Monday, October 20, 2014

Duke City Marathon Race Report - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Monday morning post-marathon status update: My legs are sore.

This weekend was quick. Drove to Albuquerque Saturday morning and drove back to Tucson Sunday afternoon.

Pre-Race Beer in Pet Friendly Albuquerque - Kelly's Pub
Race day started without a hitch. I got to the start line 10 minutes before the race (a big plus that you can park close to the start and no buses). 

Start Line 7am Oct 19, 2014
When the gun went off the song playing was Chariots of Fire which took me off guard because it is such an emotional song. I started the Duke City Marathon with tears running down my cheeks.

The course starts through downtown and heads towards the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park and bike path. It was a perfect fall morning. Cool temps made the first hour of running feel easy. 

I stayed with the 4:30 pacer from the Albuquerque Road Runners for the first hour but once I stopped to get a gel out of my CamelBak I never caught up with them.
The only hills on the course were towards the 13.1 turn around point and they were due to bridges and connectors. There were a few spectators along the path with cute signs.

Aid Stations – I loved seeing the Junior ROTC kids from the local high schools at the aid stations. They were very serious about handing out Gatorade and water; they did a GREAT job!

I didn't run more than 16 miles in my training for various reason I won’t bore you with, so I knew the final 10 miles would be tough; and they were. I tried to speed walk when I had to walk but mainly it was a slow pace. I didn't wear a watch or Garmin.

I feel like I finished strong and while the time was a disappointing 5:08, I still feel good about the race. One of these days I’d like to finish closer to 4 hours. It’s all about the training…..

Post race analysis - I always forget how emotional I get racing endurance sports. When I sign up for marathons and triathlons I think ‘I've done this before - piece of cake’. Marathons aren't easy and never will be. Ironman is hard. Both are extremely emotional for me at the start, in the middle, and the finish line.

I’m writing this more for myself to remember to train harder and remember not to take anything for granted in this life. 

Nothing is easy – 
everything, everything takes work, perseverance, and patience.

I’m so thankful for my friend Missy who came with me and eased the stress of travel and pre-race anxiety (I always forget about that too). It was 7-8 hour drive each way and it was more fun with Missy who understands my irrational worry. Thank you, Missy.

Duke City Marathon Lodging Recommendation:
Stay at the host hotel for shuttle transportation to the race. I didn't do this but the marathon expo was held at the host hotel and it would have been nice to stay there. I didn't see many hotels near the start so you have to have a car if you stay near the airport which is a short drive to the start.

Race Day Tips: It’s not a huge race so parking near the start isn't a problem. Bring your own nutrition - no GU or food of any kind at the aid stations. Aid Stations were every two miles. 

#50marathons50states - 3 states completed: Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

Monday, September 15, 2014

Something for the First Time - Long Run

This blog post was inspired by an Instagram photo I saw today after my 11 mile run.
I love Team All American's Instagram photos - very inspirational. 

When I saw the post I began thinking of the last time I did something for the first time. I love remembering my first triathlon, my first marathon, my first Ironman, my first 50K. You never forget a race distance you did for the first time.
Then I remembered that just this morning I did something for the first time: I ran a new training run course that I had been thinking about for a long time, tried doing twice but ended up cutting it short and not running it.

I had every excuse not to do the full loop I had in mind: 1) I didn’t really know how long it was 2) I wasn’t really sure if I would have enough water 3) there was no turning around once I started into the 6th mile.

I wanted to do the loop on Sunday for my prescribed long run so I could really know the distance but I got up late and wasn’t motivated to run. I waited until 7am to get out the front door and the sun was already over the mountains and temps were creeping up into the 80s. I ran 2.5 miles and decided to turn around for a disappointing 5 mile run.

However, Monday dawned and I woke up fairly early (5am). I felt guilty about my lack of long run this weekend and Duke City Marathon is in 5 weeks. I needed time on my feet.
At 6:30 I was out the door unsure of how far I would go.

This time, when I hit the point where I would continue on the loop or turn back for 3 miles (known) back home, I kept going. At mile 6 I entered the unknown.I didn't know how long or how far it would be back to my house.

At Mile 7 I ate my Gel and took this picture:

At Mile 8 I started to worry about running out of water. I had fleeting thoughts of calling my friend Kassandra to come pick me up. At Mile 8.5 I saw a Walmart and ran in to fill up my Camebak at the McDonald in the entry way. Lucky. 

At Mile 9 I was worrying that I would be late for work, not knowing how long it was going to take to get back home.

By the time I hit Mile 9.5 I knew I was at least 30 minutes away and I would do this.
It was hot, it felt like 100 degrees.
I was sweaty and gross.
At Mile 10 all my negative thoughts passed.

At Mile 11 I was done. And happy I was not dead and wouldn't be late for work.
I got it done. It was stressful, like most unknowns are. I worried a lot. I ran a bit faster than I would normally run on a long run.

I like this route, it’s primarily on the Loop in Oro Valley: paved, off the road, and shady in parts.
It was a good training day.

