Monday, July 21, 2008


ORN: About 7 miles in an hour, on trails in Seneca. Still hot and humid.

Today I saw countless rabbits, a small turtle and three raccoons, the latter being the highlight of the run.

Last week was a recovery week from the ultra (see race report below), with two sluggish miles on Tuesday, then 11 at sub-8 pace Wednesday, 7 miles both Thursday and Friday, then 10.5 on Saturday. Yesterday we did another easy 7, just like I did today. We've got 116 days until Richmond!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rattlesnake 50k Race Report

Friday around lunchtime we piled six people's stuff, two tents and ourselves into a shiny white rented Tahoe and drove to lovely Charleston, WV. The Rattlesnake 50k was held in Kanawha State Forest, one of the prettiest places I've ever been. We got to the campsite around 5 p.m., and hustled to set up our tents since dinner (which was included with our entry fee) was at 6.

We gorged on pizza and Gatorade while realizing we were the youngest people at the race, and spent a lot of time rifling through our sweet swag bags. Each runner got a small yellow duffle bag with the race name screen printed on it, a yellow T-shirt, and a bunch of product samples from Hammer Nutrition. Hammer and Inov-8 donated other full-size products to be randomly distributed in bags, so a friend got a 26-serving jug of Hammer Gel and I got an Inov-8 waistpack.

While at the dinner we found out we could save the group $36 and camp in a group campsite behind the starting line. We tore down the tents, crammed everything back in the Tahoe, and relocated. After exploring the forest a bit, including the last part of the race course, we all went to sleep.

Alarms went off at 5 a.m. and we sat in the tents figuring out what, exactly, one has to have on-hand for a 31-mile race. The race started at 6:30, and the 90 minutes of prep time seemed barely enough. I knew there would be well-stocked aid stations roughly every 3 miles, so I filled up my two waterbottles on my Amphipod belt, tucked in four GUs, grabbed my sunglasses and headband and was ready.

The start was pretty informal, a group of a hundred or so people in a parking lot. The race director said, "3, 2, 1, go!" and we all took off. We ran for about five minutes before hitting the first uphill climb, at which point we all started walking.

That was the pattern for the next 6 hours -- run a little, walk a lot. I suppose it was split pretty evenly, but I felt like I was doing an awful lot of walking. Maybe because there were 5,000 feet of uphill climb.

I was running with an awesome friend, Diane, with whom I've been running and working for about 18 months now. This was her second 50k, and we laughed and joked and talked about all the neat plants we saw.

The race, because of both the terrain and the length, didn't have mile markers, which I think was for the best. What we knew was that the aid stations were roughly three miles apart, so that was how we gauged our progess. After the first aid station, the runners were spread out enough that Diane and I didn't see anybody else until the next station, and then we ran some with two older guys off and on through aid station five. They were behind us until the fourth station, and then at aid station five they told us we were "hammering on the downhills" which we took as a great compliment. They were changing socks and taking a break at that station, so Diane and I pulled away.

Shortly after aid station six, about four hours in, I lost Diane. I wasn't purposefully trying to go any faster, and I didn't want to leave her behind, but it was understood it was an every man for himself kind of race. She had been dealing with a renegade IT band, and we had two friends up ahead somewhere that I wanted to catch. As we crested the hill after the sixth climb, I started running again (we walked all the uphills) and Diane didn't. I gradually pulled away, still feeling pretty fresh.

I coasted through aid station seven, roughly 21 miles in, and laughed at the idea of only having 10 miles left. I really did feel surprising good. We'll credit some excellent weeks of training, GU Roctane and candy orange slices.

At aid station eight, I caught our other two friends, Rebekah and Chris. Of course, as I spotted them, I got excited and stopped paying attention, stepped in a hole and gave my bum ankle a good twist. It hurt the few next steps to the aid station, but then went away. Rebekah, Chris and I started walking the next hill, evaluating how we were feeling with a mere seven or so miles to go. I said, "Hey, it's just the distance of one of our weekday easy runs!" I may have been the only one feeling that way. Again I pulled away, walking faster up the hill and running once I hit the top.

For the last two hours of the race, I continuously caught and passed people. Nobody passed me, which was a good feeling but makes me think I probably could have ran the first half faster. But, in such a long race and having not done one before, I wasn't sure how I would feel. As we got to the part of the trail I had walked the night before, I started really running (as opposed to the slow plod I had been using), and cruised all the way to the finish -- where two other friends were waiting and cheering. I finished 37th overall and 14th female in 6:25:50.

The race director shook my hand and gave me a cool handle-less Fiestaware mug with the race name and year on it. Matt, one of the two pals at the finish, had ran 5:21:33 in his second trail race and first ultra to finish 16th overall. He did Ironman Louisville last year and was a great runner at Centre College, so we expected him to do well. Nikki, the second friend and the one person I can usually count to be yelling my name at the finish, ran about the first 10 miles of the race as she comes back from a pretty vicious IT band flare-up after running the Cincinnati Flying Pig half-marathon.

