this is a blog about anything and everything running.
maybe the music i listen to, the foods that i eat, the places where i run, and my journey towards completing future half AND full 'mare'-a-thons.
enjoy!

It’s Ours, And You Can’t Take It Away: One Runner’s Thoughts on the Boston Marathon Attacks

mare-sf:

caro:

Tonight I found myself in tears. So I wrote about running.

i’m pretty far removed from what happened yesterday at the boston marathon in the sense that i wasn’t there and very few people i know where there and those few people are safe. 

but i still consider myself a runner and a member of that club. so i am really fucking pissed. all those people that were out there are our families - they are our people that cheer at the finish lines and that is pretty jarring.

whoever did this is obviously a terrible human being.

but we can’t stop running.

in fact, we do the opposite - we run like we have never run before and, as silly as it sounds, we run for the people who have been impacted by yesterday’s events.

Source: caro

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new running shoes. 

watch out because i am going to be a technicolor blur.

new running shoes.

watch out because i am going to be a technicolor blur.

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if anyone needs a Garmin, please message me!

I have a brand new/still in the box Forerunner 610.

thanks!

Happy running!

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Did you reserve a room for the NYC marathon? Here's how to donate it to those displaced by Sandy.

hi runners.

all quiet on this front due to some life planning.

anyhoo - if you or anyone you know was going to run this race and are no longer going to use your reserved room, you can donate it to a displaced resident.

or you can just donate.

Source: aclikeslater

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After the San Francisco Marathon, I had about a week of recovery until I had to start training for the Giants Race.  Months and months ago, I had signed up for the half marathon thinking it wasn’t a big deal since I’d have the athletic ability to finish a marathon.  What can I say – I’m ambitious. :)

I approached this next of phase of training pretty intensely – at least it was more intense than I was used to. Mondays and Wednesdays focused on specific speed and strength workouts.  The first workout I did was to do a V02 Max test.  For 12 minutes, I had to run as fast as my legs could carry me.  Surprisingly, this ended up being 2368 meters, which equated to a V02 Max of 41.65.  After figuring this out, I was given a pretty extensive (for me, at least) pace chart that outlined at what pace I should be running during each type of workout.  So, throughout the 7 weeks, I managed to do cruise intervals, 400m repeats, hill repeats, and Yasso 800s.  On top of that, I continued going to the track workouts which also included speed and hill workouts.  I backed off from yoga, which I regret, but I found that the yoga classes I was going to on Mondays and Wednesdays were a bit to intense to do before running. 

My LSD runs were consistently around a 10:30 to 10:45 pace.  That is definitely faster than what I had been training for the marathon at, so I’m pleased.  However, according to my V02 Max results, I should have been able to maintain a pace of 9:50 to 11:05.  Clearly, I’m in the middle, but running more than 5 or so miles at 9:50 always seemed so hard.  At least when I was actively thinking, “ok, I must maintain a pace of 9:50” I, without fail, felt like my legs were filled with lead or like I couldn’t get my breathing under control.  However, when I would just run, I’d run that pace and feel fine.  Yes, I would become fatigued as the miles went by, but I never really felt like I had to stop.  I have performance anxiety.

Race day was fine.  I wasn’t too crazy-nervous before the run because I knew it was an out-and-back that I have done hundreds of times and because I was stronger than I was 7 weeks before.  I was actually pretty excited because I managed to convince my boyfriend to sign up for the 5K, which he rocked.  The 5K ended up starting before the half marathon and the half marathon AND 10K runners started at the same time.  This caused a huge bottleneck at the beginning for about the first mile to mile and a half.  It was so frustrating because I kept wanting to dart around people so I could get to a decent pace, but then I ended up starting out too fast.  I knew it in my heart – I started out too fast to try to get past the crowd and I would definitely feel it at the end of the race.

Once the crowd started to thin out, I was able to decent pace around the 10:00 mark.  However, at the turn around point, I started to consistently slow down around mile 7.5.  One thing I dislike about this course is that on the way back, instead of going back on the road, runners are on the gravel path by the water.  This is historically a difficult place for me to run because I always feel like I am about to slip and I think I just don’t have as easy of a time picking my feet up. 

Just after mile 8, Dan ran the rest of the race with me.  And thank god he was there because I was little by little losing my focus and on my way to a huge mental breakdown.  When I finally got to mile 11, we had started to pick up the pace, but it was still nowhere near where it had to be or what I had planned for it to be in order to meet my goal.  I started to feel hip/butt and knee pain, it was hot, and I was the least focused I had ever been during a race.  Once I mentioned to Dan that I was losing steam, he had me do faster strides as a way to try to get the negativity out of my mind.  At the last aid station, another runner flat out pushed me – I mean hands on me back and pushing forward.  I completely lost it.  At this point, I was much hotter than I had thought it was going to be and I was starting to get lightheaded despite fueling/hydrating throughout the run.  With Dan’s help and motivation, I finally reached the finish.

