Friday, July 31, 2009

WOOAH!!! HOW could I forget Dean & Bart?!?!

Woah woah woah in my post race thoughts I COMPLETELY forgot to mention that I DID make ONE of my goals for the day-- well I guess finishing a marathon is always a goal, so really TWO goals for the day. I TOTALLY met Dean AND Bart and got their autographs on my pace T-Shirt. If you don't remember, I wrote about stalking meeting them in an old post.

Sorry, I don't have a picture of the shirt yet (it had to be washed-- I used wash proof markers of course). So, thought-- how much would YOU pay for a TShirt signed by Dean and Bart? What if the money was going to charity??? I am contemplating, putting the shirt up for a lottery. If you donate $5 or more to the fundraiser in honor of my running grandma (to the right) then you can be entered into the lottery (all $ goes to the fight against ovarian cancer). Would this be something others would be interested in??? Leave your thoughts! While you think it over... Picture time!!!
Dean and I-- he asked me if I wanted to trot the globe with him and run 1 million miles. I declined, I'm much too busy for all that fancy stuff. Running for me is all about the adventure, not the publicity and all the $ from the books. (pssshhh)

Bart and I-- Yassy asked for advice for his new book. "Yass-mister!," I said, "If you don't figure out the secrets of running on your own, you'll never be proud of your accomplishments."

(None of the above conversations ever happened... except in my own head.)

"Who is this familiar elite-class runner?" you may be asking yourself. You may remember him from the Hyde Park Blast Post... It's KYLE! Kyle saw his first big marathon and was a kick-butt fan AND photographer! All the pictures posted were taken by him and NO, I'm not sharing any of my proceeds with him. Oh wait, I'm doing this for free... damn.

San Francisco Marathon~ Post Race Thoughts (Delayed)

Sorry for the delay. This week I started my new job and I've been trying to catch up on sleep from this weekend all week! Also-- I've taken an indirect challenge from a fellow blogger and I've obtained a Wii! I plan on using this to help me in my fitness goals for marathon training! I'll keep you posted when I've settled on what those goals are. Anywhoo...
Post Race Thoughts...
Double Pacer Snaffoo...
Well my first attempt at pacing had some issues. My fellow pacer and I were unable to meet up before the start. We had one of the largest waves to go off and couldn't connect. This meant there were two, 3:50 groups running at once. You can see how this would be difficult mentally for runners who pass him then approach my sign saying they're still only running a 3:50 pace. Well obviously that didn't work. And that's just the start...

Garmin Issues...
How is San Francisco? One word... FOG! And boy did Garmin NOT like it. Garmin hated the fog and started flipping out then eventually reset itself. This happened on the golden gate bridge (actual race pictured left). Garmy was probably getting too wet from the dense fog :( Poor Garmy. Luckily the last I checked (about a minute prior) I was just about exactly on pace (phew). So after it reset I had to try and make sure I was as close as possible to the pace we needed ... even though it would be adjusted for 18 miles instead of 26.

Leg Cramps- Just what I needed...
I had my group on pace (for the second time) and hit around mile 18/19 then I started getting those same strange leg cramps I've been getting in recent races. I assumed I was getting cramps because I was attempting to run 8 min/mile pace but even after slowing to an 8:45 for this race, the cramps were still there! A horrible stabbing pain starts poking at my hamstrings and it puts me in unbelievable pain.

Now I know what you're thinking... "Stephanie, maybe it has something to do with running 26 miles... just a thought!" Yes I agree, you do get leg "pain" normally but this was something different. My legs weren't sore, just cramped. I'm going to make a post next week regarding this, but I'm looking for a solution to this dilemma! MB has suggested pickle juice-- claiming the leg cramps are a result of low sodium and the pickle juice is a good source. We'll see... I'll try anything because I have a goal marathon coming up!

