“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Friday, September 20, 2013

This and That

Since I've been back from the climb, getting back into a routine has been tough.
But the celebration dinner my friends put together makes it totally worth it!

  • First, my GI system didn't work properly for about a week.
  • Then, my kiddo's GI system rebelled, she got the full-blown flu and vomited for days..
  • Finally, after a week's worth of running like normal, after my 16 mile run, I strained my mid-foot carrying Avery down the stairs.  Really?  I can tackle mountains and marathons, but the dasterdly combination of a two year old and stairs did me in?
Suck it up mommy!
During all this, I actually participated in two races and didn't recap either one. GASP!  For shame.  The first race took place the second day after I'd descended Rainier.  Yes, that's right, the SECOND day.  God love me, but I can be a real idiot sometimes!  The pace team that I am a member of has two major races they pace each year:  The Cap City Half Marathon and the Emerald City Half and Quarter marathon.  As a member of this pace team, I am expected to pace at least one of these two events each year.  Cap City always takes place the DAY BEFORE the Flying Pig marathon, which we all know I raced this year.  Thus, I knew I needed to pace Emerald City, which took place on August 25th.

Luckily, most of the paces I prefer were already taken by the time I saw the signup, so I only signed up to pace the Quarter (and not the half) and at a pace that is relatively slow for me.  Nonetheless, I didn't sleep the night of the 22nd when I was on the mountain, I barely slept the 23rd because I had to get up for an early flight back.  I was still on Pacific Coast time on the 24th, thus, getting up early to pace this race on the 25th felt like someone had kicked me in the face with mountain boots on.  We won't even talk about how stiff my quads felt or how I was still extremely dehydrated from all those events.  As I got ready for the race, I actually wondered whether or not I would be able to pace the whole thing.
MIT pace team pre-race
I borrowed a tutu from my good friend Laura and paced the race.  Luckily, we pace as two person teams and my partner was awesome.  Our target time was 1:15 for the 6.55 miles.  She crossed the finish line at 1:15:00 and I crossed at 1:15:01.  Not too shabby!
Nothing better than pacing in a pink tutu!
Since the damage was already done, I decided to walk backwards on the course until I found my best friend Sarah who was running the half...and then pace her in.  (Sometimes, you can't fix stupid).  She'd been a little nervous about the race because it was her first half marathon back from having her adorable kiddo.  At least I was smart enough to just walk back and not run back???  I think I went back about 2.5 miles to get her and then had a blast running her in and talking to her like a drill sergeant.  I'm not sure what the official PR time was for her, but I'm fairly certain it was a PR by a little over 45 minutes.  I'd take all the credit, but she's worked really hard.  :)

The other race that involved a recap fail was a labor day 4 mile race.  I paid all of $10 to sign up for it and it was rumored to have lots of fun goodies at the race itself.  You got one raffle ticket for signing up and could get a second one by bringing in three canned goods to donate.  I didn't win any prizes, but they were really awesome.  There were all kinds of booths giving away free stuff and I wound up coming home with 3 new kids books for my kiddo.  AWESOME.

I actually did really well considering I barely ran the week before.  After pacing so many miles RIGHT AFTER climbing the mountain, my whole body rebelled and I didn't run again for 6 days.  I struggled through 10 miles instead of the 18 miler on Saturday, took the next day off, and then had this race to run on Monday.
One of my local running groups, RUN DMC, pre-race.
Sarah was also running this race and wanted to break 40 minutes.  After my bad run that Saturday I wouldn't even commit to pacing her for sub-40.  That morning, though, I woke up and my legs were READY to go!  I feel bad about ditching Sarah early on, but challenged her to keep me in sight.  I repeatedly told her she had at least a 9:45 min/mile average in her.  I was right.

I finished in 33:50.  The course was a tiny bit short, so my true average pace was 8:45 min/mile.  It was hot and felt tougher than it should have, but it felt good to run more effortlessly again!  My age group was fierce, 16 people had sub-8 min mile times!  A gal that I paced with most of the race placed in her younger age group.  It gives me hope that I will get faster as I age.  :D

So, now I've recapped the "races" I've done since the mountain.  Phew.  I know you're all relieved.  Ha.  I was supposed to be running the Boulder Half Marathon this weekend.  The event has been postponed because of the seriously crazy flooding they've been having in the area.

After discussion, my family and I decided that I would not fly to Denver, opting for quality family time at home instead.  American Airlines offered to charge me $200 to change my under $300 flight to another weekend.  Um.  We have not yet taken them up on that ridiculous offer.  I don't know whether or not the event will be rescheduled to a date where I can make it, so far now, I'm assuming I won't be able to run it at all.  While it is disappointing that I essentially threw away about $500 for a race I didn't run, I think the race organizers absolutely made the right call!  With a natural disaster like this, I'd rather the focus be on helping the community recovery.   My thoughts and prayers have included everyone in that area for the last couple weeks.

Other race stuff?  I've been debating the idea of adding the Philadelphia Marathon to my fall schedule.  (With Colorado out, hubby owes me a weekend away, right?)  If I sign up, I would run Detroit as more of a training marathon, and throw my serious racing effort at Philadelphia. This idea came up because of my foot strain and how difficult it has been to come back full strength from climbing a mountain.  (Philly gives me 4 extra weeks to get to racing effort).

At the moment, I am still not doing any speedwork, because my heartrate is still a little higher than normal on most of my longer runs.  I had a quality, solid 10 mile run this Wednesday with zone 2 heart rate and no foot pain at all, however, so maybe I'm turning that corner!
I'm giving all the credit for the strain healing to this fun torture.
Sticking your foot in an ice bucket for 10 minutes sucks more than it should.
I'll probably still stick with a slower pace group for the next couple of long run Saturdays though.  Sometimes I can be smart.  :)

Anyone else race recently?

Anyone else have a physical event take longer to recover from than originally anticipated?  How did you keep yourself patient with it all?

Thoughts on whether I should add Philly to be schedule?


  1. And here I was thinking that you were relaxing on a tropical island somewhere, taking a well-deserved break... :)

    1. That definitely sounds like a way better use of my time!

  2. Whoa that is an amazing cake!!! And double whoa about your life post-Rainier! Sorry it's been rough, but it sounds like your spirits are good :)

    I've been doing a couple of 1/2's recently (also not recapped yet) and have one more longish race (15 mile trail race) in late October. Otherwise, my marathons are done for 2013 - unless I too try to slip into Philly!

    1. You should, you should - I just registered!

  3. Intense!! Yes- the body definitely needs that recovery time to get stronger, and will let you know if it doesn't get it. :)
    You should definitely do Philly- I'll be there!!


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