Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Island Miles

We were down on Long Island in Casco Bay for Ian's family reunion this past weekend. It is always a great time. The boys had a blast playing with their cousins, (second cousins, second cousins once removed), it's a big family. Since we would be spending Sunday morning traveling to the island, I pushed my long run to Monday morning and it would be my first solo run over 8 miles. 

I had originally 16 miles on the schedule. Actually, it might have been something different at the start of my marathon training, but I had switched some things around to work with my usual long run gals' plans. I said I was going to do 16, but I had a secret goal if I was feeling good. Long Island is only three miles long by one mile wide, so I had to come up with a loop that would work with my mileage. I figured out a 4.1 loop that took me around the island and I had planned to alternate the direction I was running, just so it didn't get to boring. Four loops would bring me to 16.4 miles and I'd rather be long than short on the mileage. It was also convenient that instead of carrying water and fuel, I could just leave it on the steps of the cottage and fuel up or take a potty break after every lap.

Loop #1 - This direction is fairly challenging with a long gradual hill on the back side of the island, just after the one mile mark, but you are rewarded with this view at the top.

The pictures (or maybe just my camera) do not do the scenery justice.

I felt pretty good after the first loop, but my legs were just getting started. The weather was just perfect. I would say it was in the 60's and warming fairly quickly, but the cool ocean breezes were like heaven on my skin. I completed the first 4.1 miles in 37:18 and a 9:07 pace, definitely faster than I'm used to running long runs, but I was just going to go with it. I didn't feel like I was pushing the pace and I concentrated on keeping my breathing in control throughout. I took a quick stop at the cottage and ate three Shot Bloks and drank some water, snapped a quick photo, and started my second loop, this time in reverse.

One lap done.

Loop #2 - I love how different a route can feel just by running it in the opposite direction. The terrain seems totally different and hills that felt easy coming down, felt a lot steeper going up. But you also have a different perspective of your surroundings. Ian's Aunt Kathy was out running (she's training for the MCM in October) and I ran into her going the opposite direction at the top of the big hill. Shortly after, I had the pond on my left...

Can you spy the beaver dam?
...and the ocean on my right.

Harbor de Grace

That house on the point is called The Nubble. Last I checked, it was for sale...a steal for close to a million dollars. Check out the interior pictures here. Can you say gorgeous?

Not going up the long gradual hill made a difference in my time as I finished this loop in 36:57 and a 9:02 pace. Back to the cottage for a quick pee break, fueling again with water and three Shot Bloks and snapped a picture. The boys were up and on the porch at this point so I got to start my third loop with them chanting, "Go, Mama, go!" Love it.

Had to put on the shades.

Loop #3 - Reversed direction again so this would be a repeat of my first loop. My legs were feeling great. I powered up the hills and relaxed on the declines. I was enjoying the sights and smells (with the exception of when I passed the transfer station). One of the best parts of being on the island is the people. Everyone nods, waves, and/or says hello when you pass. The other good part is there isn't a lot of traffic and it is most often just foot traffic, an old rattling car or truck, or a golf cart. Once I got back to the front side of the island it's about a mile from the dock to the cottage and pretty flat. Also some great views (though there aren't many bad ones).

Back to the cottage once more...you know the drill - three Shot Bloks and some water. This loop was faster than my first at 37:09 and a 9:05 pace. 

Hot, but happy.

Loop #4 - Reversed again so this would be a repeat of my second loop. My legs were definitely starting to feel fatigued and I walked up a very steep incline, the first time I walked the whole run (unless you count my fueling stops). It was getting a bit warmer now and I was feeling tired and hungry. But then I had an incredible wildlife experience. When coming down a hill where the road is only about twelve feet wide, I saw a young deer on the right side of the road looking at me. I slowed my pace a little and we just stared at each other. I got closer and closer and the deer did not move. I was literally less than ten feet away from it. I think I could have taken two steps to the side and reached out and touched it (I didn't). I went past and turned around to look and it slowly crossed the road and bounded into the woods. That kept me going for the rest of this loop - miles 12.3 - 16.4. We also saw deer the previous evening on our way back to the cottage from the reunion dinner (seen below). 

