Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweat Your Thorns Off race recap and other stuff

Yesterday I participated in The Boring Runner's  "Sweat Your Thorns Off" 2nd annual 5K.

It was really fun and while I didn't 'PR' I'm happy with my overall time which was 31:00 and a 10:02 pace. I consider that victorious as I was literally sweating my thorns off (whatever the heck that means) in the heat and humidity - and I had a few good hills to run up. Plus that's pretty speedy for me. I remember when I first started running I would pray for the day where I could hit a consistent 12 min. mile! Anything around 10 is pretty nice and it's satisfying to see steady progress in the right direction.

Oh and this is exciting news - I actually ran (felt like I blew right past, in fact!) someone today. I saw a runner up ahead and I just kept gaining on him. I wasn't necessarily trying to pass him but as I flew past him and then looked back - I felt like an athlete. I know it sounds silly but every time I run, I am usually the one eating other people's dust so it was nice to feel like the fast one out there today! I gave him the "good for you" nod that I usually get as I'm passed and smiled a little smugly to myself. HA.

I forgot to print up the bib so I took a picture with it afterward. Yes, I'm sweaty, messy dork.

It was also a running fashion milestone for me as I wore something sleeveless on top and a pair of shorts on the bottom.

As someone who's always battled weight if there were always two areas I've always focused on covering up it was my arms and my legs. Now while I still could tone both areas a little more, I didn't feel so insecure and I have to admit, I did feel way cooler in this outfit than the long pants and oversized tech tee I usually run around in. I'm not sure if it's because I'm feeling better about my body or if its as I get older I just don't care so much about what other people think anymore - either way, score one for appropriate summer running attire.

In other news, I've signed up for another "marathon" training program on my Nike+ - though I'm undecided whether I'll run the half or full in Atlantic City in October - I figure training programs keep me on track.  I wouldn't be facing down unreasonable long runs until late August and September so we'll just see how it goes, how busy I am and whatnot - for now I'm playing it totally by ear - I'll run something though.

The GREAT news is my hubby is really getting into running! He even ran for four miles straight yesterday (that's the furthest he's ever run and this is remarkable!) He even said he would sign up and run the 10K they have in AC that same day so it'll be his first 'bigger' race.  (Though, I'm trying to convince him he might as well go for the half - but I won't push him too much.)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hooray for another 5K! PR post

Well, as many of you guys recommended nothing beats the marathon blues better than getting hammered on cheap tequila another race!

Luckily, I had another one on the books - a 5K with my husband (his first!) after he decided to start to get into shape and gave me the best mother's day ever by saying he'd sign up for one.

The day started off pretty good - My sister-in-law stayed the night so she could be here first thing in the morning to watch our 3 1/2 year old while Momma and Dadda ran.

We were a little frazzled trying to get out. I could tell Marty was nervous he seemed a little edgy and when we got out of the car I noticed he put his shorts on backwards! (teehee)

He ran off to the boys room to get the shorts right and I quickly found our friend Amanda.

She and her family recently moved here from Texas and we've become friends. She mentioned to me a while back that she wanted to run a 5K someday so when we signed up for this I enlisted her too. She's a natural at this running thing and finished in a very impressive 27:45 (8:56 mi.) Wow!

Amanda and Marty - (shorts fixed)
We grabbed our bibs and some water and made our way to the start line. The horn sounded and we were off. I was running like the wind. In the back of my mind a voice was saying "slow down, save some for later" but the other part of my mind was giving the "slow down" part the finger and I put the pedal to the medal. 

It was a tight path and it was tough to get thru the throngs of people. It was a smaller, local race and it wasn't the easiest to maneuver but I did the best I could and aside from cramped quarters - this is the park I do all my long runs in and its beautiful.

As I'm running I feel like I'm working hard but I'm pretty nervous that I'm not going to beat my previous time of 10:19. (That 10:19 felt fast to me) My last few runs (even the short ones) have come in at over 11 min. miles and I don't have much confidence until we near the one mile mark. There was no clock but a woman yelling out times… Wait Wha!? Did she just say "9:18" at the one mile mark!? No f'in way. Oh it is on. 