Chris and Rebekah came through in 54th and 55th, in 6:59:22, looking tired but strong. We had sandwiches and hung out as we waited for Diane, who we feared might be struggling with her IT band out in the woods somewhere. Some other guys finished who said they had seen her an aid station or two back, so we knew she was still going. She rounded the corner without a limp, which was a relief to everybody (especially boyfriend Matt), but also without her shoes. After her finish in 7:54:33, 71st overall, she told us her foot had blistered so badly she had to run the last three miles without her shoes -- including up a rocky hill! She should get some sort of superwoman award.

All in all, I loved running this race. Usually I get bored running longer races, but this time I had a blast the entire time. I have already started looking for another trail 50k to do, and I would recommend Rattlesnake to anyone looking for a well-organized, scenic race well worth the $50 entry fee.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Idle feet

Yesterday marked a two-month running streak for me, my first attempt at running every day on a regular basis. I feel pretty kick ass.

So I am taking today off, with an easy 5 mile run tomorrow when we get to West Virginia, then it's all-out for 6 hours of trail running on Saturday.

I like that I can tell I'm getting faster. My long runs are hovering around 8 min/mi and that feels easy. I'm excited about running the ultra, but I must say I think I'm even more excited about having it over with and getting into fall training. The Evansville Half and Richmond Marathon are waiting for me!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweat and spiderwebs

ORN: Just over 7 in just over an hour, trails over at Sawyer. Nice recovery run.

Wednesdays and Fridays are tough because I only get about 12 hours between runs. We run on the preceding days at 7 p.m., finish around 8, then sleep and run again at 7 a.m. They get a little sloggy. But, today was good anyway; really humid but just ambled along.

Last night was an hour of trails in the rain; Wednesday another easy hour and Tuesday intervals. A good week all-in-all, after tomorrow's run I'll be at 60 for the week.

I've been dragging this week with a sinus infection -- my second since April. The doc is sending me to an allergist in a few weeks to try and pinpoint the problem. I assume it'll be something dumb like grass.

A complaint: the race at Hubers, the Barnyard Dash 10k, did the awards not the usual way. Typically, the overall gender winners are not eligible for age group awards. The Pacers and Racers folks, though, gave the overall gals age group and overall awards. Silliness. Add to that the fact I drove to New Albany for early packet pickup on Friday, only to find out they had decided not to have it but didn't post that anywhere. Then, when I arrived on Saturday, they were out of shirts -- even though the registration form guaranteed shirts to the first 300 registrants, of which I was one. I'm a little irked and not planning to do that race or any of their others, in the future.

This week has been pretty fun because many of the company reps are showing us shoes for 2009. I've seen a lot of cool things in the past two weeks or so, and I'm excited about some upcoming products. Plus, I think it feeds into my newsroom junkie habit of wanting to know things first. Now I've seen shoes most people won't see until January!

Also this week I got my new racing flats. My awesome sponsor Mizuno supplied me with two new pair of Wave Ronins, weighing in at just over 6 ounces. It's a great fitting shoe, so much that I may have to race again sooner than I thought.

That's it for now! Ten miles tomorrow and 20 on Sunday -- I live an exciting life!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Race report

First, I've figured out when you run 7 days a week it's hard to maintain a running blog. It would be really boring.

Saturday was race-day, and even though it didn't go off quite how I wanted, it was still okay. I suppose I should preface this race report with the following: Friday evening I had two margaritas, four beers and stayed out until midnight. Then we got lost on the way up to Huber's. So with the stage set ...

My original pace-setter, Chris, had backed out with a sore hamstring. Another friend, Doug, volunteered Friday evening to help me out if he could. While Doug is a 3:09 marathoner, he hasn't been keying for any particular race, and I'm not sure he was quite race-ready that morning.

So I take off, trying to settle into pace and not trip over anybody. I'm cruising through the first mile, and as we come down the first hill, I can hear the splits being called a hundred meters or so away. They were still in the 5 minutes, at which point I thought, "Oops," and pulled back. Hit the 1-mile in 6:07.

Then we went uphill and I slowed down hoping Doug would pull alongside me and help out. I started to settle into my pace but wasn't quite there. Crossed the 2-mile in 6:50, 30 seconds slow but okay given the first mile (which had been at least 13 seconds fast, if not 18).

The course has enough elevation change that I struggle with finding my pace, and slog through 3 in 7:02. I came through 5k in under 21, which was still alright by me. I don't really know what happened over the next few miles. The 4 was 6:52, then 7:10 at 5, which I believe included the hill from hell.

