Tag Archives: 1/2 marathon

Still Not Repaired: First Run Post-Race

I just got in from my gym after a 22 minute jog on the treadmill. I had to stop after two miles when my quads started sharply hurting. It seems that my need for sleep lately may be because I’m still recovering from the 13.1 last weekend! My plan this week is to get another massage, and try to relax as much as possible (despite the fact we’re moving this weekend, OMG!

More tales of recovery as the week progresses…

Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon

I’m just two days back from the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. This was my first race of this distance, and was a belated birthday gift to myself. I’m still rather beat up from it, but I’m so glad to have done it. It was a great event.

I feel like I’m still short of time and energy to share all that went on with this event. It wasn’t just a race, because I see this as an amazing step on a long journey. I’ve fought, kicking and screaming and at times, just quiet determination, to get to where I am today. The race was a rite of passage. Even though I’ve now run a distance greater than the distance between my home town (suburb) and the nearest urban area, I feel like I now should be striving to run farther. It may be a type of insanity – or liberation (or both?)

Last year, medical issues and profound loss seriously thrashed me. This year, I picked up the pieces, got back on track with weight loss (I have lost about 130 lbs in the past 3 years), and started training for distance. This race was my celebration of accomplishments in a tangible way. For the first time in my life, I’ve reached a point where I can do something I’ve never been able to do before.

My race time was 2:15:21, which was my conservative guess time. I wanted to do faster, but at 2000 ft above sea level (Las Vegas’ elevation), I think I was having trouble getting the oxygen I needed to do so.

Other than the race, I really enjoyed the weekend in Vegas, and really enjoyed our stay at the Wynn. I indulged in a post-run spa experience, which I can only believe has made my body feel SO much better than it would have otherwise.

I’m taking the week off of exercise (maybe stretching/yoga), and plan to get back into a regular fitness routine. I, however, am done with racing til spring (I think!) I’ll keep this blog posted (for my 2 readers!)

The Last Month of Training

I’m already less than a month from the Seattle 1/2 Marathon, and training is getting more challenging in both mileage and otherwise.

The biggest issue is getting the exposure protection handled.Salomon Women’s Fast III Jacket is a recent addition to my gear, providing some easy on/off for windy, cool mornings. It does some rain protection, but it’s not to be counted on. I’ve also (shock!) switched to my Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 10 from my awesome, totally recommended Five Fingers Bikila. This is mostly due to warmth and friction, as that I’ve had some nasty little blisters form lately that have made the long runs a little hard to deal with.

Training in conventional shoes again have my knees aching a bit. Then add that I’ve started going on hills in the dark (mainly because the routes are better lit), I’m hurting a bit. My training schedule up to the race, as provided by the Runner’s World SmartCoach app on my iPhone, is as follows:

11/01-11/07
Tues 5 mi @ 11:10 pace
Thurs 4 mi @ 11:10 pace
Sun 5 mi @ 11:10 pace

11/08-11/14
Tues 3 mi @ 11:03 pace
Thurs 6 mi w/ 1 mi warm up, 4 mi @ 9:33 pace, 1 mi cooldown
Fri 2 mi @ 11:03 pace
Sun 6 mi @ 11:03 pace

11/15-11/21
Tues 2 mi @ 11:03 pace
Thurs 7 mi w/ warm up, 3x1600m (1mi) @8:56 w/ 800m (1/2 mi) jogs, cool down
Fri 2 mi @ 11:03 pace
Sun 9 mi @ 11:03 pace

11/22-RACE DAY
Tues 3 mi @ 11:10 pace
Wed 3 mi @ 11:10 pace
Thurs 5 mi w/ w/ 1 mi warm up, 3 mi @ 9:33 pace, 1 mi cooldown
Sun 13.1 mi @ 9:42 pace

Phew! I’ve got a lot to work on. I’m starting to do some work on the treadmill just when the weather is particularly awful. I’ll consider this race the end of the season for me, then it’s back to doing cardio/weights/yoga until spring!

