Category Archives: Olde Bones

It’s My Body and I’ll Billboard If I Want To

As my post on Thursday alluded, it’s a rough time for endurance sports. Perhaps some of this comes from the insanity associated with chasing after and keeping sponsorships, most of which have performance requirements tied to them. When you have to perform to pay the bills, it’s not a huge leap to see why people might be willing to bend or outright break the rules.

That’s why I find this letter by Nick Symmonds incredibly timely. As he says, major contracts are few and far between (and increasingly a thing of the past). As such, many of us cobble together sponsorships to support our running. When we race, we want to acknowledge the companies who support us. We want to make sure everyone knows which products we believe in and count on. As the rules are now, however, my body isn’t my body at USATF events. The Nuun tattoo I wear to thank that company isn’t allowed. If I want to recognize a sponsor in addition to my team, I essentially have to rely on pre and post race gear to get the word out. It’s not that this doesn’t work: I spent 2 hours after the Craft Brew race answering questions about Nuun thanks to my trucker cap and tattoo. But it would be nice to have my singlet adorned with the logos of the companies that got me there.

In nordic skiing, for example, athlete uniforms reflect all of their sponsors. This year, for example, the US women have white uniforms that have nordic related sponsors like Craft Performance, Fischer and Rossignol next to non-nordic specific sponsors like Visa and Subaru. The other nice feature of the U.S. Ski Team is that although there are team specific sponsors (Craft, L.L. Bean and others), athletes can also personalize their uniforms and hats with other sponsors, such as their boot maker or fuel company.

I’m not saying I want to look like a NASCAR rig. I neither have that many sponsors nor the intention of making my quads a billboard. What I am saying (and what Symmonds is saying) is that athletes should have the opportunity to recognize all their sponsors on their race gear without penalty and that companies should have their logo readily visible on the athletes they so graciously sponsor.

What do you think the solution is? Should USATF be able to dictate what athletes put on their bodies? Where do we draw the line on bodies as billboards?

2015 In Review

It’s a bit mind boggling to be at the end of 2015 because it means I’m just a tiny bit over a year from being an MD and our next move as a family. I had huge goals for 2015 and took big chances and although I don’t regret the process, it didn’t turn out quite the way I’d imagined. Falling short of success, however, offers lots of opportunity for insight and plenty of competitive drive to get back out there in 2016.

Mileage:

2,627 miles (219 miles a month, 51 miles a week on average). In contrast, 2014 was 2,282 which included time off for surgery but came out to 190 miles a month and 44 miles a week on average. The distribution of my mileage isn’t even of course, as I have periodized training and end up with some chunks of time more in the 30s and then big training that is up in the 60s.

Races:

The year started off well with a great run on a windy, cold day at the First Run 5K. I’ll be racing this again tomorrow and hoping for a fast time to help ease the pain of Philly a bit.

Once Clerkship year started, I had to set my sites on shorter races and took advantage of being in Maine for Family Medicine to race the Falmouth 4 Miler.  This was the first race this year where I learned that I don’t tolerate racing on cold legs anymore. Foreshadowing for Philly, I suppose.

In early May, I regained some confidence on one of my favorite courses, the Champlain Classic 5K. I have no idea what my race schedule looks like for 2016, but I’ll definitely be back for the Classic.

In June, I raced a 5K for beer in 80 degree sun and ran a 3K on the track in the wind, also foreshadowing for Philly. It was a blast to do something totally different.

On the 4th of July, I raced the Montpelier Mile and re-learned a valuable lesson about running through the finish line. I felt so stupid for this tactical error until I saw Molly Huddle do it later in the summer and gave myself a bit of a break.

In late September, I felt like I turned a corner in training. After many weeks of feeling punky secondary to anemia, I toed the line at the Downtown 10K with no expectations and was surprised to execute a great tactical race. I’ll definitely be back at this one!

Finally, I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. This was supposed to be my big event of 2016 and I’d be lying if I said that the sting of that outcome has faded.

