Sunday, December 23, 2012

looking back, looking forward

 2012 - Looking Back

December 31, 2011 - final post - this is what it said at the end of the post:

"2012 you ask???

well it looks like I need to update my 13.1 & 26.2 PRs, 
but early 2012 will be focused on a 5k PR

On Dec. 31st I ran a 12k PR.   Fast forward, and the condensed version, I am thankful and very blessed to say,  I was successful in 2012.
13.1 PR - November 24th at the Gulf Coast Half marathon - 1:46:35
26.2 PR - Sept. 15th at the Top of Utah 26.2 - 3:43:28 - 6 min PR
5k PR - I ran a PR in March,  and then improved that time on  October 26th at the  Pumpkin Dash 5k - 22:55  

I started 2012 with another goal:
  **eat an apple a day during 2012  #appleaday2012.
Somewhere along the way, of course, I forgot to eat an apple one day!  Oh MY !  so the goal became 365 apples.  I doubled-up the day after the first forgotten apple.  Since that first mental failure, it's happened a few times along the way, but

 I will end 2012 having reached the 
**goal to consume 365 apples - SUCCESS !
(interesting to note - I was sick, early in Jan. but since that time, no illness at all - was it the apples?  
I don't know, but I think I will continue eating an apple-a-day)

**Another 2012 goal was to run 2012 miles.  
As of today, I'm 36.5 miles shy of this goal.  This gives me a perfectly timed  "step-back" week.    I have a 12K race or tempo coming up on Jan. 1, and a race or a tempo at The Blues Half Marathon Jackson, MS on Jan. 5th.   I will decide which race, "to race",  based on the weather prediction for the week. 
 I plan to "race" on the day with the chillier temps.   

At 44, I feel especially fortunate to continue to run the miles I log.  
Each year, I have big goals (big for me), and I'm thankful and blessed to:
1.  be able to do it
2.  have the ongoing desire to do it
3.  have a relentless desire to set goals & keep working toward them until I reach "my" success  
4.  have found a dedicated, goal-oriented, and fun running partner with a somewhat flexible schedule - we work well together.  Terri and I team up for the quality days.  thanks Terri - I enjoyed the 2012 training.  Recently, Nikki has joined our group for some of the quality runs.  Nikki is one of those "natural speedsters" that we slow-twitch runners, love to hate on - lol.    I also have other running friends who join me for the easy/recovery days from time to time - thanks to anyone willing to run with me when I need to cover some miles.  All of you, help to keep the miles fun.  Thank You! 

In 2012, I also totally conquered my soda addiction.   I started working on this in 2011.   I transitioned over to Perrier water because I still craved "the fizz".  I'm happy that today, I no longer crave the diet soda or even the fizzy water.  

In 2011, I  focused more on "mental race prep", and in 2012, I continued on this path.  It has proven to be HUGE for me.  It has given me an added strength that I couldn't have imagined, and one that I can't explain (it's like trying to explain the benefits of yoga to someone).   

One final happy note from 2012.  In Dec., I had some routine blood work doneMy doctor stamped an "excellent" on my lab results.  Seems like my "kind-of" healthy ways are paying off.  My family medical history is NOT bright.  Over the past 15-20 years, I've continued to improve my nutrition each year.  Some people think I'm weird, some make fun of me (mostly behind my back - ha), and most in MS,AL,LA just "don't get me".  I've been "weird" for years - probably started around the time that I started doing yoga, years ago.  Really - how weird is that !  ha ha  Seriously,  why would you "try" to eat better when you can pop a pill to fix things?  Makes no sense to most around here and I'm ok with that.   (I've never been one to follow the crowd,  or need to be like everyone else - thankfully, that is not me)   The "genes" will likely catch-up with me one day, but I choose to work toward, maybe( ??),  delaying the gene factor.  Even if  "the genes" catch up with me tomorrow, I feel better when I eat better.     
besides......I can't afford to pay pills to fix things - I have running shoes to buy 

2013  - Looking Forward

I'm so anxious for my birthday to arrive in 2013 - really ?  YES !  
When I turned 40, almost 5 years ago, I had the goal to PR in each race distance (2 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon).  I achieved that goal and have continued on an awesome path the last 5 years.  A running path, I didn't even imagine.  If you've been running for many years, you understand, at some point, PRs are no longer an easy achievement.  Many years ago, I would have NEVER thought I would be running for PRs for this many years, and at age 45 still able to do it, and still having a desire to do it.   Going into my 45th year, I feel healthy and strong.  I'm anxious to go after my next goal.   

