Marathon Weekend Photos

My awesome parents after Friday night Dinner.

Group Photo after dinner. Pasta for many was lukewarm, not an ideal pre race dinner.

Mile 2. It's muggy out here!

Mile 18. Bring on the cola!

Mile 25. Is this thing over yet?

Not a great day.

Tough SERC Chicks

Not as fun with out my partner in crime Solar Squirrel. But still not too shabby, at least that hard training paid off in one way, no sore quads! Expect a repeat of this with Solar after Boston!

Two PRs despite the conditions. One small PR (me) and one Huge PR for MJ

Posing with 3 Monkeys (This restaurant was awesome!)

Richmond Marathon Race Report 2008

Well that was an experience. While you were busy betting high on me doing exceptionally well at Richmond, I should have also had you bet on the most bizarre and horrible weather I have run in causing everyone’s days to go a little differently than planned. When we went to bed the night before we were all under the impression that we were going to wake up to 40s, which would increase to mid 60s, while thunderstorms threatened to crash our marathon party. Instead we woke to 70s, overcast, humidity over 80%, and high winds (20-30 mph at points). Walking to the start it was apparent it would be warm. We still thought that we were going to end up with steady rains at some point during the day and despite the heat we all lined up with the same goals we had worked hard for.

I joined the 3:10 pace group and noted that I was one of very few females up front. I felt a little out of place but was still confident this was where I was supposed to be. I had no doubt all my hard training was about to pay off. As is par for the course the first few miles went by quickly. Unlike normal there was no throw away gloves or jackets. It was warm and it was humid.

I had planned on an electrolyte pill starting at 30 minutes and every hour after. I altered the plan quickly and took a pill at the first chance which was mile 2 at the first water stop. By mile 3 I was already looking for the next water stop which would be mile 4. It was warm and I was already concerned about hydration. Water stops were every 2 miles until mile 20 when there was water every mile.

Our pacer eased into pace and it seemed we were doing relatively well. The pace didn’t feel bad, but it didn’t feel great. I chalked it up to the fact that it always takes me a few miles to get into the groove. We had a few fast miles, but there were a few slight declines so I assumed we would get back to even soon.

By mile 6 I was already taking water for drinking and cooling off. It was still muggy and overcast and the roads were slippery. At a few points I was concerned that my shoes were not cut out for the slippery surface but I managed to avoid any slipping.

After mile 6 there is a pretty sharp downhill. The pace group took advantage of the net decline and had a really fast mile. I held back from the group, I didn’t want to run that aggressively that early in the race. I missed the mile 7 marker but the guy next to me said we had run the last mile in 6:40. Not good. The bottom of the hill turned you into the first party spot and the pace group did not ease back into the pace instead holding the surge through the crowds. I decided not to go with them. It was too early to be surging. But I was ticked because now I was pretty much on my own with occasional guys to keep me company. The course starts to wind around by the river before mile 8. I did my best to hold my pace and told myself I would slowly work my way back up to the group over the next few miles.

Mile 8 came and I realized I had slowed a bit from 7:15 pace. My average pace was still 7:12 and I figured I would just try to hold around 7:15s and turned it up a notch. No response. The next mile had some inclines and was slow. I realized I was going to have to tap into my gels earlier than planned. I assumed my carb loading hadn’t been effective which was explaining the slow down, that and being on my own rather than with a group. Already counting the time to mile 10 wasn’t exactly how I pictured this day to go. I consoled myself that a few slow miles through 10 were okay, I would get a gel at the next water stop and it would get me back on pace and there was downhill at the finish I could take advantage of. My average pace was still under 7:20 and I was hoping I could get to the half by 1:36. The gel at 10 had some effect by 12, and then we were heading back uphill again and despite passing people miles 11-13 were closer to 8 than 7. I was getting a little worried at this point but chalked it up to the hills and did my best to keep running and hoping the pace would come back down. Oh and at this point the sun had come out to heat things right up.