Keeping a close eye on us.

Slightly slower this time at 37:26 and a 9:09 pace, but I kept going strong. And I'm done! Ah, but not really. Remember I said I had a secret goal? I decided that I was going to go for 20 miles today instead. I had several valid reasons. One, it would be a good challenge to run this distance by myself. Two, the weather and scenery are beautiful. Three, I still had three Shot Bloks left to eat that could fuel me for one more loop. I also had some orange juice because I drank all my water. And four, it actually works better with my training schedule. If I did 20 today, can lower my long run mileage next weekend, which is only five days before the Beach to Beacon 10K. That will give me a mini taper before the race.


Loop #5 - Reversed the loop one more time - a repeat of loops one and three in direction. The great thing about this run was breaking it up into parts. Four miles is a very manageable distance in my mind (and body), so thinking of it in smaller increments definitely helped with the mental aspect of running long. Also, the regimented stops for fuel and water helped keep me going without complete exhaustion. I did walk twice on this loop up two of the three significant hills. I was tired, but still had more in the tank. My right foot felt fine, no aches like it had the previous week. The only twinge I felt was in my left hamstring/glute, but nothing that screamed slow down. If I hadn't walked those hills (and I probably didn't really need to), my time would have been close to spot on to the first four loops. But I did keep it under a 10-minute-mile pace at 9:42 minutes/mile and a time of 39:39. 


20.5 island miles complete in 3 hours, 8 minutes, and 30 seconds. That equals a 9:13 pace overall. 

Collapsed on the floor of the cottage.

A neat little tidbit of information - while looking at my running log for all my long runs (classified as ten miles or more), this run was not only my longest distance, but the third fastest pace ever. The two runs that were faster? My two half marathons when I had race adrenaline to push me faster. While I didn't keep the clock running during my fueling breaks, they were only about two minutes each, tops or an additional eight minutes overall. This still would have kept my pace around 9:30 or so. I am beyond excited now to tackle this marathon, and while I will have to do close to six more miles to reach 26.2, I think a sub-four marathon is within my reach with still over two months to go. At the very least, I have in me what it takes to finish. This run also brought this month's mileage to my highest yet at 84.2 with 26 more on the schedule before the month is out. 

I think I deserved to put my feet up for the rest of the day.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tough Tempo

It was strange running on a Saturday and it not being for a race. My schedule this week has been a bit off, but I'm still getting my runs in. It was just perfect weather in the mid-50s and sunny. My route today was challenging, but beautiful. The tree-lined back roads are ideal for running without traffic (I think I saw a total of three cars). I was concerned about dealing with deer flies, but saw nary a one. 

And as I said, the route was challenging, not a great choice for a tempo run, but it is convenient and a perfect eight-mile loop from my house. 

Willow Lane 8-Mile Loop

I started with an easy mile at 9:34 (my easy pace is 9:32...close enough). Mile two is pretty much 98% uphill and even though this was supposed to be the start of six miles at long tempo pace (8:27), I wanted to do my best to get a good average over the six miles.

I ended up with a 8:51 average for my tempo miles, but considering the course and the fact that my legs have been a little tired lately with the higher miles, I was happy with the results. I finished up the last mile with an 8:34 split. That was supposed to be an easy mile, but I was feeling good and had to get back home to get Ian off to work. Plus a good portion of it was downhill, with the exception of the ever-present hill on the last quarter mile.

My final time was 1:11:15, the second fastest time I've run this particular route, but only by 15 seconds. I know I had more in me and was holding back at times, but have a slight foot issue (nothing major) that I don't want to turn into something worse. The other neat thing is that the other times I ran this route it was for a long run according to my running log. Now, what I used to consider a long run has moved to my mid-week shorter run distances!

I'll be offline for the next couple of days. We're headed down to Long Island, ME for Ian's family reunion. I'll be doing my first solo long run (over 8 miles) on Monday while we are down there. I'm glad that it is a scenic place to run as I'm going to have to do four four-mile loops to get in 16 miles, otherwise it would be pretty boring. At least I won't have to carry my Camelbak or fuel as I can take a quick pit stop at the cottage every four miles! 

