Long Run Saturday - Half Marathon PR

Today was the day for the Monster Dash.  That's right, I signed up for a half marathon less than a month after that other 26.2 mile race.  It's a long story but I'm super happy that I ran today.  Here's how it went:

6:15am This isn't nearly as awful as getting up for the marathon.  I stayed in bed and played on my computer for a while, then had my pre-race breakfast of yogurt and chocolate chips.

7:45am It's a good thing I live so close to the start line.  I headed over to the back side of Lake Nokomis, where I would leave my car.  The plan was to take a shuttle back and then meet friends for brunch.

8-ish The start line is a blur.
8:37am is when I crossed the start line. 
About two seconds later: Oh my gosh, that's Heather cheering for me! Sweet!  She had her kids there too, more on that later.
About a mile after that: Oh, look, there's Beth and Robin.  I wonder if they know Heather's here.  I cannot coordinate right now.  Plus, since they were in separate places, more cheering for me.

Lake Nokomis, miles 1-3: Ok, this pacer is way less crazy than the last one.  We had a good run around the lake, enjoyed the spectators.  Then, peeling off the lake we went up 50th street which is a "speed bump" in runners terms but super steep.  Good thing I did all those hill runs.  I saw Heather and the kids again at the top of that hill and gave her my gloves.

Minnehaha Parkway: Oh, look, there's Beth and Robin again.  I do believe they have bags of donuts from Mel-o-Glaze.  Niiiice.  I loved the lines of cars at all the intersections waiting to cross.  Bloomington Ave had the longest line by far.  There was only one part of the parkway, the rolling hills between Lyndale and Lake Harriet, that I said to the pacer, "please, just keep talking" and she did.  I was freezing by this point. I've never run this far in temperatures this cold.

Lake Harriet: All of you 10-mile people suck.  Why?  Because I knew that I still had to go around Lake Calhoun and they were almost done.  Minnehaha Parkway was cold but Lake Harriet was ridiculous with the wind coming off the water.  I couldn't feel my fingers as I was trying to open my gel pack.  Oh, sweet there's Heather again!  Followed by the more important though, please, can I have my gloves back.

Lake Calhoun: This was definitely the place I had a mental block about.  Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles just aren't my favorite lakes (usually because if I'm going to get sick on a run, I do it there).  The pacer kept telling us we had a 20 second or so cushion on our pace time and we could walk longer in water stops.  In my pace group I found a girl who remembered running the Minneapolis Half with me in 2009, then I met another girl named Lisa who had also run Twin Cities and we talked about that.  Around the top of Lake Calhoun Lisa and I started to pull away from the pace group.  (That's right, not get dropped, pull ahead.)

Mile 12: Around the bottom of Lake Calhoun I saw Heather again and could only say, "hug?" which she obliged.  Oh, wow, when I hug a friend, she physically holds me up for a minute.  Thank goodness 'cause I'm about to fall down.

Bringing it home: I think there's a rule that all Team Ortho races finish with an up-hill section in the last half mile.  Seriously.  Again, thanks for the hill runs because Lisa and I popped right up that last hill and then gunned it to the end.

I knocked 8:20 (read eight minutes and twenty seconds) off my time from last yearSweet!  (I guess the St Paul girls were right when they told me I could pull that pace for a half-marathon.)

After the race:  This is really where all hell broke loose.  I got my medal and then it broke.  I went to go get post race food and found a banana and no water.  I went to get my clothes and there was no place to change.  Did I mention I was freezing?  And then I saw the line for the shuttle back to Lake Nokomis.  Well, that was poor planning by the race organizers.  I wound up walking back to my house where there was no car, wallet or phone to take a shower and eat.  There was no hot water in my shower.  I am so freaking cold!  I dried my hair.  Drying my hair now results in a style that shouldn't happen again.  Ever.  I checked, sadly I couldn't find a neighbor home to drag my ass back to my car.  I made the right decision to not wait for the shuttle.  I was a 40 minute walk home (yes, after I finished a half marathon) but my friends waited about two hours for the shuttle.  I had lunch and lazed around for a while before walking to pick up my car.  I missed brunch with my friends.

Final thoughts:
  • I don't think I realized that I was kind of disappointed with my results at the marathon until I enjoyed such great success today.  (Seriously, 8:20 faster than last year is a lot.) It was mentally really hard at the end but I'm glad I stuck with it.
  • I am glad the St Paul ladies believed I could keep that pace.  I never would have tried it without their encouragement. Thank you!
  • What a wonderful surprise to have Beth, Robin, Heather and Heather's kids who had great smiles every time I saw them. My pace group was jealous of my cheering section.  I was thrilled.

