Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Public Poll

People of the interwebs, I need your help!  Here is my problem.  I am signed up for a wee little run at the end of the month.  A 50 miler.  I can't recall quite what I was thinking when I hit "submit", but it was likely that I had either just finished a good run and was feeling full of myself, or I had just polished off a strong mug of homebrew.  And it's also likely that my free time was a bit larger in volume than it has been these last couple of months.  Given my average running pace and minimal training this summer, I'm pretty sure that I can't run the entire 50 miles within the 11 hour cutoff (barely over 13 min miles). However, I just knocked out a marathon and half marathon on back-to-back weekends with no injuries, almost as fast as my PRs, and feeling pretty fresh a couple days later. So internet, what should I do?  Don't be shy...

1) Stay with the 50 miler and see what I can do in 11 hours. Stop if I feel an injury. If by some miracle I can finish, I get a really awesome belt buckle and big bragging rights.

2) Stay with the 50 miler, but drop at 50k if it truly truly sucks. I will get a DNF, but I would still know that I did 50k.

3) Switch to the 50k, assuming they let me. No belt buckle, but still an awesome accomplishment.

4) Switch to the 10k.

5) Go pumpkin hunting. Consider my season officially over as of Sunday and get rested up for Ironman training, which starts Nov 29.

Girlfriends Half Marathon

This past weekend I did the coolest thing ever -- I ran a half marathon with my Mom!  The same Mom who just a year ago:
- weighed 45 pounds more than she does now.
- had never EVER ran more than a mile.
- called me to proudly announce that she had ran "5 WHOLE STRAIGHT MINUTES ON THE TREADMILL!!!"

Race Info:
All women, all proceeds go towards a cure for breast cancer, and there are hot fireman/policemen handing out necklaces at the finish line.

Our final time?  2:28:14 for an 11:19 pace!  Seriously!  My 53 year old mother ran just 4 minutes shy of my PR.  I'm slow.  I know.  Get over it.

It was a gorgeous fall morning - cold, crisp, and sunny.  Red and orange leaves starting to cover the sidewalks.  Steam rising from the Columbia River and the tip of Mt. Hood peeking out above the clouds.  Perfect running weather.  A sea of pink ladies, with husbands/brothers/children lined up along the streets to cheer.  I love this event!

Some photos from the day:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Portland Marathon - Race Report

Portland Marathon
Time = 5:17:38 (pace - 12:07/mile)

If you were anywhere near the Portland/Vancouver area this weekend, then you know how very un-dry it was on marathon day.  Of course now, a day later, it is sunny and crisp and wonderful outside.  Of course.  The weather really didn't get anyone down too much, but it did provide a bit of discomfort.  Soggy socks/shoes + 26.2 miles = fugly ugly feet.
I'll spare you the details of what happens when the rains removes all traces of Body Glide and you swish around with wet clothes for 5 hours.  I'll just say that a running skirt was not my wisest choice of the day.  Another poor choice -- the 16oz starbucks energy drink that I consumed about 15 minutes prior to the start.  It got things moving a little too nicely, and an emergency evacuation at a mile 5 porta-potty ended up costing me a PR.  At least I was well caffeinated for the first half of the race.

Here is the very soggy starting line.  Photo courtesy of Julie Unruly.
Rather than write a full boring race report, I'll list the highlights:
  • The new corral system worked well...with the not-so-minor exception of actually getting into your designated corral.  Seriously, Portland Marathon, would it kill you to place a few signs at the entrances?  Despite having a map in hand, we still couldn't figure it out.  In the rainy darkness, we had to ask almost every volunteer that we saw (which was like 2) how to get where we needed to go.  I hope they figure this out for next year.
  • The Syncopated Drummers at the starting line kicked ass.  I wish they could have followed me along the course.  I first saw them a few years ago at a roller derby bout.  And then again at a cyclocross race.  And then again at the 2008 Portland Marathon.  Every time I hear them I become insanely happy and want to just dance around.  What a great way to start a marathon!
  • The first few miles always feel soooooo easy.  This marathon was no exception.  Although my HR tells another story.  My average HR for the whole event was 171 bpm.  I'm normally in the low 160 range while running.  This may be a very simple explanation for why my stomach shut down.  Again.  I took in all of 400 calories over the 5+ hours of running.  I need to figure this out.
  • Ken kept popping up in random places all over the course.  It was fun to see him when I wasn't expecting it.  Thanks honey!  Here's a photo that he took of me around mile 12:

And one from around mile 14 heading out towards Hwy 30:

  • Portland residents are superior spectators.  Hundreds of people were out there cheering in the rain, keeping us all going.  The volunteers rock too!
  • My phone got drenched and completely malfunctioned.  I'm sorry to anyone who received random texts and phone calls.  It totally died at mile 15, so I ran the rest without music.  Thankfully there were so many awesome entertainment groups and spectators, that I really didn't miss the tunes.
  • The hill leading up to St. Johns bridge didn't seem that bad this year.  Thank you, TRX.  Also, I was able to appreciate the views this time.  Spectacular course!  Here is me crossing over the bridge:
  • My no-slip headband didn't slip at all!  Yay!
  • Why didn't I train for this thing?!?  Ouch!  The wheels completely fell off around mile 20.  Really, I'm impressed that I hung on for that long.  But my oh my, this was a painful lesson.  My post-race pain was much increased compared to my past races.  Even the Ironman didn't hurt this much.  Seriously.  I'm very thankful for ice baths. (This one was brutal though...my core body temp was already pretty low.  I gutted this one out for 20 minutes, much to the amusement of the hubby.)
  • Congrats to all the people who rocked the marathon -- Jenn, Julie, Lisa, Chris, Tabetha, Kevin, both Rachels, and anyone else I forgot.
  • The finishers shirts don't say 10-10-10!  Are you kidding me???  It's the only reason I did the damn thing!
I'm aware that I have a flare for the melodramatic sometimes.  At a minimum, I am animated when the mood strikes.  Apparently, the mood struck yesterday.  Some embarrassing evidence:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

No I'm Not Bipolar

Even though I could use a big ol' heap of motivation, it's not all mopey-dopey around here.  See, I had a FUN time at packet pickup tonight (no sarcasm either!):

Hubby of the Year, and me.

Julie and I with our bibs.  She's fast.  I tried to swap our timing chips when she wasn't looking.

They had the funniest shirts at the expo.  This one says "I'm only doing this so I can post a picture on facebook."
Some other favorites:
"This IS my race pace."
"My race strategy - start slow and then go slower."
"I know it.  I'm slow.  Get over it."

Our bags!  Inside are our short-sleeve tshirts (long-sleeve ones are at the finish line I think), commemorative coin, pendant, and poster.  See my new non-slip headband?  If it slips, I'm gonna be very angry.

Wrist-bands with pace charts printed on them!  Ingenious!  Yes, I know.  I'm slow.  Get over it.  However, my PR (while actually properly trained) is 5:16:11.  A whopping 12:05 pace.  So, I think both of these are beyond optimistic.  But they don't make them any slower.  I can pretend for a few miles though!

It Looms

It's looming over me like a big, ummm...... like something really big.  The Portland Marathon!  Yippee!  Woohoo!!  I'm so excited!  See?
About as enthusiastic as when I have a dentist appointment.  Sigh...  You see, I didn't train.  Again.  My longest run was 15.5 miles.  My longest week was, well, 15.5 miles.

To make myself feel better, let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

March 24, 2007 - my first 5k:
"I finished and I didn't have to walk.  ...all I really wanted to do was finish in under an hour.  I was silently hoping for somewhere around 45 minutes.  39 minutes...isn't so bad...  Yay!!!"
So, yeah.  I was ecstatic to finish 3.1 miles in around 40 minutes.  I should be thrilled that I can even attempt 26.2 miles off the couch now.

August 3, 2008 - my first hangover triathlon:
"...glasses and glasses of wine prior to a race does not suit me.  Especially since I don't really drink anymore...  After arriving about 45 minutes later than planned..."
I ended up with a PR and a 3rd place age group finish.  Is there a lesson here?  Perhaps I should go on a bender Saturday night and then roll into downtown at 6:55am?

October 6, 2008 - my first marathon:
"But I trained anyway.  Sort of.  My plan was to poll runners each Monday morning to see what their week looked like.  I would pick...the shortest...and do that.  Whatever, it worked.  I finished."
Being undertrained is nothing new to me.  I finished that one (although I was slightly better trained), and I'll finish this one too.

November 24, 2009 - I Am An Ironman:
"I am an IRONMAN!"
I can do anything if I really want to.

February 20, 2010 - my first trail run, Hagg Lake 25k:
"I went into this race knowing that I was unprepared...HUGE understatement.  Thankfully, I was having too much fun to really notice."
Again, I am no stranger to being undertrained.  And I still managed to have the time of my life.  I shall do the same on Sunday.

May 8, 2010 - Eugene Marathon:
"Cross through, get a medal, get a space blanket, get your chip off, and then pancakes.  Yes, pancakes.  They were awesome..."
So even if life sucks donkey tail on Sunday, I can reward myself with pancakes afterwards.