21 miles

Nov. 6th, 2006 12:47 am
marathoner452: (Default)

I ran 21 miles yesterday on the NCR Trail. I’ve had better runs. I was just really sleepy for some reason. For the first few miles it felt like I was lugging rocks up a mountain even though I was really just carrying my fuel pack (water and gels) on the pancake-flat trail. Then my left foot decided to rebel. See, I snapped something in my left big toe last fall when I tripped over my purse. I stubbornly ran a 4:14 marathon 2 weeks after that, and it hadn’t given me problems until 2 weeks ago with my 20. Yesterday it kept cramping up unless I wiggled it around every few minutes, and I had to stop at mile 12 and stretch it out.

All things considered, I’ve been very lucky with my marathon training. I ramped up very quickly and other than sore muscles I haven’t had any problems. And hopefully by the time I’m done tapering/icing/popping anti-inflammatories this won’t a problem either.

So here’s to 3 1/2 hour runs, blueberry pancakes and Milky Way tarts. And here’s to still having enough energy afterwards to spend two hours at my brother’s last marching band competition of the season.

marathoner452: (Default)
Running:
5k last weekend in 25:27. That seems to be an unlucky time for me, as this time I was the second female finisher (out of 24 runners, so don't get too excited) after being the first for probably 2 1/2 miles, and the other time I ran that time I finished fourth in my age group by about 4 seconds and missed getting free Under Armour. Oh well.
9 miles Tuesday, late-night to boot. Kinda made me wish I liked getting up early in the morning, because running when it was so quiet and dark made me feel like I had the neighborhood to myself. And yes worrywarts, my neighborhood is very safe.
10x400 Wednesday afternoon in 1:50-1:53. Very warm and probably my last chance to wear shorts outside for awhile.
21 miles tomorrow. Supposed to be very cold, for Maryland anyway. Will probably have to wear the pants with big pockets that invariably rub a hole in my back. Will definitely get bagels or pancakes and a ginormous pastry afterwards to celebrate. Will skip church to watch NYC Marathon live updates online starting at 10 am Sunday.

Subbing:
All day Monday, Tuesday, and today in elementary school. Loads of fun. There isn't much that's cuter than a small mob of 1st graders swarming around you asking "Ms. S, Ms. S, can you help me?" Today I got to switch classes every hour because of meetings so I taught kindergarten-5th grade in the space of a few hours. Next week so far I'm doing a day of high school French and 1/2 a day of pre-k at the school I worked at today. Loads of fun. I'm really hoping to start teacher education classes in the winter/spring, probably at the community college.

I still think running 20 miles is easier than subbing in the high school. Hence the reason I spend most of my time with elementary kids.

~Bethany

20 miles

Oct. 21st, 2006 07:28 pm
marathoner452: (life is good)

20 miles this morning starting at 8:30 at mile 0 on the NCR Trail.

Gels at miles 4, 8, 12, 16. Gel at 16 was caffeinated, hence I ran 9:16, 9:18, 9:06 for the last 3 miles for a final run time of 3:19:41/9:59 pace. I have never, so far as I can remember, run that far that fast without being in a race. I never felt tired, and I actually could have run farther. Definitely bodes well for race day.

Celebrated afterwards with blueberry pancakes and orange juice at Bagel Works and coconut custard from Snickerdoodles where my sister works.

Marathon is 11/25. Goal is under 4 hours/9:09 pace. 5k next weekend, 21 miles the weekend after that, then taper…just 5 weeks to go!

marathoner452: (lacing up shoes)
I'm back from DC, for good this time.  That's a good thing because the Bachman Valley 1/2 Marathon is in 8 days and there's still a lot to get done to be ready.  Like tracking down orange cones and more water jugs, recruiting volunteers and assigning volunteers, coming up with a list of places where we might get donations (I hate cold calls, but I recruited someone else to do that), hoping the tshirts and trophies get here on time, buying food and drinks, baking cookies...you get the point.  Organizing a race is a lot of work.

Meanwhile, I had an excellent long run this morning, though it didn't start out so great.  Usually Team in Training starts at Sparks, but today of course they decided to break with routine and start at Monkton...leaving no open parking spaces.  So I headed down to Sparks and parked up at the old elementary school so I could have a nice cooldown walk afterwards.  I was pretty stiff to start too.  Chalk that up to a marathon pace workout just a day and a half ago. 

