Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running is Bad for Me? WRONG-- Resting is Bad for Me!!!

Not too many updates lately because there haven't been too many races lately. These are my 2 non-marathon weekends and it's not easy! Last weekend was nice to stay in town and see friends, but now I'm getting a little antsy.

I'm often lectured on how "bad" it must be for me to be doing so many marathons in 1 year. The most recent gripe being from a trainer at the gym who told me I am "too skinny" and no longer had muscle-- that my arm was a "bone with a hump on it." Silly people-- if you only knew. Races keep me busy and keep me from getting hurt either physically or financially!

Case 1) When I don't race I have pent up energy. What do I do with said energy? A lot of grocery shopping (slash eating)-- and when I was at the grocery store this week I managed to drop a can of veggies from my cart RIGHT onto my pointer toes. I thought for sure it had broken and immediately started thinking of ways to cut the front of my sneakers so I could still run if the toes had to be put in a splint or something. Fortunately it was just a bad bruise and it bled a little-- but really, can you make my toes any uglier than they are already?? No sir!

No worries- I've already run on it. It was uncomfortable, but nothing I couldn't "tune out."

Case 2) My name is Stephanie and I'm a race-a-holic. When I'm not racing, all I'm thinking about is the next race, and how very far away it is. I have a spreadsheet of my marathons (yep grade A dork here!) and I probably look at it (no joke) 20-30 times a day. So what do I do? I sign up for MORE marathons. And lately they've been in states I've already completed!!! My last race was what?... 1 week ago. Since then I've signed up for...

MN- Walker/North Country Races
CT- Bimbler's Bluff 50K
and I've committed to...
NC- Thunder Road Marathon and possibly...
WV- Marshall University Marathon or IN Veterans Marathon.

All of those and all the travel gets to be Mucho $$... mucho not cool! What am I made of money?? No Sir! I'm mad of sugar and spice and everything BadA$$!

Sigh-- so nothing too wonderful to report. I'm going on a 13 mile run tonight just to exhaust myself a little. Speedwork tomorrow then another non-marathon weekend ahead. :( Next Race? The H.U.R.L 50K in middle of nowhere Montana! I'll be the first person from OH to ever run that race... cool, huh?

Happy Running... and if you're racing I DON'T want to hear about it, and no I don't care how childish that sounds! :(
"Run to Win" -Meb

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Speed Work & Weight Training for Marathons

I have the next 2 weekends off from races and during these long *ha* lulls, I like to kick up my training and really focus in on speed work and resistanec/weight training. So to give a little sample of my "off" week, this is what's happening...

Day 1 Monday- Maintenance 6 miles- Still a little dead in the legs from Saturdays race (and the 4 race weekends before it) so I take a nice easy 6 mile run to give the legs a stretch and recovery. I do NOT bring a watch on purpose-- I'm far too competative to do an easy run with a watch.
Why? Maintenance runs are good for getting your milieage in without breakingdown your body further. They also help with recovery if done without too much stress on the legs.

Day 2 Tuesday- All stretched and recovered? Ok, good! Speed work Sess- Treadmill Mile Repeats!!!!
-1/2 Mile Warm up @ 8:40 pace
-1 Mile Repeat @ 7:30 Pace (0.15 mile rest between)
-1 Mile Repeat @ 7:20 Pace (0.15 mile rest between)
-1 Mile Repeat @ 7:15 Pace (0.15 mile rest  plus a jog to the water fountain)
-1 Mile Repeat @ 7:00 Pace jog down the stairs to the eliptical...
-1 Mile easy eliptical at high arch-- gives the legs a good stretch after the repeats
Why? Speed work will make a huge difference in your time! It will make your body more comfortable to run at faster paces, which allows you to run for longer at your target pace. My target time is about 8 min/mile (3:30 marathon). The above paces don't seem so hard, but the more intervals you add in, the harder it is to get the legs going again). I'll add in about 2-3 more intervals, then try and quicken the paces.

Day 3 Wednesday- Legs Hurting? Perfect- now let's build 'em back up! Weight Train Intervals!
Note: Intervals include a hard mile+ of cardio at a fast pace to get toward max heart rate. This is followed by 2 types of weight training-- the first is usually some sort of total body lift and can get the heart rate going again. Between those sets I'll pick another lift exercise that is targeted on 1 body part. Then get back to the cardio and repeat! Why do this? Getting the heart rate to jump up and down is a great way to burn calories and prevent bulky muscle weight gain. Sound good? Good!

Interval 1:
-Cardio: 2 Mile warm up to the gym
-Full Body Lift: BOSU Ball Squat with Overhead Press (2 sets of 15-20) For extra fun I like to turn the BOSU ball over so I'm standing on the flat part and trying to balance on the dome. I found this fun video below...
-Target Lift: Rows- Standing with knees bent and bent over at a 45-degree angle, keep your back flat, raise and lower free weights held in each hand. Focus on pulling with your back muscles. (3 sets of 15-20). Optional: While you're already on the BOSU ball, stay on and do your Target lift on here to improve balance and work those stability muscles.

How to Do a Squat & Overhead Shoulder Press Combinations With a Bosu Ball -- powered by

Interval 2:
Cardio: 1 Mile on Eliptical
Full Body Lift: Single Leg BOSU Ball Squats with Barbell Row. 2 set of 8 on each leg
Description: Stand with 1 foot on the upside down BOSU ball (this may take some time to work up to) holding a barbell with your arms resting in front of you, palms in. Squat with 1 leg then as you rise, pull the barbell upward toward your shoulder and then lower back down and repeat the squat.
Target Lift: Reverse Flys 2 Sets of 15-20 Reps
I do these while sitting on a bench and leaning over so my stomach is pretty much touching my legs. This helps to really target those lats that help us use our arms to power through the marathon. Hold the weight with your arms at a 90-degree angle (while leaning over, they should be around your knees). Lift your arms out to the side, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then lower.
Note: Ryan Hall picked this exercise to highlight in his routine in a recent RW article.