I did pull it back together with 6:34 for the last mile and 1:15 for the final .2. Unofficially I have 41:50.

I still picked up an age group award, which is a very lovely handcrafted mug still in a friend's possession. I then hustled back and started work ... it was a long day!

I did get to meet Miranda, finally, and wish I had time to hang out that morning and eat fruit!

Sunday was a good 16 miler, during which I averaged 8:09 pace. Today was 70 minutes on trails, fairly easy, so probably just over 8 miles. I followed that with an hour of pilates, an hour of yoga, and some upper-body weights. Whew!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I hate writing titles

ORN: 7 in 57:04, 8:09 pace. Great weather this morning, nice easy run. Did 6x800 on Tuesday and averaged 7:30 pace for 5 miles total, including the intervals on which I averaged 3 minutes (6 min/mi pace). Spot on for Saturday's race, where I hope to run about 6:20 pace.

So, I got tagged on this bad boy ... A running meme. Enjoy.

Rules: Each player answers the 5 questions on their own blog. At the end of your post you tag 5 other people and post their names. Go to their blogs and leave a comment on their blogs telling them they’ve been tagged and to look at your blog for details. When they’ve answered the questions on their own blog, they come back to yours to tell you.

How would you describe your running 10 years ago? I would have been 13 years old, so my running was nilch. A couple of years later I would run for soccer and track, but just for two or three years each.

What is your best and worst run/race experience? Best physically? The badass 19:25 5k I ran a couple of weeks ago. Best emotionally? Boston made me a total headcase; I crossed the finish line both depressed about how I had done and awed I felt awful and still PR'd on a much tougher course. Worst? Boston. That sucker hurt. I felt like I was ready and it still kicked my butt.

Why do you run? Shoot, it turns out I'm good at it. I don't feel I've ever been exceptional at any one particular thing, and I might have the potential to be my one thing. I love the feel of running, I love being with my friends while we're running, I love talking about running, reading about running, the whole shebang. I watch every meet I can on television and then look up more online. I'm a total junkie.

What is the best or worst piece of advice you’ve been given about running? My store manager, Chris, has always been super-supportive and made me believe I had potential even on days I feel merely mediocre. I couldn't single out any one particular thing, but he always makes me feel encouraged.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know. I eat candy like it's my business. And I hate hearing that my metabolism is going to let me down -- I don't run 60-mile weeks for nothing.

Alright ... Miranda is definitely up, and hopefully some of my other running pals will do this on Facebook. =D (Chris, Diane, Jason, Justin, Nikki, Rebekah)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

67 Miles Later ...

Yup, I ran 67 miles last week. That included a 20 miler on Sunday and a 14 miler yesterday. Ready to back off this week a bit for this 10k on Saturday.

So I looked at the official results from the 5k I just did a couple of weeks ago ... And apparently I stopped my watch at the wrong time. I actually finished in 19:25, even faster than I had thought! Hopefully that positive development will carry me through this 10k, about which I'm feeling a little nervous.

I've actually only done one 10k ever, and that was last spring. I suppose it'll go alright. I should come close to 40 minutes, and I'm going to try like heck to break it.

Four weeks until the 50k!

Monday, June 9, 2008


ORN: 6.5 in 58 minutes. Slow 'n' steady for a recovery day.

I hear the heat wave is going to break soon, which is excellent news. Even the 80s are starting to sound pleasant. I'm becoming a cold-weather runner; I think ideal conditions are in the 40s or 50s.

Also did an hour of pilates and an hour of yoga today. Cross-training is fun! I really like doing those two, which are great for my flexibility and core strength. I'm already noticing on long runs the things that used to ache -- hips and back -- don't anymore. Yay!

Okay, that's all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lots of long runs

ORN: Yesterday, 10.25 in 1:20. About 80 degrees. Good run, comfortable pace.

Today, 20 in 2:48. Again, over 80 even though we started at 7:30 a.m. First 10 were nice and easy, just cruising -- but the second 10 were work. I felt as good as one can feel for that long a run, just a little sore in the knees. Not that it was easy ... Miles 15-18 were a little draggy.

Lots of work on fueling right now, we have the ultra coming up and we each have to figure out the best we can how to stay hydrated right. Gosh it is hot.

Back to watching Pre Classic!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Saucony hydralite, Bislett Games

ORN: 6 miles on trails in 40:48, around 8:30 pace. Legs dead today. Only 12 hours recovery since last night's run, which I figured was the lesser of two evils: be tired while running this morning by myself for a short while, or be tired on tomorrow's 10 miler with people faster than I. At 7:30 this morning it was already around 90 degrees.

But I did get to run in a new Saucony tank, made of their Hydralite material. I highly recommend it. Super lightweight (3 oz/square yard), and with a specific grid pattern on the underside that minimizes the points of contact with your skin but promotes rapid moisture transfer. Even while my face and neck were dripping, my torso felt dry. Silky smooth and great seaming.

