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October 30, 2005

ok, so I was wrong

Last night when the official race results were posted online, I had a happy surprise - my 19:41 (watch) was clocked as 19:38, and only 1 second behind the woman in front. The time discrepancy I can understand - in the brain-death of short races I often don't stop my watch correctly and yesterday was no exception; I finally punched the right button a little bit (half-second? 1? 3? dunno) after crossing the finish. As for finishing a second behind rather than 4 seconds behind, well, I just don't know. I was definitely behind Amy, but I wasn't counting the seconds between us and I am a terrible judge of this (someone XX in front of me spacewise = ?? seconds timewise. Answer? uh, dunno).

Anyway the reason for all this happy rationalization is that I'm really thrilled to see a 19:3x instead of a 19:4x, even if the difference is only 3 seconds. Hopefully one day I'll be closer to 19 than 20.

This morning's 14 miles was fun but nothing super-special. The awesome weather is still here and it was mid-to-upper 50s when I ran. I wanted to take it easy but found myself picking it up sometime after 4 miles. By 10 miles I was a little tired at that pace and held an insty-debate on whether it was better to hold a pace once I picked it (the "you break it, you bought it" stance) or to allow myself to slow down a bit because I have more miles and a couple key workouts coming up this week ("the don't be stupid" argument). I picked the latter, and backed off the effort a little.

Posted by joe positive at 1:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2005

thank you, uncle dr universe!

Beautiful, beautiful weather down here the past 5 days. After the hurricane blew through and screwed up a lot of peoples' lives down in south Florida, we here in central FL were treated to a lovely taste of fall - 60s and 70s during the day, 50s (and even upper 40s) at night and at running-time (early morning). This is why I live here. It will be like this pretty much until March.

Between last week's paltry mileage and this week's lovely weather, I've been running way too fast during normal training runs this week. My pace has averaged 45 - 60s faster than usual, and it's either because running faster feels great or because it doesn't feel like I'm running faster at all. I'm sure that as I run more miles my pace will moderate a bit.

Today I ran a 5K that was pretty interesting. I saw a woman from my running club who's always been faster, so I decided to try to keep her back in sight. Unfortunately the race had a narrow crowded start, and this woman has a patient, come-from-behind style (and I have a stupid, go-out-too-fast style), so I ended up in front of her. During the first mile our shadows were in front of us, and just past the mile marker I saw the silhouette of her ponytail on the ground in front of me. She ran behind me for a bit, then moved up to pass. I said "good job, Amy," then immediately wondered why couldn't I try to hang with her. So I did. From that point until about 2.8 miles, we dueled: I pulled ahead; she went with me; she dropped back a bit, then came up again, and then we repeated the whole thing. I could tell we were both working hard. Near the end of the last mile was a grade so slight it didn't feel like downhill going out, but it sure felt like uphill coming back. I'm ok at going up, so I pushed a bit thinking if Amy were tired enough she wouldn't follow. I put some space between us but she ground it out and caught me after the grade flattened out. As she passed, I said "you got it" and tried just to hang on the last bit. She beat me by 4 or 5 seconds, and we were 2nd and 3rd overall.

My time (19:41) was a PR and made me fairly happy, but the cool thing was that this was the first time I'd ever raced a person. My races usually turn into time trials; I can't count the number of races I've finished with no one in sight and nothing but the finish line in front of me. The dueling was hard mentally, but I think we both made each other work. I'm sort of pissed at myself that I couldn't last until the end. I want to get better at this.

Posted by joe positive at 5:25 PM | Comments (2)

October 20, 2005

readier than I oughta be

This last bout of marathon training has been much different from previous training. In addition to 1) following a plan and 2) actually tapering for the race, I am 3) easing back (rather than hurling myself back) into running.

