Tag Archives: My first marathon

The Post Marathon Post

So, that marathon thing happened. It’s basically all I can think about for the last 3 days. I’m never like this with half marathons, so I guess running a marathon is a pretty big deal to me. Who knew? So, here’s what’s been going on since Saturday.

First Thing I Did When I Got Home on Sunday

Recovery

I recover quickly from long runs. I do a lot of cross-training, so I’m going to go ahead and thank Crossfit and weight lifting for that. The day after the marathon, my knees and legs in general were pretty sore. I could walk fine once I got going, but when I got up from a seated position or out of a car – that posed a walking challenge.

I’m terrible when it comes to stretching and foam rolling. So I didn’t do either after the marathon. I did take a rather long ice bath and I wore my Zensah compression sleeves after the marathon and the entire next day. The second day, my inner thighs were a little sore so I stretched and foam rolled (a little) and after that, the soreness was gone. So, I’m sure if I stretched and foam rolled after the marathon, my recovery would have been even faster. But damn. Stretching is so boring. I’d rather sit on the couch and count the popcorn on the ceiling.

I’ve even gone to yoga classes before and I can’t relax in those. All I think about during the class is how many minutes till it’s over or what I could be doing that is more fun than yoga – like visiting a screen door factory.

Running

I haven’t ran or worked out since the marathon, which is unusual for me. Unless you count lifting the fork to my mouth as an activity, then I’ve been very active. Three days might be the longest voluntary non-workout period I’ve ever had that wasn’t during a vacation. Basically, I get home from work and take a nap. Then I wake up and watch TV for a couple hours and go right back to bed.

After the first recovery day, my knee felt back to normal. I hope to get in a short run today or tomorrow just to make sure it’s ok. Or I might go grocery shopping instead. Or sleep some more. Nothing like a marathon to suck all the productivity out of you when you get home.

Race Adrenaline

You know how everyone tells you how you’ll do great on race day because you have that race adrenaline that will keep you going? Race adrenaline stresses me out. I think the reason my training runs were better is because I don’t have that pressure to finish. When I’m in a race, I have to finish and that pressure can really bring me down mentally. Once I’ve checked out mentally, something I enjoy becomes a chore instead.

Next Up with Training

I have a bunch of half marathons lined up right now. I’m really looking forward to the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half. I’m going to run that race for fun, not time. I want to dress up somehow and I’m planning on leaving my Garmin at home. I’ve never run a race without my Garmin or at least the Runkeeper app on my phone, so I may have a panic attack. But screw it. I want to see how a race goes without it. I have plenty of races coming up that I will run for time.

Will I run another marathon?

If you asked me before I ran Savannah, I would have said hell no. If you read my post on what I’ve learned from marathon training, I was not enjoying getting fat, missing Friday night’s out with my friends, and any run past 18 miles. Now, I will definitely run another marathon and I will make my goal. Savannah still makes me sad. It’s so annoying that I have to prove something to myself, but I do. Now, I’m trying to decide if the race is going to be sooner or later.

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Race Review: Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Well, I’m a marathoner! It feels pretty bad ass to be able to say that and now I have a whole new appreciation for people that run marathons. Whole. new. appreciation. I’ve been trying to think about what to write in this post and I almost don’t know where to start. Let’s just say the race didn’t go like I planned and I’m still a little sad about it.

But I’ll go back to the beginning. Saturday morning I had a 4:00am wake-up call to get ready for the race. I did that thing I do which included taking a self-portrait.

And stuffing 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my running top.

Speaking of those sandwiches, I ate half a sandwich at Miles 4, 8, 12, and 16. I wanted to eat half at Miles 20 and 24 too, but the thought of another one after Mile 16 was making me want to punch small children. At Mile 22, I forced myself to eat two more bites but that was all I could take so I ditched the rest.

Ok, back to the morning. Michelle, Dan, and I headed to the Savannah Mall where all the buses were picking runners up to take to the start. I was freezing and worried I had underdressed for the race.

Traffic was a little heavy, but once we parked we got on a bus right away without problems – around 6:00am.

That’s when the lines got longer. We heard from others that the buses weren’t exactly organized at first and a few drivers got lost. Thankfully we missed all that.

The bus ride took about 40 minutes and once we arrived at the start, we hit up the porta-a-potties. That line took another 30 minutes. During the wait, I made Michelle take a picture of the sweet throw-away sweater I “borrowed” from my friend K.

No Good Will needed. Just ask your friends for embarrasing clothes.

