Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Workout

George and I got up early this morning and joined Janet and Ellen at 6:30 at the American Tobacco Trail to run/walk for a while. Eventhough it was dark and rainy, we had a lot of fun talking and laughing, and the time went by quickly. After a while, Ellen, Janet and I turned around, while George continued on to the end of the trail. On the way back, I squirted my shirt with Hammer Gel AND my Garmin battery died, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the company! I called George after a pit stop at McDonald's at "my" end of the trail, and he decided not to do the return trip in the rain. I went and picked him up at the other end and brought him back to his car. After returning home and puttering for a while, I put on a clean, dry shirt and went to the gym for more exercise. I think I overdid it on the exercise, as my IT band started hurting during the treadmill run. Afterward, I got on the mat and stretched. I'm going to need to do a lot of that in the coming week! I'm getting pretty nervous about the OBX Marathon!!

Still, it was nice to return to some normal exercise after a wonderful vacation with George!

1) Ran/walked 5.68 miles in 1:47:00-ish on the American Tobacco Trail
2) Rode 7.13 miles in 36 min on the recumbent bike
3) Ran 1.03 miles in 16 min on the treadmill

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vacation Exercise

George and I are vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina, and we're having a wonderful time! My exercise schedule is off a bit, but I have exercised Tuesday, yesterday, and this morning in the hotel gym. I spend some time on the treadmill, but mostly I've been riding on the recumbent bike. The exercise change has been refreshing, and the extra rest has also been nice.

We return home tomorrow, and we'll be doing our normal long run on Saturday. It's been great to be away, but I'm looking forward to returning home refreshed. More soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yesterday, I did a 10-mile run/walk with the Galloway group that was kinda tough for me. My IT band and plantar fasciitis acted up, as did the wierd stuff in my right foot that comes and goes. It rained on us while we were out, but I didn't really mind the rain-it was a nice distraction.

This morning's workout was nice, though a bit later than I usually work out.
1) Rode 6.62 miles (35 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.13 miles (16:02 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.35 mi. (6:09 min) on the treadmill

Man, I'm really enjoying the treadmill lately. Seriously!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Light Ride

This morning I rode 7.1 miles in 40 minutes on the recumbent bike. I like it when "just 10 minutes" turns into 15->20->30+ minutes of exercise. Of course, I wanted a light day today, because of tomorrrow's "long" run, but my runs are getting lighter due to OBX Marathon tapering. So.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good Gym Workout

1) Rode 6.35 miles (35 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched for about 10 min, especially the IT bands
3) Walked 1.03 miles (17 min) on the treadmill
4) Ran 1.10 miles (15:02 min) on the treadmill

I'm enjoying the treadmill lately, oddly enough! It's nice to work on going faster on the treadmill, eventhough having the "ground" under me being pulled is a help. Pretty good practice anyway, I think.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some Running

Well, I gave in and ran a little bit this morning, and it felt pretty decent. I still need to do some stretching today to make sure the IT bands stay on board, but I'm getting there!

1) Rode 5.56 miles (31:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.40 miles (20:07 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.60 mile (10:19 min) on the treadmill

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Stretching

I decided not to run today, but to crosstrain and stretch my IT bands instead. I hope this helps my race prep! Yikes!

1) Rode 5.41 miles (31 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched for about 10 minutes, including yoga poses
3) Walked 0.60 mile (11 min) on the treadmill

The IT bands are feeling a bit better now. :) Maybe I'll get back to the gym this evening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bike Ride Today

This morning I rode the recumbent bike for 35:08 minutes and 6.30 miles. It was a pretty good workout, and I'm glad I did it. I was surprised that my legs weren't up for running, though. I'm feeling twinges of the IT Band Syndrome that plagued me earlier this year, so after I returned from the gym this morning, I did some yoga stretches to help the IT bands in both legs. On the way home from work this evening, I bought some more Epsom salts. I see more soaking baths in my near future!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yesterday's Long Run (Plus the Gym)

Well, I didn't end up going 26 miles yesterday, as I thought I might. One of my Galloway group leaders suggested against it (she suggested 10), and when George and I got to the group run meeting place yesterday, we talked with the assistant program leader, and he advised against it too, suggesting 16-18 tops.

So, I decided to see how my body felt, and after almost 10, I felt a bit creaky, like I was still recovering from the marathon two weeks ago. So, I stopped after 9.72 miles (3:04:31) of run/walking with the group at Shelley Lake. I was able to keep up with the group yesterday at this slower pace, and that was an accomplishment for me. I was desperate for the running companionship, but got tired of looking at the trees, both feeling spillovers from my 11-hour marathon (much of it by myself) in the woods, I'm sure. Part of this training is mental!

