Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I did as well as I could have expected, making my realistic goal time of 5:45 (and 44 seconds).  It still hasn't entirely sunk in yet so more to come later!

On Haines Point.  Kathy, in the middle, didn't make it to the end, having to bail around mile 17 or so.  Hengameh and I split up around mile 15.

On the 14th Street Bridge, the least happy place on earth, shortly before mile 21.

 Just... one... more... step!

Monday, October 25, 2010

LAST TRAIL RUN! 10 miles 02:04

Last long run of the training program.  Woo hoo!

We met down at Ken-Gar, where it all began with a 7 mile run on Mother's Day.  The group has dwindled as some have completed their marathons and others have dropped out but we had a decent group of 12:30s.  It was nice to be back on an old familiar trail, one that I'd been sick of seeing months ago but was grateful to encounter yesterday since I knew it so well.

I started the day feeling pretty awful, I had a headache and a stomach problem that I just couldn't shake.  Around mile 2.5 I was feeling a little better, good enough to skip the bathroom stop and take off my jacket.  But the headache didn't subside and the constant beeping of one of the runner's Garmins was like a knife in my eardrum and I just couldn't take it.  I abandoned my dear friend to let her run with Beepy and I chugged along with a few other members of the group.

I often tend to lose some steam (mostly mental) after the turn-arounds, something about having to go back the same way always seems a little draining.  But not this time, in fact Eugene and I pushed the group to go faster than we had been running.  Not crazy fast, but a decent pace that we were able to maintain while chatting with Robin who ran his marathon in Chicago two weeks ago.  I think we only stopped for a brief walk break at intersections and for a few seconds at the turn around, it was a pretty solid run.

Around mile 8.5 I started to feel pretty awful again, I actually wasn't sure I'd make it back to a bathroom but figured my best chance was to speed up and get there as fast as I could.  I blew past everyone else in our group, especially in the last half mile, just to get it over with.  Despite feeling like crap I ran pretty well, certainly not my fastest 10 miles (that was 1:55 during the Philly half) but a good time for our last easy long run.  Less than a week to M Day!

Track Workout - 10/20/10 - 5.15 miles 57:18

As members of the group are running their races the number of participants at the track gets smaller and smaller.  It was always less popular than the long runs anyway but this particular night it was especially empty.  It was to be an easy workout, two warm-up and two cool-down laps, 3X1200s.  I ran the first two laps with Coach Carol who was the only other member of our pace group there before Eugene showed up.

And then we ran.  And ran, and just kept running.  Completely ignored the cool-down laps or the instructions to take it easy and run 30, definitely no more than 60, seconds faster than LSD pace.  When all was said and done we averaged about 11.07 miles, about thirty seconds faster than the fastest we should have been doing.  But it felt good and I wasn't in any pain or tired so I kept going, finishing the last lap at a 9:54 pace.

I was afraid of pushing and hurting myself but all seemed well after the run. My knee was a little sore so I iced but it recovered quickly.  Things are looking pretty good!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trail Run - 10/19/10 - 14 miles - 03:00

I am less than two weeks away from becoming a marathoner.  Holy crap.

Sunday was our dress rehearsal.  We got to meet an hour later than usual, at 8AM but luckily they didn't make us go out in waves (I have no idea what time I'll actually start the race).  We were to wear what we plan to wear marathon day and take any liquids and fuels we'd be using.  We were also supposed to get up early to best simulate race day but there was no way in hell I was getting up at 4AM when I didn't need to leave the house until after 7, I'd just fall back asleep.  So I got up at six.  I still should have left a little earlier since the Bethesda Arts Festival meant I had to drive around in circles to get to the usual parking lot at the beginning of the Capital Crescent Trail.

We had a group five strong, no coach since ours had just run a marathon the day before.  But it was an out and back on a course we'd run a dozen times so it was no problem.  We ran as a group down to Georgetown, taking brief walk breaks every two miles or so to get some fluids and a quick bathroom break at mile 5.  Somewhere around mile 8 my right knee started bugging me again, after last week's great run I thought this knee thing was behind me.  It didn't really slow me down any and was just a minor annoyance more than anything else but I can't imagine having to deal with it for an additional 12 miles.  I had it strapped but I think the patellar strap may have done more harm than good since the pressure point of the strap is especially sore now.