Linkfest Saturday

I know, I know - it'd be much more interesting to talk about the half marathon I just ran.  I will; let me clear out my list of things I wanted to tell you about first.


Taper with running friends

This week is the taper before the Monster Dash on Saturday.

I actually hadn't run since I broke Beth last Saturday.  Sunday through Tuesday I felt like absolute crap.  (Don't worry, I know the source of my symptoms.)  By Wednesday evening I was feeling alive enough to spend some time on the elliptical.

This morning, waaay before the crack of dawn I got up and hauled myself over to St Paul. It was really freaking cold out.  I found myself emotionally unprepared to think about winter running pants so I put on my normal tights.  Yes, the ones that leave half my legs bare.  But I did wear the cute winter running shirt that I got Saturday night shopping with my pooky bear.  Hilariously I lead the group and set the pace, which never happens.  I was just too cold to stop moving. 

Beth must still have an aversion to running with me since she cut the run a mile short with other Beth.  (I hope your calf is better and I'm sorry I told you to man up.)  It was good to see Beth(s) briefly though.

That left me with Robin and Heather to finish out the run.  I had a really nice time.  Thanks for running me up and down the streets of St Paul dodging tree limbs.  I find myself overcoming the feelings of death and pain I was experiencing earlier this week and am now looking forward to running on Saturday.  In my costume.


Long Run Saturday - Oh my gosh, I broke my friend

This morning I got up slightly before the crack of dawn for one last long run before the Monster Half next weekend.  Beth came over for the fun.  We ran the Ft Snelling route, and I realized it's the route I always use as my last long run before a race.

Beth says I live "in hill country".  I never realized how much of the second half of this route is up hill.  I guess she's right.  Somewhere during the run Beth said, "my calf hurts".  Great, I take my friend for a run and I break her before we even get done.  This is why we can't have nice things.  Beth, I hope you're feeling better!

Running with Beth was a blast because I never go that fast for that long.  Good pacing and encouragement.  Thanks!

Our goal for the run was to be back before it started raining.  After we got done I had to go back outside because I realized I dropped my headband when we finished.  I got about four steps out of my door before I felt a little raindrop and then a few more.  I'd say we have perfect timing.

Now, to enjoy the taper!


Relaxed blogging - Thursday HILL RUNS

Today was, well, it just was.  Here's what happened.
7am - Why is my alarm making noise?  Sometime after that I took a shower and headed off to work.

8:30 - I'm here.  Must eat now.  I had a Coke with breakfast.  I knew I needed it.  I had oatmeal an hour later.  How did I live so long without oatmeal?

10am - People show up in my office (good thing I was expecting them) and we plan the day.

11am - Stop number 1 for the day - That could've been better.

12pm Lunch at a restaurant in the neighborhood of stop number 1.

1245pm Ok, not so bad anymore.  Stop number 2.

2pm Just one more, yes we have to stop here too.  Last stop.

3pm Back at my office to debrief.

3:30pm I have never spent so long with the same people in my job.  Most of the time my visits are about an hour.  Wow.  Is it time to RUN yet?  And, seriously, my FB account was hacked?  Lovely.

4pm Thank goodness, time for a HILL RUN.  I knew what my day was going to be like and I knew I'd need to have some alone time afterwords so the run was perfect. For fun, compare Gmap-pedomoter's description of elevation change (in blue and white) with the elevation relief from that website I can't stand becuase of how many ads it has and how not user friendly it is. Although they do have pretty elevation pictures with the colors and stuff.

Having been there, I assure you, the top one is a more accurate description of what I just did.

5:01:30pm  Lord, how fast was I going?  I'm not super slow going up the hills, I keep a good pace.  I haul ass coming down them.  I still haven't perfected this route.  I almost got hit by cars a couple times on Lexington right after Randolph.  Yes, I was on the sidewalk and obeying the laws.  Next time I think I may have to continue on Randolph east a couple blocks and try a side street.  I know many of those streets from running with Team:Work.

5:02pm Haul tail home.  Why is 62 backed up all the way to here?  Damn 35W construction.

5:3-- sometime later  Arrive home, jump in shower and make self presentable following hill run.  Look at Facebook and address that issue.  Change passwords for a couple other sites as well.

