Sunday, October 23, 2016

Steamtown Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Well, I guess since it's been two weeks and I now have a second race that I need to recap, it's time to get into the nitty gritty of the Steamtown Marathon.

I have been avoiding this recap because I'm still a little grumpy/bitter about the race.

Pre-race at Steamtown is always nice - well-organized, plenty of porta-potties, and you can stay warm inside Forest City High School until race time.

Plus the race starts with a cannon, which is pretty cool. It made my mom jump, even though they warn you several times that it is, in fact, a real cannon.

This was the first year that Steamtown had pace groups, which actually threw me off a bit. I was behind a pace group at the beginning and couldn't quite read the sign and thought it was the 4:15 group. I panicked and sped up a bit to pass them. Once I was ahead of them I realized it was the 4:00 group. I decided to see how long I could keep them behind me.

The first half of the race went really well, I hit the half marathon mark at 1:58 and was feeling strong. Around mile 17 things started to go south. My right IT band started tightening up (which I have never had a problem with before), and soon the entire outside of my right leg was in pain. I kept hoping it would work itself out, but unfortunately it had other plans.

Tom brought his bike and popped up on the course from time to time to cheer me on. In the later miles I wasn't really in the mood to chat and he asked if I wanted him to just head to the finish line. I managed a not so nice, "yes please" so I could trudge out my pain-fest in quiet solitude.

The last few miles got progressively slower, and there was definitely some walking involved. I managed to run in the final stretch, and completely forgot about the photographer at the finish line.

This is me grabbing my leg in pain just as the volunteers at the finish line looked concerned and asked if I was ok. Sorry photographers, but I don't need a nice copy of this one.

Between the pain in my leg and my frustration with the race, there may have been some tears at the finish. It was (and still is) hard to accept that after training all summer, the race went so poorly. Tom and my mom were there to console me, and helped me hobble my way back to the car.

I had hoped to break 4 hours this year, or at the very least beat last year's time, but I ended up finishing 10 minutes slower than last year. 4:21:09.

On the bright side, I finished. I did have a few moments where I wondered how long it would take one of the bicycle medics to find me if I just sat down on the side of the road, but I kept going.

Steamtown really is a great race, regardless of how things went this year. The course is beautiful and the crowd support is amazing for the size of the race (they cap it at 3,000 runners). In addition to the actual aid stations, there are unofficial aid stations that offer everything from water and gatorade to orange slices and beer. Plus, there is a huge group of people on the final hill to cheer you on, and even a few people who run up and down the hill countless times to help suffering runners keep going.

It wasn't the best day, but I did it. And let's be honest, I'll probably do it again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Well, I Finished Anyway...

I'm a few days after the fact, but I ran my second marathon on Sunday! I have things to say about it (not all good), but my mom is visiting and I don't feel like blogging right now. I'll have a delayed race recap for you at some point...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Marathon Training Week 17

I've pretty much gone off my training plan at this point. I switched things around, missed runs, and threw in a 5k race for good measure. I guess we'll see next week if that was a good idea or not!

Monday - Cross Training


Tuesday - 4 miles

I have no notes about this run. I'm so not in a focused blogging mindset lately. I did have a decent last mile though, 8:26!

4.01 miles @ 9:38 pace

Wednesday - 6 miles

Nothing ended up happening running-wise on Wednesday because it was Tom's birthday and I was busy doing things like bake a key lime pie.


Thursday - 4 miles

This run felt great while it was happening, but was a little disappointed by my pace when I got home. Last mile was an 8:20 though, which I was happy with.

4.01 miles @ 9:21 pace

Friday - Rest Day


Saturday - 4 miles

I decided last week to sign up for a 5k that was being held pretty close to the house (20 minutes away, everything is 20 minutes away). It didn't start until 10:30 which felt really weird - I'm used to super early starts for races!

The race was small (about 60 finishers) and pretty flat. It was a cool, misty morning and I was feeling pretty good. It is weird to run such a short race, and I had strange splits (my second mile was my slowest), but it was a fun race.

I ended up getting first in my age group, which never happens, and getting a new 5k PR! 24:45!

This is the first trophy I have ever gotten for running. I have to say, I'm a fan!

Now I have to figure out where to put it...

