Sunday, June 18, 2017

Post-Marathon week

By Wednesday, my legs didn't feel sore anymore.  Seems like all my training really paid off for that marathon, my body was ready to handle it and recover quickly!  Now, I know my body is probably still recovering, even though it feels fine.  It certainly wasn't ready to run a stellar half marathon on Saturday, but I still was able to run a strong race, if not a super-fast one.  I want to jump straight into training for the half marathon PR I hope to get in the fall, but hopefully I will be able to convince myself to take it easy for at least another week.

This week : 
M : walk 3.2 
T : group 4.1 / 8:25 / 167 ft
W : 30 minute ab workout 
R : group 4.2 / 7:44 / 240 ft
F : off
Sa : race 13.2 / 7:24 / 449 ft
Su : jog w/Lex 4.3 / 10:36 / 397 ft
total miles : 25.8

I was itching to run on Monday, but felt like it was probably a better idea to wait another day.  I did need to go to the post office though, I decided to walk instead of drive.  It was pretty hot out for a walk, but it still felt good to move my legs.  The walk also helped to loosen up my hips, which were pretty tight post-marathon.  On Tuesday I went to run club, but kept the pace nice and easy.  Thursday I was pushing the pace, because my legs were sick of slow paces, and I wanted to let them stretch out before Saturday's race!  The race was really humid, and I wasn't able to run quite as fast as I had hoped, but I still put in a solid run for 1 week post-marathon.  Today I drove to Lewisburg, and had a nice recovery jog with a friend.  

This coming week, I hope to enjoy some runs around town as well as a bike ride or two.  I'll also go to at least one TRX class at the gym while I'm here.  And of course spend some quality time with my horse!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hatfield McCoy Marathon 6/10/17

Friday evening : my "flat runner" is ready, I've picked up my bib, eaten a small but free pasta dinner, and am on my way to find a second dinner because I'm still hungry. 

Saturday morning : waiting around for the race to start.  Got our picture taken with McCoy(left) and Hatfield (right).  

I took 1st place around mile 10 or 11 and held it til the end.  I never had any idea how far behind me 2nd place was, and never let myself turn around to look.  Not knowing helped me keep pushing myself whenever I started to slow down.  I crossed the line with a watch time of 3:25:36 and chip time of 3:25:30, and in addition to my finisher's medal I received the Kentucky State marathon championship medal.  (This race just happened to be the Kentucky State championship this year)

Race Recap/Review 
Packet Pickup and the Race Expo were held at the Belfry, KY high school.  It was easy to find, and the packet pickup went very smoothly.  The expo had a selection of running clothes, shoes, and books about the Hatfield-McCoy feud.  I didn't pay too much attention to all the stuff because I didn't want to spend any money, but it looked like it had some good deals.  The expo let out into the cafeteria, where there was a free pasta dinner for the racers.  I appreciated the free meal, but I needed about 3 times that amount of pasta, and ended up having to stop at a Subway on the way back to the hotel to get a sandwich and chips because I was so hungry it felt like I hadn't had dinner at all. 

The hotel/motel situation around Williamson is not great. There were only a few choices right in Williamson, and none of them were affordable for me.  The fire departments do offer cots for anyone who wants to stay there, and next time I would probably try that instead.  As it was, we stayed in the Daniel Boone Motor Inn 30 minutes away.  Wasn't the nicest motel I've stayed in, but it was cheap and the beds weren't bad.  (also, they still use metal keys instead of plastic key cards!)

On Saturday morning, we got to Williamson around 5:15 and didn't have any trouble finding parking, although I didn't think the parking map was particularly clear, and think it would have been really nice if they had put up signs in the designated parking areas so that it would be more clear where we were allowed to park.  We ended up just parking in a lot and hoping it was ok.  After we parked, we wandered for a bit until a bus drove by and picked us up.  We weren't super clear on where exactly the bus stops were, but were thankful that the bus driver picked us up where we were standing when she drove by.  The bus took us to the starting line a few miles away at the Food City.  We still had about an hour to kill until the race start, and thankfully the Food City was open and we got to sit in the nice warm food court until it was closer to go time. 

The race started right around 7:00, and we headed up the road with our police escort, as well as several local cyclists.  I stayed with the 8:00 pacer for the first mile or so.  I believe that was the fastest pacer they had.  The course was beautiful, there was very little traffic, and any cars that did pass us gave plenty of room.  There were water/gatorade stops every mile with friendly volunteers.  This race is unique in that if you want to run a half marathon, you can choose to run either the first half of the marathon course, or the second half.  You can also choose to run a "double half" instead of the marathon if you are a 50 stater and want to get a medal for each state (WV and KY).  This means that when I crossed the finish line for the first half marathon I had the benefit of a nice crowd of cheering people telling me I was in first place for the marathon so far.  It was nice to have that little pick-me-up of a cheering crowd halfway through, and gave me a little boost of energy as I started on my second half.  Up until that point, the whole course had been on paved roads.  The second half started out on a vary narrow one lane back road that turned into gravel/dirt after awhile.  There were a few muddy spots, but not too deep thankfully.  The dirt road eventually spit us out onto a golf course, where we ran over a swinging bridge (not suggested for people who are afraid of heights...) and then back onto a road for the remainder of the run.  

