Saturday, April 26, 2014

Boston 2014

The short story
It was a great day. I felt reasonable good, never hit the wall, and finished strong. Given the issues I've had this winter, I was pleased with my time. My official time was 3:16:48. I'll be going back to BayState to work on my PR. ;)

Water stop woes
It's no secret that water stops and I don't get along. It's embarrassing really. I can't run and drink water from an open cup. Why oh why can't I drink and run at the same time!

Since training wasn't awesome this winter and I didn't find a hydration belt that I liked, I decided to run belt-less. It was a good opportunity to learn to drink from a cup while running. I mean, there are like 25 water stops, I was bound to pick up the skill along the way, right?

Here's what happened as I ran through water stops:

  • Water stop 1: Grab a cup of water, throw water in face...nope that's not how you drink and run at the same time. Moving on...
  • Water stop 2: Grab a cup of water, squeeze cup to a point, get a few drips in mouth, throw rest of water up nose. Still learning obviously...
  • Water stop 3: Grab cup of water, squeeze cup to a point, get more in mouth...nice. Choke as swallowing. Oops.
  • Water stop 4: Grab cup of water, curse because it's only half full, but get all the water in mouth! Too much to swallow at once though....Choke again
  • Water stop 5: Grab water, empty some out, make the spout, drink the water in smaller sips!!!! Nice.
  • Water stops 6, 7, 8, 9, my daughter would say "easy peasy". I got this running and drinking water thing down!
  • Water stop 11: Grab a cup of Gatorade by mistake...gross.
  • Water stop 12: Grab a cup of water, throw water up nose again...guess I shouldn't have gotten so cocky.
  • Many water stops go by uneventful, then somewhere late in the race...Grab a cup of water, and almost ram into someone who seemed to take the term "water stop" literally. This was a common occurrence the last few miles. Runners would grab a cup and simply stop running right then and there. Then I had to become accomplished at running, drinking, AND dodging. Who am I kidding...I didn't dodge very well, but it's fair to say that I can now drink water and run at the same time.
25 water stops later, and now I should be good to use the provided hydration in races. Though I think at Boston using the water stops does lose some time. There are so many people, it's hard not to slow down.
Best part of the race
Running by the Wellesly girls. There were lots of high fives, and crazy screaming, and one runner dude yelled out, "Woo hoo! New PR! 7 kisses!" It was awesome. Trust me...

Worst part of the race
Technically it happened before the race, but I'm about 99% positive that I got peed on in the starting corral. To the gentlemen who pee in starting corrals...just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If the fairer sex can hold it, then so can you. (This happened to me last year too.) Ew. Enough said.

Splits & Stats
Net Time 3:16:48
Overall 5655/31931 (This makes me feel like I at least earned my 7000 bib number.)
In Gender 700/14356 (Female)
In Division 563/6979 (F18-39 Age Group)

I think my Garmin short changed me a bit. It reported 26.15, and I KNOW that Boston isn't short.

Avg Pace

And...that's all I have! I hope you had a great day too!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Training by the numbers

Here I am after my last 20 miler. Completely soaked. Really. It looked and felt like I had jumped in a pool, but obviously I didn't (because it's too cold for the right now). Anyway, today was my last long run. Boston is a little over two weeks out now, and I'm thinking about my goal. I have to be realistic, training has been fairly horrendous this training cycle, but the last few weeks have gone that's positive. 

Below I have a table of my weekly mileage, my long run distance, and long run pace. I really made the table for me. Sometimes it helps to see the data in a table...

What does the data tell me? I've been inconsistent with my weekly mileage. I won't make excuses, it is what is. Given that inconsistency, it's unrealistic to think that I'll be running a personal record. That being said, I've also run 12 runs that are 20-23 miles, and that will be a real benefit (especially given my weekly inconsistencies). I did one on course 22 miler last week at 7:24 pace (my peak week), which gave me a little boost of confidence. My 20 miler on the treadmill today was at 7:07 pace (so another little boost of confidence). 

To sum it up: weekly mileage bad, long runs good. What else do I know? You can't tell from the table, but I have no speed right now. My 5K, 10K, and half marathon pace are all pretty much the same right now. That's not the greatest, but maybe it doesn't really matter for a marathon...I don't know. I guess I'll find out in two weeks.

How should I determine a goal? I've decided to go for 3:10-3:12. I'll start out a 7:15 pace and try to stay there for as long as possible. I think that's reasonable. How did I come up with that? I pretended that today's 20 miler was a time trial and plugged it into McMillians calculator and used the marathon pace it spit out to determine my goal. It might be a little conservative as I don't think I ran as fast as I could have today, but reasonable given my other training setbacks...

There you have it, by the numbers. ;)

WeekWeekly MilesLong Run Long Run Pace

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Feeling Good :)

I keep thinking I'm going to let my blog go, but then something about running gets me excited to last post "It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week", well, it turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month (or closer to two months). It was tough. I'm not complaining though, nor am I am really surprised. I went back to work full-time in October, and Emily started a full day preschool. Preschoolers are like disease magnets and work can be stressful. These two factors create the perfect storm for yuck. It's just a reality. I'm assuming that we have another 1-2 more years of winters full of yuck. (Nick is groaning right now.) Anyway, it seems that maybe, just maybe, we made it through, and now that it's officially Spring...