About 4 miles in, I met up with a couple of NCR Trail Snails and ran with them for the next 10 miles.  It was great to have company.  Long runs are essential to marathon training and they're good for you too, but they can get boring if you do them by yourself all the time.  It was a perfect, chilly morning for a long run.  It rained for about 10 minutes somewhere around mile 8 of 16.  We passed a bunch of Army guys out for a hike south of Sparks.  We ran 9:30-9:45 miles with just one drink break when we got back to Monkton (about mile 9 for me).  Now I'm no expert and I'll probably pay for running that hard when I get out of bed tomorrow, but it felt good.  Marathon training is well on it's way.  A 4 hour marathon is in sight.

It was worth every one of those 162 minutes of running when I was able to just throw off that I'd run 16 miles that morning when a fellow NC High alum asked what I've been doing.  I love the expressions on people's faces when I tell them how far I run.  It's priceless.

Then I followed up that long run with chocolate bread pudding from Snickerdoodles (the bakery where my sister works) and Zatarain's red beans and rice.  Yummy.

I think I've earned a nap now.  A nap and a good book.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (lacing up shoes)
I'd forgotten how much I missed early morning long runs on the NCR Trail.  12 miles today at a painfully slow 11 minute mile pace, but I gotta start my comeback somewhere.  3:59 here I come.

It was crazy-humid this morning.  Not too hot though, thank goodness.  I was glad I started early, around 7:30.

Where the real challenge will lie is in walking down the steps to breakfast tomorrow morning.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (life is good)
NCR Trail Marathon goes out in the mail today.  14 weeks to go.

6 hilly miles last night and 4 more tonight.  11-12 on Saturday morning.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Race weather for the NCR Trail Marathon:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/tenday/21074?from=36hr_fcst10DayLink_outdoors

Low of 19 on Friday night, high of 40 on Saturday. Partly cloudy. Max humidity of 50% and a breeze of 9 mph. Should be perfect weather, for us runners anyway.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
As of 12:30 pm Saturday, I will have run the following marathons and 1/2 marathons in Maryland:

Frederick-full marathon 2003, 2-person relay 2005
Baltimore-1/2 marathon 2004, full marathon 2005
Bachman Valley-1/2 marathon 2004, 1/2 marathon 2005
B&A Trail-1/2 marathon 2005

Up after Baltimore is the NCR Trail Marathon in late-November, where I'll be running the full under 4 hours.

And while I'm thinking about my marathon plans for next year:

A lot of it rides on how well I do at the NCR Trail Marathon. If I barely squeak in under 4 hours, I'll wait until another training cycle for a BQ. If I'm close, I might just take a few weeks to recover and then start right back up with training for the B&A Trail full marathon. And if the planets align just right and I finish the NCR with a BQ of 3:40 or better, I might just have to run Boston. :-)

But conservatively projecting a 3:59 finish, here's what I'm thinking for next year:

B&A Trail 1/2, goal to be determined based on how bad this winter really is.
Frederick 1/2, just because I'm excited that they'll have a 1/2 marathon this year and I can't not run it if I'm working in Frederick. It's on 4/30, so I'd still be able to run the Bay Bridge 10k on 5/7 with my mom, even if I would be pretty sore.
Riley's Rumble 1/2, because I need to add at least one new race a year if I ever want to run all the marathons and 1/2s in Maryland.
Bachman Valley 1/2, if they don't find a new race director I might just have to take that on myself. It's too cute of a race to let it disappear. Now if only they would have had the free apples at the finish this year.
NCR Trail 1/2, because I won't be running the Bachman Valley 1/2 if I'm in charge. That'd be a new race too.
Baltimore 1/2, I'm just doing the full this year to redeem myself.
NCR Trail Marathon, for the BQ that I know I can get after another training cycle if not sooner. 12 week build-up so I don't get burned out by all those miles or all that summer heat.

In an ideal, not-living-on-a-VISTA-paycheck kind of world, I'd love to go down south and run the Mardi Gras Marathon or 1/2 in New Orleans on 2/5. Dunno if I could pull that off though, and it wouldn't be any fun if I did it by myself.