Interval 3:
Cardio: 1 Mile on Eliptical
Full Body Lift: Walking Lunges with Overhead Press (2 X ~20 steps)
Description: I'm sure everybody knows what walking lunges are, but be sure to lift your leg up high and extend out as far as you can-- this gives you a little more kick to your upper hamstring, which is a hard place to target. As you come up, do and overhead press with either 2 dumbells are the barbell you should be holding on your back for your lunges. Wanna go crazy? Do the lunges backwards-- you may want a spotter.
Target Lift: Cable Rows 2 sets of 10 (10 right, 10 left, 10 together)
These can be done by simply sitting in front of a cable machine and pulling backward. To get a really good burn, I use the machine with 2 handle option. I'll pull with the right, then with the left, then with both at once. Really focus in on contracting the back as you pull.

Interval 4:
Cardio: 1 Mile on Arc Trainer (increasing the height every 30 seconds)
Full Body: None
Target Lift: Abs (mix it up)
Target Lift: Inner and outter thigh raises. I do these to help strengthen my hips, as they've been giving me issues lately.

Cool Down: 1/2 Mile Run Home (with very wobbly legs)

Why? Lifting makes your more powerful on hills, and does a great job at keeping you strong to avoid injuries!!! I do as many exercises on upside down BOSU balls so I can really work the stability muscles in my ankles-- which are highly prone to injury for marathoners. Note: In this workout I chose my shoulders and back for my "Target" muscle group-- these can be replaced with exercises for any target muscle group you want. I choose back, lats, and shoulders because they're helpful when running to drive you forward-- and it looks good in a baithing suit when your back is toned ;)

Day 4 Thursday- Long Run
Today I would either take a rest day then have a very long run on Saturday OR I can do my long run tonight (10-13 miles) if I'm feeling good. I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'm choosing today, wobbly legs and all.

Day 5-7 Plans?
Day 5: Maintenance run of 7 miles followed by some cardio and LIGHT lifting
Day 6: Rest!
Day 7: Tempo Run! Followed by a similar (but not as intense) weight routine as above. Total ~ 8-10 Miles plus weights.

Happy Running... and Weight Training!
"Run to Win" -Meb

University of Okoboji Marathon ~ Race Ratings (#36)

Tag line: "Race the Tornado!!!"

Okoboji, IA ~ Pike's Point State Park
Year Running: 11th?
Registration Fee: $55 ($60 late) early
Charity Race? No
Runners:  118 Completed,  37 Females
Available Races: Marathon, Half Marathon, Triathlon, and 10K
Average Finish Time: 4:41:30
BQ %: 9.3%

Overall Race Ratings: 3.0/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 3.1/5.0
~ This small summer race needs a little work, especially for the potential heat. With no road closures, no GU, and no food at all, I'm not sure what they spent out $$ on. Hopefully we'll see some improvements in the future, because there aren't many Iowa marathons out there and this one has pretty good potential given that the area the race is held is pretty fun/nice.

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~  For such a long-standing race, I'm a little surprised at some of the disorganization. Let's start from the beginning to the end. The start area has limited parking and once you leave your cars there, you're without money for the end of the race. The first thing I would do is have the runners park at the finish and shuttle them to the start. This would also alleviate the problem with the shuttles stopping and runners still out on the course.

Second, SOME of these roads need to be blocked at least on one side. Cars were speeding through and swerving in and out of runners. Also, there needs to be some sort of GU or SOME kind of supplement on the course. Port-a-johns-- I would put in 1 every or every other mile. At least point signs toward public bathrooms so we can find them! Finally-- FOOD! We payed $55 to be in the race and I'm not exactly sure what they used that money for. There needs to be something at the end for the runners, esp with the heat.

Aside from that, they should be doing a better job at playing up the vacation advantages of going. This race is held around a really fun lake with lots to do and the whole weekend has a "4th of July-Esque" feel about it. To get more people to race or spectators to come, they should provide more information on the area and how it could be a fun family weekend.. you know, once you actually GET to the area.

Event Organization: 1.8/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: ~ 70 to 90 miles
Rental Car Required: Absolutely! There aren't any close airports to this race.
~ The website is a little all over the place-- it's mostly a store website with small page on the races. It doesn't provide too much information, so we relied on marathonguide info/comments. This race itself isn't too hard to get to but once you finish you'll need to take a shuttle back to the start, which is 5 miles away, but they take the long way, running the course backward. Also, the finishers awards-- they only give 1st place overall (although a pretty cool engraved clock) and they give A/G award, but they're the exact same medals as the finishers medals with "1st Place Women"-- they don't even write down that it's an age group. Kind of unusual.

The Good? When you finish, you're at one of the lakes and there is a beach area to take off your shoes and wade into the water. That's pretty nice. They city was also putting on a free concert at Arnold's Park that night-- not sure if that happens every year, but the race finish is at a pretty central location for anything fun you would like to do post-race.

Race Organization: 1.0/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Red Powerade
Gel Type/Flavors/Availability:  None!
~ There are very few port-a-johns on the course and no gels at all. There were plenty of water stops with pretty reliable volunteers. There is no food at the end of the race, except the local places you can purchase something from-- that is, if you've carried money with you. Since you're nowhere near your car (parked at the start) you're going to have a hard time getting something to eat.

Aside from that, I was a little agitated at how they handled the finish area. The Triathlon was short and so pretty quick, as was the half marathon and 10K, so the marathoners were some of the last to finish. After they did the awards (around 5:30 clock time) they completely closed down the finish and there were still quite a few marathoners left on the course! No cut-off times were advertised on their website.
~Post Race Food: .None

Course: 3.4/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating
Garmin Distance: 26.3!
~ The course starts with about 5-6 miles of serious rolling hills, then goes out to the highway on rail trails, and comes back to repeat the first loop of hills. The loop itself is pretty well shaded, but the majority of the course is pretty open in the hot sun.
Spectators: 4.1/5.0
~ There isn't a huge number of spectators, but the ones that are there are pretty excited for the race. MB had a spectator take her into her house to use the bathroom when there were none around.

Pace Group: /5.0
~ NA

Runner/Corrals: 4.2/5.0
~ No corrals needed. Runners were all very nice and supportive-- I think we had to be to get through the heat wave we were all facing. There was a guy running that was a Iowa fan and tried to start a fight with me cause I'm a Buckeye fan. Silly man... nobody cares about the hawks! Not even on the radar, buddy! Since it's a small race we were easily able to find the few marathon maniacs there and cheer each other on!

Expo: NA/5.0
~ The packet pick-up is held at the affiliated "University of Okoboji" store that carries all sort of University clothing but not really anything running related. I wasn't able to make it (MB picked up my packet) so I'm not going to rate it.

