Friday, July 31, 2009
Enough is enough...
Monday, July 27, 2009
2) My garmin failed-- fog! Thought I was pacing the 3:50 group well until about mile 18... REALLY bad hamstring cramps at miles 18/19 had to slow down
3) SF has my finishing time at 3:25 and it is SO wrong! At least I believe it is! With my garmin off there is no way of telling. That is obviously SMASHING BQ time for me and would be just lovely if I did but I did not...
4) A guy may or may not have died on our plane on the way home...
... more to tell later. So tired.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
1. This will be the first marathon I've officially paced! 3:50 groupies contact me!!!
2. This is my FIRST trip to California! (Really, I've never been...)
3. If I complete this race then the next one I'll make Iridium level of marathon maniacs (and 4 spinny stars!!!) by completing 9 marathons in 9 states this year!
4. This is Kyle's first BIG marathon spectating! He liked HM and I think he'll love seeing such a big race and some of the super fast athletes (not including myself of course!)
5. The hosts: My fav speed work man- Bart Yasso, & my fav super hero- Dean Karnazes!!!
The RUNdown #11 The San Francisco Marathon
When: Sunday July 26, 2009
Where: San Francisco, CA
Year Running: 10th!
2008 Field: 4,354
...Age Group: 206
2008 Avg. Finish Time: 4:33:06
Weather: From what I can tell SF usually has idea running conditions-- especially for a summer marathon. Last year they had 50's and beautiful. Right now we're looking at mid 50's to mid 60's temperature. Hopefully the lack of humidity and the amount of shade in the parks will keep this race cool!
This is a hilly course with a more difficult first half than second half. There are a few quick climbs but also a few long slow climbs-- like the golden gate bridge-- twice! This is going to be a small pacing challenge but the goal is to make even splits, making up time on the downhills.
~ Go Green! This race is one of the new "go green" races. The shirts and compostable cups are just two examples how they're going green. For those of us that feel bad dropping 1 gel packet then seeing about 30,000 in front of us- well this race may leave you a little more guilt free.. Saving the Earth, One Road Race at a Time
~ Halfies! The half-marathoners have the option to run the first or second half and from what I can tell there are a LOT of them... I hate the idea of a halfie starting after we're exhausted from our first half. Hopefully this won't make anybody feel let down at their half points! I will NOT let MY group feel that way!!!
~ Spectators! No spectators? In San Francisco?? C'est na Possible! I've been reading reviews of the race and all sings point to limited spectators. I'll have to find a way to entertain my pace group... Can anybody teach me to juggle by Sunday?!!?! How about strapping a radio to my back???
Race Plan: Run no faster than 3:48 and no slower than 3:50! Phew no pressure there! And get some 35 year old women their Boston qualifying time!!! Also, 3rd goal: be the MOST inspiring/energetic pace team at the 2009 San Francisco Marathon!!!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Tapering- A week before a marathon of no exercise, excluding 1-2 low mileage, slow, days. Hence, the runner feels like they're gaining weight, eating too much, loosing their "fit" level, and overall is being mentally drained. IT SUCKS! (Stephanie)
Water- is a ubiquitous chemical substance, composed of hydrogen and oxygen, that is essential for the survival of all known forms of life (Wikepedia)
Water- Gross tasting, stomach bloating, "necessary" substance that "needs" to be consumed the week before a race. AKA... NASTY! (Stephanie)
I have an extreme distaste for both tapering and water...
You: REALLY? You HATE water??
Me: Yes, I'm serious I hate the taste of water. It's disgusting...
You: But it doesn't taste like anything
Me: Exactly... GROSS
You: But... you NEED water to run
Me: Yes, but unlike you (probably) my body doesn't like to sweat and retains the water in my skin. My face, hands, arms, & feet blow up if I have too much water-- And by "too much" I mean the normal amount people consume during a marathon. Sigh... I'm broken!
You: But... NOBODY hates water
Me: I never claimed to be normal!!!
Ok so now that we have that cleared up... I have The San Francisco Marathon this week so it's tapering week!!! Which means I only get to run like twice and at that only for 3 slow miles. I'll fill the rest of my week with stretching during the time I normally work out and LOTS of my roller to break up any leftover muscle cramps and get any remaining lactic acid out.
I'll be on the pacing team for SF so my race plan is obvious... be no more than 2 minutes in front of 3:50! I'm really excited to pace people and help them to get their time. I'm hoping the weather won't be too hot as the course is already fairly hilly! We'll see though. I'll post my race RUNdown as we get closer to the end of the week! Wish me luck on keeping my cool over the week and not getting completely strung out. I'll do my best to avoid any sort of scale and focus on carbo-loading!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
1) Must be related to running (especially distance running): Marathons, Ultras, Distance Running in general, Triathlons
2) Should provide some sort of insight (ie. Tips on running, great deals on apparel, running techniques, race ratings, etc) or inspiration (motivational, funny, compelling story)-- Why do YOU follow it???