The ExxonMobil Bislett Games were today in Oslo, Norway. Dibaba set a new WR in the women's 5k with 14:11.15, breaking Defar's record by about five seconds. Defar is supposed to run at the Pre Classic Sunday, so we may see that record change again. Bianca Knight, the 19-year-old Mississippian sprinting phenom, won the 200m and placed second in the 100m. After just finishing her freshman year running for the University of Texas, Knight went pro just a month or two ago.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another day, another run

ORN: 8.84 in 1:08, 7:43 pace. Ran the first 7 at closer to 7:20 pace, but then did the remainder as an easy cool down. Mucho tired; 46 miles since Sunday. Need another hour or so tomorrow, then another 10 miles Saturday. My first week at 60 miles, ever, and in 90-degree weather. Genius.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A bit better

ORN: 7.4 in 1:01:41, about 8:20 pace per usual. DANG, it's hot.

Weather supposed to stay in the 90s the next four or five days, then hover in the high 80s for a while. It's miserable. We went at 6:45 this morning and it was already nearly 80. Yuck. I have that 10k on the 21st, so I'm hoping I acclimate soon or the temperatures fall. Even if the humidity would drop, that would help.

Short day for me at work today; spent three hours laying out by the pool and then went to a BBQ. Bed time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Worst work out ever

ORN: Track night, 6 miles SLOW. I don't even want to talk about it. It was so hot and humid my body couldn't cool itself. Probably should have bagged the whole thing. We were supposed to do 10x500 with 300 recoveries; I did the first five then did 5x400 with a slower recovery. Just couldn't do it.

So I'll just sleep and start over tomorrow. Early run planned to escape the heat.

In other news ... I hear the new Louisville Marathon/HM course for the fall is being finalized, so hopefully that will be up soon.

New Saucony Rides and Omnis are out now, FWIW. Hey, these things are important.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back blogging

ORN: Trails, 7 miles, 56 min.

Alright, this is my approximately millionth do-over for staying on top of blogging. Really, I'm going to do it this time. At least for a while.

It's an interesting time in my training -- about six weeks post-Boston and six weeks pre-ultra. Overdistance is just picking back up, with 17 miles yesterday. Since the marathon, I had done one 12 mile trail run and three 10 mile runs, but nothing much over 7 other than that. Lazy if you consider the fact I only took one day off in May. But, I wanted to let my body adapt to running seven days a week, and wanted to work on boosting my weekly mileage back up that way before upping the long runs. From the end of April, my weekly mileage was 29, 35, 52, 56 and 43.

The cut-back week last week happened mostly because I was racing on Saturday, my first 5k in almost a year. When I started running in May 2006, all I did that year (from September on) were 5ks. In 2007, I did 5ks (along with a 10k, 10 miler and HM) through the first half of the year, then did another HM and a full marathon.

Race report

The "Run for the L of It" is a little 5k in Downtown Louisville, sponsored by U of L's Alumni Association, and one I did last year. Last June I set my 5k PR at 20:41 on a hilly course and hot day, and off running about 25 mpw. That was the last 5k I did, although I talked about shooting for a sub-20 attempt from then on.

So this race has been on my calendar for several months for that purpose. It's small, it's flat, and well-timed. Plus the T-shirts are cool.

My twice-weekly speed sessions had been going well, including 5x1k (with equal time rest) the week before. In fact, during that workout I averaged 6:15 pace.

So I was feeling optimistic on the warm, muggy race morning. I found a great parking spot, finished my coffee, got my number and starting warming up. I did not feel snappy. The legs, despite having a fairly easy week previous, were a little dull. I did about 10 minutes of warming up with some pickups thrown in, and had resigned myself to a mediocre race with 15 minutes before the start. I saw a couple of friends who had come to cheer, which made me feel better. One is a regular running companion, and a sub-20 5k'er herself, and she had faith the goal was within reach.

After a somewhat silly start, with no recognizable starting line, I looked around to analyze the competition. Not many females there who looked in race-shape, so I figured I could place fairly high. One lady who looked competitive I overheard talking about running 6:45 pace, about 20 seconds/mile slower than I was hoping to do.

I was in the front two rows of runners when the gun sounded, and resisted (thankfully) the urge to stay with the front runners. I settled into my groove fairly quickly, and remembered the course fairly well.

As we got about a half-mile in, a young Derby City Athletic Club runner asked me what pace we were on. I said I wasn't sure, but I hoped it was around 6:30 pace. I remembered roughly where the one mile marker was -- only because the aforementioned friend (of sub-20 fame) and I ran through it in about 6:05 last year, which was WAY too fast.

