Tuesday, October 30, 2007

26.2 Things I learned (and relearned) as I ran my 2nd Marathon

1. I forgot how hard those last few miles were, beginning around mile 20 (it is different during the race than during the long run). As I prepared for my second race, I thought that during the first race it was the heat or that it was my first race. As it turns out, they ALL are hard around that time!

2. I can push myself more than I thought.

3. Traveling to a race by yourself has its advantages – I really met a lot of interesting people vs spending my time talking to someone I know.

4. Racing without an iPod is totally cool. I had so much good interaction with others on the course. During MCM, I never missed it.

5. I wasn’t as nervous the night before the race as with the first one.

6. I felt much more ready. I didn’t have that first time feeling of “I might not finish”.

7. Sport beans aren’t so bad afterall.

8. There is ALWAYS a long line for the portapotty.

9. Up hill is hard.

10. Downhill is easy.

11. Runners are the coolest people on the planet.

12. Hearing someone call you out by name is so great! I missed not having my name on my shirt this year.

13. Pace bands are a great item. Next time I will mark on the pace band when I plan to take my Clif Shots – I lose track of when I take mine (did I just take one or do I need to now?)

14. 8 hour Tylenol is your friend during the race.

15. Advil is your friend after the race.

16. Blogging friends are AWESOME!

17. Pace groups are a great way to keep moving.

18. Garbage bags can be amazingly warm on a chilly morning.

19. The feeling at the end when finishing is just as intense, and just as much a sense of accomplishment as the first time. As with the first race, I was so emotionally moved at the end, I was crying / (practically sobbing) in the finishers chute.

20. Free massages are worth the wait.

21. Jott and Twitter are a fun way to provide real time updates – I just wish I knew how to keep my comments to 140 characters.

22. Having a US Marine present you with your medal is, well, indescribable.

23. Entry fee $100, Hotel $350, Cool marathon jacket $85, Crossing the finish line of another marathon – priceless.

24. Fuel belt saves the day once again.

25. Online tracking is very cool.

26. I am 41 minutes and 1 second faster.

26.2 Bravo Zulu!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The 32nd Marine Corps Marathon - Part Trois - The Race


Race Day – Heading to the Start

After checking my luggage with the hotel, I headed to the metro. I was a bit early, but wanted to beat the big crowds. The trains were not too crowded so it was an easy ride in.

After getting off the metro, I just followed the runners as they walked out of the station, around the Pentagon building and to a distant parking lot. The walk was probably a mile. It was a cool morning, probably about 52 degrees F with a breeze. Walking helped to keep me warm in my shorts, short sleeve shirt, and toss away sweat jacket. After quite a walk we arrived at the Runner’s Village where the UPS trucks were waiting for our checked bags. A tent was there and many runners were seated inside to get out of the chill and the wind. As I walked around a bit I saw a shirt with a familiar logo on it – Trackshack.

The Trackshack is an Orlando running store – so I spoke with the runner – Heather – and we hung around together all the way to the starting area. It was her 4th marathon but her first MCM. She was hoping to finish in 4:30 but was going to line up near the 5 hour pace group. She was also meeting other Trackshack runners at the 5 hour meet up area. I met the other Trackshack runners and just stayed with them until the race was about to begin.

I spotted the 5 hour pace team and met the leader, Michelle. Unlike the training I have used (5 min run 1 min walk) she was only going to take walking breaks through the water stops, about every 2 miles or so. Given that approach, I would need to “rubber band” with her group – getting ahead and then having them catch up during my walk breaks.

Even though the sun was coming up, it felt colder the longer we waited for the race start. I was shivering and used my garbage bag to cover my legs. Finally the national anthem was sung and the race began. It took a good 5 min before we started to move – about 15 minutes to cross the starting line – but we were off.

The Race

Immediately, I deviated from my running plan and just tried to stay with the 5 hour pace group. She seemed to be running kind of fast a pace that I may have run with my walking breaks. The biggest, baddest hill in the race began around mile 2 and climbed up to mile 3. By then my heart rate was already anaerobic and stayed that way pretty much for the entire race. I had a feeling I was going to hit the wall later in the race because I knew I was burning up the gas in my tank faster than normal.

I looked for Karen near mile 3 but didn’t spot her. And apparently she had trouble spotting me since I was wearing a white shirt, white hat and black shorts – along with thousands of other runners. I was sad I missed her, but looked forward to seeing here after the race.

