Sunday, September 29, 2013

Marathon Training - How it's going!

Wow, 20 whole days since I've blogged. Yikes. I have logged a whole pile of miles since my race and haven't even recapped a single mile.

This weekend I did my 21 miler and have one more 20+ mile run before the taper madness begins. How did time fly so quickly!?!?

Here's how the 18, 20 and 21 mile runs all went.

18 miler -
This run was tough for me. We started early and the weather was crazy. We had cool temps, we had torrential rain and we had mega humidity and heat. The goal was 15 miles easy with a 3 mile pickup at the end. I mostly felt alright until mile 15 when I had to do my pickup. I was over my soaked clothes and shoes. I had taken my final gel in prep to kick up the pace for my last 3 to be done at marathon pace or faster.
Miles 16 and 17 were a 9:40 pace (marathon pace is around 9:55) but then I got sick and don't recall what that final mile was done in.

20 miler-
The weather was perfect. We did this one as a destination run in Townsend, TN. We started at the Tremont Institute and ran the bike trail out through Townsend. It was relatively flat, which was really nice.
The goal was easy for 16 and pick up the last 4 at marathon pace or faster.
The start was a slight downhill and my pace was a bit faster than I needed it to be but I felt good so I kept trucking along. I was amazed by how I felt this whole run and even more happy that I ran alone, without music. That is such a mental test and I am hoping it will prove to be helpful come marathon day.
I had two miles out of the entire 20 miler that were above marathon pace (10:00/10:04). My pick up miles at the end were (9:22/9:32/9:29/9:34).
Overall pace for the run 9:41 - 20 miles in 3:14.

21 miler-
We got up at 4am yesterday to meet our friends for a 5:30 am start. The goal was 16 miles easy w/5 mile pick up at marathon pace or faster.
This run was mostly great but I only had one issue around mile 8 where my GI was bothering me and I need a bathroom NOW. I had to make the most of my surroundings. I tried to be conservative w/pacing this time so that I could have energy in the tank for the pick up. I won't lie. I was not looking forward to the pickup alone because of our route. However, I made my way back to my car to drop my Camelbak and a friend was just getting started. She paced/ran with me for my pickup and I couldn't be happier with the results.
21 miles in 3:28 - 9:54 pace
I'm still hopeful I can add 5.2 miles and reach my marathon goal.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Parkside Realty Townsend 15k - race recap

Start time - 8:00am
Weather - 66 degrees 94% humidity

Let me start by saying that due to my terrible GI issues lately I was ready to throw the towel in on running altogether. Thursday (after a terrible run) I text my coach that I was thinking about bailing on this race. Pep talk via text changed my mind and I said, "Fine. I'll go w/tp in hand just in case." haha So, I did.

My dr now has me on a dairy free diet as we suspect I have developed an intolerance to lactose. Fun times. So, that started officially on Friday. I already felt better by mid-day Friday but was still concerned about my race and what my gut would decide to do. I was careful all weekend long leading up to Sunday morning.

Pre-race dinner fuel - filet and baked potato topped w/guacamole
Pre-race breakfast - saltines and peanut butter
Race fuel - 2 PowerGels (3 mi, 6 mi)

I got up extra early Sunday morning to allow myself even more time to allow my body to digest my food, hydrate and tend to things in the bathroom. I got dressed and was ready to leave the house by 6:10am. No pre-race packet pickup meant I'd need to be there early to get that as well as to get my warm up, flex and striders in and to the line before the start. No problems there.

There was no timing chip this year so we were to rely on a 1,2 gun start. I had already told myself I was not going to worry about that. I didn't line up quite as close as I have in other races. I was basically still hoping at this point to stay as close to my race plan as possible with the biggest goal being to finish unscathed from my recent GI issues. So, I got it in my mind that I would run by feel as close to my goal pace according to the breakdown of my plan and still treat this as my long training run for the week because in the end that is what this race was about.

I carried my own water/handheld but mostly because I wanted to have some tp for that just in case moment my gut decided to rebel against me. It was good enough that I had the water and my handheld because it had enough room for my two gels and really isn't all that annoying to carry. I did still take water at most of the stops except the first one. I wanted to conserve what I had for the end of the race should I need it. I didn't realize at the time that it was so humid though post race a lot of people were complaining about it. I guess the fact that it didn't seem to be an issue for me means my training IN the humidity has really paid off. Score!

I split the race up (as per my race plan) and decided to tackle it 4 miles at a time and treat the last little bit as a bit of tempo work, if possible. So, without really going into a ton of details on "I felt this way here or that way at this point," here are my splits.


Total time based on Garmin : 1:27:54

Overall I felt great during the race. I didn't have any issues taking my gels at miles 3 and 6 other than my pace slowed while I was taking them. My stomach felt fine and I never worried about the urge to run off course. Positive! I did feel a kick shortly after taking each of my gels, so if there is any question about them working.. YES!  I maintained my goal race pace (for marathon) the entire race so that too is a plus. Now if I can just do that for many many many (16.9 miles) more miles this marathon will be great.

I didn't struggle physically with any of the hills and the only reason I even walked in the first one was because I looked down to see i was ahead of pace. If I had that to do over I definitely would have given myself a mental pep talk to keep pushing upward!

Friends and my family were waiting on me at the finish line and got some great pics.

Official results :
1:28:05 (from the gun)
2nd/6 in Athena

Really pleased overall with my run and a 2:55 PR over last year. It was a great morning and this really is a great race/course. It was also great to see so many friends and to have my little family cheering for me at the finish.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I didn't write a weekly marathon training post because I have lost count of what week I am in. I *think* it's week 10 but honestly I'm too lazy (for an active person) to go back and look through my schedule. BUT my 18 miler was over the weekend (last weekend) and went ok. Ok meaning I had my typical stomach issues and we ran through humidity, a downpour for about 2 miles and I had a marathon paced pickup the last 3 miles in which I puked after 2. Fun times! I LOVE marathon training, for real. This week is a race week for me but kind of a cut back too since it's lower mileage. My 20 miler is NEXT WEEK! Holy moly. That snuck up quickly. Marathon training flies by when you're having so much fun. My workouts have been going well too (minus the stomach/GI stuff) and rather than bore you with this we will just move on to #2.

2. And yep, that #2. It's happening a LOT. I finally went to my dr and he put me on some probiotics and acid reducers. I was suppose to give that two weeks and if no change call him back to schedule some scoping. Eh. No thank you right now. The "meds" are and aren't working, I think. I'm still having issues and even before the dr put me on that stuff he said what I am describing isn't necessarily what he would call your typical "runners trots." It's always fun to talk about that kind of stuff. Ugh. So, the scoop is this med thing doesn't feel like it's working. Wanna know why I say that??? Omg, y'all.. I had to take the ride of shame from my coach at practice yesterday. That was NOT fun and missed 4x200 repeats before my cool down. Bummer. Also, I'm having issues daily not just when I run. I've decided to change some things up a little in the food department. We'll see if it works.

3. Speaking of food. Well, sort of. I have been staying off the scale because that thing is EVIL with a capital E. I actually weighed this morning expecting the absolute worst. Imagine my surprise when I was down 3+ lbs from the last time I got on the bad boy a few weeks ago. Nice. I've also shut down my cupcake addiction and haven't had one in almost a month or maybe longer now. Anyway, if I could just give up the weekly trips for Froyo (cake batter w/sprinkles and a cherry on top!) that would be great!