Thursday, April 29, 2010

Marathon signage

I'm stealing this from Alisa - she is sign #11.  Go check out these FABULOUS signs of encouragement; guaranteed to put a smile on your face....

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thought for the day

I saw this on Facebook this morning and it was just what I needed:

The only who can tell you "you can't" is you, and you don't have to listen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekly wrap-up and a plan for Eugene

Whew, what a week or two have just passed and it's just going to get busier :-)

My training was terrible last week while I was in Chicago; I got in two measly treadmill runs of 4 miles each.  Running improved though when I got home; I got in a BRUTAL 13 mile run Saturday morning, it felt like all 13 miles were uphill.  Now, we all know that that can't possibly be true; but oh well.  It was an awesome day for a long run in Portland; mild temperatures and no rain. 

On Sunday I did the Brews to Bridges 10k; I finished in a respectable 56:49, definitely not a PR but I wasn't trying to PR.  This was a cool race because we got to run over the Fremont Bridge, which is never open to pedestrian traffic.  It's amazing how different things look when you are on foot; I drive over this bridge every day but running over it gives you a completely different perspective.  Other than running over the bridge, pretty much everything about the event SUCKED - packet pick-up was chaos, the start was disorganized and the food & drink at the end was beyond chaotic. 

Later in the afternoon I met with my new coach and we did pace work; yes, it is true I am not very bright.  Scheduling is tough and this is when we could both fit it in and I figured that if I took it easy at the 10K I would be o.k. for pace work and I was right.  I did a one mile warm-up; two one mile repeats; two 200 meter all out springs and a one mile cool down - yowza.  I was supposed to run my mile repeats at 8:40, I ran one at 8:05 and one at 8:09.

I FEEL GREAT, even after some pretty significant miles/pace workouts over the weekend.; my legs were tired Sunday evening but that's about it - I am so happy.

After we finished the workout my coach was curious about why I hadn't broken the elusive 4:00 marathon mark; she indicated that with all the information I had provided her and with her observations of my running over the past two weeks - I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IT, so why hadn't I?  She said I was totally there, what was holding me back?  We talked for a while about this and I told her that I think it boils down to two things:

1.  I really don't have a race pace versus a training pace; my pace is consistent
2.  The 8 inches between my ears

I have gotten faster over the past year; I added in some intervals and hills into my workouts.  I also think I have worked through some of the mental issues associated with running a marathon.  What I still haven't been able to wrap my arms around is how I can train at one pace and race at another pace.  So now she knows she has someone capable of busting four hours physically and she needs to work on the mental aspect of my training.  She also indicated that she trains her athletes to cruise through the first 20 miles and then race a 10k - we will see how it goes.  Bottom line; her comments went miles to help my confidence - hearing someone say that all the pieces are in place is really important and will carry me far.  That being said, I also know that on any given day you might have it or you might not have it - but I'm feeling so much better that I am ready; the rest is up to race day.

Here is what she wants me to do for Eugene:

First third of the race        9:45 pace
Second third of the race   8:50 pace
Last third of the race        9:45 pace

The question is "Can I do it?"; can I step back from the race atmosphere and run those miles at 9:45 - I guess we will see come May 2nd.  I have to be honest, if I feel really good on race day I am thinking of going for it.  What do you guys think?

I am doing a great job on Amanda's Three challenges in 30 Days Challenge; I wanted to work on picking up the phone instead of using email - SUCCESS, I called two people that in the past I would have emailed.  I also wanted to work on being more productive at work - SUCCESS, I'm having a great week at work & have made progress on some projects that have been languishing.  And last, but not least, I am working on being less critical/judgmental - SUCCESS "mostly", I need to work harder on this but I am making progress.

Have a great week

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I hate hotel treadmills

I am in Chicago for work this week so I am forced to get my runs in on the hotel treadmill; now I shouldn't complain because I am getting my runs in while I travel, which can be very difficult but it has been so hot & stuffy in the hotel gym it is making me dread my runs. 

I had my first bloggy meet up Sunday evening with the absolutely lovely Marcia from Running off at the Mouth I am stealing her blog photo as I forgot to pack my USB cable and can't upload the photo that I took; we can credit one of the teenagers that worked at Panera for this photo.

We had such a great time and we are such wild women that we closed Panera Bread - watch out!  It was great to meet Marcia, chat about running, kids, and life.  I hope this is the first of many bloggy meet-ups and I highly recommend it!

You absolutely have to go check out the cool challenge that Amanda at Run to the Finish is sponsoring; she asks us to select three changes that you can make over the next 30 days.  I selected:

1.  Picking up the phone to call instead of using email
2.  Being less judgmental and more accepting
3.  Increase my productivity at work

I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can handle.......have a great day

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I got my last long run for Eugene in this morning; I'm calling it 23 miles, but I really think it was closer to 24.  We had "gadget/technology" problems; oh well.  I think it is time for a new Garmin :-)

I did the first about 11 by myself; it was 36 degrees when I started, but it was dry and clear - yippee!  I met my friend Vicki for the rest and we rocked it.  It was about 55 degrees when we finished.  Starbucks has never tasted so good.  I hit the cold bath when I got home; I'm too much of a sissy for a true ice bath, but I am building up to it. 

I'm off to Chicago tomorrow morning for work - have a great day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Last long run

Happy Friday, it sure seems that it has been a really long week....tomorrow is my last long run for Eugene; I will be hitting the streets for 22 miles.  I'll be getting 12 miles in by myself and then meeting a friend for the last 10 or so; the weather is supposed to be decent this weekend and I am really looking forward to a dry weekend. 

