marathoner452: (running off into the sunset)
The fall Cresent City Classic 5k/10k in City Park is November 10th.

Then the Mardi Gras 1/2 Marathon on January 28th, 2008.  That means I'll be peaking right around Christmas, but it also means that I'll be in recovery mode by the time the party really gets going.

Finally, before summer starts heating up, there will be the Cresent City Classic 10k on March 22nd. 

No Tyvek suits required.
marathoner452: (lacing up shoes)
After all, how many places can you pay to run in Tyvek?  Chalk this one up to "only in New Orleans."
marathoner452: (Default)
Last year for Christmas I'd been training for 2 marathons for 6 months and asked for almost all running gear-socks, shoes, clothes, gels, training diary, race entry fees, heart rate monitor.  It's amazing how much stuff there is to buy for a sport that is supposedly so simple, one foot in front of the other.

This year I asked for a Saints hat, fleur-de-lis earrings, a Poppy Z. Brite book, and Fats Domino and Dirty Dozen Brass Band CDs.  I got my first digital camera and my first thought was that next time I go back in February for Mardi Gras and gutting houses I'll be able to take more pictures than last time and maybe start to impress upon my family and friends what's still happening down there.  In March I let the New Orleans bug bite me, and now I'm infected and there's no not going back.

January 13th I take the PRAXIS I.  February 14th I fly back to New Orleans.  Next fall, I move down there for good and start with my teacher education coursework.

What a difference a year makes.


[profile] roadwarrior220, I can't get my mom to make up her mind about a good day for Bahama Breeze/hanging out, so let's tentatively say the 26th because that's usually a mellow day in our family Christmas.  Let me know if that doesn't work for you, and I'll let you know if I hear different.

[profile] ratkrycek, I got your text message from Dulles.  I want to hear all about your trip as soon as you're ready.
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.

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)
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.

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.


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: (racing legs)

Some days you have it, some days you just don’t. Ran the first 5.5 miles at an easy pace (10-10:30), then was supposed to pick it up to marathon pace (9:10) for the rest of the race. Well, that didn’t happen. Ran 5 miles at 9-9:20 pace, then just lost it and jogged it in for a finish around 2:10. Not a bad race by any measure, but not my best effort either.

I did get to meet and talk with a bunch of other marathoners-in-training, which is always fun. Long runs/races are boring when you just do them by yourself. Turns out the woman I was running with ran her first marathon last spring in DC in 4:40, ran the Annapolis 10 Miler at the end of August (great race), and is training towards/tapering for Baltimore in 2 weeks. Great fun.

Next up: 6×800 in 4:00 or less with 400 recovery in 2 days.

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: (Default)
So I know a lot of you are runners.   What do you think of this and my response to it?

I actually kinda agree with the author.  I would never ever put down someone finishing their first marathon for charity and being proud of what I think is a slow time, because that's how I got started.  But when back of the pack run-walkers equate their accomplishment with that of those who make marathon training a lifestyle, then that bothers me.  Because a casual hobby and a passion are two different things.  Because there is value in hard work over instant gratification.

Maybe that's why I don't run with TNT anymore.  They seemed to be putting down those of us who walked that fine line between training hard and overtraining because we might get injured and we didn't have to do that to finish a marathon.  Like we must be crazy for wanting to run farther than we had to.

Maybe I should just get out for a run and stop overanalyzing.  Or bake some cookies for the half-marathon on Sunday.


EDIT:  I would like to edit this to say that I value everyone's effort, and it is not my place to judge someone's effort on race day or otherwise.  That's the cool thing about this sport-no matter how much we put into it, we all run the same course and cross the same finish line.  Olympians and 6-hour marathoners and people like me in the middle of the pack.

But for the love of all that's good, if you're walking a half marathon that merges into a hilly marathon course at mile 16, please do not walk 5 people across and block the entire road.  That is not what marathon runners want to deal with at that point in the race.  We really need some education in race etiquette here, charity marathon groups (especially Team in Training, cool as they are).
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 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.

