Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Woof woof Wednesday!

Yesterday CB and I got to see the fido to go truck!

The fido to go truck is a gourmet dog treat truck that drives around Chicago. They have baked goodies and fi-yo, their version of puppy fro-yo in all sorts of delicious Flavors.

He didn't like waiting on the street because of all the noise from buses, metra, sirens etc.

CB was very happy with a good assortment of goat milk vanilla fi-yo, muffins, lobster and duck cookies and a banana nut bagel bone.

His first choice was one of the muffins. (the rest are put away for another day)


Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting back on track

Last week:

Monday- ran 7 miles in 54:30
Kind of surprised myself with the time by alternating 1 song at 8:30 pace then the next at 8:00-7:30 pace.

Tuesday- 45 minutes of cycling-elliptical. I also walked by the occupy wall street protectors by accident. Ugh.

Wednesday- 5 miles 39:30

Thursday- 35 minutes xtraining

Friday- 30 minutes x training, then dinner cruise.

It was beautiful out. Just not a fan of mediocre food and doing the electric slide with strangers. (it was a Groupon I bought from a while back. Not sure what I was thinking when I bought it)

Saturday- nice 5 mile run with the wonderful wonderful. I'm really hoping we can run together more often. :)

Things were going well getting back into marathon training, but Saturday night it all came to a screeching halt when I puked up my delicious lunch.

We got beef kabobs from whole foods and cooked them on the grill at our apartment. Not sure if it was dehydration, bad food from the cruise, eating too much red meat when I usually don't eat any, or some combo of all of those possibilities that led to my destruction Saturday night. The weather was perfect and I just wanted to go run outside Sunday. It was torture. I'm fine now. :)

Sunday- rest. (supposed to be a longish run of 15 miles) went out to breakfast and brought CB with us. He was very happy to join us and eat our extra food.

For this week, I'm going to remember the post I wrote last week "how bad do you want it" and put it to use.

I'm not going to let myself be lazy with marathon training.

I'm also going to continue with my Rosetta stone Portuguese lessons.

No excuses.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

How bad do you want it?

1 week post marathon and here I am sitting on my couch planning out my training schedule for the next 15 weeks until the ING Miami Marathon.

My original goal for Chicago was lofty- and had to abandon it early on due to some sort of calf/shin issue that sidelined me for months. When I was able to run again I was constantly scared that the injury would flare up and knock me off my training again. So I took it easy and created a good base mileage. I did what I had to do to get to the finish healthy. Now begins the journey of hitting an amazingly lofty goal I have set for my next marathon.
(Somewhere around mile 22-24? I make it look too easy!)

Getting in the way- What are you scared of? Success??

I find myself getting in the way of my progress. I notice being complacent or comfortable running at a certain speed. When I think that i'm going to have to break the next barrier (of 8:00/mile)  for most of my runs, I'm nervous. WHY?? There is no good reason. I know my body can handle it (I've gone sub 8 for many of my runs- if only for a mile or 2), but my mind is too set and comfy running 8:30+ a mile. I found this to be true earlier in the year when I was training for my sub 2:00 halfs. I was super complacent running at 9:30/mile and found it difficult to turn up the speed to finally train in the 8's. I needed to tell my mind to back off and let me do what I was capable of doing. During most of my runs, I would do negative splits and end up running in the mid-low 8's. Finally came the day where I would just start running sub 9's for my training.

Im confident that "running faster, will make you run faster" as well as more consistent running, and running more miles.  This is how I went from a best of 2:00 in a half in 2010 to a new PR of 1:48 this year. I had to tell my mind to shut up and let me run. It is truly amazing what the body can accomplish when you dont let your mind get in the way. I've also found that the fear of success is almost as great as the fear of failure.

How bad do you want it?

A year  ago I ran the Nike Women's Marathon without a time goal in mind. I just wanted to finish healthy. My best friend Tribu also ran the race- it was her first marathon and she was determined as hell to qualify for Boston. She trained during the hottest days of summer, waking up super early to run at 4am to get some relief from the oppressive heat. She ended up qualifying for Boston on her first try- an amazing accomplishment and an even more amazing feat to have been on the hilly NWM course. She didn't let excuses get in the way, instead she put in the hard work necessary to achieve this goal. Another friend of ours ran his first marathon today in 3:18 and got his BQ. He just started running not more than 2 years ago. Folks, anything is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work.

