Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coach's Corner... Last week of Training and Some Suggested Reading!

Coach Bob is on his Spring Break but managed to roll out of bed at almost 11 to send out his tips for the week. We're fast approaching Boston so Bob was kind enough to give us tips for this last hard training week before we begin TAPERING! Thanks Coach Bob!!!
19 DAYS!  Wow!  Doesn't seem possible.  You are only 19 DAYS from competing at the Boston Marathon. I expect the excitement is building for each of you.  I am excited for all of you as well.  I was pondering some subjects and thoughts for this week, and two things came to mind:  (1)  your last hard workouts, and (2)  my favorite books to help keep you motivated.

Tips for training this week:
1.  [Long Run]   Most of you probably have done your last longest run by now.  Usually it is done 21 days out.  So, since the long run is done, you just need to recovery from the long run and still maintain your fitness.  This week is usually before you start your real taper.  The biggest thing to help your long run is eating well/properly and plenty of hydration.  Your long run this coming weekend should only be about 12-16 miles at a controlled pace.  Again, that will be the start of your taper period.

2.  [Speed Work]  If you are doing any type of speedwork this week, continue to do your normal workout.  I great workout is to do 6 x 800 at 5k pace.  Another workout 4 x 1 mile at 10k pace.  Make sure to warm up and cool down well.

3.  [Tempo Run]  If you have one scheduled, do this at your marathon goal pace for about 5 - 7 miles.  Make sure to warm up and cool down well.
4.  [Recovery Runs]  When you are running easy, run easy!  Enjoy the run.  Feel good about what you have accomplished. 

5.  [Non Running Hours]  Sleep and eat and drink well.  Stay relaxed and enjoy the last few days.

Readings on Running:
"Long Road to Boston"
"Dual in the Sun"
"Again to Carthage"
"Once a Runner"
"A Walk in the Woods"

These are 5 of my favorites.  There are many others, but I will read these when I need some motivation. 

~Coach Fritz

WS Training Week~ Week 16

Wow, seriously? 16 weeks already? Well isn't that a trip. I guess it would be more prudent to start the countDOWN to Western States. I haven't been because... well... it scares me. Ready or not it's coming up in...
*13 Weeks!*

Is anybody else fearful for my life besides me? Anybody? Anybody? Ok good well at least somebody has faith in me!

This weekend I jumped pretty hard back into WS training with some serious workouts. Every run had a purpose and a challenge. 
SP- I had 2 (technically 3) speed days this week. The first was Tuesday with shorts track speed work with the Mojo Team trying to stick to my 6:00/mile pace. Thursday I included 5 mile repeats in my 8 mile run (6:25-6:45 pace). I also consider some of my miles in the marathons "speed work" because they broke 7:20 pace. Why so much speed lately? I'm going to try and get one more fast marathon before I delve 100% into endurance/ultra training... at Boston!!!
LR-My long runs exceeded the required 43 total miles of running but that's because of the Patriotic Double I was taking part in. After missing a week of training I felt good to get back in it. 
H- I'm getting in as much hill work as possible. I'm continuing to UP the resistance on the stair step for my 1-hour XT and boy are my legs starting to show it! Quadzilla!!! Not to mention ALL of my runs this week were on hilly courses... even my 8 miler with mile repeats. And let's not forget about Bataan where we climb mountains mid way through the race! 

This Week: I had a couple of tough races (esp Bataan) after a pretty intense week of training so my legs were dragging a little last night. It's cool though, I feel much better today and ready to take on the Martian Marathon this weekend!

*I will be posting Coach's Corner as soon as I get it from Bob!*

Happy Running,

Monday, March 28, 2011

D.C. & Bataan Patriotic Double Marathon Weekend ~ Part 1

Our cross-country double marathon challenge is complete and pretty darned successful! This is going to be a couple of posts long so I'm summing it up...

How'd it Go?
(Spoiler Alert... please proceed below the next section if you don't want to know how the movie ends!)
The first marathon was the National Marathon in D.C. It went off as predicted with a 3:42 finish. I felt like I hadn't pushed hard but I wasn't running slow enough to be on my feet unnecessarily. The best part? I actually forgot my headphones in the hotel which ended up being good. I looked around and enjoyed the site, got a few pictures, and chatted with the other runners, spectators, puppies... anybody that would talk to me pretty much. 

