Friday, September 30, 2011

Quad Cities Marathon

Got my new shoes and went outside for a short 3 mile run. I really wanted to save some energy and rest my muscles for next weekend. They still felt great outside, but I think I will tighten up the laces a little more, just so I don't slide too much in them.

The QC Marathon...
Yeah, that was rough! I thought it was quite miserable, but then looked at my time splits and it wasn't awful. I had an amazing start to the run! The first half I averaged probably 9:10 pace. Overall, I had like 18 miles that were less than 9:30 pace, two of which were less than 9:00. I was feeling so great that I really didn't feel like I was running. At mile 12 I thought I could seriously keep up that pace through the end! I was even having thoughts of perhaps Boston. That will still be off in the distance. I really had to consciously slow myself down, but that was the most I could do. I just wanted to go faster and faster!

At mile 13ish we crossed over to the island and things started to break down from there. About mile 14 it started to sprinkle. OK, this isn't bad; it's always nice to have a cooling rain come in. By mile 15 it was a full downpour! I had rain running off the bill of my cap. It was awful. My blistered toes that started about mile 6 had now become full blown blisters and very painful. I thought I was going end up with a broken toe by the end it hurt so much. My body was screaming stop. My mind keep talking to it to keep going. I knew if I stopped I would not keep going. Yep, that's what happened. I was so upset with myself and it was everything I could do to keep going. I called Bill around 19 to let him know I was coming back over the bridge and nearing mile 20. I really needed and was longing for someone to run with me. Rachael ran 2 blocks with me and that was amazing (she gives me energy I didn't know I had), but I still ended up with 3 miles that were around 12 minutes. Mile 24 was the worst. I finished strong, however, with a 9:37 pace. Every step was pain, but I kept pushing through it to the end. While my time wasn't great (4:24:27), I did finish. I think I need to go back and conquer that course!

The weirdest thing was that no one talked on the run. I felt like I was all alone on a training run. I stuck with the 4:10 pace group and everyone was VERY chatty at the start line. I thought, this will be great! Bob, the pacer was amazing! He was an older guy in his 60s and did not look like your typical runner, but he was the most consistent pacer I've ever run with. He had completed a few ultramarathons in recent years as well. Anyway, I tried to strike up some conversation with people along the route, but they just looked at me like I was highly annoying and what was I thinking talking to them?! sheez. I finally just kept to myself and continued running. Even at the end when things were tough and lots of people were walking, no one talked. There was one man from TX who I kept passing and I suggested we keep each other going and again tried to strike up a conversation, but nope. He decided to walk and fall behind to avoid me. I just couldn't believe it.

By the finish line I had never been more happy to be done with a run!! I grabbed some fruit, met my curb crew and left for the van. I was defeated and just wanted to go home. When I got to the van, I immediately removed my shoes and socks. YIKES!!! I have never had blisters as bad as this. There were so many different variables this time. I was alone, no distractions, new shoes, bungie laces, rain, pouring rain!, fast pace, foot discomfort that I hadn't known.

While I was quite discouraged with this run, it was really a great run for the first 19ish miles.
I wasn't able to wear regular shoes all week to allow my blisters to heal a bit. Here are some more pictures:

Weekly mileage: 29.2 miles
September total mileage: 100 miles

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ghost 4

That's it! I NEED new shoes. 700 miles is just too many miles for my shoes. I went up to Runner's Flat to get some new ones, but they didn't carry my shoe anymore. They suggested another shoe that would be similar. It was one on my list so I tried it on, walked around, got on their treadmill a bit and it wasn't awful. I brought them home, walked around a little more, and then got on the dreadmill for 3 miles. It was like running on pillows! OK it might work. I'll run outside tomorrow.

This week I was going to go 8-10 miles, but ended up going more like 11. The next day, I did an Ethanol Loop. I might be pushing it for the week before a marathon. My ankle really hurt so that prompted me to go to Cedar Falls.

