Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Marathon Plans

My New Piano

I've been thinking a lot about the marathon lately.  Even though the half was hard I feel even more inspired to pursue the full marathon.  In fact, I am wanting to start training for it soon and not wait until 2015.  So, I have been looking at the different options.  One that interests me is the Avenue of Giants Marathon in the Redwoods up by Eureka California.  It is absolutely beautiful there.  The only issue is it doesn't have a lot of spectators and not a lot of different sights except for the amazing trees.  There are a lot of reviews of the race online.  Some absolutely love it and others mention the lack of people and some poor organization.  It is in May which I like as this gives me time to prepare but also the chance to get started on the training soon.  Also if I get it done in May I can relax over the summer.  Plus I was thinking of being a little more involved at Church next year (I'd like to be a worship associate-the one who leads service) and this would give me more time.  If I wait to do the race next winter than the fall is shot as far as taking on any more activities.  

We are getting solar power put on our roof!

But... I really like spectators.  Their cheering helps keep me running and I think with 26.2 miles I am really going to need it.  Ok, so there is the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon on June 2nd.  Good spectators, sights, music, support services.  But a lot of the reviews mention a nasty hill at mile 21!  Omg, that doesn't sound good.  Chicago marathon is in October, it is supposed to be great, especially for first timers,  but that is pretty far and expensive.  Marine Corps marathon is also in October in Washington DC.  Pretty cool.  But again, there is the expense and I would still have to wait until October.  And waiting until then would wipe out any significant travel in the summer or fall unless it is to the race itself.  I was sort of considering going to Europe with the family in the fall too.  


Well, the Avenue of the Giants is starting to look better.  Plus there is this amazing sounding eco-vegan-resort in Mendocino that we could go to after.  And if we did that perhaps it would just be Kelly and me which would be nice.  On the other hand I love having the whole family there to support my run. But then the resort would be kind of expensive for a family of 4. (or 3 if Kaylie has school which she might and Aiden would too of course.)  Oh my.  I just can't figure this one out.  I guess I will give it some more time and see what unfolds.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lake Hodges Half Marathon Recap

Saturday I ran the She Runs Half Marathon trail race at Lake Hodges.  I got up at 5:00 am and made myself a smoothie of 2 dates, a banana, water , chia seeds and ice.  It is pretty basic and less than what I usually put in a smoothie but I wanted mostly carbs and something easily digested.  I drank it up, half awake at 5 and then went back to bed for an hour.  At 6:30 I got up, took a quick shower (why, when I am going to run, take a shower?, but I think it helps me sweat less therefore chafe less. No hair wash just the body), got on my best (i.e. least likely to chafe) running clothes and did the most important thing to do before a race.  Can you guess?  Well, there is no nice way to say it but emptying the bowels is paramount to a good race.  It is really uncomfortable to have to go the bathroom half way through the race.  So that is why I eat at 5am for a 8am race.  I also drink a lot of fluids the day before and some at 5 am but then stop after that until during the race.

I arrived at 7:20 for the 8:00 am start.  I used the porta potty again (twice actually) and then registered.  I got a cute shirt though it is a bit small for me.  It is always so hard to figure out what size to request.  Sometimes small is perfect and medium is too big and sometimes small is too small and medium would be better.  Ugghh.  It's cute too but we'll see if it will work for runs. Maybe short ones.  I also got a cute water bottle and a pink wrist band that says "proud to run like a girl" which I like and wore all day for a couple days after the race.  Anyway, I put my new stuff and my jacket in the car and lined up at the starting gate.  It was a small race, only 133 people finished.  That was fun to be in such a small race after the last which was at Disneyland and had thousands.  I ran with my pediatrician friend Alisa almost the entire race.  She left me behind at mile 12 to finish strong.  The race was all on dirt and had lots of rocks and tree roots to watch out for.  I almost fell on my face twice.  Overall, though, my body felt good.  There was a big hill mile 10 to 11 and I ran up it without stopping which was a goal of mine.   Alisa stopped for a short part of the hill and this is probably wise because walking is as close to as fast as running like I did but for me it is psychological.  However she quickly caught up and probably had a little more energy to finish by walking a small portion of the hill.  Or maybe she is just in a little better shape.  She has run many more races than I have and been at this for longer.  She even ran a full marathon.  My goal, my elusive, crazy, insane goal.  Back to Lake Hodges.  I felt really good until the last mile.  This was the case with my other runs too.  That last mile is hard.  I was feeling slightly nauseated and the fact that the sun was much stronger now didn't help.  But I kept going, not stopping and crossed the finish line to the cheers of Alisa, Kelly and Aiden.  She finished about 1 minute ahead. My final time was 2 hours and 24 minutes. #70 of 133.  This is about the same time as my first marathon in March of 2012. But this one was on dirt which makes a huge difference.  So, I am feeling pretty good about Carlsbad in January.  I think I may be improving somewhat and might be able to pull off a personal record there.  We'll see.

