Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yesterday I did interval training followed by a pretty hefty leg workout at the gym. I had been neglecting weight training the last two months because the training for my first marathon was taking a lot of time (at my pace a 20 mile training run probably takes a good 30-40% longer than it takes someone like my brother). Well, today I am paying the price, I feel like I was expecting to feel the day after my marathon. It really hurts to go down stairs. I did run today, but it took at least a mile to get my legs moving normally.

Training is getting back on schedule, this week I am running 40-80 minutes with a long run planned on the treadmill in Portland of 2 hours while watching the first half of the Superbowl. I am planning to get back to the marathon training plan I followed to prepare for my 50K run, with the exception of doing a 24-25 mile run with numerous walk breaks in place of the second 20 mile run.

I know that I've written that I HATE hills, so why did I sign up for a "Thrill in the Hills" Half Marathon? I'm going to broaden my horizons and try a trail race. I checked out the elevation map and it didn't look terribly steep and hilly, but we shall see. This race is on Feb 28th and I plan to run it as a training run.

That's it for now, time for some Ibuprophen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

50K for my 50th Birthday?

Running my first marathon, meeting my goals, and feeling healthy after may be dangerous. I am seriously considering run/walking a 50K for my 50th birthday. I had a flight cancel this weekend and used the time and free wifi to do some blog stalking. Apparently, amongst ultra-marathoners, the thing to do is run your age in miles on your birthday. There is no way I could do 50 miles in three months, but my brain is telling me that 50K is a possibility. My requirements for this experience are quite extensive. The run has to be on or as close to my birthday as possible. There should be no monster hills (I HATE hills). The run should have a very generous cutoff time. And finally, it should be convenient to my location. I think I found one that meets 3 of the 4 criteria. The Lake Waramaug Ultra Marathon is on my actual birthday, the website says that the course is "gently" rolling loops around scenic Lake Waramaug, and there are also 50mile and 100K options, so the course will be open long enough for me to finish comfortably. The downside is that it is in Connecticut and kind of out of the way, so I'd have to rent a car and drive a good hour from any airport I would fly into. I'm still looking for other options, but for now this looks like the best one for my goals.

On the marathon recovery front; recovery is going well, I took Monday off and have been running 30 to 60 minutes at a very slow pace since then. As soon as I finish this post, I'll be going for a 90 minute "long" run.

Monday, January 19, 2009

PF Chang Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon Report


I got to Arizona on Friday, my mom's 83rd birthday. My brother, sister-in-law, nephew and his girlfriend had arrived the day before. That night we did some carbo loading at Organ Stop Pizza and then spent some quality time with our mom and dad playing cards and talking. The next day we did the Expo thing. My brother was having a great time manning the pace team booth and talking about running with other enthusiastic runners for hours and hours. We resumed carbo loading that night and then the runners made the fans watch "Spirit of the Marathon". Of course the runners enjoyed the movie much more than the others. I went to bed early and tossed and turned about two hours and got about 4 hours of quality sleep.

The Marathon

My alarm went off at 4:30. I had my mornin bagel and some green tea. Then double checked my stuff to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything. (I had made a list about two weeks ago) Then my brother and sister-in-law picked me up and we were off to the finish area to catch the bus to the start area. It was kind of fun walking with my brother and his 3:40 pace leader sign, imagining people thinking that I must be a 3:40 marathoner too. We did the pre-race porta-potty stops, took our bags to the UPS trucks, I put on my foot potion that I got from Julie Berg here, and we got someone to take our picture.

I'm on the left, my brother with his pace team sign in the middle, and my sister-in-law on the right.

