Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Catching Up

So, I am bummed because after a lot of back and forth, Rick and I decided that I should run the Boston Marathon this year. We planned to register me together tonight. I went on the computer around 5:10 p.m. and saw that registration was already filled at 5:03--yeah, I missed it by like 7 minutes. I had no way of knowing--it took 2 months to fill up last year but less than a day this year.

The main reason that I'm bummed is that I realized that I may be pregnant for Boston 2012 (we are thinking about Baby #3 for then), so it may be a long time before I qualify again and before we can afford a trip up there for me to run it. I just wonder if I will look back on today and wished I'd done something different. I guess Suzanne Taylor will be a good example for me--she just ran her first marathon in a decade a little while ago and qualified for the Boston Marathon and will be running it in 2011. So I guess there's no way to know what the future will hold for me!

Today I ran for the first time in 9 days, and I managed to run 20 miles. I had been having foot pain in my right foot that I thought was plantar fasciitis. It was in the arch, but it spread up to my ankle and even made my left knee buckle too (from over compensation). I finally hurt so bad after running and limped so much during running that I went to see a podiatrist. She gave me oral steroids, a band to stretch with, and instructions to ice and do physical therapy. Well, I did most of that but skipped the therapy. I managed to do a 12-mile run in a lot of pain before completely not running for 8 days. I used the elliptical and pretty much adjusted my goal in the marathon. After not finishing St. Louis, I just wanted to be able to finish the Marshall Marathon next month. I feel a little more optimistic after today's run (which was actually a combination of an 11 mile run with my running friends in the early morning and a 9 mile run after dropping the kids off at preschool). It was hilly and fast (at parts) and really wonderful. I missed running!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Marathon Training

This week marked the first of 3 20-milers that I will do in preparation for "marathon season." For me, it will begin with the Marshall Marathon in West Virginia on November 7. Rick prints the training programs for me (usually from Hal Higdon) and I do my best to follow the long runs and omit all the speed work!! Seriously, I usually just run whatever I feel like during the week without paying attention to what I'm "supposed" to do. This week was one of the higher mileage weeks for me, and it was still under 50 miles. But that's totally fine, since I can clearly remember weeks just last year that were only 10 miles or so. So I'm proud that I'm doing more than that! I got some good advice today to just keep using the "Katie approach," which to me means doing what works for me. Also today and on the 20-miler, my right foot was driving me crazy (plantar fasciitis). I have been icing it, taking Advil, and massaging it. Today it even affected my left knee as I overcompensated and, during the long run, my right ankle hurt too. I sure hope it will not cause any more problems. Mostly for me to remember my "big week" of training, here are the miles I did this week:


Monday-10.5 mile run in the a.m. Walked the kids for over an hour in the stroller, so 3 miles?

Tuesday-25 minutes on the elliptical

Wednesday-8 mile run (convinced Kristen to do the last 1.5 miles with me--Good job, Kristen!)

Thursday-30 minutes on the elliptical

Friday-7 mile run (with Jane, wanted to do a few more on my own, but decided not to with the 20-miler the next day)

Saturday-20 mile run (started at 4 a.m., at the soccer field by 8 a.m.!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monte Sano 5K

You know you are finally feeling fall weather when you can start the morning like this...

And end up like this!
{At the 39th annual Monte Sano 10k and 5k races September 4, 2010)
My family went up to one of our favorite places, Monte Sano Mountain, for Rick and me to run the Monte Sano 10k and 5k races this past Saturday. We had originally planned to each run both races (the 5k is an hour and a half after the start of the 10k), but our sitter fell through so we opted to only race one each. It turned out to be a lot better for me because I was running on fresh legs for the 5k while many of the other runners had already done the 10k.
I have to admit that I really liked watching the 10k runners warming up before the race and knowing I did not have to run it myself! I took the children for a nice walk in the double jogger. They thought the race had already started since they saw so many people running! During the race, we cheered for Daddy, who placed 3rd in his age group and looked pretty tough finishing his race!
Rick was able to run his cool down with me during my warm up (he pushed the stroller). I met my friend, Julia, and we all three finished the short run together. He suggested I shoot for a 20:30, to take 7 seconds off of my last 5k time. Now I am getting forgetful, but I think it was something like a 6:37 per mile, so I figured I would aim for that. Right before the start, I couldn't figure out how to start his Garmin, but luckily my fellow teammate, Lisa, pressed a couple of buttons and got me to the right screen easily. Two things were different for me from the last time I had run this race: the women start separately from the men by 10 minutes (we are second), and the women could start on either side of a median (I chose the right side if you are facing in the starting direction). As we started the race, I took first place but felt another girl right behind me. The weather was great, and I felt strong in the first mile. I had forgotten that probably a mile of the race is run on loose gravel. It was very hard to run on. This is where I caught up to the men's race, and I found it hard to maneuver through the other runners. I have that same problem when half marathons start with marathons in the same start line. It is much easier for me to pace myself with runners of a similar pace, and I am kind of clumsy when it comes to passing people gracefully. One really nice guy called out, "You're first female. You're my hero!" That was so sweet and uplifting! I also liked the turnaround because I was able to see many of my friends and cheer for them as we passed one another. My second split was a 6:43, just a tad bit slower than what I wanted to get, but I was just trying to hold the lead for the last mile since it ends with a slight hill. I saw the finish line and heard Rick and the children yelling, "Go Mommy!" That was the best part! And I finished in 20:40, not quite what I wanted to get but very consistent with the 20:37 in my last 5k and good given this course. My running friends have inspired me to run the day before races (I used to take the day off), and I had run 12 miles the day before, and I felt fine and don't think it hindered me at all.
We really enjoyed talking to friends after my race and waiting around for the awards. I won a really nice picnic blanket and an Outback gift certificate (dinner for 2) for first overall female. I love sitting in the old amphitheater for the awards in this race. My friend, Kathy, came over and talked to us a little bit. She is getting ready to run a 153 mile race in Greece called the Spartathalon. That is amazing! The children ate ice cream and hunted in the woods around the amphitheater for sticks and bugs. It was a great day for our family and a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

10.5 mile run

Here is my Monday run. Rick (my husband) went for his 17 mile run that day. When I asked to join him for a little bit of it, he said, "Yes, but you should know that I normally do 8:30 miles." That seemed fast for an easy long run, so I declined and decided to do my 10 miles alone. And I decided to average 8:30 miles just to show him! (yes, I am competitive!!). I borrowed his Garmin the minute he got back. That thing is addictive! After starting slow for the first mile, I played around with my pace until, finally, at mile 8, I had that 8:30 average pace to show him! Then it went down to 8:27 and up to 8:28 at 10.5 miles. I have learned that it is hard to make your average pace move too much on a long run! It was fun running with the Garmin and turning the pace thing into a game for myself. It helped to pass the time, but I probably looked at it 15-20 times more than I would have looked at just my watch. So the Garmin is helping me feel accountable for my pace and to motivate me to go faster--I guess that's what they're for!