Monday, September 24, 2012

Some post FVM goals


•Need to step up my game with learning Portuguese. Especially since I'll be going to Brasil early next year. I don't want L to be translator. I want to be able to communicate relatively well with friends and family.

Now that I'll be running a lot less than 50 miles a week, fitting in 30-45 minutes of Portuguese Rosetta stone a day shouldn't be impossible.

•I'd like to cook more. No, not heat up trader joes dishes kind of cook, but actually cut up veggies and other food stuff and cook them or bake them. This includes making more pizzas.

With the help of trader joes dough, it had prosciutto, heirloom tomatoes marinated in evoo and balsamic, plus 5 cheeses including gruyere. Went exceptionally well with some red Zinfandel. Yum.

•I'd also like to maintain my current weight. I need to find balance with eating and working out less and not gaining back the 14 lbs I made an effort to lose during FVM training.


•Obviously I've still got my eyes on a BQ. But I have until next September to achieve that for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

•First, I need to nurse my ankle and possible peroneal tendon annoyance back to 100%. That might even require a trip to the doctor! Yikes!

•I plan to start up the Bikram yoga again in the next few weeks. Since I won't run until the ankle is healed, bikram yoga is the next best workout for me. What's better than 90 minutes of stretching in a 105 degree environment in the middle of winter?

•Core and hip strengthening are at the top of my list for this "off" season.

My knees still turn in while I run. The left knee significantly more than the right. While I understand that I'll never be as graceful or as bio mechanically gifted as Meb while running (or get rid of this 100%) I do know that my hips need work. Myrtl routine and resistance bands, here I come!!

Future races

It's never too early to think about this right?

Along with the usual suspects like Shamrock and Rock n Roll, I'm looking at an early spring BQ attempt. Possibly at the Knoxville marathon (hilly), or some local Chicagoland area marathon. I don't like training on the lakefront during Chicago marathon season, so running and training for one of these early spring races will get me onto a secluded non crowded path and keep me a happy runner.

I do know that when I decide on a spring marathon I won't hesitate to hire Mrs Chicago Runner Girl as my coach again. Her custom made plan for me really worked and kept me engaged and loving running during the 14 weeks leading up to Fox Valley. Could I have trained with my own plan alone? Yes, but I doubt I would have gotten a 25 minute PR or made it to the start as prepared as I was.

What are your winter goals? Have you thought about races for 2013 yet?

2 weeks until the Chicago marathon!!!!!

- xaar

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fox valley marathon in numbers

1 week since I ran my last marathon, and I still can't stop thinking about it. :)

3:40:18 my time in The Fox Valley Marathon

1,000's of smiles or a permanent smile during Fox Valley. Just because it felt so damn good to run that day.

25 minutes the margin of PR from The Chicago Marathon 2011 to Fox valley 2012

14 pounds lost approximately during the past 8 months. First time I was able to lose weight during marathon training. Really made a huge difference in the way I felt throughout training and the race.

1:46, yes, 1 hour and 46 minutes worth of PR from my first marathon (NYC 2002) until Fox valley. You'd better believe I'll be shooting for that number to be 2+ hours next year!!

6 The number of marathons I've now completed

587 miles approximately run during the 14 weeks of training.

50 minutes the amount i took off of from marathon #5, the ING Miami Marathon. *i was injured during this race. And 85+ degrees and 100% humidity didn't help.

5 the number of times after Miami I said "no more marathons." we all know how that turned out. Hehe

3 the number of marathons I'll be running this year. Chicago is next up in 2 weeks.

2 injuries/scares. 1 was a possibly shin issue that resolved in a few days. The other was the ankle.

2 weeks the amount of time before Fox Valley that I sustained the ankle injury. I also hurt myself 2 weeks before the Miami marathon (hip flexor). 2 weeks pre race is full of bad juju for me apparently.

