Monday, January 19, 2015

CIM, did that really happen?

At this point the adrenaline and sore muscles are long gone but what a great day December 7th was. I was not training for CIM specifically until 7 weeks before the race. It was in the back of my head but I really did not think I was going to run it. After analyzing my running and realizing that I was basically marathon training already I decided that I really was ready and had the desire to race a marathon, I was not sure if a PR was in the cards but that was not my goal.
My goals for this race were to not get sick (I battle nausea after and during a lot of my marathons) and to finish strong(meaning I wanted to actually try and be super disciplined in the early miles so that I could have some left in the tank). I knew if those 2 things happened that there was a chance I could PR but really I was ok if it did not happen.
Mike and I traveled to sacramento on Friday and just hs a really relaxing time leading up to the marathon. It was actually my bday and it was nice to just chill and order food in and have my feet up. We went to the expo which was well organized and was an in and out experience. Big expos are fun but I was happy to just be able to grab my bib and shirt and be out of there.
Saturday I slept until my body woke up and then Mike joined me on a short 2 mile shakeout run. It was beautiful out and I was feeling excited. I was also happy to be able to try out my watch as I had to get a new one because my old band broke and there was not time to mail it in to have it fixed. My new watch came on Thursday night, nothing like cutting it close. Anyway saturday was chill, we did a little shopping and drove the course. I don't always do that but I am really glad I did this time. The course had a lot of rolling hills and I'm glad I saw them because I had heard about them. Got back to the room and took a nap, by far the most I have ever focused on resting up and staying off my feet in the days leading up to a race. 
Legs up, resting :)
I was also focusing on eating more in the days before the race. I tend to not be very hungry probably due to less running and nerves. I was also making sure I got enough electrolytes, pretty sure that was contributing to me getting sick. I took electrolyte pills and pounded Nuun and powerade zero. I consulted my doctor (my husband :) to make sure that there was nothing bad about doing this. He said there was not, that any excess my body would just get rid of in urine so I figured that I did not have much to lose.  I REALLY did not want to get sick! The last 12 miles of St. George were pretty miserable, as well as the hour after.
When we got to the start I had intended to stay on the bus but after a few minutes I looked at my watch and it was 6:30. I needed to get off, get in the port a potty line, drop my bag, and hopefully warmup a little in just 30 minutes. 
It was clear in Folsom and it was a little chilly but perfect for racing. I made my way to a shortish potty line and then heard my name. Somehow my coach and teammates had found that same line. My coach asked if I was excited and I am not sure exactly what I said but I was still trying to hold back the tears, my back was hurting and I just was not mentally strong right then. I don't remember what was said other than just do the best you can today.
I was kind of a mess.  After using the port a potty I waited for my teammates.  One of my teammates offered to say a prayer and I gladly agreed.  I finally let the tears flow and after that I was able to find peace.
We quickly moved to bag drop and then found out way to the start line, well kind of close.  CIM has Olympic trials qualifier pacers for the women, so there were lots of super fast ladies there, I knew I did not want to be at the front of the start line :). My plan was to start conservatively and then assess after the first 10 miles.  I figured I could start with the 3 hour pacer and then I would not have to think at all for the first 10 miles.  I never saw a 3 hour pacer.  Oh well, I knew my teammates were going to go out a little faster than my plan so I knew I did not want to stay right with them but I could somewhat pace off of them.  I wanted to stay right on their heels but knew that I really wanted to follow my plan.
 Even though I was a little chilled I knew I would not want my long sleeve once I got moving so I shed that during the national anthem.  Decided to keep my gloves and I was happy I did, after removing them I carried them and used them to wipe the water and Nuun off my face.  Turns out I
am not getting any better at running fast and drinking!

I feel like it has been too long to remember the play by play but I still wanted to get a few things down so I have them documented and can look back on them.

