Saturday, September 27, 2014

16 Miles Today!!

The selected clothes for the long run: forgot that all black and compression socks are not the best choices for 80 degree days

Today, I ran the furthest that I have ever run in my life, at one continuous time!  I'm not sure if you could call it running by the 15th mile, but I finished! I was so nervous about doing this run all week, I was even more nervous when I saw that the weather forecast was calling for sunny, 80 degree weather.  Of course, 80 degrees with no humidity is considered a beautiful Fall day, but I really don't do well in the heat, I wish every run could be between 40-50 degrees!  Also, I was planning on running from my parents house in Dover, and Dover is much hillier than Rye...there was no way I would be able to run a flat 16 miler. 

   For breakfast, I had my usual bagel (with nothing on it) and a cup of coffee.  I ate at 730am, and wasn't able to run until past 10am, so I had a chocolate Power Bar right around 930am.  I decided to wear compression socks even though it was hot out, I figured that I would need all the help I could get with tired legs.  I have no idea why I picked out an all black outfit,  #islagiatt.  

I brought my Nathan Hydration Pack (which is amazing, and I highly recommend it!) and two Salted Caramel Gu's

I also wore my new favorite pair of shoes...I love them even more than my Saucony Kinvaras! I have decided that they are going to be my official marathon shoe.  Meet the Saucony Ride 7S!

They are SO comfortable and stable, but do not feel bulky. They are also springy, and are light enough that you can wear them for tempo runs.  

Going into the run, Angela suggested keeping my pace easy, and if I was feeling up to it, do 2-3 miles at goal marathon pace (8:45) during the middle or end of the run.  Throughout my run, I kept telling myself that I would do my last two miles at 8:45/mile but by the time I got to 14 miles, my body said:


The Run...

I started my run just past 10:15am, within the first tenth of a mile, there is a steep uphill, followed by a gradual uphill for the next 3/4 of a mile.  I was tired by the end of the 1st mile (9:49), which isn't a good sign.  I told myself that I only had four, four milers to run.  Piece of cake!

The 2nd mile was much flatter, and was in the shade- I ran past three farms and five garage sales.  (9:19)

The 3rd mile was also a lot flatter, and on a back road, mostly in the shade.  I didn't have my music on yet, I figured I would save my playlists until after the midpoint.  (9:33)

The 4th mile brought me out to Route 9, this was mostly downhill and flat, but no shade from trees (9:09)

5th mile was on Route 150 to Madbury,  this was flat with a few slight uphills...there were a lot of cars (9:03)

At the 6th mile, I had to stop and use a public restroom by Kingman Farm, I ate my first GU (9:09)

The 7th mile was mostly out in the sun, and very hilly....MapmyRun said I did a 6:23 minute mile pace...but MapMyRun must have been overheated because I went back and compared the times with my watch and it was actually 9:25.  For the other splits my watch and MapMyRun had identical data

The 8th mile took me down a road where I used to do hill mile repeats with the track team in high school (for the very few times that I actually went to practice.)  Luckily, I was going to be running down the hill (9:01)

The 9-11 miles took me out onto Route 108 from Durham to Dover, this had no shading, and is really hilly.  Luckily, the hills seemed like a piece of cake compared to my Reach the Beach routes, but I was definitely hot, and seemed like I couldn't drink enough water
(9:19, 9:43, 10:39)

Stopped at the Hannaford's on 108 to drink some water out of the water fountain, and to have my remaining GU.  Mile 12- 7:42, amazing what some air conditioning and water will do!

Mile 13, all of that energy from Mile 12 seemed to dissipate, and my legs just did not. want. to. go. (11:23- yikes.)

Mile 14. So. Tired.  Who ever decided that marathons were fun???   I am complaining about 80 degrees in New Hampshire with no humidity, how am I going to deal in Hawaii???  (9:55)

Mile 15: Only one more mile. So tired.  So thirsty. I love my Nathan Hydration Pack, but I only filled it up half way (36 ozs.) My water was all gone!  My songs are not even helping...legs do not want to move! Had to walk a few times (12:20- yikes again)

Mile 16: Had to walk a 10th of a mile.....(11:18...didn't really get to those 8:45 miles)

Walked for a mile to cool down, and staggered into my parent's house, my mom poured me orange juice- moms are the best :)

Today was the hardest run I have probably ever done, and it's still 10 miles shorter than a marathon!  I have super respect for all of you marathoners!!!

Of course, all of that running meant it was....Pumpkinhead Ale time!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stitch Fix Number Six...and getting over the fear of the 'tempo run!'