Swag: 4.2/5.0
~T-Shirts: The shirts are one of my favorites. They're great quality and they have big colorful writing with the University of Okoboji crest screened on. The fun part was that all the races had the same shirt, but it had a big "MARATHON" written on the back or "10K" or "TRIATHLON"-- whatever race you were doing. Lauren is gonna kill me, but I don't have a picture of the shirt and I'll have to wait until its out of the wash, then I'll post it, promise!!! 4.9
~Medals: The medals were pretty standard circle medal with the marathon name and the crest. 3.6
~ Goodie Bag: Nothing crazy extra given at the races

Results: Stephanie
Chip Time: 3:54:54
Place: Overall- 21/118, Gender- 3/37, A/G (20-29)- 1/11

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Injury/Mileage Questions & Pedicure Power

First let me say that I may have found my 2 favorite mega-marathoners in the world and they're solving all my problems. As mentioned in the last post, this weekend I met Gary and I haven't MET Morgan yet, but we've exchanged a few notes. Well separately they gave me tips to help solve my 2 biggest marathon issues. Issue #1 is... #2 while racing! I couldn't understand how Gary could run all of his sub 3 hour marathons and not lose the lead by stopping to go to the bathroom. Well he broke out 2 little tablet-- Imodium! Says it works great and he never has to stop. I WILL be trying this on my next race. Time in the bathroom can be the different between 3:39 and 3:41... not cool.

Problem #2: You've seen them-- the Toes. Orrrr my talons o' shame. Most of the toe nails are black and have started consistently falling off. They're pretty good at growing back... that is, until I do another marathon. Since Saturday I've lost another 2 nail. Morgan suggested dark pink nail polish. It covers the black and you can't tell the difference between painting nail and painting skin where nails should be. I tried it last night, as well as some cuticle clipping of the lose, hanging, dried skin from blister upon blister... TMI? Sorry, if you can't handle it, do NOT scroll down to the pictures. I think my quick little pedi made a huge difference, don't you?

Before (Yes I'm pushing my toes out so they're not clawed up like talons as per usual)

After... There are still a few open sores, but beside that they almost look like normal toes. GUESS how many toenails are real (vs. painted skin) and you win the contest of the day!

Thanks Morgan & Gary for your wonderful insight!

Q and A on Mega-Marathoning...
Think back 30 marathons/ultras ago-- to June 2009. I was getting ready to do my first *gasp* back to back marathon weekends. Yep- 2 marathons in 2 consecutive weekends. At the time this was crazy... now, I'm not too sure there is a number of weeks in a row that I would call "crazy." Anyways, as I was approaching my back to back weekend of marathons, I wasn't sure how to address my running needs properly. Should I train in between? Should I rest? What should I eat? What should I do right after the race to get ready for the next. Most running books and Mags DON'T address the questions of back to back marathons because they don't want to encourage it. I found it very difficult to find advice on similar questions like these as I picked up my marathoning and dove into the world of (what I like to refer to as) "Mega Marathoning"-- taking 0 recovery time, consecutive races, limitless miles.

I'm no expert on this crazy approach to marathon running, but I've definitely learned some things over the past year and I wouldn't mind adding to the few resources out there on mega marathoning, by answering some question... Hey! If that penguin guy from Runners World can do it, so can I!

Indi from Overland Park, KS writes... 
"...I have two questions? 
- What is the worst injury that has sidelined you? and
- How the heck do you manage to keep that kind of mileage up without getting injured....any tips and tricks to share with someone who is looking at doing their first marathon in spring 2011...i'm pretty injury prone:("

Dear Injury-Proned in KS, (hehe.... I thought that was clever)
1) Biggest Injury: If you scroll back to my double in January, I actually managed to hurt my posterior tibialis. This is a tendon that runs around the ankle, close to the achilles, but not exactly. During the 2nd race I fell and hit my knee. To make my knee feel better I ran with my foot purposely over-pronated (crazy idea, right?) and managed to do a little damange to this tendon.
- Solution? This was the one time this year I took about a week and a half off from running. I did a lot of cardio-style weight lifting as well as a little bit on the eliptical and some additional classes offered at my gym, including cycling. ALSO, I found Vibrams. This is when I started reading up on minimalist running. With minimalist running, instead of stuffing a bunch of extra cushion in your shoe, the idea was to allow the body to run as it should. Because of this your hips, knees, legs, and feet will align themselves better than with cushioned shoes. Also, without the cushion your foot/ankle will learn to strengthen itself! Since changing to vibrams and Nike Free's, I've found my ankles legs and calves to be much much stronger.

2) Increased Mileage Injury Free? Well there are a few things I found to be pretty important when ramping up mileage, whether it be from 5K's to half-marathons or marathons to 50-milers...
A. Do it slowly- Throwing on a couple extra 10-milers will put you out of commission for a few weeks from overuse.
B. Mix it up- I don't run more than 4 days per week. The higher the daily mileage you get into, the more you're getting into the "overuse" category of training. The body can get used to most things if you force it, but it still needs rest. I spend another 2 days on the eliptical or bike as well as free weight training, speaking of...
C. STRENGTH TRAINING! I attribute this to 90% of my lack of injuries. It not only makes your legs stronger to plow up hills but the FREE WIGHTS (not the machines) allow you to strengthen all the small stability muscles that tend weaken as we run. I try to do a lot (if not all) of my stregth training while standing on an upside down Bosu ball to give an extra workout to my core and and stability. I do squats and 1-legged squats as well. My favorite exercise: turn the ball over and stand on it. Grab some lighter weights. Squat and as you come up do a shoulder press. Repeat 15-20 times for a set. Do 3 sets somewhere between cardio sessions.
Note: This is NOT me... pic, from beginner triathlete site.

