Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sugar and Spice Inaugural half Marathon

The Sugar and Spice half marathon had all the makings of a great event.  I very enthusiastic race director, way cool swag that included a long sleeve tech shirt, a nice bag, a ear warmer head band, a sports bottle, chapstick and a koozie.  There was 350 women registered and the weather was perfect, about 45 degrees at race start.  However, it goes down as my worst race and here is why:  There was a turn before mile 2 that wasn't marked clearly and many missed this turn.  No one was at the turn directing traffic off the main road we were running down, which means I ran .8 miles more than the 13.1.  Every time I ran up to a mile marker I knew the race was off on distance.  This was very fustrating as I knew it blew any chance of a PR and my rank in my age group is off as I can't tell how many missed the turn and how many didn't.  On a personal note, I had some pain in my tendon on the outside of my right knee that was making running hard very difficult.  I was really exhausted going into the event and with the pain, and the fustration of the poorly marked course, I was mad the entire time I ran.  I am scheduled to run this course again on my birthday, April 7th and I hope the course is corrected at that time.  I hope to do better, though the chances of the temps being warmer are significant which warmer temps equals slower running times for me.  I am scheduled to run the Sugarland half marathon on March 3rd, so I hope I can redeem myself and have a better race there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2013 Chevron Marathon

Houston Marathon 2013: I felt like I was trained and ready to not only finish, but run a decent (for me) race. After coming off some decent half marathon times I even had hope a new marathon PR. Then the weather forecast became a reality. I was sharing a room with running friends, Leslie and Tiffany. Leslie had signed up for the full, but had to defer with a knee injury. She made the best of the day by using her nursing skills to volunteer at medical about  mile 18. Tiffany ran the half marathon so we walked from the hotel to the start lines. This hotel only had 1 queen size bed that they shared, so I was sleeping on a cot, not too bad except I could feel the springs poking me. With the threat of cold and rain, I packed every possible outfit. I bought compression socks at the expo and wore those under my regular running socks which helped keep my feet a little drier. I ended up running the race with a poncho that I wore the entire time, even when it wasn't raining. The start of the race was wet and cold, but adrenaline was keeping me from feeling it. I met a very nice older man who comes down every year from Colorado to run this race. He was planning to run a much faster pace than I could, so we parted ways as soon as the race started. I spent a lot of energy dodging as many large puddles as I could trying to keep my feet as dry as possible. This definately added extra time and distance, but felt it was worth the effort. I was running a sub 10 min/mile pace and walking through water stops so felt pretty good there. Around the half marathon mark, I saw a guy wearing a marathon maniac top and ran with him for 2 miles. I asked him a couple questions about races he has ran and he got my mind off the running for a while. He says he runs a marathon almost every weekend, and takes the week off to recover. His goal is 100 marathons by the time his daughter graduates high school and I believe he had done 67 so far. He must travel alot to find a marathon every weekend. After we parted, I was starting to feel all my aches and pains until I saw my friend volunteering at water station mile 18.  Mile 15-18 was mentally tough. Seeing a familiar face really helped boost me up. Mile 22-26+ was tough, I knew I was close to a PR but my right hip felt out of allignment. ( all the jumping around puddles had taken its toll) Finally the end was great. I knew I had a PR, my pace went from 10:39 to 10:11 from the prior year. As soon as I stopped and unzipped my poncho, the clothes under were soaked from sweat (ick) and got really cold, so I started shivering bad. I had massage help stretch out the legs and hips. I grapped my car and headed home.
I made many trips to the chiropracter since then and even took an entire week off running jan 20-26 to help recover from this marathon. I ran 9 miles during the super bowl and had a good run, no pain and managed an overall 5.7 mph. I walked every half mile for 30 seconds.
Next up is the Sugar and Spice half 02/17, Sugarland half 03/03 and the Angie's half 04/07. Also my first tri is 04/27 and have been swimming and biking every week as well.
I'm determined to do an ultra eventually. I had signed up for the 50K 01/27 but DNF'd due to lingering pains after Houston. I think I can finish an ultra as long as I treat it like a long training run and not try to "race" it.