Monday, May 16, 2011

Sugarloaf Marathon Race Report

Sugarloaf Marathon 2011...

When I decided to run Sugarloaf I had a couple things in mind. 1) Force myself to create an endurance base and 2) Get another qualifying time for Boston. I did not include any speed work during this training cycle, just made sure I put in the miles. Going into the race I was feeling pretty good about my fitness.

When I woke up on race morning my stomach didn't feel that great. I'm sure it was nerves, but I had a hard time eating breakfast. I tried to put down some oatmeal but barely put a dent in it. Once I got to the start, I was feeling much better. It was drizzling out, but nothing major. I started with my rain jacket on with a plan to ditch it at mile 4, just trying to stay dry for awhile since the forecast was for rain the entire morning. I definitely didn't need the jacket because I got warm fast. And it really didn't matter because by the end of the race I was soaked from head to toe.

During the first part of the race, the mile markers were really off. I think the mile markers painted on the road were right, but then the signs weren't put in the same place. Sometimes they would put the mile marker at the water stop, which might be almost 40 secs before the actual mile marker. It was kind of frustrating since I was trying to monitor my pace in the beginning, but I just kept looking at the overall time to see where I was. After mile 10, the markers seem to be fine.

My goal for this race was 3:36, which is 8:15 pace.

Here we go ...

Mile 1 - 8:12
Mile 2 - 8:19
Mile 3 - 8:33 (not sure what happened here)
Mile 4&5 - 8:14 avg (this is one of the places the mile markers were off)
Mile 6 - 8:22
Miles 7-10 ... This is the start of the big uphill and again the mile markers were off so all I have is the total time over the four miles which averaged 8:28. I was really glad to be up over that hill, knowing that was it. It was mostly flat and downhill from that point on.
Mile 11 - 8:09
Mile 12 - 7:57
Mile 13 - 8:09
Mile 14 - 8:15
Mile 15 - 8:06
Mile 16 - 7:44
Mile 17 - 7:36
Mile 18 - 8:12
Mile 19 - 8:14
Mile 20 - 8:48 And this is where it happened. I knew it was going to be tough going from here to the finish. My splits just dropped a minute per mile.
Mile 21 - 9:09
Mile 22 - 9:12
Mile 23 - 9:13
Mile 24 - 9:23
Mile 25 to the finish I averaged 9:15

Finish time 3:42. I lost the 6 minutes in the last 6 miles, but I still got my BQ. Average pace 8:29.

Overall I was happy with my race. I am looking forward to a little recovery and then to start building on this endurance base.

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Roger who ran course support for me the whole race. I think he appeared at least 6+ times during the race and I know I would not have made it through the last 4 miles as fast as I did if it wasn't for him constantly telling me to keep after it. I've never had anyone run support for me like that and it is amazing what a difference it makes!!

Next up Mt Washington.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good news, bad news

Good news, bad news. Bad news is always better to take if you have some good to go with it.

The first good news is that I successfully registered for the Beach to Beacon 10K. I was up early Tuesday morning, got all ready for work, set up my laptop and poured a full cup of coffee. I sat down at 6:55 and was prepared to be sitting there for at least 30 minutes like last year. Surprisingly, at 7am sharp I hit the register now button and by 7:03 I was in. Whew!

The second good news is that they drew my name in the lottery for the Mt Washington Road Race. This will be my second trek up the mountain and I am hoping to run much better than the first time. I have been incorporating many hills in my long runs already getting ready for the Sugarloaf marathon, so I just need to add some weekly hill repeats into the schedule from here on out.

The bad news is I went to OA this week to have my shoulder checked out. As I feared, I have a rotator cuff impingement. There will be no swimming for me for at least 6 weeks. There will be no Polar Bear Tri and no Peaks to Portland. I will just have to see how things go before I even think about signing up for any late season triathlons.

I’m being very positive about all this though. I’ve wanted to improve my running so this might just be my chance. With the extra time I have, I can really focus on just running. I should also have time to incorporate some strength work and maybe even some yoga to help with my flexibility. I would love to get back into the shape I was at the end of ’07 when I was setting PRs right and left…. And now I have the opportunity.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The ABCs...

