Crash Course to Philly Week 2

Well it is a good thing I was so diligent on the running front during the week this week because the planned big mileage weekend did not happen! Blame it on the excessive partying if we must, all that dancing has to count for something! I think actually it was probably good I didn't push it on the mileage front with the foot. I've still been feeling great on all my runs and clearly endurance/energy is not my issue so not feeling too overly worried about skipping Saturdays planned 14 miler and making Sunday a 16 instead of 20.

65 miles for the week.

Managed to get in 7 runs with two days off and two doubles.

One yoga class and one trainer ride. Never managed to get to the pool.

Other than my left calf getting a little tight on the long run yesterday everything feels pretty good. I got in a decent hill workout, tempo, and relatively fast long run and the foot (knock on wood) is not any worse.

Hoping to make this week a good one finishing it out with a half marathon somewhere between goal marathon pace and PR half pace with a few more hard miles tacked onto the end to be my last big confidence boosting run before Philly! Not going to taper off the mileage until the week before but this weekend will be the last 15+ run.

Getting pretty stoked for Philly!

Thursdays Winging It Tempo Run

Still doing my own thang and just running what I can for workouts here. I wanted to get in at least 5 miles at a decent clip today. It was a bit rainy and windy and chilly today but once I got going I felt great. I figured I would target starting around 6:40ish and see what I could get it down to from there by the end depending on wind etc. but really was just going to go based off of effort. I was committed to doing at least 5 at tempo pace and then depending on how I felt either jog back to catch the guys or keep up the tempo pace until I got back to them.

Ended up with just shy of 6, I pansied out when I caught ME and he was running a bit faster than my little legs could handle so we "backed it off" to 6:50ish before a bit of a cool down. Right now I'd rather err on the side of safe than greedy and save the "race" efforts for the races :)

0.75 at 6:06 pace

So 5.75 at 6:19 pace. I'll take it :)

I had Jason Derulo in my head pretty much the entire time and even though I was a total scatter brain today the run felt pretty effortless (it helped that the last 2.5ish miles were with the wind I am sure!). It feels so good to be feeling like myself again! Added bonus the foot (knock on wood) also feels pretty good.

Tuesday Hill Work

I've been reading Ron Daws "Running your best : the committed runner's guide to training and racing" (on advice of a Michigan running buddy) and I have been intrigued by the Lydiard-esque hill training he recommends. In an ideal world I would have time to do a huge build up for Philly and work on the appropriate systems for a few week blocks etc but since I don't have that luxury I am just trying some new stuff to see if I like it and if I will want to use it in the future. The next few weeks I am trading out track for hill workouts since somewhere below 10k pace is where my foot gets angry. I also buy into the statement Daws makes that hill training may be one of the only true shortcuts to fitness and I am willing to take a chance on it since Philly has some hills anyways!

With it getting dark early now I decided I would just find a decent hill on the lunch route to do this.

I actually had to take the book back to the library so I kind of winged it yesterday and did a sort of modified workout. I skipped the bounding type stuff and just did some hard effort repeats up and down the hill getting a bit longer with each repeat. I ran hard up 4* followed by about 2 minute recoveries and then down hard 3 times with about a 200 meter push at the bottom flat section followed by about 90 second recoveries. The 4th downhill I only made it halfway before the group caught back up so I just did half downhill and headed directly back up hard and followed that with a 30 second stride to finish it out.

I was giddy like a schoolgirl for this workout. I miss pushing myself hard and it was fun to hammer up and down the hills feeling powerful again while not doing any damage. Hopefully Thursdays tempo is just as fun!


Just another BPM tune I have been grooving to.

Weekly Rundown-5 weeks to Philly

Just going to let the cat out of the bag. Since Columbus went well and my body held up to the marathon I am going to attempt to race the Philadelphia marathon in 4 weeks. I haven't been doing any sort of structured training since the Indianapolis Half. Basically I've just been running whatever I feel like running each day with a focus on running with those I enjoy and running at whatever pace I enjoy.