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Tommie Copper Winner!!!

I never heard from the first winner of the Tommie Copper giveaway, so I (rather Rafflecopter) drew another name. The new winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yay! Jenn from Jenn's Adventures! Didn't you win my other Tommie Copper giveaway? I promise, it wasn't fixed! Have you checked out her blog yet? Well get on over there and say hello! Jenn, email me with your size and address at mainemomontherun {at} gmail {dot} com, and I'll get you your shorts ASAP! I don't want to have to pick yet another winner!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Elephants Can Run Fast Too.

I finally made it to the track this week after putting it off for two days. I gave myself an extra day on Tuesday to recover from Sunday's 18-miler and intended on going yesterday, but I woke up feeling nauseous and decided to push it back one more day. It still works with my plan of alternating days of running and rest as I can do my tempo run on Saturday since my long run is getting done on Monday. See, it all works out!

It is turning out to be a beautiful day here in Maine. It was in the high 50s when I woke up and I nearly considered wearing arm sleeves. There is still a lot of humidity in the air, but I don't think it is as bad as the last few days have been. I also wore my Mizuno Wave Precisions to see how they faired with running fast (or relatively fast). Today's workout consisted of a 1 mile warmup, 2 x 1200m @ 5:27, 4 x 800m @ 3:34 w/ 2:00 RI (rest interval), and a 1 mile cool down. 

I was running a bit late, so I shortened the warmup and cool down to half a mile each. I probably could have used a little more before the fast intervals as my legs were feeling very heavy today. I'm not sure if it was just a result of having a few days off or running fast in different shoes with a higher heel than I'm used to, but I felt like I was lumbering down the track. I felt soooo slow.

I was the elephant trying to be an impala. (source)

It was also harder to breathe than normal, but I chalk that up to the humid air. I also forgot what my RI was supposed to be, I was thinking it was 1:30 and was being soft and took 1:45, but I was actually supposed to take 2:00 breaks so I did better than I thought!

My paces:
1200 #1 - 5:25 (great start for feeling like an elephant)
1200 #2 - 5:24 (I rock!)
800 #1 - 3:31 (sweet!)
800 #2 - 3:37 (my legs are bricks, but 3 seconds slow is still within my acceptable window)
800 #3 - 3:37 (see previous)
800 #4 - 3:31 (done, now I can breathe again)

I'm really surprised that I hit my paces (and was faster on all but two), considering I felt like I was moving in super slow motion. It was a really weird sensation. I have to say I was missing my PureConnects, but I wanted to give the Precisions a chance more out of curiosity than anything. 

It is possible to love more than one.

I should probably give them at least one more try before coming to a final conclusion, but I think they are going to suit me well as a good shoe for my tempo and/or long runs. The Connects are so much like a racing flat that it is easier to sprint in them...not that I was really sprinting today. Anyway, one more run done and one step closer to the marathon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

18 miles, 4 pit stops, 2 happy feet, and 1 winner.

Eighteen is my favorite number. It might have something to do with my birthday being on the 18th of October, but I also just like that an "8" is nice and symmetrical and goes on and on like the infinity symbol and who doesn't like the number one? My parent's anniversary is on the 18th of May and my brother's birthday is April 9th (half of 18). Our house number growing up was 18 (or 118?) before our town got 911 and our address changed. And I'd always make sure I wore number 18 for my warmup suits in track and cross-country.

On Sunday, Jen and I ran 18 miles. Holy moly! How did I already get up to running 18 miles? I remember not so long ago (last year) when six miles seemed long! I wasn't really freaking out about the distance beforehand, but let me tell you, I was certainly proud of myself afterward especially since it was a tough one.

We started from Jen's house and planned on doing a loop through Richmond, but quickly aborted that route due to the swarms of deer flies on the wooded back roads. Instead, we ran into downtown Gardiner and jumped on the Rail Trail for an out-and-back. And it was so hot, about 70 when we started before 6 AM and over 80 when we finished. It was so humid that I had to use the windshield wipers on the drive over to keep the window clear!

