Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Madison Marathon 2013

Judah Running the race
The 2013 Madison Marathon was yesterday. My time was 3:43 and I can finally say that I am happy with my performance at a marathon. Its a good feeling - a really good feeling after being so dissipated with so many of my races. Broken down I'm in the top 22% over all - the top 8% in my gender, and the top 11% in my age group with-in my gender. Here is the story:

The week of the marathon I took it easy. Monday I ran 4 miles on my own in the morning - around a 9:15 pace - Tuesday I ran 4.4 miles with Mike & Angela, Wednesday was a cold gross day and I ran 4 miles after work on the dread-mill, Thursday I ran 2.2 miles of trails on my lunch break. Friday I did not run, I walked my dog, Saturday I did not run, I want on a 2ish mile hike with my Mom & my dog... So by Saturday I felt pretty rested. I tried to have more carbs, but I was a little lazy on it... I just tried to eat somewhat normal and add rice and noodles to everything, I also had sandwiches at work no wraps... and tried to have some sort of bread for breakfast. I headed up to the race Saturday around 11am with Mike & Angela, Judah had drill, so he was already in Wisconsin planning on driving over to the hotel as soon as he was released. We headed over to the New Glarus Brewery to tour & sample beers - then to a local bar to get our free beer with the coupon that we had gotten at the brewery. It was fun, nice town, good beer - REALLY good beer actually.... After that we headed to the expo. It was not all that impressive - but we got what we needed to get, and I was able to pick up Judah's Bib and shirt with out the form that I was supposed to fill out and had not because I had not known about it. We walked around the capital building looking for some other runners from out group - finally found one of them and planned to meet later for dinner.

We stayed 2.2 miles out of town at the Clarian, Somehow Judah and I ended up with the smallest room I have ever had and Mike and Angela had a huge room with a couch, and whole sink/stove in it.... We ended up having dinner at my sisters hotel, a best western - it was good, I got something with shrimp (risky I know) chicken and Alfredo sauce. After that we headed back to the hotel and went to the hot tub, got our race clothes all set up and that was about it. I was woken up at 5:30 by our very noisy coffee machine that my husband had started - it was impossible to sleep after that, so I got up to deal with the late check out issue. I would not recommend the hotel. Mike had called them about late check out and the person on the phone said that it would most
likely be totally fine, but to check to be sure when we arrived. When we arrived they said that they could not approve it till the morning, and to just ask in the morning any time and it would be fine. In the morning we called the front desk only to have the tell us that we had to wait till 7am to ask a certain manager/house keeping - however the night before I has scheduled a 7am shuttle to down town - SO they knew that we would not be there the night before at 7am, and still said we could ask in the morning. it was really stupid. They eventually said we could share one room for late check out, so we hauled all our stuff over to Mike and Angelas huge room and we all had to shower there after the race - however AFTER the race the guy said that late check out was no problem at all, but since we had already turned out key in (so I though) and moved everything, it was too late for us, so we had to all use the same room anyway... Also the lady that morning had said that the whole hotel was booked, when we left at 2:30 or so, the parking lot was pretty much empty. Very lame. Also lame that later I found the room key in my wallet.

Finished - OUCH & yay
Anyway - on to the race! I ate a PB&J sandwich from the bread that they put out early for us in the lobby, it was stale but I ate it anyway.... Then I had a Bandanna and coffee... I wore shorts a short sleeved shirt and sleeves... and my newton shoes. It was cold - 35 degrees and breezy - was going to warm up to 42. I wanted to wear tights and a long sleeved shirt + a short sleeved shirt over that, but runners world "what to wear running" told me to wear shorts and a T-shirt. I was really mad at runners world for that as I walked through the freezing wind from where the hotel van had drooped us off.  We met up with everyone at the Best western on the corner - Headed out to the coral about 15 minutes before the start, and before I knew it I was off and running with the 3:40 pace group (they did not have a 4:45 one) My sister, who was sick with a bad cold and Leo, who had a hurt toe, and Matt who was also sick started off fast and were all ahead of me. Angela passed me eventually (her foot was hurt) and mike and Judah ran at the same pace as me for a while, Mike has a hurt knee, Judas hip flexors hurt from his PT test the day before - I felt like I was the only one who was not really hurt or sick.  Mike dropped back pretty early, he's been hurt all year - one thing after another. Judah was with me off and on till maybe mile 13ish. I passed Angela on a hill around maybe mile 5 or so, Passed Debi at mile 9ish, she looked miserable - she could not breath, bad cold. Leo was clipping along pretty good at mile 13... The miles flew by actually. My pace group was great, People talked about the city... just joked around a little, one lady would qualify for Boston if she stayed with the group, she ended up making it! A couple were running their first marathons... I really was not bothered by anything till mile 16, then I was starting to not have as much fun, we had a long stretch of highway to cover.... The pace guys were great though and said that it was normal to start feeling uncomfortable and for things to stop being fun at this point. That made me feel better. We saw the Seniors house, it was pretty, headed up another huge hill at mile 17 or 18, the hills were finally starting to bother me, my pain got worse, but the pace guys said that it was normal, marathons were not easy, they hurt, to just embrace the pain, accept it as your new reality and keep going. Once my foot was getting numb, very numb, and it really hurt somehow too - I asked if they had any suggestions... They said "ignore it"  So that's what I tried to do. I finally dropped out of the pace group at about mile 21, but one of the pacers spotted me walking too far at the aid station and said "Get going" so i did... I was able to keep them in eye sight for a few miles, at mile 23 we had a long out and back stretch, I saw Matt going the other way, but no one else, Finally I got to turn around and head back to the capital building - the finish. I saw Judah first a mile or so behind me, then Angela a mile or so after that, then Leo.... My legs were killing me and I did stop to walk twice just a bit to try to move my feet around and feel them a little again... Finally I could see the capital building and I only had .5 miles left. My legs felt like Jelly and one of my quad muscles was trying to cramp up. I kept going.
I wanted to walk up that final hill so bad, but people were watching, and the finish line was so close. I ordered my legs to keep going, and to go faster. They did keep going, but they seemed to rebel on the faster command and I almost fell flat on my face - after that I was happy with just keeping going. And I did - I reached the finish line at a decent pace and got my plastic reflector warming thing and some water. I knew Judah was not far behind me so I waited for him, he came in at 3:49 and we headed to the food together. They had sandwiches and chips and beer. I gave Judah my beer - I could barley hold the Monster Muscle drink I had in my check bag with out dropping it I was so cold and shivering so hard.

