Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back...hopefully for reals this time... :)


Long break. Too much to cover so most will be skipped and the good parts I'm sure will surface periodically :) Basically right as soon as I got back on track with everything my friend Melanie came to stay with me for 10 weeks while doing an internship down here. It is all her fault. (Well, that's my story anyway...). We go way back and unfortunately have a shared love of good wine, better cheese, red stripe and late nights. Needless to say my butt was kicked off the gym wagon before I'd even warmed up the seat.

The next ten weeks went by so quick in a summertime blur of good times. We did a bunch of stuff, ate out a ton, sat by the pool a lot....but we did walk four-six miles pretty regularly.... What we did not do was run. I didn't run once the ten weeks she was here, and then for good measure decided to take of the next two also. This brought me to the end of August, and the stark reality, that the marathon was 8 weeks away!

Now I hadn't planned on running it, but rather was going to walk it with my sister. While it would have made me sore as hell, I could have walked a marathon on August 27 (the day I realized my plan was falling apart). Sarah had hurt her foot, (really bad plantar fasciitis) and it wasn't getting any better. After her 10 mile walk almost killed her, she decided she would switch to the half and see if she could finish that. Now I am doing the marathon with Lauren, but without my sister with us we feel like we should run it. So with 8 weeks, the both of us are desparately trying to find some way to finish it, not die, and not get injured. Possible? We'll see...

So starting in beginning of this month I tried to become more dedicated. Stuck to my three midweek runs, long on the weekend. Due to such a shortened timeframe however I ramped up my midweeks more quickly. I think I did 3,4,3 the first week of the month, then 3,5,3, then last week 5,7,5 and stuck with that this week. For longs I did 6,8,10, and then this morning 13. Felt pretty good, though I am having horrible sciatica (from my %#%##!! piriformis....STILL) in my right leg and need new shoes before I get stress fractures in my left foot. They are a hair too small and it's giving me some pretty serious pain in my first two metacarpals right in front of my ankle over my arch....any ideas what causes that? Super sharp pain sometimes....

Anyway sitting now in my recovery sox (gift from Lauren!) and they feel real good! Wish I could've stretched and iced more, but not time. Anyway, barring any major injury the plan is as follows.....there are almost four weeks left (rest of this one then three), and I'm only doing this as a training run for ATL in November, so I plan to take it nice and easy. No time goals, just want to finish. Upright. :)

This week (1): tennis today, strenght tomorrow a.m., 4 miles recovery p.m, Thursday crosstrain a.m., 6 miles p.m. Fri-Sun off (I know- I should get something in here but I'm going to Athens for the LSU/UGA game so I may as well just be honest with myself...it's not gonna happen!)

2: Monday 16 miles LSD, Tuesday 4 miles recovery, Wednesday a.m. strength, p.m. 6 miles, Thursday a.m. swim, p.m. tennis, Friday a.m. Strength, p.m. 5 miles, Saturday off, Sunday 18 miles.

3: Monday off, Tuesday am 4 miles recovery, p.m. tennis, Wednesday a.m. strength, p.m. 7 miles, Thursday a.m. yoga, p.m. 5 miles, Friday a.m. strength, p.m. tennis, Sunday 20 miles.

4: Monday off, Tuesday 4 miles recovery, Wednesday 5 miles, Thursday 4 miles, Friday Strength, Saturday off, Sunday Marathon.

Now I know it's tough, but remember I'm not afraid of walk breaks and don't have any time goal in mind. I am looking at this as my last long run before the ATL marathon on Thanksgiving day, so that is why there's no taper....After this I will taper before the next! So is it doable? I think so...will I do well? Haha....NO. But I'm not worried about it; I am excited for a number of reasons:

1) to see the fam
2) to run a BIG marathon
3) for the entertainment (it's at like every mile!)
4) to relax and have no time goal
5) to be in DC again...Yay!

So anyway.....really looking forward too it, and hopefully after the Marine Corps I will feel fit and on track for Atlanta!

For those who may care, my plan is to do MCM, ATL, mobile in January, and then the New Orleans Rock 'n Roll in February. I am really hoping to PR in Mobile and then again in Nola, but we'll have to see :) Obviously MCM is going to be awful, and due to the hills in Atlanta I'm not too hopefull about that either :(

I know you all probably don't believe me, but I swear I'm back and can't wait to back on track reading all your blogs ;-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Official start next Monday!

so I have come up with my new plan, and it goes into effect next week! Kind of exciting, I suppose, but what's not is the thought of doing all those runs on a treadmill :( that's what I get for signing up for a fall marathon, I suppose! Anyway, my sister has been at it for about four weeks now and her latest update is here:


I have been trying to work on strength training, and ugh...I hate it! I am also such a weakling....today's mission is to put music back on my ipod...any suggestions?

Monday, May 18, 2009

100th post!

Sad, actually, that it isn't more since I started this blog last August, but considering I took off from February through May (for the most part!) it's acutally probably not too bad.

Update from the week: took an ab class on Wednesday that I was totally not prepared for...you know when you aren't even sore the next day? It was like I couldn't even DO any of the exercises properly because I am so weak in the core right now that I didn't even get anything out of the class...I still blame it on having too-long legs :) I struggle whenever I try exercises that require raising and lowering your (straight) legs while lying on your back...this is so hard for me! Needless to say, I won't be heading back to 'killer core' until I gain some strength and flexibility...keeping my legs straight is impossible!

Friday I just ran on the treadmill...a pretty ho-hum 3 miles...but starting to feel better so I am on the right track.

Saturday took an hour and 15 minute pilates class that was great muscle-wise; a lot more weight work than I have done in pilates in the past, but not as much of the spine lengthening flexibility stuff that I like so much in my pilates dvds....oh well, guess I will have to continue doing my own dvds once a week or something.

Sunday I ran my butt off at work, so I didn't work out, and today is the upper body session with the trainer. I am scared! I didn't stop feeling sore from the lower body workout I had last Monday until Friday! I will also undoubtedly be embarassed; I have ZERO upper body strength. I can't even do one real push-up! I periodically entertain the idea of the push-up challenge that is always circulating around these blogs, but I never follow through.....maybe I'll get on that!

So workouts slowly gearing up...glad to have a gym and a pool so I can finally swim again! The one aspect of fitness I have really been doing great with however is nutrition. Past couple weeks have been great...getting back to my more preferred weight zone...we'll see!

In other news my sister has a new blog post...


Check her out! And convince her to start a separate running blog! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sarah's latest training update....

Hey everyone! To anyone who missed it a couple posts back I am doing the Marine Corps Marathon in October because my sister lives in DC and she really wanted to do it. She is new to running, and needs all the advice and help she can get! I am trying to get her to start a strictly running blog, but until then she is updating periodically on her website sarahwurrey.com

Her latest is here:


check her out and give her some tips!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wow...I actually do have hamstrings...and I feel them!

So I am loving having a gym again. I obsess over the schedule, trying to figure out all of the classes I want to take and how I am going to fit them all in. I also love love love that their treadmills are so NEW and so high tech and smooth and that they each have a tv! I have never been able to watch tv on the treadmill because it is usually across the room and up really high, and I'm just not that coordinated, I have no desire to fall of a treadmill in front of 100 people. But with the personal tvs it's ok, and I think I am really going to appreciate this since the majority of my long runs for the Marine Corps Marathon will be happening over the summer, when it is still in the triple digits here.

