Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Recovery and What's Next

By Wednesday last week, I was running. A super easy run that was just a little over two miles. The soreness had greatly diminished, and I was feeling the need to move my body. It was really nice.

I can't remember the last time I ran only two miles. But I can remember feeling quite accomplished when I had worked my way up to two miles when I started running again two and a half years ago. Funny how that works.

Sunday, after I got notification that Chris had reached the five mile mark, I thought I would run "with her" virtually for an hour. I ran seven miles.

This week I thought I would pick up the tail end five weeks of the intermediate half marathon training program I have in preparation for the OUC Half Marathon on December 1st.

I had also planned on running the Holiday Halfathon the next weekend, but I may change my mind. This is the race I set my PR on last year, so a part of me really wants to see if I can run it even better, but...

On January 12th, I will completing my Trifecta, the third consecutive Disney Half Marathon.

How it's possible that training for a marathon can even allow a person to gain weight is beyond me, yet running more than I ever had has added some extra pounds and that makes me unhappy. Apparently I am not alone in this phenomena. P.O.M. experienced the same results and she's doing something about. Check out her Holiday Weightloss Challenge. I have a sneaky feeling that if I was a wee bit lighter, I would be a wee bit faster. I have joined the challenge and I'll let you know how that goes.

I have mentioned before David's maddening marathon comment. To paraphrase, he says that the marathon is so maddening because when you run one, you want to see if you can run one better. After a week and a half, I'm already wondering.

The logical choice would be Disney in 2009. However, I am contemplating the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and wouldn't be expecting a marathon PR. Plus, it's more than a year away. I can't wait that long.

I'm on the hunt for a spring marathon and I need to find one quickly. I considered the Country Music Marathon, a flat course, but registration for the marathon is closed.

Another option, and maybe the most agreeable for my family is the Knoxville Marathon. If I counted correctly, It's about 20 weeks away. Plenty of time. I'll need to reach out to Terry to see how "hilly"it really is.

Does anyone know of any other Spring marathons, preferably flat and within driving distance to Central Florida, I would love to hear about them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

San Francisco Women's Marathon :: By the Numbers

I finally took the time to analyze my final numbers from the race. And while it wasn't anywhere near my goal, I'm still pleased with my results and I'm looking forward to a new PR sooner, rather than later.

  • Final Time: 5:19:11

  • Overall Place: 2,169 out of 4,671: Top 46.43%

  • Sex Rank: 1989 out of 4,266: Top 45.55%

  • Class Rank(age group): 342 out of 701: Top 48.78%

  • ******

    I have never purchased the professional photographs from a race until this week. Other than one picture from last years Disney's Half Marathon, I have always looked like I'm struggling. Even at mile one of a 5k. Amazingly, the pictures from my marathon, even as I approached the 25 mile mark show me smiling and having an amazing time!

    Early on

    Somewhere around mile 24

    Almost there!

    What a great race!

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    I am a Marathoner

    It was an amazing weekend! We arrived in San Francisco without incident. I was concerned about 40 people traveling together and my biggest fear was people not being able to get their act together at baggage claim. My fears were unnecessary. And before I knew it we were checked into our hotel.

    We went to the race expo. Which was an interesting experience. The race was sponsored by Nike and instead of having vendors at the expo, participants were directed across the street to Niketown. to purchase their Nike race souvenirs. It was pure marketing genius from Nike.

    A few days before the race, Runner Girl Leana was kind enough to forward me an official race email that I had not received. The email had a few last minute tips and an email address to send a picture of the people we were running for. Casey made the big screen at the expo.

    When we returned from the expo, I was pleasantly surprised to find a dozen beautiful roses sent to me by my family to wish me luck and say how proud they were of me!

    Saturday was a laid back day and I was up early. I sent Jamie a text message to sadly bow out of our run. With a planned trip to Alcatraz, I didn't want to spend too much time on my legs.

    Sunday I woke up about 15 minutes before the alarm was going to go off. I got up, got dressed and headed out. There was the usual bag checking and the irrational need to pee 500 times before the start of the race. Our hotel was less than a block away from the 4:30 pace group and we made three trips back.

