Saturday, February 2, 2008

Weekend Off

It is strange to have a weekend off from racing. We're racing at BU next weekend in a pretty big meet so coach whaled on us this week. Tuesday's workout was incredible - 3 * 200, 2 * 300, 2 (600, 400, 300, 200, 100) - all fast! Thursday's workout was a little more reasonable - 9 * 300 in 48-51. I hit 50-51 each 300 and was at the end of the pack. It is incredible to run with such talented people. I'm really excited to see how our team does later in the season...I'm thinking of the big outdoor meets in June/July. Wow. We could have some outstanding races.

I'm feeling my age. Every day, I have to stretch twice - once after my morning run and once at the end of the day. I didn't have to do this a few years back. I wish someone would have warned me that this would happen in my later 20s. Ah well...

Superbowl tomorrow. An excuse for the American public to get drunk, eat a bunch of fried food, and sit around cheering on a bunch of semi-overweight, testosterone-y men grunting around the field running into each other. Our sport is so much more civilized than that. Except for that race when I peed on myself.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Terrific at Terrier

Well, GBTC rocked the party that rocked the party. As expected. We had a great showing across the board. Some PRs, some broken records, tons of strong performances. Jen Lee showed that she can run close to a 5 min mile twice in one week. Marian showed that she is ready to face the big bad track once again...her first race on the track in 3 years. I showed that I'm not completely out of shape...just marginally out of shape. Everyone else either posted PRs or really close to PRs. Yeah baby!

DMR in a couple of hours. I'm heading to the track pretty soon to race. I have had a cold the past week (I like to blame my poor performances on that) and last night's yelling in the 3 and 5K definitely did not help. Right now - I can't talk. Well, I can whisper. He he. Ah well...don't need a voice to run an 800 leg.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Terrier Excitment

The BU track will be torn up by GBTC red this weekend. I just want to wish all good luck. I can't believe the fitness level of our distance crew this season. It is awesome to see and exciting to be a part of.
To Allison, Gretchen and Marian in the 3K-- piece of cake compared to the cross country races you guys ran this fall. Run strong and hard!
To Katie and Liz in the 5K-- PRs are awaiting. Go get them!!
To Laura, Jen, and Victoria in the mile-- Your workouts are amazing. 8 laps is nothing. Kick butt!!
To the rest of GBTC mid distance and sprinter-- Race hard and well!!
I wish I could be there to yell and scream my head off at you guys. Just know I am sending you positive thoughts.
Can't wait to see results.
* Lynn

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bring it on

So Laura sent out that nice email, and I thought I might try to get the ball rolling on getting this blog back on track.

As most of you know, I had the race of my life on Sunday. During college, I made continuous large leaps in fitness and PRs. But since then, I have been the queen of slow but steady progress. No more! :-) 7 second PR in the mile, followed by an 18 second PR in the 3K...I am unbelievably psyched. So now comes the 5K at Terrier this Friday. Time to pony up... I want nothing more than to be in the thick of things and put it all out there on the track. Times will fall as they may.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Even more marathon training

First off - I just saw the results for the Mayors Cup X-C race -- WOW~!!!
The team ran so well. Kudos especially to McCabe, Chick, and Jen Lee for running amazingly well on that tough course. What a great day.

Most of you know that I did not finish the Chicago Marathon. You've heard the stories of the heat and humidity, so I will spare you another rendition. The weekend was still fun, despite the unsuccessful race. I got to see my family and my very pregnant sister in Chicago, and Diona Fulton (fellow Boston-area marathon runner) stayed with me for the weekend. I knew it was going to be a tough day for racing when I got off the plane at 10pm and it was in the low 80s. Because of the weather, a lot of the elite/top athletes did not even start. The top 100 corral was so empty compared to last year. Women hoping for a qualifying time likely opted to run another race instead.