D) Listen to your body. This is the biggest lesson I've learned. Runners don't get hit like football players and receive injuries, we feel them coming up over time and finally when we ignore it long enough, we're forced to take more time off than if we dealt with it from the beginning! If something is hurt and heat/ice/ibuprofen can't help... take a day or 2 off. If that doesn't help... take 3 days off! There is nothing a runner likes to be told less than "stop running," but the most important goal here is to MAKE it to the START of the race! Since you're now listening to Advice "C" you have plenty to do on these off days... at the gym!
 E) Free Clinics-- but Beware! A lot of local running stores will hold weekly or monthly free clinics where local podiatrists will come in and answer any injury questions you may have. This is a great source if you're unaware of what's causing an injury. HOWEVER, I caution you... a lot of these Dr's (esp the ones that DON'T run) tend to jump to conclusions and tell you that you're an overpronator and need to get more support in your shoe. If you ask around, 99% of runners have been told they overpronate... maybe it's because of all this stuffing we put in our shoes?? I used to be declared an overpronator and after 5 months with the frees and vibrams, I not only run straight, but I also no longer heel strike!
Hope I covered all of your questions Indi. If you need anything further, please feel free to email me... there is a link in the nav bar above. :)
Happy Running,
"Run to Win" -Meb

Monday, July 19, 2010

University Of Okoboji Marathon~ Post Race Thoughts

Saturday was The University of Okoboji Marathon in Okoboji, IA-- Marathon/Ultra #39 and State #36! This was my 4th race in the past 4 weeks, including RnR Seattle and Foot Traffic as well as the 50-miler last weekend. I get the next 2 weeks off from marathons, then we pick it back up again with the HURL 50K trail race in Minnesota.

About the Race
I didn't do a RUNdown, so I'll sum it up here. This is a small race in Okoboji, IA (Milford technically) that goes around the lakes that are central to the area. This is NOT an actual University but a store with "university" gear holds events all year. This weekend was the "homecoming" weekend which included the marathon, half marathon, triathlon, etc. Check the website above for more on the "university."

Race Morning
The marathon started at 6am at a small park and looped around the lakes to finish at Arnold's Park which is about 5 miles from the start. So yeah, we run 26.2 miles to make it a whopping distance of 5 miles. MB, myself, and Brent (another maniac) all carpooled to the start and got to meet the few other maniacs there.
This area is BUGGY! Prior to the start I think I lost a pint of blood from mosquitoes. It was in the 80's when we got the the start area with 90% humidity-- and the sun wasn't even up yet. Uh oh! The start line is a spray painted line across a the road. We all lined up, they counted down, then we were off.

The Race
As soon as we took off we realized that NONE of the streets are blocked for this race. So, we shared the road with some speedsters as they came flying through. Not only that, but to run the proper tangents to only run 26.2 miles, you HAD to constantly be crossing the roads as they winded through the area. If you failed to do so, you could have added up to a half a mile (that's the most I heard somebody recorded on their garmin). I risked it (what's new) and managed to add only 0.03 miles onto my race. This race was HOT! SO hot. The course did loops around the lakes and suburbs and would have been very pretty to appreciate if it weren't for the thick humid air and the blazing sun.

Judging from the notes on marathonguide water, GU, and bathrooms were a pretty serious concern and as it turns out, the last 2 are STILL a concern. They actually did an excellent job with water/powerade stops about every 2 miles. However there was 0 GU (and you REALLY needed something to recover some electrolytes out in this heat) and on top of that-- almost 0 bathrooms. There was supposedly one around the 13 mile mark, but I didn't see it. I found 1 spot along the cabins on the lake that had a girls/boys room and ran in quick.

As we made our way out to the highway around mile 17, the sun came out in full force-- as did the triathletes! They started a few hours after us and had (I believe) a 5.5 mile run. As their leaders came barreling through I was a little confused, thinking I must have slowed down a lot-- then I realized it was another race. This got even more confusing as the half-marathoners then 10K runners (also starting after us, but their course intersecting with the marathon) started coming up from behind. It made it impossible to tell what place you were in until the end.

Around mile 20 I noticed a few of the lead women I was once with were starting to come back and looked pretty bad. 3 of them, I had noticed, were not carrying water bottles and I guess relying on the partially filled cups they had at the stops. However, due to the note above, I still had no idea how I would finish. Speaking of...

The Finish
The end of the race re-wrapped us through the first 5 miles of roller-coaster hills. There was a little more shade, but by then we were all very much overheated. I came to a finish at a sluggish 3:54, but happy because sub-4:00 means I can cross IA off my list! I found Gary (another maniac) at the finish who had not only won the race, but had finished just under 3:00! If you think I'm crazy, Gary is trying to do all the states in under 3 hours. Oh and the GF, Morgan, is currently doing all of her marathons on crutches because she broke her hip. These 2 are much more maniacal than I'll ever be!

After grabbing a water we found Brent at the finish who had finished in just under 4:00-- no more Iowa for him! Then, the search for food! We heard there wasn't any food at the end, but could that actually be possible??... YEP! There was 0 food except for bananas. Albeit there were places to BUY food around, but the start (and our cars) were 5 miles away, so unless you carried $$ on you, you were SOL!

Go Maniacs!
They had computers to check the results. We confirmed that Gary had won and SURPRISE... somehow one of the slowest times I've had this year, managed to get me 3rd woman overall and 1st in my A/G. Apparently I wasn't the only one affected by the heat. Not a bad day for Marathon Maniacs at this race. They had a little awards ceremony while the race was still going on. They only gave out award for 1st overall but handed out 1-3 for A/G (little weird). Unfortunately the A/G award was the EXACT same medal as the finishers medal with "1st place women" written on the back." Hmmm... Kind of weird.

I felt a little bad because immediately after the awards (around 5:40 marathon time) they closed down EVERYTHING. They took down the clocks and just left the "finish" spray painted line on the ground... and there were still quite a few runners out there!

Fun in the Sun
The finish is at Arnold's Park, which is on a huge lake. They had a beach area not far from the finish line where you could go and cool off. They also had boats, jet skis, kayaks, etc available for rent. MB and I played in the Sun, then later that night they had a free country concert in the park! Woohoo!

The Curse of MB takes out Okoboji...
After the marathon MB was commenting on how lucky we were with weather/flights/etc that all the marathons we've signed  up for went off without a problem (except my Myrtle Beach marathon that got cancelled) and what happens?.... The Curse of MB! The night of the race, the whole area gets hit with a huge storm and a Tornado! As we were sitting in the basement of our hotel with no power, I asked MB if she really HAD to mention that today. Oh and I'm sure there are some children in the hotel that still believe in Santa Clause if she wants to squash that too. I had to leave early in the am, so I didn't get to see the whole aftermath of the lightening/winds/tornado but MB did. She said the piers where all the boats were had been torn up and were all over the place and there were signs/trees/etc down ALL over what would have been the course, had the race been on Sunday instead of Saturday. Woooah! Close call!!!
A little storm/tornado aftermath...
1) The beer tent that the weather gods crumpled up. 2) There WAS a dock here...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wrapping up this Months Marathon of Marathons

This month has been a little bit of a challenge with 4 marathons/ultras in 4 weeks. That wouldn't be so bad, but the first 2 were my fastest 2 marathons to day (RnR Seattle and Foot Traffic Flats)-- meaning more recover needed, but most definitely not taken. The 3rd was my 50-miler and the 4th is coming up this weekend in.... Okoboji, Iawa!!! I know, I know-- please try not to be too jealous! No worries though, this is just a normal marathon distance and I hope 26.2 feels a heck of a lot easier after 50! After this I have a whole 2 weeks off then MT then ALASKA!

