Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Reset

Housekeeping: I couldn't get BitchState to work today, so, for now, this is a 26point2ers exclusive.
There are officially no races on the calendar. Well, that's not entirely true...I am planning on running a 5K and a 5 miler in the upcoming weeks, just because I enjoy those particular races. But, no LONG races. No marathons or half marathons. And honestly, it feels liberating. I was always scared that by not having a race on the calendar for the future, that maybe I'd just quit running. 

But, I think the opposite is true. I'm actually no longer feeling dread about running. Lately (as in the past year or so) every long run I've attempted has been met with absolute dread. Why? Because I'm just constantly not in shape and constantly trying to force myself in shape and these days, that's like forcing a square peg in a round hole. IT'S NOT WORKING.

So, I'm feeling liberated a bit and looking forward to running. So much so, that I've got a new challenge for myself...
I am so sick of struggling through a 14 mile run at an overall pace of 11:30 just to try and attempt to get myself in shape for a half marathon or a marathon. It's kind of ridiculous. So, I'm taking time and focusing on my fitness level, instead of my endurance. 

My current status of running is going to consist of running 3-5 days a week with my long run topping out at a whopping 6 miles. And I am not allowed to add on to that long run, until I can run all 6 miles at 8:45 pace. Once I can run 6 miles at an overall pace of 8:45, I will add a mile or two to the distance come up with a new time goal before moving on.
I did my first long run under this new plan last weekend. I ran 6 miles:
10:02, 9:46, 9:46, 9:35, 9:22, 9:28
And I have to be honest, this was one of the hardest runs I've done in a long time. So, I've got some work to do, but I'm looking forward to it. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year, New Blog

Heyyyyyyy guys! Happy 2017.

I started this blog along with my friend, April, back on July 30, 2007. We had both just ran our first marathons and we were ready to start training for another one. In the 9 1/2 years since then, April and I have drifted apart, and I've ran many marathons, some good, some bad, and most of the time I still found myself eager to post to this blog.

Until I wasn't. I don't know if it's just that this blog can be boring to write when you feel like A. you've already covered that topic (like 4 times) and B. you're just running to get back into shape and does ANYONE really want to read about that? And then, I felt like if I blogged about something else entirely a whole lot, that, I was straying from the essence of this blog.

Essentially, this blog BORED me. I LOVE running and I LOVE blogging, but trying to just blog about running was frustrating and uninteresting to me.

Kinda

Sooooo.... it was time for a change! Introducing:

bitchSTATE

My new blog! I have a couple of little posts already started over there, so, feel free to take a look. It's a work in progress actually and I really don't have an EXACT idea of what the theme is, but, I'm sure I'll get there eventually. (And if anyone understands wordpress and how the hell you get the blog to be on the main page and not /blog CALL ME).

I am keeping this blog, because good lord, it's 9.5 years of my life basically documented and how cool is that? BUT, I most likely won't be posting over here anymore.

Thanks to my readers (all 4 of you); those who comment regularly and those who lurk. I appreciate it and I plan on getting back to reading and commenting on my favorite blogs now that it won't make me feel guilty about neglecting my own blog.

If you are only here for the running, then you've left me a long time ago, then, pop into the new blog occasionally, because I will DEFINITELY still be blogging about running and races, BUT, fair warning, there will also be lots of dog blogs, travel posts, gifs, some occasional rants, and just general life journal-ing blogs, and who knows what else (so, basically like this blog, except updated more often).

So, thanks again and I hope that you all stick with me at this new site and blog. And if not, thanks for your time!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week 1 Recap


Here we go, folks. Attempt #1,271 of a marathon cycle. AGAIN. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I make it through more than a mere 2 weeks or so.

Starting with last week, I've got 12 weeks until my next marathon: The Sun Health Arizona Marathon. So, I figured that was plenty of time to get myself into half-way decent shape. My goals as of right now, are: 1. To finish and 2. To Finish under 4:30. 

