Thursday, December 27, 2007

Always a New Plan

Why is it that when I finish one race I can't seem to sit back and enjoy the accomplishment of completing 26.2's always about the next race, what's coming next. And everyone else is thinking in that directions too; all I hear is "So what's your next race?" "When are you racing again?". And in my head it is already "How can I run faster or maybe I should try a longer race?"

Now that I am feeling 90% recovered some ideas for improvement have crossed my mind: train harder, run more miles, run longer runs, run faster miles, run hills, lift weights, plyometrics (sp???), eat better (less sugar/carbs and more protein), drink more water, cross-training (cycle & swim), and drop a couple of pounds (wonder how much faster I could run with 5 less pounds?). There needs to be some sort of plan; something to stick to.

The New Marathon Training Plan
  • Run 5 Days a Week - Long Run, Recovery Run, Tempo, Speed (Intervals)/Hills, and Race Pace Mid Distance (or run 4 and cross train 1)
  • More Protein, LOW Carbs (-sugar), Lots of Veggies (no potatoes), some fruits, some fats
  • Drink 120 ounces of water daily.
  • Eat 5 times a day: 3 small meals with 2 snacks between.
  • Lift 3 times week upper body pick out the next race:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Proof

2007 Memphis Marathon Results

1/2 Marathoner: (5769 runners)
Place Name      Time   Pace
2073 Sharon Lafoe 2:05:05 9:33
4th out of 42 in age division - 781 female finisher

Marathoners: (1961 total runners)
Place Name        Time   Pace
458 Tralaine Benefiel 3:45:25 8:37
19th out of 125 in age division - 80 female finisher

873 Robert Oexman 4:12:14 9:38 107th out of 197 in age division - 676 male finisher

985 Brooke Roberts-Higgins 4:18:53 9:53 50th out of 125 in age division - 241 female finisher

986 Angela Benefiel 4:18:53 9:53 42nd out of 123 in age division - 241 female finisher

1601 Debbie Knight-Oexman 5:09:04 11:48 51st out of 75 in age division - 514 female finisher

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The story of my Hat Trick (number 3):

Memphis - VERY hilly course on slanted roads - ahhhhhh - Did I say it was hilly and all the roads were slanted....not good on an IT band that is always ready to get annoyed. We should have known.....

1st Half - Ran great 1st half for me with the help of Tralaine (sister), Robert (Carthage friend), and Angie (sisters, sister in law) around 1:58, ran with a lovely stomach cramp from mile 11-15 and my quads started getting tight at mile 14 and it only got worse from there. By mile 16 my feet and some toes were hurting and knees started in very soon after that. This was all followed by my IT band and hips. Told everyone at the end, while trying not to cry, that I felt like I was running on someone else's legs. Never have my legs felt that bad from top to bottom. Hope they never feel like that again.

2nd Half - Never wanted to quit, always knew I would make it, but was not a happy racer. Had to walk through all water stops and between some miles after mile 16. Was by myself for 10 miles until I hooked up with 3 ladies from the St. Louis area who helped me through 1.5 miles and then Angie found me at mile 25. Wow, what a relief that have someone to talk with to get me through the end. We ran in the last mile (without stopping to walk even though we wanted to) and finished in 4:18. Not really excited about that time (same as my Vegas race) but will live with it until the next one. Still looking for my 4:10 and my 3:59:59 but guess that will have to wait.

Thanks for all the well wishes, can't wait for the next chance to hear them again. Anyone wanting to run with me is welcome. Run on....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

1 Hour Til Race

Never gotten to post an hour before a race yet...kinda cool!

After a decent pasta dinner, 8 hours sleep with wake-ups every hour after midnight....I feel great. Eating a bagel with peanut butter now and all I have to do is put on my body tattoo pace table (how cool, will take a picture and share later), stretch, apply some Vaseline, and brush my teeth. Sub 4 sounds do-able this morning but will have to keep reminding myself of that as I run. Will be very happy with 4:10 baring no injury issues. Ghost pains have been lurking all week, especially in the right knee area. Can say it doesn't hurt now :-)

Can't wait to share the good news later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

3 Days 'til Race Day

So maybe going snow skiing the weekend before a race wasn't the best idea. Not only did I not get in my 12 mile run but had to run 8 miles in thin air on a treadmill. Probably tired my legs out skiing down some sub-par runs since they haven't had enough snow yet and almost injured myself by a kid running into me and bruising my shins and calves wearing ski boots....but boy was it fun to be back on the slopes. It has been at least 3 years since Michael and I have gone skiing and today I think it was worth it; but better check back with me on Saturday afternoon.

