Saturday, April 30, 2011

Renaissance at Colony Park Half Marathon Recap. 1st female, 2nd finisher, 6 1/2 months postpartum

1st Female, 2nd overall finisher, $500, personal record, course record, state record, #11 on the 2011 Canada Road Rankings, yet still disappointed...

training this week
Sunday: 60 minute jog
Monday:70 minute run
Tuesday:60 minute run
Wednesday:Am: 30 min spin, PM: 15min w/u, 15min c/d, 2X1 mile on the roads, 5:16, 5:28 ( crazy wind in the face 3/4 of the way- tornado weather coming through) 4X1min at mile pace, cut out early cause of achilles
Thursday: 60 minute run with the Maddy in the jogger
Friday:20 minute on the trainer, 45minute run at lunch
Saturday: 15min w/u, 13.25 miles 1:23:12 (13.12 in about 1:22:40), 20min walk/jog c/d
Sunday: Planned wog up to 60minutes

This week was a much needed recovery week. My hip is messed up, my achilles is throbbing, and I have not been eating or sleeping enough. I had planned on taking a recovery week before this half anyway, but the achilles, Maddy sick, and Houston gone even made it more so...

I buckled down this week and found myself back at the doctors office (three times actually, one doctor visit for Maddy, one ER visit for Maddy, and one Doctor visit for Mommy--Maddy had a bad ear infection all week-which is another story...). Being that this doctor, Dr. Drew, is also a
runner, I felt comfortable talking to him about my phantom injury and how I have been repeatedly misdiagnosed since sophomore year of college. He checked me out and was pretty certin it wasn't a slipped disk, pyriformis syndrome, sciatic nerve issues, or some other major hip problem. He believes the problem is in my S.I. joint and wrote be a prescription for mobic and prednisone. I also have my first P.T. appointment next Monday with a trainer that has delt repeatedly with S.I. problems, so I am starting to think that I could...finally.. say good riddance to this injury. Its only been like, what, 10 years?
Yeah, that's right. 10 years.

Anyways, so signing up for the Renaissance at Colony Park Half Marathon, I knew that I may have a little trouble because of the prednisone, and I felt it the last few days of this week. I tried to think about staying hydrated and eating enough, but I did neither of these things. Toeing the line this morning, my hip was tight, my achilles was throbbing, I was under hydrated and over tired--but I was there.

6:16, 6:07, 6:16, 6:16, 6:18

The first 5 miles was rolling hills, taking you out down Colony Parkway (I assume, can't remember) for about 4 miles. Right after the 4th mile mark, you make a 90 degree turn and head back. At this point, I just couldn't get in this race. I ran completely solo from start to finish. There was one male ahead of me- running a pace that I did not think I could handle at the time. So I soon realized that if I was going to PR, I was going to have to do it all alone on a pretty tough course- not designed for fast times. and slightly long- 13.25 miles was what my garmin said, so yes I was 1:22:40ish through the actually half marathon distance.

6:24, 6:24, 6:28, 6:34

My hip cramped up early, at 4 miles, so once I got to the residential, rolling, cobblestone section with lots of right angles and plenty of turns, I really slowed. I could not get my legs going on this section and I was thoroughly disappointed with the slow down. At one point, I had to go off course to get around a gate that was still locked (hence 6:34)- still the people out on the course were very polite and besides a few things here and there- this race was beautifully organized and worth running for any first time half-marathoner or 10 runner.

6:16, 6:17, 6:14, 6:18, 75

This section I could have done without, heading into the final 4ish miles, the half marathon hooked back on the 10k race course- (WHAT!!) so I dodged people traffic for over 4 miles. My hip had finally started cooperating so I was doing everything I could to get back down to 6:00 pace..but I didn't expect to have to run a 4 mile steeple chase, and did my best to run around, over, under what seemed like thousands of walkers that were just all over the damn place. After throwing a few f-bombs (especially going around the little pond loop trying to run 6:00 pace, not much room there!) I realized-- this race is NOT ABOUT ME. It was about all these people reinvesting in themselves, trying to find there inner athlete. For most of them, this was there first 10K! A major accomplishment. I should have been a little more considerate- but at the time I just wanted so badly to PR!!! I kept telling myself, "GET AFTER IT!!" I really..really went for it.

