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!