running and such

running
The Rehoboth Beach Marathon was 4 weeks ago.  Recovery time is over and it’s back to quasi-training.  Quasi since I’m not training for anything specific, just maintaining my base (in the event that I do decide to train for something specific).

I really dislike training in the winter and the past 3 years I trained for a Spring marathon.  Some years (2012) were mild while others (2011) were awful.  I hate planning my training around Mother Nature, resorting to the treadmill, bundling up, and freezing fingers despite 2 layers of gloves.

But…I worked hard in 2012 and I want to maintain all that base building.  So I’m putting in the mileage but not worrying about my long run if Mother Nature decides to dump a foot of snow on a Saturday.  That’s the perk of quasi-training!

I realize I kinda stopped recapping my weekly mileage after Boston so here’s what I’ve been up to post-RBM:

Week 1 post – no miles (mandatory recovery week)

Week 2 post – 23 miles + barre

Week 3 post – 34 miles (including a run with Abby!) + barre

Week 4 post – 45 miles + barre

My goal is to maintain my base mileage in the 40s with appropriate drop back weeks built in.  And keep up with barre class once per week.

and such
This weekend in pictures…

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I love Philly.

Are you quasi-training or training for real this winter?

a good year

Happy New Year, folks!

I am thoroughly enjoying my time off and perfecting my “lady who lunches” routine.  Next Wednesday is going to be cruel and painful.

First things first – RTLR turned 2 this week!  For those of you who have been reading from the beginning – (1) kudos, (2) thank you, and (3) you deserve a tall cup of coffee or a stiff drink (your choice).

I wouldn’t be a proper blogger if I didn’t reflect back on 2012 (in terms of running, of course).  If I could sum it up in one word?  WOW.

What could be better than kicking off the year with the Boston Marathon?!   90 degrees or not, it was an amazing ‘experience’ (due to the heat, the B.A.A. refused to call it a race but instead an ‘experience’).

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this picture says it all…

My Christmas ornament from Matt this year…

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After Boston, I ran my first “ultra” (50K) and discovered that running on grass isn’t as fun as it was when you were a kid.  But…ultras ARE fun!

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After that came a 5K, 2 HMs, and the Rehoboth Beach Marathon – all PRs (thank you, ultra training).  Some were surprise PRs and others (err, RBM) were I-could-have-done-better-PRs.

I also learned some things along the way:  (1) when in a rut, run an ultra and (2) drop waaay back on mileage during drop back weeks.  In the past I don’t think I was cutting my mileage back enough to really absorb the benefits of my training.

Your turn to brag!  Tell me about your best (or favorite) 2012 race or maybe something you learned about running in 2012?

race pics and a giveaway

As usual, my pictures from RBM are nothing less than stellar.

These 3 are the best of the bunch, no lie.

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all business

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high-fiving the Grim Reaper

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lazy stroll across the finish line…

I just finished up my mandatory 7-days-no-running-post-marathon rest week.  The first 3 days are always nice but then I get antsy.  My sleeping was off this week and physically I feel like a sloth.  Today I enjoyed 6 very easy miles and homeostasis was restored…just like that.

giveaway
The folks at Under Armour contacted me about a review and giveaway of their Fleece Divide Hoody.  I’m a sucker for a cozy hooded sweatshirt so why not?

pros
1.  Definitely cozy and comfy.  The kind of sweatshirt you put on after a freezing cold long run in the winter.
2.  It’s 100% polyester so you could potentially wear it running, as long as you have a wicking long-sleeved shirt underneath.

cons
1.  It’s not really my style.  It’s a tad too shiny?
2.  It’s too big.  Entirely my fault though.  It is semi-fitted and I assumed it would run small so I ordered a medium (I’m normally a XS/S).  A small would have been plenty big.

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Now the good stuff – UA is giving away a Fleece Divide Hoody to one lucky reader!

to enter
Leave a comment telling me your one essential piece of winter running gear.  That’s it.  I loathe complicated giveaways.

the rules
1.  US residents only.
2.  Must leave a comment to enter by midnight Wednesday, December 19th.
3.  One winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, December 20th.  If the winner does not claim their prize within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

Good luck!  I’m off to enjoy more homemade peppermint bark.

