Sunday, May 25, 2014

53.6 to 70.3

Hey all.  Hope your long weekend is going well!  Ours has been great- we met up with Dad and Lois yesterday for a nice canal walk and subs for dinner ( a perfect day for that!) and are hosting a nice BBQ today with my side of the fam.  Tomorrow?  Is chores, some grocery shops, and a nice long run.  Well, relatively.
So now that I'm 2 weeks post ultra (I know guys, I never post - I need that speak to blog feature and I swear you would get more Rae ambles...though I'm not sure its a good thing!)...whats up?  Well, I'm happy to say that I only hobbled like an 80 year old for about a day.  I started in slow, and did a few swims and bikes in the week after the ducks.  Runs affect the body so much more than any tri could, but I felt surprisingly good 5 days post Ultra that I did a short run.  And from there, I've transitioned pretty well into a half ironman training sorta plan.  Yep- time for Musselman!  I missed out on this annual 70.3 for um, obvious reasons last year, and am itching to get back into it.  If you've been reading for any length of time you know how much I adore this race, and I'm amped to give it a go this, I've a bone to pick with this course.
The race weekend = awesome.  My PR on the course?  Nowhere near where I want it to be.  Clearly, even though I have the endurance, either a separated shoulder, broken foot (yep, raced on both) or ridiculously 95 degree days have stymied me on this course.  Well.  I can do my level best to prevent A and B and....hope that WNY isn't that cruel this year!  I've learned my lesson about posting ridiculous goals online, so let's just say that my 6:29 70.3 PR (Yes, my 140.6 PR is less than double that at 12:50, which means I messed up somehow!!) is TOAST this year.  How'my gonna do it?  Listen carefully.

My coach....
I'm sorta winging it.  Yep, you heard me right.  I have a 18 week 70.3 DIY plan that I've followed for 4 years that clearly isn't doing me any favors, so I'm switching it up.  SOMEHOW, I have this stupid awesome run base (wink wink) so we are mixing bike tempo (my weakness) with hill work and half n half bricks.  I.e. 90 minute bike, 90 minute run.  No workouts longer than 3 hours (plus a T run)....because my family is more important than that.  It's a crazy fun busy summer ahead, and if sparky and I need to date at 4am (treadmill and trainer), Ill do it.  Well, except for this morning.  Yeah, more on that.  So....2-3 bikes a week, 2 runs (one a brick) and 2-3 swims maximizing descending intervals (200s and 300s).  Thing is, I can do this stuff all day long.  Time to ramp up DA POWA.  And see what happens on July 13!

Speaking of power, let me tell you about our charged morning....starting at 4am with some drunk dude throwing stuff at our garage and threatening us.  Where did I move to?  Yowtch!  911 is so much fun to chat with pre-dawn, while holding a 10 month old.  (Please bring back my boring life).  And the coffee.  And remind me not to start those 4am workouts for a few days ;-P

Whew.  All excitement aside, I hope everyone has a great long weekend...and take a moment tomorrow to thank a soldier for serving our beautiful country.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mind the Ducks Race Report 2014: Life in a 1 mile Vacuum

Aww, heck.  Let's just do the whole race report, shall we?  No spoilers, no teasers, no nothin'.  Just fresh verbal vomit of this whole 12 hour shindig while it's fresh in my mind.  Pull up a chair.  (Minor Spoiler - clearly I did "finish" as evidenced by the mug.  And now, I am not out there running's a hilarious typo).
MTD 2014 Race Report

Pre Race - You all know the silly story of my dental debacle, so with two days to go, I was still unable to eat solids or swallow much.  Really puts a dent in the carb loading, but I did manage to choke down some pasta on Friday night and drink a reasonable amount.  Good enough, good enough.  My knee and hip still felt niggly, but overall, I was good to go.  I packed the car, made some pancakes for the morning, and managed to get about 6 hours sleep, thanks to my saint husband and cooperative kiddo.  Race morning dawned somewhat cooler (whew) and with a bit of humidity (boo).  The best benefit?  5am is NOT early anymore to this girl!  I pulled together my things, kissed the boys, and headed out to North Ponds Park, where I quickly picked up my bib and went to go set up my aid station with Gretchen and new friend Tonia.  Tip #1 - Setting up a tent with pre-race jitters sucks.  We managed to wrangle it up and get our things settled with about 5 minutes till race time...yikes!  I hit the bathrooms super quick and grabbed my mp3 player (um...missing body glide and sunscreen....ugh).  With little fanfare, the RD yelled GO and we were off!

