KC marathon weekend recap…

We all have different criteria for what makes a good marathon.  For me, fast and flat is not one of them.  I’ll take scenic and hilly any day.  Good thing….that’s pretty much what the Kansas City marathon was.  Here’s how the weekend played out:

Thursday:  HORRIBLE sleep.  Like, two hours due to stress.  Ugggg.

Friday:  3:30am wake up to get to the airport.  Total brain fog.  Once I got to Kansas City I started to feel better.  I met up with Steve, got his rental car, got to Stephanie’s amazing new house, go down her house slide and get my thrill ride fix for the year (it’s really steep, and amazing),  hit up her super cool neighborhood for overdue lunch, hit the expo, ate frozen custard at Foo’s (new favorite dessert), did some shuttling around, and then met up with Stephanie’s sister in laws (who were also running) for a fantastic Japanese food dinner.  I’m telling you, this is my new pre-race standard.  You can get simple chicken over white rice.  Perfect.  Italian food laden with oil and garlic does NOT agree with me.  No need for the details…  Completely crashed and slept pretty good (yay).

Saturday:  Race day!  PERFECT weather.  46 at the start, no clouds, no wind, warming to the mid 60s.  I had planned to run with Steph and Steve the whole way.  The start was really organized and this race was the perfect size….smaller than Austin, but big enough to have crowd support.  We started off and Steve pulled ahead at mile 6.  Maybe we were too busy enjoying the leaves to keep up with him. Hello, real fall!  It was soooooo pretty.  You forget that leaves actually change color when you live in Texas.  The course went by several KC landmarks and through some beautiful neighborhoods.  The hills are impressive.  I thought my hill training this summer was overkill, but now I know it was needed.  This is the second hilliest marathon I’ve done.  The first was Estes Park…and that was in the mountains.  So yeah, bring your hill legs to this one.  The course had great support.  Water and Gatorade every two miles, two GU stops, and plenty of porta potties.  There were very few sections that weren’t really pretty.  A few stretches here and there to get from one area to the next were a little dull, but for the most part it was like running in a Norman Rockwell painting.  Lots of beautiful homes from the 1920’s…oh and major Royals pride going on.  It was super fun to take part in some of the festivites.  People had blue pumpkins on the porches, blue Christmas lights up, and all the fountains in the city (there’s a lot) were dyed blue.   

Stephanie had a running partner join us at mile 13 who was nice as could be and the three of us had a great time chatting for several miles.  Stephanie was feeling the fact she had a major move a couple weeks before the race that took over her life and urged me ahead the last couple miles.  It gave me a little time to reflect on how thankful I am to do stuff like this and how much I appreciated and needed the time with friends.  Crossed the very much uphill finish and got a HUGE medal, which was very pretty and really nice quality.  Cold chocolate milk at the finish line and bananas.  For me this is my dream finish line food.  Drinking that milk righ away really helped, as I was having some stomach issues.  Note to self, I need to carry TUMs when I run, or suffer.  There was also pulled pork sandwiches and local Boulevard beer.  I can’t stomach this stuff after a race, but I thought is was a super nice touch to add something local. So I give the race an A+. If you out are looking to do the 50 states, this is a great way to knock Missouri off your list.

Post race Stephanie and I showered and then walked around her hood. There were super cute shops and the best children’s a bookstore I’ve ever been to….Reading Reptile. Apparently it’s consistently voted one of the best book stores in the country! Later Steve and Steph’s fam joined us for pizza and beer. It was fun to play with her kids since last time I saw them they were so much younger. I really wished Jasp had been there. I fell asleep that night before the kids did. Ouch.

Sunday: I’ve done enough marathons now that I know what I’m in for. Sore, but bearable but sore in weird places. My back and shoulders were super sore. My stomach was bad. Ugggg. At least the race was Saturday, which gave me one day of feeling awful before I had to go back to work. The flight home was rough with a lay over and a big delay. I was super sore, hungry and tired when I got home.

Monday and today: I’m better. Monday was kinda rough at work and required a mid day coffee. Today I felt pretty normal, but resisted the urge to run.

