Monday, November 24, 2008

AND now comes the sickness...

In reading about the post marathon recovery, I read how many people get sick after the race because the marathon taxes your body and puts a whammy on your immune system. I was determined not to get sick. I completely rested all week. I took my vitamin C. I got plenty of rest.

I decided this weekend to get back out there and do a couple of easy runs. I was getting a bit antsy and the scale was NOT kind to me (evil, sadist that it is). Saturday was a slow and easy 2 mile run/walk with the dogs. Sunday I went out for a 4 mile run and kept the pace decent, but not too fast. My legs are still pretty tight.

A couple hours later I started to get that scratchy feeling in my throat and my head started to feel like someone had put a vice on it. Not good. I drank my weight in NyQuil and went to bed, hoping that this curse would be lifted when I woke up. Nope. Now, on top of all that, it seems that I'm coughing up small alien life forms.

So, I'm drinking my hot tea right now, all bundled up in my flannel jammies hoping to nip this head cold in the bud before it gets any worse. Ugh.

Today I LOVE: Tylenol Cold and Sinus!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

STILL a bit sore

It is now Thursday and my quads are STILL sore. Now I'm not hobbling around and wincing with every step like I was two days ago, but there's still some twinges of pain after I've been sitting for a while. Tonight, I'm going to take the dogs for a nice 2 to 3 mile walk and try and work the rest of this soreness out. Saturday or Sunday I'll go out for an easy run to get back into the swing of thing.

Now Jeff really wants to run the Phoenix R&R Half. He had me print out a beginner's training plan and he's been checking off his runs the last couple of days! I'm so excited that he has the racing bug now. I think him being at the race, seeing all the different shapes, sizes and ages of the runners has given him the confidence that he too can do this.

I was reading about marathon recovery and that it takes 26 days for your body to recover (approximately one day per mile). Wow. 26 days? Really? I'm already antsy to go out for a run! I know, I know...take it easy or I'll risk injury or illness. I will. But I don't know that I can take it easy for 26 days. Mainly I just read that you should build back up to speed work over the next few weeks. They advised complete rest the week after the marathon with a few walks in there to work out the soreness, then a few easy runs in the next few weeks and slowly build back up to speed work and long runs.

So that leads to the question for today:

What do you guys do to recover from a race?

Tomorrow...picture post. I promise!

Today I LOVE: looking at all my race pictures.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008






26.56 miles (that's what Minnie said) - Avg. pace = 11:49

OMG you guys, it was SO many things...exciting, amazing, exhilarating, excruciating, painful, emotional, inspiring..everything all at once.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect. We started out at about 35 degrees and it slowly warmed up to 68-70ish by the end of the race. Low winds, no rain...just great weather.

And there were a TON of people there. Initially they said 30,000 people - 20,000 for the half and 10,000 for the full. The final tally was closer to 25,000, but let me tell you: there were a LOT of people running.

My brother dropped Sarah and I off at the start drop off and we walked to the start area about 1/2 a mile away. We managed to find our corrals and were anxiously waiting for the national anthem and that beloved start gun. We waited...and waited...and waited...and waited.... They delayed the race by about 15 minutes. Ack! It's freezing here people! Apparently the parking offsite and shuttle service was a complete fiasco and people were waiting an hour for a shuttle bus. So, they delayed the race a little. It did give me a chance to talk to several people in my corral (the super slow one..) There were two people from Ohio who do these races all the time - they're race walkers (AGAIN - the SLOW corral). One girl was actually running IN HER SOCKS! I wish I had gotten a picture of her. I couldn't believe it! Finally we sing the national anthem and one girl next to me starts tearing up over the emotions of the moment. I teared up with her. The mayor of San Antonio comes on and drowns on similar to Charlie Brown's teacher.."wah, wah-wah, waaah, wah-wah, waaahhh...." I mean no disrespect, but seriously we are now 20 minutes late and did I mention, IT'S FREEZING OUT HERE!

BANG!!! The start gun goes off and they start releasing corrals. I'm not sure what the timing was to realse each corral, but I was in corral 20. I didn't reach the start line until 8:15. The race was supposed to start at 7:30. The first half of the race is run through downtown San Antonio. It was good in that it was flat and very scenic. We ran by the Alamo, my niece's school, my sis-in-law's work, and several beautiful neighborhoods. It was bad in that the streets were narrow and uneven - we ran on several brick roads.

