Friday, September 22, 2006

Yosemite National Park

We're leaving on a week of vacation to Yosemite National Park tomorrow! Yay!

I'm afraid this means that I will not be doing much running and that stinks because Brian and & both should be doing long runs these next couple of weekends. I'd be more worried if we were trying to break important time goals in our marathons but I don't think the lack of training will have a huge effect on our races -- we'll probably just be a little more sore.

We plan do do tons of hiking and I expect we'll do 10+ miles a day for just about every day we're in California. We'll also be spending a significant amount of time at a pretty high elevation which should make our workouts a little tougher. I'm not even bringing my real running shoes though so no running.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mile Splits - From Philadelphia Distance Run

Since we had a bunch of race rookies with us we started in corral 15 (the last corral) instead of where my number placed me - corral 12. I probably would have chosen to start in 13 somewhere. I ate my first gel before the starting gun and I was wearing my 40 oz. fuel belt filled with Gatorade Endurance.

Mile 1: 11:05 started at back of last corral and pushed ahead to get near others at my pace
Mile 2: 10:59 nothing to report here. Forced a walk at 2 miles to slow it down a bit
Mile 3: 11:11 fun mile with Eagles Pep Band
Mile 4: 11:11 wow! totally even splits on these two miles - headed back up Parkway
Mile 5: 11:38 ate gel at water stop at 4.8
Mile 6: 10:52 I can't remember much about this mile
Mile 7: 11:48 iPod crazy, walked to fix. Usually take a break in training at the half way point and did so.
Mile 8: 11:15 Felt strong here passed folks on small hill approaching Falls bridge
Mile 9: 11:20 walked and tried to eat my 2nd gel - only ate half the rest made me want to hurl
Mile 10: 11:28 Still feel pretty good, running more than walking
Mile 11: 11:36 meet a PhillyFit person I've never seen before. Run with her for a short while
Mile 12: 11:59 paranoid about running out of gas before finish - extra walking. WIMPY! No excuse!
Mile 13.1: 12:31 again with the paranoid walking - extra super congested water stop - why??

Final time: 2:28:53 that's a PR for me by about a minute.

Overall, I'm really very happy with the splits from the race. I was trying my best to stick to a plan and to be steady and I think I did that. The only mile over 12 minutes was the last one -- and that doesn't count since it was really 1.1 miles. The slow mile between 11 and 12 I have no explanation for other than lack of mental toughness. The other pretty slow one between mile 6 and 7 was when I had some iPod issues that I needed to walk to fix. Perhaps I really should listen to the race directors and leave the music at home!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New & un-improved blog

By the way -- the blog looks all crazy because I "upgraded" to blogger beta. I hate it and all my countdowns are missing and other stuff is screwy too. I'm trying to fix it but I'm very impatient!

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days....

I have just suffered through the most irritating and horrible Eagles game ever! It's one thing to be tortured by your team stinking from the opening kickoff but to go from such highs to such lows in one game -- or one quarter, really -- it's just awful. They totally screwed up my good day!

The good part of today was the Distance Run! I worked hard on trying to run a steady race and I did (splits to follow when I remember where I put my watch) and I managed to come up with a 1/2 marathon PR despite totally wimping out on the last mile or so of the race today. I have no killer instinct and I really need to get one.

Anyway, my chip time was 2:28:53 which beats my prior PR by about a minute.

Other exciting news is that my 14 year old neice ran the race too and hadn't trained for it other than the running she does for her soccer team. She was totally unsure how she'd do and as it turns out she breezed through it in 2:31 which was good enough for 7th in her age group. Yay for her!

Friday, September 15, 2006

World Run Day to Stop Child Hunger

I saw a notice for World Run Day on a local running board and I realized that it's the same day as the New York Marathon (just 50 days away...) and I decided to sign up since I'll be running a marathon that day anyway.

The registration fee is $19.99 (a little more once you pay the fee) and they send you a t-shirt and donate your money to a charity that fights child hunger. According to the post that led me to World Run Day, my registration fee will feed a child for 50 days.