**The BIG One!   As I go into 2013, the year I turn 45, my goal will once again be to PR in all of the different race distances.  My year will run from March 4th 2013 - March 3rd 2014.  My goal will be to PR in the 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, and if the opportunity presents itself, I hope to add the 2 mile, 5 mile, and 12k to my list of PR races in my 45th year.  

**I want to become a much better HILL racer.   Boston 2013 - my goal is to BQ (3:55) on the Boston course.  My PR is 3:43, but that's on a downhill course.  My goal this spring is to become a MUCH better hill racer.  I will get some practice at the Blues half marathon in Jan. and the Mercedes half marathon in Feb. 

** I will continue on the path to learn additional  tips, tricks, and exercises for "the mind."

**As if that wasn't enough, my next goal will be to give up chewing gum.  Like the diet sodas, I want to get rid of the chemical laden habit.  I will allow myself all of 2013 to overcome this addiction.  

**Next - I WILL maintain my weight within 5 lbs.  This will be the toughest on the list for me.   Instead of putting on 10 lbs, hitting "the gross factor", then dropping back down, I want to do a better job of maintaining "my" happy weight.   Coinciding this goal, I would like to continue on my path to stop using food as a reward.  I've been working on this one for a while.  Long ago, I gave up the "I ran a long run, I can eat anything I want" - no ginny - you can not!  I am "better", but I still have a tendency to use food in the wrong way.   while I'm doing better, I still have work to do......

**Finally, I will give up facebook for the month of January....gasp ......YES facebook. 
 Sometimes, I find myself on fb, and being aggravated with comments.  REALLY ?  so, I will give up fb for the month of Jan. and then re-evaluate.  At that point, I can choose to remain OFF, or I may return to fb usage, but if you are my "friend" on fb, don't aggravate me in 2013 - lol.  If you do, I will hide you.  Life is short, and I'm too old to be on fb, and not be happy.  I suspect the 2nd option will be where I end up.  I do find some of the local business stuff helpful, and I especially enjoy the happy / motivational sites.  we shall see.........  



Saturday, November 24, 2012

PR Half Marathon

Fall arrives in South MS 
seems strange when I think about the leaves changing in  mid-Sept.,  at the Top of Utah marathon in Logan, but mid to late Nov. is our typical,  peak of fall color.
This morning,  I headed down with friends to run the Gulf Coast half marathon on the Stennis Space Center campus.  
It's become tradition for me,  and it's actually one of my favorite half or full marathon courses, 
IF the weather is right  (it can be HOT AND HUMID at this race)  
 Flat, fast, and cold,  my kind of race !
 I mean, feast on Thurs.,  and race on Sat. - seems smart to me. 
We were excited to be greeted with chilly race conditions.  

with the extra few lbs. of recent wks, I had low expectations, but always go into great weather races with HIGH hopes.   Apparently the humidity was LOW because I felt really good today.  
cold and low humidity = happy, happy me
I ended the day with a new half PR - 1:46:35
Today's time is 51 seconds faster than my 2010 half marathon PR race, on this same course.  Typically, I don't run a lot of half marathons, but that will change this winter.  
It was a PR kind of day and several of our friends left the Gulf Coast with new personal records.  
Gulf Coast Marathon Stennis 2012
8:05 avg