Until I looked back today, I hadn’t realized how diverse my races were this year and there is some fun in race distances that you rarely run. The race I’m most proud of is the Downtown 10K; I stayed calm and executed my race plan. I continue to realize that I need more racing experience to help me deal with situations like delayed starts, wind and racing alone.

How do you review a year of training? What were your highs and lows of 2015?

Week in Review 11.9.15 to 11.15.15 and Goals for Philly

Taper begins…

Monday: 9.2 miles at practice.

Tuesday: 5 by mile at T pace (6:00, 6:08, 6:08, 6:06, 6:02) and 5 by 200 at R pace. Felt pretty clunky but once I focused on cadence, everything felt better. Legs afterward.

Wednesday: True beginning of taper with an off day, prorated at 5.4 miles. Drills and arms.

Thursday: 6.3 miles easy with striders on the track. Calves very sore.

Friday: Me versus the wind. Again. 3 by 1K (5:38 pace) plus 5 by 200 at R pace. Felt clunky again but got it done. 2 times through leg circuit after.

Saturday: Ran 2.5 with the girls at New Englands (they kicked butt!!!) and then did 3 easy with Will when I got home.

Sunday: 8.1 mile “long” run with 8 striders on the track. 1 set of arms after.

Total: 50.2 miles

The start of taper is always met with such mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s nice to know that you are done with all the hard work. On the other, you instantly begin to think about all the things you should have done or could have fit in. Things haven’t been too bad thus far because I’m actually pretty sore (I’m hoping from the 200s) and happy to have the easier days.

I also spent most of last week harassing Will about what he thought I could run. Not trying to sell myself short, but the 1:15 just seems out of grasp given the way my fall went. I’m not disappointed in this training cycle but definitely could have used the 6 weeks I spent feeling awful in August/September! I’m a huge fan of A, B and C goals so here are mine:

C Goal: PR (under 1:21:45). I’ll be honest that I’d be very disappointed if I couldn’t better this time, excluding crazy weather which we aren’t forecast to have.

B Goal: Break 1:20. This is essentially where most of my race plan is focused. 1:20 is a big mental barrier for me but also a major entry point into many of the top level races that I’d like to be a part of going forward.

A Goal: 1:18:30. Just under 6 minute pace, this would be a great run for me.

Race Plan: I’m not planning on wearing a watch and will approach Philly much like I did the first time: ease into the first 2 miles, steady state effort til 6, tempo effort til 10 then send it for the last 5K. One adaptation to this may be that I connect with a group of women going for the Trials Standard in the full, who I imagine would go out right around 1:20 pace. It’s far easier to pull along with a group, so if the opportunity presents itself somewhere between 5:55 and 6:05 pace, I’ll be trying to chug along with them to pass some miles. The other adaptation will depend on how I feel in this final week; if my tempo miles tomorrow start to show taper pop and I’m down around 5:50, I’ll have a little more confidence to go out at 6 minute pace and hold it, rather than accelerating through the race.

 

Week in Review: 11.3.14 to 11.9.14

Finally feeling a little more like a real runner again including 2 runs where I felt borderline good!

Monday: Warmup, 6 minutes at MP then 4 by 800 at T pace and cool down. Quad finally calming down. 7.5 miles.

Tuesday: Clunky 7.4 mile recovery run.

Wednesday: Warmup, 3 by T pace on the track (6:07 pace) then a mile of 200 ins/outs plus cooldown. Then jetted out to MMU to coach and get another 4 in. 12.5 miles total.

Thursday: 7 mile recovery run in the sleety/windy/rain.

Friday: 7 mile run. Legs feeling pretty good!

Saturday: Warmup, then paced Flan to her first sub 21! Cooled down for a total of 7.7.

All smiles post race.

All smiles post race.

Sunday: Lovely long run on the Bike Path for World Run Day with the Olde Bones girls. 12.7 miles.

Total Miles: 62

Happy to have gotten a little more work in this week. It wasn’t as structured as I would like but glad to vary my pace a little and to see my regular run pace dropping back down. I’ll get a couple of early workouts in this week then taper for Vegas!