Final thoughts: I’ve definitely got a touch of post marathon depression. It was so much fun to see Stephanie again that it was a little sad to say good bye. I really want to go again next year. Hopefully it will work. I said over and over that if I hadn’t booked this trip so far ahead I wouldn’t have gone. Life has just been super of crazy lately and throwing a trip in the mix seemed like a lot. But I needed it. Aside from the fact I loved the race, I really enjoyed reconnecting with friends. I’m already looking forward to next year……

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KC marathon weekend, my new favorite race weekend…

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Good times. On the course with Magic Kitty, the infamous ” Superman”,prerace jitters, enjoying Royals’ blue everywhere, and post race yumminess.

Full report later.  Absolutely a perfect marathon.  4:14.  But more importantly a great weekend with friends…

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It was bound to happen…

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One of the laws of marathon/ any big race training is expect things to fall apart in some way during your taper.   Examples that have happened to me:  a major move, food poisoning, and stubbing my toe on a rock and falling so hard I was limping for a week.   This go round was no outside running for almost two weeks and a major behavior jag on Jaspy’s part. 

But I have learned.  Two weeks is just a little too long for me to forgo an outdoor, “real” run.  I LOVE my treadmill.  I am thankful I had the means to get it, I am so, so lucky I have this as a way to run.  But it’s not how I want to do all my runs.  Yes, running is a luxury, not a necessity, but as someone who has started almost everyday of my entire adult life with a run, it really is a necessity for my mental health.  The treadmill does the trick, but just one outdoor run in a couple of weeks would have helped a lot.  So next time I find myself in this scenario, I’ll plan to pick a day I leave work early and get in a run.  If I find a magical babysitter, great….but if not, I’ll make it happen.  I actually had a couple plans for a little “me” time and both fell through.   The behavior jag coupled with not getting out to run was not the best combo.  Most of us can conquer anything as long as we get our run in.  A treadmill run makes me able to conquer about 90% of anything.  It’s that little 10% percent I couldn’t conquer that got me down a bit this week.

But now I am 5 days out from KC and that makes me happy.  I am a little concerned about my legs’ lack of contact with pavement, but there is nothing I can do about it at this point in the game.  The weather looks good, and I was able to watch a little of the Chicago marathon online yesterday, so I am inspired.  Oh, and I get to spend time with friends.  That will be the best part….as long as they don’t mind waiting for me at the end…..

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B+

The real reason to train...

The real reason to train…


Yesterday was my last big run for KC. I ran a very hilly 16 miler. It ended up a little slower than I would have liked, but I am blaming this on the fact it was pitch black for about 90 minutes of it. Does anyone else feel like they run much slower in the dark? I also modified my route to change it up, and I was slowing up to look at street signs to not miss my turns. Excuses, I know. But, I got it done. A hilly 16 miles, solo, at 5:30 am still deserves a pat on the back.

Marathon training cycles are a bit of a way to reflect on the passage of time. It seems like it went fast now, but I look back and realize I started at the beginning of the summer,and training followed an entire summer of life events.

So how did I do? I give myself a B+. Here’s why:

-I did 4 20 milers, a couple 18 milers, and several 16 milers. 4 20 milers is good for me. What I didn’t do was go over 20. I really think that helps for race day. Next time…I still need to figure out how to book enough time for long runs, as it was a mere matter of “timing out” However, all but one of my long runs was in really hot, humid weather. They were not pretty. I don’t know how well a 20 mile death march will translate to race day.

-I get an A+ for running hills. I did hills most weeks mid- week and most of my long runs were hilly.

-I get a D for speed work. I ran once a week with my neighborhood friend and called that speed work. She is a little faster than me, so it was always a tempo run. As far as mile repeats or anything that really helps, I did zero. I suck at doing speed work in the heat and humidity. Need to work on this.

-I get an A+ for injury prevention. Over the last year, I’ve solidified a habit of spending about 15-30 minutes most nights on a short yoga or strength routine. I also added daily planks, push ups, and hip and hamstring strengthening. There are many nights I do not want to take 15 minutes to do a core video, but I’ve made myself do it. I can feel a difference. I do my best to make it to a weekly yoga class, but some weeks it’s impossible, so I try and do a little more at home. Jaspy also loves to go to childcare at the Y now, so when time allows, I try and make the core class, which is fantastic. When you are old, you just have to do this stuff to keep up your running.

