Monday, July 27, 2009

Payback is a Bitch

Last week, no runs because I was on vacation. More on that later.

Saturday, long run of 10.5 miles. Walked five times and thought for sure at one point I was having a heat stroke. Came really close to calling the hubby to come pick my sad patheic ass up.

Sunday, hour long run. Humid as hell. Ran slower than a turtle on downers.

Payback's. Ain't they a bitch.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Anniversary & Boilermaker Race Report

Twelve years ago I married the best guy ever. My hubby and I celebrated our 12th anniversary by running the Utica 15k Boilermaker. Yes, we are sick like that.

This was the first time we ever ran this race. We've heard two opinions: People who love it and people who hate it. No in-between. People who love it, love the crowds, and the party aftewards. Free beer. People who hate it, hate it because of the crowds and the party afterwards.

Utica is a small city that brings in about 10,000 runners and elite athletes. The guy that won ran the race in 45 mintues! 9.3 miles. 45 minutes. INSANE.

They call it the Boilermaker for a reason. It is usually freakin' HOT and the course is tough. Hilly. Last year, there was a sad and tragic death of a young man who died due to a heart condition. Awful. This year, the weather was absolutely PERFECT. Cool, high of 74, with clear blue skies. It couldn't have been better running weather.

The start was crazy. The corral I was in was the largest. We were packed in like sardines and it took about 5-6 minutes to cross the start. After I crossed the start, I wasn't going anywhere. The first 3 miles was on narrow streets and there was no way to manuever. Plus, I didn't want to waste my energy trying to bob and weave around people. I knew, once we hit the first big hill, it would break up. And it did.

The first hill was fairly long. Okay, it was really long. Like, almost a mile. It was tough, but after coming off 4 weeks of hill training, I didn't find it that bad. At the top of the hill I had to hit the port-a-potty for a quick pee. I knew I couldn't hold it the rest of the race. When I got in there my quads where like "what the hell are you doing!?" Hovering over a port-a-pot after doing a mile long hill is not easy folks. After a quick pee, I carefully open the door so to not clock anyone, and try to get back into the salmon stream. Some AHole, thinking I was going to literally run into him started screaming at me to watch it. I, of course, say, I see you and I am not going to run into you. A very nice gentleman gave this guy a nasty look and said, 'what an asshole' Ha!!! We had a nice chat for the mile downhill.

The downhill was my fastest mile: 8:54. I paid for it later. The last mile was tough. I mean, really tough. My legs felt like they were made of lead. Today, my quads are mince meat.

The crowd participation was like none I have ever seen. It was amazing. People cheering, holding signs, handing out ice and some people using their garden hose to cool runner off. The whole city turned out to support the runners. When you really need a boost it is nice to have people cheering you on.

I finished in a decent time -1:33:45 (about a 10 minute mile). My time could have been a lot better, but I am content with it. I didn't go into the race with the mind set of "I am going to race," but one of I am just going to enjoy the run. Which I did.

Bill did amazing and ran faster than he thought he would - 1:12:46 (7:49 mile) was his official time. I don't know if I will ever know what it is like to run that fast!

Afterwards, we went to a lovely dinner to celebrate 12 wonderful years together.

Happy Anniversary, babe.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The "Bowl"

This Saturday was my first experience running 'the bowl' at Green Lakes. I have one word to explain the bowl: Pain.

This is a screen shot from my Garmin of the elevation. Just to give you a little visual of the hills we are expected to run...over and over. I could only do an hour, 45 minutes. I was supposed to do two hours, 30 minutes. Ummmmm...that would be a negative.

The entire bowl is 7 miles. Which means, I will end up running it 3 times by the end of the training...*sob*

The first half of the bowl is short (about 2.5 miles, but the hill at the beginning is brutal (long w/steady incline for what seems forever) but not NEARLY as bad as the mother of all hills on the other side of the bowl. I can't even describe how hard, awful, terrifying it is to run. However, I can tell you that I pitched a fit when I found out we had to turn around and run up it. Oh, yes, a certified temper tantrum. We reach the end of this downhill and I ask the girls "right or left?" They say, "neither, we turn around and go back up." My response, "no fucking way" They say "Yep." I, then proceed to stomp my feet, wave my arms and yell. Didn't matter, the only way out, was back up. We did it, it hurt and I will be back to do it again next Saturday. God help me.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

This I can't believe I am going to share. But I am. I have no pride...obviously.

