Sunday, October 15, 2006

Race Report

Where to begin......

I headed down to Hartford on Friday afternoon with Work Friend and some people from her training group who were also running the race. We picked up our packets, drove the course and headed to dinner. We went back to the hotel to prepare for the race. My sister and son arrived later that night. We made some signs and then I went to bed. I changed NOTHING in my routine. I ate a light pasta dinner, drank like a fish all week and took my 2 Immodiums before bed time. I was feeling good!
Woke up, got ready and we all headed to the starting line. It was a cool 38 degrees out! Freezing!!! We went to the port-a-potties and headed over to the start. I met up with my Running Club Friend, who decided that she was going to run with a pace group....this now left me all alone to run this race. I was OK with that, I had gotten used to running and pacing myself with Running Club Friend, but I was prepared enough to do it on my own. I felt confident.

I was looking around for the Orange Hat, but she was no where to be found!

The gun sounded and off I went. It was cold, very cold. I had on a jacket and gloves. The first mile was pretty crowded, just kind of trotting along, warming up. Mile 2 came and went and once I got to mile 3, I had to pee again. I wasn't too concerned with this slowing me down. It was still rather crowded on the streets. I popped into a port-a-pottie, peed and off I went.

Mile 4 - Smooth Sailing - At this point I could see the winners of the half heading back to the finish.....whew-wee are they fast! Amazing.

Mile 5 - Going strong, feeling good.

My sister and my son were setting up camp at Miles 6 and 12, which were just across the street from each other. Miles 4 - 15 were a two lane street with runners headed out on one side, and headed back on the other.

Mile 6 - I see my sister and son, it was so nice to have them there. I didn't stop. I ran by, dropped my jacket and gloves and my sister handed me a pack of Fig Newtons. I have been training with Fig Newtons since the beginning, and usually eat them about an hour into my run.

I usually run with my head down, but since I could see all the other runners making there way back from the turn around, I was watching in amazement at how fast they were. It helped pass the time.

CELEBRITY ALERT - ....and no, I am not talking about Dean Karnazes, although I did see him too. Here I am between Miles 6 and 7, watching the ground and I look up.....and running right towards me on the opposite side of the street, I see an Orange Hat!! Could it be? Is it really her? Are my eyes playing tricks on me? As this "hat" starts getting closer to me, I realize that it is the one and only Running Chick with the Orange Hat. I give a little wave and a shout out "Hey Running Chick"....she turns and acknowledges.....I tried to get out a "Hey it's me, the Running Red Sox Fan"....but she was FLYING!!! She must of had wings on her sneakers....she was blur that whooshed before my eyes! She rocks!!
She must have been like who is this nut job yelling my name! But she's famous, so it probably didn't phase her. Just another one of her fans...!!

Still in between 6 & 7, I see Work Friend and her group, they were running at full force. They yelled out some words of encouragement and threw some love my way and kept on truckin'. (BTW - All 3 of them qualified for Boston) Keep in mind that the other side on miles 6 & 7 are miles 12 & 13.....these people were haulin' ass. A few steps down the road I see Dean, he has a huge crowd of runners with him. It seemed very annoying to me.....he's probably used to it.

Mile 7 - Still feeling good, enjoying myself and running at somewhere around an 11:30 - 12:00 minute mile. This is perfect. UNTIL...I feel like I have to go to the bathroom...hummmm.....what is going on.....I took the Immodium, just like I have been doing......ok,ok,ok....I am going to stop at the next port-a-pottie that I see. There was actually a surplus of port-a-potties along the course. Which was good.
I hop into the port-a-pottie, do my business and off I go. Now we all know that I have had stomach issues before, but I pretty much thought I had them worked out. At this stop, I didn't feel like it was anything major. No cramps, no feeling like I couldn't run with out having an accident, I just had to go to the bathroom. I just kept telling myself, OK, you just had to go to the bathroom, no big deal, it's a fluke, just keep running.
To be on the safe side, I called my sister,(good thing I run with my phone) asked her to go to the car and grab 2 Immodiums out of my bag.