I started hoping to just finish under 3 hours. My original goal had been to run a 2:53 or so. The first few miles were okay, but I started to actually get thirsty at mile 2 or 2.5. Those of you know have run with me know that I usually drink very little, if any, water on runs, so the fact that I voluntarily felt thirsty was a bad sign! I slowed down considerably from my first few miles at 6:30-6:35 and it was downhill from there. I struggled through the half and spent the next five miles tyring to decide whether to drop out. After much heat-induced, half-delirious mental debating, I finally decided to bag it at mile 18 and pulled out of the race right before the 30K mark. I jog-walked back to the start with some other ladies who had also dropped out. At the finish, I learned that 3 other Impalas had also dropped, and 1 decided not to start at all. I got my bags and some really melty power bars, called Laura (thank you for calling!), tried to console Diona, and we eventually made our way back home.

Later that day I found out that a man had died on the course and that many runners had no water or Gatorade. I felt guilty for days because there was still plenty of fluids on the course while I was running, and I felt bad that I had poured several glasses on my head.

Part of me still doesn't understand why Chicago was such a mess. The Boston Marathon in 2004 was in the mid-80s as well, and that race started at noon! But the top finishers' times were not nearly as off-pace as they were during Chicago.

Anyway, I've decided to run the California International Marathon instead on December 2. It's part of the PA USATF road circuit, so it should be a competitive and fun race. I am kind of mentally and physically exhausted from marathon training, especially with school, so I am scaling back my mileage A LOT and just trying to focus on getting a few good quality runs during the week. Last Sunday I ran the most amazing half-marathon. It was in the Redwoods State Park in Humboldt, about 225 miles north of San Francisco. The race is an out-an-back along the Avenue of Giants, a spectacular road flanked by giant Redwood trees. It was incredibly beautiful. The Impalas race really well there, with almost everyone posting PRs! I ran a 1:23:30, which was also a PR for me.

Since we raced hard on Thursday, our coach recommended that we just do a steady-state run on Tuesday instead of a work out and try to get in a tempo-type of workout on Thursday. So, I drove into San Fran on Wednesday night, slept at a teammate's apartment, and woke up at 4:50 to start a tempo workout with a bunch of ladies at 5 am. We warmed up by running to Golden Gate Park and then did a workout of 4 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles at lactate threshold pace. Well, it was supposed to be LT pace... I was doing more like marathon pace. It was pitch black the entire run, so we wore lights around our waists. By 7:10 am, I was back in my car having run 15+ miles. It was awesome. Some people may call it strange, but that's what we runners do, right? (Although I must admit that it has been really hard for me to get up that early to run most days!)

Anyway, I just wanted to update you all on my running. I miss you!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The humid city

I just wanted to give a shout-out to everyone who got on the line at Chicago. Honestly, it was probably more than I would have done. You had the guts to give it a try and see if maybe the day would pan out. To Katie Waz and Megha: I'm glad you're saving your legs for a better day. Seriously. You've put in too much work to attempt a marathon on a day where an 8 miler would be brutal. Keep us updated as to when you try again!!!


Monday, October 8, 2007

What a weekend!

GBTC has had quite a weekend of racing. Yesterday, in the record heat, we had some old teammates and good friends compete in the Chicago Marathon - some finished the race, some stopped early, some didn't even start. A very big hug goes out to all the women who trained for months and months to post a wicked fast time at Chicago but whose plans were thwarted by mother nature, that bitch. I've talked to you all individually since the race, but I thought it should be publicly recognized that you all are in our thoughts over here.

Then, the XC race yesterday - I don't really know how everyone did but I do know how my husband ran - AWESOME!

We had some peeps run in the BAA half-marathon yesterday. Lynn ran great!!!!!!