I don’t know at what point I started to give up hopes on the 3:10, I am actually surprised in retrospect that I thought I could get back to pace for so long. I think at the half I realized it was unlikely, coming in over 1:37. But I was still determined and thought if I could run a 1:35-1:37 on the back half I could still get a 10 minute PR. Unfortunately the miles just kept getting slower. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Nothing hurt (other than a few blisters that had popped and a few that were forming) but I just couldn’t get aggressive. Every time I felt like I stepped it up, it just resulted in the same pace or an even slower mile. I kept thinking that I did not remember the course having so many inclines. The whole run was starting to turn into a bit of a blur, I can’t remember half the details I normally would remember for a race.

Despite the pace slowing I still tried to enjoy myself. I smiled at spectators and thanked volunteers. I was holding out on a sub 3:20 and thought I could salvage the day once I got some more calories in me. Mile 14 I took a gel and kept waiting for the mile 16 junk stop where I could get cola. Taking it two miles at a time I stopped paying attention to the watch splits and just tried to run well. I was still passing people and wasn’t getting passed by too many. The bridge at mile 15 had a pleasant surprise in that it was a tailwind when I was expecting it to be a headwind…then the wind stopped. Seriously, how frustrating! This crazy wind all day and when it is actually at my back it dies. I was on a mission to get to 16 and that cola though so I pushed on. I knew my parents were going to be at 18 with more cola and I knew 22 or 23 was another junk food stop. With a gel at 20 I figured I could get in calories every two miles and perhaps put the pep back in my step.

I must have been one of the first to partake in the cola at 16 because the volunteers looked shocked when I asked for it. I probably sounded like a person who had been stuck in the desert for weeks without water with how desperate I was for that cola. I followed it with water and another dousing. Around mile 17 they had wet cloths and they were heavenly. I was so hot, sweaty and gross it was so nice to wipe some of that away with a cool cloth.

Pretty much in survival mode I knew my projected time was getting slower with every mile. I was so tempted to walk but soldiered on. I was passing lots of people walking up hills and kept telling myself to get to the cola at 18 and 22 and that from there it was downhill and I could salvage some of the dismal paces I was turning out. The cola from my parents at 18 was a much welcome distraction. I plastered a smile on my face and thanked them as best as I could. They informed me PR wasn’t far ahead which made me sad. He was going for sub 3, and I was already so far from my goal of 3:10 I knew he must be having a worse day than me. Up until this point I had just chalked this run up to my mental strength not being strong enough, that I just wasn’t holding up well on the hills, etc. It wasn’t until I realized someone else in our group was struggling that maybe it was the conditions on the course that was causing my suffering.

Drank the coke and laughed at the guy ahead of me as we passed a large group of college guys out drinking on a porch and he yelled at them all “I hate you guys” and they replied that “they hated their selves.” At least in our suffering we were able to revel in some laughter. I couldn’t believe I still had 7 miles to go and at one point confused the miles and thought I had only 10k before realizing my math error.

By mile 20 the wind had really kicked up. I was hot and struggling but just keeping focused on the next place I would get water or calories. Around 21 or 22 I ended up by a runner who had a crew of people on bikes helping him, not sure that is actually allowed, maybe it was a special charity or something. But I must have looked like I was suffering because one of the cyclists took an interest in me and assuring I was hydrated. Insisting I needed to dump water over my head because I was beat red and needed to get my core temp down. I welcomed the distraction listened to him chat about his running past and cycling endeavors as I slowly caught up to PR.

PR was looking beat. Turns out he had lost all of his dinner on the course and was completely depleted. We stayed together for awhile. I heard a spectator yell that I was the 19th female which surprised me. Going into the race I had assumed if I ran a 3:10 I would place around 20th female and about 5-6th in my age group. So it did make me feel slightly better that I was still meeting my place goals even if I was so far off my goal pace at this point. Then within the next mile I was passed by 4 or 5 girls.