Mile 8 - Rockin' steady, ate my Fig Newtons.

Mile 9 - Feeling good. There was a man in his drive way rocking some Bruce Springsteen Thunder Road....I started singing out loud. He was good.

Mile 10 - Chip time check. I was pretty much on target for a 5:40 finish. Still feeling good.

Mile 11 - A DJ rockin' KISS - IIIII want to rock and roll all niiight.....and party everyday!! good times. For some crazy reason I almost start to cry here. I was just feeling emotional....

Mile 12 - Stopped for a minute to drop off my fuel belt with my sister. My son saw me coming down the road and ran a little with me....awwww...he's the best!!
Grabbed the 2 Immodium and just tucked them into my shorts. I didn't feel the need for them just yet. I was still feeling good. I ate another Fig Newton, drank some water. I checked my time with the pace chart I had given to my sister and I was 10 minutes ahead of my goal time. Go me!

Mile 13 - Oh no......not again....I have to go to the bathroom. WTF. I go the bathroom and this time I knew it wasn't a fluke. This was the real deal. I took the 2 Immodium.

Mile 14 - Feeling OK

Mile 15 - Truckin' along and keeping my fingers crossed.

Mile 16 - Not so good. Diarrhea

Mile 17 - Diarrhea

Mile 18 - Diarrhea - I GU at this point. I wasn't feeling horrible just yet. I knew I needed to keep hydrated and get something in me. There was a crazy ass hill at this point. I walked up it, first time I really stopped to walk.

Mile 19 - Over the bridge. I spot a sign taped to the side of the highway....it says something like " RBF digs the Running Chick" (???? something like that)....now mind you, I'm by myself. I catch the sign out of the corner of my eye....and I say out loud..."HEY, I KNOW HER" ...not really, but kind of!! It was funny.

Mile 20 - Feeling like ass, but still running. At this point the course runs by the finish line, so I can see all these people finishing. So happy!
I start to cry, not because I am happy, but because I know I have 6.2 more miles to go and I am hurting. It's funny because my time at the 20 mile mark was something like 4:38 and when I ran a 20 mile training run (without diarrhea) I ran it in just about 5 hours.
Oh and by the way......who the hell thought this would be a good place to put a hill??? real smart....honestly. I walked up it.
I see Running Club Friend at this point heading to the finish line. We hi-five. So proud of her!

Mile 21 - Diarrhea - very very slow running at this point, really just a shuffle.

Mile 22 - Diarrhea
Walked very slowly and carefully from mile 22 to 23 because there weren't any port-a-potties around and I really thought I was going to go in my pants. It was BAD. I was actually with the marathon walkers at this point. Kind of discouraging. I must say that even some of the walkers were going faster than me.

Mile 23 - Walking...still no port-a-pottie. I told myself that the next port-a-pottie I find, I am going to go to the bathroom and just run like hell to the finish. No stopping.

Somewhere between Mile 23 and 24 - Port-a-pottie. HEAVEN!! I get out and just start running. I can run 2 miles...piece of cake. I just run and run and it was the longest 2 miles I have ever run in my life. I actually shouldn't even be calling it running at this point, but I wasn't walking, so it was running to me.

Mile 25 and a half maybe......A hill.......WTF. Just get me home.

I start to cry at this point. I know the finish is just around the corner. I just want to be there.......make it all go away and get me there. PLEASE!! Someone help me.
I turn the corner to the finish, there is my sister, my son, Work Friend and her group.......YEAH!!! Work Friend and her group run down to meet me and run me in. I'm crying, I'm hurting and I need to go to the bathroom. My son runs me into the finish line.....he's the best and so friggin cute if I do say so myself!!! My sister is taking pictures and everyone is yelling my name. I get my chip removed and this game is over. The end.