The course was rolling for most of the race.  There was a long hill about halfway through the first half, and there were some mostly flat sections.  The second longest hill was in mile 24.  I was hurting by that point, but thanks to the ballcap I was wearing, I was able to use the brim to block my gaze, as I just put one foot in front of the other until I reached the top.  Coming back down the other side was probably the hardest part of the whole race for me.  My hips were hurting pretty bad by that point, and if you have ever had to run down a hill with hip know how bad it is.  I almost cried as I limped my way down the hill, but I made it to the bottom.  I struggled along for a bit longer, and then the pain dulled, I rallied, and made my final 1.5 mile strong push to the finish line.  

At the finish line, there were buckets filled with ice cold water and gatorade, as well as some snacks.  Each finisher received a mason jar in addition to their finisher medal.  

photo taken at a water stop around mile 24
I had Tailwind in my camelbak : about 5 scoops of powder in 50 ounces of water.  I started sucking air out of the pack around mile 21, so I got sips of cold water off the water tables at each mile after that, along with the little sips of tailwind I was still able to draw out of my pack.  

Marathon Week!

This week : 
M : 4 / 8:05 / 194 ft
T : track 4.4 / 7:34 / 184 ft
16 x 100m striders
W : 3.2 / 7:20 / 240 ft
R : 20 minute ab workout
20 minute yoga
walk 0.8 miles x2
F : rest
Sa : race 26.2 / 7:51 / 1873 ft
Su : walk 0.8 miles x2
total miles run : 37.8

What a week!  Tried to take it easy leading up to the race, but after the last week or two of taking it easy, restless leg pain was starting to set in.  Monday I did pretty well with keeping it easy, and for Track Tuesday I did striders on the straights and marathon pace on the curves, 1 mile in each direction.  I had planned on running M-T-R this week, but Wednesday was Global Running Day and I couldn't not run!  My legs had been unhappy with the slower paces I'd been inflicting on them, so for Global Running Day I let them pick the pace.  It felt really good to run those short miles at a nice faster pace!  On Thursday, the restless leg pain really set in and was driving me crazy. Usually compression socks help, but they weren't helping this time. I walked back and forth to a friend's house, but the walk hardly helped either.  When I got home I attacked my leg with the roller until it stopped hurting long enough for me to go to bed.  Thankfully on Friday the pain stayed away.  

I was ready when the starting gun finally went off on Saturday, and I had a great race!  Tough for sure, and it was pretty hot out, but I was really proud of my run.  Race recap coming soon! 

I could barely walk on Sunday morning because my hips were so tight and sore, but it loosened a bit after some rolling.  And then I walked back and forth to the brewery for celebratory drinks with my friends, and the walking helped some.  They are still stiff today, and some delayed cramping is setting into my calves, but I'm attacking them with the roller periodically and as long as I can grit my teeth through that extra pain, it helps!  Contemplating a recovery jog today...decisions, decisions.  

In other news, I was looking at my previous marathon stats to compare to this one...

November 2011, Charlotte, NC -- 3:16:11 / 164 ft
November 2013, Richmond, VA -- 3:21: 39 / 245 ft
June 2017, Williamson, WV -- 3:25:36 / 1873 ft

This may have been my slowest of my 3 marathons, but I was more prepared for this one, and ran a much stronger race.  I didn't even hit the "wall" in this one.  Also...check out that huge elevation difference between this one and the previous two!  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Marathon Countdown...T-6 days!

I'm playing all sorts of mental mind games as marathon day approaches.  The bad run on the 27th really messed with my head, and runs have been hit or miss since then.  I'm trying to do the taper thing, but I feel like there's a very fine line for me between tapering being beneficial, and tapering being detrimental.  I've been taking a lot of days off, and have reduced the my mileage, but my legs feel dead on about every other run.  I'm now spending a lot of time reminding myself to trust the training, but also that this race is not the end goal, it's just a step on the way, and as long as I finish it will be a good run.

This week : 
M : 
T : morning shakeout 3.2 / 8:38 / 151
hill repeats  5 / 8:02 / 466 ft
(3 x 0.5 mile uphill) 
W : workout 12 minutes
yoga 20 minutes
R : off
F : run 5.5 / 7:48 / 299 ft
Sa : 5.5 / 8:04 / 374 ft
Su : bike 17.1 / 17.6 mph / 935 ft
total run miles : 19.2
total bike miles : 17.1

Wednesday Workout x3
10 squats
10 pushups
10 lunges
10 leg raises
10 burpees
10 sec side plank, each side

I've got 3 teacher work days this week, and then I'm on summer vacation!  My brain is apparently already on vacation though, because I feel asleep on the couch around 3 this afternoon and couldn't get my eyes open until about 7.  Thankfully there was enough daylight time left for me to get in the bike ride I had planned to do today!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Belated post...but now it's T-11 days til Hatfield McCoy!