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I was given the UA Fleece Divide Hoody in exchange for my review but my opinions are my own.

Rehoboth Beach Marathon Recap

Marathon #11 can best be described by one of my Dad’s many sayings:  sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.  I won’t leave you in any suspense – I didn’t get the bear.

the good
I didn’t have a terrible race.  I didn’t go out too fast, didn’t hit the wall, didn’t dehydrate, didn’t develop aches or pains, or didn’t fuel properly.  My first 13.1 was run in 1:48 and the second 13.1 in 1:52.  A 4-minute positive split.  Not terrible – I’ll never be a negative split marathoner – even splits are the way to go for me.

All I can say is that I got tired (no shit, right?).  My mind was saying “go, go, go” but my legs could not maintain MP.  My pace would slip, I would rally back for a little, and then my pace would slip again.

the bad and the ugly
On paper, a sub-3:40 (8:20 average pace if you’re using 3:39) should have been easy.  I just ran a 1:41 half 3 weeks ago (7:45 average pace).  My MP would have been 35 seconds slower than my HMP.  That’s huge.  This was not a stretch goal.

But the marathon is a fickle bitch of a race.  Anything can happen.  You’re on top of the world for one mile and praying that it will all end the next mile.

miles 1-10
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I wanted to use the first 2 miles as a warm-up and then settle into 8:20 pace.  I was holding back here.  I obsessively checked my Garmin to make sure I wasn’t going out too fast.  The first few miles were within RB and then we entered a rails-to-trails section.  This was definitely my favorite part of the race.  It was gorgeous and the trail running put me at ease.

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And then we headed out for a long stretch to Lewes and Cape Henlopen State Park, passing some of the biggest and most beautiful houses I have ever seen.

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on my way to DQ…

miles 11-19
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I needed to pee.  Like real bad.  I first noticed it around mile 7 and I thought the feeling would go away.  It only got worse.  With the exception of my first marathon, I never have to stop and pee during a race.  Ever.  I gave some serious thought to just peeing myself but my stage fright is way too bad for that.  Plus it’s really difficult to “let go” while running!

I HAD to stop at the next porta potty.  I was going to lose time either way.  If I didn’t pee, the feeling would only get worse and slow me down.  I ducked into the next porta potty I saw, peed as fast as I could, and then tried my best to make up for lost time (that’s why mile 18 is 8:53).

Miles 14-16 went through Cape Henlopen State Park.  This is where the so-called “hills” were.  It was more like gentle rolling hills – nothing that will really break you.  The payoff was gorgeous views of the sand dunes and ocean.

miles 20-26.2
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This is where the tiredness set in.  I didn’t hit the wall; it was just harder to maintain MP.  I felt OK and tried to rally back with mile 21 but my paced slipped again in mile 22.

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still giving a half-hearted thumbs up…

We made our way back to RB via the rails-to-trails section.  I saw Jess around mile 22.  I have never met Jess before but we both knew we were running the race.  I introduced myself and we ran together for the next 4 miles.  We were both having a tough time and although we didn’t talk it was nice to have someone there with you…providing silent encouragement and motivation.  Thank you, Jess!

I passed mile 25 in 3:30.  I didn’t know how close to 3:31 I was but I remember thinking I can do this.  I can run a 3:39.  It’s funny how you forget that you have to run 1.2 miles to finish.  I would have had to pull the fastest 1.2 miles of my life to get a 3:39.

I saw my Garmin switch over to 3:40 and my heart sank.  I was so close…I could see the tent where the finish line was.  I crossed the finish line in such a fog I never stopped my Garmin until 30 seconds later.

Official results
3:41:34
Overall – 197/823
Female – 47/323
AG – 10/45

I so badly wanted to run a 3:3x marathon and was totally capable of doing so but it wasn’t my day.  I left nothing on that course and did the best I could do on that day…which is all you can really ask for in a marathon. 

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the race itself
I would definitely, absolutely, positively recommend this race.  The course was beautiful (and flat) and RB Running Company organized a small and fantastic race.  I lucked out with the weather – it was 100% overcast with no wind.  I could see how even the slightest bit of wind could cause havoc on some of the out-and-back portions.

I also got to see Matt about 4-5 times on the course.  He kept popping up every couple of miles.

