Monday, March 21, 2011

modesto race report

the gang at the expo

carbo loading at carino's italian restaurant

after being hurt off and on for the last month, with my hip problem...and being that my training was sporatic...i was ready to get this show on the road.  i felt rested, and in the last few days my hip really started to feel great.   i was eagerly awaiting this weekend/race.  we left fresno about 1:30 or drove and holly, jim and andi rode with us.   a fun little two hour ride to modesto. 

we got to the hotel and met up with more of our friends and checked into our room and then headed to the expo.  we grabbed our bibs and goodie bags and i ended up buying a 2.00 rain poncho.

the forecast did not look good for the start.  it was already raining when we got there, and the winds had started to pick up.  the prediction for the start was 44 degrees with winds sse 24mph.  i was trying really hard to not even think about the weather.  my brain just couldn't comprehend 24mph. i've never run in wind like that.

after the expo we had a little bit of time until we had to be at dinner.  we went back to the rooms and settled in...laid out my racing outfit, pinned my GU's in my shorts, and tried on different shirts.  I couldn't decide what to wear.  I guess the best bet is to dress in can just peel them off and drop them.  we also stretched/foam rolled a little bit, and watched tv.  we had two adjoining rooms.  jim stayed with rich and i...and the other room was packed with girls :)  holly, andi, sarah, pearl & becky rounded out the bunch.  such a fun group!! 

finally it was time for dinner.  i was starving.  we made our way to carino's italian restuarant, where we met up with a few other people. there was a nice big group of us.  just hanging out and talking, and of course, filling up on yummy carbs.  i had the lasagna and ate lots of bread, plus a salad.  i wanted to make sure i had lots of energy for my run :)

it was about 7:30 or so and we headed back to the hotel to hang out and get to bed early.  lots of chatting and still trying to figure out what to wear because the weather was getting worse by the minute.  the winds had really started to pick up and it was getting cold.  finally we hit the hay about 10 or so and had the alarms set for 5:15.  race time was 7a.m.  our hotel was pretty much at the starting line, so we didn't have to hurry out in the morning, or worry about driving or parking.  i fell asleep right away and slept for a good while, but then started to toss and turn.  laying there, the only thing i could hear was the wind whipping outside. 

finally the alarm went off.  got up and made coffee first thing...gotta get things moving, if you know what i mean. LOL  had a whole wheat bagel with PB2 and a banana for breakfast, along with my coffee. had a nice leisurely breakfast and then got dressed.  i had pinned my number to my shorts, since i had no idea of what shirt i would end up wearing.  i ended up wearing a black tank, and my pink compression shirt, and then i had a black throw-away long sleeve shirt on top of that...and then i had the rain poncho. i was ready for anything. :)  my friend john, who was going to be running with me, was driving up from fresno, with another friend of ours who was pacing the 4:15 group.  he arrived at our room a little after 6 to hang out and wait for race time with us.  at 6:30 we headed downstairs to hang out in the lobby with the other runners who were staying at the hotel.  about 6:50 we headed out to the starting line.  rich had decided not to run the 5k, so he was hanging out with us and planned to follow us around and cheer for us :)

we sang the national anthem, and then we were off.  walking at first, and then a jog.  with all my gear on, i was warm. it wasn't raining, and by the first aid station i was ready to ditch my ponch.  the first part of the marathon meandered around a neighborhood so the houses seemed to block alot of the wind.  john and i were just chatting and easing into our pace.  planned to run the first couple at about 9:20's, then try to keep the next few around 9:10, and then settle into 9:00's.  the race was not super crowded.  there were only 500 people doing the full marathon and 1500 doing the half.  around mile 3 i needed to go to the bathroom, and held it until the next aid station, where i decided to gu and take my salt tab. the miles were flying by pretty easily.  we started to see the lead half-marathoners coming towards us back to the finish line.  a few of our friends passed us and we cheered them on.  rich showed up on the course every few miles to cheer us on.  it gave me such a lift to have him there. 
(miles 1-7...9:30, 9:16, 9:12, 9:20 (bathroom stop), 9:03, 9:10, 9:07)

mile 7 is where the half marathoners turned around and we headed the other direction. this is also where we headed out into the country roads through the orchards.  it was more open and so the wind started to pick up a little bit.  it wasn't raining, just overcast.  the wind was blowing across us, not really infront or behind us.  john and i were still chatting clicking off the miles.
(miles 8-14...9:11, 9:17, 9:13, 9:03, 8:57, 9:00, 9:05)

