Sunday, January 30, 2011

Houston Marathon Race Report

Smiling & Waving (Mile 15)

I'll get right to the point... Finishing time - 4:39. I missed my goal by 40 minutes.

I was so late (road closures!) to the start that I ran for blocks and blocks to the start area. Since my wave had already started and the race people kept saying that the first wave runners needed to start, I left my place in the second wave and made my way up to and across the start line and began the Houston marathon alone - in a race of thousands!

It was a nerve-racking start, but it was the 65° right from the start and high humidity that did me in. I hadn't even run an hour and I was boiling even though there was a soft rain. When I saw that I was going to miss my goal by a long-shot, I wondered how bad it would be to get my first DNF. Soon, my goal was "to finish".

Dropping Off Camelbak (Mile 21)

I saw my husband at mile 15 and again close to home with Zoe, who some marathoners pet as they ran by. : ) I was happy to have my Camelbak for the first 21 miles. During the race I ate 4 Gu gels (2 were Roctane) starting at mile 6, 2 cups of Gatorade Endurance (handed out at fluid stations) and didn't finish my 50 oz. Camelbak of water.

I hardly walked today, but at mile 25 when I stopped to walk, a man saw my name on my bib and said, "Tina, you've run 25 miles. You have about one mile to go and you will certainly finish." I started running again and didn't stop until I crossed the finish line. 

My first 6 miles were on pace, but I gradually slowed until I hit the last 1/2 mile when I found my speed again. New at the Houston marathon: chocolate milk at the finish. It's the little things in life!

Post updates: I've added details since I first posted this: how hot I felt, my race fuel...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

US Half Marathon Championships

Trafeh in Blue & Ryan Hall (2nd) in White Singlet
Today I cheered for the elite runners in the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston. I saw Mo Trafeh (1st place, 1:02:17), Ryan Hall (1:02:20) and Jen Rhines (1st place, 1:11:14, a PR). By the time I saw them, they'd run about 9 miles - fast!  

Rhines, Burla (2nd) & Kennard (3rd) on Memorial 

  When the runners ran away from us, my Weimaraner howled like she does when there's a fire truck nearby. Funny! I guess she wanted to run, too.

1/2 serving of the "Marathon Pasta" $10 

I went to Carrabba's for lunch and I ate whole wheat pasta, chicken, artichokes, red peppers and asparagus. I could only eat 1/2. I'm eating more carbs, but not eating more food than usual.

Rainy day race tip: I wear sunglasses to keep some of the rain out of my eyes. Commencing take-off! Tomorrow! Houston Marathon! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Houston Marathon Expo

It's exciting to finally get to run the Houston marathon. I'll think of the encouraging comments that you've left here on my blog while I'm out there. : ) 

These are all of the free goodies I picked up at the expo today. I like the t-shirt. If you're going to the expo, pick your shirt up right after you get your packet so they're more likely to have your size. And when you finish your race, pick your shirt up ASAP.

Rain is possible on race day, but zippers may interfere with our bib timing chip so a zippered jacket's out. I've only run one race in the rain and that 5K was shortened. I didn't know that it was short until the race was over. The first thing I saw was my speedy finishing time. Elation - for a second! ; )

I found Asics GT2150 shoes for only $50. Fun shopping! 

If there's lightning, we might start late. I better carry an extra snack, just in case. They might change the course because of rain. This may be quite the adventure! Only 2 days until the marathon!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marathon Dress Rehearsal

Today's 5 miler with 2 marathon paced miles reminded me of what not to do in the first few miles of the Houston marathon. Don't start out too fast. At first, it will feel easy, but 26.2 miles is a long way!

At the start of the Houston marathon, there will be crowds of people cheering us forward. I'll be rested from a 3 week taper that felt like forever (2 1/2 weeks so far) and I'll be ready to go!

And I will probably have crazy thoughts of running this marathon faster than ever because I'm a dreamer! And if I run too fast at the start, I'll tire long before I see the finish line. And I'll wish I was running a half marathon or a 10K even. And I'll miss my goal.

