Friday, October 21, 2011

What's My Pace?

The 24 weeks leading up to my marathon I worked hard to slow my pace down.  I knew it was the only way I'd make it 26.2 miles.  Even though I have a race coming up in less than a month my goal is to run it, not race it, so pace is not on the forefront of my mind.
fallen leaves make the creek visible
Now that the marathon is done (12 days to be exact), I am running by feel and not paying attention to my pacing at all.  I even changed my garmin so my pace is no longer listed.  I am good enough at math that I could easily figure my pace out by looking at the time and distance, but I don't want to...yet.  I have not run a lot, but I have run enough to be surprised by the splits on my garmin.

My first outdoor run was just over 3 miles and my splits were surprising.
A few days later I went out for a six mile run and once again didn't bother looking at my splits or pace until I was finished.

Considering I am not 100% yet and only 12 days post marathon, I am really happy.  So, what will my pace be when I finally recover fully?  Maybe I'll even set a PR or two in 2012.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aglove Review and a Discount way to buy

Do you have a phone with a touchscreen?  I do and all last winter I had to keep stripping my gloves off to use it.  So, when Agloves offered to let me review a pair of their touch screen gloves I accepted!

I had to send them my hand measurement.  Please note that their sizing is different depending on the style of glove you want.  I measured, e-mailed and then waited.
When the gloves arrived I had to try them on, despite the warm temps.  I tried them out with my phone right away as well.  Here is what Agloves says about their gloves:
Touch Screen Gloves for cold weather use. You can text with these gloves on! Agloves touch screen gloves are lightweight, soft, warm, stretchy and slightly fuzzy knitted gloves. Made in the USA, these seamless, knitted gloves have high quality workmanship. Agloves are compatible with any and all of your touch screen phones, cameras, multimedia devices, game systems, and eReaders.  Two unisex sizes S/M or M/L  Color is black with silver flecks to produce a charcoal grey coloring.  Hand washable in water.
It has not been cold out so I do not know if they keep my fingers warm, but I definitely agree with everything else they say about the gloves.  I can use my phone, but I do have to push a little harder and cannot txt as fast.  I am fine with it because I do not have to take my gloves off to keep in touch or take pictures.

Their gloves, available at Agloves, range from $17.99 to $23.99.  Shipping charges are only $3.00.  The lucky thing for you is that on October 19 Agloves is participating in a groupon-like promotion with    For three days, the discount is a $24 voucher for $12!!  Amazing.  If more people buy the price can go even lower.

You can check out their website,, their Twitter and Facebook pages for more information.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taking it easy

I am back running a little here and a little there. It has only been a little over a week so I don't want to push or hurt myself so close to my marathon.
I do have plans... In less than a month I'll be running my first 15k. I am running it because I want to and so that I have something to keep me going post marathon. It will be slow and I am good with slow. ADP, who is also running it, will just have to wait a little longer at the finish line for me.
Here is the newest addition to my car (the sticker looks crooked in the photo but is straight even though this type-a person refrained from getting a ruler out to ensure perfect alignment):

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marathon Tidbits and More Pics

A few tidbits that I found funny or interesting about the marathon this weekend.

Toward the end of the race I managed to find a biker (course marshal or medical person) who had something salty in his pack of goodies.  He gave me a little package of trail mix.  Knowing my stomach was not agreeing with anything, I very sadly threw all the M&M's to the side of the course and said a sad goodbye to each and every M&M.
the photographer cut Amanda in half...though you can see she is holding my handheld
I ran without music.

the finish from one side.  it looks like Bugs is hiding
I had no appetite after the race.  My stomach started growling during the middle of the night so loudly I thought I'd wake the whole house.  Needless to say I was in the kitchen at 2 am for my first breakfast a mere 12 hours after finishing my marathon.
finish...sign and all
Somewhere during the 24th mile of the marathon I hit 1,000 miles for this year!  I only have 48 mile to my goal for the year.
my favorite professional photograph!

AG update:  place 66 of 70

I went to a doctor yesterday because my ankle has been bothering me since Sunday when I ran.  Apparently I need Bengay (really, am I that old??) and I'll be good to go.  Thankfully, I just irritated the tendon that had tendonitis in it.  FWIW, I did go to a doc who specializes in tendon and ligament trauma so I am not going to question his opinion on this one at all.  I'll run tomorrow and test the ankle out.  Tonight, I'm going to help eat an R2D2 cake.
my afternoon project

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Good, Ugly and Ending, Marathon RR

There is no easy way to write a race report, much less one that covers 26.2 miles but I am going to do my best.  It all started out...
marathon 'stuff' ready to go
ready to leave for the starting line
7:30 am:  dropped off by ADP and the kids (who were sporting their PJ's).  Headed straight to the bathrooms where there were 4 people in front of me.  By the time I was finished the line was ~100 deep.
8:00 am:  Group picture of the USA Fit training group that I've spent the past ~24 weeks with.
8:30 am:  We are off!  We started right on time as the half marathoners start at the same time...only ~14 miles ahead of us (yes, 14 all works out though).

mile 3.5:  Get chills through my whole body as I run through the research circle because I know the rest of the course!  I have finished the only unknown miles of the whole race.
mile 4:  Quickly remember how beautiful but LONELY the rest of the course is!
mile 5:  If it was a training day, I would call it quits and head home.  Hot.  My stomach hurts.  Hot.  My head is light.  Hot.
mile 7:  It is getting hotter.  Start to add more walking into the running routine.
mile 10:  Walk half mile, run half mile.  Make sure to run through picture taking:
mile 10...still looking ok
marker 13.1:  2:29:34.  No IDEA how I did it, but hit my goal of running the first half in 2:25 to 2:30.  
mile 14:  Call ADP.  'I don't know how to do another 13 miles.'  He gives me some tough loving.  I try to run.  It is hotter now.  Running = light headed.  Gel = stomach aches.  Water & nuun = stomach aches.
miles 14-17:  Go back and forth with myself.  Try running...get light headed and have to stop and put head between knees.  (Have I ever mentioned that I don't like it when it is warm????)
mile 17:  Call ADP again.  My side of the conversation goes something like this:  'I feel like hell.  BUT, I don't care if I am the very last person out here I am going to finish this g** d*** race.'  ADP said something like 'that's what I wanted to hear.'
mile 17 to end:  walk - walk - walk - walk - walk (you get the idea).  Water over head and down back at most water stops. Try to keep up fluid intake but have long since given up trying to eat solids/gels.
~mile 18:  find Ragnar Relay teammate sitting on the side of the road on a barrier.  I ask if she's ok.  I ask if she can walk.  I didn't really pay attention to my watch again for pace or heart rate.  We spent the rest of the race walking and talking and catching up.  Apparently I walk fast for her because I was walking and most of the time she did a running shuffle/run to keep up.
~mile 21:  Amanda shows up to "run" me in.  I knew I'd see her...but didn't expect to see her for another mile or two.  She was great.  Talked when we couldn't.  Listened.  Carried our waters.  Kept us moving along.  Amanda is the saving grace in this race!!!  She was amazing.  During this time we saw people sitting on the side of the course not looking good.  We saw one person on a stretcher with oxygen.  When the race was done, I found out that they treated a lot more people than years past...most of it because of the 81F high temperature.
mile 26:
best cheering group ever waiting for me

me and Amanda (the other in our group was just in front of us as her BF was there waiting for her)

trying to hold back tears as my kids run out to me

Run with me!  I ran the last half mile...and about the last .1 was with my munchkins.  
 mile 26.25:  DONE!  5:42:24
my arms were too tired to hold the banana, so yes this technique works just fine!

The best running friend a person can as for!

Bugs, me, & Punky (kudos to the photographer ADP as well)
The details:
5:42:24 for a 13:06/mi ave
first half 2:29:34 for an 11:25/mi ave
second half 3:13:27 for a 14:46/mi ave (I'll take it for a quick paced long walk)
place:  849 of 884 finishers
AG place:  unk at this time...when "they" are done checking all the BQ times then I'll have access to that information.  It looks like 3 or 4 finished after me though.
High temperature:  81F with not nearly enough shade to stay cool

It started good.
The whole middle was ugly.
And then it ended! 

Thanks to everyone who shared in this journey with me!  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marathon Preview

I don't have it in me today to write my race report so I'll share my absolute favorite picture from the race with you.  My kids met me at the end to run with me over the finish line.  :)

I hope the photographers taking the finishing photos got some good ones.  I don't like buying photos from my races, but if there is a good one it will be worth it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Finish Line

Yesterday (a.k.a. the day I am writing this as it is supposed to publish as I start my first marathon), I went and picked up my bib and stopped by the finish line.  Here is a preview of the end...

the bib...all fancy this year with my name!

a decent picture of me near the finish line.  note the hair blowing in the breeze...I hope it is breezy tomorrow when it is 80F out.
the shirt.  half marathoners get short sleeve shirts and full marathoners get long sleeve shirts.  this is my first long sleeve shirt!  this is also the third time running this event (2 halves in the past) and this is the third design.

~one tenth mile to the finish line
put the finish line here!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thank You

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I am so thankful for all of you who take time to read and comment on my blog. Tomorrow I know I'll be thinking of all your kind words as I run my first marathon.

