Dusting away the cobwebs

Facebook and real life have obviously taken their toll on my blog. But in the spirit of why I started this blog in the first place, as a log of my daily life that I could share with family and friends, I am going to try to make an effort to update more. At least throw some photos up so you can see what I have been up to other than running tons and tons of miles :)

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend with our families and we are looking forward to more fun times with friends for New Years and Hubby's B-Day.

Santa spoiled us rotten this year so we will be busy watching lots of new DVDs, playing X-Box, trying out new racing shoes, smart wool socks, footbaths, and a mirror so I can finally see the back of my head in the morning! On top of that matching trash and recycle cans (you have no idea how happy those made me). I am not really a material girl, but items that make the things you love doing easier, or your everyday life more organized, do make me breathe easier.

Christmas at our place




Thorncreek Winery for Carley Tanchon Performance


Down for the Count

After stubbornly trying to run through the pain for two weeks I gave up and am on a 3-day hiatus from running. Plan is to test the knee Wednesday with 5 on the treadmill and no more than 5 miles a day for the rest of the week. Not really how I envisioned finishing out such a stellar year of running but what are you going to do? Knee pain started Sunday the 13th and while the pain wasn't bad while running my husband (and family and even running friends) were starting to question my sanity as I gimped up and down stairs but insisted on running. In my defense the pain wasn't getting worse and I was hoping to run through this one. But 17 weeks of training with a bum knee does not sound appealing so hopefully I can nip this pain now with a few days to maybe a week off. I'll be adding in quad strengthening to hopefully avoid a recurrence!

Despite all that I had a pretty good December so far. 244 miles and right now almost 500 more miles than I ran in all of 2008. Not too shabby.

Last weeks summary: 73 miles if we start on Sunday :) 61 with the usual Monday start.

12/20/09 (Sunday)-7:45 pace 12 miles
12/21/09-treadmill 5 miles 8:00 pace
12/22/09-AM- 2 miles 8:11 pace (ice), PM-8 miles 7:42 pace
12/23/09-AM-8.5 miles 8:00 pace, PM-5 miles 7:20 pace
12/24/09-13 miles 7:11 pace
12/25/09-5 miles 7:34 pace
12/26/09-15 miles trails under 12 minute pace with photo stops etc
12/27/09-off

A few pics from the Saturday Waterfalls Run:



Merry Christmas!


Hope Santa is good to you and yours and that you get to spend the day as you like with loved ones!

Gearing Up for the Holidays

Christmas cards have long since been sent out, gifts have been wrapped for weeks, and Christmas candy is slowly being given out. Tonight is the last minute snack and drink shopping. Tomorrow all that's left is decorating after the annual SERC Christmas Eve run.

I am going minimalist on the decor this year since the cats will just knock down the tree it isn't going up. We are having over both sets of parents and my sister so it will be a small celebration and I am sure they will be fine with just a few Christmas-ey touches. I did toy with the idea of getting a nice pine branch to hang on a wall for some of our nicer ornaments, but then realized that would involve me going out with a hack saw into the woods and decided against it. Any creative ideas for hanging a few of my nicer ornaments around the house without a tree?

In the meantime I have been running up a storm despite the aggravated left knee. Pretty confident it is just mild patellar tendinitis caused by the slipping around on the ice a few Sunday's ago. It is slowly getting better with some PT and ice. I don't think I helped things last week by doing all my mileage in 7 runs. This week, more doubles!

This week I had to start logging my runs in a new log as the Nike Training Log went down at some point last Thursday and the Nike rep has no idea when it will be back up again, and at some point it will be retired. A little aggravated at the possibility of losing all of that data in a nice handy place where I could retrieve it but now I will make sure to always have a back up of everything on my own computer. Mostly upset about the shoe mileage tracking as I have no clue how many miles I have on the several pairs I am wearing right now. Oh well.

Monday December 14th through December 20-Total 72 miles
Monday-10 miles 7:18 pace (2 mile warm up at 8 followed by low 7s) (163 BPM)
Tuesday-9.5 miles 8:07 pace (151 BPM)
Wednesday-10 miles 7:40 pace with CV (151 BPM)
Thursday-10 miles 7:36 pace with CV (154 BPM)
Friday-12 miles 7:14 pace with NC and MR
Saturday-8.5 miles 7:57 pace (155 BPM)
Sunday-12 miles 7:45 pace (151 BPM)

Weekly Rundown

What's that, yep I am still chugging along. I feel like I got run over by a truck this weekend but I am still getting in the workouts.

We are currently in a 5-6 week building phase. Basically no really hard stuff, but no really easy stuff either, just a bunch of steady miles.

Saturday was Christmas Candy Making day, and Sunday helped out the in-laws to get their house ready to go on the market. I was absolutely physically wasted by Sunday evening. Truth be told I needed quite a few cups of coffee just to survive Sunday and Monday morning I woke up to whole body soreness and bruises everywhere. Who knew cleaning, packing, painting etc was so brutal?

With 70-75 miles on tap this week there is no rest for the weary. Let's hope I survive! My right calf has been a little tender but was feeling better yesterday and Sunday my left knee flared up, likely from doing hills Saturday and Sunday and from icy footing Sunday. Hopefully just overworked quads and I can ice/stretch my way back to health. I have a massage scheduled for Friday which should help too.

I am struggling with the mental math of getting in more than 65 miles a week while working 40 hours and not doing any runs longer than 12 miles on the weekend. It just isn't adding up for me right now, especially since I am not a morning person and have a hard time starting the day off with a run. I am going to need to suck it up and start getting in some doubles because I can't get in 9-10 miles at lunch every day. Which means I need to get out of bed and get running first thing despite the cold outside and the nice cozy bed I'd rather be in.

All of that to say I am still running, I am feeling worn down, but I am pushing through!

December 7th-December 13th- 62 miles

The weather took it's toll on my goals paces last week and I did not end up getting in two runs in the low 7s like I intended. New goal is to get in the first low 7 workout the first day of the week with decent weather regardless of schedule/plans. I really would like to avoid having to do low 7s on the treadmill. The other planned low 7 workout is always Sunday so if weather is bad that is out of my control, but I can at least get in one quality day a week, even in Cleveland winter :)

Monday-7 miles 7:36 pace (154 bpm)

Tuesday-8.25 miles 7:42 pace (154 bpm)
(hip workout and 20 push ups)

Wednesday-6 miles treadmill 8:00 pace
(hip workout, 20 push ups, core workout, and light upper body)

Thursday-9 miles, 8:09 pace (150 bpm) *Extreme wind on marginal

Friday-9 miles 7:28 pace (156 bpm) (ran with CV, intended for this to be low 7s, but it was windy and my legs felt sluggish, Final 2 miles were under 7:15)
(hip workout, 20 push ups, core workout)

Saturday-11 miles, 7:30 pace with NC (162 bpm)

Sunday-12 miles, 7:39 pace (163 bpm) (several miles under 7:15 when footing was normal)

Reindeer Run and Weekly Run Down

Once again the Reindeer Run 5k has proven to be a good note to end the running year on. This race was the first 5k I broke 20 on (two weeks after running a 50 mile race).

This week was focused on starting to build my base, so no more speed work for awhile, but I had to get in one more race as it was a planned meet up with a bunch of the Cleveland gals, several of which are celebrating their pregnancies. And it's always a good excuse to eat pancakes with friends after a hard morning race effort.

Week went as follows, pretty straight forward instructions from coach, 50-55 miles, only one day over 8 minute pace, two days in low 7s and the rest of the runs 7:30-7:50, because of work this week I had to do all but Monday solo in the morning:

55 miles total
M- 7.4 miles 8:49 pace
T- 7 miles 7:41 pace
W- 8 miles 7:06 pace
Th- 7 miles 7:39 pace
F- 6 miles 7:34 pace
Saturday- 2 miles warm up 7:49 pace (with strides), 5k, 3 miles cool down
Sunday- 11.5 miles 7:05 pace

Onto the fun stuff. Reindeer Run 5k is on the West side and is known for being fast since it is flat out and back, no sharp turns, and nice cool weather, just the way I like.

