Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I nervously stared out onto Fluor field while waiting for the start. At about ten minutes until 8, they announced that racers should head to the starting line at markley and main st intersection. I went to the starting line feeling good, but nervous. I reminded myself to start out slow and just go at a slow and steady pace. When I crossed the starting line I felt huge excitement that I was beginning my first marathon! The first mile was mostly downhill but I held my pace back as I knew I should. I warmed up during that first mile and took off the jacket while still running, and tied it around my waist. It was big and the stuffed pockets bounced off my legs. After a few minutes I remembered my last experience of running with with a minor irritation and knew that I needed to fix the problem NOW, not wait until later. I stopped and rolled the jacket and then tied it around my waist so it wasn't flapping any more. I decided to not take planned walking breaks like I had in my training runs, but to walk only when needed and at hydration stations. This turned out to be a great tactic. I felt great the majority of the race. I stayed adequately fueled and hydrated and didn't have any major chaffing or blisters. I drank two cups of sports beverage at each hydration station (about every 2 miles) and sipped on my water bottle as needed, refilling it at hydration stations as needed also. I ate a clif shot, gu gel or half of a clif bar every hour beginning at the 45 minute point. The race started out at 55 degrees and overcast. Misting rain occurred during the first 3ish hours. It was just a light mist that didn't really bother me since my hat prevented it from blowing into my face. The temperature was perfect! The first four miles seemed like they were all down hill and I worried about the hills that had to be ahead. There eventually were hills, but they were gradual and not as bad as I had anticipated. The majority of the course was along the Reedy River and through parks. Other portions were through downtown Greenville. I thought the course was beautiful! I especially liked the path along the river that had a softer track to the side of the asphalt path. I took advantage of that extra cushioning. The course was well marked, with lots of volunteers, and police blocking intersections. I walked up a few hills in the first loop, but more the second time around. The course was a 13 mile loop, that marathoners did twice. I felt strong at the half, but noticed the runners dwindled significantly as most entered the stadium for the half-marathon finish while much fewer runners continued on in the marathon. There were only 234 people who completed the marathon and they were all spread out along the course. The second half was a little lonely and I was getting a little delirious. At times I wondered if I was still on the right course or if I missed a turn. But before I got too far down that train of though I would see a volunteer or an arrow marker and knew I was still on the right track. When I lost sight of anyone in front of me as well as behind me it was really weird. I kept telling myself that I was doing great, feeling good, and running strong; which I truly believed. It was a good run. On the second lap, I even passed a few people and only one passed me back. This woman had slowed to a walk just shy of 14 miles and when I passed her, I told her she was doing awesome. In the 20s, she caught up to me and said, "Hey, this is my friend xxxxx, she's fresh/hasn't been running/ and came out to help me get through these last few miles. You're welcome to tag along if you'd like." I did for a few minutes, but then realized couldn't keep the pace and let them go on ahead. I jogged along great, with minimal walking during the first 17 miles. At this point is where the uphills began and I walked up most of them. I still kept strong, though. At mile 23 I could here Kyra saying, "3 miles is an easy distance for you, right mom?" She's said this quite a few times when I've gone for a "short 3 mile run". 3 miles seems like forever to her, but she knows it's short for me based on the long runs I've been doing. So for that entire 23rd mile I kept repeating "3 miles is easy, piece of cake". At one point, a cop was directing traffic to turn right and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to go straight or turn so I asked him. He smiled and said, "You're the leader of the pack. Go straight." I laughed thinking there are advantages to smaller attended long races. At about 2 miles to go, a volunteer delivering chicken sandwiches to other volunteers offered one to me. The thought of it made me feel like vomiting so I politely declined. I kept telling myself, 2 miles is easy... When I got to the high shool track to make the loop around it once (for the second time), I was the only one on the track. The woman that had passed me was exiting the track as I was entering it. I wondered if I was the last one, but remembered that I had passed several other people earlier, they just must be out of my distance. During the last mile I actually passed a few more people. By now, they were walking and didn't look like they were going to start running again. I was feeling elated that I actually was going to finish this race, and finish it feeling strong. I picked up the pace as best I could, which wasn't by much, but was a little bit. When I entered the field, tears welled up. I can't believe I accomplished this! I rounded the outfield and heard my name and home town announced and just wished my sister were with me. I looked at the clock as I headed towards the finish line beside home plate and attempted to sprint. It was not an all out sprint, but it was a faster pace to get me across the finish line in 5 hours 27 minutes and 02 seconds!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
My motivation to run is waning early this week... I took a vacation day on Tuesday to chaperone Kyra's field trip. The field trip was a lot more fun than going to work... As you can see from this Civil War demonstration of soldiers sleeping next to each other to keep warm, the girls had huge belly laughs watching two boy classmates being pushed together on a sleeping mat. Later in the afternoon I planned to do a 4-miler on the treadmill, but just couldn't get into it and quit at 1.5 miles. I was missing Kyra before she even left to go spend 5 nights with her dad. So I quit running with the excuse that I needed to spend more quality time with her, while I could.