The day after the race I didn't run, as is my tradition. We did walk 4 or 5 miles around Baltimore, but it was just strollin' and helped loosen the legs a little. On Monday I was somehow more sore than on Sunday, and on the plane ride home, my middle toe developed the angriest bloodblister in the world. I've had bloddblisters before, but never anything like this. It ached and throbbed and gave shooting pains all night, and the pain was worse than the dislocated hip I had a few years ago. Tuesday morning it finally began to behave, and I ran a few miles. Yesterday the toe still looked like a vienna sausage, but it felt much better and I ran a few more slow fun miles.

This morning everything was fine. Nothing hurt: not toe, not calf, not shin, not a thing. I ran another few slow superfun miles, and now I'm sitting here at home a few hours after dental surgery, and my legs feel swell and all I want to do is go outside and run a little more. I won't, and I won't even run more than short stuff until Sunday, but that doesn't mean I don't want to. There's a 15K coming up in about a month, unless the little town gets pulled apart by Wilma, and 15K is my favorite distance, and I just cannot wait.

Someone recently made the comment that my marathon time Saturday wasn't worth the mileage I put in while training; in other words, if I can't run a fast marathon off 80mpw I oughta stop with the "high" mileage and accept my lot. That person may have a point, but the training wasn't (and isn't) a burden to me. I just like to run.

Posted by joe positive at 2:30 PM | Comments (3)

October 15, 2005

this just in

Marathon results were just posted here. I was bib 641.

(2nd masters, neat)

Posted by joe positive at 4:49 PM | Comments (4)

nothing's going to happen

One of my goals for today's marathon was to carry all of Tall Dwarfs' Hello Cruel World in my head, and I pretty much succeeded; "nothing's going to happen" ran through my brain constantly when I wasn't distracted by other stuff.

The very short story is that I ran 3:16:33 by my watch, not what I'd hoped but alright, I guess, under the circumstances (circumstances discussed in excruciating detail below). I'm not sure of my official time or place because the results aren't yet available online, and they never posted anything but the top 12 men's times at the finish.

Circumstances: 58 at the start, 72 when I finished. The wind (13-14mph) was a constant annoyance starting at about 10 miles, and it seemed to be in my face on most of the uphills (really!). On the other hand, the wind made it seem cooler than it actually was.

I got a conservative start for once, and felt really good thru about 12 miles, then medium-good thru 17 miles. By then I was in the thick of the hills on the back half, and the wind was wearing me down. My one 8+ mile was during that stretch. Mile 20 was a half mile up and a half back down, and after that I tried to push a little harder, with mixed results. For a couple of miles I had what felt like a cramp in my diaphragm - can that happen? - and hard fast breathing was out of the question, and I had to ease up on downhills. After a bit that calmed down and I was left with only normal end-stage marathon pains. I did manage a 7:01 for the last full mile.

Good stuff:

I unexpectedly saw my husband a few times during the race: at 6 miles when the course went past our hotel; at the half-marathon start (he ran the half); during the horrible uphill/downhill 21st mile, and during the 26th mile when he passed me (that got me going about 2.51322s/mile faster for about a minute). He yelled some encouragement each time. I usually don't care too much about "crowd support" (see the Boston Marathon blog entry), but this was really great.

I passed women until about 14 miles, and I guess after that I reached the end of women I had any hope of passing. After the initial sorting-out of the first 5 miles or so, no women passed me except relay people and (later) half-marathoners. I guess I'm pretty happy about that.

I drank water from 6 - 24 without slowing, getting sick, or getting it up my nose. For me, this is no mean feat. I didn't stop at all, didn't walk through aid staions or up hills or anything. That is a marathon first.

I really wanted to leave everything I had on the course, and despite the creeping (physical) annoyances of the last 6 miles, I almost did.

Bad/indifferent stuff:

I didn't run 3:10. I didn't run 3:14, either, which is what I'd hoped for in Boston.

I ran alone, in a hole, for much of the race.