Goal was to run 18:40 which would be 6 minute pace. It seems I tend to get mental blocks on paces, we're working on breaking the "Easy = 8+" mental barrier right now and I knew I needed to get past the 6 minute race barrier mentally. If I can run 5:50s on the track I should be able to run sub 6 in a 5k, especially a flat fast one. Add to that my less than phenomenal day at Turkey Trot and I was fired up to crank out a PR.

JC gave me a ring and offered to cart my butt to the race which worked out perfectly. The temps were around 30, not much wind and I got to warm up with my gals CV and TM. Race outfit worked out perfectly, I was never cold and didn't break a sweat. Lined up at the start after a few strides and TM pointed out a gal towards the front who was supposed to be pretty quick. I decided to try and run with her as long as I could in hopes to pull myself to a better time.

The jingle bells announced our start and after two winding turns we were onto the straight road that would make up the next 1.5 miles until we turned around. TM and CV were right with me and I set my sights on DZ ahead of us. I started to reel her in and around the half mile decided to go past her. This seems to happen a lot for me and usually when I try to "take control" of the race it ends in me getting reeled in towards the finish, but I made the game time decision that I wasn't going to worry about anything but running hard. No looking at the watch and no holding back to run someone else's race.

The first mile was right on target at 5:54. Though I didn't look at the watch the race did have timers at each mile so I was aware at each mile mark of how I was doing. I started to reel in a few men and tried to pull myself along with a few young guys as we rounded our way back towards the opposite direction.

As we made the turn back onto the main drag of the race I saw Salty (pregnant with #2) and she gave a holler that I was in 1st. Nice to know, but I am well aware that doesn't always last. My goal the second mile was to step up the effort in order to maintain pace. I focused on doing just that as I neared mile 2. At this point waves of other runners were still going the other way (I think there were 800 runners) including several of my pregnant pals as well as MN. All of my friends in addition to many gals I don't know were cheering for me which was great and exciting, but a bit overwhelming. It was definitely hard to try and smile and wave while also trying to maintain my form and pace. I'll have to work on that. Even a 5k should be an enjoyable experience. (My friends mentioned afterwards my attempt at a smile definitely looked awkward, I am guessing it looked pretty strained). Mile two and the timer called out 11:55 so I knew I was still on pace for the 18:40. (5:59 for that mile)

Lactic acid was starting to kick in and moving forward was definitely starting to be more of an effort. I really have no sense of time during a 5k and got excited when I saw a cop car thinking it was the turn to the finish only to realize I was still about a half mile from the finish at that point. I was pretty much by myself by this point. There were a few men ahead of me and I got passed by a young male runner. As I neared the final turn there was a cop directing traffic and he shouted to the car that they could cross after me. I realized then I must have at least a decent gap on the next person behind me and I better amp it up for a good kick to hold onto first and try to get my goal time.

Mile 3 timer called out 18 even (6:07 for that mile) and I knew I had to bust ass to the finish. No matter what I do .1 takes me 38 seconds so I knew I needed to haul. A guy running the other way hollered to pump my arms and I was sure there must be a gal behind me he was instructing but as I pumped my arms harder he yelled more encouragement and I realized he was urging me on to the finish. To him I must say thank you because I crossed the line and looked down at the watch for an 18:39. Official chip time 18:37.52. About 3 seconds ahead of the second gal, so definitely glad I found a little kick at the end (37.98).

I know that I am going to need to get a lot faster to meet my marathon goals, but this was a great way to finish the year and glad to finally officially meet one of coach's goals for me this year. Next stop 17 something ;) Although I am guessing there will be some baby steps on the way to that goal.

My Reindeer Medal.

Thanks CV for going to the awards with me!


The pancakes were much better than this omelet, but the omelet was as big as my head, much more photo worthy.


Me and my Cleveland Gals. Can you pick out the 5 that ran with baby in tow?

Turkey Trot and Weekly Run Down

The primary reason I have still been doing track workouts post Columbus was for the Detroit Turkey Trot. I raced that Thursday with my family and was excited to have them all participate. It was not a stellar day for me and so now I will be moving onto base building phase for Boston the next 5-6 weeks. Since the Turkey Trot did not tucker me out at all (Ran a 40:23, 6:30 pace, about what I should be running for 13.1 not 10k) I moved into Thanksgiving calorie burning mode the rest of the week.

This week will back off on the mileage a bit, cut out the track and tempo runs, only one "easy" day and the rest of the runs under 7:50 pace. Also coach said to cut out the push ups. That I am not a sprinter and don't need to "bulk up." Everything in moderation I guess!

November 22-29th- 64 miles

Monday- 7.4 miles easy, 8:30 pace (110 push ups)
Tuesday-7 miles with 4*30 second strides 8 minute pace
Wednesday-3 miles easy, 8:40 pace
Thursday-2 mile warm up with strides, 10k-40:23, 2 mile cool down
Friday-12 miles easy 8:08 pace (hip exercises)
Saturday- 12 miles 7:55 pace
Sunday- 12 miles 7:00 pace

Unintentional Back Off Week

Like I said in the last post just lost some motivation this week. But the good thing is the workouts that I did get in were quality and I will probably feel fresher for the Turkey Trot as a result. But need to keep the lack of motivation at bay post Thanksgiving as it will be time to start building a bigger base, no more track workouts for awhile (It's the midwest) moving on to fartleks and a good strong mileage base to get ready for Boston. Still have some strength training on tap for today, but have some work work to catch up on first then relaxing and start over again tomorrow.

November 16th Through the 22nd-43 miles

Monday-No Running (86 push ups, 95 sit ups, 18 squats, 45 tricep curls)
Tuesday-7.5 miles with track
Wednesday- No Running (100 push ups)
Thursday-7 miles with tempo
Friday-6.5 miles easy, 8:48 pace
Saturday-10 miles trail, 8:15 pace (120 push ups, 108 sit ups, 25 squats, 6 hip exercises, 10*2 second reps on each)
Sunday- 12 miles 7:16 pace (120 sit ups, 28 squats, and 6 hip exercises, 10*2 second reps on each)

Key Workouts:

Track:
easy warm up and cool down+
1600 warm up at 7:41.24

1200- 4:30.42 (176 bpm) (rest 2:34.53)
800- 2:59.47 (178) (2:00.20)
400- 87.22 (176) (1:31.15)
400- 84.41 (178) (1:57.62)
800- 2:51.55 (182) 2:30.97
1200- 4:21.78 (184)

Tempo:
5 miles aiming for under 34
6:47.56 (170)
6:48.37 (179)
6:46.86 (180)
6:46.06 (181)
6:46.55 (182)

33:55 total

Catching Up

I probably went a little overboard last week and I am paying for it this week with lack of motivation, seasonal blues, and a sinus infection. Not happy, but I'll get back on the horse. I think the mileage was probably fine but I ran a little too hard Sunday, just got caught up in the run and did a little too much around the house.