I also for the first time have had a session with a personal trainer. Two free sessions come with membership, one for lower body and one for upper. Yesterday I did the lower body session....Let me just tell you, if I had any delusions about having retained some of the muscle and endurance I earned training for the Mardi Gras Marathon...they are gone! I am a huge weakling gasping for breath. I broke a sweat just doing his 7 minute warm up on the cross trainer! To save a little bit of face, however, he explained that no one uses these machines properly, they all just shift weight left to right and bounce up and down, which is apparently wrong. Your hips are supposed to be motionless, with all the effort coming from your legs...and this is WAY harder. (Well, maybe you all use these machines right, but looking around I noticed no one there did!). The super embarassing part was that after he had ramped me up to a heart rate of 185 or so we took it back down...the next heart rate check he thought I would be at like 120 or so, and I was still at 150! He seemed surprised for sure, and said, 'Wow, it should really have come down faster than that...'. The next time we checked it was still at 130, so alas, I am very out of shape! (I did have two cups of coffee right before at a late afternoon meeting, and I'm going to continue telling myself that that had something to do with it)...

Today I'm going for Killer Core and Pilates Sculpt. I am so happy to have my classes back! Only unfortunately (according to the schedule, anyway) step classes do not seem as populare at this gym as they were at my last, which is a total bummer....I love multi-step and step circuit....they only have two step classes and both are weekdays in the a.m. :(

Needless to say, I think I will have a much better grasp on strength training going into this marathon...hopefully it will help!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Joined a gym!

Yay. So I am officially back on track...though at a much lower intensity :) I joined a gym, something I have been wanting to do forever, but have simply been too cheap. I would convince myself I can run outdoors, do handweights, pushups, squats and abs in my house...who needs a gym?

Which is fine for winter training. For the Mardi Gras Marathon I started in August, and though it was still hot til late October (I know!) November through January when the mileage really got up there the weather was great. Unfortunately this doesn't work as well when training for an October Marathon. We are steadily in the 80s everyday now, and it will only get higher. Humidity is like 120%, I swear, and that makes it really really hard to work out because you feel like you are breathing in water. Also the strange thing about the south is that the hottest time of day can be 5pm...right when you want to work out and think it should be getting cooler.

So yeah. I joined the Pelican Athletic Club here in town, and I LOVE IT. Since I moved from CA I have been missing gym classes, sitting by the pool, using the treadmills in AIR CONDITIONING!! I didn't want to run much in AC last year because the marathon had the potential to be warm, but given the Marine Corps Marathon is in the end of October in DC it should be ok this time. I am super pumped and hope to go alot, so I should be in a lot better shape than I was for the marathon last year. Only ran 2 miles yesterday, but hey, it's a start!

Anyone else doing Marine Corps?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OMG...I'm back ;) ....sort of....

I know you all have been waiting with baited breath (whatever that means?), and it's finally here! I'm back! Or I'm trying to be at least....I have started running again (if I can even call it that at this point it's so pathetic...), and have registered for another marathon! Lauren and I are doing the Marine Corps Marathon in DC in October! I am very excited, not only to be doing another marathon, but to be going to DC where everything is free (museums anyway) and where my sister lives.

And she will be doing it with us!

She is new to running and needs everyone's support, so check out her first post:


Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Anyone else going to be doing MCM?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Off the running (and blogging) wagon :(

Sadly with all my new plans and new motivation I have only run twice since the marathon :( I planned to go today, but have a horrid sore throat. I swear I swear I swear I am getting started on a new plan in April. But to avoid hating myself I am just going to admit that for the next 3 or 4 weeks I probably won't be very focused. I am really busy, for one, and also really poor...that might not make sense, but for me races are 90% of my motivation. If I can't afford to enter them I have little desire to train midweek....

I know, crappy excuses, but I swear, I'll be back! And really soon...bikini season is coming, after all!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Last of February in pictures...

So to finish documenting what I was doing in February (since it wasn't running!) here are some more Mardi Gras pictures..


So I have hit another roadblock in my plan to stay in shape...and stay running. Lauren and I had planned on the Nashville marathon, but needless to say it has fallen by the wayside for me....in favor of the beach!! Sadly it is not motivation or interest that has caused me to put it off, but rather $$. Cash is very tight (as we all are experiencing in these sad economic times!) and unfortunately at this time if the options are two days and a 9 hour drive to Nashville to sweat my ass off for 26.2, or four days and a 3 hour drive to Pensacola to sweat my ass off with a cold drink in my hand laying on the beach....well, let's just guess what won out!

So I need a new workout plan, and all advice is much appreciated. See- if trying to get a beach body multiple long runs are not for me....I actually gained weight marathon training due to having such a voracious appetite after 2 and 3 hour runs....Now I know that in theory you just have to remind yourself that even that much exercise doesn't give you license to pig out, but for me easier said than done. I am thinking I need to be more well rounded, as well, and include some upper body and abs workouts along with running. My vague plan is 4 days a week running, 3-10 miles, and some arms/chest/back/abs stuff mixed in. Any thoughts? I have been steadily gaining weight since the marathon and need to get back on track pronto!

My beach trip isn't until April 30-May 3, but I am staying for two days at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS (which has a great pool) on April 16, so I have just over a month to bust my but back into shape! Help!

Friday, February 27, 2009

This Month in Pictures: Kate's Wedding Weekend

Just a few pics to document Kate's (one of my marathon partners) wedding weekend. Lots of good times had by all....see February rundown a few posts below for the recap :) Next up....more Mardi Gras parades!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mardi Gras Marathon...the rest of the story

Ok. So this month is very haphazard in terms of posting! After the marathon I put up the first part, at least the day before leading up to the start of the race. Then I had a crazy month (see a couple of posts below)....I pretty much outlined the month in 'End of Excess....'. I plan to post all the pics to document the month a bit at a time, and have so far put up *most* of the pics of the marathon as well as a couple from the first parade I went to for Mardi Gras. I will continue with the bachelorette party/wedding in Florida and the rest of Mardi Gras, but first figured I should finally finish my race report.

So after not too many hours of sleep (unfortunately :( ) we headed down to the start. They were screaming for people to line up, and I was sooooo thankful our hotel was only a couple of blocks away. Needless to say, I already had to pee again, and in hindsight should have ignored the screams to line up and hit the pots. But I didn't, and stood there kind of having to pee for 15 minutes waiting to start. Grr....

We were off after 'Oh Beautiful' or 'America the Beautiful' whichever you call it..(no National Anthem??? What is this?). First mile was crowded, but not have as bad as I suspected. I was immediately having trouble with my fuel belt staying put (which is so funny since I wore the EXACT same setup on my last long run with no issues). It kept riding up and I think I messed with it for about the first 3 miles. :(

Around mile 1 my phone rings (I know- how obnoxious, right?) and I answer. It's my husband and he can't hear me, which is even more obnoxious...I'm screaming, 'Hello???'....finally he hears me and says he's calling to wish me luck...I tell him thanks and that I'm already running, and he still can't hear me. I hang up but see the guy next to me chuckling...What? I can't take calls while running? :)

We head down Bourbon Street which is amazingly quiet and NOT bad smelling! I was shocked. They had just finished soaping and hosing down the streets so everything was actually a little slick which I found kind of amusing. I appreciate the attempt to make it not stink, but come on! Isn't it enough of an obstacle race between people, pot holes and trash?

