Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Summary

I've had a fun year taking my running to the next level. Here are my year-end stats:

Total miles run  in 2010: 783

Races run: 10 (PRs set)

5k- 1 (PR)
4mile- 1 (PR)
5mile- 1
6mile- 1 (PR)
10k- 2 (PR)
Half Marathon- 3 (PR)
Marathon- 1 (PR)

Final Run of 2010

I gave myself an end of the year present today- I went running on the American River Parkway. I started out at Howe near where my training group usually started, and had a nice sunny but cold five mile run.

It was nice to go out for a fun outdoor run (not in our neighborhood), especially after being sick all week and not being able to run. I did get a four mile run in on the treadmill yesterday, just to be sure that I could manage to run without getting sick.

All in all, I had a great year running, and completed almost 800 miles. Despite the poor showing in the marathon, I think I accomplished a lot and improved a great deal in 2010. I'm looking forward to an even better 2011

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I've been sick all week, which is very frustrating. I am off work this week, and was really excited to have the time to run along the Parkway or McKinley. But there has been no running this week. I may go out today, but we will see how I feel.

Training Summary: Week Two

I have not been as good at updating the blog this time around, but I will try to get back in the habit. Here is my summary for week two of Napa marathon training:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 5 miles, easy
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Spin
Friday: 5 miles, 3x800 with 800 jogs
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 12 miles, around 9/mile for the first half, and 8:30/mile for the second half

Miles this week: 22
Training miles: 41
Miles in 2010: 774

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Training Summary: Week One

While out for my morning 5 miler, I realized that I needed to start a training summary for the Napa Marathon. I'll use more detail this time, since I don't have a training plan printed from the group this time to refer back to. Here goes, with a belated summary of week one:

Monday: core, lunges
Tuesday: 4 miles, easy
Wednesday: off
Thursday: spin
Friday: off
Saturday: 5 miles, with .25 mile speed mixed in, on the treadmill (ewww)
Sunday: 10 miles, in the rain

Training miles: 19
Miles in 2010: 752

Monday, December 20, 2010

Running in the Rain

John and I started going to the Fleet Feet Sunday run two weeks ago, and we are really enjoying it. It is very helpful to have a set time, and a group to run with, for long runs. Two Sundays ago, we did an easy 7 miles, slowly because I was in recovery mode. Yesterday was the first long run of my new marathon training program, and I did ten miles... pouring rain...

About six or seven people showed up to the run, and it was nasty out. It wasn't too cold- maybe in the 50s, but it was pouring rain, and moderately windy. I wasn't too excited to be going out in the rain, but I was happy I was doing it once we started.

I ran with John for the first three miles, then he turned around (his 10k training program had him doing six total). Once I turned around at five miles (Guy West Bridge), I ran with two other people from the group. Once does ultras, and said he'd be starting very long runs soon if I wanted to join. It is nice to know some people do more than the 13 miles Fleet Feet advertises as the distance of the Sunday run.

I am happy to be training again, but feeling some pain in my knees and hips. I'm hoping it doesn't last.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Race photos

Here are a few photos/videos from the race:

Finish line when John arrived

Waiting for the lead runner

Lead man finishing

Lead man finishing

Finally finished!

Training Summary

After eighteen weeks of training, and one marathon:

I ran 414 miles (training plus race)
I ran 726 miles (in 2010 by Dec. 5)

I ran outside for every training run!
I met a lot of great people.
I am much more confident in my speed ability.
I am ready to try again at the marathon.

So, I signed up for the Napa Marathon, which will be March 6, 2011.

Race Summary Data

After a week, I finally uploaded my Garmin data for the race. Keep in mind, the damn thing stopped working at mile 23. The data shows that I was fine until 12, slowing until 15, really slowing to 17, then walking. That is pretty much how I remember it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And then, it was done

I finished my first marathon yesterday.

Before I start my detailed race recap, let me say that I am happy that I finished, but also disappointed with how the race went. I'm motivated to train for another marathon, if only to redeem myself and perform as well as I know that I can.

The day started out fine. I got up at 3AM (yes, 3AM), ate my usual pre-run breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, and drank a glass of water. I was dressed and out the door by 4:30, and at the Sheraton boarding the bus around 5:30. I rode the bus with Steve from my group, and we talked through a lot of pre-race jitters, our race plans, etc. It was a bit too warm on the bus, so instead of waiting on the bus until close to the start, we got off the bus once it arrived and walked around. I ate my Gu Chews soon after. There were plenty of porta-potties, and we ended up finding the two other guys from the usual group (Chris and Nick) in line about 20 minutes before the start. We never found Brittani before the start, which was too bad. We went through gear check, and went to the start line.