Today, we had the Tufts 10K race for women in Boston. I wasn't planning to race it until early last week when an email from Coach T changed my mind. As some of you know, I've been struggling for a few months with some boo boos and ouchies and I just can't seem to get my body under control. I've had heel problems since the Boston Marathon in April and ignoring them hasn't caused them to disappear! Go figure! So, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and he said I have likely broken a couple of bones and he sent me off to the x-ray peeps. X-rays came back normal, but the doctor said that I shouldn't rule out broken bones because sometimes they don't show up on x-rays given where they likely are in my foot. So, I have another appointment next week to look into this further. In the meantime, I'm still training. I figure, I'm likely broken enough as it is that I might as well continue to race until I'm told that I have to stop. While this is fun, it isn't helping my racing all that much. I'm having some trouble putting pressure on my right heel to the point that, when I race, I have to alter my stride significantly to relieve the pain. The bitch of it is that I'm actually feeling pretty aerobically fit right now. I've been working out on my own since I can't make it to team practices, and I've been doing lots of workouts on grass or soft ground. So, you can imagine my frustration when I'm aerobically ready to rock n' roll but I have to run like an idiot to avoid excruciating pain. I mean, today I was running easy enough that I high fived a kid (I don't even like kids, except for Emily's Bruce), gave Coach T the thumbs-up, smiled at Mike and Morgan who were kindly volunteering, and had a conversation with a couple of racers next to me. I'm going nuts!

I'm not posting this to put out an excuse for my 1.5-minutes-slower-than-PR 10K performance. I'm just frustrated...I've never been injured least, not injured enough that I've had to acknowledge it, and I'm going a little crazy here...

On a high note, wow to my teammates! People ran awesome! A special congrats to Allison M. and Liz who both PRed. Incredible.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Weather woes and marathon moes

It's supposed to be 85 degrees and humid on Sunday in Chicago for the marathon!

Isn't October the time of year for cool, crisp air and colorful autumn leaves and apple butter and fleeces?

I am getting a bit freaked out now considering:
1. My legs feel like crap.
2. I have been getting no sleep since I have midterms and a thousand projects due this week.
3. I ran a really, really slow 10K race last week.
4. The weather forecast for the marathon is more reminiscent of Miami than Chicago.
5. I just ate 2.5 (vegan) cupcakes. Not exactly ideal marathon food!

Ahh well. All I can do at this point is hope for the best!

Well I unfortunately have a ton more work to do before I can even think of going to sleep. Grad school is HARD!

I miss you all a ton and have been following your racing on the GBTC blog and Cool Running. GOOD LUCK for the Tufts 10K this Monday!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Nice work!

so to piggy-back off of liz' entry...nice work today at ollie everyone!!! i can't believe how freaking deep our team is right now. we had alison and emily up front and then 7 women within like a minute of each other. we must have had 11 or 12 strong women out there today. that's so kick-ass!

it was a yucky, hot day...but in terms of place, i think we should all be proud. we won the women's division and i think so much of it has to do with the depth of our group and working with (and against) each other. i have a feeling that, as a team and as individuals, we're just going to keep getting better and better.

so well done ladies!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Ollie Excitement!!!


We have a very impressive group:

Emily Raymond
Allison McCabe
Sloan Siegrist
Kate Famous
Laura Hayden
Gretchen Chick
Elizabeth Eisman
Marian Bihrle
Liz Kelly

I am so excited! I've been hydrating all day (something that usually proves difficult as there is no food/drink allowed in the lab) and I can't wait to go home and do my little shake out "jog" (the barely justifiable time to use that word haha). Then some serious stretching, some healthy eating and a good nights sleep. I have to say I love racing in a field that is so deep. I was very blessed in high school to join a deep team. We rocked our conference. For example, often our coach sent out the JV team to win the race against a less competative team when we had several dual meets in one week. Additionally, once a season we would pair up with faster runners and race together such that the faster runner would mentor the younger, less experienced runner. I remember the first XC race at our home course and watching all of the fast upperclasswomen pack up in front simultaneously challenging each other as individuals and working together as a team. I was also reminded of this race in a mini-discussion with Laura and Elizabeth yesterday during a jog after our 200s. We were talking about being competitive and how on a team it becomes a balance between wanting to make goals for yourself (for example, I hope I can beat certain people by the end of this year) and hoping everyone else (as in the people I want to beat) has really good races so that everyone races better. This brings me to yet another thought. In high school and at Smith, my coaches always talked about how important the 6th and 7th runners were in XC even though they did not contribute point-wise to the team. With hard training, the 6th and 7th runners could challenge the 5th runner who would challenge the 4th runner and so on. I have watched this scenario happen over many seasons and its true...everyone benefits.