I also found Brad during that time. Brad and I are in the same training group and have a similar pace so we run most of our training runs together. We were all in Corral 12 and by the time we were out of the port-o-potty line, 9 corrals had already started the race. So, Michelle, Brad, and I ran to get into our corral and made it just in time to take a couple pictures before we started.

The start of the race was surprisingly awesome. An entire bridge was closed for all the runners so there was no bottleneck. The rest of the course was rather unimpressive. Very little of the course was scenic and we ran through some questionable neighborhoods. But all the residents of those neighborhoods were out cheering for the runners which was amazing. They were an extremely supportive community. 

Mile 3: We ran into Allison, who along with her boyfriend, may be the cutest people I’ve ever met. Then, Brad and I saw at least 6 people from our running group, Marathonfest, which was fun.

Mile 4: I wondered what the BFDeal was about Rock ‘n’ Roll races. I’ve heard from everyone how awesome they are and this one wasn’t even in the top tier of awesome races.

Mile 6: I started having left shoulder pain that I thought was because of my Camelbak. I didn’t use my Camelbak during the race, so I guess it’s just me?

Mile 7 (I think): We ran through downtown Savannah which had the most crowd support. My favorite sign from a spectator said, “something inspirational.” I thought that was cute and it gave me a good laugh during the race.

Mile 8: Left knee pain started. It felt uncomfortable at first and wasn’t constant. So when I didn’t feel it, I could cruise along at a 9:30 pace. When I did feel it, I dropped to an 11:00-12:00 pace.

Mile 8 or 9:  Michelle, Brad, and I saw Dan along the course. I know it was for just a second since we were running by, but it was really awesome seeing someone on the course cheering for you. That was a first for me. So, all of you runners that have people willing to go to multiple mile stops for you – consider yourself lucky!

Mile 9: Brad and I walked through a water stop and Michelle kept going. So we lost her.

Mile 11.5: We split from the half marathoners. My shoulder was hurting, my knee was hurting, and I never wished so much that I had signed up for the half instead.

Mile 13.1: Port-o-potty stop. I wanted to stay in that port-o-potty forever so I didn’t have to finish the race. <— words I never thought I’d say

Mile 14: Everything was going to shit. I kept thinking about my 24 mile training run that was so much easier and how I finally worked out all my stomach issues and now I have a shoulder and escalating left knee problem out of nowhere.

Mile 18: Brad and I started taking more walk breaks. He wasn’t doing so well so he told me to go on without him if I thought I could still make a sub-5 hour marathon. So, I did.

Mile 19: The only mile during the whole race where I felt great. No knee pain and my energy kicked up a notch.

Mile 20: Walk breaks aplenty.

Mile 21-24: These miles were on a deserted highway with no crowd support and no bands. The highway had a lot of steady inclines  and a nasty headwind that just took everything I had left in me. My knee was so bad after Mile 20 that I felt if I didn’t stop to walk, that my knee would have buckled under me. So for the remaining miles, I ran until my knee couldn’t take it anymore and then walked.

Mile 25: I started to cry. Not because I was about to finish my first marathon, but because my shoulder and my knee were killing me and I finally realized I wasn’t going to make a sub-5 hour marathon after all. I can’t even talk or write about that mile without tearing up.

The last 2/10’s: I was tired but my knee was surprisingly ok right at the end. So, I ran through the finish because there is no way I was going to walk any part of it. I was finally a marathoner and it was kind of bitter sweet.

Although I was properly rested and hydrated, I didn’t feel awesome at any point during the race. I put in 5 hard months of training, I finally solved my stomach problems after a year of making friends with race port-o-potties, and I get taken out by a knee problem I’ve never had before. I never even hit a wall. It’s just that $%#$& knee that held me back.  <—- insert your own expletive

By the way, Brad finished too. He didn’t want to take a picture, but I made him. 🙂

Around Mile 14, I was sure I was never going to run another marathon. Now, I alternate between never wanting to run another one to wanting to run another one while I’m still trained so I can prove to myself that I’m capable of my goal.

On one hand, I’m so proud I finished something that most people in the world can’t do. On the other hand, it’s hard to accept that I couldn’t achieve my goal, and with all the time involved in training, who knows if I’ll get another chance to find out.

Overall, I had a really great time in Savannah. And I can’t even tell you how awesome Dan is for driving us to Savannah, back to Orlando, and all around town all weekend. The guy is a freakin’ saint. We also had some really fun blogger get togethers that I’ll tell you about in another post. So, thank you Michelle, Dan, and Brad for making my first marathon weekend so memorable! It’s really amazing to have supportive friends with you the whole way. No way I could have done it alone.