6:00  I'm late!  Run up to Midtown Community Restorative Justice (which I think has since been eaten by a larger restorative justice project, probably should've gone to that meeting).

6:08pm or so  Arrive at Restorative Justice.  Wanted to follow the rules which would've resulted in an unappealing result "to be a hardass" with someone but was talked off the ledge by a former probation officer (softy).  Congratulated another person on completing the program.

After that: Headed to Rainbow since I can no longer shop at Target.  (Don't know how long that'll last.  Wonder how long it's been so far.)  I stocked up on gum, candy for work and this Italian bread that exists nowhere else on the planet.  Stopped at the liquor store for some Honeyweiss.  With my day, is this a surprise?  And stopped by the gym.

7:0ssh 7:2wha I am so tired I can no longer tell time: Where is the beer?  Opened a beer and my laptop at roughly the same point.  I traded texts with Amanda until she just gave up and called me.  Now I'm on beer number two and circling for a landing in my bed.


How's Life Been - stomach; training and freaky dreams

How's life been?  I keep having weird dreams and my stomach hates me.

The dreams: I keep having dreams where I'm chasing down wolf spiders and killing them (sorry Chris, you're welcome Dani) or accidentally stepping on snails and salamanders.  If you have some free time look up the symbolism of these animals.  It can't be good that I'm trying to kill them.  I also had a dream where Chris went nuts in a Claire's type store and started taunting the staff and playing with a foursquare ball (serious) with his friends.  Somehow my old school was connected to the mall.  He got in there to hide but I got him out eventually.  (If you know Chris, being a jerk is pretty much the last thing he'd ever do so it was really odd.  Maybe he has an evil twin.)

My stomach: It does this every once n a while.  Tummy and I have entered into negotiations and it seems to be taking food normally at this point.  Yesterday I was on clear liquids.

Training:  This half-marathon is going to be something else.  (It's only a half!?!  Why do runners say that to each other?)  After I ran on Sunday my stomach was mad.  It made me take Monday off.  I took this morning off too after Beth *ahem* couldn't get to her shoes because her floors were being redone (yeah, sure) and Robin excused me from getting out of bed that early.
Tonight I ran with Team:Work.  We're coming up with some good team uniform ideas.  I'd tell you what they are but I want them to stay private until the big day.  Team did good tonight, their first time running eight minutes without stopping.  Congratulations! After that I went to the gym and made up the four miles I didn't run this morning.

In a sick way, I'm looking forward to Thursday's hill run.  I have a couple different courses in mind.  I think I need to stop hill running because the Pikes Peak Marathon is starting to look interesting.  Seriously.  Stop now.


Long Run Sunday

For reasons passing all human understanding I signed up for a half marathon at the end of the month.  No one knows why one big race this month wasn't enough.  Nonetheless, this is the position I find myself in now.  At least I'm training. 

This morning I woke up and ran with the St. Paul ladies.  7am is such a more civilized time than 5:30am.  All four of us had different needs today.  Robin hadn't run since the big day (glad you're feeling better), Beth wanted to run more than 4 miles but not do  the 11 miles I had planned, and Heather - well, we'll get to her.

Here's the route we took to accommodate all of our needs, we ran the usual 4 miles on Summit Ave.  Heather and Robin peeled off there and were done.  Originally I planned to do a loop on the river for the rest of the miles.  Then Beth said, "well I know another loop that'll give you eight miles.  It's hills and I'll do it with you".  Sweet.  I love the company and I love hills.  So we went down to the river and headed back up (and I do mean up) Randolph.  About a block in Beth said, "usually we go a block over to the side street (parallel to Randolph) because that's what Heather makes us do".  Sorry, my inertia is only carrying me forward at this point, there can be no turning.  So we stayed on Randolph.  When we got to the top Beth reported that Randolph isn't nearly as awful as that side street Heather "makes" them run on.  (Heather, you're so busted you meanie.) Actually, Beth had billed Randolph as long and steep and she was right no so I can't imagine what James St is like.

By this point I was sucking wind to get up the hill and then keep up with Beth.  Don't worry, it's all down hill from here.  Yeah, right.  It turned out to be true.  The lack of oxygen to my brain had me completely disoriented (are you sure Randolph isn't a North-South street?).  I ran Beth home and then decided to do the original loop one more time.

