Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big Race, Big Failure/Disappointment

-Ok this is a race report from the Toledo marathon but will be scattered and all over the place and my splits will be towards the end. I tried to organize it all. I am not spell checking there is too much....this is really lengthy if you want the splits go down to the bottom

-Info: The race was Sunday, April 26th, 2009. It was sunny and the temperature was in the 80's with the winds I would say around 15-20 mph. Time 3:14:18, 7:25 pace. Finished 2nd Female and 11th overall.

Feelings-disappointed, failure, sad, broken hearted, down, mentally broken, dead, embarrassed, crushed, destroyed, humbled, torn apart, distraught

-Weight: The biggest thing I'll take from the race is this lesson. So my question is how many unsuccessful races is it going to take for me to realize I am not going to be able to stay at the weight I want??? I am not competitive over long distances at my current weight. If I want to be competitive over longer distance races I need to do as everyone says and gain some weight. They are right I have nothing left in the tank for the latter portions of the race. There are no energy stores built up and I end up dying hard and fast in the races. It's horrible because I am currently running the best of my life in shorter events, but those are not the distances I want and like to be competitive in. I want to be able to compete at the longer distance races.

-Goals- Before April 5th my goal was to break 3:03 so I had to run 6:58 pace. Then April 5th came and everything changed. Before I had ran a 50k in 3:46:30 during which my marathon split was around 3:06:37 and I had a half marathon PR on February 15th at 1:30:12 (which was a horrible race) so sub 3:03 seemed realistic and I was doing 10 mile training runs in 73:30. April 5th came and I ran a 5:20 PR in the half marathon in 1:24:52 (6:28 pace) my 10 mile training runs dropped to 68:30. So then our goals changed to a sub 3:00 or 6:51 pace. Then I found out a lady was coming that had ran 2:59 twice this year so I adjusted my goal to 2:56:59 or 6:45 pace with a super A goal as 2:54 something for 6:39 pace. (This lady ended up finishing 4th in about 3:24) So I was definitely in better shape for this race then Nationals.

-Cramp- somewhere within the first 5 miles I got a cramp in my right calf I felt the entire way. During my training since Nationals I have been dealing with pain on the left side of my body. The last few days before the race I was experiencing pain on the right side. Also this happened at Nationals as well but I got a kidney stone in the few days before the race, I had major pain in my left hip front and back and my urine was redish.

-Biker Jim-Since I lead for the first 14.5 miles I got a biker with me for part of the run. I went by at mile 5 and these 2 guys were sitting there on bikes and asked me if I was running the marathon and I shook my head yea. He came up with me and asked me again and I said yes and he said I am Jim and I'll be riding with you part of the way. (At the pace I had already slowed down to I thought part of the way was the correct way of putting it) Well it wasn't until I threw down a 7:21 mile that Sarah passed me around 14.5 miles. With her though was another biker and on that bike it said lead master runner. My bike guy left me for a little bit and the 2 bikers talked and then the next thing I knew biker Jim was back riding with me. Because I finished 2nd he ended up staying with me the whole race. We did have people confused as his bike said leading female . Oh yea he kept calling me kiddo he must not have realized how old I really am!!!

-Sarah Plaxton- How freaky was it that on the starting line of the race I look down at the ground and behind me I see this shoe with the name Sarah Plaxton (our timing chips were these sticker type things with our name on them) I ran over about 2-3 minutes before the start of the race and told my Dad I knew that name. I didn't know how I knew it but I knew I knew the name. She passed me at mile 14.5 and beat me by over 10 minutes. I went home to google her name and found out to my surprise she is accomplished runner. She has from what I could find a PR of 2:46:27 which qualified her for the 2004 Olympic Trials. She has won 7 Traverse City Bayshore Marathon titles. In 2008 she ran 6 marathons winning 2 of them. In Sept 2008 she won the Akron Marathon in 2:57, in Oct she was 5th at the Detroit Marathon in 2:54. She has placed in the top 5 3 times at the Quad City marathon. She has numerous other stats but I'll stop there. However I'm not sure how I knew her name because she is from Michigan.

