Monday, September 30, 2013

Goodbye to September

In the last week I was excited to see that I was on track to run my first 100 mile month. My highest previous month was 89.1 miles in July of 2012. Because this September had five weekends with two of those being 20-milers for MDI training, 100 miles was going to happen. Until this morning.

I woke up with a killer headache, felt like I was in a fog and my stomach did not feel good at all. Twenty miles all by myself was the last thing I felt like doing. I know I am so close to being done with this cycle, but I just was not in the mindset of running for over three hours. At first I was bummed that I wouldn't reach the 100 miles. Really, that's silly. It's just a number. Someday I'll hit that, but it was not going to be this month. So September will end with 81.4 miles, my second highest ever. My new plan is to go out tomorrow while the boys are at school and get in 18-20 miles and start my favorite month out of the year off right. I can do this!

Today I'm enjoying the time with my family...though I just took the time to write this post. Oops. 

Speaking of family, we went apple picking yesterday and picked up some pumpkins to decorate our newly "almost" finished porch. Zeke and I even made a little scarecrow out of the boys' outgrown clothes.

I also got to run with Jen and Stacy on Saturday for 6 miles. Seriously, I have missed running with them so much! 
Photo courtesy

It just amazing how easy it seems when running with friends. It is so much more fun and time goes by so fast! 

I am so looking forward to MDI! Along with Jill, they are running MDI as a relay (team Pirate Booties), so I'll have company every step of the way. Poor Jen gets me on the last leg when I'm the most tired and where there are some significant hills. She posted this to my facebook yesterday.

Perfect! At least she's prepared!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week in Review

I had a great week of running last week. It was equally wonderful the week before, but never got around to recapping it here. Don't worry, I won't bore you with all of that. Plus I want to get some painting done while the boys are at school. 

Tuesday - off
Wednesday - off
Thursday - 4.2 mile progression run, 37:33 {9:14, 9:06, 8:59, 8:43, 7:27 pace for last .2} 
Friday - off
Saturday - 3.1 miles, 25:57 {8:41, 8:13, 8:09, :54}
Sunday - off
Monday - 20 MILES!!!!! 

At work on Sunday, KC (whom my last post is about...and you can still donate here), discovered that we both had 20 miles on our schedule for Monday morning. Why not run together? 

I was nervous about running with someone new. I knew that she was used to running long runs at a faster pace than me. Also, I had gotten very little sleep in the last two nights after getting up ridiculously early for a work meeting at one job and working late that night at another. I didn't know if I would be able to keep up and would feel bad if I was holding her back. But I think it was good to have someone push me a bit and keep going when I sometimes mentally check out when running alone. The good thing was the weather was cooperating and it was in the 60's with light rain. 

The first 10 miles were pretty fast for me, but felt pretty good. My breathing was in control and we ran every hill. Actually, we charged up every hill. This is funny because I felt that KC was pushing on the inclines so I did too. But at the end, she though I was pushing the pace on the hills so she was following me! {9:14, 9:08, 9:24, 8:58, 9:11, 9:12, 8:54, 8:44, 8:54}

At mile 11 I started getting a nasty cramp in my left ham-ass (a term coined by SUAR recently) and we took a little walk break resulting in our slowest mile at 11:24. 

At this point we tacked on a couple out-and-backs to get as many miles as we could before heading back to my house for more water which we reached 15.5 miles in. My ham-ass kept cramping up (more of a pinching) and KC's hip flexors where bothering her so we slowed down our pace a couple of times. {9:06, 9:33, 9:04, 9:54}

When we got back to my house I forgot to pause my watch, so the time for mile 16 is about three minutes slow. {12:24 - should be 9:24} With only 4.5 miles left we headed south to do a quick out-and-back. We were both feeling pretty done at this point and took a couple more walk breaks, but managed to run every hill. {9:09, 10:29, 9:01, 10:05}


I could not be more happy with this run. With where I was mentally before we started, I am still so proud of how well we did. With the exception of the cramping of my leg/butt, every mile that was 100% running was in the low 9's or high 8's! I mean mile 19 was a 9:01!!!!! Holy crap. This has me more than excited to see what happens at MDI. KC helped me push myself and what I thought I could do. I'd bet if I had run this solo, I would have given up on the hills and walked a ton more. But now I know I can do it, so I'll have no excuses when I have another 20-miler in two weeks. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Team In Training: A Fight Against Cancer

Happy Monday friends! I was going to do a recap of last week's training today, but I thought I would save that for tomorrow and introduce you to someone special I know.

I work with a woman named KC, who is currently training for the Maine Marathon next month. I love going in to work and comparing running notes and inspiring and motivating each other with stories of running. KC isn't running a marathon to cross it off her bucket list or because she knows people who are running marathons. KC is running for something greater than herself. KC joined up with Team In Training to raise money for cancer research, a cause very close to her heart as her mother lost her battle to cancer. Here are her words:

Dear Friends,

I am reaching out to you in a request for your support and encouragement on this journey. On October 6, 2013 I am running the Maine Marathon. The run is in honor of my mother, Cathy Fitch. The event is to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am training with Team in Training (TNT). TNT is a team of dedicated people working and running to raise money for research and patient care. Being able to pay tribute to her, and support something that has a lot of meaning, is exciting!

