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Monday, October 1, 2012

Akron Marathon 2012

Race re-cap Akron Marathon 2012

Monday Ryan woke up sick, I cried, because it was too close to the race. Wednesday I woke up sick, I really cried because I was very scared it was too close. I spent the next 2 days doing ALL I could to get to the start line ready to race. Here is how the race went from my eyes!

1-5:51 (very downhill mile) I know this mile is very fast and I knew just let it happen and ran very in control.

2-6:27(12:18) Mostly uphill, but that seemed more like the splits I figured I would be seeing given feeling sick, and my current fitness.

3-6:13(18:32)This mile felt like 3 miles and I knew the race was going to be a challenge. I started to think I should run the half. I didnt allow myself to entertain that thought longer than the time it took to think it. I trained too hard to not try.

4-6:18 (24:50) I thought hey, if I can just chip away at it like this I can still win.

5-6:36 (31:26) Just keeping it as under control as I could.

6-6:17(37:44) Alright already in firestone park. I yelled at a gal who was running entirely too close to me, and informed her I was running the full to get off my ass. sorry gal, I was annoyed!!

7-6:43(44:27) alright brown street lets get back to campus.

8-6:23(50:50) still ok, just know it is going to be slower than last year.

9-6:29 (57:20) I told Ryan to be patient, It was going to take awhile today.

10-6:14 (1:03:34) saw mine and Ryan's families. Mom and Marty knew I wasnt feeling well because I didnt smile. I tried, like I said last week I have a pretty bad poker face! lol!

11-6:38 (1:10:13) I figured I would see Jennie this mile, but nope, time to head into the valley!

12-6:33 (1:16:47) Down Howard. I hate this mile!

13-6:33 (1:23:20) Half way! I CAN DO THIS!!

14-6:43 (1:30:04) I reminded myself that last year I was physically a mess by now, and today I was slower but I had things much more under control and that made me happy.

15-6:53 (1:36:58) umm, well, that was slow.

16-6:46 (1:43:45) Finally to sand run! This is my favorite part of the course the last 10 miles are home sweet home to me, and I just have to be tough. So I started to try and keep the miles working hard.

17-6:48 (1:50:34) Still doing fine, and feeling like I was working hard, and capable of holding the pace.

18-7:16 (1:57:50) I didnt even see the split for this mile. that was a good thing.

19-7:40 (2:05:30) big hill, and I knew this mile would be slow.

20-6:53 (2:12:24) My right hamstring was really starting to get cramp, but I knew I could keep running through it. I still had my left leg fine and I am getting so close.

21-6:55 (2:19:19) man this is getting so hard. All of this work, and I am really struggling at 7 min pace?!? NO BECKI, you have worked too hard to start getting into your own head, get your ass to the stadium! You are tough and you will be fine!

22-7:48 (2:27:08)Left hamstring cramped completely coming around the turn onto garmin. I tried not to cry. I didnt have a leg to use, and 4 miles just became a much bigger obsticle than I could wrap my mind around. Shanna ran past, and I tried to run with her. My hamstrings were cramping every step, and NOT letting up. I think I was hobbling more than running at this point.

23-7:17 (2:34:35)Really slowing down, and really pushing for every step.

24-8:28 (2:42:54) FINALLY to Angel Falls, many many walking breaks, to try to get my hamstings to let up. It was to no avail. They were not letting up. I was going to have to deal with the cards I was dealt!

25-8:00 (2:50:54) Same story as mile 24. Tony and Lizzie went by and that gave me a little smile because I knew they would both break 3 hours!

26-7:35 (2:58:29) I struggled down main street, and really felt a sense of relief being able to see Canal Park. I have NEVER been in this sort of helpless pain before. I tried to push enough to break 3 hours, and like all of my goals aside from finishing on this day, I couldnt do it.

.2- 1:31 (3:00:02)

Finally done. I did what I could to keep myself under control. I didnt want to show my dissapointment, but I dont think I did a very good job. I loved getting to see some friends achieve their goals, but it was extremely challenging to know for 23 miles that mine were not realistic on this day. I was so proud to finish this race. I trained pretty hard, and couldnt believe this was what it came down to! I am sad I wasnt able to show off my fitness, and thank the city I love so much. But I learned I can dig deeper than I ever believed I could. it will be a long time until I am ready to race agian, but I am hopeful I will be back, stronger than ever!
Thank you all so much for your support! I am excited for a little mental and physical break!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Laying IT on the Line

Race day is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!! It is hard to believe we are only 6 days away from the gun going off, and racing through the streets of this incredible city.