None of the guys seemed very interested in working together in the wind. One male-model type even slowed way down as I got near him. A few times I just drafted off a likely male (I don't discriminate, but there were no women around), then pulled ahead to let him know that I was perfectly willing to do some work, but no one got it and I'm not gregarious enough to say "hey stranger, wanna draft?"

Baltimore's streets are seriously in need of repair. All of them. Luckily I have some annoying stretches of broken pavement at home to practice on.

My left ankle is kinda sore.

I did not quite leave everything I had on the course.

Posted by joe positive at 3:42 PM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2005

trying not to be negative

I've been watching the Baltimore weather like a hawk for the past, oh, ten days, and it's now looking like Saturday will be 1) too warm, and 2) windy. This is such a weird situation, to have put in the training and then to get on the plane knowing I'm probably not going to be able to run what I'd hoped to run.

What to do? Revise the goal right now? How far - 10s/mile? 15? More? There are pace groups in Baltimore; should I hang with the one going my hoped-for pace and see how long I last? Should I hang it up right now and try running Jacksonville in two months?

This year in Boston I knew it was going to be too warm to run well, but I was happy to have made it to the race at all after the sfx, and anyway I still had a little hope. I ended up not running well but was not too depressed to go out dancing that night after the race. For this race I trained a lot differently (and longer) than I had previously, put in a lot of miles at varying paces and I thought I had a shot at a significant PR, and now it's almost a sure thing (or is it) that it won't be a good day. I can only hope that this training will somehow help me through a less-than-ideal conditions.

ach, this sounds so stupid, gnashing my teeth about this pace or that pace (both well over 3 hours anyway). It's not like I was going to win the thing anyway.

Posted by joe positive at 6:00 AM | Comments (11)

October 12, 2005

It's going to be too hot!

60 at the start, 70 by 11am. Later that day a cold fron is supposed to come through. Shit.

Posted by joe positive at 2:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2005

Pforgive me Pfather, Pfor I haPf sinned

It has been 17 weeks since my last confession.

Back in August there was this one workout that was supposed to be 8 miles with strides, but since I was running round and round a motel parking lot I only ran 5 miles, with no strides.

The last week in August I did not complete a track workout (5x600) because I pulled a hamstring 200m into the first item.

During 3 out of 5 tempo runs I took a break partway through because my stomach was going to explode if I didn't. During another tempo run I took a break because I'd gone out too fast and was just tired and whiny.

During both MP runs I had to stop for stomach breaks too.

There was this one track workout in September (6x1000) where I decided to skip the last item, then ran a 600 instead.

Twice I substituted 5K races for track workouts.

Sometimes I let myself poke around at sub-recovery pace for too long, especially during medium-long runs.

I didn't even once go to hilly St Leo to run long, mainly because my work schedule doesn't allow me many early Sundays.

I hope I can still partake of some of the good things that Pfitzinger pfollowers experience at marathons.

I cannot extend this metaphor any pfurther. The second week of taper is done and frankly I don't feel any more chipper than I did after the 91-mile week. This morning I ran a hot-n-muggy 5K and won it, though my time is nothing to crow about. I ran 20:13, but the turnaround was about 50' away from where it should have been, so my friends and I decided that was good for about 20s. Still, a winning time near 20 minutes means that all the fasties were either off marathoning or recovering from recent marathons, which was true.

A late-season tropical somethingorother has brought some really yucky running weather, sunny and hot with big billowy clouds ready to wring themselves out at any moment. During the race I heard thunder, but it didn't actually start to rain until after I'd finished (we cooled down in the rain, which is an oxymoron). Believe it or not, there is supposed to be a half-marathon tomorrow about 40 miles south of here. I do not envy any of those runners.