I also began looking for a bathroom, and to stay with the pace group (I was determined after my experience with Disney NOT to lose them). I ran ahead on the down hill and got a very good lead on the group. When I finally spotted the porta potty, the lines were about 4 deep. I got in a line, which was moving quite slowly. When the balloons marking the 5 hour group ran by me, and my line hadn’t even moved, I abandoned the potty break and decided I would catch a break later.

I struggled to stay with the pace group. I kept them in my sight during my walking breaks, and ran quickly to catch up to them. My heart rate was high (averaged around 163) during most of this time and I kept thinking I was going to blow it at the end of the race. But I had something on my side – cool temperatures. It was in the low 50’s with a breeze – which made it cold to be standing around but great for running. By mile 3 I didn’t need the jacket any more. I was never chilled or overheated. The cool temps helped me keep going, so I kept pushing.

By mile 10 we entered the downtown DC area where all the monuments were, beginning near the Lincoln memorial, running past the Washington monument, by the various Smithsonian Museums, on past the Capitol and back past the Jefferson Memorial. We passed the halfway point during this portion of the run and amazingly enough I was still in eye shot of the 5 hour pace group, which was over a minute ahead of pace. I knew my splits were looking good as we crossed the 5 mile, 10 mile and 13.1 mile mats. However, typical of my long runs, I figured I would be slowing down at the end. I knew lots of my blogging friends were “watching” me race, and knew that they were cheering me on. In fact, at times when I needed an extra lift, I would imagine Maddy, Petra or Susan (and Adam and Shirley and Lizzie Lee and...) cheering me on – telling me how well I was doing and to hang in there. It gave me a lift.

Then, I had my first big surprise. Around Mile 14 I heard someone yelling my name (I didn’t have it on my shirt – so they had to know me) – it was my friend Karen. She had missed me at mile 3 so she headed to the mall area and setup just after the halfway point with her laptop. Using the web-based runner tracking tool, she knew when to expect me! I was so surprised and elated to see her – I was really starting to feel the aches – having run pretty hard the first half of the race. What a lift!

After that point we entered what many MCM runners think is the hardest part of the course, the East Potomac park. People thought it was hard there because there was little crowd support. Well, after running Disney, let me tell you, it was a beautiful run out to the end of an island and back with lots of trees and scenery – and a few brave souls who set up out there to cheer on the runners! One guy even offered to loan someone his bike. It was actually a nice part of the course.

After the park we circle back to the 14th street bridge. This is the infamous bridge that you have to “beat” by 1 pm when they reopen it. Anyone not across by then is picked up and bussed to the finish area. A 14 min/mi pace is required to beat the bridge. At this point I was still on an 11:27 min mile pace (as of mile 18) – a 5 hour finish pace. But I was running out of gas. The bridge is at mile 19.

After crossing the bridge you run into Crystal City. This is an out and back run so you see the runners ahead of you on the way toward the Pentagon while you enter Crystal City. Still, the crowd support (which was incredible the entire race) was really great here. It’s a big party down there. I crossed the 20 mile mark and heard my name again. Yes, it was Karen who had picked up and moved to Crystal City to catch me again. There she was with her laptop tracking me. She said she was very popular with the other spectators who asked her to check on their runners as well. After 20, I was really hurting so seeing her was so incredible (totally unexpected). I stopped to give her a big hug, and set off with a little more energy toward the finish. Shortly after seeing Karen, my phone rang and it was my husband and kids – calling at a very good time! I could feel all the support there at a most difficult time. After 20 miles, the race was primarily mental. My heart rate was not so bad – but my legs were ready to stop. While running through Crystal City, my right calf began to cramp up a bit.

A little further and we could see the Pentagon – we were not far now – just about 3 more miles to go. As we ran by the area where we started earlier in the day, I caught up with Heather from the starting line. She was really struggling – having some stomach issues. I ran with her for a bit, but she couldn’t really talk – she was focused on just keeping herself going. I wished her the best of luck and hoped to see her at a Trackshack race in Orlando sometime.

I caught up with another runner I ran with earlier – who had passed me earlier in the race, patted me on the back, and said we were going to finish this. Later we had seen each other again and I found out that she was an active duty Marine, a new mommy (6 months old) and it was her first marathon! I congratulated her on her wonderful first marathon performance, on being a new mom, and thanked her for serving our country in Iraq and at home. As I caught her around mile 23 I patted her on the back and told her she was almost there, and that baby was going to be waiting for her at the finish line. I congratulated her on an excellent race and continued on.