On Sunday morning I will be hopping on a plane for a visit to Chicago for work; it is always a challenge to get my runs in when I travel, but I am determined to be consistent with my training.  The treadmill will become my new best friend.  I'm always hesitant to run in areas that are unfamiliar to me; is this a concern for anyone else or do you guys just "got for it"?

I'm very excited because while I am in Chicago I am going to meet up with Marcia ; go check out her blog, and send her good thoughts about Boston, I can't wait to meet her.

I was bummed because my bloggy meet up with Alisa and Marya didn't work out last week; but that is o.k., we will get it rescheduled soon.

I did end up hiring the new coach, although I'm not sure the timing is really right; but it's done and that's o.k.  I have selected the Newport Marathon (June 5th) as my goal race for my BQ, this will allow me to use Eugene (May 2nd) as another training run and gives me more time to work with my coach on pace work.  Missoula (July 11) is probably just going to be survival, although we will see; at least I will be a maniac when I'm through.

I hit the gym Wednesday evening for the first time in months; my upper body is a little sore :-)  My 19 year old daughter went with me and it is pretty weird to watch guys check out your daughter; kind of creepy.  I have to do better about getting to the gym; it is the part of my exercise routine that is weakest.

I just finished the best book, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo - go check it out, it is fabulous!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My DNF story

This post is a response to Christina's  Running Challenge question:  Have you had a DNF?

Go read her hilarious DNF story; here's my DNF story.

This is from March, 2007:

Last week I traveled to Los Angeles for the 22nd running of the Los Angeles Marathon; I was looking forward to my ninth marathon and a visit with my family (as I am originally from Southern California).

I knew I was in trouble when my plane landed on Thursday and it was 70 degrees at 11:30 a.m. The forecast for marathon day was 78 degrees. My sister greeted me at the airport and I immediately expressed my concern over the temperature. My concern over the temperature caught her completely by surprise as I am a sun and heat loving gal!

I spent Friday at the Expo, choosing to travel on the “Blue Line” from Long Beach; the Metro system is really quite good now in Los Angeles. I knew that I would be using the train on the morning of the marathon so I wanted to get an idea of what to expect so I wouldn’t have any surprises on marathon morning. The Expo was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and seemed to be well organized. I picked up my “goodie” bag and made my way through the various exhibitors at the Expo. I was a bit disappointed in the t-shirt; it was a very simple cotton t-shirt and the marathon participants received the same t-shirt as the volunteers.

I eagerly looked forward to Sunday morning as I felt well prepared for the race (in spite of my concern about the temperature). I boarded the train at 5:00 a.m. to begin my trip to Universal Studios, which was were the race began. This year brought a new point to point course for the marathon, with a new start. I arrived at 6:30 a.m. which was nearly 2 hours before race time. There were approximately 25,000 participants in the marathon; and low and behold, I ended up in the corral and met a very nice gentleman from Tigard. We chatted as we waited for the race to begin.

The race began with a 1.25 mile uphill climb; followed by a nice 5 mile fairly gradual downhill. The course took us through some very interesting areas of Los Angeles and showed us the variety that is associated with LA. The rest of the course was not terribly difficult, they billed it as a “flat, fast course”.

I broke cardinal rule #1 of marathoning “NO NEW IS GOOD NEW” as I brought my iPod with me for the race. I had traveled to LA by myself for this race as Vicki, my usual running partner, was unable to join me; so I thought I would try out the iPod for some virtual company. I have used my iPod only sporadically and only when I run on the treadmill. Needless to say that by about mile 5 I was feeling a slight irritation on my arm and took the iPod off before I encountered any significant chafing, etc. Of course, this meant that I had to carry it with me.

I was wearing my heart rate monitor and my heart rate was higher than I hoped. I felt pretty good at this point, so I let that go. I stopped at every aid station and had either water or Gatorade. I wanted to make sure that I was properly hydrated.

My sister and nephew were scheduled to meet me at mile 13 where my nephew was going to run with me for approximately 6 miles. I encountered them at about mile 12-1/2 and when my sister saw me her first words were “Are you o.k.?” At this point I didn’t feel that good or that bad; but I guess I didn’t look very good. I said I was o.k. but that this was definitely not a PR race and that I would be happy just to finish. My nephew and I took off, the plan was that he would run with me to mile about 19 and my other nephew (they are 14 year old twins) would run with me from mile 19 to about mile 26. To make a long story short, we walked a lot during this 6 mile stretch as I just felt terrible. I was very warm, even walking I was having trouble keeping my heart rate in a semi safe zone and almost more concerning was that I wasn’t sweating very much. At about mile 18 I asked my nephew to call his folks and let them know that when we met at mile 19 I was going to stop. I didn’t know if this affected their plans logistically so I wanted to give them a heads up. However, he got voice mail and they never received the message so when they saw they had no idea. The high temperature that day ended up somewhere between 81 and 83 (depending on which newscast you watched).

The crowd support was less than I expected for a major city; there were a number of points (along the 19 miles I completed) that there were very few, if any, people cheering the runners on. The entertainment throughout the course was pretty good though.

My ego is somewhat bruised, but I decided that the potential negative consequences associated with continuing under these circumstances were just not worth it; I listened to my body and I’m glad I did.