November 9th through the 15th- 65 Miles

Monday- 7 miles easy with Daisy- 9 minute pace (55 push ups, 48 sit ups)
Tuesday- 6.5 miles with track
Wednesday- 7 miles easy 8:30 pace (63 push ups, 69 sit ups)
Thursday-7.5 miles easy with Daisy 8:40 pace, (72 push ups, 75 sit ups, 45 tricep curls), 60 minutes yoga
Friday-9.5 miles with tempo with CV (80 push ups, 85 sit ups, 45 tricep curls)
Saturday-16.5 miles easy at Bills Badass 50k Fatass Run
Sunday- 11.75 miles 7:16 pace

Key Workouts:

Track:
easy warm up and cool down +
warm up mile 7:36.80 (148 bpm)
4*100 strides
1600-5:51.10 (181 bpm) (Rest 3:42)
1200-4:23.18 (183 bpm) (2:30)
800-2:51.47 (183 bpm) (2:13.38)
400-84.95 (175 bpm) (1:32.97)
400-79.95 (178 bpm)

Tempo:
6 miles aiming for under 42
7:01.83 (162 bpm)
6:59.45 (171 bpm)
6:55.70 (173 bpm)
6:55.30 (175 bpm)
6:56.43 (177 bpm)
6:46.55 (178 bpm)
41:35.3 total

Back into the swing of things

I was planning on easing back into mileage slowly but with two medium long distance runs on the weekend I am almost back into the 60s. It feels good to get back into the groove so easily after feeling so run down before Columbus. Focusing on keeping the easy days pretty easy right now and that seems to help.

59.5 miles for the week

Monday-7.45 miles 9 min pace
Tuesday- 7.97 miles with track (32 push ups, 35 sit ups)
Wednesday- 7.82 miles 8:43 pace (46 push ups, 37 sit ups)
Thursday- 7.43 miles with tempo (50 push ups, 39 sit ups)
Friday-5.13 miles 8:50 pace
Saturday- 13.36 miles trails easy 11:08 pace
Sunday- 10ish miles at 7:35 pace (Garmin froze but seems to have corrected itself post run, let's hope that was just a fluke)

Key workouts:

Tuesday Track:

6*800 with 2:30 rests

3:03.52 (2:31.35) (174 bpm)
3:01.73 (2:26.72) (179 bpm)
2:59.18 (2:33.47) (182 bpm)
2:57.93 (2:22.77) (182 bpm)
2:57.08 (2:32.72) (184 bpm)
2:55.88

This workout took me over 2300 miles for the year which is more than I ran all of last year, fun little milestone.

Thursday Tempo:

Aiming for 6 miles, first mile at 7:30, next five in 35 aiming for over 7 the first two miles and under 7 the last 3.

Factoring in the 20-30 MPH the first mile and last 2.5 miles I am going to say this was the best I could expect. It was really more of a race the last two miles than a tempo effort into the wind.

7:38.19 (Heart rate 150 bpm)
7:09.01 (171 bpm)
6:57.71 (172 bpm)
6:57.08 (178 bpm)
7:03.01 (184 bpm)
7:01.21 (187 bpm)

Sunday 10 miler:

Ran with some SERC buddies in Hudson before helping out at a cross country race. Nice quick run even if I wasn't feeling it initially (too much wine Saturday night) it was a great morning with friends. Aiming for 10 miles under 8 minute pace and ended up averaging 7:35 pace.

Marathon Predictor Calculators

In the lead up and aftermath of racing a marathon I have been contemplating predictor calculators and why they seem to be off for so many when it comes to the marathon.

A few of my friends insisted I was ready for 3:03 or even sub 3 before Columbus, but in the end I went for 3:05 and obviously that is about where I was. I chose that goal because of my half time at Buckeye Half. In the past my 10k equivalent predictor rate for the marathon was always around 4.78 to 4.83. A comparative 10k time to my 1:26:52 would be around 39 minutes and the ratio for that to my actual marathon time is 4.76. I figured best case scenario would have been just under 3:05 or a 4.75 ratio given my training was more consistent than in the past. But I also know that pacing screwed up a few of my key runs so I didn't want to be too optimistic.

I am wondering what ratio's others have and if you typically set your marathon goals based on your current shorter race performances and if any of the available calculators have been accurate for you.

I find it interesting that all of my races this year except the marathon lined up pretty well in the Daniels VO2 range, but my marathon obviously is not in that same range.

Some tools I have found useful for setting goals and getting an idea of my racing potential:

The old fashioned/simple approach: Half marathon*2 plus 10-12 minutes
Daniels VDOT Calculator: http://www.runbayou.com/jackd.htm
McMillan Running Calculator: http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm
Race Time Predictor: http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/rp.php?metres=5000&hr=0&min=22&sec=30&age=32&gender=M&Submit=Calculate
Predicting a Marathon Time: http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/id70.html

The last link is one I have found intriguing. It bases the predictors on how much mileage you run. I have set up a spreadsheet to track my own personal 10k predictors and actual results along with my mileage. It seems like this time it was pretty accurate. I averaged 62 miles a week for the past 22 weeks or so and my rate ended up being 4.76 (4.78 if you based it off Perfect 10) (Note I just use the McMillan Running Calculator to get an "equivalent" 10k time for my races since I didn't run a 10k this year)

I think I still have a lot to learn about marathoning and I am excited to get faster. But it certainly is intimidating thinking about how fast I am going to need to be in these shorter distance races to achieve my ultimate marathon goals, especially if I need to do even better than most of these calculators suggest!

So my big question for myself is am I limiting myself by setting what appears to be conservative marathon goals according to all these calculators (and personal experience of others) or am I running my best marathons possible by setting a realistic goal. It seems based on my past experience that in order for those online calculators to be more accurate I am going to have to get my mileage up above 80 mpw, a tall order for those of us that aren't cranking out our easy mileage at a good clip.

Feel free to chime in on my rambling here, I am interested in others experience with calculators/goals etc. It's pretty much the down season now, so a great time to consider goals for next year!

*Edited to Add*

For an example case and since it is my blog here are some equivalent 10k times from my races leading up to Columbus and the resulting ratio

Johnnycake 5 Mile- 10k McMillan equivalent and ratio to Columbus Time 39:35/4.70
Perfect 10 Mile- 10k McMillan Equivalent and ratio to Columbus Time 38:52/4.78
Buckeye Half Marathon- 10k McMillan Equivalent and ratio to Columbus Time 39:02/4.76

On the Mend

My legs were pretty thrashed after the marathon so the past two weeks have been focused on recovery. Probably another week of light mileage before I ramp it up slightly for the turkey trot and then onto marathon base building for Boston.

While my legs are slowly healing I am wiped out today. Too many late nights and early mornings last week. I am ready for some mental relaxation this week as well as physical.

Monday October 19th Through October 25th- 9 miles
Monday-Walked 2 miles
Tuesday-Jogged 1 mile and walked 2 miles
Wednesday-Massage
Thursday-Vinyasa Yoga
Friday-Rest
Saturday-2 miles slow (calfs were very angry)
Sunday-6 miles slow (shins were very angry)

Monday October 26th through November 1st-32 miles
Monday-6 miles easy
Tuesday-8 miles with a track workout (8*400 and 1600 at end, all under 1:30 and mile in 6:15)
28 pushups and 23 situps
Wednesday-Rest (29 pushups and 29 situps)
Thursday-5 mile "tempo" 7:50 pace
Friday-6.5 miles easy
Saturday-6.5 easy on trails
Sunday-Rest


Halloween Photos Below

Work Pumpkin Carving Contest


Relaxing at the Smith's Bring Your Own Pumpkin Party


Halloween Trail Run


Halloween at The Edwards (Wolverine and Guitar Hero Casey Lynch)


My mini pumpkin and Daisy with pumpkin guts

Splitty Details

Usually I think that the 5k, 10k splits from a race give the best picture of how things are going since each mile can be so different, but Columbus was a case where that doesn't really give the whole picture.

Splits the race took (segment pace):

10k- 44:04 (7:06)
Half Marathon- 1:32:58 (7:06)
20 mile- 2:22:07 (7:07)
Finish- 3:05:57 (7:04)

What this doesn't show you is my cocky attempt to take that last 10k down to 6:54 pace which resulted in a bit slower pace the last few miles and my slowest mile of the day at 24 miles. (Granted mile 23 had been downhill with the wind and 24 was slightly up and into the wind) What can I say I felt really good and thought I was going to be able to hold sub 7s at that point and eek in under 3:05. The effort was there but just came up a bit shy.

