Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!

Everyone at the OKC Marathon got a good dose of Oklahoma wind. Yes, it was grueling on the way back, especially coming over Claussen, which seemed to go on and on. But, we had a good race for the first 15 or 16 miles. It got a little rough in Nichols Hills on the way back but we still had some fight left in us but once we hit Claussen and the wind was relentless, it was really hard to keep we didn't. That was the longest 4 mile stretch but I kept thinking about some others in our group ahead of us who were trying to get a 4:15 and I prayed for them that they could achieve their goal. I lost anyone I was running with on Claussen and I was torn between waiting for them or pressing on to do my best and I decided to press on because they had told me to do that if they dropped back and I would want them to do the same if the tables were turned. So many people were walking on Claussen, it seemed that the only ones running were the relay runners.

Once I got to the 25th mile, I told myself that I had to run, especially since my pace had dropped off so much that there was a possibility that I wouldn't break 5:00. Actually, up to mile 24, I was still on pace to finish at 4:45 but I slowed down so much that I was going to need to pick up the pace to even break 5:00. Turning on Broadway and seeing the finish line down the street was such a relief. I kept my eyes focused on the finish line and pressed on and hoped that my Garmin was right because it looked like I was going to be several minutes under 5:00. Crossing that finish line felt so good. I ended up with a 4:56:38 which is a PR for me.

Even though the last 10 miles were so tough, it was a great weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed the pasta dinner, hearing the speakers and seeing all the RW runners. I especially was inspired by Amy Palmiero-Winters, the amputee: and I thought about her pushing that wheelchair all throughout the race. It was so great to run with friends and to meet some new people (Lauren) and I learned that Lauren is the sister of someone my daughter swims with at Booker T. Having Lauren's parents cheer for us all thoughout the race was so incredible, I can't thank them enough. And it was great to reunite after the race and gripe together about the weather and how hard the race was. Getting a PR was very rewarding, my next goal is a 4:45 but it will be in the fall and I haven't decided where to run yet. I am going to do the Aquarium 1/2 marathon in a couple of weeks and try to finish in 2:00.

Thanks to Joe and Dave too for coming over to OKC to cheer us on, it meant a lot.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm eating my words, another windy marathon

I said I would NEVER run another windy marathon after I ran Dallas last December and here I am, tomorrow's OKC is projected to be windy and most likely rain, in fact, thunderstorms. I hope they don't close the race, please God, intervene and keep the lightening and thunder away. So many people want to run this race because of what happened to OKC.

I was so inspired by the pre-race talks at the pasta dinner-the amputee who is pushing a young girl in a wheelchair for the marathon and talks by Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson. In spite of the weather, I am truly pumped. And it is so great to run with friends, in Dallas I was a lone ranger.

Well, off to bed for some shut-eye, I'll be up at 3.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just 2 more miles-reflection on my longest training run ever

Saturday, April 11 was our final long run before the OKC marathon. The day dawned perfectly, 42 degrees, clear skies. Dave set the tone by encouraging us to "run with perseverance, the course set before us," and most of us could hardly stand still long enough to listen to his instruction, so anxious were we to get this particular run under our belt. We were going to do 4 loops of 5 miles each around the Maple Ridge area and then tag a 2 miler at the end using whatever route we wanted. We also were not supposed to wear our timing devices but addict that I am, I had to hang on to mine, if only to document that I did the distance.

My first couple of loops were a breeze, the first 5 miles I ran with Carmie and it was hard to believe that she had just run Hogeye, one of the top 10 most difficult marathons, in Fayetteville, only last weekend. The next 3 loops I ran with Larry and we paced each other well. Both of us are wanting to qualify for Boston and he has the same QT as I do but he will probably qualify before I do, but's who's in a hurry? I tried Gu Roctane, the ultra endurance gel, for the first time and it went down fine and gave me a good buzz. I really like the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor but the Vanilla Orange was ok too. I think I found a good system for my fuel, taking a gel every 5 miles seemed to keep me ahead of the energy drain at the end of the run. I alternated bt the regular Gu and the Roctane, the Roctane costs twice as much but it has more muscle restoring qualities to it, the biggest change in the gel is it contains Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (okg) which limits the body's tendency to break down muscle protein tissue. OKG keeps you going longer and aids in recovery.

