Sunday, October 31, 2010

Verdict: New Shoes ASAP

When I bought my Saucony's to motivate my marathon training, the saleslady predicted that I would need a new pair shortly after the marathon. Boy, was she right! I think the shows were probably shot going into the marathon, which might be why I was having so many knee/foot problems during the race. Today on my first post-marathon run, I got a blister in the same stinkin' place (arch of the foot) and had this crazy pain in my foot, which turned into a shin splint, which turned into an achy breaky knee.

Needless to say, it was enough to motivate me to hustle over to the overpriced running shoe store for a new pair of kicks. I think my next pair is going to be Brooks Glycerin 8, which pretty much felt like running on clouds. I am pretty stoked for them to come in next week!

It felt really good to get out there and run, even though everything was so freakin tight and I had to stop 3 times to stretch out. I proudly logged 7.25 miles and I am super motivated to get back on a training schedule and start setting some new PR's. I think 2011 I am going to set new PR's for EVERYTHING!!!! That will mean running a 5k, 10k, half, and full. Very very excited. 

It was a beautiful morning. It has been raining for the past few days and the sun finally came out this morning right before my run. Running past the vineyards was amazing. The vines were still covered in raindrops, which reflected the sun like crystals. It was one of those moments that is so pretty, your brain makes a mental snapshot and you know you will remember that moment forever. Everything was so clean and crisp, and I even got a little sun. Although I was little achy breaky, it was a fantastic run.

I am still struggling with whether or not I should register for the Napa Valley Marathon. I know I will be able to set a new marathon PR because the course is easier and I am familiar with it. I really really want to sign up for a race so I can motivate myself to get on a training schedule. I need to make a decision by the end of November so I can have 3 solid months of training. But the month of the marathon is going to be insanely busy, I am afraid I am going to slack on my training and have some of the same mistakes as the Nike Women's Marathon. I am also kinda sad that I haven't been able to convince anyone to run with me. I can't imagine running without someone to talk to. Fellow marathoners, how do you do it? Maybe I can make a marathon friend between now and then...

I am already craving another marathon like whoa. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have created a running monster.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dying to Run

So, I have been reading that post marathon, you need to take 4 weeks to get back into training shape, the first week being little to no running at all, and then gradually building up to long runs on the fourth week. Last week was supposed to be lots of rest and some very light weight/cross training. This week I can start with some very short jogs... like 10 minutes on the treadmill.

After the marathon, when I could barely use the toilet my legs were so far from proper function, I didn't think I would want to be back hitting the pavement. But boy how I want to get out there an log some miles. It is going to take EVERYTHING to keep myself from taking a nice 7 mile run tomorrow. And unless I have unforeseen long term damage to my knee as a result of the marathon, I think I am really going to set some new personal bests in the future. I can't wait to run my next race!

So fellow marathoners... how do you recover after a marathon?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bucket Lists

The other night I started compiling my bucket list. Back in 2008, I told myself I would run a marathon some time before I die. Only 2 and a half years later, I made that dream a reality, and this has me thinking about other things I could put my mind to and experience sooner than later. Although I have some things down, I know I am forgetting a ton of stuff I swore I would do sometime in my life. Opening up my backpacker magazine reminded me that I wanted to hike the Narrows in Zion National Park, so I added it to my list. So, I ask you, what is on your bucket list? What do you feel you need to do before you die so you can leave this world satisfied, knowing you lived life well? So far my themes have been travel, athletic accomplishments, family/personal goals, property/things, and events. Do you have different themes on your list? What things on your lists have you already accomplished?

In the next couple weeks, I am thinking about posting my list. I want to get it up to 101 or some other fun number so I can give it a kitchy title like "101 things to before I am dead". So far I can only think of 20 things, and I can't decide if that means I am a blank slate/free spirit or if I just don't expect more out of life. Help inspire me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm back!

It has been 6 weeks since my last blog post. Yikes! I went back to read some old blog posts, and I can't believe I went MIA for so long. Once training went down the toilet due to the new job, grad school, and travel, I was too ashamed to show my face around these parts. But now I have something I am super stoked to brag blog about...MY FIRST MARATHON FINISH!!!!!!!!

Yesterday was the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. After 5 hours 51 minutes and 46 seconds of joy that faded into excruciating pain, I managed to drag my sad sad body over the finish line. And I am so excited to do it again!!!!

Despite the rain and my poor month of training leading up to the marathon, I was pretty impressed with myself. It took me a lot longer to finish than I expected (I was shooting for 5:15-5:30), and I wasn't anticipating having to power walk 4 miles between miles 18 and 22 (although I did jog small amounts during that stretch) due to shooting pains in my knees. The hills were no problem. Training on Atlas Peak was a smart move in September and I am really glad I logged a thousand foot elevation gain. I know that if I can be better motivated to stick to a training schedule, I can drastically reduce my finish time.

I couldn't have done it without my support people. Seeing people who care about you along the route is so energizing and motivating, I don't think they truly realize how much a difference it makes. My mom was an angel for replenishing my gatorade so I could avoid the crowds at the refreshment stations, stowing rain gear, fueling me before and after the race, and enduring a flawed shuttle system and cold rain. Mike and Raquel put themselves at the perfect place in the race, the part where I was starting to really struggle to enjoy myself (miles 18-21), and found me after to make sure I didn't die. And Jeff really impressed the heck out of me by being by my side for the second half of the race, on bike and 6 miles on foot. He ran and power-walked beside me up hills and around the lake to make sure that I didn't get down and angry. What an amazing man. He was there when I started to feel pain unlike anything I have ever experienced while running and helped me get through it so I could get over the finish line.

What Went Well:

* Power-glide is amazing, and NOT optional. I had absolutely no chafing and only 1 real blister, despite running 13 miles in soaking wet shoes.
* I managed my fuel/water consumption beautifully. I never felt out of energy (in fact, I was so pumped during so parts I thought I would explode.
* Margarita shot blocks are a must have. 3x sodium cramp busters worked to get rid of cramps immediately, I was really really impressed.
* I didn't use my ipod once. Good company is so much better than good music (Thanks Jeff and Denise!)
* Lucky jacket came in handy and did a great job of keeping me warm when the rain really started coming down. I can't wait until I actually get to run Boston one day!
* Hill training is critical. Do bigger hills than your race requires. Then it just feels like a walk in the park.

Things To Learn From:

* Don't stop training. Log at least 21 training miles. Adrenaline only really carried me the last 4 miles.
* Put Power-glide EVERYWHERE. Cover your entire foot. Just in case.

New Training Goals:

* Short Term: Run another marathon. I am so excited to reduce my time. I am thinking about running the Napa Valley Marathon in March. I could get some good training in over the holidays, and it would be an excellent way to celebrate completing my Master's Degree the day before! Yay! Best part is, the marathon ends at my school, so I can just keep stuff in my classroom for after the race. I have until December to make up my mind :)
* Longer Term: Improve my half marathon time. I really want to get it down to 2:00:00, but I don't think I am going to met my goal of getting down that low before the end of the year. Maybe if it was on a really flat course. Hmmm.
* Really Long Term: Qualify for the Boston Marathon. Volunteering for the Boston Marathon is what inspired me to complete a marathon. I never thought I would complete that goal so soon in my life. I want to take it back to where it all started. I know I can make it up heartbreak hill. I know I can finish that race. And someday, I WILL. All it takes is a 3:40 qualifying time :)