But I didn't see it. I looked for it around 5:30 into the race, and then checked my watch again around 8 minutes.

"Uh-oh," I thought to myself. "Either I'm going really slow and they've changed the course, or there aren't any mile markers."

Around then a girl passed me -- one I had not seen at the start, but the only one ahead of me. I kept her in sight for a while.

As I passed the sole water stop, my watch read roughly 10 minutes. I felt like I was on pace or close -- thank heavens for speedwork -- and I had faith if I could hang in there I'd be fine. By then it definitely felt like work. Mentally I crossed my fingers and hoped the water stop was near the halfway point and I pressed on. The wind was rough in places; I could feel myself being blown aside. By now the only female in front of me was out of sight, and I knew unless she fell off pace I wouldn't catch her. I was already working hard enough.

For some reason, the part of this race beyond the water stop seems to go forever. During the half-mile following the water stop, I entertained the notion of quitting (as I do in most races, although I've never done it). Shortly after, though, I rounded another corner and began running back against the walkers still heading the other way.

A few more blocks and I was back at Eighth and Main, which meant I had four blocks to go before the last turn, so roughly seven or eight blocks total. I don't think I looked at my watch for a while, I just concentrated on making the blocks pass while maintaining pace and form.

I had also abandoned the watch because it was clear there were not splits to help me pace. Mental finger-crossing still ensued.

I took the last corner and could see the finish just two or three blocks away. I began to kick with what I had left, which probably wasn't much. I had glanced at my watch and knew I had scant time, although I don't remember what it was. I just told myself to find that next gear and hammer home. If I didn't make it, at least I'd be close.

About a half-block away, I realized the goal was within reach, and my friends were standing there cheering. I hit the finish in 19:30, a personal best by 71 seconds.

I took home second female, but mostly I was happy with my time.

Next up is a 10k, sub-40 attempt, at Huber's later this month. The overdistance continues with a 10 and 20 miler this weekend and 12 and 20 the next. Our 32-mile trail race, the Rattlesnake 50k, is July 12.

Two opportunities for track on TV this weekend!

ESPN Classic on Friday, from 2:30-4:30 p.m: IAAF Golden League in Oslo, Norway. Great match-up in the women's 800m and Jen Rhines in the 5k.

NBC on Sunday, 4 p.m.: Nike Prefontaine Classic. HUGE meet. Lagat and Webb in the mile, along with seven other runners with PRs under four minutes. The men's 200m also looks good - Xavier Carter, Jeremy Wariner, Wallace Spearmon and Asafa Powell. And the women's 100m - Alyson Felix, Torri Edwards, Carmelita Jeter, Lauryn Williams and Muna Lee. (At Reebok last week, it was Lee (third), followed by Williams, Jeter, Felix and Edwards.)

Almost T&F trials time!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Flying pigs!

A short but huge shout-out for my friends and running pals Rebekah and Nikki, who ran at Flying Pig this weekend.

Rebekah grabbed her Boston qualifier on a long course, due to a detour for a fire at mile 22. The on-the-fly rerouting made the course unofficially some 400-600 meters long, with a lot of runners on pins and needles waiting to find out if they'll get adjusted time to BQ. Fortunately, there's no worries for Bek, who's chip time was 3:38:38! We are curious to see what her official time ends up being -- probably somewhere in the 3:36 range. She ran an awesome race.

Nikki ran her first half-marathon with no walking on an iffy knee in 1:52, exactly the 8:30 pace she wanted. She's made a ton of progress in the past few months!

So our group is marathoned out until the fall ... not including this lil' 50k we're doing in July!

Friday, May 2, 2008

No running today!

I am taking the day off from running -- I don't take many, so two in one week is weird. I am going to hit an hour-long hatha yoga class and some weights this morning, though. I think that's a good compromise, since I wasn't doing much cross-training before -- it makes more sense to me to start doing weights while I'm running a little less.

I am recovering also from an allergen-induced sinus infection, so I have a smorgasbord of meds for the next week or so. But, I'm already feeling much better, so it's totally worth it.

For the second time in 23 years, I will not be in Kentucky for Derby. I'll be in Cincinnati, cheering on two friends as one takes on her first marathon and the other her first no-walking half-marathon.

So about 30 miles for this week after Saturday's run ... Not bad for the week after a marathon! I'll start easing back into form next week, with that 5k on 5/31.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


One week later things are feeling right as rain. Last week I plodded through a 4 mile run on Wednesday and a 5 mile run on Friday (and those are generous mileages, it's entirely possible they were shorter) - not a great deal of pain, but my legs steadfastly refused to work in a normal fashion.

Sunday, though, I got in 8 miles at 8:45 pace, which is a little slower than usual but felt really easy. No complaints. We were dragging a friend's boyfriend along, who hadn't run more than 6 miles ever, so we have to account for that, too. Cherokee's unforgiving 8 mile loop may have been a little unfair.

