Saturday, May 10, 2014
My blog is now located at runningskirtsandmanicures.blogspot.c
Monday, May 05, 2014
Pre race goals:
base: upright and smiling
stretch: PB (4:10:28)
reach: sub 4
In the weeks leading up to the race, all I could think about was my TFL issue, considering there was quite a bit of pain even in my little 3.5K shakeout on Thursday. I got the KT tape people to tape it up at the expo, and initially it caused more referral pain, but by the time we left the expo, my leg was feeling significantly better.
Race morning, I slapped a large amount of Voltaren on my hip and IT band, taped up both and met Sam J. and Amy D. at a plaza near Sam's house.
Walking to the meetup and standing outside, it was COLD COLD COLD. Almost regretted the short sleeves, but I knew it would be much warmer in the sun. The first half was uneventful. Very uneventful. We talked a bit, probably more than Robin would have liked to. On Indian Road and Truscott, she told me to draft behind her to cut the headwind and it definitely made a difference. Aside from a little bit of strategic passing, the goal was to conserve energy for the end. Robin B.'s strategy was to run up the hills easy, which I thought I have done in the past, but not as easy as she ran them.
1st half - 1:57:12. Right on pace.
Then things got ugly. I was mentally prepared for brutal winds in the Lakeshore/Southdown stretch and was still drafting behind Robin, but I was a few metres behind. I didn't like running behind her because it felt like I was constantly trying to catch up. Made it to 20 miles still on pace. Robin giving me the pep talk "just an hour left!" "single digit countdown!" I took my 4th and last gel at 33K. STUPIDEST NEWBIE MISTAKE EVER. In past marathons, my fueling strategy has been 5 gels, one every 7K. Somehow I totally forgot this and only brought 4 with me. You'd think I'd compensate by taking Gatorade at aid stations..nope, water only.
I'm sure you can figure out what happened next. I was falling off pace, Robin pretty much screamed at me non-stop, "HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT THAT SUB 4? DO YOU WANT TO BLOW IT WITH LESS THAN 5K TO GO?! DO YOU WANT TO GET THIS DONE NOW OR GO HOME AND THINK ABOUT IT UNTIL THE FALL?" I was trying desperately to keep up but my legs were rebelling. I'd stop for a 5 second walk break and Robin would stop, turn around and physically shove me onward.
In my dazed state, I saw Greg at the 40K mark. At this point, I was barely functional but he knew that his job was to get me to the finish. I knew I was wasting energy by saying "I can't!!!" and at that point I was thinking I already had a huge PB in the bag and forget about sub 4. But Robin kept yelling...
Then at 41K, I went down. Greg and Robin each grabbed one of my hands and pulled me back up. Apparently Elaine F. and Phil L. were there but I did not see them. Made the turn into Lakefront Promenade and I could see the number on the clock was a 4. The original plan, Greg was supposed to jump off since he wasn't a registered runner but I needed both of them to pull me along. I saw Sam J. and Irina S. cheering and crossed the finish line and went down immediately. But I stopped my Garmin! lol There have been several races where I thought, "I'm gonna give it all I've got and the medics are going to have to cart me off the course in a wheelchair." I didn't think it would actually happen but it did.
In the medical tent, I poured water and Gatorade down my throat and recovered to stagger out to the finish, where Emma I. and Amy D. were getting their medals. I will always be sad I didn't get to see them finish!
I had a little ache in the outer part of my foot so I thought a massage would be a good idea. I sat down to wait and then my hip flexor cramped up. Then both my calves, multiple times. And my foot joined in as well. I'm lying on the massage table with ice packs everywhere, freezing to death and it was hard to tell if my body was shaking from the cold or the cramps. Greg showed me the FB post with my chip time and if I wasn't so cold and in pain, I would have cried tears of joy. Every time I tried to move, another part of my leg cramped up again. So the massage people got another wheelchair and back to the medical tent I went, where I laid flat on my back and the nice medic people iced and massaged me a bit more gently and was finally able to stand up and stagger to the shuttle. My hip and IT band never gave as much as a twinge all day.
