Thursday, April 29, 2010
Quick recap of the week so far:
Monday: Power Vinyasa class – 90 minutes. Very challenging!
2.5 ish miles/23:00 or so
The universe kind of conspired against this run, but that was fine. To sum it up quickly: I was pretty sore from yoga the night before, Deana couldn’t make it over so I was going to be on my own, it was really pouring rain and I didn’t even feel like going out, I was messing with my computer and really wanted to get that taken care of, and when I finally did go out for a short run, there was a train coming through so I had to just circle around and just ran home. Whatevs! Got the computer fixed and that was the big win for the night.
7.0 miles/58:46/8:24 average pace
Muddy and cold run with Zach in Forest Park. It was great! We kept it pretty easy and chatted the whole time. Then we went over to Deana and Dana’s for a pasta dinner and they gave me a big bunch of lilacs and a nice good luck card. They are such wonderful friends.
I also did Skype yoga with my mom for the first time in a couple weeks! (webcam was one of the problems on the computer)
Today I am getting a pedicure, going to yoga, soaking in the hot tub, and watching hockey. Go sharks!
Tomorrow I am getting off work early, meeting Emily for a 5 mile run, going to yoga, and then packing my stuff and relaxing.
We leave Saturday morning!
They are claiming to have tracking on the Eugene Marathon website… I hope it works for anyone who is interested! My number is 834. I will update facebook after the race and will update the blog asap too.
So, a quick “Goals” section:
Time/pace: I think you all know the story here. I’d like to run a fast race. I think a PR is out of the question, and I don’t plan on going out at that pace. But I think a BQ time/pace is reasonable if everything goes well.
Strategy: I really want to go out at a conservative pace. I re-read through some old race reports and watched myself blow up after going out super fast (first half of the marathon at 8:04 pace? Seriously??) and I also watched myself control my pace and cruise to a BQ with a smile on my face. I want to have that smile on my face. I am prepared to push and to work for it, but I don’t want to be miserable. I want to run strong to the finish.
Goal: I want to run a smart race. I want to have fun! Let me rephrase that. I am going to run a smart race. I am going to have fun. I am going to be proud of myself no matter what the time on the clock says. Because I love running. I love running marathons! I am doing this because of the joy it brings me and for nothing else. I am doing this for me. And it’s going to be great.
Thank you all so much for your support!!
Monday, April 26, 2010
It’s here! The Eugene Marathon is on Sunday. I’m so ready. I just need to stay focused and relaxed this week. I finished up last week with a couple of really smooth and easy runs. Here are those numbers before I move on to pre-race and totally unrelated (edit to add: long-winded, super personal, emotional) ramblings:
Yin Yoga (Zach came with me, it was great!)
Super easy run on the waterfront with no watch.
Yoga at home
12.0 miles/1:43:51/8:39 average pace
Zach had another 20 miler so we drove up to the Banks Vernonia trail again where I did my 20 a couple weeks ago. This time we started up on the north end of the trail – I did an out and back and Zach ran point-to-point and then I picked him up at the other end. It was fun running a new stretch of trail! The run felt great and easy.
Total miles for the week: 31.5
So, as I said, I’m feeling REALLY great heading into race week. I can’t even believe how smoothly this training cycle has gone. In the past, I’ve been plagued by injuries and fought mental burn-out. I have never made it all the way to race week without feeling “let’s get this OVER with!” This time, I’m genuinely excited. I think there are a few reasons for this:
Perspective- I think attitude this time around and I think that made all the difference. After dealing with some heavy stuff in my personal life the past few months, I wasn’t as obsessed with the running thing. I couldn’t bring myself to be distraught over something as petty as a bad run. I was grateful for the release and freedom I felt when I ran and could not possibly be disappointed by the experience. I was a lot more flexible, a lot easier on myself. I let myself run slow, and I let myself run fast. I ran with friends, I tweaked my schedule. I was just more laid back about it. Don’t get me wrong, I put a lot of effort into it, but I let it be a positive experience. Furthermore, I think the fact that I am “only” (HA!) going for a Boston Qualifying time and not a PR is helpful. I feel like the BQ is a reasonable goal and I feel that a PR would be reeeeeally hard. So letting that go from the beginning has helped me keep a light attitude. Plus, after training and completing the Ironman last year, this seems like a walk in the park at any pace.
