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Monday, September 28, 2009

Memory Lane

The other night, I was talking to my hubby about my running. Mostly I was asking him if it drives him nuts. He admitted that it has been hard because training for my marathon was so time consuming (during his busiest time of year at work), but he said it is worth it if I really love it. And I do! I never, ever, ever, ever would have thought I would run, would WANT to run, would LOVE TO RUN! But I do.

This conversation reminded me of something I thought about while running my marathon. You have some time to think when you are running 26.2 miles, and one thing that really struck me was how far I have come in the past year. Before September of last year, my longest race was a 4-miler and my longest run was 5.5 miles. Here is a little timeline of the year's highlights:
  • September 2008 - The birth of my second child
  • November 2008 - 4-mile race (I ran the same race in 2007; beat my time by 32 seconds)
  • March 2009 - Foot surgery
  • May 2009 - My first 10K
  • June 2009 - My first 10-mile race
  • August 2009 - My first half marathon
  • September 2009 - My first marathon

There were a few other races mixed in there, but those are the things that really stood out. Now it's time to start looking forward to what's next...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thank You

I have just a minute before my girls wake from their naps, but I have been thinking about my marathon (of course) and the keys to my success as a first timer. I could have spent hours researching marathons and how to train for them, but I never would have found the priceless, real-world advice and experiences I received from all of you, my friends in the blogging and running communities. I just want to say thank you! I know I would not have made it to the finish without your experiences, knowledge and inspiration pushing me along!!

(Don't mind the little person or boxes of
Halloween decorations in the background!)

In other news, I won Run DMT's giveaway for a shirt from Running Chics. I chose a cute long sleeve thermal shirt, and finally had a chance to wear it now that it finally feels like fall. I just wanted to share a picture of the shirt and tell you it is awesome! It's especially nice because I really feel like a Running Chic these days!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Race Report: Top of Utah Marathon

Speaking of lists... I made a list of things I want to remember to include in my race report, but that list is upstairs and my legs are currently not friends with the stairs. I am going to try to remember everything on the list, but I figure anything I forget will just make a good post topic later. So yes, this is my race report. I finished my first marathon on Saturday. And the first item to note is that I did indeed finish. That was my goal. To finish.

My second goal was to finish under the 5 hour mark. I made my second goal as well. My third goal was to finish feeling good enough that I want to do another one. Let's just say I am narrowing down the list of spring marathons.

Now for the details. I spent the night in a hotel about an hour from the race start; that took an hour off my drive, so it was worth it. (It was the closest one I could get by the time I decided to make a reservation.) After waking up about 10 times, I got out of bed two minutes before my 3:45 am alarm was set to go off. I made it to the bus about 5:30, got to the start, went potty, and spent the rest of the time moving to keep warm. I was happy that I remembered to bring a blanket to wrap around my legs! At 7 am on the dot, the gun went off. Several minutes later, I crossed the start.

My goal was to maintain around a 10:00 pace. Other than being cold, I felt pretty good the first few miles. At mile two, I could finally feel most of my hands. My thumbs stopped being numb at mile three. Mile three was also the first aid station. Because of my dehydration experience at the end of my half, I think I was a little too cautious and drank too much (2-3 cups of water or Gatorade at each stop). This resulted in three potty stops before the halfway point. There were port-a-potties every other mile, but I didn't want to wait in a line of even one or two people so my first two stops were in the bushes. Because the first half of the race is down a canyon, finding a quick, discreet place to go was easy. Although someone might want to tell that to the guy that I passed TWICE while he was peeing just a foot off the road. I didn't see anything, but I probably could have if I would have turned around after I passed him.

After potty stop three, I stopped gulping so much at every aid station. My legs were getting a little tired by the halfway point, but it wasn't anything that was slowing me down. I hit 13.1 miles at 2:13. At that point I was pretty confident I could finish in 4:40. I only needed one more potty stop during the second half, and my pace stayed pretty consistent until mile 19. Then my right leg started hurting on the outside, just above and next to my knee. Around mile 20, the pain was shooting up toward my hip and forced me to slow down. At mile 21, I stopped to have Icy Hot rubbed on my leg at the first aid station. By then my knee was also hurting, and I was walking off and on. After walking a few minutes, the pain would subside and I would run again. But then the pain would build up and almost completely stop me. When I could run, I was hitting a 9:30 pace, so I knew I had it in me to make that 4:40 mark. Unfortunately my leg wasn't cooperating. I ran as much as I could and walked when I had to. When I crossed the finish, the clock said 5:02. My Garmin, which I forgot to turn off the autopause feature, said 4:52. I figured my actual time was closer to the clock time with all my potty stops. My husband received a text with my chip time when I crossed the finish. 4:59:12. Goal!!