So, that means that I need to actually attempt to train. I feel like I trained OK for the Oklahoma City Marathon back in April, and the wind killed me and I still managed to run a 4:46. Soooooo. Hopefully a sub 4:30 can be in the cards for me in 12 short weeks.




Am I following a training plan? Nope. Am I being coached? Nope. I don't think I'm quite ready for either one of those right now. But, my plan is to slowly increase my weekly mileage and eventually get to a point where I'm focusing on 3 runs a week. (Similar to the FIRST training plan thought process).

Typically, I run twice a week with my buddy Steve. He is WAY faster than me and we generally run faster than I normally would on my own. As the weeks go on, I'm going to start using my runs with him for tempo runs, etc. But, for right now, I'm just calling my runs with him as "steady state" runs. Which, to me, means... running slight faster than comfortably hard. I'm not officially timing the runs, but, I do keep an eye on when I hop in and out of the car, so, I have a general idea.

The other key run of the week, is the Long Run. Which, I hope to incorporate "fast" miles in every week. You'll see what I mean as we go along.

So, here is how Week 1 shaped up:

Mon: Off
Tues: 5 miles around 9:40 pace with Steve. (I was still recovering from a cold, so, we took it easier than normal).
Wed: Off
Thursday: 5 miles around 9:15 pace.This run felt fantastic.
Friday: 3 mile run and 2 mile walk after
Saturday: 10 miles at a 9:15 pace with my drill sergeant Bitch, Melissa. Seriously, she saved my butt on the run and pushed me to get this run done at that pace. I was thrilled!
Sunday: 3.5 mile recovery run. This FELT like a recovery run, which was kind of nice. Been a long time since I've felt like that.

So, I'm starting out slow and I can't say that my mileage will ever hit the 50-60 mpw range. But, I'm just going to do the best I can and hopefully bump up my weekly mileage and get to a point where my recovery runs can be a little longer as well.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Race Report: Des Moines Marathon

So, despite the fact that I was severely undertrained, ended up with horrible stomach cramps from the middle of the race onward, and had my worst finish time ever for a marathon, I feel like I can still report on the race itself. Unbiased? I'll try.

Expo/Registration Cost/Value: So, I registered late, and paid the max fee. But, even that fee was still comparable to BIG races regular fees. It was around $120/$125. The expo was perfect. Big enough to purchase last minute items that either don't travel well or that you forgot, but small enough to get in and out of in a hurry, if you like. We received a long-sleeve half zip performance top that was gender sized. Also received a Huma gel in the bag, which was a nice little bonus. Overall, the expo was great and I feel like the registration cost was definitely in line with other races.

Course: The first half was really hilly. The last half was pretty flat, with the exception of a massive hill around mile 24. Thanks Des Moines! I found myself thinking multiple times during the first 13 miles or so... why the hell are there so many hills? This is IOWA, for chrissakes.

One major plus to the course, though, is that the half marathon split from the full around mile 2 or 3. Which, I LOVED.

Highlight of the course: Around mile 8, you actually run onto the Drake University track and run a lap on it. It was very cool.



Around miles 9ish-13ish (it might have been later than this, I'm a little foggy on the exact miles), the course ran through a park. Which, you think... oh, that's nice. But, it was so humid out, there was a lot of mud along the path and wet puddles and everyone ended up with muddy calves and you are just kind of getting to the point in the race, where, the littlest annoyances turn into big fucking deals, so, yeah, I didn't like that. It wasn't just me... that was a general complaint with the other marathoners in our group.

Miles 20-26 were some of the weirdest miles. You start making your way back into Des Moines and so, your legs start thinking... Yesssssss almost done. But then your brain is like... easy, there, we still have to get in 6 more miles somehow. We ran past my hotel at mile 20. LITERALLY RAN PAST IT. I stopped in a porta john right after passing the hotel and was like, as soon as I get out of here, I'm taking off my bib and walking back the hotel. Somehow... I didn't do that, but I wished I had for the next 5.5 miles.