Final Time - 6:25.

I know I shouldn't say this, but I'm going to anyways......I'm embarrassed. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. I know I am a better runner than this. I have trained too many hours and too g-damn hard for this to be the end result.

I will on the other hand give myself a pat on the ass, because during this whole entire fiasco, NEVER, NOT ONCE, did it ever cross my mind to not continue on. It just wasn't an option.

The weather was a perfect, couldn't have asked for better, marathon day. There were a couple of points in the race where I was absolutely bone chilled, goose bumps, teeth chattering, body shaking freezing. I am going to say that had to do with me probably getting dehydrated from the runs.

I will also add that I didn't like being out on the route alone. I like having a running partner. I was good for probably the first half of the race, then I got lonely and wished I had someone near me to keep my spirits up and help me along. I know for this race, it probably wouldn't have helped much given my situation. Things were really out of my hands. There was absolutely nothing I could have done differently.

Work Friends friend told me that you can only run the race that you have in you that day............and I guess I just didn't have it in me.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thank you! Hartford or Bust!!

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who blogs about running, has read my blog, commented and has given me a tremendous amount of support over the past 5 months. It really means a lot.

It's funny because this all started about a year and half ago on a whim. I started walking, and that eventually turned into running. One day I googled tips on running and came across the Running Chick with the Orange Hat's blog. At this time I didn't really know what blogging was. I started to read her blog religiously for months. This lead me to other blogs linked from her web site and got me hooked on the world of running blogs. Her posts were amazing and gave me a wonderful insight on the world of running. She never knew this of course, because I was only reading and not commenting. She was so inspiring and made me want to go out there and just run!

....and that's what I did. I ran.

Fast forward to today....

I have had an amazing training process. I am doing things that I never would have imagined. Me, little ole', single mom, work her fingers to the bone, never has a minute to herself, always running around, working like a crazy woman, scrimping and scraping........ME, is running a marathon on Sat! YEAH ME!!! WOO HOO!!! GO ME!!

I have met some wonderful people along my training and would not have been able to do this without them.......and that includes YOU!

I am ready. I am ready to run this marathon. I have prepared to the best of my ability.

My goal is to finish. Period, end of story.

I wish that Hartford had a tracking system on the web, but they don't. I would have posted my bib number for friends (that's you) and family.
I will get my post race report out as soon as possible.

Wish me Luck!
I love you all!

Almost there.....!!!

Since I wasn't running my 22 miler with my training group, my coach advised me to only run 21! woohoo.....honestly....what's one mile at this point. Well I soon found out that one mile is HUGE at this point!
I ran my 21 miler with a friend of mine and her training group. It turned out to be a rather warm, humid day. Yuck. We started out a little slower than usual, cuz that's what they say to do! and off we went. The group that we were running with had little water/fuel stops and aid stations along the way. It was just what we needed to get us through the run. We stopped at each one, some longer than others....to regain our composure, pick ourselves up by the shoe laces and keep our asses moving. There were points along the way where believe it or not, I got her through it and vice versa. I've never really run with a partner before, and I found that the support of just having someone else beside you is amazing. We talked some of the way and other times just knowing that she was there kept me going. It was a great support system for this verrrry loooong run.
At around mile 20, my left hip started hurting and running buddies knee was hurting. Other than that, we were feeling good.
I wish I could say that we finished strong, but we didn't. We were both dragging our asses and barely making a stride when we hit home base. BUT.....we finished, and that in it self is amazing.
We finished at 4:55 and that includes a bathroom stop at a hotel, and 7 water station stops and when I say stops.......I mean, we stopped. Not that I want to set a goal for my marathon, because my goal is really just to finish, but I think I can do it in 5:30......maybe. We'll see.

So it's been taper for me!

Last week I ran an 8 miler for my long run and then just ran for about 40 minutes twice. I am going to run 5 miles tomorrow and 30 minutes twice during the week.....then it's HARTFORD or BUST!!!