Diet- The last couple of months Zach and I have made a very serious change in our lives by changing the way we eat. We’ve always been aware of our nutrition and even though we indulged pretty often, we tried to keep a balanced diet. Lots of veggies, lean meat, no fried food or junk food (very loose on this rule.. lots of “treats”). However, we never ever thought about where our food comes from. We ate a lot of cheaply made packaged and processed foods full of preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients shipped in from all across the world. We have a lot of friends that talk about eating local and buying free-range meat and stuff, and we always thought they were just hippies (kidding! Not really!). But we were also a little intrigued. Living in Portland and being surrounded by hippies and environmentalists is bound to wear you down. So, long story short, we’re IN. Like, IN IT. We’ve cleaned out our cupboards, we’ve changed our shopping habits (and adjusted our budget), we’re going to the farmer’s market, we’re going to the local butcher. Zach hacked up a free-range chicken and made homemade stock. We simmer beans or grains on the stove for hours most nights. We pay a ridiculous sum for some part of a cow that I have seen a picture of. We buy eggs from a local farmer for 6 bucks a dozen. I’ve eaten barley, whole wheat pasta, spelt bread, and more fruits and vegetables then I thought was possible. It is FANTASTIC. Shopping and cooking and eating has taken on a whole new meaning in our lives and it’s wonderful. It is very fulfilling knowing we’re doing the right thing for our bodies, environment, local economy, and souls. Now who’s the hippie? Also I’m losing weight as my body adjusts- currently at my ironman training weight. My tastes have changed and I don’t crave the foods that I used to. I’m almost never hungry which is very different for me. I feel great and am excited to keep following this path. I could talk about this all day!
Yoga- I’m realizing now this whole post is a can of worms and it is going to be hard to be brief. These aren’t just the reasons my training has gone so great, these are the reasons my life is going great. More than anything, I sincerely believe the yoga has changed my life. I had a very special and memorable introduction to yoga on November 23, 2009 and since that day everything has changed. That was the day after Ironman Arizona, and I was so sore and scraped up I could hardly move. I had just completed the biggest athletic accomplishment of my life and was very obviously turning a page. I had a lot of emotional conflicts going on in my head and didn’t know where my life would be heading next. I no longer had IRONMAN as my reason for living. It was done. And I was scared. That day, my best friend and certified yoga instructor Inga lead me in some reeeeeeally gentle yoga poses and gave me the first glimpse of how yoga isn’t just stretching or strengthening or balancing. It is a way of life, a philosophy. We talked about how it has changed her life and how it seemed like exactly what I needed. It was the exact counterpose to my IM training. It isn’t about goals or training for a future event, it is about living in the present moment. It isn’t doing, it is being. It isn’t about my ego, it’s about my heart. It’s not about what other people think of me, it is finally, truly about what I think of me. It is acceptance. Patience. Stillness.
Sigh. I’m really getting off on a tangent here. Part of me wants to go back and delete that and part of me wants to write a f-ing book. We’ll just leave it for now and keep the book on the back burner. ;) Before I change topics let me actually address how this has helped my training- I know for sure that the stretching has helped, but I think it is mostly that my attitude has changed and I’m better prepared to handle the stresses of training. I’ve joined a studio near my house and am going a few times a week. Plus, I’ve been doing more practice at home and even meditating. Good stuff. Once again, I’m very excited to see where all this leads. I’m especially excited that my awesome friend Emily is preparing to start yoga teacher-training this year. She’s going to be great at it. I’m very lucky to have friends that teach yoga. I’m very lucky to have such great friends.
New topic! Weather. It’s looking pretty good for next weekend. It’s supposed to be rainy and cool all week (upper 50’s for high temps) and then clear up for the weekend with highs in the low to mid 60’s. That would be fine, although I would prefer as little sun as possible. It won’t be very warm at 7:00 am either way, like mid 40’s probably. Perfect!