1.  8:09
2.  8:04
3.  8:03
4.  8:01
5.  8:05
 6.  8:18 
6- maybe one of the miles heading North,  into the wind
7.  8:10
 8.  7:58 
9.  8:06
10. 8:05
11. 8:05
12. 8:04
13. 8:02
.1   1:18 
it really doesn't matter how you get to the finish line, but 
I do enjoy running even splits.    
Good Things
PR - duh,
I won masters female
friends PR too, 
beautiful chilly race weather, 
feeling great on the run, 
EVEN Splits
gradually getting back on track with food & portions this wk
I saw a friend at the race who has dropped a few lbs.,  and looks SUPER - we discussed, and she inspired me !
Room for improvement or DUMB things
** 44 year old,  NOT warming up before the half, especially on a cold weather day  - classified under DUMB !
 at 1.75 miles my right hamstring felt strained - we were running on an angle.  it faded after a half mile-1 mile, but it was a reminder - no cutting corners -
the extra lbs - yes I ran a PR with the extra weight, BUT what can I run a few lbs lighter ?  - "room for improvement"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Update

Hello Friends !

Thought I would do a quick bullet point update.

arrived in the mail Monday!  
Happy Thanksgiving !

**Over the past 7 weeks, I've averaged 40 miles per wk
Low week - 29 miles,  last week -a recovery week
High week - 46 miles

**As of today, I have 220 miles left to run to make my goal of running 2012 miles,  in 2012.
(need to average 40 miles each wk through the end of the year - no problem! )

**I'm in the middle of a shoe crisis.  I've been in Adidas Cushion Response 17,  for several years.  Prior to these shoes (when I was younger maybe ??), I bought any cushioned, "on-sale", running shoe and it worked.  That changed, but the Adidas worked GREAT for many years.  Then like all shoe companies, they changed the shoes - the newer model didn't work, so I bought up all of the CR17s that I could find online.  Currently, I'm on my last few pairs (I rotate shoes).  Recently, I've been trying some different options.

Brooks & Mizuno - tried but didn't like.  I've been using these for shorter mileage days for a while. 
No big issues, but no big comfort either.

More recently, I bought some Nike Pegasus and Asics Nimbus.  I introduced these while still rotating through my Adidas.  2 weeks ago, I developed what I think is shin splints, but only on the left shin.  Leading up to the mild shin pain, I had most recently ran in the Nimbus.  I immediately scaled back the intensity. I know, without a doubt that ice works very well for me.  So I  iced, iced, iced, heated prior to running,  added some rest days and then the step-back week (last wk).

In addition to being extra cautious, I also moved back into ALL ADIDAS running.  The shin has gradually improved, and currently it's just a "faint feeling" from time to time.  I would describe this as a nag.  I'm VERY fortunate!  I've been running for years, and this is my first mild case of shin splints.

When the pain has completely faded away, I will try to add the Nike, or the Nimbus back into the rotation, but this time I will add one brand of shoe at a time, and I will do it even more gradual than before.

 At this point, I will say, that I'm slightly STRESSED.  My fear is not being able to find a comfy shoe.  Also, I'm stressed about this EXPENSIVE (for me) experiment.   My hope is that I can add the new shoes more gradually, and maybe my spoiled "HappyFeet" can continue on their path of many years of HappyFeet running.

**On Oct. 26th, I ran the Pumpkin Dash 5k and I ran a PR - 22:55 on the Garmin, 22:51 Official results

**On Nov. 17th, I ran the Run for Life 5k in Houma, LA.  Perfect conditions, flat and fast course and my time was 23:40 Official and Garmin time.  Three weeks later and 45 seconds slower - ???.  I'm afraid you read it correctly.   What happened ?  you know the deal - my weight is NOT stable - up and down, up and down.  Nothing like a slow 5k to get me motivated to reduce my calorie intake, AGAIN.   How can it be that I'm already up in lbs. BEFORE the holidays !

pics from the 5k - 11-17-12
Houma, LA

**This Sat. I will run the Stennis Half Marathon.   This is a fun race and several runners from Hattiesburg always show up.  This year I will be riding down with some local friends (Terri, Dawn, and John Mark).  Should be a FUN day with friends.  After the 5k, I have no big expectations with the extra lbs.,  but I will run a quality run and burn some calories.   I have another half marathon in a couple of weeks.  I'm hoping to drop the few extra lbs by then and be ready to race that one in Madison, MS on Dec. 8th (if the weather is right).

