Saturday, June 27, 2009

Seattle Rock N Roll

This whole extended weekend has been wonderful. Seattle has been chilly (and I forgot to pack a sweater!), we've had delicious food, and we have spent time with both of our families!

Race day! Up at 5:30 to eat some breakfast (I had a spinach feta pastry and split a cream cheese one with the BF). We were dressed and out the door. Gear: black nike knee length shorts, houston marathon finisher's shirt (representing!), astros hat, and fule belt. I made gu/water mixes with 6 gus. While on the drive, I slathered sunscreen on my face and arms.

The marathon started at 7 am, but there were 37 (37!!) corrals for runners, and in the spectator's packet, it estimated what time we would cross the start based on our pace. And man, it is a good thing they did that because traffic was a serious problem. Our navigator (BF's Dad) took a back road, which was brilliant for passing the miles of cars and school buses shuttling people in for the race. Our back roads were still pretty packed, to the point that people were getting out and walking. We got to the runner drop off, which was probably a quarter mile from the start.

BF and I split up to go run our own races. I stopped to use the bathroom and still made it to my corral in time. There was the typical DJ "Hey Corral 22, let's make some NOISE!!!"

I started at about 7:45 am. The first couple miles were through Tuwkila on access roads. Man was traffic backed up. At mile 2.5 we hit a very residential area, which was really nice to run through. Scenic, and a large portion was sloped upwards. At mile 5 there was a steep downgrade, which kinda got the "WEEE!!!" feeling out of me. We got views of the water up until about mile 6, when we passed Seward Park, and then the only think between the road and the water was a small strip of land. There were even people in boats cheering.

Arond mile 7 we saw a bald eagle! It was like they planned it or something....

At mile 7.5 we also hit the first Gu station, which had run out. They were, however, passing out ionized salt. I gave it a try, but I think in general in my training I need to be more conscience of my sodium intake. When I run with coconut water, I don't think I consume enough, esp in the Texas weather, which might help me control my slowdown in summer. By the way - the water stations were HUGE. Many, many tables with lots of volunteers passing out water and cytomax (no idea what it was but it tasted better then gaterade...unless it was warm). There were also cheerleaders every so often cheering for us. And of course, the bands. But unfortunately you can barely here the bands and maybe catch a minute of a song.

Just after mile 9 there is a turnoff. First you run up a VERY steep hill, but it's so brief. Marathoners turn right, half marathoners turn left. Guess what's on the right?

I-90. We're running on the interstate that stretchs from Seattle to Boston. That I've driven portions of over a hundred times! More importantly, they closed it off!

The Lake Washington Bridge is about 1.5 miles across and it is very low to the water. It actually is a floating bridge. Pretty neat. You know what was not neat? The SUN! There was no shade out on the interstate, and no cloud cover out in Seattle that day. A hat just doesn't do it against the glare off the water, so I think I need to learn to wear sunglasses when I run. Or ever.

At about mile 11.5 we meet back up with the halfers. Together, we went through the Mt Baker Tunnel which was very weird. Very little breeze through the tunnel and an odd feeling of solidarity.

If I remember correctly, after that is was up on overpasses again until we hit downtown, and the halfers peeled off. From downtown, we headed north. We took the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and then through a tunnel, and back to ground level. Aurora Ave was kind of Main St USA feel to it. They closed off all 6 lanes across, but we were supposed to run on the middle four lanes (two for each direction). The problem with that was the trees shaded the outer lanes, so once again we're on a major cement road with no relief from the sun. It was also almost all uphill. At this point I'm pretty much power walking the whole thing. I passed the BF just before mile 17. And got a kiss! :)

At about 18.5 I saw his family and mine. They both had the Rock N Roll signs, which was pretty cool, and how they found each other seeing as how they'd never meet. BF's brother even ran a bit with me up the top of the hil to the turn and back down.

We come back in the exact same way into downtown, but we pass by Quest Feild, and staying on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, we run through...a train stockyard. NIiiiice Seattle.