So, I headed for the gym, and rode 2.12 miles (12 min.) on the recumbent bike, then ram 1.02 miles (15:03 min) on the treadmill. Later, after a late lunch with running friends at Panera, I returned to the gym for a 30-minute ride (5.33 miles) on the recumbent bike again.

It all added up to a good workout day, I think. I slept in this morning, and have had a restful day so far. I may just take a rest day, or perhaps I'll do some light exercise later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Taking a Rest Day

I got up at my regular time this morning, but hit the shower instead of the gym, to make sure I'd take a rest day from exercising. Tomorrow's a scheduled 26 miler on the training calendar. Since I've already done 26, I don't know if I'll go the whole way. I'll see how I feel.

I'm glad I'm taking a break today, though, as my legs feel tired from yesterday's workout. Gotta rest up!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back in the Gym

Had a really good workout at the gym this morning! I pushed the pace a bit, especially on the bike and the run. It was one of those sessions where I could've kept going if I didn't have to get ready for work. :)

1) Rode 5.56 miles (31:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.55 miles (31:08 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.60 miles (10:13 min) on the treadmill

I also took a walk this afternoon at work, after the drizzle stopped, and it felt refreshingly good to walk outside.

In the "equipment" department, I bought some WrightSocks last night at REI. I asked for recommendations for treating blisters after my first marathon earlier this month, and a couple of fellow runners in my Raleigh Galloway group recommended these socks. I have a mega-run Saturday morning, and I'm hopeful that they'll help.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Running

I got a late start at the gym this morning, and had an early meeting at work, so I had to cut my workout short.

1) Rode 3.53 miles (20 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.10 miles (15:16 min) on the treadmill

I didn't feel too bad about the short workout, as George and I had a surprisingly nice run/walk together last night after work. We ended up going 2.06 miles in 34:19 minutes near Brier Creek. It was the first time George had run in that area, and he liked it! It was a short run, but a good one. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I overslept this morning. Still made it to the gym, but only did 30 minutes (5 miles) on the recumbent bike. Better than nothing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ahhh, Massage!

I had a massage this evening! Yay! What I want to know is, how can something feel so good and hurt so much at the same time?! I hope my upper back will feel as good as the rest of me does really soon.

Meanwhile, I did go to the gym this morning:
1) Rode 6.1 miles (36 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.4 miles (20:11 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.33 mile (6 min) on the treadmill

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More Running Today, Plus the Gym

This morning I rejoined the Galloway running group for a 10-miler and the annual Scavenger Hunt. I was still feeling a little tired, but wanted to see everyone. I enjoyed talking about the marathon experience, though in retrospect I was pretty negative about it on the run. It was fun seeing everyone, though. The Scavenger Hunt allowed us to stop every so often and take pictures of our group in front of various things along the route. I enjoyed the chance to take a breather. The route was in two sections, and I decided to stop after 4.84 miles (1:31:31).

After the run, a number of us gathered at the Starbucks on Lake Boone Trail, and the marathon experience got retold there, with a more positive spin. It was nice to get some feedback and encouragement there, as well as to be a part of other running conversations. Good company.

After lunch, I decided I have some kick left in me, so I went to the gym and rode 6.25 miles (35:03 min) on the recumbent bike, followed by 1.05 miles (15:13 min) on the treadmill.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Short Bike Ride

Well, I made it to the gym for 2.02 miles in 15 minutes on the recumbent bike. My blisters are better, but my knee still hurts a bit, and I'm still kinda tired. Had leg cramps in the middle of the night last night for the first time in ages. *sigh* Still feeling a little more beat up than I'd like. Any suggestions out there?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Another Run

I went to the gym this morning, still a little creaky from the marathon. It felt a little strange, yet too familiar, to get back into my running shoes this morning. I walked 1.66 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill, then ran/walked 0.66 mile in 10:02 minutes on the treadmill. At home now, I'm feeling tired, and I still have a full day's work ahead of me.

I wonder if I'll be ready for the Galloway group's 10-miler on Saturday. Hmm. Right now it's sounding a little painful, but it might feel differently when I'm with the group. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Race Report: 2009 Triple Lakes Marathon

Well, I did it! My first marathon, the Triple Lakes Trail Race, is in the books! It's still a little hard to believe, eventhough I'm living through continuing, though subsiding, aches and pains.

