. I felt strong and in control.

After the second loop, I went ahead and did the little inner loop that is only about 1.4 miles. I still had 2 miles to go! The inner loop starts with a severe long down hill, which hurt. Then it levels out and joins the outer loop, so I had to run the big hill at the end of the outer loop yet again, making it a 3rd time! It was rough.

By now, I was definitely hurting everywhere. I found what I will call my marathon shuffle though. I was moving forward at a steady pace and everything felt in control (breathing, body parts, etc). I saw Greg and told him I had about .7 to go and ran around the concession stand and back. I felt like throwing my arms into the air when I saw 18.00 click over on my GPS. Finally finished, I walked up to the concession stand where Greg was. I really wanted chocolate milk, but had to settle for a Pepsi. After sitting for a little bit, sipping the Pepsi and moaning, we got in the car and headed back home. I fell asleep on the way back.

Pain, definite pain! But today is Monday and I'm already feeling better. Most importantly, I have NO HIP PAIN. I can kind of feel it when I stretch, but that is all. So I'm so happy about that!

I think the marathon is going to be absolutely awesome! It is less than a month away now, I can't wait!!

Week 12 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0
Monday - 3.8 and it felt good.
Tuesday - 0. Work.
Wednesday - 6 with no pain afterwords!!
Thursday - 3 miles after PT appointment... hurt!
Friday -
Saturday - 18 miles!!!!!!! No pain (well, not in my hip anyway) and it was somewhat hilly.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 11 - Columbus Training

Not a good week. :(

Sunday
- 0, Disc golf at Banklick, but had to stop because hip hurt too bad
Monday 0
Tuesday - 4 miles at the track. Hip in extreme pain later that night.
Wednesday - 0, Can't even walk without pain and limping.
Thursday - 0, Appointment at Oxford Physical Therapy. Diagnosis: tight everything in my hip. Got stretches to do and a new appointment.
Friday - 2 miles, successful
Saturday - 0, quite a bit of walking

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Hips Don't Lie

So after Tuesday night at the track, my hip wasn't feeling so great again. Each time I walked between intervals, it hurt a little. Oddly it didn't hurt at all when I ran. By the time we were home and into the evening it was hurting really bad. Then I didn't sleep well because I couldn't move in bed without really bad pain. Wednesday, I limped around all day and moved at slow speeds as if I had the flu. I was grumpy and the 800 MG Advil wasn't working. Greg convinced me to call Oxford Physical Therapy and made an appointment for the next day. I think I was in denial that something was wrong.

The appointment went well. Diagnosis is: hip flexors (i.e. everything in my hip) is tight. My IT band (iliotibial on the diagram) is a little bit tight, but not effecting my knee and I actually can't tell it's tight. He could tell by feeling it (gross). He thinks my bursae are a little swollen. The ligaments around them are all irritated and tight. And my quads are a little tight. Thankfully my piriformis isn't at all in pain. It's mostly all the big red chunks at the top of this diagram.






















I stretch after I run, but I've never really paid attention to what I'm doing and guiltily admit sometimes I don't stretch much or at all. You can't train for a marathon and not stretch properly.

So, I am going to do my exercises, not run 18 as planned this weekend, and start adding the mileage back easy. Good news is that I should still be able to run Columbus. I just have to take it easy for a bit and be more careful. Glad this happened now and not closer to the race date where I probably wouldn't have enough time to fix myself.

Today I feel a lot better and there is barely any pain. I am going to run maybe 2 miles later today and see how it goes. Baby steps. For my appointment next week, they are going to work on me and do some things to get my hip a lot better, which I have a feeling means hurt me to heal me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week 10 - Columbus Training

Wasn't a great week. Ended with some hip pain- maybe from when I fell off my bike and then aggravated it more with a hard bike ride on Thursday. Not sure. Either way, I've had some days off and am going crazy now! Tonight we're going to the track, so hopefully everything is better.

Sunday - 0, disc golf at Gulley
Monday 0
Tuesday - 4 miles at the track
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - 15 mile bike ride from my house
Friday - 3.8 miles
Saturday - 0

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday Track Time


















Greg and I went to the track again tonight, like we did last Thursday. We met our friend Roman there, and he and Greg (aka the speedsters) ran some 400's while I slowly did mile repeats.

I warmed up for 1 mile. Then I did 2 miles at 9:00 pace each, resting in between. During the second one I was soooo tired. I had planned to do a third 9:00 but decided not to. I ran one more mile kind of slowly to cool down.

It sucks being slow, but I have to start somewhere. It is really fun to go to the track with people though! We hope to do it again next week. I'd like to continue doing it weekly, during the marathon training and beyond.