Those miles are the worst of the race. You do an out and back loop, you wind through some neighborhoods, you are just teasingly close to the finish that it annoys you. And then, THEN, you have to climb up what appears to be Mt. Whitney around mile 24.

This picture doesn't do it justice. This is like halfway up the hill.
Ugh.
And as I'm reviewing this before posting, I'm not entirely sure this is actually the 
Des Moines Statehouse, because the Des Moines Statehouse had a gold dome. 
Fuck it, you get the idea.


The Start and Finish lines are downtown, which is convenient. I can't really speak of the finish line festivities, because, by the time my weak ass finished, they were tearing everything down.

Support: Hands down the most well supported marathon I've ever done. They have tons of bike support, I never went a mile without seeing one. They were amazing. One of them gave me flat coke, one of them gave me 3 tums (which ended up screwing me up, in hindsight). Very well supported race.

General: A destination race? Nah. But, if you live in the area or need the state, it's a great race. Des Moines was a really fun town and the race was well managed.

My issues: I fully expected to have to run/jog the last 10 miles of the race. I did not expect to be in a state where I could barely even walk. I had the worst stomach cramps. I think, since it was humid at the start of the race, that I overcompensated at the first few water stops and ended up just getting water logged and a sour stomach. The tums didn't help the pain, but I do think, they kept me from being able to throw up (which is what I needed to feel better). I could barely even stand upright. All I wanted to do was lie down on the side of the road in the fetal position, my stomach hurt so bad. I stopped at every porta john after mile 17. I was absolutely miserable. I've never been so miserable at a race before. 

FINALLY at mile 25.5 I threw up. And I felt like an entirely new person. I was able to start running and ran pretty well to the finish. I feel kind of bad, because all the walkers who passed me the last few miles, I blew past them with a smile in that last half mile while running. But, HEY, I finally felt better!!!! And my legs felt absolutely fine.

At the end of the race, I was actually thrilled. I felt like if I could last through that much discomfort for that long, that I could honestly do anything. Apparently, I'm pretty tough. One of these days, I'd like to finally prove that I'm tough when it comes to pain of pushing hard, and not just the pain of my stomach revolting on me. ONE DAY. (2017 is going to be a good running year).

Anyway, that was Des Moines. SO FREAKING HAPPY that I actually finished and can cross Iowa off the list now. 15 states down!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bitches do Des Moines

A couple of weekends ago, the Bitches and SoBs flew out to Des Moines, IA for a quick weekend.

The main event, was the Marathon and Half Marathon. The KoB, Jeff, and I were all signed up for the Marathon and the rest of the Bitches were signed up for the Half. When we arrived in Des Moines, we hit up a dive bar across the street from our hotel for lunch.

Quite possibly the most accurate photo of our personalities to date.
At El Bait Shop in Des Moines, IA

We had lunch at The El Bait Shop (highly recommend the tater tots! and a local Iowa beer called Dorothy's New World Lager) and then made our way over to the Race Expo.

The first awesome thing about this race was the ease of getting around. We didn't rent a car and we were able to walk everywhere we went (with the exception of the airport). Life is so much easier when everything is in walking distance.

At the expo, we got our race packets and more importantly:
Our wristbands for beer post race.

We also hit up the Barefoot Wine Display (Hellllooooo free wine!) (not sure what the hell Barefoot Wine has to do with Races, but as a lush, I'll happy drink whatever cheap ass free wine you pour into a plastic thimble with enthusiasm). And... I bought a pair of Nike Vomeros for $62.50 (including tax!). I can't find them anywhere online for cheaper than $140!! Crazy awesome deal!

We had dinner at a nice restaurant in downtown Des Moines and settled in early for the night.

The race started at 8am (awesome!), so we wandered out of the hotel around 7:20am (awesome!) and made it to the race start with plenty of time. 

Now, I will do a full write-up of the race itself. But, just know that it was a shit show for me. I had the worst finish time I've ever had and the only thing that kept me from dropping out and walking to the hotel at mile 20 (we passed right by it on the course. UGH) was that I didn't have a marathon finish in Iowa yet.