    While waiting for the race to start a beautiful tall blonde walked by and I instantly recognized Leana. We talked, took a picture and even had an opportunity to run together for a little bit.

    There were so many runners. I started with the 4:30 pace group. I had them within my reach as we passed the Golden Gate Bridge, and just like that, they were gone. The course climbed ad climbed. The hills were really tough. We made a turn and we were looking down at the Pacific Ocean. It was absolutely breathtaking!

    At one point the 4:45 pace group had caught and passed me. I ran with them for a while and then they were gone too. We made our way through Golden Gate Park and out to the Great Highway. Just before the 18 mile mark, the 5:00 pace group was right behind me. I struggled to keep them behind me for about a mile and then I decided to join them too. Before we were at mile 20, I was struggling to keep up, and then they were gone too.

    We were headed toward the back side of Lake Merced this part of the course went on and on and on. There was little crowd support during this stretch, but I had a personal pick-me-up at mile 21. There were two women cheering as runners passed by. With my name on my singlet, they both said "Go Maddy" and then they gasped and started screaming "MADDY!!!!!!!!!!". As it turns out, these women were former co-workers at my last company. They are identical twins and their brother was running the race. What a pleasant surprise to see friends when I was struggling a bit.

    After the loop around the lake we were back on The Great Highway and on the home stretch. The last two miles were surreal. There were so many people on the side of the road, cheering and calling my name and giving me encouragement. I feel like my pace picked up those last two miles.

    I crossed the line and received my finishers medal, a Tiffany necklace.

    My final time was 5:19:11 - 49 minutes slower than my goal. While I was prepared for the distance, I don't think I was totally prepared for the hills.

    So what does that mean? It means my next marathon selection will be on a flatter course, because I'm totally hooked!

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Tick Tock Tick Tock...

    ... That's the sound of the clock ticking. I feel like I still have so much to do before I leave my house at 3:30 AM on Friday morning. I'm sure that would be a piece of cake for our lovely Susan but really, if you think about, that's almost Thursday in California. 7:00 AM cannot get happen soon enough for the plane to take off and I'm sure I'll be snoozing all the way to Salt Lake City.

    My last trip across the country gave me an opportunity to catch up on the podcasts I am so far behind in listening to. If sleep does not come, I will be accompanied by Steve, Adam, Kevin and the crew and Marathon Chris. I couldn't ask for better company!

    Saturday morning I am going to meet up with fellow Team Elijah member Jamie for an easy 2 - 3 mile run through San Francisco. How cool is that?

    Sunday morning, I will be on the look out for Runner Girl Leana and I hope I can meet up with her! If not there's always January at Disney.

    I spent some time this week creating my "own" singlet for the big day.

    I'm running this race to honor my friend Casey (in case you hadn't heard). I also wanted to pay tribute to others who have won their battles with cancer, those who are still fighting and those who lost the battle.

    I. Am. So. Excited!

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Six Days!

    I can't believe it's almost here! In less than a week I will run past the Golden Gate Bridge, run along the Pacific Ocean and complete my first marathon!

    I'm ready to tackle it head on and I'm not nervous about the race at all. The weather is another story. The forecast calls for Sunny and a high of 62 degrees. I couldn't ask for better weather! As silly as it sounds, what does one wear to run 26.2 miles with temps in the high 50's and low 60's? Will a long sleeve tech shirt work under my TNT purple singlet? I don't want to be too hot either.

    I have heard that after the half marathoners split off and we head along the coast that the breeze can be chilly. Any confirmation on that(Shirley?)?

    I know some of you will be in San Francisco this weekend. If you would like to try and meet up, email me (address on my profile) and maybe we can get together to say hi and for a picture.

    I would say to just look for me, I'll be in purple, but as the largest TNT event, so will approximately 5,999 others.

    For the seasoned veterans, Chris, Susan, Petra ,David, P.O.M., Shirley and others... Is there any last minute advice you care to share? I sure would appreciate it!

    I hope to post while I'm in San Francisco, but we'll see how I feel.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    The Amazing Thing About Running

    On Monday night I went outside with my daughter, each of us with a jump rope in our hands and we took turns jumping rope. Now, if you haven't jumped rope since you were a kid, I would highly recommend it. If you have the honor of being joined by a child, it's even that much more fun.

