Sunday, October 28, 2012

Now What?

I set three running goals at the beginning of 2012:

1) Run a trail half marathon (this scared the crap out of me)

2) Redemption Marathon (Columbus, Ohio Marathon)

3) Run 1,000 miles for the year

And now here I am. I ran my first trail half in May and threw in a trail full for good measure. I had a blast and got a PR at the Columbus Marathon. And somewhere around mile 18 of the marathon I hit 1,000 miles for the year!

One thousand running miles for the year is a goal that I have made for the last two years. Last year was a fail. I don't even think I really recorded many of the miles I ran. I wasn't in love with running last year and fought through a few injuries. I didn't want to be reminded of how few miles I was running. But this year I figured I'd give it a go again. And here I am! Already over 1,000 for the year, all other items checked off and this leaves me wondering.... now what?

You know that point in the marathon where your Garmin hits 26.2 and you think, "ok, I'm done. 26.2 is all I agreed to!"? Minor issue is that you probably didn't run all of the tangents at correct angles so of course the course is a bit long. You have to keep running to the finish line, I mean, if you want your medal and space blanket you do. And I do want my medal and space blanket... always. Well part of me feels like that about the 1,000 mile goal. Welp, I'm done! No more running for me! But really, if I didn't run anymore this year, I'd be ringing in the new year as a single lady in a mumu. Single because I'm such a grump when I don't run, my husband would likely walk out on me. Wearing a mumu because I would probably weigh a thousand pounds by year end... So I suppose I'll keep running.

But it's not even the end of October and I'm goal-less. And I've been racing and trainings so much I forgot what casual running is... This is one of the dumbest problems I've ever complained about...

I suppose my goal for the rest of the year could be to have fun running? Oh, and stop griping about problems that aren't really problems....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Columbus Ohio Marathon...Take that Chicago 2010!!!

I've mentioned it a million times and I'll mention it a million more... The Chicago Marathon of 2010 practically stole my will to run. It was a bad race at a bad time in my life and it was a quadrillion degrees.

I signed up for the Columbus Marathon as a redemption marathon. A full marathon that I would run and hopefully it would heal the wounds that Chicago opened. Hopefully, I would run a strong race, have a good time, and be in love with running again. And guess what?


Great race course + great weather + great travel companions = magic running day!!! So I'll hit the highlights....

- They start the race by firing a cannon. It was terrifying and the woman next to me almost jumped into my arms! Is it a good omen or a bad omen for the race when a stranger jumps into your arms?

-Oh great, I'm in the starting corral with the race "expert". Ugh I had to listen to her go on and on and on with her helpful hints for her fellow runners:
   Be careful where you walk for the first few miles, people throw clothes off and it's dangerous. Did you know that the half people run with the full for almost their entire race, but then those silly full marathon people have to keep going for another 13.1? Who would do that? (me lady, thanks for asking). If your bib number is showing you can buy pictures after the race. Did you know this is a timing chip on the back of your bib? I'm the smartest person alive....Are you wondering how fast you will have to run to get away from me?

She was a real pip. I couldn't wait to get away from her.

- Backwards runner girl. Ugh. She was running backwards somewhere around mile 6 or 7. Now, if you're running backwards to break a record or something, that's awesome. She was not. She was running backwards because, "it works different muscles and it's really great and I'm super smart" WHAMMO she wipes out into a guy running the CORRECT direction. Thankful to ditch her as well.

- Lots of running, lots of thinking. Lots of gigantic beautiful houses. Lots of sporadic O-H-I-O cheers (not an OSU fan so I pretended they were all for my alma mater Ohio University). I kept thinking I was starting too fast. But it felt good and I figured, who cares. I'll just keep running and see what happens! Lo and behold I was smiling....

- And then I was laughing. Hysterically! There was some weird guy cheering and saying inspirational things... like Oh my god you're doing this... this is amazing... this is gonna change your life.... Now I'm all for cheering and shenanigans, but this guys was so into it I felt like he was going to break down in tears. And it struck me as HILARIOUS!! I couldn't stop laughing and I'm looking around and no one else finds this humorous and that makes it even funnier because I feel like I'm on crazy pills.

