Thursday, September 27, 2012

Training - Golden Hills Marathon

Today on my trail run I was mulling over the question why do I enter races... I'm super slow, back of the back-of-the-pack.  I can be hard on myself for going too easy on myself... part of me wants to get faster and to run farther... but another part of me is just happy to be out on the trails... and happy that, even if I'm not fast, at least I'm out there... What I enjoy about the races is
a) the goal - Life gets busy and sometimes it's easy to put off a run or keep it short.  When I have a goal in sight it gives me the feeling that I must get out there...
b) the camaraderie - It makes me feel part of a group, part of something bigger than just my own delight.  The others are fitter, faster, more fashionable... but we all are doing something we love to do, and it's the same thing.  I like that.
c) the experience - It's a great excuse to discover a new place or trail...  or destination!
d) bragging rights - It makes me feel like I can claim it.  In training I covered the full Golden Hills Marathon course... but I can't claim a full 26.2 marathon until race day is over.

I don't know why I feel like I need to justify it in the first place.  LOL.

Tapering always plays with the mind!  I fear I may have peaked too early.  So I changed my strategy to try to run more hills and get my mental game up, to not do long, long runs.  My body was definitely feeling a little ragged after peaking... but now I fear that I won't be up for the distance.  Sigh.  This is what happens.  But at least I'm aware of it... and I know I will try my hardest out there.


The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless.

Dean Karnazes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The last long run... before GHM

My last long run was good.  I was still tired from last week.  And had some lower back issues that concerned me (from an ab workout on thursday, lesson; never do new stuff the day before a long run).   Anyway, early on I decided to not push my time and just cover the mileage, that's enough.  So that's what I did.  As I did my mental checklist of 'how am I feeling' I realized that I hurt less than I did for some of my half marathons - and this was around mile 20!... Towards the end I walked a whole bunch of very runnable terrain, knowing that on race day I would push it, but not today.   I arrived at the Marina building in 7h40m!!!  This was awesome news!  Doing what I considered to be talking it easy my time was 7:40... I originally thought it would take me 8-9 hours.  The race calculations have me at 7:17, which I think is very accurate... and, of course, on race day I would like to beat it... my goal will be 7:00 but I will be happy with anything faster than 7:40. 

There was construction at the Marina which was a bummer because it was not relaxing at all. I arrived around 2:40. I bought a water and walked up to the road and wondered who would be picking me up, my mom or my boyfriend...   My phone had died (of course) so when I asked a passerby the time and it was 3:10 I figured it must me Marcelo... I assumed my mom would be early or on time... I went to the kiosk and asked about a payphone... LOL ... he let me use their phone.

Today, again, I feel fine!  Woke up a little stiff (the kind where it feels so good to be comfy in bed!) but not sore... I attribute it to the fact that I am doing so much hiking.   And although the hills are tough, the course uses the different muscle groups, like intervals...  I'm definitely tired, and will run out of steam early today... but I feel good.  Not trashed. 

However, I will expect to feel trashed after the race as I plan to push it.  I saw through (the app I use) that Torie (with Holly) hit some of the course... but very little (they still have time)... Torie is very fast and tough, but I am very pleased with my training approach of becoming familiar with the course, even if slowly... I feel I know exactly where to hang back and exactly where to push myself... and I plan on it.  Torie is in better shape, but will she go out too hard, or in the wrong spots, or will she rip through the whole thing (this is also her first 26.2)..... I wonder. 

I was telling M that even though I was already excited about the race (obviously) now I am super excited!  I feel I have the knowledge I wanted and need.  And I can't wait to see how it unfolds!...  I won't see the course again until race day... Now is the time to taper... my longest long run will probably be around 12 miles.  My fitness level has been built up as much as it will be... My body/muscles were/are definitely feeling tired/worn... so now is the time that the body will recover... and on race day I should be able to chomp up those hills again...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

GHM - Progress Report

So... Here is a progress report on the GHM training;   I have been training on the GHM course and, as I was warned (!), it is very hard!!... At first I did out and back of each section (based on the printed out sections, a few got combined because they were shorter) and then I started to stitch the sections together and do them one way (getting picked up and driven back to my car).  Last Friday was 22.85 miles!!  From Lone Oak in Tilden all the way to the Grass Valley Staging area!   I won't pretend I run the whole thing, I hike most of the uphills, which is probably a good 50%... but I do move forward in whatever manner (run, job, hobble, crawl) I can... I fight with the mind demons that I am a hack and in way over my fitness level... and that I'll be dead last, etc, etc... but believe it or not there are at least 4 people predicted to be slower than me on the entrants list!  So maybe I won't be dead last!... I anticipate, if all goes well, that it will take 7 1/2 hours.  Next Friday I will add the last little bit to cover nearly the full distance and that will give me a better assessment of finish time.  I'm sure on race day I will push in some areas that I take it 'easy' in training.  But the plan... the main goal... is to FINISH.

Here's the craziest part; I wasn't sore the day after any of my long runs!  I'm guessing it's because I am allowing myself to go so slow.  But so what, I feel good!

Crazy, no?!

Monday, September 10, 2012



The beauty of running is its simplicity; the beauty of runners is that we all have a similar drive to improve.

Deena Kastor, U.S. Olympian