So after 9 marathons, I have finally dipped under 4 hours, but not in the triumphant, fist-pumping way that I had imagined. I am SO SO SO SO eternally grateful to Robin, for putting up with me, especially since at the start Emma told her that I am not prone to whining and that's pretty much all I did for the last 10K. I am also completely grateful to Greg, because Robin could not have dragged me over the finish by herself.
This picture speaks louder than words.
Official chip time: 3:59:26
Field Placement: 304 / 722 (42.1%)
Age group: 30 – 39
Group Placement: 36 / 86 (41.9%)
Gender Placement: 98 / 305 (32.1%)
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
race goals -
base: sub 2:50 (equivalent to marathon pace)
stretch: sub 2:48:56 for a PR
reach: sub 2:45 to qualify for corral placement for next year's ATB.
After 3 consecutive crappy races to start out 2014, combined with the never ending winter, I was not confident with my training, despite my training paces getting steadily faster. None of the crappy races was entirely my fault due to poor training (snow & ice covered sidewalks, extremely cold temperatures, and again snowy roads) but it didn't do much for my confidence.
So I wasn't feeling particularly peppy or awesome on race morning despite my adorable outfit. A couple of cases of mistaken identity while on the way to FIRST ONTARIO CENTRE - we saw a car on the highway that looked just like Robin's complete with Boston 26.2 sticker..Amy sped up and passed in the left lane, honking, we all waved only to discovered it wasn't her. Then a lady who looked just like Kathleen Wynne, but only from behind.
Emma and I made our way to the open corral to line up in the very front, as the race organizers assumed anyone gunning for sub 2:45 would have corral qualification and the posted time for the open corral was 2:46+.
I have to admit that I enjoyed (well at least didn't hate with the fire of 1000 suns) the new route. I really liked running past all the little restaurants and boutiques on James St. and I read a few complaints about the 'scented' Hamilton air. I'm probably oblivious to it because I live so close by. There were 3 overpasses and 1 exit ramp in the new section, which of course is more difficult than flat, but overall I felt like the new course was faster. Or maybe it felt faster because I ran the first 10K faster than ever before. I'll never know which one!
10K split: 54:22
Emma fell behind at about 8K, she caught up to me the first time but said she needed to take the hills slower due to a wonky calf. So for the first while, I looked behind me periodically to see where she was, but then I couldn't see her any more and was resigned to running the majority of the race by myself. I settled into a groove and the splits were all below PR pace (5:29/k). So far so good!
Greg said he'd be at 18K. There was a huge crowd of spectators around there and I feared that I'd missed him, but he was closer to 19-20K. "I lost Emma 10K ago!" I screamed at him. "she's ahead of you!" he shouted back. WHAT?!?!?! all these questions flew through my head: how the hell did Emma pass me without me noticing? why would she be so nasty as to not even tap me on the shoulder or yell for me?! how did she manage to make up all that time?
So I almost lost it right then and there. I'm on pace for sub 2:45 2/3rds through the race and I wanted to pack it in and go home. Then I had 1 sane thought - even if Emma was having the race of her life, why should that stop me from reaching MY goals, even if she finishes ahead of me? I took the first of 3 walk breaks after seeing my husband. After the race, I'm thinking Greg somehow mistook Nicole for Emma, or maybe he saw someone who looked like her.
20K split: 1:48:48, which means I ran the 2nd 10K in, you guessed it, 54:22. Just call me metronome girl!
I was one hurtin' unit for the last 10K. Blisters were forming on my left foot. I put in a few crappy kms. 24K was 5:44. Last year 24K also did me in..that km is flat, but comes right after all the hills. Weird though. I hit 25K around 2:13:57 and thought I only need to keep the pace under 6:00/km to hit my goal, but decided to run between 5:35-5:40/k. Made the last turn onto York and I wasn't feeling the downhill at all, but at least the decline kept my legs moving. My Garmin always shows the course a bit long and at the 30K beep the time showed 2:44:xx so I gathered everything that was left in me for the final kick. The clock read 2:47:xx as I finished so I didn't know I reached my goal until I got back to the stands and Irina assured me that I did indeed.
Official chip time: 2:44:54
Pace: 5:29 / kilometer
Field Placement: 2072 / 6762 (30.6%)
Age group: 35 – 39
Group Placement: 115 / 491 (23.4%)
Gender Placement: 629 / 3305 (19%)
Saturday, December 28, 2013
as of today -
2466.9K run - still have about 12-15K planned. I hit 2400K about 1.5 weeks ago and deliberately planned my schedule so I would not end the year 249x, that would drive me NUTS.