I am getting wayyy nervous. My stomach does flips every time I think about it...
which oh BTW, no stomach issues on my 21 miler, I took Immodium the night before and it worked out perfect!

I will post my final pre-marathon report late in the week to let you all know how I am feeling.
I haven't really had a minute to get online and read everyone's posts and updates...I will start reading and commenting today. I hope you all are having great runs!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

In a nut shell

I have been trying all week to get a post out, but just haven't had time. Sorry.

Last Saturday, I ran the Nahant 30K. In a nut shell, the run went pretty good. Unbeknownst to me, the course was VERY hilly! It seemed like every time I conquered a hill, I'd turn the corner and there was another one, and it was bigger than the last. It was a killer. My ass was killing me. The last 4 miles of the race were flat, it was along the beach. As I approached mile 15, I was drained, the hills really took a toll on me. I made a mental note of a port a pottie at the 15 mark. By the time I reached 15 and a half, my "stomach" issue started to surface. Honestly....I just don't get it. Enough already. So I walked to the 16 mile where there was a water stop hoping that there would be another port a pottie. There wasn't! I ended up walking the rest of the race because I was literally going to crap my pants........again! I take that back, I ran the little tiny stretch to the finish because I was embarrassed that I was walking! My goal time was 4:15 and I ended up doing it in 4:37. Whatever. What are you gonna do?!

Some mistakes I made during the race:

*I didn't re-fuel - I thought the race would provide something along the course, but they didn't. I usually have my jelly beans and a granola bar.
*I only drank water - I never ever drink Gator-ade and I think I need to.
*I went out too fast - The whole race thing got me excited!

So that's it. I'm disappointed.

Tomorrow I am running 22 miles! OMG! Just saying it makes my stomach turn flips!
I am going to start off slow. I have been drinking gator-ade all week to get my stomach used to it. I am going to take an Immodium before I go to bed. I pray to god it works! I have also been hydrating all week and I've packed my jelly beans and granola bar. That's my plan.....let's hope it works.

Once this is over, it's TAPER BABY!! WOO HOO!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A crappy run!

I didn't run the 25K last week. I got a little nervous and backed out. I ended up running on my own. I only got in around 10 because my sister called me to come home. There was a little problem with the contractor that is doing work on our house. Maybe I got in a little over 10....

So this week-end was my big 18 miler. This would be the longest distance to date.
The run started off GREAT, I even made a comment to some of my group members that, "I think this is the best run I have had all training".....ummmm ya.....can you say JINX????

We get to mile 6 and I can feel my stomach gurgling, so I run into a Starbucks, just to be safe.....what a nightmare....from that point on I pretty much ran bathroom to bathroom. It was U-G-L-Y!!!

I hit mile 13 and make another pit stop and off I went. I then begin to realize that that was the last of the available bathrooms. There aren't any more bathrooms until I hit mile 18! OMG, OMG, OMG!!! What am I going to do???

I make it to mile 14 and at this point, it's almost impossible for me to run anymore, I duck into the woods.......ya, that was fun!! Honestly! Does it get any lower than this???

I knew that we had a water stop set up at mile 15, so I pretty much walked there, being ever so careful not to walk too fast. At this point, the cramps in my stomach were sooooo bad, that I started to dry heave because I didn't want to crap my pants!!! It had to come out one way or the other......!!! I know, TMI, sorry, but it was THAT bad.
What an awful feeling. Honestly, I have never in my life felt like that before.
I get to the 15 mile water stop and hitch a ride back to the starting point.
I have never been so mad at myself. For once in this crazy running/training program, I really was having a great run.....then this had to happen. I was truly feeling like a "real" runner, until I almost crapped my pants, then I felt more like a 2 year old child!

