Monday, June 30, 2008

Winter Marathons

It's only June (well almost July) and Matt and I are already looking ahead to Winter. I have a requirement to leave the cold and snow at least once to keep my sanity each Winter. Since we have a big trip planned for the Fall to Europe, a big Winter vacation is probably not in the plans. Instead we're looking at a long weekend around a warm weather marathon.
The plan is to go sometime in January or February to give Matt enough time to recover from TCM and be ready for his 3rd marathon and me be ready for my 13th marathon. Hoping for lucky #13.
We're open to anything with warmer weather and vacation spot for a few days, but are thinking about New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon http://www.mardigrasmarathon.com/
or Birmingham Mercedes Marathon http://www.mercedesmarathon.com/ The finisher's medal is a Mercedes Hood Ornament which Matt thinks is just hilarious.
As I am typing I just came across another possibility First Light Marathon in Mobile http://www.firstlightmarathon.com/default.htm Might be appropriate since that is the location of my grad school which I have never actually seen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grandma's Marathon Pictures


Race Start- I always think these are cool pictures.


Somewhere in the middle, notice the nice look on my face.


A better picture from during the race, I may actually be smiling in this one.


Crossing the Finish Line! Now where's the food?!


Matt crossing the Finish Line in his 1st Marathon! Way to Go!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grandma's Marathon

After overdoing the marathon running in 2007 and spending much of this Winter and Spring injured I had my doubts about even running this marathon. This would be Matt's first marathon, so we were going anyways, why not run and see how a different type of training affected my marathon...

Friday afternoon we drove up to Duluth (I drove, Matt slept since he had a migraine) and did a quick walk through the expo to pick up our packets. Then it was off to check in at our cabin and make some dinner. I slept terrible that night, Morgan hurt all 4 feet while playing earlier in the day (he skins his pads while running and skidding to a stop) and spent the night licking and whining.

Race Day: Woke up early, ate and headed to catch the bus. The weather was looking perfect at this point. When we got up to the start it was a little before 7am, I had to use the porta potty. I made the mistake of letting Matt choose the bathroom line and we waited, it was almost 7:25 by the time I got done. I quick threw my sweats bag at the guy on the truck and headed to the start. I realized I was back by the sign marked "walkers" and tried to move up. As the race started, I slowly passed the 5:00, 4:30, 4:00 pace groups and eventually 3:50. I got into a comfortable pace and kept at it. My plan was to run a comfortable race and be under 4:00.

Memories from the race:
Mile 4: Some girl running in front of me with a fuel belt dropped her water bottle and came to dead stop to pick it up, causing me to stop and jar my left knee, ouch.
Mile 9/20: Al Franken was along the course.
Half way: Feeling good and there is Morgan.
Mile 16: Stupid guy who kicked me in the right leg (where my tendon was injured). He had to get across to the other side of the road to the sprinkler, I guess the rest of the runners were in his way. This brought tears to my eyes.
Yikes, it is no longer cool out, it is getting hot. I really wish I could just jump in the lake.
Mile 20: Wow, this sucks my quads are getting cramped, but I'm still running, rather slowly, but I'm still running. It is feeling good to pass walkers at my slow run.
Mile 22: Uphill- Lemondrop hill, this sucks!
Mile 23: Very tempted to take the shot of tequila I was offered by some guys spectating.
Mile 24: Rain, this is really nice, too bad it only lasted a minute and now it is not only hot, but humid too.
Mile 25 Getting close and downhill. Just keep passing people, it will make me forget about the pain in my legs.
Finish: I did it. I think I heard it was nearly 80 degrees.

Splits: 10K: 52:30 Half: 1:50:15 (I had a chance to BQ at this point) 20 Mile: 2:53:29 25 Mile: 3:40:42
Finish 3:50:51 (3rd fastest marathon) 8:46 pace I really can't complain considering I started running again in May.

The best post race food, ice cream and OJ. I ate this, changed into my sandals and waited for Matt to finish. While I was waiting, a guy stood next to me, leaned over and threw up all over the ground, it was pure liquid and splattered on my feet. I can deal with this at work, but in public places, gross!

Matt finished his first marathon after a rough Friday with a migraine and in the heat. His time 4:56:59. He made his original goal of sub 5.

On the way back to our cabin we stopped to pick up wine to go with the pizza (Pizza Luce of course) we were ordering and some drunk guy asked for my medal, when I said no, he wanted my race number instead. Whatever?!

Up next tri training and strengthening my quads/hamstrings (Matt is walking better than I am). I tend to get leg cramps very easily and need to find a way to combat this for the future. I've heard magnesium, maybe I'll give it a try or I'm even tempted to try salt packets, yuck!

