Saturday, February 12, 2011

National Marathon, here I come!

Six weeks from today, I will run my second marathon.  The race is in Washington, DC and I am running for Girls on the Run, a great cause that empowers girls through training for a 5k.  Today was my longest run yet, and all in all it was good.  Here are the juicy details:

The Good...

  • I love running with this funny, entertaining, and fast group of people.  There were seven of us who stayed together for most of the 13 miles, so there was always someone to talk to or listen to.  I love hearing about other people's training and racing plans.
  • Gatorade on the water stops kept me going without needing as much food fuel.  In 17 miles, I only had one pack of watermelon Gu Chomps, and I gave two of those away to show how great they taste.
  • Getting to know people a little better.  I now know someone who worked at the Grand Canyon.  How cool is that?
  • The slowest mile was 9:05, and my last mile was 8:13.  My average over 17 miles was 8:47!

The Bad...

  • My ankle, which I thought I had angered by tying my shoes too tight but which I have apparently strained, behaved during the run but is now swollen and tender.  We're going for a bike ride this afternoon; I hope that doesn't exacerbate the issue.
  • The hills were crazy evil on this course.  I know it's not the mountains or anything, but the hills were numerous and rather steep.  I'm sure there were downhills, but who remembers those?
  • Although I ran for just under 2 1/2 hours, which is awesome, the elapsed time between beginning and ending the run was 2:49.  So would I be able to keep that pace without the frequent breaks?

And The Funny.

  • Running the first four miles on a less-than-attractive street, I mentioned how grateful I was to be running with two guys.  These two gallantly  told me that in the event of an incident they would run away and I'd only be safe if I could run as fast or faster.  Darwinian running, anyone?
  • I refused to take a course map because I knew that having one would give me an excuse to not keep up.  Fear of being lost was my motivation.  Very effective.
  • We had about 5 minutes between the first 4 miles and the other 13 with the big group.  I knew I needed to pee but didn't want to cross the street to find the bathroom.  So instead of a very short walk, I ran desperate for a potty for 13 miles.  Never again!

If my ankle feels up to it, I'll run a few miles tomorrow.  Since my goal for the rest of February is to keep the mileage up, I plan to run Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday as well as sneaking in a few miles during a church retreat this weekend.

So, it's six weeks out from the race and, barring anything horrible, I will run tolerably well.  Four more weeks of training and two weeks of taper, and then at this time on March 26 I will be reclining on a couch, eating copious amounts of ice cream, and probably sporting a shiny new medal.


  1. If a Darwinian situation ever happens when you're running with me, I will be sure to send help. Once I'm far enough away. Provided I'm not dead from somehow managing to outpace you.

  2. Ha! You are slightly more chivalrous than Brian and Peder. And with your mileage, I have no doubts that you'd survive outrunning me.

  3. Hey Margie, How are the Gu chomps different from the Gu blocks? I guess I need to go research this. :) Great're going to do awesome! Thank you so much for such a valuable comment on my shoe post just now! The best comment yet! Can I pick your brain for a minute....Do you know anything about the other shoes I mentioned? If I over pronate in Saucony Kinvaras, does it mean that I will do the same in the Mizuno WAve Riders? and do you know other ways that I can help fix this over pronation? Thank you so much! And good luck with the next 6 weeks! Stay healthy!

  4. Amanda,
    I'm not sure I've ever had Gu Blocks- I've had Clif Shot Blocs, but I'm not sure. I love my Chomps, especially the watermelon. So yummy...

    As for the shoe advice, I'm so glad I could help! The Adidas sound great- I love lightweight stability shoes because they do control overpronation but not with a ton of stiffness and bulk. The Nikes might be fine; I honestly don't know much about them, but I don't think they offer any stability. If you like the Mizuno Inspire, I think working your way into the Riders for shorter runs would be okay. It's great to know there are other people who wear as many different running shoes as I do!

    When it comes to fixing pronation, yoga really really helped me. I got a bad sprain my senior year of college and couldn't run for a while. I stayed in my room doing balance exercises and focusing on spreading my toes out. When I got back to running, I stayed in stability shoes but incorporated what I can only call "thoughtful" running- for five (or ten, or two) minutes I will land on the outside of my heel and aim for my little toe as I continue through the stride. I know there are a lot of mid-foot strike proponents, and when I'm running quickly that's what I do. But overpronation always tries to come back for me when I'm tired, when my form is ragged, and when I am therefore landing on my heel. Does that make sense? I started working at a running store, continued to focus on my stride, and never thought about switching shoes until I asked the owner to do a gait analysis for me (which is what we do for our customers). He happily informed me that I didn't roll anymore, and I've never looked back.

    I hope this helps and isn't too rambly! Enjoy all those new shoes!