Monday, February 27, 2012

Take the good with the bad/ looking at the glass half full.

 No time like the present for some things. I figured, post about my run while it is still fresh in my mind...and body. I ran my marathon yesterday, things did not turn out exactly as planned. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm happy about it, but sad wouldn't sum it up either. If you read my last post, no expectations is what I said, and that was true. 26.2 miles can be  unpredictable. My goal was to start out slow, and I did it! Sound so proud of myself I know, I think it is the first time I have succeeded at that. I held back and enjoyed going slow enough to get warmed up and into the groove.

 Ran next to the nicest guy, miles 7 through 12 or so, talking about all kinds of things. He said he was hoping to do 3:40, that was what I had in mind too. It was his 30th marathon, at 60 years old! I was happily on my first*. He lost me just short of the half, I was starting to slow a bit, thinking, that 13.1 sure seemed long.

 I had been experiencing some foot pain in my left foot, hoping it would subside I pressed on. The foot pain continued to get worse, and then just due to the mileage, I started to feel both feet. This surprisingly ended up being the least of my worries. At 15 or 16 miles my right hamstring felt like it was going to cramp, and it did, never had anything like it happen in training, off to the side of the road I went to very carefully stretch. My hydration was good, I had already had two gels. Although looking back, it seemed that I wasn't sweating as much as usual. Usually I am soaked. So here I am, not doing well at all, 10 miles to go. It took a long time to get to the finish. I met a few nice people along the way though. Two guys in particular, well trained, were having similar experiences. Misery loves company, talking to them allowed me not to be so hard on myself. I really can't say that though, being hard on yourself under those conditions wasn't actually on my mind. Happy to be putting one foot in front of the other felt like I was doing the best I could, what more could I ask of myself. I was at that point, getting passed by many people, most having encouraging things to say, thank you to them, it was helpful.

 Funny, I read about things that people fear about running a marathon, or any race actually, and that is coming in last. When you are putting so much effort into something and really digging down deep, I can honestly say I would have been proud to have been last. I think finishing is winning, everybody has to run their own race. On that day, that was my race, who knows why, sh@t happens I guess.

So taking the good with the bad. Ok, I did do the first 13.1 in 1 hr 50 min, that was my goal. I started off slow as I mentioned, super happy about that. Regardless about the final outcome, I will forever hold onto the memory of the beginning of the race, surrounded by people that had all come together to share in an activity, to challenge themselves. It is amazing the feeling of camaraderie, and support I felt, being surrounded by all those wonderful people. I was surprisingly relaxed, very pleased that my training had brought me here to this day. We all stood there, removed our hats, faced the American flag, flying so proudly, in the breeze, against the clear blue sky. As the Star Spangled Banner was beautifully sung, I held my head high, and felt the warm sun on my face. I had already won in my mind, and I had not yet crossed the starting line. I am already looking forward to the next race, just maybe something shorter, just to get my confidence back a little anyway.

Happy Running!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day.

 My training for the Hyannis marathon has come to an end, I really got a lot out of it in many ways. To stick with the program I had to make some adjustments in lifestyle, which was a good thing. It took some discipline to get the rest needed to wake up early for my Saturday long runs for sure.

So, tomorrow is the big day. No expectations. I drove the course a few days ago, which was a huge psychological boost for me. Seeing the route definitely helped get me excited. It is a fairly flat course, with some very nice ocean views. I am sure that being next to the ocean on a beautiful sunny day will help propel me on my way.Yes, sunny in the mid thirties, could certainly do worse at the end of February.

The race starts at 10am, plenty of time to get there, check in, and warm up to get ready to go. My plan is to try for a faster second half than first half. The course is a two 13.1 mile loop. Most people will be doing just the half marathon, about 4700 I think, with the remaining 600 doing the full marathon. If I can just not go out too fast I should be ok. I am thinking anywhere around 1 hr 50 min for the first lap and anything less than that for the second. If I feel great, well, we'll see. I will be happy with a good solid effort and a strong finish.

Well, taking it easy for the rest of the day. I did my 2 mi jog a short while ago. Getting hydrated, but not too much, carbo loading for the past few days. I have learned a lot the past few months, so much more to learn though. I am looking forward to tomorrow and will post soon after.

Happy running!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Long run at the track

     My running has been going well, although I have had some concerns about whether I will be able to succeed in my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. As I previously mentioned, my pace is getting faster and I feel like my training is definitely paying off. My training usually consists of hills, where I live just doesn't give me much choice. So I am working a lot harder on my long runs than I will be on the marathon route, which is quite flat. So I had an idea to run last weeks 20 miles on the track, pretty crazy I thought, 80 times around! 

    I went to Pr Running in Westboro MA to talk to their very experienced staff about where I was at with my training etc. Well, first off, they strongly advised me not to worry about trying to qualify for the Boston, just run how I feel was their advice, don't spoil the race by putting pressure on myself. That was exactly what I needed to hear, I was thinking too much about it, and as much as I have been progressing, this will really be my first marathon. I just want it to be a positive experience. I did mention to them about running my long run on the track, they didn't think it was really that crazy at all.

 So, Saturday at 6am I was at the track and ready to go. The cool thing about the track is, no traffic! I really liked the smooth even surface for a change, no potholes to dodge. Keeping my water on the bench next to the track as well as my gels made things easy too. My run went well, started off slow and progressed to marathon pace, except for the very end when I started to have some foot pain. My average was 8 min 15 sec per mile for 20 miles. Everything I have read says don't try to run your race in training, so I guess what they are saying is that you will probably be able to run faster on race day. We shall soon find out. I would need to do 7min 46 sec per mile for the full 26.2, so like I said, not going to pressure myself, I'm going to run how I feel. I have to be honest though, I really hope I feel great that day and kick butt and do a 3:24, that would really make my day.

   Well, thats really it for now, reading up on nutrition, specifically carbo loading. So many great things to learn about running. 

Happy Running