Saturday, December 22, 2012

2 for 2

I ran my 2nd ever marathon today, 'Day after the end of the world' as part of my build up to Houston in 3 weeks. It was just a training run and despite not running as slowly as I was supposed to it was still a fun, relaxed run (didn't wear my watch just enjoyed myself and went by feel).

I left home at 7am for an 8am race start, the race was only around 20 mins away form my doorstep. Had to get a babysitter for this one as my husband is still away (2 weeks down ???? weeks to go :( ). 

I ate breakfast as usual and decided against taking anything else during the run apart from a few gulps of gatorade and as much water as I felt I needed. It was a nice cold start and a constant breeze (at times fairly strong head wind) meant it never got too hot which I like. 
I started off with H, we had both been told to take it easy and hit 8-8:30 pace but after the 1st loop I got itchy feet and pulled away a little bit. 
I have found a groove in training and its just as uncomfortable to run slower than this pace as it is to run faster so I found my groove and stuck to it. Ok, so there was also one chick ahead of us and it was kind of bothering me (caught her fairly early on the 2nd loop). Then I started picking off some guys, which is always fun :)

The course was so much fun, definitely not a fast one, it was quite sandy underfoot at points with some undulating small hills and twisty and......wonderful actually. So different from the usual paths and roads that I am stuck on 100 miles a week, I had a blast! It reminded me of some cross country courses I ran growing up in Scotland, had a near the coast feel to it and no concrete just 100% trail :)

I got passed by a guy at the end of the 3rd loop and then we did a bit to yo-yo'ing before settling for running together and having a nice chat for the vast majority of the last lap. He had run the 'end of the world marathon' on the same course the day before. I told him I was taking it easy so if he wanted to leave me to go for it but he started to struggle with a couple of miles to go, I hung around and tried to encourage and story tell as much as I could to help pass the time for him but after a while I decided to leave him to it and scooted off for the finish where we arranged to meet in the pizza and coke line ;) I was CRAVING coke so badly during that last lap?! I very rarely drink it but it's all I could think about for the last few miles. 
Upon finishing, I was handed a HUGE finishers medal and my squeezy toy (a Steve Boone, race organizer, speciality) showing my finish place. A number 2? 'Emmm, I know I wasn't 2nd?' I informed the woman handing out the medals and toys. I thought I was 4th and saw the 3 guys who had finished ahead of me all still standing around the finish. So after 'being mum' and making sure they all had the right numbered toy, I left in search for my coke with my correct number 4 (1st female but Steve Boone doesn't discriminate!) Why do guys always need a woman to organise them ;)

Got my coke, found my lap 4 friend but passed on the pizza. My stomach has been playing up for the last week or so AGAIN. It's driving me nuts, I think I should probably go see a doctor but who has time for that? Anyway, I took a couple of imodium before the start and it did it's job, no toilet stops and only one bad spell during the 3rd lap. I suffered afterwards for a few hours but it's been way worse so no big complaints. 

Today was true running joy for me. No pressure, no watch, just fun. I had a blast. 

My time? 3:25 for a long 27 and change course (H and my lap 4 friend plus race organiser all said just over 27 miles). The race the day before was 28 miles so they must have shaved a little bit off for todays. Some people who I know ran yesterday and didn't like the course or the fact it was long but I didn't care. It was never going to be a fast one and I was relaxed about it and just happy to be there. 

So that's 2 marathons and 2 wins, I know this record is going to be short lived!

Some snaps:

 H feeling the cold

 The gang

 After the race, H face planted so we were comparing knees. She was fine!

Today's medal in on the left, the one on the right is from my other marathon (Texas marathon Jan 2012) both Steve Boone races. Both are huge but the Jan 1st one is the largest finishers medal in USA I believe! 

This bad boy weighs more than 3 lbs, todays was probably around 1lb Mr Boone does not mess around with his medals :D No special awards for age groups or 1st place, everyone gets the same which I like.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Today's 23 miler was pretty great in a few different ways. First off it capped another 100 mile week. 

