Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting there

Slowly, but surely, the weeks are ticking away and I'm getting closer and closer to the end of October, which is going to end in a very exciting 8 days for me. On October 23 I'll be taking what will hopefully be my last section of the CPA exam. I got my results for the third section last week while I was in Dallas for work that I'd passed (very unexpectedly) so now I'm on to the last leg of this long journey.

Then I'll be leaving on October 30 for NYC. I can't believe that the one month mark will hit this week! Like I mentioned before, I only have two long runs left - 18 this week and 20 next week. I know they're going to be long and hard, but I'm really exited for them. I've moved my 18 to Friday so we can celebrate the hubs's birthday on Saturday, so keep me in your thoughts while you're at work Friday morning. I almost wish I'll be sitting at my desk, visiting with friends and getting through the giant stack of paperwork I have instead of dodging rush hour traffic...but I think I'll survive. The thought of taking a nice, long nap that afternoon will get me through. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Did This?!

After last week's shin issue I took this week super, super easy. I figured I'd rather have a completely craptastic, slow, miserable 15 mile run than a non-existant 15 mile run because I was still in pain. It turns out that I actually did the right thing (for once). And the run was actually not completely terrible - for the most part. It was slow, just the way I wanted it. I really took my time and I focused on my breathing and form, stopped to stretch when I needed it. It was good. I ran along the Sandia mountains, 4 miles north and then back to my car (total of 8) and stopped to fill up my bottles again, call a friend and the hubs to let them know I was alive still, and then headed out south, this time doing 3.5 miles and then heading back to my car. I'd never gone south this far before (I think I'd gone about a mile south, but no further) imagine my shock when the trail starts doing this steeeeeeeeep downhill drop, along with some random uphills (just to keep things interesting). Yeah, I wasn't happy. And because I got a late start - thanks to the fact that I decided I didn't feel like eating dinner the night before and wasn't feeling so hot in the morning, lesson learned - it was HOT now. My water was quickly diminishing.

I turned around when I hit 3.5 miles and texted my friend to let her know (she was the back up support crew) and attempted to head back. Attempted. Remember that steeeeeeeeeeep downhill? Now that was a steeeeeeeeep uphill. Which doesn't look like much when you look at this (click the "Elevation" tab and please ignore the pace, time, etc. :-P ) : Garmin Connect -Activity Details forUntitled

I ended up running out of water about 2.5 miles from my car, and while I would have been fine, my awesome friend, F, ran out to meet me with two giant bottles of cold water. All in all, it was an awesome run, and I'm really proud of myself for doing it. I only have 2 long runs left - an 18 on Oct 2 (I'm moving it to a Friday because the hubs's birthday is the 3rd) and a 20 on Oct 10. After that it's all about the taper! And as much as I love the long distance, it's nights like this when I'm sore and tired (and still feeling like I could eat my arm) that makes me question my sanity. I'm not 100% sold on Phoenix anymore, but I'm sure I'll keep changing my mind back and forth over the next several weeks. When all is said and done, I really do love it - trust me, I'm too lazy to do something like this if I didn't. I'm just not sure my body is capable of two marathons 11 weeks apart.

Oh! And some exciting news! My dad is able to come out to NYC with me and the hubs! He works overseas and had to miss Denver last year. In fact, the NM Half Marathon was the first event he's been able to make since my high school cheerleading days. It'll be a quicker trip than my NYC trip will be - he's stopping over for 2 nights on his way back to England, but I'm really, really excited! Hooray!

AND I just realized that yesterday was my two year running anniversary. What a way to celebrate. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This happens to everyone, right? Right??!

I did something unspeakable yesterday. I bailed on my long run. It's not like I've been doing this for years and years or anything, but I've never had to do this before. NEVER.

