Me and the Owl playing in the sandbox. This is how I do Friday happy hours now….something with the Owl and then a glass of wine at home. Good times…
I’ll post more later about the weekend, but it is sooooo hard to force a recovery run when your partner in crime (aka Mark) is running 20 miles. But I promised my legs I would be kind to them with this race, so I behaved.
Ok, so no big suspenseful build up. I did manage a Boston qualifier, so if I want to do it in 2012, provided I get in, I can go. I had a great race, and it went off as good as it could have and I feel like I gave it everything I could, and my legs are really feeling it.
First off, the sappy part. I am touched beyond words by the kindness of my friends. Steve, Stephanie (and family), Meredith, and the entire Garel family came out to cheer me on and support me. They all could be doing a lot more productive things with their Saturday morning, and I can’t believe they wanted to come cheer me run a bunch of loops. They are all wonderful people and I do not tell them all enough how much they enrich my life.
Mark went above and beyond as a friend running all the training runs with me, listening to me talk the whole time (I like to chat to pass the miles!), and then running most the race with me today. He is a role model to me with all that he manages and what a good parent he is. I cannot thank him enough for his help in getting me to my goal. Thank you Mark!!
My blogger friends’ well wishes were so much appreciated. I love that I have met so many very cool people just by playing a bit on the internet. I only hope to meet y’all someday in person.
Finally, my family did everything they could to help me reach my goal. Mike watches Jasper every time I go run and does whatever he can to allow me to maintain this part of my life. Jasper gives up mama time to let me out to put in the miles, and Pancake ran all my recovery runs with me. The 3 of them make me happy, a better person, and always remind me of what is really important in life.
Ok, onto the show! This really was a fun little race. The course was a couple out and back sections, so I really thought of it as 6 loops. The first out and back was about 5 miles and the second was about 3.5, and then repeat the series 3 times. In training, I knew I barely could keep my Boston pace. I knew if I ran steady the whole way and didn’t have any big slow downs I could do it, but I had no real wiggle room. I am not talented at much as a runner, but one thing I can do well is pace myself. I reeled us in the first loop from time to time (Mark ran with me), but I knew there would be a point we would be passing people. The first loop always seems fun and easy in loop courses. This race had fantastic volunteers, and I liked that it was low key. I kinda hate bands, cheerleading squads, and constant stimulation on race courses. Sometimes I just want a nice pretty run, and this fit the bill. It was probably not the ideal course to run a fast time, as it was mixed concrete, gravel and trail surfaces.
The second loop was still good. You always saw lots of folks since it was an out and back, and that made it fun to see who was still looking good and who obviously went out to fast. We were still on a good pace for loop 2, and gained a minute of time on each loop. We started loop 3 and I thought I felt really good. Mark said he was going to take it easy, and I knew he would understand if I went on. Pretty quickly, I was starting to hurt, but it was mile 18 of a marathon I was pushing the pace on, and that is supposed to hurt. I used a few things to keep me from slowing. I told myself I have done a lot harder, more painful things (like labor!). I thought about Jasper a lot. He always has a smile to offer, even if sick or fussy, and I couldn’t let him down with a bad attitude, and finally seeing him at the finish was something I thought about a lot last year when I was pregnant. Having him brings a depth and purpose to my life and my running I never had before. By mile 23, I had a little lump in my throat thinking about seeing him. I didn’t slow down though! At mile 25 I knew I had it, I was going to qualify for Boston and I was about to see my family and friends.
The end came and there they were. I didn’t see Jasper right away, because he had just woken up and was in his stroller, but when I did, I really felt emotional.
Whew! Done! I hurt a lot now. How come I did a 23 mile pace training run with no soreness?
Thanks again to everyone. I know it was just a small little local race, but to me it felt huge!
Check this out. I didn’t want to jinx myself assuming I would qualify, but it did cross my mind that I would need to decide quick if we were taking a family trip to Boston this spring. Looks like I don’t have to worry about that now. On the plus side, there are a lot of local races, and looks like I get to pick one as a spring goal race.
Ok off to bed. I am trying to keep my chin up. My cold has traveled to my lungs. Lungs are helpful when it comes to running. The Owl hates to sleep. Sleep is helpful when trying to get well. My fingers are crossed it all comes together this weekend…
The final week before a goal race is a very selfish time. I think most runners are very focused on themselves and over analyze every little twinge and sniffle. After all your hard work, the last thing you want is your race derailed by injury or illness. Well, I am mad that I am sick!!! I went to bed fine on Friday and woke up with a sore throat and incredibly sore on Saturday.
