Hopefully the title didn’t scare you away, for this edition of Thinking Out Loud! This isn’t a blog about political parties, or an opinion piece trying to sway you one way or the other, no need to worry about disagreeing on policy. Rather I thought of this blog as I have watched Presidential candidates ‘suspend’ their campaigns.
It has happened on both sides, democrat and republican, once a candidate realizes they do not have a chance at winning they throw in the towel. After spending millions of dollars and lots of time prepping, they decide to call it quits. The saying ‘when the going gets tough, they tough get going’. Apparently that doesn’t apply when you are running for the most powerful office in the World. Perhaps those that drop out aren’t that tough and we should be happy they do not stay in the race. Some run for office knowing they are going to drop out, they do it to get name recognition to run again in the future.
By this point I am sure you are saying to yourself, this is a running blog, how does this relate to running? Imagine if we applied the same thought processes to running. I would venture to say most of us have to pay for our race entries and then spend lots of hours and miles training. On race day (most recreational runners) don’t plan on winning the race. With that presidential campaign mindset we should probably quit running after a quarter mile and ‘suspend’ our participation in the race. Yeah, that sounds weird, it’s called quitting, whether you are running a race or for President it is quitting. (If you get injured or something happens where you can’t finish I’m not calling you a quitter)
My question then, are runners tougher than the men and women who want to be President of the free world? My unscientific opinion is…yes! Runners endure hours on the road/trail in preparation for a race, knowing in most cases we aren’t going to win. We are training to do our best to set a personal record, we have goals in mind. Even when we don’t meet those we keep on going until we cross the finish line. We don’t quit when the going gets tough, many runners I know will run through all sorts of adversity, injuries, illness, and of course the dreaded ‘wall’. Shouldn’t we ask the same of our Presidential candidates, go to the finish line, let all of the voters in each state decide when it is time for your to exit.
When casting your vote for President this election, maybe we should be looking at candidates who have a running background who know how to get through the tough times and come out on the other side a better person. Perhaps we need a runners guide to Presidential candidates? What are your thoughts on the correlation between running races and running for President?
After work I set out for the Outer Banks, the GPS said it would be about a 5 1/2 hour drive down. Along the way I decided to stop when I saw a sign for Wawa and get a sandwich. Much to my disappointment as soon as I exited the highway the sign for Wawa said 3 miles, rather misleading from the highway sign, but I still went refueled and had a sandwich.
When I finally made it to the Outer Banks it was dark, but much to my surprise my hotel was right on the beach! (I didn’t notice when I booked the hotel) After I changed I walked down to the water, it was ice-cold! I didn’t go in any deeper than my ankles, there were still a few people trying to eek out the last little bit of light as they were surfing.
I came back to the room and text my friend who is also running the Outer Banks Marathon this weekend. He and his wife are doing their first marathon. We made plans to meet for dinner at a place nearby called Chili Peppers. For dinner there were seven of us, he and his wife had brought along four friends who were doing the half marathon. It was great to meet everyone, the conversation was light as I got to know everyone. One of Jim’s friends mentioned they were thinking about starting a blog, and I recommended doing it! Of course we talked about mine and then how I become a vegetarian. Jim’s wife and a few of her friends said they were going try being vegetarians for 30 days, they were inspired! Woot Woot! I told them they have to keep me in the loop.
After dinner, I went back to the hotel to watch some television. There wasn’t much on, I watched a show on Discovery called Pacific Warriors. It was about ‘local’ Hawaiian fisherman. It was hard not to laugh. I lived in Hawaii for four years, the people on the show were no way locals. They didn’t talk like the locals and had problems getting the native dialect (pidgin) correct. I could be wrong but I very much doubt these people actually grew up in Hawaii. After a good laugh I went to bed.
I slept in, all the way to 0900 hrs. That is actually pretty late for me. When I woke up I had a few banana chips and went for a shake out run. I ran about two miles, trying to keep a slower pace. I want to start the race really slow around a 9 min pace. I know I have said that before but I really mean it. It was already warm and humid outside. I am hoping the weather forecast is right and the cold front comes through or it is going to be a long race.
After the run I walked down to the beach for a little while and there were quite a few people surfing and doing stand up paddleboarding. I took a shower and made my way over to the running expo. The parking lots were small and I had to drive around to find parking but the expo itself was pretty nice. They had lots of vendors and a nice swag bag. I walked around the expo for a while before deciding it was time for lunch. A Harris Teeter was only a mile away so I made my way there to get some lunch and sunscreen. I’m not sure if it is going to be sunny tomorrow, but I figure I should probably get some just to be safe.
I had pizza and some desert and then took it easy. I decided to take a nap, hey you can never have too much rest before a marathon 😉 While I was napping I thought I heard a knock at the door, before I could answer the door was opening. It was someone trying to check in. Apparently, the hotel does not have good record keeping. The people apologized and went to sort out the issue, I did notice it was raining pretty hard. Hopefully that will cool things off.
Surprisingly I’m not nervous or worried about this race like was for Baltimore. I don’t know why. I have a plan for this race and hopefully everything comes together and I can break the 4-hour mark.