I told Beth the Monster Dash only has an 11:27 pacer and then no other paces until 13:44.  "Stay with the 11:27 pacer" she says, "you can do it", and then something only another runner could say: "remember Lizzie, it's only a half marathon".  So true.

Every runner has had the experience of coming home to a sock full of blood and not knowing anything was even wrong.  It's rare but happens every once in a while with a wild toenail.  I thought that happened today, "wow, that's a big spot".  No, wait, actually it's just a fall leaf.  Phew.

After the run I was so sick.  My stomach hates me.  Not even in the normal "Liz is running so my stomach should attack me" way.  I was kind of ishy before leaving but I thought running made it all better (that can happen sometimes).  Nope.  It's that same sea-sick feeling I had after the marathon.  (I wonder if it's ibuprofen doing it to me because that's the only commonality.) 

My goal today is not to nap.  Between lying on the couch to avoid sea-sickness and my past sleeping schedule, this should be fun.


Someone tell me why I thought it'd be a good idea to run a half marathon only a month after running the full 26.2.  ::Looks around:: Anyone?


Blog Action Day: Water

Today is Blog Action Day, (thanks to my pooky bear for the reminder), and the topic is "Water".  So, in pictures water has helped me be grateful:

For pets:

For running in the rain and snow:
Winter 2010 after a run around Lake Nokomis
2010 Flying Pig Half Marathon in the rain and across multiple bodies of water.

For the Beach (plus there was that time I lived on the ocean for four months):

For nature:
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2010
Pike Island

For racing (along side rivers and lakes):
Ragnar Relay, August 2009 along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis (and with the special Nalgene water bottle)
Amsterdam, October 2009: Site of my first marathon.  I spent quality time running down one side of the Amstel River and back up the other. Bah.
Ragnar 2010 - Starting in Winona and ending in Minneapolis along the banks of the Mississippi River
Twin Cities Marathon 2010 which toured four lakes, Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River (no wonder it took so long)

For friends and family:
Mississippi River Cruise, summer 2010
Sara's first trip to the mid-west, summer 2009. Lock and Damn on the Mississippi River and Lake Nokomis (how is that my only picture of Lake Nokomis?
Mom on the bridge over the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to Pike Island.

For the Twin Cities:
View from Fort Snelling
Spoonbridge at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Como Conservatory

For Africa - where clean drinking water is quite the commodity:

For New Year's Day when they cut through the ice on Lake Minnetonka so we can jump in an ice-cold lake:
On It and In It 2009 - our eyelashes were still frozen when they snapped this picture
On It and In It 2010 - wearing glasses because contact lenses freeze

For moments that speak for themselves:



Running up big hills

I seem to still be finding peace and joy running up hills because I had a great run today.

I fiddled around with a new hill route (turn on the elevation feature to see a profile of what I did).  I found it more challenging than the other route.  The newer route is longer by about half a mile and has two more "up hill" sections than the original route (although the last two are minuscule compared to the first two hills).  The down side of this route is that there's no mile long awesome descent like the original.  I'll have to modify it a little because there should be a point when I just get to run all out down a big hill for a long time.  (Of course there should.)

Marathon training is paying off because even though I knew mentally that the new route was harder, I had a blast running it.  For the first time in my life I got a walk light at Edgecumb coming up the really big hill.  Since I didn't have to wait, I got no breather half way up.  It was also the first time in my life that I ran to Edgecumb without stopping for a short walk.  Actually, I ran up all the hills without stopping. (What is wrong with me?)

When I got back to the office, I thought my iPod told me a time that sounded about right.  When I plugged my iPod in and looked online at the workout it said a time that was about six minutes faster than I thought.  I'm sorry, you thought I ran that how fast now?  Although I didn't get caught at Edgecumb on the way up the big hill, I did get caught at several lights, especially trying to get across Ford Parkway, Snelling and Randolph.  So I was shocked when I calculated my pace.  How fast?  Really?  You know that was up hill right?

My plan for training for now is to leave work early, run hills on Thursday afternoons, and then take the laptop home to make up whatever time I missed.  It worked well in the spring when I was training for the Pig so I'll give it a try again.  I can't wait to do this again next week.


Remembering how to run

Ok - it's possible I remember how to run.  I woke up at the crack of dawn and ran with Beth (and our pacer dog Henson) in St Paul.  Henson is a fast runner but he had to stop a few times.  I'd always be secretly relieved when he had to stop and smell something so I could take a breather.  (Sorry Beth.)