When we were finishing the 3rd loop I told Larry that I was thinking about tagging on 4 miles instead of 2, for a total of 24 miles. OKC would be my third marathon and since I've haven't learned how to keep myself together after 18 miles, I wanted to go most of the distance and see how I did. I said I'd fully commit after we were further into the 4th loop, I was still feeling pretty strong during the 3rd loop, but then again, I usually do.

About halfway into the 4th loop I said that I would do the 24 miles and Larry said he'd go the distance too. I told him it wouldn't be pretty and I was getting really tired but I wanted to mentally tackle this so I wouldn't fall apart in OKC. So, we finish our 4 loops, 20 miles, and we head back north on Riverside and I'm beginning to get a little tight. I should have had more Gatorade. I make the first 2 mile section and we head back south to 31st street, oh, I'm really sluggish and hurting now. We gulped down some water and got right back on the trail, if we stopped, we would surely stop for good. Those last 2 miles were brutal, I whined and wanted to alternate walking and running so badly but Larry wouldn't let me walk. I am so glad he was there, because I definitely would have wimped out. Not only did we do 24 but he had the gall to ask me to tack on .2 so we could say we did 24.2!!! Ohhh the pain, but it was so worth it, I feel so ready for OKC! Now, please God, give us another beautiful, perfect day like Saturday, we've had more than our share of windy Saturday training runs.

When I got home, I did crash on the couch for about an hour but then I showered and went to the mall with my daughter for a little bit. That's the best thing to do other than an ice bath, keep those muscles moving. I didn't even get sore on Sunday or Monday which means I'm not pushing hard enough. I find that hard to believe, since I was so tired but I think it is all mental. I'm leaving too much on the trail, gotta give it all I've got.

My weekday runs were pretty amazing. Tuesday morning I ran with just a couple of hours sleep. I felt pretty sluggish, but I think that was more from the 24 miles than the lack of sleep. Thursday morning was a great run, perfect weather and I had 2 sub-9 min. miles and a little sprinkling of rain during the run. This was with an average of 4 hours sleep/night. Next week will be different, I must get several good night's of sleep in before OKC.

It's taper time, all easy short runs now. Good because I have 2 baby showers to go to Saturday, perfect timing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crank up the mileage

Last week, we were all prepared for a long 20 miler and then old man winter had his way and most of us did 5-10 miles in wind and snow, kind of like a mail carrier, such dedication. We did get together again on Sunday, the weather was kind and most of us did 15 - 20 miles. Today was a drop back day and I did 11 miles. I felt really sluggish, I haven't had much sleep this week and was up past 1:00 last night so I think that has something to do with it. Thanks Janet for all your encouragement, I really didn't feel perky at all.

It was a hard route, lots of hills, but I know it was good for us. A big thanks to Larry for planning the route. The route took us through beautiful Maple Ridge neighborhoods and it was fun saying hello to people sitting on their porch enjoying their coffee, as I am sipping mine now. We also went through dt Tulsa past some clubs and bars that were quiet early in the a.m. but will be hopping tonight. My daughter is going to one of the places tonight, not a bar, so i was glad to see where she would be since I had never heard of the place. It was so funny, as we ran past these places, we didn't know anything about them, just shows what stage of life we are in...middle age homebodies.

Patty, Janet and Becky were going back out for another 11 and I said a prayer for them, since the wind really picked up after 9:00.

Next week it is the big 22 miler, OKC is 4/26, I'm already getting pre-race tension, i really want to break 5 hours! I think I'm going to try some new GU-Roctane Ultra Endurance.

A shout out to Candice-congrats on a safe delivery and Nate is a beautiful baby boy!