Anyway, while my thoughts may not necessarily be organized, I hope they provide a moment of reflection as we head into Ollie with an amazing group of talented and motivated women. I can't wait to see our pack leap off the line tomorrow!

Liz :-)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Awesome marathon workout

I have been running marathons since 2001. Over the years, I have read in countless books and magazines and online marathon training programs that you should integrate some miles at goal marathon pace into your runs. Some programs advocate fast-finish long runs, and others have you do the middle chunk of the run at a faster clip. Pretty intuitive, right? If you want to run a certain time for the marathon, it makes sense that you should practice that pace, especially during a long run.

Despite all I've read about advanced marathon training, I have never worked on marathon pace during my long runs. My goal during a long run is generally just to finish -- pace is an afterthought! But today I did the best marathon workout ever.

I met with a bunch of the Impalas and our coach at 7:30am at the Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco. It's a 6-mile paved path that's pretty shaded with some rolling hills and a decent climb for the last two miles. Each half-mile and mile is marked, so it's easy to keep track of pace and effort. At least a couple dozen women on the team are training for fall marathons, so the workout was well-attended.

The workout was as follows:

Miles 0-9: normal long run pace
Miles 9-14: goal marathon pace
Mile 15: lactate threshold pace (a teeny bit slower than 10K pace)
Miles 16-17: normal long run pace
Miles 18-21: goal marathon pace
Mile 22: normal long run pace

So there you have it. A 22-mile marathon workout with 10 miles at marathon pace or faster. It went surprisingly well for me, and I think I needed the extra little boost of confidence since my training for the Chicago Marathon has been sub-par. For all your fall marathoners, I highly recommend that you try this workout or even an abbreviated version of it. Good luck!


Monday, August 27, 2007


So, I did it typical XC Laura style, I rolled my ankle during a race. There should be an annual holiday for this given how consistent it is... each year, I enjoy a good ankle sprain, typically around the time I'm getting into good shape. The sprains are just bad enough to cause me excruciating pain, but not bad enough to stop me from running. I can handle that.

Lets backpeddle a bit. Lynn Woods Relay, last Wednesday, went well. GBTC was in full force, dotting the trails with red and white as far as the eye could see. Our women's teams ran for 1st and 2nd place and everyone had a decent day. Since I'm just getting back into shape, I didn't wear a watch, nor did I care to know my split. I felt competitive, a little speedy, and happy at the end of my leg. Just what I was looking for.

On Saturday, I ran the XC Grand Prix 5K which actually ended up being somewhere around 3.5 miles long. The course was AWESOME...truly a XC course. It was probably the best XC course on which I've ever competed. It would be perfect if it could be redone to exclude the current 100 yard stretch of concrete. Humidity swelled the air while heat glistened off the cornfields, but so much of the race was run in the woods that I really didn't notice the 90 degree weather all that much. Basically, without all the details, I rolled my ankle a couple of time, fell a couple of times, hopped up and down the hills, and dragged my body, one-legged, to the finish line. Not a great race for Laura!

On the other hand, Emily had a great day. This was her first race since last May and she managed a 3rd place finish behind two very quality women. Liz C., a newcomer to the group, ran 2nd for the club with a solid performance. Elizabeth E., best known for her smiley, bubbly demeanor and constant upbeat attitude, ran 4th for the club. Cynthia H. rounded out the top 5 with her usual, consistent performance. Paula Donovan, new mom and long time member of GBTC, ran for 6th place while Wendy posted the 7th position for the women. It was a morning full of sunshine, smiles, and miles. Reminds me of a poem an old teammate had embroidered on her sweatshirt:

I love to run,
it makes me smile.
I think I'll go
another mile.