My past 2 weeks have quickly passed with solid workouts, and decreasing mileage. I miss the tired feeling of running as close to "too much" as possible, but the shorter weeks only mean one thing! It is time to use take all of the long runs, workouts, and days that every step was a challenge and lay the cards out! My poker face isn't a very strong one, and I like it that way. When I am honest with those around me, I am more honest with myself. I trained very hard for this race. I did workouts I didn't think I could do, I ran long runs I didn't know I could finish, and I dealt with a great deal of aggony, and enjoyement along the way. This training cycle has had a few little bumps, but really nothing too much to talk about in the way of adversity. I have been pretty healthy, missed very few miles due to life rearing it's head, and all in all, I put my neck out there to get ready to run a solid race at on September 29th.
Based on that one might think, "well she has to be pretty confident and feeling ready to go then". Nope, I feel more nervous! Unlike a year ago, when I was going to the start line praying I had done enough, and that my legs would hold up for the pounding the race would ask of me, this year I am going to the start line knowing I did all I could, and hoping it translates over 26 miles! I put myself in a position with a lot to lose.
For anyone who has run the marathon distance, we know that soooo much can happen out there. A wrong step can lead to a cramp, a thought allowed to be entertained too long can lead to a crisis of confidence. Suddenly what you have trained countless miles to do, seems to be like finding a way to the top of a snow storm...for someone who has never even heard of a mountain! HAHA! All that is left now is to lay IT on the line, and that can be nerve wracking. "IT" is pride, poise, early morinings, a missed social life, 6 pairs of shoes, my boyfriends missed social life, awkward chafing, being too tired to cook, clean, eat, sleep or have normal conversation. "IT" is thousands of miles, running the course hundreds of times in your head, making your neighbors, friends, and family quesiton your sainity, and somedays even questioning it yourself. "IT" is who we become over the miles, because it changes us, makes us stronger, breaks us down, defeats us, and somehow makes us feel like we can take on the world. "IT" is what we hope to become.
I think all of these things make the marathon such a special event! I AM nervous, but I am more so excited! The chance to race is always such a great opportunity! So next Saturday I lay IT on the line with a smile on my face, because reguardless of the outcome, I know I did what I could this year. As the race becomes painful, and exhausting, I will remind myself of all I did just to get there, and know every step is worth IT!

Good luck to everyone racing next week! See you on the blue line!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Temper Tantrums, and Racing

The past 2 weeks have had some ups and downs. I returned home from Oregon and had a little set back with an infection/cyst that knocked me out for a few days. Just couldn't run without getting a fever, and feeling quite aweful. But I was back on my feet by last weekend and managed 85 miles that week.

I "raced" for the first time in months on Labor Day, and it was lackluster at BEST. I ran 38:15 for a tough, hilly, muggy 10k, but managed second overall and first female. I had a lack of poise, during the race, and ran slower than I should have, but took away a valuable lesson! DO NOT PANIC! haha! I was racing with Ryan, who happened to be the only person to beat me, and when the going got tough...I threw a temper tantrum! In true 3 year old fashion, I pounded my fist on the cart, cried to my mom yelling "BUT MOM I WANT THE DOLL!! PLEASE!! ahhh!!!" haha! Maybe it was a little less obvious than that, but that is pretty much what happened inside my head! Hindsight, really a stupid waste of energy and not exactly the sort of response you would expect from an athlete that has raced thousands of times. It was hillarious! God willing I will keep my head on better at Akron! Hopefully I got that out of my system!