Have run my last 2 runs of the week and am now trying not to psych myself out too much before the 26.2. Noticing lots of aches and pains and shortness of breath but know all will be good on Saturday morning at 8am. Right now low temp is supposed to be 43 and a high of 60. Hoping for a flat course with no wind. Keep your fingers crossed..... SUB 4 I hope.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Could I Forget???

How did I ever forget to tell you that I RAN 23 MILES on Saturday! Woohoo...what a great feeling to be done with that run. Can't explain how wonderful I feel to have that one checked off. Finished in 3 hr. 54 min. which is, of course, slower than I can run on the actual race but no worries cause I have no injuries. Wish I could say that for everyone.

Don came down so he would have others to run with and was only able to make about 6 miles before his IT band started hurting so bad he couldn't go on. Hope he plans on taking some more time off to heal and come back and be able to run the whole thing.

So we started off Friday night with dinner at our house followed by a couple rounds of True Colors. Started running at 8am and after a few stops for bathroom breaks, drinks, and snacks pulled through with Robert pushing me on. Debbie ran with the girls who offered to ride their bikes to keep her company. Little party afterwards with Bellini's, brunch, and just doesn't get any better than that.

15 miles coming on Saturday :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Can Smell It

The race is getting so close I can smell it...yesterday was our 18 miler leading up to next weeks 23 miles; our longest run. The schedule only calls for a 22, but it is a mind thing. I have this little belief that you can always run a 5K so that would mean that when I get to 23 miles I only have a 5K left and you can always run a 5K right :-)

So back to yesterday...had a run better than ever; did some slow stuff and did some fast stuff and think it might be still possible to get a sub 4 marathon time (barring no injuries between now and then). Ran with Debbie some, Robert some, and by myself some and felt pretty good. Took a couple of short breaks; maybe 10 minutes worth total that I can't take on the race, but might walk through. But the best thing ever about yesterday was the face that Tralaine pointed out we will all probably run together: Angie, her, Robert, me, and Don....keeping my fingers crossed; that would be awesome...the more people to talk to the better:-P

I have been eating a little better but not great. Need more protein I'm sure. Need to be drinking more water; like 3 more bottles a day, but it is hard getting water down when the weather is getting cooler. Did my sit ups/push ups 2 times this week. Will shoot for 4 times next week. Only have one night of training in Joplin so shouldn't be too bad of a week. Plan to run 4-6 Monday (recovery), 10 Tuesday (tempo), 6 Thursday (intervals), and 23 Saturday...wish me luck.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's Time for the Second Build

It's been a while...forgot to blog after my 20 miler...went pretty slow but had lots of people to run with so the time passed pretty fast. Don came from KC, Julie came from Joplin, and of course it was Debbie, Robert, and myself. Had good times and only the quads felt bad. Pretty happy all in all.

But what a wonderful recovery week I had last week with a 4, a couple of 6's, and a 12 miler for my long run. Started off the week this week with a nice 6, then got new shoes Tuesday, and wore them for the first 3 miles of my mid-week 10 miler on Wednesday and started to feel like I had pretty severe shin splints before I got back to the house. Went back in to change back into my old Nimbus' (at 370 total miles) to finish up the 7 miles I had left and all was well. What was even better was that I had Chanti back to keep me entertained so all was well. Did 6 miles today (not a fast one) and didn't do so well, started to feel like I hadn't eaten in days and had no energy. Hoping for a better run on Saturday....planning a 16 miler with Debbie, Robert, and maybe Julie.

Lost a couple of pounds last week but they are of course back this week. Had to go out of town for half the week and that is never good, a Sonic cheeseburger and Pizza Hut buffet night with the guys and I am right back where I started. Hoping I have made better choices since then but not great ones. Here's hoping it gets better cause I am not making any big life changes until I can prove to myself that 115 is attainable & maintainable again.

