marathoner452: (racing legs)

Short version-NCR Trail Marathon this morning in 4:28.

Long version-There is no room for inflated egos in the marathon world. Your training can be fantastic and you can still fall apart on race day, but the important thing is that you finish if at all possible. Once you give up one time I imagine it’s much easier not to finish the next time.

I ran the first 1/2 pretty much on pace for a 4 hour marathon. I hit 10 miles in 1:32 and went through halfway in 2:01ish. Then the wheels started to fall off. Actually, they were falling off a while before that, but until things really got bad I was in denial. After about mile 16 I accepted the inevitable. I felt queasy, my hips were tightening up, and pretty much everything hurt. It was a combination of being sick the past two weeks, driving 17 hours roundtrip to Rhode Island a few days ago, and setting too ambitious of a marathon goal. 4 hours sounded good on paper, but I just didn’t have the training going into marathon season to back it up.

The great thing was, I still had a good time. I walked 5 minutes a mile and ran when I could. It was a beautiful day. My mom, my coach, and two of my friends (one with her husband and a baby on the way) came out to cheer me on. I finished under 4:30. I ran through the finish line. When all is said and done, I still ran 26.2 miles, which is something more than 99% of the population will never do. Given that I wanted to drop out of the race about a dozen times, that’s an accomplishment.

I’m switching my focus to 5ks for awhile to work on my speed. I’ll miss 20 mile long runs, though, I have to admit. I think they’re more fun than the marathon.

marathoner452: (running off into the sunset)
I was the race director for the Bachman Valley 1/2 Marathon in Westminster, Maryland last weekend. We had 4 water jugs for 3 water stops, we ran out of cups several times, and getting the race results compiled was a challenge because many runners didn't tear off their tags at the finish. We did see a rainbow prior to the race, have race tshirts for the first time in recent history, and have a new women's record set for the first time in 14 years.  So I'd call the race a success. I think the runners would too:

"It was an excellent race on a beautiful course. Directing a race is huge, and can be very nerve racking. Thank you for your service to the running community."

So as we head into the heart of the fall racing season, remember before you run or before you complain that organizing a race is more difficult than you think. So offer to be on the planning committee. Volunteer at a water stop or put blankets around finishers after they finish their first marathon or set a personal best or qualify for Boston. Give back to the running community, because not only could races not function without volunteers, volunteering at a race does wonders for your motivation.

Besides, how else are most of us going to get to watch the winners cross the finish line?


X-posted to [personal profile] marathoner452, [community profile] runners, [profile] marathoners.
marathoner452: (racing legs)

I ran the 5th edition of the Run to Remember in Baltimore this morning. I would have kinda liked it if we would have gotten carnations to throw at the policemen (and women) by the Baltimore WTC like we did the first year, but it was still a very good run. The bagpipes playing Amazing Grace were amazing too-I just love bagpipes, and that song reminds me of my 3 weeks down in New Orleans with the Red Cross back in March. The kitchen manager walked through where we were loading up our hot meals for the day playing that song on his bagpipes.

You can’t beat the finish on top of Federal Hill either.

If I had run a 5k PR (under 24:28) I would have placed in my age group.  As it is, I finished 517 out of 800-something and ran more than 30 miles this week.
marathoner452: (Default)
I'll be working at the Staff Deployment center in downtown DC starting tomorrow at noon.  I'll be there for at least a few days, maybe longer depending on what Ernesto does before it makes landfall.  Right now it's breaking up over eastern Cuba, it's barely a tropical storm, and the prediction cone keeps drifting farther east.  So if it brushes Florida with a few inches of rain and 40 mph winds, then I'll be home by Friday.  If it's much worse than that, I might not be home for awhile but it won't be any more than 3 weeks.

I'll get to stay in a motel in downtown DC and work with a bunch of cool Red Cross people for a few days, if nothing else.  Given that otherwise I'd just be sitting around the house catching up on my reading and staring at the wall, it works for me.  Life is good.