Race Report: Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

Short Version: Amazing day. Ended up at 2:54:38 and 2nd place female, 25th overall. Proud of my effort and proud to say that it was the strongest I’ve ever felt in a marathon both mentally and physically. That’s not to say that there aren’t things to improve, but I crossed the finish line and burst into a smile which is literally a first for me.

Top 3 Women and our big beer glasses (vases?)

Top 3 Women and our big beer glasses (vases?)

Very, Very Long Version

Preparing to race a marathon starts long before the gun (or cold airhorn in this case) goes off. For me, my marathon prep started in earnest in May, which this blog has cataloged in sometimes painful detail since. I’ll do a separate Week in Review post for last week, but it was a pretty standard taper week. In a perfect world, I would have preferred more rest and less stress, but this is real life and standing at a race on Friday to coach is my reality.

We headed to Albany on Saturday after a morning shakeout run and I was in full-on taper terror mode. Traffic was horrendous courtesy of peak leaf season, Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving. It took us almost 4.5 hours to get to Albany when it should have been under 3. Needless to say, by the time we arrived at the Hilton at almost 5, my husband was most displeased with me. That was not helped when we went to check in and found out that I made our reservation for October 12th (as in, Sunday night). Thus began the scramble to find somewhere to sleep. Thankfully, we found a place across from campus (and maybe 800 meters from my sophomore dorm) that was only moderately bank-breaking.

After the hotel snafu and about 100 apologies to Will, we headed out to find dinner. I took him on a brief tour through campus and then we settled at my favorite Albany diner on Western Avenue. Pasta doesn’t actually work that well for me pre-race so I got chicken pasta soup and turkey dinner. It was the perfect pre-race food; liquid, salt and carb heavy without being pure pasta.

My old campus running loop. 3.1 miles around. I used to run it once every week day and twice one weekend day. How things have changed...

My old campus running loop. 3.1 miles around. I used to run it once every week day and twice one weekend day. How things have changed…

After dinner, we picked up some Gatorade and gum then headed back to the hotel. I laid out my clothes, we watched a couple of episodes of Revenge and were going “to sleep” by 9:45. I actually slept until 2:30, at which point I was wide awake and thrashing around. I fell back asleep around 3:30, but was restless until the alarm at 6 to eat. My turkey sandwich wasn’t looking good to me so I had a Pumpkin Pie Poptart instead and started sipping my Gatorade and water mix. We were out the door of our hotel by 7:30 and at the start area by 8:00 am.

I did a brief 10 minute warmup (which was accurately termed as it was only 35 degrees out) and was thrilled to find that a jogging effort turned out to be 8:02 pace, which was an encouraging sign that taper worked. We found LT and Lauren as well which worked wonders for my nerves. At 8:20, I walked over the start line and just worked on breathing deeply. Paul, another friend and invited athlete, showed up at the start line and we were able to hang out until the start.

Lauren and I showing off our gloves at the start.

Lauren and I showing off our gloves at the start.

My general plan for the race was to go out moderately through the first couple of miles, settle in from 3 to 10, be prepared to slow from 10 to 13 due to the hills in that section then cruise from 13 to home as best I could. I will say that I thought the course would be more level than I found it to be. Although it is definitely a fast course, it wasn’t as flat as I anticipated and I encountered more false flats and fast drops than I was planning.

Elevation, which I should have studied a little more carefully.

Elevation, which I should have studied a little more carefully.

In reality, I found the first half of the race a little…tedious. I went out cautiously but had to keep slowing myself down so that I didn’t end up way ahead of pace too early on. There was a group of guys near me through the first 3 miles but none seemed keen on all of us working together so I was mostly alone from 4 until the end. There is an INCREDIBLE view at 4 when you come around a corner and see the Hudson for the first time. Otherwise, I just tried to get comfortable and checked in with myself repeatedly to make sure my effort felt easy. The only hitch was at 6 where I dropped my first Gu and had to turn around to grab it. Definitely let a four-letter word drop there. I saw Will for the first time at 8 and he told me the first woman was over 4 minutes up (she would go on to run a 2:34) so I just focused on my own race.