Yesterday I began my life as a gym-goer. I've always been skeptical of joining a gym, but I finally did it. The damage Boston did to my quads made me decide some weight lifting was definitely in order. I want to strengthen my core, too, so yesterday found me in pilates and yoga classes. My abs hurt this morning, which I like. Tomorrow I have a consult with a trainer to start developing a routine to strengthen legs, arms and core three times a week. I'm going to be super-strong!

Just 22 miles scheduled for this week, easing back into things. Nothing major going on until the end of the month, when I'll make my first serious sub-20 5k attempt.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Post Boston!

Wow, I thought for sure I'd be able to consistently post on here, and I was wrong.

A recap:

- Boston = hard. Don't think I'd recommend it as a second marathon -- you should get a couple under your belt first.
- PR'ing at Boston = very hard. I scraped a minute off, barely. My friend Heather brought hers down by six minutes, which is incredible.
- Wear sunscreen and sunglasses even if the weather seems inappropriate for such. It might change.
- Wear a sports bra and shorts. Deal with being cold. Before mile 10, you'll be warm. If it's still too cold, you should have picked a different race.

I ran a 3:32:01, which re-qualifies me for Boston in 2009, so I could run no more marathons this year if I so desired. Or totally bomb the one I'm planning for in the fall. (Hey, Miranda, I think it's the same as you. Party in the hizzy.) Either way, it put me in the top third of the field ... a field of amazing runners. I should be happy, although I had hoped for better and am still a little disappointed. Hopefully some goal-reaching in some upcoming shorter races will even things out.

The women's olympic trials were incredible. I want that. Watching those awesome ladies made me reaffirm my desire to work my tush off to get there in 2012. Only 180 women qualified for the last go-round.

Awesome job on those who ran in Louisville today, and good luck to everyone going to Cincinnati next week!

More later. Really.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two weeks of nail-biting

With only 12 days to go, I am essentially a nervous wreck. There's not much I can do at this point to ensure success, so I'm fretting over all the things that are left - what clothes I want to wear, for example.

Boston is not the most predictable of climates: in 2004 it was sunny and 86 degrees for the marathon, last year it was rainy and in the 30s. I'd be happy with anything not rainy and between 40-50. If it falls below 40 or above 50, I have to give more consideration to what I'm wearing during the race. I don't think I really have the right shorts for a hot-weather marathon, and I'm in a little bit of a panic because I'm not sure what I'll do if it gets hot. I'm going to just plan on wearing my capris and hope it's not hot. Upper body, who knows. Gloves, probably, if it's under 60.

I am ready to get this over with.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

PJ 10 Miler race report

This is the first race I've really done since Memphis, and it was nice being in a race atmosphere again. We did PJ as a training run, my last 20, with 5 miles before and 5 after. Our plan was to run 7:40 pace, my goal marathon pace for Boston (three weeks!), for the 10 miler. No dice. Rolled through just under 7:20s the whole way, with a sub-7 final mile and a few close to 7. Awesome run considering Iroquois hills and the fact I was never running hard. I talked the whole time, probably much to my training partner's dismay.

PJ was good again this year, well-staffed and friendly. I still dislike the finish -- too much time running on the squishy grass. It did give me an opportunity to catch a girl who had passed us in Iroquois. My competitive streak makes it hard to do a race as a training run -- we did the same thing during our first 20 miler in the summer. I went into a 5k thinking of running slow and easy, just a smidge faster than usual long run pace ... so maybe 8 minute miles. I did a 23-minute 5k, somewhere in the 7s. Oops.

Definitely felt good today. Had a weird ankle thing going on late last week/early this week, but it appears to be all gone. I'm heading into happy taper time!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's funny to remember at this time last year I hadn't even run a 10k.

Lessoned learned

Do not help your friend move her entire second floor apartment across town to a third floor apartment, in a four hour move-stravaganza, then go for a long run. Bad idea. I could tell early on I was tired -- who knows how many stairs I climbed, plus I didn't get lunch -- but was alright until around mile 15. It was those last three that weren't much fun.

And talk about not fun -- should have seen me on Monday. My arms (where I have recurring bouts of tendonitis in my wrists and arms from typing) were amazingly sore, so much so I couldn't hold a pen. My back hurt, my neck hurt, my legs hurt. I hobbled around like an 80-year-old woman all day.

So Monday became the logical off day, especially since my work schedule shifted a little this week. Tuesday I banged out 10x400 with 400 recoveries, all of which I ran faster than I thought I would, averaging 1:31 for the efforts.