We ended up finishing in three separate groups, I finished in exactly three hours (including at least one of the stops where I forgot to turn off the Garmin, I think we actually ran about 2:57).  The idea was to start slow then gradually speed up for the second half of the run but I knew out of the gate that wasn't happening especially since the second half is all up hill.  Looking at the splits we kept a steady pace the entire run which works for me.  I struggled a bit more than on the previous week's 20 but overall it wasn't a bad run.  I have a few more things to figure out before race day, but there's plenty of time.  12 days, 16 hours and 8 minutes worth...

Track Workout - 9/13/10 - ?? ??

I had some Garmin issues during the track run, I have no idea how far or how fast or how long I ran.   I know it was at least 3 miles, I'm pretty sure it was about 5.  Oh well!

This was my first workout at the "new" track, we'd been running at the local community college but have moved to a high school for the remainder of the training (only two more track runs left).  Somehow it seems smaller even though it's certainly not and it's much softer and newer, the college track has some cracks and bumps and one section is right under oak trees which are dropping acorns like crazy.  This one doesn't have great lighting but it's much better.

So other than track conditions not much to report.  I ran mostly with Ameenah, she's thinking about dropping out or deferring.  I think she should just go for it, she's SO CLOSE, and really if I couldn't make it this year I doubt I'd ever do this training again and I think she feels the same way.  Neither of us love running at the moment, we're beat mentally and physically but I know I have enough left for the next two weeks.  She's not so sure but I'd be really bummed if she didn't make it to race day. 

I feel like I ran some pretty fast laps like we were supposed to, but I really have no idea.  Sometimes it's nice just to run by feel anyway, it's a much more enjoyable experience and one I hope to get back to after the race is over.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trail Run - 10/10/10 - 20 miles - 04:19:37

Last 20 miler before the race!  Last really long run before the race (next weekend is 14, then 10 - yay for the taper)!

We were to do the Bethesda loop again starting at Capital Crescent, the same route I did on my last 20 mile run.  I did not like this route at all, the first 8 miles were great, 8-12 were mediocre, 12-20 just all out sucked.  It's a lot of uphill and on the last run it was a lot of heat then a lot of rain.  So while I wasn't exactly excited about it I wanted to see if I could do better this time.

We had a decent sized 12:30 pace group, six of us including the coach.  Maybe a mile or two in the coach let us know that, since her marathon is this weekend (good luck!) she would only be running 10, meaning we'd be left to figure out how to complete the second half of the loop on our own.  Hengameh and I looked at each other with a clear sense of dread, we have NO sense of direction and from what I recall the route (through Rock Creek park, through the zoo, Beach Drive, Silver Spring) was not exactly easy to follow.  Amongst ourselves we all decided that we weren't going to chance it.  We had no idea if the 13s were behind us or how far ahead the other groups were.  Some of our group was only running 10 anyway so most decided to run 5 down the trail, then 5 back up, then maybe 5 north?  I felt like running back and forth would just kill my motivation so Hengameh and I decided to run 10 down to DC then back up, knowing the last 8 miles would be all uphill.  I think it was the right choice.

We split at 5 miles when everyone else turned around.  We stopped at the boathouse in Georgetown, then again at the 10 mile mark for some more fuel and a walk break.  Then again at the boathouse, then the other boathouse, then the water stop.  Pretty reasonable, it was a stop about every 2-3 miles.  Really breaks up the monotony of running that far.  I just have to get to Fletcher's, then I can take break, and I only have 5 miles left.  I just have to get to the water fountain, then I can take a break, and I only have three miles left.  Then, a little over 4 hours later (not including bathroom breaks but including walks) you're done.

It was a pretty relaxing run, I felt I definitely had more in tank at the end since we took it pretty easy.  I had wrapped my troublesome right knee nine ways from Sunday - I had on KT Tape, a patellar strap underneath and an IT strap above my kneecap.  And I had no trouble, it was a little sore but I wouldn't even put it in the minor annoyance category.  I was waiting for the agony afterward, it was stiff when I got out of the car but since then... nothing.  Again a little sore but not nearly as swollen as it has been.  I don't know what part of the treatment did the trick but you bet I'm going to keep doing all of it through October 31st.