3.1 miles @ 7:59 pace

Sunday - 8 miles

I was tired from the race so I took it easy and just got it done. Not my best run, but my last "long" run before Steamtown next weekend.

8.02 miles @ 10:41 pace

Weekly Mileage - 19.14

I just have a couple of short runs on the plan this week, and then on Sunday it's time to run and run and run.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Marathon Training Week 16

How is it possible that I'm on week 16 of 18? I feel like I should still have so much time, but here I am, happily entering the taper!

The fall weather finally got here this weekend, so my runs were much happier than they have been lately. Humidity is a horrible thing, and I would not miss it one bit if it didn't come back next summer.

Monday - Cross Training Rest Day

I should really just call the rest of these rest days - I always have the best intentions and then don't do anything.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I took to the treadmill for this run, partially because it was gross out and partially because I was going to be right by the gym anyway picking up an age group away from the half I ran last weekend. They gave awards to 5th place in each age group, and I placed 5th (it was a small race) of about 19.

Race Photo Credit: Nin Lei

My run was generally uneventful, which I will take over a lot of other types of runs. I played with the speed a bit and was happily not sore from the half.

5 miles @ 9:10 pace

Wednesday - 8 miles

I spent most of the day thinking I had a 10 miler to run, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I "only" had an 8 on the schedule. My legs were definitely tired, and I took it easy.

I was trying to get the cool clouds and the cow and ended up with neither. 

8.12 miles @ 10:34 pace

Thursday - 5 miles 

I was ridiculously tired for some reason, so I took my rest day on Thursday.

Friday - Rest day

I was trying to get Thursday's run done, but it was humid and gross out and my legs were not having it. I could not get them to move any faster and I was having a terrible time. So, instead, I slowed down, cut the run a little short, and actually enjoyed the rest of my run.

It was also the first run in a while with my fancy light-up vest. That thing is so nice to have, it definitely helps drivers see me on the roads when the light starts fading.

4.15 miles @ 10:35 pace

Saturday - 4 miles

I made the drive down to meet up with the Rivertown Runners for some trail miles. I was taking it easy and some of my usual running buddies were trying to knock out a long run, so I ended up running with some different people, which was fun. My gps lost me for a bit (there are a lot of trees), so I disagree with the distance/pace, but it was a fun run!

6.78 miles @ 10:32

Sunday - 12 miles

This was my last double digit run on my training plan! Guess that means race day is sneaking up on me!

If I'm running on my own, I usually just head out the door and start running  It seems silly to drive somewhere just to run by myself, but Tom told me I should check out the rail trails near us. I wish I had listened sooner!

The trails are beautiful and mostly flat, only a few (not busy) intersections to cross, and there are (clean!) porta-potties every few miles. Pretty fancy.

I felt good on this run! It could have been the combination of the cool fall weather that finally arrived and the flat trails, but whatever the reason, I will take it! It was nice to have a good run again. It has been a while since I really enjoyed a run.

12.02 miles @ 9:49 pace

Weekly Mileage - 36.07

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marathon Training Week 15

Hi! Sorry, way late again.

That's life.

Monday - Cross Training Rest Day

Nailed it.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I actually felt decent for a change. Some of the hills felt a little less steep, and I added an extra mile on because I was feeling good. Still slower than I want to be, but I'll take any good runs that come my way.

Post-run popsicles are the way to go.

6.01 miles @10:05 pace

Wednesday - 10 miles

This run was terrible. Just completely awful. I struggled my way through it, but I have nothing nice to say about this run.

10.02 miles @ 12:19 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

I made no notes about this run, but the fact that I got back out the door after Wednesday's run is a success in my book.

5.07 miles @ 9:41

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - 10 miles

I took an extra rest day because I decided to run a half on Sunday.

Sunday - 20 miles

I ran the Dutchess County Classic half marathon. The race was only about 20 minutes from the house so I didn't have to wake up insanely early (always a win in my book). The race is pretty small, so packet pickup was a breeze, and everything was really well organized.

When we were lined up at the start, the race director announced that Katherine Switzer was running the race with us! Apparently she doesn't live too far away from here. She is gearing up to run Boston next year and is apparently just getting back to road races after a break.