P.S. Running the Duke City Marathon will be my first race in New Mexico. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shoe Review - Topo Athletic MT

I was asked to try the Topo Athletic MT shoe and here is my review of the shoe:

Topo Athletic MT - Women's 11- so pretty. And Winnie-dog didn't eat them.
Where: I wore this shoe on trails and road. I also wore the shoe for two indoor cardio classes

When: In the heat of a Tucson summer.

Trails –
These shoes are best on trail, and shorter distance trail runs.
First, I’m not a small woman: 5’9, 155 llbs on a good day. I love minimalist shoes and have been running on minimalist shoes for two years. A smaller framed woman might feel differently about wearing them for longer distances.  

I really like these shoes because they feel light on my feet. When I run more than 5 miles on trails I fatigue early which leads me to the conclusion that I should wear these shoes on hill repeats and shorter recover runs.

And, I have a bunion on my left foot and the wide toe box is very accommodating.

The Road -
This shoe is primarily a trail shoe however I did run on the road a bit and found that they just weren’t comfortable for me. I noticed a pronation on the foot strike which worried me since I know I pronate; just never saw it until now. Again, a smaller framed woman may feel different.

Indoor Exercise -

Since you have to wear some type of shoe for indoor cardio class, I wore these shoes. I really liked them for the intense cardio class. Since I also have a neuroma on my left foot I need a wider shoe (not wide size).

Overall Grade - B+
I will continue to wear on trail runs and plan to wear them for the Thanksgiving Cross-Country Classic at Reid Park in in Tucson when I want to be FAST. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Trilife - I'm back

It feels so good to be back to normal.

Normal meaning swimming, biking, running AND writing. It is really eye opening to see all the limitations with a broken pinky. The simplest tasks pouring, typing, hair brushing are much more difficult,. I still can't make a fist.

However, I'm progressing with triathlon. This week I got on my bike three times. It felt so good to just pedal. I’m staying on roads with bike lanes for the foreseeable future. I crashed on Moore Road which doesn’t have a bike lane. I probably will never bike on that road again.

Getting in the pool this week and swimming without sinking was a big victory, too. I can’t injure or hurt my pinky, I’m just not using my left hand fully which makes all the fingers stiff. I swam 800 yards Saturday and 1000 on Sunday. Feels so good to swim. 

My tri life is back in order. I’m still running more than anything since I have several running races coming up.

In October, a trail half marathon and marathon.
In November, Ragnar Trail Relay and a 50K.
In December, a marathon and perhaps, if training goes well, a 50Miler.

The most important race is May 2015 – Ironman Texas. And if I can get in, November 2015 – Ironman Arizona.
I’m off to meet a friend to run, and then a bike ride – everything is back in order.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

After A Bike Crash - 6 Lessons Learned

Here are 6 Lessons Learned from my Bike Crash / Accident and what to do and NOT do during the first 30 days after an accident.

  • Wait at least 30 days before you decide to sell all your bikes, tri gear, wetsuit, and jerseys on Craigslist. Do throw away your helmet.

  • Do what you can do: walk, hike, swim – stay active.
  • Talk to your friends. Talk about the accident and get it out of your head. When people stop oh my goshing’ing and their eyes start to glaze over, find the next friend to talk to.
  • It’s okay to unfollow and unlike social media related to biking and triathlon, for the first 30 days.

  • Be thankful for what you can do. Be very thankful even if it’s so small like being able to walk the dogs without help.
  • Reflect on past accomplishments and future goals but do not make plans that can’t be undone in the first 30 days.
I may or may not have done all or some of these things. 

And, I appreciate all my friends who listened to me and understood.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Leadville & Mountain Biking & Motivation

I will be back on the mountain bike.
I saw this picture on my computer...... and remembered..

2014 24 Hour Race Tucson, AZ

I am a mountain biker -

An outdoor lover.

I will get back on my bikes post-injury. It will take some time.

In the meantime, I am adding Leadville 100 MTB to my endurance race bucket list. Maybe in 2016?!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ironman, Transformation, Running

“Everything can be transformed.  Every single thing.  Goodness exists.  It is all around.  It’s just sleeping.  It can be wakened.”

I love this quote. It is from the TV show Enlightened. The main character is kooky, lovable, and often makes bad choices - hmm.... sounds like someone I know.  

As I get ready to run my long run this morning I’m thinking about transformation. I’m thinking about how the last six years I lived triathlon. How becoming a triathlete changed my mind and body, how it made me change into a person who could do anything she set her mind to. 

As I watch friends and bloggers write about their transformation while training for Ironman, I am excited, thrilled, and jealous. And since I’m obsessed with nutrition, training, and mental preparation for Ironman I have been reflecting on my own past training and racing. 

After I finished a race I never thought much about the accomplishment of it. I did it. Okay, what’s next? I’m always wondering what’s next.

For now I relegate Ironman to remembering long training rides runs; and how good I felt after. I remember finishing my first, second, and third Ironman and the family and friends I shared them with. 

Coeur d'Alene 2009, Arizona 2010, Wisconsin 2013
I took for granted that they would just happen and would continue happening.

The What’s Next for me is my transformation into a runner: #50marathons50states. I am scaling down and focusing on the run, getting leaner and faster. 
Monologue from Enlightened: