08/31/10

I Have a Fairy Godmother

She granted my deepest wish at mile 3.5 today — a porta potty!  ha ha

My legs – especially my calves were feeling sore and fatigued when I started my run today. I kept it easy and gentle, ran along ditch canals and through the golf course and let my body just do what it needed to do. Amazingly, by letting my body just guide me I ran progressively faster as I went today. Here’s my splits:

1. 11:20
2. 10:42
3. 10:55
4. 10:06
5. 9:26
6. 9:27
7. 9:09
8. 7:43 

Now that last one, I admit was intentionally fast. This is my last run for August – a month that I have run more miles in than ever before in my life!!!!! 162.54 miles!!! My best month before this one was March of this year when I ran 146.19, so this is a huge improvement!  I also had some unfinished business. Remember that speedwork from this past Wednesday where I hit or beat my 7:46 interval times on the first two, then decided to “run like a Kenyan” for the third and missed by about 20 seconds? I just fixed that. The funny part is, I wasn’t even looking at my watch this time either — I was just pushing the way I’d like to push at the end of this upcoming marathon – wanting to see if I could hold a faster turnover for the final mile or not. Looks like I did.  Yay!!!!

My next run will likely be in Boston! My family and I are flying there on Thursday to stay with our friends for 10 days. It should be the trip of a lifetime! I’m hoping with all my heart that I can run the Boston Marathon course – the whole thing – this upcoming Saturday or Sunday – if its’ ok with my hosts.  Wayne’s already told me he’ll crew for me and take pictures. I have no intent to run it fast. I want to savor every step!!!  Oh – and I’d set a yearly goal for myself on Jan 1st to run 1000 miles for 2010. I will be hitting that while in Boston too. Pretty cool, huh? That Fairy Godmother of mine has been hard at work granting my wishes lately. 

Today’s temp: 61 degrees. 45% humidity. 10 mph winds. Felt – tired early on, but really good as the run went along.

Cool Down

.53 miles. 16:04 pace. – total miles for today: 8.58.

I’m going to see Anastasia in Boston in less than two days!!!!  I can’t wait to hug her!!!!!!!!

08/31/10

Wayne thinks I’m putting too much pressure on myself. I’ve been a cranky, worried mess. Maybe he’s right. I wasn’t planning to try to BQ at this race until the conversation on facebook this week turned to the others in my running group who are all trying to BQ together. I love my friends and would love to run the 115th Boston with them — but the truth is — I really don’t think I’m ready yet. It would be a huge long-shot. Holding my BQ pace for 13.1 miles is not the same as running it for 26.2. Usually you slow down, the longer the distance. It just happens.

I’m going to sit back and simmer on this for awhile — turn it over in my head while I’m in Boston. I’ll run there this week no matter what I do in that race in October. I think Anastasia is going to let me run the Boston course (how completely awesome is that?!!) Wayne said I should savor that run — enjoy the scenery, soak it up and not worry about the race in 6 weeks.

He asked me last night what my gut is saying. I told him my gut said I should shoot for sub 4:15 since that’s still a huge improvement over the 4:57 from last year. I never underestimate the marathon distance. No matter how strong I feel or how well I’ve trained — the distance, and the way you feel in the last 6 miles is something you can not entirely control. It deserves respect. I’m going to take a few days and just think about all this. I’m not sure I’m ready to push so hard. I really think I’d smack hard into the wall much earlier if I set an unrealistic goal — and that could very well mean an even worse time overall than if I’d just ran at a pace I knew I could do for the distance. Hmmmmmm

08/30/10

Poo! I just tried copying this really cool table of the top marathons to BQ in but it says the characters are about 5000 too big. I don’t get it. The table isn’t even that large. Poo!

Anyways.. here’s the link if you’d like to check out the top marathons to BQ in.  City of Trees did make the cut with a 20.9% average of BQ runners! Cool!

http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/id202.html

08/29/10

Don’t mind me. Just doing my usual obsessive/compulsive thing before the race. I looked up the results (the best that I could track down) from five different years of the City of Trees Marathon – the one I’m doing in 6 weeks. This is the same race I did last year, so I know the course (mostly -that is, last year they diverted us to a revamped course since it rained and not enough volunteers showed up, anyways…)

Here’s some stats for me to chew on:

2009 – 135 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:34
12 were in my current age group — 3 of them BQ’d (3:45 or better) – 25%!!! 

2008 – 157 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:39
14 in my age group. 3 BQ’d (3:45 or better)  About 20%

2007 – 160 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:46
8 in my age group. 1 BQ’d – hmmmm – hot that year? – 12% BQ rate

2005 – 300 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:46
28 in age group. 3 BQ’d – 9% BQ rate?

2002 – 329 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:30
20 in age group. 7 BQ’d – about 33% rate!!! HOLY SMOKES! 

Do you see the basic trend? If the weather is reasonable (even raining the whole time like last year) – the BQ rate for this race is much higher than most races. The average is something like 10% of all marathoners BQ every year.

I think I should at least go out there with it in my head that I need to keep my overall pace at 8:37 or lower the entire race. Wayne just said, “I’ll tell you one thing. If you go out too conservative, you’ll definitely NOT qualify. If you want to find out if you’ve got it yet – you’ll have to get it in your head that that pace is the one to keep from the first step.” I think he’s right. I needed to hear that. I need to be told to go for it. I need to be convinced it’s at least worth the gamble and the worst that will happen is I try and don’t make it. At least I’ll know in my heart I really did TRY!

08/29/10

Ok, this is what my friend, Sam, one of my running buddies who’s been running with me from my first month of running, wrote on facebook to me today.

Christie you need them (Magic Boston Qualifying shoes) now to join Pam, Francie, Billie, Ryan and me in 115th Boston Marathon. Its going to be a BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also realized that my super, awesome, ultra-running God cousin Ben is going to be there too!!!!

Guys, I HAVE TO TRY!!!!!!!!!! What if all my friends make it and I don’t?! I want to go Boston!!!! And the 115th race. How cool is that number?! I’ve GOT to try!!!!!!!

08/29/10

I forgot to mention that I won a free race entry to an 8k for Sept. 18th!!  I’m so excited! This is a race I used to run with my Mom when I was in college. It’s probably been at least 15 years since I ran it! How fun!!!!!!

08/29/10

I just opened up facebook and saw the owner of my favorite local running store share this quote:
Few of us know what we are capable of doing… we have never pushed ourselves hard enough to find out. – Alfred A. Montapert

Hmmmm…. food for thought!

08/29/10

Recover Run

“Looking good.” That’s what my neighbor lady said during my recovery run today. It made me smile. It made me run taller. Such a simple compliment, but it really made me feel great. 
It was a reminder to me today to offer words of encouragement to others who cross my path too. Our positive words can revitalize, uplift and inspire.  Who can you gladden the heart of today?
I ran right after the rain today. My little corner of the world smelled so fresh and new again. Temperature: 52 degrees. 76% humidity. 10 mph winds.

Stats: 5.34 miles. 10:09 ave pace. 54:15 – time.

I just hit my best weekly mileage in months – 46.11!  My top mileage week of all-time (and during this year) was 50. I’ve also had a 47, and last week was 44. I’m on track!  My goal is to build up past that “all-time” best of 50 as I peak for this marathon. That should happen in four weeks, right before I taper. I can’t believe my race is 6 weeks away!!!! 

My monthly mileage for August is already past my goal too – AND – it’s better than I’ve ever done before!!!!  At the moment, with two more days left, I’ve ran 153.96 miles. My best month this year was March when I ran 146.19 while prepping for my 50K. This is pretty exciting.