I am a bit intrigued by the heart rate information. I make no claims at understanding what my heart rate should be at, but this seemed low considering I averaged about the same pacing at Akron (I thought it was high at Akron given the pace). I am wondering if the cool weather contributed to the low heart rate. Or perhaps the fact that for the most part I kept my mouth shut kept it lower than usual.

Mile Time Garmin Distance Average Heart Rate
1 0:07:19 1.04 156
2 0:07:04 0.99 162
3 0:07:10 1.01 160
4 0:07:01 1.01 168
5 0:06:59 1 167
6 0:06:59 1.01 165
7 0:07:09 1.02 165
8 0:07:04 1.01 162
9 0:06:56 1 160
10 0:07:07 1 160
11 0:07:05 1.01 160
12 0:07:12 1.02 163
13 0:07:03 0.99 162
13.1 0:00:45 0.11 166
14 0:06:20 0.89 162
15 0:07:04 1.01 163
16 0:07:07 1.02 163
17 0:07:05 1.02 163
18 0:07:08 1.02 167
19 0:07:15 1.01 168
20 0:07:06 1.01 168
21 0:06:55 1.01 169
22 0:06:54 1 169
23 0:06:50 1.02 169
24 0:07:20 1.01 168
25 0:07:17 1.02 168
26 0:07:09 1 170
26.2 0:01:26 0.24 173

For my friend Brian's take on our race check out his blog.
It was fun for me to read and experience the race from his perspective.

Brief Columbus Race Report

Hopefully I will have time to sit down and do this properly but I am hoping I can at least capture the emotions I had and the short gist of things here before I head to the track for what promises to be an entertaining attempt to jog.

Sunday morning I woke up at 4:20 before the alarm clock. Had a reasonable amount of sleep and headed straight for the coffee maker and the fridge to fuel and caffeinate. pretty much all business until my parents dropped me off at my friends hotel near the start. Then we got a little silly as the girls prepared to go race. It was just the right amount of goofy and got me pumped up to start.






We headed to the start and I started to worry about timing so I opted to give the girls high fives and get started on my warm up. Turned out to be a good idea. Got my gear bag onto the truck then tried to wade through the insane crowds towards what I assumed was the start before freaking and going to the side and having to jump the fence with Brian Stern and AJ B.

It was great to have some local friends in the coral with me. But there was no way to get in a proper warm up. We were stuck. I kept my warm clothes on until about 2 minutes before the start. Stripping and noting that some jerk had peed right in front of me. I would not have been happy to run through that with my very minimal shoes. Yuck!

My buddy Brian W found me and before we knew it the race had started.

I stayed with Brian through about mile 21. Most of the early miles it was hard to tell how the day would go. It was pretty cold and I couldn't get a good feel of my running legs. They were a bit numb and a bit awkward feeling. Energy was good, right calf was sore, and my shins were not happy about not having a proper warm up. But we settled into our pace and I hoped everything would warm and loosen up.

Shortly after mile 12 and my first gel I started to feel my legs come back to life. Huge relief and I was starting to get optimistic that things were going to go well late in the race.

Hit the half about 25 seconds behind anticipated goal time. Pretty much perfect. We joined a pair of guys who were going for sub 3:10. It was windy so I tucked behind the boys to draft for awhile which was helping me to stay peppy.



We were still just coasting and by about mile 18 I finally saw the first girl coming back to me. I hadn't seen any women since long before the half turned off, so I was getting excited to race. Around mile 19 or 20 I started to pick it up a bit as we closed on the gal in red. At mile 21 Brian let me know that I was looking good and I realized I was losing my partner in crime. It was very selfless of him to help me, but I needed to keep running my race.

My energy levels were great and I was ready to race the last 10k. I started passing people left and right. I had visions of running a slew of 6:54s and getting back the 60 seconds or so I was behind the goal at 20. That lasted for 3 miles and then I just ran out of a little steam. The last 4 miles were a hair slower, but I was only passed by one guy in the last 10k and was still passing many runners, including at least 5 more women. I was completely content knowing I would come in under 3:10 no matter what.

I pushed as hard as I could to the finish, high fiving my parents at about 25.5 and smiling like a fool and putting the hammer all the way down as I hit the 26 mile marker into the finish. Running a 1 second positive split.

3:05:57. Good enough for 12th female and 4th in my age group.

I am so stoked!

That's the short of it, I remember lots more details so hopefully I will have time to get them down but didn't want to leave anyone hanging on at least the minimum details.

Gratitude

Wow I have some serious posting to do about the marathon but in the meantime I just want to express my sincere gratitude. I have never felt so much support and love as I did this week. Between my Birthday and the marathon I felt like I had so many people supporting me and it was such a wonderful feeling. Know that I had the biggest smile on my face from the time I finished the marathon and it is still there now because of all the wonderful people supporting me.

Huge thanks first to my coach for finally showing me what it is to really train for a goal.

Next to my parents for selflessly taking time out of their lives to haul my butt to Columbus and chill with me two days before and run all around Columbus cheering for me.


Third to my friend BW who ran with me through mile 21. He has run sub 3s in the past and mentioned he wasn't in tip top shape and would be happy to run with me for a 3:05 goal. He didn't tell me until today that his training was nowhere near where it should have been and I am just in awe that he worked so hard to stay with me through 21 to try and help me reach my goal. I know had I been struggling he would have worked harder and stayed with me to the end. But great guy that he is he sent me along and slowed to help others. I've been there before and I am so proud to have a friend that would do the same for others that I would have done in his place. Very honored he chose to spend his day with me, it definitely made it special to share all my hard work with a friend. Finishing together would have been the icing on the cake, but so happy for the miles I did get to run with him.


Big thanks to my husband for letting me do all this training. There is no one else I'd rather come home to when celebrating a big triumph.

Last to all my friends and family. All the love and support I received this past week is just overwhelming. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you.

Huge congratulations to all of my friends who ran alongside me. Cleveland had a fantastic showing! Babs placed first in her age group with a new PR in the half. CV and Daisy both got huge shiny new marathon PRs. My friend JP worked her butt off and fought adversity to finish her second marathon. And my friend Steph finished her first marathon all smiles. I saw many others out cheering or running from Cleveland, it was just a great day to celebrate all of our hard work. Congrats to everybody!




I love marathon weekend. I wish it didn't have to end!

Week 23- Race Week

Legs felt zippy and fresh early in the week, less zippy but very rested before race morning. Definitely had no clue how things would go, but was excited to find out.

October 12th through the 18th-51 miles

Monday- 5.5 easy
Tuesday- 6.5 with light track
Wednesday- 4.3 easy
Thursday (Birthday!)- 5 with 2 eat marathon pace
Friday- Rest
Saturday- 3 easy
Sunday- .4ish warm up
26.2 race at 7:06 pace

Key workouts:

Track-
just usual 4*100 strides then 2*400 jogging 200/striding 200, 2*400 and 1600 at marathon effort

Tempo-
Thursday just 5 miles, 2 at 7:50-8, 1 at 7:30, and 2 at 7:04

Saturday-
Race time, goal 3:05, finish 3:05:57. details to come.

Tracking and Race Plan

I posted a twitter link to the right sidebar that will include race updates but it looks like they actually are going to have tracking too: http://www.mtectracking.com:8080/Mtrack/Mtrack?raceid=9

I am bib 1670!

Detailed Race Plan Below so I can be held accountable afterwords :)

I talked to Coach G Tuesday and he confirmed he thinks I can run a 3:05. He wants me to make sure I don't go out too fast. He recommended 7:10 pace the first few miles.

Looking at some other splits from the past I think going out around 7:10 for the first 2-3 miles then trying to run 7:04 pace through 20-23 and see what kind of kick I have is the strategy.

