Twenty Six Point Two

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Catching Up

I ran a couple of days last week and this week, I plan to start back tomorrow or Thursday. The KoB and I traveled to Charlotte, NC this past weekend for a friend's wedding. It was a fun and awesome weekend, but man, it was a whirlwind and I'm just now feeling like I've moved on from zombie mode. I'm hoping by tomorrow, I'll be back to normal.

I thought I'd catch you up with some photos...

Jeff, Dustin, and I at the wedding. 

A picture of the 4 of us ruined by my strapless bra
making an appearance. Ugh.

A picture of the pups after we picked them up from Daycare/Boarding
when we got in from Oklahoma City.

The KoB and I dressed up for a ball a few weeks ago.

A picture of the dress I scrambled to buy for the ball.
We got invited on Thursday afternoon and the ball was
Saturday night. Sheesh.

Winfield with 4 dog toys in his mouth in an attempt
to keep Leo from having one.
Brothers. Jeez.

So, that's a little glimpse into what's been going on around here lately. Looking forward to the SUMMER!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Race Report: Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

In the beginning. It was good.

First things first, this marathon was hands down the exceptionally inspiring and emotional. To take something so tragic and awful as the bombing of a federal building that killed 168 men, women, and children and create a marathon that funds memorial charities and simultaneously honors those killed and celebrates a broken city's resiliency is amazing. 

The race starts at the Memorial (which is an absolutely beautiful and touching and incredibly sad memorial). They do a 168 second moment of silence before the race in honor of all those who died that day. And all along the race course, there are 168 banners, each one with a name of one of the victims.

This marathon was different. It felt special in a way that even the Memphis St. Jude Marathon (the only other race that I've ran that tugged at my heart strings) didn't. Maybe it's because I was 15 when the bombing happened and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why anyone would do such a thing. At 36, I still wonder that, though, sadly, I'm not as shocked as I used to be.

All this to say not so eloquently this marathon meant something. And I love the idea of memorializing a tragedy with something physical. Well done, OKC. 

Now onto the report.

Everything logistically about this race was a breeze. We flew into Will Rogers airport, hopped in a cab, went to our hotel in Bricktown. And from then on were able to walk everywhere. The expo was close by, easy to navigate. The start line was about 3/4 of a mile away. And our hotel in Bricktown was REALLY close to restaurants (though, not gas stations, drugstores, or a convenience store that was open on Sunday).

The race was enormous. There were 24,000 people running either the half, the full, or the relay. The start was pretty congested, but thankfully, most people lined up where they should have been pace-wise, so, the race moved along fairly well in the first couple of miles.

It was a quiet and non-social race. I didn't mind, but I did think it was odd. Generally, I find myself talking to people whether I want to or not, but that wasn't the case during this race. I did get hit in the shoulder with an empty water bottle around mile 3 which really pissed me off. Someone on one side of the road, tried to dispose of their bottle on the opposite of the road, by thinking they could throw it safely across. It didn't make it, but it did scare the hell out of me when I felt it hit my shoulder. HAVE SOME MANNERS PEOPLE, hold onto it until you can toss it to the side. Ugh. 

Pace-wise, I felt great. Usually by mile 7 or so, I can tell what kind of day it's going to be. And by mile 7, I felt like I was most likely going to be able to stay fairly on pace. The first half of the course was much hillier than I expected it, but, that's not to say it was hilly. I was just expecting pancake flat. It was not pancake flat. A lot of their roads were also concrete, which was really my only beef with the race. I'm not sure if that's just how roads are in Oklahoma, but I definitely felt some tweakiness in my joints at times that I attributed to the concrete.

I came through the half around 2:08. PERFECT. I was thrilled with that and felt like I had a good chance of being able to hang on. 

And then we ran over a bridge and a lake appeared. As soon as we turned to run alongside the lake I was immediately greeted with a 21 mph headwind. 

See the lake in the background?

I was like. Okay. This sucks, but I can get through it. The lake stretch is just windy. It can't be that long right? I'll just push through. It can't cost me that much time, right? And when I hit my mile split at mile 15, I was running a 10:40. Almost a full minute slower than my previous pace and damn, I felt like I was running harder. I didn't let it get to me, it's like... okay, whatever. I'll lose a couple of minutes, I'm not trying to qualify for Boston (ha!), I just want to have a good day, so, I'll focus on conserving energy through here and then when we turn away from the wind, I can resume MY race.

