|No...he's not trying to beat runners, just celebrating success. See website for full disclosure!|
Yet plans change...I participated too enthusiastically in a yoga session that too quickly followed a nice tempo workout 12 hours before and "tweaked" my hamstring on Thursday. Gads! Not again! Yet alas, I knew I was not injured, yet had to be cautious with my activities during the next few days so Friday was an elliptical and swim day and, instead of the fun, muddy Groundhog Gallop on Saturday, I spent an hour pool running and 15 minutes doing a core workout. Not quite a 1/2 marathon...yet the goal for the weekend, as far as training, was to healthily run the low-key marathon on Sunday as a smart training run.
Folks ask what the difference is between a training marathon and a racing marathon? I'll give this example:
This past weekend (training) Friday night I slept 6.5 hours. Saturday George and I went out to a 4 course Italian meal to celebrate Valentine's Day (yes, I was conservative with my food choices, yet not boring)! We split a bottle of Chianti. We had a great time at "Happy Together", a performance at Triad Stage in Greensboro. It was cabaret style, so we drank a bit more wine and wound up back at the hotel discussing the sad death of Whitney Houston until 11:30pm. Slept 7 hours and ate hotel continental breakfast and drank several cups of sub-perfection coffee. Didn't warm up at marathon, just started out slow!
Running seriously (marathon or ultra): Limit myself to 2 glasses of wine prior to 9pm. Eat meal prior to 8pm. Usually very boring meal with no unknowns (usually healthy (ish). Make sure I have opportunity for 8.5 hours sleep. Eat boring "superstitious" breakfast I bring with me (no secret: whole wheat bread, almond butter, homemade apple butter sandwich and part of a banana Drink as 2 cups or less of the best coffee I can find or brew in my room! Make sure I have time for at least 30 minutes of varied warm up!
On Sunday, I arrived at race venue (George would fly to FL later that day and had our other vehicle) with just enough time to park the Echo, grab my race number, pit stop, lay out my tiny aid station and pull on my capri tights (I was on the fence with shorts or capris...yet the strong wind made the call: capris).
The gun could not boom soon enough as 3 of the 4 solo race participants danced for warmth around each other as the 130 runners from 130 relay teams began their bout! The air
horn went off and folks flew! Dale, Dennis, Jack and I (the "soloists") ran conservatively and I got to meet all of them within the first couple laps. I understand there were many other solo runners registered that did not start (perhaps to to the 24 degree start with wind chill in the single digits and gusts far higher influenced those that did not feel that this event would contribute to their "overall plan" or mere pleasure (for me, the former).
For solo runners this was 16 laps on pavement-the first lap being 2.2ish miles and each consecutive lap 1.6 to equal a certified 26.2 marathon. I think this is the 5th time I have run the event. Eight or nine years ago, I would have sworn the life of my dear kitty that I would NEVER run tiny loops on pavement when instead I could be running glorious, muddy, icy, hilly, remote brilliant trails instead.
(Those of you who really know me, know I prefer mud-slogging, mountain running, trail adventures to road stuff, unless it is to prepare for something as awesomely cool as running as a TEAM USA member in the 2012 100km World Championships in Italy on April 22 this year! A few weeks ago the 2012 Team was announced and I am thrilled to say I accepted the offer....So that mean more road and perhaps loopy running than I would otherwise choose though mid May 2012.)
As a solo runner out for a training run...I loved the low-key vibe of the solo runners AND spectating on the joy of the faster teams and diversity of fitness and abundance of exuberance in some of the slower teams. I ran and watched and celebrated all that I encountered. When at lap 10 my mood and energy faltered, I spent a couple minutes at my chair and plastic box that served as my aid station to unwrap a gel, fasten an ipod shuffle to my waist and drink some water. Frozen hands made this (and most other tasks) take a very long time!
George, having finished his errands around Greensboro Farmers Market, appeared to me about this time as his was crossing our route while walking on a hiking trail. I slowed a bit and he jogged with me for a couple minutes-yet he was dressed for easy hiking and was on the verge of overheating after a few minutes. I was soo thrilled he was there!
George and I have been struggling with the whether or not we should pay for him to go to Italy as a Team supporter, or just save or bucks as we needed to do this past September and he did not travel with us to Netherlands. (Most of my expenses are thankfully reimbursed with USATF and International Association of Ultra Running). I'll know the reality of my calf and hamstring in the next 10 days... and I think if all is good with my body, then we'll figure out how George can attend too. He is such a great motivator and supporter of me in these crazy things, even when we exchange no words I know he is supportive of my endeavors and he is willing to do what it takes race day to support USA athletes (please save time for him to enjoy local cuisine and beverages along the way!)
|Awesome George and I post-warmth and pre-nourishment.|
We lunched at PieWorks...a regional chain that George and I ate ate 2 years ago after I won a 25.00 off the year before. As native New Yorkers we did not expect or order pizza, yet ate well off their non-pizza menu and enjoyed a couple drafts before he headed to the airport and I to my car to jaunt the 2.5 hours up to 18 degrees and 30mph winds!
This weekend -and leading into it, has given me perspective. If I want to run well, I will need to back of a bit from the p90x training...the isn't to say don't do it-yet save my 100% for running and participate in certain parts of p90x (yoga and kickboxing) with a less aggressive approach. In the big picture, I think what we are doing in that program will enhance my agility, strength and flexibility-yet I want it to complement running and certainly not replace it!
I wound up running 3:19:45 in the marathon and placing 42 of 134 individuals and teams.
What I wore: (top to bottom: Mountain Hardwear beanie, Native sunglasses, Buff (for 1st half), Mtn Hardwear Malina tank, Mtn Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Anorak (This is perhaps one of the coolest pieces of clothing I proudly own...see this post for more photos and information.), Team USA capris, Sugoi compression socks (love DryMax yet need the seemlessness of socks with my current calf/hamstring condition).
For shoes, I went road shoe shopping as every road shoe I have has seen better days and Montrail isn't quite what I need for 100% road pounding. My Saturday shopping trip had me walking out of Fleet Feet Sports in Winston-Salem with a men's 9 Brooks Connect. I know nothing about the shoe except it was light and without any breaking in, felt fine during the 26.2 mile run and 2 mile warm down...I will still seek out a road shoe for higher mileage and look forward to sampling the next heavier Brooks road shoe: Pure Cadence, yet will surely give Montrail's new Rouge Fly a try (though it is designed more with terrain in mind, than road), I am chomping at the bit to give them a "go!"
Congrats to all the teams and individuals on Sunday! And especially to the freezing cold volunteers and race director. Full results here.http://www.onthemarksports.com/results/2012/2012_02_12_oa_summary.htm
Check out this link to Greensboro's News Record Running Shorts: Eddie Wooten's Blog for a little Annette Bednosky feature on this race!