The run started fine with a gradual hill down Route 201 and a steep one down to the Rail Trail and I tried not to think about the fact that we would have to come up them at the end. We made a quick pit stop before hitting the trail and discovered port-o-potties with real toilets inside! The shaded parts of the trail were very welcome and felt just a little bit cooler. Around 5.5 miles we stopped for a fuel break, but it just seemed to feel hotter when we stopped. I guess we were running so fast, the wind was cooling us down! Ha!

Poor Jen was having some tummy troubles and we made another stop by the tracks. I had to pee anyway and honestly, I was thankful for the little breaks. We got to nine miles and turned around...halfway there! We made pit stop number three and carried on. It was getting hotter and hotter and harder to breathe, the air was so thick and soupy.

We got back to the "nice" port-o-potties and made one final stop before trudging up the steep hill. There was no way we were going to run up this hill. We are 14.5 miles into the run and it was hard enough just walking up it. I was wishing there was a handrail or a rope that I could use to pull myself up! At this point our pace dropped to about a 19-minute mile and I did not care. This run wasn't about time and we just wanted to get it done.

We started running again when we got to the park and started up the long gradual hill of 201. One foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right, left, right, when is this hill going to end? Oh, never? Great. We did finally reach the top and turned onto Jen's road with just about two miles to go. My right foot/ankle started to really ache at this point. My form was atrocious. It's at this point where self-doubt creeps in about being able to run a marathon. I could see the top of Jen's barn and picked up the pace. There's the mailbox! We did it! 18 miles in 3:04. Our pace was just over 10 minute miles (awesome, with all the walking we did) and was actually a bit faster than when we did 16 miles the week before, and this being on a tougher route on a hotter day!

The best part of ending a run at Jen's house is that her husband, Ward, makes us scones. Mmmm....so good. And they made me coffee and a vanilla latte protein shake to go! I am so spoiled. And not to mention that I forgot to buy running fuel and Jen hooked me up with some before our run. She is so awesome! I "heart" her.

I did decide to wear my new Mizuno Wave Precisions for this run. I think I am in love. Seriously, these shoes rock. Other than my aching right foot, which I don't think has anything to do with the shoes...I think I've been dealing with a little self-diagnosed tendonitis for the last few weeks, they performed marvelously! And I think they have healing powers. I got no blisters and the ones that I had from before, seemed to just disappear. Even my callouses on my big toes seem smaller! I just might be changing my plans and wear these for the marathon.

Here we are post-run, absolutely sweaty messes, but happy that we got it done.

I want her legs...and her tan.

I love that we both wore our Tommie Copper compression shorts. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just Brilliant

I was recently invited to join The Mezamashii Project. If you are a Mizuno fan, chances are you have heard of this. If you have never run in Mizuno's or don't know what this is, let me enlighten you.

Mizuno is a sporting goods company that has been around for more than 100 years whose philosophy is to use technological advancements to improve sports equipment and apparel to help athletes become the best they can be. Instead of spending money on traditional advertising, Mizuno decided to give out thousands of pairs of their shoes to try. Actually being able to try the shoes is so much better than just reading about them in a magazine article. I think this is just brilliant and I was one of those lucky individuals. And it just so happens that "mezamashii" is the Japanese word for brilliant. Mizuno is "on a quest to deliver more mezamashii - more ecstatic, electric, wind-in-your-heart running" (quoted from my invitation).

I decided to try the Wave Precision 13, a performance neutral shoe which is lightweight, yet cushioned. While a bit wary of the heel-toe drop being higher than what I am used to in my Brooks Pure Project shoes and New Balance Minimus, I tried to keep an open mind. I'll be doing a full review in a bit after I get more miles in them, but for now I'll get to my "brilliant" run. 

Hot Pink and Citron - awesome combination!