I was in Corral #7 and it took about 4 minutes or so to cross the start line. I tried to keep my pace in check the first 5 miles and I think I did a pretty good job. One thing that helped me was a gray haired lady running slightly ahead of me. I noticed that she was maintaining a very steady pace right at my planned marathon pace. I pulled up next to her and we chatted a bit and found out this was her 10th marathon. I didn't ask her age, but I'd guess it was around 65. I tucked in with her and she paced me for the first 5 miles or so. For the mathematically inclined geeks like me, my splits for the first 5 miles were:
11:46 (this mile marker was mis-marked)
Total for first five miles: 55:40

The second five miles were kind of a blur as I settled into my pace. I took a gel at about 7 miles and stopped at a med station for some vaseline for some chaffing I was experiencing. I do remember a group out in their yard barbequeing and drinking beer as they were cheering and offering cold beer. I was tempted, but kept on running. There was one runner dressed in Cardinal red running at slightly faster than my pace. He stopped at each band station and rocked with the band for a minute or two and then started running again, so we kind of sling-shotted for a long time. Splits for miles 6-10:
Total for second five miles: 55:16

I picked up the pace in the next 5 miles since I was feeling good. I also took another gel and stopped for more vaseline. I was feeling so good that at mile 14 or 15 I was actually thinking about a negative split. Time for miles 11-15:
Total for third five miles: 55:09

At about mile 16, I started counting down to my cheering section. My mom, dad, nephew, and his girlfriend were going to be waiting after the turn on Hayden just prior to the 22 mile mark. I think part of my problem was I was counting down to 22 instead of down to 26 and my body and brain somehow got me running too fast (I would definately pay for this enthusiasm later). I also stopped to change socks which took about 4 minutes. Times for miles 16-20:
14:59 (sock change mile)
Total for fourth five miles: 58:23 (minus the 4-5 minutes for sock change this was my fastest five miles!

Mile 22 was my cheering section! This was my favorite mile of the race. First, I saw my mom and dad and took their picture (for some reason this picture is distorted - my parents are not round shaped)
As I was running by, I could hear my dad say something and after I was past, I realized he was telling me to slow down so my mom could "run" with me. Unfortunately this didn't register in my 22 mile brain until I was about 100 yards past. As much as I love my mom, I wasn't going to add more distance to my run, by going back. More time, yes, more distance, no. Next I saw my nephew and his girlfriend with the sign they made that said "Fly Janette Fly". Here is a picture of them with my nephew taking a picture of me taking a picture of them.
I started paying the price for my earlier enthusiasm during this five mile section. There was one stretch after about mile 21 that was into the wind and seemed to be uphill. This was where I started mixing in some walking sections. My legs felt mostly fine, just a little tired, but my heartrate was edging up above 165 (I'm 49 so my max heartrate is just a little more than 170). Also my stomach wasn't feeling the best and I never did eat my third gel. Although I didn't really have to, I did use one of the porta-potties at about mile 24. Times for the fifth five miles:
14:03 (Porta-pottie stop)
Total for fifth five miles: 59:11

Final 1.2 miles. Still doing a lot of walking, but, I was walking faster than the other walkers! I knew I was going to finish, but I also knew my goal of under five hours was going to be close. Just prior to the 26 mile marker, my nephew and his girlfriend surprised me by being there and cheering, and then just prior to the final turn, my brother was there with a camera and he ran with me about 30 yards. Then I turned the corner and saw the finish line and the clock with just over 5 hours. I didn't sprint to the finish line, but I was moving faster than a walk. One of my goals was to cross the finish line with either a smile or tears of joy, but I think it was actually more of a grimace. The gun time was 5:01:58, my watch said 4:58:34, but the chip time says my official time was 4:59:55. Under 5 hours, but I think the chip times were off a bit. Bloggers that I have been stalking, Razzdoodle and Vanilla also ran this as their first marathon and both beat me, but I'm the first to post my race report so I'm claiming first marathon victory.

P.S. Looks like they've fixed the chip times, my chip time now says 4:58:23. Shucks, now I'll have to run faster to set a new PR.

Post Race

One day after the marathon I'm almost disappointed that I don't feel more sore. Sure, my muscles are sore, but not uncomfortably so, and I'm walking like a normal person. I almost wish I was walking stiffly so people would ask why I'm walking funny and I can tell them, "I ran a marathon yesterday!" Not that that's stopping me from telling everyone. Is there another marathon in my future? I would say definately yes. I've learned some lessons about pacing (ie don't start speeding up at mile 15, because the marathon isn't over at 21 miles) and I would like to better my time. Right now the Leading Ladies marathon in South Dakota has my interest, but I'm still looking, and I will return to run the PFCRNRAZ again, not only was it a fun marathon, but it was a really really really fun family gettogether.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm a Marathoner!