I had a good workout at the track this week getting in some miles of work faster than marathon pace, and staying in control the entire way. Then Saturday while hundreds of others were running along the blue line, Tony, Ryan, Nicole, and I got in a good long run. I did the last 6 of 23 at marathon pace, and I was able to handle the workload better than I expected and certainly better than I had in the race on Monday!
It was fun to see so many people out chasing down their dreams on that blue line! There is really something special about seeing so many people working hard toward their unique goals ranging from finishing their first marathon, to qualifying to Boston, or hoping for a win in a few weeks. It was really motivational to be a part of it! I couldn't help but think of how I hoped to race. My mind driffed to last year, and the way the race had gotten the best of me, yet the struggle made me appreciate the finish so much more. I teared up a bit when I saw Angel Falls Coffee shop. It always brings a bit of a smile and a chokes me up a bit because that was the point last year when I knew I could achieve my goal. It was a lot of fun to think about the race and know so many others on the course were thinking of the same things.

This week was a step in the right direction, and I was happy to get in 93 miles and have a good week behind me after the week I had prior. It is really hard to believe that we are only 3 weeks out from the race. I am ready to embrace the aggony and try to reach the goal I set a year ago of winning two years in a row! I am getting eager to be in the thick of things and of course see how it pans out! After all, chances are the fascination...3 weeks to go.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hood to Coast AkRUN style

This week was one I hope to never forget, well maybe just the weekend, but if you have ever experianced anything like Hood to Coast you understand what I mean!

My week started out uneventful, I would even go as far as to say fricken boring! A down week after 4 weeks over 100 miles had me feeling like a fish out of water at best. But Thursday the Young Tarts and Old Farts team headed to Oregon for what would become one heck of a good time!

We arrived in Portland around noon, and were greated by the Captain and his First Mate! With sandwiches to fill our stomach we were in our vans, which would soon become home for a day, and on our way to Sea Side! We got to the condo, and the view was amazing. I'm not one to care much about a view, but this was something to see! We unloaded our bags and were off to enjoy the very thing that brought us together in the first place...RUN!! 8 miles later we were all back at the condo quickly getting ready for drinks, then dinner. As I showered I thought, "well enjoy because you are going to feel nasty for a longgggg time before your next shower!". After dinner we had a little team meeting and it was time for rest.
5:30 am came quick, but since our bodies believed it was 8:30 (EST) we were up and at em'. We went to breakfast, I can't remember the name of the place, something to do with a pig, and then it was time to pack up and get to the top of Mt. Hood!
We arrived about 2 hours prior to our scheduled 3 PM start time, we watched some other teams start, bought some race memorabilia, and got our race packets. Our team number was 83, and I quickly stated it was the year of my birth, which sent the team into angry glances and laughter since I was 16 years younger than the second youngest person on the team! haha!

3pm- It is finally our turn to go! I am all smiles watching Anne getting us going down the mountain. As we drive to see her at the exchange zone I can't help but think of what an awesome thing we are part of. People from so many places, backgrounds, and walks of life coming together to enjoy this sport just brings me so much joy! I giggled, and excitedly waited for my chance to run. Ginny flew though leg 2, Mike crushed leg 3, and his honor ran a strong leg 4. We were already 10 minutes ahead of what we thought we could finish in. Capt'n Dave assured me, the time would catch back up. I looked at the folks getting ready for their legs, and I simply couldn't see it happening. We had such a strong team!

7pm- Van 1 arrived at a church in Portland to wait on the arrival of the runners from Van 2. Somehow we were expected to rest...there was no way! I was too excited, it was too early, and plain and simple I was too jacked up! Turns out that was a good thing. I got to thinking and started wondering how far ahead of schedule Van 2 might be. After a few txt messages from #5 Ann I knew I would be running sooner than we had anticipated. Chris and Ann had made up more time on legs 5-6, Jim ate up leg 7, Donny apparently didnt realized his is a good runner and killed leg 8, Tony was tough as ever on leg 9 and Cathy got the slap bracelet to me 25 minutes ahead of schedule!
10:20pm- I am FINALLY running! It's a dark, kinda barren, sorta, well, scary bike path though Portland! I set my sights on blinky lights (which each runner is required to wear between the hours of 6pm-7am) and tried to keep the pace quick yet comfortable. I only was stopped twice at street crossings and I met Lisa at exchange 11 29 minutes later. Finally I was tired, but sleep wasn't in the cards right now.

3am- I switched over to Van 2 and we are about 1/2 way through the rotation. I just can not stay awake. I am in awe of the people in my van and the tenacity they are showing. I finally catch some sleep as runner 5 gets in a little over 8 miles. Then I was back awake. The course starts getting quite hilly and I am impressed with the times that our team is pumping out. I now know why Capt'n Dave said the time would catch back up. I am pretty sure Donny just ran up a 4 mile hill and the dust was so thick we couldn't see him coming until he was 20 meters away!

7am- My second leg, and I am feeling like crap! I think it is fair to say I am pretty tired, but the sun is coming up, and I am catching a lot more people on this leg! 25 minutes later I hear my team, and see Lisa waiting to do our 4x1 style relay exchange. HAHA, this is fun! Back in the van and off to get some rest! We figured we had about 3 hours to sleep once we got to exchange 29. But it was not in the cards, it took us nearly 2.5 hours to get there because of traffic! So no sleep it was!

12:04pm- We knew Chris should be coming anytime around 12, and we no sooner thought that and there he was coming down a bit@# of a hill just 4 minutes behind what we figured would be best case scenario. Ann took the slap bracelet and we were off to get Jim in place and hopeful we could do so before Ann arrived. We had a couple times were our next runner had to jog ahead of the van to make sure we were at the exchange in time, but we NEVER missed an exchange!

3:50pm- I looked at Lisa and said "We can break 26 hours...don't fu@# this up", winked, took the slap bracelet from Cathy and was on my way to catch some girl that was bragging while she was in the exchange zone. She left a few minutes before me, but I had faith I could catch her. Jim did too and it was a good thing because I got there faster than I planned! First thing out of Jim's mouth, so how long did it take you to catch that girl? haha! I hadn't even mentioned it. Jim saw me glaring apprently! haha! Lisa was on her way to the beach and we just needed to get there to cross the finish line with her!

25 hours and 36 minutes after this crazy race had started for us, Lisa crossed the finish line. With tears in her eyes you could see the joy of accomplishing something very special. We ran across the line with her and after a picture we all had a drink and sat down to talk about our adventure! We finished 85th out of 1050 teams and nearly 100 places better than the team did in 2011!

I had such a great time, I hope I never forget how much laughter we shared in those vans! We had a great team, we ran well, and we never had an appearance from Princess Ashley! What a great trip! This trip added to my belief that in this city I have angels all around me!

5 weeks to go until Akron!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Blue Paint

This week FLEW by! I can hardly believe it has been a full week!

Sunday-Tuesday were easy recovery days following a hard 2 day stretch on friday and Saturday last week. By Wednesday I felt ready to go, and was able to get in 8 miles of tempo in a 14 mile run. My legs felt as good as they could running up Sand Run and I was happy with the effort. Thursday I was nice and tired again, but got in the miles I needed to keep my last high mileage week alive! We had a Hood To Coast gathering and it was nice to hangout with friends! Dave and Margaret were gracious in opening their home to a bunch of us silly folks. The past stories about the upcoming race really sent me home more excited to get our little adventure underway!

Friday I had intended to do a longer workout, but listened to what was right and did 10x1k over 15 miles instead. Then it was off to a wedding, while listening to my new HTC CD's Ann made for us! Haha this is really going to be a good time!

Finally to end the week I met with Tony down near the start line, and we ran the entire Akron Marathon course, complete with a full, and freshly painted BLUE LINE!! 26.4 miles 3 hours 19 minutes and 58 seconds later I had my week behind me. We saw A LOT of other runners out there this week, and every one of them made me smile. What a great sport we get to be part of!

I was able to get in 2 decent workouts, and 102 miles this week.

It is hard to believe we only have 6 weeks to go until we're on that blue line with racing flats on! Cheers to my 29th year (my birthday was Friday) and another week of training behind us all. I hope you are all embracing the aggony, because it's coming!

Monday, August 13, 2012

This week "STINKS"

This week started off on the wrong foot! I woke up sick on Saturday which lead Sunday and Monday feeling completely drained. I ran a total of 11 miles between the 2 days. Lots of rest was pretty much all I chose to do between work. I even made the comment "this week stinks" and had to retract the statement because I realized it was only Monday and I shouldn't go writing off the week just yet!! haha!