I am going to wear the garmin, mostly to keep from going too fast early. After that just to keep an eye on the average pace. It seems to get off since there are water stops etc. If it stays around 7 pace I will likely finish with a 7:04ish pace officially. But I will be happy with anything under 3:10 so if I am not feeling 7:04 pace then I am not going to force it. I usually don't worry about each individual mile. I usually focus on the 5, 10, half, 15, and 20 mile splits. I plan to take a gel at 12,16, and 20. Water every 2 miles starting at mile 6. And 5 electrolyte pills spaced out through the day.

Coach wants me to treat it like a regular Sunday run and just run how I feel. He also told me to keep my mouth shut and save energy :) (He knows me too well now!)

Other things I will try to tune into to make sure the goal is achievable are just staying relaxed and confident, trying to get into an efficient stride right off the bat, not waste too much energy. In the later miles I tend to slouch and raise my arms so I want to remember to relax, stand up straight, and keep my arms at my sides. If there are any hills I just need to be sure to keep the strides short up them and not slouch.

I want to do a quick warm up before the race. It is going to be cold and my shins tend to get tight if I don't ease into things so I will probably jog a mile and do a few marathon pace strides hopefully finish 5-10 minutes before the start. I can't remember what the start is like and if that will leave me time to get to my start place or not, but hopefully it will!

Giving Thanks

Before the weekend gets away from me I just wanted to publicly acknowledge all of those that helped me to get race ready for this marathon.

Huge thanks to my husband for putting up with my crazy schedule full of sleep and training. I know it is not easy living with a runner and I appreciate that you let me train and do the things I need to in order to cash in on my hard work on race day.

Huge thanks to Coach G. It was so nice to have a program set out for me each week which did not involve me thinking about anything. I have obviously been getting faster and at a nice rate so I am very appreciative of his selfless efforts each week on the track and Sunday giving me advice and keeping me on track.

Many thanks to everyone I train with. Special thanks to NC, FD, and PR. The three of you have just been awesome track and long run partners this season. And huge thanks to my lunch running pals, Daisy and CV just rock and make the boring recovery miles so much more fun. Thanks to Babs for all the inspiration. Such a great year for you and I am honored to be a part of your training group.

Thanks to Salty and PR for all the online advice when I was feeling down about the few bad tempos and feeling run down etc. It is great to have friends who will hash things out with you.

Huge thanks to my parents who are driving me down to Columbus early and staying to cheer me on. I think they have been to almost every one of my marathons. I am so blessed to have such an awesome support team.

And thanks to all my friends and family who come here or my facebook and leave such encouraging words all the time. It has definitely been difficult to stay fired up for all of the hard training this year and the support network has just been a huge help and inspiration to do better.

I don't acknowledge you all enough but know that I am always very grateful for all of you.

THANK YOU!

Columbus Goals

I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few weeks about what a realistic goal for Columbus is. There are all kinds of nifty predictor calculators I have been driving myself nuts with and of course all my wonderful friends who would love to see me do something spectacular. But after looking at what I have done in the past and based on how racing has gone this year I am comfortable with setting my goal around 3:05. I can't lie I wish I could make the goal start with a 2 or the pace start with a 6 but I just don't think I am there. It is probably no coincidence that this goal is also what my coach told me would be realistic (though he would likely prefer I keep the goal to myself, that just isn't my style, if I come up short, I come up short, it is certainly not the end of the world, much better to know I have family and friends rooting for me to make the goal, I'll take any and all fast vibes anyone wants to send my way!). So I feel comfortable that it is achievable and not out of my league.

That said everyone has bad days and I know Sunday will not be easy. 3:05 is the "A" goal, but if I show up feeling flat or a northeaster blows through I will be happy with any kind of PR (Under 3:16:30) and very happy with anything under 3:10.

I still don't think I have completely gotten over Richmond last year so I would like to put that behind me by finally running the sub 3:10 I was looking for there.

Experience and my stats are on my side. I dissected the predictions a few ways based on past "personal predictor rates" and it seems 3:05 is the most likely result. A good sign!

This will be my 18th marathon and I am looking forward to finding out what surprise this marathon will hold since they have all had different obstacles. I am feeling optimistic. My legs are feeling "perky" which usually doesn't happen for me until a few weeks post marathon where I go and run something short fast so it is exciting to possibly line up a proper taper and race completely tapered and full of energy.

Now can someone please press fast forward to Friday so I can go pick up my packet and start getting really nervous?

Week 22

One week to Columbus!

This week I was intending on getting in 40-44 miles. Ended up taking an unplanned rest day yesterday. By the time I got home from towpath I was feeling pretty under the weather and opted for an epsom salt bath and rest instead of an afternoon run. Being a female sucks sometimes, we will leave it at that.

October 5th through the 11th- 37 miles

Monday- 6.08 miles easy 8:19 pace
Tuesday- 5.43 miles easy 8:15 pace
Wednesday- 8.16 miles 7:39 pace
Thursday- 7.28 miles with tempo, pm 60 minutes yoga
Friday- Rest and massage
Saturday- 10 miles, hilly roads and trails 8:32 pace
Sunday- "Rest" walked about 3 miles and worked towpath aid station

Key Workouts:

Tuesday- track was a bust, went to three tracks and all had soccer games or football practice so just bagged the track workout

Wednesday- Ran 8 miles and threw in 4*100 strides just to keep the legs "perky"

Thursday- 5 miles tempo aiming for 7 minute pace the first 4 and 6:50 the last. We felt good and the wind was at our backs when we started so everything was a hair fast.
6:48.40
6:51.46
6:55.12
6:56.18
6:45.48

Saturday- Joined up with friends to celebrate LT's wedding and ran some hills and trails in Brecksville, was going to save the 10 miler for Sunday but decided to just get it done Saturday while it was nice out and I had the time. Glad I did since Sunday was a bust on the running front.

Week 21 with the Coach

So the pacing jobs definitely put a bit of a stop on what coach would have preferred for training, but initially I thought I was not racing a marathon this fall when I offered to pace so we just had to go with the flow. This week was a bit tough mentally a physically. Even though I haven't done anything really fast in a few weeks it isn't like I was "recovered" because I did just run a marathon. We backed off the mileage a bit this week but included three quality days to try and get my marathon speed ready.

I've been wearing the heart rate monitor that came with the garmin just to see where my heart rate is, I don't have any idea what it means other than if it is higher or lower than another workout. So the numbers are there just as an FYI to me.

September 28th through October 4th-55 miles

Monday- 6.7 easy 8:41 pace
Tuesday- 8 with track workout
Wednesday- 7.46 easy 8:25 pace
Thursday- 9.35 with tempo (Yoga PM)
Friday- Rest and Rossiter Massage
Saturday-6.52 miles 8:23 pace
Sunday-17.25 miles 7:16 pace

Key Workouts:

Track-
Tuesday night was rough. It was rainy and cold and my legs just didn't have much oomph.

We did a ladder workout 1600, 1200, 800, 400, 800, 1200, as always I tried to aim for 6 minute pace or under but just didn't have it. I felt nauseous for most of the workout and if my coach wasn't standing in the rain taking splits I think I would have broke down crying and gone home early/fed up.

6:02.78 (303)
4:32.29 (2:33)
3:02.58 (2:07)
1:30.54 (1:36)
3:03.38 (180)
4:44.77

I wasn't very happy about this since the average pace was what I was running about 18 weeks ago and not even close to what I had been doing recently, but given I had just run a marathon and hadn't done speed in nearly two weeks it was to be expected.