-RRCA Ohio Championship- This race was named the Ohio Championship marathon. I am really not sure how I placed in this event for a couple reasons. I guess I did finish 2nd in the race but she was from Michigan so does that mean I am first?? but then I don't think I belong to RRCA so does that mean I don't place at all??

Pacer-A few weeks out I was talking to someone at the time I considered a friend and I talked to him about pacing me to a sub 3:00 marathon. He said he would. He talked to me a lot about it over the weeks/days leading up to the marathon. He seemed excited about it. We went up Saturday to spend the night at the host hotel. Well before we left I asked him less then 24 hours before the race are you sure you are coming. He said he definitely was. So I went to the expo and paid the $75 registration fee for him. So basically it was like a job I was paying him to come and help me break 3:00. But race morning he was suppose to meet at 6:30 at the hotel lobby we waited, waited and waited he never showed up and we never got a call. So my $75 (that was my phone bill) (Just a note that he new I don't have a jo but I do sub when I get a chance but I haven't subbed in 4 weeks so that means no money and I make less the $75 a day when I sub) So the registration fee was over one day pay for me. And he knew I was months behind in my bills) But he still let me pay for the race and didn't show. If he was any tye of descent human being with a conscious he would pay me the $75 back. But he's not. He's not man enough to own up to his wrong doing and make right for it.

-Half way and Dad- At the half way point I was at 1:30:31 I was fully expecting women by the flock to start passing me, I was way off pace and I was getting slower and slower. during the first half I was alone for the most part but if someone caught up to me I would run with them for as long as I could but eventually one of us would fall off the other and I was back to trying to run on my own. Out of nowhere around the 17 mile mark Dad was there. He gave me an extra gel. I missed the 17 mile mark somehow. But when I saw Dad I had just ran a 8:06 the last mile. I told him that hoping he would stop me but he didn't. He would just drive up a mile or 2 on the course and keep urging me on. He reminded me to take my last gel because I almost forgot. I stopped seeing him around mile 22 or so. I was going slow but I was passing all these guys that had passed me earlier in the race. I was still waiting to get passed by all these women but no one was saying anything about someone being close. So I just kept pushing on knowing the difference between 2nd and 3rd was an extra $100.

-Random-Just last week I got an email telling me I could be on the CRC Red Team (Columbus Running Company Team) http://www.columbusrunning.com/ Well during the race there was a guy from there team running when I passed him I didn't know who it was but I just yelled to go CRC. Well near the time I did that someone from the sideline yelled for me. I have no clue who it was I don't know anyone from Toledo or near the area. But they yelled Go Amanda I looked over but didn't spot anyone I knew. I must have looked really bad when I finished because I had probably 6 people try to take me to the medical tent. Finally I just wanted an orange so I asked one of them where the oranges were but he was afraid to let me walk over there alone so he made me walk with him until we found my mom.

-Complaints- 1. There were 2 different course maps online. the map they had at the expo said it started at a different place then what the race instructions said. The one they said was correct was not the map they had at the expo. It was the map that had the course marked as being 26.9 miles, well you figure if you take tangents maybe it could be correct. Well the problem with that is the course is open to traffic so you can't take the tangents. 2. Had I not had the bike guy with me I would have been so lost I almost missed a turn before I had the bike guy with me but there were so many turns I would have never been able to follow the course. 3. The footing of the course was so bad I should have trained on trails. I twistwed my ankle 6 times. 4. They said at the end they would have commemorative mugs for all finishers and they didn't. 5-8. Here is one of the biggest things we had a complaint about well here I'll wrap 5-8 together they are the biggest ones. First the expo started at Noon but the hotel would not let you check in until 1 pm at the earliest and this was the host hotel you think they would have it planned out accordingly. Then when we came back from the expo and there was a frat group on our floor. We found out they had 11 rooms. It was a formal of some sort but it was around 3 and they were partying and loud already. We went out to see the course and came back around 6 and it was crazy loud on our floor, alcohol was all over the place and the party hadn't even started yet. We were not staying on that floor Dad called and they moved us (the only good thing they did) As we were moving floors there was an employee telling them they had many complaints about them and they needed to quiet down. The guy started to back talk him. We knew it was going to be a long night. Mom heard in the morning a worker speaking to the manager about the damage the group had caused and they trouble they caused security and all the complaints. The next two kinda tie together. The latest check out time they would give us was 1 pm well first of all the race didn’t finish until 1pm so those people get screwed. But the race said the awards ceremony would start at 2pm so we had an hour with nothing to do and nowhere to go. But we needed cash so we walked around the town and found a bank and got money out. Then we arrived back to the park at about 1:40. Immediately upon arrival I had a group of people that had marathon guide.com singlets on tell me they already did the top female awards. Then on the way up to the stage area we had 2 other group tell us the same thing so they lied about the 2pm award ceremony time and there were still people finishing. It was a disaster. Everything at the end of the race was ran poorly. 9-10 these I guess are just nit picky details but the shirt and the expo were two of the worse things ever. I don’t know how you could call that and expo, it should just have been called packet pick up with a little extra. The shirt is one of the ugliest I have and I got a medium because I don’t like things to be really small and I am swimming in it. 11. Doesn’t effect me but I thought was sad there was a little kid that registered ahead of me for the kids race and the were suppose to get teddy bears with their registration and supposedly all of them were stolen. Kinda of weird no mugs and bears as promised. 12. This kinda ties into the one about the mugs but I was rally disappointed with their awards. I got the little medal at the finish which was nothing fancy and then got my $200 for second place but have nothing that says I got second place they gave plaques to the age groups you think they would give plaques to overall women too.