Cruising through Mile 8, second woman by 4 minutes already.

Cruising through Mile 8, second woman by 4 minutes already.

As we got into the hills from 10 to 12, I was feeling good although a little nervous about the hills. In reality, they weren’t too bad but they did take some momentum out of my legs. I made a deal with myself that I would just ease back into goal pace by mile 15 and that took some mental pressure off as my Garmin pace crept up. I hit the half at 1:26:13. I saw Will again and he mumbled something about my competition but I didn’t hear, which turned out to be a good thing as the dark miles were coming.

Halfway!

Halfway!

Miles 13 to 18 were fine, although my quads were starting to dislike the gradual downhills that kept cropping up. Around 18, a race volunteer told me to “hurry up because the train was coming,” which I thought was a joking way to motivate me. It turned out it wasn’t a joke; about 3 minutes after I crossed the tracks, I could hear the bells start ringing and they would stop a pack of runners for almost 2 minutes as the train crossed.

At 19, however, the dark miles began. I was tired, we were running along 787 and the cones were placed such that I had to either run on the broken up shoulder or in the road with cars. My legs started to feel like concrete and my last Gu, which I took at 18, wasn’t sitting well in my stomach. My pace slowly started to creep up and I was having serious doubts about the pace at which I’d gone out. Other people were hurting too; despite my slowing pace, I was still passing people and my form remained (fairly) good. I did start to worry about my competition, as I really wanted 2nd place and the $500 in prize money.

Not quite a happy camper at 20.

Not quite a happy camper at 20.

Miles 19 to 23 were pretty darn miserable. It’s a quiet part of the course with almost no crowd support and everyone around me was either in the hurt box with me or blowing by me like I was standing still. I’m not proud of this fact, but I was definitely having a pity party. To make matters worse, my foot was starting to KILL me and I definitely had some thoughts of “I did this way too soon.” When I crossed 24, however, I got my shit together. I was at 2:40, which meant that I could still have a good PR. I also thought of my girls and what I would say to them: Don’t give up on yourself. Decide you can. I did both of these things and decided that it was going to hurt either way, so I might as well end proud of myself. I dug down and cranked my pace down to 6:30 again and finished in 6:10 pace including outsprinting a guy who had passed me easily at 20. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I burst into a huge smile, a first for me.

Finishing her up!

Finishing her up!

Splits

1: 6:30

2: 6:33

3: 6:22

4: 6:19

5: 6:26

6: 6:36

7: 6:35

8: 6:40

9: 6:39

10: 6:39

11: 6:38

12: 6:40

13: 6:50

14: 6:38

15: 6:34

16: 6:35

17: 6:36

18: 6:32

19: 6:45

20: 6:43

21: 6:50

22: 6:56

23: 6:58

24: 6:55

25: 6:42

26: 6:32

.2: 6:10 pace

Post race was probably my favorite part, as I was so happy with my performance despite a few rough miles. I also felt GREAT. I was tired, but not injured and besides a big blister on my left foot felt totally fine. I even had Will tape a video of my walking skills. We didn’t hang around long because we needed to get back home to study and even after a 3 hour car ride, I felt pretty good. I’m sore this morning, but primarily in my quads which I would have predicted after how I felt at 20 yesterday. I’ll take today off completely and keep it to walking and biking until Wednesday or Thursday this week when I start getting geared up for Vegas.

All smiles collecting my prizes.

All smiles collecting my prizes.

Post-Race McDonald's Selfie. Fries were SO good.

Post-Race McDonald’s Selfie. Fries were SO good.

The marathon is an unforgiving beast and requires such a long list of thank yous once it’s over. First and foremost is Will, who plays the role of coach and husband. Thank you for crafting a plan that plays up my strengths, for constantly believing in me without inflating me with false hope and for dealing with everything that it means to be a marathon spouse. Second are my “girls.” I draw so much inspiration from you and absolutely would not have had the performance I did without thinking of coming home to all of you and wanting to practice what I preach to all of you daily. Finally, thank you to Ed Neiles (Elite Athlete Coordinator) at HMRRC and to the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon for putting on an excellent race with every detail thought through.