I sprinted through the finish, probably with a wonky leg swing, and feeling just about ready to puke.  As soon as I looked down at my watch, I realized that I PR’d from last year.  It definitely wasn’t my goal of 2:09, but it as a 7 minute PR and I was pleased with that.

I definitely need to work on the whole “running through the pain” thing.  I’m used to just being comfortable and at this point I think that if I am going to get faster and stronger, I really need to push my body’s limits.

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i’m not running the nike women’s marathon,
but i couldn’t stop myself from getting a pair of these.
to be honest, i won’t even run in them.
in fact, they are so pretty that i probably won’t wear them out of the house because i won’t want to get them dirty.
practical, i know.
on a side note, i recently tried on the nike free+ 3 and i loved the fit!
these are my favorite right now!

i’m not running the nike women’s marathon,

but i couldn’t stop myself from getting a pair of these.

to be honest, i won’t even run in them.

in fact, they are so pretty that i probably won’t wear them out of the house because i won’t want to get them dirty.

practical, i know.

on a side note, i recently tried on the nike free+ 3 and i loved the fit!

these are my favorite right now!

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The marathon was a while ago and it was a spectacular run.  I wish I had sat down to recap sooner, but I had family in town and have continued training since.

WEEK LEADING UP TO THE RACE

I was beyond nervous or anxious.  The only thing I kept thinking of was that I had been working for this for 6 months and all the hard work was going to boil down to my performance on one day.  The thoughts that kept racing through my mind were along the lines of, “how am I going to make it over the hills…” and “how do I get through the park without losing my mind or losing steam” and finally, “what am I going to do when I hit “the wall?””  I think my resting heart rate for the entire week must have been exponentially higher than normal – I definitely felt more jittery than usual and much more on edge.  I had made the conscious decision to completely cut out caffeine, alcohol, and coffee for the two weeks leading up to the race so my body felt relatively cleansed.  The week was light when it came to running – I don’t think I did more than 3 or 4 miles on any given day.  By the end of the week, I had so much energy built up that I felt like I was going to explode. 

My dad decided to come out to San Francisco at the very last minute to cheer me on – it was unexpected, but it was a sweet gesture that I think only positively affected my performance.

On Friday, I took a long lunch hour to go to the expo – grabbed my bib, found a pink running hat so I would be easier to spot, and booked it back to the office.  That night, we met up with a friend and her boyfriend for dinner at this nomnom place called Delarosa.  We mentioned to the waitress that we were carboloading for the marathon and to our surprise, she brought out pretty much every appetizer we had not already ordered to our table – for free!  How great is that?  What is nice about this place is that the portions are not full-sized.  They are perfect for sharing because you get just enough to appreciate the dish but are not left feeling overly stuffed so you can enjoy everything else!  The only thing missing was a nice cocktail to wash it all down.

DAY BEFORE THE RACE

The day before the race, I woke up early to go on a one mile run to shake out my legs with the Lululemon Run Club.  Obviously it was easy, but just enough to get out some of my craziness that had built up throughout the weeks of tapering.  I spent the rest of the day lounging around the house, deciding what I was going to eat and spending time with my family.  The day was filled with pre-race jitters and thoughts of how I was going to tackle this monster.  I kept repeating to myself that I had trained and that I had to trust my training.  Dinner for the night ended up being homemade lasagna courtesy of my boyfriend – and a lot of water.  Surprisingly, I was able to turn in fairly early and fall asleep with no problem.  Dundunduuuun!

MORNING OF

Then it was time to wake up.  I made me away around the apartment getting dressed, eating breakfast, applying my PaceTat, and making triple sure that I had everything.  I spent a good portion of the night before making a list of all my necessities and making sure they were ready to go – but I was still paranoid that I was forgetting something.  My dad, brother, and boyfriend all drove me to the start of the race where I was able to meet a friend at a group tent.  We were also meeting one of my training partners there.  He was an amazing person to run with – we really hit it off as runners and ran almost every long run together – I like to call him my personal pacer.  After dropping our stuff off and hanging around for a few minutes just getting our plan together, we decided to start at the end of the wave. 