I had a six-mile tempo run on the schedule today - two miles easy, three miles at short tempo pace (7:57), followed by one mile easy. Let me being by saying I have never hit my paces for my tempo runs on the road. They hills around me make it virtually impossible to keep a consistent pace over several miles. Plus, out of my three weekly runs, I find tempo runs to be the most difficult. My race pace is around an 8-minute mile, so running that fast in training all alone is tough mentally, as well.

It was another beautiful morning here in Maine - sunny with the temperature still below 60. I started out nice and slow, warming up with my first two easy miles...they were both 9:54 on the dot. Then came the three fast miles. 

Mile 3 - 8:15 (a little slow, but I was just getting into it. Plus there was a bit of a hill and traffic had me constantly stepping of the road into the soft shoulder.)

Mile 4 - 7:48 (w00t! I am cruising. Between these two miles, my average is just about where I need to be.)

Mile 5 - 7:31!!!!! (So excited! I just ran a 7:31 mile on the road five miles into a run!!!)

One more easy mile, which is pretty much all up hill, at 9:24 to finish my first brilliant, tempo run in my new Mizunos. 

And now I'm off to the beach with Jen and the kids where I'm sure we'll be talking all about our new Mizuno sneaks and our upcoming 18-miler this weekend. Gulp, 18 miles!!!!! Is it crazy that I'm contemplating wearing the Precisions?

Don't forget to enter my Tommie Copper compression shorts giveaway here. As you can see from the above picture, they were a part of my brilliant run, too!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's Up, Wednesday?

Week five of marathon training has begun and I'm really looking forward to having a strong month of training. I gave myself a extra day's rest after Sunday's 16-miler, so I headed to the track this morning instead of yesterday. 

The back stretch of my warmup mile.

Mile repeats were back on the schedule and I felt ready to tackle them head on. The temperature was still below 60 and sunny with just a little bit of humidity, absolutely beautiful running weather.

1 mile warm up
3 x 1600m @ 7:24 w/ 1:00 rest
1 mile cooldown

Ready to do this!

My splits:
7:29 (felt effortless and I had a lot more to give)
7:31 (a little tougher, but still in control)
7:26 (wanted to make this the fastest and sped up ever so slightly every 100m of the last lap)

I love the feeling of slingshotting off the last curve
into the homestretch of the last lap.

I really do need to remember to look at my target paces before going to the track, but I always forget. You'd also think I start remembering what they are, but I don't. I thought my 1600m pace was 7:29, so I was super excited to see that I hit it pretty much perfectly. I get back to see that it was actually 7:24, crap...close enough! I also gave myself an extra thirty seconds of rest between intervals, which was still an improvement over the last time I did this workout and took 2:30 of rest. That minute goes by fast!

There are already over 100 entries into my Tommie Copper compression shorts giveaway! Have you entered yet? Read my review and enter here. Remember you can tweet about the giveaway once a day for more chances to win!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tommie Copper Compression Shorts Review {and Giveaway!}

We all know I'm a fan of compression wear. When I was given the opportunity to review Tommie Copper's compression shorts, I jumped at the chance. I already use their knee, calf, and ankle sleeves on a regular basis and love them all. My friend, Jen (Running With The Girls), owns a pair of the shorts and I have to say I was always a little bit jealous every time she wore them.

As soon as they came in the mail, I tore open the package and put them on. I immediately noticed how silky smooth the fabric is, very cool to the skin. They are easy to get on and I have no issues fitting my "thunder thighs" into them...I definitely don't feel like my legs are in sausage casing. The waistband is just the right size and has a soft, fuzzy underside so there is no uncomfortable elastic against my skin.

They came right before my the Rail Trail Half Marathon and I had intended on trying them out for my recovery afterwards. While driving to the race, I realized the skirt I was wearing didn't have any pockets for my fuel, so I changed into a different skirt (with pockets) and my Tommie Copper compression shorts. I know it is recommended not to wear something new on race day (I had yet to even run in the shorts), but I had been wearing them around the house for the last two days and had a good feeling about them. 

Rocking the TC shorts in my second half marathon!

And I'm so glad I wore them! I had absolutely NO riding up of the legs while I was running and more importantly, because of their length, NO CHAFING! It was a hot day to run, but the fabric isn't thick, wicks away moisture and also dries quickly. In the days following the half I wore them and my glutes, hammies, and quads felt amazing. I had a super fast recovery after those 13.1 miles.