With any goal- it might seem ridiculous or out of reach. But if you break it down into small pieces it will seem much more attainable. You cant expect to teach a dog to roll over in one step- instead you must break it down into much smaller steps- like sit, down, lay on side, etc in order to get the singular goal of rolling over. If you want your goal bad enough then you will do everything humanly possible to achieve it. I'd rather have a crazy (albeit *somewhat* attainable just out of my reach) goal that I must work hard for than one that will come easy. I want to push myself to see what I am made of while my body is still willing to cooperate. While i'm happy with every PR that I achieve, I always want more and know I can do better. I might not ever be the fastest runner, but I can try to be.
(Celebrating the Chicago Marathon at Fleet Feet where we waited to get our medals engraved the day after the race)

How I plan to be successful
  • No excuses. Saying no is hard, but how bad do you want your goal?
  • Pushing myself to new frontiers in my running and not giving in.
  •  Training smart. Every run has a purpose. 
  • Strength training. Core training. (core/ upper body felt weak during Chicago. )
  • Having the full support of my wonderful, wonderful to achieve my dream.
  • Researching proper nutrition and post run refueling. and putting it to use.
  • Living my dream because I can. Failure of this dream due to MY laziness is NOT an option.
  • "Virtually" training with Tribu to keep on track and stay motivated.
How do you achieve your goals? What are your secrets to being successful?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 Chicago marathon race recap

4:04:59 a PR by nearly 15 minutes!!!

Ok, so now that's out of the way....

Day before the race
I laid out everything I needed for the race.

I don't leave things to chance in the morning because I know my head is thinking about other things, like the race.

Race morning
Walked over to grant park around 6:15 from my place and went straight for the BOA access area. If you had a BOA account the people at the boa booth at the expo gave you a couple of rubber wristbands to access the area and a nice steel water bottle. there was NO ONE in this area pre race. OMG! Best decision ever!!

The port o let line in the BOA area 30 minutes before the race. It. Was. Awesome!!!! (and free!)
Then we headed to the corral to get our spot near the 3:50 group.

We waited for the start. And I was sad I left my iPod at home by accident :(

I was pretty anxious because my training was sidelined by an injury the first weeks of training and i wasn't sure what exactly was going to happen in the later miles, in the warmer than (my) ideal temps, and what my legs had in them to give for the day.

The first 5 miles I stayed with my dad and the 3:50 group. Then I started trailing little by little until they were out of sight. I was having some side stitch issues. WTF!?! And that was causing me to slow a little too. I'm used to running half marathons at a faster pace than 8:46 and haven't experienced that before. Can't figure out why it was happening so early in the race.

Miles 6-12 I was averaging sub 9/ slightly over 9 minute miles. By this time because of all the water i was dumping on my head and neck to stay cool, my shoes were getting wet and consequently causing my feet to feel as if there were blisters on the bottom of every toe and the ball of my foot. Not good.

Got to the half in 1:57

(cool pace tattoo!!)
The next 10 miles ranged from 9:14 to 10:40. The side stitch problem and the blisters did not help, and welcome the new addition: right hip pain. I believe this started around mile 15. It was a dull ache in the butt part of the hip. Not fun. Never had this problem before. And currently 7 hours post race, it's gone. As my best friend said to me tonight, I might have been altering my stride because of the one and only blister on my right small toe (massive blister on the bottom of it)

During the miles 14-24 I reflected on my training,feelings from other races, and the fear (through the 14-18 miles) of what would happen during the last 4.5 miles of the race. Again, my longest runs topped out at 15 miles this cycle, but pretty much after all my "long" days, I'd go for a decent paced run the next day of at least 5 miles. I was confident I'd make it to 22ish miles before hitting the wall..

My splits for 22-26.2:
22- 9:24
23- 9:57
24- 9:47
25- 9:26
26- 9.02
.2- 1:45 (7:41 pace)

I kept waiting for when id crash into the wall, but it never happened. I started walking for about 20 seconds through the water stations during the last 10 miles because I inhaled Gatorade and water up my nose too many times to count.

When I was getting towards the last 2 miles I started pushing more and more. I must have passed 356 people in the last 4 miles. It seemed like 75% of the people around me were walking during this time. I motored up the small hill about 800 meters from the finish and passed more people. Then it was a straight shot through a loud awesome mass of spectators to the finish. I ran as fast as I could at this point to beat the clock from going to the next minute.

Once I finished, I turned my phone back on so I could get the txt updates with my time and my dads. When the txt came with his finishing time I was shocked! He ran a 3:45 and got a BQ -9 minutes!!! He said he felt really good and just took off from the pace group. Considering his marathon training was about 6 weeks long (he had been focusing on 5ks during the hot FL summer before he won the chicago marathon entry from Arctic Ease) this was an amazing accomplishment!!

Some thoughts:
-this was my first Chicago and it was amazing! I just wish the weather would be more predictable this time of year. Especially when you have to register in February.