I was charged with the first 17 being easy (probably averaged around 8:00/mile pace) then putting the last 6 in at 6:50 (marathon pace....allegedly). The final 6 miles went: 6:51, 6:51, 6:46, 6:50, 6:41, 6:31. 

Upon finishing  I stopped the watch, bent over and threw up! First time for everything, actually have done it before when I was around 9. Finished a cross country race and threw up due to car sickness from the journey down. Today wasn't down to the effort either, it was the gel I took after 13 miles. Today I had my 1st whole gel, having tried half last week I thought I'd give it a go. I started to feel ill at 20.5 miles but not bad enough for it to slow me down. Not sure what to do in the marathon, I can cope with feeling like that for 2.5 miles or so but much longer and it might affect my race. Will persevere.

It was hot and humid today, give me a break Houston! December 15th and my tshirt was soaked through and I started to get HOT during those last few faster miles. I told H at mile 19 'I want to take my t-shirt off so badly' to which she replied 'do it' (she was wearing a bra top but has the 6 pack to carry it off!). After a moments hesitation I thought '**** it' and off it came. It felt soooooo good, instantly 7 -10 degrees cooler, first time I've ever sported the somewhat skimpy sports bra look! It was very liberating, these guys have it easy with their bare chest training/racing that seems to very popular here in Houston! 

I have a real problem racing when its warm, I think I overheat very easily and have noticed a benefit since losing the baseball cap. Maybe I need to not worry about the fact my stomach is clearly one that has been stretched during 3 pregnancies and just get over it already. I think I will, if it keeps me cooler then it would be madness NOT to right? I just feel half naked and am pretty self-conscious...we'll see. 

H hasn't ran with me for a while and commented on how strong/fit I've become. I am gaining strength with every mile and am excited to see where some consistently high milage can take me next year.

This week also saw an 8 mile threshold run (6:30 pace on treadmill) as part of a 12 miler and the 'gut buster' which consists of mile, half and quarter mile reps, 2 of each with small recoveries then you get it all again! So mile, mile, half, half, quarter, quarter, and repeat. I was more tired at the end of Thursday than I normally am.

12 months ago I ran my 1st and to date only marathon in 3:13, it will be interesting to see how much I've progressed over that time. I know I'm a far better runner now but will the clock agree?! Time will tell.

Feeling like a very lucky girl to have found such a great coach and all round top bloke in Coach Doug and to have a wonderful training partner in H, if only I could persuade her to stay in Kingwood and not move to Colorado in a few months time :( 

Oh, upon finishing today's 23 I had to go into the Kroger where we park to grab some party favours for my soon to be 6 year olds party at........Chuck up Cheese's ;) (which I had an hour to get home, shower, eat and get the kids to). I ran and asked a girl at the cafe if they sold tshirts, 'yes, in the far corner', of course they would be! Remember I'm in effect in my underwear here. I then found and put on the largest t-shirt I have ever seen :D with some football moto on the front. I then grabbed a heap of crayons and pads of paper (buy 2 get one free YAS!) for the favours and scarpered unsure if the t-shirt was a more embarrassing look than the underwear. My t-shirt is hopefully still by the lake near my house where I tossed it, didn't have the energy this afternoon to take all the kids to go look for it. Will go first thing in the morning. 

Any  suggestions for good, super supportive sport bra top...things would be greatly appreciated. Preferably ones that make your stomach look ripped ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First ever century

I achieved a bit of a milestone yesterday morning on completion of my 22.5 miler, I reached a total milage for the week of 100. Nice, it feels good! Only 5 weeks until the 2013 Houston Marathon and I have a 100, 104, 96 over the next 3 of those weeks. I'm hoping it will be enough to put me in a position to run sub 3 but I'm not sure. I know I'll get there I just can't help wish I'd been putting in these big miles for the last few months. 