I actually ran near her for a while at the beginning of the race, and at mile 3 she suddenly appeared next to me and said "Only 10 miles left!" We talked a bit about the weather (it was really humid out) and I said I wished it would rain, she said she wished it would pour.

I was having random aches and pains for the first few miles and was cursing the weather. I decided to just enjoy the race (it was actually really flat for this area!) and think about how cool it was that I was running a race with Katherine Switzer!

The rain came around mile 10, which I was really excited about. It definitely gave me a little pep in my step and helped me finish decently strong.

It wasn't one of my better times, but I did end up 5th in my age group, and got a medal for it, which was pretty cool.

I planned on running the half and then adding another 7 on after, but that didn't end up happening. I ran an extra mile or so (the finish line is almost a mile from the start) and decided that was enough for the day.

I don't feel too bad for cutting my run short, I finished 2 solid 20 milers this training cycle, so it probably won't hurt me in the long run.

13.1 miles @ 9:34 pace, 1.12 miles @ 10:21 pace

Weekly Mileage - 35.32

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Marathon Training Week 14

I just realized I never posted this - oops!

I was less than faithful to my training plan this week. We were up to the lake house until the middle of the week and after getting my second 20 miler in, I was just not feeling very motivated.

Monday - Cross Training

I took a rest day after running 20 on Sunday. We went out on the boat and generally relaxed.

Tuesday - 5 miles 

I was really tired for some reason, so I finished a book rather than going for a run. I also did a little stand up paddle boarding in the afternoon.

I'm not sorry.

Wednesday - 6 miles

We were on the road home most of the day, and a run just didn't happen. The dogs were pretty excited to come home from the place we board them. Then they promptly passed out.

Thursday - 5 miles

I decided since I had missed a couple of runs that I would turn this run into a bit of a tempo run. It felt pretty good and I managed an 8:43 minute mile. I also did 30 minutes of yoga when I got home.

5.03 miles @ 9:32 pace

Friday - Rest day

Oh you know I have those down!

Saturday - 6 miles

The humidity was back full-force for my morning run with the Rivertown Runners. This whole run was just blah. One of the people I usually run with wasn't feeling it either, and we took the shorter way back to our cars. It was just one of those days.

5.28 miles @ 9:57 pace

Sunday - 12 miles

The humidity was a little better for this run, and I generally felt pretty good.

12.01 miles @ 11:07 pace

Weekly Mileage - 22.32

I don't feel too badly about this week of training. Yes, my mileage was a little lower than it was supposed to be, but it was a good mental break. This training plan is a long one, and I think I needed a little extra step back.

I have one more big week of running before I start tapering!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Marathon Training Week 13

I was going to say I'm sorry for how late in the week I'm getting this posted, but since I've gotten lazy to the point of one post per week, I'm just going to roll with it.

We spent the long weekend at Tom's family's lake house up in Canada and just got home this afternoon. I wasn't sure I was actually going to get any of my runs in, but I somehow actually stayed motivated through the weekend.

Monday - Cross Training

I should really just re-name all of these as rest days.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I actually felt a little bit of speed on this run. The humidity was a little lower and I managed negative splits.

5.01 miles @ 9:33 pace

Look how big Scout is!

Wednesday - 10 miles

As good as Tuesday was, this was terrible. The humidity was back and I had super random achilles and quad pain. The longer I ran, the worse it hurt, so I decided it was better to cut my run short than to push it.

4.06 miles @ 10:40 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

I took it ridiculously easy, but made up for most of my missing miles from Wednesday.

10.01 miles @ 11:38 pace

Friday - Rest day

We spent most of the day dropping the dogs off and driving up to the lake house.

Saturday - 10 miles

I'm really proud of myself for  actually running while we were at the lake house. I felt much better than I did the rest of the week and had fun running in a different area. Plus it's a lot less hilly than around our house.

10.07 miles @ 10:23 pace

The best place to sit after a long run.

Sunday - 20 miles

I almost talked myself out of this run. I shortened it several times over in my mind, but once I was out the door, I just enjoyed the scenery and somehow managed to hit that 20 mile mark. One of my blisters from my last 20 miler was a little less healed than I thought it was and it started giving me a hard time around mile 16, but otherwise I felt as good as you can expect to feel after 20 miles.

20.11 miles @ 11:17 pace

Weekly Mileage - 49.26

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