HA. If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, after that, the wind never stopped. Even as we pulled away from the lake, the wind was directly on us. Is that why I felt so good the first half? Because I had a tailwind? Could be. I never feel the tailwind when it's there. But, the headwind was a total killer. 

After 6 miles of the headwind and consistently running 10:45-11:15 that felt like it should have been 9:30 pace, I mentally started to break down a little. I walked a little. I was pissed that my body actually felt really good, but that my pace was just not reflecting that because of the wind. The wind would occasionally break for a couple of minutes, but when that happened, you realized how hot it was outside. So, it was almost like... I preferred the wind. Because it was keeping me cool.

I was really taking the effort to keep my body temperature down. Nothing kills a race for me like heat exhaustion and I didn't want a repeat of Chicago Marathon 2011. After mile 11, I started dumping water on my head at every water stop. I also drank water and gatorade at every single water stop (even the very first one). And I think because of all that (and the wind), I was able to keep it mostly together in the hot sun.

By mile 23, I got over my pity party and decided to just push through the wind and get the race done (even though I was running 13:00 miles. RUNNING. Not running/walking. RUNNING). At mile 25, the 4:45 pace group rolled up on me and I got a burst of energy and ended up pushing as hard as I could for the last 1.2 miles. 

Downhill finish FTW

I finished the race 4:46:49. Not what I was hoping for, but, let's be honest.... I had done the minimal amount of training. I needed PERFECT race conditions to be able to hit my goal. And that's just not going to happen in a Spring race.

So, that was my race experience.

Now for the nuts and bolts of Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon... 

The course was... meh. It wasn't particularly striking or beautiful or ugly. It just was.

The spectators were AMAZING. The city really gets out and supports the race and that was really fun.

The volunteers were AWESOME. 

The water stops were PERFECT and PLENTIFUL. I was nervous that there would be too long of gaps between water stops, but they were perfectly laid out. On the marathon course, towards the end, they even split the water stops up, so that you'd go through one and get your water and gatorade and then about 400 meters down the road, there would be ANOTHER one. Doubling up like that made a huge difference for me, I think. I could take small sips at each and stay hydrated without getting that sloshy water belly feeling. A+++++++++++ on the water stops.

Swag was good. You got a shirt (the same shirt no matter the distance) at the expo, and then when you finished you got a shirt that was race specific. (As long as you KNEW you were getting another shirt and saw the signage and went over and got one after the race, like I did. The KoB missed all that, apparently).

Overall, I recommend the race. Not for its beauty or even the course. But, for it's purpose and it was really well managed.

Oklahoma DONE.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4:46:49

So, it happened. I ran the marathon and finished in 4:46:49. It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but, I am happy that I can cross Oklahoma off the list. Full race report to come!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Marathon Week

Three weeks ago, on a long run, I proclaimed to the group... "we are all fucked." We haven't had one long training run this season where I've had to wear sleeveless. Not one training run where I felt like the sun was slowly peeling away layers of my skin or where keeping sweat out of my eyes was a problem.

So, now, it's Marathon Week for me and I say again...

We are all fucked.


Good times, y'all.

Well, there isn't much I can do about that, except drink 10 gallons of powerade zero on Friday and Saturday and hope that the extra 3 pounds of liquid on my body will help keep me hydrated...
I'm going to say, let's make that a 90% chance.

So, let's talk about my goals.

In perfect race conditions my A goal would be a 4:15. I would be thrilled with that and I do actually think I am capable of that. My B goal would be sub 4:30. Other than that, I will be happy to finish without my internal organs shutting down on me.

Seriously, though, I am going to go out and attempt to run 9:44 pace for as long as I can hang on. It's not going to be pretty and it probably won't happen for long, but I am going to do my best.

Spring Marathons are the fucking the worst.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

5 Day Reset Success

So, I made it all through last week eating healthy. It was actually pretty easy and I felt fantastic. The goal is to shoot for that pretty much every weekday and then loosen up a bit on the weekends.

It's only Tuesday, but so far so good for this week!

I've got my meal prep for lunches down pat, but I would like to focus on doing some meal prep for dinners, too. Too often, I just want something easy, so, I'll cook some eggs with veggies and call it  meal. Healthy and easy, yes. But, I could definitely do better.

Baby steps.

My running over the weekend, wasn't quite so good. I had wanted to get in a decent 10 miler for a last long run before my race, but.... I didn't.

Thoughts on my upcoming marathon in another post this week...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

How to...

Not be a Total Creeper.