Narrow streets, a slow corral and 25,000 runners are not a good combination. My strategy was to pace around 10:30 to 10:45 for the first 13 and then around 11:30 t0 12:00 for the second half to get me in under 5:00. Starting out in that slow corral, I really got boxed in with much slower runners on the narrow streets and could not weave my way around. Plus I had to stop at mile 3 and pee (too much water and coffee!) and then I stopped at mile 9 to hand off clothes and exchange goo with my family. With all this I averaged 11:17 for my first 13 - not really where I wanted to be.

I thought I might could make up a little time on the back 13 and try to keep a consistent pace of 11:30. Umm....WRONG. Whoever said that this course was "relatively flat" should be taken out back, drawn and quartered and then shot. It was NOT flat. There were rolling hills the whole back 13. My quads were burning.

At mile 15ish I saw Sarah. She was truly amazing. Seriously. She's been dealing with an injury that she suffered early in training. She decided to just rest and try her best with this marathon since she already registered. Let me tell you guys - she blew me away. I would have stopped at the half and have been done with it. Not her - she pushed through and completed the whole thing - not having trained for several weeks. She earned every step of that medal.

About mile 18 is when it started hurting. About mile 20 is when it really started hurting. About mile 22 is when I lost all feeling in my left big toe. :) I realized then that there was no way I could come in under 5:00. So, I shot for 5:15.

Shockingly my knees were fine. It was my quads and toes that were killing me. But mentally I just kept telling myself to relax and push through. Physically my body could do this. "Ignore what the brain is telling you and push through." At mile 22 I called Jeff to let him know that I was about 45 - 50 minutes out. I almost broke down in tears hearing his voice. He was so awesome. "You can do it baby!" he shouted over the phone. "We'll be waiting for you at the finish". Let me tell you, it makes such a HUGE difference to have friends and family there. When I saw them at mile 9, I was on a high for the next four miles. And just hearing his voice really helped me push through to the end.

One GREAT sign toward the end was a homemade poster that read "It's painful up to a point and then it doesn't hurt any worse." I don't know - that just made me giggle and realize that I could conquer the pain.

At 25.5 miles we turned back onto Durango and I could see the Alamodome. I'm ALMOST there. I was determined to run that last mile in. I looked at Minnie and she read 26.2 miles....where the HELL is that finish line??? 26.3 miles...still no finish line. 26.4 miles...WTF?? We turned the corner and had to run up this RAMP with a nice steep grade and around the corner to the finish line. You have GOT TO BE &*%$ing kidding me! Then I saw my family all cheering me on and screaming for me. I ran (OK - jogged - my legs were jelly) it in and finished! That medal felt so AWESOME on my neck.

Now today - two days later, I'm still pretty stiff and sore. Again - it's just my quads. My knees are fine, my ankles are fine and my hamstrings are fine. But my quad muscles are screaming at me. So, I'm hobbling around and thank the LORD I get to work from home today.

Funny thing, now Jeff has the running bug. He saw the heavy medal series at the Expo and he REALLY wants the Super 6 one now. So, he wants to start training for the Phoenix half! Sweet. Even cuter thing, my niece (who is 8) has a weekend update every Monday at school where they get to tell the class about something interesting they did that weekend. She wanted to tell her class that her aunt ran the marathon and that she saw the race and that she was so proud of me. When my sister-in-law told me that, my heart completely melted.

Will I do another marathon? Probably - but no time soon. Maybe next year. It was an awesome experience and now I know what to expect and how to train for the next one. But my body needs a bit of a rest. Would I do this marathon again? Umm..probably not. I would do the half in a heart beat, but not the full.

Race summary for San Antonio:

  • Narrow streets - I won't start in such a slow corral next time
  • Uneven streets
  • Rolling hills in the back 13 - not terrible, but definitely not a flat course
  • The back 13 was a bit isolated - not many spectators there because it's hard to get to.
  • Commemorative race gear was EXPENSIVE! Seriously - $40 for a t-shirt? Seriously?
  • Start and finish line organization was a bit off, but I'll give them some slack because it was the first one.
  • RUDE runners and walkers on the course. People were pushing and shoving and tripping and there were blocks of walkers in the middle of the road...I could go on and on.
  • Maybe I'm a medal snob, but I think the marathon medal should be bigger than the half medal. Again - just my opinion, but we worked twice as hard, so it just should be bigger! (ha - I know...size shouldn't matter, but it DOES!)