I've just been flying solo and getting in some aerobic miles while waiting for my foot to get to 100%. It still isn't 100% and I don't think it will hold up to any sort of training under 10k pace, but I am hoping I can keep the mileage relatively high for the next three weeks and work in some hill training and some longer faster efforts between half marathon and marathon pace without doing any damage. I am continuing to have ART done on it, bi-weekly massage, cold laser treatment, golf ball rolling, night boot etc! And most days it isn't too bad, but it isn't where I'd like it to be to really attack the next 3 weeks.

So instead I will see what a positive attitude and listening to my body can get for me in 4 weeks! I'm confident I can sneak in under 3 hours if I can keep up my current level of training with a few tempos and hill workouts added in, but I am hopeful I can sneak in a half marathon race here at or under marathon pace and work with a couple of speedy friends on a couple of key workouts to get into low 2:50 shape again. 2:45 is probably a pipe dream, but I won't count myself out, you never know. My endurance is solid, I just need to work on getting my speed back, I don't need to go smoke a 5k, I just need to get that marathon pace as quick as possible in a short 3 weeks with a one week taper :) I'm looking forward to racing a new marathon and seeing what I can do after a year that didn't go as planned, not expecting anything spectacular, but dreaming big anyways.

Last week I wasn't expecting much from as I had assumed the marathon would trash me, but I was pleasantly surprised that I felt great every day. Granted I didn't do any real workouts as I didn't want to push my luck. But I got in 71 easy miles and the body feels great and foot isn't too bad.

71 miles in 8 runs
1 long muddy trail run Saturday
1 decent 10 miler at 7:16 pace in Youngstown
1 token bike ride (about 6 miles hard then 6 miles pacing the lead lady at the peace race)
1 token swim (800 meters progressively getting faster)
1 fun yoga class post run Thursday
1 massage


Marathon #3 - My First Columbus Marathon 3:27:16

Marathon #22 My 4th Columbus Marathon 3:11:42 (Bib #22!)

I have so much to say about this race, I don't think I could fit it into 10 posts succinctly let alone one. So first things first let's try to just get out a race weekend report and then we will go from there! (Grab your coffee, your lunch, and probably your dinner!)

For those blissfully unaware I turned 30 on Saturday. I LOVE Birthdays and I Love October and I Love Marathons so you know I was ready to milk this one for all it was worth! I don't need gifts etc for my Birthdays, I just like to be surrounded by lots of loved ones doing things I enjoy! My husband, family, and friends always come through and indulge me my fun! This year was no different and will go down as one of my favorite Birthdays and marathon weekends!

I had two missions for this race. Try to help my buddy Salty run her best marathon on the day and have fun. I was taking a super relaxed approach to this race, I knew I wasn't in shape to run anything better than around 2:58 even if I had one of those perfect days and thought I'd be lucky to be under 3:05 given I was going out harder than I would have preferred if running my own race. I just wanted to put the fun back in the marathon so that going into my next one I had a positive experience to reflect on. Not going to lie, Boston and Indy had me doubting my love of racing longer races, and I needed to get my long race mojo back!

All this to say I had my fair share of fun, drinks, and desserts last week, but kept it to a reasonable level as I knew I would have to work hard on Sunday. (Had I not planned on running with Salty I am 90% positive I would have been out dancing and drinking all night Friday and done a fun but slower 26.2 mile run on Sunday)

I drove down to C'Bus with my dear friend BB. She is 61 years young and just so amazing, cranking out 3:19s and 3:20s the past few years and dominating her age group at major marathons. We got settled into our hotel and headed out for a jog around Columbus. It was WINDY but otherwise a beautiful fall day. Having run a bunch of races in Columbus the past few years it is fun to jog around the city and remember all my races there!

Excited about the weekend may be an understatement...