Around 1800 hrs. I went over to where Jim and his friends were staying. Some of his friends had made a runner’s dream dinner, Ziti! Time to carbo-load. I had gone to Harris Teeter and bought coconut cake for dessert. Dinner was excellent, on top of the Ziti in pasta was OBX made with noodles (Forgot to take a photo). After eating we watched the movie Inside Out, normally I am not one for animated movies, but it was pretty good! When the movie was over we all wished each other good luck and I headed back to the hotel. I arrived and my room key did not work, I went to have it rekeyed and told the desk staff about my unexpected visitors earlier. She said she would let the manager know. I watched some television, set me alarms and went to sleep.
0400 hrs. I woke up to have a small breakfast and went back to sleep for a little while. 0530 hrs. time to get up and prepare for the race before leaving around 0630 hrs. I drove to where the parking lot was near the start line and took a quick shuttle ride to the start line. Before getting on the shuttle I ran into Jim and his wife and we rode over together. The start line had plenty of porta-potties so the line the use the bathroom was not long at all. The race started right on time 0720 hrs. and we were off! I will have a full race recap later this week, let’s just say things did not go according to planned and it was a painful race. After the race I took the shuttle back to the parking lot, hopped in my truck and went back to the hotel to shower. My body has never hurt so much after a race. I didn’t feel like eating anything so after showering I hit the road to get home. I stopped once to refuel and grab a little something to eat. I still didn’t feel like eating but knew I had to. I finally made it home around 1930 hrs. I unpacked, put my laundry in the wash and went over my best friends to watch Sunday Night Football. After the game, I came home and fell asleep almost immediately.
The race didn’t go as planned and it wasn’t a PR, I will detail that more in my recap, but looking back I don’t think it was a good idea for me to run two marathons within a 3 week period. Especially after my 365 day running streak. My race season is officially over, it is time to rest and let my body repair itself.
How was your weekend? What recovery tips do you have?
I wanted to end my running streak where it began, Central Park in NYC. Last year on October 25th my friend, Lizzie, and I went to NYC and ran in Central Park while we were there she didn’t know at the time but I was starting a run streak. Heck at that point I wasn’t sure I was going to; 365 days seemed like such a long time. The next morning at breakfast I told Lizzie about my idea of a run streak and that I was becoming a vegetarian. I’m not really sure what she thought, but I do remember her telling me that is was great that I was becoming a vegetarian but I needed to eat healthy as well. Advice I followed over the last year.
On Friday I woke up early before work and ran, I wouldn’t have time later. Lizzie and I were taking the train to NYC and had dinner reservations at 2200 hrs. The train ride to NYC was pretty quick and painless, last year we took the bus and that was rather interesting. Once we arrived we walked to our hotel, changed, and walked to dinner. We had made reservation 3 months ago and had been looking forward to dinner for quite some time. If you ever find yourself in NYC and want an absolutely amazing meal make reservations at Per Se! Trust me it is worth it! We actually had to take one of the dessert courses with us because we were so full. I can even put into words how amazing the food was!
Saturday morning Lizzie went to meet one of her friends and I decided to go for a run in Central Park. Our hotel was only 2 blocks away. I wanted to try and get a longer run in since I had been taking it easy most of the week. On Day 364 I managed to logged 12 miles; I looped Central Park and then did an out and back path. There were so many people in the Park, bikers, runners, walkers, horse carriages, there was even a race going on. I really enjoyed the run even though it was a bit chilly. After the run we met a friend of mine for lunch, rested up a bit, had a dinner at supposedly the best falafel cart in NYC according to Yelp! We aren’t so sure about that but it got the job done. After dinner we made our way to Times Square to see An American in Paris and enjoy wine from a sippy cup! Definitely a highlight! The show was fantastic. Again I would recommend seeing it if you have not and are in NYC.
Sunday had arrived, this was day 365. There were plenty of times I thought it wouldn’t get here but it had. It was gloomy out and a light rain was falling in the city, but it was time to run and weather couldn’t stop us. We left the hotel and started to walk towards Central Park, Lizzie said to me ‘Are we going to walk or run?’ With that we starting running towards the Park. We ran out and back and stopped to take a selfie, just as we had done 365 days ago.
It felt good to complete the streak. I’ve never done anything for 365 days straight before, at least nothing that required me to go out of my way to do it. In total I estimate during that time I ran approximately 1355 miles, with lots of them coming during marathon training. I’m glad I completed the streak, but as Lizzie pointed out to me a year is an arbitrary number, so very true. Why not make it two years? I’m not, but what made me choose a year? I suppose I thought it would be a good measure of time and give me something to do everyday. Some people have said it was inspiring, I didn’t do it to inspire anyone but I’m glad I did. I do hope that I have motivated someone, somewhere to run, or embrace a healthier lifestyle. In the last few weeks of the streak I began looking forward to stopping and resting my legs. I thought about some things when it comes to a streak and keeping it going. One person who inspired me and has a streak she doesn’t keep track of (at least I don’t think she does, anymore) is my Mom. Twenty years ago she gave up smoking, I still remember the day she quit. We were at the park fishing and it started raining, my Mom, Dad, and I started running for the car. Before we made it we stopped at a pavilion to catch our breath and that is when my Mom quit smoking. She took out her cigarettes and threw them in the trashcan. She was pretty winded and finally realized smoking was destroying her lungs and her health. She hasn’t smoked since. I’m really glad she quit that day. I know my Mom is going to read this so ‘Keep up the streak Mom, you’ve got 19 years on me!’