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Race Review: Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Well, I’m a marathoner! It feels pretty bad ass to be able to say that and now I have a whole new appreciation for people that run marathons. Whole. new. appreciation. I’ve been trying to think about what to write in this post and I almost don’t know where to start. Let’s just say the race didn’t go like I planned and I’m still a little sad about it.

But I’ll go back to the beginning. Saturday morning I had a 4:00am wake-up call to get ready for the race. I did that thing I do which included taking a self-portrait.

And stuffing 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my running top.

Speaking of those sandwiches, I ate half a sandwich at Miles 4, 8, 12, and 16. I wanted to eat half at Miles 20 and 24 too, but the thought of another one after Mile 16 was making me want to punch small children. At Mile 22, I forced myself to eat two more bites but that was all I could take so I ditched the rest.

Ok, back to the morning. Michelle, Dan, and I headed to the Savannah Mall where all the buses were picking runners up to take to the start. I was freezing and worried I had underdressed for the race.

Traffic was a little heavy, but once we parked we got on a bus right away without problems – around 6:00am.

That’s when the lines got longer. We heard from others that the buses weren’t exactly organized at first and a few drivers got lost. Thankfully we missed all that.

The bus ride took about 40 minutes and once we arrived at the start, we hit up the porta-a-potties. That line took another 30 minutes. During the wait, I made Michelle take a picture of the sweet throw-away sweater I “borrowed” from my friend K.

No Good Will needed. Just ask your friends for embarrasing clothes.

I also found Brad during that time. Brad and I are in the same training group and have a similar pace so we run most of our training runs together. We were all in Corral 12 and by the time we were out of the port-o-potty line, 9 corrals had already started the race. So, Michelle, Brad, and I ran to get into our corral and made it just in time to take a couple pictures before we started.

The start of the race was surprisingly awesome. An entire bridge was closed for all the runners so there was no bottleneck. The rest of the course was rather unimpressive. Very little of the course was scenic and we ran through some questionable neighborhoods. But all the residents of those neighborhoods were out cheering for the runners which was amazing. They were an extremely supportive community. 

Mile 3: We ran into Allison, who along with her boyfriend, may be the cutest people I’ve ever met. Then, Brad and I saw at least 6 people from our running group, Marathonfest, which was fun.

Mile 4: I wondered what the BFDeal was about Rock ‘n’ Roll races. I’ve heard from everyone how awesome they are and this one wasn’t even in the top tier of awesome races.

Mile 6: I started having left shoulder pain that I thought was because of my Camelbak. I didn’t use my Camelbak during the race, so I guess it’s just me?

Mile 7 (I think): We ran through downtown Savannah which had the most crowd support. My favorite sign from a spectator said, “something inspirational.” I thought that was cute and it gave me a good laugh during the race.

Mile 8: Left knee pain started. It felt uncomfortable at first and wasn’t constant. So when I didn’t feel it, I could cruise along at a 9:30 pace. When I did feel it, I dropped to an 11:00-12:00 pace.

Mile 8 or 9:  Michelle, Brad, and I saw Dan along the course. I know it was for just a second since we were running by, but it was really awesome seeing someone on the course cheering for you. That was a first for me. So, all of you runners that have people willing to go to multiple mile stops for you – consider yourself lucky!

Mile 9: Brad and I walked through a water stop and Michelle kept going. So we lost her.

Mile 11.5: We split from the half marathoners. My shoulder was hurting, my knee was hurting, and I never wished so much that I had signed up for the half instead.

Mile 13.1: Port-o-potty stop. I wanted to stay in that port-o-potty forever so I didn’t have to finish the race. <— words I never thought I’d say

Mile 14: Everything was going to shit. I kept thinking about my 24 mile training run that was so much easier and how I finally worked out all my stomach issues and now I have a shoulder and escalating left knee problem out of nowhere.

Mile 18: Brad and I started taking more walk breaks. He wasn’t doing so well so he told me to go on without him if I thought I could still make a sub-5 hour marathon. So, I did.

Mile 19: The only mile during the whole race where I felt great. No knee pain and my energy kicked up a notch.

Mile 20: Walk breaks aplenty.

Mile 21-24: These miles were on a deserted highway with no crowd support and no bands. The highway had a lot of steady inclines  and a nasty headwind that just took everything I had left in me. My knee was so bad after Mile 20 that I felt if I didn’t stop to walk, that my knee would have buckled under me. So for the remaining miles, I ran until my knee couldn’t take it anymore and then walked.

Mile 25: I started to cry. Not because I was about to finish my first marathon, but because my shoulder and my knee were killing me and I finally realized I wasn’t going to make a sub-5 hour marathon after all. I can’t even talk or write about that mile without tearing up.

The last 2/10’s: I was tired but my knee was surprisingly ok right at the end. So, I ran through the finish because there is no way I was going to walk any part of it. I was finally a marathoner and it was kind of bitter sweet.

Although I was properly rested and hydrated, I didn’t feel awesome at any point during the race. I put in 5 hard months of training, I finally solved my stomach problems after a year of making friends with race port-o-potties, and I get taken out by a knee problem I’ve never had before. I never even hit a wall. It’s just that $%#$& knee that held me back.  <—- insert your own expletive

By the way, Brad finished too. He didn’t want to take a picture, but I made him. 🙂

Around Mile 14, I was sure I was never going to run another marathon. Now, I alternate between never wanting to run another one to wanting to run another one while I’m still trained so I can prove to myself that I’m capable of my goal.

On one hand, I’m so proud I finished something that most people in the world can’t do. On the other hand, it’s hard to accept that I couldn’t achieve my goal, and with all the time involved in training, who knows if I’ll get another chance to find out.

Overall, I had a really great time in Savannah. And I can’t even tell you how awesome Dan is for driving us to Savannah, back to Orlando, and all around town all weekend. The guy is a freakin’ saint. We also had some really fun blogger get togethers that I’ll tell you about in another post. So, thank you Michelle, Dan, and Brad for making my first marathon weekend so memorable! It’s really amazing to have supportive friends with you the whole way. No way I could have done it alone.

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The Road So Far

Today (and maybe as you’re reading this) I will be running my first marathon. But I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t for my friend, Michelle. We weren’t always addicted to racing (and blogging). I met Michelle at work about 6 years ago and I’m pretty sure 80% of our conversations had to do with Veronica Mars. We had a lot of mutual friends at work so we hung out fairly often. I think this is one of the first pictures we’ve ever taken together. And even then she found my lap irresistible.

Michelle made me the center of her personal photo shoots very early. Here, I was wowing her with an exposed bra that I found perfectly acceptable to wear in public.

This was at a 60’s birthday party where I was one of the only people dressed up. Not weird at all. Also, I don’t normally tease my hair on top. I stopped doing that in very early 2011.

We even attended some work holiday parties. Looks like I worked out the exposed bra by this time. Looks like I’m also working out my comedy routine. The kids love it.

After Michelle left the job we were at together, we kept in touch through email but didn’t hang out often at all. Then one day, I got the bright idea to sign up for a half marathon and told Michelle about it. She told me it was the best idea I had since I decided to stop teasing my hair.

It was ON. Ever since then, we have run two 5ks, one 15k, and seven half marathons together.

NOW we’re going to become freakin’ marathoners. 🙂

Good luck today, Michelle! Thanks for being the only person I know willing to be my running buddy all this time and willing to travel all over the place to do it. If you see me passed out at the finish, please put the booze in arm’s reach for when I come to.

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Savannah So Far

So, we made it to Savannah in one piece. The drive was easy and uneventful except for the semi that actually ran us off the road. Good thing Michelle’s husband is the most mellow driver on the planet. After Michelle and I freaked out, Dan said, “what’s the worst that could happen?” I guess “death” was the first thing that went through my mind.

Other than that, we’ve only been here a day but this is what I’ve learned so far:

1. Food is cheap in Savannah. $4 burgers? WTF? I pay $10 for a burger with less toppings in Orlando. We ate dinner at Cheddars last night and ordered edamame because it was $4 and chips and salsa because it was $2. We didn’t even want them. But it’s like Savannah is drawing us in with its cheap food prices.

2. Anyone that hears you are going to Savannah tells you to say hello to Paula Deen. For the record, I WILL NOT SAY HELLO TO PAULA DEEN. It’s like telling people you got married in Vegas and everyone assumes you got married by Elvis. (Yes, I was married in Vegas, and no, it wasn’t by Elvis.)

3. I thought the thermostat in my hotel room wasn’t working. Nope. It’s working fine. The maintenance guy that came in my room and looked at me like I’m a complete idiot told me that. I’m supposed to use this one by the window.