I love a Sat.,  after Thanksgiving race - 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

plotting the next 24 wks

I'm back at it !  after the TOU marathon, I took 10 days off from running.  During the downtime, I did some walking and biking and not much else in the "body movement" department.  typical, my waste expands, leading me back to increased intensity.  in addition to the circumference of my waste, I just like some intensity.   I'm not good at "just running" day after day.  what can I say, I bore easily.

currently, I'm gradually adding a little intensity back into the mix.  I'm not on a "schedule" of any sort, but just adding a little quality to the mix, and deciding week by week, day by day, what I will run.   The quality running has included the following:
Oct 5th -Harvest Hustle -  a 5 mile race as a "true" tempo run - 1st quality run, post TOU.
 the goal - 5 miles at 8:00ish pace
the result - 5 miles @ 7:53 avg pace - 7:54, 7:55, 7:56, 7:52, and 7:48
at the 6PM start time it was a little warm, but the temp was dropping fast.  the humidity wasn't bad, making it a great evening for a tempo run, and visit with local friends.  this race also had a 5k, so that split the field of runners giving me an advantage.  I ended up winning the race and winning a $30.00 gift card and I also scored a $25.00 restaurant gift certificate - nice!  happy to be back at it.   also pleased with a solid "come-back" tempo run,  even splits, and the final mile being the best mile.  Happy ME! 

Oct 14th - I signed up for the Gulf Coast half Marathon - Mandeville, LA last year when they were offering a discount that "happyfeet26.2" just couldn't resist.  Later,  I decided on the TOU for my fall marathon, so the 13.1 mile race was NOT going to happen.  However, a distance runner can always "use" some distance in their life - racing or not.   I had a 3 AM alarm which I did not like.  In addition, I did not like the thick air that rudely greeted me as I opened the door.  70ish degrees, and 90something % humidity is not fun.  Not only is it not fun, humidity is just HARD on my body.   My goal for the race was an 8:30 avg pace, training run++.  I thought this was doable.  I mean really, I ran a full at 8:31 avg pace, surely I can run a solid training, half marathon at full marathon pace?  the answer was NO, and I'm totally fine with that.  Today was not about pushing beyond my limits, today was about covering some miles with a little quality - I did that!  
One of the highlights of the day was getting to see,  and run for a few minutes with Lonny.  It's been a few years since I've seen him.  We correspond from time to time with run chat, so it was nice to communicate in person.  the only problem - by this time - I was already feeling the effects of the humidity.  Lonny "took off" after our brief chat, and  with 8 miles done, I decided that 8 miles @ 8:28 avg. was enough for this day.  I made the decision to "shut it down" and jog in.  It still wasn't easy at the slower pace.  I finished the day at 1:56:13.   Finished 8th of 103 in my division.  (8:48 avg pace on garmin).  I left Mandeville with a sore body.  with the exception of my quads, my body felt more "inflamed" after this fast training run (my typical training run would be 9:00-9:30 avg) than after TOU.
the difference - HUMIDITY !  It just hurts my body!   

24 weeks - you must be asking, is she insane?  some who know me personally will quickly answer with a "YES, yes she is insane ."

next week, we will be 24 wks away from Boston 2013.  will I be doing a 24 wk marathon plan?  NO !  I would never make it.   My fall/winter plan does involve a high number of races.  I will evaluate as I go along.  Some will be "races", some will be "training runs", some will be "tempo runs", some may be "fast finish long runs".  with the recent warm and humid race, I can tell you this..... I will be racing based on the weather.

the 24 wks?   It looks like this:

Nov 3rd - Senior Bowl 10k - maybe - if weather is right, and I "get ready" in time.  I won't be 100%, but can use it as a solid tempo run in preparing for

Nov 24th Stennis half marathon - again - only if the weather is "on my side".  would like to "race" this one, if I feel I'm ready, and if the weather is "ginny right"

Dec. 8th - Madison half Marathon - totally depends on what happens on Nov. 24th.......

Dec 29th - Steam Whistle 12k - just because it's tradition - may be a tempo, may be a race.