Looking back on the streak it was challenging at times, but helped me stay on track and maintain a balance in my life. I am sure I will write more about what the streak has meant to me in the future, when I’m ready to share some things. In the meantime I am looking forward to letting my legs rest. If you are wondering did I stop, no, I ran on Day 366. It is Tuesday evening about 2145 hrs; as I begin to write my blog for Thinking Out Loud it feels odd that I haven’t ran today. As I showered tonight I actually thought about running after getting out of the shower, and I’m thinking about running now, but it is late and I am much to tired. Just a few days ago that wouldn’t have stopped me, but today is finally a rest day!
I’m not going to stop running or training, I decided to try and break 4 hours in the marathon again! I’m running the Outer Banks Marathon on November 8th. Between now and then I will be training, but with a few more rest days.
My alarm went off at 0400 hrs, thank goodness it wasn’t time to get up just yet. I wake up early to eat and then go back to sleep for a little while before big races. I had an Extend Nutrition bar with some water and went back to sleep until 0530 hrs. A cold front was suppose to have come through overnight and the weather was cooler than it had been the past week, which made for good running conditions. I dressed in the tank top and shorts I had been running in all summer, but put on a winter hat, gloves, and arm warmers since the temp was only in the upper 40’s.
I pulled into the parking lot at M&T Bank stadium around 0645, I sat in my truck till 0730 then made my way to the start line, it was cold but I knew I would warm up once I started running. As I waited in the starting corral I went over my game plan in my head; go out slow and try to make up time later in the marathon. A woman came up to me while we were waiting to start and we started to make small talk and introduced each other, her name was Sandy. She noticed my Garmin and asked what pace I planned to run and I explained my plan; she said if it was okay she was going to run with me for a while. I didn’t mind and she said she was hoping to finish under 4:19. This is just another reason why I love the running community, you never know when you are going to meet someone new!
The marathon started just after 0800 and we were off, we took the first mile out at around a 9 min pace, right on target, the first few miles were a slight uphill towards the Maryland Zoo. My hat at gloves were gone by mile 2, I threw them off to the side of the road. As we ran Sandy and I talked about where we were from, running, and just got to know each other. Our pace quickened a little without either of us really noticing to around an 8:30 pace. That was a little faster than I wanted to go out, but I was feeling comfortable. The first few waters stops were pretty crowded, so crowded only one of us got water, but runners being courteous people, we got enough for each other. As we passed through the Zoo, some of the animals were out to greet us. We saw some penguins; while some runners stopped to take selfies we kept on moving through. Our pace had quickened again and we turned in a sub-8 mile, I knew we had to slow down and bit and we eased off the pace.
As we left the zoo, the course had a few hills but then flattened out. St. Paul street to the Inner Harbor was downhill, so we could relax a little bit. Running through Harborview we saw some of my friends and I dropped my fuel belt with them. It was getting really lose during the run and was becoming annoying. I took the bloks out and put them in my pocket before dropping it. As we circled the Under Armour factory I really had to pee; Sandy said she would slow down and run along the side of the road so I could catch back up. A tree made a great substitute for the port-a-potty that had a line, hey I wasn’t the only one doing that! To catch up to Sandy I threw down a 7:30 mile, I had a feeling that would come back to hurt me.
Passing the 13.1 mile marker, Sandy saw some of her friends. I thought my Garmin said 1:50, but looking at my times on the marathon website it said we ran the first half in 1:54, I could have seen my watch incorrectly. Either way we were making good time maybe a little too fast. I mentioned to Sandy maybe we should slow down a bit, she said we should just keep up the pace. I was still feeling good and we did. Going through Harboreast I saw all the people I know from Lululemon at their cheer station, it was motivating to high five all of them as we went by. Coming out of Harboreast Sandy and I both noticed how quite it had gotten along the course, there weren’t many spectators for the next couple of miles.
Approaching mile 16 and Patterson Park I slowed the pace a bit; Sandy kept the pace going and we lost each other in the crowd as the half marathon and marathon merged together. I saw my parents cheering on the sidewalk, which was some more motivation. After passing Patterson Park, I didn’t see Sandy anymore and the climb to Lake Montebello started, for the next 4 miles there would be an incline. In mile 18 I lost my steam, someone was handing out full bottles of water and bananas, I grabbed both and walked while I drank the water and ate the banana. I finally cleared the hills and made it to Lake Montebello at mile 20 I started doing the math in my head of how fast I had to run each mile to make it under 4 hours.
Alternating between walking and running I watched the time tick away on my Garmin. Going out faster than I wanted was coming back to haunt me. I tried to find the energy to keep going, my legs were exhausted. Mile 22 was the final incline and it really slowed me down. I was going back and forth between 9:20 pace per mile and 11+ min a mile, I was in trouble. At mile 24 I still thought I had a shot at breaking 4 hours, but I would have to throw down two sub-7:30 miles, my legs didn’t have it in them, or my mind wouldn’t let them do their thing. Either way it wasn’t going to happen.
