Category Archives: Training

The Montour Trail Half Marathon – A Ranty Recap

While I hesitate to make my return post in such a negative tone, I simply cannot complete this recap without some sort of cynicism towards running today. It was both on my part, and the organizers. Simply put, this race has gone way, way downhill since I first ran it three years ago.

Three years ago this was my very FIRST half marathon. Three years ago the conditions were far from perfect (muggy, rainy and a torrential downpour at mile 10). However, three years ago I was so blown away by the sheer effortlessness of this race that I have continued with distance running. I do not, however, think that the way this race is being managed right now would encourage new runners to continue with the sport.

I’ll get to why I’m so negative in a moment, but first I actually should recap my own experience.

I woke up at 6am, played on my phone in bed until 6:30, and finally managed to get up and get clothed. I didn’t eat anything until 6:50, and scarfed it down when my ride was there at 7. We arrived at The Robinson Town Centre Mall at 7:30, and searched for another friend of ours who was running. This run was not any sort of PR race by any stretch; In truth, it was a training run that we paid for.

When the gun went off (or should I say, the lady yelled “Ready, set, GO!”) we were off. And second to last in the pack. I have NEVER been this far back before, but today I didn’t care. I was in no shape to be running 13 miles, just coming off a week and a half vacation and barely a carb eaten in the days leading up to the race.

This race starts in a mall parking lot. You then run around a half mile out of the mall, down a hill and onto the crushed limestone trail. From there, it is an out and back style course with the turnaround point at mile 7.

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The race all around sucked. If I hadn’t been running and BSing with my friends, this would most certainly be a wash. We incorporate walk breaks into our long runs since it seems to help keep us injury free, and today the humidity and sun was killer. At mile 10 we phoned it in and began walking nearly every mile marker, sometimes at every half mile point. We didn’t care, it was simply TOO hot and all we wanted was our brunch of chicken and waffles at the end.

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2 hours and 55 minutes after the “gun went off”, we crossed the finish. We were first greeted with a lukewarm water bottle and NOTHING else. After a half marathon, I’d appreciate some sort of sustinence. Heck, at that point a piece of bread would have sufficed. Also, no finishers photo. Would it have killed someone to have an iphone out or something? This race hired photographers in the past. Anyways, we kept walking towards the busses back to the starting line.

By the time we reached the mall parking lot, the food for runners was already packed up. That’s right, we made it under 3 hours (the cut-off time for this race), and there was no food left for us to eat. I paid the same amount of money as the people who finished in half my time, where’s my food? I don’t think it’s really that much to ask to have a banana or bagel sitting out for me to grab. In fact, dare I say it’s dangerous for them to NOT have them available?

Keep in mind, we were FAR from the last finishers on the course. After we saw them packing up the food, we were absolutely disgusted. We discussed this being the ‘last time’ we run Montour, and that sealed it. No respect for slow runners. That along with no medal, and I’m sorry …my training runs will best be left as just that, training runs.

Again, I apologize for the sheer negativity in this post ….but I absolutely just hurt for the people who’s half marathon this was their first. It was appaling and poorly mismanaged. I’m not sure what happened with it, but it’s not what it used to be.

Self Medicating

I’m recovering nicely, finally, from the half marathon. Note to self, next time you do this kind of mileage, SUCK IT UP and take an ice bath afterwards!!!! I think that would have done me WONDERS, but here I am doping myself with naproxen, Blue Moon and compression to stifle the pain. Luckily, it’s all been for the better and I feel almost no soreness today.

I still didn’t feel 100% and my muscles felt a bit weak, so I decided to wear the shorts and my socks under my work clothes again today. The only predicament I had was that the only clean pair I had were bright orange.

Not office appropriate, I’d think. Solution?

Bam. Tan socks over top. Classy. (It was cold out so it wasn’t too bad)

Speaking of cold, it was cold enough for me to bust out my FAVORITE track jacket;

Today was awesome. It was so nice and cool out and it just made me hunger so much for a run. I knew I shouldn’t jump back in just yet, and I need to get alot of packing done so I was able to talk myself out of it. One thing I wasn’t able to talk myself out of was sushi. Yes, sushi for the third time in four days. My body has just been CRAVING salt like none other. So, off to the sushi store I went (oh how I wish a sushi store existed);

California and salmon rolls, delish.