Steve and I meet at 5:30am to run at a local greenway. This greenway isn't known for safe trails or well-lit paths. In fact, over the past few years, there have been attempted rapes on the greenway early in the mornings. Needless to say, I would NEVER run there alone at that time (it's still pretty dark when we start). But, with Steve, I feel like we have safety in numbers.

Now, because of aforementioned assaults, there are VERY few other people at the park in the mornings. And we usually see the same people. (Like the same 2 other people).

This morning, as I was driving into the park, there was a car in front of me. Not normal, but not something to spark alarm. They parked further down the parking lot than I did and sat there with their lights still on. I was mostly annoyed because I REALLY needed to pee and because someone else was around, I couldn't just jump out and pee in front of my car like I do most mornings before Steve gets there.

Steve pulled up and parked next to me and I started to get out of the car. As I did that, I noticed that the other car at the opposite end of the parking lot had started to drive over towards us. Maybe this makes me a horrible person, but my immediate reaction was... "Oh, they must be going to more secluded area of the park to have sex or do drugs in their car. That's nice." But then the car pulled up right behind our cars (blocking both of our cars) and the driver's side window rolled down.



What follows is EXACTLY what you shouldn't say (but what the guy said) and my responses (in italics) and what was actually going through my head (in red).

"You guys runners?"
"Yeah"
"Ummm... that's a weird opener."

"You guys going to run trails?"
"No"
"Ummmm... why because you want to follow us out and murder us and throw us in the river?"


"So, you're just going to run on the greenway?"
"Yeah."
"Fuuuuuuuck. Why did I just tell him where we were going to be? Ugh."

"Ok, I'm from murfreesboro. How many miles does the trail go out?"
"It's an 8 mile out and back."
"Why? So you can gauge how much time you have to break into our cars and steal our shit?"

"Sorry to just roll up on you guys in the dark, like this. heehee."
---
"Yeah, maybe you should have opened with that line."



At this point, Steve and I started to act like we were going to start running and the guy started to back his car up.

We spent most of the 6 miles discussing this guy and his randomness and all the likely scenarios of what was happening back in that parking lot:

Scenario 1: He broke into our cars.

Scenario 2: He took a dead body out of the trunk of his car and is burying it in the woods.
Scenario 2.1: He took that dead body and put it in the back of Steve's Truck.

Scenario 3: He got his parks mixed up and thought THIS was the park to have anonymous sex in (with a name like Shelby Bottoms Greenway, I can see the confusion), and was still sitting in the parking lot waiting for someone to pull up and get into his car. That's Edwin Warner, people. Shelby Bottoms is where you go for your drug deals and rape attempts. 

Scenario 4: He really was just a nice guy from Murfreesboro, who had no idea that this park isn't known for it's safety and was hoping he'd run into two really friendly people who would offer to run with him. (Dude, it's 5:30 in the morning, I'm not running into the dark park with ANYONE I don't know, even if I'm with someone else).

By the time we got back to the car, we saw his car parked next to mine and from what we could tell, nothing nefarious had happened. I did feel a twinge of guilt, because, I am sure he thought we were both total assholes and in reality, he was probably just a legitimately a nice/innocent guy. But, hell, I watch a LOT of Dateline. And while I've told The KoB that if I am killed in a mysterious way, to make sure that Keith Morrison covers my Dateline story and not Dennis Murphy, I am glad that this morning's run didn't end with that.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 2 Recap (5 Day Reset)

Ok. So, I think posting pictures of my food everyday for 5 days would be completely boring and really... you don't really fucking care what I'm eating. So, yeah. I'm not going to do that the rest of the week.


BUT, I am going to try to update everyday on how I'm doing. That accountability thing and all. Ugh.

So, yeah, day 2, I ate pretty much the exact same thing as day 1 and it was easy again. My lunch really does fill me up and I took a play from The KoB's book and I had a small snack before I left work. That way, I wouldn't want to eat the entire fridge while making dinner. Worked pretty well, I think.

The food is good. Ya know? And honestly, my lunch is quicker to make than my previous lunch, so, that's a bonus. So, honestly, I can't help but feel a little like.. how in the hell did I get so off the wagon, ya know? But, whatever, I'm back on and I'm feeling good. I'm sleeping fantastic (although, since the new job, I've slept like a baby almost every night, so, really, that was never a problem).

I also feel like I'm a little more clear in the head. Could entirely psychosomatic, but hey... I'LL TAKE IT!

Day 2, still doing well.