-Directly after weird overly sentimental cheering guy is some DJ spinning tunes and standing a few feet away with there is a guy with tambourine obviously listening to very different music in his head. Again... hilarious.

- More running. Still smiling.

- Mile 19 shot of PBR. Always take the beer.

-Best music ever... two dudes wearing tuxedos playing Chariots of Fire on Keyboards. THIS WAS PERFECT! I looked directly at the red head and told him I loved him. Because oh my god how awesome is that!?!?! And I knew that they had been there all morning doing the same thing! So fantastic.

-So I get to that mile 25 that lasts forever and there are my dear friends screaming like lunatics! One had already finished and the other had come all the way to Columbus to cheer for us. So happy to see friendly faces. Even happier when they told me the race had a swear to god downhill finish.

- I passed about four people in the finish chute which has never  happened and again I was SMILING!

I had a blast at this race. My training had felt so crappy that I had no idea how this race would turn out. The stars aligned and gave me the road full marathon I needed. The good news is, I still love running, I loved this race, and I ran my fastest full by 10 minutes. Even better, the evening was filled with good food, delicous local beer, and good friends.


Great race! Go run it:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I know I can beat Al Roker

Lots of people have goals for races. They want negative splits, a certain per minute mile, not pooping themselves and on and on. My number one goal for every race has always been to get to the finish line without saying, "I am never doing this again". I'm not gunning for the win. I just want to have a little fun and challenge myself. Another ongoing goal is to beat the sweeper van.

So I thought that it would be fun for this race to pick another goal.

Everyone knows about Oprah and Ditty. And it was a humbling experience to know that they're marathon times are out of my league. Good job for them blah blah blah. So who is in my league?
Al Roker - 7:09 - I know I can beat this. Even when the road turned to lava and the runners started      to look like extras from the Thriller Video at Chicago 2010, I beat this.
David Lee Roth - 6:04 - I can beat this. And I also find it hilarious that I found his name in an Internet search of celebrity marathon times. It also showed up with this picture.
The thought of this picture and this man running a marathon will hopefully carry me through at least 6-7 miles... laughing.
Meredith Viera - 5:59 - She's a TV personality, she's charming, witty... and I'm gonna beat her too!
Katie Holmes - 5:29 - Insert Scientology joke here... I remember when she ran this time and some uppity so and so wrote into Runner's World saying things like how she wasn't even running and people as slow as her should be flogged and kicked and all races should only allow people that can run under 4 hour marathons and all us 5+ hour marathon people are just taking up everyone else's oxygen. And I hate that guy. Good job Katie! I'm still gonna beat you! ( I hope so).
And now we come to my real nemesis.... Jared Fogle - 5:13 - The Subway guy. He got famous for loosing weight eating Subway Sandwiches. And now he travels around with his "I used to be a big fella" pants encouraging people to eat sandwiches or something. I want to beat that guy.
We'll see.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What's the weather gonna be like? What's it gonna be like now? Now?

Sun Oct 21

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Chance of rain:
SSW at 9 mph  

This race day forecast looks amazing. And in case you're wondering, it's change only by about 5 degrees here and there in the past few days. How do I know this? Because I obsess over race day weather. Okay, I obsess over a lot of things. But when the race day weather shows up on's ten day forecast... sh!t starts to get real. And I focus on race day weather.

I check the weather on my phone and on my laptop... are they different? Why are they different? Has it changed in the last few hours?

Right now, it looks too good to be true. I love chilly race starts with overcast weather. But I realize things can change. Did I just check to see if it has changed? Yes I did. And yes it has.

Sun Oct 21

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Chance of rain:
SSW at 9 mph
Seriously.... I could do this all day. And I do. No kidding.

The first thing I always hope for on race day is no rain. And when no rain looks like a reasonable, I start getting picky. 50 degrees at the start would be good, overcast at the start and sunny when I cross the finish line, low humidity.... it's not too much to ask is it?