Today was a dress rehearsal, but I might change my mind before the race. I wore my green hat and my shorts with homemade pockets. There was one race where I wore an orange shirt so that my family could easily see me. All of the runners wore orange that day! So maybe if I go low-key and wear the gray shirt I wore today, I'll stand out. Only 5 days to go!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Marathon Confirmation Card

It arrived in the mail today and now this upcoming Houston marathon is getting exciting! My greatest hope is that I don't come to a point where I feel like my legs just cannot go as fast as I need them to. I want to run this race strong to the finish.

After some minor pain from Monday's 20 miler, I took Tuesday and Wednesday off. Thursday I ran 5 miles on the treadmill (thankful for my TM when it feels like 25°) and today I ran 6 miles at the park. I only felt a small amount of pain during the run. Today's splits: 9:09, 9:08, 8:21, 8:28, 8:12, 10:40. Ave: 9:00/mile.

Degrees How-to °: I used the numbers lock key on my netbook, but if you have a number pad you can skip this, and then I pressed ALT and 248. This information is on my Running Resources page along with a how-to.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Banana Bread

Here's an easy one-bowl recipe for moist, nutty banana bread.

3 bananas
1/3 cup melted butter (microwaved)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

I use an ice cream scooper to put the batter in the mini-loaf pans. Either bake 43 minutes in a greased loaf pan or bake 7-8 mini-loaves for 25 minutes like I usually do. It's done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.

Thanks to Simply Recipes for the basic recipe, which I changed a little.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Metatarsalgia, Maybe

I have a dull pain in my right forefoot and it hurts to flex my toes and walk after today's 20 mile run. I did some online research and found this video on treating metatarsalgia, which might be my problem. Other than the pain I felt for a couple of minutes during the run, it was a good run.

The temperature was in the upper 30's. Wearing shorts and two shirts was a good choice. I ate a Gu gel at miles 7 & 12.5 and had the energy to pick up the pace at the end. Miles 17 - 19: 8:35-9:00. Ave. 20 mile pace: 9:17/mile. Only 3 weeks until the Houston marathon!

When I run I feel His pleasure. - Eric Liddell, Olympic athlete & missionary 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Speedwork - Let's Try it Again!

Is that a squirrel? Ignore it, Zoe! Good dog! We walked through the woods after my 10 mile run. Four blocks from home, this was one of the best parts of today's earlier run when it was misty and the leaves crunched beneath my feet.

Today's workout goal: warm-up, (3 minutes @ 10K pace w/2 minute recovery rest) x 10, cool-down. I repeated last Wednesday's workout to see if I could improve on that dismal workout. I did! 7 of the 10 intervals were faster than 8:00/mi today and last week I only ran 2 intervals at about 9:00/mile and the rest were slower.

How did I improve? This week I am almost competely well after having a doozy of a cold (just a few sniffles now), I watched my Garmin to encourage me to stay where I was or to speed up and listened to fast music. Plus, it wasn't raining. It was 65° today, 10° warmer, but that was a nice change from being cold.

Okay, now onto couponing! Big change of subject, but I saw a TV show about saving hundreds of dollars by using coupons and then I found online. Have any coupon tips?

Monday, January 3, 2011

18 Mile Progression Run

Spring, Texas (north of Houston)
During the first two miles, I was cold and slow. It was 40 degrees - not really that cold, but it took 3 miles of running to warm up.

During the middle miles, I sped up and for the last miles, it felt good to speed up even more and that's how I ended up doing a progression run today (9:19/mi average).

I ate cereal bars before the run, drank water every three miles and ate a Gu gel at miles 6 and 12. I'm experimenting with less gels on my runs, not because I don't like gels, but maybe I don't really need as much as I usually eat.

I hopped in the ice cold bath water afterwards because although I skipped it a couple of weeks ago, I'm getting too close to the marathon (Jan.30) to experiment with skipping ice baths. I had some cocoa and after the first couple of minutes, it was bearable.

Afterwards, my husband and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Lupe Tortilla. I'm usually not very hungry after a long run, but maybe because I ate less during my run, I was very hungry today. I think I'll be ready for peach cobbler and ice cream later!

I hardly feel like I ran 18 miles today - not nearly as sore as I was after my 16 miler last Monday which followed a sick week. Any run where I feel great during the last miles and afterwards, too, is a great run!

Have a great first week of 2011!
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