Thursday Tempo-

I was feeling a lot better for this than I was the track workout. The weather was nice out and I was confident I would hit the goal paces...then we turned around into the headwind.

goal was 7 miles, 2*7:10, 2*7:00, 2*6:50, 1*6:40. I had to stop the last mile to stretch and catch my breath, during the 6th mile my left quad was tightening up and just didn't feel right.

mile 1 7:03.62 (tail wind) (169 bpm)
mile 2 7:07.64 (tail wind) (175 bpm)
mile 3 6:56.95 (tw/hw) (179 bpm)
mile 4 6:59.79 (headwind) (181 bpm)
mile 5 6:59.64 (headwind) (183 bpm)
mile 6 6:59.12 (tailwind) (180 bpm)
mile 7 6:44.76 (headwind) (179 bpm)

Long Run

Goal was to run 15-17 miles averaging 7:10 pace with the last 5 at or better than 7:00. We ran 15 averaging 7:05 and then did a 2.25 mile cool down. I did not think this run was going to go well. I was running late to the workout, forgot my gel, and started out alone. The first two miles my shins were on fire and then PR caught me (got there later then me) and in the third mile two more new gals caught up and we ran the rest of the run as a group. I wasn't feeling stellar and the hills were rough but I was able to push the last 5 miles and this left me feeling much more confident about Columbus.

7:17.25 (162)
7:11.58 (169)
7:10.13 (173)
7:04.49 (176)
6:57.03 (173)
6:55.74 (172)
7:00.83 (168)
7:33.80 (172) Hills
7:26.05 (172) Hills
7:31.98 (175) Hills
6:46.52 (171)
7:02.43 (171)
6:55.25 (173)
6:47.71 (177)
6:40.37 (178)
8:21.75
8:25.27

Akron Marathon Pacer Report

1& 2) Performance and Group

A's all around this time. I really feel I did a good job at Akron this year. Other than the downhills producing two quick miles at the end I was really on all day long. While I am a bit disappointed my perfectly paced day was foiled by those downhills at the end (but glad they were there for my runners to come in quicker) I don't think those two miles broke anyone in my group and I was able to get a few of the girls in a little quicker than they might have gone otherwise.

I wore my garmin just so I could have the data after and just used it to see each individual mile. I wore my timex and set a timer for 8:24 each mile and used that all day to tell the group how far off total time we were. This worked out well, although I noticed towards the end that the marathon guide pace band for 3:40 actually has some 8:23 miles mixed in and I had a little bit of a mix up at mile 25 and 26 looking at my timer versus the time on the pace band. (Should have stuck with the timer since those downhills were a bit too quick!)

I love this race, but I must admit doing 26.2 for this first time since May I was nervous and didn't sleep a wink the night before. My mind was just racing and all it was full of was paces, oddly enough not my paces ;) I was glad to be leading the 3:40 group since my training has been going so well this year 3:50 would have been tough for me, but I must admit I was nervous that even 3:40 was going to be an effort since I am in shape to run almost 90 seconds per mile faster than that in a few weeks for my own race. I practiced the pace all week to make sure I would be on.

I was up early and got to the race in time to chat with some locals before getting to the start around 6:20ish. I had a huge group at the start. I went through my spiel at least twice in full and tried to talk to individual runners until the group got too large. I had a lot of half marathoners, quite a few full marathoners, and even a handful of relay runners with me.

We started off our first mile just a hair slow and given the net downhill and crowded start I was happy with the effort. My neighbor Neil was in the group and entertained us with his relay's "Crazy for Swayze" Team shirt and negative morning attitude. I introduced a few of my other local friends to the group and asked around to see where everyone was from, how many first timers we had, and how many gals I had aiming for a BQ.

The group wasn't too chatty but they did chime in every now and then. It became apparent to me quickly that just like last year humidity was going to play a major role on every ones day. I tried to make sure runners were taking in fluids and sports drink throughout the day as well as keeping their upper bodies and breathing relaxed. The weather was very misleading because it was obviously cool, but my humidity radar is pretty good since it affects me so strongly.

My group was very complimentary and commented frequently about me being inhuman as we were really nailing the pace all morning. I just tried to keep them entertained and on task. I did a much better job this year with the rolling miles and not letting the pace get far off overall at any point. At mile 11 before we split from the half marathoners we were about 10 seconds ahead of pace, As they split off I let them know they were likely 20 seconds ahead of pace from the steep descent before the marathoners headed right to the towpath. I know at least one of my local friends made the 1:50 time and when they split off there was at least a handful with him. I am sure the 20 second buffer was appreciated as I heard the hill they had to run up before mile 12 was pretty brutal.

I made sure the full marathoners settled back into our pace as we headed onto the towpath. A lot of people tend to pull forward with the momentum from that steep downhill at 11 but we got back on pace quickly and we were just 2 seconds under at the half marathon mark.

I knew last year I lost a lot of runners through Sand Run. This year I tried to get the group prepared mentally to work the hills. I gave them my tips for keeping strides short, relaxing the breathing, focusing on a spot just a few feet ahead of them on the ground etc. I think this really helped. I still had at least 10-15 with me as we crested Sand Run, and many stayed close to us even if they fell back. And a few were even able to pull back to us once they crested the top. That said I started to lose runners, many due to cramping which was obviously a trend for people that day. At mile 15 I spotted a local friend who has planned to run 3:10 walking backwards, her day thwarted by cramping/trashed quads. I also spotted the 3:20 sign in a trash cash at some point during this stretch which led me to believe the day was even taking it's toll on pacers.

I kept advising my group to take sports drink and gels where available. The area before Garman hill seemed to be the last straw for many. I was down to a small group of 4-5 by that point. I picked up a friend who had run the 4th leg of the relay and introduced her to the group. As it was getting windy I had her run next to me so we could block some wind for those still with us. I lost my last male from the group near the last gel station. His stomach was revolting a bit but he really had done a fantastic job all day (and didn't finish far behind me). At this point we were down to one girl right with us, one close behind, a few we had picked up, and a few within 60 seconds of us.

We were close to right on at 24 and I let the group and those behind us (yelling back) that we could use the downhills to ensure an on time finish. Only one of the girls stayed right with us. Her breathing had become ragged around mile 22 but I encouraged her to relax and she did a great job sticking to us like glue and pulling ahead in the finish chute. I got a little caught up in seeing her finish and got carried away at the end on the pace. (Too excited!) I crossed the finish line and turned back to cheer on the 4 girls behind us that all made it under 3:41 clock time. A glance at the results confirmed that 5 gals that ran with my group all day or at least some of the day made it to Boston. Very exciting.

The chute workers tried to shoo me through but I let them know I wouldn't be moving until the time went over to 3:41. I made my way slowly through the chute so I could chat with those that came in just behind me. Quite a few from my group that I thought were lost came in within 2 minutes which was great to see.

I gave my sign to Ky who I had met at Buckeye half two weeks ago. She did a great job all day and even though I lost her around Garman she gritted it out to get in under 3:41 and was very excited with her performance.

In addition to my group I spotted a few runners who I had chatted with at the expo after the race who were very pleased with the day. A couple first timers who let me know they had gone against my conservative advice and gone out too fast, but who were still very excited to have completed their first marathon.

Splits

mile split (off from total time)

1- 8:26.19 (+2)
2- 8:21.34 (-1)
3- 8:24.00 (-1)
4- 8:15.40 (-10)
5- 8:21.73 (-13)
6- 8:29.97 (-7)
7- 8:25.83 (-5)
8- 8:28.99 (0)
9- 8:13.08 (-11)
10- 8:24.40 (-11)
11- 8:24.47 (-11)
12- 8:25.38 (-10)
13- 8:30.20 (-4)
1:49:58 at the half
14- 8:16.70 (-11)
15- 8:22.92 (-12)
16- 8:36.15 (0)
17- 8:08.98 (-15)
18- 8:29 (-11)
19- 8:21.10 (-14)
20- 8:21.98 (-16)
21- 8:23.32 (-16)
22 -8:35.23 (-5)
23- 8:23.19 (-6)
24- 8:31.23 (+1)
25- 8:01.62 (-21)
26- 8:09.95 (-35)
26.2- 1:32 (-38)

3) Marathon Suggestions-
Top notch race as always. My only complaint was the weird surface at the finish. If I had been trying to sprint in I wouldn't have liked it, it seemed like it was loose and you could easily trip over it. Other than that this is a first class event. The expo was great, the pasta dinner was great, and the volunteers were great.

