High waists, redemption, and an award!

  

 Don’t ask me why I’m wearing my race number and belt so high.  I have no idea.  

The theme of the week is soreness.  My legs seem reasonably worked out, but my hips and stomach muscles are pretty tight still. I wasn’t aware I had stomach muscles, as I’ve never seen them, so I guess I now know that I do.   I also know I am not crazy and that I really was running hard since my soreness is lingering.
I confess to spending what some people may consider an excessive amount of time on marathonguide.com this week. If you are one of the uninitiated, this site lists most marathons in North America in chronological order.  So if you think a July or August marathon sounds fun, but aren’t sure where to find one, this is the site for you.  I don’t think I could turn around fast enough and run another race in a few weeks, but 8 or more week is mighty tempting.  But pretty much everything in the summer is in northern states or Canada at the peak of summer.   Airfare from Austin, TX  to a really awesome sounding race in Duluth or Fargo is about $1000.  Ouch.  I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like a lot of money, plus hotel and rental car to go somewhere for 48 hours.  So the reality is I probably have to wait until the fall for a chance at redemption and to see a “3” as the first number in my marathon finish time.  Patience is not one of my better qualities.  On the up side I have a good chunk of time to come up a full blown marathon assault plan.

The best news is my angel was chosen as best student of the cycle in taekwondo and got a special award.  So proud!

  

Whidbey Island Marathon, the good, the bad and the ugly…

   

I don’t have race photos, but I can assure you this picture of Jasp is much better than a picture of me.

The good:   I try to always celebrate running a marathon.  It means I am blessed with good health, and good people in my life to allow me to such things.  So I don’t want to be too negative, but spoiler, I wasn’t happy with my race.  The course was knock out gorgeous.  Views of mountains, ocean, and forests.  Running through pine tunnels and along a beach all in the same race.  The volunteers were gracious local folks who were extremely kind.  The main purpose of the trip is a family visit and my parents were beyond generous to drive my butt to the start at 5:30 and watch my hyper little child while I ran.  Anytime you are running on a beach with family supporting you ,  you really shouldn’t complain.

The bad:  I had a short training cycle, but I really felt like I put in some work, but I don’t feel like my result reflects that.  I knew the course was challenging.  All the reviews I read said so, and the course profile indicated it was hard.  I guess I was being stupid that I had convinced myself it wasn’t going to be that bad and that maybe I’d slow on a couple hills but not that much.  Stupid, stupid me.  There were three hills that were a mile and a half in length plus some smaller ones.  The first long hill wasn’t that bad, but it did make me realize this course really was a difficult one.   It came early and I realized this would not be the course to run a BQ on, which would be my fastest time in five years.  I quickly turned my goal into my first sub 4:00 in two years.  I really wanted to see my finish time start with the number “3”.  And I was on track, consistent 8:45-8:50 miles.  The second long hill came and I had two 10 minute miles in a row and still thought I could recover and lock back into 8:45s.  I felt good other than a headache I woke up with.

The ugly:  mile 17 hill is best described as WTF.  It went until mile 18.5 and was extremely steep and brought me over 11:00 min mile.  Walking may have been a better way to get up this thing.  I made it up and never got my legs back.  My headache was a full blown “I’d feel better with an eye patch” type of headache and I spent the next few miles desperately trying to get back to 8:45 but running 8:59, 9:02, 9:05 and doing horrible mental math in my head about how I could still break 4 hours.  If nothing else slowed me down, I had it.  Then a shorter, maybe half mile hill hit at mile 23, this one ruined any chance I had.  My legs were hitting 9:25-9:30 now.  I could still get 3:58-3:59 but a beautiful stretch on the beach kept me in the 9:00s as it was rough unused asphalt road and then some boardwalk.  I ran as hard as could and did some half marathon walker dodging at the end and sadly saw my watch click past 4:00, and crossed in 4:03.  Bummer.

I felt happy at first since I worked hard and other than the hills had some very good miles in there, but overnight disappointment seeped in.  Yes, the course was really tough, but I really thought I could manage a sub 4:00 even with hills.  I liked my training plan and thought it was the right thing for me, but maybe I should have done more big hills.  I actually passed people on the hills but then never got my legs back coming off them.  I’m not sure what I need to do differently to be honest.  I realize this is just a hobby and I’m always just happy to run, but this is sorta my one part of life where I set big goals.  One plus is I’m very motivated to keep trying to improve.  Another good thing is I know on a flat course I would have had a race in the 3:50-3:55 range.   I’m thankful I got to run and happy to tag it onto a nice family trip, but I’m just a little disappointed.  

I aimed high and came up pretty short, but there will be another day and another race and that makes me happy and fills me with gratitude.