Before the race fuel: 2hours before race time
Greek yogurt with granola and 1/2 banana
 On the bus:
UCAN-2 1/2 scoops (this was hard to get down, dang nerves) 45 minutes before
2 Sport legs pills (tried these for the 1st time)
powerade zero and water (stopped drinking 1/2 hour before)

Spilts: Alternated water and Nuun at every Aid Station
1-6:49  super chill
10K split-42:03 6:46 pace
8-6:53 good rollers
9-6:52 more good rollers,picked up 1/2 banana on the course and at between 9&10
11-6:38-orange slice from the volunteer
12-6:38-2 Powerade energy chews
1/2 marathon split-128:30 6:46 pace, consistency is the name of the game:)
14-6:45-2 Honey Stinger chews
17-6:36-picked up another 1/2 banana, unplanned fuel source but I knew my stomach did well with it
19-6:43, I was in a little bit of shock that I was still feeling good and smiling
20-6:41, 2 powerade chews
20 mile spit-2:14:47 6:45pace
23-6:40-forced 3 honey stinger chews
24-6:45-I felt like I was running a 10 min/mile, my legs started to hurt
25-6:46, this mile was long!
26-6:41, I gave it everything I had and repeated, "less than a lap around the track."
.2-6:32, all the kick I could muster

Official finish time-2:56:36  6:45pace

I negative split the course, I was ecstatic about this!  Goals accomplished, I did not get sick and I felt and ran strong the last 10k.
The PR was the icing on the cake.
I have said several times that this may be my lifetime PR and if it is I am totally great with it!

I was so happy and really felt pretty good!  I was not nauseous and was really in shock that all that I had just happened.  It really was the most perfect race that I have been able to execute.  

There are so many things that I did a little different this time so contribute to this race, wanted to list a few so I can remember, sorry to bore anyone.

-rested more in the days leading up, not just sleeping but staying off my feet
-focused on eating more, stuck to foods I knew my body liked
-focused on my electrolyte consumption
-Fueled early and often with small amounts
-made sure I had water or Nuun shortly after fueling, not a lot but at least a few good swallows
-followed the plan, started out conservatively and really help back, there is nothing to prove in the     early miles.  I f it does not feel easy in the beginning you are going too Fast.
-focused on the mile I was in and stayed positive
-when it hurt I got tougher and did not give myself an out, Mind over Matter

It still feels a little surreal and I still smile when I think about this race.  Its been 6 weeks and my body is recovered.  By far the best recovery that I have had after a marathon.  Feeling the desire to set some new goals and register for some new races.  
So thankful for the support of my husband and my teammates and training partners both the ones that were at the race and the ones that were cheering me from afar.

Monday, October 28, 2013

St. George Marathon 2013-Dream Big

How could 3 weeks have already passed?  I have sat down to write this race recap so many times and it has just never happened.  Life goes on and my October is always the busiest month.  We have 2 bdays bday parties, football,  soccer x2, bball, school, etc...  you get the picture.  So the post that I will write will for sure be different that a post that I would have written right after the race.  I have had time to analyze and overanalyze the race :)

I wish that after I arrived in St. George that my cold went away and everything was smooth sailing but it really was not.  My cold actually seemed to get worse and I was not sleeping well, I just felt really off.  Having a head and chest cold, coupled with the altitude was not ideal but I did my best to keep it out of my mind and not dwell on it.
I was delighted, actually shocked when I went to the expo and found that my bib was at the elite table.

Did not quite make the cut to have my own bottles at the elite aid stations but I was happy to have the other perks at the start line.
I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible on Friday because I have found that it does make a difference.  I took a nap, or should I say I laid down for a while.  Time passed rather quickly and before I knew it I was getting all my gear ready and making sure I had everything that I needed.  The prediction was that it was going to be cold at the start, 35 degrees, brrr......

Ready to run!!

After a Very restless night, with very little sleep my alarm went off at 4:30.  Left to head to the buses at 5 after forcing myself to eat greek yogurt and packing my bagel with honey to go.  I was safely on a bus by 5:20 and was a ball of nerves.  I did my best to pass the time chatting with the nice guy next to me but I was really not feeling great.  I again forced myself to eat the bagel and continued to drink until we got to the start.  I was not so sure that my breakfast was going to stay down and I really was hoping that once the race started that the nerves would just go away.
The elite corral was great, lots of port a potties with no lines, water, gatorade, heat sheets, and fires because it was cold and windy.  I immediately went into a port a potty and decided that since no one was waiting for me to come out that I was going to take my time and just get ready in there.  It was a nice shield from the wind and it was nice and clean.  After spending a good 10 minutes in there I went and stood by the fire and waited.  This marathon is the most organized marathon I have ever run.  I have run it 2 times before but never raced it.  The energy was great but to be honest I just really wanted to get it over with.  Soon it was 10 minutes to race time so I shed my warm clothes, left on my throw away long sleeve and checked my bag.
As I was trying to stay warm by the fire, 2 girls that I had run many miles with at the Hobble Creek 1/2 in August were right around the same fire.  Jasmine recognized me and began chatting and then Tara was there too.  Jasmine was shooting for low 2:50's and Tara was going for 2:55.
We decided it was time to leave the warmth of the fire and line up at the start.  We squeezed our way close to the front and then it was really time to go.  I remember Tara saying that she was so excited and I remember thinking, "I really don't want to do this."  Not really what you want to be thinking right before the gun goes off.  Ready or not, it was time to go.