Now what most of you are waiting on the splits-
1- 6:35- no this was not going out too fast my super A goal was 6:39 pace and I knew I needed to make up time for the 4th mile going up hill across the bridge. This was actually slower then I wanted.
2-6:42- this is when I knew it wasn't going to be my day :( I think I could feel the calf cramp already
4- 7:00- bridge
6- 6:52(gel)
7- 6:58
9- 6:59- some guy passed me and I was able to pull off him a little
10- 7:02(gel)
12- 7:08
13- 7:09
15- 7:34- got passed by Sarah- (gel)
16-8:06-there was a turn around here (no the course was not out and back) I was suppose to look at my watch at the turn around and see how long it was until the next lady went by me then double the time to see where I was but I was so out of it already I forgot to until it was too late and then I didn't care to look around.
17 & 18- 15:15- saw Dad at 17 miles and just told him about the 8 min mile hoping he would pull me but he didn't he gave me another gel and pushed me on I didn't get the mile split because I think that is where he was
19- 7:53
20- 8:03
21- 8:12
22- 8:20
23- 8:21
24- 8:02
25- 7:52
26- 7:49 (.2plus 1:32)
26.2plus- 3:14:18

I am extremely disappointed/embarrassed and just feeling completely down over this race. I am not sure if I am going to wait a couple of weeks find another marathon and try to do better so I feel better or just wait a couple of more weeks and try my next ultra. I don't know when or where either would be but something. Any ideas/suggestions?????

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Race Nerves

Ok this is going to be scattered and all over the place but I need to get these feelings out. I have an upcoming race some of you know about some of you don't. I don't really want to announce it to everyone. I am extremely nervous about it. It seems like there are high expectations in place and maybe deservedly so. Before my latest performance in the half marathon in 1:24:52, April, 5th I was going based off of what I did at the USA 50k National Championship, 3:46:30 but if we break down my time I was approximately at 3:06:37 for the marathon. Everyone was telling me that with this time I should be able to break 3:00 for the marathon but I knew better because I lack the foot speed that guys have (and these were mostly guys telling me about this). Also before my best half marathon was 1:30:12. And because this calculator thing that computes it 5 different ways then averages the times has-
03:07:24 03:09:58 03:09:12 03:07:24 03:04:46 03:08:30
Which besides the 3:04 I ran faster then those at Nationals so I knew I could go faster then what it predicted, because at Nationals I really died hard at the end. So with all of that combined me and Dad set the goal of trying to PR and run under 3:03 and to do that I need to go 6:59 pace.

But now since I ran that 1:24:52 half everybody is telling me that I am capable of breaking 3:00 for the marathon, and that has become my Dad's goal as well. And this is what the calculator predicts-
02:54:38 02:57:11 02:56:59 02:58:56 03:07:01 02:56:56
So besides the 3:07 which I ran faster during the 50k it says I should be able to also. But I am really nervous and afraid that I won't be able to.

