Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Race Recap? The Glass City Marathon

I was given free entry into the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon through my partnership with BibRave. BibRave is a fantastic site for reading and writing race reviews, so please check it out! All opinions are my own.

The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon was this weekend. This was the first race that I had been planning to run as a BibRave Pro. Yes, I had worn my singlet a few times for training runs, etc, but this was the first one that I was racing as a representative of them.
I had no time goals going into the race, I couldn't, since I had just run the Boston Marathon 6 days prior. Although at some point during the week I had become convinced that I could run the GCM faster than I ran Boston (what was I thinking?) but I was going to wear the brand new rabbit shorts that I bought, arm warmers (as it was going to be much cooler than in Boston) and tall socks.

On Saturday, we attended the kids races. Addie was running.
She is obviously too cool for school.
We picked up our bibs for both races, and headed out to the track for Addie's race. My friend (and fellow Oiselle teammate) Jes was with us and luckily she snagged some running pics of Addie since I was on the track. Grandma Rose (my mom) got some as well.
Addie got to meet a super hero. SpiderMan. She also met Captain America, but for some reason, she was not as excited about Captain America. She was quite excited about meeting him.

Addie did stretches with the Toledo Rockets football team to warm up for her race, and shortly after that, we were on our way around the track. The race for the 2-3 year olds is a quarter mile (they also have a half mile and a mile for kids) and they just do one loop around the track.

Addie crushed it. She stayed way more focused this year than last year, and was definitely happy to be out there and be running! Everything was extremely well organized and the kids enjoyed a fly over from the Mercy Health life flight helicopter.
My little three year old with her race bib, medal, and sucker that momma grabbed for her as a surprise for when the race was done. Doesn't she look adorable?

The part that I have failed to disclose thus far is the fact that on Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat. That has seemed to be the start of rough colds for me over the last several times I have gotten a cold. I did 4 miles on Friday before we headed up here, and had to pause a few times to hack up a lung (or at least that is what it felt like). By the time we got to Toledo, I could hardly talk. I went to Pure Barre, and when I was upside down stretching, it felt terrible.

As a way of trying to thwart what I was coming down with, I brought on a few reinforcements.
I was taking both of these every three hours all day on Saturday, but after Addie's race, I was spent.
Yeah...  The fever came on, The lungs were full of goop, and I was feeling terrible. Sometimes, they say your body just get sick to force you to take it easy, and that is what happened to be this weekend. My body decided that it was not recovered from Boston, gave me a chest cold and a fever, and forced me to stay in bed instead of running a marathon 6 days after running my last one.

And so, I stayed in bed on race day.
There I am with my bib in my pajamas, because I am not running a marathon today.

The Glass City marathon puts on a great event, and one of these years I WILL be back to run the full. Just not 6 days after running another one.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Training Update: Week of April 17

Well, this week was THE week. The week of the Boston Marathon!
So let's look at how the week went.

Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Pure Barre
Thursday: Pure Barre
Friday: 4 miles. Pure Barre.
Saturday: 2 miles.
Sunday: Off

So, a nice light recovery week after the marathon on Monday. This week, I might ease it back in even further.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Boston Marathon

Ok, I have no idea if I should talk about the race or the other Boston stuff right now. It is top of mind, and likely will be for a long time. At least until something else comes along to distract me.

So I guess that means it is time to write about the race. I probably need to get all of the feelings out here so I can better process it myself. Hold on though, I have a feeling you are in for a long one. Hell, I am in for a long one...

I set my goals out last week. I was confident in them. I knew that the A goal of the day was attainable. I knew I worked hard and trained harder, and the weather was looking good. Until it wasn't. And I was nervous as hell. I left our hotel room around 20 minutes before 7 after eating breakfast, drinking two cups of coffee, and using the restroom around 27 times. A block from the hotel I stopped at Panera to buy a large coffee and use their bathroom.

After arriving at Boston Common, I got in line for the port-o-potty again, because that is what you do when you are racing. Ha. After getting in line for the bus, I happened to be in front of another girl on the Oiselle team. We spent the entire bus ride and the entire time in the athlete's village together, chatting, etc. And we never exchanged names (luckily, I did some super sleuthing and have tracked her down since then and we connected on facebook and instagram).

It was hot. Already. I had put on sunscreen that morning, but I was sweating and we were just walking the nearly one mile hike from the school where we were housed to the starting line. (I walked with a different bird - her name, I got!) but I did not change my goal. I was going to run this race, and I was going to achieve what I was working for.

We were off shortly after getting to the start line (there was another pee break in there. I was taking all of this peeing as a sign that I was well hydrated - spoiler alert - I was not) and when I dropped my water when we were walking, I decided, "oh well, guess I am done with that" and let the bottle keep rolling. By mile 6 I had a pounding headache. I kept rolling my neck around hoping that if I got it to crack the headache would ease itself. My miles gradually got slower. I walked for the first time around 12 miles.