I had 14 miles on the big deal, I've done 14 before...and considering I did 13 last week (which was supposed to be 12), I wasn't worried at all. I went in a lot more prepared for this than I ever had been before. The hubs and I managed to get to bed much earlier than usual, I really paid attention to my hydration and the type of food I was eating all week...I got all my Gatorade and water and everything ready Friday after work since I was going to be on my own. I really felt good about it. Even though I took it super easy in last week's half, I was really sore afterwards in my quads and ITBs, which I blamed on the downhill. I'd done a lot of stretching, self-massage with The Stick and icing and I'd been feeling a lot better by the time Wednesday came. I'd felt a little discomfort in my shins on my 5 mile run on Thursday and when I do my stretches for my Plantar Fasciitis in the mornings, but I just chalked that up to soreness too....well, come Saturday that was a different story. I did my PF stretches (which are a nightmare to do while you're laying in bed...I usually accidentally fall back asleep while doing them) and I felt the sharp pain in my shins. I figured it wasn't going to be a fun morning.

I got up to Tramway and tried to get started...painful, but I assumed I just needed to get warmed up and would be feeling great by the time I got to my first turn around point. Because I was on my own for this one, I was going north 3.5 miles and then running back to my car to re-fuel, then going south 3.5 miles for a total of 14 miles. By 2.5 miles in I knew that it just wasn't going to happen and I texted my friend to let her know what was going on. I managed to (slowly) make it to the turn around and then to get back to my car for a total of 7 miles and after doing some stretches I packed up and headed up to my friend's running shop for some advice.

It's a bummer. I know I'm not completely out of NYC and unless something really crazy happens, I'm still going to make it. We were able to re-work my training schedule and I'm actually still pretty much on track. Instead of 16 next week, I'm doing 15, taking my regular cut back week the following week, and then I'm back on track. Lets just hope that this is the only little bump in the road and the rest of it is easy (well, as easy as marathon training can be).

Oh, and in case you didn't see, I added a few race pics in the last post. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Race Report - New Mexico Half Marathon 9/6/09

Pictures have been added as of 9/13/09...see the bottom of this post. Yes, I'm too lazy to try and disburse them throughout.

This started as an early morning after a loooong night. The hubs and I decided to do this race together (as in we would be starting at the same place at the same time and finishing at the same place about an hour apart). The half-marathon starts at 6.30 AM, 13.1 miles from the finish line, requiring that we park at the finish and take buses to the start. No problem, except that it STARTS at 6.30 AM and the LAST bus leaves at 6.05. Since I’m slightly neurotic, I can’t handle the thought of being on the last bus (even though I’m habitually late to everything) so we planned to be there at 5.30. In the morning. Which meant leaving the house at 5.00. In the morning. And waking up at 4.00. In the morning. All of this would have been okay (in another life) if we’d gone to bed and fallen asleep at 8.00 the night before as planned…alas, this did not happen. Somewhere around 11.00 the hubs gave up and asked me if I wanted to give up and go watch an episode of Friends on DVD that we’d just received from Netflix. Needless to say, we spent a portion of our night with Monica, Chandler, Ross, et al, instead of sleeping and the 4.00 alarm came too soon.

Once we parked (at Hotel Albuquerque) and were bussed to the start at Tram

way and I-25, just west of Sandia Casino we had just a few minutes to mill around, talk to friends and do some last minute prep for the race. The start of the race was directly under the I-25 bridge and the first 3 miles descends into a sharp downhill. This sounds great in theory, but luckily I’d been forewarned and managed to keep a slow, gradual pace. At this point I felt a little bit of rubbing on my left foot – like a blister was threatening to come in. I decided to ignore it for the time being, figuring it would just be a little red. At around Mile 6 we turned onto the Bosque Bike Trail, where we spent the next three miles. In reading the reviews of this race (primarily for the full marathon), many people had complaints about running on the trail – primarily because it’s “boring” and because the cyclists are “rude.” Maybe it’s because I run on this trail at least once a week (usually much more often than that) but I normally don’t find it boring. It did get a little monotonous, but again I think it’s because I know each and every tree and crack in the trail. As for rude cyclists, this comes down to rude runners. The trail cannot be closed just because there is a race…therefore, we need to abide by the rules of the trail and either run on the dirt part of the trail or keep to the right. I lost count of the number of runners attempting to run smack in the middle of the paved trail and ignoring the cyclist

s who had right of way. But, that’s a post for another day. From the Bosque Trail we headed down Rio Grande to the finish on Mountain in Old Town Plaza.