One other nitpicky note, I was on the line early and made a game time decision on where I should position myself. Around 6:45 or so they put up signs for time suggestions and they were way off from where we were placed as pacers. If those signs are going to go up late they should adjust them to match us because once we are in place with 30-40 runners it is really hard to get them all to move :)

4) Pacer Suggestions-
Loved the booth placement this time.
I think maybe that our mantra for this race needs to be to preach conservatism. This is the second year in a row here that humidity played a factor, and this course is not easy to begin with. I really thought about what my approach would have been here if I had been racing it and I think I would have backed off my personal goal by 4 minutes and really tried to go for even split day with even pacing through mile 16 allowing for a slight drop in pace through 19 and a strong finish from 24 on.

I think so many people would have had more pleasing days had they gone out slower. I think it is tempting for people to bank time here but I just don't think that strategy works, I think if you bank it is just going to leave you too trashed to do anything after the climb at Sand Run.

I think perhaps a reminder to the pacers that we shouldn't be banking any time here either would be good. I know it would have been really easy to go way too fast on some of those early downhill stretches. I am glad I was right on at the half, while obviously many were not ready for the course on the day I think it ensured I had many with me at the top of sand run. Many who might have fallen off earlier if I had done one or two miles too quickly early on.

As always thank to Jim for organizing and for having me on the pace team. It is really rewarding to give back to the running community and help other runners. I know next year my pace jobs will be limited by my own racing and training so I am grateful for all the opportunities I had this year.

Week 20

Just a quickie here of the stats. Felt good this week but that isn't too surprising since I had to do a mini taper for pacing and our "track" workout was more of a tempo effort with rest.

September 21st through September 27th- 66 miles

Monday-7 miles easy, 8:46 pace
Tuesday-8 miles with track workout
Wednesday-8 miles 8:20 pace
Thursday-6 miles 8 minute pace (Yoga PM)
Friday-3 miles 8:20 pace
Saturday-26.2 miles 3:39:22
Sunday-8 miles 7:40 pace

Track Workout:

Just 3*1600 with 3 minute rests at half marathon pace 6:29,6:29,6:26

Pacing Akron 3:40 Group This Weekend


Last years Faux Hawk

Looking forward to seeing many friends out at the Akron Road Runner Marathon this weekend!

I will be pacing the 3:40 group and hoping to help a lot of young women (as well as some older men!) make it to Boston!

Probably have too much hair to go with the Faux Hawk again this year but I promise to bring enthusiasm and high spirits for the duration of the race!

Stop by the expo and sign up for a pace group! It is going to be a lot of fun!

Meep Meep!


Last years Akron Pace Team

Air Force Recap In Photos

Photo credit: Brightroom Photography

A big Happy 1:40 Group

More Happy Halfers


Group still holding strong

Happy Pace Leader Right on Target

Group is starting to feel it a bit

Hey I'm Still happy, but there's some wind now

Starting to send those with legs ahead now and starting to lose some of the group

Heading into the finish

Yeah this has got to be closest to the pin worthy

What the heck?

Did you see that?

Oh my god I went over!

1:40:30

A review of the others pacers confirms that only one pacer was under the goal Saturday. Just goes to show we are only as good as the mile markers. Having the mile 13 marker at 12.9 caused all of us to go a bit over the goal. Thankful I was still within 30 seconds and the two ladies I pulled into the finish with me were still ecstatic as well as many that pulled ahead or fell a little behind.

Week 19

This week was mostly easier paced running to recover from the Buckeye half, get fresh to pace the air force half Saturday, and to mentally recharge. My stomach has been upset since Wednesday the 9th and I am hoping I am finally getting over it, let's just say it hasn't been pleasant and came to a real head Friday night when I topped that off with a migraine at the pasta dinner and pacing meeting.

Last Saturday I purchased the Garmin 310XT, so happy to not have to guesstimate my mileage anymore after several months without the Garmin!

After feeling pretty toasted doing the push up workout Tuesday night I decided to back off on the challenge until after the marathon. Winter seems like a better time to try and work on my upper body and core.

Thursday night I finally got back to yoga after an almost 3 month hiatus. We did a lot of hip openers and boy did I need it!

September 14th-20th- 65 miles
Monday- 4.2 recovery miles 8:52 pace
Tuesday- 7.55 miles track, 90 push ups
Wednesday-7 miles easy at lunch 8:38 pace, 6 miles easy on the towpath in the evening 8:46 pace
Thursday- 8.21 miles including tempo and pacing practice, evening yoga 60 minutes
Friday- 7 miles easy 8:31 pace
Saturday- 1:40:30 pacing at Air Force Half Marathon
Sunday- 12 miles 7:41 pace

Key workouts:

Tuesday Track:

Track workout was a little up in the air depending on how I felt post race, we decided to do 4*1200 with a ladder effort. Goal last time we did this workout was 4:35, 4:30, 4:25, 4:20, this time just go by how I felt. Well I didn't feel all that great so it didn't go as well as I would have hoped but still a good hard effort.

4:37.75 (3:00.43)
4:33.45 (3:00.87)
4:28.00 (2:59.35)
4:37.43

Thursday:

Instructed not to do anything under 7:38 the rest of the week after Tuesday's workout except for 2 miles at 7-7:10 pace followed by 3+ at 7:38 pace to practice on Thursday. My legs were absolutely thrashed Thursday even though they felt fine Wednesday night. Paces weren't an issue, but my legs were definitely not happy.

6:57.77
6:55.79
7:38.12
7:38.43
7:37.98
7:38.10

Saturday Pacing:

Legs felt absolutely fantastic, I am chalking it up to yoga and Friday's ice bath.

Sunday Medium Long Run:

What a difference a day makes. It was a struggle to hold 7:40 pace this morning for sure. Just did not feel fresh despite the beautiful weather. Had to make an emergency stomach stop at Bob Evans around mile 11 and a glance in the mirror confirmed I looked like death warmed over. Feeling much better after a post run breakfast and ice bath. Now time to put my feet up for a bit and rest before another week of training!

Air Force Half Pacer Report

A direct copy of my pacer report for pacerjim@hotmail.com

I had a blast pacing today and had a great group! Please email pacer jim if you have any suggestions for me or just want to send positive feedback! Thanks to everyone who ran with me today, sorry I was off at the finish! My first finish over the pin :( 1:40:30

1. Your performance

A+ For enthusiasm, A for pacing, C for finish time. wore two pace bands to avoid a loss this time and wore two watches. I was set on keeping track of pace!

Very even effort day, I felt great and did a great job of encouraging runners throughout. I decided to wear the new garmin since we had been told markers were off here before. Typically the garmin gets behind so I figured I'd just keep an eye on it as an extra point of reference. First few miles seemed to line up pretty well. We were on pace until we hit the incline before mile one, as typical garmin pace was right on but we were about 10 seconds behind at the mile marker. I knew we would be slow but would make it up on the downhill that followed and we did. Very even effort all day, got a little behind on the hills and a little ahead on the downhills. I missed the 11 mile marker and so I never realized that mile 12 and 13 we were actually behind (since 11 was not actually 11, but closer to 10.9, and therefore neither were 12 or 13) when I thought we were ahead, this caused me to be 30 seconds over when I thought I was going to be 20 seconds under. Completely shocked when I looked at the clocks from a distance and realized I was over and had to look at the splits to figure out what the heck happened.

Splits for analysis as well as the garmin mileage for a point of reference. I believe the mileage as I probably added extra at aid stations and not running tangents early in the race and as you can see mile 11 and 12 were short, likely shorter than the Garmin indicated as I definitely was weaving at the aid station around 11.