Miles 1-7 (6:41,6:48,6:33,6:22,6:32,6:24,6:21) 10k split 40:32, 6:32 pace
I was happy to finally be running!  It was still pretty dark and I could not see my Garmin to know my pace but when it beeped at the mile I used the backlight to see.   I was going out faster than I wanted but the downhill combined with the a little tailwind for the first few miles made it hard to pull back.  The effort was easy so I went with it.  While there was a net drop it was pretty gradual with some rollers.  Miles 6 & 7 dropped into Veyo and the bottom of Veyo Hill (Big hill).  At about 6 1/2 I needed to go to the bathroom :(, I have never had this issue in a race before but i also had not been able to go before the race.  Yes, I am talking #2, sorry gross I know!  I knew there was a port a potty at the base of the hill and decided that even though I hated to stop that I had to.

Miles 8-13(the hill miles, no st george is not all downhill!)
8:05(1 minute in the port a potty),7:02,6:54,7:11,6:53,6:30  1/2 split 1:29:17 6:49 pace
The Port a potty was an unsuccessful stop and so frustrating to me to lose a minute and not go tot he bathroom.  While in the port a potty I shed my throw away shirt and came out of there like a bat out of hell.  Unfortunately before I had to stop I was comfortably running behind Jasmine and 2 other girls who were chatting away.  It was nice to be able to listen to their conversation and be distracted.  I knew that I should not try and catch them but I did push it up Veyo because I had lost so much time in the port a potty, thus the 8:05 mile.  I saw Tara on the hill and was hoping we could work together but What I did not know at the time was that she had fallen right before I saw her.  I kept on hoping she would pull up along side but it did not happen.  You can tell I was wanting some personal company but knew deep down that while there were plenty of people around that I was going to have to dig deep for this one.   After the giant hill there was just a steady hill for miles.  Around mile 10 I started to not feel so great.  It was the same feeling I felt in the Hobble Creek 1/2.  Nauseous enough to not want to drink or eat but I kept on. Looking back it had to be the altitude.  I have raced a lot at altitude and my body does not love it.  I started to wonder if I should just pull back and go on cruise control but I knew if I did not try I would regret it, so I kept moving and hoped that things would turn around.  I was carrying a handheld so I drank as needed.  My plan was to fuel 90 minutes in which would be right around the 1/2.  This may seem late to some of you but I trained doing this for this cycle.  For alot of my runs I actually did not fuel at all.  I carried electrolyte drink with no sugar (Nuun) but did not take in any carbs.  I really feel like if I had not been at altitude that this would not have been an issue.  That could be a whole other post.
Crossed the 1/2 at 1:29:17, pretty much on pace.  This is a good course to negative split and I was hopeful but struggling with the nausea.  Took 4 GU chomps.

Miles 14-20- 6:50,6:21,6:20,6:35,6:26,7:20,7:04  30k split 2:05:00  6:42 pace
Finally some down to make up for all the up!!  My sister was meeting me at 16 to give me a bottle of water that I had mixed 1/2 a Gu into.  I was looking forward to seeing her.  I made it to her and got my bottle.  She asked how I was and I remember saying not good.  The middle miles are hard when you are hurting because you are not close enough to the end to convince yourself that you are almost there :)  I ran with my GU bottle for a couple of miles and then was only able to get down 3-4 sips before deciding to chuck it on the side of the road.  Mile 19 brought another good climb and I grabbed a water at the aid station so I could take a few more Chomps.  At some point between 19 and 20 the dry heaving started.

Miles 21-26.2  6:17,6:48,7:18,6:49,7:33,7:31
These miles were not pretty.  I was digging really deep and trying to keep everything down.  Thankfully i was able to keep moving with the occasional dry heave at an aid station. There was a clock at every aid station which at this point was every mile.  In hind sight I am not sure if this was good for me mentally or bad for me.  Between 23 and 24 you finally come into town to good size crowds and cheering.  My parents surprised me and came down to St. George.  They were around mile 23 1/2 and it was a boost to see them!!  I threw my gloves at my Mom(sorry Mom) and tried to muster up some faster feet.  My hamstrings were hurting which was weird to me because I would have thought that my quads would be hurting but sometimes the body does what it wants.