That's 5 1/2s and another full marathon...phew, I'm tired already!

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Your Hawaiian Name is:

Lanikai Alana


In addition to that good stuff, I doubt if the 20 mile run I was supposed to help out this morning happened. We've had something like 6 1/2 inches of rain in the past 2 days, and the NCR Trail was one big puddle. Running 4 miles through puddles was a lot of fun, but running for 4 hours in that slop...wow, I think that's more than I'm up for unless there's a medal, a massage, and really good food waiting for me at the end.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Today was the first day I actually got to do what I thought I would be doing for the Red Cross...Community Disaster Education (CDE) presentations. I spent nearly all day at The Banner School in Frederick teaching kids about fire safety and family disaster kits. I think the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders were my favorites, just old enough to catch on pretty quickly and have a very active imagination, but still young enough to pay attention. That's where the 7th and 8th graders got interesting. Especially the 8th graders. There were way too many of them crammed into one classroom, and their teachers spent more time talking to the kids or talking amongst themselves than keeping the class under control. About all they got out it seemed to be that space blankets and pocket radios are pretty cool and that old apples are yucky. Oh well. My next presentations in 2 weeks will run K-6, so I won't have to deal with that.

The handbell choir is performing for the first time this Sunday. The first time this year, anyway. I'm not too pleased about getting there by 7:10 when I have to get up around 5 on Saturday. Saturday's the TNT 20 miler for the MCM, and I'm volunteering. I think they want to start running at 7, which means getting together around 6 to drive 20 miles up to the Maryland line. Then I have to do my run afterwards. Needless to say, napping will be part of the picture on Saturday.

Baltimore Marathon in 11 days! Woo hoo!

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
So let's see, what's new around here since I last wrote?

Erin came up and spent the night last weekend. We went to a film festival for hurricane relief called "Sights and Sounds of the South." We saw A Streetcar Named Desire, then went out to dinner at Harry's in Westminster. I bought tacky feather boas and perused masks for my Mardi Gras Halloween costume, then we went back to the film festival and saw The Big Easy. Sunday morning we got up early so I could run in the Bachman Valley 1/2 Marathon (finished in 2:04). In the afternoon we headed down to Baltimore for a Little Italy Pasta tasting. My favorite was the pesto pasta, and I had my first canoli.

This past week at work has been pretty wild. I took Community Services on Thursday morning, and I'll take Family Services (client casework) tomorrow, all day. I found out yesterday that I will after all be giving disaster education presentations all day on Tuesday. :O Good thing I'd been working on those presentations in amongst all my pre-deployment screening. I went out on my first disaster action call today too, and it was pretty intense to be even partially responsible for interviewing someone who just lost everything in a fire two days ago. Intense, yes, but also very satisfying.

And in other news, the Baltimore Marathon is in 2 weeks. Surprisingly, I'm not nervous at all. Part of that is because I'm running it as a training run and not a race. Most of that, though, I think, is because I've trained like crazy this summer. The race will be easy compared to running 54 miles in a week in the heat of summer, without crab soup at the end to boot.

(Oh, and I just think that mood icon is cute. It has nothing to do with anything.)

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Marathon training mixes the possible and the impossible, brains and guts, mind and body. There is a limit to what is possible. No matter how much you want to run more miles and faster miles, at some point you will push yourself over the edge and get injured or burnt out. On the other hand, if you never push yourself to run farther and faster, you'll never know how much you can accomplish. Rational thinking will only get you so far. No rational person would run 26.2 miles. Your mind will tell your body it can do far more than it ever thought possible, but some days you just have to tell your mind to shut up and stop trying to run the show because your legs are trying to do more than any rational thought process would allow.

I've been thinking about this summer. Even if keeping up with Pfitz has been a daily challenge and one I haven't always been able to meet, I've accomplished far more this summer, especially running-wise, than I ever thought I could. For my three previous marathons, I've peaked at 40 miles a week with one 20 mile run and one midweek double-digit run. This time around, I hit 40 miles 14 weeks out, not 3, and I'll run 3 20 milers, not one. I've run above 40 miles a week since the beginning of July with only one down week. And this has been one of the hottest summers on record to boot. Now I'm not trying to cut myself any slack or give myself any excuse to back off. No, actually I'm reminding myself of how far I've come and that there's absolutely no reason to give up now. I've been tough on myself all summer, now it's time to reap the rewards.

