*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of September 8th – 14th

Total weekly mileage: 37.5

Total XC mileage: 6 (included in weekly mileage total)

Total September mileage (to-date): 78.75

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,549

Run review:

9/8       No run/rest day

9/9       2.25 w/XC

9/10      53:27 min./5 mi./10:42 pace

9/11      1.25 w/XC

9/12       2.5 w/XC

9/13      the Oregon Marathon   3:59:08 min./26.2 mi./9:07 pace

9/14      No run/recovery day

I ended up utilizing a few easy runs with the cross team to supplement my regular runs since I was trying to reduce my mileage and needed to keep my distance and pace in check. It seemed to work okay, though I totally confused myself when trying to calculate it all. HA!

At this point, I’m not sure what this week will bring. First and foremost: RECOVERY. Probably a few easy runs with the XC team… Next Sunday I am running a one-day, 6 person relay with a few friends so I want to feel good enough to enjoy it!

*Another one bites the dust*

Yesterday I ran my 6th marathon and it proved to be my most challenging yet. It has me questioning my ability to run 26.2 miles feeling good, especially late in the race. (Does ANYONE feel good running 26.2, or more, miles??) It has made me face the fact that my body really does not like running that many miles. I’m feeling incredibly sore this morning… every inch seems to be aching.

I am taking into consideration that the Oregon Marathon yesterday was my 6th marathon in just a little over 14 months but never before had I walked during a race. I started walking at mile 20. A super grumpy psoas was causing my entire right side to tighten and the heat was starting to get the best of me.

Like most races, it started off great. I was even extra careful to not start too fast which is something I struggle with. By mile 2, I settled into my goal pace of about 8:10, and held on there until mile 10. It was around that point I started to feel the first twinges of pain that raised a little flag but I ignored it and continued on, though my pace started to slow just a little.

Just past the halfway point, things took a turn for the worse. Literally. We turned onto a gravel road that was covered in big, loose rocks. The switch from pavement to the gravel sucked and my pace dropped. It was starting to heat up and there was no shade, anywhere. I will say that I was impressed with the number of, and well placed, aid stations. I took water at every single one because I knew the temperature would be rising quickly with a high near 90 degrees forecasted.

My pace continued to slow and I was in a lot of pain. There had been a girl ahead of me for nearly the entire race that I noticed was starting to slow too. Just past mile 20, she started to walk. I caught up to her and asked her if she was okay because she had looked really strong. Her quads were giving her trouble and she asked if she could run along side me. We ran, and walked some, the rest of the race together. It was her second marathon and she was hoping for a PR, which she did. I was grateful to have someone to run with those last few, miserable miles and that I got to see her cross the finish line and fulfill her goal. (Because I was WAYYYYYYYYYYYY off from my goal.)

My hope, of course, was to get a PR myself. I was hoping for anything under 3:35:00. Given the amount of discomfort I was in, I was just glad to finish. And given the amount of walking I did, glad to finish with a (barely) sub-4:00 hour time.

My official time was 3:59:08. I was the 20th female overall and 4th in my age division.

I am humbled by the experience. It has left me considering the need to reevaluate my relationship with the marathon.  My body was truly unhappy yesterday and as frustrating as it was, I knew I needed to pay attention. I want to run for many, many years to come and if I wreck this precious vessel, I’m screwed. So I feel fortunate that even as disappointed as I am in my performance, I played it smart which I’m sure will serve me well in the long run.

The Oregon Marathon was done really well and I really have no complaints other than the gravel sections of the course. The course was primarily flat on rural roads in Oregon farm country. It was truly beautiful. The course even takes you through the oldest covered bridge in Oregon, built in 1916. I thought that was pretty cool!

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Blogger fail. The ONLY picture I took yesterday. Day of packet pickup.

The event company, Uberthons, does a great job. It seemed to be well-organized and I loved the fact that the day of packet pickup was held indoors with plenty of space for runners to chill out and take advantage of the restrooms. I already mentioned the aid stations, but really, I thought they did a great job providing adequate numbers of them along the course. I didn’t stick around for any of the Oktoberfest fun post-race but next year I will. (I’ll be running the half marathon next year!)

Compared to how I’ve felt post-race on the last few marathons, I have a feeling I’m in for a longer recovery from this one. Today is dedicated to resting. The only thing I want to do is eat and nap so that is all I’m going to do! Because being that I’m a runner, I’ve got an event next weekend to get ready for. Fortunately, it is NOT a marathon!!

*Viewer discretion is advised*

WARNING:

The photographs you are about to view are real. Due to the nature of these horrific, and very graphic images, viewer discretion is advised. If you are a runner that religiously replaces your running shoes every 500-600 miles, these pictures will be especially disturbing. The following is based on factual events and real people. However, names have been changed to protect the innocent*.