It's that time of the month again...for Stitch Fix! This was my sixth "fix," I didn't take any pictures with the clothes on, because by the time I came back from my run (see below), showered, ate dinner, got Max ready for bed, it was already 930pm- first world problems.

Stitch Fix is interesting;  while they send you clothes that match the survey regarding your style preferences,  those clothes are often made up of choices that you wouldn't normally pick out on your own.  When I opened up my box last night,  I actually made a face.  At first glance, I had received a purple shirt that looked like it was from an early 90s music video, a black shirt that looked like bat wings,  a sweater that looked like it was taken out of an old German man's closet, gold earrings (I do not look good in gold jewelry), and a pair of black pants that were going to be way too short (which they were.)
   First, I tried on the earrings- they weren't as bad as I thought; however, they weren't that flattering so I decided that they were a no.  Then, I tried on the black pants; they were a perfect fit on the waist...except they had a 31 inch inseam....and I need about 5 inches added to the length.  They would have been super cute if they were much longer- #tallgirlproblems.  The pants would definitely be a no.

Then, I tried on the old German man sweater.  It was actually cute and very warm- perfect for the polar vortex-filled winters of New Hampshire.  It still looked like it was pulled out of a closet in Germany, but it was weirdly flattering.   I decided it was a keeper!
   The purple 90s shirt was ended up being cute as well.  Plus, it was something that I could wear to dress-up, for casual days, or to join the boys of Color Me Badd.

Finally, I tried on the bat wing shirt.  It didn't look like bat wings on me, and ended up being flattering and comfortable.  That one was a keeper!
I ended up keeping the German sweater, the purple shirt and the bat wing shirt.  I showed Max my clothing choices this morning, he was all about the purple shirt, but said the sweater was "yucky."

Stitch Fix is really fun!! If you haven't tried it, and are interested in signing up, here's my referral link!

Now back to training for the marathon....

I'm currently on my 7th week of training for the Honolulu Marathon-almost half way!! This week, I    
am scheduled to do between 36-39 miles.  This is the most mileage I have ever done, I have a 16 mile long run (longest I've ever run at one stretch), and two seven mile mid-week runs scheduled (in addition to a 5 miler and 2-3 recovery run.)  One of the seven mile runs was a tempo run with 5 miles at 8:13 pace.  Tempo runs make me nervous, they're different than speed work because you don't get a break between the miles.  They're challenging, but important because they get you used to running long distances at a goal speed.

    I decided to do my tempo run after work on Wednesday for two reasons:  I was going to have a hard time fitting the run in during lunch, and I didn't want to think about work while running.

  I ended up having to work from home on Wednesday because Max had a cold, and it seemed like a good idea to have him take a rest day from daycare.  I don't like working from home because I don't have adult interaction, and I don't walk around as much as I do at work.  I also don't have a fancy espresso/latte machine like work does.

   The good thing about working from home was that I could get changed into my running clothes, and head out on the road right at 5:30 (as opposed to 6:15 which is usually the time I get home by the time I pick up Max.)  I was a little stiff from sitting down for the majority of the day, so I did my first mile at 9:00 to warm-up.  After the 1st mile, I switched on a new playlist that I had made (Pearl Jam and Stone Temple was 90s day yesterday!) and started the tempo run for the next five miles.  I chose a route that would end up being 8 miles,  it had some hills, but was mostly flat since it runs along Route 1a.  I figured I would do 5 miles at tempo, and cool down for the remaining two miles.  I had 7 miles (at easy pace) scheduled for the next day, and knew it would be hard to do at I wanted to make up the mileage.

  The first couple of miles at tempo flew by, the weather was perfect and I was glad to be out of the house.  By the 3rd mile of the repeat, I started to get nervous about how I was going to make it for three more miles...but, I knew that there was an unopened Stitch Fix package waiting for me back at home, as well as pizza.

  Long story short, I finished my tempo run, and felt great! It wasn't easy, but it was a good confidence booster!  I did my 5 miles under my goal 8:13 pace! Maybe Eddie Vedder is a good motivator.

1.0 mi08:56 min/mi00:08:56
2.0 mi07:38 min/mi00:07:37
3.0 mi07:51 min/mi00:07:50
4.0 mi08:05 min/mi00:08:05
5.0 mi07:31 min/mi00:07:29
6.0 mi07:59 min/mi00:07:59
7.0 mi08:47 min/mi00:08:46
8.0 mi09:14 min/mi00:09:13
8.0 mi11:48 min/mi00:00:16

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bottomline Technologies Race for a Cause 5k Recap, and Weekend Fun!