THE RACE

It was amazing.  My running partner and I started out nice and slow, found our rhythm, and trucked along.  Few words were exchanged – when we got to the first hill, our easy breathing slowly turned to huffing and puffing, and we congratulated each other at the top.  Then it was downhill and flat until after the Marina Green.  A new addition to the spectators was a group of people that were honoring fallen veterans.  They were lined up with American flags wearing blue and ringing cowbells.  It was quite lovely and heart wrenching.  My dad is a veteran, so I always get a little misty eyed with those things.  At the end of their line we approached the second hill with starts to lead up towards the bridge and feels quite steep and long.  We exchanged another “congratulations” at the top and kept on going.  When we finally got the bridge, we realized it was a good idea to start when we did – it was practically empty and the pace that we had to keep was perfect.  It wasn’t a clear morning – it was foggy and chilly, but it was still an awesome experience.  Running the bridge never gets old for me, especially when I’m sharing it with other runners.  So we ran and ran and ran.  I saw a few other fellow trainees, gave a high five here and there, and just kept booking it to the turnaround.  I remember thinking, “I feel great. This is going to be a good race.”  We got off the bridge and began to approach Baker Beach and what we call Lincoln Hill.  The first time I ran this portion this season, I remember feeling anxious about it and I had this unreal expectation of how long and how steep it was.  But then I actually ran the darn thing and afterwards thought to myself, “that’s it? that wasn’t as bad as I had previously thought it was…”  On the day of the race, I was feeling confident that I had the hill in the bag and I knew once I got to the top, it would be smooth sailing to the avenues.  Running the bridge, like I remembered, was spectacular.  It was foggy and chilly, and the pace that we were running ended up being perfect considering the amount of people on the bridge.

We finally got to 26th Avenue and I knew that at the end of the street, I’d be entering Golden Gate Park and it would be first place I’d see my family.  After turning the corner onto Fulton, I saw my brother and boyfriend, but not my dad.  A little piece of me panicked, but seeing them at that point gave me the push I needed to get through the park.  We took a very quick bathroom break and kept trucking along.  Somewhere along mile 18 we got separated and I ran into another couple of running buds.  The next spot I was going to see my family was at the Conservatory of Flowers, and this was going to be where I would refill my water with fresh (cold) water, pop a Motrin (I know, I know – I shouldn’t do that), and have a quick snack.  At this point, I was maybe 2 minutes from my realistic end-time goal, so I gave myself a good minute to regroup.  Just as quick as I had stopped, it was time to start again.  My legs were heavy and I just wanted to get to Haight Street.  This is usually one of my favorite stretches because it is relatively flat and there are two decent downhills where I knew I’d make up some time.  However, at around 19.5, I started to feel the discomfort that I was experiencing during training – I almost felt lightheaded, but knew I wasn’t dehydrated.  I had been consistently GU-ing every 4 to 4.5 miles, and taking a salt tablet ever hour.  I let myself have some walk breaks here and there – I wish I didn’t feel like I need them.  Had I had someone with me, I may have been able to keep running…

Finally, I reached the end of Haight St., got past the Mission, and was heading up 16th St. to Bryant St.  Since this was a small hill, I gave myself the opportunity to walk up the hill with the resolution that I would start running at the top.  After all, it was the last hill of the race.  I got to the top, cranked up my music, and started running. All of a sudden, I look to my left and I see my dad running next to me! He’s hollering my name and taking pictures or videos and I just started to laugh!  It was a complete surprise – I thought the next time after the park I would see them was going to be at the end.  It was perfect.

Keep on going, keep on going – that’s what I told myself.  Next checkpoint was going to be mile 23.5.  I knew Lululemon would have their cheer station there and they would be looking for me.  I forced myself to smile and to at least look like I wasn’t in pain.  When they were finally within eyesight, I quickly scanned the group for the few girls that I had been running with.  My memory of this might differ from theirs, but mind you, I was pretty loopy at this point.  I saw one, she saw me, her eyes lit up and she grabbed another girl and as I approached them, they started running with me asking, “how are you feeling? You look great! You don’t look like you’ve been running a marathon! Less than 3 miles left!!!”  The few blocks that they ran with me were incredibly motivating.  In fact, the entire energy of the cheer station was amazing.  They had music pumping, they were hollering and jumping around – I felt like their energy totally rubbed off on me.  After a few blocks, they wished me luck and turned around. 

FINALLY! I could see the ballpark.  I kept repeating to myself, “I know this run.  I know this like the back of my hand and I can do it in my sleep.  One foot in front of the other.”  Slowly but surely, the ball park was getting closer, then the bridge was getting closer.  People were starting to gather around the ball park for the Giants game later that afternoon and the runners had to run around the backside of the ball park by the water.  Soon, we were in the finishing chute and before I knew it, I was running as fast as I absolutely could at that moment and willing myself to cross that finish line.

Then I did.  And I looked at my watch and it said 4:59:37.  I didn’t meet my reach-goal of 4:45:00, but I reached my realistic goal of 5:00:00.  That was a 42 minute PR.  It was an amazing race with what felt like an amazing finish.  I couldn’t have asked for more.  I had most of my family with me and they cheered me one more than I could have asked for.  I don’t know what I thought of during those 5 hours, but I know that they were in my mind a lot.  In fact, it was like they were running with me, keeping me going.