We turn around at Royal St and head back towards Canal. I am already getting a little bored...this is going to be a long run! Once heading out towards Audobon park around the 3 mile mark I start to really have to pee. Hmmm...this is no fun! It's great seeing people out on the street though, beer in hand at 7:30! Some restaurants are open (for spectators, I assume) and I consider stopping in one right before I see a McDonald's. Excellent! I will get a real bathroom and skip the line at the Port-o-lets. Or so I thought. Apparently so did about 100 other people. Ok, so realistically there were 3 people ahead of me. That stop cost me about 3 minutes I think, which is kind of a bummer. This is about the 4.5 mile mark.

I continue towards the park occupying my time calculating fluid/nutrition intake. I had a great marathon experience and I swear it was because I am totally regimented when it comes to this. I read somewhere along the line that the body can only absorb about 6-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes. My body seems to be on the light side of this, so I did around 3 oz of water per mile. About one big sip every 1/3 mile. This made the time pass quickly, since I was constantly looking to the next sip, gel, etcetera, and it kept me on top of hydration. I was drinking an electrolyte powder mix and filling my bottles at water stations. It is WAY easier for me to drink out of a bottle rather than a cup, and I was able to avoid the crowding by grabbing a cup, dumping it in and going. I had a gel about every 45 minutes, 5 total for the race at miles 4.5, 9, 13.5, 18, 22.5. I had only water with the gels, at least 6 ounces spread over the next mile or so. I don't know if this was why, but my stomach never bothered me and I never felt dehydrated.

By mile 6.5 we curve into the park which was a needed change. My ipod is keeping me going and the change of scenery is really nice. My husband calls me AGAIN around mile 7 to confirm if it is my mom's ACTUAL birthday and should he bring the card. Seriously? I'm running here! But I had to laugh because there was a race photog right there (though she didn't get a picture, darn it!) and I thought it would be hilarious to be like, "Here I am running the marathon talking on the phone...". I tell him I'm right on schedule to see him and my parents at the half and we hang up.

Mile 8 had a fantastic water stop. They called it 'Blood, Sweat, and Beers', and were all dressed like vampires. The had bats and cobwebs hanging from the trees, offered up orange slices, pretzels, nuts, water, powerade, BEER and MARTINIS. Yep, that's New Orleans for you! In actual plastic martini glasses. I passed on all of this but had a great time passing through. I though about the martini because I assumed it was fake (like lemonade or something), and thank god I did! Laura took one and said it was an honest to goodness vodka martini and that she tasted vodka the next 4 miles. OMG I would have puked for sure.

We head out of the park around mile 9 and I start looking for Lauren and Kate who had started together. I knew it would be close if I was to see them, since we entered the park around 6.5 miles. When I didn't see them I was happy (because I knew they were at a good pace) and sad (because it would have been a major boost to see someone I knew). This part of the race gets rather dismal....there isn't much to see, we're not at the half yet, and I know no one. :(

I also had to pee again. I told myself not until after I saw my parents at the half. I was right on target for 9:15 (the time I had told them), and was pumped to see them. Around mile 11.5 I really really wanted to stop. Right when I was really thinking about it Lisa (owner of a local running store I frequent) runs up and taps me on the shoulder! I am really excited to see her. We have both been training for and talking about the marathon since August, and had done several of the same races. She had two daughters in the race as well, with her youngest daughter trying to break 3:25! Her older daughter got preggers while training and decided not to run, but her husband took her spot to jump in and pace Lisa for the second half. So we are going along chatting, but she is pushing the pace (she wanted to stay with the 4:30 group who was just ahead). She had stopped to pee and was trying to catch them again. I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain this pace, but figured I'd stick with her until after the half.

At 12.5 miles I call my dad to tell him I'm coming up on the half. Sadly they'd hit some jams due to road closures and weren't able to circumvent in time :( I am sad but tell him I will see them at the 15 mile mark, which isn't so far now anyway! Lisa and I chug along and at the half are joined by her son in law and another friend who sees her. Sadly I cannot remember their names now...darn it! We are all running and talking so I decide to stick with them as long as I can. Luckily I did, because miles 13-15 were horrible. I felt great, but it was through some really crappy areas so it just sort of sucked the life out of you. By 14.5 I started looking for the fam, and it was a HUGE mental boost to see them. Unfortunately some coworkers were also around this spot, but since I was looking for family I missed them :( Luckily they stuck around and saw me around 24.5 :) We continued on and there was a water station just past my family. I grabbed a cookie (something I had never done) and it went down great!

Just before mile 17 there was a (seemingly) HUGE overpass, and the pavement was being repaired so it was all torn up and scored. This was really really hard on my legs and I told my crew I wouldn't be running the whole thing with them. I was getting tired and didn't want to hold them back, plus I needed to pee. They encouraged me, told me I could do it and we continued. Apparently they were tired also, because at the 17 mile water station they grabbed some icy hot or some sort of cream from someone and tried to loosen up their leg muscles. This was a much needed rest for me, and I took a minute or so with them to stretch out. This helped alot, as did the thought (which I repeated to them) that we now had only single digits left!

We looped through City Park for the next 7 miles. This was SOOOO boring. I am so thrilled I had conversation to distract me and three other people to cheer me on. We all had our moments of being the slowest one in the foursome, but encouraged eachother the whole way. It was really great :). By mile 20 I started to think maybe I COULD finish with them. We were walking through each water stop at this point, but having short term goals (next sip, next stretch spot, next gel) really helped.

Finally we were coming up on mile 24 were I would see my parents again and I was so happy!! They got some great shots (I think still on the computer at home) and told me they were shocked I looked just as strong as at mile 15. Yay! Crazily enough, right at this point I also so Laura! I screamed her name and we jogged and chatted for a minute. She took my picture (Laura I will send you my email today so you can send it to me! BTW congrats on the offer!) and then stopped to grab a couple of other pics. We continued on and rounded the corner around mile 24.5.

At this point I was pumped...less than 2 miles left! I saw my coworkers and jumped around like a maniac!! We hit the home stretch and Lisa was turning it on. I didn't have much left but tried to stay with her. Around 25.8 or so her daughters jumped in (her younger daughter made her goal...holy crap!) and they were so supportive of their mom. They told her over and over how great she looked, how far we had to go, and jogged side by side snapping pics the whole way. I hope my kids are like that someday :).

Finally.....26.2!!!!! I was so happy. I found my husband and mom and dad right away, and they were shocked I still had so much energy. I felt great. I was glad I ran it responsibly, didn't push for time and my splits were super even. I have to look it up, but I'm pretty sure each half was in a minute or two of the other. I think it was something like 2:18 and change for first half, and 2:20 and change for the second half. I was the most proud of this, as it proved I didn't go out too fast.