The only thing different that I did for this run was that I took two Aleve before the run. My knee has been hurting since my last long run and I needed something. Everyone in my group was chalking my stomach issues up to this. I know, never try anything different before a long run......Lesson learned!

About my knee....The pain is a small section on the inner right knee cap, it feels like a really really bad bruise, but there is no bruise there. I rested it all week and it started to feel better, but after yesterdays run, it is KILLING me. Icing it doesn't help, so I am going to try and wrap it. I can't get hurt now......no way.....the marathon is right around the corner.

I am running a 30K on Saturday. I'm nervous, but I'm not backing out. I have to do this. This will be my second to last long run before I start to taper.....woohoo!!

I have the 18 miler and then a 22 miler, then that's it......back down to 10! I can't wait. I just want to run this marathon already!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Busy, busy, busy.....

I know it's been awhile since my last post, but things have been really busy for me lately. On top of trying to keep up with running 4-5 times a week, football practice has started for my son. He practices 4 nights a week and by the time we get home, it's late and we have to eat and shower and just get things done......I know you all understand.

Since my last post, I have run a 10 mile long run, a 16 mile long run (which by the way, I knocked 10 minutes off from my last 16miler, yeah me!!) and a 10 miler.

Things are going good.

I bought new sneakers which are working out great. I switched from Brooks to Saucony, not for any apparent reason, just because the running shoe guy brought them out and I liked how they fit.

I have stopped running with gum......the only difference I have felt so far is that my jaw isn't hurting after my long runs!

I have to be honest here, I really just want this marathon to come and go. I am beat. I feel like I have been training FOREVER. I know I am getting better with my running, and I can definitely see the results on my long run, but a whole nother' month of this ......ARGHHH!!! I just want it to be here.

I have a 15 miler on the schedule for this week-end, and my club isn't meeting due to the holiday. I have decided to run a 25K, and not just any 25K, but one that has 16 HILLS total. Honestly.....I don't know what I am getting myself into, but I think I'm up for the challenge! We'll see.
It's suppose to rain so that ought to be fun, running hills in the rain...woohoo, shoot me now!

OK, I've got lots of catching up to do and commenting. I hope everyone has a great long week-end, and happy running!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Half Way There!

This week-ends run marked the half way point in my marathon training. This week-ends run was also 16 miles! Now if my math is correct, 16 isn't half of 26 and by my calculations, we should only be running 13 miles. Half way my ass! Speaking of which, my ass is probably the only thing that isn't hurting on my body right about now! My quads are screaming and believe it or not, my jaw is killing me. I chew gum like it's going out of style on my runs and seeing as I was running for almost 4 hours yesterday it got a major work-out.

Onto the run, I had a great start. I kept up with others in my group for approximately 4 miles. I am usually by myself, so this was really good. I was feeling good, legs were doing just fine, it was nice. At around an hour and 15 minutes into the run, I GU'd. For the first time. I am no longer a GU virgin!! woohoo! Sorry peeps, it's not all it's hyped up to be! I had the vanilla. I tore open the pack and just squirted the whole thing into my mouth and washed it down really really fast with water. It was gross. It was hot from being in my fuel belt and I didn't like the smell of it. I guess I was expecting this big burst of energy after I took it, but that never happened.
My mother met me at mile 12 with a nice cold Vitamin Water (my new favorite thing to drink) a frozen water and a banana. She filled my water bottle as I tried to get down at least half of the banana, and off I went. I was feeling good up to this point, when at like mile 13 I started to struggle. My feet were on fire, the sun was out in full force at this point and I had to walk. I was trying to run to land marks and then take a walk break, but it kind of turned into a walk/run to the finish. It seemed like I was never going to make it back to the meeting area.
The last half mile, I ran straight through and once I finished, all that I could think of was that I could never in a million years run another 10 miles to complete a marathon.
NEVER EVER, not in this lifetime. 16 miles was friggin' FAR! I had not one single ounce of energy left in me to even pick up my feet and walk to my car, never mind probably another 2 hours of running!