In this case, the rewards are a 4 hour marathon and then who knows? I'd love to run a 1/2 under 1:45 early next year.

On that note, I'm off to Americorps training in Wilmington, Delaware. Me and my new car will be leaving at 11:30 tomorrow morning, and I fully intend to hog the hotel treadmills in my continuing quest to get faster and stronger.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
If I want people to actually read this, perhaps I should update it every so often.

So far, so good. I've run 38 miles so far this week and if I get my butt out the door soon enough I'll have 45. Tomorrow I'm leaving for St. Mary's (yay!), where I'll be volunteering/sailing with the Special Olympics sailing regatta, eating dinner with Coleen and company, and exploring my old running routes. I just hope I can sleep in the car 'cause we're leaving at 5:30 and that it's not too windy 'cause I'll be sailing with someone I've probably never met. Should be very interesting. Hopefully I can get a good night's sleep on Saturday. Hopefully we're on the top floor so no one keeps me up too late.

Blah. I have less than no energy right now. I think I'll head out for my 7 mile run with strides then head to bed for way too little time. And yes, I realize how crazy it sounds to *just* be running 7 miles. :p

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
You wouldn't think that a perfect day could start with getting up at 5 am, but that's where we runners are different. I was out of bed by a few minutes after 5 Saturday morning, wide awake. After a quick breakfast over Marathon & Beyond, I was out the door by 5:50. I made it down to Sparks (mile 3.8)on the NCR Trail by quarter after 6, was the first one to pull into the parking lot, and was up and running by 6:25. I ran south to Ashland, mile 0 (just like Key West) to start, turned around just after a huge crowd of NCR Trail Snails started. I ran back to Sparks, then up to Monkton at mile 7.2, hooking up with 3 of those same Trail Snails en route-they're responsible for making my run a heck of a lot easier. After 14.4 miles I made it back to the car just after 9, and made it back home in time to grab a quick shower and some brownie-cookies before I was on the road again.

My brother's band camp concert at McDaniel College was at 10:15. Thank goodness he made it into the Gold Band; the Green Band concert was at 8:30, and that would have made any kind of a run quite a trick. The concert kicked off with some jazz, always appreciated. I was in jazz band in high school and went to that same band camp for at least two years, so I can appreciate what goes into it.

In the evening we headed down to my dad's boat to watch some fireworks. Now my mom was less impressed 'cause she couldn't hear the booms, but I thought fireworks over the water were about the coolest way to celebrate the 4th. (Even if it was on the 2nd.) You can see the reflection of the sparkles off the water, you can watch all the illegal fireworks people set off while they're waiting, and you don't even have to fight the crowds on the way out.

My other perfect day would be running the NCR Trail Marathon in under 4 hours, then coming home to my sister's homemade veggie chili with cashews and raisins and warm whole-wheat bread, but that'll have to wait until after Pfitz has his way with my marathon training. :-)

~Bethany

38.4 miles last week
marathoner452: (Default)
I suppose if I actually want anyone to read this, I should post more than every once in awhile.

But I honestly haven't had the time. I'm working 40 hours a week at my summer job that requires me to get up at 6 am. I'm running Pfitz's 18 weeks/55 miles plan for the Baltimore Marathon on October 15th, which is getting me into shape FAST and making me stronger, but also leaving me almost no free time. And to boot, my dad got his 9-years-in-the-making boat in the water on Monday, and Sunday was my mom and sisters' ballet recital. Crazy times. Almost no time to write, but I'd rather be busy and accomplishing things than sitting around all day.

10 miles last night. The coolest part, other than watching the sunset, was that it wasn't even that hard.

In my "spare time" I'm reading. Dawn is a darn good book. I highly recommend it.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Just posting to say that yes, I really am up this early on a weekend. For a 12 mile run. All I have to say is that no one better'd wake me up early tomorrow, least of all noisy neighbors with construction at 7:30 am. (After I went to bed at 3 am last weekend...that was pretty ugly.)