The past 3 weekend have done a number on me and active recovery was most definitely required if I was going to run again this weekend. Here are some of my remaining issues/injuries/general "ouchies" and how I've been working to recover...

1) Upper Quad Pain/Strain- Last weekend put a number on my quads with so much trail running. I'm not a trail runner and haven't mastered the art of running DOWNhill on trails easily without killing myself. I'm too concerned with tripping over all the rocks on the twists and turns that I definitely pull back, which can seriously trash your quads from the pounding. I'm usually a good downhill runner on roads... trails are a whole new world.
Current: There is still a little soreness, but it feels more like a leftover bruise rather than a real pain.
Recover: The first 2 days I did some elliptical and some running to try and stretch them out. I took yesterday off and I'll do some biking/running today to hopefully finish getting the knots out. I've also been using a heat pack on them before running to try and give them a little more flexibility.

2) Heat Exhaustion?: I was definitely a little ill after the 50-miler and I felt like I couldn't get enough liquids in/couldn't cool myself down for about 24 hours.
Current: I'm feeling much better now
Recovery: Drinking a LOT and staying out of the sun-- not that I have a choice at work! I S/B getting a lot of rest as well-- but I haven't been doing a great job at that. Tonight (2 night before the race) is the most important, so I'll be sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour... reasonable enough. :)

3) Poison Ivy oak sumac Something Itchy: I still have some of the poison w/e on me. It doesn't exactly resemble poison ivy as I've had it about a million times in my life.
Current: I have some patches left on my legs, but it's off my face (thank god) and my arms are pretty clear.
Recovery: I AM trying to get rid of it because it itches while I run, esp when I sweat and that could get annoying during the race... not to mention it's kind of unsightly. I'm just using calamine lotion and ice packs-- I spent a month on steroids last month between poison ivy and teeth issues, so I would prefer not to go back on them if I don't have to!

4) Feet/Knees: As you saw earlier this week, these were a little banged up... My knees more from landing on rocks and my feet from-- well running my whole life.
Current: My feet will never be normal and I've accepted that. My knees? The swelling is gone and the bruising. There are a few battle scars still on there, but that makes me look BA for this weekends race!
Recovery: Not much I can do here for active recovery, but I may be able to help my feet. One of the runners in the 50-miler suggested those Injinji socks with body glide underneath. I have to pick up a pair and see if that helps. Also-- I'm hoping to get a pedicure to help the damage done so far. Who thinks Iowa will have a nail place? Hmmm...

For your entertainment: My trail running picture... I've decided that I either look...
1) Bad @$$
2) Girly as hell--who wears that much pink?? Note both my water bottle AND my spy belt are that obnoxious bright pink. And I really didn't plan all this.
3) Blind... In this picture my racing glasses look really weird.

Gearing Up!
Okoboji this weekend means some "mild tapering"-- I'll only run about 6 tonight with an easier 4-5 tomorrow. The race is on Saturday, so hopefully I'll be able to get some recovery miles in on Sunday. I'm trying to drink plenty of water as well. Now... to figure out exactly what people do in Okoboji Iowa. Hmmm...

Happy Running!
"Run to Win" - Meb

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ultra Fever... if you can Run 50, you can Run 100??

Why Ultra?... Why Not?
It's been all of 3 days since the 50-miler and thoughts of further distances are dancing in my mind. I've always told half-marathoners "oh if you can do 13, you can totally do 26! It's all the same hurt after the first 10 or so." So does this apply to ultras? "If you can do 50, you can do 100?" Well I found after the first 35 it pretty much WAS all the same hurt. When I got to the mid 40-miles I was shocked that my legs were not only moving, but I was still running! And no, not a little jog-- when I was actually running, I was going at a decent clip! The only issues I ran into were heat, lack of salt, and a little lack of energy-- all of which can be fixed with a little more ultra experience and finding what supplements/aid/food works best for me. So, reason #1 to try for a 100-miler...

1) I can handle the pain. I've felt the hurt and... I've run through it!

I'm under the strange belief that I can be half dead on the side of the road and somehow the mind is strong enough to will the body to keep moving. Maybe I SHOULD try out a 100-miler to prove to myself that I'm NOT super woman or a robot like mel says. Orrrr... maybe I'm proving to myself that nothing is impossible.

2) To do the "impossible"

Running is an automatic topic of conversation for people once they find out exactly how much I do. I'm a little hesitant to tell new people about it because, well... they tend to judge! MOST people are very nice about it but some like to lecture me on how "bad is must be" for me... Really?? And your sitting on the couch in front of the tv every night is some sort of health conscious activity? Some even tell me it's stupid. Some say it is BOUND to take years off my life. Well at least I did something with the years I had... what did you do?

3) Because other people CAN'T! Being stubborn enough to push through pain and finish is something not a lot of people can do. I happen to have a talent for stubborn!

As Phil pointed out in my comments, I've qualified for Western States- 100 lottery with my time. The time requirement isn't anything crazy, but it definitely caught my eye. If you don't know, Western States is one of the oldest and most well known trail ultras in the world. The race is in June, which would work well into my schedule, 3 months following my (knock on wood) hopeful completion of the 50-states. 

4) Because I've qualified!

If you haven't heard of Badwater, it's been called THE most challenging endurance race in the world and the 2010 running is going on RIGHT NOW! 135 miles in the desert heat of Death Valley and up Mt. Whitney. This race isn't a lottery, but a selection process for only 90 people-- and it also happens to be one of my lifetime goals! Nobody knows EXACTLY what you need to be selected, but running Western States (above) is something almost all the accepted runners have done...

5) To be able to Run on the Sun!