  • The Expo was big and had plently of vendors
  • There were tons of water stations, fuel stations and medical aid stations.
  • Very scenic course, there's a lot to see - especially in the first 13 miles.
  • The sheer number of people made the start exhilarating
  • Even though they were the SAME SIZE, the medals were pretty cool.

I have a ton of pictures that I have to download off of two cameras. So, once I recover a bit, I'll work on posting those. I'm now going to hobble over to the kitchen to get myself some more coffee.

Today I LOVE: that I got to meet Sarah and Ryan - two and the sweetest, funest people on the planet!

Today I LOVE, LOVE: that I got to spend time with my family and that they cheered me on for the race.

Today I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE: The awesome feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing your first marathon!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My last post as a virgin

This is my last and final post as a virgin - marathon virgin that is! :D I have to furiously wash some clothes tonight and pack. Looks like the weather is going to be great too! Low of 41 and high of 70 and no chance of rain. Sweet! So, I'm taking my half tights, a sleeveless singlet, my thin running jacket, ear warmers and pair of disposable cotton gloves. Layer, layer, layer! My family is getting so excited. We run by my niece's school at mile 1 and then by my sis-in-laws work at mile 9. And she said there are about 10-12 people from her work running this race too!

I have to drop the babies off at the vet to be boarded this afternoon. :( I always have major separation anxiety and guilt when I have to drop them off the night before. The house is WAY too quiet when they're not home. But we get to pick them up on Monday and they always take good care of them.

I took your advice and invested in some Tylenol PM last night. It DID the trick. I got a great nights sleep and it calmed me down a bit.

Ok - so much to do, so little time to do it and if I stop to think about it I'll go into freak out mode. I still can't believe I'm doing this!!!

I promise a full report upon return and lots and lots of pictures!

Today I LOVE: All the awesome encouragement, support and well wishes I've gotten from my online running buddies. Thanks GUYS!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nervous Energy

I do NOT know how people cope with all this nervous energy before a huge race! Usually, when I have a lot of nervous energy I just go out and run my butt off and I feel a lot better. Now that I'm in taper mode, I'm apprehensive to go run too much. But, I woke up this morning at 4:45 WIDE AWAKE. That NEVER happens to me. Usually my morning routine consists of this:

  1. Wake up and glance at the clock and then realize "THANK you Lord, I have 35 more minutes of sleep left"
  2. Want to punish the evil sadist that is the alarm that screams at me 35 minutes later.
  3. Turn off alarm.
  4. Sleep for 15 more minutes.
  5. Wake up in a panic because I overslept TOO much.
  6. Rush to throw on some semblance of matching clothes.
  7. Brush teeth.
  8. Pony tail hair.
  9. Throw on mascara so don't look like zombie.
  10. Brew MAJOR cup of coffee so don't act like zombie.
  11. Head out to work.

Nope. Not this morning. I turned off the alarm. Got up. ATE BREAKFAST. Actually picked out a cute outfit and left hair down and shiny and flowy. Put on full face of makeup. Played with dogs a bit. Leisurely drove to work.

So, I'm going to run another 3 to 4 tonight to try and burn off some of this anxiousness. I'll take it slow and easy so as not to tire out my legs. But honestly, they feel fine from yesterday's tempo run.

Eating is still a bit out of whack (again - nervous energy), but I'm getting it under control. I only ate one cupcake instead of six. HA!

Today I LOVE: Buttercream frosting!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Oh! My! God! I have never, NEVER had a sub-nine average on anything! WTF??!!?! I just ran an 8:55 with all negative splits. SHUT UP!!! Wow. I'm just in shock. And it felt GREAT!

I do have to always giggle about the elevation on this compared to other people's. My measly 20 feet above sea level. And in New Orleans it's closer to 0' or even below in some places. HA! I know Tater can relate!


Distance: 3.00 miles

Speed:6.7 mph

Pace:8' 55 /mi


Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 19+0' 246.4-0.3-7 ft
28' 48-0' 076.8+0.1+7 ft
38' 44-0' 116.9+0.1-3 ft
Versus average of 8' 55 min/mile

Monday, November 10, 2008

People Guard Your Cupcakes!!!

I have been eating EVERYTHING is sight!!! Seriously!! I can't stop myself. I know it's stress and nerves about the upcoming race. Good thing I'm not really eating junk per se, just a LOT of food. Last night was veggie pizza from our favorite pizza place. It's SUPER yummy. The night before I made a pasta puttanesca and ate a huge helping of that. Oh, AND I made cupcakes this weekend. Ok, so cupcakes are junk, but they're GOOOOODDDDDD junk.