I suppose this is decoration then?

This morning, after our free hotel breakfast of cute mini-waffles, Michelle, Dan, and I headed down to the Expo. We got a little lost on the way took the scenic route.

Once we did arrive, holy sweet Moses there were a lot of people there.

The expo is staying open at least an hour longer than planned because of delays, probably in the parking area, because when we left the cars were seriously backed up and we were glad we got there when we did.

Packet pick-up was really fast despite all the people. We had to throw some elbows to get near all the vendors with free stuff. I was hoping to find a bunch of cute things to blow all my money on, but I couldn’t find anything. At least the race shirt is really cute.

After the expo, we ate a late lunch at Mellow Mushroom and now it’s already time to get ready for dinner.

This marathon thing is starting to feel more real!

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Ready to Go

Well, I’m all packed and ready to go. Hope this can fit in the car, Michelle.

Remember last weekend, I mentioned my tummy wasn’t feeling so well? It wasn’t food poisoning, thankfully.  But I’m pretty sure it was the fuel before my run that day. For breakfast, I had Gluten Free Rice Krispies with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (instead of oatmeal) and half of a 7-hour energy shot. < —- bad idea

 

I’ve been fine for 2 months. I stopped eating sugar and stopped having my beloved Diet Coke before a run. The cereal has almost no sugar so I think it was the caffeine. When my stomach “goes rogue,” it takes days to recover. My stomach was in knots for two days. Then, the four days after poopmagedon, it’s like dry county.

Then after those 4 days, I think you can guess what happens.

I’m hoping everything will be back to normal in a few days. I do not want to have a crappy (ha!) race after two months of finally having no problems. Oh, and guess what just made me happy?

 

Now I’m off to finish some last minute things and watch American Horror Story. Guess I’ll be writing the recap in the car tomorrow. Savannah, here I come! 🙂

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The Taper Post

Tomorrow morning is my last long run until the marathon. My group and I are doing 8-10 miles and I could not be looking forward to it more. My GOD, I just want to move. This taper shit has got to go.

I received an email from our training group that had this gem in it:

Remember to taper cross-training activities as well. Drop the weight training and any other aerobic cross-training, like spinning, stair master, etc. You can continue with stretching classes, Yoga, or Pilates but be VERY conservative.

Nice. So I can’t do weight training or Crossfit. But I get the go-ahead on the two things I hate the most.

(source – all images)

I wrote some things I learned about marathon training awhile back and now I thought I’d write the things I’ve learned about taper.

1.  Tapering makes me feel fat.

I’m not saying I am fat, but let’s face it. I’ve gained weight during marathon training. Five years ago, I lost 25lbs and now I’ve gained 15lbs back. Not all of that is from training and I know it’s my fault but tapering really puts a new spin on making you feel like shit. Usually I can go for an hour run or do some Crossfit and I’ll start feeling pretty good again. Now I can’t do that. I’m not fishing for compliments here and don’t want them, I’m just stating a fact: I’m heavier, I can see it in the mirror, I can feel it in my tight pants, I can feel it in my running speed, and it really effects how I feel about myself. During taper, I can’t do much about it.

2.  Tapering makes me feel lazy.

You know what I do when I can’t keep my normal workout schedule? I sit on the couch, do nothing, get depressed, and eat. This is directly related to #1 of course. I want to work out but I don’t want to screw with the training plan when I’ve never run a marathon before. Some people love the laziness of taper, some people don’t need to taper at all, and some people think full marathons are for crazy people but I’m learning what works for me as I go. I really want to make Savannah a great experience and I don’t want to do anything that might ruin that. At least I know someone else is going crazy with me.

3.  Tapering makes me feel weaker.

Not only do I feel like I’m losing muscle because I’m not strength training as much, I feel like I’m losing my running ability from not running as much. I realize taper should have the opposite effect, but I worry about losing what I took so long to built up come race day.

So there you have it. Yeah, I’m freaking out a little bit. Maybe I’ve shed a couple crazy-lady tears. But I really am looking forward to Savannah. More than that, I’m looking forward to running shorter distances at faster paces and getting my half-marathon on again afterwards. And last but not least, I can’t wait to plow into some strength training and get my muscles back.

One more week till Savannah!

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WTF Savannah?

I’ll go ahead and add this to the list of worries already forming in my head.

Also, I appreciate Michelle pointing this out to me early so I have all week to think about it!  Good thing I don’t regret how I ran that 14 miles on the treadmill instead of in the rain.

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