Memphis is only 5 long runs away...let's go for it (16, 18, 23, 15, 12, race)!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's a Recovery Week - Yeah

Now that we have logged our 18 miler and 20 miler I am needing a recovery week. All knee pain is gone but the "splinters" in my quads are screaming at me. My 18 and 20 were slower than I wanted but trying to keep from having an injury is in the back of my mind all the time.

We did have a big group for the 20 miler...Don came from Kansas City, Julie came over from Joplin, and we of course had Debbie, Robert, and myself. I have named us The Carthage Running Club...the CRC for short...think it will catch on :-)

Switching next weeks recovery week with this weeks is probably the most exciting thing that has happened to me in a while. To know that my mid week run is only a 6 and that I have only 12 miles to run this weekend is more than makes giddy :-P

The schedule for long runs from here on is 12, 16, 23, 15, 12, race day! And I need new shoes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

You can train too hard...believe me!!!

You could say I thought it was a good idea to sign up to do the Berryman Adventure Race during my training for the Memphis Marathon coming on Dec 1. Adventure racing is all about endurance; wouldn't it make sense that putting the 2 events together in a training schedule might work and even help.

After 2 months of training...biking and running...last weekend was the adventure race and i was really nervous but felt physically ready. The fact that we had to orienter the entire race and get our own water were very scary things, but had no problems with that. During the race all I worried over was twisting an ankle or falling off my bike and scraping myself up. After 53 miles of orienteering, mountain biking and canoing (with our bikes) I made it without any major injuries just very sore legs.

As I should have....I recovered for 2 full days and then did a 3 mile slow jog. The next day I was scheduled to complete a 10 miler and felt great (even at an 8:30 min. mile pace) until MILE 9....AHHHHH, that damn mile 9...when my IT band started to tighten up and started hurting so bad I had to stop to stretch. One would think your brain would kick in and decide to walk home from there but my competitiveness came a knocking (since I was running with Robert and I had bragged about my knees not causing me problems at all on the race) and I continued on.

Now the knee pain is back...remember long ago (see first entries) when I had to bow out of the Dallas Marathon about 2 years ago...well it was that same pain. My choice then was to try and run my long runs through the pain and that just really didn't work.

That is the decision now: there is an 18 miler schedule for this I run it or not. Do I run a shorter run and push on to the 20 in two Saturdays???

Sunday, September 16, 2007

15 miles - check

Thought I was going to have to run the 15 on my own and we all know how boring it is for me to run alone. Even though I know Michael would have jumped on the bike for at least half of the run I thankfully found a partner. Julie, one of the teachers I train; agreed to come over here from the town she lives in and slow down a bit to run with me. I know she is easily an 8 min. miler but she pushed me to run 9:30's for most of the run (not counting 3 rest stops).

Was our first cool morning of the 16 weeks, so sad. Guess lake season is almost over, Michael is going to shed a tear or two. Looped town 2 times (10 miles followed by a 5 miler) with thunder brining us home. Luckily the rain held off until we got back. Did have water 3 times (not enough) with blocks at mile 10. Didn't feel hungry at all but was thirsty. Need to plan more water stops next time.

Don't know if she will run with me (or us) again but Julie and I got to know each other and I only ran into her a couple of times on turns when I forgot she couldn't read my mind and just "know" we were turning. We talked a lot, not just me, and she got to know the town pretty well. Next time I should have a better plan in mind before heading out.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The 16 Weeks Has Begun....On The Road to Memphis

Marathon training is in full swing and I forgot to tell you all....not that anyone but myself cares. The road to Memphis is now in week 3 or 4 I think; the long run for the week is a 13. So very excited, we are going to Wichita this weekend so I get to run with Tralaine and family. It has been so long and she hasn't been running much. Maybe I can actually keep up this time. We have our rooms booked but still haven't registered for the race...should get to that this week, maybe this weekend. Don signed up long ago.