After awesome run number 1 I stopped at the bakery for fresh bread and made a huge breakfast complete with a full pot of coffee.  Yum!  I also had the bacon and eggs I got at the farmer's market.  The bacon is excellent but sadly has nitrites it so I'm not sure if I can continue to buy it.  (Thanks to the organic police *ahem* my cousin Mark for teaching me why nitrites are bad.)  The farmer's market eggs are pasture-fed and fantastic!

I went to work (with the bottom half of my coffee) and worked all day. 

Then I got ready for awesome run number 2 today as I trained Team:Work.  Today was the first workout of week five of the Couch Potato plan.  I was a little worried since some of them haven't run in a while but they handled it fantastically.  Next week we're doing workout number 2 from week five and then we'll move on to week six.

I'm a little sore so stiff I can't move from lifting weights on Monday.  That was a fun and relaxing workout but it definitely needs to be refined.  My legs only stop hurting when I'm running.  After I stop running I tighten right up.  I had to go down the stairs backwards today.

Tomorrow I'm thinking about hill runs with my usual route in St Paul.  And signing up for the Monster Dash 10-miler.


Life after the marathon - what's this blog for again?

I forget what time write about when I'm not training for a race.  I think my next race may be the Monster Dash although it's not clear which distance I'll be doing.

In preparation for a possible half-marathon in a couple weeks, I went to the gym yesterday.  (That's reasonable right?)  I thought I'd do my usual 10 miles on the elliptical that I did during marathon training since it was too hot (yes in October, global warming is real) to be running outside.  Thank goodness the marathon wasn't this weekend.

I got to the gym and started in on the elliptical.  I forgot how to do this.  No, seriously.  After mile six I thought, "ok, I'm good".  What happened to my body on that week off?  Apparently I've lost all stamina.

I found a half marathon training program I think I can live with.  Only one day off a week?  We'll see.  I think the Thursday runs may be replaced by hill runs.  This weekend aside, it is getting cool enough that I can take my running clothes to work and run up that crazy hill in the afternoon.

Although the Monster Dash is unlikely to be a half marathon, I keep hearing the Frozen Half Marathon is a fun race.  I'm trying to keep running this winter and prevent the weight gain that happened after the last marathon.



Obviously I can't write about running since I haven't been doing that this week.  Although I think I've found my next race. One of the friends who cheered on Sunday invited me to do the five mile race. While I'm usually not wild races that aren't long enough to require a food stop, five miles sounds great right now.

Here's what I've been looking at while I've been so sore I can't move.


Twin Cities Marathon - Race report

Twin Cities Sunday - here's how my life has been.

The week leading up to the marathon: I can eat whatever I want. I love both the taper and the carbo-loading. I miss coffee and several other foods that I eliminated from my diet.

Friday before race day - Dad came into town. Welcome to Minnesota and the best weather in the world. Friday was also race expo day.

Saturday - my day of rest. I had my pooky bear and Eric over for a pre-race pastafest (thanks Pooky Bear, for that word). Eric and Dad planned their cheering itinerary. I went to bed around 10pm.

Sunday morning, 5:20am - I am so happy I bought this sunrise alarm clock. I woke up and had a pre-race breakfast of yogurt mixed with a banana and some chocolate chips.

6:00am - Eric and Kalina came to get me. We parked at the light rail and took the train to the dome.

At the dome - Wow! there are a lot of people here. I found a bathroom that didn't have lines a mile long. Eventually I found the St Paul runners although I was baffled by the whole 'upper level' and 'lower level' entrances for a while.

On the way to the start line - "Liz, you don't have to pee, it's just nerves." Lies! And I know because I held it for 26.2 miles.

Starting gun - No freaking way is this pacer running a 12:36 mile (as the 5:30:00 pacer should be). The pacer took off like a rocket. It wasn't long after that I learned she was completely nuts and wouldn't be running even splits. (Even though that's what the website and race information promised.) We ran, we walked, we sang. Seriously, nuts. Here's how my Nike+ thing recorded my pace. (Ignore that part at the very beginning, I had to start it before I actually started running.) You can see how she would walk and then run all the freaking time.  (Higher on the graph means faster, not up hill.  Lower on the graph means slower.)

Mile 2 - I saw a former field instructor who promised to be out and cheering. The runners were still packed together at this point.  I love all the people out here.

Miles - well, the first hill and the roads to Lake of the Isles are blur. Lake of the Isles was nowhere near as awful as it has been on my training runs.