So am I thinking about running a 100 miler?... what do you think?? I'll throw my name in for WS next year and hopefully *fingers crossed* get in. If you get rejected twice, however, you automatically get into the 3rd or 4th year of applying. Until then, 1 goal at a time... 50 states! Currently I'm at 35 states completed and this weekends 50-miler brought me up to 38 marathons/ultras completed to date. What's next? Well as soon as my legs start functioning properly, I'm doing the University of Okoboji Marathon this weekend! No, it's not a real University... but I'll give you more details later this week. Until then, lots of icing and leg roller for me!

Happy Running!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My First 50 Mile Ultra... Post-Race Thoughts!

Sorry for the delay... Yes, I'm alive, I've just been relaxing and resting up after the race!! This weekend was the Dawg Gone Long Run- 50 Miler and I'm happy to say I'm now officially a 50-mile ultra marathoner... and happier to say that the 50 is OVER!

First-- thanks to everybody who was following on facebook and leaving comments of support! I only had so much time to post my updates so I couldn't respond to all of them, but I got them and they helped so much! If you didn't know, on some of the big hills, while I was waddling up them, I posted updates on facebook on my progress for everyone to follow every few miles.

The Trail...
The race started at 6:30 and by the time we got to the start it was already pretty hot and humid. Throughout the race it continued to get even hotter. The trail helped to block the sun, but the trees seemed to help keep in the humidity.

The trail on this course was mostly single track and pretty technical with sections of endless roller coaster hills, tons of rocks and down trees. We started with a quick (1.2miles) out and back on road to get warmed up then we started up the trails. The first/third out-and-back section (we repeated it) was pretty tough and after finishing it the first time and knowing I had 30 more to go I was definitely a little worried. The second trail section (about 10 miles) was a bit easier but included a river we had to run through and a few more open spaces where the sun could catch us.

(Pic Left: Steps on he trail around mile 38... then again at mile 42).

The trail was very well marked with long orange ribbons, but of course that didn't mean anything for me as I can get lost in a paper bag. I did manage to get off the trail for a bit, but realized about a half mile later and back-tracked onto the course. Hey, what's one extra mile when you're already doing 50?
The People...
The aid stations were pretty well stocked and the volunteers at them were fantastic. In fact, the one station around mile 43 gave me an ice-wrapped towel and I just about asked him to marry me. At that point it was so hot and that towel made a WORLD of different in the last section of the run!

With a stretch of 50 miles and such a small race (as are most ultra races) there were very few people to run with. In fact, if there weren't so many out-and-backs you could go hours (maybe even the entire race) without seeing anybody at all! Fortunately there were about 3 guys I was going back and forth with over most of the race. Ultra runners are definitely different from marathoners. An ultra is a collective achievement and they tend to be there for each other to help get one another through the rough patches together. Toward Mile 46/47 there is a "big" (esp after 46 miles) hill that I was struggling to get up. One of the guys stopped at the top and was yelling for me to get up. I told him to turn around so I wouldn't be embarrassed if I had to start crawling on my hands and knees. haha Fortunately I DIDN'T have to crawl... but that was the first time I've ever been forced to physically STOP moving in a race.

The Finish!...
The race was finished without flourish as Jeff (one of the race directors) pointed to a spot on the ground and said you were finished. Ta-Da! No medals, no audience-- as is usual for an ultra. All the other finishers were waiting at tables next to the finish "spot" and said good job as you came in. We all compared battered feet and our marathon/ultra experiences. My finish time was 9:44:40. I would be very interested in seeing how I could do in better conditions-- road course and a cooler day-- maybe so much I'll do another one soon :)

Pic Right: My poor poo feet post-race. Not AS swollen as I thought they were going to be... so that's good.

That Night/Next Day...
Saturday night, after I showered, I was able to get a better look at my knees. During the race I fell over tree roots and rocks a few times and took a few very hard spills, nailing my knees on rocks. Ouch... I DID manage to squeeze my poor little feet into heels and make it out to a bachelorette party for my friend Alissa. I then proceeded to eat everything in sight. However, toward the end of the night I started feeling really sick to my stomach and a little feverish. I also noticed that I had spots of poison ivy popping up on my legs arms and (ew) face. Fantastic! The stomach sickness didn't go away through the night and part of the next day. I went in a cold cold pool which helped, but I think I got a little heat exhaustion and didn't do an adequate enough job at re-hydrating myself.

Sunday left me in a little bit of pain, but not much more than if I had run a marathon very hard. The upper part of my quads were esp sore, but I think a lot of that was from the impact of the trail downhills. I don't run trails often and they definitely trash your quads more than road. I went in a cold pool to create a sort of ice bath... that felt nice!

Lessons Learned!
1) Don't sign up for your first ultra in the middle of a hot spell!
2) Run Trails if it's a trail race! It will help ease the impact from the first few miles.
3) Be Prepared! Make sure to have your drops bags packed with anything you could need. Check my list from the below post. I never felt like I didn't HAVE something I needed.
4) USE your drop bags. I was so worried about wasting time at aid stations that I forgot to grab my ibuprofen TWICE and didn't get any until about mile 30.
5) Walk the hills. I was advised of this and toward the middle miles had no choice but to follow it. Any of the large uphills I had to walk/waddle up to get through them.
6) Learn to run downhill on trails! I had a hard time at first because of all the twist/turns and rocks. I held back and had a hard time letting myself fall. I think a little trail running would have gotten me more comfortable with this.
7) Eating: (I got this advice from Betsy and it worked well) I ate as if I were only running a marathon for the first 26 miles, THEN I started eating a little bit extra-- pieces of sandwich, gummies, etc. Also, I made sure to get salty foods for the heat!
8) Do EVERYTHING before you HAVE to. Make sure to be drinking water so you never get thirsty and eating so you never get hungry. Start including walk breaks before you need and take ibuprofen before you usually do. Once you start feeling any of that... it's likely too late to help.

More Ultra-Marathon Fun
After all the long-hot-tripping good times I would definitely do it again and would love to try a longer race! The most typical ultras are 50K, 50 miles, 100K, and 100 miles. I would like to do some 100K's (~62 miles) and maybe some 12-hour races to try and get 70+ miles in. I would like to do a 100-miler by next year!