In the next couple of weeks, I primarily used the shorts for recovery after my training runs and wore them to bed. I particularly like wearing compression at night while my legs are elevated. It definitely helps reduce the swelling in my legs. 

This past weekend, I had a sixteen-miler on my training schedule. The furthest I had run prior was fourteen miles. Because of the success I had with the Tommie Copper shorts during the half marathon, I wanted to try them out once again to see how they faired on a long run. I am happy to report that they passed with flying colors! It was a warm run and just as during the race, the legs didn't budge a bit, I had no chafing, and my recovery time was very quick. I work as a restaurant server on Sunday nights, so on top of running long in the morning, I am on my feet and running around for several hours at night. By the time I got home, my legs felt extremely fresh - like I could have easily have run several more miles at that very moment. It was an awesome feeling! Needless to say, these shorts are going to be with me every step of the way through the rest of my marathon training!

That's a doorknob, not a weird growth on my butt.

The compression shorts are available in black in women's and men's sizes from Small to XX-Large. I wear a size six pants, so I ordered a Medium in accordance to their sizing chart. They fit perfectly all around. They are just snug enough and the waistband doesn't roll over. 

For a full line up of Tommie Copper's products, more information, or to order, visit their website here.

If you are interested in reading my other Tommie Copper reviews, click on the links below:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

16 for Dad

Today my dad is undergoing knee surgery for a fall he took on Thursday morning. It really was only a matter of time before he broke something falling. My dad suffers from Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. This disease basically weakens the large muscles of the legs and arms. Though I do remember him chasing us around as children, it has really taken a toll on his mobility in the last couple of decades. He does still prefer standing on two legs to get around, however must balance himself similar to a toddler learning to walk and lacks the stabilizing strength to stop from falling when off balance. It is good for those afflicted to stay mobile and I think that is one reason he has done as well as he has (he's 73), that and he is stubborn...guess that's who I got my stubbornness from. 

While recently he got a scooter to get around outside of the house and uses a walker for assistance (and because my mother insists upon it), their house is not handicapped accessible and he finds it is easier to crawl/pull himself up stairs rather than deal with the incline of a ramp. While taking the trash out, he stepped down out of the door and his leg just gave out. Of course he was alone and he didn't have his phone on him, but luckily my mother wasn't gone long. He's had to be in the hospital waiting for surgery this long due to the medication he takes for his heart. As I'm writing this he should be getting close to done with the surgery, which includes the insertion of three screws in the cartilage of his knee.

Me and Dad on my wedding day - Sept. 2004

So I decided that I would dedicate my long run this morning to my father. One of the major reasons I run is simply because I can. My father can't run. Just walking is a struggle. If everything goes well, he will be up on two legs again (if he has anything to do with it). Today's run was a sixteen-miler with Jen and Jill on the Rail Trail of which my father is on the Board of Directors for. It was tough toward the end when my legs felt like lead, but I just kept plugging along thankful that I am able, given that there are so many that can't even if they wanted. 

While we walked a few times, we got it done. Our last mile was even the second fastest split and only five seconds slower than our first! So here's to you, Dad, wishing you a speedy recovery.

I love you, Dad!

Friday, July 6, 2012

L.L. Bean 10K {Race Recap}

Let me start out by saying I was quite excited for this race. It was my first 10K last year and I was hoping to be able to better my time from a year ago. The girls and I made sparkle skirts for the occasion and my outfit was awesome! 

Running Skirts tank, homemade sparkle, skirt, Zensah calf sleeves, Brooks PureFlows, White Nike hat (not pictured)

Unfortunately, that was about all that was awesome.

Issue #1 - racing mid-week. Who knew that a Wednesday race would so royally screw up my training schedule? I really didn't want to do my long run of 15 miles on Sunday which would have been a personal distance record, but it is really the only day I can fit it in without getting up at 4 AM. And putting off my tempo run (that never happened), meant I hadn't run in a week.