    Now here's the thing about jumping rope. It's really hard work. I started thinking about being outside, enjoying the evening and playing like a child. But what I really was noticing was my lung capacity. I was able to jump for quite a while.

    If I were not a runner, or active in some way, I'm sure I would be ten jumps in and then I would be exhausted.

    The amazing thing about running is that because I run, I can jump.

    On Tuesday night I went to the Dolphin Hotel at Walt Disney World to meet Marathon Chris, Shirley, and Adam for The Great Dolphin Run. We went a bit more than four miles at an easy pace and shared great conversation before, during and after the run. Who knew we would be just a few feet from Steve Ballmer?

    On my drive home, I thought the amazing thing about running is that because I run, I have made some really great friends with similar interests. If I didn't run, I would never have been with those great people last night.

    What a gift.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    About That Fundraising...

    When my friend Casey was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, this past spring, during her last semester of college, my heart went out to her. I wanted to find a way to help her. I offered hanging out with her during her chemo treatments, she politely thanked me, but never took me up on my offer.

    I knew, from my mother's battle with cancer, that she ultimately lost, that the treatments can be rough, there is just something about the process of going to get chemo that can be worse than the chemo itself.

    After some thought, and an advertisement in Runner's World, I decided that I would step outside my 13.1 comfort zone and honor Casey by running a marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma's Society Team in Training.

    My commitment included not only training, but fund raising as well. My marathon is just a little more than two weeks away. My fund raising deadline is next Thursday. I have $685 to go. Almost $100 a day. Yikes!

    Thank you to everyone who has donated to my cause. It means so much that my friends have supported me and my goal. Not only financially with donations, but with your kind words and encouragement when I really needed it.

    For those who have thought about it or are just tuning in, now is the time! Click Here to go to my donation page. There is no donation amount that is too small.

    I will be grateful for your support. I will also jump in for your cause, whether it's supporting your charity of choice, buying Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints, anyone?), popcorn from the Boy Scouts, I'm in!

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Some Other Great Reads

    18 days!

    The time has come to clean up my sidebar. There are some bloggers who have just fallen off. No posts in a month. Some have been silent for even longer. What is the proper amount of time before I give up on these bloggers ever returning.

    There are also some additions that I need to make. Why is it that making changes to the template isn't nearly as enjoyable as writing a post?

    I have found a lot of these, if not all of these blogs through comments left on this and other blogs. If you haven't read these, I highly recommend them. And if you're lurking, please leave a comment so I can find your blog too.

    Pieces of Me
    P.O.M. eats Kashi and yogurt for breakfast (my daily morning meal), she's tapering for the Long Beach Marathon, she often has a song of the day, and she's really entertaining.

    Running Alone But Together
    Lizzie Lee is documenting her marathon journey. Seattle on November 27th, while her daughter will run the Bangkok Marathon on the same day - 7,440 miles apart.

    Run to Finish
    Amanda is running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco on October 21st. She writes about her training, NASCAR and the Biggest Loser - one of the best shows on TV.

    Runner Girl Leana
    Runner Girl Leana, from the Great White North, eh, is running the Nike Women's Half Marathon, and six days later, she's following me home to Orlando to run the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13k at Disney's MGM Studios in Orlando. She'll be back in Orlando for the Goofy Race and Half Challenge in January. How cool is that?.
    Looking at her past races, in January we will have been at 3 of the same races. Women Run the World, Minnie Marathon 15k last May, San Francisco in less than three weeks and the Disney Half Marathon. I think it's really cool that our paths continue to cross doing something we love.

    I haven't run since I went big on Sunday. I was planning on taking tomorrow off and adjust my schedule a bit. I was planning on five miles today and I just got too busy. Tomorrow is another day and I still have a little wiggle room in my training schedule to get my runs in and continue the taper.

    As you know, Petra is tapering too in preparation for Amsterdam. Today I sent her another Nike+ Challenge. Because we are runnung on the same day, I thought it would be fun to see where we end up mile wise after our respective marathons. The name of the Challenge? The Great Pickled Herring Challenge. Are you wondering why? Click here to find the answer.