Team In Training exists to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. It also looks to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. This is in part due to the money that The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has raised to aid researchers in their fight to find cures for this disease. The proper diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers is constantly developing. And I know personally how much the research helped improve my mother’s life. Thus, it is a great privilege to participate in this run through Team in Training. 
The training is no easy feat. And a marathon is simply crazy! But knowing that the exhausting hours and miles are for a wonderful cause. Cathy Fitch, my mother was diagnosed with cancer three times.  Cathy battled Hodgkin Lymphoma twice and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma once. My mother left an amazing legacy behind. Throughout she maintained a positive attitude and unyielding courage. Regardless of  all my exhaustion, soreness, and pain, this is a labor of love. Running a marathon is something that my mother would have been so proud of and so I will carry that pride with me across 26.2 miles. 
I hope you will join me on this journey by making a donation to my campaign. I have a Web site that you can visit to follow my fundraising progress, as well as my running progress. The link is below. You can also mail a check to me made out to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. All contributions are tax- deductible.

My legs may be tired and sore, but my determination is not.  Your support is immensely appreciated. Please make a donation. 

All my love,

KC Fitch 

If you are able to donate (even as little as $1), again here is the link to KC's Team In Training page. 

She is closing in on her goal, with just over $300 to go. It also happens to be KC's birthday today and I can't think of a better gift to give than to help her reach her goal. Both KC and I are eternally grateful for your generosity. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week (and a few days) in Review

With Zeke going to Kindergarten and Ian taking a few days off, I had no good time to do my recap of last week's marathon training. I have a little time to catch up now, so here we go.

Tuesday - off
Wednesday - off
Thursday - 4.1 miles, 35:04, 8:33 pace w/ 3 x .25 mi sprint intervals (.25 mi rest) in the middle
Friday - off (I can't remember the reason I didn't run this day)
Saturday - 2.53 miles, 22:22, 8:51 pace (brought me over 70 miles for the month)
Sunday - off
Monday - planned for 18 miles (10 mi w/ Jen, but thunderstorms ruined it)
Tuesday - 18 miles, 3:12:38, 10:42 pace

Okay, about that long run. Like I previously mentioned, Ian is home this week so I was able to run during the day. After seeing our oldest get on the bus for the first time and head off to Kindergarten *sigh*

I slowly got ready to head out for my long run.

The temperature was close to 70 with 94% humidity. I knew that it was going to be hot and hard, but I was confident that I could do it. I found this handheld at TJ Maxx for $5 and was going to try it out.

Verdict: I like it, but I don't swing the arm that is holding it very much so I'm pumping my arms even less than I already do. I don't feel the weight of it and it is comfortable on my hand.

I headed up to the northern tip of the city for the first loop. Everything was going pretty well in the first few miles. {9:39, 9:38, 9:37, 9:43} I walked a short hill in mile four since I'm new to running with a handheld bottle and started choking, but recovered quickly. {10:23, 9:30}

I was already really feeling the effects of the humidity and my legs were starting to feel like bricks. I had reached the track so I decided to do a few miles here to recover before heading back home to refill my bottle and pick up more Shot Bloks.

This part was good and bad. The soft surface felt nice and was a nice change from the hard pavement. But the sun started to burn through the clouds and there is no tree cover on the track. Also it felt like the surface wasn't level and I was going up a slight incline on one straightaway. My Garmin confirmed that when I uploaded the run and there are evenly spaced "hills" on the course profile. The heat was really starting to get to me and I would run for a bit, then walk for a bit, but I still wasn't getting discouraged or freaking out that I still had half of the run still to go. Just run the mile you're in. {9:36, 11:59, 9:45, 9:18}

I was almost out of water and more than halfway done, so I headed back to the house and only had 5.5 miles left to go after refueling. {12:59, 10:33} I filled my bottle with Nuun this time around, but it got warm quickly and made me burp, so I think I will continue to only use it as a recovery drink or to hydrate throughout the day. This was my first time using it on the run, so maybe I'll try again.

I headed to the southern tip of the city for the last section and it was all I could do to keep my legs moving. When I get tired my head feels so heavy and my legs just will not move. I'd run for a bit, then walk for a bit, run, walk, run, walk, just kept moving forward. {9:58, 10:44, 11:22, 12:25, 14:01, 11:26}

Finally, three hours, twelve minutes, thirty-eight seconds after I started, I was done.

I elevated my legs right away and then crawled into the bathroom to take a cold shower to try and cool down. I just sat in the bathtub and sprayed ice cold water on my legs and head. This was the best part of the day.

I definitely did not hydrate enough for this run. I was eating a Shot Blok every 1-1.5 miles, so I think I was getting enough fuel. Part of me is worried about running 26.2 miles in a little over a month, but honestly, I'm not all that discouraged from this run. The weather sucked and it WILL NOT be like that in October. I know I can do better and I will.