I crossed the finish line at 4:11:16. So close to breaking the 4 hour mark yet so far away. Even though I didn’t break 4 hours I was happy with my time; I PR’d by 32 minutes. I immediately started analyzing the race in my mind and where things went wrong. Then I started thinking about when I can run another marathon and when I could be ready.
I made my way over to get a foil blanket, I was freezing, I had tossed my hat and gloves a long time ago and the temp dropped after that. I finally got a foil blanket, met my parents, and got my jacket from them but I could not get warm. I think it was in the low 40’s or upper 30’s by this point. We took some pictures and stood in line for a while to get my Maryland Double Medal and King Crab Challenge medal holder, in total I was outside for about an hour and shivering the entire time.
I did get to ring the PR Bell!!! Everyone before me went up got there picture and struck the bell once, after my mom took the picture I struck the hell out that bell several times!!!
Waiting around the finish area I looked for Sandy but didn’t see her anywhere, we actually connected later in the day and caught up a bit, she finished in 4:01:40 a PR for her as well.
When I finally made it to my truck I was so happy to be able to turn the heat on and get warm. The warm shower felt great once I was home, except on my arm pits, the arm warmers had rubbed my arms raw, really raw. I continued to analyze the marathon in my head for the rest of the day and watched it on television. I had recorded it. That night the tradition of the marathon party continued, it was smaller than usual, but still a good time!
I have continued to think about what I could have done differently over the last few days and will probably do that for a while. I am looking at doing a half marathon soon, but will probably wait until the spring to tackle another marathon.
How was your race season? What are your goals before the end of the year?
Check back tomorrow for Thinking Out Loud and see if the streak continued…
I now look forward to Thursdays and Thinking Out Loud, even if I don’t get to post every Thursday!
For those of you who are regular readers of the blog you may have noticed I haven’t posted any training updates for the Baltimore Marathon. Not to worry, I completed Week 16 and 17 of the training plan, the run streak is alive, and I am ‘enjoying’ taper week. The Baltimore Marathon is Saturday.
I’ve been running for 354 days straight and training for the marathon for the last 4 months according to the Hal Higdon Training plan. That training culminates on Saturday. The last few months I’ve had many nights were I’ve lost some sleep thinking about the marathon and if I will be able to complete it in…under 4 hours.
I feel prepared! I’ve never trained harder for a marathon! Now it is time to hydrate, carbo-load, and run!
I will have much more to say about the marathon on Saturday, so check back! Not a very exciting blog post this week.
I’ve actually been meaning to write this Thinking Out Loud post for a few weeks but haven’t had the time. Perhaps a better way to put it is I haven’t made the time. Work has been really busy, meaning lots of long days! The past two weeks it has been hard to keep up with my mileage but I have kept my running streak alive! Less than 3 weeks to go before I reach 1 year!
Back to the topic, first paragraph and I was already distracted. Looking at the title you might think this is the definitive guide to running, given the 3:16 notation, if you are looking for that I am sorry to disappoint it is not that.
A few weeks ago during one of my runs I saw someone wearing a t-shirt that had ‘Austin 3:16’ printed on it. That made me think about the Keith Urban song ‘John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16’ (did you just sing that in your head? I did every time I proof read this). That made me think about the Bible verse ‘John 3:16’.
I know that is a long path to follow but stay with with me, ‘3:16’ has become a symbol/notation for the definitive way of doing something. Of course the Christian church was first, don’t worry this isn’t a religious lecture either. 3:16 became mainstream years ago and has been attached to a lot of things (see examples above) Steve Austin used it for his character in the WWF, yes I remember wrestling when it was still the WWF, and Keith Urban has used it for a great song in my opinion, and it has been attached to so many other catch-phrases.
As I passed the guy wearing the ‘Austin 3:16’ shirt, ‘Running 3:16’ popped into my head. I asked myself is there a definitive way to run? The answer is no. Every runner has there own stride, pace, arm swing, habits, favorite gear, running route, foot strike, etc. You don’t have to look a certain way to be a runner, you do not need lots of equipment to be a runner, if you consider yourself a runner you are a runner! That is what I love about the sport of running almost everyone can do it! (If you have never ran before please consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program) That just felt like a good place to put a legal disclaimer.
Many times when I am out running I observed other runners and take notice of their clothing, stride, arm swing, and wonder how in the heck are they running like that, then I think if that works for them who am I to judge their run-style. In races I’ve seen runners who have some sort of spinal disability running hunched over and they are moving at a pretty good pace. You can be short, tall, heavy-set, skinny, able bodied, have a disability and you can still run, as long as you have the fortitude to take that first step and keep going! Our sport does not discriminate and that is another reason why I love running!
Often times when I speak with people they say, ‘I don’t know how you do it, I can’t even run a mile.’ My response is always it starts with that first step. I imagine some people think I am being cliche but I’m not; you never know where that first step and the one after will lead you. It has lead me to a great running community, that is strong, welcoming, and ready for more runners!