A big thanks for my friends and family for encouraging me.  A extra big thanks to my angel for being just that.  

Cheers.  ūüćļ

Butterscotch ripple and other inspiration…

¬†Lost a fight with the hose…Dang it, kids make you do things you otherwise would not do. ¬†Jaspy is really good at all things athletic but doesn’t always have the self confidence factor. ¬†He’s a “rock star” in taekwondo (his teacher’s words), and I am gently encouraging him to do the black belt track. ¬†He could have it by age 7-8. ¬†It’s a gentle push though, without forcing and just lots of encouragement….”you can do anything you want! ¬† I believe in you!”

So when I tell myself I’m too old and slow to qualify for Boston again, what kind of example am I? ¬†Dang it….I’ve put in some work over the last few weeks. ¬†I’ve done hills, tempo runs, and some total pain in the ass crap on the treadmill. ¬†My long runs weren’t always optimal, but a couple test sessions showed me the work did kick my pace up a notch. ¬† I’m still old and slow, but I’m attempting as close as I can to that stupid 3:45 time next weekend. ¬† I did a test of sorts this morning, and I can run in the high 8 min. miles in comfort. ¬†That’s not what I need , but I’ll just see what the day gives me. The rules of marathoning are: ¬†1. ¬†You get the day the marathon gods give you, and 2. ¬†You get the day the marathon gods give you and 3. ¬†You get the day the marathon gods give you . ¬† You get the idea. ¬†Sometimes everything falls into place and your run is effortless until about 23 miles and who gives a crap if you suffer through 3 more miles. ¬†Sometimes you suffer from 10 miles on for no good reason. ¬† Sometimes the weather is crap and your stomach is crap but you still have a good race. ¬† To quote Willy Wonka : ¬†Marathoning is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation , and 2% butterscotch ripple.” ( or salted caramel GU). ¬† So I’ll go with what the marathon gods give me, if it’s good, I I intend to believe in myself and aim high, and do that whole “my very best” thing, and maybe the marathon gods will give me my 3:45. ¬† ¬†Dang parental example!

In other news, we tried a new restaurant this weekend and I had my first lobster roll. Swoon…. ¬†And new season of Game of Thrones on tonight. ¬†Double swoon!!!!!

Final push and it’s Easter!

coloring eggs inbetween breathing treatments

  

the end product
      

This post is brought to you by peanut butter M & M s.   Mmmmmmm.

This was the last hard week for marathon prep!   Next week there are a handful of 10 milers and then it’s pretty easy.  The week was slightly screwed up by illness.  Jaspy had a terrible reactive airway episode (the pediatrician term du jour for asthma) and missed some school.  I guess it must have been triggered by a mild virus because I ended up getting sick and today actually spent some time in bed.  Nothing serious, and this would be the time to get sick versus marathon week….but it slowed the final hard training week a bit.  Yesterday I had a lovely 15 miler in bluebonnet country with Steve and afterwards I could tell I was cooked.  Today was already scheduled as rest so it worked out well.  It’s too early for me to say if basing my training on the Hansons book worked this go round, but I have enjoyed beefing up my weekday runs and toning down my weekend runs.  I’ll summarize when all is said and done, but let’s just say only one 20 miler was quite nice.

As has been the theme in Austin for as long as I can remember, it was a cold dreary Easter.  It seems like every year it’s sunny and 80 all week and Easter Day is 50 and raining.  As it was today.  Since I didn’t feel good it wasn’t that big a deal to have a down day.  Feeling bad also helped me avoid pigging out on candy.  I guess I’ll know I’m better when the appetite for chocolate returns.  In addition to candy, the Easter bunny brought Jaspy a new Mickey tsum tsum and some kinetic sand.  He and I had an 8:30 am date for a special Easter event at the children’s museum and he declared it the best Easter ever…..success.   We are grilling tonight but no Easter feast for Jaspy since he doesn’t really eat .  Sigh…. But I’m doing yet another recipe from Runners World.   I cannot say enough about how good everything has been I’ve tried.  Their recipes are healthy without being over the top “health foodie”, they tend to be very easy, and they incorporate a lot of veggies so it’s sorta a one pot meal.  Tonight is a yogurt marinated chicken over a homemade slaw with sugar peas that has a yogurt based dressing.  Yum.   Too bad I can’t really taste. ūüėį

My fingers are crossed that tomorrow I’m feeling better.  Running this time of year is heavenly.  I like things in the 60-70 degree range and we are right there in the mornings.  Everything looks really green and the super humidity hasn’t hit yet.   And the sucky cold winter was good for something……lots of wildflowers.  Happy spring!