Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spring 2013 plans?

On Monday I took a step towards determining my spring 2013 race plans, by throwing my name in the hat for a race lottery.

It's not as much of a commitment as it seems since no credit card was involved. If I'm selected in early January, I'll have 48 hours to handle over my money and register. I'm not quite sure if 2013 is the year to do this race, but I do know that I want to do at least once in my life. It's been in the back on of my mind since high school, when a girl from my club swim team did it. So, for now, I'm leaving the door to 2013 open.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Post "marathon" fun

In anticipation of enjoying the off-season to the fullest, I had a lot of things planned for after the Richmond marathon. Of course the race didn't go quite as planned, but I didn't let that stop me from enjoying myself!

I spent two fun days with Lauren, celebrating her birthday and doing lots of BIG THINGS.

BIG THINGS like chopping off all my hair.

probably should have stopped here because this is a great look

Then I headed on a three day road trip with friends, to help someone move to Colorado
 self timer focus fail

I spent the weekend in Boulder, and reaped the benefits of 48 hours at altitude. I figure I'm looking at least a minute per mile off all my times.

I made it back East just in time for a short work week and Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Lots of eating and no need to go shopping. What more could you want? It was good to spend time with family and friends that I don't see often enough.

Isn't this how you would want to spend the day after Thanksgiving?

Now it's back to life as "normal," but the past two weeks were just what I needed. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Richmond Marathon race report

Sometimes you have the day that you've been dreaming of, the one that's always in the back of your mind during every track workout and long run. The one where running at goal pace is hard, but manageable, and you execute the race plan just the way that you laid it out beforehand.  And other times you find yourself someplace you hoped you'd never be.

I did not finish the Richmond Marathon on Saturday. My legs just felt a little off from the start and I started burping up my first gel shortly after taking it at mile five. I was still right where I wanted to be at that point, holding a nice relaxed pace for the first 10k. So I tried not to be worried and hoped I would settle in soon.  There was a nice long downhill shortly after the 10k mark that made it pretty easy to pick up the pace. But when I reached the flatter and rolling sections after that, my pace started creeping up. I tried Honey Stinger chews at mile 10 when the thought of another gel made we want to gag and barely managed to get them down. I felt like I was working significantly harder, but was running slower than I had in the first 10k. It's one thing to feel that way in the 20s, but at 10 it was rather concerning. I spent the next few miles debating my options and trying to pull myself out of what I hoped was just a rough patch. But by the time I hit halfway, I was pretty sure that I was done. I decided to get to George and the CAR cheering squad at 17 before making any final decisions, but I more or less knew what I was going to do.  An excruciatingly long mile 16 on the Lee Bridge only further cemented my decision and dropped out just after mile 17 when I reached George.

Obviously I was extremely disappointed, but I know that continuing on for those last nine miles would have been even worse than stopping. I've done that before in a race I knew that was over at halfway (in Baltimore in 2010) and run/walking the second half, while watching my pace get slower and slower, was not an experience I wanted to repeat.  I didn't cry and while watching the rest of my teammates finish I never once wished that I was finishing too. Dropping out was the right decision on that day.

I could spend hours trying to figure out what happened or if there was anything I could have done to have prevented this, but in the end that's not worth my time or energy. It was simply a bad day with extremely unfortunate timing. We all have them during every training cycle and it just so happened that this one fell on race day. I know that it says nothing about how I trained this fall or my abilities. Nor does it make me a quitter. Sometimes things just don't break your way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Richmond Marathon Training - Week 13

Monday October 29
Elliptical - 60 minutes
The rain from Hurricane Sandy had already started on Monday morning and the pools were closed, so I opted to take advantage of the fact that the gym was open to get in an hour of cross training. It was nothing special, but I was glad to be able to do something.

Tuesday October 30
Run 7.4 mi
1600 (7:00), 1200 (5:05), 800 (3:24), 400 (1:35)
An impromptu afternoon track workout. We were lucky that Hurricane Sandy didn't cause major damage in the DC area and by Tuesday afternoon it was still raining but the wind had died down. Since many of us ended up with the day off, a group got together mid-afternoon to do the interval workout for the week. The 1200 was a bit fast, but other than that I was happy with how I executed the workout.

Wednesday October 31
Run 8.0 mi - AM
I've really enjoyed running with the CAR morning group this training cycle and I headed out for one last run with them. It was also nice to cut it a bit short and turn around early.

Yoga - 75 min - PM

Thursday November 1
Run 5.15 mi
I fit in the run commute that I would have normally done on Monday. It had been so long since I'd taken the shorter five mile route to work that I almost forgot what it was!

Friday November 2
Run 6.2 mi
5k tempo - 22:36 (7:21/7:14/7:09)
This was exactly the tempo workout I needed to end this training cycle. It was dark and cold the entire time, but I just focused on putting in a hard effort and slowing picking up the pace.
Saturday November 3
Run 9.5 mi (avg pace - 8:50)
Last "long" run before the marathon!

Sunday November 4

Week 13 - 36.25 mi
Ah, the second week of taper. The time when my brain finally realizes that it isn't getting enough workout time and the crazies begin. All in all, I think I held it together pretty well. I'm hoping that my legs are busy recovering and will be fresh and ready to go on race day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October Recap

Miles: 234.7 (+ ~6 miles in the pool)

X-Training: 10 (1 pool runs, 1 swim, 2 elliptical sessions, 6 yoga classes)

Rest Days: 4

Race(s): There's No Place Like Home 5k - 22:02

Ice cream flavor of the month: Peanut Butter Caramel Brownie (for some reason this one has been forgotten in recent recaps. I'm bringing it back!)

New gear: A new pair of Brooks Ghosts for the marathon and a pair of neon orange Nike Pegasus for feeling fast.

Workout goals:
Run a lot - Done! October ended up beating out September as my highest mileage month ever.

Recover well - After feeling some tightness towards the end of September, I made sure that I did my PT stretches almost every day in October. I only skipped them when I went to yoga since I figured that gives me plenty of stretching time. I did a good job getting 64 (or more) oz of water a day and for the most part got enough sleep. Swimming suffered a bit, but it will be back post-marathon.

I feel confident that I did what I needed to do in October. I put in lots of miles, started taper and set a new 5k PR. I managed to keep up with my PT stretches, yoga, hydration and sleep, so hopefully I've done everything necessary to get myself to the start line on November 10 ready to race. I still find it hard to believe that the training is done and race week is here, but I'm working on getting my mind in the right place.

November Preview

Workout goals:
Marathon PR - I know that I've put in all the work I need to run a PR in Richmond. Now I just need to rest, believe and execute.

Yoga, swimming, and anything that isn't running - I plan to take some time to be completely lazy after the marathon, but after that I want to do whatever I feel like doing on a given day. I'm hoping to get to yoga more than once a week and get myself back into the pool on a more regular basis.

Races: Richmond Marathon - November 10