Winning comes in many forms for runners. You may never win a marathon, or a 5k, but every race you run or for that matter every step you take you have lapped those waiting to take that first step. Running for a large majority of the running community is an individual sport, we have personal records (PRs). We compete against ourselves, because we want to be better, we want to put our best self forward. That is Running 3:16! You can create your own guide to Running 3:16, and the best part is that it is definitively you but we all share in that experience when we run!
I am Running 3:16, you are Running 3:16, and every runner you pass or passes you is Running 3:16.
We each have our own way of getting to the finish line, we do what works best for us, we take pride in our accomplishments and our individuality while taking joy in being part of the running community and the accomplishments of those runners around us.
I don’t want to jinx it but the nice fall weather is continuing here in Baltimore! Most of the day was overcast and dreary; after getting some work done and coming to the conclusion the light rain wasn’t going to stop I went to the Promenade to run. The rain picked up a little during my run but not to hard, honestly I barely noticed. I had another strong run with negative splits and my last mile being my fastest. I think my legs are a bit refreshed after a lower mileage week last week!
Tuesday: 7 Miles (Pace 8:38)
After two great days of running, my body was starting to get tired. My plan was to run 10 miles downtown, but I wound up doing 7. I ran with my friend Kristen, we started a bit faster than I wanted to but quickly fell into a steady pace. During my longer runs and in general I have been trying to make a habit of starting slow and then picking up the pace. That is the strategy I plan to use in the marathon. We ran along the water and it was a bit humid but still a nice evening out. When ended the run at Tin Roof and talked with our friend Theo for a bit. Kristen left and Theo and I caught up a bit, I hadn’t seen him in a few weeks. It was good run and I hope to make up some miles tomorrow.
Wednesday: 2.1 Miles (Pace 8:24)
So much for making up the miles. Even though I had a relatively light day at work, I was still pretty fatigued. It seems like it has taken my body longer to recover before I am ready to go 100% again. After work the day got away from me and I had a night college fair to attend and only had time to get in a few miles.
Thursday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:16)
After a late night from the fair last night, an early morning, and another evening college fair I didn’t feel like running much. For some reason this week has been a bit more difficult for me to motivate myself to get out and run. I think I can see the end in sight and I’m getting excited for a break. I need to keep my eye on the marathon and not slack off these last few weeks.
Friday: 1.5 Miles (Pace 8:16)
Knowing my long run is tomorrow, I decided to take it easy on the run today. I wanted to make sure I stay hydrated and well fueled for my final long run tomorrow. I saw my neighbor and friend on the run, he was walking his dogs, when I ran up behind him I actually scared him. I guess I’m a really quite runner. After a quick chat I was on my way and finished my run.
Saturday: 20 Miles (Pace 9:12)
Last night I slept close to 9 hours, the long days at work have really been taking it out of me. I know you can’t catch up on sleep, but it was nice to get in a few more hours than I had been. For breakfast I tried a new energy bar from Extend Nutrition, I actually won a gift card from Ashley’s blog. It is suppose to keep your blood sugar balanced for up to 6 hours during the day. The run today had course support from Falls Road Running Store, they host the run every year before the marathon. The course starts at Patterson Park and follows the marathon course. You run most of the hills which is good, it gives you an idea of what to expect. During the run, I met some new people and chatted with them as we ran I also saw some people I know from running and ran with them for a while. When I wasn’t running with anyone I reflected over the last few months of training and running the same course 3 years ago in preparation for the marathon. Things have changed a lot since then, which I hope to write about in a separate blog. As I thought about the last few months I have never trained with this much intensity or intent before. I am hoping it will pay off come race day! I wasn’t trying to run a certain pace and when I finished I was happy with it. I felt comfortable, very tired but comfortable with how I ran. I know how I want to refuel during the race and I have a plan, I just need to stick with it. After the run, I had an event to go to for my best friend, and then I had some people over my house. We had a bonfire and enjoyed sitting around telling funny stories. Sarah and FKBT came over and brought some dessert, it was a great way to end the day and begin my taper!
Sunday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:43)
All through the night, I had a horrible headache and woke up with one as well. No it wasn’t from to many beers, I think it was a combination of being dehydrated from running, not eating properly afterwards, and the smoke from the fire. I woke up had some breakfast and started to feel better. Today was the home opener for the Ravens; I went to the game with a friend. I didn’t have time to run before the game so when I got home I did a quick loop around the neighborhood. My body felt fatigued from yesterday, at one point I actually thought about stopping, but I didn’t. I’m so close to finishing the streak. Today was day 337 of the running streak. The end is in sight. I am looking forward to a day of rest and I’m looking forward to the marathon! I am so glad that taper time has started! I didn’t get in all the miles I should have this week, if I can I will make some up this upcoming week, but it is time for my body to regain strength through some easier runs!
Other than the rough end to Week 13, it was a great week. I’m looking forward to this week and the lower mileage. I am also looking forward to the finishing my streak in just over a month! I never thought I would make it this long, I just need to stay healthy and get through the next 6 weeks!