Before the start!

This Saturday was the Bottomline Technologies Race for a Cause (5k.)  I had really been looking forward to the race as I had been involved with some of the race planning since last February; also, I work for Bottomline Technologies and I really liked that all of the profits earned from the race were going to the "End 68 Hours of Hunger" charity .  If you aren't familiar with this charity, check them out!
  Leading up to the 5k, I wasn't sure what to expect; I knew the course was super flat and fast, but wasn't sure how I was going to feel a week after Reach the Beach.  Also, I had 14 miles scheduled for Saturday, and knew that I would need to make up the remaining mileage after the 5k.  Overall, I really wanted to see 23 on the clock for my finishing time, but would be ecstatic to see something with 22 instead. 
    The day of the race, I set my alarm for 6:15am as I had agreed to be at Bottomline at 7am to help out with different volunteer duties.  At 8:15am, I was able to relieve my volunteer duties so that I could warm-up and change clothes.  Almost all of my running friends that I run with at lunch were doing the race, we all had different goals (mine the slowest!), so I was glad that I would be able to warm-up/cool-down and start the race with everyone, and that they'd be waiting for me at the finish!
   At 9am, the organizer from End 68 Hours of Hunger said a few words, as did our CEO.

By 9:10am, everyone who was running/walking (around 210 people), lined up on the street outside of Bottomline to begin the race.  I tried not to line up in the direct front, and figured I would do better in the second row.  Right after 9:10am the announcer sent us off!  I made sure to not start off too fast, but fast enough that I was below a 7:30 minute pace.   I saw my friends Karla, Laurie, Justin and Richard effortlessly move to the front of the pack, but I held myself back again so I wouldn't lose steam.  The 1st mile marker was right on a gradual hill: 7:20.  I ran past a water stop (thank you cooler weather!) and was glad that the beginning of the 2nd mile was a gradual down hill.  I could still see my friends way up front. The 2nd mile marker was also at a water stop (7:10.)  For the last mile, I knew that the course was super flat, and I could try to pick up the pace.  I was able to speed up my pace a bit, but had some trouble with my breathing around 2.75 miles.  I slowed down slightly, and as I came around the corner towards the finish, I saw my friend Laurie cheering! I  really was tired, but when I saw the finish line and saw a 22:xx in the distance, I knew I would have to sprint the last bit to get under 23 minutes.  I made it by 3 seconds- 22:57!! A 12 second PR (23:09!)

    Karla (even with a nasty injury), still won our age group with 22 minutes; Laurie won her age group with 20:10, Justin did 21 minutes and Richard did 20:20! My new friend Lucy who I met through Karla, got 3rd overall (both male and female) and first female.  She also won a new iPad mini!

Afterwards,  Lucy, Megan, Laurie, Karla and I did around a 2 mile cool down.  I had 1/2 a bagel and a mini smoothie from the Juicery.  Since I had done a little over 3 miles from the warm-up and cool down + a 5k, I had only planned on doing 8 miles for distance.  Justin, Richard and Megan agreed to run with me at least part of the way to keep me company.  I put on my Saucony Ride's (which is my new favorite shoe), and refilled my water bottle.  Since I was only doing 8 miles, I didn't think that I would need to bring Gu.  We all headed out with the intention of running on a new bike path that goes from the Pease Tradeport into Newington, I figured at the 4 mile marker, I would turn around and head back to Bottomline.  Justin was able to run with us for 1.5 miles, Meg ran with us for 3 miles and Richard stayed on to run with me the whole way.  Thank goodness because I had no idea where I was, didn't have my headphones to listen to music, and was grateful to have company!  At the 4 mile marker, I was feeling pretty good, and Richard suggested that we just keep running as eventually, we could do a long(er) loop that would lead us back to the Pease Tradeport.  At the 6 mile marker, I was starting to feel hungry and tired, Richard saved the day again because he had extra Gu!  I had a tri-berry flavored Gu which wasn't as good as the salted caramel ones, but was pretty close.  I felt a lot better, and by the time we completed the loop, we were up to almost 11 miles!