Jan 5th - Blue Half Marathon -Jackson, MS this is not the official beginning of my Boston training, but this race will serve as a "hilly half" which I need.  I need to race more often on hills.  I typically "race" flat and fast - chasing PRs, so I have little experience on racing hills.

Jan 20th - LA (baton rouge) half marathon - signed up long ago - will go as training run.  

Jan 26th - Oh What A Beautiful Day to Run - 5 mile - I may help Terri with this race, or I may race it or tempo run it, depending on my schedule this week.

The end of Jan. will be my official start to Boston Training !!!!!

Feb 17th - Mercedes Half Marathon - Birmingham, ALthis is another half on the schedule to get some hill training.  The fun thing about this one - some friends have decided to get together and ride the train to Birmingham, stay overnight, run the race, hop on the train home.  just be a super weekend with friends......toot , toot !

March 9th or 15th - maybe a 5k to evaluate Boston training - maybe not......

March 23rd - Azalea Train Run 10K - walk, run, fast or slow - I plan to be at this race.
(streak - 1986-2012)

April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon - thank you Soccer Locker & City Runners - (wouldn't be going in 2013 without your generosity)

Note - I'm not totally crazy - I'm not! ha ha
 - this is just a basic outline of what I may,  or MAY NOT do.  I will NOT be "racing" at most of these, but would like to do some half marathon racing this fall/winter.

Looking forward to some "good weather" racing this fall/ winter.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward (TOU Part III)

Top of Utah Marathon - Logan, Utah 2012

as promised, I have some final thoughts about my 4.5 months of training and race day at Top of Utah, Logan.  In addition, the race day pics arrived.  I rarely purchase the photos because normally I'm not a fan of my pics, but this time was different.  
 Lucky -  Run Wild Soccer Locker & City Runners shirt on 

This time, the photos perfectly document the day of running down the canyon to Logan.  
They capture the spirit, the intrigue, the mystery of the marathon.  
They capture a magical, fun day. 
They capture love of running 26.2.  
They capture friendship and support.  
They capture the inevitable pain that WILL always come in the final miles. 

 The Perfect weekend , and why it was:
*the weather was perfect - cool start and LOW humidity
*Chad, Terri, and Kristie there to support me
*I was very well trained
*my mental prep was better/stronger than EVER - I'm finally figuring this marathon thing out - this is exactly why I'm still in the game at number 24,  and heading to Boston for marathon number 25.  

*keys to,  and thoughts about the training:
*1st time to purchase a training plan.  I purchased a 12 wk McMillan plan - I've typically been of the opinion that a custom plan was not needed, but I  believe this,  "for me",  focused plan,  & "phase" plan was beneficial.  I filled out extensive details about ME.  
**strengths -(can handle high mileage, like to train HARD), **weaknesses -(speed), 
**likes - (yasso 800s), 
**dislikes (mile repeats - dislike,  but willing to do if needed or recommended) 
**want to race, but not over race
very detailed information was submitted to McMillan

 they sent a program that was good for "ME" - a challenging, speed and mileage focused plan, with some variety that I like.  Perfect!  (well worth the $$s)

*having a motivated, no whining, "like-minded" training partner - this helped to make the training fun,  and much easier than doing the tough workouts solo.    

*7 weeks before the marathon, I joined a 6 week boot camp - 2 days per week - focused on shorts sprints, squats, lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc
*YOGA - always yoga - if you know me, you know I totally, 100% believe in yoga.  I'm lucky to have a GREAT yoga teacher. 