On the Race Itself:

I would recommend this marathon to anyone; the course is great (provided you don’t require a ton of crowd support) and every single detail is attended to. Every water station has a sign about 40 seconds ahead so that you can open and eat your Gu. There are volunteers on every single corner or turn and even at the bumps along the way. The post race food was plentiful and included veggie broth and chips, which are my two favorite things post race. Of course, the weather was perfect (and it was the first time I did it too), but I don’t think HMRRC has a lot of control over that. All in all, this is a must-do marathon from my perspective and I’ll definitely be back in the future.

Week in Review 8.25.14 to 8.31.14

I was having a hissy fit when I started to write this up. Truly. I was sitting at my desk half in tears and debating whether I should even attempt my fall marathon. My race this morning was THAT bad. Then I looked at my training log to write this post and realized I capped a 78 mile week off with a race, which capped off a 331 mile month. What precisely did I expect my legs to feel like? Anyway, hissy fit almost resolved and I didn’t do anything stupid like pull my entries.

Monday: 11.25 miles recovery paced. Hip core routine after.

Tuesday AM: 8 miles on the 15K course. Arms after. All done by 8 am and feeling really accomplished.

Tuesday PM: 5 miles with the girls followed by beach abs routine.

Wednesday: Scheduled off day, prorated at 10.3

Thursday: Monster tempo run. 3 by 2 mile at T pace, for which I used a heart rate monitor and kept it at 168-170. What a low stress way to get a workout done!!! Definitely doing that for the remainder of this cycle. 13 miles.

Friday: 8 miles recovery pace.

Saturday: 7 miles through Hinesburg before coaching at the CVU Relays all morning. Girls kicked ass. I need to bottle some of that get-up.

Sunday: Labor Day 15K. Fricken disaster. Felt awful from about .5 miles in and just slogged through. 1:02:55, 19th place. Race report tomorrow when I’m done being so dramatic.

78 miles.

Arm lift.

Hip core and beach abs.

Today marks 6 weeks from race day, which means about 3 more weeks of really hard work. When Will can count off my workouts on his fingers, it starts to feel real. I wish it felt real in a more positive sense today, but one way or another, October is coming. Here’s hoping this insane humidity decides to leave the area soon so I can have some kick ass workouts and race simulators.

Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose

I’m not sure where all this introspection is coming from this week. Maybe it’s a few solid weeks of training under my belt. Maybe it’s this weird feeling I’ve had lately that things are about to pull together for me athletically. Anyway, one of the scariest things to do is to put yourself out there and admit your goals. When Katie and I were getting ready for VCM the other day, she started hedging her goal. “Well, I’d like to run under 1:27. I should be able to. But I don’t know…” She blew her goal away, running well under 1:27. Sometimes the biggest part of the battle is admitting what you want from a race.

Stating your goals takes courage. It puts your dreams out there and makes a clear marker of success or failure for everyone else to see. Below are my goals organized into the next 18 months, someday and pie in the sky. Some are pie in the sky because although they are theoretically attainable, they’ll take a lot of things pulling together for me. Furthermore, I’ll be just fine if those remain things I worked for my whole life and didn’t quite achieve. My someday goals and next 18 month goals should be closer in reach.

Next 18 Months

PR in the marathon

Break 1:20 in the half and 37 in the 10K

Get a shiny new 5K PR (see also, race a 5K)

 

Someday

Win a marathon

Win a national title (Masters Club Nationals for track is my best bet…)

Run a beer mile

Break 2:45 in the marathon, 1:18 in the half, 36 in the 10K and 17:30 in the 5K

Run a trail marathon

Transition to an excellent masters career

 

Pie in the Sky

Olympic Trials Qualifier in the marathon

Start in the Elite Women’s Corral for the Boston Marathon

Get invited to the USA Running Circuit

Get a mention on Let’s Run or Running Times

 

I put myself out here, now it’s your turn. What are your goals?

