Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for June, 2008

Published June 24th, 2008

Catching up

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It’s been two weeks since my last blog post.

I’ve been meaning to post for a couple days now, but when Angie emailed me to see if everything is okay, I figured I better write sooner rather than later (for some reason the concerned emails from the rest of you must have been lost in cyberspace). Rest assured I’m doing fine, but real life is getting in the way of my online existence.

You see, now that my marathon is over I’m left to deal with all the things I put off — housecleaning, filing, gardening, bookkeeping, feeding my cat (I kid! There’s no way in HELL she’d let us go more than five hours without feeding her). Normally I wouldn’t have any problems putting these things off even more, but my darling and I have signed up with a financial planner and need to provide them with all our financial documentation, including where our money’s been going. If we were organized folks that wouldn’t be a problem, but considering the last time I did any serious filing was during the Eisenhower administration, it’s meant I’m tearing through the house spittin’ and swearin’ looking for my credit card statement from April of last year.

So unfortunately that means you must suffer along with us and be deprived of my witticisms, at least for the time being. That said, there really wasn’t much to write about the week after my marathon. After all, I’m sure you’d get bored by post after post that said, “Didn’t run today; in recovery mode.”


Published June 10th, 2008

2008 North Olympic Discovery Marathon

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…

What can I say? It just wasn’t my day to BQ. But now that I’ve had my little pity party (and a few glasses of wine), I can see the day for what it was: an awesome experience, and a PR to boot! My official time was 4:15:19, which surprisingly puts me at 5th in my age group (let’s hear it for smaller races). Sure, I’m somewhat disappointed in the outcome, but I believe I ran the race as best I could. Perhaps I could have practiced better mind over matter and forced myself to run more in the end, but even then I would have only shaved off a couple of minutes at most. In fact, I’m glad I was so far off from my BQ time as I probably would be beating myself up more if it was within just a couple of minutes.

My respect for the marathon distance has intensified; you just can’t predict what will happen come race day. I know I have a BQ in me and believe I trained well, at least in terms of getting my body in shape for the rigors of 26.2 miles. I now have to figure out what’s causing the dizziness. It could be from dehydration, it could be from an impending cold, or — heaven forbid — it could be the symptom of something worse (I visited my doctor on Friday to have my Vitamin D level checked and my blood pressure is high. Hopefully it’s just from the stress I’ve been feeling over the race). I’ve learned many lessons from the experience and will train even smarter next time.

It’s clear I should have come up with a couple of goals for the race, rather than making a BQ the end all/be all. Although I’m thrilled with the PR, it’s not quite as fulfilling as I knew I hadn’t run the previous marathons to my full potential. If I hadn’t PR’d, it would have meant something went horribly wrong. However, PR’ing at Royal Victoria will be a good goal, and of course BQ’ing and possibly running a sub 4-hour marathon will be fantastic. If I had come up with a couple of secondary goals for North Olympic, perhaps I could have pushed myself just a tad more during the latter miles. But I’m not going to dwell on that!

So settle in for a long race report.


Published June 8th, 2008

I’m just a dizzy blonde

First of all, sorry about the cryptic previous posts.  For some reason my darling’s iPhone wouldn’t let me enter any text in the post field (but I knew you were all waiting around all day just to see how I did) 🙂

So the good news is I PR’d; although official results haven’t been posted online (someone either made off with the sheet they posted at the end or it blew away), but Garmin says my final time was 4:15:18.  My emotions have ranged from being ecstatic for finishing (believe me, there were a couple of miles where that was in question), to being bummed for not BQ’ing, to being frustrated for having a poor last 10K.  And yes, that’s where things went downhill — literally, although not enough, plus figuratively.

Although I ran the first few miles a bit faster than I should have, I don’t think that contributed to my downfall.  My strategy was to average 9:20 over the first six miles; it was closer to 9:12.  I was then going to pick it up to 9:15 for the next three, but was closer to 9:05.  Mile 10 was 9:18, but I followed that with three sub 9 minute miles.

