Marathon Training Update

My marathon comeback is less than six months away.  My six hour endurance run is now two weeks away.  My hope is that it will provide a good indication of what I will need to finish the marathon under six hours.  Last week I did a 16 1/2 mile training run in a little less than 4 1/2 hours.  I took it long and slow as it was incredibly hot.  I needed to stop and stretch a couple times and reapply Body Glide in places but felt reasonably ok considering it was 3 1/2 miles further than I have run in a very long time.  I moved slow for the rest of the day and I don't recommend going on a 12+ hour car ride the following day.  I think that was the hardest part of the run was the next day and peeling my stiff self out of the car during each rest stop.  I was using my Trigger Point ball on my legs throughout the trip but I haven't been that stiff in a while.  My training has slowed this week tremendously on vacation and I am concerned about getting back on the scale when I return home.  I need to get in gear!


My First Duathlon (since 1990!)

With minimal training and not sure exactly what to expect, I completed my first duathlon and I am totally hooked.  My last duathlon was probably in 1990 and I did it as a relay with someone else doing the run portion.  My preparations consisted of two twelve mile rides to make sure I could cover the distance on the bike.  I figured that if I can run 12 miles I should be able to ride twelve miles.  And I was correct in that assumption because I finished strong.  

The first run section was out and back and upon finishing it was clearly obvious that I was almost last.  There were a couple folks behind me but at the speed they were moving it appeared that they were just late to the starting line.  The bike section was the best, even with the road conditions and the head wind on sections.  It was a two lap course and it felt so good to push a big gear.  It also felt good to pass a bunch of folks.   The course made me so grateful that I chose my mountain bike.  It was bumpy and had lots of patched spots in the road that made the ride less than enjoyable in some sections.  I was also so happy that I made the last-minute decision to switch out pedals and opt for toe clips to avoid changing shoes.  The decision was not exactly last-minute though.  I had decided to make the change at least a week earlier but with school year ending and all the preparations that took, I unfortunately waited until the last minute to make the pedal switch.  By last-minute I mean it was 8 o'clock the night before the race.  It was a good thing that I didn't procrastinate much longer because I was only able to locate my left pedal with toe clips.  My right pedal was nowhere to be found!  After a while looking and knowing that the local REI store closed at 9 pm, I made the drive to REI and bought another set of clipless pedals so I could have a matching pair.   I do need practice on my cornering abilities but managed those safely and without interfering with anyone else.  Back to the transition and the next run.  The transition went smoothly.  I only had a slight feeling of deadness in my legs and they quickly adjusted to using different muscle groups.  By this time, there were a lot of the triathletes running and moving fast.  That helped keep my going.  My run wasn't especially fast but I maintained my walk/run intervals and finished with a personal best!  (The PB is a default but I can't wait to improve it next year!)  In the meantime, I'm looking for more duathlon events for my race calendar but unfortunately they conflict with other running events I have planned.  For 2013, I want plenty of duathlon events on the race schedule.  With my continued running progress and with actual cycling training, maybe even with my road bike, I can expect great things.


Timing Issues Resolved

My shirt is still the wrong size and I am still missing the champagne but the timing issues were resolved from the half marathon last Sunday.  My net time is now 2 1/2 minutes faster.  It may not seem like a lot but I need all the help I can get!


Could Have Been A PR. Half-Marathon #25 Race Report

Successfully completed my 25th Half Marathon since October of 2009.  It was one for the record books but unfortunately not the personal record book.  I was excited to try the See Jane Run Half in Alameda.  Who can resist an all women's race with a tag line, "I run for chocolate and champagne."  More on revising that tag line later.  The morning started rather uneventfully.  The roads were blocked to access the parking recommended in the race updates but managed to secure a primo spot right across from the park with quick access to the start line.  Alameda is much cooler than training in Sacramento so I had high hopes for my performance.  The race started off and I began my 3:1 run/walk ratios and was making consistent progress.  The first part of the race runs next to the bay so the views were nice.  The roads weren't so nice.  The camber of the roads weren't severe but unpleasant throughout most of the race and it was nearly impossible to find a flat place to run unless one ran on the narrow trails which became quickly crowded.  Despite the road surfaces, I was making consistent good time.  Made it to the half-way point at 1:26 and was hopeful for a PR.  I picked it up a bit and the PR seemed well within reach until the bridge.  Yes, at about mile 10, I was among one of the first runners stopped behind the bridge gate while they opened up the bridge to allow a boat to pass.  About four minutes or so later we were able to continue on.  Now there was no one in front of us and my legs just never really recovered from that pause.  I drudged in the last couple miles and still managed to finish under three hours.  So that means 4 half marathons so far in 2012 and all of them under 3 hours.

But, my bad luck continued upon crossing the finish line where I was welcomed to one of the most disorganized finish areas ever seen.  I got my micro-medal and a bottle of water and then it was unclear where to get food, finisher shirt, and champagne.  I found the food line with limited options--Luna bar, banana, and bagel.  I then found the goody bag and finisher shirts on the other side of the expo area only to be provided a shirt size that I didn't request and doesn't fit because they ran out of the size that I asked for when I preregistered.  I then stumbled into the champagne glass line and did manage to get a glass only to go to the next booth and be told that there was no more champagne.  Hence, I'm thinking the revised tagline should be  "Run for wrong size shirt, chocolate, and empty champagne glass."   It doesn't exactly have the same ring to it though.  

Now back home, I look up my results only to discover something happened with my timing chip.  I only have a gun time reported which is less than 3 hours but my official chip time should be about 2 1/2 minutes less than that!  So disappointing.  

I will cross this race off my list.  I am happy that it was offered on a free weekend and allowed me to successfully complete half marathon #25.  The organization was a bummer and probably won't be a repeat runner in this one.


No Excuses 5K

I had plenty of excuses not to have a very good race this morning....I ran 8 miles yesterday and then rode my bike 15 miles, I have ongoing GI issues, did not properly fuel or hydrate as a result...but still managed to improve my 5K time.  My final time was 37:06.7 which makes my overall pace 11:58!!!  That's an almost one minute improvement over my previous 5K last summer.   Imagine what could be possible with well-rested legs!  My next half is Sunday and this performance gives me a reason to celebrate with no excuses!!