In other news, I had more fun running the Annpolis 10-Miler (I'm finisher #2571) yesterday than I've had with any race in a long time.  I'd forgotten how much fun big races (this one had 5,000 runners) are.  Lots of music, lots of excitement, always lots of people around, and dozens of residents out there with sprinklers and hoses to keep us cool.  Yeah it was hot and humid and rather hilly, just like Maryland distance runners always say, but I'll definitely do it again.  We got nice fleece pullovers and icy cold towels at the finish and we got to run over the Severn River.  The hills aren't THAT bad either, no worse than Bachman Valley (though that's not saying much).  I'm kinda sore today, but not too sore.  Marathon training continues on.

marathoner452: (Default)
I'm enjoying running shorter distances more than I imagined I would. I'm learning that there is just as much satisfaction to be had in running a shorter distance like a mile and doing it well as there is in finishing a marathon. Well, almost, but it takes a lot less time to recover and start thinking about the next one so it evens out.

I ran the Main Street Mile two days ago in 6:30. Keep in mind that a month prior to the race I was down in New Orleans where I didn't run a step except up the Mississippi levee in the lower 9th ward for 3 weeks. I was half tempted to forget about running any kind of a quality race, forget about training for the race with the Flying Feet, and worry about nothing but processing my experiences and getting my money back for the training program. I'm so glad I didn't decide to do that. I needed to get back to running. Running is as much therapy as it is exercise. I needed running to get back to feeling like myself. So I did it. Not much at first or even all that much now, but I stuck with the training program and met the goal time I set for myself before the Red Cross sent me down to Louisiana and I learned more than I could have imagined about life and injustice and the human spirit.

Judy told me when I got back that I would wake up one morning and feel back to normal. I resisted getting back to normal for a long time because I thought that what with all the people living down there are going through I had no right to get back to normal.  I can't pinpoint a day, but I've gotten back to waking up and feeling back to normal.  I've come to the realization that I did what I could while I was there and stewing in my own juices here at home is not going to help out the people down there on the Gulf Coast. Better to take care of myself so I'm ready for the next time the Red Cross deploys me because like it or not, there will be a next time.

Running is about so much more than putting one foot in front of the other.

Race results-if they're not up now they will be shortly

marathoner452: (Default)
Main Street Mile in 6:30. Race results and race report to follow.

marathoner452: (Default)

NCR Trail Marathon in 4:14:16!

results here--->

That's a 15 minute PR over Baltimore 6 weeks ago, and nearly even splits.  (For those of you non-runners, that means I ran the second-tougher-half almost as fast as the first.)


x-posted to [ profile] runners and [ profile] marathoners

marathoner452: (Default)
I ran the B&A Trail 1/2 this morning in 1:55:01. That's a PR of 1 minute and 34 seconds, and a pace of 8:47. Woo hoo! It was a perfect day-chilly and breezy and sunny-couldn't have asked for better weather. And the race was very well-organized-complete with a performance shirt that I can actually wear running and a nifty medal and a free massage and lots of bagels and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. And the B&A Trail is very pretty and less isolated than the NCR Trail. I would highly recommend it.

One disclaimer though-the race is not flat, even though the trail is. We cruised through some rolling-hills neighborhoods for the first 3ish miles, then at the turnaround (mile 7), we left the trail and went down and then up a big hill. The trail is paved and flat and straight, though-perfect for fast times.

I'll post a link to my race report once it's finished.

marathoner452: (Default)
Okay, so the race didn't go so well. I ran the first mile in 7:41, but then got turned around when this women steered us off course. If I could have kept up the pace, I would have set a PR, but my legs were stiff and cramped as anything by mile 2. The sidestitch didn't help things either.
So here's to a race that didn't go as planned, but was a great excuse to hang out with other runners and give money to a good cause. And here's to more speedwork-with 35ish miles a week endurance isn't an issue-and more stretching so I'm not so stiff.
I hope the weather isn't too gross this afternoon-poor parents who came down for Family Weekend. It's 66 and raining and windy and the weather's only going to get worse. Never mind that Family Weekend didn't even happen last year, thanks to Hurricane Isabel.
Okay, back to work. My SMP is calling me.



marathoner452: (Default)

May 2010

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