Monday, August 20, 2007


So I'll take the bite and post a little something-something.

Falmouth was hot and slow. Laura and I did a fast training run yesterday that rivaled the 7 mile times we finished in. Ouch. So hmmm...what does that say? On a cool day, it doesn't feel too bad to run fairly quickly. On the downside, I apparently have little motivation for hot 7 milers. I just tried to follow Laura for as long as I could and try to place in the top 50. Sloan, Brad and Bruce looked awesome though!!!

Mileage is on the upward-trend, which is good. I'll do as many XC races as I can fit in, but I'd mainly like to get a consistent mileage base for indoor track. Anything else would just be gravy.


P.S. JJ: You're taking Step 1 this upcoming year, right? Me too. Yaaaaaaaay.

P.P.S. Em: love the hair!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

i miss my GBTC gals

Greetings, Boston friends!
How I miss you all so so so much. I have arrived in California and now am really missing you all. I miss dawdling on the track on Tuesday evenings after the warm up but before starting the work out. I miss meeting at the Starbucks in Central Sq. on Saturday mornings for long runs in JP or Fresh Pond or the Newton hills. I miss playing soccer in Amory park. I miss hitching a ride with my teammates to New England summer races that are bound to be hilly, hot, windy, and humid and more than likely a combination of those feature. I miss meeting Ted and Emily and Audrey and Jeremy at 5:20am for an 11 or 12 or 13 mile run through Medford and Winchester and the smelly streets of East Somerville, where it always seems to be garbage day. I miss running in Boston, and I miss GBTC.

But alas, I have finally made it to Berkeley and the Bay Area. I left Boston less than 24 hours after racing the Newburyport 10 miler on July 31. As predicted, it was a hot, hot, hot race. Somehow my legs did not feel good until the 7th mile of that race. I did the first mile at 6:15 or so and then the next 6 miles were quite slow and painful -- something like 6:40s or 6:50s. And then all of a sudden I felt good at mile seven and started running 6:15s and 6:20s again. Weird.

But after the Newburyport 10 miler, something really yucky happened to my legs. The IT band in my left leg totally tightened up. At first I thought it was just post-race fatigue, but the pain lingered. I flew home to my parents house in Illinois the next day, and my angelic mother (who is a physical therapist) did massage and ultrasound on my IT band and legs regularly. I was icing and rolling on tennis balls and stretching and everything. My first full-blown running injury! Luckily my IT band is feeling about 75% better. Yay!

Running in Illinois was brutal. It was so hot and humid. Everyday I was home the humidity hovered between 75-90%, and the temps were in the high 80s and low 90s. I usually ran in the forest preserve by my house (which I just discovered this year) and would come back looking like the windshield of a truck - bugs and dirt stuck all over me from the humidity and moistness. I didn't even mind the bugs and humidity as much as I minded running alone. How boring! For the past three weeks I have run all by myself for the most part, and it's such a change from running with Emily and Audrey most mornings and running with the team on Tuesday nights and weekends.

Unfortunately my running has not been going that well this summer. A race I ran in Chicago confirmed this. I raced the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon on August 12. I was excited about the race and wanted to run at least as fast as I did last year. I started out at the right pace and ran 6:28s or 6:29s for the first 7 miles. But then around mile 8 the heat started to get to me and I lost the mental edge and my legs cramped up and everything fell apart. I could barely run 6:50 pace at this point. All I wanted to do was have someone airlift me to the finish. But I somehow made it to the finish line after weaving all along the Chicago lakefront and its many twists and turns and finished in an unremarkable 1:27:50 something. Grrr. So much for running a 1:25.