early on...still feeling good.
 about mile 14.5 or so is where the turn around was for us.  we made the turn, grabbed some GU brew and water and headed home :) john had to make a pit stop and said he'd catch up. i was now running right into the wind.  it took my breath away at first.  i tucked my head down and pointed my hat directly into the wind.  i ran alone for a little bit and saw my friend sherrie coming the other direction.  she was pacing the 4:15 group and yelled encouragement and asked where john was.  LOL  it felt like i was climbing a huge hill that wouldn't end.  i still felt strong, but wished for a break. hoping it would die down just for a short time. the wind continued like this until the finish. (miles 15-20...9:14, 9:34, 9:37, 9:43, 9:39, 9:47)

starting around mile 20 my quads began to burn.  the wind was relentless and my heartrate was really high.  i told john i was going to walk through the aid station to see if it would go down.  and it helped, a little.  i've been taking GU's every 45 minutes and salt tabs every hour and i'm feeling pretty good, despite my quads burning.  seeing rich every few miles helped a ton, because at this point i was starting to get tired.  around mile 23 is when i really started to struggle mentally. we had to make a little climb up the overpass...i kept telling myself...don't stop til you get to the top....i'm almost there...quads on fire...i have to walk.  and then i hear a car honking...i turn around, and its rich. i just started laughing, but i start to run again.  it was hard even going downhill with that wind.  john was talking to me, trying to keep me distracted, even trying to make me mad.  he's running a little in front of me, and says i'm gonna leave this time...i'm just exhausted...i say...ok, go ahead. LOL  i knew what he was trying to do.  i knew i had to keep going.  the wind had not stopped...and i just wanted to finish.  we finally made the last turn and could see the finish line.  I saw everyone cheering for us.  our whole group was there...taking pictures and yelling.  so happy to finish, and with a great time.  better than i could have imagined in these conditions.
(miles 21-26...9:39, 10:09, 10:40, 11:08, 10:56, 11:07)  official chip time  4:14:35

close to the finish

almost there...

the finish is in sight...

one last push.

hanging out after the race with sarah & andi...

jim, holly, me, john, sherrie

soaking in the pool after...our icebath.

the wind made it colder outside the pool than inside.

lunch on our way home at panera's

after the race we headed back to the hotel room.  we grabbed something to snack on and went down to the pool for an "ice bath".  the water felt warmer than the air.  my teeth were chattering :)  after the pool, we hopped into the jacuzi for a few minutes.  then it was up to the room to gather our gear and check out.  we hit the road and stopped for lunch in turlock.  panera is yummy.  so thankful that god has blessed me with so many amazing friends.  what a great race weekend!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


that's right...
the forecast for the weekend is...
rain. says 70% chance
on sunday.

maybe it will rain overnight,
and we'll catch a break.

one can hope...and pray.

things are starting to come together
for the weekend festivities.

ran 3 miles on tuesday...felt good.
today ran another 3 miles, nice and easy.  4-5 miles tmr...
not sure if i'll run anymore before the marathon...if i will be just a couple on sat.
in the process of making as not to forget anything...
i think i'm going to have a separate bag for all my race stuff.
including my breakfast...bagel with pb2, banana, and possibly a yogurt.
found a little tube to keep my salt tabs in...
gonna pin my GU's in my shorts,
and a bag of skittles for a late race pick-me up :)

also praying for no wind...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

time is flying by.
7 days and counting.

thursday i ran.
10 miles at 9:00 pace.
marathon pace run.
it felt good.
the pace didn't feel hard.
the whole time i was thinking...
is this pace do-able for 26.2?
i've run 18 at that pace.
i think it is do-able.

after the run...
my hip was really sore.
i'm really beginning to think that
my injury isn't my QL.

the pt said i could run...
but running seems to make my hip pain worse.
after much research...
and staring at GoogleBody...
i'm thinking its my gluteus medius muscle.

i've continued with the rest/heat/stretch/ice/aleve cycle
and haven't run since thursday.
my hip is considerably better.
hardly any pain at all.
i found a really great stretch and that,
coupled with massaging with a tennis ball against the wall...
 i feel like its on the mend.
i'm taking today and monday off as well.
tuesday, i plan to run 3 easy to test the hip out.