These shoes belong to Eirrof* (pronounced like E-roff) These shoes were not involved in a power struggle with a lawn mower. They were not eaten by a dog. These shoes were run in, in this condition, just a week ago. And many other times in the weeks, months, and perhaps years, prior.

These shoes have seen a lot of miles. And eagles. These shoes have run along side the owners first-born on a logging road the day before her third marathon. And walked along side grand babies just learning to take their first steps. They’ve traveled trail and road and are literally falling apart at the seams. Being the frugal man that he is, always putting other needs first, new running shoes had to wait. And wait…  And wait…

Until yesterday. These babies have been retired. New shoes, new memories!

Editors note: I love you and can’t wait to run with you again soon, Dad! ; )

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of September 1st – 7th

Total weekly mileage: 33

Total XC mileage: 8.5

Total September mileage (to-date): 41.5

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,511.5

Run review:

9/1      1:05:03 min./8 mi./8:08 pace

9/2      27:06 min./3.25 mi./8:20 pace

9/3      46:14 min./6 mi./7:42 pace

9/4      28:30 min./3.25 mi./8:46 pace

9/5       43:51 min./4.25 mi./10:19 pace

9/6       42:59 min./5.25 mi./8:10 pace

9/7       Warrior Dash 5K (3 miles… I walked a little.)

I ran slightly more miles this week while tapering than the previous two weeks. Ha! I guess it goes to show how unfocused my training has been… sporadic and totally unorganized comes to mind.

Oh well. I’ve got bigger concerns. I woke up yesterday morning with some mild, but not too alarming, cold-like symptoms. Taking in a large amount of muddy, debris filled water/mud yesterday at the Warrior Dash didn’t help things any. Today, the symptoms are a little worse and I kind of feel yucky in general. I’m not sure if it’s allergies, a cold coming on, or the result of said water/mud up the nose. Regardless, I’m treating it as an oncoming cold and am in full-on battle mode today!

Perhaps it’s all just taper brain playing tricks on me.

*Badass warrior*

A couple of days ago I got invited to go the spa with a few girlfriends… you know, sweat out some toxins, soak in a mineral-rich mud bath, immerse myself in a healing aromatherapy pool…

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Fresh out of the aromatherapy pool!

Nah, just kidding. I did the Warrior Dash today! It was really last-minute but all of the details were taken care of and I couldn’t say no! It was a total blast and totally disgusting. (There was mud in places I won’t even mention!)

I realize doing this kind of event just 6 days shy of a marathon is probably not the most brilliant of plans but I took it slow and was extra cautious to prevent any bodily damage from occurring. Despite almost drowning (not really, but I HATE going under water), I fared pretty dang well. I am a badass warrior, after all. ; )

*The Oregon Marathon ~ training update*

You know what they say… time flies when you are… flying by the seat of your pants?

Gathering with a few of my running buddies this morning I was reminded that I am tapering. Say WHAT? How in the heck is it possible that The Oregon Marathon is already just 7 days away?!

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I’ve been so busy with the whirlwind of the start of a new school year, coaching cross-country, my children’s activities, the daily grind of laundry (and yes, I still feel like I’m being eaten alive by laundry!) and household management, etc., that I really hadn’t given much thought to the process of tapering for my upcoming marathon.

I guess if I were going to get technical, I’ve been tapering for a couple of weeks now.

My last long run, 20 miles, was three weeks ago. My original plan was to run another long one last weekend but the days were so full with activities and family fun that I didn’t do it. I didn’t feel bad about it either!

At any rate, I’m starting to embrace this whole taper thing and beginning to really mentally prepare for my race one week from today. While my calendar is still quite full, I’m blocking out time throughout the week to make sure I’m getting a little more rest and downtime. As I wrote before the Vancouver Marathon in June, here, my diet doesn’t change much but I will be introducing a few more high-carb meals to my routine mid-week. Of course, hydrating like a crazy lady will be a top priority, especially with the little heat wave we are currently having in the Pacific Northwest (it is predicted to hit 95 degrees today!).

Most important, I’m going to try really, really hard to not stress about what I hope/want to happen. There is a super slim chance, and I mean SUPER SLIM CHANCE, that if I PR that day, I might be able to make it into the third wave of entries for the Boston Marathon before it closes that evening. If you aren’t familiar with the registration process, this is how it works:

General registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon will open on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) for those Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 20 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.

  • If space remains, then registration will open on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) for Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 10 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
  • If space remains, then registration will open on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) for Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 5 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
  • Registration will close on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 10:00PM (ET).
  • If space remains, then registration will re-open on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) through Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 5:00PM (ET) for all Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard.
  • If space remains after this initial two-week period, then on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) registration will re-open to anyone who meets the qualifying standards on a first come, first served basis. At that point, registration will remain open until the maximum field size is reached.

(Information taken from the Boston Athletics Association website: www.baa.org.)