- I got tripped in the first quarter mile of the race. (luckily i was caught) It is still tightly packed with runners during the first few miles until things thin out. I released a tirade of curse words at the person. Seriously? Is cutting through people so early in the course worth it? News flash: hey dumb-ass Jerk, you aren't going to win, so dont endanger the safety of the other runners. I saw at least 2 other people tripped because of the same reason.

- it was nice running through all the neighborhoods that make up Chicago. From lady gaga drag queens in boystown, to a Korean drum line, to Chinese dragons, to live bands and cheerleaders, the course was not short on entertainment and neighborhood flavor.

- the crowds were awesome! I didn't miss my headphones because there wasn't really a spot devoid of spectators during the entire race.

- the volunteers were great. Smiling faces and words of encouragement. So awesome.

-the wall of cheers during the last .25 mile. Fabulous!

What I learned
-to trust myself and my training

-a gu w/caffeine and a salt tab every 5 miles works really well for me. (along with drinking at nearly all aid stations and dumping water and sponges on my head and neck)

- that the temperature was not as bad as I thought it would be. Start was around 58, for my finish it was in the low 70's. Low humidity rocks!

-I need to do more strength and core training.

-overall I'd call it a HUGE success even though I really wanted to break 4. This race felt right and everything fell into place. And I didn't bonk. :)

Big congrats to everyone who ran it out today in less than ideal conditions. You all seriously have some major guts!

And thanks to Running Nina for spectating and adding my name to an awesome poster- which I spotted in the crowd at mile 2!!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Expo/inspiration Chicago marathon

Went to the Chicago marathon expo on Friday afternoon after a nice 3.5 mile run along the lakefront with my DaaD.

The expo was big and awesome- just as you'd expect for a world class event.

I got to meet Hal Higdon!
I thanked him for getting me to the finish of my 2nd (1st marathon in 10 years- Nike Women's Marathon 2010) with a smile on my face :)

I got to meet June from "All that glitters is golden"
She is the first blogger i've met in person from the bloggy world. I thought it would be weird to meet face to face, but she was awesome and smiley and lovely to meet :)
 OH NOOOOO!  The low will be around 59, High will be 75.  YIKES!
I won't be streaking through the windy city, but because of the temps, the thought might have crossed my mind.....

We are going to start with the 3:50 pace group and hold on for as long as possible. If my dad finishes with a 3:50, he will have a Boston Qualifying time -5 minutes...

Saturday, there will be plenty of rest and relaxing and watching of the "Spirit of the Marathon."

And I leave you with a funny video...

Time for some carbs!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

4 Dtg... Chicago marathon

Marathon #4 is just over 4 short days away. I am scared and excited for this race. The day I stop getting butterflies for these events, is the day I need to find something new to do.

My new Chicago marathon shirt that wonderful, wonderful got me from Niketown...
(me with the EL in case you are unfamiliar with the Chicago EL. It's Chicago's subway/metro system-- the routes are the colored lines on the shirt)
"Run Like EL" gotta hand it to Nike for being uber-creative :)

  • By Sunday at 12pm, I will have logged 530 running miles during this cycle. Not quite where I wanted to be...
  • 80.5 Cycle miles
  • Survived the infamous Calf/Shin problem that prevented me from running for 2+ months
  • The longest runs I did were 15 miles. This makes me nervous, but somewhat comforted after looking at the Hanson Marathon Program. (Their longest runs top out at 16 and my training looked similar to their schedule. Not on purpose.)
  • Nearly all of my runs were negative split/ finish stronger runs. This makes me confident.
  • A 1:48 PR half marathon, and an "easy" 1:53 half in hotter weather. Confidence boosters for sure.
  • I'm nervous about hitting mile 21.9 I should realize that the vast majority of my miles were "quality" and for me, had a purpose. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. I just don't know what is going to happen.
  • A "3" in front of my time would make me happy as a clam. What the heck does that even mean?
  • My dad (with my wisdom) realized he could use this race as a BQ for 2013. Subsequently it has now possibly gone from "fun run with my dad" to "something a bit more stressful." It all started when he mentioned we could follow a pace group for 3:55, his new BQ time. I said- well,,, you can count it for 2013. I guess he thought it wouldn't count. Crap. What have I done?!?
  • The new debate is 3:50 or 3:55 pace group. I vote 3:50 right now. That is surely subject to change. But with my training, and my daad's training at the hottest parts of the day in Florida (his favorite time to run), I think we could pull off a 3:50ish marathon since it will be relatively nice weather unless it has changed since the last time I checked 23 minutes ago.
  • I am looking forward to getting this race over and moving onto seriously training for the Miami Marathon,and running (and potentially BQ'ing) with my best friend Tribu. The fire is lit under my butt to train hard to be able stay with her during the race. NO EXCUSES!!!

What marathon training plans have you used? Anyone out there use a lower mileage/ higher intensity program like Hanson and have good results??