I was rejoined by the cyclist as PR fell back to cramps. I could feel my calf threatening which I knew meant my electrolytes were low. I took another electrolyte pill and kept my thoughts on the cola I knew was waiting for me. The wind was in our faces for most of the last miles. And despite remembering the last 4 miles being downhill we were still going up inclines. Not to mention that nothing looked familiar to me. Turns out they have changed the course since I last ran it. So much for that strong downhill kick I was banking on. I gave up on sticking with the girls who had passed me at this point and for the first time allowed myself to get angry. I was pissed I had worked so hard for what was now looking like would be a day slower than my last marathon. “What was all that work for?” “All that effort only to result in a decent run.” I was expecting this huge breakthrough and here I was not even running my long run pace at this point. I was struggling to get from aid station to aid station… And then I sucked it up put that smile back on my face and continued pushing to the finish.

I made it my goal at this point to start picking off those girls who had passed me. If I couldn’t PR at least I would try to place as well as possible. My parents were at mile 25 cheering and my dad called out that I should at least try to PR. So with a smile/grimace I dug deep and turned it on as well as I could, and then headed into yet another ridiculous headwind. I just pushed as hard as I could, passing another girl rather than drafting her, I pushed to the next runner and another as I made my way to the finish. With 0.2 to go and finally a downhill I hammered as hard as I could passing one more female runner and eeking out a 4 second PR.

At the finish I had settled within myself that this was not my day and that to expect better in these conditions was putting too much pressure on myself. I had trained hard and instead of a breakthrough day I would have to be happy for a PR on a day when most were happy to finish. I had a strong placement in the field, 21st woman (that girl I passed going to the finish line nabbed me by a few seconds with chip time!), 4th in age group, and 153rd overall, which is what I was expecting to do if I ran 3:10.

I called my husband and let him know the results. It was an awful day to run the marathon and I had done the best I could. Because of the slower pace my body will recover quickly and I can enjoy a mental and physical break in the next couple of weeks. My right foot is injured. Coming into the race it had been sore in the mornings and during runs, but the pain was bearable, walking around in flip flops and barefoot after the race it is apparent that it is not okay so I will take some time off to heal that but thankfully my quads were not damaged at all and other than tight hip flexors and tight calves I feel exceptionally good.

I promised myself that no matter the result of this race I would not dwell on it. I set an aggressive goal for a good day, it is apparent Saturday was not the day for aggressive goals. I am happy to have finished my 14th marathon faster than I have ever run before, even if it was only 4 seconds. I realized during the race that I am not quite as attached to the fast marathon pursuit as I thought. It is so much work to leave up to one day’s conditions. I have some soul searching to do but I think I will be backing off the goals a bit the next few years on the marathon front. Get faster a little slower, try to enjoy the training more and focus a bit more on the ultra scene. I really do love the 50ks and even on a bad day on the trails I have so much fun. It’s such a different task. Yesterday was miserable. I did my best to enjoy myself despite the effort it took and I was successful, but it was work. (Although I do admit there is that small voice in my head screaming for a redo to prove all this work has resulted in much greater fitness)

I am happy with my effort on the day and although disappointed I know that I can only get better for the time being. I am so grateful for all of those that stood behind me and dreamed high with me. Given that I placed almost exactly how I thought I would if I had run a 3:10 I am confident on a better day I would have been a lot closer to the goal, and that is a comfort to me. And I know I could not have gotten this far without the support of my friends and family. Thank you!

Congrats to all of my friends who ran with me on this miserable day. You all continue to amaze me. We should all be so very proud of how well we held up on such a crappy day! Three top five age group finishes in our group of ladies! We all finished under 4 hours! It is important not to lose sight of the fact that what we are doing is not the norm, even by runners’ standards. It is easy to lose sight of it when we come up short, but I am so grateful for my abilities.

I am sure I will be reflecting on this experience a bit in the next few weeks. This is the raw report written on the long drive home yesterday while the whole thing was fresh in my mind.

Quadruple thanks to my parents who are the best athlete Sherpa’s around. I don’t know too many runners whose parents will drive their butts 8+ hours back and forth and walk all over a city to cheer and pass out cola to their crazy running daughter. I hope you guys had fun. Know that I am forever grateful for all of your support through all of the years I have been running.