At Bataan we faced some SERIOUS wind. It was especially hard because we were downwind on the big climbs. I felt good on the flat and down (esp when we weren't facing the wind directly) and was pulling 7:20's but on the climbs against the gusts I felt like I needed to put lead in my pockets to keep from blowing away. I ended up taking 2nd place just a few minutes behind 1st. 4:01 on a course like this on the 2nd day of a double... I'd say I'm proud!

D.C. Day 1
I've already gone through Day 1 but I just wanted to post these picture. I had a great time in D.C. and (as you can see) didn't rest a whole lot for the race... but sometimes we just have to enjoy these races and see the sites instead of going all out at every state. I find wine helps the "enjoyment factor." The expo was pretty blase. Nothing special there esp compared to Marine Corp. I expected more. 
National Marathon Expo
Site Seeing!
Beating up MB! (she got mouthy) Don't worry she wasn't hurt!
D.C. Race Day
Getting to start was not easy. There is free parking and the metro schedule isn't great for the am so most people seemed to be driving. We ended up getting out of the car and running the last half mile. No we weren't late for the start... but we were late for the maniac picture (Important things here people!). Luckily they let us stay inside the armory until the start. It was cold without the sun but as soon as it popped up it was perfect running weather. Since this was our "Patriotic Double" I broke out the star and stripe boppers I purchased for my 50th state and wore them in both races. 
Maniacs before the race!
Dave, Steve and myself (and my miss america pose apparently)
The Course & Support
During the race I focused on keeping a steady easy (but not too slow) pace. The course was good (not great) as it wound us through some of the site. I had hoped it would bring us out to the White House, but it did not. It also repeated itself and we basically just hung around the Capital Building-- which allowed for picture of it from any angle you want. This course is full of small rolling hills throughout. No spot was overly flat but there also weren't any huge climbs.

The aid stations were pretty good but they didn't have GU stops everywhere they had indicated (major fail!). The support was good... some spots there was a LOT of support so that was fun. The metro allowed for people to jump from spot to spot if they wanted to cheer us on along the way. 

The Finish!
If you didn't read the *spoiler alert* above I ran a 3:42-- the faster end of the range I was hoping for but I felt really good. I think it was the perfect pace for me not to tire myself out with either going too fast or being out too long. 

I rushed a shower in, went back to the finish to collect Dave then we were off to NM. Dinner came in the form on in-flight food. This is how we eat on double marathon weekends... on the GO! The perk? Dave got me pulled up to first class! And hey! I could carbo load in flight!!!!

Next Post... Day 2 in New Mexico and the Bataan Death March!!! *D.C. full race ratings coming soon!*

Happy Running,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Double Trouble and Ready to Rumble!

I landed in D.C. today to start my whirlwind marathon weekend. I got in about mid day, met up with my friend Brian, my parents, and 2 other marathon maniacs-- Dave and Brent. Before we set off I got an action shot-- I'm ready to take names this weekend! (note: this gun is NOT loaded... nobody is that crazy to give me a loaded gun). We went to the National Marathon Expo (nothing too exciting) then went out to take in some of the monuments. After we met up with a few other Marathon Maniacs for a fun maniac dinner!!!

Running D.C.
Tomorrow is day 1 of the double weekend. I'm excited to run a race "for fun" focusing on taking it easy and maybe even getting in a picture or 2 of the monuments. The last time I ran in D.C. it was the Marine Corp Marathon in 2007. I was extremely sick and had a horrible run. My kidneys were killing me by the end and I don't remember much except praying for the finish to come. It was rough. 

Tomorrow the plan is to run easy but not so slow that I'm not my feet longer than I'm used to. I'm thinking a 3:40/3:50 will be good. 

Getting Ready for Bataan
After the race my friend Dave and I will be heading right to the airport to fly to NM for Bataan. I would have liked to use this race to get a sub-4 hr NM race (I did the same race last year with a team) but it will definitely be hard with a double. So, to give myself the best chance I brought some accelorade for recovery and I'll be taking it easy the rest of the day tomorrow. I had been hoping to pick up a pair of recovery socks at the expo but they weren't there. :( 

Bataan is a tough race but it's also exceptionally well organized, inspiring (all of the military men and women) and fun. The course is one of the best I've run on, albeit tough. Looking forward to it... we'll see if I'm still looking forward to it at this time tomorrow! 

To everybody running tomorrow and sunday-- GOOD LUCK!!!


National Marathon and Bataan Death March Double~ Race RUNdown!!!