2 weeks until marathon #7!!! and the opportunity to "give back" by being the worlds biggest cheerleader/supporter while my L runs his first marathon. ( My BFF Tribu stayed with me in Miami and made the experience 100% more enjoyable- she sacrificed her race to stay with me)

It's the least I can do for the man that supports me through these training cycles. And I couldn't be more excited for Sunday Funday, October 7 to run with my partner through the streets of Chicago!

- xaar

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fox valley marathon, a new PR

Time: 3:40:18 *A new PR by 25 minutes!!
11/79 AG Top 13 %
40/492 Women Top 8%
208/1060 Overall Top 19 %
Started out Sunday morning with the Blogger Meetup :) It was so lovely meeting new faces and sharing in the running spirit!

Below are some more pre race photos... Coach Britt and I, My Daad and I, Kim and I (she just ran a 50k Saturday!) And me posing with my bib Saturday.
Honestly, after 14 amazing weeks of training I was so excited to run this race- and a little sad it was going to be over. 2 weeks ago my ankle started bothering me on my last long run, so much that I had to take some unexpected rest days. I was training for a BQ (3:35 or better), but after the ankle went AWOL, I was very nervous going into this race.

My plan was to be conservative and abandon any specific time goals since I knew the ankle would be ok for at least half the race. After 13.1, I knew the ankle would be a ticking time bomb. I just hoped it would happen latter in the race. I self diagnosed my ankle as having peroneal tendonitis, or some form of irritation of that tendon because it would warm up on the runs during the past 2 weeks and only hurt while done.
The entire race felt easy. I could have been more aggressive with the pace, but was very concerned about the ankle. As you can see from the photos Kim and my Daad took, I was having a ball out on the course. I felt more than prepared to tackle the distance- and was excited to finally make it to the start line after a solid 14 weeks with Britt's training plan, and an additional 10 weeks before that with base building of 30-40 miles a week.

There were some hills, but nothing too bad. At times I felt like I was the only person on the course. There would be someone 20 yards ahead of me, and no one behind me for 30 yards. It was nice. It was such a stark contrast to the wall to wall people and 20 deep spectators of the giant marathons like Chicago or NYC. I enjoyed the peace and the beauty of running a long the river and seeing the wild flowers.

My splits were very consistent, and it felt entirely too easy!

With about 4 miles to go, the ankle started hurting. I dug deep to try to keep my pace and finish strong. Mile 25 I walked through a water station because I wanted some gatorade.

I was so happy to finish and celebrate the hard work I did to prepare for this race. While I didnt get my BQ for the 2013 race, I know these legs are more than capable of smashing this 3:40 and getting a sweet BQ next year.

If I didnt have the ankle issues, I have no doubt that today I would have broken 3:35.

Ive also had bad allergies for the past 2 weeks and stay up at night coughing until my abs are sore- I even was coughing a bit during the race today. Im sure this also took valuable energy from me. OH WELL. I have NO regrets for this race. I wish I was 100% for the startline, but it's out of my control. The ankle issue came out of nowhere on my last long run, and I also cant help that this was the perfect growing season ragweeds have ever experienced.

You're going to hate me
When I say these 26.2 miles were easy. The easiest 26.2 Ive ever run. It was simply amazing and entirely enjoyable.  No wall, no cramps, no pain (minus the ankle) NOTHING. My muscles are not even sore. (Usually my quads are sore for a few days post hard effort). Good quality, focused training certainly pays off and I have Britt to thank for that :) I nailed every workout until the past 2 weeks when I had to back off because of the ankle. I'll probably be a little stiff tomorrow, but Im not anticipating any muscle pain. CRAZINESS!

Whats next?

Im going to take off running for a few days or the rest of the week to let the tendon heal. Then I get to run 26.2 all over again in 3 weeks for the Chicago Marathon. Im excited to run Chicago with my L, for his first marathon. It will be hopefully a very fun experience. 

Post Chicago, Ive got my eye on some 5ks, and a possible half marathon at the end of October if the ankle issue is cleared up.I want to test these legs in some shorter races while I have the fitness and also before Chicago becomes a frozen tundra for the winter. I also plan to re-start the Bikram Hot yoga within the next few weeks.