-I get an A for flexibility. I shuffled my long run day and off day around based on what was going on at home. It’s really easy to get into a rigid pattern when you have a big goal on the horizon. It was really nice to not try and cram a long run into days that were packed to the brim. It still happened sometimes, but better than in the past. I also had 3 weekends where I couldn’t do a long run, and made them work in the schedule and didn’t freak out.

_This was my first marathon in a very long time without stroller miles! Crazy, my last couple marathons had the bulk of their miles done pushing the stroller. I miss it and don’t miss it all at once.

I’ve run enough marathons that I don’t really worry about finishing, but I don’t want the last 10 miles to be agony, and I want to have fun. This marathon is primarily being done for fun, but I don’t want my friends waiting on me at the end. I’d like to keep up with them. I’d also like to keep up a respectable pace, and finish with a time that won’t make me cringe at the end. Hopefully my work was enough to achieve that. Despite a lot of really hot runs that took a lot out of me, I enjoyed the training. It kept me motivated and I can tell a difference in what I can do now versus back in May.

Now, lots of treadmilling in the next two weeks, and trying to avoid any illness germs. Then it’s time to get to #32!

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Sore! And more……

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A good mood moment….I’ll take them when I can get them

I got in my last really long run on Sunday. My plan was 22, but a slightly late start meant I managed 20. I would have liked 22, but I’ll have to be happy with that. Remember how I mentioned I ran on he treadmill all week? Well, it must be more forgiving on your legs because I was sore like I had raced a marathon. It was all quads too. It was one of those runs I finished and right away knew the next day would hurt. I guess jumping from not being on the pavement for 7 days to 20 miles was just too much. Yesterday the soreness had finally calmed down. We had a last minute cancellation of Jasper’s OT appointment, so he went to Kid Fit at the gym while I got to go to class with my favorite yoga teacher. She’s challenging but not ridiculous. But two weeks with only home yoga meant the class kicked by butt. My back and arms are soooooo sore today. So sore all over again. I’m a little concerned that I’ve got a two week stint of no outdoor running pre marathon. I’m really hoping my legs don’t fail me. I can be sore afterwards, but want to make it through the whole thing without major quad-itis.

We’ve started putting up Halloween stuff. Jasper is very, very excited for it. Over the last few weeks we’ve experienced a dramatic backsliding on progress with difficult behaviors, and it’s made for a stressful few weeks. Halloween has been a motivator since he’s looking so forward to it,and so am I. I really love Halloween too, and I love fall, so it’s been an exciting time. I am in heaven with all the Trader Joe’s pumpkin products. How did I ever survive without this store? (That’s where the gingerbread house came from).

We are entering a really hectic two weeks. I’ve got my last challenging run for marathon training in two days. 16 miles, after that it’s all pretty easy stuff. I will need to remind myself to slow down and de-stress to make it to KC in one piece and not sick or injured. While I still have major mom guilt about this trip, it will be a good way to end a busy phase. Hopefully my sore yoga arms will have recovered by then….

Time to hit the foam roller if I want to be able to move around tomorrow. I’m ready for the taper!

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Winner, winner,veggie burger dinner!

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The winning pose

It’s been a busy week. It was just me and Jasper and while we’ve grown to be fine when it’s just us, this week I really felt the pinch of having to be all over town. I felt like I was racing the clock everyday from the minute I got up until I went to bed. It’s just really hard to drive around Austin now. Running an errand at rush hour is no small feat. We also added Thursday soccer practice which was challenging to get to at rush hour but we made it. Kids weekday sports= a sandwich for dinner in the car. But well worth it. Jasper is a natural at swimming, but we want him to do a team sport too. He seems to be taking to soccer really well.

I ran on the treadmill all week and did yoga in the evenings. I really don’t mind at all. I managed hills, and a speed day. It makes for really sweaty running and I missed out on our first blast of fall weather, but we walked Pancake in the evenings and I got to enjoy it then. Wednesday I did an unplanned hike with Pancake. Jasper asked to go to school after OT and that gave me a 4 hour window to run some errands and go to yoga. I needed it. However, the street to the Y was closed for a funeral procession. There was no way I was going to make it to my old lady yoga. I ran home, grabbed Cake and hit a trail by our house for a couple miles.
Heaven. We both loved hearing the creek flow and I found a geode for Jasper.