Total weekly training mileage: 16 miles

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Strong finish

Wow, this has been a GREAT! week. I feel like I am back to a strong, working body. I ended 20 miles last weekend and this weekend. I was disappointed that I read my watch wrong and only had like 19.25 miles rather than 20 miles last weekend so I felt obligated to get a full 20 in this week.

I struggled finding someone to run with me so I was a little concerned that I couldn't really do it all by myself. I started by going to Ellsworth and back. I was visualizing the "big hill" at the beginning of Quad Cities and knew I had to do some hill work so I thought a big run with a hill at the beginning and then a few along the way would be a good practice for that. The hill didn't seem to big on that run. I know it's all a mental game we play on ourselves. Again, Bill ran the last 12 miles with me. It's nice to be able to talk to him and spend some time together. I think he is getting excited about how much he can really run.

Friday night I sat at my computer at 10:30 at night still contemplating the marathon. I finally bit the bullet and and pushed "register". I am ready; I am strong; I am a marathoner! This race has been calling me for quite some time now. I have really been intrigued by it and am excited to run it. I thought about signing up both Bill and I for the 1/2 marathon because I really think he can do it and would like the thrill of a race. Maybe next year we can do that or we can find one later this fall even. After Grandma's I seemed to recover much more quickly than last time so I am hoping the same will be true this time.

Last Monday and also this morning I got a 5 mile run completed. So, I technically had a 50-mile week if you calculate Sunday to Sunday. It feels great to be able to say that! If I had completed all my runs for the week however, it would have been more like 68 miles, but I'll take a 50 miler. That would be like running to Des Moines from home. Wow.

Some commentary on my shoes... I have run 675 miles so far this year, all in the same shoes. I really need to get new shoes. Running this past week, my ankle has started to hurt from it rubbing on the top of the shoe. I think the cushioning is just out of it. The problem: I am running a marathon in 2 weeks. How can I possibly think getting a new pair of shoes right now is a good thing? Darn it. Another variable: I'm thinking of getting a different brand of shoes that will probably throw things off as well. ergh, what to do.

Weekly training mileage: 30 miles

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Am I ready for a marathon?

There was intense heat again this week so I didn't get any of my runs in during the week, just the long run on the weekend. As usual, I was scheduled for a 20 mile run on Saturday. I woke up at 3:30ish and heard thunder is near distance. I knew if I had started, sometime within the 3 hrs I would have been hit by a storm. :( I went back to sleep. About 6:30 I woke up to more thunder coupled with lightening. Nope, guess I'll just have to wait for tomorrow. I checked the weather and realized it was going to rain all day long. Darn it.

That afternoon I started texting people to go run with me in the morning and found 3 people! I was so excited. When I started, it was a high of 52! That's about 40 degrees cooler than yesterday! yeah!! It was perfect running weather. About 90 min later we picked up Bill and then picked up Jill. The 4 of us headed out and J dropped off about mile 9. Jill dropped off about 14. Bill kept going and ran 12 miles - a record for him! I was so excited for him. It was a good run.

My watch was a little weird. When I picked up I had only run like 1/4 mile and I had to wait for her to be ready. I thought phooosha, what's 1/4 mile so I stopped it and then restarted the timer. I thought it cleared it out, but I think I just confused it because at the end when it noted "lap 20" it was really only 19.25 I didn't really get my 20 in as planned. I figure however that with the walking back to the house we got the full 20 in so I'm saying it was a 20 mile run. So, this means next weekend I'll have to RUN 20 again.

Tonight Bill and I went out on a bike ride we covered 4.5 miles. That was nice cross training and a good way to work out some stiffness from the run. I am having problems again with the groin muscle. It just doesn't like me on long runs. It takes about 2-3 days to work that out to normal. I feel like I really walk funny too, leaning to one side. ugh, it will get better.

The marathon deadline is this Friday. I am seriously considering this one. I had some good runs the past couple weeks and feel like I can do this. My confidence is back and I feel great. I just fear that there will be a heat wave and it will be all over that day. I am sticking to the 80 degree rule. The average high that day is in the upper 70s so it could very well be in the 80s. That would come at the end of run, the hardest part.

Weekly training mileage: 20 miles
Total weekly training mileage: 25 miles.