October 15, 2006

An surprising "marathon" report

I apologize for my long unexpected absence. My different "marathon" report is....
I'M PREGNANT!
I found out as my marathon training peaked and was beginning my taper! I started feeling really sick, of course missed my period, and two home pregnancy tests and a doctor's visit later = I'm expecting!
Unfortunately, this did NOT allow me to run my marathon. Although running is safe for pregnancy, the morning sickness was really getting me down. I am so tired and nauseaus I just couldn't fuel or rest properly. My doctor and I decided it was best to forgo the marathon untiil after the baby since it would be stressful for a first pregnancy and I couldn't expect a very good performance anyway with how I was feeling.
So although it is very unexpected and unplanned my husband and I are thrilled and couldn't be happier! I am due May 7th and people are already betting on birthdays and the gender (we should find out in december!)
I am still keeping up a fitness program of course but am doing a bit more cross training and less intense. Again, the nauseau and fatigue are getting me down right now but I am still managing to work out at least 4 days a week. I have been doing light running, walking with weights and some cardio (bike and ellipitcal).
I have also been told that my marathon training has made me nice and strong for pregnancy and should help me have increased stamina for what I plan to be a natrual childbirth! Yay for running!
Anyways, there is the big news and why I have not been around so much. I wanted to wait to tell people but know the minute I got online I would not be able to contain myself! I will still be following everybody's blog and running - more on that later on what will hopefully be a more regularly updated blog!

September 03, 2006

4 Hour Trail Run - I think I am ready!

I had a VERY successful 4 hour trail run yesterday.
The weather was nice, warm but not hot, and not to humid either. Unusual for South Carolina this time of year!
Not only did I successfully run for 4 hours, I felt good and strong for at least 3.5 of them! I was able to keep a pace of 11 to 12 minute miles the whole time, although the last 15 minutes of the run were getting pretty painful.
Nonetheless I felt both physically and mentally strong, no wanting to stop or feeling like I couldn't do it. I think a couple of factors played into that -
1.) my more relaxed approach to running that I have taken lately
2.) it NOT being ungodly hot and humid for once
3.) getting the hang of refueling / hydrating
I must say, Fig newtons are awesome for refueling! I still enjoyed eating them after 4 hours and they are a bit calorie dense so I could cram a couple down and get 100 calories off the bat without feeling full. I also started regulating my drinking too. I have often felt kind of bloated during and after my long runs and getting a little bit of a side stitch because I was drinking too much. This time i just took a few sips of Gatorade every 15 minutes or so and that did just fine! This should work for the marathon too as it is in October and farther north so it shouldn't be blazing hot or humid.
I was however SORE afterwards. This is probably the farthest I have run, and will do it once more before the marathon in 2 weeks before I start the taper. Boy could I feel it! My ankles, knees, hips, quads all hurt and I looked awful funny trying to walk up and down stairs. Today I feel alot better although I can't imagine how sore I am going to be after the actual marathon!
All in all I am glad I am finally getting the hang of these long runs. This next week is a more relaxed week according to the training plan and due to the fact I will be traveling to my sister's wedding and won't have time for a long run next weekend. But now I am actually looking forward to my next 4 hour run!

September 01, 2006

I promise I will STOP worrying!

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments! I am not going to worry about it too much anymore. I had a successful week of training so far, now for a 3.5 to 4 hour run this weekend and then I am off to my sister's wedding!
Although there is a distinct possibility that my family will drive me insane while I am at home, I am looking forward to the break, and definitely to the big day! I should not have a problem continuing training, although I will not be able to fit in a long run next weekend, (its an off week anyway so that's fine). I plan on exploring some local trails too which should be fun!
Other than that there is not much to report except Ernesto has given us a break from the heat so my long run should be fairly pleasant tomorrow.
I would love to explore new trails, I was looking at a great website www.sctrails.net , and found a couple of good ones within an our or 2 away. I may try them after the wedding, I just won't have time on the weekends till then.
Now time to get some actual work done, Happy Running!

August 30, 2006

when exactly do i start to taper?

It has been a VERY busy time for me. My sister is getting married in less than two weeks, I am swamped at work, and marathon training is reaching a peak.
I have been doing pretty well with marathon training though. I have taken a more relaxed approach to it since my burnout/frustration a little while ago. I run one week hard....2 easy runs, a hill or speed session, and a long run of 3.5 to 4 hours on trails. The next week is just easy runs. This seems to keep me fresh for the hard sessions although I am still worried if I am really ready for this. If 3.5 or 4 hours is my limit, how does that bode for my projected finish time of 5 to 5.5 hours? And if it is going to take me that long to finish (appears so based on my tral half marathon performance) is my body really ready to be a marathoner? Can I even finish if 4 hours is my upper limit? despite some self doubt and maybe some embarassement at the possibility of a 12 minute mile race pace (sorry, I am just a bit self concious, especially at the starting line with sub 7 and 8 milers) I am pressing onward. I just want to finish, check it off of life's to-do list, and see how I enjoy it. If I enjoy it I will definitely be back, if it is a disaster, I will stick to half marathons and 10K's (trails of course!) I must say that I will be looking forward to some time off after the marathon, not from running entirely, but from taking an entire day of my weekend to train, although I do LOVE trails.
I have also come to the conclusion that the trail who's distance I was concerned about is DEFINITELY NOT 5 MILES. I timed myself on the trail and I know I was running at a semi-decent pace (10-12 minute miles) and it still took me 75 minutes to finish! I know I am slow, but not 15 minute mile slow, especially since I was running at a good pace the whole time! I now think that this course must between 6 and 7 miles, which makes some of my other runs a bit longer than I thought (17 as opposed to 15, ect.) I also timed myself on a trail that I know is a mile, and ran it in 11 minutes just to check myself. I guess I really need a Garmin eventually.
Well back to work, I am swamped and lucky I had time to check back in and have some coffee. Hopefully I can catch up with the rest of you soon! Happy Trails...