It's not easy but this is what we train for. This is the time to show up. So I kept plugging. And telling myself to "suck it up" and found a comfortable mantra in: Your mind is strong and your body capable. I thought of all my bloggy friends cheering me on and I just kept moving. 

And here's how it worked out:
Jennifer Roe 38F 30:01.72  9:39 63/143 F30-39:15/31 50.37 

Woohooooo!! 9:39! I didn't think it was possible from me. 
I am so fricken happy to see that. and I was 2 seconds away from 
being under 30 mins. 
Damn. I'm putting that on the to do list for next time! :)

As I wiped the sweat away and tried not to pass out from the effort, 
I remembered that Marty was on the way. So I excitedly waited for him.

Yay! Go Marty. (Yes my camera sucks)
I was so happy to see him. He ran it in 35:22 which is awesome for his first race. My first race? 40:57 at a 13:12 pace!

Then to make things even sweeter, we decided to stick around for the raffle and to see the winners. Well, wouldn't you know it, out of 360 runners - my husband won the freakin raffle! We never win anything. This was as exciting as winning the lottery and I drew a ton of stares with my hooting and hollering for Marty - he won $120 gift certificate to my FAVORITE running store - Road Runner!

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

So all in all it was a fabulous day of running and a great Father's Day to boot.

A family that runs together :)

I hope you all had a lovely day - now on to figuring out the next race!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baby, I've got the post-marathon blues

classes up the car - dontcha think?
This has happened after my first half but I'm especially feeling it now after the marathon...

The build up, anxiety, ups & downs, excitement and anticipation for the "big day" seems to be an addictive thing for me. The race comes and goes and then I'm left feeling a little lost. A little blah.

It's over.

Long runs on ice in January, cross-training thru injuries in February, playing catch up in April and May, dreading all those scary long runs…



I think that's why so many of us run out and immediately sign up for the next race. I'm thinking about what my next move is. I'm itching to take the plunge into another full (like a drug addict looking for his next fix) but don't know if that's the post-race depression speaking so I'm taking my time on that. I know another half is in my future for sure.

And I think what's making this round of blues even worse is (and now I know what Lesley meant after her first race recap) I don't really feel like a marathoner.

If you haven't read my race recap check it out for the full enchilada but in a nutshell, I had a tough race tummy-wise. My stomach revolted and I feel like I spent more time in port-o-potty's than I did on the road! I was forced to really slow my roll and spent a lot of the time walking

My finish time was an unenviable 6+ hours and my legs were so "under-spent" that by the next day I barely felt like I had even done a long run.

I never hit the wall, I never really cramped, I barely limped. The next day I headed up to Los Angeles nearly pain free. Huh? I just "ran" a marathon and feel this 'good'? And I don't say that with pride. I say that with a sense of disappointment.  Sick - huh?

Which ironically might be part of the problem. I think if it took me 6+ hours to finish and I felt that I 'left it all out there' and had the war wounds and pain to wear as a badge of honor I might feel differently.

Which is absolutely insane. I know. Most people are going to think I'm an idiot for even talking about being rueful over this.

I've always been afraid of pain, convinced the wall would stop me in my tracks. We train so we can do this and not die… I don't know. You think I would be content with crossing the finish line and with making it in spite of the stomach issues trying to stop me…

Believe me, I know that this is nuts. If it were a friend saying this to me, I'd enthuse, "you ran an f'in marathon - doesn't matter if it took you six DAYS - I would tell them that the tummy thing was God's way of sparing you leg pain" and that "many people never even run a cumulative 26 miles in their lifetimes… never mind all in a row!"  I've been trying to say these things to myself but it's still not taking away my feeling of feeling a bit like a marathoning fraud.

I am proud of getting thru in the face of tummy issues. I am proud that I had the courage to "go for it" and the commitment to get there. There are many, many positive things I have gained from the experience, so I'm not entirely gloomy about the whole thing.

