Sunday, September 28, 2008

Walking used to be fun

I can't move. Seriously, every time I move, even if it's just to breathe or to type out this post, I want to cry. My legs hurt SO bad, it's unbelievable.

We had our 4 hour run, which turned into more like 4 1/2 hours for me (I was so close to Alameda and the porta-potty I ran extra to get to it...hey, if it saves me a trip into the trees, it was worth that extra 1/2 hour). I figured I'd get 17 miles or so in about 4 hours, but in the end I wound up with about 19 and the loss of use of my legs. I was going to push it to 20, but by that time I was convinced I had a blister on the bottom of my foot, that foot injury that's been hurting the past couple of weeks was insanely bad by mile 17 (in retrospect, it wasn't that bad), and a few coaches saw me coming in and came out to cheer and clap for me. I couldn't just breeze past them.

Anyway, the significance of this run is that it was the last long one of the season. We are officially tapering now...I have 8 miles next week and 10 the weekend after that. Then, RACE DAY!

Here's my gripe for the day though. How lame is it that there are no porta-potties on the Bosque trail? Unless I'm super lame and just never noticed or saw any...but I haven't mastered the art of finding good tree cover and on almost every long run the at some point I think I wish there were a porta-potty at that next parking area. You know you're getting desperate when you're wishing for porta-potties. Really though, it's a 16 mile stretch of bike and running trail and the only toilet I know of is at Alameda. Weird.

Countdown to Denver: 3 weeks!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Friday was a pretty special day for was my one year anniversary. If you're looking to the right side of the screen, you're probably shaking your head and thinking Umm, got married on MAY 19 and that first anniversary was a few months ago, you freak. Nope, it was the first anniversary of my relationship with running. Yeah, I remember the I said, it was special. Granted, it led to about a month off because of some sucky shoes and a knee injury, so it wasn't really, really consistent until February (Feb 2 of this year, if you must know...ok, I'm just weird about remembering hubsand freaks out over it, but seriously, I can remember ANY date. Honest, it's some kind of weird thing I have) but yeah. Sept 19, 2007 I set out for my first run after having mulled over the idea of running the Duke City Marathon in 2008...I'd spent the couple of weeks before researching training plans and decided to start out running for 2 minutes and walking for 2 minutes until I hit a total of 30 minutes. Yeah, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be and it wasn't until I joined a beginners group later on and got on a good training program that I saw the light at the end of the tunnel (and some good shoes...God, shoes are SO important!).

And, not only was it my one year anniversary, it also marked the one month countdown till the Denver Marathon!

Anyway, since my sister got hitched yesterday (Saturday, Sept 20), which was totally awesome and pics will be posted as soon as I can get some, I had to do my 12 mile "group" run on Friday. What a great way to celebrate my anniversary. Um, yeah. Not if your stupid foot is still bothering you from your 18 mile run 2 weeks ago. It bugged me last week on my 6 mile run (also alone...5.00 AM is not the same as 5.00 PM and I realized the importance of this while setting my alarm clock last week...unfortunately, I didn't relize the importance until I missed the group run because the alarm did not go off). I didn't run at all during the week because of the pain in my foot and the fact that I was in Chicago for work, and I figured it would be nice and rested for the 12 miler. Nope. 2 miles in it was hurting. The 12 miles turned into the 10 miles from hell...I finished it by walking the last .75 miles crying and talking to the hubs on the phone and trying to figure out what I've done in my past life to deserve this. In all, I must have walked at least 2 of those 10 miles.

So I'm not really sure what to do now. I have a 4 hour run scheduled on Saturday and it's the last long one before the race. I'm not skipping the race...I've come too far for that. It's feeling pretty good now and I know that by tomorrow it'll be even better. Come Saturday morning it'll be 100%, but by Mile 2 on Saturday morning is when I usually start having my issues. My plan is to make an orthopedic appointment and beg for something this week, but it'll probably take a couple of months to get in (damn new insurance companies!)...other than that, I'm going to hit it with some serious ice and bond with my bike. Lord knows I miss it anyway. Anyway, that's that. Figures. I go this long just fine and six weeks before the race SOMETHING has to happen.

Countdown to Denver: 4 Weeks!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I survived! A report!

I'm officially a half marathoner and I even have the medal to prove it...and as soon as I can meet up with my mom, I'll have some pics too. Wow, what a day. Not at all what I expected, but I am wiped the crap out.

I met up with the Albuquerque Fit Marathon Group for a 5 mile "warm up" run at 5.00 this morning, which required a 3.00AM wake-up to eat some oatmeal and a banana (don't worry, I fell back asleep for another hour, which is probably the best sleep I got all night). It was dark and cold when we met up and very, very different, but nice all the same. I ran with Coach T (who rocks...I can't ever get over how much she rocks) and we originally decided to do 4 miles and then do a 1 mile cool-down after the race...we ended up doing closer to 4.5 though. It was so weird being out running along Paseo and in the Bosque at that was so quiet and deserted. All you could see was a little bundle of bouncing lights ahead of us thanks to everyone's headlamps (damn! I forgot a pic of my super cool headlamp straped to my head for you all!). Anyway, we finished the 4.5 and got to hang out for an hour till the race started...not ideal, but what can you do?

So, on to the race...or, as I prefer to call it, the "super organized training run with bling at the end" because, as I stated earlier, THIS IS ONLY A TRAINING RUN. And I ran it as such...nice and slow. Miles 1-3 were a blur and went by pretty quick. I set up my watch to run 6 min running/2 min walking intervals, so I can't tell you what my pace was really, really, really slow though. At 4 I took a Gu and was still feeling good. At 6 we saw Mike and Frank on their bikes and we made our way off Rio Grande and onto the Bosque path. Mike filled up my bottles and we kept on going.