My Dad took this pic at 23 1/2, last downhill before the flat.  Nice catching me in the air!

The last few miles were tough as I am sure you can tell from my splits.  I felt pretty rotten.  I had to stop several times to dry heave as I was not sure it was going to be dry.  I was getting passed by what seemed like all women and I wanted to match their strides but I just could not.  I remember seeing the clock at mile 25 and knowing that I could let up a little and still break 3.  I wish I have not seen that clock because at that point in the race I really wanted to be done.  Its hard to know if I could have pushed harder had I not known that I could run an 8 min mile and still break 3.  Oh well, it is what it is.  The final stretch is about .4 of a mile long.  You make a left turn and can see the finish line, I was so happy that I was going to break 3 and that I was going to be done.  I gave it everything I had hoping to break 2:59 as I could see 2:58 on the clock but was not sure if it was going to happen.  I crossed the finish line in 2:59:19. 

Right after I crossed the finish line, I left it all out there!
I remember saying many times right after finishing, "It's Over, I am so glad it's over."  I was not feeling so hot immediately after but fortunately I have dealt with this enough to know what I needed to do.  I went and got my checked bag where I had some Zofran (anti-nausea medication), I took the medication and laid down on my heat sheet on the grass in the sun.  I was grateful that my Mom, Dad, and sister were there.  They got me some things to rehydrate and refuel.  After about 20 minutes the medicine started to work and I was able to get a recovery drink down without nausea, that helped a lot.  When I started to feel normal again I was really happy and thankful to have broken 3 hours.

My Mom and sister

My Mom an Dad

Shout out to my Brother in law who ran his 1st marathon

I Did It!!!!

One of my friends from highschool left a comment on this photo on facebook after the race.  It said something to the effect of, "I never would have thought in highschool that you would ever a marathon runner."  Ha!  Yes, in highschool I hated running.  I never would have thought that I would be a marathon runner either and even after becoming a marathon runner, I did not dream of breaking 3 hours because I did not think it was possible.  Sometimes we have to reinvent ourselves and really Dream Big to reach our potential.  I was running with my coach the other day and she made a comment about my face the first time she mentioned breaking 3 hours.  Then it was not something I thought was ever possible.  Hard work, dedication and a village of people got me to this point. 
Shout out to my family, my coach Nikki Rafie who always believed, my sports chiro John Howell who helps to keep me running, the most awesome Team Athena, and some awesome friends who talked me off the ledge when the stress was getting to me.
Dream Big Guys, Dream Big!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I'm here, I'm alive, I'm excited, I'm scared, I'm trained, I'm sick, I'm going for it.
I arrived here in St. George late last night and have had a very restless night of sleep, unfortunately I have an awful head cold. Ideal, no bit really is race prep ever ideal?
The reality of it all is I have done the training, all of it!!  I am ready or so people keep I telling me.  To be very real, I am scared.  Somehow I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around running what I should be capable of for 26.2 miles.  I am hoping to just let it be, let go of fear and just run.  I am hoping that being here and relaxing for a couple of days will clear my head and that I will find a place of calm confidence.  I know I run my best when I take all the pressure off and just run so that is what I am trying to do.
Not sure why exactly I am feeling pressure but it is there.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever be capable of running a marathon at a sub 3 pace.  I guess I should just go out there and be.  Be still, be calm, be confident, be believing, be a little scared,  just be...

Here's to hoping that I can kick this cold in the next few days.  The goal sub 3, according to my coach lower than I was thinking.  She believes, I'm trying!!
See you on the flip side.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The last 4 months.....

have been fully of running, pacing, and racing.  Details are probably not necessary at this point so bullets it is!
•ran the Hippie Chick 1/2 2 weeks after Eugene for fun, and it was!!
•raced The Helvetia 1/2 for a hard effort run.  It was fun, I felt strong and was 2nd female overall.  Did not PR but ran a big course PR on that very hilly course
•was able to support a dear friend from my team in the Vancouver USA marathon.  Ended up running 11 miles with her and was such a rewarding experience.  Loved it!!  So fun to see someone work so hard and accomplish their goal.
•was able to support another dear friend in her first marathon on the 4th of July(the foot traffic flat in Portland) another great day!  So many of my teammates out there, the energy was amazing.  So grateful that I will get to be in Boston with so many friends this next year.
•started seriously training for the St. George marathon on October 5th.  5 weeks away now, how did that happen? Yes, there is a goal but I will save that for another post. I will try to make it soon!
•raced the Hobble Creek 1/2 in Utah almost 2 weeks ago and set a new PR of 1:22:33.  Worked for it!  I felt that altitude on the hills.  I was sore!!
•my husband is running a marathon in 4 weeks, no it was not totally my idea:). Hoping he enjoys it!!