Delirious Miles...
Anyways... along with the leg cramps we were hitting what I like to call "delirious miles"-- starting around mile 19/20. I don't know if its the miles, the heat, lack of water, or lack of oxygen to the brain-- but after about 20 miles people get a little loopy and its sort of like being REALLY drunk but still functional. Remember the people I mentioned above that were thrown off by the double pace group??? Well that mixed with water/oxygen deprivation really got them confused. At this point you could probably convince a person running a 11 min/mile race that they are actually running an 8 min/mile race just by holding up a sign.

Enough is enough...
So right about now I have leg cramps, a faltering garmy and about a million people and their brothers freaking out-- "OMG I thought I was going faster than 3:30!!!!!" I told my group where they were and that they were going to coast downhill and flat for the rest of the race and slowed up to meet back with my other pace partner. Once I had my pace goal off my mind the cramps set in even more. I met back with him and he has a small contingency following-- mostly young girls. Hmmm... that's a shocker. I was a little surprised that there were no 35- year old women as that is the BQ pace for that age group. I think most of them were up with me and looked pretty strong! I hope they made it!!!

Bascuse me??? Now keep in mind I was pacing for a 3:50 and I backed off. Soooo... clearly I did NOT run a 3:25. I'm no math major, but even I know 3:25 is less than (faster than) 3:50. This is the wrong direction. They still have no idea what happened to my time and I'm not even sure myself what my time is. I guess this is a mystery that will stay unsolved. :(
Would I pace again? Yes, but not in such a large race. I feel like there is so much more that can go wrong and the pacing group can get a little crazy.
Other post race thoughts...
I mentioned in my Race RUNdown that this race was going green, which included earth friendly cups. Well but this they actually meant earth friendly shots of water. The cups were TINY. This made is especially hard for me because I was carrying a small fuel belt bottle and planned to fill it up once or twice. Since I was only able to get a shot of water in it at a stop, I needed to slow down at nearly every water stop!
More to come in my official Race Ratings!!!... (Coming soon)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quick post race thought... let's clear this up

1) Let me start by saying I'm EXHAUSTED-- after the marathon we walked alllllll around SF then took at 9:30 pm plane to land in Cinci at 7:40 am-- so if this isn't coherent I'm sorry
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

San Francisco Marathon (#11)... Race RUNdown

This weekend I'll be completing my California Marathon- in San Francisco!

Inspiration Points...
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
...Females: 1,480
...Age Group:
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.

Race 411:
~ 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

The only thing I hate more than tapering is H20!... Bad week ahead!

Tapering- in the context of sports, refers to the practice of reducing, or tapering off, exercise in the days just before an important competition.[1] Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon, athletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more. (Wikipedia)

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!

Happy Running,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Runner Blog Recommendations... from YOU!!!

I'm looking for a few good blogs! I love the ones I follow already and try to catch up every day. But, I'm hoping to get a few more and maybe broaden my Runner Blog scope! So please keep your eyes peeled and if you see any that fit the following leave me a comment!!!

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???

Some Examples...
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

DWD Devil's Lake... Race Ratings & Results

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!

Organization: 3.8/5.0
~ 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...)

Course: 5.0/5.0
~ 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!

Spectators: 3.7/5.0
~ 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...

Runner/Corrals: 5.0/5.0
~ 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.

Expo: 5.0/5.0
~ 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!
Only THIRTY people finished this race and only 6 women! I know I saw 1 woman WAY lost, looks like she wasn't alone!
Time: 5:05:05 (now THAT is kind of creepy... guess better than triple 6's!)
Place: 9/30
Gender: 1/6
Division: 1/2

Video: My First Trail Marathon...

... 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

DWD... My First Trail Marathon~ Post Race Thoughts

Dances with Dirt (DWD) Devil's Lake Trail Marathon...
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...

Pre Race
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).

The Course...
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!

There were some seriously CRAZY spots! I'll be posting a video tonight-- I managed to convince Kyle to let me take his camera and ran with it. I took small videos of some ridiculous terrain! There were areas with GIANT stone steps for about a quarter mile. It was worth the climb though! At the top you got an unreal view of the lake below... so pretty! (Pictured right)

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.