My friend GP has been holding onto her 30th Tiara for me as I had told her when we celebrated her 30th that I definitely was going to have to rock that tiara for my 30th. So starting Friday night I was out on the town decked out in my sweet tiara partying with friends and family. Friday night was carb loading at Buca Di Beppo. I was thrilled to have a fun dinner out which was capped off with a great Birthday sing along from the staff (I have never had this done for me, and I LOVED it!)

Required Cheesy Photo? Check!

Following dinner we headed over to Big Bang and sang along a bit and had one more drink to celebrate my last night as a 20 something. This was capped off on the walk back meeting a rodeo clown who told me he also had a tiara (as well as a tutu!). We decided I should have a tiara for every day of the week with different gems for each day. Someone help me patent this ;)

Best Parents Ever!

Cheesy Establishment Shirts Abounded at all the locales in C'Bus

Right after midnight the gals and I finally went to bed to get ready for Saturday's festivities.

Saturday we were up at a reasonable hour and headed out for our shake out jog. Being my official Birthday you know I brought the camera along in case any cheesy opportunities for photos came up! This also was serving as a test run to see if the tiara would be good to go for the marathon.

Turns out my head makes a perfect O turning Goodale into Godale!

This sign was the perfect spot to get a Nationwide photo before heading to starbucks for oatmeal and a mocha!

While BB and MK got showered up for lunch JP and I decided we could use a few minutes in the hot tub! Wow do I like this relaxed approach to marathoning or what?

30 is looking pretty good to me!

Then it was off to lunch at Mongolian! I am a FIRM believer in a big carb loading lunch the day before your marathon. I prefer brown rice and some meat and veggies. This worked out great for me last year and this year was no different! Super stoked to have a bunch of friends come with me for my Birthday carb loading extravaganza!

Best husband ever!

Dessert? Okay just a little!

After lunch it was off to the Expo! Let me just say here (and I will probably say it many times over). I LOVE that Columbus marathon has a staff that is always thinking of new ways to go above and beyond. This is a FIRST CLASS marathon and I will keep going back year after year. On top of getting the royal elite treatment (despite not being in shape to cash in on it) the staff made this awesome banner for everyone having a Birthday that weekend! Expo was great, we got in and out and I grabbed a few friends bibs that couldn't join us.

Hi can I pick up the bib for Big Sexy?

Happy Birthday to Me!

This shirt is the bomb!

We expo'ed it up getting a few extra gels then heading to the elite hospitality suite to load up on some bagels, bananas, and gatorade!

Then it was off to prep our bottles for miles 6, 12, and 18. Using our magic tape and stickers we hooked up our water bottles with our gels so that we wouldn't have to carry too much during the race!

Speedy Salty's room signs! NC and BH were doing it up right!

After hooking up our bottles it was off to our last carb loading dinner. We were all off to Spaghetti warehouse to get our pasta on. I can't lie I am not a huge SW fan so I was super glad I stuffed my face at Mongolian and had been drinking gatorade etc throughout the day! I settled for some pasta with chicken, a beer, and just a few bites of chocolate cake (Hey it was my BIRTHDAY!). Again was serenaded for my Birthday and made to feel super special :) Yep I am super spoiled! I have the best friends and family ever!

I swear I just had a few bites and didn't touch the ice cream coach ;)

Back to the hotel and time to figure out my race outfit. I thought it would be warm, but chilly at the start so I opted for my buns and a singlet but assumed I would be stripping the singlet so had to fuss with the bib a bit to figure out how to get it to lie flat on the buns and not make any noise or chafe. Also needed to hook up my race shoes with my sweet new shoe bling from NC!

Shoe Bling!

Race morning arrived before I knew it and I was ready to rock and roll. Coffee, breakfast, outfit on and I was out the door to head over to pick up Salty. Near miss when EH picked me up as the elevator started shutting down as we boarded it (Yikes!) so we scurried out before the door closed and made it to the room safe and sound! Phew.