Lake Calhoun was a blast with a particularly good water stop. I don't remember what made it so good, I just remember that I liked it. My friend Jenna was at Lake Calhoun and took my sweaty headband. Win for Jenna for being an awesome friend. Fail for me because I should've kept it.

Lake Harriet - all I remember is some guy saying "bike for sale" and our whole pace group thought it was hilarious.

The Parkway - First I saw a guy I work with who cheered for us. Then we went up this monstrous hill. It wasn't big, it was just bigger than it should have been. (Has it always been that much of a pain to get to Lyndale Ave? I don't think so.)
Second I saw Cheryl and her dog. Thanks for coming!
Third I saw Dad and Eric for the first time. The whole pace group waved.

Cedar Ave - I love Cedar Ave. This is where they started handing out Vaseline. Serious.

Lake Nokomis - My happy place is now the pit of despair. Oh, what? That crazy pacer is running like a 10:00 mile. No wonder I want to die. We did stop and walk a while here and then I felt much better. I saw Eric and Dad a second time just after half way. Dad got my awesome arm warmers at this point too.

Back on the Parkway - I love it here. We went through a couple of water stops that didn't have Powerade; just water. For the first 9 miles I had a serving of chomps every 3 miles. After that, I decided to eat when I was hungry so I got a little sporadic in here.  I wanted the PowerAde more than I wanted food.

Mile 17 - Yeah for Bolder Options and their Gu station.

Lake Street - Why is this little hill so damn big?

Still on the Parkway - That bridge has got to be around here somewhere.

On the other side of the bridge, still on the Parkway - Our assistant director and her son came out to cheer for me. And waited 'till my slow ass got there. And had a banana for me. I feel like a million dollars!

Approaching Marshall Ave - Pit of despair. That 'wall' is not funny.

Up the hill we go - I made it up the hill to Cretin, still close to the pace group but sort of falling behind. I decided at this point that I wanted to run my race and not run the crazy pacer's race. At mile 21.5, sort of a flat in between the Parkway hill and the Summit Ave hill, I saw Dad and Eric cheering for the last time 'till I got to the finish.

I started walking once I was physically on Summit. Thank goodness I can walk quickly. Power walking needs to play a bigger role in my race training in the future. I met a girl named Sam who looked like she was hurting pretty bad. She walked with me for a while and the we ran/walked together some too.

Snelling Ave - Not the top of the hill. My stomach hurts so bad right now.

Hamline Ave - All I heard was "Move Lizzie!" Thanks, Amanda, for cheering me on. I swear, she had a whole goodie bag but the only thing I took was water. You are so lucky I didn't just take the bottle with me. Also, Amanda snapped what is so far my favorite race picture just before mile 24.

Lexington Ave and Summit - Ok, I'll run to the water stop. Then I have to run 'till I see Chris. I did run 'till I saw Chris, boss number two cheering for me on this route. Hilariously she didn't recognize me 'till I called her. My name is literally written on my shirt in big black letters. Chris walked with me for a while too.

Dale and Summit - Why is there another hill?

Around the corner - Liar! It's not all down hill from here. I was right too. I know that literally right before the cathedral there's a little hill. But at mile 25.7, it's the biggest hill ever.

Cathedral - Best sight ever.

Down the hill to the finish - I felt like I was running really fast. I kind of gunned it home. Best feeling in the world. I think you can watch it here. I felt like I was gunning it; it's not that impressive in the video.  That's a long finish line too, with tons of people cheering.

At the finish line - I want someone to hug! No, wait, I want my medal, then I want someone to hug!

After the race - As I alluded to, immodium did prevent any delays in the race but even half a dose caused crazy stomach cramps and I couldn't really eat the rest of the day.

When I woke up the day after - I cannot move.

Other thoughts:
  • This is the first year I trained without Gatorade. In retrospect, a sports drink on long runs may have helped alleviate some of my, um, symptoms.
  • I still want to run a marathon without stopping for walks.
  • Marathon's are a long race.
  • I am much skinnier than last year when I did this.
  • Perhaps I need to run without pharmaceutical intervention in the future. I couldn't eat after the race because my stomach was so upset. That was the drugs, I assure you, because I didn't feel like this last year.
  • Muscle relaxers were part of my recovery strategy last year. I wish I still had them.
  • Waaaaaay more 5:30:00 runners in the USA than in Amsterdam. So much fun to be out there with everyone.
  • Being with a pace group lent a lot of legitimacy to my speed.
  • Half marathons are too short. Full marathons are way the hell too long.
  • The way to cheer on runners at multiple spots for Twin Cities is definitely on a bike; driving and parking along the course apparently sucks.
  • I'm not planning on taking a month off like last year.
  • I'm not sure I'm going to be able to move at Team:Work's run tomorrow. Uh oh.
  • I took it as a good sign that I could come home and look at 'speed and endurance' workouts for runners and not want to die.