Friday, July 9, 2010

50-Mile Race Eve and Race RUNdown

It's the 50-mile marathon eve... how did that come up so quickly? I had a few things I needed to get done tonight so I won't be waking up in the middle of the night saying "omg I forgot... xyz." This included: Making a carbo-loaded meal (and of course eating it), packing my drop bags, charging my garmin (watch) and Walkman, and print out directions- oh and watching "Running on the Sun" to get myself pumped up. I'm at the point where I've watched enough to convince myself 50-miles is NOTHING ... at least in comparison!

How am I feeling?
People have asked me a few questions about tomorrow, such as "Are you ready?" -- Hell no!...and "How do you think you will do." -- There is a decent chance I won't die. "Do you know this is crazy?" -- Uhhh, duh!
I'm definitely feeling pretty nervous. I go back and forth between thinking "omg, 50 miles! I've never done 50 miles" and "I've done almost 40 in 6 hours, if I slow down it'll be easy!" What it comes down to is-- I don't KNOW 50 miles. The advantage of doing so many marathons is that I know 26.2 inside and out. I know what it feels like at each mile if I'm happy, hurting, hungry, tired... anything! I know 26.2. I even know 35+, but I don't know 50. The unknown is always scary, but I hope to learn it real well tomorrow.

Drop Bags!
Something new for this race is that I get drop bags for the course. There will be 2 bags: 1 at a drop point and 1 left at the start/finish which is also an area on a pivot that we pass by 3 times on the 3 out and backs. This is my drop bag list...
-Candy: Chocolate covered raisins (+ they have antioxidants!) and mini candy orange slices
-GU: A few in each pack
-Extra Socks
-Extra Shoes
-Extra set of clothing
-Tape, Prewrap & Scissors
-Accelerade Powder Mix
-I will be packing my phone in 1 so I can update my status on facebook at points
... all of course wrapped in plastic bags!!! Sweat, water, gatorade, and GU can be a major hazard for anything electronic or perishable! And this is what all that looks like...

In addition, on me, I'll have:
-Water Bottle

Race RUNdown:
I won't do a full race RUNdown, but here is a little brief on what to expect at this Ultra Marathon:...
2010 Dawg Gone Long Run- 50 Miler
Waynesville, OH ~ Caesar Creek State Park
Type: Trail Ultra 50-Mile Marathon
Cost: $25!! $50 if you want a T-Shirt
Course: The course is a single track trail for most of the race. At first this race was a loop done 3 times, however part of the course is now closed off and they made some last minute changes. It's now...
-Section 1: Short out and back for 1.2 miles.
-Section 2: Main out and back for 19.76 miles
-Section 3: Mid out and back for 9.28 miles
-Section 4: Repeat Section 2: 19.76
There is no elevation chart available, but from the description it sounds like a roller coaster o' hills!
Aid Stations: the Main section has 3 aid stations, which will be 6 on each out and back. The mid-sized out and back has 1 aid station, which we will hit twice on the out and back. From their notes they should be fairly well stocked with electrolyte drinks, soda, sugar and salt snacks, as well as some heavier stuff like sandwiches.

Good Night!
Time for bed since I will have a very early wake-up call: 4:45am! It's a 40 mile (yes, I'm driving less than I'm running) drive and the race starts at 6:30. No promises, but I'm going to try and post facebook updates. If I don't post, please don't panic-- I'm not dead! They probably just don't have cell service out on the trails. If you're not friends on the book with me yet, but want to follow along just friend me here.

Happy Freakish Mile Running!

LaBron Who? And "It's Ok... I'm a Runner..."

Basketball V. Running
The biggest news in sports right now is LaBron's move to Miami v. the Cavs. Basketball is really the one prof sport I could care less about. I've never been close enough to a team to really get into them and they all seem like such big babies anyways. So as everybody's facebook status constantly changed about this "heated debate" over LaBron's choosing-- some outraged, some excited-- I see one in the middle of it all-- MB's! And of course it had to do with running...

MB: I am sooo glad i don't have to pick Miami, New York, Cleveland etc... to run for!!!! I run for ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AV (Aunt Vicki): That should be the next Nike commercial!
MB: Thanks vick you should be my agent!
TC: whens ur next press conf abour ur choice of next marathon
MB: ill do it now next marathon will be................IOWA... it was such a hard decis, i couldn t sleep all night
AV: No more comments, my client needs to rest. She will be making a formal announcement regarding her next marathon immediately following the completion of Iowa. This will be a 10 minute statement, followed by no more than five (5) follow up questions. Watch it live on ESPN3. :)

... Once again proving just how stupid some of these professional sports can get and just how free and easy running  is! Also proving that I get my complete wackiness from MB.

It's Ok... I'm a Runner:
The more I run, the more I find myself allowing my running needs to bypass some social norms in society. I started thinking about this the other day when my friends saw my toes and literally lept away like they were going to attack them. My response was "yeah, but I'm a runner-- so it's ok." Really? Really, it's ok that your toes are black, bloody, missing nails, and look like they're about to fall off? That's "OK"? Not that I have much of a choice in the matter-- if I got a pedicure after every marathon I'd be way poor! So I started thinking of the other things that I allow myself to do/say/be and when people look at me funny I write it off to being a runner...

1) Toes (above)- They're always gross, and as MB pointed lately, they're sorrrrrt of curled under like bird talons. I think it's cool because it helps me grip the ground and go faster... but I guess they aren't exactly pretty enough to be seen in public.

2) Anti-Social! I noticed last Friday night that all the facebook activity going on were all my marathoning friends and non of my non-marathon friends. Of course, since I was checking facebook, I was obviously home resting as well. We're runners! We have long runs/races on Saturday mornings! We can't be expected to go out and drink the night before! Staying in on the weekends?... I'm a runner.... so it's ok!

3) A Hot Mess! My house is a danger zone of running equipment. If you were to walk into my apt right now you would likely trip over several pairs of running shoes, get tangled up in wire for my Garmin and walkman, and get impaled by my leg roller-- and this is just the front living room. Not to mention the water bottles/glasses of electrolyte drink everywhere. Oh and a drawer dedicated to JUST running paraphernalia-- Gel packs, headbands, fuel belt bottles, tape, etc. This is stuff I use everyday so it needs to be out! And I find it ok... because I'm  a runner!