I'll have to put up the mile splits, but it was all really even. I was thrilled with how it went, and at the time thought I would do another right away. Howeva....now I haven't run in 25 days (boo!) so the one I thought I would do next weekend is out of the question. So that means no Maniac membership for me right now :( Lauren and I had considered one in March and one in April to hit 3 in 90 days, but that's not going to happen right now. It starts to get hot around here pretty soon, so it looks like my next marathon will be my last until fall at least.......So here it is.....next marathon......

Country Music Marathon, Nashville, Tennessee....April 25! It's out there, Lauren, so now we have to do it! Anyone interested?

This Month in Pictures: February 7

Just a couple of pics from the Krewe de Vieux parade in New Orleans February 7. I have many others of a much more graphic nature, but as I'm not completely clear on the posting policies of blogger dot com, I better err on the side of caution...I think the monopoly float gives you the basic idea, however. Next up, bachelorette extravaganza!
Oh- and since my google reader has long ago runneth over, I have marked all as read, and am starting fresh now. I apologize for my pathetic commenting status lately, and I swear next week I'm back! I am just playing catch up this week at work. In Louisiana Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras are both holidays (yay for four day weekends!) so even though it feels like Tuesday it's Thursday...woo hoo!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This month in Pictures: Feb 1

Hubby and I at the beer truck :)
My dad and Lauren's dad...working hard on finishing offthe kegs. Notice everyone else is gone
Will at the Superdome
We did it!!

day before marathon in hotel with mom and dad...

mom and dad waiting at the finish
Lauren bringing in the strong finish...I think she was just eyeing the beer in my hand...

Kate coming in.....screaming "How did I EVER let you talk me into this????"
Me at mile 15....glad I still look so happy!
And of course my lack of understanding of how blogger works made them all mixed up, but these are most of the marathon pics. Still a couple more at home.

The End of Excess...40 days to Redemption

I am back. I think. Since February 1 I have had the marathon, recovery, plan for the wedding, go to the wedding (another four day blur), get home, work a couple of days, Mardi Gras (another four day blur).....and it is now truly time to get back on track.

While all was good times this has truly been a month of excess for me. 24 days of eating, boozing, sleeping, ...repeat. I have gained 4 pounds and my eyes may be permanently bloodshot. To recount:

Feb 1: Marathon. Finished in 4:39, had a fabulous time, waited for Kate and Lauren at the finish and passed the time by eating cookies, a subway sandwich, and drinking about 8 beers (yikes!). Full marathon story later, but first, the rest of the day...Parents were here so headed back to the Northshore where I live, about 40 minutes from New Orleans. Hit Wow! Wingery for a bathroom stop and to check it out for the Superbowl which would be on in 2 hours. Looked good, so we headed home, iced, showered, more adult beverages, headed out. Ate a wing sampler platter, cheese fries, quesedillas, brownie dessert (my mom's birthday) and other bits all washed down with a huge margarita followed by a few more beers and a 'Chalmation' (think dalmation, the dog) some huge, red, hurricane-like concoction named after the fine people of Chalmette a suburb of New Orleans. Ugh...total overkill. Headed home, had a couple MORE drinks, then bed.
Feb 2: Parents and Kate still here. Hit the Broken Egg Cafe for great eggs benedict and two mimosas. My husband took my dad to get his rental car (he had a business meeting) while mom, Kate and I went back to New Orleans for last minute shopping for them...next stop, bar for a last minute beer with Kate and a couple of quick appetizers. Drop Kate at the airport, head home, grab dad, and off to the Tap Room, where my parents try some local beers while we have MORE wings and some calamari. Head home, grab Will and off to dinner at Copeland's (where I work nights) for the best steak EVER, hot blue crab claws in italian vinegarette, and some great red wine. We take a white chocolate bread pudding and a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake (slices) to go. Sit around reading things to eachother out of The Birthday Book (basically astrology by the day you were born) and drink MORE beer.
Feb 3: Parents take off around 10. I have the whole day for vacay but had thought about going in after they left...Ahhh.....NO. I am way too sore, so instead I lounge on the couch all day eating desserts from the night before.
Feb 4-6: Catch up on work, pretty boring....
Feb 7: First Mardi Gras parade of the season for me, the Krewe Du Vieux rolls in the French Quarter. A great, really personal parade focused on sexual humor and bodily functions. Fantastic! Afterwards manage to spend $100 (that I don't have) on drinks...for just me. Several Irish Car Bombs and vodka redbulls later, I head home around 4 am...only to have to work Sunday at 10...ouch.
Feb 8: horribly hung over, beg my way out of work...ate a burger at work for lunch, go buy taco bell for dinner, sit on couch all day.
Feb 9: Crazy rush to finish work for wedding week!
Feb 10: finish work, head to salon for cut/highlight. Head to nail salon for pedicure...head to tanning booth for last tanning...head to mall for slutty bachelorette party dress...couldn't decide so bought 4! (again, with $$ I don't have!)...raced home, packed, hit the hay around 1 to get up at 5:45 (ugh) for the airport.
Feb 11: Yay! Kate's wedding week finally here! Get into Orlando at 10:30. 7 of us squeeze in the truck (believe me, it was interesting!). She shows the girls her new home, we have a couple of beers and a pizza. Head to Payless to get shoes to go with slutty B-party dress. Buy TONS of alcohol for next day's festivities. Head back, grill, drink more at house warming party. Finish wedding favors and head to bed at 3....to get up at 8:30...boo!
Feb 12:up early, decorate teh 15 passenger van we will be using to shuttle these 12 wild ladies around in...haha! Found this hilarious car/limo decorating set with all sorts of funny things including mudflaps with glitter fringe stating "On the Prowl" and all sorts of other stuff. After morning errands and trying to figure out how to get 12 girls suitcases into a luggage compartment meant for 2 we hit the road back to Orlando. Get to our condo at 12, and it is an absolute oasis. It was so beautiful (for $162 a night anyway!), spacious and right near the pool. We park the chick mobile and head to lay in the sun, have some drinks and get ready for our night on the town in the stretch Hummer. By 5 we head back for massive showering and hair drying, and slutty dresses donned head out. We hit a restaurant first, where our bachelorette is a little too enthusiastic. She polishes off two glasses of champagne in the limo, a couple of red stripes, an applemartini, a glass of wine and a lemondrop shot. By the time we get to Blue Martini, a really fun bar, she is done. We had free drink coupons there and she makes us leave! Waa! Next stop is Howl at the Moon, a Piano Bar, and we grab Kate's sister as our fake Bachelorette. It is only 10:30 so there is no way we are going home yet. At 24 and single, Meg loves this and jumps in head first. She enters the bar swinging the veil around her head and we are onstage in about two seconds after I turn in a request for 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'. To make an Already Too Long Story a little shorter, we stay here for the rest of the night and finally pass out around 3:30. To AGAIN wake up at 8:30. Casualties of the night: I drunken bachelorette, one zero alcohol tolerance friend (we're talking two sips...it's an enzyme thing), one barfing in the limo (and her bed!) bartender friend (pathetic, really) and one puking outside the condo friend. All said and done 16 girls, two passed out, two puked. Not too bad! Myself and one other bridesmaid were of course the last ones standing!
Feb 13: WE hit the van for the two hour drive north to Gainesville, location of the wedding. Stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way, only to have the clerk be annoyed we are ordering bagels. Seriously. She was like, 'Really? Another bagel?'...and I'm thinking, how do you work at Dunkin Donuts if you hate making breakfast food!! We get up there just in time to hit Bath Junkie for the bridesmaid party. Here Kate has arranged for us all to make a bath scrub, a spray lotion and another item of our choosing. We pick the scents and colors while munching on wine and cheese and getting hand exfoliations. Very relaxing and much fun. I picked Coconut banana for my scrub (light yellow), pomengranate-persimmon-tangerine for my spray lotion and regular massage oil for the third. After this we head to the church rehearsal and then back for the rehearsal dinner at her aunt's house (which is huge- she had seating for 80!). All in all much fun even though we were exhausted! We ate a ton of chicken parmesan and drank beer, finally heading back to the hotel bar for one last drink. Actually made it to bed by 12!...alarm off: 7 am.
Feb 14: Wedding Day! We hit the hair salon by 9 to start getting done up. Hair and makeup (and of course wine!) Until 11:30, then off for pictures. More wine, lots of pics, more wine, wedding ceremony, champagne, wedding dinner and reception....more drinks...hotel bar....more drinks...hotel suite with the bride...more drinks...bed at 4...WHAT????
Feb 15: Drive back, try to survive...grill out More DRinks??? Fly home...
Feb 16-18: Try to catch up on work....boring :)
Feb 19: Muses Parade. My new favorite! Every throw was great, the crowd was fun, we had daquiris, beers, drinks...gawd what is this trend???
Feb 20:Orpheus Parade here on the northshore. Discovered a new place to hang out! And it's cheap, yay! Went to bed early to prepare for long long day planned for Saturday.
Feb 21: Got up and showered at 7 to get ready for three Mardi Gras Parades down in New Orleans. Grabbed the cooler, champagne, oj, sangria and fruit to put in it and snacks. Headed to Erin's to get ready. Lots of glitter and fake eyelashes involved. Headed down at 9 (thankfully friends Jeff and Jon had staked us out a spot at 7 am!!). Broke out the mimosas first, then hit sangria...the third parade is pretty much a blur. We grilled, drank, caught beads, it was a fantastic day.
Feb 22-today: recovery. Sleep sleep sleep catch up on work...catch up on blog!