Remember last weekend we did a kids run? Well, I have finally learned the way to do a kids run is don’t try and run myself that worked great. This was a super hero themed run, and a fundraiser for a organization providing advocacy for abused kids, so well worth a donation. There was also a costume contest. It was a pretty big event. Jasper did really well. He asked to run alone and got lost, so we won’t be doing that again. Obviously I found him, but it was a little stressful. Anyhow, I got an email at work this week with the results from the race. I was shocked to find out Jasper won for best invented Superhero!!! I don’t think it was his costume, we threw that together the morning of the run. I think it was his presentation as he had an awesome pose. So one night after work we braved traffic to pick up his award. A Terra Toys gift certificate and an Amy’s ice cream gift certificate, plus a little goodie bag. So cool!!! Then we had to brave traffic another night to go spend his gift certificate, and I got a veggie burger at Hop Doddy’s next door to the toy store…..soooooooo yummy.

Today is an off running day. My stomach is unhappy ( when will I learn that I cannot eat pesto) and I get to run outside this week, so I decided to give the treadmill a rest. Tomorrow is 21-22 miles. Last big run for KC. I cannot believe it’s almost here. I am beyond excited.

Tidbits from the week: The new Clif kids bar Monster bar for Halloween is amazing. Chocolate mint. Beyond yummy. I watched a documentary about Divine while I ran one morning. Probably not a ton of runners who watch documentaries about an over weight drag queen. I count John Waters amongst the coolest people alive and watching it made my day (if the Hairspray play ever comes to Austin, I am there). I also watched a documentary about the John Muir trail. Hello, bucket list. Wow, it sure looks amazing. Halloween decorations are very hard to resist at Target, especially when you end up there every other day to pick up something, and the bad news of the week is Jaspy did 4:30-5:00 am wake ups all week. I want my solo morning time back.

Ok, more coffee, then off to a soccer game. And lots of Tums to consume today to get by belly into 20 miler mode for tomorrow.

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No rest for the weary…

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“I’m very cute despite requiring constant activities.”

It’s 5:20 and I’m sitting here waiting on coffee brewing, not getting ready to go run. Gasp! I’m taking Jasper to a kids run today, and rather than get up and run at 4am, I scheduled in an off day. I actually wanted to take it. Yesterday was tough. I over scheduled massive amounts of activities and failed to ever get the chance to eat a real meal. And I fell into a massive heap at 9pm, completely spent. It was all my doing and part of the reason it was so hectic was I ran 20 miles. I’m the one who prioritized both kid sports and my own running, so I have no right to complain about the chaos the two create when they meet. However, I reserve full rights to bitch about another brutally humid run. I was good for 14 miles, but the last 6 were overwhelmingly hard. And the humidity was so high I was uber- soaked two miles in and a pair of freakin’ biking style shorts caused massive chafing. WTF? I am running out of short options here. The waistband, the legs, uggg. Sport bra chafing is a given, and I’ve accepted there’s nothing I can do about that. Shorts and sports bra combined rubbing off a good amount of skin made for a painful shower. Next weekend has got to be better….
The kids run should be interesting. Jaspy did a couple when he was about 2, but showed no interest in doing more and they are not cheap, so I quit signing him up and quit offering them. He found a shirt from one of them he’s never really worn, and begged to run again. The race he’s doing today is a true kids race, 1K, with lots of post race activities, so we’ll see how it goes. We currently have soccer and swimming, so I’m not sure we need another activity, but we could probably work in an occasional kids run. By the way, we got 4 year old sized soccer socks and shin guards, and they are about the he cutest thing ever.

It’s all about the treadmill this week and trying to get in yoga at home. Last week was a yoga fail due to Jasper getting a massive asthma type reaction that meant two missed days of school, two trips to the doctor, and two nights of terrible sleep. Yoga is funny….when I haven’t done it in awhile I just crave it. My body feels like it really needs to be stretched out, but then again maybe it’s because I ended up sleeping on a loveseat one night this week and pretty much slept folded in half….when someone insisted on sleeping on the other one after not breathing all night. Sigh…….

Ok…time to get ready for the kids run. Wish me luck.

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