Inspiration Points...
Marathon #56 and 57!, New "state": DC!
1. Checking off the District! I've already done NM but this is my first official D.C. marathon since the 50-stater club counts the Marine Corp Marathon as Virginia. 
2. Double Fun! ... It's another double marathon weekend! I haven't had one of these in a while and this is definitely going to be my toughest by far with a very hard climb at Bataan.
3. Practice @$$ woopin! In a month I'll be doing another double (Nashville/Pig) and Coach Bob from "Coach's Corner" and I have a bet on who's combined times will be faster. After this very challenging double, the TN/OH one will be easy. What is Coach Bob doing to train? Well last week he ran very fast... in a 15k!! Bahahahahahah
4. Pit Crew Chief! Will be coming to this marathon with MB! 
5. Men in Uniform! If they aren't inspiration to get my butt up the hill at Bataan, I don't know WHAT is! 
6. My Fav Race! Bataan was my favorite marathon to date and I can't wait to go back. This is my first time repeating a full marathon. This is the first time in a long time I've been REALLY excited to run.

D.C. Race RUNdown...
Sun Trust National Marathon ~ Saturday March 26, 2011. (D.C.) 7:00am Marathon Start
District of Columbia ~ Downtown at the RFK stadium
Registration Fees: $100
Year Running: 6th
Races Available: Marathon, Half-Marathon, 3-person HM relay... Currently available at the expo: Marathon and half marathon registration only!!!
2011 Expected Field: 15000 cap for all races
2010 Field:  2,325... Females: 804  ... Age Group: 219 (F25-29)
2009 Avg. Finish Time: 4:11:22
Certified Course/BQ Certified?: Yes/Yes
Cutoff Time and Early Start Option: No early start. There is a 6.5 hours limit and a 5:15 requirement to register. 
Weather Update: It will be in the low 30's at the start and MAY hit the 40's by the end of my run. I was hoping for something warmer but this will have to do. 

MarathonGuide Rating: 
The course is a double looped route that makes a figure 8 as it reroutes down E. Capital  to bring us by many of the big monuments twice. It crosses by some pretty colleges that should bring a good cheering section. It is generally very hilly with rolling sections as well as some pretty steep climbs.  

Bataan Death March RUNdown...
Bataan Death March ~ Sunday March 27, 2011. (NM) 7:00am Race Start
White Sands, NM ~ White Sands Missile Range. 
Registration Fees: $65
Year Running: 22nd
Races Available: Marathon and 15.2M March
2011 Expected Field: NA
2010 Field:  2,614 Individual and 224 teams of 5.
2010 Avg. Finish Time: 7:43:39
Certified Course/BQ Certified?: Yes/Yes
Cutoff Time and Early Start Option: No early start. 
Weather Update: It should be about 42 degrees by the start of the race getting up to about 60-65 degrees by the end of my race. Having run this last year I know just HOW cold 42 feels there and how warm 60 feels. I was freezing at the start in the morning, but by the end of the race I was sweating. It seems like we're up for the same weather this year. 

MarathonGuide Rating: 4.5/5.0
This is what I wrote on the course last year: This course is unreal both for the challenge and the view! The desert-scenery is amazing!! (See pic). The climb to the top of the mountain is well worth the trip! The other scenery you get is the treck back down-- as you're coming down there are hundreds of people (mostly military) coming up and watching the heavy pack marchers is unreal!

The course itself is very cool-- but challenging. You start with a nice warm up on the flat base, but at mile 5 you slowly start the climb... up a mountain. The climb end around mile 13-14, followed by a roller coaster of small steep hills, bringing you back down the mountain! Then there is the sand pit... 2 miles of deep sand that's definitely not easy to run through, especially with the little dips and hills! Garmin distance was about a quarter mile short for just about everybody... but who minds a shorter distance???

Race Plan:
This is not going to be an easy double, however getting sub 4-hour is always in my sights. I'm hoping to do around a 3:40/3:50 at National to save my legs for the long climb at Bataan. Sunday I'll do my best to run Bataan as fast as I can move my little legs! I'm thinking I'll find a hot/fast military guy and follow him for motivation! 

Meet up Info: 
-National: Pre-Race Marathon Maniac picture! 6:20 inside the Armory (expo building) on the left side of the gym. 
-Bataan: There will be some sort of pre-race photo before the start. TBD. 