NC in her sleepy state was kind enough to help bling out my nails in hot pink as Salty finished getting ready then we were out ready to rock and roll! We headed to the elite warm up area, changed out of our warm stuff and hit the restroom before heading out to warm up. Crowds were already insane so I made Salty stay put as I hopped a fence and kind of bullied my way through the crowd putting their gear bags on the truck. It pays to be loud and have on a crown sometimes ;)

Back over to Salty and I could tell the atmosphere was not conducive to being relaxed so we got the Hell out of there to warm up on some quieter streets! Then up to the elite area to do our dynamic stretches and take our pre race gels!

Bathroom a few more times then out to throw my bag in a van full of elite gear and get in our strides. We got over to the start and I realized I had forgot our friends bib in my bag! One more stride for me! Back to the van just as they were shutting it and got the bib which thankfully I had the sense to put pins on the night before!

Good Lucks and high fives to a bunch of my Cleveland buddies in our corral and before you knew it the fireworks were going and we were off!

My plan for the day was really to just stay by Salty's side for as long as I could, hopefully at least through 18 so I could get our bottles and gels to each of us, but if I couldn't keep up I told her to just take the bottles and I would take race gels instead! If she went 2:57 on the day I really didn't think I would be able to keep up with my limited training and still not being 100%. Had it been my race I would have preferred to start out around 7 minute pace for the first 10k, see how I felt and try to negative split for under 3:02ish. But I was ready to try and nail 6:47s with her as that was the goal and risk a bit of a blow up on the back half. I basically planned to party my way to the finish fully independent of my race effort.

I wasn't actually planning to put on my "pacer" hat Sunday. I viewed my role more as one of moral support. Basically a fun "escort" for the day. But somehow early in the race I found myself paying more attention to the watch than I had expected to. I wanted to make sure we didn't go out too fast but kept it honest. We started with some local boys I knew were planning to run a bit faster and I was a bit shocked the effort felt so easy so I couldn't help but check the watch. And sure enough we were taking it out conservatively, just under 7 minute pace. So I ended up looking at the watch the rest of the way and trying to make sure we kept it around 6:48 garmin pace to make sure were were at a minimum under 6:52 each mile.

I could tell Salty was not feeling 100% but I assumed once we got in a groove she would feel better and that it was my job to keep us on pace while her legs warmed up to the task. I feel like I know this course so well now running it three years in a row. It was nice to reflect back on the miles from each of my previous races here that went so well. I was having fun remembering everything and soaking up the fun spectators and music. The pace didn't feel great, I'm not going to lie, but I knew I could keep it up for at least 16-20 miles. My foot didn't feel too bad, I had taken an Aleve with breakfast, more to prevent inflammation than to do any pain killing, so I am not sure if that helped or not but the foot never felt any worse than a little tender. My left hamstring however had me a little worried. It was tight despite getting it worked out on Friday and I was a bit nervous about it holding up to 6:50s.

A bit before the 10km a first time marathoner joined us. She was running great, super relaxed, and she clearly was looking for some good company to get through the miles. It is sooo hard for me to sit back and watch others races and not give advice based on my experiences, but I kept my mouth shut and didn't tell her what I was really thinking, which was that she should probably not talk and that she might want to back off the effort a little bit. Instead I chatted her up a bit and told her about my race experiences here and tried to nonchalantly input some advice in the mix without it sounding like an order. The nice thing about your first one is everything is a big unknown, and I have seen that sometimes being a bit naive about the tolls a marathon can take does get someone to their goal even if they weren't quite as prepared as they should be. Hell I ran my first marathon in 3:39:42 on less than 26 miles a week, all because I really thought I could break 3:40, because my friends told me I could. Did I pay for that effort with super sore muscles and crazy emotional crap after the race? You betcha! But I did it. So who am I to tell someone they can't achieve a goal? Especially mid race. But based on her description of training I was pretty confident a sub 3 was a tall order for her that day, and I tried to instill that an over 3 effort was still something to be very proud of, especially for her first!