I was able to muster up a 14 mile progression run by mid week, and I felt like my normal self in time to have fun with my Hood To Coast team by Thursday! We got in a run together and hungout at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones. I was pretty excited for the race, but now I am STOKED!!

The end of the week saw a lot of me putting in miles on my legs, and I was lucky to have a lot of people break it up for me! I ran with Ryan for 6 of my 10 mile repeats on Friday morning. Then Ann, Krystn, Tony, and Chris for my afternoon run. Finally I got to run from 3.5-26.1 with Tony on Saturday morning! I hit my highest 24 hour mileage-47 miles in 23 hours from Friday-Saturday morning! 3 decent workouts and 105 miles rounded out my "stinky" week! haha! That shows how much patience I have!

I am feeling healthy, and excited about where my training is. I haven't ever been this consistent in training, and I am having some of my best running since 2009! I am still being careful to stay healthy, and looking forward to one more higher week followed by a down week, which ends with Hood To Coast!

Lots of work to do, and 7 weeks to do it in! The Akron Marathon will be here before we know it, so lace up and get those long runs in!! 7 weeks to go...

Monday, August 6, 2012

9 is my favorite number

With 9 weeks to go prior to Akron, you can see us all getting in longer runs, longer workouts, and the murmer of excitement is starting! At the 2011 Akron Marathon, I was literally on the start line with only seconds to go prior to the gun when Creigh Kelly announced this would be the start of the 9th running of the Akron Marathon. I got a huge smile on my face as I thought, "9 IS my favorite number".

My week went by quickly and I was able to get in 106 miles. I am feeling healthy, and I believe my fitness is coming along well. After a true recovery day on Sunday last week, I did a workout with some of the lady Zips running 2 miles at 6:00 pace, 5 miles @ 6:30 pace, and 2 more miles @ 6:00 pace on monday with a longer warm up and cooldown getting in 21 miles on the day. Wednesday was a medium length run of 14, and Friday was 20k contiunous running 1k@ 6:00pace, 1k@7:00pace alternating every other K. Finally Saturday rolled around, and I woke up sick! I slept as long as I could, and hydrated as well as I could and then began my 24 miles...I ran 20. My ears were achy, my head was feeling like it might pop and my rational mind said, "if you keep doing this you might be sick ALL next week instead of just today and tomorrow". So who knows if I made the right call or not, but I layed down on the couch for 6 hours and watched some T.V.

I have started to hear the question, so are you fit? I respond the same every time, "I don't know, Im not letting myself test it"! I will test myself a smidge on Labor day with a 10k in Alliance, and then I will test myself on my home course on the 29th. If were talking about it before 9:45 AM on September 29th...Im fit and everything went well!(the race starts at 7:00 so that means I would have run faster than 2010) HAHA!!

I felt much better this week handling the miles than I did last week.

It's time to lace up...8 weeks to go!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

10 weeks to Akron

This week was the first week of real M-word training! I had a great week of training including 103 miles worth of running on 4 days of doubles. I got in a solid tempo session running along the course early on in the week, and a 12x1k session later. The tempo kept me on my toes running along the course including my first workout using mile 19 on the course. The mile markers are in the new places, and the course feels like home. That being said, its not going to be easy. Unlike last year there are some miles I know I NEED to work on effort and not on my watch. For me that is difficult and will test my patience! I handled it well this week, and I was happy about that. The faster session of the week was on a very muggy morning, and I was struggling after only 4k! The good news was that it was more a mental challenge than a physical one! I was able to hit all of the times, and keep the rest as planned, and get over myself a little along the way! haha! My long run was 22 miles, and I was so lucky to have someone for 18 miles of it! Lizzie ran 12 with me and I did a bit by myself and finished up with Jennie. It is hard to believe 2 weeks ago I was scared I might not be able to get going in time, and this week I was right where I hoped to be! I owe a HUGE "Thank you" to Dr. Leo Kormanik at Leo figured out what was going on, and got me back on me feet...literally!! I had a great time getting my first triple digit mile week in in about a year, and I was happy to have so much help and support from so many awesome people I wouldnt have in my life without our sport! I have a lot of work ahead of but I am motivated to get to that finish line faster than a year ago, so every step feels like it has a purpose. 9 weeks to go...