Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prying the animal out of the cage

After the night of Mill Cities, I talked with the Professor of what my next running goal should be. I mentioned I had given some thought of qualifying for NYC marathon via half marathon - possibly for next spring. He said I should try to get it now but to see how the week went. Well, now the idea was in my head.

I did the research on the race, the course, emailed with the race director. The course for the Maine Coast Half marathon is not too hilly but not flat but worth the shot. By Friday, I still hadn't heard back from the Prof with this blessing - so I left him a voicemail. As Jay and I waited at TGI Fridays (which we were only there because we had a gift certificate), I got the schedule and it called for 12 miles with tempo work the next day and what did I think (said the Prof)?

I said - done deal - I'm in.

I woke up Saturday with Day #1 of the mystery illness feeling - pretty achy and it was POURING. Jay and Hank had an easy run so I was on my own for most of it.

At the start of the speedwork I thought - Oh man, I cannot do this - my endurance and pizzazz had gone into hibernation. However, that was a very quick thought and I pushed on through. It was a back and forth - I felt great all of a sudden, then bad, the great, still great, then bad, but overall, it was a pretty powerful run.

I sent my splits to the Prof and he didn't argue - while I went to lay down because I was feeling like such crap - Jay registered me and now I'm officially back into hardcore training for the next two weeks.

Today was 6 miles with Jay - and I wanted to keep my base pace up - we registered an 8;15/mile average - pretty good. I'm ready - 2 weeks to go.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Goons take on Mill Cities Relay

So I got up in front of about 20 people last night and pitched why the Goon Squad should be accepted into the Mill City Alliance and they let us in by a unanimous vote. Pretty cool.

December 6th - teams are being pieced together. I got many props from the Goons today. It's awesome - I love running with this group - extremely talented runners and really awesome people.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thank goodness for running pants!

Well, I got my first dog bite today - that's cool. Many times I've run by dogs and been a bit afraid but for no reason. Today - a little bastard scotty dog (my favorite licorice candy by the way) grabbed a chunk of my calf through my pants today - no broken skin - just bruised.

The sweet elderly lady owner (who had him on a leash) was kind enough to take a moment from her cell phone conversation to observe the situation - and did say 'sorry' - yeah nice lady - when I get my rabies shot, ER bill - I'll be thinking fondly of you. Seriously, no real harm done - just people once again at their best.

On their cell phone, not paying attention and not keeping control of clearly a very protective doggie.

I love the American public - not only do I have to worry about people driving with their cell phones but also with their dogs - brother!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

When will I sign up for Boston?

There is no reason not to sign up AND I get in the first wave.........I have running partners, I have an entry for the next two years....

Surpringly...I think I will procrastinate a bit longer.....

First run tonight post marathon - I feel like I saw a friend who I hadn't seen in years - it's been two days!

I love running.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Post Marathon Glory: It's what draws you right back in

I was staring at my splits from the marathon today like they were Kirk Cameron in 1989. I'm so pumped over my time, I can hardly remember the 'suffering' I recalled as I was running the race (even though is conveniently posting visual evidence).

I already have people recruiting me for Boston 2010 as my new time gets me into Wave 1 for this and next year, 2011.

I've never had a baby but I can't stop feeling that running a marathon is a bit like being pregnant and giving birth. The training can be unpleasant (as I would assume carrying another human in your body is unpleasant at times), the week before the marathon you just want to run it and get it over with (you're about to deliver you just want to get it over with), and the actual running is grueling (as I safely assume giving birth is).

However, after the marathon (and birth) are over, you get the post marathon glory: soreness, a great time, maybe a new PR, and lots of photos to review. I think the post marathon is a bit easier than being a new parent but like many parents -you then decide to jump right back on to the marathon (or reproduction) wagon again. We seem to forget the hard stuff and grow to appreciate the results we do it again....and again, and again!

The new goals are being devised as I type...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicago Marathon: Newton PRs

What a day, what a race. I sit back at home and I return to the working world tomorrow after a weekend of athlete world. I couldn't be more pleased with my marathon time and I'm tremendously proud of Jay.

It feels so wonderful to be able to be so proud of the athlete's we've become. Fourteen years ago when Jay and I started dating I would have said you were nuts if you said that we'd both run sub 3:30 marathons in 14 years. It's so fun. It hurts but it's a good hurt.

I suffered during that race yesterday - man o man I suffered. I definitely didn't have 'fun' but after taking a post marathon survey I signed up for, I realized I don't do marathons for fun. I do marathons for the challenge and for the personal achievement. I did it to push myself to the limit - to see how I do - do I improve? Do I hurt more? Less? Do I ever get used to the ice baths?

Today is Day 1 of 2 days off but then the slow recovery runs come back and Sunday we'll be on the road to support Hank and THC will be reunited.

I had fun in athlete world - Chicago Marathon 2009, 3:25:37.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Showtime in Chi-town

Tomorrow ends the 16 week preparation for Chicago Marathon. Jay and I are more than ready. As I said to Christine today, I think the 1 week of taper is worse than the 15 weeks of intense training. Christine drove me 1 hour into Chicago today so I could make sure I didn't switch the chips between Jay and I - I mean, I knew I didn't do it but of course my obsessive mind got the best of me and I gave in. Fine, I'm in an intense situation and I gave into my obsession - I admit it - but you know what? I felt better and now I just get to be excited for the day.

I know I am capable of completing my goal as is Jay. I cannot wait for us to be celebrating our successes tomorrow - and possibly booking a big trip as a reward on Monday. The actor and actress have practiced and are ready for their performance - it is truly showtime. Big PRs and BQs all around in Chi-town tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane for Chi-town

In 5 hours our flight takes off for Chi-town. It's amazing what the taper puts you through - the self doubt - can I run that far? Can I hold that pace? What's the weather going to be like? Questions, Questions, Questions.