On pace and moving along

I pretty much demand that anyone running with me smiles for the cameras

We got our second water bottle at mile 12 and saw my super rad parents and husband for the third time! High street had some fun bands and DJs and I let the girls know we wouldn't worry about pace these next few miles as they are uphill and into the wind. (That said I was still keeping my eye on the watch and trying to keep us honest, I had been bluffing a bit each mile to make everyone feel positive and just saying things like: "We nailed this mile" "Perfect 6:45" etc. when in reality I knew we were probably going to be closer to 1:30 than the desired 1:29 at the half)

Around the half Salty announced that she could use some "Sunshine." We always joke about how we should get some super speedy boys to run with us and tell us how awesome we are all the time. So I did my best to blow some sunshine, while trying to figure out if she was just feeling stressed or if her body was not up to the pace. We sent our new friend ahead as we weren't quite nailing 6:52 at that point. I told Salty we just needed to refocus and keep our "Eyes on the prize" or something along those lines. I told her I fully expected her to beat our new friend to the finish line. I backed off my effort and did my best to run beside Salty instead of ahead of her and help her to feel in control.

I thanked volunteers and spectators and waved and danced with the DJs and bands. I would try to amp us up if I heard a good tune! The race support out there was just amazing, I loved every minute of it!

It was becoming clear that 6:52s were probably a thing of the past so I tried to focus us in on running 7:00 pace as that would keep us in the goal range under a 3:03. We did good the next 3 miles and I thought Salty was rallying and then her body met that infamous marathon wall and just said "no" on one of the rolling hills just after mile 17.

And this is where I went from "Pacer Princess" to "Fun March our butts to the finish line" as fast as our bodies can handle it. While I was super bummed for my buddy and that her body was giving her the finger I was hoping we could still enjoy this beautiful day and soak up the marathon experience together and maybe rally to a PR for her.

I did my best to encourage Salty and keep her mind off her cramping muscles. I tried telling jokes, but unfortunately she hadn't seen most of the movies I referred to. So I settled for just being upbeat and hamming it up for the crowds.

18 we got our last bottle and our last gel. Between 18 and 20 there was a van playing music and they announced "This aid station sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon." I've drank beer during one race in my life, Crim 10 miler. But I have never done a marathon beer so I marched my butt over to the table and slammed a beer as we kept moving our way to the finish. They wanted me to have another but I didn't want to push my luck!

Just before 20 I looked ahead and was sad to see that one of our local racing friends who was attempting 2:45 for her first marathon was also bonking on the course. I hoped that this would show Salty she was not alone out there, that this was all a normal part of a marathon. Even the best in the world have had to do the long slog to the finish, or worse drop out, on days that just weren't theirs. I think it did rally her a bit. We tried to give some advice and encouragement to her as we passed. We went through 20 and the 3:05 group caught us, I encouraged them all to try and stick to the group and let them pull us, but it was clear everyone's bodies were in shut down mode. I basically put on my "stubborn" hat and did whatever it took to keep Salty moving forward while her brain and body clearly wanted her to stop.

A bit before 20 we saw my parents and I gave them big high fives. Then we found our friend JM at 20 and she jogged with us for a mile until her boyfriend JS joined our party. Our friend NC was out cheering in her cute new hot shorts and I gave her a good slap as we went by. She did an AWESOME job cheering that weekend. It is so nice to see someone of her caliber give back and really enjoy it.

Once we backed off the pace my hamstring and foot actually felt pretty good and other than a few toe blisters and tight hips I actually was glad to be getting through this marathon unscathed. That said I had been hydrating like a machine and I REALLY had to make a stop at the POP. I really hope this doesn't become the norm, but now that Salty had JS I did pop in the bathroom to finally get comfortable and hopped out and raced back up to jump back in with Salty and JS.

JS, Salty, and I hamming it up for the camera.

