Twenty Six Point Two

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Week 1 of Speedy-ish Stuff

So, I need to back up a little to give you the full story of last week's "speedy-ish stuff." The Saturday before, I spent over 3 hours blissfully planting 150 plants and flowers and spreading mulch. So, the week started with my hamstrings being totally effed.

My plan was to do the following:

Well crap, you probably can't read that.

This is what it says: 
M: Nada
T: am: 5x400s 6 miles total
T: pm: Shred DVD
W: Nada
Th: am: 8:45, 8:30, 8:15 Tempo 3 miles w/up and c/down
Th: pm: Shred DVD
F: 4 mi easy
Sa: 10 miles last 5 at 9:00 pace
Su: 11.2 Easy

So, yeah, I did two run workouts: The first one I did 5x400s and that went pretty well. I feel like in the past, I've always been able to nail my interval workouts, BUT, that my one weakness there is that I generally milk my recoveries. So, I wanted to focus on HONEST recoveries and I mostly did that, but they progressively got slower and slower. Ha. It's the first week. I am happy that I just made myself more aware of my recoveries.

The other workout was a 3 mile tempo run. I had hoped to do what I mentioned above: 8:45, 8:30, 8:15. But, I ended up doing mostly 8:35ish for the whole thing. And by Thursday, my right hamstring was quite sore. So, I skipped the DVD workout on Thursday evening.

Friday morning my right hamstring had moved from being sore to being EFFED. I ran 3 miles and called it quits and iced and foam rolled on Friday night.

The rest of the weekend, I nursed my hamstring... I ran 6 miles easyish on Saturday and about 8 on Sunday. I am happy to report, that by Sunday, my hamstring was all better and back it's normal non-flexible, non-cranky self.

All-in-all, I was happy with the week. I got in some good speed work (even if it wasn't exactly the paces I wanted, and I smartly scaled back when my hamstring started to holler at me). 

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Consumer Reports

Semi-Running Related things that I'm loving these days:

Huma Energy Gels

I am happy to report that energy gels are back in my life. I LOVE these gels. They have chia seeds which make up their consistency and the fruit flavors taste just like pureed fruit (strawberry, blueberry, and lemonade are my favorites. I still haven't tried mango yet, even though it's my favorite fruit). They taste natural and clean and they don't have the chemical aftertaste that you get after downing a Gu. I've used them in 2-3 marathons and on training runs and have yet to experience any GI distress from them. WIN.

Nike Vomeros

If they are good enough for Marky Mark, they're good enough for me, dammit. No, seriously, I know I've been wearing Vomeros for awhile now, but I've finally given up flirting with other shoes (like my previous favorite the ASICS Nimbus) and am just going to faithfully follow the Vomeros. They are cushioned and light and they last a pretty good while. Nike may not be the "hip" running company and there may be 4 year old children in Guatemala sewing these shoes together, but, they are officially MY shoe now. 

Hamilton Soundtrack

Okay. I HATE musicals. Hate them, hate them, hate them. EXCEPT when I become obsessed with them. Like when I became obsessed with the Broadway version of Evita when I was in middle school and listened to the soundtrack NON-stop (heh) for 3 years. And now, much like Evita (historical), I am obsessed with Hamilton. (This might be the most basic sentence I've ever typed on this blog. WHO ISN'T obsessed with Hamilton??????). But, I love it so much, that I've banished myself from listening to it, unless I'm running. It is fantastic running music ("Yorktown" is my favorite running song) and I love listening to it on the treadmill. I also find myself chanting to myself during runs... "I'm not throwing my shot, ya know I'm just like my country, I'm young, scrappy, and hungry and I'm not throwing my shot!!!" Inspirational as shit. 

So, there's a few things I'm obsessed with lately. You got anything good to share?

Monday, May 9, 2016

In the Meantime

So, I let myself skip runs and sleep in whenever I want for the past two weeks for recovery mode and now I'm ready to get back into something.

I know that my next marathon is going to be the Des Moines Marathon in October. And I am LEGIT running that as a goal race of breaking 4 hours. It's time to get back into half-way decent shape. That's still about 22 weeks away and while, physically, I could definitely use a 22 week marathon training plan. Mentally... I want something a little different.

So, for the next 6 weeks or so, I'm going to focus on doing some fun speedwork. Ideally, I'd love to target a 5K at the end of the 6 weeks. But, 5Ks in the summer are a little hard to come by here in Middle Tennessee and the one I really want to target: The Gay 5K, I have a scheduling conflict with. Soooooo. It looks like I'm just going to do the 6 weeks for fitness sake only.


Actually, I'm looking forward to it. Running in the summer always turns into a slogfest, because I usually just focus on getting the miles in. But, I'm hoping that with having specific workouts planned, I can stay mentally excited.

So, it starts this week! I'll recap the weeks at the end of each week to let you know what I did. It's going to be a little interesting this first week, to figure out just where I need to start, but, I'm going to use the McMillan Calculator with my last 5K time (from back in March) to get my paces.

Here we go!

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


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.