Splits: (Garmin ended on 26.29. Mile markers seemed extremely accurate. From 26 to the finish my Garmin read 0.23 and under 6 pace, thank goodness for that downhill and the crowds. I definitely owe the small PR to the crowds rush and the huge finishing decline from 25.5 to the end.)

Mile 1-7:20
Miles 2-3-14:38
Mile 4-7:02
Mile 5-7:11
Mile 6-7:14
Mile 7-8-14:18 (6:40ish and 7:30ish) (Huge downhill just after 6 and huge crowds at the bottom of the hill, lost the pace group here, intentionally, but never caught back up to them)
Mile 9-7:20
Mile 10-7:26
Mile 11-8:02
Mile 12-7:59
Mile 13-7:55
Mile 14-7:33
Mile 15-7:22
Mile 16-7:52
Mile 17-8:09
Mile 18-8:17
Mile 19-7:56
Mile 20-8:04
Mile 21-8:23
Mile 22-8:14
Mile 23-8:18
Mile 24-8:33
Mile 25-8:28
Mile 26-7:43
Last 0.2-1:19

Marathon Wisdom and Well Wishes from my Running Friends

Below are a few pieces of advice and well wishes I have received in the past few days. It feels good to have so many friends rooting for you. (Some more serious than others) ;)

"Have a nice run.
Remember go out hard. You can't make up time."

"Good luck and good weather!

Remember NO sub 7:00 miles! Don't feel your splits must be perfect....keep telling yourself to save a little something for the last 5K!"

"Are you nice and relaxed? Every time you think about it you should do some deep breathing exercises and focus on relaxing your entire body and clearing your mind. Anytime you think about strategizing and micromanaging, you should say I will run a good race and then do this deep breathing. I am telling you that relaxing at this point is the BEST thing you can do to run a great race. It is right up there with hydrating, eating well, and sleeping well. Let go and have faith in yourself!"

"Your focus and discipline to training are inspiring...I hope you reap the rewards of your hard work this weekend!

Run smart, run fast and good luck!"

"yo! you all set for this weekend? I think it's great you're going back to the place where it all started a short 4 years ago. You should be proud of all you've accomplished in that time. Enjoy these last few days the best you can!"

Pretty much packed and ready to roll out for marathon number 14. Weather isn't looking promising, rain and 60s but I'll roll with it. I set up the blog to receive tracking updates so hopefully those will work and you'll know how it went before I have started partying afterwards. ;) Plan is to run with the 3:10 group as long as that feels groovy and see how the day plays out. I've definitely trained harder for this race than ever before so hopefully it pays off. No doubt it will be hard, but that's what marathoning is all about!

Thanks for all the well wishes and advice, it means a lot to me!

Weekly Rundown November 3rd through the 9th

Less than a week to go! Full taper mode now which is nice! I am already feeling more like my energetic self.

Monday- 7 miles at lunch 8:13 pace, probably a little quick for a recovery run but was having fun and felt good

Tuesday- 8 miles with 8*25 second strides with Daisy at lunch

Wednesday- A little over 6 miles at lunch. Attempted a track effort in the flats but blew up a bit mentally a little over half way through it and called it a day. No need to pressure myself this late in the game.

Thursday- A little over 5 miles with the DOT group. Downtown was crazy with Browns fans everywhere.

Friday- A little over 5 miles with 10*25 second strides

Saturday- 13 miles 8:00 pace, last 3 at marathon pace, was a little quick 7:11, 7:06, 7:05 but in the ball park and it felt good. Just have to be careful at Richmond not to get complacent and not to push too hard early on

Sunday- Car died so I had to do a bit over 5 on my own

50 miles for the week

Weekly Run Down October 27th through November 2nd

One more solid week in the Richmond Marathon Bank.