At 15 miles, I got to the bottom of the hills as well as the O Cowbell corner.
Apparently I was glad to see them. And so I flew.

There were lots more walk breaks after that. And they got longer. But I kept going. I never once even considered walking off that course. I tried to keep moving even when I was walking. And slowly (much more slowly than I had planned) the miles ticked by.
J got that one of me. He was around mile 23 of the course.

I feel like with about 4-5 miles to go (after the hills) I refound my stride and I got running again. I got past the iconic Citgo sign, which likely to some people means "Fenway" but to anyone who has run this marathon, it means "mile 25". And I was still moving. My pace was not goal pace, but it was more like my "go-to" running pace, and feeling pretty good. We got some cloud cover once we got to Boston for the first time, and thank goodness. That helped me to finish strong.

After going under a small overpass and up the other side, we were almost home. When I made the first of the iconic final two turns (right on Hereford), the street narrowed and there were SO MANY people. I teared up, immediately, thinking about how this wasn't the race I wanted, but I kept going and I was going to finish this race, my dream. I could hardly see from the tears. And then I made a left on Bolyston.

Yeah. I got there. I crossed the line. I earned that Unicorn medal. I am disappointed. I cannot lie about that. I know that I ran what I could with a mind splitting headache (took three advil later, and I usually avoid them like the plague, that is how bad it was) in the heat and everything. I didn't pee for 4 hours after the race, depsite three bottles of water, and when I did it was practically orange. So there's that...

I ran the race in 3:54. And I am disappointed. But at the same time, thinking about it, looking at the medal, watching the NBC Sports Coverage later, as I couldn't watch it during the race like I usually would, I feel emotional. I feel excited about the fact that I was there.

There will be more marathons, and I KNOW that there will be more opportunities at Boston. Because I want to go back.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Boston: the brief version

I am home from Boston. There will be full recaps of the weekend and times to come. If you follow me on any social, you will know that the race did not go as I planned. I do not know that it went the way MANY people had planned.

I met up with some friends.
We ran a little bit.

I went and saw a baseball game.

We sat on the Green Monster, so that was pretty awesome.

And oh yeah... I ran a marathon. Forgot. *winks*

Monday, April 17, 2017

Training Update: Week of April 10

This past week was the last week before Boston. In fact, when this post goes live (I scheduled it for 8 am), I will likely be on a bus headed up to Hopkinton. That will obviously all have to come in time, and at some point, I will have to get together a blog post after the race. But for now, let's see what I did in this final week before Boston.

And also, right now I am about 6 days out from my second marathon this Spring, Glass City Marathon, that I will be running as a Bib Rave Pro!
Monday: 6 miles with 4x30s strides. 6.52 total miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy pace. Pure Barre.
Thursday: 5 miles with 2 uptempo (MGP-ish) and 3x30s strides. 5.43 miles.
Friday: 4 miles, easy pace.
Saturday: OFF (travel)
Sunday: 3 miles with 3x30s strides. 3.42 miles.

Obviously a light week, since I am running the BOSTON MARATHON TODAY!
24.37 miles
Pure Barre 3x
Core 2x

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Five!

1. I am headed out to Boston TOMORROW. I am off work today doing all of my final prep things, including my final Ohio run (4 miles, easy pace).

2. I packed two outfits for race day. I can't decide if I want singlet/capris, or short-shorts/crop. Or - should I mix it up (capris and crop?). I hope to figure that out before I leave, but I packed both in case.

3. Yesterday was a relatively easy day at the office. In some ways, I am glad for that, and in other ways, I wish that work was much busier to take my mind off of what I am doing on Monday. I cannot wait, but I am SUPER nervous.

4. We are going to see a Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon when we are in Boston. I am super excited to check off a ballpark on my invisible ballpark checklist. And I am looking forward to doing SOMETHING that J wants to do on this trip since we are doing a lot of Emily-centric things obviously because of the race. I spend the extra money on Green Monster tickets. #worthit

5. I cannot hold it together right now. I keep reading these articles about the race and things and I am super emotional about the whole thing. I truly truly cannot WAIT for this race.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Boston Marathon: Goals

Well, I am only a few days out from this race, so let's talk goals. After reading a blog post by Tina Muir, I have decided to slightly change my approach to goals and throw one more thing in the mix.

As a result, I am going to do an A, B, and C goal, along with a mic drop/stars align goal, just like Tina talks about in that post. So, let's dive in and start at the bottom:

C: Requalify for Boston.
Now, by this I mean qualify, not necessarily get it. So sub 3:35. This is a goal that will be difficult, but achievable as long as my heart is in it.

B: PR.
My current PR is 3:27:46. I think I am in SOLID shape to run at least this well. I have had great runs this cycle, and I definitely feel like I can run faster than that.