My only concern though is a new physical issue.  I think I may have pulled my groin muscles somehow.  Both sides hurt but the left worse.  It was happening before the race but is worse now.  Every once in a while I have sharp intense pain in the muscles/ligaments along my inguinal region.  And last night it was throbbing when I was trying to sleep so I had to take Motrin.  It isn't constant but it is super severe when it hits.  It only last a few seconds or so but it hurts so much.  And it worries me.  This is a new one and I haven't read much about it in my running magazines so I am not sure what to do.  I will have to research it and maybe speak with my doctor if it continues.  I don't want it to hamper my future races.

Lastly, 13.1 miles was HARD.  I really can't imagine doing 26.2.  At 13 I was ready to collapse. And I even felt a little like throwing up.  It passed quickly and I felt fine and actually recovered pretty quickly.  But how am I going to ever do 26.2?  Really not sure.

Friday, November 8, 2013

detour ahead

Tomorrow morning I will run my fourth half marathon. This is the first one I have done on a trail instead of the road. It is at Lake Hodges. The trail has hills and can be a bit rocky. I am not sure how many women will be running (it is a race just for women -that's a first also unless you count Disneyland's Tinkerbell half which was mostly women and some men) but I hope there are not too many runners because the trail can be a bit narrow and slightly treacherous. I've run some of the trail I am doing tomorrow many times before which I think will be helpful. Especially the hilly part. But half of the run is unknown. I will also have a friend to run with. We are planning on starting out together and then if one feels more inspired to run faster then we will split up. I know I will be running this much slower than my other half marathons on the road just due to the effects of running on dirt and rocks etc and also due to the hills. So I am mentally preparing myself for a slower result. I am excited. I mentioned it to my stepdaughter, Kaylie. And she said "oh, yeah, running 13 miles sounds like a lot of fun" with a bit of sarcasm I believe. She made me laugh because it will be miserable at certain points (the hills, the last 3 miles probably) and I wonder why that it is fun but, what can I say, it just is.

Earlier this week I ran a 6 mile run at Penasquitos Preserve.  I have run the trail many times.  I go there at least once a week.  On this particular day I went on my regular trail and one mile in came upon this detour sign.  They were doing some trail construction work so I had to go on a smaller side trail.  This single lane trail basically ran parallel to my usual road with the same end point of the water fall at 3 miles.  I had never noticed this trail before.  It was so beautiful.  The photos I stopped and took along my run don't do it justice.  It was gorgeous.  And if it wasn't for the detour I never would have seen it.

A friend of ours recently was diagnosed with cancer. He is doing this intense regimen of chemo where he is admitted to the hospital for a full week of continuous chemo then is off for 2 weeks and then admitted again to repeat. He will do this until next February! Can you imagine? You are swimming along in your life and all of a sudden wham this is your new reality. Forget work, forget dinners at home, forget sleeping in your own bed, forget everything you normally do. From now on you will be living one of every 3 weeks in a hospital getting poison put into your veins to stop the cancer. I have been thinking of him, his positive attitude, his strength, his friendships. He's a lucky guy to have so much. I am a lucky woman to have so much. I am grateful. I am grateful.