Month: October 2011

My Weak Week

I am almost one week post-marathon (Boston qualifying run in case you missed it), and I really messed up.  I didn’t recover properly.  I think my first mistake was not eating enough or very well after the race.  I drank a bunch of OJ, ate a bagel, had half a sandwich, and some grapes.  That was it until about 4 hours later when I had a burger, fries, and chocolate shake.  I also didn’t take care of my body right either.  Instead of going home and icing my muscles I took a shower and crawled into bed…for 3 hours!

My poor recovery haunted me all week.  By Tuesday I was having terrible PMS (post marathon syndrome).  I was crabby and crying and just felt awful! By Wednesday I was dragging;  I had no energy.  Thursday I finally tried to run; it didn’t go so well.  My quads were still killing me and I could barely turn my legs over.  I walked a bunch of my run.  I came home,showered, and decided to take the day off and stay home in bed.  I slept for 4 more hours and just kept eating whatever sounded good.

Finally, Friday morning I felt like me again (although the quads are still a little unhappy).  I am convinced had I properly recovered immediately after the race and the next 24 hours I don’t think I would have felt so bad for so long.  I spent so much time getting ready for the race I didn’t even think about what to do after the race.  I wont make the same mistake twice!

Portland Marathon 2011 Race Report

About 10 months ago joined Twitter after listening to the Geeks in Running Shoes podcast.  They used to do this thing called the “Twitter Search and Follow” and my interest was peaked to finally looked into Twitter.  One of the first people I met was a Teri (@runnerteri).  After a few exchanges it turned out that Teri would have been my pacer at the 2010 Portland Marathon had I stayed with the group.  After the warm reception from her and a couple other Portland Runners (@julierje, @Sarah430, just to mention a couple), I decided that I needed to come back to Portland to run this marathon again.

It wasn’t until that last 6-8 weeks before Portland did I realize that I might be in a position to qualify for Boston.  I had said a long time ago that I wanted to do Boston before I was 40, but I had lost sight of it because I just never thought I could run the needed pace for 26.2 miles.  But since I picked up triathlon I had made some huge gains in speed and endurance.  I ran Portland last year in 4:21 and I had to run sub 3:40 this year to qualify.   That was over 1:30 faster per mile!  After a couple confidence boosting races (Vineman and the Half Marathon of the Harbors), as well as some very strong support from my running community I finally started thinking this might be possible!

So with the hay in the barn, I flew off to Portland to “get it done”.  Pre-race was awesome.  I met up with Teri, Julie, and Courtney; three of my Twitter/Dailymile Friends.  It was great to meet them finally!  We even got a quick little run in down by  the river on Saturday.

Race morning went very smooth.  No problems getting up, getting ready, getting fed, and getting to the start.  We managed to park right behind my corral which was perfect!  Met some really nice people while waiting for the start; two men who were doing all 50 states, and someone else with whom I had a shared friend (small world).  Courtney found me in the corral and we waited for the start.

As usual I went out a little bit fast but I was feeling great!  I needed to run 8:20 minute miles to come in under 3:40 but I really wanted go for 8:15 minute miles to give myself some cushion.  I kept looking at my watch and I was running well under 8 minute miles.  I had to keep slowing myself down so I would have something left at the end.  All was going great until the train.  You have to cross several train tracks during the race and I knew that with the pace I was going for I had a very good chance of getting stopped at one.  Sure enough, I did.  I was stuck there for a good 1:30-2 minutes.  I knew that if I bonked later in the run this could be the difference between qualifying or not.  Since there was nothing I could do but run the rest of the race I tried not to dwell on it.

I felt great for the out and back portion (running 5 miles in row under 8:00 minutes each), but once I made the turn back into NW Portland my quads started hurting.  I just kept running, very aware of my pace; trying to run fast but smart.  I was also very aware of my nutrition and hydration.  I didn’t want to get behind on either of them because that could end my race for me very quickly.  I made it up the hill at 16-18 and over the St. John ’s Bridge; quads still hurting but very happy to only have 8 miles left.  These next four miles were much harder than they were for me last year.  I had really pushed the pace in the beginning and was feeling it now.  My legs were heavy and I kept feeling my pace slow.  I was not a happy camper at this point.  But I was so close to Boston that I decided I was going to push it until I exploded.

At 21-22 you start a descent that I thought  was going to hurt more than it did.  The pain in my quads was going away or the adrenaline/endorphins were taking over.  I really didn’t care; I just wanted to be done.  I made it over the Broadway bridge that is just under two miles from the finish and started looking for Salmon St.  Last year Salmon was much closer (I am sure of it); it felt like an eternity before I got to it and turned up for the finish.  I finally got to it, made the last two turns and ran with tears in my eyes across the finish line.

