Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Marathon Week...Again

A little bit of déjà vu here.

NYCM is in 3 days and I am so “meh” about it.

Everyone around me is all

And I am over here just like, no

Very conflicted – given the opportunity to bail I think I would. But then I try to think about how magical last year was – running with 100 degree fever and all – and I get twinges of excitement.

But they last about as long as it takes for me to recall how effing miserable Chicago was a couple weeks ago.

It would be easy to say move on but I’ve basically had a stomachache since. It’s been fun, let me tell you. I have been talking to my doc and am going again to some specialists but not until after though. I am pretty sure regardless this wouldn’t be resolved prior. The thought is IBD or colitis and such but just basically I am in hell and just fingers crossed that I am not in PAIN while I run Sunday.

Speaking of running I ran once in between.

12 miles 6 days after just to prove I could run.

It went well but since then my stomach has been so crappy (haha!) that I have stuck with cross training. So here’s hoping that my legs remember what to do come Sunday.

I have absolutely NO time goals.

All I want is to feel like THIS for 26.2 miles. 

PS will totes be wearing this same outfit again as I am again running with Team for Kids
Pure, unadulterated, happiness out there. I don’t care if it takes 6 hours (okay jk I totally will be upset if I run slower than that 5:34 in Chicago because that was a time with an hour plus added with stops and walking) but basically I don’t care if I am slower I just want to have a good day. And less than 15 port-o-potty stops.

So here’s to New York.

And imodium. I think I will be taking lots and lots of imodium. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chicago Marathon Recap

I guess it is about time to recap the Chicago Marathon. I have a lot to say and also really nothing much minus it was miserable. Shall attempt to keep this as short as possible.

The weekend started promising. And by promising I mean a few hour flight delay that was kind of annoying. So I wound up getting to Chicago a lot later than anticipated on Friday night.
Saturday was spent sleeping in, doing a short shakeout run – side note, it was so gorgeous out and I felt great! – then went to the expo and to try and meet up with some people. Expo was ginormous but well organized and the packet pick up went smoothly. The only annoying part was the shirt, I was totally disappointed (I am not one big on swag in general but NJ, NYC, Hartford, West Palm Beach, Miami have all given great shirts I just expected something similar from a major – they seemed like an afterthought).

Anyways Saturday night we wound up at a great Italian place Quartino's. Sadly I stuck with plain food all weekend (bagels, turkey sandwiches, bananas, pretzels, blah) and just had margherita pizza and picked cheese off. However when we left my stomach was kind of gurgling. So I ran down the street to 7-11 and said some prayers as I ate tums.

Sunday woke up – on my own thankfully – because I set my alarms to PM instead of AM. Awesome.

Ate a Clif Bar and had some coconut water and then got ready. Going in without any major goals and just planning to run it really did not hit me until that morning that I was running a marathon. I very much had a no pressure no nerves calmness going on.

I knew when I woke that my stomach would probably make me stop a couple times because I couldn’t really “go”. But whatever I am okay with that kind of par for the course.

We got to the start area to check bags probably around 7:20 so by the time I checked my bag I HAD to hop in my corral or else get stuck all the way at the end. Being assigned F at the front of Wave 2 I really did not want to go all the way to the rear, which meant holding it in and not being able to hit the bathroom.
Oh look so pretty!
As we were counting down the minutes to the start, all of a sudden I got REALLY emotional. Like tears and a little crying emotional. I did a total WTF to myself baffled where that came from…but then the gun went off and we were walking to the start! And THEN they played “Born to Run” and some more tears came (and excitement)! A few minutes later we crossed and I was off!
One thing I must say is it was running perfection! couldn't have asked for better weather.
First thoughts = ugh I have to pee. Which meant all I could look out for was the first set of porto-potties. About a mile and a half in they came up and I sprinted to them. Took care of things and then was running back out and SO HAPPY I ran into Emily! And got to chat with her for a few minutes before I told her to go off and chase her sub 4 marathon (and she killed it!).

And after she left was when things started going south. My stomach just never settled. I stopped about for the bathroom shortly after the 5K and it was upset. I was trying to not panic yet but I wasn’t amused. A mile or so later I knew I had to stop yet again.

3 stops by 10K.

I had barely enjoyed a second of the race and pretty much knew I wouldn’t for the remainder.

I started texting my friend Maria to see if she would be at mile 10 for the first stop and thankfully gave me something to look forward to. I was miserable. I was stopping at each stop each mile. I tossed away any time thoughts I was in so much pain.

Basically felt like someone was holding on to my insides and squeezing as hard as they could. I would go to the bathroom run for a bit before knowing I had to walk.

Yes walking began at mile 8. I texted the boy then too and was already saying I was ready to quit. Was texting my sister as well…a marathon is daunting but I knew how terrible it would be feeling this way.

I missed my friends cheering at the first stop but luckily knew they would be around 16/17 which again gave me some motivation.

When I finally saw them I couldn’t hold back the tears. I was miserable. I gave her my Garmin and continued on my way crying. My legs were feeling good to run but I just couldn’t for too long and at this point was losing the will to even try.

I can barely tell you anything about the course. Minus great crowds. The people were fantastic! I tried to take it in but was pretty miserable as my race photos prove:

Does that smile look forced?
I got the text of where they would be cheering again around 23 and was happy to have something to look forward to. I also stopped an helped a man who went down with leg cramps. Helping someone else made me feel like I salvaged some good from the experience.