So you can know a little more about the program:

Founded in 1999 by Long Island Runner Bill McDermott, the event is intended to promote the sport of running and charitable giving on one special day each year. Started with just 100 runners worldwide, runners connected and impacted their communities in a positive way. As a result, World Run Day was the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths, nationalities, and benefitted their favorite charity. Soon group events formed in different cities such as World Run Day - Philadelphia, World Run Day - London, World Run Day - Sydney, etc. (Even "World Run Day - Afghanistan" was celebrated during wartime). The event was designed to allow every runner, whether with a group or running individaully, to be a part of the day.With the alarming statistics related to World Hunger, the event will reach out specifically for the benefit of ending Child Hunger in 2006.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Race on the Calendar

We're having a stretch of just fabulous crisp fall weather and it's making me really anxious to run the Philadelphia Distance Run this weekend. So anxious, in fact, that I signed Brian & I up for another race just because I've been so obsessed by running today.

We're now officially doing the 1/2 marathon at P.F. Chang Rock'N'Roll Arizona in January. We've actually been planning to do this race for a long time since my sister won a free entry into the marathon but today I registered for the race. Now I'd better go ask for the time off since we're planning to spend a week out there checking out the National Parks of Southern Arizona.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What a difference a week makes!

This Saturday I went for my typical training run with PhillyFit. The group was doing 8 miles but I needed to do more to get ready for NYC. Brian and my sister are training for MCM and they needed to do more than PhillyFit but less than me so we decided to add a few miles and compromise at 12 miles for the day.

I felt like a million bucks on this run! I don't know if it was a slightly lower humidity, the slightly lower temperature or the fact that I was wearing my fuel belt filled with Gatorade Endurance, but this run went a million times better than the one at Virginia Beach.

After the first couple of miles my knee, which bothered me last Sunday night post-race, was hurting a bit so I decided to take 2 Tylenol 8-Hours instead of cutting the run short. This turned out to be a great idea since the rest of the run was great and my knee really didn't hurt at all afterwards even when wearing high heels at a wedding that night.

The whole run, where I felt like I was getting stronger and I went instead of slower and weaker, was finished in 2:10 and change. I think it was right around 12 miles but I'm not positive since the trail is detoured and hard to figure out exact milage.

I can't wait to see how I feel at the Distance Run next weekend. One thing I do know is that I am wearing the fuel belt and drinking my Gatorade. I probably won't wear it in NYC since they will serve Endurance on the course but maybe I will. I have plenty of time to decide.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I hate early mornings!

I have a ton of work to do today and instead of doing it I've been busy reading about race logistics for the New York Marathon.

I am horrified to learn that I am supposed to be getting in line for the bus to Fort Wadsworth by 5am. The race doesn't even start until after 10!

I guess I can just roll out of bed and into the line for the bus since I will certainly be able to eat and drink my breakfast on the way to the starting line but that's really a lot of time to kill. A LOT of time.

After the Race

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Review: Harriers by Joe & Paul Shivers

So I said that I would review this book for Paul & Joe Shivers who won a book contest. They're high school runners who wrote this book about two incredible seasons with their cross country team in Ohio.

Wow! It was a total page turner!

I wasn't involved in high school sports and didn't start running until well into adulthood so I found their accounts of high school sports quite fascinating. I had no idea how cross country meets were scored or how FAST these young guys are. Let me tell you, it's quite humbling to realize that the slowest guy who barely makes the varsity team is running a 5K well under 20 minutes.

They also have quite an amazing tale to tell. A mediocore team gets a new young coach who brings them to the State Championships. There are exciting track meets, thought provoking legal battles, horror stories about malfunctioning time chips, and sneaky schemes involving special jerseys.

The book is good, and it only costs $5.95. Go buy a copy and reward these two for a job well done.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

2006 Rock'N'Roll Half - a new course record!

Believe it or not we made our way through Ernesto to VA Beach and ran the race on Sunday!

It was horribly humid but other than that a really nice weekend. I was hoping to run around 2:25 on but finished in a hard earned 2:34:11. I'm pretty happy with that time because it's a course record for me (only by about 40 seconds) and I really worked hard to keep myself moving throughout the second half of the race. It was hot and humid and I never felt like I was on track.

Splits as follows:

Mile 1: 11:23 I was shooting for 11:30 but was OK with this
Mile 2: 11:05 Not sure why I got faster, wasn't trying to do that
Mile 3: 10:50 Whoa! I need to slow down.
Mile 4: 11:27 Stop and pull off band-aid that got bunchy. Didn't miss it.
Mile 5: 11:44 Ate 2nd gel here and walked - very crowded section. 1st gel in corral before start
Mile 6: 11:11 Talked to Brian here - he pulls away for good.
Mile 7: 12:09 Walked A LOT in Camp Pendelton. It's always blazing hot here. Ate some salt.
Mile 8: 11:53 Enjoyed the sprinklers here, ran UP the bridge (thought there was a camera)
Mile 9: 11:51 Walked at the turnaround leading to Atlantic. Ate 3rd gel.
Mile 10: 12:25 Where is mile 10? Where is the water? between 9 & 10 worst part of race
Mile 11: 12:43 Smile! Camera time! Can still make 2:30
Mile 12: 12:00 Only 9 minutes to make it under 2:30. Not possible. Wet head at water stop
Mile 13: 12:23 Running to Foo Fighters 'All My Life' - thank god! would have walked w/o music
Mile .1: 1:04 It's OVER! Yay!

Final time: 2:34:11

Crossing the finish line was great but since I've gotten faster I'm now finishing with a lot more people and the finish area was super crowded and hot. People couldn't move and were dropping like flies in the finish area. I was lucky to be on the right edge of the crowd, close to the folks handing out water (I guzzled 2 bottles of Dasani) and they also handed me ice which I promptly stuffed into my bra (a trick I read on somebody's blog) and felt better almost instantly. I kept re-loading the ice and stayed cool. The were also handing out towels soaked in ice cold water and that felt like heaven on my face and then a volunteer heard me say how good it felt and she draped another one over my shoulders. At this point the crowd thinned out at little bit and I had my chip removed and got my medal.

I met up wth Brian around now (he finished in 2:31) and we each got a bottle of Amino Vital (orange flavor OK , red I hear was vile) and progressed towards the food. There was a line but it still seemed more organized than last year. One volunteer started walking out through the runners handing out bananas and I actually ate one! They also gave out oranges (cold) and bagels and pretzels and amino vital bars.

The free Spenco sandals are still ugly but far more comfortable than last year's model and much easier to get.

Back at the room I finished the 2nd half a 34oz Gatorade Endurance and drank half of another bottle too. Ate some soy chips and then realized that my medal had fallen off the ribbon! oh no!
Luckily, my hotel is right on the course at mile 13 so I could easily run back to the finish area and got a volunteer to replace my missing medal. I would have been crushed if I had lost it.

Final thoughts: the humidity was a killer and I was sorry that I wasn't wearing my fuel belt and carrying Endurance. I don't usually wear the belt in races but I was mighty jealous of the folks out on the course who had their own supply. I think I might have done better if I had my own stuff and since the PDR is in two weeks and they're using Amino Vital there too I'm going to wear my belt unless the temperature is a lot lower, which it might well be.

Even though my time wasn't anywhere near what I hoped for I think I did OK considering the conditions. I didn't run my best race but I didn't let myself totally give up either and I'm proud of myself for that.

I can't wait for the PDR though!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I hate you Ernesto!

I really want to run the Rock N Roll Half Marathon on Sunday inVirginia Beach but tropical storm (or whatever he is now) Ernesto is in my way. No matter when I go I'm going to have to drive through driving rain and possible floods to get to the race. It's awful since it's going to be nice on Sunday for the race.

I hate driving that far in GOOD weather for this race.

I'm being pulled in two directions between my sister who is going no matter what and my husband who doesn't think it's worth the hassle since the beach is going to stink.

I can't decide. 14 hours in the car is kind of silly just to run one race.

Wednesday Night Run

I had the best run every on Wednesday night! After a really annoying trip to the park involving a couple of detours due to a water main break I got there and ran the best loop of my life!

I actually RAN the whole loop. The whole thing! All the hills and everything. I admit I did stop for one sip of water but that was for maybe 10 seconds. Fantastic!