Monday, December 10, 2012

13.1 RR

Yesterday was my first half marathon.  Well, kind of. My husband likes to remind me I did a half Ironman in 2010 which ended with a half marathon but with a still recovering shattered heel it was more of a walk than a run.

As with all races there are good and bad take-aways.  There were good miles and I took the time to enjoy those miles, 3-9 were not bad at all.  I had a plan and stuck to it until after the 10 mile mark.  I ran through the first aid station, had to stop for potty during the second mile so picked up my pace to make up that time before the next aid station.  The plan was to keep my pace around 12-12:15 until mile:75 so I would pick up the pace the last quarter before the aid station.  I tell myself I am 'earning my walk'.  I kind of came up with this plan during mile 2 and it worked well.  The last quarter of each mile my goal was sub 12:00, preferably around 11:45.

Running during a triathlon is much more fun than a foot race.  In triathlon there are no headphones allowed so there is a lot more encouragement from spectators as well as other racers. Now that I am used to running without music I get kind of lonely during foot races when everyone is in their own world and nobody is chatting. 

After the potty stop I saw Karen so I ran up to her, swatted her behind and we exchanged a few words.  She was doing a relay with Rachel so I would see her later in the race.  When I got to the half way point I saw Rachel, gave her a hug and heard Trisha & Belinda cheering for me.  This was a good mile.  My half way goal was 12:teen and I was at 12:12.

Sooner than I expected Rachel caught me. When she got to me she was huffing and puffing clearly she had really pushed herself to catch me.  We run together at least once a week so having her there was comforting.  She told me my breathing sounded good.  Another good mile.

Once we were past the half way point the sun was out and it was warm.  Who would have thought I'd be dumping water on my neck and worrying about sunscreen at a December 9 race?  This same race was freezing last year.  My good training runs are in the 60s, today was in the 80s.

When I got to 10.1 I told Rachel this was my longest run.  At this point my left IT band was bugging and I was nauseous while walking.  Mile 10 wasn't horrible but it got worse pretty quick.  My ten mile goal was 12:10, I was at 12:19.
I told myself I only had a 5K left but that is a big fat lie. It is a 5K after 10 miles, very different!

During mile 12 I had to stop to stretch my left IT band, this killed my pace.  I wanted a 12:15 average for the day but would settle for 12:30.  I remember looking down at my watch after stretching and my average was 12:28 this made me nervous because my 'running' pace was now quite slow, my feet were killing me.

Making things a bit more frustrating the mile markers were stretching out.  The first 6-7 miles my Garmin and the mile markers on the course were close but later in the race the markers were further and further out.  At 11 miles we didn't reach the marker until 11:20, twelve was 11:25 and when my watch said 13.1 there was no 13 mile marker in sight let alone a finish line. This messed with my head and I walked for a bit.  My mantra during that last mile was "run with a purpose, earn your walk' I tried to keep my head up, shoulders back, feet under me hands at my hips.  Looked at my watch and average pace was 12:31, that is NOT going to happen, I was not going to let go of 12:30!

Picked up again and the last .25 felt like a mile. There was no music and the crowd was minimal so you couldn't hear it until you were almost there.  The distance by my watch was 13.35.  The course being long is annoying but not a huge deal.  What bothers me more is the times are based on a 13.1 mile course so my paces in the results are way off.

Laid on the ground next to Karen and put my feet on a sign for leg drains. Got up to walk to pavilion and as soon as I sat down both calves seized up BAD.  I was writhing in pain. My sweet friends were running around getting drinks and food for me but nothing helped.  Finally I took my compression socks down and Karen massaged the calves.  There were moments it took everything in me not to kick her in the face but I knew it was helping.  Once I could stand and walk we headed to lunch and then home for shower and a much deserved nap. Note to self: No stopping during Ironman.

It is done. I ran further than ever before.  Next up - 13.1 March 25, hoping it will be cooler and will be looking for a PR.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Another one of my goals before the Ironman training really kicks in is getting to a weight I am happy with. Surprisingly I am heavier now than when I started triathlon training.  Funny how some of us think our training justifies anything we put in our mouth. I know I am guilty of the "I ran X miles, I EARNED this"

I don't want the number to be one I see on A day but what is my new normal.

Which brings me to numbers. Ugh! I hate numbers!  As a woman I have looked at numbers as the enemy. 10, 160, 43 are all numbers that would make most women cringe. I don't hate all of my numbers but am ready to say goodbye to a few of them. 

I can honestly say I am proud of and take ownership of all my 43 years of age. I would not trade this for anything! Not to say I wouldn't mind a 30 year old face and 20 year old behind.  As numbers go though I can definitely live with 43.

The other numbers have become old friends, it is time to move on.  Of course my weight fluctuates. Right now my range is generally 157-163 or it was the last few times I weighed myself.  I have not had a scale for 15+ years. When I got rid of the last husband I also got rid of the scale. Having somebody in your life who thought they should have a say in what you weigh is suffocating and oppressive to say the least. Getting rid of the scale was part of taking my power back.
In the last several years I would weigh myself when I went to the gym. This way if I wasn't happy with the number I was already at the gym.  With my current training I almost never go to the gym.

Yesterday I bought a scale. My plan is to weigh myself on Wednesday only. I know if I don't set rules it will be something I do too much of. The scale also has a special place out of sight. With three daughters in the house the last thing I need is them getting on the scale every day. It starts out fun at first (since it is a novelty for them) but my concern is it becoming competition or the number on the scale determines how they feel about themselves.

Another part of holding myself accountable is writing down what I eat. Doing this makes me think twice before I eat or drink something. Do I really want to write that down? My food is logged the same place as my workouts so that makes it easy.
Having food prepared is very important.  I'm not depriving myself of anything in particular but making a big effort to make my calories count and eat food I know is good for me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's getting hot in here!

#1 on the getting to Ironman Arizona list is "Stay injury free".  In an effort to ward off any injuries I am practicing hot yoga. Let me clarify this is not Bikram Yoga but Hot Hatha Yoga. I have done both and while I enjoy Bikram the room is even hotter and sadly there is not a studio near me.  I practice at Sun Touch Yoga just a few miles from my home.

From their website "Hot Hatha is a 75 minute class offered in a 96 degree infrared heated room.  Designed to relieve stress, balance and strengthen the glandular system, circulation, digestion and nervous system, reshape muscles, tendons and posture. Fresh blood is brought to areas not normally affected and the whole body becomes supple and fit!  Detox and feel renewed! Move your body, free your mind!"

There is much discussion in the triathlon community whether anything other than swimming, biking and running is good for tri training. I am always surprised by the folks who think anything other than SBR is a waste of time.  When someone asks about fatigue on the bike the answer is often "bike more" as if taking the time to strengthen your upper body and core is not an option.

Dragging my sleepy tuhkus out of bed at 5:00am is not easy but getting into that hot room, seeing my friend's smiling face and   Pushing my body to places it wasn't able to go to before while getting a serious sweat on is good for ME