August 15, 2006

waiting and more waiting, and a FABULOUS trail run

As we sit here waiting for word, I decided to head out to a great state park in the area.
I ended up having a FABULOUS trail run! There is no other way to describe it. I put in about 7 or 8 miles but had SO much fun exploring this park. The trails were a great mix of easy flat and wide to some technical single track going up and over dunes, hills, with roots rocks and sand. Part of one trail even edged along a bay where I got a beautiful panoramic view as I crested a high dune and stopped to rest a moment.
The temperature was hot (high 80's, low 90's) but the humidity wasn't bad and the nearby bay and ocean gave a nice breeze to keep me cool. Some points I was crossing sand and footbridges near the shore of the bay and in others I was climbing up roots and soft dirt through spanish moss covered trees.
For those interested and are ever in the Virginia Beach area I HIGHLY reccoomend checking out
First Landing State Park. Most of the trails are off-limits even to bikes (although there is one trail) so they are pretty quiet, especially on a weekday. Although I was aiming for closer to 9 miles rather than 7 or 8 , I couldn't have asked for a better trail run adventure!
Tomorrow a rest day with some yoga and then back at it on Friday...hopefully I am over my frustration and complete a long run on Saturday or Sunday of 3 or 4 hours, I may start aiming for time rather than distance for the purpose of not getting to frustrated and bailing and then being dissappointed on myself. Just a thought anyway...

August 14, 2006

wow, when life smacks you with a 2 x 4

Wow, a LOT is going on this week.
I can't give details but lets just say my adorable Navy husband may be headed out for awhile (not on anything dangerous) as long as 6 months. It is very short notice but I guess we knew this day would come and there is nothing you can do to TRULY prepare yourself for it. I drove up to where he is stationed on saturday with the cats to visit him and help him prepare for a possible long trip. No word yet but hopefully we will know soon. (those new to the blog, I am finishing up grad school this year while my husband is stationed with the Navy)
Nonetheless being that I am stuck here just to wait for news, it has given me a chance to dig back into my training after my set-back a week ago. In addition, I can explore new trails in the area including a 9 mile trail run scheduled for tomorrow! In fact, the husband and I went to a sport's store and found me a new pair of trail shoes. I selected the new ADIDAS Supernova Trail (Its the bright orange shoe)
My review so far is that I LOVE IT. but there are a few things to note:
1.) The lacing system is a bit cumbersome. The laces are very thin, sturdy, but you really have to yank eveything hard to get it to where it needs to be.
2.) I think the shoe may run a half size too big. I usually wear an eight but I got a 7.5 and it still might be a bit big on me. I have a narrow foot so that might be the case but be aware of that if you are considering this show.
I have only tested this on 5 miles of trails that weren't too technical but so far so good. Personally I don't mind the flaming orange (although the hubby thinks they are hideous!) After my 9 mile run tomorrow, I will report back and we will see how it goes.
I also got new sunglasses - I decided to NOT heed the advice of alot of running mags and purchased a cheap 20$ pair that is wrap around, reflective and, at least after 12 miles so far, has NOT fallen off my face or fogged up. So for the time being I will NOT be spending 100$ o 150$ on sunglasses that I may lose or break anyway.
Other than that, it is just wait wait wait. My two cats were really good on the ride up here but have had much fun turning my husbands apartment into there own personal jungle gym. At least for the moment, my 12 lb. going on 15 lb. white cat (creatively named Whitie) is making himself at home on the keyboard and his 6 lb. sister (creatively named Browie as she is a brown cat!) is chewing on my new trail shoes! Sigh...off to enforce the rule of mommy....

August 13, 2006

ok, decision is made

Ok, I have decided to STICK WITH THE MARATHON. After many supportive comments and helpful suggestions I think that I am going to go ahead with it and just see how it goes. You never know if you can do it if you don't try right?
To answer some of people's questions out there:

Yes, it is a TRAIL marathon. I really prefer trails because I love being out in nature, mud, dirt, ect. I love the adventure, I enjoy a 15 mile trail run alot more than a 5 mile road run. That said, I think sticking with the trail marathon as opposed to a road marathon is best suited for me, at least at the moment.
I do refuel on the run. I have hit on my magic combo of saltines, fruit snacks and gatorade. However, is this enough or should I try more calorie-dense foods?
Taking a suggestions I did try gmap-pedometer but even at close zoom, you can't see the trail by the satelite image or the hybrid. I guess I can possibly ask a forest ranger to get his opinion of the length of the trails. I think I am also going to finally break down and get a garmin. I think this will really help me out as far as determining my true pace AND distance and give me a better idea of where I am.