Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Statue of Liberty Marathoner

Seen on the streets of Houston during the '09 marathon: the Statue of Liberty carrying the American flag. Finish time: 4 hours, 32 minutes.

My husband took this photo at mile 16.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chevron Houston Marathon Finish Line

There I am crossing the Chevron Houston marathon finish line! I'm the one in red on the left side of the finishing mat raising my arms.

After picking up my shirt, I found my husband. He spent the last couple of hours chasing me around the race route!

We stopped at Luling's BBQ for lunch. I wore my finisher's shirt and someone asked about the marathon... How long is it?!

I was a lot better off immediately after Sunday's marathon than I was after finishing my last marathon. Last time, I stayed in my damp clothes too long and turned into a shaking icicle. I could hardly hold a cup of hot soup in my hands. Dangerous! This time was completely different. I just walked a little slower.

...Until Monday. I was so sore. Wednesday was a good day, though. I was finally able to get up out of a chair without using my hands!

~Gotta Run Now

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clif/Luna Bar Recall

Some of the Clif and Luna bars have been recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. Click on the post title to see the recall list.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Marathon #5

Yesterday, I ran my fifth marathon - the Houston Marathon.

When I said good-bye to my husband at the race start, I expected to be calling him around mile two and asking him to take me home. (My foot has been hurting for about two weeks.) My finishing time (5:08:22) was slower than I'd hoped for, but when I didn't feel any heel pain and kept seeing another mile marker, I was glad.

Once again, the Houston marathon crowd support was loud and encouraging. Just imagine hundreds of people screaming your name (it's on your race bib) and telling you that you're amazing!

That makes four Houston marathons for me!

Photo: Running down the finish line - in the middle, dressed in berry pink.

Note: I ran my fourth marathon about 6 weeks ago, which may have something to do with my pain. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Houston Marathon Expo Goodies

I went to the marathon expo today. Look at all of the free goodies that were handed out: lip balm, magazines, t-shirts, a flashing light (maybe I should wear that in the fog), Nasa shoe laces, hot chocolate and Larabars.

This year, the marathon shirt you receive at the expo is black (in the center of the photo). The finisher's shirts are either red or blue and look nice.

They had the new Under Armor running shoes there so I tried some on just to see what they're like. I wasn't impressed, but I only tried one style: the Apparition. The toe area was too big and bulky and I tried them in both size 7 and 8. The salesperson said it's comfortable that way. Maybe you're less likely to get black toenails when you wear them?

About my heel... It still hurts a little.

~Gotta Run Now

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heel Update

The Houston marathon is Sunday and my left heel feels a little better each day. I'm icing my heel (my bag of frozen peas is under my heel right now) and I've quit running. I'm even trying medical tape on the bottom of my foot. It's a little uncomfortable, but if it might help, I'll try it. Maybe I'll wake up on Sunday pain-free and I'll be so rested that I'll just hum right through those 26.2 miles.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Free Cereal

I was looking for plain old shredded wheat cereal, but I couldn't find any. I did see Kellogg's Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites ($3.24 at Walmart) which I bought because of the mail-in rebate coupon inside the box. It's not one of those deals where you send the coupon in because you hate the cereal, either. If that were the case, I couldn't send the coupon in because I like the slightly sweet cereal... Just something you might want to keep your eyes open for the next time you're out shopping.

~Gotta Run Now

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Foot

I hurt my left heel towards the end of last Monday's run. Today I thought it was better, but I was only able to run about a half a mile.

~Gotta Run Now

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tempo Running Tips

I did a tempo run today. (Click on today's post title if you want to see how tempo running can make you faster.) After a couple of miles of easy running, I ran ten minutes at a comfortably hard pace followed by a two minute recovery jog. I did that twice and then ran about three miles at an easy pace. Tempo pace: 8:26 and 8:28.

It cooled down over night. Yesterday morning it was seventy degrees and my five miler was a sweaty one, but today I had to wear gloves, a hat and a fleece headband (my ears were so glad I went back in the house to get my headband!) because it was forty-eight degrees and windy. When I was finished, I fixed myself some hot chocolate and then I read about a recent study on hot drinks: Hot Drinks Equal Warm Feelings, as Scientists Link Physical and Emotional Warmth. Later, everyone I met while I did my shopping seemed so nice and warm!

~Gotta Run Now

Friday, January 2, 2009

Got Gu?

At the Seattle marathon (12/30/08) I had planned to drink the Gatorade Endurance offered at the fluid stops and that's it. The only problem was that during the marathon, I grabbed a cup of Gatorade Endurance and spilled a lot of it. Somewhere around mile 15, I figured out that I had a problem and that I needed to eat something so I ate some gel. Now I'm using gels (usually Gu Espresso Love) on my long training runs since I can get all of the gel into my mouth. So far, so good.

~Gotta Run Now

Long Run = Long Post

This morning I ran my last long run before the marathon.

Miles 1 & 2 - I ran these warm-up miles nice and easy. It was a little foggy and about 60 - 65 degrees.

Mile 3 - My goal was to run the next 14 miles at 9:07. That's 20 seconds slower than my goal marathon pace for a 3:50 finish. I was running as fast as I thought I could run for a long run and when I saw my pace (9:20) I started having "I can't do this" thoughts. Maybe instead of only a piece of toast with jam, I should have eaten a gel like I did before my 15 miler last week.

Mile 4 - I took a gel when my Garmin hit 4 miles. My pace: 9:07. Just what I needed!

Miles 5 - 7 - Pace: 8:59, 9:05, 9:01.

Miles 8 - 10 - I took another gel at mile 8. It was so foggy that after the three houses down the road, there was nothing but fog. Only two things were on my mind: 9:07 and look out for headlights. (I was running in the road.) Pace: 9:06, 9:07, 9:09.

Miles 11-13 - I took another gel at mile 12. Pace: 8:55, 8:53, 8:56. I felt okay so I didn't slow down and I wondered if my Garmin had stopped working. I was running about 20 seconds slower than 8:35 - the pace I'd need to finish in 3:45. I wondered if I should speed up because my Garmin was going to set itself right in a few minutes and tell me that I was really slowing down. (Garmin, is everything okay?) Ahead of me was only a big, white cloud of fog.

Mile 14 - I was getting tired, but I only had to run miles 15-17 fast and then I could slow down. I felt like my body was falling forward. I straightened up. Run tall and strong! That helped. Pace: 9:00.

Miles 15 & 16 - I saw two bicyclists I had never seen before (except that I ran by them a couple of times today) and one of them said, "Good luck on the marathon!" Who was that mysterious bike rider?! Pace: 8:54 & 8:54.

Mile 17 - I was starting to feel tired again, but the faster I ran, the sooner I'd be done. Pace: 8:43.

Mile 18 - A nice and easy cool down mile... What am I writing?! It was not nice and easy. I was really, really tired. My body was falling forward. Straighten up! The last .12 of a mile was sure a long way. (Garmin, are you still working?) Finally, the fog was beginning to lift, but I think it kept me fairly cool and I'm grateful for it even though it drenched everything: my tissues, eyelashes, clothes, hair...everything.

With the 18 mile run finished (2 hours & 45 minutes), I got in the chilly swimming pool for ten minutes. I skipped it last week, but since I was drenched anyway, I got in today. I took a hot drink and a peanut butter sandwich with me.

Mission accomplished and now it's taper time!

~Gotta Run Now
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