If I don’t PR… well, I will just have to hope that there are still opening available on September 15th and be grateful that I qualified in the first place. (Which I totally am!!!)

Anyway, as of today, right now as I write this, there are still 16 entries available for The Oregon Marathon! If you’ve been waiting to register, wait no longer. If running alone doesn’t entice you, the race boasts access to Mt. Angel’s famous Oktoberfest (BEER!!!), where the event starts and finishes.  I’ve heard there is wine too! ; ) You can register here.

*Cutting myself some slack… my HTC recap*

Two weeks ago right now I was traveling down I-5 in Washington state with five of my Hood to Coast teammates, along with our rad driver, heading towards the first major van exchange. Nuun Hydration Team Lemon Lime ready to rock HTC! I can’t believe it has already two weeks. I was just getting to know the awesome people that would soon become some great friends. More like family, really. All of us excited and ready to take on the 200 mile journey from Mt. Hood to the chilly coast in Seaside, Oregon.

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Goofy group shot of both teams and our wonderful Nuun drivers!

There is so much I feel compelled to say and while I wanted to do my HTC recap justice, I have found myself feeling super guilty for not writing anything significant, as of yet. I realized today that I need to cut myself some slack, get out what has surfaced, and move on. Because life is busy, no?  So, I’ve decided to not write up some big, epic recount of my HTC adventure but rather a condensed version that most importantly expresses my deepest gratitude to Nuun and the amazing people that work there.

Even though I’ve run HTC several times, this time was an experience like no other. Being apart of the Nuun team, a company that I believe in and use regularly, was truly more amazing than I even imagined it could be. They took really good care of us and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet many of the employees that make up Nuun. That includes the Chief Electrolyte Officer (CEO) who drove team Lemon-Lime’s van 2, which I was in. He is such a great guy!

The teams were made up of athletes from all over the country. Such a fantastic and diverse mix of like-minded souls. Getting to know my teammates was one of the highlights of the trip!I had plenty of time to get to know my teammates that made up van 2 and they were a fascinating group! We spent a lot of time swapping stories while stuck in traffic. ; )

As far as the running goes, I felt really good about each of my legs. My first leg (#12) was projected at a 7:20 pace. What? Who came up with that??? It was just getting dark when I set off on my first and longest leg which finished under the Hawthorn Bridge in Portland. It was a beautiful night running through the city. One neighborhood was having a block party and even had a balloon arch for runners to pass through as they cheered us along. Very cool, Portland. I ran that leg, 6.25 miles, in 47:59. A 7:41 pace. (I even ran into BFP at the exchange. So cool to see my friend!)

Leg two (#24) was early the next morning. Fortunately, it was light outside. Unfortunately, traffic sucked and we got stuck a mile from the exchange with our runner on the way. I decided to hop out and walk so I’d have time to hit the porta-potty before our runner arrived. As soon as I got the the exchange and took two steps towards the direction of the restrooms, our team number was announced signalling that our 11th runner was approaching. No time to pee. Dang. I used that as motivation to get to the next exchange as quick as I could and it worked. I didn’t get an accurate reading because I didn’t even have time to wait for my Garmin to sync before I had to start running. I missed the first mile but started my watch when I hit the mile marker. I ran the remaining 3.89 miles in 29:10, which was a 7:33 pace. Not bad for having to pee the entire time. I guess that’s what you get when you run for a hydration company!

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What it really was all about: spreading the #nuunlove on the course to keep runners hydrated and healthy!!

My last leg was the final leg (#36). The anchor. It was so, so hot in the mid-afternoon sun. I knew I wouldn’t run at the predicted 7:49 pace they anticipated I would and kept apologizing for it beforehand. Really, I just wanted to finish without feeling like I was going to die. The first mile is really rocky and uneven on an old logging road. Once it meets back up with paved road, there is a short climb before cresting the hill and then two miles or so of steep downhill. When I got to the top and looked out toward the direction of the ocean, all I could see was grey. A misty fog was rolling in. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill, it was cool and damp. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so great on my third leg! I gave everything I had left and crossed the relay finish line on the sand in Seaside after running for 40:12, at a 7:48 pace. One second under my predicted pace. Nice.

I immediately spotted my van 1 teammates and was so happy to see their smiling, excited faces. My van had not yet arrived at the finish so we hung out until they made their way to us and crossed the ceremonial finish together. AWESOME!

The rest of the evening was spent celebrating and watching the finish-line festivities from the balcony of the nearby condo Nuun put us up in. There were lots of laughs, stories, beers (and wine!), and even a little yoga. I never wanted that night, or the trip for that matter, to end!

A HUGE thank you to Nuun Hydration for everything they do for the health and well-being of all athletes and allowing me to be a part of it! And to my teammates: I’m hopeful that our paths will cross again in the future. It was an honor and pleasure getting to know you and sharing this experience with you. You all will forever have a special place in my heart!!!

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