 

 

 

A Running SWOT Analysis

In my old life, most projects began with a SWOT analysis. Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. As I was out for a recovery run the other day, I started to think about my running SWOT analysis. I’m a bit cynical by nature and often focus on my weaknesses, but it occurred to me that acknowledging my strengths might have some value too.

Strengths

  • Running Easy Runs Easy: I’ve never been one to race the easy days. Unless my run is a workout or a race, I don’t worry about pace. My long runs are easily 90 seconds slower than my race pace. I wear a heartrate monitor on key recovery days and don’t fret if that under 135 pace is 8:30 or 10:00 pace. I still recall an article from before I loathed Ryan Hall where he talks about running 9 minute miles on recovery days. If it was good enough for Ryan Hall in his heyday, it’s good enough for me.
  • Eating Good Food: I’m not perfect. I love anything gummy and most days, salt can get me too. That being said, I eat a mostly excellent diet with enough energy to power my day. I eat more carbohydrates than most people need because of my training load but balance that with high quality protein and good fat. I always refuel within 30 minutes of my runs. For long runs, I have almond milk with protein powder and a whole wheat wrap with almond butter. For shorter runs, I go with water with protein powder.
  • Basic Strength: I’ve done the same strength circuit before bed since I was a freshman in college and I reflexively do squats when I brush my teeth. What was once an attempt to maintain beach abs is now a habit. It includes Jane Fondas, crunches, bicycles and pushups. When all else fails and my schedule gets crazy, at least I get a little something in.

Weaknesses (so tempting to go on a roll here)

  • My head: I am working on this, but I am the master at mentally defeating myself in workouts and in races. By the time I hit the start line, I’ve already assessed who I’m going to lose to. Not a great way to go.
  • Sleep: Medical school is kind of ruining this for me, but my sleep has been subpar over the past months and I’m starting to feel it in workouts. I really need a solid 7 hours to feel human but often hum along on 6 and coffee. I’m using SleepCycle to try to reign this in. Although I’m not sold on the science, it is a very good measure of what time I got in bed and how many hours I’m sleeping. I’m often amazed at how much I overestimate my sleep.
  • Weight Training: Right now, our gym situation just isn’t that convenient. Because we walk or bus to school, we don’t have a parking permit which means we can’t go to the gym until 3:30 and since one of us coaches through all seasons, this limits our available hours for the gym to about 6 pm til 8 pm, exactly when we eat dinner.

Opportunities

  • Our new house (we’re moving in July) has a HUGE basement which means that I can get a treadmill!!! I know no one has ever been excited for a treadmill, but with our schedule, it offers me the opportunity to train regardless of my call schedule. It’s also a half mile jog to the gym, which will hopefully improve my weight lifting weakness from above.
  • A surgically repaired foot
  • A new PT that I’m really jiving with
  • The explosion in interest in Olde Bones and training partners that provides

Threats

  • Medical School
  • Injury
  • Father Time

What is your running SWOT analysis?

 

Week in Review 5.19.14 to 5.25.14 and a VCM Half Report

This was a really solid training week and my first above 60 in a long time.

Monday: 7.7 mile recovery run with a still-broken Garmin.

Tuesday: 9.15 miles with 4 strides at the end. (4 by 60 meters at a pretty-darn-quick pace).

Wednesday: Best workout post-surgery!!! 8 mile structured fartlek on the Causeway. 2 mile warmup, 5 minutes at slower tempo effort, 5 minutes recovery, 4 at faster tempo effort, 4 minutes recovery, 3 at interval pace, 3 minutes recovery, 2 at interval pace, 2 minutes recovery, 1 all out, 1 minute recovery, 30 seconds all out, 30 seconds recovery, 2 mile cooldown. Felt awesome the whole time which was a miracle given that I did this at 1 pm in 75 degrees and sunny. So encouraging to have a good workout. Hipcore after.