I have two more 20 milers left, one this weekend and one March 29, as part of Papa John's 10 miler. Just under six weeks to go until Boston!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


My goodness, what a crazy week. Monday it was bright and sunny, a seemingly blistering 70 degrees. Tuesday it decides to be freezing again, and windy. (Plus we did 9x800 with 200 recoveries. Ouch.) Wednesday, pretty nice weather. Friday, blizzard. Saturday, blizzard. Sunday, warm and sunny.

Pretty good week for me, although feeling a little tired after hitting 60 miles last week. Got to 46 this week, hope to be back around 50 the rest of March.

I'm pretty excited about Papa John's coming up, we're planning it as a 20 mile run. Five mile warm up, 10 miles at marathon pace, five mile cool down.

OH! Think I am doing an ultra in June, in Indiana.

Too tired for more!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I <3 Mizuno

I got my apparel shipment last week, which took the better part of the day to go through - since, obviously, I needed to try on every piece. Shorts, capris, sleeveless tanks, shimmels, t-shirts ... And it all matches!

My stepdaughter started track this week, too, which I'm very excited about. She's never been on a sports team, so I commend her for picking up a sport as a high school freshman. Even if she doesn't like track, I hope it encourages her to try other things.

I am deep, deep in training right now -- probably doing a little too much. I haven't taken a day off in 11 days, but I think it's time for one. I was feeling okay until Monday, when my legs were just kind of sluggish. They weren't any better at speed session last night, which was discouraging. So probably an easy run today and Friday, with Thursday off.

Pretty hard run coming up, as my training group tackles the Iroquois "Hard 10" loop on Saturday and follows it up with an 18 miler on Sunday.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another 20 miler in the bank

Great run today -- 20 miles in 2:44, around 8:13 pace, just five seconds/mile behind my pace from Memphis. Finished feeling good except my right calf, which cramped up overnight and is a little sore now. Guess I need to go back to more Gatorade. I have eight weeks until Boston and I am feeling pretty awesome after today.

We revamped a route from summer training that took us through Seneca and Cherokee parks, then down a bike path that leads to downtown. Then we got a lost a few times, climbed over a fence and ended up almost exactly where we had planned.

I have finally decided which heart rate monitor I want, opting for the Polar FS4. I think the HRM will be the key to my training, allowing me to train at optimal paces.

That's really all I've got for now. Back soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Goal setting!

I have always been a proponent of publicizing my goals -- it helps me stay focused and on track. If I bail, I will no doubt be embarrassed, so I try not to do that.

And while my "What's your running goal" poster at work is pretty public, the internet is even more so. I've decided to add my goals for this year to the sidebar over yonder, and we'll see how close I can get.

Other noteworthy tidbits ... I've put in about 30 miles since Sunday, not bad considering that doesn't include a "long run" day. Hamstrings are a little tight, but I have a massage on Friday that will hopefully help. Overall, I'm feeling good -- strong, healthy, decently fast. These next six weeks are the big ones for my Boston training.

Also, have been enjoying the Mizuno Wave Rider 11s since I got in my first shoe shipment for 2008. The new Rider is a great fit for my foot, and I love the lightweight feel, low profile midsole and smooth heel-to-toe transitions. My only complaint is that the toebox has felt short in all the versions I have had -- I went up half a size this time, and while my toes are happy, the arch isn't quite where I need it to be. Then again, I have monkey toes. Being a shoe for a high-arched person, I also find the last a little more curved (although possibly just because I went larger), which is great for those people with high arches ... unfortunately, that's not me.

Last ... I am going to see the "Spirit of the Marathon" again tomorrow night with my now-marathoner friend Chris. Exciting!

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm stealing an idea from a pal -- my now year-long friend Ed (gosh!) loiters about on Runner's Lounge where they have started "Take it or Leave it Thursday."

So I'm a few days behind, but this past Thursday, the discussion topic was music, podcasts, iPods.

I first wanted an iPod to use while running. That was my argument for why I needed (another) gadget. It would be great motivation, I said. So, for mother's day, I think, in 2006, I got one. I don't think I've ran with it for at least six months, and didn't do so frequently before then.

I have become a running minimalist. Shoes and clothes, perhaps a snack, and turn me loose. I don't want to spend time making sure my iPod is loaded and charged, then get it tucked in a pocket, run the headphones through my shirt, get the earbuds properly nestled, etc. Too much hassle!

Then again, I frequently get tangled up in the cord. And I don't like music that much anyway, which I think may be partially due to a light case of amusia or something similar.

When I have toted my nano about, I have listed almost exclusively to podcasts, my favorite being On The Media from New York Public Radio.

But most days, it is just me and my brain if I have to run alone. Fortunately for my remaining sanity, I only run alone a couple of days a week -- I usually have my friends to chat with, and that is better than anything my nano can provide.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tundra trudging!

Sorry it's been a few days -- been busy at work and home.