So, what got to me?  The hills!  I knew what to expect at the creek beds at miles 16 and 20 since we had the chance to check them out beforehand, but I wasn’t expecting the rolling hills from miles 13-20.  Thing is, they really were no different from the hills at the Kirkland or Mercer Island half marathons; I think where they were in the race contributed to my slowdown, but the real culprit was the dizziness.  I drank at every fuel stop (which were placed practically every two miles), plus ate three ClifShots and one package of ShotBlocks.  But I think the cold that’s been threatening me decided to rear its evil head during the race.

Although my body was still really strong, I couldn’t shake the dizziness and had to start walking several times.  My average pace for the first 20 miles was 9:14 min/mile; I actually thought I might still have a chance to BQ but knew I would have to push it really hard during the last 10K.  Alas, I couldn’t do it.  My ears became blocked and I decided I’d walk it out to clear my head, then hopefully finish strong (which I did — I managed to sprint the final 1/3 mile!).

Again, I’ll post more tomorrow, but now I’m lounging with a glass of wine.  Cheers!

Published June 8th, 2008

Mmmm… Martini

Will be home soon w/gory details. Good news: I PR’d!

Published June 8th, 2008

4:15 and change

Published June 7th, 2008

Inevitable, but surprisingly late

The marathon dreams, that is.

I expected them to come several days ago, but last nights’ was the first.  Fortunately it was a very good dream, although a bit weird as dreams tend to be.  I dreamt I crossed the halfway mark at roughly 1:58 (which would be great considering the second half has the hills).  My darling was running with me and when we got to the creekbeds at mile 16 — the ones I’ve been obsessing over — I looked at him and said, “That’s it?”  They appeared no more steep than the hills I’ve been training on.

However, I’ve heard the really steep one is at mile 20, so in my dream I asked one of the other runners about it while we were waiting for our relay team members to come in (yes, for some reason the race turned into a relay).   He said while it was indeed steep, I should have no problem with it.  I then ended up at a home; it wasn’t ours, but maybe it was (again, you know how crazy dreams can be) to go pee.  At the time I was thinking “Thank goodness we’re doing a relay ‘cuz I don’t have to worry about giving up valuable time to potty.”  I was concerned, however, about how they were going to add up our individual running times.  I wanted to make sure my total time was 4 hours or less.

Once I relieved myself I then had to wait for the shuttle to pick me up.  I began to get a bit nervous — perhaps my darling forgot to call them — but just as I was picking up my cell phone to call him I woke up.

I sure hope I get a good nights’ sleep tonight!

Published June 6th, 2008

Pfitz, The Final Frontier (aka week 18, 29.95 miles)

Well folks, this is it. It’s almost show time. Hard to believe I began this journey back in early February. Where HAS the time gone? Oh yeah — in training.

Angie asked me what my most prevalent emotion is right now; excitement? Anxiety? Nausea? My answer: YES. I’ve experienced all three (and then some) many times over the past few days. But in the end I have to remind myself it’s just a race. I know I’ve done my best to prepare, yet you never know what race day will bring.

Despite my anxiety, this has been a very easy week. I’ve taken my last few runs slow, save for yesterday’s 7-mile “dress rehearsal” where I practiced my pacing strategy. My diet this week has been the healthiest it’s ever been, although I did allow myself a couple of glasses of wine with dinner the other night (not only did it taste fabulous with the grilled flat iron steak, it calmed my nerves). Stretching and a couple of massages have worked out the kinks in my right calf, and daily snorts of Zicam have held an impending cold at bay.

While the final test will be on Sunday, I feel Pfitz’s program is a good one for me. I made a few tweaks, primarily to work in a couple of races, but I’ve run more than 97% of the called-for mileage. I’ll definitely follow this program again when I’m looking to run in a specific time. In fact, depending on what happens on Sunday, I may turn to Pfitz again for the Royal Victoria marathon in October. But assuming I BQ at North Olympic, I may take things easy and just follow a plan to get me to the finish in Victoria.

I’d like to thank everyone for coming here and offering your words of encouragement and support. They really have meant a lot to me. Because North Olympic is such a small race, live tracking isn’t available. But my darling will have his iPhone and hopefully I’ll be able to post my results soon after the race (and of course I’ll write an excruciatingly detailed race report).

Here’s the final recap!

Sunday: since I signed up for the Runnersworld Online June mileage challenge I postponed my 13-mile run to today. I was shooting for a 9:30 overall pace, but wanted to practice my pacing strategy of starting out slow. However, my hips were a tad creaky so I ended up running a rather slow pace throughout (9:40 overall). I’m sure it was good for me.