I left home about 5:30 Saturday morning, and watched the nearly full moon set as I drove west towards Greensboro, North Carolina. I got there about 6:50, and learned that the race director had decided to let the early bird marathoners start at 7:00, rather than 7:15 (as published on the website). I had to hustle to get myself together at the start, but was happy to get the show on the road. I'm glad I got to see both Wendy (fellow Raleigh Galloway Group runner and social networking friend) and Amy (a coworker at Duke) before the start, as I didn't see them again on the trail.

The first mile plus was on pavement, but the rest of the course was on single-track trail. It was a very pretty course, taking in Greensboro's Watershed Trails, through the woods and around Lake Brandt. The course itself had a fair number of roots, rocks, holes, etc., enough that it took a fair amount of concentration to keep upright. I didn't do a very good job of that early on, falling three times in the first six miles of the course! Two falls were around mile 4, the other around mile 6. I walked it in after the second fall, and took advantage of first aid supplies at the next three aid stations. I decided that as long as I could walk on my bum knee without any pain below the skin surface, I'd try to keep going. It got to the point where I broke the race up into smaller goals. When concentrating on each mile ("Do the mile you're in!") got too tedious, I would shoot for the next aid station. I'd tell myself I could decide whether or not to stop for good at the next aid station. At the aid stations, I got more liquids and food, and where needed, I got extra water to clean out my knee wound, as well as antibiotic ointment. I decided to pass on the gauze and tape offer, for fear that the tape would restrict my movement.

The aid stations got better stocked as the day progressed--unusual, huh? (Most aid stations tend to run out of things for us back-of-the-packers.) There were more food choices, as well as gu gels, at the later stops. The last stop had some defizzed Coke, which was amazingly refreshing (partly because of the caffeine)! In addition to the extra nourishment, I got more chatty with the aid station volunteers as the day wore on, because I was out there on the trail for stretches all alone. Usually I savor running/walking time to myself, but I got pretty bored and lonely out there on the wooded trails.

As the miles wore on, I began to feel blisters form on my right foot. By then, it was hard to know which leg to favor, since my left knee was the injured one. I gritted my teeth and chugged on.

With a mile or so left to go, George showed up on the trail, and was a welcome sight! He had run with the Galloway group in Raleigh Saturday morning, and his mom (another saint!) brought him to Greensboro so he could drive me back home in my car! He came bearing an extra water bottle, and was great company for the end of the race! He told me that former coworker Gina and her husband Steve had stopped by to try to visit with me at the finish while I was still on the course. (What a shame that I missed them!) What a delightful surprise to find that Wendy (fellow Galloway runner) had stuck around to see me finish my first marathon! She finished about three hours ahead of me, so it was quite sweet of her to stay, considering her drive home.

It was such a relief to cross the finish line! I wasn't as emotional as I thought I'd be, just incredibly relieved to be at the end of the path. I ended up finishing in 10:55:43, a disappointing time and last place marathon finish, but I'm sooo glad I finished the distance. It would not have been a shame to stop early, but I do feel pretty satisfied to have logged the distance I said I would. This was a major athletic feat for me, no matter what the time.

[I learned afterward that my official time at the race was logged at 9:55:43, because I was rushed at the beginning and didn't realize that I needed to let a race official know I was starting early. NOW that makes sense, but I just didn't think about it at the time (nerves?), and nobody mentioned it! Also, the race director had decided not to bother with timing chips and mats.]

On the way home, George ordered me a tomato and mushroom pizza, and had it delivered as I took my ice bath. The 9:15 PM pizza meal was my first meal of the day (I'd had a banana with almond butter for "breakfast," and then the race course foods for the rest of the day), and it was the best pizza in the world right then!
I spent the day after the marathon resting, drinking liquids, soaking in the tub, and eating in bits and pieces. I also went to the CVS Minute Clinic for suggestions for my blisters and my knee. (I felt kinda like a wimp for going, but I was so uncomfortable!) The lady I saw just suggested soaking my blisters in Epsom salts and using detergent to scrub the dirt out of the knee I fell on (three times!). Soaking in a warm bath felt good, but the knee scrubbing fell short of a fun time.

Things I learned about myself by doing the Triple Lakes Race:

1) I can do 26.2 miles in one day. And I'm certain I can do it faster than I did last Saturday.

2) "The Wall" can happen earlier than Mile 20. For me, it happened after the second fall at Mile 4 in this particular race. The last 22 miles, they were very long. I hope that the "The Wall" will be MUCH later down the road for my next marathon.

3) I need to come up with a list of more things to think about when I'm running long mileage. I depleted my "alone time" topic reserves during this marathon, and that surprised me. (I usually exercise and run alone, except on Saturdays with the Galloway group).

