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#29: 9 is the new 8, and it’s a pain in the lateral quad…..

No need for blow by blow details about the 4th time I have done this race. I still love it! The trail is so pretty, and it always has given me a good run. I was really nervous on Friday just because I hadn’t done a marathon in awhile. By Saturday morning I was feeling feeling pretty relaxed though, and ready to roll ( side note, I love that this race is on a Saturday!)

I knew about half way through my training that running 8:35 pace I needed for Boston wasn’t going to happen. I just wasn’t hitting those times. A couple years ago I ran everything in the 8/ min mile range. Now it’s all about 9s. An easy pace run is a 9:30, a race pace a 9:00, and half marathon pace gets into the 8s. It’s just my new reality. I settled on a goal of sub 4 and keeping it evenly paced.

I ran most of this race alone. For a couple miles I ran and chatted with a guy a little bit but otherwise it was just me. It flew by though. I ran steadily between an 8:50-9:10 pace which was perfect. The leaves had just a hint of fall and I was enjoying the day. 20 came quickly and 24 even quicker. I blew even splits with a 9:30 mile here, but pulled it back together for my last mile, and came through in 3:57. It’s 5 minutes slower than I ran last year, but judging from how sore I am, I gave it my all.

For the first time in 29 marathons, I got a post race massage. There was no wait and it was free minus a nice tip. My right leg was really sore and they massage therapist said ” that’s all lateral quad right there!” Ok….whatever that means. All I know is it hurt but felt good at the same time and the leg he worked on is much less sore than the other leg today. I also did a ice bath (at his recommendation) and Jasper reveled in hearing my scream and they came in and moved chunks of ice around onto my legs ( I wore yoga pants in the tub!). So sign me up next time for a post race massage.

Another perk, Jamba Juice at the end. I am normally not a fan of these sugary smoothies, but the pumpkin pie one hit the spot after 26 miles.

Oh, and while I just missed 1st overall master, I did manage to be first in the old lady age group. Jasper already claimed the ” scary monster”.

Time to recover and get ready for number 30 in three weeks!

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A trophy! Jasper’s ” baby” that goes everywhere with him, named Monst”, and a big bowl of avocados and bananas.

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Octoberfest and marathon goals!

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Enjoying Octoberfest

Taper week! I hate taper week, so I don’t really do it. I just run easy all week and take the day before my race off. Maybe if I actually did real speed work in training I would need a break, but since I am a lazy runner I get to keep running.

4 days until marathon #29. Going local again, as the KC marathon plans seemed best if put on hold for a year. Worked out well too because Mike ended up out of the town the same time I would have needed to go to that race. So I’ve got my small, local Frankenthon marathon, then San Antonio in 3 more weeks. Am I ready? No. I could have used a couple more good, strong 20 milers, especially now that the weather is finally fall like. But poll 1000 marathoners and probably about 950 of them would say they wish they had got in more training. That’s life….we are not professionals. We are people with jobs and kids and dogs and yards needing work, and houses needing cleaning, and pot lucks needing something made, and meal prep needing to be done, and grocery shopping, and sometimes we are just completely worn out from throwing in 20 miles runs around this, and core workouts, and stretching, and yoga, and foam rolling, and hamstring exercises…….well you get the idea. Life itself adds a couple miles to every run. I did a lot of prep for this marathon. I also didn’t do a lot of things. Uh, like run fast :)……so yeah, it won’t be my best. I’m just thankful I get to do another one, thankful I got to do the training all summer and well, just thankful and ready to enjoy a great day of running out on the trail.

The weekend was nice with a 13 mile long run and an easy 7 miler. I ate like crap (hello, Octoberfest), and feel a serious need to get back into good habits by the time this weekend rolls around. Within the last year I have declared sushi my favorite prerace meal, so I may just have to do that. I won’t be doing strudel and beer like this weekend……

Goals? Sub 4 and consistent to negative splits. There I said it. Now I just have to do it. Ok…..I’m off to watch The Hobbit while I stretch and annoy my husband by never sitting still. Gotta love taper manic-ness.

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A book review, Nucky Thompson, and Elmo….

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Doesn’t my angel look cute in his Halloween costume?

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Giant cookie!

Ok, first let’s get to the latest book review. Full confession: I only got about 3/4th of Running with the Buffalos By Chris Lear read. I so wanted to love this book. It’s on a lot of lists as one of the best books about running ever written. It follows the University of Colorado men’s cross country team for a season. Adam Goucher ( husband of Kara) is on the team the year that the book takes place. What I liked was it completely “gets” cross country. If you have ever run it then you know it is a completely different sport than what we recreational marathon runners do. The workouts in the book will sound familiar to you if you’ve run cross country and if you are like me and ran in high school, you will be transported back to all the memories about being part of a team and how wonderful it is. I also loved that these guys in the book are just on a completely different stratosphere than even the top local road racers. They do a 20 mile run in under two hours as a regular workout! This is in prep for an 8K race. But most of the he workouts are insane intervals. And that’s why I just couldn’t finish the book. There is chapter after chapter describing workouts and meets. There’s teeny bits on the back stories of the runners, and I would have liked more of that. I just got bored with it, and as any parent of a small child knows, evening time is very precious and I just couldn’t keep reading a book I was growing tired of. However, this would be the perfect book for a high school cross country runner. So overall mixed feelings about Running with the Buffalos.