I wanted to run the 16 miles in 3:30, but of course I didn't, I clocked in at 3:50. I feel like I am the slowest person on earth running. Once again I was the last person to complete the run in the whole group. I swear to god if I even come in last in the marathon, I'll be pissed. But at the rate I'm going, that seems to be my M.O.!

So I guess it's a good thing that I'm only at the half way point, this gives me another 2 months to work on my running.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

14 loooooooooong miles

So ya, I did it. I ran 14 miles! 14 looooong ridiculous, took every ounce of energy out of me, miles. Honestly...it was ridiculous. I can't get over the fact that I did it. Let me start at me arriving down the Cape. First thing my friends and I do is map out the route that I am going to run. So as we are driving, I keep thinking and saying out loud how far this is......that I can't believe how far 14 miles is. So as we are making note of my mile markers we get to mile four, then mile five and six...at around six and half, I was beside myself at far this was and said that I was just going to turn around at six and a half and do a half marathon. I knew I was only cheating myself, my friends could care less when I turned around, they would still be sleeping while I was running. So I continued down the road another half mile and EXACTLY at the 7.0 mile mark, which is also my turn around point, is THIS:

(I hope you can see the picture!!) testing 1,2,3.......

OMG - That SO means something!!! The picture is kind of small, but the sign reads: Marathon Seafood. Can you imagine.......and I was going to turn around at six and a half miles. THIS SO MEANS SOMETHING!! That's all I kept saying the whole ride back to the hotel! My friends were like...ya Aimee...this so means something. It means you are effin' crazy for running that far! Who runs that far for "fun"!?? They really didn't understand that it DOES mean something. It wasn't just a "sign" for the seafood restaurant...it was a "SIGN"....if you get my drift!

Onto the run. I get up at 6:30, on my girls week-end mind you, and off I go. I was feeling good, running good until about mile 4. I forgot what my mile 5 marker was and I felt like I was running forever and never going to hit it, and the next thing I know I was at mile 6. You would think that would be a good thing, already at mile 6, but nope, I kind of psyched myself into thinking I was running way too long and my legs started to get heavy. Finally, I reached it, mile 7, Marathon Seafood! woo hoo. At this point, I had already stopped at gas station to refill my water bottle, and while I was there, I decided to take a seat on the cute little bench that they had out front to take a rest! So there it was mile 7, and all I kept thinking about was how I was never going to make it back, it was a loooong ways back to where I came from. I even contemplated calling for a ride to come and get me, but I didn't, instead I took a minute (or 5, or 10...) and sat on this little seaside wall and tried to eat my sport beans....let's just leave that at YUCK!!!

Back on my feet, and off I go. At this point, I was mentally exhausted, however, my feet and legs were just fine. At mile 8 and a half, I stopped at a CVS and replenished my water and grabbed a Reeses peanut butter cup.....I know, it's no Gu or Cliff bar or Sport Beans, but it's what I wanted. I could only get one "cup" down so I sat outside the store and drank some water. So that was another, oh I don't know.....10 minutes. I was doing anything at this point to not run.
I know this story is going on forever......so I keep running and running and running and now my hips are hurting, and you know, "the hips don't lie"....so I walked a few, then I ran a few...blah blah blah. Honestly, this WAS the never ending run.

End results - 7 miles took me exactly 1:30 - 14 miles not so good, it took 3:20.

I figure 25 minutes of that was walking and my wall and CVS breaks, BUT none the less I ran 14 miles. Yeah me!

Let me just say that it beat the shit out of me. I was suppose to run easy on Monday, didn't do it. I was suppose to run tonight, speed work, didn't do it. I am sitting here writing about running with absolutely no desire to get off my butt and actually do it. I have 10 miles scheduled for this Saturday. I hope not running according to the schedule doesn't throw me off that much on Sat.

BTW, my goal time was 3 hours, maybe next time!