Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting better...

I ended up at the doctor's on Tuesday. I was sick of hacking up a lung and blowing my nose every 5 seconds. Diagnosis? Ear infection and sinus infection. Good times.

But I finally feel better and my legs finally feel fine. I actually might even try to exercise in the morning. Note I didn't say run (I am giving myself a week off of running). On a much brighter note, today is mix-match day at school for Ashley. She has been planning her outfit for a week!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Austin Marathon 2011 - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I really don't know where to start. But I want to preface this whole post with this: my performance at the marathon was no one's doing but my own. What I am trying to say is that I am not about making excuses. I didn't run the race I had trained for, and that sucked. I could sit here a write a post about how the weather was very different than what I trained for, I ate different foods, I traveled, I had a head cold, but in the end, all of those things were still my fault. I chose a race in Texas. I chose to eat food the night before I hadn't eaten before. But at least now I know my mistakes, and I won't make them next time! And yes, there will be another marathon (just don't tell my husband...).

So, onto the race.

I traveled to Austin last Friday and arrived to warm weather. Highs in the upper 70s/low 80s, lows in the upper 60s. High humidity. Weather that I love, just not the weather I had trained for the last few months. I didn't even pack my gloves to run in. I was in heaven. Saturday we hit the expo where I picked up some Yurbuds and a really cool shirt that says "Run, Live, Sleep, Repeat". My friend got her legs all taped up with k-tape and people were staring where ever we went. It was pretty funny. We finally made it home about dinner time and my friend's mom had made some homemade spaghetti sauce. I should have said no and just eaten plain pasta, but it was yummy and I had two servings. My friend smartly passed and just ate plain pasta. I crashed pretty early that night since I had been up early.

Race day my alarm went off at 4:00am. I took my time getting ready, but already had a nervous stomach and by the time we left at 5:00am, I had visited the bathroom 4 times. Not a good sign, but I figured I was just really nervous. I was in a tank top and running skirt, and was fine outside since it was already 65 degrees and 75% humidity. We made it to the start in plenty of time, and lined up between the 4:30 and the 4:45 pace groups.

And we were off onto the HILLIEST COURSE I HAVE EVER RUN. Seriously. I would not recommend this race to even my worst enemy. I run hills all the time in Holly Springs, but these hills were relentless. The first 6 miles were uphill out of downtown Austin. Then a little bit of a downhill, and then all I remember are uphills. I freaked out my husband and friends who were tracking me because I missed the 5K timing mat. It didn't go all the way across the road, and I never stepped on it. We did hit it at about 33 minutes. My 10 mile split was 1:48, and soon after that things started going downhill.

It was hot. By mile 3, I was pouring water on my head. I had been taking extra vitamin C and zicam to head off my head cold, and that was a stupid idea because it didn't work and I think it just made my stomach worse. I stuck with my friend and her running friends until about mile 12 (the half marathoners split from us at mile 11), but I ended up puking on the side of the course at that point. It was a lovely mix of orange Gu and yellow Gatorade, but I instantly felt better. I was still running 100% of the time through all this. And then BAM, my stomach just completely cramped up. Who knows what it was - the heat, the food I ate, the medicine I was taking, the Gatorade, dehydration - but whatever it was, it SUCKED. My stomach hurt so bad at points I had to completely stop and was doubled over. I threw up again somewhere about mile 15ish in a portable restroom (which was lovely, let me tell you). Again, I felt better instantly but that feeling went away quickly.

At that point, I had nothing left in the tank, and taking another Gu or drinking any Gatorade was not an option for my stomach. I tried some pretzels someone was handing out, and I could get it in my mouth, but I just couldn't swallow them. I was drinking water but I was still so freaking thirsty. I remember somewhere about mile 19 I saw a girl throwing up and a policeman took her off the course and I thought there was no way in Hell they were taking me off the course. I was going to finish no matter what. All I really wanted was a diet Coke. I even almost asked some spectators, but honestly the energy that would have taken to ask was too much. So I kept trudging along. I walked when my stomach protested too much and the hills were too steep, and ran when I could. Even walking though, I was passing people running. I remember around mile 23/24 walking up a hill and looking around me and everyone was walking. I remember the 5:00 pace group passing me, and I didn't even care. I knew I would finish, but I knew any hopes of a "good" time were over.

Finally I was at the end. At 800 meters to go, you have to climb a hill and I saw my friend's husband. He was a huge help throughout the day on the course. He talked to me and told me when I rounded the corner to start running, but instead I started running then. I remember seeing the finish line and I was so freaking happy.