So yeah. That has basically been the short version (believe it or not) of my month. Next post will document in photos. Total drinks consumed 15,387,722 (give or take a couple). Total hours slept: 10.6 Total calories consumed: 1,567,970,564,369...Total Runs: 1 (but at least it was 26.2 miles!).

Next up, pics of all this. Then a Plan. a new one.... Oh yeah, and no more drinking as though I have gills....or eating as if I am in some sort of contest....at least for Lent, even though I'm not even Catholic!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I swear it's coming...

I haven't forgotten about the rest of my race report! Unfortunately after a short work week last week (took Monday and Tuesday as much needed vacation days) and a short week this week (leaving Wednesday morning for best friend Kate's wedding (yes- she did the marathon two weeks before her wedding!) I have to spend some time on acual work (damn work getting in the way of blogging!).

I leave Wednesday and come back Sunday, so next week I should get around to the rest of the pictures and the rest of the story. See you soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Ok...so I am horrible at uploading photos, and even though I did them in order they uploaded out of order...not sure how to fix it, but I'm sure you can all figure out the progression! These are just from my cell phone (hence the bad quality) but I still have two cameras to upload pics from tomorrow or the next day.
So Kate (my best friend, bib 1217 above) arrived from Florida at 8:45 Friday night. We headed back to my house (about an hour drive) and after much discussion over whether it was really in our best interest to have a couple of drinks, decided that we don't see eachother often enough and picked up some beer. I had rented Run Fatboy, Run for marathon inspiration, so we watched that, chatted, and worked our way through three beers each and about a box of Cheez Its...(oops). We were in bed by midnight, though, and didn't get up until 9 so we still got plenty of rest.
In the morning we started hydrating (something that is very difficult for me to remember on the weekend) and got all of our stuff together for the marathon. Kate hadn't ever used any nutrition while running (actually she only ran about 10 times in the last 6 months and never over 4 miles, but that's another story!) so we stopped by the local running store. She was scared of gels, so she picked up some Sports Beans and waist pack to carry her phone and beans in. We headed to the airport to pick up my parents and then met Lauren (striking her running pose above) at the expo around 2:30.
The expo was really lacking. :( No free samples, so we left fairly quickly after getting our packets and checking our timing chips. It was nice and organized, however, and took no time at all. We checked in to our hotel and then met up with my parents for a snack (fried crab claws and chips and salsa with quacamole...hmmm maybe not the best choice?) and yes, a couple of beers. Hell- I only get visitors here and there, and I'm obviously not breaking any records this time around so I figured I may as well enjoy myself. Then we drove part of the course to see where they would try to see us, and they dropped us off at our hotel around 5:30.
We got some things organized, then headed out for dinner around 6. There was a sushi place right across the street, so we figured rice and soy sauce = carbs and salt, and headed over there. I did avoid eating anything raw, just to be safe, but did do a little more carb loading via Asahi. We went back to the hotel just in time to catch Bring It On: All or Nothing on TV...bonus! We turned off the lights around 9. I, of course, couldn't sleep. I imagine I drifted off around 12, but my husband called at 2 am (what is wrong with you??) to wish us luck. Finally back to sleep, and then the alarm at 4:45 am.
I wasn't feeling as great as I had hoped...I ate two packs of oatmeal, stretched, and tried to calm down. I was tired and kind of off in the stomach, but luckily the female problem didn't arise, which was a bonus. I had some coffee and (thank god!) was able to use the bathroom, so that was one thing I wouldn't have to stress about during the race. We left the hotel at 6:30 and headed to the start.
Luckily our hotel was only a quarter mile away, so we got there quickly and checked our bags. Another bonus (at least at the start) was that it was warm enough to ditch our long sleeves before checking bags. I new this could spell trouble for later, but I was glad to not have anything to take off while running. We lined up (with 5kers and walkers of course in the way regardless of the announcements from the race director...grrr...) and at 7 am we were off!
More later on the race itself and more pics!

Friday, January 30, 2009

They come in 3s.....

You know, bad things. Though I guess now it's more than three....Here I am two days away from my first marathon, and several things area going wrong.

1) I am sick..sort of. I have felt the beginnings of a cold all week. Aches, sore throat, my ears hurt, I have been taking zinc, vitamin C drops, multivitamins, and hydrating. Fingers crossed..

2) close your ears, men- 90% likely I will be having 'female issues' during the marathon. Great.

3) my garmin broke. Yesterday. Won't do anything...won't turn on, make a sound, nothing.

And those were only the first three really bad things. I have some twinges in one of my knees and one of my feet. My new shoes aren't working out, and the old ones are completely worn out...my ankles have killed my last couple of runs in them. And now the weather, which has reported a low of 40, high of 60 all week has changed to 55/67 with a 30% chance of rain.

AAAAHHH! Why are the running gods against me? Though I suppose the bright side is that it's my first one, so it doesn't really matter how I do. It would be far worse if this was my 10th or 11th and I was more competitive and going for time. Then all of this would really really suck.