Pre race portapotty pic :) And Post Race portapotty pic  haha
After I finished, I got a bunch of gatorade and then proceeded to the tent to get ice for my ankle. The lady at the tent immediately said "peroneal tendon" when I pointed to where it hurts. 
  • Honey Stinger 1 hour pre race
  • Gatorade Prime with a salt stix  20 minutes pre race
  • Ran with music the entire time
  • Gu at miles (approx) 5, 10, 15, 21
  • Salt Stix at 7, 12, 17, 22
  • Carried a water bottle with me until mile 24. It was nice not having to stop at water stations, and to be able to drink when I wanted.
  • Lululemon top and shorts, Mizuno Wave Elixir shoes, CEP Compression Socks
Fox Valley
 The course was beautiful. Plenty of aid stations. Shade near 100% of the time. Start temps in the low 50's. Volunteers were amazing. Very spectator friendly course. Moments of quiet on the trail where there were no spectators or other runners near me. Excellent organization. I highly recommend this race (13.1, 20 miler or Full) to anyone looking for a quality race. I LOVE THE MEDAL.

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement through this training cycle. It made a huge difference :)

- xaar

Friday, September 14, 2012

This is the final countdown. (cue the music)

2 sleeps to go until the Fox Valley marathon.

I wish I could say I'm ready to tackle the 26.2 journey that awaits me, but dealing with some sort of (above) ankle issue and allergies for the past 2 weeks have wrecked me mentally. I Can deal with the allergies, but I'm really concerned what my leg will feel like at miles 15 and beyond.

I've run a bit in the past week, but the pain above my ankle is still present. I ran 10 miles and sorta spectated the Chicago half last weekend and the ankle issue was manageable. It warmed up and was pain free with my compression socks.

I ran a short tempo workout on Wednesday with 5 miles in 39 minutes and my ankle was super cranky. I didn't wear my compression socks. Mistake.

I'll probably do a small elliptical workout or short run tomorrow morning to shake out my legs before heading to St Charles tomorrow. Ive put so much work into this race, and am incredibly bummed I won't be operating at 100% come marathon Sunday.

I'd love to achieve my BQ goal, but know that might not be in the cards for me this weekend. And I'm ok with that. Ok, not really but I have to be realistic.

This situation isn't ideal, but I'll make the most out of it.

Thank you to my family, friends, bloggy friends for supporting and encouraging me through this process. I really appreciate your love during the past 14 weeks. I'll be carrying your well wishes with me every step of the way.

Sunday morning, I'll lace up my shoes and pray for the best. All I can do is run my heart out and enjoy the scenery of St Charles.

- xaar

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August 215

•Was my highest mileage month ever, with 215 miles run.

•I had several bad long runs.

•I ran several of my long runs on Friday evenings.

•Running the long runs on a Friday evening is infinitely better than a Saturday morning in my opinion. (then my weekends aren't taken over by long runs)

•I now have an ankle injury which I am losing sleep over which I sustained on my last long run.

•2 weeks pre goal race is the optimal time for me to get injured. (hip flexor 2 weeks before Miami marathon, now this ankle sh*t)

•My body hates me.

•The ankle issue came out of no where during my last long run. Just an increasing gradual pain up my leg which eventually caused me to abandon the last few miles. At the time, i thought it was coming from my foot. Wasn't until after the run I found the source of pain (about an inch above my outer ankle bone. Feels like a bad bruise when poked at)

•There is no swelling and generally while walking this issue is a non issue. I didn't roll my ankle or anything else i can remember out of the ordinary happening during the run.

•I am aggressively icing and compressing my ankle to give it the best shot for a 100% start come next Sunday.

•I've broken down into tears at least 3 times now because of this.

•I seriously don't know what else to do to speed along the healing process. I plan on cycling and not running until its no longer painful to touch. Not sure if KT tape will help it either.

•I can't give this anymore thought or I might cry again.

•I'm done.

- xaar