Iissue #2 - lack of hydration. The family and I spent Monday and Tuesday down at the cottage on Long Island, ME relaxing, going to the beach, and all the other fun stuff that goes along with hanging out on the island. I may have had one too many beers and not enough water in the days leading up to the race.

Issue #3 - the flu (or something). Once we got home Tuesday evening I started feeling very rundown, so I headed to bed just after 9. Then I got the chills. I woke up a little after eleven and made an emergency trip to the downstairs bathroom to not wake the boys and checked my temperature - barely a fever. I drank a glass of water and headed back up to bed. Within 10 minutes I got that feeling that I was going to throw up and had to get up NOW! Thankfully, I didn't wake up the boys. Why now is it my time to get sick? I never get sick. Seriously, it's been decades since I was sick like that. I spent the rest of the night restless, seeming to wake up every half hour and wondering how I was supposed to run a race in the morning. I immediately decided to take the pressure off of running fast and if I was feeling okay to just try to have fun.

Issue #4 - running in the heat. I fizzle quickly in the heat regardless and being dehydrated wasn't helping my performance. Thankfully, it was drizzling that seemed to cool it off, but it was still in the 70s and humid. 

I woke up with my alarm at 5:30 and got ready. I knew I needed to eat something since my stomach was completely empty, but couldn't seem to eat anything. I did drink a full bottle (22 oz.) of Nuun, so I was able to get some electrolytes and fluid into me. On the drive to Freeport, I drank another 22 oz. of Nuun and ate a full pack of Power Bar Energy Blasts, trying not to stress that I would probably pee my pants on the run. I never drink this much right before a race. Another reason to wear running skirts! ;-)

I met up with Stacy and her friend, Darcy, who was running her first 10K. We headed into Bean's to use the bathrooms, a major plus for this race to not have to use port-a-potties. Then we went to the start line to find Jen and Jess who were also sporting homemade sparkle skirts, though I was the odd girl out wearing a red one.

The race starts with a downhill mile and I was actually feeling pretty good. I didn't feel like I was pushing it at all, so I was very surprised to see -

Mile one - 7:37

I felt like I should just go with it, and if I blow up, I blow up. There was a slight incline that slowed my pace a bit, but I was still had my breathing under control.

Mile two - 8:01

Close to the end of the third mile my legs started to feel fatigued. This usually happened on every run at this point and I just have to get past the feeling and keep going. But it slowed my pace considerably.

Mile three - 8:48

And now I felt like I had used up the little fuel that I had in my system and I was just going to have to slow down a lot if I didn't want to end up puking on the side of the road. I told myself that it was okay to walk on the uphills. A good portion of the second half is uphill.

Mile four - 9:13

Mile five - 10:55

It got me down a little to see that mile five split during a race and have so many people passing me. I did have a ton nice comments on my skirt and one person said I looked like Wonder Woman. Too bad I didn't feel like her.

Then came the last steep hill and I knew the end was coming close, just a couple of gradual hills then the finish.

Mile six - 9:59

I saw fellow Tough Chik, Lisa, from Lisa Runs For Cupcakes in her super cute flag skirt as she passed me as I walked up the second to last hill. My legs seemed to come alive a bit and I pushed it in to the finish.

Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos

Last .2 - 1:33

I felt very light-headed when I was done. I was completely and utterly drained. How I felt can be summed up in this terrible finish line photo.

I may or may not be sleeping. Photo courtesy Jack Mccoy Photography

I did manage to stand long enough to snap a couple of pictures with the girls.

Me and Jen Photo courtesy Chuck Maletich
I desperately want to sit. (Me, Darcy, Stacy, Jen) Photo courtesy Running With The Girls

Final time - 56:10, 9:03 pace, 787 out of 1440 overall, 277 out of 704 women, 49 out of 109 AG (35-39)

A personal worst, but considering how I was feeling, it really isn't that bad. I'm still recovering from what ever I had (which also attacked Ian and Zeke), but will have a full month of solid marathon training before the Beach to Beacon 10K interrupts the schedule one last time as it will be the last race before the Maine Marathon!