That's it for now, promise to be back here soon as I need to process my thoughts before St. George.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eugene marathon 2013

I better get this down before I forget:). Wish I had blogged before the race about my feelings and training but alas, I did not:).
So, lets just say I trained my butt off for this one and I was nervous and strangely excited to see what I could do.  My coach always said we are training for 3 hours +/-  3 minutes.  When I first got my training plan I looked at it and thought, holy crap, that is tough!  I took one day at a time, one workout at a time and other than my little quad thing that kept me out of the 30k, training went well. I hit all of my workout paces, even the scary ones :). I was ecstatic to be going in healthy.
Staying healthy requires work, I have learned this the hard way.  That should be another blog post but let's just say that I did my core, the myrtle routine, my post run stretching, and when needed went into to my sports chiro for muscle stim, etc.
I am constantly amazed at what the human body can be trained to do and what power the mind has.
My friend and teammate Mara offered to drive and it was nice to just be along for the ride.
We got down to Eugene around 1:30 and went to the expo.

Mara and I at the expo

 It was not all that exciting but it was fun to just be there.  Training for a race takes so much time and it was so nice for it to finally be go time.  Got my bib and shirt and chatted with a few of my teammates and then I headed to the hotel.  My coach had said that it was really important to stay off my feet as much as possible.  This makes sense but I had never been too conscious of it before.  I listened and just chilled at the hotel while my friend and teammate Tyler and we tried to figure out where to eat for dinner.  This was not an easy task!  I always have a hard time figuring out what to eat when I am not at home.  I really did not even feel hungry, I am sure because of nerves, but I knew I needed to eat. We decided we wanted chicken, rice, and veggies.  This is a normal pre long run meal for me.  We ended up at Mcgraths and had just what we wanted.  Back to the hotel for race prep and bed.

Ready to go!

Tyler and I chilled, I facetimed with my kiddos and hubby and then it was bedtime.  I actually slept pretty well.  I was nervous but was not freaking out.  I was going to run the best that I could on that day.  There was really not anymore that I could do, right?

Race day:  I actually got pretty good sleep :)  I did not wake up every hour which is a good thing!  Got up at 4:30 as we planned to be in the lobby at 5:50 to catch the shuttle
Did the usual pre race stuff.  I always shower to wake myself up. Then there was the normal breakfast of oatmeal and a banana, while hydrating with water and gatorade.  I should start keeping track of how much fluid I am taking in because while I feel like I cant drink anymore, I may need to revisit my fueling plan.  You will see why later :)  We met some other teammates in the lobby boarded the bus and we were on our way.  I was fighting back some nerves but tried to stay calm and focused.  We got to the start with plenty of time.  Of course we went straight for the port-o-potties which had no line.  Tyler and I hung together and were running in to a bunch of our teammates.  Team Athena had a big presence at this race.  Like huge actually!  The support was amazing and I was looking forward to running with and being cheered on by them and my coach Nikki.  If you were at the race I am sure you saw some of our girls.  We walked around a bit and then decided it was time to shed our layers and check our bags.  Then we headed for a little warmup but had to go to the bathroom again but this time the lines were huge!  Lets just say that we did not wait because if we had we would have had no warmup and I have learned that warmup is essential.  We were not the only ones finding an alternative to the port-o-potties.  It is amazing how much shame I do not have when it comes to going to the bathroom and running.  Ha!  We probably did a mile warmup and saw the hill we would have to run around mile 9.  We got back to the start line and the energy was amazing!  The corrals were full and everyone was ready to go.  Perfect timing for me because I do not like standing around at the start line getting nervous!  We jumped into corral B and weaved our way to the front.  They had a rope there separating us from corral A.  All the girls were right there and I was so happy to see them.  My training partner Nicole was there and I breathed a sigh of relief to have found her.  They dropped the rope and so I felt like I could just stand with my girls.  There were about 6 girls that I personally knew that were trying to run 3:00 or better so it was nice to have friends there feeling the same thing.  Plus the added bonus of so many of my teammates running the 1/2.  The 1/2 and full start together and stay together for 10.5 miles.
Nervous smile :)
And then the national anthem was bring sung, and it was time to focus.  The moments of silence for Boston were emotional but I held it back.  Then the countdown and we were all off.  It was amazing to finally be there after all the hard training.  I was excited and it felt so good!  I remember in the first mile commenting to Nicole and Amy that I loved the sound of all the feet hitting the pavement, music to my ears.  And so begins the race of my life-