I only have three runs this week and am going to take them all pretty easy and getting my running buddies involved. I’m planning on running with Deana on Tuesday, Zach on Wednesday, and Emily on Friday. I’m also going to do a lot of yoga this week, again with friends- Emily and Anne tonight, and Amy and Alisa tomorrow night. I’ll do some other classes on my own throughout the week and plenty of meditation and stuff to keep me relaxed. And of course, I’m getting a pedicure- a pre-race ritual!
Final topic, San Jose Sharks. I love me some hockey, and can’t get enough of this playoff action. Zach and I have remained a loyal Sharks fan after moving away from the bay area, investing in the Center Ice cable package and hunting it down when they play on regular cable in the post-season. They were once again the top team in the west in the regular season, and are once again in the playoffs. They beat Colorado in the first round and the second round opponent is TBA but that series will begin this week sometime. They’ve never made it to the Finals and I’m really hopeful this will be their year! I have a history of making playoff hockey a part of my marathon routine and so I’m looking forward to the distraction of watching them play this weekend. Go Sharks!
Allright I think that’s all. This is really long, sorry! I will end with a few pictures from yesterday’s run in Vernonia. I’ll be posting again this week with more specific goals and stuff for my race. Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I have had the BEST runs the last two days! I'm feeling rested and positive and my legs are just itching to run fast. Yesterday I had a "General Aerobic" run on the schedule, which I took the liberty of running more like a tempo run. And today's track workout was a huge success. Yay! I only have two more runs this week and I really need to back off and run them nice and easy. I really want to feel this good on May 2nd and am going to do everything in my power to do that. I'm getting really excited for the marathon. Especially after tracking my runner friends in Boston- Emily, Susan, Sarah, Miranda, and others. They all did so great. I would really love to run Boston again next year so I'm going to give it my best in Eugene!
Here's the recap of my two awesome runs:
7.0 miles/54:36/7:48 average pace
I started off with Zach and ran the first two miles with him around 8:10 pace. Then I picked it up and ran the next four miles around 7:45. I challenged myself to push it to the end and ran my last mile in 7:03!! Full disclosure- I got to stop at two street crossings in that last mile but still.
8.0 miles/1:04:55/8:07 average pace
Today was my last track workout before the race and I nailed it! I had 3 one-mile repeats so I was hoping I hadn't blown all my speed in that last run. Zach was doing his own track workout so we headed down to the Duniway track together. We started off together for the warm up and then split up. I just did my whole run on the track and left the Terwilliger hills out of it. So, the workout looked like this:
2 mile warm up @ 8:31 pace
3 x 1 mile intervals in 6:54, 6:59, 6:50 (6:54 average) with 800 m recoveries
2 mile cool down @ 9:02 pace
I am really happy with these two runs, and I'm definitely feeling confident about the marathon. But I'm going to take the next week and a half VERY easy and make sure I'm 100% rested and ready. My few remaining runs will be nice and easy. Also, I'm going to do a lot of yoga, lots of stretching, get plenty of sleep, and eat super good. My main goal will be to stay relaxed, stress-free, and positive.. that's been the main focus of my life the last couple months and the next couple of weeks will be no different.
So that's the latest taper update, I guess we'll see just have to see what the next few days bring..
Sunday, April 18, 2010
It was a great day for running today- started off foggy and cool but the sun came out by the time the race started. I was on my own for the race today because Zach had a 20 mile training run to do. He got up really early and was gone before I even rolled out of bed, which worked out well because he was done in time to see me finish the race! I got up and got ready and ran to the start from my house. I used the porto potty a couple of times- there were NO lines either time. Crazy! We watched the kid's half mile race and then they finally got us going about 15 minutes late.
My goal was to PR which would running a pace faster than 7:34. I know the course has a couple of big hills but figured it would even out with the downhills. One of my main goals was to really PUSH myself from the beginning- I have finished my last couple of races with a little bit of energy left over and I thought I maybe could have tried harder. This time I really wanted to leave it all out there.