The best thing about the race was the after party.  A huge, heated tent with catered food, live music, and beer!

I mentioned this in another post but it’s worth mentioning again.  I stayed at Avenue Inn, right around the corner from the start line.  The race started at 7AM and I didn’t leave my hotel room until 6:45AM.  I was warm, dry, and used the bathroom to my heart’s content.

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we ran right by the hotel at the start

Writing this recap has been cathartic.  I was hoping it would be.  Up until yesterday, all I could think of is how I didn’t run a 3:3x marathon.  I hate how that overshadows that fact that I PR’d by 2 minutes.  If I were a client I would have looked at those splits and told them they ran a terrific race and they should be proud.  I need to listen to my own advice.

On the plus side, I get a break.  A real break.  Not a let’s-run-a-50K-and-then-another-marathon break (remember how I said I was going to take a break after Boston)?  I’m going to focus on barre and running what I want, when I want.

I literally could not keep up with all the comments on FB, Instagram, and Twitter.  Thank you, thank you!  It really did mean a lot.

2 days

As per usual during race week, my productivity is at an all time low – except for Lysol wiping, hand sanitizing, and weather checking.  I fully attribute my (heightened) germ neuroses for keeping me healthy.  Matt is also feeling better too, so that helps.

As for weather, it’s looking rather unseasonable.  Thankfully the race starts at 7AM and it doesn’t seem like the wind will be too bad.  I’ll take it.

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tank top and shorts weather!

Race goals?  To run a sub-3:40.  Same goal as I had for hotter-than-hell Boston this year.  Simple and uncomplicated.  Whatever the day brings I will try my best to go with it.

See ya on the other side folks!

PS – I need to pass along a message from my friends at Barre Focus Fitness.  The grand opening celebration of their University City studio was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.  Join them tomorrow night for 2 free classes!  Details below…

WHAT: Barre Focus Fitness University City Grand Opening Celebration

Join the owners of BFF-UC for an official “Grand Opening” celebration!  Complimentary classes offered at 6:30 & 7:45, accompanied by a champagne toast, yummy snacks provided by Pure Fare, and giveaways from local businesses

WHEN: Thursday, December 6th, with FREE classes at 6:30 & 7:45

WHERE: Barre Focus Fitness University City
4145 Chestnut Street-2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA

Register at www.barreuniversitycity.com.

Race Week

6 days until the Rehoboth Beach Marathon!

Tapering is in full swing and my legs are just beginning to get a wee bit antsy.

Operation Stay Healthy is also in full swing.  Matt (who is never sick) has been sick since Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately it’s viral and just needs to run its course.  Knock on wood, I’m still healthy.  Let’s hope it stays that way.

Running RBM sorta came out of left field.  Why RBM?  In a nutshell, timing.  After Philly RnR, I really regretted not registering for the Philly Marathon.  When I tried to upgrade my Philly Half registration to the full, it was already sold out.  Running and racing have been going so well these past 2 months I need to run a marathon.

Other perks of RBM:
– great reviews on marathonguide.com
– flat and fast –> with a rails-to-trails section!
– race day is Saturday – I’m already planning my lazy Sunday
– start time is 7AM
– my hotel is around the corner from the start line –> this may be hands down the best thing ever!  I can stay warm in my hotel room until the very end (and endless use of a clean toilet…but that goes without saying, right?)

I registered for RBM on Halloween…2 days before it became a very popular marathon (after the cancellation of NYCM).  It’s sold out now – both half and full – and I‘m excited for another chance to run with the NYCM refugees.

So that left me with 5 weeks to get my act together with training.  Truthfully my act was pretty much together since, after the Philly RnR in September, I have been quasi-ultra training.  Lots of miles, all slow.

Looking at my training log since January 2012…
Number of 50+ mile weeks = 16
Number of 20+ milers (including races) = 14

I feel good physically and mentally about RBM…despite not knowing exactly what my marathon pace will be.  That’s uncharted territory for this Type A girl.  But that’s exactly what I need. 

But more on goals in another post Winking smile

Do you prefer Saturday or Sunday races?  I love a Saturday race because I don’t like anything looming over my head.  Sunday races suck your entire weekend away.