The Finish...
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

My First Trail Marathon.. I WON!

Yeah, I'm just as shocked as you are! The results haven't been published anywhere officially, but I was handed my "1st place" prizes upon finishing, so I would call that official enough. Just got back from a very long day of traveling. More to come tomorrow!!! 

<-- My legs, post the brutal attack from Devil's Lake, WI!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dances with Dirt Devil's Lake Marathon (#10)... Race RUNdown

This weekend will be the start to my summer marathon series!!! What's big about THIS race? There's always something isn't there?...

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 Field: Was RAINED out!
2008 Avg. Finish Time: DNE
Anticipated Field: Currently there are 28 people signed up for the full marathon,
...Females: 10
...Age Group: 2
Weather: It looks like rain the day before (lovely, the trails will be a mud pit!). By Saturday it will be clear and about 64 degrees. Being in a trail, I hope the sun will be a little less intense than usualy. But, I'm a little worried about the day of rain prior to the race as it got rained OUT last year!
Course: Ummm ... I think "Scary" is the only word that comes to mind, thus the reason for 28 entrants! You can see the elevation chart below, but this is a series of VERY large steep hills. I may or may not be rolling DOWN the mountain in my last mile... BTW they also sent us a packet with a detailed description of each "leg" of the course. It's intense, but I'll just have to look at it as a good hill workout!

Race 411:
~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.
~The Hosts: Dances with Dirt is actually a series of a couple trail marathons & ultras. Since they have so much experience I expect a lot out of the race!
~Atmosphere: Dances with Dirt is nothing short of UNUSUAL! The head of the race is called the "head goat" and the language they use throughout their website screams nothing short of a relaxed free-for all type of a race! The volunteers are "mud critters" and I'm pretty sure the word "yo" is used more frequently than a 16-year old boy! ... Sounds like my kind of people!

Race Plan:
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!
I'll try to post tomorrow night when I get into WI... wish me luck and hope I don't get eaten by a bear!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Trail Running... Practice 1 and lessons learned

As I wrote about in a previous post, I'll be doing my first trail marathon. What's the extra fun part about this... I've never run trails!!! Soo, taking the advice of my running group I thought it wise to try out a few runs on trails and see if this is something I should even be trying! Not that I can really back out now, but anywho...

I ran my first trail run on Friday. I went up to Mt. Airy in Cincinnati and found that there were actually a LOT of trails. Also, I looked online for recent trail races up there and printed off one of their online maps. I had a few difficulties but eventually it got a little easier. So...

New Discoveries and Lessons Learned...
1) Shoes! Trails will make you roll your ankles a lot more than expected.
~ Lesson learned: You DO need the correct type of shoes to keep your ankles stable. However, since I expect this to be my first and last trail marathon I'm sticking with my road kicks and hoping for the best

2) Hills! They are not the same as road races. Downhills aren't as pleasant because you're hoping not to run OFF the windy trail and uphils can be brutal!
~Lesson Learned: You WILL go slower and will have to take more care to watch your step on the downhills!

3) Footing! Since I will not be wearing stable shoes and I like to fly down hills, my footing will not be too secure. I'm sure to fall at least once!
~Lesson Learned: Keep my hands FREE! I plan on purchasing some sort of fuel belt like the one pictured. I'll have on me: GU, Sports Beans, Water bottle, IPod, possibly...
~Lesson Learned: an ankle wrap! Since I know my ankles are weak and I don't have the proper support I may carry on me a small ankle wrap just in case anything should happen mid trail.

4) Trail Size! This race will be run on a single track trail there is very little room for people to move around each other.
~Lesson Learned: DONT wear an iPod, or if I Must (which I do) keep the volume low enough to hear someone approaching!
That is all for now... Happy TRAIL Running!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Time for everything... Pacing SF, Trails, and a double!!!

So in my next round of marathons there will be 3 firsts!
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!