But it still sucks!! :( I really wanted everything to go right. But I will keep my hopes up for a fun experience. Hopefully my garmin magically resurrects itself, and I can deal with feeling a little off as long as it doesn't get worse. Just please please please don't rain!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Ok, so I have most things set and ready to go for marathon morning. I have to pick up some gels and new socks on Saturday, but that's pretty much it. Last night I sat down and got rid of all the songs on my ipod that I always skip while running. Here is what was left:

Womanizer- Britney Spears, Whine Up- Kat Deluna, When I Grow Up- Pussy Cat Dolls, Whatever You Like- T. I., What Them Girls Like- Ludacris, What's My Age Again- Blink 182, Welcome To The Jungle- Guns n Roses, The Way I Are- Timberland, Waiting For My Ruca- Sublime, Umbrella- Rhianna, Touch My Body- Mariah Carey, That Was a Crazy Game of Poker- Of a Revolution, Temperature- Sean Paul, Sweetest Girl- Wyclef, Sugar, We're Going Down- Fallout Boy, Stronger- Kanye West, SOS- Rhianna, Somebody Told Me- The Killers, Sober- Pink, Smack My Bitch Up- The Prodigy, Shut Up and Let Me Go- Ting Tings, Shake It- Metro Station, Shake- Ying Yang Twins, Roots in Stereo- P. O. D., Pump It- Black Eyed Peas, Perfect Exceeder- Mason, Paper Planes- M.I.A., Mr. Brightside- The Killers, Move This- Technotronic, Me Gustas Tu- Manu Chao, Lose Yourself- Eminem, Lollipop- Three 6 Mafia, Live Your Life- T. I., Leavin'- Jesse McCartney, King of the Bongo- Manu Chao, Just Dance- Lady Ga Ga, Independent- Little Boosie, In the Ayer- Flo-Rida, I See You Baby- Groove Amanda, I Need a Dime- Mike Jones, Head Sprung- LL Cool J, Gold Digger- Kanye West, Glamorous- Fergie, Gimme More- Britney Spears, Get Up-Technotronic, Get It Together- Beastie Boys, Free Fallin'- Tom Petty, Fat Lip- Sum 41, Everlong- Foo Fighters, EI- Nelly, East Coast Anthem- Good Charlotte, Disturbia- Rhianna, Dirt Off My Shoulder- Jay Z, Debaser- Pixies, Clumsy- Fergie, Click My Fingers- Erupt, Clandestino- Manu Chao, Circus- Britney Spears, Carinosa- Jandy Feliz, Can I Get A.. - Jay Z, Bust It Baby- Plies, Breathe- Prodigy, The Anthem- Good Charlotte.

So there it is- 4 hours and 40 minutes (don't want to give myself TOO much time! :) of music. A very strange list, I know. (I also know my music tastes tend toward those of a 15 year old rather than someone who's almost 32, but what are you gonna do?). Somehow even with my editing I have a few that I'm a little tired of and could replace. Anyone have any faves right now that I should consider adding in?

Monday, January 26, 2009

starting to get nervous....6 days!!

OMG...so strange to have something you have been waiting for for 6 months finally almost be here! 6 more days til the marathon...hoping the weather is good and that it doesn't rain! I plan on wearing this shirt, which is my absolute fave right now...the Brooks Equilibrium short sleeve:

It is so comfortable. I am going to wear Moving Comfort running capris, my other fave. I think I have decided to stick with the old shoes. I have done two 5 mile runs in the new ones, and honestly, I just don't think they are working for me! :( I feel like I will never find perfect shoes. I have now wasted hundreds of dollars in the last year, and the only ones that have sort of worked were the Asics Gel Nimbus 9s. Why, you may wonder did I not buy new Asics? Well these ones were never perfect either, and I wanted to get something that fit better. I swear I hate when you can't buy the pair you try on! I truly think different colors of the same model sometimes fit different too! I tried on the Mizuno Wave Riders from the Mizuno Running Lab, but couldn't buy the demo pair. I had to order a pair, and it came in pink (I tried on teal) and just doesn't fit the same :( It feels like I am running with a lump under each arch and my heal...they feel too supportive and stiff, and I think they have made my knee hurt. Could just be overuse, but either way, I am sticking with the worn out Asics for the marathon and will figure out what to do after that.

I am really excited about Sunday though! I just want to enjoy it and have it be a good day. I am plagued by race day troubles....all my training runs will go great, with no forethought, poor sleep/eating, whatever...then when I try to plan it all goes to sh*t. I just hope I can relax and not stress out over it! How do you all fall asleep? I know this will be my biggest problem. I am 100% positive I will sleep about two hours. And I know the night before is what really matters, but still! Race starts at 7, and we will be in a hotel three blocks away, so I plan to wait at the hotel as long as possible. (Bathroom and all). Figure we will get up at 4:45 or so in order to eat a couple of hours before the start. I planned on having two packs of oatmeal. This is what I had before my 21 mile run, and it seemed to work. Then maybe a banana an hour before? I didn't try that, but I felt a little empty at the beginning of my last long run...I know everyone recommends eating 2 hours ahead, but I feel like I burn through that before starting to run! I am bringing 5 gels, and might grab whatever else they have available. I am trying to find Nuun around here, because I think it would work for me since it doesn't have sugar...otherwise I will bring my Crystal Light Electrolyte packs. I am going to use the fuel belt, but with only one bottle. It started to hurt my back on the 21 mile run because all three bottles were pretty much constantly full. With plenty of opportunity to refill I think I'll just bring one. But then I can dump a few cups in and drink when I want, rather than only at the aid stations. I really hope I can hold it the whole time and not have to stop at a Port-o-let...but I have a bladder the size of a walnut so that's not likely :(

All in all I am just excited it's finally here and am glad my parents will be there to see it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Any last minute suggestions? 10 days!!!

So the marathon is in 10 days and I am so nervous!! I know I can finish it, it will just be up in the air as to how I will do. Initially, when my training was right on track I actually had hopes of finishing under 4 hours. (I know- this is ambitious for a first marathon, but my back in November I was on track for it!).

Anyhow- things have changed. After running only four days in December (hush! I know!) I have had to adjust any time goals I had to basically....no goals. Well, that's not entirely true; I would like to hit 4:20, but I think 4:30 is probably more realistic. Either way, I am just aiming to finish upright and happy, and I will take it all as lessons learned for next time.

So I know you shouldn't make any last minute changes, but out of curiosity does anyone have any last minute tips? There were only two things I was thinking of changing... 1) I have never worn a hat while running, but thought it might conserve heat in the morning (if marathon day is similar to today it might only be 30 degrees!) and wick heat away as it gets warmer....also I got sunburned on my 21 mile run because it was so sunny! Doesn't seem like a huge change, but I'm worried about being too hot...thoughts? And 2) and this is a big one- I am thinking of wearing pretty new shoes. I got fitted last week for some Mizunos by their mobile running lab, but the local store here that they were at didn't have my size. I have been running in Asics Gel Nimbus 9s, but they are dead. My ankles and knees have been killing me. Of course because they didn't have my size and had to order them they won't be in until this Friday, most likely. That would give me three runs to try them out on....an 8 miler, a 3 miler and a 2 miler. Is that too few miles to give them a try in the marathon? I know everyone always says don't use new shoes, and you need to break them in and all that, but every running shoe professional I've ever spoken to has said that is a myth and that shoes, if properly fitting, should not need 'breaking in'. So what do you think? I am leaning towards one last run in the Asics, but the Mizunos were just so comfortable!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

21 miles...