Monday: I ditched my regular arm weight routine this week and concentrated instead on ab work and stretching. For the afternoon recovery run I used my heart rate as my guide with a goal of keeping it less than 70% of maximum. Overall pace: 9:33.

Tuesday: one of the best classes ever. We did a lot of warrior poses, which helped to stretch out my hip flexors. My dress rehearsal was scheduled for today but I opted to postpone it to Thursday and take a rest day from running.

Wednesday: more stretching and ab work; afternoon 5-mile recovery run (9:29 overall pace).

Thursday: 7-mile dress rehearsal. My target marathon race pace is 9:10, however, I plan on running the first 8-9 miles at 9:20, then the next 8-9 miles at 9:05-9:10. Assuming I feel good after that I’ll finish strong. For my dress rehearsal I practiced running two miles at 9:20, two at 9:10, and the remaining three at 8:55, 8:50 and 8:45 respectively. I ran the first four miles just a couple of seconds faster than goal, but a hill at mile 5 slowed me down to a 9-minute pace. However, I picked it up during the last two miles, running them at 8:36 and 8:34.

Friday: more abs and stretching. I’ll probably hit the pool for a few laps this afternoon, and may do so again tomorrow morning. My darling accidently scheduled a photo shoot tomorrow, so I’ll need to work off some pent-up energy while waiting for him to finish. We hope to be on the road by 2 p.m., which will put us at the expo about 5. We’ll then head over to the pasta feed, then hopefully get a full night’s sleep.

Wish me luck!

Published June 1st, 2008

Pfitz, Week 17 (27.11 miles)

Although technically my taper officially started a week ago, I feel my true taper started after my BUAL™ workout on Tuesday. It was one of the toughest runs of the training — only eight miles, but three were at 5K pace. I’m SOOOO glad to have the speed work over and done with. Other than a marathon pace “dress rehearsal” this coming week, all my runs are basically at recovery pace. Hallelujah!

Sunday: my darling and I took advantage of the glorious weather and walked to a local farmer’s market for pizza and ice cream. (And to appease you health freaks, we also picked up some Brussels sprouts and mizuna for our salad. Oh, and rhubarb, for, um, a pie).

Monday: my gym was closed for Memorial Day so I got to sleep in. Ran a 7-mile general aerobic run in the afternoon with eight 100m strides (8:50 overall pace).

Tuesday: I know I’ve said this before, but I today’s yoga class HAD to be the worst day in terms of flexibility (as in, I had none!). It still felt good afterwards, but I sure was groaning a lot. My darling joined me for my BUAL™ workout; I started with an easy 2-mile jog, then ran my first 1-mile sprint at 7:52. Took another easy mile, then ran a 7:32. Followed that with an easy mile, then ran a 7:41. Finished with an easy mile. Overall pace: 8:58.

Wednesday: rest day for running, but spent a little over an hour at the gym doing my arm weights and ab exercises.

Thursday: decided to sleep in again, and although I intended do my 5-mile recovery run with strides that afternoon, I decided to rest some more. I’ve been feeling on the verge of getting a cold, so I figured it would do me some good.

Friday: made up for the previous days’ sloth by running 6.75 miles. It was supposed to be a recovery run (9:30 min/mile or more), but I felt too darn good. Overall pace: 8:51.

Saturday: normally this would be my long run day, but on a whim I signed up for the Runnersworld L&O June mileage challenge (north vs. south). Since I’ll be tapering and recovering this month, I figured I could use the extra miles and postponed my long run to Sunday. However, I took a VERY easy 5.36-mile recovery run (overall pace: 9:44). With that run, I racked up another 200-mile month! But the best part? The 1 1/2 hour massage in the afternoon. She primarily worked on my legs this time, but when I go back on Thursday she’ll work more on my upper body. Pure heaven!

We’re getting close folks. I’m already obsessing over the weather (it looks like we’ll have some rain, which I actually prefer over heat). I’ll continue to take things slow this week and will make sure I’m eating properly. Although I really wanted either a martini or glass of wine last night (okay — so I wanted both), I refrained. But you can bet I’ll be imbibing after the marathon — BQ or not!