248:06:31 time spent running
14 races (1 marathon, 1 30K, 6 half marathons, 1 10 mile, 5 5Ks)
5 PRs (I PR-d in every distance that I actually raced this year)
3 half marathon pacing gigs (my best was 2:00 continuous, chip time was 2:00:17)
17,595 fitness minutes (goal: 18000)
I don't really keep track of ST PRs, but highlights of 2013 include: squatting my bodyweight, rack pull (partial deadlift) of 160 lbs, and I'm regularly and comfortably using 40 lb dumbbells for my 1 arm rows.
Some goals for 2014 include:
sub 40 min 8K.
sub 24 min 5K.
sub 50 min 10K.
sub 4 marathon.
Monday, November 18, 2013
This story starts with a forgotten Garmin. We had just started our 1000 km trek to Richmond (literally just went around the block) when I realized I forgot it. Turned around, got it and shoved it in the front pocket of my suitcase.
The forecast on race day called for the showers overnight to be clearing by the morning. During my stumble to the hotel lobby in search of coffee, it was still raining.
My husband's 8K started at 7 am, so the plan was to leave at 6:15 and find some breakfast beforehand. As we tried to leave the hotel, we had a hell of a time getting out..WHAT? the race goes right by the hotel? So breakfast-acquiring time turned into try-to-navigate-the-road-closures time. Then OH $HIT I FORGOT MY GARMIN! There was no way we were going to try to make our way through the road closures again, so it was apparent that I would have to race Garmin-less. We got to the race start and miraculously found a parking spot a very short walk from the start line. At this point it was pouring rain. I was thankful for my space blanket, which kept my body mostly dry as I headed off to find Mitzi, who was at a hotel a few blocks away. Thankfully there was a Starbucks, and I bought coffee cake and finished it about 30 min before race start. Usually I finish breakfast at least an hour before a race and have lots of time to digest beforehand. The hotel was filled with runners and I couldn't help noticing that in general the women were dressed far nicer than at Canadian races, lots of colourful skirts and cute socks.
Upon hearing that I forgot my Garmin, Mitzi was nice enough to let me wear hers and even change the settings to metric so I wouldn't have a nervous breakdown from seeing my empty wrist and having to pace in miles. I went to the side to drop off my space blanket and a last minute bush stop at the exact moment they called for our corral to move up. OMG! where was Mitzi? fortunately she is super tall so I was able to spot her in the crowd.
The race plan was to run 5:40/k and then gun it on the downhill for a finish just under 2 hours.
The first 10K of the race was uneventful. Light rain on and off. I was wearing my dollar store socks for arm sleeves and was a bit warm, but not warm enough to want to toss them. Ran past the hotel and I wished for the millionth time that I had the superpower to mentally summon the Garmin from my suitcase.
10K split - 56:05.
The course had occasional mild rolling hills that were not bad at all, but probably due to eating the breakfast cake later than usual, I was feeling mildly nauseous. Took a 10 second walk break and a couple kms later took another walk break, after which I told Mitzi that I didn't care about sub 2, I just wanted to run an easy pace, not feel like crap, and enjoy myself.
Then something strange and miraculous happened. After I gave myself permission to slow down, the nausea subsided and sub 2 pace suddenly felt manageable.
The grand finale:
(stolen from Richmond Marathon FB page)
Have you ever seen a finish quite like this? For the locals reading this, it would be the equivalent of running down Chedoke. 500 m of nearly uncontrolled ass over teakettle running and then trying to screech to a halt at the bottom.
Flying down the final hill. Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!
Mitzi and I at the finish. HM #15 complete. See I wasn't lying when I said she's really tall. Or maybe I'm a midget.
Official chip time: 1:59:03
Field Placement: 2441/7740 (31.5%)
Age group: 35 – 39
Group Placement: 190/744 (25.5%)
Gender Placement: 1116/5024 (22.2%)
But the real purpose of this trip was to meet up with my fellow supermoms, an amazing group of women that I've known for 3+ years.
So that's it for 2013..I'll be back sometime soon with a wrap-up post!
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