A few days later, I took off for California. I arrived on Wednesday night and so far have run along the San Francisco Embarcardero, up the 20% grade hills in Berkeley's Tilden Park, and all through Golden Gate Park. This morning I attended my first practice with the Impala Racing Team. Runners must attend at least four practices before they can be extended an offer to join the team. There were about 15 women at today's workout, and they all seem very nice and quite fit. I had the pleasure of running with so many talented people: a Stanford student who's already qualified for the Olympic Trials 5K with a time of 15:50 something; a 43-year-old woman who just got her fourth Olympic trials marathon time (she ran a 2:43 something in 2006); and a bunch of women for whom running sub-6 minute pace for a 10K or 12K is pretty easy. Although I was not the slowest at today's hilly trail fartlek workout, the coach told me that the team already has 4 women who've qualified for the Olympic Trials in the marathon, and there are several more racing fall marathons this year who have a shot at 2:47. I'm clearly not looking for a Trials-qualifier, so I'm not sure where I'll end up with the Impalas or if I will be offered a spot on the team. But I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best and wear my GBTC racing gear in the meantime.

So other than that, my life has been boring, and my mileage has not been as high as it should be. I am still trying to find some decent running routes around me that don't have such huge hills that I must slow to a 10-minute pace. But it's been tough. I'll just have to learn how to run those hills! But for all of you who know how much I avoid the trails, you'll be proud to know that today I did about 75% of my 19 mile run on trails and grass. My knees are thanking me.

So this post is very long. Sorry. I haven't spoken to many people since I've been in California so I suppose this my way of "talking." I miss you all and hope to hear about your running adventures on the blog.


and by the way, congrats to all the Falmouth finishers. Where are your racing stories? and Emily, i LOVE the hair cut!

Monday, August 13, 2007

its go time!

Time for cross country season. Time for cool, crispy morning races. Time to revive the blog.

I love to race. It is all I want to do as a runner. When I can't race for whatever reason, I get a little moody (really, ask some of my teammates). Since the Boston Marathon, for the past 3.5 months I've had one pain after another that has led to months of very very very inadequate training. My usual 70-90 mile weeks dwindled to 40-50 mile weeks, my double sessions shrunk to barely one session, and my desire to be around races and runners almost completely evaporated.

I managed to shove my gloomy, moody, "I hate running" attitude aside to watch track club nationals last month, thinking that I would be happy to support my teammates and my desire to race would be curtained enough that I'd make it through the meet without feeling sorry for myself. It actually almost happened - I was so happy for and proud of my teammates that I dropped my "woe is me" boo-hoo attitude for the weekend we were in New York. After that weekend, however, I sunk into an even deeper state of frustration because, while my motivation was piqued, my broken body was still torn to shreds. I decided it was time to get back to basics. I pulled out my old running logs (I've kept a running journal since 5th grade, no lie) and perused the lot. I consulted my trusty Maffetone and Lydiard texts. I slowly started to run steady mileage, working my way back up to about 70 miles each week with one workout and no races. I was bored. Running without racing is B-O-R-I-N-G.

So, over the past 3 weeks, I've run 2 races. Both were very sub-par performances but, nonetheless, what I expected. I spent this past weekend racing in Falmouth with some of my all-time favorite people. The race was painful but the rest of the weekend was so uplifting and motivating that I can't help but become excited again about being around my teammates in racing settings. Our cross country team threatens to be the strongest one we've had since I've joined the club and I can't wait to watch my teammates execute some killer races. Look out for Sloan Siegrist as she ends her year long racing hiatus, Brad Kozel (the hottest runner alive) as he is in his best shape ever, and Rod Hemingway as he climbs back to stellar shape.

Now that I'm back to somewhat painless training shape, I'll be a much more vocal blogger, I promise. I think this is a great tool for us to share our training and racing wisdom. My pearl of wisdom for the day: Don't eat 5 s'mores and drink 2 glasses of wine (when you're tipsy after 1 glass) the night before a race. It yields unfortunate consequences.