Miles 1-5 ( 6:43,6:43,6:50,6:51,6:49)
The plan was to start out at 7:00 for the first couple of miles and then cut down to 6:50.  Easier said than done!  No one had mentioned that there were a few downhills in the first 2 miles.  These miles were bliss.  Some talking and lots of smiling.  Amy, Nicole, Tyler(running the 1/2), and I were all together.  Our own little Team Athena support group!

Miles 6-10 (6:43,6:36,6:41,6:46,6:40) 
So cliche but the miles were flying by and everything was feeling great.  I picked up a 1/2 banana at 7.5 and carries it until 9 at which point I ate it.  I was alternating water and gatorade at the aid stations and at mile 9 Amy picked up her water bottle from the elite table and offered me some.  Super helpful!  Working together was so helpful, if only it could have lasted longer:)

I love this picture!  Me and Amy around mile 9 where we passed Hayward again.
Fueling- 9-1/2 banana, 13-1/2 banana, 18-honey stinger chews, 22-honey stinger chews, 24-bite of banana.  Alternated water and gatorade at every aid station
Miles 11-15 (6:42,6:45,6:53,6:43,6:48)
I was feeling good and was sad to split from tyler at 10.5 but was so happy that she was having a great race!  I picked up another 1/2 banana at 12.5( well actually I dropped the first one and had to stop to grab another one).  Amy was a little bit ahead and I thought about running hard to get even with her but decided not to waste the energy.  She was a couple steps ahead and that was ok.  I ate that banana right after the half marker.  Crossed the half in 1:28:31.  Things were getting a big harder but I was hoping that that banana would kick in and everything would return back to status quo. Amy kept running strong and I was keeping pace but around mile 15 my stomach felt a little off and I remember thinking, "this is going to hurt."

Miles 16-20 (6:41,6:48,6:46,6:52,7:02)
You see the trend in my splits :)  The course was beautiful and we passed Autzen stadium which was cool.  Britt was also around 17 cheering.  It was nice to have so much support on the course.  At 18 I started hurting pretty bad, my stomach was nauseous and my legs were getting really heavy.  I took 4 Honey Stinger chews and hoped that they would help.  I kept plugging away and prayed that I was going to make it through.  Mile 20 began the death march :)
This was between 20 and 21, I was working hard!

Miles 21-26.2 (7:17,7:36,7:49,7:54,7:55,7:32,7:26)
This was Tough!!!!  I was running a mile at a time and was losing the battle.  I was wishing that anyone would jump in and run with me.  Mentally I was struggling and physically it felt like I was running a 10 minute mile.  I couldn't think straight and don't even remember looking at my overall time much.  Tyler had said that she would be at 24 and I was running to 24 not 26.2.  I needed a boost as you can see from my splits, it got ugly.  There were aid stations every mile for the last 10k and starting at 22,  I started walking through the aid stations.  Mentally this helped some but I knew I was just going to have to gut it out!  Somehow I got to 24 but there was no Tyler, ugh!!  At about 24.5 I saw Tyler and she was cheering for me, I wanted to be done and but I kept moving.  (Come to find out she had thrown up after her race and still came back for me, that is a friend)  At mile 25 Nikki (my coach), and my friend Nicole jumped in with me.  I wish that I had a recording of the conversation between Nikki and I !  Basically I was trying to explain that I felt nauseous and she told me to stop wasting energy talking and move.   She does know what to say to get me to move.  She looked at her watch and told me if I wanted it, I was going to have to work for it. 

 You would think that I would be looking at my watch but I was pretty out of it and dont think I would have been able to figure it out anyway.  I knew 3:00 was out but Nikki always said that I was training for 3:00 +/- 3 minutes.  So I did not know what time it was but I kept pushing as hard as I could.  I felt like a turtle but Nikki reassured me that I was running faster than I thought.  Then there we were so close to the stadium and the crowds were amazing, so many teammates cheering, cowbells, it was energizing, at least enough to get me to the finish line.  Turned onto the track and gave it all my legs had, which was not much :)  Crossed the finish line in 3:02:50.  A 10 minute PR from Seattle!  
Nikki pulling me through!  Bless her!!