All day we had seen so many friends cheering for us on the course. I love that even though we are more than 2 hours away from Cleveland there are always a good number of friends out to support their runners! I saw a bunch of college, trail, and SERC buddies through the day and it was so fun to wave at them and cheer along and give them high fives!

The thing about blowing up in a marathon is that you may see a bunch of friends you weren't expecting to see on the course as well as along the course. And the last 3 or so miles we did see a bunch of friends as they passed us on their way to the finish. For every marathon success story there is at least one story of running a gutsy race that didn't play out as intended, and while I was bummed for Salty I couldn't help but recognize the beauty of what the marathon can do good and bad during those final miles. I think it was here that I fell back in love with the marathon and realized that no matter what the next one throws at me I will always keep coming back for more.

And despite getting passed by many friends, we really were holding our own despite this bonk/wall. We did actually pass a few runners in that last 10km. A few gals that had been trying for 2:45, and at mile 25 near Goodale park we caught our first timer friend from earlier. Like so many that day she felt phenomenal through 20 and then the body just said no. Welcome to the marathon. I have been humbled by it so many times, but I think that what I love is that you still come back wanting more and you still come back ready to fight like crazy despite knowing just what it can dish out. You have to have a healthy dose of respect for the marathon, but sometimes you just throw that out the window and go for broke and see what you've got, and occasionally the bravado works out. And those occasions are why you keep coming back!

The last 10k I really just soaked it all up. I got excited for everyone that passed us looking great and I felt comraderie with every person that was struggling as I have struggled many times before. I was so grateful to be able to run 26.2 miles in whatever capacity it was and I was so grateful to have back my spunky happy marathoner self. I was sooo happy I made the decision to stick to the full here even though I knew I was not in shape to get my current time goals and I was excited to help my friend finish a tough marathon even if all I did was hold her hand and tell her how amazing she was.

Like I have seen many times before the home stretch brings out the racer in even the most bedraggled of marathoners and Salty hammered that home stretch like a pro. We have finished two races this year holding hands, but I was not sure if she was in a happy enough place to do that this time so I ran one step behind her letting her take the lead, but with 20 or so meters to go she reached back for me and we finished hands raised together and I promptly gave her a hug before the race officials hurried us off to the elite area.

I left Salty in good hands with JS while I tried my best to find her gear bag. The poor thing was probably freezing her ass off and I had a helluva a time trying to find her bag. They were in number order if you had used the races drop bag, but if not they were just arranged by color and for the life of me I could not remember what color her bag was! And of course I had left my cell with them! Eventually I found BB and used her cell to finally get the bag and get back to the elite area for some pampering!

Post race massage!

The good news for me was that we had switched out of race mode before my body decided to give me the finger so I still had tons of energy (i'm sure all the caffeinated gels didn't hurt) and my muscles felt great. Add a light post race massage and some food and I was on cloud 9. Finally found my family and some friends as I danced my way back to the hotel.

Love the shirts and slogan this year!

While I would have loved to party all night we settled for post race food and one tall beer with friends at Max and Ermas before driving back to Cleveland.

Chow time!

I cannot overstate how freaking ecstatic I am with where I am right now emotionally and physically. To be able to run a 3:11:42 while hooting, hollering, dancing, drinking beer, and helping a friend makes me really excited to see what I can do at my next marathon with the right relaxed attitude and some more solid training, especially if I behave a bit better and conserve my energy to race the whole way rather than 16-20 of it. I've come a long way since my first marathon in Columbus! I can't wait to do this all over again soon!

Wynter Gordon

My new Fiesta came with a 6 month free trial to Sirius and I am definitely getting spoiled. On the trip back from Columbus David wanted to listen to the radio and I didn't even know how to scan etc as I have only turned the radio on once since I got the car. In the mornings I've been listening to dance channels mostly and this song is great for getting in an upbeat mood. I am definitely overdue for a night of serious dancing!!!