My training has just been a disaster. There were literally six weeks of poor running. It is what it is. I was trying something a little new this training cycle, that maybe has at least helped me keep my endurance. Basically I've been running a 20-23 miler almost every week since January. There were a couple bad weeks where I only got a 16 miler in, but I think I'm up to 10 runs at or over 20 miles, and yes I believe it's been good for me. I know most people have trouble getting their speed back and less trouble with their endurance, but I'm the opposite. I have trouble with the endurance.

So if my training has been full of awful, then what am I so excited about? I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT RUNNING BOSTON! And the awful has been replaced these last two weeks with awesome. Last week I peaked at 75 miles and my average pace for the the week was 7:31. That is like totally awesome! ;) Well, for me anyway.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have no delusions of grandeur. I don't think I'll be running a PR, but I could definitely beat my time from Boston last year, which would be fun. It's just generally nice to be feeling good and strong too. I'm been feeling so good that I've been reminded of the song that Ana-Maria posted to her blog last year before Boston:

Cause I'm on top of the world, eh
I'm on top of the world, eh
Been waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I've been waiting to smile, eh
Been holding it in for a while, eh
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I'm on top of the world.

I'm feeling strong and excited and happy even if it hasn't been my best training cycle. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week...

Have you ever read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst? It's one of my favorite books to read to the kids. I use voices and everything. It's fun. In the end, his mom comforts Alexander by telling him that some days are like that...even in Australia.

I'm going to steal Judith's words, and say that I have had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. I know from reading the book (and real life in general) that some weeks are just like that. The week was a perfect storm of illnesses mixed with a buildup of work stress. The result was almost no running, which generally didn't do much to help my foul disposition or my stress level.

Rather than the normal 7 day week, this week was 10 days. It all started when I picked up a crying Kaylee from school last Friday. Ten minutes prior to my arrival, she started having an earache. She cried the next four hours, threw up, then fell asleep. Saturday the doctor confirmed that Miss Kaylee had an ear infection. The next couple days Nick and I generally felt under the weather, but it was Monday that Emily came down with what we are assuming was the norovirus. It started with diarrhea, accompanied by severe abdominal cramping, then came the vomit. This little three year old was sick from Monday through Friday. Her episodes were spread far enough apart that she was able to take in enough fluids, and so she's mostly recovered. While Emily was playing with the norovirus, Nick came down with the regular flu. Fever for four days, blah, blah, blah. This would have been fine, maybe, if we didn't have some big deadlines at work. Even the couple days that Nick stayed home, he had to work.

Friday came, and now Nick had an earache, and yes, a bulging ear drum and ear infection. BUT Emily was recovering! We thought, that maybe, just maybe, we were out of the woods, but alas it was not to be. Saturday morning Kaylee started throwing up. Kaylee throw up is dangerous. She's been to the emergency room more than once due to dehydration associated with throwing up. She is one of those people that can't seem to stop once she starts. Her vomit episodes devolved into a cycle of every 20 minutes on the clock. After 12 hours of that, it was time to go to the emergency room. I know, 12 hours of throwing up doesn't sound like a lot, but it's hard to convey how ridiculous it is to throw up, literally, every 20 minutes for 12 hours.

Her blood work showed that she was dehydrated enough to warrant an IV, two bags of fluid, and an anti-nausea drug. By around 2:00 am, we were home again. Sunday morning Emily, who peacefully slept at home during the ER visit, was ready for pancakes at 6:00 am. To which I said, OK, OK...Nick was still in bad shape, and having trouble figuring out if he felt sick from a stomach bug, or from his migraine.

Yes, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week...some weeks are just like that...even in Austria. There were a few bright spots to the week though. Kaylee was so brave at the hospital. They brought in this HUGE male nurse or orderly to help hold her down in case she struggled with the IV. I almost had a heart attack, but not only was he completely awesome with Kaylee, Kaylee was also simply amazing. She didn't move, say a word, or cry throughout the whole process. When the experience was all said and done she told me they did a good job.

Now it's Monday evening, and it's almost like that week never happened. The kids are completely recovered. Nick is still struggling a bit. It's hard to breath easy though, I'm left wondering if last week was a foreshadowing of what the next week will hold for me. And if that's the case, it does not look pretty. I have washed my hands so often that they are cracked, I've disinfected every single surface, washed all clothes, and dishwashered every dish, but it's almost inevitable. It's just a matter of time...I hate throw up...

Of course, all this grossness has meant almost no running. I do feel out of sorts not having run for almost a week. And it's almost comical how the week prior to all this, I was thinking, maybe just, just maybe I do have a 3:05 in me for Boston this year. Now I'm not sure. I'm not complaining or whining, I'm just being realistic. I know one week of training doesn't define the whole training cycle, but you know how it is, there always seems to be something. And even while I'm doing my best to run from the norovirus, I have this awful feeling it will find me.

Right now I'm glad the kids are doing better, hoping the norovirus doesn't find me, and looking forward to getingt back to our regular routine. :)