I realize that our house gets very different in the taper week. Jay and I turn weaker - both very strong people, we go through struggles wondering if we'll survive this round of 26.2. I called Jay a pussy this am because he's had a different ailment for the last week. He so isn't a pussy and now I feel bad for calling him that and I'm about to go apologize. I just know he is stronger than sometimes I think he knows he is.

I also need to go finish packing but I am doing my last icing before we leave. The weather is looking good - chilly but good for Sunday. Tara and I have corresponded and we'll meet in Chi-town at some point- I can't believe it's here. Seems like centuries ago I sat exactly where I am right now and hit the 'pay now' button on the registration website - that was 7 months ago.

I can't wait to see how we do on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last Track work out: FB is the man

It's kinda crazy - last track workout complete. It was short and I still look at the pace and think - ugh - that's going to be so fast - but I couldn't slow down at times to actually GET to the goal pace 'LIKE'.

It was an odd track though because we started earlier, I ran alone and there were still people working out when I left - kinda felt like a slacker! However, it was really cool to walk by the track with all of the runners and shouting "Go GOONS" and a bunch of my fellow Goons shouted back.

I love this group. I am so thankful to be a Goon, to have a smaller unit of the Goons, THC, and to run under the direction of Fernando Braz. What an ultimate example of class that man. Not only he is good at what he does but he is one fantastic man. I kinda wanted to give him a hug tonight but I never know how that will be received - I think he would have been fine with it.

What feels good too is that I got sleep last night, I'm not so wired and I'm truly getting so excited for Sunday. I feel so good too because Jay just told me HE is confident, HE believes he is going to do it. I needed to hear it from him because I know he can do it - I just needed him to believe it to and he does. Yay!

Tomorrow is our last run with Hank pre-Chicago - it's crazy and it's my last day of work. My phiten has take it's permanent spot on my neck - the necklace that gives strength and aids in recovery - it's not coming off until Monday.

5 days left and feeling so happy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

6 days and a bad night for sleep

I'm known for bombs dropping next to me and I don't move during sleep. As a matter of fact, there is documentation of me with a chef's hat, flag stuffed in my arm, peppers up my nose, sunglasses on my eyes, and a carrot hanging out of my mouth like a cigar. No, I didn't dress up like this I WAS dressed up like this while sleeping. I am gifted with good sleep- under normal conditions.

However, 7 days away from Chicago Jay and I decide to watch "Spirit of the Marathon" - a documentary focusing on people running Chicago, 2005. Awesome movie - talk about motivating! Lots of tears/excitement and emotion - maybe a bit too much excitement and emotion.

I put myself to bed at 10:30 only to be woken up by midnight by the clothes in the dryer - what? The dryer is a floor below!!! OK, I'm NOT going back to sleep - thoughts of the marathon running through my head, the same excitement while watching the movie still bilowing inside me. Oh man...I'm so not getting a good night's sleep.

So here I sit - in a sleep deprived fog today. Oh Taper - you may be one of the worst parts of marathon training for sure! A 23 mile long run didn't give me this much anxiety!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

7 days

Here I sit waiting for my sunday morning bloody mary and breakfast sandwich knowing that a week from now I will tearing up pavement in Chi-town trying to run my quickest marathon ever:
3:30 or less.

The knee pain has dissipated (THANK GOD!) and let's blame it on the introduction of new sneakers into the rotation - I mean really? Like FB said - the body craves the same thing, the same miles, the same food, the same equipment. I had to incorporate the sneakers to save the good sneakers for next week but I guess I got too carried away with just how much I wore them. The pain is pretty much gone and my legs are feeling strong. We leave in three days for Chi-town.

Hotel Bozlak is happy to have us and I'm glad to be staying with them. They are non-runners - they think our ice baths are insane (but they are required and worth it) but they are super supportive our our endeavor! Anyway, they will keep us relaxed and that's imporant. Seven more days to stay healthy, heal up and get pumped for a very big day for Jay and I.

We will be hit our goals and celebrate PR/BQ success!

Friday, October 2, 2009

9 days, knee pain - Why Hello Taper Maddness?

Really? I mean really - this training has been 100% phenomenal. I've had a ball with the Goon Squad, GTD coaching has been incredibly stellar - FB is the man. My longest run, 23 miles, I could have legit kept going, my running buddies hubby and Hank have been more than a joy. My speed workouts are ON.

So why o why with 9 days left am I absolutely completely frazzled of the fact that on a "comfortable" 8 miles last night I got ZINGED by 4 pains in my left knee? Why after icing it, taking ibuprofen did it and does it feel stiff 12 + hours later?

Alright fine, this is my 4th marathon and the taper causes mental maddness and new pains to appear that never have before blah blah blah blah blah. I can deal with subdle pains - I can - but something like this? My OCD, catastrophic mind has already pretty much resulted in me retiring from running at my strongest.

This isn't San Diego when I've never qualified before and was told to STOP running 10 days out from the big day - or the day before the race where I was rubbing Ben Gay on my hip. Boston I don't recall ANY taper maddness - probably because I was so greatful to be running it and that the nightmare weather of a winter was over. Marine Corp? I wasn't the same runner - I remember being antsy - I could use a little bit of antsy right now.

I just hope that the pain I feel is fake, that it disappears quickly and I can rejoin my visions for marathon greatness in Chicago. In my mind, I've already decided that while I have a great goal in mind, that this will likely be Jay's marathon - and I'm fine with that. Now, that doesn't mean I am letting up on my under 3:30 goal - that is alive and well (YOU HEAR THAT LEFT KNEE!!!) but if I can't get this goal but walk away a Boston Qualifier again but this time with my husband, the race will be a success and Boston 2010 and 2011 will be officially on tap.