Since there was an REI right next to the sushi place, I decided to pay it a visit. I had been wanting to check out fuel belts, but sadly they didn’t have any of the one’s I’m interested in (I want the ones with the two small bottles and pack but they only had one’s with the huge bottle pack). Sad. BUT, I finally grabbed a GU flavor I’ve been dying to try.

Espresso Love! I’ve fared pretty well with caffiene on the run, so I want to give this a shot on one of my longer runs.

Speaking of longer runs, last night in my drunken naproxen stupor boredom I decided to craft a running plan IF I decided to run the 10 miler.

I already need to alter it because when I need to run the 5 Miles is when I’ll be going WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!!!!! 🙂 But yeah, it’s a feasable plan, I just need to decided if I want to run it/and if I want to commit to more long runs already.

Other than that, not much else happened today. Aside from the true, crowning moment of why I chose to run 13.1.

The car magnet. Don’t deny it, you ran a half for one too 🙂

 

 

Slipping and a Long Run

Miles Today; 11

Miles This Week; 16

Tune of the Run; Fun – Some Nights

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So sorry I’ve been slipping on the posts. I told myself I was really going to try and post everyday (not just on days I run), but that hasn’t happened. It didn’t help that work was exceptionally busy and hectic. Lots of things have changed (for the better). I’m cross-training to QA a different department starting next week (while still covering my old department work) so it’s going to be a crazy transition. I’m excited for it though.

Anyways, my long run!

I ate a bagel with peanut butter, a Starbucks double shot and a few GU chomps. I probably should have ate more, but I couldn’t stomach much.

I went down to the North Shore trail that I normally run. It was a beautiful 60 degrees out and I was loving it. I ran the first two miles with my Nike coverup but quickly got too hot so I threw it on my car. As I ran the first two miles I came across a brewfest going on! Too bad I didn’t have my ID or money because I was totally having thoughts about finishing my run with a beer or two.

This run seemed to all blend together, honestly. No part of it was too easy or too hard, until I hit 7 miles when my garmin died. I was so pissed …it said the battery was dead but I just charged it last night! It kept shutting down and powering up and beeping and generally aggravating me. I couldn’t wait until I hit 9 miles so I could toss it in my car. I powered up my iPod’s tracker thing and put 4 miles into it so that I’d still get a semi-accurate time.

By the 9th mile I was completely out of gatorade. I actually had mixed it too sweet so I never felt completely hydrated. When I hit 10 miles I filled up with some water by the brewfest from earlier …it tasted awful but at least I was getting some water in me. The last mile sucked ….I kept running .25 and stopping for more water. I kept repeating that and finally finished with a time of 2:19. I’m on pace to finish my 13.1 in around 2:40. I am going to try as hard as I can to run those whole 13.1 miles!!!!

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I took a half mile walk to warm down and my calves were TIGHT!!!! I had to walk on my tip toes so they wouldn’t hurt (which probably made it worse). Sitting down was the greatest feeling ever. I came home, showered and ate my weight in bagel bites. I then crashed on the couch and eventually fell asleep while watching Handball on the Olympics. Now I feel fresh and ready to take on another run! What is wrong with me?!

10 Miles to Restore My Faith

Miles Today; 10

Miles This Week; 17

Tune of the Run – Eminem – I’m Coming Home

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I woke up today knowing I needed to bang out 10 miles to keep on track with my training. I set my alarm for 7. It woke me up and I immediately shut it off and changed it to 9am. By the time I woke up, it was 85 degrees outside.  I whispered a few expletives to myself but honestly, the extra sleep was needed.

So I decided to man up and do my long run on the treadmill. It actually worked out well for a number of reasons.

I decided to try drinking espresso before my run as an experiment. Normally this stuff gives me the ….well, it makes me take frequent trips to the restroom. I figured since I’d be at the gym I could shut down the machine and make a trip. I snuck in a Starbucks double shot and a bagel with peanut butter as my breakfast. Along with a few GU Chomps I was on my way.

