Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm a marathoner now!

I ran my first full marathon this morning! I will be thinking long and hard about doing this again :)

My training buddy and I ran the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville. With it being such a hilly course, its not recommended for first time marathoners but we trained as best we could and gave it our best attempt!

We made it to mile 8 without stopping but the hills just became too steep so we changed to a walk-run strategy (i.e. walk up / run down). We cruised through the first 13.1 before the proverbial sh#t hit the fan. It progressively became harder and harder to continue running and by mile 20, we were both in pain. We pushed through and continued walk/running (more walking than running) to mile 24 where running no longer became an option. She tweaked her hamstring somewhere around the halfway point and I was in excruciating pain from just about the neck down. We walked to mile 26 and then jogged to the finish.

This race was 100% about finishing and not about times. There were just too many hills to be concerned with a PR or fast finish. We completed the run in 5:30 and couldn't be happier.

I've never been in so much pain in my entire life! I've been icing, taking antiinflammatories and resting since I got home. I have three weeks of recovery left before starting the training for the Country Music Marathon... Hopefully, by then, I'll have forgotten the pain and will continue preparing for marathon number 2. If not, I'll cross it off my bucket list and continue with my beloved half-marathon distances :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I should really remember to update this every once in awhile :)

I am on my blog a lot (mostly reading from my blogroll) but I rarely update!

My knee is no longer swollen and is getting better. The anti-inflammatories, crosstraining and my new compression sleeve are really helping, although I miss running on a regular basis. Thankfully, I've had two races in the past few weeks, and my knee has held out for both of them.

I ran in the Tennessee Ragnar Relay last weekend (Nov 5th and 6th) and did better than ever! My legs were 4.2, 2.7, and 4.4 miles in length (thanks to a last minute switch to purposely take shorter mileage so I didn't completely kill my knee!) I ran the 4.2 with a 9:30 pace, the 2.7 with a 9:00 pace and that 4.4 with a 10:00 pace! Considering I normally do my tempo runs at 9:45, I rocked it!

Yesterday I ran in the iRunForTheParty Nashville half marathon. I was worried because this is the first race that I ran without my training partner. I wasn't sure how I would fare without her encouragement! But, I BEAT MY OLD PR BY 18 FULL MINUTES! :) I finished in 2:17:50! That's a 10:27 pace! :) I stayed with the 2:15 pacer for the first 6.5 miles but, due to poor planing by race officials, there weren't water stations between miles 2.25 and mile 9! The lack of water and gatorade really took its toll on me and I had to break away from the pacer so I could make it to the finish in one piece. At mile 8, there was a table with two volunteers PICKING DIRTY WATER CUPS OFF THE GROUND, refilling them and handing them to runners. GROSS! I passed and kept struggling through the dehydration and heat. After grabbing an orange slice and gatorade at mile 9, I resumed my pace and finished strong :) I ran across the finish line and received my crappy "all access pass" instead of the promised medal but considering the water issues, I was just glad to be finished. On the positive, I was hoping to do 2:30 so finishing 12 minutes under my goal was a great accomplishment, especially with a somewhat shaky knee.

Next up is the flying monkey marathon, which is this Sunday. I think if I can pace it out and take my time, I'll be okay. I'm not going for speed or anything (just want to finish the 26.2) so it should be a nice run through the park. If my knee cooperates, it'll be a great day :)