Kentucky is currently blanketed in snow and ice and more snow, which should begin to melt in the next day or so and make a huge mess. Needless to say (although I'm saying it anyway), running's been interesting the past couple of days.

I ran Monday morning before the snow started, but it was about 20 degrees with a windchill closer to 10. I had pulled my Buff over my face, and every time I would pull it down, it would instantly freeze. It was a nice run, though, because I finally had a chance to run on the new 1.2 mile bike path in Jeffersontown.

Tuesday is our interval workout night, but we had gotten 3 inches of snow, topped by freezing rain, that the track was impassable. Instead, we took advantage of a nearby road that runs in an oval around an apartment complex. The footing was dodgy, the weather cold and rainy, but we were there nonetheless.

Today, for a change of scenery, a friend and I tackled the trails at nearby Seneca Park. Running uphill through an ice-crusted snowbank is not easy. But, it's a heck of a leg workout. My ankles had to do double-duty to maintain footing, while my quads and hamstrings had to stabilize everything and pull my foot up high enough to clear the snow. (If you tried to shuffle, the ice crust stabbed at your ankles. Not pleasant.)

So now a day off, a couple of easy runs and then a 16 miler on Sunday. Good luck to my friend Chris, and his sister Daria, who are running in Austin this weekend. It'll be Chris's first full marathon.

What else? Spring apparel is drifting into the store, which is always fun. The training group is going well, too, and I think all the members are well on their way to achieving their goals.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Workin' hard

This week was a pretty tough week -- I ran my first over-50 week ever, putting in 57 miles from Sunday through Saturday. But, I am learning where to make adjustments in my running schedule as I go along. Apparently 7 days of running is too many, but 6 is fine. Weird. So instead of having a tempo/hill day and a medium-long run each week, I'm going to rotate those three. Plus, Saturday group runs have been decently long. We ended up doing 10 yesterday, and I have a 20 miler today.

Ah, yes, the fabled 20. Discussion at work yesterday was if there is some sort of physical barrier that makes 20 so hard, or if it's just mental opposition. So many people struggle to run 20 miles that it seems unlikely it's physical -- we all function so differently that glycogen shouldn't deplete that uniformly. Stupid glycogen.

Mentally, though, 20 is a tough one. I have no qualms about 16 or 18, but adding those last two miles is somehow scarier. It's a lot of time running -- we'll probably need about 3 hours with all the people coming today, at least for the first 12 mile leg -- and you have to properly dress, hydrate and fuel for that entire time.

I do find that breaking the runs into multiple legs helps -- today we're doing a 12-mile loop then dropping off some folks and doing an 8-mile loop. Last week we did a 4, 7 and 7 to hit 18.

Well, have to get ready to tackle this run. Back soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So what do you think about?

A question I get pretty often from non-runners is, "What do you think about when you're running?"

Fortunately, my dear pals keep me entertained for hours on end each week, and for that I am eternally grateful. But clearly there have to be thoughts bouncing around while I'm running, especially when I'm out by myself. I contemplate the typical things -- whatever might be going on in my daily life that I could use some time to think about -- but have become accustomed to an odd litany of thoughts and phrases that crop up regularly. Most of them are to encourage me to keep my butt moving. A few choice examples:

  • "I love hills, la-la-la."

  • "Chup, chup." (Another hill phrase.)

  • "Almost done, almost done."

  • "What am I going to eat when this is over?"

  • "Drop it like it's hot." (For when I'm running fast.)

Now you know.

I'm baaaaaack

After a little bit of prodding and a little bit of thought, I think I'm ready to join the blogosphere again. It's been pretty touch-and-go for a while, but I think I can maintain a pretty regular posting schedule now that my life is semi-normal.

So, first, an update on life. Much of this can be gleaned from facebook, so I apologize if it is redundant. I graduated (at last) in December with my BA in Communications, so I'm free of that. I'm working full-time at a local independent running store, which I absolutely love. First job I've had where going to work sounds like a fun thing to do. I used to show up even on my days off, but now I work six days a week so that would be kind of silly.

And working at the store feeds my running habit. I ran my first two half-marathons and my first full marathon last year, with my first full at Memphis in December (3:32.59). That qualified me to run the Boston Marathon, so I will be making a somewhat triumphant return to the city this spring. (Let me know if you'll be around!)

I'm also sponsored by the company that makes the awesome shoes that I love, Mizuno. I am somewhat-secretly hoping to qualify for the Olympic Marathon trials in 2012, which means I need to get my marathon time down to 2:45. Yup, that's a 45 minute reduction over the course of 26 miles. I think I can do it. Actually, my boss thinks I can do it, and I'm willing to try.

I'm running about 50 miles/week right now and increasing that weekly over the next two months, topping out closer to 70 before Boston.

What else, what else ... Nope, that's all I've got for this very moment. In need of a coffee.