Interesting notes:
**I went into this marathon at a higher weight than I've been for my last several marathons, but ran a 6 minute PR (maybe a "life lesson" for letting it go)
**yassos 800s - 10 X 800 @ 3:43 avg (July 24th), and 10 X 800 @ 3:42 avg. (August 15th) - working up to the 10 X 800 workouts is my favorite marathon workout.  I've tried them several times, but this is the first time they worked out, for me, as B. Yasso describes.  (3:43 marathon finish time)
**1 year ago, a friend was discussing the desire to run 8:30 pace for 26.2 miles.  At the time, I could not even IMAGINE that for myself.  That goal was not even on my radar.  My avg. pace in Logan - official 8:30 avg. (Garmin - because I didn't run the tangents correctly - 26.4 - my avg pace - 8:28)  
the lesson - NEVER, EVER put limits on your abilities to achieve what seems like crazy goals.  
(thanks Terri)
**I was so excited about the marathon that day that I totally forgot to eat my "apple-a-day" 
You may,  or may not recall, my 2012 resolution was to eat an "apple-a-day 2012".  Ooooppps!  
on Sunday, I had 2 apples, so that I will still end 2012 eating 365 apples - so it's all good! 

with HARD work, the imaginable becomes doable, and achieved

Song of the Day - Mandisa "Stronger" 
(click "Stronger" above,  to hear song)

Imagine hearing this song at mile 22-23ish, while desperately trying to hang-on and finish. (some of the lyrics)
Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you Stronger

Try and do the best you can

Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end
God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

a chill bump moment, & tears almost ensued, but I had running to do.....

the clowning is done,  the "race" has begun, 
mile by mile,  we RUN TO FINISH IT!
focused and determined !
(notice the 2nd picture at the top, & then look at these taken late in the race - the high arms, and thumbs up - a sure sign, I'm TIRED, but I WILL FINISH IT ! ) 
Tired, hurting, but driven!  

Recovery - Ryan Hall and MEB style
all smiles now!  

If you missed the previous post (part II) go back to that to see the post race celebration pics.  (Sept. 21st)

After saying our goodbyes to Kristie and Terri, Chad and I started walking to the car. Shortly after completing my 24th marathon,  with a 6 min PR (a BIG deal to me), I tell him, and I quote:
"I'm done!"  (meaning done with "going for marathon PRs", not done with running)  
"I don't think I can go ANY faster than that!   well, maybe I can, but I don't think I have the gumption to try."  
with this statement, at the time, I was sincere and serious.  
Happy and fulfilled, I was ready to say, no more......
the next morning, I head out to complete my 30 minutes of movement.  I'm about 5 minutes into my walk when Mandisa's "Good Morning" song comes on.  (google it if you haven't heard it).  My walk picked up speed, my head lifted high, still celebrating the day before.  My thoughts immediately went to the future & goals.  this was my thought that day..... 
 "3:43 - I ran 26.4 (that extra .2 cost me almost 2 min), I think I can go sub 3:40, like 3:39:50. maybe I will give it a try!" 
 (yes, I'm sick and need help - but I do enjoy this illness)
Before we left Utah to return home, I had my goals for 2013 outlined. 
They are BIG!  
They will be CHALLENGING!  
They will be FUN ! 
Bring it 2013, I'm READY !  
Today, was my first run in 10 days (#marathonrecovery)
I'm excited to be back at it.
the future is BRIGHT
I will run a few weeks of easy mileage, and then back to the  "real fun stuff"

most of all, I'm thankful that I seem to have an undying desire to do better/ be better
I will share my 2013 goals in a future post. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Top of Utah and On Top of the World, Part II

Part II
Sat. 3:40 AM,  I wake up, just before the 3:45 alarm clock.  coffee, yogurt, raisin bread, and 1/2 banana, shower, get race ready and out the door just before 5:00 to catch the bus to the start.  Everything is going as planned.  I feel totally relaxed as I ride the bus.  We had a 10 min ride, change buses,  and then a 30-40 min. ride up the canyon.  When we made the turn at mile 14, to go to the top of the canyon, the wind is blowing HARD! ......wasn't expecting that!    the day before was totally calm.  I quickly calm my nerves by telling myself , "I'm ready , the wind doesn't matter." 
Note to self !  

I represent Strength and Mental Toughness!

When we arrived at the top, the winds are calm and the weather is perfectly chilly for running.   (potty line, wait, potty line, go to start, shed the extra clothes, and ready to race)  The race oddly starts almost 15 minutes late.  (1st marathon out of 24 to start late)  Normally that would be no big deal, but at this race, Terri is meeting me at mile 14 to run with me - eeekkkk. 