Still waiting official chip time, but my watch said 4:58:34. Standby for full race report and pictures.

Friday, January 16, 2009

At the Airport

My flight is delayed and the airport has free wifi, so I'll take a few minutes and post some final thoughts before my first ever marathon.

Goals for Sunday

-Arrive at the start line trained and uninjured (already accomplished unless I do something really really stupid in the next 47 hours).

-Finish upright and with a smile on my face (or alternatively tears of joy).

-Finish in under 5 hours.

If anyone is hoping to run 3:40, run with my brother, he is the pace team leader for that group. (coincidently it is the time that women 19-34 need to run to qualify for Boston so he HAS to run with a bunch of young women)

Good luck to everyone running in this marathon whether its your first or fifty-first!

Finally, for anyone wanting to track me, will allow you to track me, my bib number is 7313.

Bye for now, next post should be after I finish my first marathon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Final Preparations

Yesterday I ran my final taper long run. I ran 11 miles, the first 9 at my hoped for marathon pace of between 11 and 11:24 minute miles. Then, I picked up the pace, running mile 10 in 10 minutes and mile 11 in 9:44, for me that's moving. I felt pleasantly tired after the run. During this run I wore the same clothes, shoes, etc that I plan to wear on marathon day. I also tested running with my number/dry socks/gel holder belt. It was a little awkward, but I figure the planned result of finishing with no blisters will be worth it.

The IPod playlist has been finalized. I have 5 hours of tunes to accompany me on my marathon effort. Since I've heard that you want to avoid going out too fast, the first two hours of music are slow and mellow like Enya and Enigma. Then for the third hour I pick up the pace with 70s music from the likes of CCR and Queen. The fourth hour moves me to the 80s with Wham, Prince, and others. Finally for the final hour, I move to more modern music from Fergie, PCD, and of course Justin. I finish up the last 4 minutes with "Four Minutes" from Madonna and Justin. Which brings me to the question: If you're out of time, why do you still have four minutes to save the world?

I had to laugh at a post from another blogger running the same race as his first marathon. Razzdoodle was talking about how every conversation he has now includes him mentioning that he's running a marathon. I had the same experience at the airport. I ran into someone I hadn't seen in over three years, and sure enough, I had to mention that I was running in a marathon. I refrained from announcing to my passengers that fact, although I was tempted.

This marathon will be an awesome one for a first attempt. Besides the great weather and flat course, both my brother and sister-in-law will be running. They are bringing their son and his girlfriend as a cheering section. Plus, my mom and dad are snowbirds in Phoenix so it will also be a family gettogether to celebrate my mom's 83rd birthday. Fun times will be had!

Monday, January 5, 2009


I "accidentally" ran my highest mileage week during my first taper week, but it wasn't my fault! I had been doing my long runs on Tuesdays because of my work schedule, but this month I have Sundays off. Since the marathon is also on Sunday, I switched my long run day to Sunday, thereby running a long run of 20.2 miles on Tuesday and a long taper run of 13.67 miles on Sunday. The online log I use runs from Sunday to Sunday, giving me a weekly mileage of 58.2 miles! I'm feeling great and plan on running less than 40 miles this week and about 25 miles next week. Now I've developed germophobia, don't want to catch a cold or flu in the next two weeks so I've become like the character Monk from my favorite TV show. Can't wait to see what crazy thoughts run through my mind in the next 13 days.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals for 2009

2008 was a very good year, I restarted running regularly again after a 1-2 year period of sporadic running, I logged a total of 1669 miles, I ran 5K, 10K, 15K, and Half-Marathon races, I joined a running club, I successfully trained for a marathon, and I lost over 20 pounds from my embarrassing all time high weight.

Now for my 2009 goals:

Run the marathon that I trained for and finish it strong enough that I want to run another one.

Train for and run a second marathon.

Log at least 2000 miles.

Run a sub 30 minute 5K.

Run a sub 60 minute 10K.

Earn a PTCRC 1000 mile jacket. (you have to do more than just run 1000 miles during the year, you have to attend club meetings and volunteer at races)

Stay injury free.

Lose 10 pounds.

Hopefully I will accomplish all of these goals and 2009 will be even better than 2008!