4) I did pretty well last week with nutrition the week before the marathon. My gauge is that I utilized the two available porta-potties (only two, can you believe it?!), but didn't have to hold "it" uncomfortably for any of the race.

5) I ran out of water/Gatorade once on the trail, but made it to the next stop okay. Otherwise, I did a decent job of drinking and rationing my water/Gatorade between stops, which were usually about 4 miles apart.

6) Saying mantras on the trail helped a lot, but I had to change them up every so often. Being by myself for long stretches allowed me to say them outloud at times, which helped. The word "finish" factored in more than once. Popular ones for me were:
*Do the mile you're in.
*Got-ta fin-ish

7) I have friends who care about me, and are happy that I've tackled this marathon thing. Their support before and at the end of the marathon (and since) have been heartwarming. I also got a good bit of encouragement from other runners along the trail, a number of whom asked me how my knee was doing.

8) I found a lot of extra determination on the trails, and what a pleasant surprise that was! Sometimes my feet were on automatic pilot, but I almost threw in the towel a couple of times. I'm glad that something deep down pushed me to keep going.

9) My blisters and bum knee have hurt worse than my muscles since the race, and I'm not as tired now, a couple of days out, as I was after my 18-mile training run. I can tell I put my body through some trauma on Saturday, but acute injuries aside, I don't feel as bad overall as I expected. I'm still getting to bed early, but I feel like I'm healing.

10) I'm not as fond of trail runs, especially single-track trails, as I'd hoped. I'm too new of a distance runner to be tackling challenging single-track trail runs, and the run/walk in the woods was less enjoyable than I expected. (I assumed the course would be a sufficient distraction.) Maybe it was the falling-down stuff that make it kinda miserable, but I'm not in a hurry to do another trail run like that. I'd signed up for another trail run, the Medoc 10-Miler in Hollister on October 17, and had an order in for a new book on trail running that's coming out in January 2010. I'm bailing on the 10-mile trail race in favor of training near home, and I've cancelled the book order. Training time is too precious (and so is new book money!), and I need to focus on getting ready for the Outer Banks Marathon early in November.
11) I have a lot of admiration for all the runners who finished in front of me, including my Raleigh Galloway Training Group friend Wendy, who walked a course PR by over 40 minutes on Saturday! I also have a lot of gratitude for the volunteers who talked with me at aid stations and checked up on me in the last miles, as well as for the race director, who allowed me to finish about three hours past the posted time limit for the marathon.
So, three days after Marathon #1, these are my thoughts. I'm certain I'll continue to process the experience for a while. Corny as it sounds, I do feel like my life's changed because of my first marathon adventure. It'll be interesting to see how my running changes because of it.

Back in the Gym

I returned to the gym today in my Teva sandals to ride the recumbent bike only. I still have blisters on my right foot, and my left knee, well.....

So, I went 7.5 miles in 45:04 minutes, and got caught up on some of my podcasts on the iPod. I was nice to get back to the gym! I hope to get to running again soon.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my race report. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

First Marathon in the Books!

I finished my first marathon, the Triple Lakes Race in Greensboro, NC, yesterday! It was a tough one for me, but I crossed the finish line and got a finisher's medal. Today I'm nursing some blisters and a knee I fell on THREE (count 'em) times on the challenging trail course.

I started on a race report earlier today, but haven't been able to finish it yet. I plan to finish and post it here this week. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Tomorrow's the Big Day

Okay, this is the final countdown! My first marathon is tomorrow! It's going to be a training run, but it's still exciting--and daunting!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rest Day, Two Days to Go!

I'm not even getting near the gym this morning, and boy, it feels strange!! What's a gal to do?! My legs are feeling pretty tired, so I think that taking a rest day is good, especially since my marathon is TWO DAYS AWAY! Yikes!

Funny, I've been doing things this week that remind me of going on vacation. First, I've been obsessing over the weather on! I'm pleased to say that the chance of rain on the marathon course is now 0%, but there goes the cloud cover too! Oh well!

I've also been running errands, things like grocery shopping, that I won't want to do for a few days after Saturday, if I can help it! I also got my car serviced last night--oil change and fuel system service. It got me home at 8:00, much later than I wanted, but this morning I'm glad that's out of the way. (The little "Maintenance Req'd" light had been flashing at me! I don't want any dashboard lights flashing at me on Race Day Saturday!) I've even been cleaning out the inside of my car over the past few days, and plan to take it to the fancy car wash today or tomorrow. Having a clean, organized, well-maintained car is a nice mental boost, and taking care of my car is a nice, productive distraction from the race.


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