I’m hoping I can hit my yearly 1,000 miles total while I’m in Boston on vacation with my family at Anastasia’s. It’s currently at 975.31. Wouldn’t that be sort of symbolic to hit that special number while I’m in Boston of all places – the Holy City of runners!!!! I think so. I hope that would give me a little mental boost as I fine tune my marathon training and get closer to my race. I’m still nervous about what pace to choose as my goal pace. You have to have a plan when you walk up the starting line. This will be my third time approaching that line. I’m still not sure what number I’m going to chase that day. My timid side right now is wanting me to play it safe and just go for a PR. Considering how poorly I felt I did in my first race (12 minutes slower than my training plan had me shooting for – a 4:57) – I think that’s going to be easy. My training plan based on my half marathon in July wants me to run at an 8:46 pace with a goal time of 3:50. That just seems SO MUCH faster than I can really fathom for that distance! I don’t know if I can do it. I ran the half in 1:53, so I know I can hold an 8:37 for 13.1 — but — beyond that, I’m not sure how long I can hold anything in the 8’s. My McMillan printout with that same race info says I should do the race at a 9:07 pace for a time of 3:58. Again – that still scares the heck out of me. I can’t really fathom breaking 4 hours on my second time “racing” this distance (my second marathon, if you recall was in the same month I did my first half marathon and first 50k so I ran it like a training run in 5:13.) Truthfully, if I break 4:30, I’ll be happy. That’s still better than I’ve ever done and a number I could be proud of at this point in training. But — a tiny voice in my head keeps whispering, “How will you ever qualify for Boston if you choose the conservative path? You went all out in your other races this summer – and PR’d like crazy by taking a chance and doing something you didn’t think you could do – and succeeded! JUST TRY to run the 8:37 for as long as you can! Even if you only make that pace for 14 miles – it’s one mile further than you did in July and a step closer to being ready for Boston eventually. And, what if, what IF — it’s already here? What IF I CAN do it and I’m too scared to try? What if I never get this strong and healthy again? What if this is my only streak of speed and I am too fearful to gamble for it and try?

So – that’s where I’m at — struggling mentally with my goal. Last year it rained the entire marathon. It was 40 degrees. It was COLD! That could happen again. Maybe that contributed to those extra 12 minutes on my time. I don’t really know. If I ran my smart coach pace (which is what I did last year for as long as I could – 21 miles – it turned out) and the total time was 12 minutes worse this year, I’d still (in theory) end up around 4:02. That would be amazing!!!!! Maybe I should try for that.

Hmmmmmmm — Boston pace? Safe, easy pace? Somewhere in the middle? Hmmmmmmm

08/28/10

Chase Those High School Cross Country Boys!

What a fun, FUN, run today in the Boise foothills! Super relaxed, easy pace for most of the run, great conversation and some spurts of crazy fast turnover on the downhills. Loved it! I was very excited to get to run with my closest training buddy, Bertha again! Having her back on the trails with me just made me smile so much. My sweet childhood friend Marci was there, my running hero, Emily, who’s too modest to accept my adoration and praise, two new running pals, Angelita (who is SO strong out in those hills I think she must have been born doing this) and a very new runner buddy named Danielle, who today hit a new mileage PR! Two other fellas joined us early on, Mark and Mike and they zoomed off and amazingly ran 20 miles nice and fast! Way to go to all of you and thank you for making my morning fantastic!

Around mile 10, the single track, technical trail started getting a little bit crowded. Suddenly we girls were in the midst of a high school cross country track meet! At first I thought it was just a practice and I decided it would be fun to push myself a bit and try to keep up! I love the downhills and found I actually could keep up with the boys and got some pretty funny looks from them when they’d see that an ordinary “Mom” was running alongside them keeping up for a bit.  That only made me push harder and enjoy it more! Hee hee. My other friends teased me later that I was trying to run with the front of the pack. Of course, I only held that for half a mile before I darted off to the side and waited for my pals to catch up. Once we were back together, I darted back into the stream of cross country racers, pushing it again just for the heck of it! I was comfortably doing about a 7 – 7:15 minute mile and surprising myself by how comfortable it felt. I felt like pumping my fists into the air and saying, “Weeeeeee!!! It’s fun to be alive and it’s fun to run like a girl!!”

Still can’t stop smiling.  I only wish I could head back out there and do another 11!! 

Just a note: I did use the “moving time” from Garmin Connect today instead of the elapsed time. Temperature today was wonderful – 56 degrees. It was dark when we started so I also got the chance to test out my new Coleman headlamp and really felt it did the job! Not bad for $20!

Stats: 11.09 – miles. 13:02 – ave pace. 2:24 – “Moving” time (total time including waiting for the group to catch up every mile or so and photographs was 3:06.) Elevation gain: 1,639 (a fairly mild foothills run – pleasurable and fun – just a bit challenging.)