i've been thinking about how i feel in comparison
to my first marathon.
i am much more relaxed...
eventhough i'm dealing with this injury.
last time i couldn't wait to get to taper...
and by the time the marathon came
i was physically and mentally spent.
(over-trained, i think)
this time...mentally...i'm excited and ready to go...
physically, i feel rested...
if my hip would just cooperate during the race.

i'm getting excited for the trip.
just rich and i are going.
the kids are staying with grandma.
this will be a fun little weekend getaway...
we plan to head out on sat afternoon with our friends
and head up to modesto...
hit the expo and have a yummy dinner.
hang out for a while and then hit the hay early...
cuz race time is 7 a.m. sunday morning :)

positive thinking.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

getting my head on straight...

as the marathon approaches...
it seems that my mind is consumed with the race.
i've been trying not to think about it...
to avoid worrying.

i want to get my goals set in my head
and then...when those negative thoughts creep in...
squash them with positive ones.

i've been going over my training log
and picking out certain runs that were really hard...
and seeing how i pushed through them..
or noticing how much improvement i've made since then...
it's really affirming to my brain.
helps me prove to myself that my goal is possible.

A-break 4 hours
C-finish...even if that means crawling

i printed out the 4 hour pace band to wear for the race.
i have it sitting right next to the computer.
to run 4 hours...that is a 9:09 pace for 26.2 miles.
i can do it!!!
that is my goal.

"Stepping outside the comfort zone is the price I pay to find out how good I can be. If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting."
             -Desiree Davila, marathoner and member of the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project

Monday, March 07, 2011


in less than 2 weeks i'll be running my second marathon...

i'm excited...
but honestly... i'm trying not to think about it too much.

i don't want to be the stress case that i was last time.

this time it's going to be different.
i know what to expect...
i know my body better than i did last time...
i have a big group of friends that are running it too...
i want to go out and have a good time :)
and do my best.

this past week i spent recovering. 
after wednesday's visit to the PT...
i've taken his advice to heart and rested...
on friday it was feeling considerably better...
i went for a nice easy 3 mile jog.
it felt great.  i was so happy.

saturday i decided to skip the scheduled tempo run
and just run the miles, but easy...
ran 12mi avg 9:02 pace...
a little stiff after...but just did my recovery routine...
and by the evening was feeling pretty good.
sunday our little modesto group was together for our long run...
i think this was our last double digit run until the marathon...
10.32 miles avg 9:21 pace.
feeling really good. no pain in the hip...just a little sore after.

woke up today...the pain is almost gone...
i am say the least...
that was 25.53 miles in 3 days...and i'm feeling the best i have since i got hurt.
couldn't ask for more.

our team shirts came the other day...
all of us are going to be wearing the fca endurance shirts.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

its my what...

quadratus lumborum...yep...that is what the physical therapist told me yesterday morning.
that is the muscle that has been causing the pain in my hip/side/glute.
the video above gives a bunch of good info on the muscle and some stretches.

but basically that muscle is used to support the trunk.  its not the only muscle, but when the others are tired/fatigued its given more work and can become overloaded.  which is what happened to me....high mileage weekend runs, coupled with speedwork a couple days later.

the muscle connects the illium (hip bone) with the lowest rib.  it is also used when twisting and lifting the legs higher, such as running fast.  so for now...speedwork is out.  he did some ultrasound treatment on the muscle yesterday and massaged it. by the time i left it was feeling TONS better.

i've not run since sunday and i'm going a bit crazy.  the PT said i could run, just take it easy.  he said fast running, where you're picking your knees up higher and using more upper body would not be good until the muscle is healed.

he said to heat/ice it and stretch. the more bloodflow to the area...the faster it will heal.  he also recommended rolling up a towel and placing it just above my hipbone for when i lay on my side...takes the stress off the muscle.  i tried it last night, and really seemed to make a difference. he told me to continue with the aleve for a week, to keep the inflammation down. 

it all seems to be working already, because when i woke up this morning the pain was almost gone.  i'm very excited, and thankful.  i plan on running a few easy miles tmr and then run sat and sunday...but definitely no speedwork, or tempos.  i just need to get some miles in.

i thought about running this morning, but wanted to give myself one more day of rest...i did get up and rode the bike, while rich ran.  felt good to get out and get some exercise.  my diet has gone downhill fast...i need to get that back in check. 

17 more days!  the countdown has begun....