I sported my shorts and socks, solidifying my status as a running badass at the gym. *snicker* Actually, I’ve had insanely good luck with runs wearing those shorts, and my shins were hurting just enough to warrant me wearing the socks. They were both great choices. In fact, I really really want to add another pair of the socks to my collection …the worst part is deciding on a color 🙂

Anyways, I hopped on the machine and turned on the Olympics. I think I was watching diving for the first three miles, but honestly my mind was in another place. I listened to the remix of Coming Home with Eminem literally the ENTIRE run. I ran for just over 2 hours, so yeah ….a little overload? But it seriously was pushing me! I know this sounds silly but I kept envisioning myself on the track at the Olympics just busting my ass and being so proud of my training ….lame, but sometimes you need those visuals to get you through 🙂

After the first three miles I took a short walk/GU break and started another round on the ‘mill. I decided to split up my bag of GU’s by eating two after the first 3 miles and the last 2 after the 2nd set of 3 miles. This worked out pretty good and I had ZERO cramping!

I changed the channel again to the mens 400m semifinals. This is where I think my run went from good to GREAT. I witnessed Oscar Pistoris, the double-amputee from South Africa, qualify and advance in the 400m. It was incredibly inspirational. To think, he never has excuses to miss runs ….I began thinking about how many runs I missed because my shins “ached” or my ankles weren’t “up to par”. This guy HAS NO shins or ankles …and I bet he is out there 6/7 days a week owning. So awesome.

When I hit 7.5 miles was when I really knew I could do the 10 miles. I seriously felt no pain or soreness the entire time, and I kept pushing. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I hit my first “long run” runners high. I could have kept going after the 10 miles if it weren’t for one thing when I hit 8.5 miles.

I had to use the little girls room ….BAD.

I kept looking at the time, and the mileage, and kept telling myself to keep going. I only have 1.5 miles to go, and THEN I could take care of it. Yeah ….my body was like no …you need to take care of business. So I slammed the E Stop button and RAN to the restroom.

After the 5 minute detour I was back on. The last 1.5 miles were awesome …I just kept going faster and feeling lighter and lighter. It was great to look around and see the once crowded treadmills with no one on them because I had been on the ‘mill for TWO HOURS! And I felt GREAT! And wanted more ….but when I finished the 10 miles in 2:04 (says my Garmin, including all the potty breaks and walk breaks) I felt AMAZING.I feel like I should experience this high more often.

I took a nice long walk of 15 minutes after I was done and stretched the living hell out of my legs. I still feel amazing ….it’s incredible when you realize what your body can really do. Just two months ago I had a “thought” about running a half marathon. Now, it’s a reality. And I’m just one month away!

I also got in my running sunglasses from HeavyGlare.com. They took a little bit longer than I was quoted (a month, I was told around 10 business days) but it wasn’t really their fault (two of the frame styles I wanted were discontinued, but they got me this pair of frames which were actually way more expensive, basically free). I love them …and can’t wait to test them out on outdoor runs!

And here’s a link to the awesome Eminem mashup that I literally played into the ground today;

And that’s it from me ….enjoy that you can run 🙂

Back To Back

Miles Today; 4

Miles This Week; 7

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Today was a strangely good day. I started it off by winning Pirates tickets from a local radio station! I was sitting in my car before work and heard the chance to call in. I figured, why the heck not and I WON!!! It was so strange! So I drove over to the station on my break and picked them up. Now Brian and I have a date next week 🙂

I felt good enough for a run after work so I took to my gym. I wanted to run outside but it was far too hot for that.

I did four miles and it was strangely easy. The first 3 miles flew by like nothing, mainly because I was attached to the TV screen watching the news. I stopped only twice; once to restart the machine for the last mile and another time to tie my shoe. It was awesome! I felt like I could have pounded out another mile other than my left shin giving me grief. I think I finished just under 42 minutes, I was going about <11 minute miles.

I’ve only had shin pain when I wear my Gel Equations ….so, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with that. I’ll probably still wear them and see if it actually IS those shoes, or just something else I’m doing wrong.

So I hopped off the machine and raced home to shower. I seriously love post-run showers, they make me feel like a new woman.

Afterwards, I unintentionally supported Team USA in my compression get-up.

I’m seriously loving the red style of these Aspaeris shorts. They are pretty slick. Make sure to check out their Get 2 for 45 deal …it’s a serious steal. ProCompression also has a nice Schwaggle going on for 50% off and free shipping too.

Now time to ice my shins and enjoy some nachos with a side of Olympics! CYA!