Tuesday, November 26, 2013

XTERRA Trail World Championships Results

XTERRA Trail World Championships: 3rd female overall in 1:40:26

Went out to fast and died in the middle pretty bad, but all in all I really can't complain with a 3rd place finish. Recap coming soon. For now, it's back to the beach.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Recap

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon: 2:49:28 for 26.27 miles (6:27 avg) 9th female
(just 22 seconds off my PR!)

Though I didn't run a personal best, I have nothing but positive thoughts after this race. Sure I have had some major success this year off the road, but I haven't posted a single respectable time on the boards since May of 2012. It is was getting old.

2013 I spent half the year battle bad S.I. issues and cramping in my hips, and I made the decision not to go back to therapy, so things got worse before they got better (update, I've actually had some major success with one of the those injury-be-gone balls, and the thing only cost me 20 bucks at Stinky Feet). My self rehab has saved me a couple thousand dollars in physical therapy bills, and I do it religiously every day.

I was also more than a little worried about my fitness going into this race. I had a shocking V02 max workout with the women's team just a week and a half before the race, but as you know that doesn't always equal a fast marathon. I also missed over two weeks of training during the most important weeks with a knee injury, which mean I missed out on my marathon simulator run AND a confidence boosting half marathon at Jazz (a 1:26 half didn't quite give me confidence).

I did everything I could the week before to ensure myself success. I carb loaded (depleted for 3 days, loaded for 3 days) I rested, I drank proper fluids and I barely ran. I also made new goals, instead of  trying to  run a personal best I told myself that I would try to run a respectable time.

The Race

The race crew at Monumental really took care of me. They provided most of their elites with a free hotel room next to the start line, black care service to/from the airport, a free meal the night before, and elite start line access, and elite water stations so we could put out our own bottles.
I met some of the elite ladies the night before during the elite meeting and the pasta dinner. Probably staying for the pasta dinner was the most important choice I made all weekend, because it was there I met Ellie Peterson, who was coming  of a 2:53 at altitude. We finally talked about race goals and she told me she wanted to run around 2:50, so we decided to run together. I would be very pleased with a 2:50 finish.

I felt good all day on Friday, but I slept only 4 hours the night before. I took twice the sleep  medication as normal and still couldn't fall asleep before 1:30pm. Surprisingly, when my alarm went off at 5:50am I felt refreshed. I ate bread from the hotel restaurant (which they graciously offered to me free of charge) with almond butter, a power bar, and some Gatorade. This is the first time I have ever went through a proper carb load for a marathon, which means I felt as if I gained 5 pounds three days before this race. However, during the entire 26.2 miles, My legs never felt heavy or fatigued so I think I hit the nail right on the head.

Ellie and I went out easy for the first few miles, until I spotted Jackie about 10 seconds up at mile two. I knew Jackie from when she destroyed beat me at Rocket City last year, so I knew that if we kept her in our sites that we would probably run a good time. By 2.5 miles we caught her back and began comparing race goals. We all agreed to stick together.

Lucie Mays-Sulewski joined us just a few minutes later. Literally running a marathon just 4 weeks  before this one, she still did most of the pace setting for the remaining 23 miles. She was an instant friend and a Brooks ID. I let her take control and tried to stay calm and focused.
Our awesome pack early in the race
Things were smooth sailing until about 6 miles when My hip started to lock up. I grabbed my fluid bottle fairly easy at 10k and just tried to ignore it. It was frustrating and mentally draining, but I did my best to maintain pace at the back of the pack while taking large sips of fluid. By 12 miles, things started to loosen up again and I contemplated making a big push around the halfway point.

My Brooks Uniform

At 20k I grabbed my next fluid bottle and decided I didn't feel good enough to pick up the pace,  instead Lucie led the group once again and I did my best to ignore the mile markers. The ladies continued to talk to each other and offer words of encouragement. We split half-way in about 1:24:37.

So happy when this race was over and I felt amazing. Plus, I didn't take many pictures.
The race felt effortless. From 13-20 miles we floated along without much trouble. I grabbed my last
fluid bottle at around mile 19 and started to think that maybe I was going to make it. I still felt really good until about mile 22.

At 23 miles Jackie broke away from the group and everyone spread out. I couldn't bring myself to race. I had just ran over 20 miles with these ladies and I couldn't find any desire to race them. I continued to move forward, but I couldn't find another gear.
Restoring my glycogen post-race

I let the wheels fall off around mile 24, scared to run a good time or never really believing I could run a 2:49 and it would feel this easy. Eventually around 25.5 I snapped out of it and attempted to close the gap between Ellie and I. I finished in 2:49:28 and felt amazing. I wasn't overly tired or fatigued, part of me felt like it was more of a tempo effort. I immediately thought about training for a spring marathon.

Because I booked my flight early in the afternoon, after briefly talking with my new friends about our adventures, I made my way upstairs to my hotel room, showered, grabbed some coffee, and jumped into a black car to the airport. 

A 2:49 finish stamped my ticket back to the roads. I feel like I finally got me "grove" back. I've still got the hip problem, but I can manage it. And, it looks as if my season is not over just yet.