At 9 things started to get a little hard. I'd had to make a quick "run into the trees stop" so I ran harder to catch up to my friend, D, and I think that hurt me. Plus, my shoes should have been replaced a while ago (I bought new ones Friday, but I'm not wearing new shoes on an 18 mile run!) so my foot was hurting pretty bad too. D was having her own issues and we decided to split apart. I took off just barely ahead of her, but thank god I was nearby...sure enough, the water stop at Mile 10 was gone. Fin. No more. Mike and Frank were riding slowly next to me and I knew D needed more water, so luckily they were able to re-fill her...I'm pretty unimpressed though. The sponsors of this race were responsible for the water on our 16 mile run a few weeks ago too (the ones that didn't show). Not sure what the deal was, but still....I hope there was a good reason because there were a few people behind us too. Anyway, Mile 12 was the longest. mile. EVER. Ever ever ever ever. It never ended. At this point, I'd abandoned my 6 min/2 min intervals (my foot was killing me) was was doing more like 5 min/3 min intervals. Near the end Coach D saw me coming in and ran next to me. Poor thing, I know she was talking to me, but I had my headphones on so loud and couldn't spare the energy to take them out to hear her. Once I got to the straightway for the finish line BAM! I had energy and then some! Headphones came out and I swear I was running a 4 minute pace. I crossed the line at a slow 3:09:44...Not good, but not as bad as it could have been, especially considering our early morning "warm up."

So, yeah...I've actually run a race now. It was pretty quiet and lonely on the course and I'm so happy I'm not running Duke City as my first full marathon now. I've heard good things about Denver's crowd support and I'm excited about it...nervous because I can't imagine going out and running another 8 miles right now, but super excited too. I'm also thinking that with better crowd support and maybe sticking with my 1 mile/1 minute intervals (or maybe 5 min/1 min...something to try on our 4 hour run in a few weeks) I should be okay with Denver's 6 hour cut off. I've already suffered my 20 minutes in an ice bath and now I'm debating either finding some food or taking a nap...tough choice. Think the nap's gonna win, but mostly because my foot is still bothering me. But first, those stupid shoes are going to find their way to the trash can.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Butterflies in my tummy

Uh oh...I'm doing exactly what I said I wasn't going to do. Tomorrow is my 18 mile training run...the one that is the Chips n Salsa half marathon with a 5 mile warm up...and this is ONLY a training run. Nothing else. But in my mind, it's turned into a race...or an "event" because we all know that there will be no "racing" where I am concerned. I tried really, really hard to focus on this being just another long, slow, weekend run with my group, but how many group runs require picking up a race packet, pinning a number to my shirt and getting a medal when I'm done? It's hard to keep things in perspective when they aren't the normal things at all.

I'm sitting here, at 5.30 PM and I can't concentrate on anything. Hell, I haven't concentrated on anything all week. Every time I opened my book to study, I was automatically computing pace times instead of calculating unearned revenue or construction in progress. Trust me, I'd much rather think about pace times, but I can't. My studying is suffering because of this and I'm worried about it. And this is JUST a training run. WTF am I going to do in six weeks from now when I'm sitting in a hotel room in Denver? Guess I better start begging forgiveness from the hubs, my padres and my poor friend, D, who's stuck going with me.

Anyway, my stomach is flipping, my hands are shaking and I keep forgetting to breathe (something that I hope I remember to do tomorrow morning). I know I can do this, I just want to do it in a way that I enjoy myself and can look back and say "wow, I had so much fun on that 18 mile TRAINING run." So, if anyone sees this before tomorrow morning, wish me luck. I'll be back tomorrow evening with a race - I mean training - report. In between catching up on my studying.

- Signing off for the last time as Duff, Newbie Racer

Monday, September 1, 2008


I think this is the first year that I'm actually jumping for joy that summer is kinda over. Granted it's still a million gazillion degrees out (ok, it's more like 79, which I know isn't horrible) but I am so ready for it to seriously cool off. I shouldn't complain because it really has been getting better and I can see that in my finish times, but I'm just dying. I'm still waiting till 7PM to run - ok, that's partially because I work late now - but I'm losing daylight now. I almost can't wait till it's cool enough to bring my huge bag of stuff and change into my extra sexy spandex at work and just run as soon as I leave the office or client or wherever I am.

So the biggest training run I'm going to do is coming up in six short days. We have 18 miles on Sunday, September 7. We're doing 5 miles as a group at FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING (yes, I did just virtually yell at one in their right mind gets up on a Sunday to run five miles at 5.00 in the f@%&ing morning) and then we're all entering the Chips 'n Salsa half marathon. So, just to be realistic, this is 18.1 miles. The only good thing about running at 5.00 in the f@#%*%$ing morning is I can't bitch about it being too hot...oh, and I get to buy a headlamp. That might be sexier than running around my office in spandex.

So after this, my next longest run is a 4 hour run, which lets face it - will not be the 20 miles I was hoping for (yeah, you read that right...I was HOPING to run 20 miles). My coach, T, told me to stop worrying about this so much so I'm taking her advice and my worrying will be put on hold until at least the morning of 10/19 when I'm sure I will worry about absolutely everything, including things I didn't even think I was capable of worrying about.

So anyway, if any of you will be in the Albuquerque area next Sunday and want to watch me kill myself, let me know and I'll tell you where the start/finish line is for Chips 'n Salsa, and also where Mike and my mom are going to be on the course (the want to see me mid-death).

Countdown to Denver: 6 weeks, 6 days!