Now for some marathon miscellany:

  • I need to find a happy medium on the liquid intake. Less potty stops = faster time.
  • I never asked myself "Why am I doing this?"
  • I didn't have any tummy troubles during or after my run. I would like to thank Imodium and all those who advised sticking to what worked in the past.
  • I did not eat a banana at any of the aid stations where they were readily available. No heartburn this time!!
  • I GUed just before the start and at miles 5, 11 and 19.
  • This winter I am going to stock up on cheap mittens that I can just discard during future marathons.
  • I think Apple should sponsor marathons (maybe they do). This thought ran through my mind as I passed iPod after iPod.
  • I ran several miles with my new friend Jon, who was also running his first marathon. We became fast friends on the bus ride to the start. I am excited to follow his progress as he trains for and runs his second marathon next spring.
  • After a lot of computer research, I am pretty sure my leg pain was my IT band. Any thoughts on this are more than welcome!! I would love to be running again by then end of the week...
  • The only time I got emotional was when this version of "Don't Stop Believin" came on my iPod during mile 26.

That's it for now. Enjoy the picture of my lovely post-race glow. I will share more pics once they are posted from the race!

Monday, September 14, 2009


I love running 10 miles. On the treadmill or outside, it has become on of my favorite distances. I feel tired when I am done, but a good tired. Not an I-want-to-die tired. And I am not sore after 10 miles. As we all learned a few weeks ago, I can't say the same after 20 miles. So yes, I ran my scheduled 10 miles last night. And it was great. I made sure they were easy miles (which is easy to do on the treadmill and also one its few benefits); and I am also happy to report a pain-free leg. So now the countdown really begins. (My tummy did a flop just typing that.)

My marathon is Saturday, THIS Saturday. Saturday, September 19th.

I spent the morning printing out driving directions and re-reading the race info. I have started lists of things to pack (for the entire family since we're staying at a hotel the night before so I don't have to drive over 2 hours the morning of), things to remember (wrap sore toe, Glide above boobs, etc.) and things to do (charge Garmin, iPod playlist, etc.). The marathon checklists are growing by the hour...

Friday, September 11, 2009


WOW! Thanks for the your reassuring comments about running my marathon after missing some of my runs. I just might end up going into this thing a little over-confident thanks to all of you (ha-ha, wouldn't that be nice). But really, thanks!! I feel a lot better about things; and my leg is doing much better. It's not 100 percent yet, but it is getting there. I am running every other day to give it time to recover without stressing myself out because I am missing too many runs. The true test will be my last pre-marathon "long" run this weekend, 10 miles.

I wanted to include something about 9/11 since it has been on my mind all day, but I just couldn't come up with the right words to express my thoughts. So instead I will send you over to Beth who had the perfect thing to say today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 Days and Counting

Sorry I have been MIA. My blog neglect has been partly due to lack of running because of my mysterious leg pain and also due to the time I spent over the past week planning my baby's first birthday party. The party is over, and without that distraction my nerves are on overdrive!

I don't think I would be quite this nervous about my marathon NEXT SATURDAY (the 19th) if I had been able to continue with my training plan. My leg is finally getting back to normal, but I am going to head to the doctor tomorrow if it acts up during tonight's run. Because of my leg, I missed my long run this past weekend. Please, someone in bloggyland tell me I will be OK next week in spite of my missed runs?!?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Never Again

I ran 20 miles on the treadmill last night, and I have no plans to ever do it again. It was hard, really hard!

Actually, the first 10 weren't bad. They went pretty quickly as I switched back and forth from The Office to The Breakup on TV. One hour in, I was getting hungry, so I ran downstairs and ate a banana. That was my first mistake. By the half marathon mark, I had heartburn like you wouldn't believe. Running was painful. I walked when it was too much to stand. And took a quick break for some Tums. The heartburn NEVER went away. Then I got sleepy at mile 15. The only thing that kept me going was that I had grabbed a movie (17 Again) from Redbox and set up my laptop next to the treadmill. Unfortunately, the movie ended just after I hit that 15 mile mark. I watched late night talk shows the rest of the time, but they weren't enough to distract me from the massive blister that had formed on my little toe (mistake #2 - forgetting to Glide my toes). At mile 18, I met the wall. Yet I pushed on (barely), and eeked out the full 20. As I limped to bed, I decided 13.1 would be pushing it in the future as far as long runs on the treadmill. I think 10 will be my lucky treadmill number.

Misc. from my 20 treadmill miles:
  • The treadmill makes our bedroom really warm after about an hour!

  • I was really sick to my stomach when I finished. Not crampy but like I was going to puke. Is this normal?

  • The backs of my legs (especially the right one) really hurt, directly behind my knees. Any thoughts on this? (They still hurt today, but luckily that is really my only soreness.)

  • While a part of me is still debating doing the marathon at all, I am changing my goal to just finishing it. Under 5 hours would just be a bonus.

  • I was shivering as I crawled into bed. Is that why they give out those silver blanket things after marathons?

  • If 20 miles was this hard, can I really do 26.2?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

20 Miles or Bust!!

I figure if I put it on here, I might feel more pressure to make it happen. Tonight I am finally going to get my 20 mile run DONE! It was planned for Sunday night, but it wasn't going to happen after an ER visit for my baby and lots of much needed cuddle time (for both baby and Mommy) when we finally got home! Then yesterday I was tired from a late and long night and fought a headache all day, so I debated the run all afternoon. When the girls went to bed late, my decision was finally made. I really didn't want to finish running around midnight. So tonight it is!

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