I had quite a bit of walking in those last couple of miles (as my times would reflect – about 12 min+ per mile) but I saw folks I had seen before. As we approached and passed the finish for an out and back final mile, I struggled on that last full mile – that had to be more than a mile – it was so long!!

Then we came upon the last .2 miles – right up a fairly steep incline and then to the finish. I had decided to dedicate those last .2 miles to all the troops serving and sacrificing in Iraq and Afghanistan. I sprinted up that hill without stopping at all. My calves screamed and tried to lock up on me but I pressed on, right across the finish line. I couldn’t believe it, I was done. Since I started my Garmin late, I wasn’t sure my exact finish but I knew it was around 5:05 or 5:06. The official time was 5:06:26, a 41 minute PR.

The 32nd Marine Corps Marathon - Part Deux - Pre-Race

The Trip

My flight to Dulles went without incident. It was raining when I arrived in the DC area, so I opted for a cab to my hotel. The $55 cost was much less than renting a car.

Glitch #1: No late checkout: I had a reservation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel National Airport – located on Crystal City Drive. At check-in, I immediately asked if I could get a late checkout for Sunday afternoon, since I needed a place to clean up after the race. They said I had to checkout by 12 noon since they had 300 people checking in on Sunday. There were no showers or anything to use, although they offered the public restroom sink.

Elegant resolution #1: Local friends: A local friend who was going to meet me for dinner on Sat night. She was part of the reason I signed up for the race – since we planned to run it together. Because of some personal events, she was unable to train and had to postpone until next year. I asked if I could clean up at her place since she lived right in Arlington, 10 minutes from where I was staying in Crystal City. She told me it was no problem!

The Expo

Next I headed to the race expo to pick up my race number, shirt and packet. That went really well – and there were no lines on Friday afternoon.

I had dinner at the hotel and met my first runner (that I spent time really talking to). I don’t recall her name, but she was a bit older than me and in town from Nashville I think. She sat down at a table next to mine as I was finishing up, and I ended up joining her while getting a cup of decaf. We had a really nice conversation about marathons, training and life in general. I went to bed a bit late – but planned to sleep in (which I did).

Saturday, after a good breakfast, I headed out back to the race expo. This time I met a number of runners also on their way to the expo. The expo was held at the DC armory past the main portion of DC via the subway (called the Metro). Many of the race participants stayed in Crystal City where I was, so I met lots of runners on the metro during the entire weekend. I sat with one runner on the metro who was heading in to pick up his race packet. Upon reaching the expo area there was a long line leading up to the number / chip tent, so, since I already had my race packet, I said my goodbyes and headed directly into the expo.

At the expo I listened to Danny Dreyer, author of “Chi Running”. Then, I stood in line for the free 5 minute massage (worth every bit of waiting). I walked around the expo for awhile, bought a few things, then decided that I had better get back to the room – enough walking around the day before a race.

Back at the room, I took a nap for about an hour and a half before meeting my friend for dinner. My friend Karen is a co-worker of mine who works in our McLean, Va. Office – a place I have traveled to frequently. We had a lovely dinner together, complete with leftovers which we thought would make a nice meal on Sunday when I come over after the race to clean up. After reviewing the race course, Karen said she would try to catch me around mile 3 since the course came very close to where she lived.

Pre-Race Prep

After I got back to the hotel, I began the process of getting everything ready for the race and also for checking out the next morning. I pinned my number on my shirt, picked out all the clothes and items I would need for the race. I packed two bags to take to the race start. The larger one which I would check at the bag check-in to retrieve after the race, and a smaller one to take to the starting area that would be a throwaway. Since the temperatures were going to be cooler than I am used to, I packed a dry short sleeve shirt, my ¾ length running pants and my new MCM running jacket in the bag to be checked. I also included a credit card and $20. In my small throwaway bag I included some Icy Hot packs and some wet wipes to clean my hands afterwards, a garbage bag for additional warmth at the start if needed, and a packet of Bull Frog in anticipation of the sunny weather.

As I got into bed, I set 3 alarms (yes, I wanted to make sure I would wake up). I set the one in the hotel room along with my cell phone and BlackBerry. I have had hotel alarm clock mishaps in the past, so I wanted back up. I could have asked for a wake up call, but decided the alarms could cover it.