So maybe the 1:24:52 was just a fluke and I won't be able to break it. I am so nervous for this race it is weird. Maybe I feel added pressure because the race director gave me a free entry into the race. Maybe I'm feeling this way because I've had bad workouts this week. I don't know??????????? But I gotta go run So maybe I'll post more on this later. Any advice encouragement words of wisdom?????? Anything????

Monday, April 13, 2009

Difference of training and love of running

Wow with all the different types of training there is today I never thought someone would dislike you because of yours. But the other day on facebook I had someone de-"friend" me because of mine. But technically it was no big loss because he had said rude comments to me me in the first place. Such as asking me "if I was dropped on my head" and being rude about me having Body Dysmorphic Disorder. So really it was for the best of things because who needs someone with rude comments bringing you down. But I just couldn't believe it when I was telling him I wouldn't train his way and he said "if you want my help the you can ask to be my friend again" and just like that I was off his list. Well I never wanted to do this to anyone but I knew it was for the best I just went ahead and blocked him so I didn't have to put up with anymore rude comments.

But he was telling me that I needed to lift and that was the only way I was going to be a good runner. He told me I needed to gain this much weight in my arms, my legs and so forth. I simply told him I run for the love, joy and fun of it. I don't run to have a perfect body, and that is hard to accept being a perfectionist in all. But I have had to learn that the hard way. I have had to come to accept that I will not get the perfect body. That everything I do I will just want it to be even smaller or even better that it will never be perfect enough. I also don't run just to be in shape, that is just an added bonus of my running. All the fitness I want is just the fitness that I get from running. I don't even do cross training because I don't like to bike, swim or whatever you call it on the elliptical. I run all year long I try not to take a days off unless it is absolutely necessary I DO RUNNING SIMPLY BECAUSE I LOVE TO AND IT MAKES ME HAPPY! (I do, do about 1000-3000 crunches at night to help with my core strength and because I enjoy them.)

Now I am not saying anyway of training is wrong. Everyone is different and everyone enjoys different things. I just happen to enjoy running and nothing else. I have no problem with different styles of training, we are all unique, I just know what has always worked for me. What works for one person is necessarily what is best for the next. I have ran for over 11.5 years and just running is what has always worked for me. And is what I am going to continue to do. I admire people that do other sports or activities and enjoy them that is great, (just the other day I watched the Ironman on TV and loved watching it but have no desire to ever do one) but my passion is for running and that is what I am going to do. I am simply going to JUST RUN!!!!

Good Luck to you in your upcoming races!!!! Let me know how they go.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Half Marathon and PRs and race finishes so far this year

Well I did it through all the pain I managed to run the half marathon and not only run it but set a huge PR and some more along the way. Going into the race we figured if I had a really really good race and everything went perfect I might be able to run 6:40's and if I had a bad race I wanted to break 1:30 so I needed 6:51's I put these splits on my arm figuring I would be somewhere between the two. So on my arm I had the time of 1:27 plus and 1:29:49. About Feb 15th I had set my half marathon PR in 1:30:12. Yesterday, April 5th less then 2 months and a 50k later I took 5 minutes and 20 seconds off and ran a 1:24:52 (6:28.4/mile). ( I believe missing the course record by 3 seconds that I could have got anywhere especially in the last 5k, you'll read about that later) It's weird too because I was joking with Dad that since my Bib number was 946 I was going to run 1:26, knowing I could never run that or I guess it would now be more thinking I could never run that.

MILE 1- Well I guess I am still running the first mile because I never saw the mile mark, but what I did see and get ticked off was a girl jumped onto the course with a bib right behind me about 2:15 into the race- this was all on the streets of Athens

MILE 2- not sure of individual mile but overall -12:24- we finally entered the bike path somewhere in this mile- I thought last time I ran it we entered it way way way earlier

MILE 3- 6:21-18:45-
5k- 19:22 my PR is about 19:15 shucks

MILE 4- 6:25-25:11PR- I've only ran one 4 mile race but it was 25:15 so now I have a new PR- started fitiling with my gel to get it ready for the aid station

MILE 5- 6:30- 31:42PR- started to worry losing about 5 seconds a mile- Previous best 5 miler was just under 32:00 so again a new PR- GEL had to almost stop to get water then fumbled the hand off and dropped it got lucky someone was waiting further down with some

MILE 6-6:26- 38:09- Turn around was suppose to be at 6.45 but was actually at about 6.5- noticed 2nd place was about 70 or so seconds back- knew at this point that I couldn't afford to lose 10 seconds a mile
10k-39:25- previous best 41:01

MILE 7- 6:29-44:38- was suppose to take second GEL during this mile but forgot to

MILE 8- 6:26- 51:05-

MILE 9-6:37- 57:43- realize now that I needed to take my GEL back then and just had to suck it up and take it without water.- started to panic I was now losing 10 seconds a mile my mind went to thinking this was going to come to the final 600 meter on the track and if that was the case I knew I was screwed because most people can run a 600 in the time I run a 300.
15k-59:38 major PR just not sure what the other times I have run were, they were a long time ago, when I was no where, no where, no where near the runner I am now, but the fact that before I hadn't run a 10k when I was in amazing shape in under 20:30 minutes per 5k and just did for a 15k that this was a huge PR

MILE 10- 6:35- 1:04:18 huge PR- previous best was 67:53- This is where I made my fatal course record error First I noticed I just had a huge PR but then I noticed the fact that if I ran 7:00's to the finish not caring if the girl passed me I would still hit 1:26 which is WAY faster then we had planned on so from here on out I stopped my watch but didn't check my splits MAJOR mistake

MILE 11-6:37- 1:10:55- EEkkk

MILE 12- 6:43- 1:17:38- MAJOR EEKK girl why did you not look at your watch!!!!

MILE 13 plus .109375- 7:13- 1:24:52 At this point I had no clue where I was time wise not having paying attention since mile 10 so when I turned the final corner and saw I could get under 1:25 I about died I was so esctatic AND got to do something I've never got to do at all my previous race wins. I got to break the tape :)!!!!!!!!

Oh yea I led from the start and never looked back, that's how I like it. LOL

So far my races this season:
Feb- 4 miler- 25:15 old PR (1st Female, Top 10 Overall)
Feb- half marathon- 1:30:12 old PR (1st female, 9th Overall)
March 1st- USA 50k Nationals- 3:46:30PR (3rd female, 13th overall)
April 5th- half marathon- 1:24:52 PR (1st female, 15th overall)

Next up I have a marathon where I am hoping to break 3:03. Everyone else seems to think I can break 3:00 although I am not so sure??????

After that I am looking for a possible 50k in June or July?????

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pain, training, 10k not meant to be and 20 mile fight

So for awhile now I have been having pain in the left side of my body. More specifically my left hip, butt cheek, hamstring and the outside of the back of my leg. This pain has been for going on for awhile. At first I thought it was because of the way I was sitting again so I changed that, and nope not the answer. Next we thought maybe my night time crunches so I have stopped them, no clue whether that has helped or not. But through all this I have had a pretty good last 2 weeks not mileage though. Here is how it has gone:

Monday 23rd- 8 miles 4x's 1 mile (wind and hills) suppose to be at 7:00's..... mile 1-6:43 (definitely should have warmed up) mile 3- 6:14 (3:10, 3:04 previously hadn't broke about 3:50 on the 3:10 half) mile 5- 6:40 (3:19, 3:21) mile 7-6:28 (3:08, 3:20)

Tuesday 24th- easy 10 miles no watch

Wednesday 25th- 9 miles wanted to focus on hills because my race in October might be hilly set up a new course that has 6 miles up hills for most of it- mile 1- 6:46, mile 3- 6:58 (hilliest mile ever I thought there was no way I would break 8 mins) mile 6- 6:23 ( just suppose to be uptempo what ever that would be on this new course)

Thursday 26th- 10 miles just suppose to run no watch needed but I put the watch on just curious to see- 1:13:26 (7:25, 7:20 7:24, 7:28, 7:20, 7:22, 7:17, 7:24, 7:10, 7:12)

Friday 27th- blah day- 8 miles-pain

Saturday 28th and Sunday29th- one day 5 miles the other 10 miles.... too much pain to get the 20 I was going for and the 10 miler day the wind was over 40 mph and it's an out and back course (mine and Dad's day differ in memory)

Weekly total only 60 would have been 80 like planned if not for the failed attempts at 20 miles

Monday 30th- 8 miles

Tuesday 31st- 20 miles-pushed through all the pain..... maybe I'll write more about this run later

Wednesday 1st- 8 miles 2x's 2 miles- suppose to be 14:00- miles 2 and 3- 13:28 (6:28, 6:50)- miles 7 and 8- 13:28 (6:42, 6:46)

Thursday 2nd- 8 miles- breaking in racing flats since we had planned on possibly doing a 10k- miles 4-5- 6:06.26... maybe I'll write more about this mile too

Friday 3rd- 8 miles- still planning on running a 10k this weekend

So as far as the 10k that was suppose to happen well Dad accidentally messed up the weeks on the race and it was last weekend. He was hoping I would go around 40:15 because we have done no real work to prepare for a fast race and I was hoping to go under 40. It must have been a good thing to have missed it because the course must have been different then last year because the male winner was only 40:36 and the female winner 44:05. So either I would have been trying to win it alone or the time would have been nowhere near what I wanted.
Now Dad is thinking about a half-marathon for tomorrow. There are 2 of them. One in Athens and one in Dayton. The Athens one we have to sign-up today so we need to decide in the next couple hours. The Dayton one has some amazing runners at it but we can sign-up tomorrow. He was also thinking of doing a 5k next week but there is only a 5k in Dayton and a 4-miler near Columbus on Saturday and there is nothing on Sunday. And the following week is too close to the possible race.

Now about the 20 miler we tried to do a 20 miler last Saturday but I was in pain and we had to stop at 10 miles and we also stopped because the wind was at over 40 mph and it is an out and back course. So we said we'd try again Sunday. Well Sunday came and I was in some major pain, we decided to call it quits at 5 miles and try to come back on Tuesday. (Dad has it being the opposite days) Well Tuesday came and I started out and for 2.25 miles it felt like someone was pinching my butt cheek and holding it. But then it let up a little so I went on. Then the pain also went down into my hamstring. But I pushed on determined and thinking it might get better. At the turn around I was still in pain but I pushed on , then at the 13 mile mark Dad would give me (what I didn't know at the time) the last chance to stop early. But I knew that this was do or die, if I wanted to run my race then I needed to push on and I said if stopping now meant no race coming up in a few weeks then I'm going on. Well to get to the 15 mile mark there is a big hill, apparently after I made it up that hill there was no stopping allowed. I ran out of Powerade Zero so we had to use a hot Coke Zero that was in the car. Well with about 2.25 miles to go Dad was waiting and I told him I had just had the worse pain I had, had thinking he would just have me stop at mile 18 and call it close enough. Well Dad had his Coach hat on and not his Dad hat on and pointed .25 miles down the road and said from there on in it's all downhill and made me go on. I eekked out the 20 miles and when I got home the whole night I was in pain. But then somehow the next morning I had pain in a completely different location. I had pain right below the knob on your lower back/upper butt. When I went to run all the other pain was no where near as strong as it had been but I did have this new pain. But maybe pushing through the 20 miler in the pain made some of the pain go away. Weird but seems true.

So here I am with no clue as to what is going on with my training as of what could happen tomorrow, next week, or in a few weeks.** Updated below

Oh and the coolest thing happened to me because of my performance at the USA 50k Nationals and finishing 3rd and with my marathon split I have earned a free entry into a race. Now whether or not I am going to use it, only time will tell with this pain and race plan.

Good Luck to all my friends running races this week. I can't name you all because I will undoubtedly forget someone there are so many people. But the ones I know from the 50k are Jill, Dave, Tony and Emmy at Umstead 100. And Kami and Annette at American River 50. But there are so many more fabulous runners racing this weekend I wish you all the best of luck. Remember you are strong and you can do it. You are going to rock it and I can't wait to hear about it. Unfortunately I was hoping to have been able to do the Chicago Lakefront 50k this weekend but some things just don't work out the way you want them.Remember to "Catch a dream and RUN with it."

** Updated as of typing this Dad has decided we are going to be doing a half marathon as long as my run today goes ok.