   I was definitely tired, but had to rush home because Neil and I were going to a friend's wedding that was starting at 4pm (and it was already 12:30!)
  I drove home, ate lunch, hopped in the shower, packed a bag, we drove to Portsmouth, checked into our hotel room, I had ten minutes to do my hair/make-up and get dressed, and then we had to run back downstairs to catch a shuttle to the wedding location.   The entire wedding was so gorgeous and so much fun!  I must have had some super strong coffee yesterday because I danced at the reception for two hours!  In true hardcore fashion however, I hit a wall at 930pm, and ended up being asleep and in bed by 1030!

UNH friends- love them so much!

We were Table 10!

I'm not a great photographer, I cannot capture how gorgeous the bride and groom looked, or how pretty the wedding site was!- congratulations Erika and Mike!! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reach the Beach New Hampshire 2014 Recap- With Lots of Pictures!

207.20 miles later, team #islagiatt (it sounded like a good idea at the time) finished!  It took us a little over 28 hours,  we had average team pace of 8:15 minutes/mile,  we finished 22nd out of 102 teams (for Mixed Open) and 119th place out of 518 teams!

It was a blast, I can barely keep my eyes open today, and my legs are pretty sore, but I cannot wait for 2015!

Here's how the weekend went...

Friday Morning (7:30am)-  Our team met at the parking lot at the company that I work for in Portsmouth and we drove up in our rented vans to Cannon Mountain.  I was in Van 2 with: Kim,  Angela,  Sarah, Jared, Karen, and Kim's awesome husband Rick (who drove our van the ENTIRE way AND is a teamster, so if anyone knows how to drive a giant van, it's him.) I am so thankful that he drove and navigated our giant van!

10:00am-  Stopped at a gas station for a bathroom break...and an impromptu yoga session

10:30ish am- Arrived at Cannon Mountain, got registered, decorated our vans, shopped at the expo tent, and waited for our start of 11:45am

11:45am to 4:00pm-  Van #1, Runner #1 (Fred) starts, and Van 1 does their first six legs.  Our van went into North Conway for lunch at Horsefeathers, and afterwards, across the street for lattes.   The lattes were delicious, but ended up being a real-life example of #islagiatt.   Then, we went to Kim and Rick's ski condo to get changed and rest up for our first legs.  

4:something pm:  Mariette finishes for Van 1, and Angela (Runner #6 in our van), takes off!

Go Mariette!

6s omething pm:  I started my first leg (6.6 miles), it starts somewhere around North Conway, and ends in Tuftonburo...or something like that;  all I know is that there was an evil stretch of hills for what felt like 5 miles, but it was probably only a mile and a half.  I finished in an average of 8:38 pace, but still got passed by my friend Nick who I had to have had at least a mile head start!

10 something pm: We finish our first legs, and I inhale a bowl of pasta that's being given out at a local school.  Van #1 starts their set of second legs, and Van #2 attempts to get some sleep.  I did pretty well this year, 2 hours! Or maybe it was an hour...but, it was better than the 5-10 minutes  that I was able to get last year

3am:  Van #2 starts their second set of legs, it's dark, and very cold- mid 30s!  

4:50am:  I start my second leg- 8.8 miles from Gilmanton to a lumber yard;  I did this run last year as well, and even though it has some mega-sized hills, it's my favorite run.  Last year, I hadn't been running as much, and had to walk up a lot of the hills.  This year, I didn't have to walk at all! Yay!  I started out the first three miles at an 8:14 pace, but by mile 3-4, there were some really long, steep hills, so I was closer to almost a 10 minute mile pace.  Around mile 6-7,  the sun started to come up, and the scenery was beautiful.  I ran up one last hill at mile 7, and from the top, could see all around the Lakes Region.  It was so gorgeous, I wanted to take a ton of pictures, but I think my van mates would frown at I just took a few.

Miles 6+, I was feeling really good, I had dropped down to 8:15-8:45 pace, and wasn't tired at all.  By Mile 8, I was having so much fun, and really didn't want to end my run.  I think I was delirious from lack of sleep.  

7:30am-8isham:  Van #2 finishes, and Van #1 does their final legs!  Van 2 goes to Kim and Rick's regular home to shower and change.  I seriously am requiring that Kim and Rick be on our team every year. 

  But first....let me take a "shelfie"
*Disclaimer, I did not, and will not take a shelfie but this one on another team's van, and it made me crack up because I have an 8th grade boy's sense of humor.*

11:30am:  Van #2 drives to Kingston High School to start our last legs before reaching the beach!

12something pm:  Angela starts her last leg!  

2something pm:  I start up last leg (downtown Exeter to Timberland in Stratham.)  My stomach was really hurting (see this weekend's food intake below), but I was excited to be done, and excited that it was a relatively flat 4.3 mile course.  I finished at an average of 7:59 min/mile pace.