I decided to join in and give up the ABCs on me ...

Age: 39 ... for just a few weeks longer and no I don't want to talk about turning ... uh ...

Bed size: Queen

Chore you dislike: Dusting. I'd rather scrub a toilet than dust.

Dogs: I have had many in my life, but none currently.

Essential start to your day: Coffee. Period.

Favorite color: Blue

Gold or silver: Silver

Height: 5'8"

Instruments you play: Piano, Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Alto Saxophone. I haven't played the last 3 since high school.

Job title: Business Insurance Agent

Kids: 2... girl, boy

Live: South Portland, ME. I love it.

Mom's name: Marilyn Kay

Nickname: I have several depending on who it is ... Bob (sister only!), Carlson (the guys at work), Donkey (my best friend).

Overnight hospital stay: Twice, to give birth.

Pet peeves: Laziness!! Example: When people wait for a parking spot when there is one available 4 spaces down. Or, hitting the handicap door opener when you're not handicapped.

Quote from a movie: I have so many I don't know where to start ...

Righty or lefty: Righty

Siblings: One. Dawn, sister that is 2 1/2 years older.

Time you wake up: Depends. Weekdays: if I'm working out 5:15, if I'm not 6:45. Weekends: Whenever I want, but if I have a big workout I'm up early.

Underwear: Victoria Secrets bikini, at least 90% of the time...

Vegetables you don't like: Peas, brussel sprouts, raw carrots.

What makes you run late: Not much.

X-rays you had: Collar bone (broken), Arm (broken), Finger (broken), Ankle (not broken), Kidneys, Lungs, Teeth.

Yummy food you make: I am a great cook and baker. Enchiladas, Homemade Mac & Cheese, Pie, Bread, Carmel-cinnamon rolls.

Zoo animal favorites: Zebras, because I'm fascinated that no zebra has the same stripes.

Well, there it is.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The long run

Every time I take off for a long run I take a deep breath and think here we go. It's that the thought of once I take that first stride I know I'm not going to stop running for a long time. I never know how I am going to feel. A lot can happen during all those miles.

I think of longs runs as not only building endurance but also building mental toughness. Some longs feel great the whole way but more often than not I have a few moments where I don't feel good. I kind of drift in and out of "the zone." It's those moments when I'm out of the zone that I really have to think about what I'm doing. I had to do that today. I took off for a hilly 16 miler and the first two miles were just blah. Then at mile 3 I finally settled in and was going along great, felt like I was on cruise control. That is a great feeling. Just zoned out, listening to my music and clipping off the miles. Then all of a sudden around mile 11 or 12 I felt horrible. I struggled though that until about mile 14. Finally it passed and I felt great the rest of the way. Weird how that works. The run ended up being 16.7 and overall I felt good about it.

The other thing about long runs is how much stuff can go through your head and how much you can see while running. I took note today of how friendly all the runners were I met on the road. Everyone said good morning. I started to notice that a bunch of houses still had Christmas wreaths up. Once I saw the first one I started looking at all the houses and couldn't believe how many wreaths I saw. The SMR whizzed by me. Always cool to see the group ride come hauling ass down 77. Spring is around the corner if the group rides are back. I started thinking about what homework I had to do, the laundry I needed to get done. Then my mind started thinking food. Man I'm hungry! Started to think about what I was going to hog down post run. Unfortunately, I realized I was out of eggs which limited what I could fix and meant no pancakes. Ugh. Told myself to remember to go grocery shopping this weekend, which I still haven't done. Too bad you couldn't mentally record all the thoughts that went through your head.

I always forget some of the weird music I have on my play list. I've decided that I love running to the Black Eyed Peas. When one of their songs comes on it just gives me a pick up. All of a sudden today I had the Toby Keith song, Weed with Willie start playing. Wow, did I put that on my playlist? Anyway, it gave me a good laugh.