Happy Racing!
"Run to Win"-Meb

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coach's Corner- How to Run Boston! & Stylized Gifts from Sarah

Here is the latest from Coach Bob at the Coach's Corner! Boston in less than 4 weeks away. I hope you're all training smart and mentally preparing yourselves for your race. Use Coach Bob's tips below to visualize a successful race. YOU CAN DO IT!

Okay, this week Steph asked me to do some tips on how to determine your Boston Goal Pace.  Well, that is easier said than done.  I have heard two different arguments both ways.  I have spoken with several runners that say, "You cannot run a PR at Boston.  Too hilly."  Well, "hilly" is relative.  I have also heard several runners say that you can PR at Boston, "because it is mostly downhill."  I believe a person can PR on this course if they attack this race just right.  Here are my tips for a speedy (PR?) Boston.

1.  You must ease into the first 7-10 miles.  If you start out way too fast, you will pay for it later.  Remember, I mentioned that "hilly" is relative.  This course has more drop over the course of the whole race, so you have to ease into the first few miles.  Let me explain.  You cannot put on the breaks, on the downhills.  You have to run comfortably and under control.  The pack and groups will allow you to "flow".  You may even be slightly ahead of your goal pace, but that is okay if/when the pace feels easy.   
2.  In the middle miles, continue to enjoy the whole experience.  By the half way point (miles 13-17), you will be some where on your goal pace.  Take in the sites, say hi to a fellow runner, slap high fives with a spectator!  You still have to completely enjoy the moment.  Still continue to allow your great running form to flow.  It is important to have good form when you feel good, and its important to have good form when you are not feeling good during a race!
3.  Now, you will be approaching da hills!  Heartbreak Hill.  It is really a succession of hills from miles 18-21.  The best way to approach these hills is to run with rhythm.  Some runners do not think these hills are that tough, others do.  They come at a part of the marathon that is tough mentally.  When my races are going well, I feel like I am in a rhythm with my stride and cadence.  Mentally, I am in the same rhythm as well.  The race and pace seem to be flowing.  When the pace gets tougher, the rhythm works for me. 
4.  There are other mental games you can play to get through Boston.  The easiest one is to allow the energy of the crowd help you!  The spectators will be going nuts!  Use that mojo to help run a nice controlled pace up the hills.
5.  Last part of the marathon is the most fun in my mind.  You have about 5 miles to go, and the worst is over........I do hope your quads are not screaming too hard at this point..........Now, you just need to really concentrate on doing just a mile at a time.  Your form must be maintained as best as possible.  But, still Have Fun!!!  Let the drunk college students at Boston Univ. bring you home.  Believe me, you will want to stop and party with them!  But the finish area awaits you.  The crowds will get bigger and louder as you approach the finish line!  Again, use their energy to help you.

A couple of quick notes:  Weather will play a part in the race conditions, so be prepared.  You will also need to drink early and often in the race.  DO NOT FORGET TO DRINK DURING THE RACE! =)   What makes this marathon different than about 98% of other marathons is the crowd support THE WHOLE RACE.  I am not kidding, first timers.  They will be there every step you take in Boston!  To me, it's the Olympics for the common runner.  So enjoy.  PR's are to be had if you race smart!

~Coach Bob
Thank you Coach Bob! You have given us a lot to think about. Now runners... get out there and start visualizing your race. I find it's helpful during training runs to visualize my next race going well. It speeds up my training run and gets me through it faster. It also gets me mentally prepared for my race!

Bloggy Shout Out of the Week!
Simply Sarah Style! 
Sarah's blog is all about style and design. She comes up with the craftiest and cutest things and gives you tips on how she creates her designs. What does this have to do with running? Well let me tell you... A lot of first time marathoners run in the spring and early summer. I always like to make little gift bags for my buddies taking on the 26 miles of fun. A lot of Sarah's ideas would make great presents. Take her most recent post found here. How freaking cute are the decorated water bottles? ANY runner would love those but there are those particular friends you KNOW would go crazy. You know who I'm talking about... the ones that wear completely coordinated pink outfits, run with a full face of makeup, and if it's raining... they're not training! haha This bottle is definitely girly, but I'm not going to lie... I would love to get one of my own!

Check out Sarah's blog and try and catch some of her crafty ideas! 

That's all for today. Happy hump day! 3 more days until the National/Bataan double marathon weekend! 
Happy Running

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Elevation Training!

Yesterday was a fun post, so I thought today we would get a little more serious.... seriously high! Western States 100 is QUICKLY approaching! With elevation starting at over 6,000 feet, peaking out at 8,720 feet and over 18,000 feet of climb through the course, you're "at altitude" for a good amount of the race. 

