Saturday, September 29, 2012

Post-Marathon Recovery, and Looking Forward

Two weeks have passed since my last 'A' race of 2012. 

Two weeks of recovery = Not many hours scheduled in TP, low mileage, very low intensity, ornery mood… Post-Race Blues are NO Joke.   You come off a 'successful' race with such a high and built up energy in which you immediately want to channel into your next goal.  Suddenly, you have all this time on your hands that was once 100% focused on a goal race, but what your body needs to now focus on is : RECOVERY

I read an article that compared healing muscles in recovery to healing an open wound.  We have all experienced an open cut that seems to be healed, but you stretch it to far and it bursts back open.  The article explained the same goes for healing your muscles after a hard race.  Your body tells you, you feel better and are ready for more; but, these thoughts may be artificial.  I have had to keep reminding myself over and over that even though I feel fully healed - I need to give my body the appropriate amount of time to fully recover.

Teresa and I have the remaining 2012 and 2013 base plan set:

 Remainder of the year...
-Swim focus! 
-Build bike strength
-Race 13.1 either November/December

2013 Goals
-Qualify for Worlds 70.3
-'A' Races 
   *St George 70.3
   *Boise 70.3
   *Lake Stevens 70.3
-Qualify for Boston 2014 - I want to not only qualify put PR again at this distance

I was reading this blog the other day.... and loved this section:

“I have a strong desire to find what will break me physically, emotionally, and mentally. I want to know that deep, dark place where I really feel like I can’t go on and need to quit…. but then somehow power on… or can’t. I want to take my suffering to another level. I have never stood on the start line of a race or started a run or ride thinking I couldn’t complete the effort or filled with fear...I definitely have had some low spots in races and couldn’t go quite as fast as I wanted, but the thought of pulling the plug or having to quit has never crossed my mind.”

This really resonated with me as to what I want my 2013 to look like. I want to push hard and find my limits. My father and I were talking the other day about what it really means to find those limits. Finding those limits can mean 
blowing-up at a race...
feeling uncomfortable and scared... 
not reaching an extreme goal... 
tip-toeing the injury line...
but pushing to this point, pushing to step into this scary territory, is where I want to go!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top Of Utah Race Report

Top of Utah Marathon 
'Third Times a Charm'


Overall 145
Gender 23
Division 4
**My Garmin read 26.45 @ 3:24:45 - I need to work on the tangents I guess??

Details/Picture overload....

Leading up to the race:
-         Increased carbs10g/body weight per T’s instruction – 3 days prior
-         Increased my Iron supplement – 1 week prior
-         Increased my fluid intake – 3 days prior
-         Took an electrolyte tablet – 1 week prior
-        Get min. of 8 hours of sleep each night – 1 week prior

Goals: Qualify for Boston
A+ Goal: Sub 3:30
A++ Goal: Sub 3:25
Secret super running goddesses’ Goal: 3:19

Uneventful. Bus ride up, I sat next to a super sweet girl from Oregon.
When we reached the start is was COLD.  Waited in (The SLOWEST) line
for the bathroom and then went into the warming tents. 10 minutes
before the start I took off my warm clothes except the gloves, took ½ a GU
and got in my corral.   

Nutrition Plan: 
- GU every 35/40 minutes (Ended up taking only 1/2-3/4 of each gel)
- Instead of all 1 flavor, took several different kinds so I wasn’t getting sick of
the taste
- Switch between sips of water/Gatorade every other Aid station (skipped li
 liquid at the first and very last aid station)
**This worked out perfect

Miles 1-12
8:01, 7:45, 7:36, 7:39, 7:47, 7:44
7:44, 7:38, 7:49, 7:51, 7:46, 7:44,

Uneventful miles throughout the canyon… usually those first miles I feel amazing and they go by incredibly fast.  Not the case today.  I was pretty cold until mile 5ish where I took off my gloves.  I saw a guy running that had the symbol of the company an Ex worked for… lets just say that lit the fire to get in the game and race ;)

This marathon is difficult to negative split because you have your entire elevation drop in the front half and the hills start towards the end.  T and I had planned starting the first miles at 8 then to hold 7:50-8’s until mile 22.  My heart rate was staying below 165 running in the 7:40-7:45ish range so I went with that until I was out of the canyon. I had written on my gloves START SLOW and had to keep looking at that.    

Mile 13-17
Coming out of the Canyon with Yellow Shirt Guy
7:40, 7:32, 7:40, 7:50, 7:44

Miles 13-14 someone turned on the wind and we had a nice tailwind for 2 miles!  Mile 14 was the first time you saw spectators and my dad was there! Whooo

I felt best during this section.  Flat section, spectators, energy was high.  Yellow Shirt Guy and I were playing off each other during these miles.  The first real ‘hill’ starts around mile 18 where he told me he couldn’t keep the pace so we parted ways.

Miles 18-21
7:50, 7:52, 7:58, 7:41
Hello Hills

Salt Lake 26.2 I hit my ‘wall’ at mile 18, so after I passed mile 18 without that dragging feeling I had the hugest smile on my face! I kept thinking, I got this… no wall for me today.  

My dad surprised me at mile 16, 19, and 21! He has never been throughout the course during a race before so this was wonderful! I high-fived him every time!

Mile 22 was where I told my dad, T told me to give all I had left so he yelled -- ‘SPEED UP’!!:D
He said the police man asked him why the hell would you tell her to speed up after 20 miles!?

Miles 22-26.45
7:34, 8:01, 7:46, 7:29, 7:37, 0.45 3:14 (7:15 pace)
These miles HURT.  

Mile 23 you climb your last hill (which seemed to never end) and that is where my HR escalated to the 180's and was starting to make me nervous.  I decided to stop look at my Garmin the rest of the race and push as hard as I could. 

A new friend told me 'you have to trick your mind into thinking you are capable of faster,' so that is what I concentrated on.  Turning the corner and look up the incline on Main Street was the most daunting section of the race for me.  I saw the 2:25 pacer and made it my goal to pass him - Done.  PUSHED to the end!

After I crossed the finish line, my stomach did not want anything to do with the post race food they had.  Gave my dad a huge hug and grabbed my ‘Boston’ gloves a friend had made and took my finishers photo with them. My legs started to cramp SO bad. Saw a stream that was going through the park and went and sat right in it! Whooo felt so.freaking.wonderful.  Teresa was the first person I wanted to call! I owe so much of my progress to her and wanted to let her know we did it!!

Went and checked out of our hotel and came back real quick for awards. Saw so many faces of Bloggers I stalk look up to.  I wish I would have went and introduced myself and talked to them… ‘Hi I’m Christie, I stalk your training blog. – Want to be friends?’ ;)

The day after T had me do a 30min walk which really loosened the legs up.  Soreness mostly in my butt!  Prior marathons my body has been incredibly sore for about 3-4 days post race… I feel pretty damn great today (Butt sore still)  Difference in this post-race, has been the lack of ability to sleep and the huge hunger appetite has not hit yet – I am sure it will!

Less than a year ago I could not imagine myself running paces in the 7’s during a marathon.  Who thought someone that never really participated in any athletic sports could really start to excel?  I realize excelling, and speed, and success is all relative - I definitely don't want to sound like I am bragging...there are SO many faster and on a completely different level than I.  I just know that I can get there. It is honestly amazing what your body can do, in such short amount of time, when you are determined enough to put in the work and dedication.  So cliché, but ANYTHING is possible 

Having an incredibly supportive dad and an amazing coach doesn’t hurt either ;)   

4:30 >>>> 4:06 >>>> 3:24….. Sub 3? I think YES!!!