I’d gone into this race with 10 miles being my longest run, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect for the last 3. I only had 12 miles on the schedule for this past weekend, so I figured I’d take it really easy, forget about time and do this just for fun. The hubs wanted to do this one, my really good friend was doing this as her first full and I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not sign up. It was like my body knew I only had 12 on the schedule. I kept up with the 5 min/1 min run/walk intervals until 12 miles and then I pretty much shut down. It got really hard…I’m not sure if it was a mental thing or if I hadn’t taken in enough fuel, or what. I’m sure it didn’t help that every time I took a sip of Gatorade my stomach flipped (so I know I didn’t drink enough) or the fact that that little rubbing on my foot at Mile 3 and turned into some major pain by Mile 5. I still managed to run more than I walked for that last mile, but I stopped paying attention to my watch. When I finished, the Garmin said somewhere around 3:10 and a few seconds but the official results say something around 3:15 (thank you, bathroom stop). I’m happy with it.

The course was well marked and incredibly well organized. I had no issues getting water from any of the aid stations, although for once in my life, I was in the middle of the Marathon pack. There were spectators throughout the course and they were always excited and happy to cheer you on. The medals are very unique – handcrafted New Mexican pottery (pics coming) and everyone received one, regardless of which race you participated in (5k, HM or

Marathon). This race is a repeat – probably the full next year. Yeah, ignore that post from a few weeks ago that says something about how I’m not doing a full marathon next year.

Oh, and the major foot pain that started out as a little bit ofrubbing? It turned into a blister the size of a quarter. It was even big enough to earn its own name. :)

Pics above (in order): The hubs, just after finishing, Me finishing, both of us enjoying delicious cookies.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I think I deserve a psychology degree

While on my 2 mile run last night my right shin started hurting. Because I have a race on Sunday, I decided that this is something that should not be ignored, so I stopped to stretch it...due to my overzealous stretching, I felt something pull in my calf muscle. OUCH. I then attempted to limp over to a bench to stretch further (and safer) when I felt something pop in my left (read: other) knee and was overcome with intense pain. At this point I had to stop and wonder if the pain was really happening or if it was all happening in my head because:

1) I was tired (as in sleepy tired, not exhausted due to running tired),
2) had my new laptop at home that I really wanted to go play with instead of being out on a deserted trail (more on this later because I'm THAT excited about it),
3) was out on a deserted trail and honestly thought I may be attacked (seriously, I didn't even have my iPod on...not sure why, it just seemed like a good day to be attacked), and
4) it really looked like the sky was about to split open and pour every drop of rain it's ever saved for the last 100 years at that very moment.

Whatever the reason, I really was in a lot of pain and wound up waddling down the last 1/2 mile of trail towards my car cursing myself for not running enough this week. I have this half marathon on Sunday and even though I can justify it as "tapering," I'm not really supposed to be's just a training run so I'm supposed to do everything as normally as possible. And, just as I suspected, as soon as I got near my car, all the pain went away...and I forced out another mile to punish myself for slacking.

Anyway, new laptop. The hubs totally rocks and builds our desktops computers because he's a computer geek like that. It's cool because when things break he can usually have them fixed within a matter of minutes. I haven't had to take a computer in for repairs in years...I haven't BOUGHT a computer in years. Last week while I was studying the day before my exam (results in about 2 weeks) the computer pretty much died and the hubs said "no more saving this one." After a few pleading looks he broke down and agreed to purchase me a Macbook. Yes, I feel a little bit like a traitor, but he's taking my dead PC and turning it into a server. Don't ask me why we need our very own server, but apparently all the cool kids have one. :)

I'll give you all a race report Sunday evening/Monday morning sometime. Wish me luck!