Slow Tempo: 6:45

Faster Tempo: 6:35

Interval: 6:10

All Out: 5:40

Thursday: Scheduled Off Day, prorated 7.5

Friday: 8 mile run with Annie, extremely humid out.

Saturday: 4.5 mile run with Will and Annie with 4 strides after.

Sunday: 20 miles. 2 mile warmup, 13.1 at tempo effort in 2-person Vermont City Marathon relay, 5+ miles of jogging around the course afterward.

Total: 64.9 miles

Finally feel like I’m hitting my stride this week. I still need to be better about the extras, in particular lifting, drills and core, but things are starting to feel better and I don’t feel so clunky all the time. I see Dr. Kevin on Wednesday and am hopeful he can help me keep working on improving my form/getting back to pre-surgery form.

VCM Half Marathon Race Report

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

I was really happy to only be running the half this year. It started off as a very humid morning and progressed to just plain hot by the time the second half of the race rolled around. It was reminiscent of 2011 when I led the pace group and people were just dropping like flies. I saw multiple pace leaders drop out yesterday and many experienced runners come in far off goal times. The weather really is getting too darn unpredictable at VCM recently.

I ran a full volume week so this race was intended to be a big workout for me and another opportunity to get back into racing. My only hope was to pop up a VDOT level with my performance and get through it without hurting myself or ruining this coming week of training. I’m glad for that, as I was drenched with sweat by mile 2 when I am not typically a heavy sweater. I didn’t wear a watch but remember a few splits from the course clocks. We went through mile 1 in about 6:45 pace and then Katie took off. I spent the rest of the run working through the pack (people went out SO fast) and just focusing on keeping good form. My pace was between 6:40 and 6:50 for the whole run and the only negative was that I felt like I could never get into a groove. My higher gear felt too fast and the 6:45 pace felt too slow. I was in the process of beating myself up for my second slowest half ever but corrected my attitude as we went through Church Street the second time when I reminded myself to be grateful that I was running a half 5 months after surgery. I finished the half in 1:29:05 (6:47 pace) which pops me up a VDOT level. Mission: successful!  Even after hours in the sun and lots more miles, my legs felt fresh. I’m happy to find that although my quads are a little tired today, everything else feels great and I’m ready for another week of training.

I have 2 weeks until the Causeway 15K and am looking forward to another opportunity to race the 15K on a flatter course with a few more weeks of fitness.

How was your weekend? Anyone race? How do you monitor your progress?

Fall Marathon News

I am overwhelmed and grateful to be able to even write this post. When I met with Dr. Charlson in the fall, he promised that I’d be back for Fall 2014. I didn’t believe him. After all, my first surgery was the perfect example of “what could go wrong, did” and I went into my second in a world of pain. But here we are on May 13th, 3 months after my first post-surgery steps and I’ve picked my fall marathon. The selection process actually wasn’t that easy. I wanted a marathon that gave me a decent shot at good weather (so no September and no southern marathons), that I could travel to easily (med school scheduling sucks) and that had a reasonably fast course and competition. Going in as an elite athlete was a secondary criteria. In the running were Chicago, Monumental, Las Vegas, Rocket City and Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. All had various pros and cons but ultimately I decided on Mohawk Hudson and am thrilled to be headed there October 12th as an Elite Athlete. Huge thanks to MHRM for inviting me; I’m looking forward to helping make for a fast day!

Mohawk Hudson was actually my first half marathon, way back in 2009. I was 2nd in my age group in 1:33. How things have changed. I went to undergrad in Albany and knew the half course well. Although I’ll go down once before this fall to run the first half of the course, there is something wonderful about racing somewhere familiar. I’m especially looking forward to a Bomber’s Burrito after the race! I’m also looking forward to a wickedly fast course, easy travel (I can sleep in my own bed on Friday!) and great competition on the men’s and women’s side.

A Goal: Break the Course Record of 2:47:22

B Goal: Break 2:50

C Goal: PR

Will did some math and if I’m in VCM 2013 shape and get decent weather, the course record should be well within reach. 5 months to go! Let the work begin.

What’s your fall marathon? What races have you run multiple times?