Off and running, finally!  When I ran the St. George marathon in 2009 (my 1st BQ, my current PR race - 3:49), I used a weighted pace chart.  I enjoy technical running.  I think the concentration required to run different splits each mile serves me well in giving me something to focus on.  It also kept me from going out too fast which is crucial in running a good race at SGM.  I was happy and surprised when I googled "weighted pace chart TOU",  and I found a weighted pace chart.  The top of the pace chart has the following information:

"Top of Utah Marathon Pacing Matrix and Elevation Profile
In Advanced Marathoning, Pfitzinger and Douglas state that the optimal pacing strategy is to run at a relatively even effort, depending on the particular characteristics of the course. Surging will waste valuable glycogen (energy stores), and running slower than pace will force
you to make up for the lapse later. The Top of Utah Marathon course’s main characteric that controls pace is the downhill gradient of the first 2/3 of the course followed by the small rolling hills in the last 1/3. In The Lore of Running, Noakes describes studies that showed the
energy savings of running downhill to be about half of the enregy cost of running uphill at the equivalent gradient. The matrix below applies these principles and uses the TOU elevation profile to predict appropriate mile splits for an array of goal finish times. These splits take
into account elevation gain and loss for each mile, and will help TOU runners maintain an even effort over the varied terrain of the TOU course, and give guidelines to avoiding tactical pacing errors and to conserving glycogen.

My goal for the race was 3:44:59.  This is my BQ time, at my younger age bracket (40-44) which has remained as my recent goal. (for Boston purposes my age group is 45)  The pace chart offered 3:45 so I used that, and planned to run 4 seconds faster for each mile.   
As we head down the canyon, everything is perfect.  I haven't forgotten anything, (garmin, pace chart, ipod, gloves, race shoes, etc - check) and the weather is great.  low humidity running - Gotta Love It !  I intentionally start the first mile slower than the prescribed plan,  and then plan to get on pace starting with mile 2.

First half - 
slowest mile - Mile 1 - 8:40
 fastest mile - mile 8 -  8:11
13.1 - right around 1:50:05 ???

At mile 13, the crazy wind that we noticed on the bus was back, but get this - IT WAS AT OUR BACK!  Today is my day because I'm running downhill, and the wind is at my back.  SWEET!

At mile 14, Terri and Chad are waiting.  Terri is ready to run, Chad is taking pics.  I tell them about the race starting 15 minutes late, which they had already figured out by the pacing balloons.  We make the turn at mile 14, and head into the flat area of the course.   The wind quickly dies down.  I get a "Terri bounce" and the next few miles are fast - 8:08, 8:04, at some point Terri asks me about the pace.  She wanted to make sure I was aware of the fast pace.  I tell her that my plan was to wait until mile 16 and then make a move, but I was feeling great, so I was "going with it".  I tell her it's a gamble, but I'm willing to take the it.  8:02, 8:07, 8:20.  I stay well under the weighted pace chart until mile 23.
At 23 the "weighted" pace is 8:56, I ran this one at 9:09,
mile 24 - should have been 8:36, I ran it at 9:00
mile 25 - should have been 8:45, I ran it at 8:48
mile 26 - should have been 8:40, I ran it at 8:50

2nd half
slowest mile - Mile 23 - 9:09
 fastest mile - mile 16 - 8:02

I finish the race at 3:43:28. 
6 min PR  (BQ minus 11)
15 out of 78 in my age group (40-44)
Average heart rate - 152
Max Heart rate - 185 -  (almost blew up :) :) )  (220-44 = 176)
Garmin 26.4

(This course has a lot of turns which I knew from the pre-race ride.  In addition, the canyon part is constantly curving back and forth.  I came out of the canyon already .1 over and aggravated with that because I was focused,  and running the tangents.  I ended the day at 26.4 (which is almost 2 min. extra - urgh) 

Terri in pink shorts, Me in black 
Terri has been the BEST training partner this summer.  She's FUN, energetic, motivated, trains hard, and has BIG goals like me, and we are working hard to achieve them. We support each other,  and I was thrilled that she was there to share this day with me, and helping me.   I was so honored that she traveled from MS to help me finish strong.  She gave me the best encouraging and motivating comments along the way.
Thank You Terri ! 
We did it!  
We Celebrate!  Thank you Chad for supporting me. 
Ginny (me) & Terri
Kristi, me, and Terri
Oh Happy Day!