Today I am eerily calm. I am ready and I have no time goal so I'll take what comes my way and hopefully enjoy the experience. This is a weekend I'll remember forever.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Marathon Training Goal

Do you ever go into a training plan with a goal for the training?  I did and it did not have anything to do with running.  Yes, I wanted to stay healthy.  Yes, I wanted to get all my miles in.  Yes, there are lots of things I wanted, but I only had one really big goal.

Something I don't talk much about is weight.  My big goal was to keep my weight even.  I didn't want my weight to go up or down over the last 24 weeks.  How did I do?  For the most part I did great!  I kept going to Weight Watchers over this cycle and I am happy to say that my top and bottom weight (other than a little blip after a fun eating weekend) were only 2 pounds apart.  I am finishing my training weighing the same that I started it!  I call that successful!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Marathon Race Plan & Goal

I have been thinking about these two questions since I signed up for the marathon:  What is my plan?  What is my goal?

The second question is much easier to answer than the first.  I have but one goal:  FINISH THE MARATHON!  I have entertained other thoughts but there is only one goal.  The marathon course technically closes after 5h 30m and I would like to finish before the course closes.  If my ITB behaves, I would absolutely love to finish around 5 hours.  I am focused on finishing the race.

The finish line (10/2009 half marathon)
My plan is harder to pin down.  I was planning on running the course, walking through the water stops, and just plug along.  All that was before I rolled my ankle which caused my ITB to act up.  Now, I plan on running as much as I can with walking through the water stops and up hills.  The course is mainly downhill with a few little uphills and uphills aggravate my ITB so walking them should help me.

The race, the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, is a great small race.  I ran the half marathon last year (set my current PR) and the year before (my first half) so I know the last half of the course.  My training over the last two years had me running on most of the first half of the course over and over.  The only part of the course I am not familiar with is the first 3.5 miles.  It feels good knowing the course.

the last ~5 miles look like this
Now, something I have no control over but must complain about anyway!  Fall marathon.  Fall usually means cooler weather (last year it was 38F at the start of this race and the year before just over 40F).  The average high is 63F.  So, what is the weather going to be like on Sunday?  HOT!
See Sunday...81F for a high.  The record high is 83F.  Gah!  Now, since this race is going to take me 5+ hours, I won't finish until early afternoon which means it will be about this warm when I'm running. I am so not happy about it.  The good thing about the forecast:  no rain!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Marathon Training Thoughts

It all started back in May when I won training with the local chapter of USA Fit from The Happy Runner.  Woo hoo!  I won and then I had to train for a marathon (I could have chosen a half, but I wanted a full).  It all fell into my lap and seemed too good to be true.  ADP and the family were on board so I started training.
The beginning of the training plan was spent going back and forth trying to figure out which group (a.k.a. speed) I should run with.  It was a small training group and found out that I was the only one running my pace so I ran alone sometimes and for shorter runs would run with others.  The other part was that it was not until the end of week 11 that I actually had mileage that I was not accustomed to.  It all worked out in the end and I did some long runs and some short runs and a lot in the middle.

The training plan itself started with the week 1 long run being three miles.  Perfect for those going from a 5K or little training to a full marathon.  However, I had been running a half marathon a month so three was shorter than most of my mid-week runs.  It was a little short for me.

The plan is also 24 weeks long.  I am sure those going from a 5K to marathon need this time, but I was ready to be done after about 14 weeks.  I do not know what other marathon training plans are like, but oh this one has taken FOR.EVER!  I have survived though.

The "mechanics" are similar to other plans...long run on the weekend, track workouts, tempo runs, with some easy runs mixed in.  I love long runs.  I growing to love tempo runs (as long as it isn't hot).  Track workouts are still so-so for me.  Up until now I had been doing 400s up to 2000s for my speed work.  This training plan was time based so 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 1 min and 3 mins for the fast part of the track workout.  I get why speed is important in a training plan.  But can someone explain to me how a 1 minute fast / 2 mins slow is going to help me over the course of a marathon that will probably take me at least 300 minutes?  Just curious. the future I will stick to shorter training plans so I'm not ready to be done.  I'll keep the track workouts to "longer" distances (all the better now that I know how to set it up on my garmin to do repeats!!).  I definitely plan to keep the tempo runs as well!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Last Long Run

Friday morning I had my last long run before "the" marathon.  While "the" marathon might be Boston, NYC, Chicago or some other big marathon for many; "the" marathon for me is the race in one week.  My last long run was on Friday morning and I took my phone along and took a few short videos.  Enjoy!

I'll be back later this week with my thoughts on my marathon, training, and some goals for the big day.