Monday: 5.2 Miles (Pace 7:58)
What a difference a day and some hydration makes. I ran the same route along the water tonight as I did last night, the weather was near the same, but I was able to run much better. Sometimes I forget how important hydration is when it comes to running. I eased into the first mile and then negative split every mile after. Today’s run was a confidence booster after last night!
Tuesday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:14)
Time got away from me today. After work I had a meeting I needed to go to which started 30 minutes late. By the time I got home I didn’t have 6 miles in my legs, plus I had an early day on Wednesday. I did a loop around my neighborhood to keep the streak going!
Wednesday: 5 Miles (Pace 8:11)
This morning was an early morning followed by a long drive to a college fair I had to go to. The first session was 4 hours, then a break, and an evening session of 2 hours. My plan was to run in between the sessions. I had packed extra clothes with me so I could shower after running. At the first session I was talking with some of my colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while and they were planning to run during the break as well, though we were all running different distances. The first session ended at 1300 hrs, which just happened to be when you could register for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon. After some tense minutes of waiting, I was able to register! I was really lucky to get in there were only 10,017 spots and the race sold out in 11 minutes. I was really pumped and ready to run. I found a gym where I could shower after running, I had to buy a day pass that was $15. Pretty expensive for a shower but sometimes that is the cost of running The sun was high and the humidity was just as high, it was a rough run considering how cool it had been in the evenings the last few days.
Thursday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:56)
Today was a really early morning after not getting home till late, I only had about 5.5 hours of sleep and a long day ahead of me. My day was pretty much standing in one spot for about 7 hours while I presented to students and another college fair. My legs were really sore from standing in one spot all day. I didn’t have the energy to do a tempo run and didn’t really feel like running at all. I managed to eek out a slow mile but I wasn’t to happy.
Friday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:33)
I don’t say this often but I was happy for Friday to arrive, it had been a long week! After another early morning and another 4 hours of standing my feet and my legs were pretty sore. After work I helped a friend move some dance equipment to where she teaches on the other side of town. When I finally got home I responded to some work emails and then took a nap for 2.5 hours. I woke up, ran, ate dinner, had a glass of wine, and went back to sleep. I was exhausted from the week. My friend invited me out, but I was too tired to go, I felt bad but I knew I would be any fun.
Saturday: 12 Miles (Pace 8:51)
After a solid nights rest I was feeling pretty good! The weather was overcast and really foggy when I woke up. I drove to the BWI Trail to meet FKBT and Sarah to run. Even though it was overcast it was still humid. Sarah was doing her long run, 22 miles, and I needed to do 12. I planned to run one loop with her and then she would continue on. FKBT was planning on meeting some friends to go on a long bike ride. At the start of our run, another runner waved me down, we belong to the same running group on FB, and he recognized me. It was nice to meet him, I’m always surprised by how awesome the run community is and you never know when you will actually meet someone you only know from social media! As we went around the loop lots of other runners and bikers said ‘hi’ and one walker even shared some words of encouragement as we passed them. People on the trail are much more friendly than most in Baltimore. It was a nice loop to run around, differently scenery and some hills but nothing to big. I think I slowed Sarah down a bit, I like to go a bit slower on my longer runs, we actually talked about that at the beginning and she said it would be good to test out her pacing. After my 12 we stopped together briefly to take a runselfie and for Sarah to get some water and she was off on the loop again. It was nice to get the run out early in the day. My legs still were not fully recovered but I was happy to get the miles in!
Sunday: 7.3 Miles (Pace 7:47)
After an hour of trying to get my new printer from work to scan I was ready for a run. The air was cool and crisp perfect for running. I decided to run at the Promenade along the water. I was hoping to run 6 miles but once I got going I figured I would add some extra to make up for what I had missed earlier in the week. I eased into the run with a slow mile and then what felt pretty easy turned out to be a 7:30 mile. I was feeling pretty good and decided to try and stay around that pace. Half way through my run I was surprised at how strong I was feeling. The miles were just passing by. I finished strong and really happy with this run considering how the week had gone. Even though this was a low mileage week it was rough, standing in one place really took its toll on my legs and feet. I am a bit nervous for the upcoming week and the 50+ miles I will need to do. Oh today was day 330 of the running streak, 5 weeks to go! 4 weeks until the Baltimore Runinng Festival and 26.2!
So for those who normally read my post for Thinking Out Loud know that I usually pick one topic and share my thoughts with you. This week I’m changing it up! I’ve been in a good mood all day and sometimes that gets me thinking about lots of different things. Here it goes…
Many of you know I am a lululemon fanatic, it is all I wear (literally). On Tuesday I saw a Facebook post that lululemon is hosting a half marathon in Vancouver, BC so I clicked the link and started to read about it. It has actually been going on for a while, how did I not know about this before? All the info I could find said the race which is allowing 10,017 registrants next year sells out very fast. I set a reminder for 5 mins before registration opened on Wednesday. I figured it I got in great, if not no big deal. Well I got it and I’m super excited about it!!! The rumor is that the race sold out in 4 mins! Wow did I get lucky. I was actually finishing a college fair for work and ran outside to get better reception on my cell phone, so I could register. I can’t wait to run this race! Did anyone else get in? I’m looking forward to meeting lots of great people!