The final stretch took us through the overpass and down a short hill... I watched from a distance as my goal time click by and I was instantly deflated. Crossing the line I tried to smile, but I was broken.

I know that this time does not accurately show the effort I put into this race or my current fitness- but I am just ready to run something respectable!! Sub 61 for 10 miles- regardless of a Houston course or a garmin course, means that I have a 1:21 or under in me somewhere. I just have to find the right race. I want it so very badly, I would love to go back home and race- and be competitive. 1:23 would be laughable, I need to run as close to 1:20 as I can.

I know that I am only 6 1/2 months removed from pregnancy, so I need to keep in mind that my body is not there yet. I still can't race in flats and I don't recover from workouts like I used to. I still get sick after running hard. Even though my workouts are getting better, and I have lost all my pregnancy weight and more...I still need to be patient..good things will come. I believe this.

To sum it up, it was a great race for those new to the sport, not a dull moment. A little long and not a great race to try to run fast- but I've ran harder courses , so I would say Renaissance is
worth the drive.

Maddy has fully recovered from her ear infection, and is moving around like crazy saying, "DA DA DA DA!" I like to think she is calling for her Daddy. I truly missed my Maddy last night but we were reunited before noon today...a fabulous grandma is to thank for that.

(Missed my picture with Ada! Argh! That would have been the highlight. I walked right by her during packet pick up, should have asked then!)

Race pictures coming soon!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First 20 miler since pregnancy. 8 weeks out from marathon debut

This week:
Sunday:60minutes at a snail pace
Monday: 73 minutes
Tuesday: 2 mile w/u, 4X60/45/30/15 sec @5:10-5:15 pace, max of 60 sec recovery. + 20 minutes marathon tempo (6:20, 6:21, 6:20)
Wednesday: 60 minutes on the trainer & abs (achilles)
Thursday: AM:40minutes easy, PM: 15min w/u, 4X 1 mile on the roads @ 5:43, 5:32, 5:38, 5:21, 3 rest, 15min c/d
Friday: 10 miles w/ Micah (6:55-7:30)
Saturday: 20.0 miles in 2:18.04 (6:54 avg)
7:50, 7:22, 7:17, 7:03, 6:55, 7:04, 6:45, 6:55, 6:47, 7:00, 6:33, 6:31, 6:39, 7:17, 6:47, 6:41, 6:30, 7:00, 6:29, 6:31,

This week of training was a mixed bag. I hate a great tempo run last Saturday that shot my achilles for most of the week. I also got a massive chest cramp that hung around until Wednesday..both the chest cramp and the achilles caused me to cut both my work outs short.

Tuesday's workout was suppose to have a five mile tempo on the end, and I had every intention of finishing that. I clicked off a couple of 6:2o's that felt more like 7:00 pace...until about 2.8 miles in when my chest cramped up again. I don't know if it was dehydration, or the same muscle that spazed out during mile 8 of last weeks tempo but I could not get any air. Houston warmed me about trying to run through that... "It can hang around for days if your not careful." I tried three times to stretch it out and start again, but it just wasn't happening. I jogged the last few miles home to call it a day.

Wednesday I decided to take the morning off and run at lunch. We ended up so busy preparing for an awards ceremony the next day that I totally missed it, and then did not getting home till almost 9PM anyway. So the 50-60minute spin I did (which I don't even consider to be real exercise because I'm a compulsive-exercising psycho) was all I really got in that day.
Thursday morning I got up again before 4:00am to finish writing my speech for our awards ceremony, but still ended up getting in a 40minute morning run.

Houston was wonderful enough to agree to time my workout that afternoon on a road loop, so I was really excited for that (Maddy waited "patiently" for me to finish in the car with Daddy). The goal was 5X a mile with 3 minutes in between. My legs felt heavy on the first one, but the rest of my body felt fairly relaxed. I had planned on running the last two miles at 5:20, but my achilles really started to ache about half way through the 4th mile. I wanted to keep going, I knew I had another 5:20 in me at that point...but the question was asked, "If you do this last mile, will you be able to run tomorrow?" And at that point, I honestly did not know the answer. Houston made the decision to quit, I concurred. I jogged a mile or two before heading home.

