Time for a brief and belated race report from yesterday’s marathon! The race was at the Salisbury State Reservation in MA. With an early start time of 7 a.m. I was questioning my sanity as I crawled out of my warm bed in the dark cold morning. I was still on the fence about whether or not I would be going all out and shooting for a new personal record. (faster than 3:25:23) After previewing the course the week before I realized that the fairly treeless and seaside location made it act as a wind tunnel.
When I woke up, the weather channel forecasted wind starting at 11mph and increasing to 14-15mph during race time. I decided that running a PR with that kind of head wind would take a ton of effort and require a longer recovery time than I wanted. So my goal was to run it as fast as I could with the intention of being able to run the next day and still be able to do the 50k trail race in 2 weeks.
Soon after arriving I found my friends from SIX03. It was already windy and SO COLD. We were all shivering and huddling together like Emperor Penguins. We jumped into my buddy’s SUV to try and stay warm.
The race had official pacers and I started running with the 3:25 pace group figuring that I would hold that pace until the wind ramped up. The poor pacer smashed his foot up in a pothole on the first loop and I thought for sure that he broke his foot. Eventually my friend John caught up and we were discussing how the split paces seemed erratic and fast. So what did we do? We went ahead of the 3:25 pace group. (We are famous for making bad decisions together) The course was looped so it was really cool seeing all of my friends multiple times during the race. Both racers and spectators would cheer and flash smiles when we saw them.
Eventually I realized that a trip to the porto potty was imminent. By the time I came out my friend John was long gone but I reconnected with the 3:25 pace group. They said that they were banking some time because the course was a bit long. The wind was really picking up by then and I dreaded the north bound stretches. A snowy owl was in a tree spectating the race and people following it around with cameras were a pleasant distraction. Per usual I acted like an idiot when I saw people taking my picture.
At some point the 3:25 pace group had gone ahead but I eventually found the pacer walking and he said that he had bonked and had to stop. My watch was giving me inaccurate reading so I wasn’t quite sure about distance or pace. My energy felt great but I could no longer hold sub 8 pace in the strong wind. The cold had also settled in and my quads were tight causing low back and sacrum pain. On one of the last loops a roll of toilet paper had escaped the porto potty and was blowing all over the place. I got tangled up in TP like a mummy going around the corner.
So I ended up finishing strong (but cold) and I was very pleased with my stats. Not that I was trying to qualify for Boston, but if I had been, I beat requirement time by 27:08. I was also happy for other friends who ran BQ times.
I felt good enough to do a short hike in the afternoon and this morning I got up and did an hour of strength training and went on a trail run. It was a great race and hopefully just the beginning of what is going to be a fun and exciting race season. Now I can get back to TRAILS!!!!! Thanks for all of the support and encouragement. Just for kicks I will add a bonus photo from last weeks 4 miler.
6 more days until the marathon and I still haven’t decided if I am racing it or using it as a training run. I went down to Salisbury this weekend to scout out the race course. There was a 4 mile race right down the road at the winners circle so I parked there really early in the morning and ran to the marathon course. I found something called the Salisbury Ghost Trail which spit me right out on the road to the State Reservation. The trail was mostly clear but had some patches of snow and some downed trees to add to the adventure. The marathon course weaves in and out of little side roads in the park so I had to carry a map. It is a beautiful route but because of the open location on the beach the wind has little to stop it. That day it was a 12 MPH wind and the same effort added about 30 seconds to my pace coming back into the head wind. So the weather will really play a role in my decision to race it or not.
So after the course preview I ran back to the April Fools 4 miler and shed a few layers to run the race. It has been quite a while since I ran a short race and I wasn’t really sure what would happen. Also, by that time I had already logged 13 miles for the morning. More than most would do for a warm up. I am very pleased with my results. I won my division and I think? Ran a personal record for a 4 miler.
I made a few mistakes that cost me some time. Because it was an out and back course I lost my focus and started yelling and cheering other runners and my friends which I didn’t really have the oxygen for. (Still fun though) And then towards the end I tried to battle it out with a girl who was passing me and I pushed the envelope a little too far and triggered my gag reflexes. I was dry heaving and burping when I took the corner to the finish line. It was a great day though and I saw a bunch of friends from my club. The lead female ran a 5:16 pace!! And also 93 year old Lou Peters was there and finished the 4 miles coming in ahead of 7 other people. This is why running is so cool! Such a diverse group of people all testing their own limits.
I snuck out on a little bit of trail yesterday! I will be shifting back into trail mode after this week and I can’t wait!! I think the road training has helped me get my speed back up and now I need to work on my agility and climbing skills. Back in my element!
OK! Here is a mini blog post that is a day late. I got home late from work and was tired so I slacked off last night. So, I had such a good string of training runs this week that I fear I may be peaking now rather than at my race in a few weeks. I guess that’s ok because I have achieved my goal. The marathon isn’t really a target race, I just wanted to improve my cadence and turnover before I hit the trails.
