Wednesday, October 19, 2011


 It's all over. 16 weeks of my life was devoted to trying to balance my home life, work life, social life and running life.
Ready to Leave the Hotel Room
I sacrificed 16 Fridays, lots of fried food & a lot of pain and hard work for those 4 hours and 11 minutes I spent running the Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 2nd 2011. I was up at 5:30 drinking coffee trying to get my digestive system going. Then I ate my PB& J sandwich & drank about 16oz of water at about 6am. My race gear was ready. I couldn't decide what socks to wear or weather I should wear a water belt. My nerves were finally kicking in. I opted for the new socks I baught at the expo and to wear my water belt with endurance fuel in the bottles. I wanted to just wear a sports bra, but it turned out to be 45 degrees at the start... I didn't bring a running thank top, so I ended up wearing a cotton one - A "no, no" from about every article I have read about what to wear running.
Elevation Chart of the race

We headed out to the start, traffic was crazy, so many people. My brother in law droped us all off a few blocks from the start. It was cold. We headed to check our bags & parted with our sleeves and headed to gate 2. Lots of people in their, we made our way up to the 4:15 pace group.
In the starting Gate!!
Then we waited. I tried to stretch, not much room to do so. We wished each other good luck and finally it was our time to go. The first 15 miles were great. I warmed up quick, the crowds were awesome, weather was awesome, it was a beautiful day. We lost jer pretty quick, but had to take a bathroom break at mile 12, and when we got out their he was in front of us, so that was cool. We were running at around a 9m per mile pace. Faster than I had planned on going. Everyone I talked to said to hold back to start with, but Debi was chomping on the bit and i wanted to run with her and it felt easy. I walked through some of the water stations after about mile 12, all of them after mile 17. The fall leaves were turning, the sky was blue, it was fairly cool out... at mile 17 we got our Gue at the Goo station. I hate goo. but i "ate" it anyhow. At mile 18 my feet and hip flexsors started to hurt pretty bad. It was cool though, some spectators along the course had fruit to give out, or candy, one guy had a spray bottle and he was spraying people who wanted to be sprayed. One guy had a sign that said "free high fives" I needed some encourgaent and got a high five from him, it helped. Someone had a sign that said "26.2 because 26.3 would be crazy" At mile 20 I felt some more pain. I didn't think I could keep up the pace I did anyway. At mile 23 I felt sick, like I was going to puke. I had to walk. Deb walked with me, but then when I tried to run at her speed It made me sick again, so I told her to go.... I walked up a hill, I was so tired. my feel hurt so bad, everything hurt so bad, I felt sick, my teeth felt like they were rotting in my mough from all the gummys, gels and sports drinks I had eaten. I felt much pain, I didn't thnk I could do it. Then I thought of all my friends who knew I was running the race, and my friends on lose it who run and always enchorage me and I them. And I thought of the people getting my text updates as I crossed the check points.... I passed a few people that looked worse off then me... I started to run again. Oh, the pain. wow. I can't describe it. mile 24 - 2 left. I knew I could do it. I just had to take it easy. I kept going. Mile 25... 1.2 more, it was down hill, that was nice. I started feeling like crying, I was so happy that I was going to make it. Coming into St. Paul lots of people were yelling words of encouragement, I kept on going. Lots of people were walking at this point. I rounded the corner and saw the beautiful church with a dome roof, it was so beautiful. my vision was blurred, it hurt so bad but I didn't even care anymore. I was going to finish. Finally I saw the capital building. it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The finish. I ran under a huge American flag - it was beautiful, I was picking up my pace. Crossing the finish line was a crasy feeling. I can't describe it. it made me cry but i'm pretty sure I was chemically un balanced at that point too. It's a little comical now.... I started to walk and could barly do so. Never had I felt such pain. I grabbed food that they had out, I wasen't hungry. Someone gave me bread and then I droped all my stuff and that made me cry again...  I wondered around nibbling on my bread trying to hold off my tears. I just wanted to see someone I knew... Someone gave me a shirt... Finally I found the "H" and there was Deb. I crumbled on the ground, it hurt so bad.... then I just started sobbing and Poor deb didn't know what to do... Us Ostranders aren't too good at comforting each other. As I was sobbing I looked at her face and it was covered in salt, that was funny and I started to laugh while I was crying... I was pretty much just a mess. I've never cried from happiness before, but I think that was part of why i was crying that day. It was so hard. I never could have done it if I haddent though of all my friends and family who were thinking of me and who had listened to me ramble on about running for years....

After the Race - all together again

Pizza after YUM
I've never worked so hard for something
The shower after the race felt better than any shower I had even taken, after the initial sharp stinging pain from all my rub marks wore off that is.  We went out for pizza and wine after, hobbled around the city a little. Got frozen pizza and tater tots to make in the hotel room, watched a couple of movies with the food and 3 bottles of wine. Jer and I went out after deb went to bed and played pool and went to a bar to have more wine. It was a beautiful night. Perfect temperature. The next morning I discovered I had had too much wine. I also felt really bloated and gross from all the carbs and water the day before. my quads were killing me. it was a tough trip home because sitting then standing again was not the greatest. I read that muscles hold in water to help with healing, that must be why I felt so swollen. I also read that you are supposed to take a day "off" for each mile you raced. by "off" they meant not to run hard. Well.. I don't think that is going to happen. I have some speed to catch up on.
This is about how I felt the day after and the day after that:

While I was running the race, even when I felt so much pain and felt sick to my stomach, I never once thought "i'll never do this again"  I never once thought "this is stupid" I know I will run another marathon. I know I will qualify for that Boston Marathon someday and then I will run it. It may have hurt, it may have been hard, but somehow the feeling (not talking about the pain) at the end of the race, crossing that finish line, made it worth it all.