Calling it quits on these two workouts was probably the only reason I was able to get my twenty miles in Saturday. Call my crazy, but I was waiting all week for this run. Houston, again amazing, agreed to drop Maddy off at the sitters by 5:30 AM so I could drive out to the whites and get 6 miles in before the group started. My achilles was hurting at first and my legs felt tired but I ran relaxed until my garmin started registering a sub 7min effort. Micah and Nathan joined me by the first water stop...which I added on again at each one...except the last one which we just
grabbed the water at anyway. I am happy to say that the mile I felt the best on was 18. It ended up being my fastest of the day...6:29. I felt fantastic.

That changed quickly once my garmin finally registered 20.0. Walking back to the house my legs just died. My quads and calves felt heavy and I had a hard time walking up the gravel. This feeling was then accompanied by massive cramping in my abdomen... a common thing post-pregnancy...and I ended up sitting on the couch with a pillow pressed against my back for most of the morning.

Because the cramping usually causes a loss of appetite, I quickly shoveled a few slices of bread and some death by cookie combo in my mouth and washed it down with some gatorade. I spent the remainder of the morning feeling like I was going to vomit..and this carried on until the late afternoon. Then, I managed to stomach some chocolate, banana, and some other random stuff after taking half a dozen advil.

This stomach problem concerns me because it happens after most of my runs. I talked with Houston about it and he assured me not to worry until it starts to affect my health.

I am not sure if it is just because I still have some weak muscles post-pregnancy, or if it is just from running hard....but it feels almost like a mild contraction. I don't know what to do to make it go away and none of the coaches at State have any experience coaching females post-partum. I guess I will just continue to workout on my ab ball and let it runs its course...

I am racing another half marathon next weekend. Mostly because the weather is going to start getting hot which means slow times. It wold be nice to get a Canadian Half Marathon Championships qualifying time if at all possible. In prior years, Ridgeland was at the very end of June and I bombed it twice. It would be great to finally run a good time...if possible.
Bought Maddy a new toy this week! She is truly posing for this picture as she was in a terrible mood at the time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

10 mile tempo & Maddy video

Thursday:30min on the trainer, 70minutes with the baby jogger
Friday:55minutes between tornados
Saturday:15 min w/u, 10mile tempo w/ 5 mile at relaxed, 5 miles at faster (campus X2)
Actual: 60:58 (6:05.8 avg) 20min cooldown
6:20, 6:20, 6:10, 6:11, 6:00, 6:02, 6:16, 6:07, 5:59, 5:30ish

And we have reached a major milestone :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beautiful Day

Absolutely amazing, two babies born to Boardtown runners on the same day! One little girl, one little boy--both mommies doing well. God is beautiful!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hump-day update

Monday:72 minutes, 7-7:30 pace (~10)
Tuesday: 65 minutes, 7-7:30 pace (achilles problems, ~9)
Wednesday: (8 miles) 10min w/u 4X(1 mile @ relaxed, 800m at 5k pace, 60sec jog rest between intervals & sets)
Results from Garmin:
6:08, 2:38, 5:58, 2;42, 6:05, 2:50( uphill), 6:07, 2:37
On the campus 5 loop and mugshots..if I used the marked mile markers as a guide, I was about 8 seconds faster on each mile, 3 ish sec faster on the 800's, but its the "campus 5 miler" and the "mugshots 4 miler" and I say that with very strong "quotations ".....:)

Easy as cake.

Down on my mileage this week with achilles issues and Houston gone to Cali... so about to ride the bike.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Meggan's back y'all! (19 mile run & marathon training week in review.)

Wednesday: 70 minutes recovery (7:20-30 pace)
Thursday: 20 minute w/u, 4X (60/45/30/15) w/ same rest, jog 3 min then run 10 minutes at tempo (the intervals were about 5:10-5:15 pace, the tempo was @ 5:50 pace) 10 min cool down
Friday:8.5 miles w/ Micah, 6:45-7:20
Saturday:18.76 miles in 2:10 (6:55 pace)
7:57, 7:23, 7:06, 6:48, 6:45, 6:30, 6:46, 6:57, 6:49, 6:58, 7:05, 6:50, 6:44, 6:57, 6:48, 6:49, 6:46, 6:54, 7:30(.75)
Sunday: Planned easy run and/or 60 minutes on the trainer and ab work

Boise State was an amazing trip, I managed to keep my mileage up the whole time despite having a terrible case of separation anxiety... I could barely eat or sleep the whole week. Every time I thought about Maddy my heart literally hurt. I think this is probably fairly normal as it was my first trip away from her since she has been born. I didn't have my Maddy daily/nightly routine and it was really hard to create my own schedule.