To back up a bit, Friday I took a hard fall on my morning run. I skinned my knee a little, but the main part was my arms, neck, and shoulders took the stress of the impact. I could tell throughout the day that I was going to be really sore in the morning. Then, we had flu shots at work. They are mandatory for us and I probably could have at least put it off until after the marathon, but I didn’t get sick from it last year, so I had no reason to think I would get sick this year. So, you see where I am going….I woke up feeling like crap Saturday, and question if it was from the shot.
My soreness is a little better today, but I still feel like poop. Yesterday we went out to Brushy Creek park to see the marathon course. For those not in Austin, my race is really small in a suburban park. It is only 200 runners, and the course is 3 loops of mixed concrete and granite. It was a very nice park, but a few weeks ago it had flooded after a really heavy rain. The water has receded, but there is a lot of damage. The grass is all dead from being underwater. I still think it looked like a nice course, but I freaked out that I was out of breath just walking a couple miles, thanks to this virus/ serum sickness/ cold or whatever the heck I have.
Poor Mike has been telling me not to worry all week. I know I have the week to get better, but I don’t get much sleep and I chase the Owl non-stop. All I can do is hope for the best. One year I did Boston I started feeling sick on the plane and ran fever at the Expo and somehow just willed myself to be well on race day, and I was. So, positive thinking is really the only medicine I have at this point.
There is also a rumor that some friends might come out and run some with Mark and I during the race. While I am very flattered, please only come if you are just going to run with us and consider it your workout. Please don’t compromise your run, time with your family, or weekend plans in anyway to watch us run loops. But if you really want to run a loop, we start at 700, and need to do each loop in about an hour and 15 minutes. So hopefully we will start loop 2 about 815, and loop 3 about 930.
Ok, that’s about it for me. I will try to be as selfish as I can with rest and good nutrition . I hope the Owl cooperates. I am really looking forward to him seeing his mama finish a race!
As I previously stated, here is an attempt in my goal to have more recipes. Only my stirfry isn’t much a recipe. Lots of veggies, including butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Tofu. Garlic powder, or if you are like everyone but me, fresh garlic (I cannot digest the fresh stuff), a hint of cayenne pepper, and tamari. That’s it. I use brown rice or Jasmine rice. It’s a super fast, and healthy din-din. Jasper likes the colors. Hopefully he’ll eat it all up someday and won’t be too picky.
Stephanie S. asked about my marathon training plan. It hasn’t proven successful yet, as I have a little over a week until I find out if I run a Boston qualifier, but I thought I would share with everyone my plan, because I thought it was great for a busy person who runs pretty low mileage. It is not on the Runner’s World website, but I got it from one of the summer issues, and I can just summarize it here. I did not follow exactly, but I did follow the long runs exactly. So here is what I did:
I took out the mid week mid distance run. It was just too hard for me to run a 10 miler before work. I already get up at 415, and I limited my weekday runs to 6-8 miles. I also eliminated an off day. I take 1 day off every week, and the plan called for 2. For the first half of the plan I did a day of a 6-8 miler with hill repeats. I had a hilly route, and would hit the hills 2-3 times each. I did this on about 4 different hills, none too long. This was my key mid week workout. The second half of the training, I ran a hilly route, but eliminated the repeats and ran faster than race pace. I also did at least 1 race pace run every week and 1-2 recovery runs where I just ran and never worried about time. Then there was the long run. This plan started at 10 miles and slowly worked up to 22 (we made it 23). I usually did an 8 miler the day after the long run, sometimes at race pace. The plan is a 16 week long build up, and every 3-4 weeks you drop the long run back a little bit. We did long runs of: 10, 10, 12, 10, 13, 15, 16, 14, 18, 20, 15, 18, 23, 17, 12, race. There were supposed to be 2 weeks in a row of 20 milers, but I got the stomach flu and only managed 15, but that was one reason I liked this plan, as there was a little wiggle room on long runs. So the peak weekly mileage was about 55. It was very doable with my schedule and with Jasper. The things that made it hard weren’t related to the training load. I also made it my goal to do one yoga class a week, and stretch and do core work after every run. This part was hard with Jasper, but for the most part I was really good about doing all these things for injury prevention.
So there you have it. We’ll see if it works. If I could have done more, I would have liked to have the mid week run a little longer and do more cross training stuff like yoga, bike riding and pilates, but all that is just about impossible to do with the Owl. I think this will just have to be good enough. I can’t wait to see if it all comes together in a good result. I am getting taper madness!!!
I am off work today. I had to take Jasper to his new daycare for a little while to help acclimate him. I needed to be off work a couple of hours , and I’ll spare y’all the details, but with Jasper it is too hard to make up lost time at work. I really just need to take a vacation day. Good to spend time with him and get some things done, but bad to burn up a vacation day. Oh, well, such is life.
We already went to the store and stocked up on groceries. Hence the picture. Jasper loves to grocery shop, while I find it kinda painful. But having food is good. I am really working on no junk at all in the house. If I wouldn’t feed it to Jasper, I shouldn’t feed it to myself. I started this when I was pregnant, and it’s been great to purge of most processed foods. I still bought some Boca veggie burgers today though…. But, I’ve gotten really good at keeping around fruit and greek yogurt for snacks. I do cheat with some frozen veggies now that I have Jasper. At least once a week we make a big tofu stir fry and doing half frozen veggies saves a lot of prep time. They have frozen butternut squash cubes at Central Market, and I’ve been dumping a bag of that into just about everything. I am pleasantly surprised that we have managed to not get take out for every meal. Just one night a week, and we usually stick to Thai or Vietnamese to keep in pretty healthy. And speaking of healthy, we just visited Mike at work. Steve Jobs is a vegan, so the Apple cafeteria has a vegan option every day. We had smoked tofu over rice with a big bowl of coconut soup with broccoli and acorn squash. Yeah, I am jealous. My work’s cafeteria consists of burgers and chicken strips.
I’m really writing this blog post to play with WordPress some more and to avoid housework. At first WordPress was hard just because I never used it, but now I am really liking it and I recommend it. I still have a ton to play with and figure out and I only get small little spurts while the Owl is asleep, which isn’t much. I have so many ideas for stuff I want to post on, but I just gotta find the time to sit down with it. I have been very inspired by some of the healthy living blogs out there and I plan to start posting more recipes again. I just gotta get out my good camera and get some pretty pictures and quit using my phone. Although this picture was done with my phone and I think it is pretty cute…but I am biased.
Oh yeah, and today’s run. Well I couldn’t really run longer because we still needed to be at the new day care pretty early, but I did a terrific 7.5 miler. I did an 8:10 average pace. Yay! I ran most the miles sub 8, but I had a warm up and cool down so that brought up the average pace, but I am happy with anything in this range. I am down to a week and half before I become a marathon runner again.
Ok…housework really does call. Owls like to make a mess.
Just awesome is the only way to describe the last big push for the Frankenthon. Mark and I did a 17 mile run. 16 miles were slated to be faster than race pace. We had our usual 5am start, and then we just hit it. We were on. Or really I was, as this pace is no challenge for Mark. The run went by in a blur, and we hit 8:20s or so mile after mile. the last few we picked it up to sub 8s. We even had some 7:45s for a true progression run. We ran a cool down the last mile and still averaged an 8:28 pace. It was a confidence builder for sure. As long as nothing goes wrong, I have proven I can run a Boston qualifying pace. But, anything can happen in a long run, and I am not quick enough that I have a large cushion built in. I have a small one, but nothing allowing for a big lag. I also tried to cut back my fluids a little bit. I have a tendency to overdrink, and I think that was a huge factor in having to dash to the bathroom mid run. I was much more comfortable this go round. Next weekend is an easy 12. I still have tempo runs this week, and then the next week is active recovery/ rest. I talked to Mark about it that I am “trusting the plan”. I have been using a Runner’s World plan, and it took me from 10 miles at a 9 minute pace to knocking off 30 seconds a mile for over 20 miles. I feel good, the weather is good, so I am definitely holding back, but I am trusting this taper will work and I will go into the race rested and very ready.
I celebrated later with a Guinness, as it is officially Guinness weather. Stephanie and Amelia came over so we could let the babies play, but it really amounted to preventing them from bothering Pancake and keeping them out of her food. Amelia got to experience something Jasper gets multiple times a day: Pancake’s leave me alone growl.
Today was a quick 8.3 miler Danish run. We hit our pace, and Mark reminded me all I need to do is do this 3 times, since the course is 3 loops. I got my usual take home muffins after the run and used every bit of my willpower to avoid purchasing a pumpkin cupcake.
So far it’s been a nice weekend. Jasper is down for a nap before baby yoga, and the blog redo project has occupied all my time when he’s been down, so once again housework is neglected. Oh well. The biggest part of my learning to balance it all is that I can’t. I always just have to pick a little something and let it go. Not easy for the girl that used to it all. I did manage to get my hair cut and colored yesterday, since I had noticed not only was I letting my house go, I seemed to be letting myself go, so maybe I at least look like I do it all now. Well, probably not, I think the permanent dark eye circles give me away. The Owl is worth it though…
I am now a big fan of Kara Goucher. I discovered her blog and it is awesome!!! I feel like I could have written her last post. It seems like I just had the exact same run not so long ago…