Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nerstrand Big Woods Run, Faribault, Minnesota

I decided to take a drive up to Minnesota to run the Nerstrand Big Woods Run, in Faribault.  I arrived at the run location around 7:30, it was dark and misting.  They were setting up for the run.  The start was in the middle of no-where.  So, I rolled down my window and asked where the nearest town that had a hotel.  30 minutes away, they told me.  I drove to the nearest hotel, Country Inn and Suites, full, then AmericInn, full.  They mentioned that both colleges St. Olaf and another college were having parents weekend, the hotels were booked.  I should try the next town.  So, she called up a hotel and they got me a room.  I drove 20 minutes to Faribault, finding the first AmericInn. the lady at the front desk mentioned that she didn't have me on file and they make that mistake a lot, calling AmeriSuites which is a trucking motel.  She mentioned that she wouldn't recommend that hotel, it's pretty disgusting. So I asked if she had any rooms, she said she thought she had one cancellation, but wasn't sure if that was last night or tonight, the nights blend together.  She said she had a suite and she gave me a discount.  I called the other hotel and cancelled the room they booked.

So, I sit here, after eating my pasta and salad, relaxing before I hit the hay to rest for the run tomorrow.  I plan to run and change into dry clothes in the bathroom and head back home right after the run.  I hope to leave here around 7:30 a.m. to get there at 8:00 a.m., enough time to register and mentally prepare.  It's going to be a cool one, but...

I'm ready.

Isn't if funny! I ran a half marathon today, and ended up coming in at a 10:35 pace, walking the hills. The course was natural paths in the woods, only 2 miles were on a flat road. I was exhausted and not happy with myself because I use to do an 8:30 pace. And each time I run, I get slower and slower. Maybe it's because I ran the chicago marathon last weekend, I'm sure it's part of it. But, even still, this was pretty slow. I realize, when training for the chicago, I got injured more, pulling a muscle here, then laying off my speed or distance to let it heal, cross training where I could. I even threw in my first 1/2 ironman during the heavy mileage, just to get my body going. (I did pretty good on my first 1/2 ironman and I was pretty proud of myself, even though I was in the group of later swimmers coming in and of course on the bike, I was dead last, I did end up passing several people during the run, coming in only 15 minutes slower than my avg 1/2 marathon time, not too bad).. When I was training, because of my injuries, I babied my body, allowing me to run very slow during training runs. Even walking during the longer 20 some mile runs. It's mentally draining not getting back to my time. I have been able to hit my pbr but never getting a new pbr on my halves, if I run a half for 14 weekends straight (during my 1/2 marathon in 25 states goal this year I ran each weekend from Feb through May). I am just going to keep going and learn as I go. I will do another marathon and my next BIG goal is to do an Ironman (in 2 years once I get more coaching on swimming technique and join a bike team next year and get a good bike with clips and learn how to ride that way). I will continue to strive to qualify for Boston, I know I can do it, and each time I do a marathon, I experience something different, but learn from each story. So, it's not that bad that I get a slow time here and there. It's okay! I know when I'm in prime I can make my best times, I just have to listen to my body and sike myself up mentally. I know what works for me. And each person is different. Even though I train with a bunch of guys who are about my pace, One person can train at a different schedule and do differently in a race. I'm learning what works best for me. And that's what counts. The main thing is that I CAN run and I want to be able to run as long as I live, because it does good things to my body and soul.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicago Marathon, Words of Wisdom

If you're doing something you love with people you love in a place you love, you are going to create something of value to the world.—Martha Beck

Chicago Marathon 2009
I can't wait to get my massage today after running the Chicago Marathon yesterday.

I'm a little stiff but not too bad.

I can tell my training wasn't as good this time.  During the run, my legs, between my torso and my top legs hurt so bad.  Like they weren't ready or trained enough for the run.  My left leg ached, as usual during the first part of the race, but I dealt with it the best I could.  I started out too fast, AGAIN!  When will I learn.  I was running 8 minute miles in the beginning, then got down to less later.  Came in around 1:59 for the first half, then after that, things got tough.

Of course, getting a cramp in both of my calf muscles, which started at mile 18, wasn't fun either.  I walked the water stations to stretch out my calves and would have to stop along the way to massage my calf so that it wouldn't stiffen up.

Did you ever have that experience when you are laying in bed and all of the sudden your muscle in your leg cramps up?  And if you don't catch it right away, your leg or foot (that has the cramp) is a gonner.  Then you sit there stiff as a tree limb, trying to get the stiff kink out of your leg or foot that has the cramp, massaging the area to get it loose.  Well, that was my experience, but I was trying to catch the cramp before it became stiff.  Every time I would speed up the cramp would come back.  I had to slow down to so that the cramp wouldn't come back.  As I was running the last 10 miles, I would watch people just stop and fall over, because their legs would cramp up and get stiff like that.  I'm guessing it had to do with the cold weather and something to do with diet (once again).  My brother Brian mentioned he got really cramped up right after the bike portion of a 1/2 ironman.  He said it had something to do with salt.  So, I'm going to read up on that.

I realize now that the best training for me is to run 13.1 organized races for 4 months before, Plus, throwing in the regular long runs in addition to that, and then run the weekdays well with the stepper as a speedwork piece.  I just wasn't as trained this time, which means, my body wasn't prepared for the miles.  I was lazier because I used the training schedule.  It wasn't enough.  My cardio was fine, although, my chest hurt some when I was running, so I guess that is telling to how in shape I was.  I also tapered too much the last 2 weeks.  I should only taper 2 days right before the race.  That seems to work best.  My body goes down too quickly when I don't run enough.

Oh, yes.  The quote in the beginning relates to my experience.  As you know, I can't take pictures of myself; my hubby, best friend and main supporter, is behind the camera.  We had a great weekend together in Chicago.  It was beautiful walking the lakefront bike-path to the expo, trying a new Italian restaurant for pasta dinner and of course, we had to go to Giordano's, for the thickest homemade pizza in the midwest, after the race.  And of course, we love taking the metra down and staying at Club Quarters, which is right in the middle of the loop, easy walking access to everything!!!

That's my two sense from my experience running my 4th marathon, 2nd Chicago marathon.

My next goal is to....
  • Start running 13.1 organized runs (based on funding), hope I can start this in January 2010,
  • Run 3-13.1 runs and 1-26.2 run each month, for training,
  • See if my 26.2 time can get better each time I run the 26.2,
  • Work on speedwork, running on the treadmill during training weeks and incorporate speed, like run at 8 min miles (7.5) the full 8 miles on a treadmill each time I run, to get my body use to running the speed. (I know, boring, treadmill, but this really helps push my speed),
  • Work on fixing my aching left leg problem,
  • on my posture (still),
  • Continue to learn and apply best nutrition for training and running,
  • Sign up for more 1/2 IronMan competitions (I like those for training),
  • Write about my experiences, and
  • Incorporate learning lessons in my Bug's Adventure Children's book series (in hopes to share my lessons with children so they can grow from what I learn)
Good experience yesterday, great weather.  Cooler works so much better, now only if I would have been in better shape.  Blah!

Place 674 out of 1820 - division
Place 5054 out of 14492 - women
Overall 16020 out of 33475 Total
Chip time: 4:19:14