It wasn't just the pain, or exhaustion, or the relief that I made it across that finish line that caused the feelings I felt at the end of the race. It wasn't just all the hard work and sacrifice I had put in to the training...It wasn't that I had finally found Debi among the thousands of people - Those things may have played a part in the way I felt at the end of that race, but it wasn't just that. It was a closing of one chapter in my life and an opening to another - One that I did not know, one that was mine to write, one that had many options and choices. It wasn't because of running. It was because of more complicated life choices, things that were put on hold till the race was over. Those were the things that I had to face. You won't understand, because the circumstances are not for the public, however I will say that a person can have a lot of thoughts in 26.2 miles. After the race - I knew things would be different.

The Last days - Taper Carb loading Maddness

New Shoes - i'm not wearing for the marathon
Heading out from Yorkville
This is it. It's the night before the Marathon. I am depending on my 16 weeks of training to get me through 26.2 miles tomorrow starting at 8am. Last week We didn't run too much. Nothing really too eventful. It was actually nice not to run so much. My legs felt so pain free and relaxed... it was Great. This week I wanted to run more. I only did 6 on Tuesday, 5 on Thursday and 4 on Friday. I started eating lots of carbs Wednesday. 3-400 grams per day. I won't be craving pasta for a LONG while. Today we headed out at 7am - drove 6.5ish hours to the expo.
Pumpkin Pancakes to aid in Carb loading

Entering the EXPO

Dinner - It was Awesome
Got Chips, Greek Yougart, Sausage, some wierd veggie mix stuff & some other samples. they were good. Pineapple Greek yogurt is awesome. For dinner we made pasta and garlic bread in the hotel rooms.... Im so full of pasta bread and water. i'm so sick of drinking water. I want to move around and go explor the city... but NOOOO I have to rest. I feel good. I feel ready. I feel like I have lots of energy - rest - and gloyclosigin. I still have not decided what to wear. it's going to be around 50... i wante to wear just a sports bra and shorts, but i'm not sure. Also not sure abut wearing a wearing a water belt. Choices Choices.
So here is what I learned from the taper so far.
3rd week to the end of the training program = longest run.
2nd week till marathon = cut back to 80% of your mileage
1 week before the marathon =  Cut back mileage around 50%.
Week of the marathon (here is where it gets hard and complicated)
1/3rd of mileage. - 4 days of carbs - I tried for 70% of my calories
At least 8 hours of sleep all week
LOTS of water (this gets really annoying - I was up 3 times every night having to go to the bathroom! Not fun because my bathroom is all the way down stairs and my house gets rather chili at night)
Don't do anything new on marathon day (that means food, drinks, activities, clothing & shoes) I am however going to wear a new pair of socks I got possibly... Got them at the expo and they are AWESOME!
That's about it. I'll write about how it goes tomorrow - Hopefully all this prep and hard work and dedication will pay off and I will have a great run. I love all the sport I have gotten from my co-workers and friends. Lots of people have wished me good luck, my facebook page is full of little good luck notes and last words of advice - Even my runner friends from the web (Lose it) have sent me emails and written on my Lose it Page. Its awesome. They will defiantly help me through it. Sometimes I get sick of just how much I talk about running... but I still have people that at lest pretend to listen to me and be interested in what i'm saying. I think I have even started some new runners - or at least a desire to run - I have 2 running schedule requests! I guess that's it. I'm exited!!! a little nervous. hoping for the best. Looking forward to "life after marathon" Looking forward to the pizza and wine party tomorrow night & actually being able to explore the city. Here we go!

The "Runners High"

1 week till 26.2. I'm not nervous YET. I got my race packet in the mail and have read up on what to do before the race. I have started my list of things to bring. Still thinking about weather or not I will wear a water belt. I"m exited still - We all decided to sign up for the pasta party - it's a buffet the day before for dinner. I think it will be fun to meet the other runners.
This week On Monday we decided not to run till later in the day after work. We met at 5pm and went out for 6.5. It was warm because the sun was out, but not bad. I felt good. 8:25 pace.
Spoiled Matilda
Tuesday We did not run, but I took Matilda on a hike at Silver springs.
Wednesday I headed over do debs at 4:30am. It was cold, I was tired. and yet again, I wished I had been my dog.  She had a nice morning nap while I left to go run. Lucky dog.
We ran 7.3 miles at a 8:45ish pace. Felt fine. I can't complain.
Thursday I headed out to run with Boot camp at 4:45 - Deb skipped. We ran 5.5 miles @ 8:05ish pace. I don't know for sure because I forgot my watch. My wrist felt very light, maybe that's why I ran faster. Matt ran with me, finally I ruined one of his "easy" runs and made it into a harder faster run. At the end of the run I sprinted up the final little slope. If felt SOOO good. I just love the feeling of my feet only being on the ground for a split second and just surging forward. every muscle in my body working, my lungs taking in  as much oxygen as possible... everything working together for one purpose - to run faster. I felt great all day from it. just thinking of the feeling I got made me almost feel it all over again. That feeling - that's why I run. I get so tired of people bashing running - "it's bad for your knees" they say "it's the worse thing for your body" they say... but I don't agree. maybe it is hard on a body,but i'm pretty sure when i'm old no matter what I do my body is going to suffer, so I might as well have a reason now for how much it's going to hurt later. I do think that the health benefits out weigh the harm. I like this article :