There are a lot of obstacles that can worry any runner going into WS100-- Technical trail, hard climbs, heat, bears, night running... oh yeah and 100 miles of running! Some of those you can train for. Some are a little harder (where oh where does one find a bear to chase them at will?), but my biggest concern is definitely elevation. 

At 9000 feet I'll struggle to breath standing, let alone trying to climb. I live in Cincinnati which, although hilly, is pretty low (below 500 ft). I don't have the opportunity to take weeks or months off to train at elevation and the week approaching the race I don't have vacation time to go out early and acclimate. So, what is a girl to do? Here is a list of some possible things to do that may help...

Training Weeks....
~Straw Breathing! Yes, I said S-T-R-A-W. Like the things you find at McDonalds. Why did I pick McD's? IDK just go with it. I found this in Dean Karnaze's book 50/50. He suggests breathing through a straw for 5 minutes a day as a way to strengthen your lungs. 
~Altitude Masks/Tents! These help your body acclimate to high altitudes while you sleep. 
~Chest Strength Training. I've mentioned this in prior posts. I read somewhere that Ryan Hall uses chest strengthening to better enable himself to take hard, strong, breaths over long periods of time without fatigue. Some suggestions...
-Chest Flys! These not only strengthen, but help to open up the chest. 
-Reverser FIy. Complete while straddling on a 45-degree bench. This exercise is good for your chest as well as building your arms to driving your forward as you run. 
~Ginkgo Biloba- To speed acclimation without side affects from Diamox. Start the process 2 weeks prior to your flight. 
~Blood Doping... thickening your blood through transfusion. Am I thinking about this? NO! For many reason-- it's illegal, it's expensive and... it's kind of icky! 

Race Week...
~Get there Early! This comes from... well, everybody! Your body needs time to adjust to the high altitude. My problem? I only have 3 weeks of vacation a year and I'll need Monday to travel back/whither in pain after the race. I'll only be able to get out there 2--maybe 3 days in advance.
~Diamox & other drugs. Prescription drugs to help alleviate altitude sickness can be a big help race week. 
~Other Natural remedies? Ginger, Coca leaves (may be illegal), and lots of H20
~ Go High or Go Home! A day or 2 before the race, driving to the highest point of the course and doing a 2-3 mile easy run. 
~Focused breathing! This is for during the race. No Matter what I try I will not be 100% comfortable during parts of this race, so I'll have to focus on keeping my breathing under control and get as much oxygen as possible to my muscles. I'll also concentrate on blowing out all of the "stale" air so I have more room for oxygen rich air.

What will I be trying and when?
1) Straw Breathing! Starting... today! (See below)
2) Sleeping Mask! Ok this is still a *maybe* but I'm very seriously considering buying one. 
3) Diamox... and a LONG talk with my Dr before I take part in this craziness. 
4) Ok sure, I'll choke down some ginger and Ginko
5) Lots of water the week leading up to the race and race day
6) 1 or 2 peak elevation runs in the days leading up to the race

Straw Breathing- Day 1!
Why breath through a straw? I as stated above, this can help strengthen your lungs to help them adjust to pulling in more air as oxygen levels in the air decrease.
Attempt: 5 Minutes
Positioning: Sitting
Strategy: Slow/careful shorter breaths. 
Achieved: 4 Minutes
-Slight dizziness after 2 minutes. Went away 5 minutes after experiment ended
-If I let out too much breath, the lack of air intake initially can be uncomfortable and cause a bit of panic. 
-Lung weakness! I felt like I couldn't pull very quickly through the straw.. hopefully this will become easier as we approach WS. 

Coming Up!
I probably should have mentioned this earlier but this weekend is the National Marathon/Bataan Death March double marathon weekend! It's in my training plan for WS100 so lets hope I catch all my planes. This will definitely be my most challenging double to date as I'm putting in a lot of miles this week, I'm flying across country between races (D.C. to NM) and let's not forget-- Bataan is a more challenging course than the average bear. More to come this week!!!!

Happy HIGH Running!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hangover Half Marathon!

This weekend was the "Heart Mini Marathon" in Cincinnati. It was also my 26th Bday. But you should know marathoners don't celebrate just "26" without adding that ".2" so my amazing friends had the above cake made for me and added 26.2 candles! The basketball references are due to march madness and our cheering on UK this weekend! "Jorts" is for Josh Harrellson-- yes, I have a crush on a (possibly) 20 year old... no I am not ashamed! 