I slept pretty well for a night before a big race. I was set to wake up at 4:45 am but woke about 3:30 am with a headache (I had been suffering from headaches for the past couple of nights). I took some ibuprofen and prayed that it would knock out the headache by the time I had to get up. Sure enough, the hotel alarm went off just fine and the headache was gone. I was dressed, packed and out the door by 5:30 am.

The 32nd Marine Corps Marathon

“By endurance we conquer”

- Sir Ernest Shackleton

Life is an adventure. And in that adventure, things happen that you don’t expect, and resolutions occur that are beyond what you can imagine – that is what makes it an adventure.

The Marine Corps Marathon was all I thought it would be and more. The weather was perfect, the spectators were fantastic, the Marines were awesome, and I ran a good race.

There are so many interesting details – I am putting this in multiple posts – rather than put you through the agony of one long 5 page post (I am too verbose, I can’t help it).

The synopsis is here:

What went well? Just about everything!

What went poorly? I didn’t really run the race like I trained (but it worked out anyway).

Where was I lucky? This really isn’t luck, but my friend Karen pulled through like a champ in ways I didn’t expect. In addition, I had excellent on-line race support from all my blogging buddies (this was not unexpected).

Where was I unlucky? I couldn’t get a late check out – but I had a better post race option that worked out much better anyway. It also took 45 min to get through airport security for my flight back causing me to almost miss my flight – but I DID make the flight with all bags.

What would I do differently next time? I think I would spend the night and leave the day after the race. Then I could clean up and enjoy some of the post race celebration. For the race, I would definitely run as I trained and planned.

The next few posts provide the details of my experience.

Preliminary Results

Big post coming - I had an incredible race! The results:

Finish time: 5:06:26 (new PR by 41:01)
Overall place: 14768/20667
Gender place: 5051 / 8057
Division place: 449 / 795

Thanks for all your cheers and support :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This is a test message...

This is a test message to see if I can send post to my blog from my phone while I am here running the Marine Corps Marathon. listen

Powered by Jott

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just 2 more days....

Taper madness and pre-race jitters are in full swing. I have been checking weather.com for the 10 day forecast all week and am thrilled that the weather for race day will be absolutely perfect. After training all summer (and even this past week) in heat and humidity, the race day weather should feel like a dream.

I have even been watching YouTube videos from last year's MCM to see what areas of the course looked like. I tried to imagine running by those points in the race and up the last hill to the finish.

I panicked yesterday as I felt a bit of a scratch in my throat. "No! I cannot be getting sick now. I just kicked an illness last week." I stopped at the store on the way home and got lots of Airborne, Zinc lozenges and even used the peroxide in the ear trick. This morning I felt great so I did my 3 mile run. Still feeling a bit scratchy here and there, I will continue the preventative approach and get lots of rest over the next couple of days. I will be washing my hands a lot and watching out while traveling so as not to catch one of those really nasty bugs.

I stuck to my running plan and ran 5 miles on Tuesday and 3 miles this morning. Both runs were approached as easy runs and my times were well under 11 min/mi for both. The city has been repaving my street this week, so I have been carefully watching where I run to avoid any rocks or other things that might trip me up.

I reviewed my old marathon check list and have developed my packing list, which I am about to go pack up. I hope I don't forget anything...

I am nervous but really excited. And I feel SOOOO ready for this race. I will have a computer with me but will also try using Jott to update twitter with the weekend events. One thing I am a bit nervous about is that I am on my own for this race - no support crew on the course, no family to help me limp back to the hotel room. That said, I do know that there are lots of friends both cheering me on and virtually with me on the race course. That thought will keep me encouraged along the way. I will bring the iRiver when I feel the need to talk to you.

In case I am in a crunch and need some help, I do have friends in the area I can call in in a pinch. So I am not so totally alone.

Thanks for training with me, encouraging me and for being with me on Sunday!!!

Semper Fi!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One More Week....

I should warn you that, although I am a program manager, my college degrees are in mathematics (yes, I am a geek).

So as I thought about what my marathon target times should be, I consulted a variety of on-line pace calculators and combined that with my own training data and gut feelings.

Here is my analysis / "predictions" for MCM:

Realistic target time (probable time): 5:10:00 / 11:50 min/mile pace

Dream time: 4:59:59 / 11:27 min/mile pace

Here is my reasoning - I am open for recommendations.

1. Based on my 5 miler time today, the models are predicting anywhere from 4:45 - 4:56 for marathon time. I think that is on the optimistic side.