Posted by joe positive at 1:36 PM | Comments (1)

October 7, 2005

a bat flew into me

And so ends (I hope) one of the unluckier 24-hour-periods of my life. Yesterday I awoke at 4:30, was almost out the door for the 8-miler when the pager went off. By the time I'd fixed what was broke and run the 8, I was fairly late for work. I spent 90 minutes getting there (truck accident), accomplished just a wee fraction of what I needed to do, spent another 70 minutes getting home. My husband's fortune cookie was empty. Once home I still had work to do, but the thing I was trying to do failed twice, and I managed to wreck something my co-worker was doing, and then had to stop another co-worker from doing something he wanted to do, and then it was after 11pm and time to go to bed so I could get up at 5 for 6 miles. And then this morning while I was running, a bat flew into me.

Posted by joe positive at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2005

weatherunderground.com is unreachable

weatherunderground is unreachable from my house. I can get to it if I VPN to work and then out to the interweb from there, but I don't want to work anymore today, and if I dial into work I know I will. Work, I mean. So I have to go to all these lesser site like weather.com and local Baltimore TV news sites to get the unreliable 10-days-out forecasts I crave. I have seen low temps ranging from 39 to 59. Sun. Rain. They've got it all at these lesser weather sites.

Yesterday I got a splinter in my foot for no good reason. I've lived in this wood-floored house almost 5 years and never got a splinter from the floor until yesterday.

Last night I had another episode of a dream I've had for years about moving into a new old house with a lot of unexplored rooms and closets (scary when you have to decide whether or not to open the door). I also dreamed I was in a public restroom and I was in a really, really bad mood so I peed on the floor like a bad dog (this is not anything I've ever thought about doing in real life). Also dreamed about losing my flats just before the gun at a race, also dreamed about hallucinating ugly troll-like spectres that no one else could see.

Time for some mindless TV, or some Graham Greene, or both.

Posted by joe positive at 7:08 PM | Comments (1)

October 2, 2005

lurlene bayliss

The Tall Dwarfs song "Lurlene Bayliss" is actually a (spoken) story about a woman who loses her mind while riding the bus into town to get "her injection," but at a couple points in the story she thinks, "wow! what a great day." This weekend I've been watching friends and acquaintances run their various fall marathons, and my prevailing thought is "wow! what a great day." A running-club friend - a 49-year-old who's a fabulous runner and one of my heroes, to boot - ran 2:48 at St. George yesterday, taking 2nd overall female. And the running-club coach (aged 67) just finished Twin Cities in 3:12. Not bad for a warm day. One of the TV stations in Minneapolis had set up a finish-line-cam and a live internet video feed, so I actually could see Joe run up the road (he's got a very distinctive gait) and cross the line. The internet is just grand, yes it is.

My own running today was much less exciting. I ran 13 miles in new shoes which it turns out I love. My beloved NB 900s are out of production, and I'd despaired of finding a substitute until I tried a pair of Saucony fastwich. What a goofy name, sounds like sandwich, but boy do I like those shoes. Maybe they'll stay in production longer than a year.

Posted by joe positive at 4:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 1, 2005

more lasts, less lasts

Today was the last tempo run. Throughout this marathon training I've had an ongoing battle with tempo runs; I knew they were good for me and I knew they'd been conspicuously absent from my previous training, but they were also damn scary and I had a tendency to break them in two, stopping for stomach emergencies or just plain because I was getting tired and didn't want to fight to keep on pace. Today, finally, it wasn't scary. I guess the couple of recent races made me realize I can manage a non-easy pace for 5 miles. Anyway, after warming up 4 miles I set out for 5 @ 6:40 - 6:55, ended up with an avg 6:44 and did not stop, hoo ha! even though I went out too fast. Pace climbed from 6:38 to 6:51 for the first 4 miles but I managed to knock it down to 6:44 for the last mile.

I seem to be on a roll lately with this not-wanting-to-stop-in-the-middle business. Please please please may it continue another couple of weeks.

Tomorrow will be the last double-digit run.

I just checked the schedule and saw that I have one more double the week after next.

Posted by joe positive at 6:02 PM | Comments (0)