2. Running People
If you haven’t read my blog about the running community yet, I think it is pretty great and you should check it out! This week I was reminded several times of how much runners have in common and just enjoy talking about running! I went to an event on Saturday evening and almost as soon as I walked in a friend commented on my running and a person across the table chimed in she was a runner, we spent the next 45 mins talking about running. On Wednesday I saw some colleagues I haven ‘t seen since spring and I mentioned I was running between the college fair sessions. Next thing you know our conversation turned to running and one is running his first marathon in November and the other just PR’d in the 5k. In between talking to students there wasn’t a dull moment sharing running stories and tips back and forth!
3. Give (Donate)
About 2 weeks ago the Red Cross called and asked me to donate platelets and almost right away asked when I could come in. I’ve never done that before, I’ve only donated whole blood. So I had lots of questions about how it would affect my running. They assured me it would be a quick recovery, so I agreed. The donation (which I did last Wednesday) was really easy, the blood is taken from one arm, platelets are separated, and the blood goes back into the other arm. The said I shouldn’t do anything strenuous for 12 hours after, but I could run in 2 hours at an easy pace. I ran 60 mins later and felt just fine. If you have the ability to donate platelets and the time (takes about 2.5 hrs) I would encourage you to do it! The platelets are used to help people who have cancer, you are helping save a life. If you can’t donate platelets donate blood! If you can’t do either, donate something to someone or somewhere, it will probably make you feel good!
4. Royal Farms Western Fries
Turns out Royal Farms Western Fries actually suck! I use to think they were great, though I know they aren’t healthy for you. I had a long day at work today, from 0900-2000 hrs. After work I didn’t feel like making anything or stopping somewhere so I figured I would get some fries at the Royal Farms near me. I haven’t had Royal Farms Western Fries in over a year, since I have changed my eating habits. I just wanted something quick. I had a few and realized my taste buds were lying to me before, they are so greasy and disgusting and lack any real flavor. I’m glad I changed my eating habits and it’s okay to splurge, but I won’t be splurging on Royal Farms Western Fries again!
That was really random! Chime in with your own random thoughts!
As week 12 ended I was feeling good especially after my PR in the Charles St. 12. I was ready for the heavier mileage week that was in front of me!
Monday: 4.1 Miles (Pace 8:16)
My legs were feeling strong today, the lower miles in week 12 really helped out. The heat and humidity are still lingering in Baltimore, but I would expect nothing different for Baltimore weather. I decided to run around my neighborhood in the early evening. As I was finished I saw my neighbors and after I cooled down I talked to them for a few minutes, not an overly exciting run, but I was happy with the pace.
Tuesday: 10 Miles (Pace 8:54)
My friend Kristen texted me in the morning and asked about my plans for running, when I told her, she wanted to run with me. We waited till early evening when the sun was staring to go down before we ran. We started at the Korean War Memorial went down Clinton street and made our way towards Patterson Park. We looped both parts of the park twice and then made our way back to the waterfront. We stopped once because my shoulder was cramping up, but once I massaged the pain away the last few miles of the run went well. Just as we were finishing we ran into some of my friends I hadn’t seen in a while. We stopped a spoke to them briefly and then finished up the last quarter mile. I dropped Kristen off and decided I was going to get a burrito from Chipotle. I went into the store and the music was so loud it could have been mistaken for a dance club. I could barely hear the server when she was asking me what I wanted. She made my burrito and I thought, what a waste she had put entirely to much rice, beans, veggies, and cheese on it. If I had to guess I would say the burrito probably weighed close to 3 lbs. I knew immediately I wasn’t going to eat the whole thing. When I got home and bit into it, it had way to much cheese on it; it didn’t even taste that good. I ate some of it just to get some food in my body but threw most of it away. I don’t like to waste food but I didn’t think a burrito would be good reheated. I should have taken a picture
Wednesday: 5 Miles (Pace 8:45)
After work today I had an appointment with the Red Cross to donate platelets. I had never done it before and had lots of questions when they called and asked me donate. My questions included how it would affect my training, how long it would take to recover, did it matter that I’m a vegetarian. The person who called was very helpful in answering all my questions but out of caution I asked them all again when I went to my appointment. They assured me it wouldn’t affect my training and recovery was actually faster than giving whole blood. I asked if I would be able to run tonight, because they said no strenuous activities for 12 hours. The phlebotomist told me I should be okay to run after 2 hours, but to carry extra fluids with me. They were very nice, it takes a while to donate, it took me 2.5 hours. They said it takes longer your first time. While you are donating you get to watch a movie on your own personal dvd player. I watched ‘Men of Honor’. They also cover you with blankets because you get cold when you donate. I started with one blanket, but during the donation process the machine started beeping the phlebotomist said it was because my veins were constricting because I was cold. She felt my arm and said I was freezing, I didn’t even realize it and they but more blankets on me. After I finished donating I had about an hour before I was suppose to go to a new run club, Holabird Sports Run Club. I drank a lot of fluids and some extra orange juice and figured I would see how I felt. The run club met at the Korean War Memorial and they had a rep from Under Armour there, it was funny I had actually met the rep at the Charles St. 12, she is friends with one of my running friends. It was a great group of people, we started really slow, which was fine with me, but it was too slow after a mile, it was more than a 10 min pace. I started to pull away a bit and another runner came up along side me, her name was Heather and we ran the rest of the way together and chatted a bit. Afterwards we all met back up and talked for a bit before we called it a day. Everyone had asked how I felt, I had told them before about my donation in case something happened, plus I had bandaids on my arms. Surprisingly, donating didn’t effect my run at all.
