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Moving on…

This week I got to enjoy minimal movement.    Post marathon Monday was awful as it always is.  I woke up feeling ok but by lunch time was feeling like poo.  Tuesday I felt ok but was quite sore, and by Wednesday the soreness was mostly gone.  I did just a little light waking for two days, did hot yoga Wednesday, a little 3 mile treadmill run Thursday and Friday ventured out for a few easy miles.  Jasper had an asthma attack this weekend and that resulted in me being on the treadmill with a clingy child so I was forced into a couple more easy days.  This week I plan to really dust off the shoes and start getting ready for the Austin marathon.   Yes, these two marathons are a little close together, but the plus side is I won’t have weeks of build up.    Part of the build up includes  the Rogue 30k which for the last few years wins the heinous weather award.   It’s not an exciting course at all but great practice for the marathon, so I’m in again.  

After the Austin marathon, I have another race, the Austin 10 miler. Last year I loved this race for being convenient, fast, and having an old school racing vibe.  Plus I love that distance.   Then my  last race of the “season” is the  Oz half marathon in Kansas.   In April,  Jaspy and I will fly out for a weekend of visiting Stephanie in KC, and getting in a race while we are there.     That one is a mostly for fun race.   Then I’ll have a couple summer months of no racing before probably starting to train for Dallas again.  Dallas really won me over with its great course, big name running celebs, cool training weather, and ease of travel.  The drive is a little long, but still much easier than flying somewhere.    And there you have it… 2016 racing plans.    Races are nice but the main goal each year is stay healthy and just enjoy the miles…and I intend to do that.  

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Dallas Marathon 2015 race report…

What a great weekend.   First off, this happened:

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That would be me and Meb.   Pretty incredible, amazing, once in a lifetime, etc.  but I’ll start at the beginning.

Saturday morning I left with Steve at 8:30 and swallowed a big dose of mom guilt about missing Jasper’s belt test.  We made it to Dallas uneventfully.   One key point about the weekend was 100% chance of thunderstorms so ponchos were purchased on the way up.   I wasn’t excited about running 26 miles in a downpour but this was my last attempt at a goal race this year, so I was doing pretty good with a suck it up attitude.   Steph made it in from the airport and we trekked to the expo in some muggy, dreary weather.   But not before this:


Those are Christopher Elbow chocolates from Kansas City and they are taste as good as they are beautiful.  And they really are little works of art.

The expo was pretty standard and wasn’t too crowded.  Steve wandered off to look at shoes and Stephanie and I were in line to buy gels when he called saying Meb was there signing race bibs.  I knew he was there along with other elites to run a half marathon relay as a tempo run and create a little buzz around the race.  I didn’t know there would be an expo appearance we raced over to Steve only to discover that Meb’s manager had declared the autograph line closed and we missed it by just a minute ( and the line was only a few people long).  A couple more people shoved past the manager disregarding his request.   As Meb was leaving, the manager grabbed us and said we could take a picture with him “since you guys followed the rules, you can get a selfie with Meb.”   How cool is that?   I was so excited all I could get out is “I’m a huge fan!”   I think Meb said thanks…but I was starstruck.  Good thing Stephanie could get the picture because I don’t think I could have pulled off a very good selfie.  It was the highlight of my race weekend for sure.   I may have to send out another round of photo Christmas cards….hehe.  It also put on the pressure…one cannot have a bad marathon when they get a picture with Meb at said marathon.

Next they announced Deena Kastor was available to meet fans so we went off on more celebrity hunting.  I don’t know if people really knew who she was or what because no one was really there.   I was super excited to get a picture with her, but I have to confess I was way more excited for Meb.   But this is pretty cool:


She was super tiny and I could really tell how lean the elites are even compared to a very fit recreational athlete.   They just have a lifetime of living as an athlete 24/7. And it shows in their body composition for sure.

After a fun afternoon of playing Spot It at the hotel and a very nice prerace dinner with a perfect peanut butter dessert, it was time for a restless night of my typical horrible prerace sleep.

Onto race day!   We weren’t excited for a 100% chance of rain forecast.  Ponchos it was:

We waited until the last minute in the hotel listening to the rain come down and when we couldn’t wait any longer we headed out……into nothing.   No rain!   Throughout the he whole race it would mist and spit rain but no downpour.  What incredible luck.  Another small miracle this weekend.

I had readjusted my “A” goal to 3:50.   A good chunk under 4:00 was my “B” goal and the “C” goal was 3:59:59.   I hadn’t seen my marathon time start with a “3” in three years.  It was time.  My plan was simple:  never, ever look at my watch and see a “9”for the first number in my current pace.  It had to be an “8”.  If I could do that, I hit at least the B goal.

That lasted for about 4 miles and I was spending too much time staring at my watch and not enough time at the beautiful homes on the course.  This course weaves through what is probably some the most expensive real estate in Texas.  I switched over to cumulative time and it made for fewer watch checks.  I was pretty happy once I got to Turtle Creek and things were very pretty from here on out.  I hit my stride at 10 miles and felt like I was in a good rhythm.   I always felt like I was working but not straining.  Tummy was good, gels were agreeing with me.   Hit the best part, White Rock lake, and life was still good. At mile 16 I chatted with a runner I’d been swapping places with for awhile and we agreed to help each other out to keep on pace for sub 4.   We were both running very even splits.   We’d check in every mile or so.  Course continued to be just lovely (I actually preferred this course to the old all the way around the lake).   At 20 we both hit a little wall but remained on pace.  At 22 I knew we had sub 4 locked in but by how much?   She pulled ahead a bit and I ended up at 3:54.  I was thrilled.     I felt I ran a smart race with perfectly even splits and I had nothing left.  I don’t say this to brag but just to say I got it right this time…..I get it wrong a lot in racing, but this time I was right, but I also got a day in my favor.   Marathons are months of work for one day and you never know what will happen, but sometimes you get lucky and everything falls into place.

The best part of the weekend was time with friends.  I miss seeing my running buddies.  I spent more time laughing than not this weekend.

Today was a world of pain and queasiness all day but I sorta knew that would be the case.

Dallas may have to become my annual race.  Good course, good organization easy to travel to (3 1/2 hour drive did hurt though).  And Meb!   So cool.   And I broke my 4:00 curse,   Thank you Steve and Stephanie.  Couldn’t have done it without you guys.

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It’s marathon week!!!!!!

   
 
What could be more appropriate for marathon week then a picture of giant cookies?   The problem with a December marathon is giving up a December weekend.  It’s a busy time of year!  It’s all fun, good things, but busy.   

Last weekend I did a 16 mile inverse taper run.  I got a slot for the 4 hour pace group for the Austin marathon this year.   That marathon is in February…..and we won’t over analyze how overly close it is to the Dallas marathon.  But with it comes some commitments and there are a couple practice runs.   Hence the inverse taper.   Taking it easy this week as the anxiety builds.   Jittery energy, pseudo aches and pains, and face breaking out?  Yep…..its marathon week.   

Goals?   I’ve revised them.  I really wanted a Boston time but I’m a realist.  I just really want to good race which for me would be my first sub 4:00 in a couple years.  Notice earlier I said I’m pacing the 4 hour Austin marathon?   That means I really want to run fast enough that 4 hours seems easy in a couple months.   

So here we go….after about 6 months of training.   Sheesh…  Extra special thanks to Steve and Stephanie for joining me.   Friends who help friends run marathons are good friends indeed.