I did a string of back to back long runs on road. I put a 20 miler in the middle and set out to run the first 90 minutes fast and then drop back into whatever felt comfortable for the rest of those miles. There was a group run in Maine so I went to that and roped my buddy Chris into joining me for the fast stuff. We had a steady head wind for the first 9 miles but pushed through it. I still kept a decent pace up after I eased up at about mile 12.6 and ended up with an overall pace of 7:53 for the 20 miles. That is what would make me happy as a race pace. So who knows, maybe I can pull it off again, or maybe, as usual, I will always get personal records on my training runs instead of races. I am just happy to be outside and moving. Spring is almost here and soon I can escape to my happy place on trails again!
Apologies for my lack of blogging lately. I just haven’t been in the mood. I guess one benefit of being un-sponsored is that I can take blog-cations whenever I want.
I am pretty pleased with the new shoes that I got for the season. I struggle to find shoes with a wide toe box and narrow or adjustable heel. My usual problem is having the plastic heel insert pop out and procede to eat my foot. Here are some photos of past shoe fails:
I really did my research this year though and tracked down some shoes that are either soft heel cups or they have exterior support that can’t come though to destroy my foot. So far so good with the Sketcher GoRun5’s, Sauconey Peregrine 8’s and Topo MT2’s.
I unintentionally had a drop down week. I have been feeling a little bit dragged down and felt like I needed some extra rest. It has been a stressful week of Dr. appointments as well which always seems to drain my energy. My vision has gone down the tubes again and my neurological opthamologist said that it seems to be a systemic attack. We opted to hold out on new glasses until I see a few more specialists to try and find the root cause. (yawn..year 2 of people trying to figure it out) Stay positive. Keep moving.
I did have some nice trail runs this week and got to play in the woods with a friend on snowshoes which was fun. I really look forward to the freedom of spring and being able to get back out in the woods for the bulk of my miles. I have been running roads quite a bit lately with my friends who are training for Boston and I have the asphalt blues. Anyway, that is my best attempt at a slightly amusing update. Have a great week!
Last week, I was pretty sure that I would be unable to run again for a long time. I was suspicious that I had another pelvic fracture so I was essentially afraid to move. I went back into my files from the last time that I broke my pelvis and looked at my rehab protocol. The pain was terrible but it came and went. I couldn’t figure out what was provoking it. Unlike the time when I broke it I was able to stand on one leg unaffected. So I went to PF and decided to try the recumbent bike for a short time. It did not provoke pain and I actually felt a sense of relief after I did it.
I went back again the next day and increased my time on the bike. Same response, I actually felt better. It was as if it was flushing fluid or swelling out and decreasing the inflammation. Once the swelling came down I was able to palpate the area and feel some adhesion and soft tissue problems. (I am a massage therapist for any new readers) I had a client cancel on me and ended up working on my own injury for 45 full minutes and when I was done I felt WAY better. I had initially tried to get in with the Ortho but I was told that I needed to see my primary care first for insurance protocol. So more than a week after the injury I (FINALLY) had my appointment coming up. I decided to go for a short run before my appointment to see what it felt like.
I had some little twinges but all and all it felt better after the run. I saw my PC and we discussed the situation. He agreed with my theory that it was likely ischiogluteal bursitis and maybe some micro tears to the attachment site. I had him write the referral anyway but the whole paperwork process will end up taking about 4 weeks from the time I called my Dr. to when I would get in with the Ortho. (ridiculous) So every day after that I ran a little and worked on breaking up the adhesions. There was one evening where my leg made a loud CLUNK and it felt like it went back into proper alignment. I am almost back to 100%!!! I have a bit of piriformis syndrome and my adductor muscles are crabby and need extra attention but I am bouncing back fast. So I am thrilled to pieces and easing my way back in with my new shoes for 2018. I am trying Topo MT2’s, Saucony Peregrine 8’s and got another pair of Sketcher GoRun’s (5) for the pavement. Here are some photos of where I ran this week and also a photo of us eating food after a long group run. Thanks for all of your well wishes! I will try to stay out of trouble for a while.
I am a winner! I am a winner! I am just getting home from the SIX03 Kick Off party. They had a huge raffle for club members and just as I was mumbling about the fact that I am a loser and never win prizes they called my name! I won free entry into all of the races for the Stratham Hill trail series. So every Thursday in May I will be running a 10k race in the evening. It will be a great way to incorporate doubles into my training schedule. Phoebe and I are admiring the big bag of bling that I came home with. I got to test out shoes and talk to all of the sports company reps about gear. I am looking into trying a pair of Topos and revisiting some Saucony trail shoes that have been revamped. All of my current shoes have 400-600 miles on them..time for some new kicks!
This was a drop down week for me so I only ran 60 miles. I got to jump into some more group runs and hang out with all of my weird friends. We are all scowling in the first photo because Tyler wanted us to look grumpy. The rest of the photos have no reasonable explanations..just a bunch of strange birds.
My legs are pretty sore from running this morning. We did 16 miles in the rain while it was in the 30’s. My quads never warmed up and I felt pretty stiff. The weather has been challenging with alternating snow, slush, ice and rain. I hope this week brings more pleasant days. Have a great week and thanks for reading my blog!