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: (racing legs)
Annapolis 10-Miler (8/27)
-signing up for this race got me on the road to finding my running groove, so even though my running partner backed out and I'll have to run it by myself, I'm going to do it anyway (if just to find out for myself how hilly it is and to get the fleece running jacket at the end)
Labor Day Rogue Race (9/4)
-1-mile fun run is a fundraiser for a Liberty High School cross-country runner who's been diagnosed with leukemia
-Flying Feet summer running group running to support
FallFest Mile (9/17)
-a chance to run fast during long slow marathon buildup, and it's only 5 bucks
Bachman Valley 1/2 Marathon (directing) (9/24)
-a lot more goes into directing a race than I thought-ordering t-shirts, finding volunteers, processing race applications, securing donations, etc, so it remains to be seen how much of my sanity is left by race day
NCR 1/2 Marathon (10/1)
-a test of my speed in the middle of marathon training, probably the only race I'll taper for this fall other than the marathon
-a marathon or half marathon in Maryland I haven't run yet because I was running Bachman Valley
Baltimore Marathon (volunteering) (10/14)
-no way on earth am I doing this marathon again, and no way will I tell any runners that they're "almost there" at mile 20
(possibly) Marine Corps Marathon (volunteering)
-just to see if it's a race I'd do again once I get a Boston Qualifier under my belt
(and of course) NCR Trail Marathon (11/25)
-goal race of the season to be run under 4 hours or bust!
marathoner452: (life is good)

Monday-1 mile w/u, 3x800 w/400 recovery 4:00 for 800s, 1 mile c/d, stretch (1 mile w/u, 3x800 @ 3:57, 3:55, 3:56 w/400 recovery, 1 mile c/d, stretch)
Tuesday-rest and stretch
Wednesday-6 miles, moderate effort, hilly neighborhood loop, stretch (6 hilly miles, stretch)
Thursday-4 miles easy, stretch
Friday-rest and stretch
Saturday-11-12 miles, long slow distance, NCR Trail, stretch
Sunday-Kowomu Trail 4-Miler, not as a race (around 10 mm pace), stretch

5 runs (speedwork, mid-distance, long run), 29-30 miles.  

I need a running icon.


EDIT:  While you're at it, update your location on the LJ cluster map:

I'm trying to get all my Livejournal friends' locations plotted on a map - please add your location starting with this form.
(Then get your friends to!)
marathoner452: (Default)
Am I absolutely crazy if I want to run a marathon this fall?

I haven't run more than 20-25 miles a week (with the exception of one crazy week in July) since before Christmas.  I haven't run more than 10 miles at a shot since a 12 mile treadmill run during a blizzard in February.  It would be absolutely crazy to think I can ramp up for a quality marathon in three months. 

On the other hand, crazy might be just what I need.

That 4 hour marathon mark is still waiting to be broken, and if I don't do it now then I'll have to wait for next fall because this winter/spring is already given over to gutting houses in NOLA.


EDIT:  I'm looking back over the comments on for the race last year.  This one particularly strikes me:

"Mile markers - For those who didn't mind this, then you must not be into running hard and had no interest in your time. Marathon running is about pacing and since the mile markers were off, you had to constantly do math out there to figure what was what. And, it stunk to hit mile 22 but really be at least 5 miles from the finish. In fact, some idiot volunteer said, "Only five miles to go," even before mile 19. On the surface, no big deal; in reality, your body and mind cannot handle the cruel fate when you learn it's not 5, but 7." 

If you don't think I'm interested in my time, then you'd better watch out this year.  And personally, I always enjoy engaging in a little mid-race math.  Helps keep the mind off the insanity of running 26.2 miles. 

If you really want to see an idiot volunteer, then take a look at the guy at Baltimore last year who though it would be encouraging to hold a sign at the half-marathon mark that said "now do it again".  Or the guy at Marine Corps one year with the sign that said "only 7 more miles" at mile 19.

I'll be back.  In under 4 hours this time.

EDIT PART 2:  The weather will be perfect for a long run this weekend.  Low of 55* Friday night, high of 78* Saturday.  I wouldn't even have to get up all that early to get in 12 or so miles.


Jul. 16th, 2006 01:22 pm
marathoner452: (Default)

Since Thursday, I've run 18 miles including 2 races. Then I'm going run a bunch more with the Flying Feet this evening even though I just ran a 5k in 28:07 this morning. I placed second in my age group too, and got a little free advertising for the Bachman Valley 1/2 Marathon that I'm directing at the end of September.  A bunch of people picked up race applications too, from as far away as Annapolis to boot.  That made me happy.