A couple days post marathon, and my quads are still sore from all the hills. My head cold is worse, but my stomach is finally better. I will be honest, I am hugely disappointed and sad about my time. I really thought I would have done better. I know that if my stomach had felt better I would have done better, I just don't know by how much. I am still proud of my accomplishment and am going to wear my finisher's shirt every chance I get, but still. Hence why there has to be marathon #2. My friend didn't do as she expected either, and we both want our redemption race. Any ideas?

Huge, huge thanks to momof3 for her kind words and helpful wisdom, and for Tall Mom for the shout out. And thanks to my husband for putting up with me and all my running the past 6 months, and taking care of the home front while I flew to Austin. And a huge thanks to my friends who supported me from afar in Holly Springs with cards and love and good thoughts - Wendy for the arm warmers and cards, Nancy for the brownies, and Shelley for my week of gifts, poster on my front door when I got home, and the champagne. I couldn't have done this without any of you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow I fly from Raleigh to Austin, Texas for the marathon. I am leaving behind a husband coming down with a head cold, and a brother-in-law who lives with us with the flu (the rest of us smart people in the house had our flu shots, so I am hopeful we won't get it). That and Audrey said her legs hurt today and I am hoping it was just the P90X Ab Ripper stuff she was doing with me last night and not a repeat of transient synovitis she had EXACTLY A YEAR ago where we spent the night in the ER. Nothing like having a ton of stuff to worry about before flying away to go run a marathon.

And I still don't feel ready.

I have run 511 miles in this training cycle, run in cold, heat, snow, rain. I have run through illnesses and cramps and side stitches. I have run with friends, alone, on the treadmill. I ran one half marathon, 3 16-milers, 1 14-miler, 1 18-miler, and 2 20-milers and a ton of stuff in between. I have done tempo runs, mile repeats and easy slow paced long runs. I should be ready, my brain tells me I should be, but I just don't feel it.

My bib number is 5042. Don't make fun of me if I take a really long time to finish the marathon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


After running all my significant long runs this training cycle in weather of about 30 to 35 degrees, the forecast for Austin this weekend is a low of 57, high of 75.

Holy crap.

Need to find my tank tops!!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Less than a week until 26.2 miles, and considering I was miserable during my last long run of the training cycle that was ONLY 8 miles, I am pretty nervous. If I can't do 8 miles comfortable, how in the HELL am I going to do 26.2? I had no energy during my run, which I am going to blame on PMS. Yes, you read that right. I have that going on this week too. Good times.

And today I am home with Audrey. There is some random fever/headache/cough thing going around, and its Audrey's turn to have it. She is sad to miss her Valentine's Day party at school, and I am sad for her as well. Let's hope that I don't get this thing either. Because that would be icing on the cake.

One of my best friends is sending me motivational quotes every day this week leading up to the marathon. Today's quote:

"We are different, in essence, from other men (women). If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."
-Emil Zatopek

I love it. I loved yesterday's quote too:

"Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished."
-Jack Lovelock

Monday, February 07, 2011

Less than two weeks

My first marathon is less than 2 weeks away. And yes, I did say first because I don't think this will be my only one. I am hopeful that in the future there will be another.

I had a friend ask me last night if I was ready, and I replied no. Because I don't feel ready. I have missed a few runs. I am not fast. I haven't run over 20 miles. I don't know what to expect. Luckily, my friend in Texas who normally is faster than me has slowed down some due to injuries, so I don't think I will be running the marathon all by myself. Which honestly I have trained 90% by myself, so I think I would be okay.

I think I just need to stop thinking for the next 2 weeks.

This week my long run is only 8 miles. I haven't had that in months...

Friday, February 04, 2011

another head cold...

I have another head cold this week. Maybe its part of the "taper madness" of running. I skipped my speed workout on Monday, only ran 2 miles. I did 3 last night, will do 12 tomorrow. And then hopefully 4 on Sunday. My hip is still bothering me after I run, but not enough to cause issues.

I haven't run much this week due to my head cold and the fact I spent Wednesday driving to Virginia, sitting in a court room for most of the day, and then driving 4 hours back to NC. Let's just say the court system works. I was a character witness for a family member's custody battle, and he won full custody of both of his kids. It was a long and emotional day, not one that I want to repeat ever in my life.

Today was wear your favorite team shirt in Audrey's school, so of course I sent her in a Virginia Tech shirt. And since we live in Raleigh, there weren't many football shirts being worn for Green Bay or Pittsburgh, just tons of UNC or NC State stuff. I told Audrey not to play with any kids wearing NC State or UNC or Duke. I was joking (sort of). Audrey is really sad though because her favorite teacher is leaving next week. Which sucks since she only has a few months left at this school (she graduates on June 17 and starts kindergarten the beginning of July). When her teacher told the class she was leaving, Audrey cried, that's how much Audrey likes her.