Yesterdays 22.5 (I had to do the .5 as I couldn't possibly end the week with 99.5) was nice. I took the first 12 easy and pushed a little on the final 10 but not as much as I have in previous weeks. The big news of the day was taking half a gel and not suffering any nasty side effects! I wasn't brave enough to try a whole one on my first go but will on next weeks long run.

I love running these higher miles and can feel my running coming on leaps and bounds but will it be enough for Jan 13th..... It doesn't really matter, the important thing is I am thriving on the big miles and my body is handling it (although I do touch wood frequently as all those around me seem to be getting injured). My goals are long term and I will give it all I have come the day but it isn't the be all and end all. 

I have had my husband home for the last week so have been able to put in some early morning runs, this weekend being no exception. Up at 4am to run at 4:45 take it's toll 4 mornings out of the week, well it does for me. Add to that the procession of kids I've had down to my bed each night this week and the disrupted sleep that follows and I am one very tired lady. 

I was lucky that my husband didn't have to leave last night as we had previously thought but held off until 7am this morning thus giving me time to get my 15miles in. I almost turned back on the bridge today as I couldn't see past the end of my nose, picture pitch dark with a thick fog and running into....nothingness! It was a little unnerving but I soldiered on and didn't come across the boogeyman in the thick pea-souper, phew. I then waved hubby goodbye, jumped in the shower whilst shouting at the kids to get dressed and got down to Duessen Park to watch the Rungirl half as fast as we could. I love to watch races but it was hard to be there and not be competing although the way my legs felt on todays recovery run I wouldn't have been able to do anything special. Sunday recovery runs are always a bit of a slog, I just take it very easy and run off the previous days long run. 

H was running and blew the rest of the field away for another PR. I want to be just like her when I grow up ;) Doug was also there to cheer H on so it was nice to get a chat with him although it is kind of hard with the cherubs causing havoc. You know whats a good job for young kids at a race...picking up all the water cups! Kept my 5 year old busy for a little while at least.

Here's what my first ever century looked like:

Sunday        15miles easy
Monday       15 miles easy
Tuesday       12 miles 8-8:30
Wednesday 15 miles 8-8:30
Thursday     0.5 w/u, 7 miles @ 6:50 (was supposed to be 10 but was called back to the child care at Y as they 'can't control' my 2 year old :s)
Friday          13 8-8:30
Saturday      22.5, 1st 12.5 around 8:10, last 10 building to low                   7's   

This was the lowest quality week I've had in a long time. I normally have threshold miles (6:30 pace) on a Monday and speed work on a Thursday. This week sees me back to the usual routine, let's see how I cope with 2 quality days (3 if you count Saturday's 23 with the last 6 at 6:50 pace!) in a 100 mile week. 

This week is a killer with 8 threshold wrapped up in a 12 miler on Monday and the 'Gut Buster' on Thursday. Might not make it though to Saturday's long run and those marathon paced miles ;)

In 2 weeks time my schedule has me down for a long run of 24 miles and it happens to coincide with a local marathon so I asked permission and got the go ahead from Doug. It's just a training run so I will stick to the 8-8:30 pace set for it. I have a few friends running AND it's on trails AND its called 'The day after the end of the world marathon' COOL! I'm excited. Hubby will still be away (looks like he will be gone for Christmas, a first in the 14 years we've been together :( ) so I'll have to call in some babysitting or have my mum take the kids, ditto for this weekend.

A few photos just because.

 'Uncontrollable? Do I look uncontrollable to you?'

 Tree 1, there is a lot of nudity in this house ;)

Obsessed with my new toy! 

 This is my end of the day look, disheveled yet victorious.

Obsessed. raison and cinnamon loaf before

and after. 

rosemary loaf 

Tree 2, needs a few more lights and a bit more tinsel!

So I can say with 100% certainty my next marathon will not be a PR but the one after that had better be!