When I'm marathon training I always start thinking about what long runs I have left while I'm doing my long run. At this point I still have all my 20s to go. I'm pretty sure I should never think about that when I'm having an out of the zone moment!!

The best thing I thought this morning was how much I love running. My last marathon was Boston 09 and it feels really good to be marathon training again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Roll with it ...

If it's one thing I've learned from racing and training, it's you just have to roll with it. Whatever "it" is. Take it as it comes and make changes on the fly!

I've had to amend my race schedule for a few reasons. First race off the list was the MidWinter Classic. I waited too long to register and it had reached it's cap. Of course, that doesn't really matter anymore since the race never actually took place. The second race off my list was the Black Fly Tri weekend. My folks announced they are coming to visit so I can't really take off to race the whole weekend, can I? I have the Beach to Beacon on my list, but it is still TBD if I actually get in. I'll be disappointed if I don't.

My Peaks to Portland entry is now in question as well. About 6 weeks ago I started feeling something in my left shoulder. Pain at the bottom of my deltoid when I try to extend my arm. Every time I swim it aches. I have an appointment at OA to get it checked and am afraid to sign up for P2P until I know what's wrong.

I added the Polar Bear Triathlon to the schedule. And, last week I put my name in the lottery for the Mt Washington Road Race. I'll find out in a few weeks if I get in.

I should have the answer to all three races in question by months end, so stay tuned.

Here are a few things that I have been reminded of lately ...

1. Don't wear worn out shoes. I almost pushed it too long this time!
2. Stretching and rolling are essential. Period.
3. Eat. If you don't fuel you feel like shit during your workout.
4. Recovery. Recovery days and recovery nutrition.
5. You really don't get fat overnight. I swear I feel like it some days though!!

Why do I have to remind myself of these things over and over?

Next up, New Bedford Half Marathon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 ...

It's here ... 2011 ... another year underway! However, it's not starting exactly how I had imagined it. My training was going very well as I approached the end of 2010. I had a lot of consistency. My running was feeling great and my swimming was improving by leaps and bounds. I was even logging trainer time. Plus my weight was spot on. I had hit my goal weight.

Then, I made a trip to Texas to see my family the week after Thanksgiving. I completed my planned runs and found the local Y so I could swim too. I was so happy that i fit in my workouts while traveling and didn't gain any weight! Unfortunately it's all downhill from there ...

I came home sick. I felt it coming on Saturday and by the time my plane landed Sunday night I was sick! Sore throat, stuffed up, and coughing. By Tuesday I was at the Doctor, who told me all I had was a cold. Great. No Rx. Back to over the counter cold meds and cough drops. That cough lingered for weeks. In fact, I'm still coughing some. I was able to start working out again after two weeks. I got in some good workouts the week of Christmas. Things were coming around. I thought great, I can get back into it without too much fitness lost. THEN, Monday morning I did some shoveling. Nothing major but ended up straining my right exterior oblique muscle. As this week has progressed it got worse and by Thursday it hurt to just walk. I have now lost another week of training.

I started walking (yes you read that correct), walking on Friday. I can't do anything else. Walking is the only thing I can do to burn some calories. I am hoping to ride the trainer this week without too much pain. I think running is still another week away and I fear swimming is going to be on hold longer. I was also hoping to start Nordic skiing this weekend but obviously that is weeks out now too.

I am trying to remember that a few weeks off doesn't mean that I have lost ALL my fitness. And the 5 lbs I have now gained back will come off quite easily once I start working out again.

This injury caused me to miss my first planned race of 2011, the Hangover Classic. As I was out for my "walk" yesterday morning I was thinking was a great day it would have been to race and plunge in the ocean. Oh well. All I can do is I look forward. Here is my planned race schedule for 2011:

Mid Winter Classic 10-miler
New Bedford Half Marathon
Sugarloaf Marathon
Black Fly Tri Weekend
Peaks to Portland Swim
Beach to Beacon 10K
Wildman Duathlon
Lobsterman Triathlon
Colby Triathlon
Maine Half Marathon

My positive thought today ... 2011 can only get better from here. I'm off for my morning walk ...