Swamped Run Down

I have lots of exciting things to say about the marathon but I am a busy little worker bee this week and just don't have time. But before it gets lost in the ether of my mind here's the stats from last week. Pretty much my standard marathon taper which worked out pretty nicely on race day. While I am bummed my friend didn't have a better day, I am really proud of her, and I am super stoked that I didn't do any of the typical marathon damage to my legs so I can ramp it up here quickly for my last big fall events!

Didn't quite get in 30 miles for my 30th on the Garmin but I am going to say between the 2 mile warm up and schlepping around/dancing after the race that I definitely covered 30 miles on foot Sunday.

Officially got in 59 miles for the week on 6 runs. Didn't get in any cross training as I wanted to be semi fresh for the race. Though I did have a massage and an ART session. There was a small bit of partying involved Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, but I think I behaved relatively well while still maximizing the fun of turning 30.

Awesome day in Columbus running with Salty! I have officially renewed my love of the marathon!

Mission Keep Up

All right! I have a plan for Sunday! It feels good to make a decision, and I am super excited about the one I have made for Columbus. My buddy Salty will be running her first marathon under Coach Glenn's tutelage and she has the goal of running 2:57-3:03. This would be a nice PR for her and the goal will be to accompany her for as long as possible and try and help keep her close to that 57 and sub 3 goal with some positive reinforcement and fun atmosphere :)

Not going to lie, this would be an excellent time for my current fitness and lack of focused training since the Indy half. So I have no delusions that this will be a walk in the park. But having run 16 with Salty two weeks ago at 6:47 pace I think I can certainly run with her for 16-20 miles around that pace, and hopefully gut it out the last 10k-10 miles. My buddy Brian did this for me two years ago at Columbus knowing full well he probably wasn't trained to go the full way with me, he made it about 19 miles and I had such a great day with him. I feel excited that I can pay it forward in the hopes that Salty gets some of the Columbus magic I have been so blessed with in my three marathons there. (And selfishly I'd love another sub 3 for the resume and a negative split race would be icing on the cake.)

I'm taking off the "pacer" hat for this one though and will just be along for the ride with Salty for as long as my feet and legs can hold on until I have to party my way to the finish. I don't want to micromanage her race and really will just be there for moral support until she runs away from me or kicks me to the curb. Also I plan to have fun with this one. I may have to work hard, but I'm turning 30 the day before the race and I plan to ham it up a bit race day and enjoy those great Columbus crowds! My friend GP has this great tiara with a 30 on it that is the perfect weight for racing so I will be rolling out princess style the whole weekend and for my first race in this new age group! I plan to get as many funny weekend photos as possible and really absorb the spectators and music along the course on Sunday!

I'm really looking forward to my first marathon weekend as a 30 year old! Lots of great friends and family will be there for the weekend, I know it is going to be a blast!

Another Week, Another Rundown

I'm on the "no real training plan" plan and this week I may have done a bit more than I should have two weeks out from Columbus but I had fun everyday and other than a sore throat seem no worse for wear so I'll have a mini taper next week and see what the day holds next Sunday!

I managed to (just barely) sneak in my mandatory bike, swim, and yoga this week!
64 miles of running in 8 runs.
No days off so I will be taking tomorrow easy!

Tried out yoga after the Sunday run today and that isn't going to work out so I need to come up with a new plan for that! But my heel did feel better after the class so that is good!

If the weather this week is as nice as it was this past week it is going to be really hard to behave and taper!

Rust Buster "Tempo"

It was such a nice day today I decided to see what the legs could do with it. I am leaning towards running C'Bus with my buddy Salty for the first 20 miles around 6:50 pace and seeing what I can do from there so I wanted to do a bit of a progression run today. Start out around 6:50s and see if I could pick it up after a few miles of that so that hopefully next Sunday starting at 6:50 feels natural and comfortable!