1) Maybe runners who have done a LOT of marathons and have reviews of them
2) Runners from different parts of the US or the world
3) Very active bloggers-- often comment and provide feedback/insight
4) ***Other 50-state attemptees??*** (Especially current)
5) Blogs that have a lot of product reviews- shoes, run accessories, run companies, clothing etc
6) Blogs that get YOU excited to turn on that computer monday morning just so you can hear what someone was up to over the weekend.
7) YOUR blog??? If I'm not already following it-- let me know!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Overall Race Rating (weighted): 4.2/5.0
Average Calculated Rating: 4.5
~ I'm gonna give the weighted average a 4.2... although you should note, I'm probably being a LITTLE partial to my first trail marathon! The lack of medals was HUGE here, and I know I was able to finish with only a few extra miles added on. However, since I'm trying for 50 states, I know I would have been quite angry if I missed a turn and came up short-- missing 26.2 miles and wasting a weekend. Also, I wish the marathon was advertised more! The only reason I knew about it was because somebody put it on the Marathon Maniacs website! Overall though, a great race! Definitely has me hooked on trail races and maybe even an ultra or 2?... we'll see!
~ The nature of the beast is guiding this rating. Although the course markers were difficult to follow, they WERE laid out correctly... there is no avoiding trail runners getting lost high in the mileage. AND there's always stops to find your way back. Also, they sent out a PACKET of information describing each leg of the course- Elevation, Footing, any misc. odds and ends. Also, at each of the legs runners had to check-in to ensure no runners were lost. AND ther were cookies, candy, treats, even SODA (which I found out helps to settle the stomach).
~Point loss: MEDALS!!! Apprently a LOT of half-marathoners signed up last minute. This is a problem because the marathoners/half-marathoners shared medals and the ultras shared medals. Well since the Halfies finished first they took up all our medals and ours are being mailed to us. If they knew how many of us started they should have held THAT many marathon medals for us! I think any Halfie would understand if they said "sorry the only ones we have left we need to save for the FULL marathoners!" (.2 point loss because I still managed to get lost...)
~ Depending on what you're expecting you would either rate this as very good or very bad! We were fully warned that the course was difficult, there was terrain that would be hard to navigate, and that if we were wimpy we shouldn't go (read an exerpt from the DWD website left). So... the course was just THAT! They were burtally honest and provided us with a challanging course. I would rate this as a 5 because ... if you signed up for this, it was exactly what you're looking for!
~ The spectators get a good rating for doing what we needed... NOT being on the course! These small courses couldn't handle any more people besides the runners. Downside? Random people in the park who (from what I could tell) knew a race was going on and would stand on the path in the way. Also, when there were spots spectators could be, they were kind of dead. Being such a small race I can't really BLAME the race, but it is what it is...
Pace Group: DNE and didn't need...
~ No corrals of course, but the runners were awesome! The night prior they pregamed! They're insane athletes (the woman that ran an ironman the week before the ultra), and they're very talkative and encouraging- minus the guy that made fun of me for being a road runner.
~ No Expo but I'm giving this section a 5 for T-shirts!!!! AWESOME (check out my post-race thoughts post for a pic)
Results... Results are in!
Time: 5:05:05 (now THAT is kind of creepy... guess better than triple 6's!)
... Rantings of a half-delusional road runner attempting to run the DWD Devil's Lake Marathon.
*I would like to apologize now for any heavy breathing, "blair witch project"-esque movement, giggling, and overall delusional comments.
* No cows were hurt in the making of this video...
(May take a few seconds to load)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I have been a little nervous about my first trail marathon. I don't run on trails and I haven't run a trail race since 9th grade XC. So how was it?...
~ It had prickery vines and tore my legs, arms, and anything else exposed, up!
~ It had a stair case of stone steps
~ There were point where you couldn't walk-let alone run- because of the terrain
~ It gave me poison ivy!
... It was AWESOME!!! (and not just because I won)
The only thing I knew about the race was that it was very difficult and there were areas on the course that were going to have very narrow paths. Turns out there was more to it than that...
I arrived in Baraboo with just enough time to get my rental TRUCK-- that's right my rental car was a pickup! (only in Wisconsin)- then make it to the check in. It was at the check-in that I realized just how different trail runners were! The check-in was on the property of a local resort, but not exactly what I thought. They had built tents with Christmas lights in an open lot.