Even if I'm a little apprehensive about it, I still call myself a marathoner and I did put my 26.2 sticker on my car but I think I'll leave the tattoo for after the next one - because the tattoo shouldn't hurt more than the race.


Monday, June 6, 2011

I am a marathoner! Rock N Roll San Diego race recap.

First of all, I would like to say thank you to you guys in the running community. It never ceases to amaze me how generous this community is with support, advice, love, shoulders to cry on and everything else in between.  I truly don't believe I would've gotten to this point without you all.  It truly took a village to raise this runner…

A huge thank you especially to Lesley at Racing It Off. Lesley you are wonderful. Beautiful inside and out. Your generosity of giving a place to "some girl on the internet" to sleep and having this experience with you was absolutely priceless and I'll always remember the entire thing as one of the highlights of my life. Thank you, thank you.

Sherry, many thanks to you too. I loved getting to know you and had a fabulous time.

jen - lesley - sherry - Jion AKA "frankie" ;)

Now on to the race:

I landed on Saturday and as soon as wheels were down and Lesley had made the pickup we were off to the Expo. The place was a mob-scene and I was starving so we pretty much made the bib pickup and headed out after a little looking around.  The rest of the day, we took easy. I even had a "celebrity sighting" at the hotel! No other than The Boring Runner himself, Adam! I was so excited to see him but unfortunately didn't get a chance to chat or get a picture with him. (If you don't read his blog, you should. He's a talented runner/writer and don't let the name fool you - so funny and awesome.)   

Then, we got all of our race stuff set up and ready to go.

We visited Little Italy and found a delicious little Italian restaurant to carb-load at.  

The next morning we were up and off to the race by 4:30 AM. 

Got in my corral which was an embarrassing 32 out of 34 corrals for full marathoners, but we all have to start somewhere. My est. time of arrival at finish was around 5:45 - which I was pretty confident I could nail.  (And probably even do a wee bit better…. but.)

Only 31 more corrals to go!

So after waiting for 31 corrals to go before me, finally it was our turn - And off we went.  The weather was perfect. I was feeling excited and optimistic in-spite of a weird cramp in the arch of my foot (before I even started running!) and the fact that I had lost a GU .5 miles into my run. Oh and for some reason my Nike+ started and then stopped so I got ripped off of a few miles of running… 

Kind of a crazy start to a race but I wasn't gonna let anything break-a my stride…

The first 5 miles were glorious, I was happy and feeling good. And then, OH NO. What the hell!?  Why does my tummy feel so icky??? 

TMI alert. If you're not a runner or a parent you may want to turn away now.  You've been warned.

I had just taken my first GU and all of a sudden I needed a potty. Now. And the "please don't poop my pants" inner chant started. My stomach was revolting. Was it the Cyto-max that the race had in place of the gatorade I was used to? The pasta from the night before? A gu gone bad? The morning coffee brewed in that little hotel room pot or just the stomach flu coming in at a bad time -- I don't know but it was one of the worst things that could happen.  Let's just say that I made BFF's with every porta-potty stop along the route - I lost count after visiting around SEVEN of them. Fantastic. Running made it way worse and this was upsetting though I tried to keep my spirits as high as possible. I ran when I could, jogged/walked when I had to. 

Right past the half way point, I even ran a block off the race course to visit a 7-11 to buy a travel packet of immodium. The teenaged clerk gave me a funny look and I kind of shot him a look that said "F" you in return and headed back out. For the record, the medicine didn't really help but it was worth the try.

Whoaa! We're half way there! -Jovi

No matter what, sometimes sh*t happens. Uh, sometimes literally and I was determined to still enjoy this day and make it the best day ever, dammit. My legs felt good, my mind appreciating as much as possible and I told my tummy that I wouldn't let it rob me of this day.  Once I started, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would cross that finish line. Lesley even promised to come back and drag me over the line if she had to- so I had faith I would get there.

