Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winding Down to Big Sur

I leave in 2 days for California.   I am well into the taper and was hopeful that I would feel better by this point.   Not so, my left knee is still hurting 2-3 miles into the run.   I may just take the rest of the week off and hope for the best come race day!   Fortunately I have good friends and have no plan at a PR in this marathon.   My goal is to enjoy the course, take lots of pictures, and cross the finish line with my sister!  

The plan at this point is for my sister and I to do the Marathon Relay.   I am going to do the first 3 legs and my sister the last 2.   Depending on how I feel, I may just pass the chip to Lora and continue to run with her.   Again my hope is to cross the finish line with Lora, hands held high, smiles on our faces! 

Go Team K!!! 

Stats for the week:
Wed:  60 minute run
Thursday:  2500 yd swim, 30 minute core workout
Friday: rest
Saturday: 76 minute run (Antrim to Hills and back)
Sunday:  23 mile bike, 30 minute walk
Monday:  42 minute run (4.2 miles)
Tuesday:  2400 yd swim, 40 minute strength (arms and core)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taper Time!!

The taper time prior to a big race always brings mixed feelings to me.   I LOVE the taper because it means all the hard work that I have put in is over and the race is getting closer.   I HATE the taper because of all the phantom pain that I seem to get.   Without fail something starts to hurt during the taper phase, or at least it seems more noticeable.   In past years everything from my achilles tendon, a hamstring, a hip, and my feet have bothered me during the taper.    This year it is my IT band(s), yep, both of them.    My ankle sprain of a month ago is a thing of the past.   It seems to have healed up fine and is no longer bothering me.   But, since my 22 miler a few weeks ago, my IT bands have taken turns bothering me.   Started with the right just feeling tight with a run.   Next day I could barely move my left knee while trying to walk.   If I rest a few days, they both feel better.   Yesterday although my run was "easy" it felt like everything hurt, both feet, my left knee, my right IT band, and I couldn't wait to be done.    I should be thankful that I can even get out there and run, but all I can think about at this point is every little thing that feels "off."   Par for course I guess, hopefully that will translate into a great racing experience like past years as well!   

Also in true taper fashion, I have signed up for and generated my racing schedule for the next few months.   Need to stay motivated after the Big Sur Marathon, otherwise I might get lazy and not do anything! 

Here is what my race calander looks like thus far:
1) Olentangy Duathlon May 2, 2010
2) TOSRV May 8, 2010
3) Wendy's Triathlon (Sprint Distance) June 13, 2010
4) Alum Creek Triathlon (Olympic Distance) June 27, 2010

My motivation right now, The Big Sur Highway!! 

Stats for the Week
Monday: 30 minute walk
Tuesday: 2200 swim
Wed: 80 minute run
Thursday: 2400 swim, 40 minute run
Friday: rest
Saturday: 12.5 mile run
Sunday: 40 mile bike
Monday: 6.4 mile run (63:30 minutes)
Tuesday: 2300 swim, 30 minute core workout

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Last weekend I took a mini spring break and traveled to Tucson, AZ with my friend Pat to do The Valley of Gold Half Marathon.  It was a very nice, but short trip out to sunny AZ.   We were only there for a long weekend but it was nice to get out of the cold Ohio weather for some fun and sun while also being able to try out a short race.   It worked perfectly in my training plan as I was scheduled to do a 12 mile run for that weekend anyway.  

I decided to try this race a little differently.   Since I didn't really have a training goal in mind and I am recently coming off of an injury, I decided to try this one "au natural."  No, I didn't run it in my birthday suit, but I went back to basics and decided to see what I could do without any fancy gadgets.   So I ran, no garmin, no ipod, I didn't even wear a watch.   The race was fairly small, so they didn't have clocks at the mile markers.   I ran by how I felt, since it was a "training run" I didn't run it at what I felt was race pace.  

The race was relatively small, only about 1200 total between the 5k and the 1/2 marathon.   It started promptly at 7am!
The course was hilly, but the views were awesome, we were in a valley so there were mountain views all around us!   Pat and I sort of started around each other but opted to do our own thing at the race.   I shot this one of her (in the purple long-sleeve shirt) before I settled into my own rhythm.

Running without having any idea of your pace is very different.   At times I felt I was running much slower than normal, when I asked I was actually going about a minute faster than typical for me.   At one point I thought I was running faster than normal when I spotted a group of balloons (indicating a pace group) and thought I was fairly close to the 2:00 group.   This would have been a PR time for me as my best is a 2:06.   So this kept me going for a few miles and then my momentum got stopped.   Unfortunately quite literally, as a group of us was held up by the cops "to let traffic through!"   I could see my PR quite figuratively drifting away.   Once they let us through, I really kicked it up a bit to try and catch the balloons, which I did at around mile 11.   Of course I had forgotten one key thing.   There was also a 2:15 pace group out there and this is actually who I had been following.   Knowing it wouldn't be a PR race for me, I settled into a comfortable pace for the last 2 miles and just tried to enjoy the view.  

I finally crossed the finish line at 2:12:39, about a 10:07 pace overall for the race.   As I hadn't being doing any speedwork, it was a hilly course, Iand it was supposed to be a training run, I was pleased with this.   Just reconfirms that helping pace the 10:00 and 10:30 groups is right where I should be!
Pat finished a little later than me, also with a time that is typical for her.   As you can see we were both happy to be done so we could enjoy the rest of the day!
Before taking off we made sure to say hello to our friend Jeff, also one of the race directors, to give him a big thanks for a nice race and also to give him feedback for next year!   Hopefully, they will figure out how to not stop the racers for the cars!   Although I have a hunch if I had been a little faster (i.e. up with the balloons) I wouldn't have had to stop.  
The rest of the day was spent lounging in the sun, by the pool with the awesome view and a few post-race prickly pear margaritas! 

Stats since 3/21/10
3/22: 60 minute run at DRC track
3/23: strength/core 30 minutes
3/24: 70 minute run from TWHS (1:09)
3/25: 2700 swim, 40 minute run
3/26: rest, travel day
3/27: One hour hike at Catalina State Park
3/28:  13.1 mile run (2:12:39)
3/29/: rest, travel day
3/30: 60 minute recovery run, Dublin trails
3/31: 80 minute run, Dublin trail down Emerald Parkway (out and back)
4/1: 40 minute run
4/2: rest
4/3: 22.5 mile run (4:30)
4/4: 32 mile ride