When I arrived there were already a couple dozen camping tents set up as well. It looks fun-- lots of runners all together. Next time, I'll have to think over this whole 'Camping' option. I'm not really much of a camper but, how hard could it be??? Maybe I'll get Kyle to help me-- he's from East Bumble, Ohio- he has t know how to camp.
I made my check in and got my numbers for the race. I also got the BEST race T I've ever seen! It's a nike T but it has a girl cut to it. Great color and super comfortable!!! While at checkin a woman asked if she could trade T-shirts with me (I had come so late there were only mediums left and she had a small). While I waited I overheard her talking to the race director-"The head goat". Apparently she ran the ultra last year (50 miles) a WEEK after she had completed a full ironman. She was upset because ran the 50-miler an hour slower than usual and had been disappointed. Wow! (I saw her finish the ultra and I'm pretty sure she won)
Made it to my hotel to find a small group of runners congregated and ... PREGAMING the marathon! Pshhh... these trail/ultra runners are definitely a different breed. Greg was there too, but he was not pregaming (us 2 road runners hadn't bought the trail runners game plan quite yet).
We started with a 2 mile climb on a single track trail. Apparently that means a line of runners making a climb- if one person slowed or walked, so did everyone else! I learned quickly that to be a trail runner you couldn't be so polite. One of the faster guys got stuck behind the line and I heard "on your left, on you left"... I pushed to the right a little and let him pass then followed closely on his heels!
Then there were areas on what they call a "deer trail" -- aka there is NO trail. And TADA... I have poison ivy!!! And finally, during one of the most brutal uphill climbs there was an area of about 200m of loose rocks you had to try and climb over... THIS is when I realized that "running on trails" and "trail runs" were QUITE different. A few of the trail runners laughed when I said that and told me they could tell I was a road runner the way I flew past them... Hmm, I think I was being mocked!
Getting Lost and Making Time...
It seems that getting lost is inevitable on these trail runs, and nobody seems to have a problem with it! Around Mile 22 I was proud of myself because I had followed the right flags the whole way and didn't get lost! Then it happened... I had been following the White/Blue flags (marathon/ultra) and suddenly I realized there were only blue flags... the white's (marathons) must have split off a ways back. So I turned and ran a MILE back to where the split was and finished up the course... having added TWO extra miles! We'll go ahead and call this my first ultra!
Although my garmin died early on, I could tell my time was anything but great! All I could think was "If I can't run on this terrain my time is going to suck!!!" Then I realized... everyone else's will too!!! Whenever I would get discouraged because a hill was far too steep to run, I would look around and see that it was the same for everybody else! That made me feel much better. I had a chance to run with a couple of the 50 milers (their course merged with ours for a little while) and one of the guys said all his ultra friends (even the REALLY good ones) walk the extreme uphills! Otherwise you'll lose your legs and won't be able to finish the course.
We started the race with one group of ultra runners- the 50K'ers! That's aboutttt... 30 miles? Just a little longer than us. So I had no idea where I stood with placement in gender or age... especially since I went off the course for a while!
As I finished I went to check in and I asked how many women had finished the full marathon. The lady at the table looked at her papers and goes... "YOU!" Woohoo! I won my first trail marathon! My prizes? Lots of cool stuff. I got an AWESOME sports bag with the race logo. A towel and a cool little mug! I ALSO got VERY pretty flowers from Kyle when I got home, but I think he's going to kill me for even writing this so I don't think I'll push it and post a picture... :)
The finish had a place to wash up-- a funky lake with a little surprise man coming out. It was a very pretty lake, but slimy! I don't like water I can't see through!
As I was hesitantly washing up I heard someone across the lake screaming "Move your @$$ Greg!" I thought... "that can't be the same Greg I know, could it?" I threw my sandals back on and ran to the finish... it was! He finished in GREAT time and made all his goals for the day!
In the end it was definitely a great experience! I learned that Wisconsin is actually a REALLY pretty area! I also learned that I cannot wait to do another trail marathon... maybe even an ultra??? Uh-oh! I was right... I knew I would get hooked on something new!!! The trails were great... all of my joints felt fantastic at the end of the race and the next day. My muscles felt worked out, but not nearly as bad as road races. this could be a great way to get a few marathons in without killing my body! One of my new ultra friends told me that once you start trails you won't go back! I still want to make Boston so I'll stay with my road running, but I'll definitely be mixing in a few trail races here and there!
Finally, I learned that it does NOT help to be short on these trail races. When running behind guys they tend to let vines they are running through fling back at people behind them. This often meant when the vines were at their arms, they would fling back into MY head!! Grrr. Well I was cut all over my legs, shoulders and a little on my face, but it was so worth it!
The Crazy Lady loves trail runs and thinks that these "battle scars" are cool... thus she is crazy lady!
Next Day Race Prep!... Already?!?!?!