4) Personal Habits! Runners have 0 issues with discussing our ummm bathroom needs and sometimes we forget who we're talking to. I'm sorry, but that is a major topic in my day so I can be sure when I go out for a 20-miler with no port-a-johns along the way, I'll be ok. If it's going to avoid an emergency situation then it's important enough to me to discuss. And if anybody has a problem with it, I totally blame the running thing! Speaking of...

5) Does a Bear? Yeah sometimes we have to make #1 or #2 in the woods! We go on long runs with no stops and get ungodly cramps that really give us no choice but to go in the woods... or go in our pants! If you're driving along and see a runner coming out of the woods with no trail... give them a break and look the other way. It's bad enough we have to watch out for poison ivy, let along onlookers! When I mention my pit-stops my friends look at me like I'm about to run to the corner of the room and drop my drawers right there... I'm 97% sure I won't!

6) Gluttony! I LOVE to eat! It's my favorite thing to do... even more than running a marathon, I love to eat! I can eat whatever I want and I can eat as often as I want and if anybody says anything about my "should be obese ways" I can point to the 37 marathon medals in my room and say "its ok... I'm a runner!"
50-State Prep T-1 Day:
I haven't slept well all week and I'm bouncing off the walls with nerves and excitement. I'll post more tonight about the race. Oh also-- I'm going to try and keep my phone in one of my drop bags and I'll try to make facebook updates on my status. If you suddenly see a stop in status updates-- call 911! If you're not friends with me already but want to see my updates (yeah starting at 6:30, but it will be at LEAST 8-9 hours so you can catch up) just friend me here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

50-Miler T-2 Days!

Since yesterday there have been so many changes for my first 50-Miler this weekend...

The first started with the weather. It turns out it's going to rain tomorrow, meaning the trail could be wet! If you remember my last trail marathon or as I liked to call it the "Course Des 7th Circle of Hell" and the Mud Monster-- I had a very hard time in my Nike Free's on the clay/mud course and ended up getting passed in the last few miles while trying not to fall down a mountain. I got 2nd in that race and I'm still bitter. Not making that mistake again-- I went to a local running store Mojo Running to find something that wasn't exactly a trail shoe (as I'm so used to a minimalists shoe) but still had some grip to it. Paul, the owner-- who also happens to be from my home town in NY (small world) helped me find these...
Yes, those are leaves imaged on the sides-- how perfect for a trail race-- maybe I'll blend in more and nobody will see me coming. Mmmm right. Anyways, these are the Saucony ProGrid Kinvara. Why did I buy them?
-Weight- They are light, which is what I like and what I'm used to with my Nike Frees
-Flexibility- These are not stiff shoes. They offer a lot more flexibility than they seem. Very similar to how the Vibrams and Frees let you grip with your toes
-ProGrid- The bottom has some triangles of traction that will hopefully keep me from falling down a mountain.
-Strike- They let me have a forward foot strike. For a neutral shoe, they offer a lot of what a minimalist shoe does, but with more of a cushion at the bottom.

Breaking them in: Yes, I know it's not ideal to get a NEW pair of shoes just a few days before a race, but circumstances forced my hand... or my foot in this case (haha). So I have a few days to get them blister-proof. Have no fear, I've done this before. I've run a few marathons in shoes I bought the night before at the expo. I took these for a run and they're a little stiff in the back, so I taped them down last night to give some flexibility and avoid blisters on my ankles. The ones that are already there I'll have to tape up.

Whoooo's Coming with me?
Brian is an ultra runner from Columbus, OH and has already done a few 50-milers. I've been using his blog as a source of advice and I've proclaimed him my "ultra guru!"  Yesterday he started thinking about running this race as a training run for a 50-miler he has next week and then decided to sign up for the race all together and run, claiming "I figure.. what the heck? Why not try to run two 50 mile races two Saturdays in a run marathons all the time!" Ummm nobody tell him that I'm 40 kinds of crazy and following my lead could be bad for your health... at least not until after he runs this race this weekend ;)

Yayyy back to back weekends of 50-milers is crazzzzzzy, but he can totally do it! BONUS-- he'll make me look like the less crazy one! If you get a chance check out his blog-- This is a clip...
"On January 5, 2009, I decided I would become not just a Runner, but an Ultra Runner. I will one day complete a 100 Mile Race... and more."
... This was before he ever ran a marathon. We love people that aim high!
-- If anybody else feels like taking on the challenge this weekend, it's a cheap entry fee and I would love more bloggy buddies!!!

Course Change?? Wtf
So we get this email last night...
Follow runners,
I was contacted today by the Corps of Engineers that own the land around the Caesar Creek Lake and operate the dam that they are NOT going to allow us to access the 2 mile section of the loop that crosses the dam even though we submitted our paperwork in January.
This forces us to an out and back type course. The website has the new map course..."
I was all ready for the 3 looped course and now it's a bunch of out and backs. These are single-track trails people-- meaning we'll have to try and pass each other in opposite directions in a space big enough for 1. Also, the total distance they can get in is 49.96-- and you bet your ass I'll be finding 4 more hundredths so I can say I'm a 50-mile marathon runner! This may also bring changes to my drop bags since the aid stations have been moved in relation to the miles. Lot's to think about...

Tips Tips Tips...
I've been getting a few more and MORE ARE ALWAYS ENCOURAGED. This is my first 50-miler and I'm not 100% prepared, but I figure what the heck, let's see if I can do it. Some additional tips I've heard...

Walk Before you Have to: I've been told by a few people, it would be beneficial to start short walk breaks ever X miles or minutes earlier than I actually need them-- this will save my legs for the end and I'll (hopefully) still be running in the last few miles. Another suggestion... Walk any major uphills. Apparently ultra runners are known for NOT running big hills as a method in order to save their legs for the long distance.

Eat Eat Eat: I keep hearing this and I'm definitely on top of it. My favorite thing about ultra/trail races is the food at the aid station-- says the fat kid! They always have the best snacks.... oh and soda or "pop" if you're from the mid-west. I LOVE soda in the later miles.

Bondi-Bands! While I was at Mojo yesterday I noticed a few bondi bands on the counter and of the 3 there was this one just sitting there waiting for me...
In light of my recent double-BQ-weekends, I felt I deserved this new Bondi Band. How perfect, huh? I'll use it as a reminder that I should be running FASTER this weekend :)

Ok 2 more days and hopefully this nauseous feeling will go away soon. More to come...

Happy Freaking Running People!
*I'm a little keyed up this week, sorry*