Because I had been stopped by the train I had no idea what my time actually was (I hadn’t turned off the auto pause because I didn’t expect to get stopped).  Luckily Tara (@frenchiegirl) had been tracking my race and had been tweeting me the time (bless her heart).  I tweeted her and asked her to check my finishing time, 3:36:18!  I had just Boston qualified!  More tears of joy started flowing!  I couldn’t believe I had just done it!

I proceeded to eat everything in sight and give my body some time to get back together while I waited for Julie and Teri.  Once I got home I showered and promptly went into post race coma where I didn’t move for about 2 hours!  Once I downloaded my Garmin time I realized that my time might have been as fast at 3:34:43 if I hadn’t been stopped by the train.  I have sent a request to have time adjusted but I l kind of doubt they can help me.  It is worth asking!(** See update below)

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family and friends.  There was a lot of training that went into this race, and my family has been patient and understanding with all the time I spend training.  I have found a TON of support through my Dailymile/Twitter friends and my Teammates.  Honestly, without their support, encouragement and don’t think I would have even tried to do this!  They believed in me and encouraged me in ways that have propelled me to believe I can do more than I ever thought possible.

Now I get to go into PMS (post marathon syndrome) for a couple weeks, but I have another marathon in 4 weeks to do (it was my back up in case I didn’t qualify in Portland).  The only thing to work out is if I am just going to run the race and enjoy the 26 miles, or can I better my time… Give me about 10 days to decide (although, sub 3:35 for real sounds mighty good!)

**So I asked and they listened and they corrected my time to 3:34:43!  The reason it is significant is it gets me more than 5 minutes under my qualifying time which allows me to register for Boston on day earlier than before.  I have been having a very bad case of PMS (post marathon syndrome) since the marathon.  I need to take a step back and realize that I ran the best race I have ever run and I should be REALLY proud of my accomplishment! I ended up 27/730 for my age group which to me is amazing! Here is the Garmin data from the race as well.  And I will NOT be racing that marathon in four weeks.  My body is beat! I will run it in preparation for the 50K, but I am shooting for around 4:00 hours instead!

September 2011 Training Summary

Training Summary

  • Running – 124 Miles /19:22
  • Swimming – 7 miles/5:13
  • Biking – 193 miles/13:13
  • Total Distance – 330 miles
  • Total Time : 39:49


My only race for September was the Carpinteria Olympic Distance Triathlon (race report to follow).  It was cool to go back and do this race again; it was my first tri that I have done twice so far.  I only took a minute off my swim but I took over 10 minutes of my ride and 10 minutes off my run.  My time this year was almost 30 minutes faster than last year.  It is nice to see such a measurable change in my performance.  That really makes the hours of training feel even more worthwhile.  I do, however, really need to work on my transitions. I could have jumped up a few places had I been faster out of the water and on to the bike.

Notes on Month

Over all I increased my distance and time for all three disciplines.  I did my best to do the prescribed speed work for the marathon but a sore hip sidelined me a little.  This was my last month of training for the Portland Marathon coming up in 10/9/2011.  My last long run didn’t go as well as I hoped but it was good to have a bonk run before the race, and hopefully not on race day (fingers crossed).  I also got some fantastic news this month and I have been included in a new triathlon team, Team Cook Train Eat Race.  This couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  The support from the team might be what saves my ability to race next year.  I also got a new bike!  A 2011 Cannondale Slice 5.  I only took her out a couple times so far but I love riding her!

Goals for October

  • Qualify for Boston at the Portland Marathon on October 9, 2011
  • Stay healthy to finish up my running season with the 50K in November
  • Spend time on my bike
  • Enjoy my time in the pool

Virawear- Run Like a Warrior

Reflective logo, 26.2!

Through my Team CTER I was lucky to be introduced to a new company, Virawear,  producing active wear for a person just like me! Their motto “Clothing for the Everyday Warrior” fits me to a tee.  As did their shirt!  I got a long sleeve technical shirt and once the temperature finally dropped I took it for a run.  What I really like about the product is that the shirts are designed for women.  Specifically they are cut very well around the tummy; a little bit longer and with a perfect flair to accommodate the hips.  Instead of a long sleeve shirt with no style you have a nice technical shirt that fits fantastically and wicks sweat wonderfully.  The cool tribal influenced graphic on the front reflects well which is good because I do a lot of running in the dark.  Over all the shirt is very comfortable, super cute, and great for running!  I can’t wait to see what new products they come out with.

Perfect fit (especially around the middle)

Longer shirt and flare for the hips, LOVE IT!