Monday- 6 mile recovery run
Tuesday- 9 mile run with track intervals (5*600). It was hailing and pitch black by the time I started my 600s. Had to go to the middle school track which sucks. Times weren't stellar but I got it done.
Wednesday- Rest. No motivation whatsoever, I don't like the dark or the cold!
Thursday-AM:12 miles at lunch 8:05 pace. 7 of it with Daisy. I felt great, glad I waited to do the run Thursday.
PM: 3.5 mile recovery run
Friday-6 mile recovery run
Saturday-17 mile run at NC, 8:16 pace. Beautiful morning for a run, ran with CV and Daisy. Legs felt toasted but paces weren't bad, last three miles all sub 8 despite tree trunk legs.
Sunday- A little over 11 miles. 5 at a hard tempo pace-6:42 "Raced" myself to the water stop, legs were toast, could have been the 17 miles, but more likely the three glasses of wine on Saturday

Week Total: 65 miles

Now it is taper time! I am feeling great. Did 7 miles yesterday at lunch and my recovery paces are finally under 9 :) The weather has been great ever since our little arctic storm so I am hoping it stays nice for Richmond. On the straight and narrow until the marathon, no alcohol, and no junk food. Now if the race could just get here already!

Richmond Suntrust Marathon 2004

Look what I dug up from the old tblog! My first marathon report, which happened to be Richmond.

I have now officially been initiated into the marathon club. Yesterday I finished my first marathon. I knew it was not going to be easy, but man did I underestimate how hard it would actually be! You get to a point where the pain is so overwhelming you don't think you can take one more step, but you still have another 4-6 miles to go and you can't slow down if you want to qualify for Boston. My whole running career I have had the legs for running but never the brain. If I felt good I ran well and if I didn't feel good and my legs wouldn't just carry me through I never toughed it out. This went for anything including track workouts. And that was when I was only running 5k's! So yesterday will probably go down as my best race ever. I conquered my mental running demons and persevered.

In order to qualify for Boston I needed to run under 3 hours 40 minutes and 59 seconds. That averages out to 8:23 minute miles. My goal was to run a steady marathon. Try to stay away from running too fast or too slow. When you go out too fast in a marathon you will most likely pay for it later. As most marathoners will tell you, you hardly ever hear about someone going out too slow.

We got into Richmond Friday night and I got a watch with 30 splits on it so that I would be able to track my progress throughout the marathon. I have a good memory but I didn't trust myself to remember 26 splits :) I also picked up some running shorts and a cool max shirt to wear during the race.

We went out to dinner with one of the members of the club and his wife and sister-in-law. Very nice people. I had a beer and shrimp scampi pasta. The pasta was delicious. It had capers in it, which I have never eaten, they tasted very good but I was a little worried that my stomach might not handle them well.

Got back to the hotel and got everything ready for race morning. Pinned on my race number, set out my clothes. Checked out how to work my watch. I went to bed shivering like a maniac, hoping that it was just that it was cold in the room, and that I hadn't caught something by being out in the rain.

Heading to the Race

Woke up around 5:30 yesterday morning and decided I wasn't going to be able to sleep any longer so I hopped in the shower and got ready. At this point nerves were settling in and I really felt like I was going to vomit. My parents and I headed over to the race at 7am. I waited in the porta-potty lines twice and checked my bag to pick up after the race. I saw Coach K and M and they told me I shouldn't wear a jacket even though it was cold. So I waited till the last minute, handed my jacket off to my parents and went to the starting corrals.

Checking My Bag

Waiting In Line :)

Richmond had set up pace teams but they didn't have one for 3:40. So I was surprised as I headed to my corral to see a sign saying "3:40 Pace Group: Headed to Boston?" Bonus! I was very excited about that. All I had to do now was stick with this group and I was golden! Well as we started I hooked up with a few girls and we decided to run the race together. We saw our pace leader up ahead but he was going too fast, so we decided we would pace each other to get through the marathon and qualify. We were slightly ahead of pace most miles and the mile markers just kept continuing to go by. I was amazed at how fast the race was progressing, and I felt great! I was talking with my running partner, by now it was just two of us. Around mile 6 my friend from the running club was passing us, he was in the 3:45 pace group. I don't know what was up with these pace leaders but they were not pacing! We were right on pace, or slightly ahead and we were supposed to finish 5 minutes before these guys :) Well R stuck with his pace group even though he knew they were going too fast. So we had another running friend for 4 or 5 miles.