None of the boys took the bait so I was on my own for this one. I went out at what felt relaxed but up tempo and that worked out to be in the 6:40 range so I went with it. The first two miles felt like they were into a bit of a headwind but on the lake that can be deceiving so I wasn't counting on any boost on the way back. Wimpy E tried to get me to bail early but I just ignored her and went with the effort that third mile knowing it might be slow due to being mostly uphill and thankfully was able to up the effort and pace the last two miles.


It's a start!

Something Good Can Work

Decisions decisions. I feel like I have come to a fork in the road and I have all this potential to make something good happen for myself soon but I am torn about what that something good should be.

My foot is on the mend, miles are slowly building up, I've gotten in some decent long runs at decent paces and I am wondering if I should go forward with plans to make Columbus whatever it will be, run sans watch and the best effort I can on the day. Or if perhaps I should back off to the half or run the full as a slower training run and try one last go at 2:46 at California International in December. If my body could handle training I believe there is a real possibility I could get in shape to go that route but I would need to ensure that Columbus didn't do too much damage as recovery would need to be short and real training with some actual tempos and runs at marathon pace would need to happen starting soon.

Then if I go that route I have to decide how to train. Do I try to do a 12 week block (which is already a little short as it would have started two weeks ago) like I did for Columbus last year just upping the paces a bit? Or do I go with my gut instincts which are saying I need to back off the speed/track for awhile to really stay healthy. In which case what do I change to get 2:46 fitness without intervals?

I feel like I would like to actually start building a good base for some big race next spring. Focus on getting my mileage up while staying healthy, build in some hill training, then some anaerobic stuff before a final build to something big whether it be Boston or a road ultra.

But there is this lingering OTQ attempt over my head and it is proving difficult to let go of even though that may be my best route right now.

The problem with this OTQ attempt is that deep down I believe that the training I need to do for that is not the training I want to do right now. I am really enjoying my current "freedom" from the demands of running XYZ pace or running XYZ miles on this given day. I can honestly say every run I have done the past few weeks has been fun. That has not been the case for me in the build up to Boston and Indy. Admittedly I have changed my attitude towards things, but I do believe that letting go of a schedule has made me so much healthier mentally and I do not want to lose that. Thinking about the demands of hitting track and tempo paces right now kind of makes me ill. I am sure it would come back faster than I think but looking at my training from last year and this spring makes me cringe. The trails are calling my name and if I gave up on the 2:46 attempt I could do some fun local trail races this fall and get my trail legs dirty again. If I go for the 2:46 those things have to be tabled for yet another year.

But then I have these flashes where I see myself running through that finish with 2:45:xx on the clock and I know my heart also desires that. I swear my heart broke a bit while talking to the RD for C'Bus and hearing about how everyone that hits the OTQ will be draped in an American flag coming down the chute. What runner hasn't dreamt of finishing with their countries flag draped around them elated with a phenomenal performance?

And so I am torn and I need to make a decision here shortly. Can I be happy with a subpar or perhaps even no effort at Columbus to try and salvage something better in December? And if that something better isn't a 2:46 will I be disappointed I didn't just have fun and go for it at C'Bus to start training for something else this spring?

Where's that crystal ball when I need it?

Recovery Week 4

I had planned on it being rough to get workouts in last week for quite some time as David's family was coming to town for his grandmas 90th Birthday party and staying with us. Little did I know that would be no issue at all. The real issue was my body giving me the finger for most of the week. But I finally started to rally on Friday and had a great albeit tiring weekend. Not quite the training week I was hoping for, but I made the most of what I did get in!

2 days completely off (unless you count the 11 minute bike ride I did Monday morning to loosen up my legs before my ART appointment)
no swims, no yoga, no bike. Ouch!
5 runs. 1 super fun muddy wet trail run and a great long run this weekend.

Body doesn't feel too bad. Foot is a little sore, but mostly just a little inflammation. Postponing this weeks ART to Friday to see how it does once it isn't being managed twice a week.