Friday, January 28, 2011

Birthday Week

My birthday came and went this week, but thanks to being at a boring job all day, it seemed to go on forever. I'd be celebrating this weekend, but I have 27 hours of bodypump training over the next 3 days that I have to attend. And I have to pay to attend. I better get a lot out of this class. I do enjoy going to the classes, and if I get paid to teach them, it will hopefully be worth it. I've never been a big aerobics/fitness class teacher, but maybe I'll find that I enjoy something other than spinning. 

It's almost spring here! I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike outside soon, and having tri camp New Mexico style as soon as someone comes to visit and brings their bike. hint hint

We're still in the process of figuring out which races to do in our last year of the 30-34 age group. Any good southwestern suggestions?

Happy early season training to all!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Phoenix Marathon

It's over. In some ways I'm relieved it's over, but mostly I'm slightly embarrassed at how poorly I paced it and how slowly I ended up running the last, oh 10 miles. Part of me wishes I hadn't even done it, and conveniently, my chip never recorded a finish time, and there are exactly zero pictures of me doing the race. So maybe it was all a bad dream! Oh wait, here's a video from someone else's finish. Yup, that's me. Evidence.

The pictures that came up on my page were all the generic ones, but includes the great sunrise that morning.

So on to the race. I switched my corral and found the 3:20 pacer. He was a short stocky balding little man with quite a following. The first five miles were almost perfectly on pace, and I was praising little bald man in my head. Then slowly and steady, despite the more steep uphill climb (ok, it still wasn't steep), the pace went lower and lower. I was hitting several sub-7:30s-- through 11 miles, when I finally decided to back off. The goal was 7:38 pace, and I knew that was even pushing it given my complete lack of race pace training. I spent the next few miles, through 16, slowing down steadily, and then hit the dreaded 8+ mile. One single mile after that one was sub 8 mins, even though the course was all downhill from that point on. So was my race. This says it all.

My hamstrings started cramping with more effort than they'd given up until that point, and I paused to turn on the ipod for some entertainment. I have to say I heard some decent songs and bands through about 18 miles on the Rock N Roll course, but after plugging the ipod in, they just annoyed me. Actually everything became more irritating-- the sticky cytomax coating on my hands, the rough road and its cracks that twisted my ankles, the way people kept passing me, my stupid garmin that kept showing these slow miles. Maybe I was really going much faster, and it was one of those garmin glitches. Like how it crashes after 100 laps when the language is set to Danish (for real). But it wasn't. 

I even had a mile in the 9s if you count the stop to attempt to stretch the hamstrings. I could've killed the woman on the bullhorn at 25.2 miles who kept saying, "Only one more mile!" That was too long for me. And then, many turns later, I crossed that finish line, one minute slower than my first and only flat out marathon 10 years ago, and only 2 minutes faster than my best IM marathon. Awesome. 

I've never felt muscle pain quite like what came over me just beyond the finish line. I sat and waited for Jeremy (PR!), grimacing in pain to the point that people were asking me if I was ok. Not sure what that was all about, but when Jeremy finally got there, the benefit of having a doctor for a husband became clear: he carried an extra pain pill in his pocket and gave it to me.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel hot tub and lounging by the pool, then eating pizza and enormous cookie dough desserts. I contemplated either a) never running again, or b) going for a do over. I'm still holding out on the decision. 

We're ready for a change of sport, at least for the weekend, and heading up to the mountain for a little snow skiing. Cross  your fingers for our knees and other breakable parts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Marathon Week is Here!

It's almost time to head to Phoenix for my 2nd/13th marathon. I've been tapering really (too) well these last two weeks while sitting all day trying to learn to speak in acronyms and form numbers. If immersion learning really works, I should be fluent by February.

Before races I always get paranoid about catching a cold.  To help matters, now I'm afraid of food poisoning. There was a continuously running video playing just beyond my cubicle all day today, teaching me all about foodbourne illnesses. Did you know that you shouldn't buy raw chicken that's slimy, smelly, or funny colored? Apparently not everyone has access to such information. I poured out a pot of lumpy moldy coffee that was siting next to some cheese left out all night in the break room. I keep meeting new people and shaking hands, and since I don't have my own computer yet I'm using others'. Gaaak I feel dirty!

At this point in the game I should be coming up with all possible excuses for why I may fail to run a decent marathon Sunday. Instead I'm trying the no-way-I'm-going-to-run-anything-but-a-major-PR approach. So excuses will only be listed after the race. And even if it's not a great race for me, I still get a 4 day weekend in sunny warm Phoenix. Reward for sticking (somewhat) to the training.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The holiday is OVER

Previously, on this blog...

I was running a lot, working on my USAT certification, and injuring myself sleeping. Luckily I've resolved two of the three. I'm now tapering, not actively working on my certification, and over my pains and injuries! But oh, how things have changed.

We traveled first to Kentucky for the holidays to see the Harwood family, where our last 20 miler of the marathon plan shortened without too much consideration to 11 miles around the city of Bowling Green, in lots of beautiful snow. We also got in a short Christmas Day run where the horses in the pastures along the road ran to the fences to greet us, one after another. A beautiful white Christmas!

Next was Memphis where I got to run my old favorite, the Yellow Trail, and see my family for the week after Christmas! Memphis was COLD and damp, but lots of fun. The week was spent with my awesome old (meaning longstanding, of course) friends. And here's another version of the classic trio:

New Year's Day Jeremy and I were supposed to run with Nancy and Jerry... thank goodness she was sick also! That was one more canceled run that I had no problem with. And before I knew it, we were back  home, and I was getting ready for work.

Yes, that's right, I now have a full time J-O-B. And let me tell you, the best way to slow down the hands of time is take off work for 10 months, then suddenly begin again. Jerry reminded me of just how good I had it those last 10 months approximately 5 days before it all ended.

Not being a morning person, I've missed pretty much every sunrise here in NM, but caught a great one on the way to work this morning.

Then I caught the sunset over the other mountains on my run right after work.

Thankfully the middle of the week 12 milers are finished, and the taper is in full effect. This perfectly coincided with having less time to do these runs, especially around noon, when the sun is shining and warm, when I've had time to warm up and plan all my pre-and post-run meals, when I can nap right afterward... But in exchange for working, I'm getting paid, which means I can enjoy the new race wheels and computrainer we just bought. The holiday may be over, but the real fun of Ironman training will be beginning soon!