I lined up a bit in from of the 3:40 pace group, and got really anxious. My heart was racing! I couldn't believe the race was actually here. The race started, and it actually wasn't too packed starting out. I had no trouble getting to the pace I wanted (well, a bit faster since it was downhill- I couldn't help it). The first few miles were uneventful. I got water at the first aid station, had a Gu at about 4 miles in, and water at the next aid station. I alternated between water and sports drink for the aid stations, and I hit all of them since I didn't carry water.

At maybe five miles in, I started to feel fatigued. Nothing hurt, but I had this weird feeling that I hadn't slept in a long time. By them, it was 8AM, and I hadn't had coffee since 3:30. I hadn't had real food since then for that matter either. This fatigue worried me, but I didn't have a solution to it. I hit the 5.9 mile mark at 48:11.

I started looking out for John once we turned onto Fair Oaks Boulevard. I knew the cross-street he would be around (Madison), but not the exact mileage, so I kept looking. Around 7 miles, my joints started hurting, which was unusual for me that early in a run. I don't know if the two week old, slightly different shoes were to blame or not. It wasn't too bad, though, so I just added it to the list of weird things going on early in the race.

I saw John right before Madison and Fair Oaks, and I felt great. I was maybe a minute ahead of my goal overall, and I felt good. It was so nice to see him out on the course.

Around mile 9 or 10, the fatigue got worse. Through Fair Oaks Village and beyond, I kept my pace, but it became progressively harder. This was way too early for the proverbial Wall. I got increasingly more anxious about the prospects for the rest of the race, but kept going.

By mile 12, I wanted to quit. I was fatigued, and starting to feel sick. I think around this time I had my second Gu, and it was hard to eat. I was worried that it was going to make me feel worse, so I think at that point I decided without really thinking to wait until I felt a little better to have any more Gu. I started thinking about my goals, and whether I should change to my secondary goal of finishing at 4:00 at that point. I hit the half marathon mark at 1:50:42, still ahead of my goal pace.

I held on for a while longer, then at some point the pain in one of my joints got worse, and I walked for a few steps. This way maybe around mile 15.5 or so, if I am remembering correctly. When I started to run again, I felt nauseous, so I kept walking. I would give myself a few minutes, then start again. I was still on target to finish in 3:40.

The 3:40 pace group passed me. That was fine, because I still had a 20 minute buffer (quite a few seconds per mile I could add to my pace). Everytime a pace group passed me after that, I would try to keep up with the group and get back on track. But I never held on for long.

After that, it all went downhill. I slowed down, and started walking more. I felt sick everytime I started running. I just couldn't bring myself to run. Ten miles seemed like too long to run and feel like throwing up with every step. I kept trying to run, but wouldn't make it more than about a quarter mile at a time.

Let me tell you, I was so disappointed. I cried, four times. I kept seeing people from my group passing me, who I would always finish before in training runs. People who weren't in shape. It was so frustrating.

I hit the 20 mile mark at 3 hours and 26 minutes, about 14 minutes ahead of the when I thought I would finish. Once again at that point, I seriously considered quitting and riding the sag wagon back to the start. I knew that would be more disappointing, though. I wouldn't get the medal, and that was too much. I decided to keep going, and walk the last 10k. Even if it would take me forever.

One of the girls from my program caught up to me after the H Street bridge, and asked how I was doing. I managed to run with her for maybe a half mile, from Sac State down to the hospital almost, then walked again. I saw Sandra and her boyfriend and roommate short after, which was nice.

I finished in 5 hours and ten minutes. A full hour and a half later than my first goal, and an hour and ten minutes after my second goal. I was very disappointed, but glad to be done. Trough my long walk, (an hour and forth five minutes from 20 mile to finish, I think), I decided that it was important to finish, and it was okay not to do as well as I wanted. I guess I was reconciling the fact that I wasn't going to meet my goal. By the end, I was happy I finished. And I wanted to go home.

I saw John as I neared the finish line. He was smiling and cheering. It was so nice. He found me at the finish, and gave me a hug. I think I cried again. I decided I didn't care about a picture at the finish. I just wanted to get my gear bag and go home. I didn't even have any post-race food, that is how bad I still felt.

