Archive for December, 2012

I Thought This Was A 5k
December 28, 2012

…or how I ran my first Ragnar Relay

Ok, so I’m not that dense, I knew it wasn’t a 5k, I was very much aware it was a 196-plus-some-change mile race between Chattanooga and Nashville.  But that was our very cleverly coined team name.  As I have been slowly attempting to tick off items off of my Athletic Bucket List.  One more that has been dogging me for a while is a major relay race.  After applying for Hood To Coast, I knew I really wanted to be on a team for Ragnar this year.  So, I set my sights on stalking the Facebook page.  Fortunately after only one post, Cayla snatched me right up.  Boom, I was in!

As we got closer to race day, I was finalizing all my plans, packing and reducing and packing and reducing again, stalking the weather in several cities at bizarre hours of the day like a fiend, and overeating like it was my job.

Thursday:
Packing and prepping day.

All my stuff for the next 30 hours.

I took the day off work to get all my crap together.*

Packed neatly into 1 backpack. No Diva Kitty didn’t join us for the race.

Really glad I did this.  I was able to pack, prepare 6 peanut butter sandwiches, and just relax and make sure everything was taken care of.

Peanut...Peanut butter...

Peanut…Peanut butter…

All the rest of my team had already gone down to meet in Chattanooga, but another teammate (whom I recruited) and I went to a concert in Nashville and decided to get up early on Friday and drive down then.  It was too bad we didn’t get our team bonding in early, but when you’re about to spend 30 hours in a van together, there’s plenty of time for smelling each other’s sweaty runner funk bonding.

Friday:
5am Wake up call in time to throw on my my first running outfit with a sweatshirt and yoga pants to cover up.  Eat some breakfast and hop in the car with a mug full of coffee, pointing south to Chattanooga.

8:45am We arrived at the hotel and met up with Cayla, our more than fearless leader.  We pack our stuff into the van and head to the start line.

10:30am Our start time and our first 2 runners in our van are off.

teamstart

Team “I thought this was a 5k!”

Van 1 goofing off at the start line.

Van 1 goofing off at the start line.

12:05pm – LEG 1.  This leg is a 5.1 mile leg all downhill on Suck Creek Mountain.  I averaged a pace in the 7’s range, but I still got passed by 4 people, 3 guys and 1 gal.  That gal chicked all other guys so it was worth it.  No kills unfortunately.  I didn’t want to blow it up and go too fast on the first leg and have nothing left for the other 2 longer legs, but I also knew that the downhill leg would burn out my quads if I tried to brake myself too much.  It was a delicate balance of watching my speed and trying not to trip and causing a snowball effect down the mountain.

Starting my first leg.

Starting my first leg.

Handing off to runner # 4

Handing off to runner # 4

4pm – Van 1 is done with all the runners.  We stop at a Cracker Barrel to get some food and head to the next major exchange to rest and wait for Van 2 to come in.  By “rest” I mean everyone trying to nap in the van during the daylight.

3

A little threesome action in the back bench of the minivan.

Once Van 2 catches up with us, it’s starting to get dark and we’re all about to head out on our night runs, donning lots of lights and reflective material.

9:44pm – Leg 2.  This is my longest run, 6.8 miles, fairly flat going over Tims Ford Lake area.  This run felt great and averaged 8:49 pace.  Not bad for night time in the middle of nowhere Redneck Outback.  6 kills on this leg, I was taking them out left and right.  I got lots of compliments on my LiteBelt.

Saturday:
5:53am – Leg 3.  This was my hardest run.  I had gotten sick overnight and my quads were searing from the downhill leg the day before.  But I took some anti-nausea medicine and drank some Coke to settle my stomach.  The last thing I wanted to do was run, but I got through 6.1 miles at a very slow 10:13 pace.  At one point my team had stopped to check on me.  They asked if I was OK, I shook my head a pathetic “no” and just kept going.  I knew if I stopped I would never get going again.  I managed 2 kills on this run, it looked like everyone was hurting on this one.  I wish I had felt better on this run, because I started this run in the dark and the sun came up and it was fully light by the time I finished the run.  A total of 18 miles and 8 kills in about 19 hours.