2. My really long runs have been around the 12 min/mile pace. During the PWWHM I kept an 11:45 min/mile pace. I think that could have been a little better under larger crowd race conditions.

3. My shorter training runs have been consistently around a 10:35 min/mile pace - when running very easy they are just over 11 min/mile. This makes me think that an 11:50 pace is quite reachable, and 11:27 might even be possible.

4. My Parrot Predictor (based on weeks I have trained more than 26.2 miles) has indicated: 5:08, 5:16, 5:01, 4:49, 5:04 during my September training. This makes a 5:05 or 5:10 finish seem quite reasonable.

5. The race course has some hills - I have been training on flat terrain. The hills will give me a little trouble and slow me a bit in some places.

6. The weather is supposed to be perfect if the 10 day forecast is correct: Sunny skies, high temperature of 64 degrees. Low of 46 degrees. After training and running in the heat and humidity all summer, the effort should be lower (as I was so hoping).

Either way, I expect a PR since my Disney Marathon time was 5:47, and I have 10 more months of experience and training on my side.

Now did I jinx my race by making predictions???

Question: For race strategy I was going to line up with the 5 hour pace group and try to stay with them. If it gets too much I will drop back. Does that sound ok?

UCF 5 Miler Results

The results are in (drum roll please):

Race clock time: 50:33 min
Net chip time: 49:51 min

OMG, I broke 50 minutes today!!! :-)

Garmin splits:

Mile 1: 9:41 min
Mile 2: 9:29 min
Mile 3: 10:07 min (began losing some steam)
Mile 4: 10:23 min (trying to conserve for the end)
Mile 5: 9:27 min (big finish)

Garmin said I ran 5.1 miles - the last .1 was in 46.65 sec.

Quick synopsis - cloudy but humid with no wind - so it felt pretty hot. While running my splits were showing me running less than 10 min/mi. I took a few short walking breaks and walked through both water stops, but I could tell my was on pace.

Started with 173 bpm Podrunner mix for the first 4 miles, then cranked to a 179 bpm mix for the last mile (fastest mile).

Average heart rate: 169 bpm
Max heart rate: 186 bpm (What??? a new max heart rate?)

Hope everyone elses races go well today!!


I placed 35 out of 66 for my age group
208 out of 426 women
566 out of 894 total finishers

Saturday, October 20, 2007

UCF 5 Miler Predictions

When I attended UCF (oh, nearly 20 years ago) we used to joke that UCF stands for "U Can't Finish." So the name of this race is quite appropriate. Tomorrow is the UCF "U Can Finish" 5 Miler. I have run this race twice before. The first time I ran (2004) my goal was to beat 1 hour. I believe I ran the race in about 58 minutes (mission accomplished).

Last year (2006) I was hoping to break 50 minutes. It was a very hot day, and I really started to slow around mile 3. I still managed to finish in 51:14.

This year I am hoping to break 51 minutes. I don't want to push too hard with my marathon next week, but I think that my 5 mile pace lately has been very good. Thursday evening I ran 5.1 miles in 52:15. This is not far from my 5 miler PR time (10:16 min/mi pace vs a 10:14 min/mi pace). I did push myself a bit on Thursday, but it was a training run so I think in a race environment I can do better. My goal is to run relaxed and work to push more in terms of not taking as many walking breaks vs. running faster. There are 2 water stops so I plan to stop just for water - or skip if I am feeling up to it. We will see.

Weather report looks pretty good. Cloudy skies but no rain, with temps in the low 70s at race time.

Speaking of race weather, the extended forecast for Washington, DC for next Sunday calls for mostly sunny skies - low temperature of 48 degrees with a high of 69 degrees. I am going to be in heaven!!!

Running and Biking in the Rain

Today was to be an easy 4 mile run for me - tomorrow is my 5 miler race and the beginning of the last week before my marathon.

My husband's plan was to run 18 miles - further than he has ever run before. Our joint plan was to run the first 4 miles. Then I would hop on my bike and accompany my husband on the next 14 miles. Seemed like a good enough plan. I mapped out the route the night before so we knew where to run for 14 miles.

This morning we got up around 7:00 am and took about 30-45 min to prepare for the run. The weather report was not great for today - big chance of showers and it had been raining over night. But, in spite of the rain chances, we decided to go for it and headed out for the first 4 miles.