Split (mile pace off, total pace off) garmin distance

1- 7:50.40 (+12, +12) 1.02
2- 7:23.45 (-14, +2) 1.00
3- 7:34.90 (-4, -2) 1.00
4- 7:45.08 (+7, +5) 1.00
5- 7:30.12 (-8, -3) 1.00
6- 7:46.85 (+8, +5) 1.01
7- 7:37.98 (0, +5) 0.99
8&9- 15:27.22 (+9, +14) 2.01
10- 7:33.23 (-5, +9) 1.00
11&12- 14:48.15 (-28, -19) 1.96
13- 7:38 (0, -19) 0.99
13.1- 1:35.55 (+50, +30) 0.22

garmins average pace was 7:36 so I thought I was good to go as it is usually about 2 seconds fast for me compared to the actual race pace.

2. Your group

I had a large group throughout the day, so large I had runners comment to me after that they decided to run ahead or behind because they felt too crowded. I had many PRs and quite a few runners go ahead at mile 12 (Thank goodness!) and earlier. I had a lot of first timers that came in ahead or close to me. One lady with headphones that ran right next to me through about mile 10 but lost her at the hill. Since I thought I was ahead at mile 12 around mile 12.5 I started running backwards and calling back to runners to reel me in and get under 1:40, I managed to get quite a few to go by me and two women who thanked me at the finish for it despite being a little over 1:40. Had I known I was over I obviously would have dialed it in and told everyone we needed to hammer, ideally I would have slowly got us back on from mile 11 when I should have known we were behind.

3. Suggestions for the marathon

Expo needs to be more streamlined. The way it was setup was forcing "cross traffic" Runners want to get their stuff, then peruse the expo. The way it was setup runners trying to get their stuff were walking against the flow of traffic of those heading back to check out the expo, felt very crowded.

Loved the outfits!

Fix mile marker 13. It shouldn't be too hard to measure .1 from the finish line backwards. I can understand other markers getting off, we are all only human, but .1 and .2 are very different at the finish.

4. Suggestions for the pace team

Better directions for getting around the base. Those of us that are navigationally challenged were a bit stressed getting lost and getting stuck n crazy traffic that could have been avoided.

Cell numbers on a list for everyone. would have helped with some of the last minute changes.

Buckeye Half Marathon Race Report

I feel like I am behind on a lot these days, but better late than never! Need to get this typed up now before pacing the Dayton Air Force Half Marathon on Saturday and Akron full Marathon next Saturday! 1:40 group in Dayton and 3:40 group in Akron! Pace Team details here: http://www.marathonpacing.com/

On to the report.

I don't know why but I got it in my head that I needed to crush this half. A little birdie suggested I should try to hold the same pace as perfect 10 and sure enough Tuesday coach announced that was the goal. My legs have not been feeling perky and as posted here tempos haven't been going so well the past few weeks, but I was optimistic since we were backing off the weeks mileage and cutting out the tempo that I'd be relatively fresh on Sunday.

Race morning dawned and weather was perfect. Nice and cool. I've never run this race but the course has changed from the past anyways. I drove it and it seemed pretty mild other than a few false flats and a lot of winding. It was a two loop course with one decent hill you did twice and one mild roller. Other than the course being open to traffic I was a fan, though I would prefer one large loop. It was hard to run the tangents with all the winding and having to avoid the occasional car, but it was shaded and mostly flat.

I warmed up with my SERC buddies and changed into my flats in time to stop at the bathroom twice before heading to the start, nervous much? I lined up right at the start line since this was not a chip race. Said hi to BW and told her to get her butt up at the line too.

Goal was 6:30 pace and I went out right on pace. I picked up the new Garmin 310 XT on Saturday and decided to try it out during the race. I didn't look at it except to see if my total time was on at the mile markers, but I like to have the data post race. It worked pretty well and was right on for the first 5 miles. After that I got a bit sloppy on the tangents because I ended up with a little extra mileage. Not too surprising, any race I have ever run that is legit the Garmin is always longer. The ones that are short you need to worry about!

I went out at what felt doable and tried to ease into the pace but be aggressive if that makes sense. There were about 8-10 guys that took off then SG was in front of me and 3 other runners behind him. I worked on following SG and trying to stay relaxed, I slowly passed two young guys and just worked to try and keep the gap between SG and myself small. He had mentioned before the race he would be around my pace (Yeah Right!). After mile 2 I was caught by a group of three guys. We all ran together for a few miles when one of the guys asks if we are planning to negative split the race. I said no I was aiming for even pacing. Then he took off up the mild roller and we watched as he screamed past the two guys up ahead of us. Guess he had a lot left for the second half because I never saw him again!

I lost some time on the hill around mile 6 and one of the guys fell behind us. I tried to stay with KM and we both were making an effort to get back on the pace. Around the hill Ultra friend GR passed me, I didn't recognize him at first and asked him if he had brought any women along with him, he said nope, though they were all trying to stay with him ;) He had a near miss with a car at the next intersection that made me a bit nervous. (He went on to have a great race, nice to see him getting speedy on the roads!)

By mile 8 I was behind the overall time at least 30 seconds and was thinking my prospects weren't very good. Coach was there with some encouragement. I just tried to tell myself to relax and stick to KM. I lost him at the next water stop and my gait was starting to get off. I couldn't get comfortable. My left hamstring has been sore and it was speaking up a little bit and I started to berate myself a little for not trying harder to stay with KM. I know my body though and I am fairly confident I couldn't have picked it up any.

Around mile 10.5 one of the guys who had fallen back caught back up to me. He passed and then decided he would rather pull me along with him. He did his best to motivate me to do a better job at the tangents and pick up the pace. I have seen him at races before and he just seems like an all around friendly guy. I stayed with him through mile 12 but couldn't hold on after the last aid station.

Two more guys caught me just before the hill and I again asked if they had any women with them. At this point I knew the goal time was out the window so I was hoping to at least hold onto the lead, but was sure BW was going to eat me up before the finish line, talk about paranoid. They said nope and congratulated me on the win, I wasn't counting my eggs yet though! The one guy joked that he hadn't been gender tested yet. Good to have some humor in the last mile.

I chugged up the hill getting ready to turn on whatever kick I had left to try and at least come in 1:26 something. Coach was screaming at 200 to go. Of course this was on a gravel path and then we turn to finish on grass. I didn't want to bite it but upped the effort. Saw the clock and knew it would be tight to clinch a one minute PR over Cleveland and made it just in time at 1:26:52.

Had a bit of a hacking fit at the end that was killer and my stomach was off for the rest of the day (and is still off, grr). I was happy with the effort, glad to clinch a win, but disappointed I didn't have a little more oomph in me. Looking at the times afterwards I realized that this really isn't too much out of line with my Perfect 10 time and given I felt a lot better going into Perfect 10 I am happy I was able to crank out a similar performance.

This race was a bit mentally tough for me and physically it was rough. I guess they all can't feel good! I am used to feeling a bit better the longer I go, so having this feel more like a 5 mile effort than a 13.1 mile effort was a little disappointing! I am sure being by myself most of the race and never seeing another female didn't help, but I don't think I could have run much better on the day either way. The good news is this time still lines me up for a significant marathon PR if my fitness stays the same, and hopefully with a good taper I will be feeling a lot fresher than I did on Sunday!

Link to my Garmin splits, after mile 5 they didn't jive with the course, so tack on a little to each mile after 5 and that should be about right for 6:38 pace average.

On a mental note I think I was a little too serious leading into this race, built up my expectations a bit too much. Perfect 10 I was definitely more relaxed about the goal and just looking to run a good time. I am thinking I need to take the pressure off for Columbus and just go with the flow. I run a lot better when I think about it a little less and enjoy it a little more!