Yep! Because we all know the pride of race day is nice, but it's nothing compared to the pride of the MANY days it took to get there! I have the NH/ME B2B races coming up in October and I need to start getting ready. So the day after my battle with the vines in WI, I ran a 12 mile loop on one of the hardest part of Cincinnati's Flying Pig course! If you haven't run this race yet you SHOULD! Boston's Heartbreak hill has NOTHING on our Eden Park hill. It's longer and steeper than BOS! Halfway through the loop I realized I had 1 meal between the marathon and my run and suddenly my body decided it was STARVING!!! I felt like passing out the whole 6 miles back, but I made it! But, I suppose that's the point of training the long mileage after a race. I have to learn what to do and what not to do for NH/ME...
1) LOTS of gatorade the night after NH to try and help recovery
2) Eat LOTS after NH AND During ME
3) Bring my muscle roller and try to do it as much as possible after NH
... Much more to come I'm sure!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
1. This will be my 10th state! I can officially join the 50 State Marathon Club upon completion of my 10th state!
2. This will be my FIRST trail marathon (yikes)... I MAY get eaten by a bear!
3. There will be 2 ultra-trail marathons going on at the same time- I've never seen an ultra so this will be a good opportunity... to get me hooked on something else (yikes)
4. I've never been to Wisconsin!!! There are brats and cheese after!!! Yum.
The RUNdown #10 Dances with Dirt Devil's Lake Marathon
When: Saturday July 11, 2009
Where: Baraboo, WI
2008 Avg. Finish Time: DNE
Anticipated Field: Currently there are 28 people signed up for the full marathon,
~The Course... Crazy! And it's a single track so I'm hoping to just stay out of the way of the really good trail runners.
Don't get eaten by a bear and don't fall off any large hills. Besides that I HOPE to get under 4:15 for my first TRAIL marathon. This is a little over a half hour SLOWER than my road marathons. I think this half hour gap is necessary for my first trail, especially a trail course this wild!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
1) Pacing the San Francisco Marathon (3:50)
2) My first trail marathon
3) My first true doubles... NH & ME
1) For the 2009 San Francisco Marathon I will be one of the pace leaders (of 2) for the 3:50 group! Obviously over 50 marathons I'm not going to be able to run them all super hard, but I get bored if I don't have a time to concentrate on... solution? PACING! This will give me something to concentrate on, but not kill myself. Also, This will be the Boston Qualifying (BQ) time for women 40-44! I hope to motivate, inspire-- and if need be, chase & push (just kidding)-- these women into their goal times! The only thing better than me getting my BQ time is helping somebody else get it! If you haven't already, check out the SF marathon- sign up and run the 3:50 group with me! I want to have the best, biggest, and cheeriest pace group crossing the finish line!!!
Also, this marathon is "hosted" by Bart Yasso and Dean Karnazes! Sound a little familiar? Remember my post on my "Yasso 800's"-- my preferred method of speed work? That is the same Yasso! Dean Karnazes is well... SUPER MAN! No, really! His body does things no normal human being can do! You may know him from his 50 marathons in 50 states... IN 50 DAYS!!! Yeah, my 2 year goal isn't looking too hot compared to Dean. He finds crazy ways to push himself... 135 miles in 120 degree heat, winning a ridiculous amount of ultra series, completing 200 mile relays ALONE! "Yep- team DEAN, ready to run! Who needs 11 other people?..."
Sooooo... if you're at the expo I will likely be the girl standing within 10 ft of them with my eyes popping out of their sockets and no words coming out of my mouth. Goal: GET their autographs on my SF tech T and frame it!!! I have to be there for the pace team's portion of the speaker series. Dean is on about an hour and 15 before us and Yasso is on about an hour and 15 after us... I WILL find a way! If anything, Kyle is much bigger and stronger than little dinky runners so I'll have him jump them and hold them down until I get an autograph. Hmm... I hope I don't show up and they have a restraining order for me now. Oops!
2) My first trail marathon... what am I thinking? I will be running Dances with Devils Lake up in Baraboo, WI in about 8 days. Problem? I've never ran trails, unless you count XC in high school??? This should be interesting. I'm going up to a local trail and try to run a couple miles on Friday. I'll let you know how that goes! If you have ANY suggestions on how to transition from a road marathoner to a trail marathoner in a week PLEASE let me know! All comments appreciated!!! Otherwise, I'm going to make a great guinea pig for all of you looking to make the transition!!!
3) 2 marathons in 2 days? Sounds scary, but I'm gearing up for my new stunt in October. I'll be running NH and ME back-t0-back. My plan? Run the day after the 4 marathons I have before that! I'll start with WI next weekend. On Sunday I plan to run an 8 mile run and see how that goes! I have 3 month to work out the kinks. Wish me luck!