Wednesday evening I was grateful my motivation had returned! I took Tasha out for a 2-mile jog, although we walked most of the last half-mile. I let her set the pace. I dropped her back off at home and ran a lap around the block (1 mile) to accomplish a total of 3.05 miles. I celebrated afterwards with dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.
Thursday, I decided to do a long run on the treadmill while watching my favorite TV show, Grey's Anatomy. I had dinner around 6 p.m. At about 9:30 p.m., half-way into the show/my run, I had an immediate feeling of hypoglycemia. I quickly consumed a Clif Shot, but it was too late. I walked for 10 more minutes and then gave up. 3.23 miles in 40 minutes.
Although I like my Amphipod hydration belt, it just doesn't hold enough liquid for runs over 3 hours in the warm weather. Friday after work, with my 20% off coupon from REI, I purchased a Camelbak Trinity for women which holds 100 oz of liquid and has lots of cargo space.
I decided to go to a place I'd never run before for my longest run of my life. Saturday morning I went to the Columbus Riverwalk. It's over two hours away from my house, but I needed a new setting. I hoped to catch up with an old friend while in the area, but I couldn't reach him when I called Friday night.
Total runs for this week: 4
Monday, October 6, 2008
Tuesday my shins were a little sore. I alternate running shoes and tonight was the night for a pair of shoes that I haven't had great success with. They are light-weight, which is a bonus for races or short runs, but not so great for longer distances. Almost immediately, I felt the pounding in my shins which worsened as the distance increased. At about 2-miles around The Loop, I headed to the beach instead of continuing on concrete. The sand was very soft and hard to run in from that aspect. I decided to just go for a long walk on the beach rather than struggle through soft sand or pound my legs further on hard concrete. I walked until dark, which ended up totalling 5 miles for the day, about 6 minutes longer than the 7.5 mile jog from yesterday. I'll chalk it up to a cross-training day. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for running. On the positive side, I picked up a cool green stone for Kyra and I listened to the Ultradad podcast for the first time and really enjoyed episodes 1-3. The beach appeared to be eroded. I wonder if it is because of the recent storms...
Thursday, after flying back to ATL, I stopped by Stone Mountain on my way home with the intention of running around the mountain once (5 miles) since I was limited on time. But half-way around, the road was closed for paving. I turned around and then noticed a trail through the woods. I had seen it on a map, but had never explored it so I decided to give it a try. At first I was thrilled to be running through the woods. But after twisting my ankle on a rocky patch, stubbing my toe on a root, and then coming to a steep ascent up the mountain, I had had enough and turned around to make my way back to the car. Total distance = 5.5 miles.
On Saturday, Kyra, Tasha and I participated in the Atlanta Dog Jog 2-mile fun run at Piedmont Park. We ran the 1-mile race last year and really enjoyed it. Kyra was confident she could do two miles this year so I registered us for that. We had a lot of fun, except for the part when we thought we had gone the wrong way. Kyra's a sprinter and doesn't seem to understand how to maintain a slower pace, and to be honest, neither does Tasha. So we alternated sprinting with walking. We didn't win, we weren't last, and we had a blast.
Miles run this week: 20
Days run this week: 4