The good news is, I nailed that goal! The bad news is I didn't PR. I finished in 47:34 which is exactly 30 seconds off that time. I did finish 8 seconds faster than my last 10k though, which is good. A small improvement, but on a much harder course.
My splits are wacky because the mile markers were mostly wrong. The first mile was about .1 long which was a tough way to start the race. That mile climbs almost the whole mile, so I knew it would be slow... but 8:46? The rest of the miles were all over the place- some short, some long, a couple were actually right on. I tried to just use my actual Garmin pace which while not official was telling me I was around 7:25 pace. It definitely felt like 7:25 pace, I was dying! There was definitely no doubt about how hard I pushed myself. I'm happy with that. I do wish I had run a faster time, but whatever! I am not going to let it affect my confidence about the marathon one bit. It was a great effort and I'm proud of it!
Here is the breakdown:
Mile 1 8:46 (uphill to Fremont Bridge, and long)
Mile 2 7:29
Mile 3 6:46 (downhill, and short)
Mile 4 7:58
Mile 5 7:24
Mile 6 7:45 (another climb up and over Broadway Bridge)
Last 0.2 1:22 (6:37 pace- another small hill here, gave it all I had)
Official Time: 47:34 (7:39 average pace)
8/250 Age Group
I saw Zach on the home stretch and that is always a boost. I pushed it hard to the finish line. I crossed knowing that I really did my best and couldn't have run any harder! I found Zach and we grabbed some water and then watched for Amy to come through a couple minutes later. We all made our way over to the beer line and got our free beverages (good beer too- Widmer Drifter). It was sunny and there was live music and just a great Portland moment. Zach wandered off to check the results and was spotted by Marya and her husband James- which was impressive because we've never actually met in person yet! I was bummed to have missed them but we happened to see them right as we were leaving. They had just finished their first 10k and did GREAT. Nice to meet you guys!
So another race in the books and we turn the page. Next up, Eugene Marathon in 2 weeks!
GOOD LUCK to all the runners in Boston tomorrow, we'll be cheering you on from home!!
Thanks for reading. :)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I figured I better quickly post my workouts from this week so that my next post will be just the race report!
My week has gone great- it’s officially the taper but this week was pretty tough and didn’t feel very restful at all. I also moved the runs around quite a bit to fit my schedule so it was kind of different in general. But it all worked out and I’m feeling great heading into the race.
So, about this race- I am running the Bridge to Brews 10k tomorrow. My goal is a PR (47:04) but as long as I give it my best shot I’ll be happy. I feel like my last two races I was left wondering if I could have pushed a little harder from the beginning, so tomorrow my goal is to really go for it from mile one. I will still listen to my body’s signals and hopefully not completely over-do it and fall apart before the end! We’ll see though, it could happen. I do really want to do well though because I’m hoping this will be a good “predictor” race and a nice confidence boost for the marathon. But, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself! The good news is there is beer at the end and then a waffle party back at my house so it will have a happy ending no matter what. :)
Here is the summary of my runs so far this week and then a few pictures from yesterday- it was Zach’s 31st birthday and we both took the day off work and went running, out for brunch, and then went out and celebrated with friends in the evening. It was a perfect day! Happy Birthday sweetums! :P
First, the running stuff:
(no yoga either, just completely rested)
4.0 miles/36:40/9:10 average pace
I reeeeally didn’t want to do this run, but Zach talked me into it and we ran together. It was so nice to run together and it ended up feeling great.
(Yin Yoga class)
8.0 miles/1:11:30/8:56 average pace
This was a workout that got adjusted due to scheduling conflicts. We were going to go to the track to do the intervals but we didn’t end up having time. We had tickets to go see the Cirque du Soleil show that is in town (which was AMAZING!) so we had to do the run straight after work on the Springwater trail. I realize now how much better doing intervals on the track is!! I got it done though. Here is the breakdown:
2.5 mile warm up @ 9:17 pace
4 x 800 m (went with 1/2 mile on the garmin) @ 3:26 average (6:52 pace) with 1/4 mile recoveries
2.75 mile cool down @ 9:48 pace – I chatted with a guy on the trail who had an Ironman tattoo and ran with him for a mile or so nice and slow. Love meeting random runners!