Last week : 
M : hill fun 7 / 7:49 / 505 ft
T : yoga class 1 hour
track 8 / 7:54 / 98 ft
(3200, 1600, 800, 400)
W : TRX circuit 30 x 45/15
R : group 7 / 7:20 / 400 ft
F : rest
Sa : 10 / 9:08 / 856 ft
Su : rest
total miles : 32

My week started strong and was going really well.  I meant for Monday's run to be easy, but once I started up the first hill, I caught hill fever...and the rest is history.  I had to go find more hills to run hard.  It felt so good...  On Tuesday it was POURING rain but it was Track Tuesday and I wasn't going to let the stupid weather be an excuse to quit.  So I picked a short ladder, and we did 1 lap walk recovery between each run in an attempt to keep our legs warm.  My shoes were soaked and sloshing by the time I got to the 800.  For Wednesday's TRX, I did 5  warm-up exercises, a 3x8 workout, and then finished off with a plank.  On Thursday it was raining again, but at least not too hard this time.  I picked a loop with a nice hill in the middle, and set out with Ben & Corey.  I intended for it to be marathon-ish pace.  It ended up being a bit faster for me, but it felt really good to be able to keep up with the guys, even with some conversation.  A few months ago, I couldn't do that, so this was huge for me!  My lungs are definitely a lot stronger now, and of course all my dedicated training is paying off and I am getting faster as well!

Sadly, my strong week crashed about 3 miles into my run on Saturday.  I was in Lewisburg, and had planned a 12 mile run on all my favorite mountain-y hills. I planned to get all or most of it at marathon pace.  But 3 miles in my legs decided they were done for the week.  They just didn't want to move.  So, I jogged the loop instead, and finished out the bare minimum loop at 10 miles, instead of adding on at the end to get 12.  I was disappointed to feel so bad on this run, but I've been really lucky to have so many good runs lately, and am hoping that tired legs was the only thing wrong.  I'm counting on not feeling like that on marathon day as long as I am super careful for the next 11 days!  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meal Prep : 5/22-5/26 One Pot Meal


Ingredients : 
1/3 onion, chopped 
2 B/S chicken breasts, chopped
1 c chicken broth
honey mustard
3/4 c quinoa
12 oz frozen broccoli
12 oz frozen cauliflower
garlic powder
corn starch

Brown the onion in a large skillet on medium heat with some olive oil.    Next add the chicken, garlic powder, and salt, and cook til most of the pink is gone.    Then add all remaining ingredients except the corn starch.  Cover and simmer until the quinoa is done.  (10-15 minutes).  If there is too much liquid left, mix a teaspoon of corn starch with a bit of cold water, then add to the skillet and stir til thickened, then remove from heat.  

Notes : The broccoli had lost it's bright green color by the time the quinoa was done, so I know I overcooked the veggies.  They should probably be added a bit later.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

post-long run

This week: 
M : bike w/Chuck 20.3 / 16.2 mph / 1385 ft
T : bike w/Chuck & Joe 20.4 / 14.7 mph / 1207 ft
W : TRX 3 x 10 @ 45/15
shakeout 1 / 7:54 / 0 ft
R : yoga class 1 hour
group run 4.7 / 7:53 / 253 ft
F : rest
Sa : run w/ Mollie 7.1 / 8:39 / 154 ft
Su : workout 15 minutes
total run miles : 12.8
total bike miles : 40.7

It was hard not to run for so many days in a row...but I managed!  I tried to wait til Thursday, but after Wednesday's TRX in an 80 degree apartment I really wanted to feel a breeze.  Also, I went overkill on the squats and lunges and I wanted to shake out my legs.  At least I only did a mile, and I skipped the inhaler so that I couldn't go too far or fast anyway.  It felt good though, and so Thursday I felt good about going for a good 4-5 mile run.  In the meantime, my bike got some good use while I was resting my foot!  

On Thursday I started with the guys.  They were running faster than I wanted to go, but I let them carry me for a few miles, and then I split off to jog back to the brewery while they continued on, since they wanted more miles than me anyway.  My foot hurt a little bit, but it's unavoidable as the roads I was running on had the same camber that hurt it to begin with!  

On Saturday, Mollie and I headed to Damascus where we ran around town and up and down the Creeper Trail while people-watching at the Trail Days Festival.  We ran the first 4.5 ish miles together, then she stopped and I picked up the pace and got a few more miles in.  It was hot and sunny, but I felt pretty good.  
Creeper Trail on a gorgeous day.