Running in the Dark

There is no attractive way to run in the cold, damp dark of Seattle. I’m just over a month away from the Seattle 1/2, and it’s getting chilly and wet out there, and the light is definitely not there in the morning, and won’t be there for long in the evenings after work. I have purchased my exposure protection, however, even though they all have reflective striping, they all come in fashionably dark colors, so unless the drivers are looking for Tron-like costumes, being seen is nearly impossible.

Not to mention that I’m pretty sure that NO ONE driving at 6:30am is looking for runners. They sure as heck aren’t stopping at stop signs, and even after I saw a man stop, look both ways, and nudge into the intersection, looking both ways again (and towards me), he still ended up clipping me, requiring me to place my hand on the corner of his car to scoot myself out of the way. I looked at him, he was stunned, and I yelled something like, “Stop sign, Asshole!” and jogged about two meters past, tripping, and skidding myself on the left side forward on the asphalt. I called my husband for a pick up, limping a bit, bleeding from my knuckles, hand and knee, with a few abrasions in between. My hip was deeply bruised, and I was a bit shaken up.

It’s dark and lonely, and a bit scary to run that early in the dark. I’ve noticed that my usual early morning companions have dissipated – perhaps they’re all electing to go into work a bit later. I need to find a better solution as I prepare for this race, and it turns out the best solution might be a gym membership near work, that might allow me to road-run during lunch, shower, and be back to work at a decent time. Treadmills for over an hour are dull as dirt. I did that yesterday, since the forecast was for nasty weather, and I had procrastinated towards dusk.

It’s tough. Even if I was wearing electric yellow from head to toe, I wonder if I would be seen. It’s scary out there, solo, female, cold, damp and in the dark. I’m increasingly convinced that they don’t make running gear for Northwestern runners in mind.

Issaquah Run at Salmon Days

Last Sunday I did the Issaquah Rotary Run at Salmon Days. I completed the 10K in 57:27, according to the official chip time. This meant I was a bit slower than average, and way slower than the first place runners, but it was an awesome race, and I really enjoyed it. My pace was faster than I ran for the Livestrong Challenge 5K back in June, and the Runner’s World Smart Coach actually had me running slower for the race, so I beat what I guessed my time would be. The Smart Coach app on my iPhone is predicting a similar pace for the Seattle Half Marathon at the end of November. I laugh to think it is even remotely possible for me to sustain less than a 10 minute pace for 13.1 miles, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try!

Looking at the training schedule ahead, it’s not too crazy. My biggest fear is the waining light in the morning, as well as the rainy weather. My feet were definitely cold in the Bikilas while I was warming up for the race last Sunday. I tend to like to run with very little exposure protection because I do heat up so fast. I don’t ever understand the people who run in long pants and long sleeves on 50°F days. Granted, I’m cold when I leave the house, but all it takes is a block of running at a moderate pace and I’m plenty warm. The rain/mist is more of my concern, as well as the slick, oily roads I’ll be crossing in the morning hours. And people drive like idiots, and I wonder what good visibility will do me when most people in Seattle ignore the laws of physics (ie. just because you have the traction to go 45 mph in slick, low vis conditions, doesn’t mean you can stop easily when you absolutely have to.)

I’ve been toying with the idea of re-upping my gym membership for training on a treadmill. I know that I won’t get the kind of training I get from road running, especially locally, because any run means hill training. I’ve also been hoping to hold out in case I get hired at my current internship, because then I might get a free gym membership close to work, making mid-day runs more feasible.

I would love to find some training buddies locally. I don’t want to be ridiculously serious, but I really just want some people to share my hobby with. I’ve always been a bit of a loner, and it’s my nature. It’s something I’m thinking about, at least.

Now, to go shopping for weather related gear. It’s supposed to be a cold, wet winter. I wonder how my running will survive!