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. :)