Thursday's workout didn't seem to difficult on paper- but it ended up being a lot harder than I expected. My pace may have dipped to about 5:00 pace for some of the intervals, but I was running in a lot of clothing, trainers, on the road, and I was using my Garmin so whatever. 5:10-5:15 is all I needed to do and I couldn't be bothered trying to find out my pace on every interval.

After about two sets, my legs were toast and I unhappily trudged my way through the rest of the workout thinking "My gosh, this really sucks!" I was impressed with how quickly I recovered from every interval but my legs checked out before the VO2 stuff was halfway over. I think that if I would have had someone there with me it would have gotten a whole lot better.

The tempo portion was on a 2 mile loop down University Drive...which ended up being a little short. I went out at about 5:30 pace and died to average about 5:50 or a little under. At home, in shorts/flats and Houston yelling at me, I probably could have averaged 5:38-5:42. Give me a few weeks, and maybe 5:30. But whatever, I finished it. My legs have just not done any 3k ish stuff, or tempo on the back end of some VO2 work. And with good reason- its really not that important for a marathon. I do feel that the marathon training will really help my strength in the long hall, and hopefully that will equal a stellar performance at Canadian Senior National Cross in December. We will see.

I ended up spending most of Thursday in the airport, and arrived home late Thursday night. Tired and hungry, I went to bed without dinner (bad habit) and ended up feeling it on my run Friday morning when Micah and I ran a few 6:40's (my legs were cramping). I drank a couple gatorades and ate some carbs Friday night. This ended up being sufficient enough to take me through Saturday's run.

Waking Saturday at 4:30, I forced half a powerbar down my throat and a cup of coffee before dropping Maddy off at the sitters and heading out the the Whites to get a few miles in before the group started.
I ran conservatively for the first 4 miles, and then set out on what I thought was a relaxed pace. The workout Thursday did not make it easy for me to put on the brakes-- every time I looked at my watch I saw 6:20-6:30--I guess a lot more came out of Thursday then I thought. I think we ended up averaging about 6:45 for the middle 16 or so, which was nice given that I didn't feel labored until the last mile I ran with Micah.

I successfully took salt, two gels, 3 cups of Gatorade, and added on at every water. I was pleased with this until my hip cramped at 15, and my calf at 18. I jogged the last .75 to call it a day.

Maddy and I ended up staying out at Boardtown till about 1:00PM in the afternoon. This was a nice change--we have had so many mornings lately where we have had to miss the "after run party" was great to get to visit with friends again.

I could not have asked for a better way to finish off an already amazing week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just call me the "Treadmill Monster"

Saturday: ~14 miles w/ 12 @ 6:23-6:45 (1:32 for about 13.7 )
Sunday: 50 minutes with Houston & the baby jogger
Monday: AM: 20 minutes on the trainer, PM: 60 minute hobble (my back was so stiff I could barely shuffle to an 8 minute mile. I sat in the hot tub after this run, took a handful of advil and rubbed a whole bottle on bengay on my back. I don't recommend any of these actions.
Tuesday: AM: 11 miles w/ 3miles at 6:27-6:32, 3 min @ 7:30pace, 2 miles @ 6:18 pace, 3min @7:30 pace, 1 mile @ 5:49 (on the treadmill at the Marriott in Boise) PM: 20 minutes (14 miles total)

It has been less than a day and my heart hurts for my Baby girl and my wonderful Husband. We have had the most amazing past few days and I miss them so much!

I will be in Boise until Thursday morning, visiting some of the offices here for a few projects we are working on in my department. It has proved to be a very informative trip and I am so thankful I have been given the ability to take it. I don't think I could be as successful with some of the Volunteer Center initiatives going forward if I did not.

After my long run this weekend, I did two lengthy sessions of S.I. exercises...which proved to be way to much- as I could barely run yesterday. I wanted to cry about it, I have been battling this achilles problem for almost two weeks, and it cause me to cash in about 10 minutes early.
I started to feel sorry for myself and my "mysterious" 10 year injury, when I got some great news via text message. It completely changed my mood and caused my to step back, evaluate, and find a way to move forward.