It was a great, easy 4 miler for me completed in 45:15 - an 11:18 min/mile pace. About the time we got back from the first 4 miles the skies opened up and the rain began to fall. As we got our supplies for the next 14 miles, the radar seemed to indicate that the rain would last for a little bit, then it should clear up for the rest of the run. There was no thunder and lightning so we headed out. I grabbed a rain poncho for me since I was not going to be running or expending enough energy to keep me warm in the rain (very good thing I did that!) My husband felt fine - with his running keeping him warm. With extra water on hand, we set out in the rain.

The rain was steady but not too hard, so actually not bad to run in. There was a little bit of a breeze so I was very happy for the rain poncho. The rain stopped after about 5 miles or so. My husband was making great time, with a pace comfortably under 12 min/mile and he was not getting winded at all.

Ok....so around mile 6 I began to have this realization....I really don't bike very often, and when I do it is to the elementary school and back (about 2 miles). As my bottom side began to get a bit sore, my back from bending over and my arms from supporting me - not to mention an slightly different set of leg muscles being used to propel me - I was beginning to wonder if a 14 mile slow bike ride was really a good idea. It was great being there with my husband - but I worried about the resulting body aches. Ah well, the die had been cast and we were going to finish it.

Around 8 or 9 miles into the 14 miler, my husband's legs were starting to get sore - but he had plenty of energy. We turned back toward the house to cut the run short about a mile. As we headed toward home we ran through UCF and observed all the football game day preparations, including the smell of barbeque grills firing up for the tail gate parties.

Closer to home, my husband was feeling pretty good, so instead of making the turn toward our house we continued down Lockwood Blvd to add the mile we cut out back into the run. He completed his 14.14 miles in 2 hours 46 minutes. He ran an 11:46 min/mi pace. Amazing!!! I was relieved to finally get off the bike. And hours later as I write this, I am feeling no ill effects. I should be just fine for my 5 mile race tomorrow.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Phedippedations World Wide Half Marathon

My husband and I after finishing the World Wide Half Marathon.

Today was the day...race day...the second annual Phedip World Wide Half Marathon. My husband and I ran a race with over 1100 participants today. When we were stretching before starting the race, our neighbor was out and saw our race numbers. He asked us where the start of our race was. And we told him we were starting right there, in front of our house, running with many other runners all over the world.

We were not trying to set any PRs - I wanted to go easy since this was my first run since I got sick earlier this week. I felt fine this morning. My husband was actually running another couple miles after we finished to complete his scheduled 16 mile long run. My Garmin would keep official race time and distance. I had my Elijah reminder band on. We were ready to go!

We started out easy - our pace under 12 min/mile. We managed to maintain that pace for the entire run. We ran around part of Oviedo, then south through the University of Central Florida, before running home. On the way we saw a bunny rabbit, helped a man push his stalled car out of the road, ran past lots of runners and lots of drivers. We had one driver yell at us, with thumbs down, but other drivers yielding to our run. I think folks thought it interesting that we were running around the neighborhood and campus with a race number on!

About 2.5 miles from the house, I realized that were were almost on pace for a half marathon PR! So we kicked up the pace a bit, and finished in 2:33:25, and 11:45 min/mi pace. I reported 2:32 for last year's Phedip - but I ran that in two parts - a 10K followed by additional miles. This is the fastest continuous 13.1 miles I have ever run. My husband beat his previous time of about 2:54. We finished running to our house for a total of 13.54 miles in 2:39. After a quick picture, I grabbed my bike and accompanied my husband on the last 2.5 miles of his 16 miler. He finished that in about 26:39.

My splits:

Mile 1: 11:37 Mile 8: 12:14
Mile 2: 11:49 Mile 9: 11:47
Mile 3: 12:02 Mile 10: 12:05
Mile 4: 11:42 Mile 11: 11:47
Mile 5: 11:51 Mile 12: 11:15
Mile 6: 11:35 Mile 13: 10:46
Mile 7: 11:42 Mile 13.1: :53

Total: 2:33:25

My iPod froze up about halfway through - I justed finished listening to Phedip here at the computer!

What a great race!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Episode 10 - Back on the Road Again

A view down the Pacific Beach Boardwalk - where I ran my 16 miler back in July.

Yes, believe it or not, a podcast has been produced!!!

Welcome to another episode of Running Adventures!

Episode 10 of Running Adventures starts with some animal facts and takes you on a running adventure from La Jolla Cove to the Pacific Beach Boardwalk and back.