Turning onto Hayward field for the last 100 meters!  Amazing!
Push it!!!
Done!!!! 3:02:50

Picture in the Eugene paper on Monday

Happy Day!
Nikki probably telling me and everyone else that we were going to have to work for it :)

Wish that I felt better after the race but I did not feel great.  My stomach was nauseous and my legs were dead.  I tried to fuel but it all just seemed to sit in my stomach and then decided to reappear about an hour and a half after the race.  I thought I fueled well, I did the same thing I did in Seattle but for whatever reason had totally different results.  Was it because I  was running faster?  Did I go out too fast?  Was I not fueled enough going into the race?  The frustrating thing about the marathon is that each race is different.  You can do the same thing and depending on the day get a totally different result.  It is also the intriguing thing about the marathon though, always a challenge.  Every race has a lesson!  Sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. I am thankful that this was not the perfect race for me because it means that I can do better, I am capable of breaking 3:00.  I am thankful for so many things in my running world right now, I am blessed to be a part of a team with amazing women and role models.  I have an great coach who gets me and helps me find balance.  She gets that running is not and shouldn't be everything.  Finding balance has been the key for me.  
Proof that I don't live in running clothes
What I look life in real life:)
Thankful for a husband who supports my running and my dreams!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Heartbreaker 1/2 and a little heartbreak

So I am so good at blogging :)  It seems that I like to write race reports about 3 weeks after they happen.  So I left off at the start line of Heartbreaker not feeling it really :)  Well the gun went off and I started running.  There was a girl named Hayley who teaches at the gym I go to and she is a very talented runner, I talked to her a little before the race and figured that we would be around each other during the race just going off past experience with her.  At the same time it gave me a little bit of incentive to push harder.  Mile breakdown-

1-6:24, felt good :)  No big hills, passed Hayley running my own race and was wondering if that was a mistake.  I prefer chasing to be being chased, but I decided that it was time to try something new.  I tend to let people I think are faster go ahead so that I dont feel any pressure from behind.
2-6:27-Starting to climb, this course was very hilly and while I had run a good portion of it a couple weekends before it felt hillier racing it.
3-6:37-More hills, I was trying to pace well knowing the Heartbreaker hill was coming and it was a doozie.  I was keeping my teammate Amy knowing that she was going to tear up this course, she is a fastie.
4-7:08 Heartbreaker hill lived up to its name!!  So there was a race within a race.  They had timing pads between miles 3 and 4 to time everyone on the hill.  Kind of a fun idea.  I dont mind hills because I run them alot around my house, I actually feel like they are one of my strengths.  This was a tough mile.
about mile 4 1/2 of the course, beautiful
5-6:07 What goes up must come down :)  there was a very steep downhill that was almost too steep, you know that kind of hill where you have to put the brakes on or you are going to biff it
6-6:31  I could still hear Hayley right behind me and honestly it was keeping me moving.  I was trying to pay attention to this portion of the course as it was part of the loop we would be running twice.  This mile was tough, had some hills that were gradual but long
7-6:22, finally some flat ground, it felt so good!
8-6:41- some more hills
9-6:46 I was getting tired but i remember thinking "you have pushed this far, dont throw it away now." beginning the loop again, trying to focus on my form.
10-6:49 Flat ground was coming and so was Hayley I heard her pick up the pace and actually waved her to come up beside me.  We chatted for about a quarter mile, not alot of chatting but some.  I remember thinking is she is going to kick it in for a 5k I am just going to let her go.
11-6:24-flat ground again, thank heavens
12-6:33 Trying to hold on through some big hills and looking for some of my teammates and my coach for some encouragement
13-6:28- I was almost there!  My coach ran alongside me for a little bit and was informing me on the location of Hayley(she knows her too), to her I responded, "I am running my own race."  She said "I know, but you are still talking."  Her nice way of saying move your rear faster and stop talking.  It was just the mental boost I needed.  In past races I have given up in the end mentally, if someone was close I would let them go, it was easier for me.  This time I found the fire in me and pushed.  I found another gear and it felt good.
.14-5:55-The last 200 meters were on the track at the stadium, I felt like I was flying and it felt so good.

