October 30, 2009

10K training advice?

I tell ya, it is MUCH easier not to run when it is voluntary as opposed to taking time off for an injury. I've actually enjoyed my 2 weeks off since the marathon and my muscles, joints and connective tissues are all thanking me as well! That's not to say I've not been working hard. I've been doing at least 45 - 60 min of cardio every day on the elliptical, bike, rowing machine or cardio wave machine (skating simulator) - and also keeping up my strength training. I'll still be in good shape to start running again on Sunday. I plan to make the first week all easy runs, then add speed work back into my routine once weekly after that. My shin, achilles and lower-abdominal muscle pains have all gone away. Here's hoping they don't return!

I've already registered for three more races including the Detroit Turkey Trot! This year they're giving away fleece gloves to the top 100 women and men. I won the fleece scarf last year, so I couldn't pass up getting a matching set of gloves this year! Goal: 40:30 -- next year I'll be shooting for that elusive sub 40. Small steps...

If anyone knows any good workouts to help me prepare for a few 10Ks coming up (Nov 26 and Dec 12), I'd appreciate the advice. I know how to train for a marathon, but I've never actually focused on shorter races! One of them is coming up too soon to really prepare well for, so any last minute sharpening workouts would be helpful. I might have better luck with my goal on the second one, I think.

Boston - registered and updated with my Grand Rapids finish time. I registered originally with my Bayshore time of 3:31, but absolutely couldn't pass up updating with my GR time. Besides, I needed to get into the same corral as Matty! Didn't want to make him move back!

October 23, 2009

Do I Feel Too Good?

blog post photo
A bigger version of my new blog photo (on Runner's World). It's me and Matty showing off our Grand Rapids Marathon medals. This photo was taken AFTER we changed out of our sweaty, freezing cold running gear and bundled up in warm clothes. It was only in the 40s by race end!

It's Day Four post-marathon and I'm still feeling on top of the world. My husband found this hilarious "Day After" video somewhere online that shows marathoners trying to get around the day after running a marathon. The people in the video couldn't walk normally, stairs were an insurmountable obstacle and the last image was a guy sitting down at his desk at work wearing a nice work shirt with two large, red nipple stains. While it made me laugh, it also made me wonder why I wasn't suffering the same way. I was walking just fine the day after the race.

I figured it is either a very good thing or a bad thing.


1) I was very well-trained and the result of all my hard work was an exceptionally quick recovery.


2) I didn't push myself hard enough. Could I have done a 3:10, 3:08, .... ???

I mentioned this to one of my elite runner friends (who came in 10th at Chicago this year!!!) and she reassured me that I did the right thing by running at the pace I knew I could handle and not trying to kill myself with an overreaching goal. There are always other marathons and you don't want to risk injury at any time. She said I should have felt the way I did finishing the race. Next marathon, set a higher goal and take small steps each time to get faster.

I felt much better after that talk.

I am so excited about how great Grand Rapids went that I want to run another marathon RIGHT NOW! How in the world am I going to make it through the slow winter racing season with no marathons at all? How will I make it to April???

By the way, my new goal is to run between 3:08 - 3:10 at Boston. If I do that, I'll make it into the first seeded corral at Chicago next Fall, so instead of having tens of thousands of runners in front of me, I'll only have a few hundred. How cool would that be!?

Next up... training plans. How to choose????

October 20, 2009

A Phew Photos

Wanted to post a few photos that Matt took with his phone. This first one is from the Grand Rapids Marathon. It was taken after we stripped off our sweat soaked race gear in the car and put on dry clothing. I've become very adept at changing in the car! The other three are from our trip to the U.P. for the Tahqua 25K trail race this summer.

October 19, 2009


I've looked at the results at least a half dozen times and I still don't believe it. But there it is...



That's my time for my second marathon ever - completed yesterday morning in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Holy crap! Did I really do that!?!? :-)))))

This race was amazing from registration to post-race celebration. I highly recommend it. Don Kern and his crew put on a great event. I mean, who'd want to miss a race with free Culver's custard, Wendy's chili, hot dogs, soda and free beer!? Yes, free beer!

Though I hate to admit it, there is one more thing that makes my accomplishment even more incredible. I was still feeling the effects of too much tequila from Friday night. What an idiot I was. Saturday was horrible. Most of the day I was wondering if I'd even be able to run a marathon, let alone kick some major marathon butt. My head was pounding and if there had been anything in my stomach, it would not have remained there long. I ate nothing all day Saturday until 3pm, when I forced myself to eat a Clif bar. It stayed down somehow. Saturday night I also made myself have dinner. It also stayed down. Somehow. So at that point it was about 12 hours until race start and I still felt awful. Dumb dumb redhead.

Went to bed fairly early Saturday night. I set out everything for the next morning. Pinned my bib on my shirt and attached my D-tag to my shoe. By then I thought I could probably run the race, but I was seriously thinking of making it an easy training run and I was wondering how I could possibly handle Gatorade and GU.

Sunday morning came and I was feeling MUCH better. I still wasn't 100%. My headache was completely gone, but my stomach was still a little bit queasy. I had my banana, granola and Powerade and they all stayed down. So far, so good. Got dressed and ticked away the seconds to race start.

We got to the start corral and found the Pi Pacers (3:14 pace team). I figured, what the hell... Matt was going to run with them regardless of what I did, so why not start with them and if Friday night rears its ugly head mid-race, I'll drop back. The race started fairly well. My stomach was not made worse by running, surprisingly. I figured the first aid station would also be a do-or-die test. I cringed as I poured the first cup of Gatorade down my throat, but it felt fine. As the race went along, my stomach felt better and better. Probably not what I deserved, but I'll take it! As it turned out, I stayed with the Pi Pacers until mile 24 at which point I just couldn't hang with them anymore. I had too much energy!!! I said goodbye and rushed ahead beating the entire pace team (though there weren't many left!) by over a minute!! In fact, my poor Matty fell off at about mile 22, but still managed to come away with a BQ time with 7 seconds to spare!!