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Hmmm...what to write. I started my summer job last Thursday. Suffice to say that waking up at 6 am is not pleasant, but the work could be worse. Yeah, I have to be on my feet all day, but at least it's in an air-conditioned warehouse and I don't have to deal with customers who get on my nerves. Sorting overpriced men's business clothing is more interesting than putting it away. I get to work with a couple people my own age. I get a decent employee discount so my mom can buy Christmas presents. And if all else fails, it pays $9 an hour, more than I can make working almost anywhere else in Hampstead, and that'll help me put down a decent car payment by the end of the summer.

The manager gives us a pep talk every morning at 6:55 telling us how stressful the day's going to be. For one thing, I'm not feeling very peppy at 6:55 in the morning, for another, putting away clothes is not stressful. Writing a 56 page paper on 5 hours of sleep a night is stressful, not working in a warehouse.

In other news, I started the Pfitzinger 18/55 marathon training plan yesterday. 7 general aerobic miles with 10 x 100 meter strides. Despite the heat, it wasn't that exhausting. Maybe that was because I practically crawled along-one of my miles was actually slower than 11 minutes. Yeesh. But if that's what it takes to get to 55 miles a week and a 4 hour marathon, I'll do it. Tomorrow is 9 *easy* miles. Can a 9 mile run ever be easy?

In other other news, I had a margarita snowball tonight. Yummy. It tastes almost like the real thing. *innocent face here* :-)

Off to bed. It's way too early to be off to bed, IMO.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Tomorrow's the third TNT training, 6 miles this time. Given that Pfitz's 18/55 marathon training starts Sunday, I'll probably tack a few miles onto that but still finish in time for the cookies! Next week looks to be interesting with 7 miles (including 10 x 100 meter strideouts) on Monday, 9 miles on Wednesday, 4 miles on Friday and 12 miles on Saturday. And that's the easy first week of the program.

If that doesn't get me in shape for a 4 hour marathon, nothing will.

In other news, I started my summer job yesterday, which means 8 hours of pounding around on cement, starting at 7 am to boot. Fortunately it pays pretty well, which is good 'cause I'll need a car starting this fall. I accepted an Americorps position in Frederick and that's an hour away. Easy drive though, and tons of running options. I do feel bad about not taking the super-cool plant nursery management position in Baltimore, but no way can I handle 3 hours of driving, a lot of it city driving, every day. I have my priorities, and they include running the Baltimore Marathon.

Okay, off on a run and then off to bed. Geez am I exhausted but it'll all be worth it when I run a sub 4 hour marathon this fall.

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
I am officially crazy. I want to run the Baltimore Marathon, then turn around and run the NCR Trail Marathon 6 weeks later. And I'm going to run a 4:22 (10 mm pace) at Baltimore and 3:59 at the NCR Trail Marathon.

Woo hoo! Now let's see what my legs think of all that training this summer. :p

~Bethany
marathoner452: (Default)
Over the weekend I went home for my favorite race, the Run to Remember 5k through Baltimore. My favorite race because I will never forget-how could I, when that day defines so much of the world as it is now, and so much of my life? I remember reading an article not long after September 11th describing us as the 9/11 generation, and I believe it. I never would have taken international politics, religious fundamentalism, or my current violence and non-violence philosophy class if the world hadn't been turned upside-down that day. My generation would not have a defining moment, however tragic, to look back to and say "I remember where I was, what I was doing..." Possibly I would never have started running, not marathons anyhow. My first 1/2 marathon was in NYC, my first marathon was in DC-advertised as a race for anyone who was feeling patriotic. I may never have found my inner social activist-with the anti-war movement back in the spring of 2003. It's impossible to imagine who I would be had those planes not crashed three weeks into my freshman year of college.
New college students ask me from time to time how hard it was to adjust to college life, asking for advice. I tell them that it's going to be a heck of a lot easier for them-they won't have to deal with terrorist attacks turning their peaceful world upside-down three weeks in.
Okay, that's enough remembering for entry. Back to studying for me-I have so much reading to do that it's not even funny. And for those of you (if anyone actually reads this) following my marathon progress, I'm no longer running the Baltimore Marathon. I'm running the half, and I'm not running another marathon until I can enjoy the level of training enough to not hurt the last 8 miles. Inflicting pain on oneself is not a smart idea-the half marathon should be challenge enough.

~Bethany

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