Featured music this week from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network was "Pipe's Canyon Sunset" by Michael Mucklow

The opening music is "Super Soul" by 4saizons and the closing music is from "Adventures of a Deaf Dreamer" by Josh Woodward.

Have a great adventure in the coming week!

Email comments to: marathonchris@gmail.com
Post comments to: http://marathonchris.blogspot.com

Friday, October 12, 2007

A "Senior" Moment

I had one of those moments today - you know - the ones where you realize that you are getting older and the people you interact with seem to get younger.

This morning my cold progressed solidly into my chest. (Warning, TMI ahead). This complete with coughing up "stuff" that had yellow and greenish coloring to it.

Time to head to the doctor.

At our doctor's office, I had been seeing a nurse practitioner who, herself, was a runner. I knew that she was no longer with the office, but I made an appointment with the new nurse practitioner and wondered whether she too would be a runner, or at least athletic enough to relate to my health concerns and the upcoming marathon.

After a nurse quickly weighed me, took my temperature and checked my blood pressure, she stepped out, and soon the nurse practitioner came in. She looked like another young nurse except she wore the white coat with the practice's doctors names on it. She was a young woman who appeared to be in good shape and couldn't be much older than 24 (although she looked about 19 years old). She was probably born around the time I was completing college.

I told her my story and that I was concerned because I was running a marathon in about 2 weeks and wanted to get over the illness as soon as possible. She seemed to understand, and although she admitted that she was not a runner, she knows runners who do distance training - one in particular who is running the Disney Half Marathon this year.

With an official diagnosis of bronchitis, she prescribed a strong antibiotic for me and prescription strength expectorant - because she wanted to get this knocked out quickly so I would be good for my race (yay!).

As our visit ended, I realized a couple of things:
1 - she was going to be fine as my primary care giver
2 - I was probably going to be treated by people who are younger than me for the rest of my life

I had crossed that age threshold where the folks providing services to me would, in fact, be younger than me.

That is ok, because in a distance run, I can still kick many of their young butts! :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Running and the Common Cold

The good news is that running can help boost your immune system - and mine has been such that I have not been sick in, oh, probably well over a year. I don't have the tendency to overtrain so I get to enjoy the benefits of a strengthened immune system.

So now that I am finally tapering, a post nasal drip sneaks in, steals my voice, and keeps me off the road. My sinuses are not clogged, just that annoying post nasal drip. And laying in a dentist chair on Tuesday for over an hour with that drip was not fun and probably didn't help.

I have read before that if the cold is above the neck, you are ok to run. If below the neck, you probably shouldn't. I have also read that running easy is probably just fine and may help - but if you have a fever or flu symptoms you should lay off.

Ok, no fever or flu, and I feel relatively ok (but was tired this morning). I guess one more day off.

In the meanwhile I am using all the "tricks" I know to reduce the time and severity of this affliction. I don't need an illness imposed break on top of the typical taper madness. I don't think I have any infection yet - I am taking Guaifenesin to loosen the mucus so I can cough more productively (ok, probably TMI). I am armed with tea, chicken soup, and a day home to rest.

I am glad I felt fine for the Dolphin run and also glad I have time to kick this in plenty of time for the marathon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Great Dolphin Run!

Check out the results of the Great Dolphin Run at the What's a Few Miles Among Friends blogsite. An incredible run with three other incredible people.

I am amazed and blessed to meet the wonderful people in real life that I have met virtually through this blog. I can't wait to meet more of you! :-)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

22 Miles Down - Let the Taper Begin!

Picture was at the finishline of last week's Miracle Mile 15K - my husband and I finishing together.

This weekend was the last big run before the Marine Corps Marathon. My husband, who is training for Disney, was scheduled to do 14 miles. I was to do 22 miles. I enjoyed my run on the Seminole Wekiva Trail with Maddy so much last weekend, we decided to return for this week's run. I knew the shade it would offer in the later miles would be a life saver.

We were going to try to hook up with Maddy and run with the Team in Training crew on Saturday, but there was lots of rain in the area on Saturday morning. We figured we would get a better chance for a dryer run on Sunday. The forecast called for partly sunny skies, 30% chance of rain, 85% humidity with a temp ranging from 76 to 88 degrees (which was to feel like 100 deg F). An early start would be best. So we were up early today and ready to start running at 6:45 am (I am not sure we could have started at 6 am without headlamps on this trail). My dear husband ran my slower pace and we ran 4 min and walked 1. We ran down the trail for 7 miles before turning back to complete the first 14 miles. We finished that in about 2 hours, 49 min. I did really well with my heart rate, keeping it in the 140's for the first 9 miles of the run, then in the low 150's until approaching 14 miles.