4:25  We reach the beach!! It was a little hectic at the beach because there are literally hundreds of large, passenger vans, and thousands of people.  My parents came to pick me up, and take me to my car, I think they were both a little stressed out about navigating their way around.

The whole way to the beach, I kept talking about how excited I was to have a beer, but I was all talk.  I was so exhausted, and everything was so crowded,  that I ended up leaving about 20 minutes after our last runner "reached the beach."

8:30 pm- Fell asleep.

Today:  So tired, but already thinking of RTB 2015!

The things I ate:

Friday:  Everything bagel (with nothing on it) at my house
9:30am:  a granola bar, and pretzel sticks that Angela brought with her
12pm:  Lunch at Horsefeathers:  a salad with tuna on it, and a giant bowl of french fries (I finished the french fries, the tuna not so much.)
1pm: A "Sugar and Spice" latte...NEVER have a latte before you run. Just don't.
5pm:  A Cliff bar
7pm: A pumpkin spice bagel (yuck) with chocolate, salted hazelnut spread (I'm not sure what I was thinking with this combination.)
9pm: A giant bowl of spaghetti with a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie
4am: Another Cliff bar
6:30am: A sesame seed bagel with almond butter
7:30am: Another latte (I wasn't running until 2!)
8am: A veggie and cheese egg white sandwich
8-12pm:  A ton of pretzel sticks and edamame
1:00pm: Another Cliff bar
3pm: Another sesame seed bagel with hazelnut spread

Total Carbs: 105 million.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reach the Beach in One Week!

Last year's weather at the starting line- cold and rainy!

Next Friday,  our 'Reach the Beach' team (#islagiatt, translation: it seemed like a good idea at the time,) will be starting at Cannon Mountain and completing a 24 hour+ running relay to Hampton Beach.  If you're not familiar with Reach the Beach, it's a 200 mile+ running relay race; each team can have twelve members or six members (or even less, I suppose) for an ultra running team.  

  Typically, each team has two different vehicles (vans are recommended...because as much as you love your teammates, it can be really cramped with 6 people in each vehicle!)  Each vehicle's team takes turn running their respective legs of the race, therefore, each runner usually has at least 5-6 hours of rest in between their running leg.  In total, each runner ends up running 3 different legs, and covers anywhere from 12-22 miles-or more.   This year, my mileage is expected to come out to 19 miles.   I'm horrible at explaining how Reach the Beach works, so instead of trying to decipher what I'm talking about, check out the link here.   

  Last year was my first time doing Reach the Beach, I had no idea what to expect, and was super nervous.  I had visions of being attacked by a bear or running down the wrong road in Northern New Hampshire at 3 am.  Since I am doing Reach the Beach again this year, I did not get lost nor did I get attacked by a bear.  It ended up being a ton of fun,  and I learned some good tips/knowledge to bring with me this year (and for my teammates that have not done Reach the Beach.)  Here are some of the things I learned:

1.  Don't expect to sleep unless you are lucky enough to be the type of person who falls asleep quickly, and can fall asleep anywhere.   I slept 5 minutes last year.  I was on the floor of our van, and between the other teams outside and general lack of leg room, it was just better to be sleepless. I was delusional the next day, and thought everything and everyone was hilarious, I think half of my team members thought I was doing some kind of recreational drug. 

2. Prepare for the weather: New Hampshire's a small state,  but there's an (obvious) big difference in elevation from the NH coast to the NH mountains.  With the elevation change, comes a major temperature drop.  Last year, it was 50 degrees and pouring rain at the start, I was freezing.  I was forced to buy a new running jacket at the Reach the Beach expo. I know, how horrible.   I had showed up to the Reach the Beach starting line, already dressed in my running clothes for my first leg (that wasn't until six hours later.)  Within an hour, my running outfit was drenched, and I only had two running outfits left for my three legs.  This year, I will be a better packer.

3. Don't expect to win any quality nutrition contests;  between legs, your team can stop at restaurants to get an actual meal, but the rest of the time, you're really just snacking on things that are in the van.  I think my diet for Reach the Beach last year was made up of the following: a plate of pancakes, granola, granola, granola, a Cliff Bar, more granola, a plain bagel, another plain bagel, more granola and a croissant. 

4. Most importantly, have fun! It's like a slumber party in a van, with a lot of running and reflective gear.  

There are many more tips, but I've got to get to bed to start saving up on sleep for next weekend!