Matty is going to BOSTON with me!!!!

Maybe I should make tequila a pre-race ritual??

One more thing to add for anybody thinking about trying a pace team. It was GREAT! It made pacing one less (major) thing to think about. All I had to focus on was fueling. The only problem I discovered with pace teams is crowding at aid stations. I quickly learned to drop back or run ahead just before the aid stations to help with this problem. I also found this became much less of an issue further into the race because so many people dropped away. The three guys who led our group were great. They'd take turns dropping back to motivate people or just chat. They always grabbed extra GU or other goodies at aid stations and passed them out if people needed them. It was awesome. It was like running with my own crew!

October 16, 2009

I need a pep talk.

Just finished my last run before the marathon on Sunday - an easy 5 1/4 miler on the back roads. Next time I lace up my Elixirs, it'll be marathon morning.

About two days ago, pre-race anxiety started setting in. Until then I was quite confident that I'd be able to run a 3:15 marathon. Not so confident any more! All those doubts are now seeping in. My training and race times from shorter races all point to a 3:15 marathon, but the enormity of this goal is weighing on me now. I mean, what am I thinking!? This is only my second marathon!

Going out with Matty and two other running friends tonight. Hopefully I'll get some good pep talks. :-)

Also, the race on Sunday will push me over 1500 miles for the year. Cool milestone.

October 11, 2009

Hidden Forest Trail Run Report

Did my last race before my 2nd marathon next weekend - the Grand Rapids marathon. Here's a short report! The race was the Hidden Forest Trail Run. We did the 8.5 Mile course.

Fun race, but it was kind of cold for me to enjoy it much (32 degrees!). I did like that they had 2 fireplaces going! I was stationed in front of them before and after the race! Just wish they had coffee!

The course itself was not technical at all. That isn't to say it wasn't challenging. The last loop (of three) was VERY hilly. No roots or rocks to avoid and the trail was always very wide, but the hills were killer. Especially the last loop. My pace was around 6:30-something for the first two loops, but dropped to 8:00 for the last!! Wow!

That pace still brought me in 2nd overall female. I was thrilled when I found out my pace for the first two loops. Sure didn't feel like I was running that fast. Also, Matty beat me in a race for the first time since Flirt with Dirt! Good job, babe! You're back on your game!! Watch out, GR, here we come!

I'd probably do this race again. It was very cheap! Only $17 for early registration with long-sleeved t-shirt and D-tag timing! The post-race refreshments were lacking, but that's okay since I always bring my own goodies just in case.

I'm ready for the marathon. Can't believe it is a week away. Here's hoping my pi pace team will bring me in under 3:15. I should have done a pool about how close to pi I come in. ha!

October 9, 2009

ramblings from red... and 50K suggestions?

It's about 9am on a lazy, Friday morning. I only have a four hour work shift today that starts at 1pm. It's a taper week with no run scheduled today, so I'm taking it easy and really enjoying it. Would enjoy it even more if Matty were around, but his work shift today is slightly longer than mine - 12 hours. Yikes!

Marathon in 9 days. I'm getting very excited again. Perhaps not quite as excited as I was for my first last spring. This is a different type of excitement as my goals and expectations are quite different. My training has been great this time around with no real injury - only minor aches and pains. Last spring I had to take several weeks off starting 16 weeks out from the marathon with an achilles injury and then try to build mileage back up and squeeze in enough 20 milers to even make it possible to finish the race. I did next to no speedwork. I still managed to BQ somehow. This time I expect much more out of myself. I expect pi! My goal is to run the entire marathon with my Pi Pace Team - to run a 3:14 marathon.

My goal after the race is to find the best local cheeseburger joint and celebrate.

I ran a half marathon last weekend! The second annual Brooksie Way Half Marathon. I planned originally to make it a marathon pace run, but after deciding to join the pace team, I realized I wouldn't have to worry about pacing myself and ran the race a little faster. haha! I know - shame on me. Still, I didn't really "race" it. I ran at a pace somewhere between MP and my half race pace. I made sure I was comfortable the entire race. Glad I did because I was still sore for a few days afterwards! How much worse would it have been if I had run hard!? Yikes!

What thrilled me about this strategy is I came in 2nd in my AG and 10th overall female. WOW! Also, my time was only 20 seconds slower than my half marathon PR (1:34:45 set at the Martian Half last spring). How did that happen when I wasn't running hard!?? And Brooksie is WAY hilly! It is definitely no PR course. It is a rollercoaster route. Now I need to find a nice, flat half marathon course and see what I can do! I wonder how much longer I will continue to improve like this. There has to be a plateau somewhere along the line... :-)

I have one last race before the marathon, an 8.5 mile trail run. I hear it isn't too technical, so hopefully I can really pick up some speed on the course. My last tempo run before the marathon?

Speaking of trails and marathons. Next year I'm most excited about... well, okay, I'm most excited about Boston, but not far behind Boston is my eagerness to do my first trail marathon, the Grand Island Trail Marathon. Then a few months after that, this little redhead will wander into the realm of ultras for the first time. Still haven't decided which race to do, but by this time next year, I will have a 50K under my belt!

So if any readers know of any good 50K trail runs around the Midwest, southern Ontario or Pennsylvania, chime in, please! Thanks!
"Cats are like greatness: Some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them." -William H. A. Carr

red's 2011 race schedule