It's going to be a short work week for me too. Tomorrow is a holiday and I have Friday off to fly out to San Antonio. Yeeehaw!!!

Still no shoes yet. I need to call and check on the order. Grrr....

Ok, funny thing this weekend - I totally missed not having a long run. I have come to enjoy the solitude and reflection that comes with a nice, long run. I think that was partly why I felt a bit antsy too. I really, really wanted to go out and run a nice 8 to 10 miles. It took everything in me to keep things short and sweet. So, that leads to the question today:

How much do you guys run on your long run days in the off season (when you're not training for a race)?

Today I LOVE: That tomorrow is a holiday!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just 7 DAYS AWAY!!!

I can't believe the race is SO CLOSE!! It just seems so surreal right now. Funny thing, I had to fly to San Antonio on Wednesday and Thursday for work. The whole time I was thinking, "I'm going to be running down that street next week."

I've been checking the weather everyday to see what to expect for the race. As of right now it's showing 30% chance of rain. High of 73 and low of 47. Pretty stinkin' good weather for a race!

Still no shoes in the mail yet. If they don't arrive by Thursday, I'll probably just run in my old ones. Stupid, dang shoe companies. I might get lucky and find a pair at the Expo at some of the cheap running gear places.

Only three more runs left before the race. Taper, taper, taper. Rest, rest, rest.

OK, so I'm reading up on nutrition before the race. I'm seeing where they suggest carb loading (70% carbs) two days before the race and then I'm seeing where they say to eat normally, but increase your carbs by just a bit (50% carbs). What do you guys generally do? Any suggestions?

Today I LOVE: that I get to meet Sarah and her hubby in a few, short days!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No, no, no, no, no.....

Saucony has discontinued my FAVORITE RUNNING SHOE!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

I went to my running store last week and they were ALL out of my shoe in the 8.5. I tried on the 8 - it felt OK, but I didn't really want to shell out $89 for a shoe I wasn't completely happy with. The lady there put me in a pair of Asics which I used to run in and have pretty good luck with. They felt good and they had them in my size. I needed a new pair. Well - when I went to "break them in" on a short run they felt fine. No problems and I could definitely tell my old pair were a bit broken down. Well...on the long run - different story. I have a nice little blister on my left, fourth toe from these demon spawn shoes. It's really not that bad, but STILL aggravating! The seam is rubbing a bit on that left toe. It was a tiny, tiny mark, but I'm sure as hell not going to wear those for the race. That's all I need is to run across the finish line with a bloody stump for a fourth toe. I've only run in these new ones twice, so maybe I can take them back and swap them out.

Anyway - I decided to get online to see if I could order a duplicate pair of my little blue babies - my old Saucony ProGrid Trigon 5 Ride - which I totally heart. Ummm...sure - if I'm a size 6 or 11. ARGH!! I FINALLY, FINALLY (after extensive google searching) found one running store in NY that apparently still has some of my size in stock. I ordered them RIGHT OFF! I may even call them tomorrow and just tell them to send me the rest of their stock in my size. WHY DO THE SHOE MANUFACTURERS DO THIS?????? WHY????

I tried on the upgrade Saucony Triumphs and HATED them. (Good thing too because they're $120!). After some research on the shoes, I think I should go back and try on the Guide or the current Ride model (but it's NOT the Trigon 5). But still - it's NOT MY SHOE!

**SIGH** I'm frustrated.

Monday, November 3, 2008

TWO weeks to go!!!

I am officially in taper time. It's so weird to not be planning for a long run this weekend. I'm used to organizing my weekends around my long run. This weekend was only a 12 miler. I laugh...only a 12 miler. Before - a 12 miler was my peak runs for the half marathons. Now that's one of my taper runs.

I've been trying to keep things slow and easy. The last thing I want to do in injure myself just two weeks before the race. Slow and easy. Let those legs rest. I can see how tapering is rough on the mental game. Self-doubt and panic starts to set in with these shorter, easier runs. Did I train enough? Am I ready? Is one 20 miler enough to prepare me????

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....

Now I'm furiously checking the weather every day to see what we're going to encounter in San Antonio. I am praying for 55 or below. Oh, and NO rain.

Today I LOVE: the excitement that's starting to build!