Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weekly Mileage

Well I made myself go to the track last Monday to do some sprints. I don't know what distance the track is- I assume 4 laps to a mile (whatever that equals out to). So I probably sprinted 100 yards or something- the length of one side. I did that 8 times in about 20 seconds each time. It was only 20 seconds of my life but I still hated doing them; isn't that weird? 20 seconds is such a short time to not just make yourself do a million of them. Oh well, you have to start somewhere.

Yesterday I probably ran about 7 miles downtown. That reminds me- I haven't run on trail in a long time- dangit! Unfortunately it's been a lot more convenient lately to run on pavement than to drive to a park for trails. My next trail marathon, Tecumseh, isn't until December so I'll have a little time to get back out there.

This afternoon I'll try running a little bit, and then maybe get some hill repeats and/or sprints in, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boston Marathon More Pain Than Gain?

I'm still trying to finalize my plans for Boston and decide on plane tickets, housing, etc. I asked my dad if he'd be interested in going with me and said, "Are you sure that's not the weekend of Pascha?". Dangit! We checked a calendar and sure enough, Pascha is April 19th! I'll be darned!

Technically we celebrate Pascha on Saturday night, April I could try to find a church out there and attend the service. I'd sleep in all day Sunday, wake up for the Expo, sleep, and then run the race on Monday. That seems like a dud...but it might have to happen.

My dad also reminded me that out of all the huge cities he's driven in before, Boston was the most difficult to navigate around. He said he was lost many times and the roads are all weird.

Is this true? How do 25,000+ runners/fans survive Boston each year when the majority of them are from other states/countries? Do they just take taxis everywhere? Any advice/enouragment?

Winter Running Clothes Suck

I've made it out for a few runs in the cold this past week and these darn extra layers of clothes don't make it fun. I already feel like some slow, fat person running---they just weigh you down.

Then it always is hard because you don't know how many layers to put on and if you'll get hot or not. I started out for a run yesterday all bundled up and then stripped down the layers after about 5 minutes. Ahhhhh the troubles of my life.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back up and running...

I went out yesterday for the first time since Columbus Marathon. I started running and just wasn't in the mood to do so, so I walked/ran/walked/ran for a little bit. I decided to do some hill repeats and then I did only about 5 45 second sprints.

Why do I hate sprints? It was seriously super hard for me to make it 45 seconds; I kept looking at my stopwatch. Do any of you have any advice for doing sprints? Will it be easier if I go to a track to do them? I bet doing a 45 second sprint doesn't even do anything for's too short of a distance.

Instead of doing a sprint, should I just run a little faster than normal but not super fast? I think I hate them because I don't like pushing myself to run really fast for that long of a time (yes, 45 seconds is a long time). So maybe if I just run a little slower I'll enjoy them more, but then does it defeat the purpose? Ay ay ay

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally BQ'ed and PR'ed- Columbus Marathon Review

Short story:

I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon- 3:34. I beat my 2004 PR by 13 minutes and I'm pretty happy. The course was awesome- very flat and a lot of downhill portions. The weather was great and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Longer story:

I woke up Sunday morning and had to scrape frost off my car. It was pretty cold in the beginning but it later warmed up- perfect running weather.

Somehow I just knew I would qualify at this race. Two days before the race I had a dream that I qualified, but I forgot to put on my chip so my time wasn't recorded. Then the day before the race, I had a dream I qualified and all was well. It sounds dumb but those 2 dreams actually gave me confidence during the race that I was going to make it.

I didn't know how to plan out my pacing for this race. I had thought about starting out with the 3:30 pace group and then later slowing down to the 3:40 group when I was tired. I was afraid to do that because I didn't want to kill myself early on in the race, but I knew I didn't want to start out with the 3:40 group. Too much pressure.

So anyway, I lined up to start with the 3:30 group. Before the start, I randomly saw Bill there. He was walking the marathon and finished in 5:08- 3rd place! Anyway, the gun went off and the 3:30 group was already out of sight. I ran the first mile in 7 minutes and that group was probably about 25 seconds ahead of me. Way too fast.

Sooo, I just put on my music and was going to try to run a nice pace on my own- always staying ahead of the 3:40 group. And I did- I somehow maintained an 8, 8:05 minute pace the whole way. I kept on feeling good so I kept on trucking.

I think 2 main things contributed to my good run (considering I had only run 3x in the previous 3 weeks).

  • Number 1- my music. Before the race on Saturday, I put together a new "Clara running playlist" to get some good, upbeat songs for the race. It consisted of some Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Blues Travelers, Dave Matthews, Dixie Chicks, Spanish music, etc. The music seriously helped a ton.
  • Number 2- I took Chris's advice and sugared up during the whole race. I normally will eat 3-5 gus during a marathon and this time I ate 7. Every half hour I took an S!Cap and a Gu. I never felt sick and I actually had a better post-race recovery. I wasn't even hungry.

I had read reviews on the race beforehand about the amount of hills on this course. Half of them said that the course was flat, and the other half said it definitely wasn't flat as advertised. I was expecting the worst and I found the course to be super flat. I am one who hasn't done a hill workout in forever and I hate incline, and the course seemed perfect. There were maybe 2 small inclines that lasted less than .3 miles, and that was it.

There was surprinsingly a lot of downhill and that was super nice. It was especially nice having the last .2 miles into the finish line be downhill.

Anyway, a good race all in all. I'm glad I don't have to spend more money on an out of town race just to try to qualify again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A good, wet run

I finally ran yesterday for the first time since the Akron Marathon (and I wonder why it's hard for me to qualify for Boston...). I should have been studying but I had to take advantage of the rainy weather; and my next race,the Columbus Marathon, is approaching quickly.

I ran about 5.5 miles at about a 7:35 pace and hope to get out there again this afternoon. Since I know you're all interested, during my run I felt a gnat go right down my throat and it felt like it was stuck there. It was gross and made me start coughing a lot. For the rest of my run and even when I got home, I kept coughing because it felt like I hadn't swallowed it completely. Sure enough, after coughing a million times, that darn little gnat came up in my spit. Isn't that gross? I've never actually brought an insect back up- that should be a talent.