After three skype sessions with my husband and Maddy and some talk about my running/working schedule this week- Houston advised me to do a relaxed progressive tempo. This workrout proved to be just what I needed to kick off my week. The pace was not to impressive but I by no means think of myself as a great treadmill runner (I am a good treadmill runner) but I knew that making myself run indoors would mean I needed to bring my A game.
The only sections that felt difficult were the middle miles- not sure why. If I had a rally cap, I would have turned it backwards for the mile (at least so I thought). Seriously feeling good, I turned the treadmill up to 10.5 half way through. I was feeling it but my legs remained loose and powerful.

After talking with Houston this weekend, we have come to an agreement that he will, once again, write my training. I am going to do my very best to patiently follow it- after all, I would like to get this year in without injury. It would be nice to try to get my mileage up to 80 consistently, but who's counting. Chasing numbers has only ever left me completely burnout and exhausted, and I can't afford either.

I have lofty goals, and I will meet them- I am sure of it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My sport does not define me as a Mother

Monday:70 minutes (9-10 miles)
Tuesday:AM:40 minrun, PM: 40 min w/ 10-11X1min at 5:15-5:19 pace
Wednesday:46 minute run, 45 min bike (35 min of 2 min hard, 30-60sec easy)
Thursday: 60 min spin with 6x5min hard, 8 min of sprints
Friday: 50 min spin, 30 min run

My achilles is still bothering me so I have been very careful and taken a few days off. I had planned on running 10X800m at 5:45 pace on Wednesday (Tuesday was suppose to be 15-2- X 60 seconds) but that didn't happen (obviously). The achilles is not terrible- but it could easily get that way if I dont take it easy. Today I had planned to take the day off, but I was itching to run so bad- I went for 30 minutes during my lunch break. I felt fine but I could feel the tightness in my quads from biking like crazy the past 3 days.

I have had a hard week and am really looking forward to this long run tomorrow. We have a high school meet this saturday so my phone has been beeping like crazy everyday (for those of you that don't know, I am a weekend coach). I don't mind until it gets excessive, I'm going out of town next week until Thursday and I've got alot to do between now and then- clean house, work two track meets, and a get ready for my trip. Truly the only thing I want to do is spend time with Maddy, everything else is just going to have to wait.

I don't know if it was the lack of running- or my husband telling me I had to be ran, showered, pumped, and ready to go (all day) by 9am Saturday, but I almost lost it. We had a student projects was going on today "Smash Out Cancer", where you hit a car with a sledge hammer for $2, I wanted to drop everything and just go out there and let it out.

I went to the track instead.

Ever since I posted my Germantown pictures last week, people have been complementing on my running and my weight loss since being pregnant. Yes, I know I have bounced back very quickly, but the more I think about it, the more unimpressed I am with it. Truly, the reason I have lost so much is because I have not been taking care of myself- I constantly miss meals and shovel sandwiches down my throat in record time. I have not made a nice dinner in months and I have no idea how Houston puts up with it. Weight loss is not hard when you barely eat and are attempting marathon training- not to mention the fact that I am still breast feeding a little. But looking good and running good are not great indicators of how successful I have been at being a mother, if anything they may show that I have been neglectful (I haven't). And that is why I am not too proud of either. Quite honestly, running has traveled so far down my list of priorities that I barely think about it after 6:05AM in the morning (I usually finish my run about that time). First off I am a Mother, a Wife, I work, and then- a I run.

I used to look at people like Kara Goucher and be inspired- so fast- wish I was that fast. But reading her blog, I see that there really is not much different between us. She is faster, it is her job to be fast- not mine. Nowhere in my job description does it say that I need to maintain 70+ miles a week (Kara regularly logs 120 miles per week) and run sun 3:00 for the marathon. My true real-life job is so much more important than running. Running is merely a hobby, something I must do to keep going.

Watching the trackmeets this weekend I can remember how stressed out I felt running in college. How I felt like it was everything- it all came down to how fast I could run 7.5 laps and jump over the barriers. Holding Maddy while watching a couple of the races, I suddenly felt out of place. It was getting dark and cold and I had other things to do, my daughter needed to be changed and fed- I didn't care how these races ended up turning out.

I left early.

I know that I will run until I can't do it anymore, and I am truly blessed to have had all the experiences I have had through running- but running is not everything- it does not define me as a person- it does not define me as a mother.

Running is not who I am, it is merely something I do.