Finally! My last long run. I did it. 21.51 miles. (Though actually I only ran the first 21, and even walked .5 of that...). Either way, taper here I come! It's disheartening that I only have two weeks instead of three, but I still think it was best for me to get that last long run in.

I headed out at noon (not smart in LA! It was 68 degrees in the shade in my backyard). I was immediately worried about the heat, and the first 8 miles were directly into the sun. But I stayed on top of hydration like a machine (3 oz every mile) and it seemed to work. I used Crystal Light Hydration, because I think the root of my stomach upset is sugar. The gels with sugar bother me, Gatorade and Powerade, and Red Bull....so yay! I've finally figured out what makes me wanna puke! So the CL Hydration has the electrolytes but not the sugar. I know, I know, artificial sweeteners probably aren't any better, but they don't make me feel bad. I drank that at miles 1,2,3,4, then water with a gel at mile 5 (5 oz with gel, then 3 oz at mile 6), CLH at miles 7,8, then water with gel at 9, rest of water 10, and repeat on the way home. I eventually wasn't able to get it all down (the temp dropped 12 degrees during the near 4 hours this run took), but I think aiming for 64 oz total for the marathon is realistic. How much do you all drink? That would be 8 bottles on my fuel belt, about what I had yesterday (though I only drank 7). But it was way hotter yesterday than marathon day will be (fingers crossed!) so I think I can stretch it 5 more miles...I felt a little water logged yesterday by the end. Anyway, here's how it went:
1) 10:29
2) 10:27
3) 10:47
4) 12:18 * stopped to refill one empty bottle and top off the half full one
5) 10:59 * took a gel
7) 11:10
8) 10:55
9) 14:09 * stopped again to refill bottles, use the rest room, took a gel
10) 10:57
11) 10:52
13) 12:11 *refilled for last time, took a gel
14) 10:42
15) 10:32
16) 10:20
17) 11:43 *walked 16.3-16.6, took at gel at end of mile
18) 10:35
19) 10:33
20) 10:50 * walked .2
21) 10:08
= 3:52:34

So it was ok. I did it. It wasn't the best, but oh well! I would have liked to have hit 21 miles at 3:30, but maybe in the marathon! One thing I learned...I need gels with caffeine! If you look at the splits, the miles get slower from 1-4, then I took a gel, but it was an e-gel. It didn't bother my stomach, but had no caffeine. The boost of energy I normally feel wasn't there. The miles continued slowly until mile 9, where I took a gel with caffeine. You can see the miles get faster consecutively each time after I took a gel at miles 9, 13 and 17. It's really bizarre! And mile 21 was actually my fastest.

I definitely see the merit in starting slow now. Even though each mile was slower than I would have liked, I find it interesting that I really WAS able to get faster in the end miles. And I definitely felt like I could have gone 5 more, which mentally will be good for me on the day of the marathon. So there it is....I am done my long runs! I am running 5, 4, 5 on Wed, Thurs, Fri respectively, then 8 Sunday, then 3, 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday, then two rest days, then 2 the day before, then marathon! I can't believe it's almost here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Marathon Fuel

So in trying to plan as best I can for the upcoming marathon my biggest concern seems to be fuel. I have the endurance- my speed is NEVER regulated by my legs, but always by my stomach. When I get off pace and slow down it's always because I feel like I'm about to barf. This never happens until after I have started drinking and/or taking gels. So what to do?

My dad (a former fairly successful half marathoner) advises that all this gel/sports bean/shot block/gatorade nonsense is foolish, and that science has shown all you need is water, just don't drink more than you're using, figure out your sweat rate and all that. While I agree to a certain extent, I can FEEL the difference when I use gels (caffeine and all) but if it makes me slow down in the end due to stomach upset is it worth it?

So I looked at several gel comparisons yesterday, and I think now I am more confused! (FYI- before anyone suggests anything solid, that is out...I cannot chew while running). So what is making my stomach hurt...is it the sugar, the caffeine or the sodium? And since Gatorade makes me want to puke even more, shouldn't I stick to higher sodium gels (like Power Bar Gel)? I am a 'salty sweater' and think I do need electrolyte replacement....So what to do?

1) I am limited to what they have at my local running store. My last long run is Monday, and I'm not trying anything new during the marathon, so my last chance to practice is Monday (meaning no time to order anything off the internet).
2) I have been using Power Bar Gels more than Gu, but could it possibly be the higher sugar causing stomach upset? And if I switch to Gu, where do I get the electrolytes from?
3) I like Gu Roctane, but it isn't recommended to take for every gel, but rather that you should alternate...
4) has anyone tried E-gels? Like them better/worse than Gu/Gu Roctane/PowerBar Gels?
5) caffeine- worth the possible stomach upset? I think so....
6) Just go with water/ Gatorade? Maybe I could handle the Gatorade without the gels?
7) I do NOT like Cliff Shots. Not sure why, but tried once and made me feel even worse...

So you see my dilemma. It is very frustrating being limited by digestion issues rather than muscle power or respiration!

What has worked for you?

Monday, January 12, 2009


So I actually did it people. I got off my lazy ass and did my first long run in a month! Yesterday I did 18.6. I ran this distance because it happens to be 30k, also the distance of The Wall, the race I skipped last Sunday because it was 80 degrees out. Yeah- after not running for three weeks the last thing I wanted was to collapse from heat stroke! So I put it off a week, and will be shortening my taper from 3 to 2 weeks. Trust me- for me at this point it is way more important to get in at least two long runs even at the loss of a week of rest.

So yeah. Put it off a week and I'm glad I did. It gave me a fresh start to try to do everything RIGHT for once. I took all of the mistakes I had made before previous long runs/races and tried to fix them in this last week. Here are some of the things I changed/incorporated:

1) no alcohol- I enjoy my beer and wine, but for this last week I cut it out (mostly...might have cheated once)
2) 60-70% carb diet- I generally eat A LOT of roughage, but tried to up the carbs and cut down some of the super fibrous stuff. I eliminated dairy and other fats in the two days preceding too.
3) sleep- I stayed home from work last Monday and Tuesday and slept about 12 hours each day. Wednesday and Thursday night were my usual 6, but then I got 8 Friday and Saturday, which is a first for the two days before a long run or race.
4) running- I went twice last week, 8 mile tempo on Wednesday, and 5 easy miles on Friday.
5) stretching/rolling- I actually did it for once! I stretched Saturday and Sunday before I went for several minutes, and used a rolling pin on my legs (I don't have The Stick). It really seemed to help!
6) Advil- I know this is controversial, but I had been having a lot of aches in my legs and it seemed to help. I took it Saturday night and Sunday before I left.
7) icing- I iced after my 8 miles Wednesday, and then Friday and Saturday night. I also took my first ice bath afterwards....Yikes! That was really cold, but it's true...you just go numb and get used to it.
8) water- I actually used the fuel belt. It helped, but I still have stomach issues with eating and drinking during running. I always feel fine until I start drinking/ having gels...
9) gels- I used three. Two Power Gels which I like because I think the electrolytes are a little higher and I have discovered I can't tolerate Gatorade during a run. Then for the third I had a Gu Roctane, which I am convinced really DO help decrease post-run soreness.
10) breakfast- I had oatmeal (the norm) and also a banana about an hour and fifteen minutes before. I had coffee (no cream this time) too.
11) hydration- during the week I always keep up on water, but Saturdays I usually forget. This time I remembered and had plenty of water all day.
12) the actual run- I tried to go slow and steady and I found that I really did have more energy in the end....I think I kept pretty good pace the whole time (more on this in a sec).
13) replacement- during the ice bath I had water and chicken noodle soup. I have read that it is particularly useful as replacement fuel because it replaces salt and has a good protein/carb ratio for replacing muscle glycogen and easing soreness. Either way it was good to have something hot while sitting in 55 degree water!
14) massage- I did self massage the couple of days before, and got my husband to give me a good leg massage with bengay last night.
15) weather- I know this is beyond our control, but it did help that the high yesterday was only 56 or something. And it was overcast my whole run. Fingers crossed that marathon day is the same!