Everyone else from our group finished well all things considered. I'm just so happy that finally I was not weak (not too weak anyway) I pushed through the pain and exhaustion more than I ever have - I still cannot
believe how hard running a marathon is. I guess that's just how it is. I'm just happy I was able to really enjoy a lot of it, and right now even though I am crazy sore and look like a 90 year old woman when I walk (again), I am really enjoying the fact that I was not weak and I ran a good race. I'm really happy I had the pacer group to talk to and listen to as they basically told me to suck it up and keep running, but in better words that worked better for me. So that's it - marathon and greater then number 11. I think I am good on the city runs for a while though, Madison did not handle their extra traffic well - the town was so backed up we had to go way out of town to get to the hotel and it ended up taking about an hour, could have walked there in 30 minutes even they way we were walking after the race (VERY slowly) I think that will be it for me this year. I want to do the Polar dash in Chicago in January, that's a half... and that's all i'm planning so far... maybe a 5k for thanksgiving, but that's it... and then maybe the shamrock shuffle.... and their is this really awesome looking race in April in Colorado Springs, and I would really like to run Dances with Dirt Hell this year I love those races... But besides that, my schedule is wide open :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fox Valley marathon #9

 The Fox Valley Marathon is over. It was September 22nd. Fairly flat course, pretty views, nice course. I can't complain. My finish time was 3:51 - that's 8 minutes off my last PR, again, I should not complain. I felt good for about 18 miles, I found a girl to run with, she had run a 100 mile race before... But I ended up loosing her, she had qualified for Boston the week before at a different marathon...She didn't want to miss signing up and knew the race would fill up, so she flew out to a race and made it in... She was just running the Fox valley because she had already signed up - it was originally going to be her Boston qualifier.  I broke up the race in 4 parts. 2 - 7 mile runs and 2-6 mile runs. The girl that I ran with for a while told me not to think of the miles you have already ran - to only think positive thoughts, and at mile 20 forget about the 20 miles you ran, and start fresh with the 6. So I tried to pretend that I had just started and for some reason my legs were just really tired. I struggled though. I got sore, tired... exhosted... my heart felt weird around mile 21, my breathing got labored even though my pace had decreased. I did struggle though though... The last 6 miles are what killed me though. I stopped to walk.. too much. I slowed down. too much... my time could have been 10 minutes better if I had kept it together those last 6 miles... but I do feel that I improved. I stayed positive - more then usual, I walked much less, I felt better for longer, I fueled myself pretty well. Im just waiting for the mental break through. I was able to focus more with out music, I have still not ran with music since.... it's just better that way now - I don't like the noise, I like to run and hear my breathing, and my foot steps, and just hear myself think. I would have been happy with my time - only I know I could have done better because my sister, who I train with for pretty much every important run, ran a 3:36... So because of that I feel pretty depressed about the race. How could I be so mentally weak?

 I know I am capable of much more, I should be able to train harder, run harder, race harder. Be more focused... Eat better.. I spend so much time and effort to do this, I need to be better at it. And I have no reason why I should not be, that is why it is so frustrating. If frustrates me that running a marathon is 90% mental, and that is what I lack. I wish I could just train and get through it with just training, I wish the doubt did not come in, the tiredness, the little voice inside my head that says "your really tired, you should not be breathing so hard, these runners are just better than you, you could never run that fast for that far, you need to stop and get your heart rate down, it's ok, this race does not matter, your tired, you should walk a while...." and it goes on and on and on... It's ok though. I will keep trying. I will be better, I will be stronger, I will be faster.