Miles 1-12 were pretty uneventful.  I connected with a few people, clocked pretty consistent 10 minute miles, and stopped at my aid tent to grab some powerade or dried fruit, which I could choke down.  I also applied a little body glide and sunscreen to my shoulders and cheeks (forgot my legs....this would be bad later!) and was back off.

Mile 12ish...feelin decent!
After 2 hours, my stomach started to revolt and my easy run became more of a 12 minute mile, with a few walk breaks in the mile path.  My biggest issue - nothing would do down.  So I started living off coke and Popsicles, with a salt tab every once in awhile.  My uncle showed up to crew about 9:30, which helped out a TON with ice and wet sponges, as it was starting to get quite warm.  About 3 hours in I spilled Gatorade on my shoes (&^@%#$%) and needed tp do a quick pit stop to change.  I managed to hold out a steady run/walk for the next 3 hours to hit my first marathon in 5 hours, and 50k in 6 hours.

I'm an eternal optimist, but I was fully aware that 100k was not happening today.  It was a pie in the sky goal with no thought as to what holding an 11:30 pace meant for 12 hours.  I also realized at this point that my training (back to back to back semi long runs) might work for some people but that a few more 4-5 hour runs r a steady 8 hour walk would have helped me a bit more.  I had figured my Ironman experience would help with didn't.  The only think I had in that bag was a mental stubbornness, which really would come to pay off.   New goal = double marathon....maybe 55 miles?

Mile 25ish....don't mess with me!
In the early afternoon, more family and friends showed up, including my awesome husband and 10 month old, who "ran" a bit with momma!  Everyone was really supportive about getting me what I needed, including a run to McD's for a burger and coke (coke worked, burger didn't).  Ok, ok.  Liquid diet.  I get it.  New running pace after hour 6 - 13-14 minute miles.  We're still going.  It's ok.  I kept running into awesome people each loop - my friends from the gym Kim, Joe and Tanya all came to cheer on the course, and my new "crazy" ultra friends Tonia, Kim, Allison, Pat, Joe, Kristen and Alan all pepped me up whenever we ran into each other (the true beauty of this course!!).  At about 9 hours in, I was at mile 43 and really starting to fade.  I was hungry, but nothing tasted good.  My hip hurt like a mother.  And could I really do this??

At that point, my FIL and his wife showed up.  With Popsicles.  YES.  I know this was gonna be a 99% walk to the finish, but I'm a stubborn b*(&ch.  I connected with my friend Gretchen, who was trying for 45 (she got 47!) and we walked together with a purpose for a good hour, averaging 3.5.  And that was the rest of my race strategy there.  Aid station.  Walk with purpose.  Get to the next mile before 16-17 minutes.  DON'T STOP MOVING.  I crossed 50 miles at 11:00.  Could I get in 54?  I tried a shaky run.  Nothin doin.  So I walked.  And hit lap 52 with 30 minutes to so.  My buddy congratulated me on a fine double marathon and I got confused....I had 30 minutes left!  Who cared it 53 wasn't an incentive goal, dammit, I was getting there.  So I did. I managed a sad little sprint into the last .25 mile and crossed for my last lap... 53.64 miles in 11:50 and I am a proud ultra marathoner and ducker (although there was one lonely duck on that course....and 99 million geese!!) 

Mileage Awards
Post race I got my swag (all the incentives BUT the cooler!) and hobbled toward my aid station, where my little angles (love you dad and Lois!) helped me load the car and I was off.  Sunburned, stomach a mess, barely able to walk, but proud.  I managed a decent placement (top 15%) and even though I missed my goal, looking at the was not a reasonable goal.  Live and learn.  Would I do it again?  You betcha.  This race was solid- the RD was awesome- supportive, attentive to his runners, a great presence and encouragement throughout the race.  Stellar.  The people were amazing - both pre race and throughout the loop, everyone encouraged each other, and I made some great friends.  The venue was perfect- oddly enough, NOT boring.  Your life existed IN THAT MILE - every 10th marked off, the finish line served as a "refresh" for your next lap.  Two thumbs way up.