Now 18 miles in 4 days isn't much compared to what I did last summer, but given how much I've been running lately, I'm very pleased.  I had to walk down the stairs backwards yesterday evening.  Yes, being that sore is a good thing.  It means I'm a runner again.  I think the last time that stairs were a challenge was after the NCR Trail Marathon last November.

So yay for running.  Yay for getting in shape for the Annapolis 10-Miler at the end of August.



Jun. 27th, 2006 11:02 am
marathoner452: (Default)
For one thing, I registered for the Annapolis 10 Miler last night.  It's a rather infamous race around here.  It's run at the end of August, so it's always hot, humid, and hilly.  Just look at the elevation map.  Brings to mind what I've heard about the Dreaded Druid Hills 10k (which unfortunately I'll be in New Orleans for this year)-"I like running hills but that was mean and totally uncalled for."  Regardless, I'm registered and that meant it was time to celebrate in the way that only runners celebrate, with the longest run I've done in months.  6 miles, and I would have gone farther had it not started storming.  I'm not even paying for it all that horribly today.

I had two AmeriCorps interviews today.  One of them was with Volunteer Southern Maryland and the other was with Maryland Conservation Corps.  VSMD will contact me later in the week and let me know if I have a position, but MCC offered me a position.  I'm the first one to be offered a position with the Patapsco River State Park Conservation Corps, as this is the first year of the program.  I'm pretty excited about that in itself.  That's 4 positions so far, though unfortunately no offers or even any contact from positions down in Louisiana.  Now I just need to decide by the time I get back from New Orleans.

I also need word from the NPRC in Baltimore as to whether I could start in August (when my current term is up) instead of July.  If I can't, that all of a sudden makes my decision a lot easier.


marathoner452: (Default)
I don't know how and I don't know why, but I'm getting back my enthusiasm for long-distance running. Last night I sat in my car for 2 hours after the Flying Feet ice cream run was cancelled waiting for a particularly rainy thunderstorm to blow over. Even though my mom and I ran the Baltimore Women's Classic yesterday morning, I wanted to do more miles. Unfortunately for my running shoes and weekly mileage totals, the storm was still lightninging by the time I went to bed. I may be a hardy runner but I'm not stupid. I'm also not a hypocrite-I'm not going to lecture kids about staying inside during a storm and then go out and run 5 miles in it myself.

I think I'm going to register for the Annapolis 10 Miler when I get home. It's 40 bucks but it'll be 40 bucks well-spent if it motivates me to run again. I'm sick and tired of feeling lazy.* I want to feel tired after an early-morning long run with the NCR Trail Snails/Team in Training/my running buddies from Flying Feet. I want to taste salty Gatorade Endurance on my tongue on a hot August evening. I want to feel no guilt whatsoever about eating the chocolate mousse cake tops that my sister brings home from Snickerdoodles (the bakery where she works).

I want to be a runner again, not just someone who runs every once in awhile. That distinction is mine. I do not deny casual runners the opportunity to call themselves runners when they are running the way I am now, but I know I am capable of more and I want it back.


*Incidently, my feeling lazy is just that-my feeling lazy. It does not mean that I'm still reeling from my disaster deployment back in March. Yes, my priorities have changed. No, needing to be flexible for the Red Cross and wanting to help New Orleans does not mean that I'm willing to sacrifice my identity as a runner.

EDIT: Here are the Baltimore Women's Classic results from yesterday: Look for me down around 10:53 total pace. See how long it took me to cross the start line? Stupid portapotties. As a sidenote, look at the results from 2003, the first year I ran this race: I ran a 25:27, 4th in my age group by 5 seconds. Had I run 2 seconds faster per mile I could have had a free Under Armour shirt. Without a whole lot of speedwork, I have no chance of placing that high in my age group these days, thanks to the faster/larger 20-29 bracket.
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)
Sunny, 67*, 34% humidity, and 7 mph winds for the Main Street Mile tomorrow evening. Perfect weather for working the pre-registration table, running a 6:30 mile, and scooping gallons of ice cream for hungry runners. I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes.



marathoner452: (Default)

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