Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wisconsin Marathon: 13.1 miles, 6 gel packets, 2 toenails

This is billed as "the Cheesiest Marathon." It's actually a really beautiful run course along Kenosha's lakeshore, very flat and good for a first timer.

Here's the thing: despite my last two disastrous training runs, I felt fabulous the entire course, and mostly because I stayed on top of my hydration and nutrition and didn't wear those cursed CW-X pants. I finished a little slower than I would have liked, but I'm good with that since my longest training run was only ten miles or so.

I finished ahead of 25 people, and was third from last in my age group.

I found it spectacularly ironic that the only cheese sponsor was from Vermont.

I crossed the finish with my sweet husband.

I think I may have lost two toenails in the process, but meh. They're only evolutionary vestigials anyhow.

What more is there to say? It was a good day for a run.

Next up: the South Shore Duathlon, 2 mile run/10 mile bike/2 mile run, in June.

Next goal: a sub-40 minute 5k.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Not To Train For A Half Marathon

Okay, so my half marathon is in (gulp) five days. My training walk/runs were going exceptionally well until mile 10.5/11. At which point they promptly fell apart.

But not because I'm "not built for it." No. And not because "I'm not fit." No. Double no. My long training walk/runs fell apart because . . . I violated the cardinal rule of training. Which is, DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING YOU'RE DOING IF IT'S WORKING.

Let me repeat that.


Lemme 'splain. For my long training runs, I would prepare thusly:

1) the night before, hydrate well and not drink alcohol in any form.
2) Wake up, eat well, dress in a singlet and compression tights or capris and my shoes and toe socks, fill my hydration pack and add Nuun or Hammer Endurolytes, fill my gel flask with Clif double espresso and chocolate cherry gel, and warm up walk 5 minutes, run 2/walk 2 for 4 reps, then walk 10 minutes, and rinse/repeat until I reached my destination on paved, well groomed roads.

Well. Apparently if I change ANY ONE of those factors, I promptly fall apart at about mile 10.

First try, I tried to cut out 5 minutes of the walk time between intervals, and I wore my brand spanky new CW-X compression capris that were supposed to be miraculous. Major big fail. IT band tightened at mile 10. Stopped at mile 10.5.

Second try, I tried a different gel brand, didn't eat very well, drank a beer the night before, and wore the CW-X pants again on a not very well groomed trail with nary a water stop. Also, lost one of my two gel flasks along the route. Major, MAJOR big fail. IT band and knee tightened at mile 7. Fell apart at mile 10. Had to stop and be rescued by my husband at mile 10.8.

All this as a public service announcement. Test yer gear and nutrition on short runs first.

Hello, It's Me

I've thought about it for a long, long time . . . (name that tune and artist).

April was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In April I:

1) decided to homeschool one of my kids for the rest of the school year
2) argued a case in front of the state Supreme Court
3) tried and failed twice to run 12 miles
4) got the same kid into a Montessori school for the fall, and
5) watched my husband go through an enormously difficult personal matter.

All in the span of a month. By the end of it I was thoroughly exhausted, more mentally than physically. I learned a lot about endurance, and preparation, and how despite the best of intentions, plans go terribly awry sometimes. And how endurance and preparation, given the right other conditions, can sometimes lead to a positive outcome.

I'll be back to posting more in the next month, simply because I need to. Thanks for being patient.