Monday, November 28, 2011

Finally, a PR!!!

In our household!! Man, it's been AWHILE since anyone residing in my 4 walls has seen a PR. Years even.

I am VERY proud to announce that this girl scored herself a 3 minute PR at a local Thanksgiving Day turkey trot. C'mon now, you wouldn't mess with this either.. Look at that game face!

We ran together, and she's really enjoying these 5K's. It was her third one to date, yet her first where she didn't declare that her legs were going to "fall off" at mile 2. That race was the perfect start to a quiet Thanksgiving, which led into an awesome weekend.

A big congrats to Caitlyn on her PR!

Happy Training..

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh, and check this out..

I JUST noticed this... Check out the guy running next to me in this picture from Chicago. I mean his T-SHIRT you pervs. I swear, just saw this when I was re-reading my Chicago RR. Fore-shadowing perhaps?

**cue creepy music**

Happy Training!

Pssssssstt... I have a secret...

Dear Hayward Field, 

You have seen many, many Olympians, and have seen so many incredible performances. There are countless esteemed athletes that call you the home of their PR. And when I see you on April 29, 2012, there will be yet another athlete who will be able to call that track her home to a brand spankin, new, shiny marathon PR. ME

See you in exactly 160 days.... 



Happy Training!!! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday..

(1) I started on some antibiotics last night for the cough-from-hell. I am waiting (im)patiently for this cough to now exit stage left. And for the record, I think the term "walking pneumonia" is stupid. I'm looking forward to the Garmin files that don't have those marked dips in pace, showing where I had to pull off to the side of the road and cough my brains out. And the ones that don't have my HR through the roof on an easy run, because my lungs are broken; turns out that oxygen is kinda key to running. Who knew?

(2) Because I'm self-consumed with my cough, I forgot to mention my sister's wedding shower was last weekend. I cannot believe that in 7.5 weeks, my baby sister will be someone's wife. Yikes! A couple pictures:

Caitlyn's getting WAY too big!!! 
Delish cake! 
(3) Thanksgiving is in ONE week, and I'm lucky enough to not have to travel. My mom and sisters are making the trek to my house. The one hitch in this delightful plan is that I.Do.Not.Cook. So what does one do in this scenario? Whole Foods baby! I basically re-mortgaged my house, and will be picking up Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night. Mom will swoop into the homeland Thursday morning and do the rest. I might put out chips and dip too - because I'm wicked high class. 

Happy Training! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Letter To My Lungs..

Dear mucous-y lungs,

When you decided to inhale some nasty germ over 7 days ago, and began to make my chest rattle with every inhale, I was patient. I was even able to maintain a decent pace/mile on a hilly loop in the form of a relay race. And then I blessed you with an entire day off from running, while I watched trashy reality TV from my trainer the next day. 

Over the next several days, instead of locking it up and ridding yourselves of this nasty germ, you have decided to become one with it. I am thankful for your friends Ms Sinus, Throat, and Head for not following in your mucousy lead. Your rattling, cough producing selves are the only symptom I have experienced. 

I will beat you into submission - I will not allow you to stop me from running. I have perfected the art of a solid stride while coughing - admit it, even you're impressed. That workout I had on Wednesday - yep, nailed it, despite your best efforts to bring me down. You may have forced my easy runs to be a little bit easier, but you will not stop me. 

We're on day 8 of this game, and now you're just downright annoying. My co-workers do not appreciate my hacking, and my new raspy voice. I have had several people ask if I picked up a new habit over the past week, involving Marlboro Lites. And if you don't heal up soon, I just might start, for the sole purpose of pissing you off. If you want to have to work REALLY hard, just wait until I start forcing you to run after spreading nicotine all up on you. 

We make a better team than enemies, so all I ask is that you get whatever you have festering in you OUT, and do it stat. I don't have time to be wheezy and coughing - I have PR's to chase. 



Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I suck at being patient. Plain and simple. I am a Type A/OCD'er that like to make a plan and then execute to perfection. That could be the reason I make a pretty decent Project Manager when I'm not pounding pavement. Waiting around for something to get done, or having to wait for a decision to be made for me makes my skin crawl.

So imagine how I'm doing right now knowing that I WILL run a half marathon this winter and a spring marathon in 2012, but not knowing which races those are? Its.Freaking.Killing.Me. Coach says that we want to see certain numbers in training and heart rate, on easy runs and in workouts, before pulling the race trigger. I've been told that my awesome workout numbers lately have been due largely in part to my patience, and that all this waiting will be rewarded. It damn well better be, because I'm losing years off my life marathon searching, and no longer have any fingernails.

I spazzed out on coach last night and again this morning, because for every marathon I throw at her, she has a reason why it might not necessarily be the right one. I told her I was incredibly frustrated, and hated this waiting game. When she asked why, I told her I hate training for something obscure, and not being able to have a date/time/location for my next marathon. I told her I love plastering my office walls with course maps, and getting really excited about a specific race. Her response? "It's time to learn to love the process as much as the goal. Love the running itself one moment at a time". How do you argue with someone who goes all Buddha on your ass? Right.

This morning I did a workout -  the same one I've done for the past 3 Wednesdays. And each one has gotten progressively faster, and my HR has gotten lower with those faster efforts. Booyah. When I emailed to tell her the good news, she acknowledged my awesomeness. She didn't go so far as to tell me that I should start training with Kara Goucher, but I'm sure that's coming soon. In the email, she acknowledged my "irky-ness" at not having nailed down a race, but also reiterated that she wants my training and readiness to dictate the race I run, not vice versa. I get it. I still hate it, but I get it.