We're even talking about a winter marathon...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Learning to exhale

Now that I have signed up for the tri, I fugured I better get in the pool on my own. I biked to the gym and actually spent a productive 30 minutes swimming. Since I started working with my coach I have noticed a huge change, but she couldn't see my big flaw- I hold my breath under the water. This causes my to get tired really easily, which I just figured out. I have now learned that it is much easier to exhale under water and be ready to inhale when my head surfaces, well duh! After this miraculous discovery I was able to swim 6 laps without stopping instead of my normal 2. What a boost to my conifence.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What have I done?!

Yesterday, I spent the day working in the medical tent at a triathlon. I even got to sit out on a boat to watch the swimmers. The athletes were doing either Half Ironman and Olympic distance courses. It was great to watch everyone from the elites to the rookies. I even had a chance to talk to a few of the elites.

I have been thinking about actually doing a tri this summer now that I have overcome my fear of biking. Well I came home after being inspired at the race and signed up for a sprint tri, OMG! So August 17th I will be swimming in a lake, biking and running. I picked a short race (500 yard swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run) that is for women only and aimed at beginners so I thought I would be safe. Still I am a little freaked out! Next Monday after Grandma's I will start my official 8 weeks of tri training.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hills are my friend!

We dodged the storms and had a decent turnout at the team run last night, although I did hear from quite a few people that they had been hoping for lightening. We only got a small amount of rain, which was kind of refreshing.

The run started with a 2.25 mile easy warm up and then came the hill repeats. This is not a fun hill either, the total down and up distance is about 3/4 miles and tough. Hills will only make a runner stronger! After every hill workout I feel tough and like I have accomplished something, which I passed along to my team. Just keep telling yourself that "hills are my friend".

The run ended with an easy 1 mile cool down. What a great workout.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Run Cut Short

I had planned on running 8 miles tonight, but this is the first run that was cut short due to pain since I have been back to running. At about mile 4, I started experiencing this intense pain in the arch of my right foot, this right where the tendon I had injured ends. I stop and tried to stretch, but had no luck with that. The pain just continued and actually got worse, I was getting mad! I have felt so good, why is this happening?
I ended up running 6.65 miles in 57:33 (8:41 average pace). I iced for a short time after my run, but yikes I was scared by the amount of pain this close to the marathon.
Now I am sitting her about 1 1/2 hours later completely pain free, no clue what this was all about. I guess just some freak thing that I hope won't come back. I have a new pair of shoes "purple ones" that I plan to start running in tomorrow, maybe that will help.

11 Days until Grandma's, mentally I did not need this!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

State Track & Field

On Friday, I spent the day at the State High School Track & Field Meet, my first track meet ever and I have been out of high school for years. Wow, those kids are amazing in their focus and abilities. Just about every Spring in high school I would think about joining the track team, but then I would realize that would mean that I would actually have to run so I never did. Now I kind of wish I had, not sure I would have been any good considering my attitude about running back then, but it would have been fun to see what I could have done.

That day, I also got what I find to be a huge compliment. There was much surprise when I said I had never been to a track meet before. The assumption had been made that I had been a high school and college runner! Wow, I wish I could compete at that level.

I did see one thing I found pretty strange, the pole vaulter now have to wear helmets. Yes, I agree with safety and injury prevention, but come on isn't that going a little too far?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another Pain Free Run!

I have never really been one to watch or care about weather reports, but the day before a race or long run I turn into a weather junkie. I obsessively watch the hourly forecast and the radar and try to plan around the weather if I can. This is exactly how my day started this morning since the talk has been rain and I had 20 miles planned.

Right before I left I was getting conflicting reports, weather.com was saying rain from 8am on, but the KARE 11 radar looked clear. I took my chances and headed out. I made it 14 miles and even then the only thing I got was a few sprinkles. The temperature held perfect in the high 50s although it was quite windy for a lot of the run, but I had a great run anyways. I didn't plan my course out very well and ended up with the toughest part and steepest hills in the last 6 miles. Oh well, you can't control race courses and it all just makes me a stronger runner.

At mile 17 my thoughts turned to watermelon for some reason and I am now obsessing over the watermelon that I want but don't have. Best of all, the leg remained pain free! Today there were 6 deer along the trails. Somehow during the run, my iPod developed a mind of it's own. The volume kept changing. Now that I am home it won't shut off.

20.6 miles done in 3:02:26 (8:52 average pace) much better for my long run pace.

18 days until Grandma's and I feel ready...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Caught in the Storms

Yesterday after work, I decided to head out in the heat for a quick 10 miler before the storms that they had been talking about all day finally hit. The sky looked sunny and there were no storms in sight, so I felt pretty safe. I made it about 4.5 miles into my run and started hearing thunder in the distance and the North sky looked pretty dark, but the South sky was still bright and sunny so I kept going. About 10 minutes later the thunder was picking up and the sky getting darker. I called Matt only to find out there were tornado warnings for our area, what?! I cut my run short at 6.5 miles, still dry and no storm where I was, but in the 2 mile drive to get home the sky opened up and the sirens went off. I guess I wasn't meant to get that 10 miles done. Off to try again...