We made our transition - my husband to a bicycle while I traded my CamelBak for my pre-filled fuel belt - and headed back out. Just 8 more miles to go....

By about 16 miles, I started to really feel it - felt that I had to work for it. By 18 miles, I had to really focus to ignore the pain in my feet, to relax and just run. I started walking every 2 min but I still managed to run more than I walked. The last few miles were tough - but I did much more running this time at the end than I did with my 21 miler a few weeks ago. The shade of the trail combined with a breeze and some light rain (and associated cloud cover) really helped out. I would have burned out much sooner in the sun.

My final time: 22 miles in 4:38:38 (avg pace of 12:40 min/mi, AHR of 152bpm. This time was 6 minutes faster than the tough 21 miler I did 3 weeks ago.

I knew my feet were wet - there was squishing going on during the run, but no blisters. The surprise was that the black bottom of my orthotics caused my feet to turn black, including the nails of those two toes that I hurt earlier. After cleaning up my feet (couldn't get all the black off), my two middle toe nails started to come loose. One came completely off and had a think new nail underneath. The other came half off with nothing but skin underneath (I know, TMI, but this is my first lost toenail encounter).

Let the taper begin!!!

(Side note on mom - she came home from the hospital on Friday - doing ok but they are still investigating why her blood count was so low. Thanks again for all the well wishes).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Update on Mom

The good news is that today's tests showed that her arteries were clear. They believe the angina attacks were because her red blood cell count was low. They gave her a couple of units of blood bringing it to borderline. They just need to figure out why the count got so low.

Thanks for the well wishes. She seemed very pleased to know I was running for her.

For my Mom

My mom is in the hospital. She has been since Sunday night. She is in and out of the hospital often these days, for a variety of reasons. This time, she had been having angina attacks, so they are running a number of tests to see where the trouble is. She does have heart disease and has had quadruple bi-pass surgery (1998).

I can tell you so much about this wonderful woman - and I probably will over the next few weeks. For now I just wanted to declare that I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon for her. Five years ago, when I started running, I did it for a few reasons, one being that heart disease is in my family and that I wanted to do something to keep my heart healthy. Today it just made sense that I should run this race for her. She is out of breath just walking across the room. I can run 26.2 miles for her.

So mom, though I know you will never read this blog, I want you to know that this race is dedicated to you and your heart - not the physical one that is struggling right now, but the one inside you that has shown me love over the years.

I am running for you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fast 4 Miler With Husband and Easy 1 with Daughter

It was raining this morning so I couldn't get out for my normal run - so I took my gear with me to work, intending to hit the treadmill.

When the time came for the treadmill, I decided to just go home and run outside - there was a break in the rain and I needed to be home in time to take my youngest to soccer practice. My husband was just getting ready for his run, so we decided to run together.

With only 45 min available, it was going to be a 4 miler. I fired up a 176 bpm podrunner mix - this was going to be a fast tempo run. My husband was stepping up his training - running 4 min and walking 1. So off we went! The first mile was less than 10 min, the second mile was before we hit the 20 min mark. I was starting to tire for the pace and bpm but this was to be a speed work out so I pressed. Mile 3 came at around 30:25 - lost a bit of ground there. Heart rate was right up there around 173 bpm. It was a bit warm and humid - so the heart did have to work harder.

We ran the last mile, and after the first walking break decided to skip the second - leading to about 6 min of non-stop running (still going 176 bpm). The last mile was in 9:43.

Adding on the last 40 ft to the house we ran 4.01 miles in 40:20 min - a new "record" for 4 miles for me. I beat a time I set on a treadmill in June by 7 sec! None of the other 4 mile runs came close. Pace was 10:04 min/mile - heart rate average was 163 bpm (anaerobic of course) and max heart rate 182 bpm (equals the highest max HR I have hit this year). It was a hard run, but a good one.

After hopping into the car and driving over to soccer practice, my older daughter and I ran once around the park for one more mile. She has been out of running for the summer so we did a 1 min run 1 min walk pace for 1 mile - in 14:06 min. We also recorded 3 facts for the podcast....hopefully we will have a Running Adventure episode out before the end of the weekend.

Running with my family is great. It is truly a gift to be able to share something I enjoy like running with family and friends!

Run on!