Thursday: 5 Miles (Pace ?:??) 5 x 800 hill repeats
When I got to Patterson Park to run hills, I realized I had forgot my Garmin. I know the distances for the hills, but wouldn’t know the time. I actually arranged to meet Heather who I met yesterday and run hills with her, she had a GPS watch but at the end of our run I forgot to ask our pace. The training plan calls for 400m hill repeats but I figured 800 are better since Baltimore is hilly and we got in a longer distance. I was hoping to do 6 repeats but I was tired after 4 and took a quick breather, Heather kept on going, she was pushing the pace. As I ascended the hill I thought about doing one more but figured that 5 was good and I called it a day.
Friday: 1 Miles (Pace 8:37)
Friday’s are always marked as rest days but on a run streak a rest day doesn’t really exist, so I did the next closest thing. I ran a slow mile around my neighborhood and then met up with some friends.
Saturday: 20 Miles (Pace 9:25)
The plan was to get up early and run before the rain came, but I decided to sleep in. I must have been really tired, I slept for 10hrs. I felt refreshed when I woke up but I did not feel like running. The weather was dreary outside, in the 70s, but humid. I couldn’t wait till later to run, my best friend was having a birthday party. I delayed as long as I could and finally hit the road around noon. I decided to run a different route instead of in the city. I started from my house and ran towards Edgemere and the North Point Peninsula. The terrain reminded me of the marathon course with the hills that I would be running. My plan was to run the peninsula and then go to my parents and have them give me a ride home. There were lots of straight aways on the run which made the miles seem longer. Around mile 9 I reached North Point State Park, when I passed the Visitor Center I saw my Dad’s truck. I wasn’t surprised my parents are always at the Park, my Dad is volunteer and Honorary Ranger and my Mom likes to take pictures along the trails. I headed towards the fishing pier and noticed an event going on and quickly realized it was a wedding, then I saw my parents were in attendance. I stopped and saw them, their friend’s daughter was getting married at the park. The reception was just beginning I waved to my parent’s friend said bye and then continued my run. At that point I figured I needed a new plan, since my parents were at the wedding and wouldn’t be able to give me a ride home. I was close to the midway point of 20 so I decided to run back the same way I came. Around mile 14 the skies opened up and it started pouring down rain. I remember thinking about Sarah and her post about her 16 mile run earlier in the day and I wished I only had 2 miles to go. It rained intermittently for the next 6 miles. At mile 17 I stopped at a 7-11 because I had run out of water and if I didn’t get some I’m not sure I could have finished. On this run I ate Clif Bloks more frequently, every 4-5 miles, and I think that helped. I passed my house just before 20 miles and was so happy when my Garmin beeped. I was pretty surprised at my pace, I was trying to go slow and get the miles in so I wasn’t shooting for any certain pace, but I thought I was going slower so I was pretty happy.
Sunday: 5.1 Miles (Pace 8:48)
I felt surprisingly good when I woke up. I made sure to stretch after the run yesterday and I think that really helped in my recovery. I had lunch with some friends and then watched the Ravens game with them. So close to a victory but we came up short. It was about 2000 hrs when I started my run, the air was actually a bit chilly compared to what it had been. It was in the low 70s and a light breeze was blowing. I was hoping to get in 10 miles and I thought I could since my legs were feeling good. A little over a half mile in I got sick while I was running. I figured it wasn’t a big deal it has happened to me before, when I was in the military. I just figured it was because I had a big lunch. I kept on going but was feeling really sluggish in one sense but felt like I was running pretty hard in another. At one point I thought my Garmin was off because it said I was running over a 9 min pace but it felt like it I was going faster with the amount of energy I was putting out. I chalked it up to just loosening up the first mile. Somewhere in the middle of mile 2 my pace had picked up but I knew 10 miles was not in the cards. I wasn’t feeling well; my head was starting to hurt. I started to think about it and I didn’t have as much fluid today as I normally do, and I should have been taking in extra after the long run. By mile 3 I knew I was dehydrated and it was time to head back. I didn’t want to run any further because I didn’t have my phone with me. Even though my head was hurting I was trying to keep the pace, I figured it was good marathon simulation. When I got back to my truck I felt totally depleted of energy, I was definitely dehydrated. I went to Target and bought some Gatorade and chocolate milk. I drank the chocolate milk on the way home, it did start to make me feel better almost immediately. After I showered I mixed the Gatorade with water and drank about 40 oz, before bed. I mixed 6 oz of Gatorade with 20 oz of water. I think mixing it helps you digest it easier. I finally started feeling better before bed and finishing up the blog. Note to self, remember to properly hydrate! Normally I carry a water bottle with me but forgot to today