And today I feel pretty good! My left achilles is sore, but that's it. So I did 18.6 in 3 hours and 16 minutes. Normally this would disappoint me, but given the last month I was pretty happy with it! I did stop at mile four to use the restroom and refill the one bottle I drank up to that point. I also chatted for a minute with an older gentleman who was asking me questions about how far I was running, why, etc. So in all the stop cost me three minutes. I then ran until I hit that spot on the way back (at 14 miles) at which point I stopped and walked about .4 miles to eat the last gel. I still have so much trouble with gels/stomach upset. This didn't happen with the last one...so is it that walking while I got it down really helped, or that I have more toleration for Gu products than the Power Gels? I might have to switch to some other Gu flavors for the first couple next week and see if it's better. So anyway, I continued running and only stopped again at 17.5 to walk about .2 to stretch out my hamstrings which were getting tight. Then I ran the rest and finished at 18.6.

The one downfall of the run was that I forgot to check and be sure the Garmin was locked onto the charger. My cats hit it askew all the time and it drives me nuts! It will be sitting on the charger, but not connected, so to speak, and when I turn it on it immediately says battery low. And I hate the Garmin for the one fact that it takes FOREVER to charge. I can throw my cell on the charger for 20 minutes and the charge is complete. The Garmin takes hours. So I charged it a quick 15 minutes and figured I'd see how long it lasted. I was worried, because I know my route til about the 6 mile turn around, but I had to go 9 before the turn, so I hoped it would last. (The last .6 is a loop in my neighborhood). Luckily the Garmin lasted to 12.2, so I knew when to turn, but it was a bummer in terms of my splits. The 12.2 took 2 hours and 6 minutes, so a 10:22 average pace. Again, slower than I would have liked, but I found I can maintain it because the last 6.4 took an hour and ten minutes (deduced from the fact that the whole run took 3:16) which is what, like a 10:55 pace? So not THAT much slower in the end, which can pretty much be explained by my walking .6. So I think all the running was probably pretty close to 10:20. I had orignally hoped to average about 9:30 for my marathon pace, but given the last month I would be happy with 10 even, which at this point I think might be doable.

So anyway, all went well and now I have only one more long run...YAY! I plan to run 5 Wednesday, 8 Thursday and 5 Friday. Today and tomorrow I am doing some pilates and stretching. Saturday and Sunday I will mostly rest, but want to do some squats and core stuff. May be too little too late, but I figure a little strength training will at least make me FEEL more confident, even if it actually doesn't help me physically. I do still have three weeks, and alot can be done for your core in that amount of time if you stick with it, just a little a day. Then next Monday I have my last long run of 21 miles. I wanted to go over 20 because mentally I worry about the dreaded 'Wall' which supposedly hits at that point. I feel if I just go a little over I can figure out how that will affect me, or, hopefully, find that it doesn't. This will also help me because 5 miles is my typical 'short run' so if I run 21 I will know that come marathon day I only have to do that plus a 'short run', so mentally it will seem a lot more doable. Make sense? Any last minute tips?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back...(sort of?)

Well, I am back from vacation. From work and from running. I unfortunately have sabotaged any high hopes I had for the marathon, and am now hoping to just finish.

After 15 weeks of really structured training, Thanksgiving hit and I just fell apart. Not that the busy holiday season should be an excuse, but coupled with a friend's graduation and wedding shower (out of state) and heading back to New England for Christmas things just didn't happen. I did have a half marathon on December 6th, and a 25k on December14th, but neither of those went as well as planned and it all stemmed from missing my first long run the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Looking at my running log I am very sad to see that since my December 14 25k I have run exactly 3 times. :( Here is what happened....I had that race on a Sunday. I took off Monday and Tuesday, and planned to run Wednesday but ended up home sick. Thursday I left for Florida (friend's shower and graduation), and planned to run 17 that Friday. Weeellll.....she is my best friend and we of course caught up until 3 in the morning Thursday night....and had a few drinks...so needless to say it didn't happen. Then her graduation was Saturday, her wedding shower Sunday, and I flew back Monday (after going to bed at 1 and getting up at 5). So I didn't run Monday December 22. Then Tuesday I was busy packing, wrapping gifts and getting ready to head home on Christmas Eve. I thought I could run that morning, but was up late the night before and had to head to the airport early in case of fog on the bridge (a real annoyance to me...when we get warm weather after it has been cold the warm air hits the cold water = fog and the bridge closes to one lane and 35 mph...(from 65)...it's a 23 mile bridge so a huge pain). After several delays we get home at 7 Christmas Eve. No running. No running on Christmas either, or the four days following. I have no excuses for that other than not wanting to run in the cold...I did nothing but sit on my butt for a week. We headed back on the 29th, and I finally forced myself to get in 5 miles on the 31st. It was much harder than I would have expected. New Year's Day was a waste for me. I did 8 miles on the 2nd, but about 10 minutes slower than I had been running my 8 mile route! I then worked the 3rd all day. I had a 30k I was registered for on Sunday, but with the potential for fog and the possibility of having to then get up at 5 coupled with the heat (70 in the morning!) and humidity I skipped my first race :( I thought I'd get it in at home on my own, but then I was too depressed about skipping it. Monday and Tuesday of this week I was sick (again!!), but I finally got in 8 yesterday (only about 3 minutes slower than usual).

So that brings me to now. Looking back it just doesn't seem possible that I have only run three times in three weeks, but what can I do? I am of course disappointed, because I was hoping to do well in the marathon. Luckily I don't really have time to dwell on it! So here is the new plan: I did 8 yesterday, and will do core and strength today, 5 tomorrow and get in that 18 on Sunday. It will probably kill me, but oh well. Then I will get in 5, 8, 5 next week, with a little strength and core if I can force myself. My last long run was supposed to be this sunday, but at this point I think it is more important for me to get one more in so I will do 20 on the 19th (off for MLKJR day) and have a two week taper. Later that week I will run 5, 4, 5. Then next week 8, 3, 2, then two days rest, then 2 the day before, then marathon!

Any suggestions/alterations?