Then back in to the finish, which was a very nice sloping off ramp, where you could pick up your speed and build some momentum to at least look halfway decent crosing the finish line. My time? My clock time said 7:39:15, which I knew to subtract about 45 minutes from. My chip time was 6:51:59. With a time limit of 7 hours, I took it nice and easy to come in just in time again!

Here are the times:

5 Km45:07
10 Km1:30:41
9 Mi2:11:00
Half Way3:16:19
30 Km4:41:29
24 Mile6:12:42

Nothing impressive, but I got out there and I ran my second marathon. BF had a tough time too, with cramping especially. He finished in 5:36:27, very good for his first marathon.

I think it will help us to train with HoustonFit for San Antonio, and also to train seperately. I think the BF will do much better when he doesn't stop down his training runs so that I can keep up with him.

Post race enjoyment: Chocolate milk, some tortillini with the fam, and then tonight: sushi and sleeping!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hills at Hermann

We couldn't join HoustonFit for hill training yesterday, so instead we went to Hermann Park after work and run up and down the hills in front of Miller Outdoor Theatre. It was tough. And boring. But the BF stuck with it for a full half hour, and I was very impressed.

Workouts like hill training really make me regret the decision to do Seattle. I will feel like I am quitting if I drop to the half marathon, even though I am not very well prepared for the full.

We'll see. I have some thinking to do.

I think I have mentioned it before but the BF and I have registered for San Antonio Rock N Roll, which is the training program we're doing with HoustonFit. I had wanted to do a January marathon, like Bermuda, but Bermuda is the same weekend as the Houston Marathon. My mom wants to run the half, and I would like to see her do that. But I'm just not too excited about other races in January. So I may shift gears a bit and focus on some smaller distances again (anyone done the 3M Half Marathon??), plus we have the Texas Independance Relay in March, and that should be an interesting time. So we'll see (again).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

10 Miler - the last one from here

Today's run was a pretty simple and enjoyable route - a 10 miler that started near my apartment and went to the rice loop, the hermann park loop, and then west on Rice to Weslayan and back. It was a great day for a run, although hot, so we took it nice and slow. I normally don't enjoy the end of the run, in this case from buffalo speedway to Weslayan and back, but I do enjoy that stretch because it is a very pretty residential area. We also pass baseball fields, and a pomegranet tree!

Why is it my last one from here? I am moving! Things are going to be extremely busy the next couple weeks, so I may not have much time to post about my runs. But I will be back up and reporting byt he time Seattle rolls around! It's in 3 weeks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I wasn't sore yesterday....

but I am SORE today!

Didn't run today but power- walked for an hour and ten minutes around Rice U. Ok maybe not power-walked. Maybe more like my-dog-is-pulling-on-the-lease-and-dragging-me-at-a-slightly-higher-then-comfortable-pace-walk.

But I could really feel my shins during this walk. They are tired and need some recovery time. They're going to hate me after Seattle.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hill Training with HoustonFit

I am very sad to admit that while I was a Houston Fit member last year, I never participated in runs other then Saturday runs, and I only met up with HoustonFit runners a handful of times for runs. In the start of my training, I was more inclined to run in the morning, and HoustonFit met at 6 am, not enough time for me to clean up and head out for work. So I did lots of runs on my own, and a few meeting at 5 am in Memorial.

I also NEVER did hill training. Ever.

Things change though, thankfully. After work the BF and I met with HoustonFit at Jackson Hill and Memorial to do the first installment of a 4 week hill training program. We ran over the pedestrian bridge, and then down the trail to Shepard, where we stopped and discussed. The head coach, Felix, who just happened to be the leader of the 6 hour pace group during my first marathon, had marked out in the grass a course for us to run as many times as we could in 24 minutes. It was like a snake, making ribbons up and down the hills. I made it through my first loop, and then stopped to stretch my super tight calves. It helped, and I got through another half loop before the time was up.

It was definitely very difficult. Which makes me worry a lot about running 26.2 miles of hills in 2.5 weeks. I think I could have done a lot better planning out training. But, the goal i to finish (in time, 7 hours) and I think I'll be able to manage that.

This did drive the BF into a hills kick, and he's determined to do as many hill workouts as possible between now and Seattle.