A: 3:25
I feel like I am capable of taking off 3ish seconds per mile from that super humid day in September. I have trained in rough conditions. And I am ready for this.

Mic drop/stars align: 3:22
So 3:22 is not as specific as I want it to be. My true goal is sub 3:22:58. That was the pace that the Rushcard racing team ran the Flying Pig in 2015. I ran the first leg of that.
(That has been hanging up in my cube since we ran it)
I don't think that this goal is a total moon shot, I think I could do it. I think my legs are capable of that. But it will take work, and a lot of hard stuff to get there. So I am putting that out there, and we will see what that means.  That is 7:42-7:43 pace. About 10s faster per mile than I ran in September. Tough and definitely I would need the stars to align on a difficult course like that, but doable.

So... oonly a few days left. Let's go.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Road ID Elite: A review

Disclaimer: I received a Road ID to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Recently I was given the opportunity to review a brand new Road ID through my partnership with BibRave. I selected a Road ID elite (black edition), and had it sent to my house. I have worn a road ID for several years, but have always gone with the shoe tag, and was looking forward to the wrist option that I had selected this time.

It arrived very quickly after I ordered it, and there was a nice email that I received saying that the ID had shipped, mentioning that by living in Cincinnati, I was their neighbor (they are located in Hebron KY, which is basically the location of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, so they are correct, we practically ARE neighbors. It also mentioned I should come and visit and bring cookies. I am actually planning on doing that this week because it seems fun!

The packaging inside the padded envelope sucked me in immediately.
(Sorry for my reflection) But this little tin case has been awesome, even after I got my Road ID out of it. Right now, it is a tent for Mulan and Pocahontas (Addie claimed it for herself), if you are looking for anything else to do with yours! And when I took it out of the box I was blown away by the quality of it. The band is super nice, and the clasp has a watch like quality, and I just love it.

Admittedly, I have very small wrists, so I did have to cut off a lot of the excess band, but now it fits me perfectly. I selected the band with the purple on the inside of it, and two badges (one for each side of the ID. You can see them pretty well in the below picture.
One says "26.2" and the other says "believe" which has long been a go to in my mind to keep moving forward. You can also see the mantra that I decided to add to the bottom of this. It is something that I am trying to remind myself of constantly as I go into these races over the next few weeks. "Run the Mile you are in." And I think that is super important.

I wear this all the time. Obviously when I am running, that is a no brainer, especially when I am running outdoors (but also on the treadmill). And I just wear it all the time as a bracelet, pretty much. I like it, it fits well, it is comfortable, why would I take it off? (Ok, I take it off to shower).

Now, I hope I never need it for anything, but  I would much rather have it and be safe than not have it. I definitely know it is something that has helped people and saved lives, including a friend who hit a pole and knocked herself out about two years ago when she was on a run, so it definitely cannot hurt. I love the product, and I love all of the personalization that I did to mine.

Are you interested in getting a road ID of our own? Use this link for $5 off your own! If you do, tweet at me (@redemily1) and show me what you decided to get!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The last long run

This past Saturday, I knocked out 12 miles. There were no issues, I just ran. I hit the paces, I listened to a podcast, I just ran. I mean, I know that I have said that now several times, but I think that it is an important point to emphasize because so many times I have gone out for a run and been unable to focus on just running and enjoying the time that I am out there.

I had the 12 miles, with 3x1 mile at 10K pace. The suggested 10K pace on my schedule was 7:05/mile.

I left my house a little bit after 10 am. I figured a later start time would be more in line with Boston, not to mention allow me to eat breakfast and digest that. And likely that is going to be something that I need to do on race day. So I was pleased when J offered an alternate option for Saturday morning that allowed me to get up more casually in the morning and eat, drink my coffee, etc. It was a good practice, and I enjoyed breakfast with my family before I went out.

I ran hard in my neighborhood. I just felt good, and I was glad to feel good. It was warmish that day, so I did not need gloves or a stocking cap. I still wore tights and a long sleeved shirt though. I ran 2 miles as a warm up (8:26, 8:13) before I locked into my mile repeats. The schedule just said 3x1 mile, not in the first and not in the last, with at least one mile in between.

First repeat: 7:01. then a mile at 8:04. Second repeat: 6:56 and a mile at 8:07. Third repeat: 7:03 then a mile at 8:15. At that point I was through 8 miles, and only had 4 left to go. I kept the pace up for the last four and finished the 12 miles at a 7:56 average pace. So that felt DAMN good. I am trying to remember that I ran a half marathon at an 8:15 pace. So if that indicated my marathon a week after that, then I can always HOPE this will dictate my marathon this time, right?