Anyway, while I was dying on the course:



 the rest of the Bitches were yukking it up and having a grand ole time back at El Bait Shop:


Another hour passed by and still:

Me.


Them.

Finally, I finished and joined them for the fun. They had moved on to the bar next door to El Bait Shop which was called The High Life Lounge. It was basically someone's basement circa 1978. It was awesome.


Thankfully, still alive.
And, totally unaware that there was an ass photobombing me.

We walked into the downtown area for dinner and then at the end of the night we stumbled into the Iowa Cubs Stadium where they were broadcasting the NLCS game on the jumbotron.


Monday we ate a huge lunch and then went to a different restaurant and had beers and some of us had dessert and I swear we all waddled out of Des Moines with about 4 extra pounds on us.

All-in-all it was a great trip! Des Moines was fun and had great food and a great vibe. And now the only question is... where are the bitches off to next??

Thursday, October 6, 2016

5 things.

1. I finally signed up for the marathon that I am running/hobbyjogging/walking/crawling through in about 10 days. Thankfully, our hotel is within walking distance of the race, so, I will just let everyone know NOT to wait around on me, to go back to the hotel, shower, go to lunch, have a few beers, and then HOPEFULLY I will be able to join them for dinner. Or ya know, they can visit me in the hospital or whatev.

2. I am hesitant to even mention it, but, I think I might just FINALLY be motivated to get my shit together. I signed up for the legit weight watchers last week (not just the fake app that I used with success last year) and I'm still trying to get into consistent strength training. Along with that, I'm also trying to set some personal and career goals and it feels good to be giving myself control again. Too often, I get caught up in the mundane and find myself just floating along and bebopping through time without really being PRESENT in my life. So, that feels good.

3. I've started wearing a headlamp in my early morning weekday runs and everyday I am utterly baffled at how we ever ran at this same time of day, same time of year, same park without one before.

4. The KoB and I have started watching American Horror Story. We've finished the first season and are about halfway through the second. Generally, I am strictly opposed to all things scary. But, I am finding this show really enjoyable. It's spooky. But, not nightmare provoking. (After I saw The Ring, I couldn't sleep with my light off for like 9 days. It was bad).

5. One of my favorite things about Weight Watchers it their social media section called Connect. Everyone on there is talking about something called Halo Top. Normally, I'm not really into "diety" foods. I'd rather eat a little bit of the real thing that has ingredients that I can pronounce. BUT, ice cream is one of my favorite things. And considering a HALF CUP (which is like... why even bother getting up off the couch to scoop out a half cup?) has more than 1/3 of my allocated points for the day. I think I might have to give this low cal ice cream a try. Anyone else had it??




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Weeks 5 & 6

So, week 5 wasn't bad, although, my plan was to run 10 miles Saturday and then 16 miles on Sunday.

That didn't happen.


Saturday, I ran a 15K and a .7 mile warm up for a total of 10 miles. So... hooray!!! Even better... I ran the 15k at a 9:49 pace (my goal was sub 10:00 pace for the race). So... double hooray!!


And then Sunday rolled around and I was all psyched to run 16 miles. And then I started running and my legs felt like bricks. Apparently, running 9 miles at 9:49 pace is hard on my legs these days. Sad, but true.



So, at the end of the week, I finished with back-2-back 10 milers. Not ideal, but not terrible.

Week 6 was terrible running-wise. The KoB was out of town for a couple of days, which means, I was on dog duty. I went to the Carrie Underwood concert for work one night, which was fun, but EXHAUSTING, and then we flew to Boston, where I could have ran more. But, didn't.

So, there you have it. I'm tapering. HAHAHAHAH. Ha. Ha.

The good news is, I have no problems with walk/running this marathon as much as I need to. (It's going to be a lot of walking, people). I've got 2 weekends to go before the race. Let's hope, I can put something together this weekend.