Looking back, I am ecstatic. I am proud. And I am grateful for my body to withstand all the pressure I put on it to make this happen.

My hard work paid off, I met some new people who have proven to be great friends, and I’ve proven to myself that the first time wasn’t a fluke.

THE END.

PS: Can you believe I still managed to go to the Giants game afterwards?  It was against the Dodgers so there was no way I could miss it. ;)

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that time when i no longer have Friday nights or Saturday mornings.

you know - that time where I actually go to sleep early on Friday instead of hanging with my boyfriend and wake up earlier on Saturdays than I do during the week.

it is going to be a long 6 months. but a fun 6 months!

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(via romini)

Source: meltedmountains

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Paul Ryan’s Critics (and Defenders) Are Missing the Point

"Let me tell you about the toughest marathon workout I’ve ever done.

It was called the Mile Breakdown, and here’s how it went: 1600 meters on the track at 10K pace, then 800m recovery; 1200m, then 600 recovery; 800m, then 400 recovery; 400m, then 200 recovery. (So that’s a mile; three-quarters; half; one-quarter, with jogs in between.)

Then once more, but faster: 1600m at 5K pace, 800m recovery; 1200m, 600 recovery; 800m, 400 recovery; 400m, 200 recovery.

And a third set: 1600m at or under 5K pace, 800m recovery; 1200m, 600 recovery; 800m, 400 recovery; 400m, 200 recovery.

We’d jog 3 miles beforehand, on a cross-country course, and another 3 mile after to cool down. That’s about 17 miles, total, including 11 on the track.

We would do this once per training cycle, about 12 days out from race day. It was brutal. It was also effective — I ran two sub-3-hour marathons on plans that included this workout.

I mention this in light of the recent Paul Ryan/sub-3:00 marathon brouhaha, to illustrate a smaller point that leads to a larger point, both of which have been largely overlooked in other coverage.

The smaller point is this:

Running a marathon is hard. Doing it in less than 3 hours is really hard. No, I mean hard. Like, really freaking hard.

Weirdly, I think this fundamental and hugely relevant fact has been glossed over amid the cacophony of commentary and fake Twitter accounts and partisan point-scoring that this story has spawned.

Why is this fundamental fact so relevant? Because it means that being able to say you’ve run a sub-3:00 marathon is a big deal. No, I mean, like, a really freaking big deal.

A 4-hour-something marathon is a feat, don’t get me wrong. A 3:45 is nothing to sneeze at. A 3:15 is really pretty quick. A 3:05 will get an 18-to-34-year-old man into Boston. But none of those is sub-3:00. Sub-3:00 is sub-3:00, and it’s damn tough.

Therefore, it’s damn rare. According to Running USA, last year some 518,000 runners finished U.S. marathons. About 2 percent of them ran under 3 hours.

Two percent.

And those 2 percent busted their asses to get there, I promise you, every last one of them.

They also were fortunate. Because even after all the miles, all the speedwork, the hills, the drills, the long runs, the pain… Even after all of that, a sub-3:00 marathon can be elusive.

If you’re lucky, on race day you have decent weather and a good plan and everything clicks. You tap the mental and physical reserves you’ve spent months or years building and you cross the line, under that big digital clock, realizing that you’ve done it.  You’ve beaten the odds. You’re in the sub-3:00 club, with some very select company. And you ride a wave of euphoria that will diminish over time, but never fully leave you.

During his interview, Mr. Ryan casually told a national audience that he, too, is a member of this club. He isn’t. He isn’t even in the same solar system.

(“He wasn’t within a cannon shot of two-fifty,” Robert Gauthier, the man who finished just ahead of Ryan in the marathon in question, told The New Yorker yesterday.) (And yes, Gauthier recalled his time there as “four-hour-ish,” right away, without prompting.)

The polite word for that is “hubris.”

That, of course, is the larger point — as far as I’m concerned, the only point that matters. This man claimed an honor that he never earned.

That’s it, in eight words. That’s what most folks are missing.

He claimed an honor that he never earned.

In doing so, Mr. Ryan diminished — just a little — the status of every single person who has put in the work to run sub-3:00, who has accomplished this feat, who has achieved this rare honor. This concept seems alien to him. Even now, he appears amused by all the fuss.

It’s galling.

By now, Mr. Ryan’s team has likely concluded that this storyline is a blip, that it will blow over soon enough (if it hasn’t already), that in the end it won’t make a measurable difference in Mr. Ryan’s popularity. And they’re probably right.

They probably also think that this whole thing is stupid, that claiming you’ve run a sub-3:00 marathon is like fudging a golf score or telling a fish story, that none of it matters.

On that, they are wrong.”

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