The traditional "hangover halfs" are usually run on Jan 1-- for obvious reasons-- but really, a hangover half can be any day! No really, it can... I did one just yesterday. No, it wasn't an official hangover half. However my birthday celebration on Saturday night led to an impromptu hangover half marathon race Sunday morning. I blame snoop dog for encouraging his evil "gin and juice." 

Unfortunately a lot of races like this are held on Sunday mornings instead of Saturdays, leaving us the decision to go out Saturday and have fun or give up the fun and have a safe run on Sunday. I say "NAY!" to that! We can have our cake gin and drink it too! So, how exactly does one run a race drunk and/or hungover? Here are my tips...

1) Register and pay for the race prior to race morning! If you wait til the morning and wake up a little drunkie-poo, you'll never leave the house! Having paid $$ for the race will be the extra push to get those sneakers on!
2) Plan ahead... sleep somewhere within walking distance to the race so you don't need to drive! Getting a DWI on the way to a marathon would be one heck of a story but unsafe for everybody... so don't do it! Please note: riding a bike or a motorized cooler under the influence is still again the law and you're in danger of a DWI. (Side Note: If you get a DWI on the way to a marathon while riding a motorized cooler you will be my personal hero and I need your autograph.)
3) When you wake up and things are still spinning... start downing water! Don't worry about drinking too much and having to stop... you won't! You're already too dehydrated. 
4) Test the legs.. and stomach. Start out slow and feel out where your body is. -Are you still drunk?... you're probably good to go. 
-Are you starting your hangover? You can go hard for a bit. 
-Are things already spinning and you're burping beer up? Maybe start out walking!
5) Take advantage of your "superman strength"... you all know what I'm talking about. If you're still a little drunk you probably still have some of that "invincible-ness" going on. Hey man, use it and go out hard... just don't hurl. 
6) Know when it's time to slow down! After a few miles the drunk will wear off. Unfortunately this type of sobering up leads to a quick hangover. Once you start getting queezy... it's time to slow down. Other runners don't like when you hurl on them!!!
7) Nap time? GU IT UP! You know that feeling when you start coming down from a buzz and you get all tired? Yeah doing that mid-run may not be so good... suck down a GU and perk yourself back up... you're not done yet!
8) "If you're gonna spew, spew in this"-- if you really can't keep it down, please move AWAY from the runners, road, volunteers, and spectators. Think of the runners behind you (if there are any at this point) and don't make them breath that in for the rest of the race. 
9) Finally... Smile Pretty for the finish line pictures .... cause you probably look like hell!

How did I do? Started out easy and my stomach held together so I picked it up. This is an extremely hilly course and I felt like I was getting motion sick from all the ups and downs. Eventually I found my hangover (around mile 6) and had to slow down a bit. We hit a GU stop around the 9th mile which helped a lot! I finally  got to the finish with a 1:41:10. Considering that is pretty much my pace for a full marathon I would say not too bad for feeling like hell! 

Note: I am absolutely joking. I don't actually encourage running drunk or hungover. It's probably not good for you or your kidneys. But if you find yourself in that situation hopefully the above helped! 

Above is a picture of the girls and I with my 26.2 cake! They gave me SUCH a great bday weekend is was well worth the hangover... even with a half marathon. 

Happy (Sober) Running!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coach's Corner Wednesdays!... "5 things that Make Boston Unique-- and How to Overcome Them."

We're back with more Boston Marathon tips from Coach Bob. If you missed last week post (here) I started a Coach's Corner for Bob to pass on his lesson for the weeks leading up to Boston. Last weeks post was on getting a speedier Boston time with just a few weeks of training left. Last weeks post wasn't just Boston related-- feel free to use those tips coming up on any goal marathon you have. This week, however, we'll be covering what you should expect at the Boston Marathon that you won't typically see at other races. With such a big and unique event there are going to be a lot of distractions, changes in schedule, etc. Bob has provided a few lessons for us...

5 Things To Expect at Boston vs other Marathons

1.  One of the biggest differences is the drop in elevation from start to finish compared to other marathons.  Some marathons are very hilly while others can be relatively flat.  Boston has more "drop" than"up".  It starts at 435 feet above sea level, has a drop of 378 feet by the time you finish the race.  This rolling type of course can have fun with your quads!  The biggest thing is maintaining good form during the whole race, even up Heartbreak hill.