(Yoga Basics class)
16.0 miles/2:16:54/8:33 average pace
Awesome long run on Marine Drive/I-205 bike path. Zach did a 10 mile goal pace run and I did my long run. Which ended up being more goal pace-y than I could have predicted!
First 8 miles @ 8:45 pace
Last 8 miles @ 8:22 pace
Sweet! Felt great. I did get a little warm though and had to have Zach meet me with a water refill. Also I got a big of a sunburn. D’oh!
The rest of the day was very fun birthday stuff, and today I was slightly tired. Ok, hungover. I skipped my short recovery run and went to yoga instead (Yoga Basics class). Now we’re just putting on a movie and eating spaghetti and getting our running stuff together for the morning. Zach has his first 20 miler and I have the race. Big day for both of us! :)
Here are the pictures from yesterday’s birthday extravaganza..
Zach working a 7:00 ish pace:
Marine Drive in the sunshine:
A stretch of the I-205 bike path that goes through the beautiful neighborhood of Maywood Park:
First drink of the day- a bloody mary at Besaw’s:
Happy hour with friends- there are Sarah and Michael:
And Amy and Brad:
Deana and Dana:
Me and my birthday boy:
Last drink of the night. Cheers!
Back with a race report asap. Thanks for reading!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I finished off my last big training week with my second 20 mile run, and it was a success! Zach’s parents are in town from Montana and we all drove out to a beautiful trail west of Portland. Zach ran 18 miles, I ran 20, and the folks hiked a few miles. It was great. I love running.
Here is the recap of my weekend and a few pictures:
4.0 miles/34:55/8:44 average pace
Waterfront run with Zach
(Saturday: 60 minute Vinyasa yoga class)
20.0 miles/2:54:25/8:43 average pace
Banks Vernonia Trail
This trail is so beautiful and so quiet. It’s one of my very favorite places to run. It’s a rails-to-trails path and is over 20 miles long. Part of it is flat and runs through farmland, and part of it climbs up through forested hills.
We parked at a mid-point and ran out and back in both directions. First, we ran down a couple of miles and then out and back on the flat section. Then it was up, up, up back past the car and through the forest. This part was pretty tough, but the reward was finishing on a nice downhill grade. Here is how that played out in terms of my pace:
2 miles downhill @ 8:44 pace
8 miles flat @ 8:47 pace
6 miles uphill @ 9:08 pace
4 miles downhill @ 7:56 pace
The sun was out and the temperature was so comfortable- high 50’s and low 60’s by the end. So nice to finally get some sunshine.
I pushed a bit harder this time compared to my last 20 miler and my legs are feeling it this afternoon. That could be the accumulation of all my training miles though. Nothing hurts, I’m just tired and sore. I’ll take it. And with three weeks until the Eugene Marathon, I’m heading into taper territory so it’s recovery time! That’s pretty fantastic. More time for yoga and hot tubbing and sleeping. :)
total miles for the week: 52.1
A few pictures from my run today:
Looking back at the flat farmland stretch of the trail:
Post-run brunch at Tin Shed in Alberta
Thanks for reading! :)
Thursday, April 08, 2010
This week I've also finally really committed to making yoga part of my life. This became a goal of mine after the Ironman when I was recovering in Phoenix. My best friend Inga really spent some time doing yoga with me and telling me how it changed her life, and I knew then that I needed it. I've kind of dabbled in the last few months going to classes at the gym and doing some short practices on my own, and of course I've been doing some gentle yoga with my mom over Skype. But I know that's not enough. I need this in a real way. I don't want to get into it here, but I stand to gain so much from a yoga practice. Peace, stillness, presence, awareness, acceptance, etc. It's time for me to make this happen.
So, this week I joined a yoga studio for a trial period and I went twice this week so far. One 90 minute Vinyasa class and one 75 minute meditation class. I loved them both but especially the meditation. I am going back tomorrow and this weekend and so on. It's wonderful. :) It's expensive but worth it.