So whats next?  Well, I WILL for sure do another Ultra.  We'll see when.  Two days after, I can walk again, though my stomach is still somewhat upset with me (gotta go get that filling fixed).  I'm looking forward to some biking miles to prep for Musselman in July and a strong fall marathon, but make no mistake.  26.2 + and I have something to prove.  That 100k is mine.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

What Did I get myself into?? (The pre race freak out)

 Well schnit.  In less than 18 hours (more like 36), it's go time.  12 freaking hours of running.  I have a date with mister 100k...and I'm starting to freak.  Well, ok, let me honest.  I started the freak out a few days ago.....ahh, the joy of tapering.  The last week before a race.  When you start to.....A)  Wonder what in the hell was wrong with you to sign up for this? B) Remind yourself that you did NOT do enough training and C) Wonder why this was a good idea with a baby??  ok, ok, that last one is specific to me.  In all reality, the last week of my life has been kind of a mess.  I had some foot niggles, which are better now (whew), and came right on the heels of taper.  I got in a few solid runs last weekend, and now...taper madness.  I had a 4 miler Tuesday and a 3 miler yesterday...and now I'm done.  I am working my way through a solid 3 page pack n prep list (did I tell you I am somewhat OCD?) and playing the usual mindless taper games...with a twist.  What kinda games?  Guessing games.....

 Useless Pre- Race Games I've been playing

1.  Play weather obsession.  hit 14580...refresh.  refresh.  Its gonna be 60 and sunny!  70 and rainy!   Dude.  It's Rochester.  It could be 20 and then 80.  Plus, my obsession won't change it.

2.  Pack for Armageddon.  Sure, I might need my rain jacket.  And extra shoes.  And 40 power 7 pairs of socks.  And 24 hair ties.  And  OH!  SPF 30 and SPF 80!  And I can't forget my back up hat.  Because even wear those.  I seriously seriously might need the kitchen sink though.  I'll get stinky after 12 hours :-P (Though I've never really had to add "breast pump" to my packing

3.  Freak out about under training and play the....should I try to squeeze in one last long run?  The answer is no.  Always no.  Luckily, I avoided this game, but for a less fun one....

4.  Get dental work done 4 days prior to the race.  One that requires Novocaine that you can't have because you are breastfeeding.  Have a reaction to the "other" numbing agent that leaves you unable to open your mouth halfway for 3 days and LOSE weight during your non existent carb load on a soft diet!  YAY!

5.  Sign up for another Ultra before you've even done your first.  I'm an idiot.  And I didn't tell my husband either.  Guess he knows now...hello sweetie!!

I'm sure there are more, but there are my biggest sins this week.  It's been a crap 7 days, but one more sleep and for better or worse, time to DO IT.  Hopefully a brief recap Sunday if I can walk...everyone repeat after me....100k 100k 100k  (PS- This is the first race with no secret time/distance goals).  100k is my A goal, and now I've put it out there.  Yikes.

See you on the flip side....if I make it out alive!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

10: a perfect score!

Holy schnikes, kiddo.  Every time I turn around, you get bigger.  (Funny how it works there, mom genius, huh?).  You are growing like a weed, buddy.  But a beautiful weed.  And every day, you get more fun, more handsome, and I love you just that much more (how is this even possible)??  Well, let's se...this was a big month.... 

 - 21 pounds, even steven.  We did your 9 month check up a week ago (blame the doc, not me) and you were pronounced good to go for another 3 months or 3,000 miles.  3 months.  You've probably already put that many miles around the  You are at a perfect 45-50% for height (28"), weight and head circumference (never remember that one).  My perfect kiddo.  

Likes:  Your new v tech computer (courtesy of mommy's free site), going for runs with mommy (did our first of the year), swimming!! (we can now go with Dad in the morning), and playing bongo belly, peek a boo, and taking baths.  You also love any kind of adventure, and cheering mommy and daddy on at the races (whew).  You also have found another use for your jolly jumper - you run forward as fast as you can than whirl yourself around the doorway, swing style.  Daddy is gonna have a heart attack.  Mommy just thinks it's funny.  