2.  Huge number of runners at the start of Boston.  Boston, as most people know, start in corrals.  The good thing is that most of the time you will be into your pace by mile 3.  It just takes PATIENCE the first few miles.  Just flow with the other runners and let the race develop.  Rumor has it the race now starts in three waves, so the flow should better since a less number of runners will be starting at the same time.

3.  Busing to the start of Boston............well, it's a trip!  Literally, on school buses.  Hoping that most of you have practiced eating your pre-race meal during training, you will still need to eat.  Usually the time frame is catching the bus by 6:00 am with the race starting around 10:00 am.  Also, take an extra, extra set of throw away clothes and wear these to the the start.  You will be able to leave a set of clothes at the waiting area so you will have these when you finish the race.

4.  The biggest thing I can mention is the enjoyment factor of Boston.  RELAX and have fun with this race.  You have qualified!  You have done something that still, a majority of people cannot say they have done.

Wellesley Girls Cheering
5.  As you start the race, realize that the crowds will be there the whole way (my favorite are the girls at Wellesley College for some reason!).  And I mean the whole way.  You will feel the crowd's energy no matter what the weather does.  So have fun with the crowd and enjoy the extra motivation.  BUT, do not let the energy to get out fast in the beginning of the race.  Hold back and be patient.

Boston is just fun!  The whole experience is one you will not forget for several years!  The other runners there also share in your same enjoyment.

Happy running! 
Coach Bob

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Marathon of Basketball & Training Fail #1

This weekend was an OFF weekend of training for me. Was this planned? Ummm sort of... let's start from the beginning. 

I'm always surprised to hear that some of you don't know this, but... Cincinnati is actually at the southern tip of OH. Being on the border to KY, we have a lot of those Kentucky ruffians pushing their way in. Six of these said ruffians are my friends. They all went to UK for undergrad and are huge Wildcat fans. This past weekend they took me on a road trip to brainwash me cheer on Kentucky at the SEC tournament in Atlanta, GA

We left on Friday afternoon and about 7 hours in 1 car-- yes, 7 people in 1 car-- we were in Atlanta! Now about the training. If you haven't been to one of these events before, Alcohol revolves around it almost as much as the basketball. We were out until pretty late Friday night and had to be at the game by 1, so I only had time for  a quick 10-miler. After UK won their Saturday game it was time to celebrate at the bar... at 4pm. Kentucky fans were swarming in ATL this weekend. With all the hype and the win, who was I to say 'no' to a little celebration??... 

This led to Sunday morning, where I was pretty sure I was going get sick if I tried any sort of bopping motion... or really any kind of motion at all. This left running and the elliptical out! I was left with a bike option, so I DL'd Dean Karnaze's book 50/50 to my kindle and rode on. It looks like we're going to have to strike 1 "FAIL" on Steph's training. It's ok because 1) I planned for 1 or 2 weeks that I wasn't going to be able to train for. (I was assuming this would be due to injury or illness... but I'll take a good old hangover as an excuse). Also... 2) It was SO worth it! I knew this weekend would involve either a celebration or drinking our sorrows away. 

Have no fear! I'm not losing that much traction here. This week is a drop down-- and MY BIRTHDAY!!-- then next week I'll be doing a double full- marathon weekend at the National Marathon in D.C and the Bataan Death March in White Sands, NM! Talk about a kick in the @$$ to get back into training! Oh by the way... in case you didn't know... UK WON THE TOURNAMENT!!! Also, we tried SO hard to get on TV with "CATS" signs as well as a few other more creative "Charlie Sheen Inspired signs." After much effort (even hungover) we thought we had failed. Then on our way home we found out we had been more successful than we thought!!! 

Please take a second to go to this site and tell me what you see...

That's right! The recap of the game on the UK fan page has just 2 pictures... 1 of the team with their championship trophies and 1 of US!!!! Below is the picture. After 2 days of carrying around signs and holding them up at every commercial break, we were discovered after all!!!! SUCCESS. :)
Hope you all had a great weekend whether or not it involved running! This weekend is the "Heart Mini Marathon"... don't even get me started on the name of this event. Up until the last year, the longest distance was a 15k. Fortunately they at least put a half marathon into the schedule so the name isn't as bad. It's also my BIRTHDAY weekend... how else would I celebrate besides running a race?? 

Happy Running,
"Run to Win" -Meb