So instead, of thinking about and focusing on that, here is a cute picture that I took of Addie last night.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Training Update: Week of April 3

Ahh yes, the first week of taper going into the Boston Marathon and Glass City Marathon back-to-back couple of weeks. I am feeling pretty nervous right now, but definitely excited and looking forward to seeing what I can do!
So let's take a look at what this slightly easier week entailed.

Monday: 8 miles with 4x30s strides. 8.52 total miles. Core. Pure Barre.
Tuesday: 50 minute walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 6.08 miles, easy (9:06 avg pace). Core.
Thursday: Fartlek ladder workout. 7.75 miles in 57:30. Core.
Friday: 5 miles, easy pace (9:06 average). Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 12 miles with 3x1mile at 10K pace.
Sunday: OFF

39.35 miles
3x Pure barre
5x core

And we are one week away from the marathon.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Five

1. This was an interesting week at the office. We got some more clarity around changes that are coming with integration into Green Dot, which was very needed around here. I appreciate that information.

2. I ran a fartlek workout yesterday at 5K effort. It was a damn good run, and I felt AWESOME when it was done. I am ready to go to Boston and CRUSH THIS SHIT.

3. I had kind of a tough day yesterday despite getting additional information from GD this week. There are some changes that I knew were coming, but i am not necessarily happy about them or looking forward to them, and for that reason, I might have (ok, I definitely did) cry a bit at my desk.

4.  I am nearly finished with week one of my taper for Boston. Woo hoo! Today I ran 5 miles at a nice and easy pace. It felt good. I am really getting good at just getting out there and getting my legs moving, allowing them the time to warm themselves up, etc.

5. I have spent sometime this weekend thinking about the longevity of my career. More to come as I vet this more...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

And now, we taper

This past Saturday, I ran my last true long run of this training cycle. Admittedly, I am running 14 miles this coming weekend, but in reality, 22 miles is the last long run. That 14 miler is part of taper for sure.

So Saturday, I went to meet my friend Rebekah and her training group. They were running 20 miles, and I needed to get 22. With company, getting that many miles was definitely going to be so much easier. So when Rebekah text me about meeting up with her group, I was REAL in. And thrilled to have someone to share 20 miles with. Getting 2 more without other people was do-able for sure.

Here is the route we ended up taking.
The starting and ending point are at Bob Roncker's running spot, the big running store (owned by JackRabbit Sports) in Cincinnati. The section over on the more Western part of the course (Burnet Woods part of the course) is over in Clifton, where UC is located, and it is hilly has heck. I mean, let's be honest, this entire course was hilly.

Here is the look at the elevation profile for this run.
As you can see, I negative split the HECK out of this run. And those hills in there are no joke. It was a TOUGH run. Definitely felt like a more difficult course than the Flying Pig itself.

I averaged 8:36 for the 22 miles that I ran, and the effort was definitely up where it needed to be in order to best optimize Boston in a few weeks. I ran hard but controlled for 22 miles. The pace does not totally reflect that, but with the way that elevation went for this run, I am super happy with it.

And I am now in the first week of my taper. I am READY for Boston.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

March Goal Progress

March was a solid month of progress where I stayed on track with all of my goals for the month. So here, I will recap what I had been doing as far as trackable goals in the month of March.

1. Run 2200 miles in 2017.
In March I ran 227.85 miles. My highest mileage month so far this year, and closing in on my highest mileage month ever. (That was 239 miles in August of 2016) That puts me at 588.80 miles for the year. That also puts me 38 miles ahead of my goal for the year, if I look at goals monthly. it also puts me even more than that ahead if I assume I need to run an average of just over 6 miles per day. Either way, NAILING IT.

2. Read 24 Books.
I read two more books in March, putting me at 6 for the year. This months selections were:
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (love her!)
How to be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

3. Take 150 pure barre classes
This month I did some work to make up for a crappy February. I took 20 classes in March.
That puts me at 44 classes for the year, so I am back ahead of the goal. Woo hoo! I am not totally sure what this will go to in April, because with the marathons and everything, I am definitely going to be easing back a bit, so we will see. I would still like to take 10.

4. Write 150 blog posts
I wrote 20 more posts in March. So far so good with this goal, as I am at 50 posts for the year. I would love to keep it up!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Training Update: Week of March 27

Well, peak week for the Boston marathon (and also Glass City) has come and gone. And I have nailed it.
That is really all I can ask for at this point in time. Let's take a look at the week of training and see where things landed.

Monday: 11 miles and 4x30s strides. 11.55 Total. Core.
Tuesday: 60 minute easy walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 8.08 mile run, easy pace. Pure Barre. Core.
Thursday: Yassos. 10.82 miles. Pure Barre.
Friday: 8 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 22 miles. Massage (does that count?)
Sunday: OFF

4x Pure barre (got me to 20 in 31 challenge)
4x core.
60.45 miles

And now, TAPER TIME.