I remember the 10 day forecast the year I did Chicago. And I watched the temps go up and up and up and up. By the time I got to race day I just assumed we would be running on hot lava. It was kind of like that. Did all that watching help? No, not really, it just added to my anxiety. But I'm not going to do something crazy like STOP obsessing about the weather. It's just what I DO. I wonder if it's changed yet?

One week til marathon day.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

1st Rule of Taper is... Make the Runs you do AWESOME!

Taper Shmaper....

I would have told you Saturday morning that I'm over running. I'm slow, I'm tired, and I'm sore all the time. Let's get this race in the bag and be dunzo! Every time I get to the taper I hate everything. I'm so excited to taper, but I hate not running. I also hate sleeping, being awake, walking, writing, cooking, chewing, other people chewing, using a stapler, and on and on.... But what if I did a different kind of taper this time? What if I tried to make all the runs I am allowed to do awesome? What if I make it a goal of my taper to fall in love with running! Genius? Maybe...

This idear started on Thursday. I was a super hateful grump monster. But I suckered a friend into unpaid therapy (running with me). I word vomited all the things that had been making me crazy. She listened. I healed. Ahhh. Friends that run and listen are the best friends in the world. She kept asking me, "do you run faster when you're venting?" I guess I do.

Then Saturday... You see, there was a trail race I had thought about running. I didn't really want to race. It was a triple loop 15k. I had no interest in doing it to be honest. But I wanted to be around my friends. Decisions.... I made the "smart" move and said, no I'm not gonna do the race. I was thinking, I'll just run in the State Park near my house. I had a friend that had agreed to do the first 4.5 loop with me, and then I'd do the second lap solo. Sounded good. Then Friend got sick. Then race got canceled. There was a part of me that thought a solo run was a good thing. Me and nature. Heaven. But I got out of my selfish runner I already have my day planned out brain and thought... I'll just tell them they can meet me.

WIN! I pushed myself harder and ran more miles than I would have solo! We crossed a creek with water up to our thighs 4 times! Had I been running alone I would not have crossed it once... We ran up a thousand stairs and laughed and smiled and the leaves are changing color. And I love running. Maybe I didn't get as many miles in as I would have on the road. But I LOVED running that day. I think this can work..... we'll see.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'll Imagine I'm Someone Else... And I'm AMAZING!

I've struggled with my mental game this training round. I've been doing a lot of solo runs which I had intended to be a magical time with myself to contemplate really smart stuff and become my full potential. Um... yeah. That was my intention.... and well, that just hasn't happened. Instead I've spent lots of time running alone and the little gremlin of self doubt has been a cruel little shit to say the least.
He keeps telling me I'm not picking up my feet enough, my pace isn't good enough, I'm taking too many walk breaks, everyone everywhere is better at this than me, I should have run more miles, I should have done more speed work, I should have lost 10 pounds and grown my legs 4 inches longer...

But the fact is that my taper is starting and the work I've done will carry my body through this marathon. In theory, right? Ugh.

How do I deal with this doubt and Debbie Downer thoughts going through my head? Well, I pretend I'm someone else! A "natural". There are a couple gals in my running group that are incredibly talented and when they run it just looks like no big deal. Probably how I look when I eat half a pizza. You know? No big deal, I do this all the time! So in the middle of a crap run I pretend that I'm "good at running, isn't this easy, fast girl". And for about 5-10 minutes it works really well!!! I'm amazing! Then it goes away. But maybe comes back later.

I'm driving in my car the other day and I hear this song and I start laughing because of this scene from a movie you've probably never seen. But I'm downloading this song for the race. And I'm gonna hear it, and I'm gonna laugh, and I'm gonna imagine I'm Chazz from Blades of Glory, and I'm AMAZING!

So that's what I'll be doing during my race to keep the gremlins away and to keep myself entertained. Pretending I'm a really good runner and also a really horrible and awesome ice skater. Oh let's see how this one turns out...