This is why people like myself have coaches; they're so damn smart. If left to my own devices, I would have signed up for a marathon in February, March, and probably April too just because I can. The likely result would be a complete hemorrhage of my bank account, and a few more 4 hour marathons to add to my resume. Handing yourself over to someone else involves sacrifice and change (ahem, patience), but I have to believe will also reap the greatest rewards. I feel very lucky to have someone who's not afraid to tell me no, in order to get me the results I'm looking for.

I hope to be able to put names to these elusive races some time in the next few weeks. I'm thinking of it as an early Christmas present from Coach. In the meantime, I will get by trying to embrace both the process, as well as running in that moment. Oh, and by drinking wine.

Happy training!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Marathon Relay, and other Ramblings..

I seem to run my best when other people are relying on me - it's been that way ever since I was 10 years old as the anchor of a 4x100 free relay team (swimming). Letting others down is something that I avoid at any given chance, and yesterday I was able to put that theory to the test in the form of the Manchester Marathon Relay.

I was asked to be part of this relay as a "reunion" of sorts from the Race to the Cape 24-hour relay we did back in May. I agreed, because running with friends is always better than running alone! I was "blessed" with 7.1 miles of an insanely hilly course, on a beautiful morning in Manchester, NH. I asked Lisa to come along and be race sherpa/race time sitter for Caitlyn, which worked out perfectly.

There was cheering:
And running:

Don't be fooled, I think this was the ONLY downhill of the entire 7 miles! 
There's nothing better that having this waiting for you at the end of a hard run:

I was happy with my run - I've had a very hill-fest kinda running week as I start to ramp my miles back up. I was happy to find that extra gear in my legs, and it was a great, sweat-filled morning.

In other news, I'm still in negotiations regarding my Spring 2012 Marathon. I know for sure that I'll be doing one, after I lay down a huge PR in a Half Marathon later this winter.

Currently, my top 2 contenders for 26.2 in the Spring are:

The Colorado Marathon
Napa Valley Marathon

There are others being kicked around, but those are the races I'm swooning over at the moment. If you know of any FAST early-ish spring marathons where I won't melt, I'm all ears. I want to sign up for my spring race STAT!

Congrats to everyone that races IMFL this weekend, as well as everyone that destroyed the NYC Marathon. So many awesome races this past weekend!

Happy Training!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cape Cod Marathon from a run-pectator perspective..

On Sunday, Lisa ran the Cape Cod Marathon, and I had offered to support her the last part of the race. Mother Nature had other ideas - we had a wicked October snowstorm barrel across New England on Saturday night, making things logistically tricky. I woke up at my mom's house to this:

Trees down everywhere

Luckily, Sara's mom was also running the race and had to venture down to Falmouth on Sunday as well. Sara has a 4 wheel drive vehicle, was able to maneuver through the slick roads, AND we would both have good company on the drive down to the Cape and back. Everyone's a winner!

We worked out logistics such that we would be able to see Lisa, Sara's mom, AND her step-dad several times. It took some color coded spreadsheets to make it happen, but we were confident to be the best supporters on the course!

The start of the Cape Cod Marathon
While there was no snow down the Cape, holy CRAP was it windy! A steady 30ish mph wind, with gusts of over 50mph! That'll take a toll over 26.2 miles - yikes!

We saw all three of our runners (looking AWESOME) at mile 2-ish, 4.5ish, and then again around mile 9.5, where Sara jumped in with her mom. After I was done cheering there, I hopped in the Jeep and called Scott (Lisa's husband). We agreed on a sweet cheering spot at mile 19.4, where I would jump in and help Lisa finish out her kick ass race.

I arrived to 19.4 early, and screamed my brains off for all the runners. There were ALL rockstars for even MAKING it that far on such a challenging course, along with the crazy winds. There were a lot of tired marathoners out there, so I did everything I could to support them.

I saw my favorite runner crest the hill, and off we went. I assessed the situation - Lisa looked great, but I could tell she was tired. My job was simply to get her through the next 7 miles as quickly as possible, while allowing her to finish with a smile on her face. I told stories, tried to shield her from the wind when those gusts whipped up, and distract her with my silly antics.

We passed the mile 20 mile marker, and there was a digital clock. I took a silent mental note, glanced at my Garmin, and did some fuzzy math. I knew Lisa's PR was 3:56; we'd have to haul up and over the hills, and hope to God the winds died down to beat her PR. To me, it was worth a shot.

I would pick people out to try to catch and pass, remind her to stay in the moment, and occasionally say something stupid just to make her laugh. There was twice I remember looking at my Garmin, picking up the case ever so slightly, and she would hang with me stride for stride. I smiled - I was so proud of her strength out there.

We hit Mile 25 and it was game time. I told her that I wanted her to leave everything on that course. I told her I wanted her to be so hurting when she crossed that finish line that she might just throw up on her shoes. I told her to imagine her feet going "tap, tap tap" on the ground - light and quick. And of course, I told her to stop swearing at me internally as I was giving her some "tough love".

She crossed that finish line in 3:57, and she looked A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Seriously, I was teary bc I was so damn proud. Look at this finish people:

What a finish!!
What a great day - I am so thankful that Lisa allowed me to have a part in her special day. I loved spectating, and then being able to get her to that finish line upright and smiling. Maybe I'll ditch the marathons and take up spectating/supporting as a sport..  ;)

Stretching and getting warm, post race. 
Congratulations Lisa!! 

Happy Training!

Happy Halloween!!

Another crazy week at work, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween from me and Caitlyn! 

In other news, I ran the last 7 miles of the Cape Cod Marathon with Lisa this past weekend, so I have a run/spectator report coming up. And finally, I've been blessed with a race schedule for 2012 - I can't WAIT to share it with all of you! 

Happy Training!