More post race thoughts and pics coming for part III

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Top of Utah and On Top of the World

Oh What a Weekend!
This pic perfectly illustrates a MAGICAL weekend.

Chad and I arrived in Logan Thurs. evening.  I was thrilled to be greeted with dry air at the Salt Lake City airport.  We made a quick stop at the Red Iguana, and then headed to Logan.
Yummy Shrimp Fajitas!  (BRIGHT western sun)
Beautiful Logan, UT sunset
Friday, I woke up with excitement.  I headed out to loosen the legs.  I had just enough time to get in 30 min.,  and get back to the hotel to submit my Boston registration.  (10:00 AM EST, Boston BQ minus 5 min)
Back at the hotel, entry submitted, and I received the following email:

Your Boston Marathon entry has been received!

now to wait for entry confirmation 

Later that evening I received the next email which said:
Dear Ginny,

This is to notify you that your entry into the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

I quickly notified Soccer Locker and City Runners that I been confirmed.  They immediately began the process of booking a hotel room, and flights for Boston 2013.   I'm so honored and thankful for this opportunity.  So, I will indeed be in Boston April 2013 for my 2nd attempt to conquer this course.   

much hill running ahead, but first TOU 26.2

HappY FridaY Y'all!


Next on the agenda was to ride the Top of Utah course.  Cache National Forest

Friday afternoon my friends, Terri (& training partner), and Kristie made the trip from Pocatella, ID (visiting family) to Logan, and we toured the marathon course again.  Terri was meeting me at mile 14, and Kristie was helping with logistics (such sweet friends).   The course is mostly a gradual downhill course until mile 14.  At mile 14, the course is flat for a while and then you have some small uphill sections.  The ups are not steep, but the timing of the gradual ups definitely get your attention at mile 18-19.5 and then again around 22-23ish.   In the car, the excitement was building.  Although, I knew the ups, at the end would not be fun, I was happy that they were not steep.  I was anxious to race.   

Summer training, yasso 800s, tempo runs, yoga, 6 wk boot camp, speed work, mental training, fast finish runs, finishing long runs on hills, etc. - all playing through my head, reassuring me that 


These are the thoughts I would use before and during the race.  Many of these are from the book Running Within by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott.  (I highly recommend it).

* calm & confident, I race well  *expect success, I'm running my best  *I simply perform like the well trained runner that I am  *  run smart - glide & float  *  soft is strong  *  what you can conceive, you can achieve (my thought 3:40 - I can conceive that, I can achieve that!)

my goal was 3:43:59 - BQ at my younger age (my current BQ time is 3:55)

* I represent mental toughness  * my drive is unmatchable  * I am positivity  * stay positive

These are from supportive friends:

* Every step is another battle won  *  "none of this is gonna kill ya, so what do you really have to worry about?  * Finish Strong!  * "I can do all things through HIM who gives me STRENGTH." 

 * All of the hard work is done now just relax and get ready to collect the rewards.' 

* "I am beginning to feel peaceful and calm"  *  "throw back your shoulders, let the heart sing, let the eyes flash, let the mind be lifted up, look upward and say to yourself....Nothing is impossible! ~Norman Vincent Peale  

* The Time is Now!  *  Yeah!  Don't worry!  Be happy!  *  I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can!

"For Gold hath not given us the spirit of fear;  but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a sound MIND-" 2 Timothy 1:7

Trust your training Ginny!  Your are ready!  *You are tougher than the rest of them!  This is what you came here to do!"  *"You know how to prepare like no other.  Trust your training and enjoy the wonderful scenery."  *

"Run like the champ you are !!!"

Friday evening I'm in the hotel by 7:15ish, lights out at 9:00 pm ish with the alarm set for 3:45.

I'm READY! be continued