Future goals:
I really would like to run a marathon without stopping. But maybe next year I can have some time off from marathons. After the crazy-pacer, I realize it's even more crucial that I run my own race. I need to be somewhat ahead of the total back of the race pack or I get kind of panicky. An 11:45 to 12:00 mile would be ok, a 12:30 is not. So to set my own pace and run my own race, I need to be able to move a little faster than I do now.

My current goals are going to involve a lot of speed, hills, and improved pacing. I'm thinking about the next races already, to improve my speed. On the list of possibilities is the Securian Frozen Half (I cheered for it this year), the Flying Pig Half (which I will almost surely run), and City of Lakes 25k looks like a good A-Race for next year. Nothing is for sure until I'm financially committed.

My next race: The Dreidel Dash with Team:Work. Duh.

Linkfest MONDAY

Since I can't move (no, seriously), I'll tell you what I've been learning about today.

Liz Trains for a Marathon - Heather, This is for you!

A couple of weeks ago, when I ran with the St Paul runners, Heather asked me about the training schedule I used for the marathon.  I told her a little bit about it but just wasn't emotionally prepared to write more until the marathon was over, don't ask me why, I have no idea.

Right now I'm not emotionally prepared to write a race report but am completely ok with talking about training.  I believe Heather and the St Paul ladies use one of these plans, probably not the novice since they busted some pretty amazing times in the race.

I used this marathon training program.  I actually found it last year when I trained for Amsterdam.  I picked it because the site has a mileage build up program and says "you have to be able to do the mileage build up before you can start training for the marathon" so it wound up being a 40-week training program which was prefect for my first time.  I used the same program this year because Beth reminded me that even though I ran crazy miles last year I didn't get hurt.  (That's as good a reason as any to stay with the program I think.)

Since Heather said the St Paul girls seriously modified Hal's program, it's worth mentioning that I modified this one a bit too.  In 2009 I modified some of the longer runs.  I think the first two 20-milers I made into 18 milers.  This year I did two twenty-milers and technically a 22-miler, although that was really a 20-miler too. I also moved around the step back weeks to coincide with, um, biology.  It's nice that once the step back weeks coincide with biology they do right up until the end.  I also played with the mileage because I only ran 4 days a week.  I usually did all of the miles and kept the long runs the same distance or a mile or two longer and added miles to the 4-6 mile runs to get the rest of my miles.  (Who am I kidding, towards the end I did 10-miles on the elliptical at least once a week to get the extra miles.)

The thing I noticed about this training program is I was literally doing 20-milers in July for an October Marathon.  At the time it seemed both hot and way too early on the training calendar.  (That first 20-miler was really hot.)  I was way more confident this year with three 20-milers under my belt than last year.

Another difference in training programs is this one has a notably long taper.  Sort of.  I did the final 22-miler a full month before the marathon.  The St Paul ladies did their big long a week after I did mine.  (I know because I was resting while they were running.)  I had a 14-miler two weeks before the marathon and a 10-mile fun run (it really was fun) the week before the race.  (I love the taper.)

Because I have OCD, I made a spreadsheet to keep track of the miles I needed each week, the long runs I needed to do each week, if I cross trained, and if I ran hills or ran routes that included a climb. (There's other colors that helped me keep track of things like races, and when I got new shoes.) Here's what this past year looked like. (Note that I ran over 1,000 miles this year. Wow!)


Long Run Sunday: Twin Ciities Marathon

Running is a mental game - we're all nuts
I don't have the words yet for a race report. Look at some pictures instead.

Mile 11

Just after the half way point.

Still just after half way.

Between 21 and 22. And in the flat space between the hill up to Cretin and the hill that is Summit.

After mile 23 where Amanda stopped to say hello.


Linkfest Friday - Going PINK for October

Happy Friday - it's almost the big day and I'm mostly resting.  Dad is here watching Ryder Cup action and trying not to become too familiar with the inside of his eyelids.  Here's what's I've seen lately: