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Posts Tagged ‘marathon’

4:06:14. Enough said.  The one saving grace?  I did not get a PW, personal worst.  Chicago has not been kind to marathon runners the past two years.  I can say whatever but it just didn’t happen last Sunday.  That’s all. 

The day began early with a 5am wakeup.  It started well with all of us pumped up and full of smiles.  Why not?  It’s a huge marathon and the culmination of all that running.  As a sign in Niketown said “Sunday is really a victory lap.”  As we walked to Grant Park, other runners joined us and I began to get my feelings for the race together.  I sported my PSU singlet and race ready shorts with the yellow hat.  No need for a sweatshirt as it was 67 degrees as we headed over.

7:30am came and I headed over to my corral.  The gun went off and within 2:30 mins I was crossing the start line and descending on the city of Chicago.  I knew EV was out there cheering as well as one of my clients.  I tried to envision breaking the race down into small chunks to get to my cheering support.

What do I remember from the race?  I remember seeing EV 3x including by the finish line!  I remember Boystown and the guy cheerleaders!  I remember the Mexican section of town.  The cowbells!  Chinatown.  The people that had bags of ice at about mile 22 (lifesavers as temps rose to the mid 80s!). 

Well there is a second thing.  I’ll take the opportunity to state that I have signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23.  Whether or not this is a smart decision, we’ll see.  I will say I’m not as beat up as I was after Steamtown last year.  I knew at about mile 10 it wasn’t my day so it became a standard 26.2 training run through Chicago.  When I realized 3:40 wasn’t happening, I slowed because would I rather miss by 6 minutes or 26 with the chance to try again? 

That’s all I’ve got on this one.  There’s not a great story to tell and I don’t want to talk about a “training” run any further.  See you in Philly!

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pre-game

As I write this I’m on my way to chicago. Game time, go time, whatever you want to call it is less than 48 hours away! The weather? Less than ideal – the latest had potentially record high on sunday (84 for those wondering). I thought the chances of a second hot marathon was nil considering last year! At least I’ve run a marathon in heat and humidity AND trained in it.

No matter what I’m looking to enjoy every minute. Isn’t that, in the end, what we all run for?

My trip to the airport was exciting. The GCP was a parking lot so my cabbie took a super alternate route. This had me on the brink of complete sickness! Upon arrival I had the joy of being reminded we pay for checked luggage now. This was followed by waiting in the longest security line around. Yeah airports are more like trying to not have a stress attack before flying out!

As I got on the L, AH informed me the women for obama convention was taking place at our hotel this weekend!! Obama, joe biden and oprah are all scheduled to speak. Neat! Then, while walking around, ben folds was giving a free live concert at the apple store. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Today it is off to the expo and time to stay off the feet!

So I will see you at the finish line!
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Not again!

Oct 12

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

76°
61°

20%

 

 

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Wow I’ve been a bad blogger.  Things have been pretty busy around here but here we go.  Last weekend I ran the Philadelphia Distance Run strictly as a marathon tune up.  Unlike 2 years ago, there would be no attempt at shattering the PR today.  One cool aspect of this race is my dad’s friend has run the race every year since it’s beginnings (31st year in a row!).  As such, he gets VIP treatment for himself and friends.  We were able to hang out in the area with the elites before the race and have our own personal baggage check!  Sweet!  I ran into nyflygirl at the corrals and AH was there too.  I told nyflygirl that she should finish way ahead of me today;-)  I was looking to run 1:45-1:47.  The national anthem started and all of a sudden it was like “wait, those aren’t the words.”  Whoops!  Finally we were off.

Immediately, within the first mile, my stomach started to give me issues.  I just thought it was nerves or something and just needed to run it out.  By mile 4 I was still feeling pretty uncomfortable but continued to ignnore it.  As we got to the Park Drive I started to look for a pit stop as I knew there was no way I could finish this half without stopping.  It was that BAD.  Finally just passed the 10K point I made my pit stop for 2.5 minutes or so.  I felt a bit better and knew I’d be able to finish the race.  Given the stopping, etc I made my new goal sub 1:50. 

I started back up and ran a very controlled 8:10-8:15 pace.  Final time: 1:49:21 with the pit stop.  Not too shabby.    The photo is from the Ben Franklin Parkway – just another walk in the park home;)  I’ve started to utilize the hat again as a repellent from sweat in the eyes.  I’m thinking that will happen for the marathon too.  Yellow cap anyone? ;-p

Since the last time I’ve also finished up two more 20 milers and a 55 mile week.  One twenty miler is shown on the left.  We ran from Columbus Circle, around the tip of Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge to Prospect Park, a lap of Prospect Park before heading back and ending on the LES.  As usual, a training season would not be complete with me wiping out somewhere.  I managed to wipe out on a sidewalk in Brooklyn and now sport a lovely wound on my left knee (good job by the photographer not to get that knee in the photo!).   It was nasty humid with essentially 100% humidity as when we got to the tip of Manhattan you could not see Brooklyn!  It was eerie as a cruise ship was coming in it looked like it was coming from nowhere out of the fog.  Surreal.  Finished that run in a shade under 3 hours. 

Yesterday, for my final long run I joined a group for the bridges run.  The first four miles I realized it was definitely going faster than I needed to be at.  I was running closer to MP then LSD pace! I dropped back a group and feel great today.  Ran another solid 7 today.

Two weeks to go.  Unbelievable.  So far the weather is good but we all know what happened last year in Scranton and Chicago (both turned into Steamtown Marathons literally!).

Sunday, Oct 12
High: 53 °F RealFeel®: 49 °F
Mostly sunny
Sunday Night, Oct 12
Low: 42 °F RealFeel®: 34 °F
Clear to partly cloudy

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Tempo me Wednesday

With the big day coming sooner than later, I’ve fallen into a bit of a lull the past couple weeks.  More from outside factors than me but it’s kept me from some of my runs.  It may be a blessing in disguise as I feel fresh and ready to dive back into training for the last month and  a half.  I look at last night as day 1 as official back into training mode.  Just take a look…

This is the time I kept my watch on.  My route: I ran from Midtown down to the 14th street area to meet a friend.  Once he joined me we ended up doing 7.29 miles of tempo at 7:56 pace!  I felt pretty good and it was just what the Dr. ordered to get me back into the swing of things.  Overall I put in a little over 12 and that’s after 15 on Sunday which felt like poo.  It’s amazing how you can feel a zillion times better depending on the day! 

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Chitown

I’m in Chicago this week for work. Just booked my flights back out here for October for that little 26.2 jaunt on October 12.

I’m thinking about doing the boat architecture tour on Saturday afternoon before heading back to NY on Sunday as long as it doesn’t rain. Unfortunately no time for running since my work business will take up almost my entire time here.

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October 12, 2008

I’ll see you in Grant Park at 8am for the Chicago Marathon!

Update eventually once I’m not work/sleep/eat mode anymore!

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A full running weekend

Lack of posts? Yeah. I just haven’t had much to write about. This past weekend? Lots to write about!

Heading up the b&stardMarathon weekend. I’ve grown to see it as my favorite weekend in New York City of the year. This year was extra special with the Men’s US Olympic Trials for the marathon the day before in Central Park. However, since I’m just getting back into the fun of running, I opted out of NYC Saturday morning for an XC race in New Jersey. I had no intentions other than to have a good time and scramble up some hills. And holy cow, these were hills that made Central Park look flat. The course was two loops with both hills (one by the name b*stard) within the last ¾ mile of the course! Holy crow, this was one of the hardest races I’ve EVER done. The first lap I ran the flat portion hard which probably was not a good idea but then I went all out on the hills the first time too. Not good. If I had a heart rate monitor, I bet it would have been screaming “what the &*(& your heart rate can’t go that high!”. LOL. The second lap killed me as I felt like huge pieces of concrete were on my legs instead of running shoes. I did pass one girl on the last hill but I’ve never been so happy to cross a finish line! My lungs were burning like after doing the 5th Avenue mile, only it was a 5k! The rest of the day I spent coughing if I started to laugh:-p Seriously though, an absolute blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! You can’t beat the rush of adrenaline you get trying to get up hills that. I’ve heard they have this race in the spring and I am definitely going back to tackle these bad boys again!

On the way back to the city I found out Ryan Hall had won the Olympic trials marathon (btw, I think he has a real shot at making some serious noise in Beijing). Anyway, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and someone mentioned something about a competitor collapsing and dying. Natural reaction, what? No way, no how. These guys are machines. Unfortunately, it was true as we all know and it was Ryan Shay. So sad. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Happier thoughts. Sunday was the big party day: The New York City Marathon! I ran this marathon back in 2004 but have been roaming the sidelines ever since. I love being the spectator. It’s the one day a year I go baking crazy. I made 48 cupcakes and a batch of race cookies! We set up post up in Harlem as usual and the excitement was plenty! One member had a TV so we could see the exciting finish of the women’s race as Paula finally out kicked her rival since her teenage years to win her first marathon back post-pregnancy (damn, can you imagine being able to look like that 9 months after a baby? Correction – ever! LOL). I forgot to Photo taken with my camera phone!change my camera battery so I had to rely on the pom poms to bring support to the runners. Along the way, I saw Crazy Bandana and Moz (aww yeah he stopped for a cookie!). While I was getting ready to get more cookies, all of a sudden I heard someone say there’s Pink Monkey and Liz. Apparently my response was “Oh my G**!” I think out of instinct I immediately placed the cookies down and started chasing after them with all clothing on (jacket, long sleeves, shorts, pants on top of the shorts). I had intended to just say hello but they just said “come with us, we need you.” So off I went in more clothes than I’d wear in 40 degree weather let alone 60+. It also should be mentioned all I had was my phone and house keys – no wallet or any of the other items I had brought with me to the stand. The plan originally was for me to be on hand at the TRD booth to run with someone should I be needed. I had run 4.5 miles in the morning thinking I may not run at all! LOL! Pink Monkey and Liz were super strong and it showed in their time: 3:50! Awesome, simply awesome! Sempre Libera joined us on the Fifth Avenue side as I had called her while literally on the run;-) I also took some photos via camera phone which is a lot tougher than one may think. Both Liz and Monkey were completely alert the entire time and as we got to Columbus Circle SL and I bid them farewell and headed off the course. We saw JK, LD, and KR finish before heading to the meeting spot on t he west side. The smiles coming from Liz were so big that words can’t do it justice. She kept wanting to thank me but for what? She ran the race and I’ve always said you can tell someone how to do something but they need to execute the plan. Execution? Oh yeah, they definitely did that. Congrats, girls as you have earned the right to get some serious R&R.

So congrats to all those that raced and enjoyed the wonders of New York City. I got so pumped up about running again yesterday that it almost felt like I was being rejuvenated once again. I ended up getting up Monday morning for my spin class and it felt great to get that in before work.

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Not this time

3:50:47. Very tough day as the humidity caught up with me around mile 16. Disappointed but happy I listened to my body.
So, they always tell you that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Well, yesterday it was my turn to find that out. For one, the weather definitely was not cooperating.  The average temperature for the Steamtown Marathon HAD been high of 65 and low of 42.  This meant ideal running conditions.  However, mother nature decided to make sure everyone knew she was boss!  The low was around 65! 

So the race.  I met up with runlikeagrrl and her friends at 6am to head up to Forrest City, the start of the marathon.  We took the big, yellow limosine – otherwise known as a school bus.  This is when the nerves started to unleash as it was “oh my gosh, this is it.”  We arrived around 6:45 to an elementary school.  There were cheerleaders in training screaming out “Go Runners” and local volunteers handing out ribbons/water.  It was pretty awesome.  The most awesome thing of the pre-start?  They had separate women’s and men’s port-a-potty’s!  This meant there was no line for me (amongst other things!)!  I ran into a teammate from my running club, whom I didn’t know was running.  She was looking to run sub 3:30.  She ended up with a 3:40.

Anyway, around 7:45 we headed to the start and it was no problem getting into corral. The humidity was extreme as there was fog (aka that means 100% humidity).  After a high schooler wailed off the national anthem, the starting gun went off for the wheelchair athletes.  Then, for the regular start it was a cannon.  I’m telling you, you haven’t experienced a start til a cannon is used:-D  runlikeagrrl mentioned the time she did it two years ago it was late to go off so it scared the %$%$ out of people as they had started their run.

Immediately at the start I could start running.  The start immediately began downhill as I had astutely noticed on the map the night before.  I knew I had to be careful to not go crazy especially since the weather was definitely going to be a factor.  Mile 1 and 2 came to 16:42.  Perfect.  Mile 3 had a hill or 2 and came in at 8:27 but that was OK because I knew mile 4 was where a lot of time gets made up.  It is an extremely steep downhill.  I knew it would be faster and the plan was it should be no faster than 7:45.  I came in at 7:53.  Nice.  I made sure to stop at the water stops if not to just pour a cup of water on my head.  I knew the water factor needed to be attended to early and often. 

At the 10k mark, I chuckled to myself and said “ah, just a 20 mile run and you’re done.” As I passed mile 7 I knew my support crew was coming up!  Sure enough, and not a moment too soon, there was Pink Monkey, Liz, and my dad cheering and screaming my name.  It definitely pumped me up and got me excited to keep on the journey.  I also ran into someone along the course that asked “Are you Uptown Girl?”  LOL.  Yep, I guess I’m a running blog celebrity of some sort;-)

The parts I remember are going through the small towns and people out on their porches cheering for us.  There were people along the side handing out oranges, water, gatorade, brownies, and even beer!  It definitely was a different experience from the big marathons that I had done prior: NYCM and MCM.  The trail running was awesome too!  I ran alongside a stream and got to see some spectacular scenery (leaves are midway to peak).

As I reached my support crew around mile 17 I started to get the feeling that it wasn’t my day.  I had spoken with my dad before the race about strategy.  I had chosen Steamtown with the idea of not throwing everything into one race.  I had a safety net if I so chose – Philly.  Well, at that point I realized maintaining this pace was going to be very tough – if not impossible – for another 9 miles.  Rather than totally expense myself and run a 3:42 I chose to slow it down.  When I made the decision, I definitely felt disappointed.  I knew it was for the best but it’s still disappointing to know you did everything right but mother nature decided to do you in!

The rest of the race reminded me more of a funeral procession.  There were a lot of people walking, ambulances, etc.  :-/  I found out later one of the guys Paul (met through runlikeagrrl) had rolled his ankle at mile 10, Helen had to walk the last 10k, and Doug came in at 4 hours (far cry from his 3:30 pace to start out).  I definitely shut it down and ran it out at 9:30ish pace.  I stopped at the water stations and made sure to keep myself well hydrated.

As I passed my crew around mile 21 I shouted out to them “I’ve got this.”  I wanted to make sure they knew I was strong and health was not a concern.

Mile 25.5 brought a lovely hill which was kind of the cherry on top to a tough morning.  I knew I wasn’t going to break 3:50 – and honestly didn’t care since it wasn’t breaking the elusive number I want anyway.  As I headed down the hill to the finish line I mustered what I could and passed a few people along the way.  Finished officially in 3:50:47.  All things considered, I was able to salvage a decent marathon and was only 5 minutes off my PR in extremely horrendous conditions: heat and humidity!  By the time I finished it was 77 degrees in Scranton. Eek!

Found runlikeagrrl and she had finished in 3:37 which again – about 10 minutes off of what she wanted!  She was waiting for her friends so I headed to the food station which was full of goodies: pasta, bagels, bananas, oranges, pizza, cookies!  Small races rock!  Next, I found my support crew and thanked them 10x over for helping me through a grueling day.

I called my mom (she was finishing her 60 mile walk) to tell her everything was OK and that the BQ wasn’t today. The picture to the left is of me talking to my mom and my dad telling Liz and Pink Monkey it was “mom.” However, I told her to make sure the support crew is ready for November 18.  I’m seriously considering another go at it.  If it’s 75 and humid in mid-late November, then the world has bigger worries!

This was part of the email from the race director this morning:

Heat - Sorry about the heat.  Yesterday was by far the hottest Steamtown on record.  
To give you an idea of the impact heat can have, our median finish time yesterday was a full 
10 minutes slower than the average for our first 11 years.  We also treated more runners in 
our medical area than ever before.  We hope that all of you enjoy a complete 
recovery.


Note:  be advised that we have informed our Weather Committee Chairman (we'll call him Bob) 
that his services are no longer required.

Turns out the winner missed qualifying for the Olympic trials.  Guess that makes missing a BQ time small potatoes…LOL!

The damage after the marathon?  A black toenail and a huge blister on the side of my big toe.  Eek!   Food of choice yesterday?  Bison burger and fries with a coke!  Yum!

Yesterday’s experience did teach me a little more about the world of running.  I was able to identify before the carnage to quit while ahead.  While some people may say that I didn’t give “everything” I didn’t want to if I couldn’t achieve my goal.  I know Philly is 6 weeks away and I could take a 26.2 training run away from it.  2 marathons in 6 weeks?  Doable.  Will I do it?  We’ll see.  I’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year when I couldn’t run a step.  There’s big days ahead of me.  Not this time, though.  Next time…

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The final countdown

Well, it’s Friday. Taper week is getting ready to end. No more rehearsals. It’s time to go out and take care of business. I’m ready and anxious to get the show on the road. 578.08 miles put in for official training this go around. A 20 miler in Central Park after working all day, running in the pre-dawn hours more than I care to count, etc. This journey has definitely been much different than the previous two. The results? I guess Sunday will tell me but I feel ready. I feel good.

Scranton, you ready for me? You better be because here I come!

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