Have been putting in many miles (probably more than necessary) but I have to get ready for the Berryman Adventure Race on Sept. 29. Getting on my bike should be my primary focus but riding bikes by yourself is sooooo boring. Chanti finally has a diagnosis for her hip pain (which is keeping her from running) and the doctor says she can ride with me. So happy about that. MUST take my bike to mom and Charlie's next weekend. Probably too late but need to get some hill workout on the bike and running all in the same day. Wish I had Chanti to train hasn't seemed as exciting getting ready for the Berryman since I have to do all of my training on my own. Wish Jonas and Don would call more often and pump me up.

Still eating pretty bad....have tried to take on the "Live the Lifestyle" mantra and think it is starting to set in. Haven't gotten to the weight room in 2 weeks. With traveling for work won't be able to until next week.

Live the Lifestyle, Live the Lifestyle, Live the Lifestyle.......oh yeah, it's my Birthday soon...supposed to have some things decided by then. ;-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On the Treadmill Again

As apposed to "On the Road Again" which is where I wish I was this morning. Why is it that when I visit a new city it is so difficult to run outside? People told me not to venture out by myself here in Atlanta so all I am left with is the dreaded TREADMILL...ahhhh...too boring even with an iPod and TV!

Got up extra early to be the first to the fitness center in hopes there was a machine for me and to ensure the remote control would be in my power. Successful in both :-)

Ran 6 miles in just under 10 min. miles. Started at 6am; not too fast but felt strong. It's amazing how good I feel when I haven't over eaten. Over the last month, I have had lots of bad runs due to poor eating and eating too close to running. I did end up getting very bad heartburn today which wasn't good but at least it was after running. I can't wait to be back home where I can plan meals and really keep track of it all.....right now I feel bigger than ever :-( and that affects my eating habits in a bad way. Don't know why..but once I have "ruined" a day I really "ruin" the day.

Need to seriously get going on this training (and not just running)...with an adventure race in Sept. and a marathon in Dec. the pressure will soon be getting heavy. Weakness will not be ok, need to start lifting 2 times a week, running 4 days a week, and bike at least 2 days with some trails worked in. Will also get back to sit-ups/push-ups 4 days a week. Guess this is a commitment since it seems to be in writing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Miles

4 miles (Asics) on hotel treadmill as well as at least 3 miles of walking to, at, and from the conference with laptop backpack on my back. Treadmill miles at 9:20 pace (out & back) at 6am.

In Atlanta at NECC. First trip here and have really only seen the conference center and hotel. Will hopefully get to the Atlanta Aquarium tomorrow and The Underground on Wednesday. Staying at The Glenn Hotel...beautiful posh hotel with an unbelievable suite (got an upgrade because room was not finished on time. Lucky me :-)

Oh Yeah...Finished Vegas

Way back in October of 2006, I said I was preparing for the Vegas Marathon...and yes, I did get there! Had my best time yet: 4:18 and felt great. We had 6 marathoners (Andy, Tralaine, Angie, Roberts, Myself, and Debbie) and 2 half marathoners (Jonas & Jon); it was a blast. Not the best supported race I have been a part of; great t-shirt and even better medal, first 5 miles down the strip, and fireworks and The Blue Man Group at the start... BUT (and it's a big one) when I, and all but one of my friends crossed the finish line there was only a bottle of water....NO FOOD or DRINKS (but more bathrooms than could ever be used). We did get a letter from the race director, not apologizing, but telling us why it was so much better than the year before and how much better it will be next year. Sorry to say; we won't be going back.

In April, had a PR at the Oklahoma Memorial 1/2 Marathon at
1:52...that's an 8:45 min. mile average. Don't know how I did that (with a stomach cramp the whole time too). Great Marathon and Half Marathon...I would suggest it to anyone wanting to do a fairly flat, early April run. Awesome support, even had a real bathroom to use at the start thanks to one of the local churches. Ran in the memory of a victim of the of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City bombing and it really put my little challenges in life into perspective.

It's Been a While

When I started this blog the intention was to add to it on a regular basis if not for others at least for myself. Guess it didn't work that way since I seem to have taken a big break....but I promise...I will do better this time.

This is my place to record thoughts, feelings, and reflections while preparing & running marathons. I hope this will help hold me responsible for completing all my training runs; as well as eating right and making healthy choices. Let's hope it turns into that this time.