I ran/jogged/plodded/walked on only 1 1/2 GU's and a half packet of sport beans. Not ideal fueling. I kept drinking water and took a little of salt but even water hitting my belly sent the wave of cramps and another "please don't poop my pants" awful feeling but I knew that I had to at very least hydrate if nothing else.

Right around mile 15 when I was feeling particularly ick there was an angel sent from heaven in the form of an old friend I know from a job we both worked at years ago. I knew she was a runner (in fact she did the goofy challenge at Disney this past year) and TNT coach but never thought I'd see her on the other side of the country during a marathon.  At just the right time, I looked up to see Alison and it was like the happiest moment ever. I didn't know she was going to be there and she didn't know I was running. I saw her and screamed her name. She looked at me and I could tell she didn't recognize me.  Alison hasn't seen me in 65 pounds or so. When I identified myself, she almost fell over and her warm hug and "OMG you've lost so much weight, you're running the full!?) and other enthusiasms gave me so much needed energy - it was better than anything.  I'm so grateful that i wasn't looking the other way, or at my feet or whatever else that I do when I run and saw her. I needed that SO BAD.

At mile 18 I helped a girl who looked like she was going to die. She was panting. People were just running by her and I felt like she needed at least a kind word. I reluctantly gave her the half of my remaining sport beans and found her some water.  She was cramping bad and didn't look great. She was TNT person so someone came to help her and a medic came - then I was on my way again.

My tummy never got better and I spent a "blissful" 21.2 miles running with a rumbling tummy and underfueled but what are you gonna do? 

When I hit mile 25 I started to get choked up. I was gonna make it. I did it. I faced down no fuel and tummy troubles, previous injuries, foiled running plans, an imperfect training regime and making friends with 50 porto's along the way and I was going to complete my first marathon.  I thought of my friend Sara and her recent journey and her mom - I thought of Lesley and Jason who've been great, great support. I thought of Emz and her 24 hour treadmill run, I thought of my darling husband and son and I thanked God that I made it the whole 26.2 without pooping my pants.  

I came down the homestretch and ran that last mile. Finish strong. I saw Lesley cheering me on -- when I crossed, I smiled big for the camera (as Jason suggests) and then broke down into an ugly cry. I was so happy.

26.2 and still smiling
It was the best day but the worse "race."  Well. I beat Al Roker's time but my final time? A disappointing but it is what it is, 6:20. Boo.  I am disappointed. Mainly because I know that if I didn't stop every mile and could've run what I was planning to, I would've done way better. But, I am proud that I didn't quit and kept my spirits up in the face of the troubles. Plus, the upside to all that stopping/walking nonsense, I never hit a wall, never really had leg issues and it was a good experience in that regard. 

And while I'm a little creaky today, I'm really no more creaky than the day after any long run. I feel like I really didn't give it my all if I'm feeling this "good." I know I didn't (even with very good excuse) and that bums me out. 

I am definitely having the post-marathon day blues. All that training, anticipation, bitching, moaning, dreaming, fearing, looking-forward to - gone. Done. Over. Do I dare sign up for another? Oh I want to with every cell in my body. But we'll see. For now, it's just we'll see.


Friday, June 3, 2011

26.2 and California here I come!

I thought I would check in before things get too hectic, I'm probably not going to get to post again until post-marathon so this is my last post before my life changes forever. (OK so that might be a little dramatic but whatever.)

Anyway, I didn't do too much running this week. Just a couple of easy miles. My hip has been achey for the last few weeks and when I began to run last night it started up and I decided I would just blow off the few miles in lieu of extra rest for the hip. After the marathon, I'm considering having it looked at. It only really hurts when I run and for a day or two after but it's enough to be pretty annoying.

Enough with the idle chit-chat.

Deep breath.

I'm gonna run a marathon! Holy crap. I'm going to be running a marathon in less than 48 hours.

I'm excited, scared, nervous but I'm gonna do it.

Thanks for to you for your support, cheering, shoulder to cry on and all the other stuff you've given me to help me get to this point.

I've gotta go pack now. Wish me luck and I'll see you again when I get to the other side. :)