Also seeing our friends Dad catch up to me who was running his first marathon and rocking it made me happy someone was having a good race! Until mile 20 I wasn’t sure I could or would even finish. It took every ounce of strength to stay on the course. After seeing our cheerleaders the final time I was so ready to just be done. My stomach was doing better (relative I just was incapable of shitting anymore, you’re welcome) and I finally turned on my music and ran as much as I could of the last bit. I have never been so happy to see a hill in my life as I knew that signified finishing this self-imposed hell.

I crossed that finish and I think I may have cried a little I was so happy to be done.

In a personal worst: 5:3x (I honestly do not know my official time I refuse to look but know it is around there) an hour slower than my slowest. And really don’t care.

That race was straight up survival.

I definitely earned this one.
And now I have to do 26.2 twice more this fall. What was I thinking?

My stomach still hasn’t returned to normal. Although I did get through 12 miles over the weekend (didn’t revolt until the second I stopped). But I am hoping that it settles down. And soon. If NYCM is the same I do not think I have the mental strength to repeat that.

So that is my recap. Don’t ask me about where I ran or what I saw. I basically spent 5 ½ hours trying not to shit my pants. A few memories but honestly I didn’t get to enjoy more than maybe 3-4 miles. I will say – AMAZING course support. I would run the race again just because of the ease of it all. Logistics trump NYC by a million in my opinion.

And if one more person tells me a story of how they run through it and I should just try that I will throttle them. You don’t think I TRIED. Sigh. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pre Chicago Marathon Ramblings

Okay so apparently fall marathon 1 of 3 is happening on Sunday. When did that happen? I feel like I was waiting forever for it to finally get here and then BAM.

This week I was too preoccupied with the fact that I was sick and then work was crazy to really think much about the actual race itself.

I don’t really feel any pressure to throw down a PR performance. Goal is to finish feeling strong.

I think if the stars align as I line up race day morning that a 4:15-4:20 performance is possible (PR is 4:26). My second to last training run that I did was the NYRR 18 Mile Tune Up + 2 miles to hit 20 and I hit an avg 10:11 pace for that (3 loops of CP hills feeling strong, is confidence boosting) – and most of my long runs I did slooooow as molasses in the 10:30 – 10:45 range so I think a 9:30 pace (which I did a lot of my pace runs at or faster) is in my reach.

However, I have been feeling “off” and been sick.

I skipped my long run this past weekend due to being bed ridden for 3 days. I ran twice this week. Neither felt stellar. I just want a clear head and clear lungs and have OD’d on cold meds and pray for that.

Stomach issues went away for quite some time – however in the past couple weeks things have gotten “messy” again (TMI but lots of blood and cramping it hasn’t been fun) so not sure how it will behave come Sunday morning.

In an effort to see if it would help iron levels I went on BC for the first time ever 3 weeks ago. And I hate it. Like hate with a passion. For someone who doesn’t get any PMS symptoms let’s just say my boobs are larger than ever and hurt (super fun when marathoning) and I’ve had cramps for like 2 weeks. I’m not amused but also in the long run want to straighten out my iron levels and if this will help than I am all in. But know that I have a rocky couple more months ahead of me potentially. But my body just feels off and doesn’t help the whole running thing.

Now that I have overshared…

Basically I did not train for some crazy PR performance, I trained to be able to do the distance. Last year sucked the life out of me and the joy out of running trying to go sub 4.

On one hand I worry that I will be sad if I have my “worst” performance (4:31 or slower) but on the other I know it was not in me to do the work this time around. I loved all of my runs MINUS the long runs this cycle. I had to spend quite some time talking myself out of bed for the majority of them. While I did have a few really great ones once I got out there, I had a few really shit ones. Which is how it goes pretty much in training.

So basically what am I rambling about?

I am hoping that Chicago is a day filled with joy for running.

I hope that I don’t struggle through the race. And I hope that my body doesn’t rebel on me (stomach) and I can ENJOY the experience.

I am hoping that for my first time in Chicago – I have an amazing experience. I have heard so many great things about the city, and hope that it is everything it has been talked up to be!

Here’s to miles of smiles! I’m coming for you Chicago! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 17

Umm marathon week! 

I will probably do another post so this is just a quick little recap. 

Still tapering. Things were going well until they weren't. Wound up sick and bed ridden. Womp womp. My anxiety level about this though was really more feeling lazy than missing runs would derail me by the marathon. 

When I had my DNF at Hartford last year (which I was supposed to taper down from before NYCM) my mileage was all sorts of wonky leading up to NYCM and I ran a 4:29 - with no hill training, while sick! 

I know my body is ready for the mileage. I just want to fly to Chicago and hit that start line healthy. That is all. 

Here was last week's training:

Monday - Cross Train! Arc 30 min / AMT 30 mins

Tuesday - 4.22 miles @ 9:28

Wednesday - 3.15 miles @ 9:31

Thursday - 3.2 miles @ 9:22

Friday - This was my planned rest day. I was going to run because I had a wedding that night and rest Saturday but I felt like shit. I somehow thought that I would feel better Saturday after being up all hours and drunk. Spoiler alert - did not happen.

Saturday - I wanted to die. Hungover. Fever. Got home at 10:30am from the wedding and got out of bed 3 times the entire day.

Sunday - I WILL RUN. JK. I will not run. 

Total Miles: 10.57 miles. Sigh.