Finished 1:26:02 3rd female, 1st age group
Bonus-Last Saturday I got a $50 giftcard in the mail for being a top finisher on the Heartbreak hill :)

finally got my age group award from Seattle

This was a great confidence boost for me, mentally I had stayed strong enough in fact that I registered for the Eugene marathon with a big goal.  I finally believed that I might be able to pull off a 3 hour marathon.  I was on cloud 9.

Not a great picture but a great memory, huge group for last weeks 20 miler atop the St. Johns bridge
Now comes a little bit o heartbreak for me, just a little :)  After a really great start to training or more like a continuation with a new goal, I have some pain in my left quad.  the doc thinks it is just muscular and I think so too but i dont want to push it for fear that it will turn into something more so for the first time I am not running a race that I am registered for.  I am supposed to run a 30k tomorrow, a first for me at this distance.  I have been excited for this workout because it is basically at goal marathon pace which is no joke.  I have felt so strong and this bump in the road came out of the blue as I have not been having any issues at all there.  I was hoping it was just one of those training pains that comes on quickly and then leaves as quick as it came but it is not.  After a couple of days of rest and then running, I found myself back at square 1, so I decided that while I know that I could probably push through the race, it would not be without discomfort and it would not be at pace, and it may cause further damage that might keep me out for longer.  So there you have it a little heartbreak that hopefully heals quickly so I can get back to training for Eugene full speed ahead.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A PR and then...

So, some things never change :) I am not great at blogging!
3 weeks ago I ran the St. George 1/2 marathon.  It really was a no pressure race for me.  I knew I would be racing another 1/2 in 3 weeks and I really just wanted to see what kind of 1/2 shape I was in.  My PR was 1:27:34 which is 6:42 pace.  The thought of running that fast for 13.1 miles was very intimidating.  I knew I had done it before but the thought still scared me!  I also knew that the altitude would probably affect me in some way but I have raced at altitude quite a bit and I always think, why worry about something that is out of my control.  I looked at the course the day before and realized that it was pretty holy for the first 8 miles.  I live in a hilly part of town so hills don't scare me but let's be honest they slow everyone down a little :).
So race morning was cold!  27 but beautiful and sunny, I will take it :). I had the pleasure of running a little of my warmup with Rachelle from running for Trevor.  It was really fun to see her for a bit.
I was planning on sticking with the 1:30 pacer and then if I felt good assess after the hills ( mile 8).  I was not trying to PR but intended to run hard and see what happened.
The race started and I found myself in front of the 1:30 pacer and actually with the 1:25 pacer.  What to do?  I just went with it hoping not to blow up :)
1-6:30 wondering if I was making the right choice but at some point I need to take risks
2-6:41 the incline was starting
3-6:31 trying to settle in at a comfortable pace
6-6:52 some pretty good hills, just trying to stay sub 7
7-6:48 biggest hill in the race, having a hard time breathing normally, oh yeah, the altitude
8-6:28 all the climbing paid off in some good downhill
9-6:38 at this point I had let the 1:25 pacer go and while I thought if I made it thought the hills I would be able to lower my pace that is not what was happening.  The altitude was really getting to me and flat ground was proving just as difficult as the hills.  Took 3 Honey Stinger chews and kept at it.
10-6:40 5k left, could I pull it together and hang on?
11-6:53, thought the hills were over but there was a good ascent and I was struggling!
12-6:41 flat ground but at this point was trying to lower my pace and I just could drop it.  Mentally I was done!
13-6:38 I got passed by 2 women in the last mile :(. They were cruising I could not even contend :(. Both ended up being in my age group, oh well I ran as hard as I could.
Last .11-6:04 guess I had a little kick.

Official time1:27:06
A PR by 28 seconds, I was really happy with my effort and was excited that I was able to PR on a fair course with hills and altitude:)

Fast forward 3 weeks and I found myself at the start line of the Heartbreaker 1/2 marathon.  I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around running faster than my PR, 6:39 min/mile pace scared me and even though I had just run that, I still was not confident that I could do it again.  So to say I was not in the best place mentally would be an understatement.  I was really not feeling like running fast and had actually told several people that if I started the race and it was not happening that I was just going to slow down and find a comfortable pace.  My friend had texted me to do what filled me.  That really struck me.  I really needed or do what filled ME and if it was not racing, that was ok.
So after a restless night of sleep, I was off to the races :). I was not nervous, just figured whatever would be was going to be.
Stay tuned for the result, hopefully tomorrow I will have time to finish this race report :)