At mile 7 and 14 we passed a Party Stop with tons of spectators! Crowd support is wonderful and really helps spur the runners on! We had picked up another 3:40er who was also struggling through his first marathon. My race partner had done 5 other marathons and an Iron Man! But her best marathon time was 3:59:00. So we were both in for a ride!

Around mile 15 the wind picked up really strongly. We crossed a large bridge and it was incredibly windy. We were starting to head uphill and the wind wasn't going away. My parents were cheering between miles 16 and 17. Later I found out they made it just in time to see me! They asked how I was and I lied through my teeth "Great!" At this point my quads were starting to feel a little sore and 8:23 pace was not quite as easy. But I knew it would not be wise to say out loud how I actually felt because that could be the end of my Boston Qualifying goal.

Between Mile 16 and 17 (The girl in the red cap ran with me for 22 miles)

From there it started becoming a mind game. I knew my parents were going to be at mile 25, so I just kept counting down the miles till then. My running partner was starting to feel the pain too and we had a really slow mile from 20 to 21, just over 9 minutes. At 20 I decided to walk through the water stop and when I tried to start up again my legs were screaming at me. I knew I was in trouble. At 21 we both decided to go to the bathroom quickly and got back out there. I was worried about stopping again but knew I couldn't let my bladder go another 5 miles. We had another slow mile, over 9 minutes and I realized my chances of qualifying were now slowly drifting away. With more pain in my legs then I have ever felt I made the decision to go after my goal no matter how bad it hurt.

That got me going but what really helped was that R had caught up to me and since he knew his goal of qualifying was not in danger he sucked it up and started running 30 seconds faster than his goal in order to run me in. My legs were screaming, I kept telling myself how upset I would be if I gave in, and R kept telling me I was trained for this and I just had to hold on. At the time I was grateful and annoyed because he was driving home the same things I was saying to myself but I knew that he was putting himself in a lot of pain just to help me reach my goal. Just before mile 25 his wife jumped on the course to run him in and he told her he was fine and to bring me home :) She was so kind. At this point the sun had come out and I was hot, my headband was around my neck and I asked if she could take it from me. I also had her take my fuel belt so I would have less weight going into the final mile. I know that that stupid thing is heavy so it was really nice of her to take it. She stopped just before the 26-mile mark because that was a huge downhill. I could see the crowds ahead and could just make out the finish clock. I knew I just had to drive it home and I had it! With music from Rocky playing through the street I crossed the finish at 3:39:42! It was the most wonderful awful feeling in the world.

Coach K and M at mile 25

Mile 25

My legs were screaming at me. I could barely walk. I was slightly delusional at this point. But I had done it! I conquered my mental demons and had overcome pain to realize a very lofty goal.

R and his wife and sister-in-law were there at the finish line to celebrate with me. Then I had to make the lonely trek to retrieve my bag with my warm clothes in it. They gave us a Mylar "blanket" at the finish to keep warm until you could get warm clothes. The walk from the finish to get my clothes contained some of the most painful moments of my life. At points I felt like my legs were going to give underneath me. The path to the bag pick up was downhill on cobblestone streets. What kind of cruel trick were they playing? It was horrible, and it was almost a ¼ mile to the bag pick up. When I finally retrieved my clothes it took me about 10 minutes to actually change. Putting my shoes back on was absolutely horrible. I knew it was going to send both my calf and quads into cramps. I managed to get my clothes back on make a trip to the porta potty then I set out to find my parents.

I found Coach M and K and they had seen my dad so I headed back to our hotel since I couldn't find them at the finish. Luckily our hotel wasn't too far from the finish line. Eventually my dad made it back to the hotel and I showered and we went out to lunch with the group. We had a celebratory drink and some lunch then my parents and I hopped into the van for the 8-hour ride home.