16 Miles - My Longest Run Yet

I was going to have some illustrations to go along with this, but I'm running out of time, so I'm just dumping it all out there. 16 miles is a long way, and it's kind of funny how the time and scenery pass by.

Miles 1 - 2.... Typical run environment from my house, sun and shade and trees. It was a beautiful day with cool temperatures.

Miles 2 - 3... Past the Regal theater, behind Lifetime Fitness, a van went up on the curb at corner before I crossed street. ?!

Miles 3 - 6... Long boring sidewalk along Mason-Montgomery...saw another runner...saw a girl on a bike. Took my gel at mile 6. Thoughts were about Hurricane Ike from last year since this was the same sidewalk I was on while trying to head home in that storm.

Miles 6 - 8... Along Tylersville, then 42. There is some construction through here and a street cleaner was sucking up broken up asphalt. It stunk and was smokey and loud. I somehow pushed one of my bottles up out of my belt with my leg (I think I was hopping over stuff) and it fell out, but I heard the construction guy yelling "ma'am!!!" at me and was able to turn around and retrieve it.

Miles 8 - 10... Down a hill, up a hill...there were some more construction workers and I ran over new asphalt they had just put down. It was sticky. Then up in a neighborhood, I passed a sign for a "Roman Garage Sale". They had things out in their yard like big columns and pots with plants in them, and big pictures of different architecture in Rome. Kind of strange. Maybe they are just absolutely sick of Rome in their house and are switching cities.

Miles 10 - 13... Ate a pretzel- that doesn't work. I brought pretzels along for the salt, but I had to drink so much water with the pretzel in order to get it down it wasn't worth it. It was like trying to eat saltines. I began to get tired and slow down. Along Innovation Way I took a little break in the shade to stretch and a funeral procession passed by.

Miles 13... Very rough part here, mentally. Began thinking of chocolate milk and Chipotle but decided it was too early to begin thinking of rewards. Still had 3 miles to go.

Miles 14 - 15... Started to shuffle. Took some walk breaks.

Miles 15 - 16... Shuffle shuffle shuffle...sooo.... tired... but I finished!

Afterwards... Had a brief chat with the neighbors- "16 miles?!" "yeah, gotta go...sorry...gotta eat..." I sat down outside in the deck with the hose and watered down my legs and feet with the cold water. That felt very good. While I was doing that, my sweet husband made a tall glass of chocolate milk for me and I drank that down pretty quickly. Then I had a tall glass of iced sweet tea. I didn't want Chipotle or any other food for awhile, but ended up eating some pasta after a bit.

I'm glad that this weekend is a "low" mileage long run!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week 9 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0, disc golf at Mason
Monday - 20 mile bike ride
Tuesday - 0
Wednesday - 4.75 miles
Thursday - 4 miles at the track (repeats)
Friday - 0
Saturday - 16 miles! The farthest I have ever ran...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Miles at the Track























Tonight I felt like switching it up and going to the track. It's been a loooong time since I've been to a track to run any kind of workout. I wasn't planning on doing anything too hard and thought I'd maybe just do a few miles there. I convinced Greg to go with me. It was very fun!

Greg running.

















After briefly talking to Greg about what my ideas of repeats on a track are (from things I've read over the years and my own experience working with Fleet Feet's training programs), he decided he was going to do some 400's. I decided I was going to do mile repeats. That is good distance to repeat for marathon training, plus I wanted to work on my pace and form. I brought the camera along and had Greg take a few pictures of me so I could see what I look like while running. I have a tendency to bring my arms up kind of high as well as my shoulders. Start looking like a t-rex.

















I warmed up 1 mile at a 10:00 pace. Then my plan was to do 3 miles at 9:30, and another cool down mile. The first mile I did was 9:00 – a bit faster than I planned. The second mile I nailed the pace at 9:30. I decided that was enough, since I'm planning to run 16 miles this weekend. So I ran one more cool down mile at 10:15 pace for a total of 4 miles.

Look pretty normal...























Look out small dinosaurs... here comes T-rex...raaaarrwww!





















The track is so nice – soft and smooth. There was always a breeze at some point, even though it was 89º when we went. Greg did awesome, running various distances repeatedly. I think he's going to be sore. His cool down is faster than my mile repeat. Yeah. I'm pokey.

After we ran, we took our shoes off and ran a couple of yards on the fake turf football field barefoot. It is squishy and felt great. I could feel the different muscles being used around my ankles.
Greg stretching.

















So we are planning to try to go to the track on Tuesdays now. This will give me more time between possibly having a hard workout and running a long run on the weekend. It's fun that we can run together, even while we're clearly such different paces. I think I'll stick with mile repeats for the duration of the marathon training. I'll keep working on my form and staying strong when tired.