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.


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:

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

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

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.


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.

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:

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)

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)