My parents are absolutely the best! I can't thank them enough for coming to Richmond with me and helping drive me there and back. I probably would have just stayed in Richmond if it weren't for them!

I am not really sure how I feel about this experience. I know I should be absolutely thrilled but for some reason I am not. I think it may just be hard to digest everything. After my triathlon I was absolutely thrilled, I felt great, and I had a blast. I guess this victory is bittersweet because I really had to give everything to get to it. I can honestly say I left nothing on the course for the first time in my life. And I think by doing that I actually may have left a piece of myself out on the course, and that may be why I feel odd. (If that makes any sense) I have to leave behind the runner who gives in when it gets too tough and now I have much bigger shoes to fill. And maybe that is a bit frightening. I feel bad that I am not more thrilled because I know there are people that work their whole life to qualify for Boston, and I did it in my first marathon.

Going into the marathon I wasn't sure if I would go to Boston, even if I did manage to qualify. Now I really feel I have no choice. I have to go. Too many people gave a piece of their time to get me where I got, and they didn't do that so I could turn around and not go to Boston. I have my next triathlon to do and that is less than a week after Boston. I know that it will be tough but like I said I don't have a choice :) Maybe I can convince A and C to do the triathlon as a relay. Then I would just have to swim.

I am sitting here barely able to walk and registering for the Boston Marathon on April 18th. I have reached the peak of craziness!

My quads are really sore as well as my calves. One of my toes has turned purple and I am pretty sure that nail is going to fall out in the next few days. I have to go and run two miles today and I have no idea how to even attempt it. But I have been ensured that by running those two miles my legs will be better off over the next few days than they would be otherwise. Maybe I will go to the pool first and try running in the water. I cringe when I see a curb let alone stairs. I must look like I just got done riding a horse for days.

So this is what a marathon feels like.

For you statistics junkies out there like me check out my splits!































Running the Numbers

So the highlight of the bagel shop talk this morning was to predict my marathon time in two weeks. Sounds like I'm one of the only ones aiming high for myself so I thought I'd do some quick math to see if my goal was in line with the training I have done or if I am delusional. I looked at the numbers and I still believe my goal is achievable.

A quick comparison (this is why training logs are useful tools for OCD runners). This year at Boston I averaged 43 miles per week the 10 weeks leading up to Boston Taper (2 weeks). This year for Richmond I have averaged 59 miles per week leading up to taper. In the spring I ran a 41:16 10k 2 weeks before the marathon. And this fall I ran a 39:45 4 weeks before the marathon (No 10k races in town this morning). I used the equations listed by this site to predict my marathon time for Richmond: Based on the formula for 60 mpw if you multiply my recent 10k time by 4.75-4.85 my time should be between 3:08:49 and 3:12:47. According to the site when I was averaging 43 miles per week my multiplier should have been 5.0 to 5.3 (3:26:24 to 3:38:47) but it actually was 4.91 (3:22:50). I am not sure if that is because of my base or because I just run better than the average on less training. Either way the numbers are looking pretty good to me. (I'll be checking out the numbers versus my other marathons to see if I can find a trend!)

What is hilarious to me is that for some people I will never run enough miles and for others they can't believe how many I am running. I honestly feel that I did not run to my potential in Boston this year, I didn't feel strong and my quads were shot very early in the race. I truly believe that I am capable of much better. I aimed high with the training mileage for this race and I fell a little short of my goal, but the past two weeks I have felt the speed and the strength that I have built up and I know I am ready for a huge PR. A 16 mpw swing in training is huge, even if it is less than I intended. And the quality of my key workouts this training period have been great. I have been so pleased at how well my body has adapted to the hard tempo days and the faster long runs.

My goal is to be strong and smiling as I finish Richmond with a huge marathon PR. I don't need the negativity from inside or out. I've put in the time and it will play out how it plays out. But if I were placing a bet on me for this marathon I'd recommend you bet high on me doing exceptionally well and save the doubting for another day.