Anyway, back to running! I am in the midst of another 50+ mile week, my last one before the taper. Here is how my week has gone so far:
(90 minutes Vinyasa yoga class)
6 miles/56:08/9:21 average pace
Recovery run on tired legs.
(plus meditation yoga class)
10.1 miles/1:27:11/8:38 average pace
Hills and Track. What a combo! Here's the breakdown:
5.33 miles warm up on Terwilliger hills @ 9:11 pace
4 x 1200 m intervals - averaged 5:29 (7:19 pace) with 400 m recoveries
1.07 miles cool down on the track @ 9:10 pace
So not my fastest intervals ever but not bad! The hilly warm up probably cost me a few seconds. Also I was just feeling kind of tired and didn't push it as hard as I probably could have. But it was a great workout and I'm happy. The track is always lots of fun. Especially when Zach is there with me! :)
12.0 miles/1:45:19/8:47 average pace
I thought this run would be pretty brutal since my legs have been tired all week, but actually once I got out there I felt pretty great! I had a nice run and was grateful the weather stayed nice (it's been kind of wild and unpredictable lately).
Tomorrow is a rest day but I'm planning on going to yoga. Then this weekend is a short recovery run Saturday and then my last 20 miler on Sunday! Zach's parents are in town from Montana so we're spending the weekend with them doing fun stuff around town too. Should be a really nice weekend.
Thanks for reading! :)
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Strong finish to both my week in general, and to a couple of runs in particular.
This week started off pretty rough, but I pulled a few strong runs out at the end of the week and managed to get over 40 miles for the week. When I got back to Portland from the Bay Area, I had some kind of yucky chest cold that resulted in me sounding like an old smoker lady. I kind of liked the deep, raspy voice… it was kind of sexy. Ha! But, I didn’t like being sick. I skipped my short recovery run on Tuesday and rested. Then, I decided to skip Wednesday’s planned track workout too. Bummer. I even left work early both these days and rested on the couch. I drank tons of tea and went through a package of cough drops and slept. By Thursday, I was feeling a little better and was determined to get out and run. I completely scrapped my running schedule for the week and just went out for whatever mileage and pace I could handle for the rest of the week. I felt good enough to run every day for the rest of the week- Thursday through Sunday and actually ended up with some really quality workouts. Two of my runs were ridiculous negative splits- my pace on the second half was a full minute per mile faster. I’m still coughing a bit but obviously on the mend. And I have my annoying normal voice back. :) Here is the recap:
Monday: rest (planned rest day/travel day home from CA)
Tuesday: rest (sick)
Wednesday: rest (still friggin sick)
8.15 miles/1:18:18/9:37 average pace
Super cautious (slow) run to test the ol’ lung capacity. Felt fine.
6.0 miles/49:22/8:14 average pace
Forest Park run with Emily. We had an awesome run together chatting and dreaming (she just quit/retired from her job and has some BIG goals and I’m so excited for her) and just enjoying the scenery. It has rained a ton lately so we had to leap over lots of puddles which was fun. We were talking the whole time and were surprised at the end to see how fast we’d gone.
First 3 miles @ 8:42 pace
Last 3 miles @ 7:45 pace (last mile was 7:18)
9.0 miles/1:22:08/9:08 average pace
Another pretty easy/slow run out on the waterfront/springwater trail. It was crazy windy but I felt good.
17.0 miles/2:24:36/8:30 pace
Zach and I drove out to Gresham and ran that eastern stretch of the Springwater trail for something different. We caught a nice break in the rain but the wind was ridiculous. I ran into the wind for the first half which also is a very slight incline. I felt good though and was zoned out to the music on my iPod. When I turned around I had the wind at my back and a tiny decline and couldn’t help but really pick up the pace. I wasn’t even looking at my watch so I was surprised to see how fast I’d run the second half of this long run.
First 8.5 miles @ 9:00 pace
Last 8.5 miles @ 8:00 pace (last mile was 7:26)
total miles for the week: 40.15 miles
Next week is another big week with track work, a 20 mile run, and 50+ miles scheduled. I’m hopeful my cold is behind me and I’m really hoping for some better weather!
I hope you all had a great week and a nice Easter with your families. Thanks for reading! :)