Dislikes: Baby jail.  We made a playroom for you, which you don't mind, but the pack n play is super restrictive.  You got places to go, and you don't mine telling us that!

Sleep: Awesome awesome, aside from teefers (6 now- holy cow!)  You have a pretty set schedule, and aside form mornings when you are bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4am, you sleep pretty well from about 8pm-6:30ish (with one wakeup).  I'll take it, kiddo!  You still love sleep snugs, and on the weekends we indulge you and take at least one nap with you (force us, I know.)

Eating: This continues to be so much fun...ham, eggs (not green), tofu, pineapple, pumpkin, mac n cheese....serve it up, you love it!  There are some veggie wars, but when we mix it in with rice or yogurt or cheese, you gobble it down.  Awesome, little dude.  Good hting mommy knows how to coupon, or else we could be in trouble in a few years!!
Mac n cheese - the best food of the month!
Easter - You met the bunny (unsure about that) but were a perfect gentleman on Easter, and naturally, everyone loves you.  Duh.
Trip to the lake- you thought the water was so cool!!
Crawling with a purpose - no one and nothing is safe from you!
Pull to standing - you do it all by yourself!  Cruising is old hat, and we are counting down the days....but...
You settled the score.  This past weekend, Daddy was holding you and you were hungry.  You looked right at me, put your arms out and yelled "Mom!".  Awwww kiddo.  Whatever you want (Even if I am just a pair of Milk duds right now.  ps - I apologize to your 16 year old self).

Best Moment: Can't beat a first word, kiddo.  My heart melted even more than I though possible...did I mention how much I stinkin love you?  You got me wrapped around your little pinkie, and I don't mind.  At all.  

Looking Forward to: Spring fun, picnics, and the start of race season....when's our first 5k???

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pass the Lager

So, with 8 short days to go, its time for my most and least favorite part of race training.  Least...the taper.  Yech.  I technically had a mini taper last week due to some foot niggles that *seem* to be resolved (crossing all crossables).  I took a week off from running and since I'm a miserable bee-yotch when I don't run, you heard nary a word fromme, but I'll fess up now.  I did alot of biking and swimming (always good when you have a half Im in two months!) and concluded that it was my new shoe.  Darn shoe.  Anyways, I bought another pair of my trusty dusty (retired) asics, and we're moving on.  Too many miles invested in this baby to quibble about shoes, right?  Right.  So this week saw about 40 miles (including the next two days), next week is....10....then a little ole 12 hour trot.  Yikes.  I'm terrified, excited, and terrified, all wrapped into one.  Hah.  I've made a bunch of new social media friends on the race page, and am thrilled to do for 12 hours what everyone in the world minus the 125 people I'm racing with think is nuts.  And in the meantime...
I'll be carb loading.  YES.  Best part of taper- over the next week, I'm supposed to steadily increase my carb intake so that by next Thursday, I'll be taking in roughly 500 grams of carbs a day (yeah, that's 2000 calories.  wows).  I've never carb loaded effectively in my life, but this is way too much stress on the ole leggos to fart around.  So just look for the chick in the compression sleeves and lulu shorts, stuffing her face in pretzels.  And pizza.  And bread.  And beer...yes that's a carb!  Ok, no beer.  But maybe a nice mix....

Carbs n Hops Bread

3 cups AP flour
1 cup ground oats
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp each garlic powder, thyme and rosemary
12 oz. dark beer (I used Amberbock)

Let beer set on counter to room temp (drink a few make sure it's ok....).  In a large mixing bowl, add flour, oats, and seasonings.  Add in beer, mixing well.  Cover with wax paper and towel and warm the oven to 100 degrees.  Place bowl in oven and turn off-let set to rise for 2 hours or so.  Lightly mist a bread pan with cooking spray and shape dough into loaf.  Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.  Brush with melted butter, broil for 2 minutes.  Let set for at least 30 minutes before inverting pan- voila.  Beer bread.

Excellent with soup, hummus...or sliced up warm and eaten by the slice.  What?  I'm carb loading!! :-)
Looks like Rob's enforcing the taper on all counts.  Slave driver.

Have a great weekend!!