I’m solo parenting this week and running on the treadmill. Once again, sooooo thankful I have it. Yesterday I got up early enough to get my whole run in before a certain little boy woke up. Bliss, I tell you. The only thing to trump that is to also get a cup of coffee down during stretching before a certain little boy wakes up. But I will take a run with Nucky Thompson any day ( any other Broadwalk Empire watchers out there?)

Finally, I had a semi homemade Toothless costume all ready for Jasp for Halloween. For the uninitiated, Toothless is from a movie/ tv series, How to Train your Dragon and is quite adorable. But at the last minute Jasper said plain as day ” I want to be Elmo.” Jasper doesn’t say a lot of things plain as day so I took this pretty seriously. The odd thing is he really isn’t into Elmo. But he really, really loves that costume. I’m all for homemade costumes, but as a non-seamstress, I couldn’t come up with a good handmade Elmo costume and I found that one on Amazon for what I thought was a pretty reasonable price. Jaspy loves it, and it was my bargaining chip all night to have a fit free bedtime routine, so I guess I love it too. 🙂

Ok….Broadwalk Empire calls….

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Yeah, but do you sell plain running shoes too?

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Over heard at REI today: “I’m looking for a minimalist trail shoe for doing spartan races.” Seriously? When did running get so complicated? Statements like that make me feel less silly for wearing big pink socks up to my knees with magical compression powers. Although admittedly compression socks are pretty silly, but I’d I like to think they aren’t quite as silly as a spartan race shoe.

I spent the morning following the live stream for the Chicago marathon. Well, after a treadmill run since it was dumping rain. It got me so pumped up to run San Antonio in a month. I haven’t run a big marathon in a long time. But first I have my little local Cedar Park marathon in two weeks. This weekend was the last long-ish run at 16 miles. Once again it was 80 degrees and 90% humidity. Sigh……I think I’m used to it by now. The main thing was I felt good and finished feeling like a had a lot in the tank. Heck yes!

I realize my blog has taken a bit of a hit lately. Please stay with me while I figure out what direction it will go. Evenings have been filled with other entertainment like reading, playing games on the iPad and finishing season one of Broadwalk Empire. I lost my 2 hour kid therapy block of uninterrupted computer time, so yeah, my blog has been pretty sucky lately. Hopefully I’ll get it more together soon. In the mean time you can read about things like spartan race shoes.

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19.2 miles + an abscess = 21 miles of marathon training…

Here go the long run excuses! Today called for 21…my longest run for my marathon in 3 weeks. I’d been looking forward to it all week. Except ……..I had felt a little off most the week. A little achy and tired. By mid week my throat started to hurt, but only on the the right side and only my right ear hurt a little too. This went on all week until Friday I had to admit it even hurt to turn my head and my throat really hurt….but still only on the he right side. It hurt enough that I attempted to go to the dr, not easy to get an appt on a Friday but my very sweet nurse practitioner friend, Kitty said she could see me. Hello, tonsil abscess! Ouch, let me assure you, these little boogers hurt like the devil. By the time I made it to the appt and then to get my prescription I was shivering and it was hard to even swallow. This little abscess thingie struck fast. I started antibiotics and ibuprofen and crawled into bed and begged Mike to take over the little energetic one for the evening. Maybe, just maybe the long run would still happen.

I felt tons better by late evening. I just thought I’d play it by ear. Woke up at 4:20 to make a 5 am start and Jaspy got up too! doh!!!! Mike woke up and pushed me to go saying he’d cover the childcare. I figured unless I was just dying I needed to take advantage.

There are times one pushes through a run in adverse circumstances and they seem tough and determined. Other times they seem just stupid and foolhardy. I probably fell in the later category today. I had about 14 good miles feeling good despite it hurting like heck to drink. By mile 15 I was suffering and by 17 it was just a matter of making it my car. I got back to my car at 19.2 feeling like garbage. Everything hurt and I definitely felt sick. So I’m calling it. Good enough. I’m not trying to force my way into making up this run. I was out for 3 hours and it will just have to do as a long run. It was not one of my higher energy days. But it’s nice that we have family visiting and combined with Mike, Jasper is being well entertained, so I actually got to rest a bit. I’m feeling better tonight and am pretty confident that this little abscess thing is on it’s way out. But dang, like I said, hurts like the devil.

It’s a relief to start the taper runs. I love marathon training, but I’m just ready to go…I started training way too early for this one and discovered a 20 week plan is just too much for me. I also threw away my goal of hitting a Boston qualifier. I just simply am not running fast enough and that’s ok. I worked really hard this training cycle, I was dedicated to hills, at least twice weekly core work sessions, and even if I couldn’t make a class I got in my yoga somehow every week. But I’ve accepted that with kid activities on the weekend it’s just too difficult for me to put in more than 20 miles. 20 miles takes me right about 3 hours and that’s just about all the time I can manage. I think next marathon go round I am giving up on scheduling 21-22 miles runs because they just don’t happen. I am confident I would have hit 20 today if I hadn’t run feeling like crap. I am just happy I make it out to run, and I am not putting the pressure on myself to magically run over 30 seconds a mile faster on race day. A very reasonable goal for me that still makes me work hard is trying to keep my times at sub 4 hours. It ain’t Boston but I’ll take it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have my family’s full blessing to be in bed at 8:30, a little child who is asleep, and Broadwalk Empire ready to go on there iPad. And hopefully an immune system ready to kick some abscess booty.