This past weekend Bill and I flew to Ohio for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We flew in Friday and left Sunday morning. The party was a blast, my sister's new house is gorgeous, but that isn't my story.

Saturday's are scheduled long runs, and I was scheduled to run at least 2 hours while in Ohio. My sister lives in a new development out in the middle of farmland. You can runs miles alongside corn and wheat fields. These roads have little to no shoulder and shade. Because it had been so freaking hot in Ohio (90 degrees) I knew I would have to start out EARLY if I didn't want to bake and shake. My plan was to start my run around 6 a.m., no later than 7 a.m.

Friday night we arrive and the family decided to order pizza for dinner. PERFECT. Carbs! I had a few beers, too much pizza and some snacks. Didn't think anything of it.

My normal routine is to get up at 5 a.m., have coffee and let my system have a chance to wake up, if you know what I mean. Eat something around 5:45, leave the house at 6:30 and get to the run site at 7 a.m. Everything has been up and moved out by then. I can carry on without any worries.

For some reason I didn't follow this routine. And. I will never, ever, not follow my routine again.

Get up at 6 a.m. - have a half-cup of coffee. Went to the bathroom once. Thought, that is fine. I don't need to go again. All is good. All is not good my friends. Not good at all.

Start on my run at 6:30 a.m. System. Not awake.

7:15 a.m. - 3.5 miles from house. On a back road somewhere in Ohio this happens (you just have to watch the video for the first 30 seconds).

At first I thought, I can make it back. Then a wave hit me that damn near brought me to my knees. After all the stories I have heard runners tell me about ducking in the woods, it was about to happen to me.

I stood in the middle of the road thinking of my options and scouting locations. All I kept thinking was how the HELL did I end up on an open road!!! Doesn't this state have freaking trees! Shrubs! No. There were three houses along this road so I knew I had to find somewhere that would give me some privacy! I mean, how would you like to look out your kitchen window, getting your morning coffee and seeing some chick in your yard....having....issues.

Then I noticed the wheat field. It was about waist high and there were some tracks made in the middle. It was far away from the houses (at least I hoped) and it would hide my bare ass. It was the only option. Either that...or my shorts. I was NOT picking the latter.

So, there you have it. I went in a wheat field and continued on my little way. Feeling much better mind you. Learning a few lessons along the way. One, is to carry toliet paper with you on long runs. Just in case.

Rain, rain go away!

The animals are lining up two-by-two and the Ark will be arriving soon in Central New York. It has rained for days! I can't remember the last sunny, not a drop of rain, day. Our grass is miles high, the weeds have taken over the world, and the mosquitoes are multiplying faster than the Duggard's. I am ready for the blistering hot sunny days. Even though, I will be bitching about how hot, dry, etc., it is by the end of the summer. That is just that way it goes! I just wish I could start bitching NOW.

All this rain makes training for a marathon a little depressing. Mother Nature is being a total buzz killer! Take Tuesday's hill training for example. The group starts out on our 15 minute warm-up. In a beautiful park, dodging mosquitoes (hate those little bastards), enjoying the evening. Kevin has us line up two-by-two (do we see a theme here) to run hard up the hill and easy down. Let me explain this hill:

Narrow path. Branches to take out eyeballs. Gravel. Long, steady climb. Take a sharp left.
Shout SONOFABITCH because now you have to dig those heels in deep to get up the steep incline to the field.

Kevin. Is. Evil.

Beginner's do this for 10 minutes. Intermediate -15 minutes. Advance - 20 minutes. Guess what group I fall into? 10 minutes into it I am so jealous of the beginners that I am thinking of puking on their sneakers. But that isn't very lady like or being a team player. Instead I call them every name in the book (in my head).

As if this workout isn't bad enough. Try doing it in a torrential down pour (ha, ha, that sounded dirty). It was raining so hard at one point I couldn't see! Literally, I was wiping the rain out of my eyes as I was staggering to get my soggy wet ass up the hill. The suckage of this was HIGH.

15 minutes go by and I hear a huge clap of thunder. After peeling myself out of tree, I see Kevin hauling ass down the hill with he rest of the group, yelling, "that's it! practice is over!" Apparently, God thought we were idiots and sent a bolt of lightening down to get his point across.

The group huddles under the shelter, stretches and we head to our cars. Which, by the way, is a quarter mile down the road. At this point I don't care. How much wetter can I get! When I get to the van I realize how much of an asshole I am. Didn't have a towel. Didn't have a clothes to change into. Nothing. I strip down to my sports bra and head home. To the truck driver at the're welcome for the free show.