All in all, I am disappointed, but glad I finished. I have a few thoughts about what went wrong:
  • I didn't eat enough before the race. I carbloaded for the full week, but had a normal pasta dinner the night before the race. I had my normal oatmeal the morning of, but two hours earlier than usual. My stomach was probably empty by the time I finished four miles (when I first got tired). Gu on an empty stomach made me nauseous, which made it impossible to continue with my fueling plan.
  •  I should have had more Gu instead of less once I felt sick. I felt sick probably because I was hungry. It would have been difficult, but probably better than doing nothing.
  • I should have had more water along the way. I was very thirsty by the half marathon. I probably wasn't taking in enough at the aid stations. I really don't like belts or handhelds, but I might have to revisit this for the next race.
  • New shoes may have contributed to my early onset of joint pain. The shoes were different than the last pair, so it might have been better to stick with the shoes I was wearing for most of the training.
If you haven't guessed, I do plan to run another marathon. During the race, I thought I would never do it again. But then I also thought that I would want to redeem myself, and get a time that verified my abilities, and all my training. Stay tuned for when the next race will be.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

T minus 12 hours...

The race is less than twelve hours away, and I'm super excited, but a little anxious too. I have my gear laid out, my snacks packed, and I'm getting ready to make the final preparations (coffee, etc.).

I can't believe the race is already here. It doesn't seem like it has been 18 weeks, and it sure doesn't seem that I've done all that much to prepare. But I know I have, and I know that I have a lot to be proud about. I've dedicated a lot of time over the past four months to running, I've eaten better, and I've improved a lot. I can't wait to put it all to the test tomorrow morning!

Week Eighteen- Pre Race Summary

Here are my stats for marathon training:

Miles run this week: 6
Total marathon training miles: 388
Total Miles in 2010: 700

The CIM is tomorrow!

Packet Pickup/Race Expo

Packet pickup started at 3 yesterday, and the genius I am, I went at 3. There was a huge line to get in, then a huge line to pick up the bib and chip, then a huge line for goody bags, then a not as huge line for shirts. Once I went through all of that, I walked around the expo looking for anything else I needed. I got a pace tattoo for my goal pace (3:40), and picked up a few flyers for upcoming races. There were a bunch of areas with deals on gear and clothes, but I didn't do any shopping.

The whole zoo of packet pickup was a bit overwhelming, and made me realize more how soon this thing is happening. I got a good night sleep last night (thanks to my new, well-behaved dog for not whining), so I am all set for now.
Entry to the Expo

Friday, December 3, 2010

Expected pace information

I posted this on Facebook this morning in case anyone I know will be spectating. Please also refer to this post for more spectating information.

I will be running my first marathon this Sunday, and I'm super excited. I know many people in Sacramento go out to watch the race (some from bars), and I wanted to share when I expect to be at locations along the course in case anyone I know is out there. Look for me if you are- I'm sure I'll need the support. I will be in pretty much the same outfit as my profile picture (bright yellow shirt), so I should be hard to miss.

I did a rough estimate based on my expected pace, so these times are the earliest I expect to be at each mile marker. I should be within a few minutes if I fall behind.

Mile 1: 7:08
Mile 2: 7:16
Mile 3: 7:25
Mile 4: 7:33
Mile 5: 7:41
Mile 6: 7:50
Mile 7: 7:58
Mile 8: 8:07
Mile 9: 8:15
Mile 10: 8:23 (Old Fair Oaks)
Mile 11: 8:32
Mile 12: 8:40
Mile 13: 8:49 (approx. Fair Oaks & Manzanita)
Mile 14: 8:57
Mile 15: 9:05
Mile 16: 9:14 (right before Fair Oaks & Arden)
Mile 17: 9:22
Mile 18: 9:31
Mile 19: 9:39 (right before Fair Oaks & Watt)
Mile 20: 9:47 (Loehmann's Plaza)
Mile 21: 9:56
Mile 22: 10:04 (H Street Bridge)
Mile 23: 10:12 (along J Street, turn to L at Alhambra)
Mile 24: 10:21 (along L Street)
Mile 25: 10:29 (along L Street)

Maps and road closure information are available at I hope to see you there, and let me know if I should look out for you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


...Setting myself up for success, or creating a week-long sugar high?

The dutiful direction-follower that I am, I started a week-long carb and protein load on Sunday, one week before my marathon. I need to build up my glycogen stores, and make sure my muscles have the protein they need in the days leading up to the most challenging physical feat thus far in my life. While I do love eating, let me tell you, I do sometimes worry about the efficacy of this eating regimen.

Why, you might ask? This is common wisdom that we should fuel our bodies before such an effort. Well, first there is the fact that eating- especially eating carbs (even good, whole ones) makes me want to eat more. it makes me thirstier. Second, there is the fact that some carbs turn to something similar to sugar, leaving me with a sort of sugar high all week long. I'm jittery. I want more food. And...

I can't sleep.

This is a widely reported precursor to the marathon. Many of the folks in my training group have talked about waking up in the middle of the night over the past week. We are on edge. We have extra energy from the taper. And- we're all carbolaoding.

Whether it is nerves, or carbs, I'll be glad when I can sleep again. Until then, let the gorging continue.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010