Van 1 at the finish

Van 1 at the finish

Finish – After handing off to Van 2, we headed to my house for much needed showers and rest since I live in between the final major exchange and the finish line.  After crossing the finish line with the entire team, I went home and promptly slept for a full 12 hours (5pm-5am) straight.  I woke up when I tried to roll over and my quads started screaming at me.

Team "I thought this was a 5k!"

Team “I thought this was a 5k!”

And the MVP award goes to our Captain, Cayla who stepped up when one of our teammates got sick after her first leg and ran the extra 2 legs.  That’s right, she ran 5 legs in 24 hours totaling 22.6 miles.

MVP

MVP

I had a really fun time and I’d totally do it again.  We had great weather and this is a very well executed race.  Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done, but I really enjoyed it.  I had excellent teammates, even with being the rag tag bunch that we were.  I still remain in very close contact (usually on a daily basis) with my teammates and we’re planning to do other relay runs again.

Side Note:  If you decide that you need to massage your piriformis after you run, make sure none of your teammates are standing by with a camera to document it.

IMG_0016

*What I packed for the race:
1 pr running shoes (based on weather decided to go with just 1 pr instead of 2)
3 prs running shorts
1 pr running tights
3 prs running socks
3 sports bras
2 short sleeve running shirts
1 long sleeve running shirt
safety gear (reflective vest, head lamp with rear lamp, LiteBelt)
1 light weight running jacket (with removable sleeves, i.e., doubles as vest)
Clothes for in between runs (yoga pants, sports bra, underwear, socks, slip on shoes, long sleeve shirt, hoodie, rain jacket just in case)
running hat (with reflective strips)
gloves
Ear band/hat
iPod + charger (doubles with phone charger)
Garmin + charger
RoadID
Body Glide
Handheld water bottle for running, plus large water bottle for drinking in van
Nutrition: several Gu/Cliff Shots, Cliff Bars/Picky Bars, Nuun for my water, Sport Beans, Honey Stinger chews.
baby wipes and facial wipes (whore’s bath all the way)
toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, brush, chapstick, etc.)
Meds (Excedrin, ibuprofen, anti-nausea Rx, Immodium, etc.)
Extra freezer bags and grocery bags
small roll of toilet paper
sharpie
swiss army knife
Travel blanket that folds up small and can be used as pillow

Food:
PB sandwiches
pretzels (I subsisted on these almost entirely)
small Cokes (second half of what I subsisted on besides Nuun water)
fruit snacks (didn’t touch these)
Gummi bears (well the coke version)
Large reusable bottle of water
Various protein bars

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35-35-35 FINISH!
December 10, 2012

So I tried really hard, but I was unable to “outrun my birthday” as a clever friend said to me today.  But I did finish my 35 miles, with 3 hours to spare!

The big 3-5!

The big 3-5!

Yes, I am going to “STOP” running for a while.  Well, until my next race next weekend.  I’m not as sore as I expected to be.   I had a massage today for 90 minutes and I feel even better.  Not better enough to consider doing this again, but I do think I came up with a good plan for this crazy idea.  I’ve never run much more than 13 miles in one day and I certainly didn’t even train up to that mileage going into this.  I am not an ultra runner, nor do I have interest in turning into one.  Hell I don’t even want to run a full marathon.  But it is amazing what the body can do.

But most of all I have to thank all of my friends who ran with me: Tracy, Trent, Marc, Amanda, Karen.  And to the countless other friends and even strangers who cheered me on through texts, twitter, facebook, and blog comments.  It really helped get me through it.  You have no idea how much I appreciated it!

But here is the plan that I followed:

The week before the run:
I didn’t run at all.  I rode my bike, swam, and did some upper body strength training.  I wanted to save my legs.  I also ate a little more on the heavy side.  I figured I wouldn’t be eating much during those 35 hours due to my sensitive stomach (when running).  I wanted to store as many calories for energy as I could.

The run:
I knew I had just an hour shy of a day and a half, but since it’s December daylight hours are at a premium.  So I had to get in my runs very closely together.  I figured I could run up to 10 miles at a time without much trouble, especially if I split it up into at least 2 laps with a break for water and stretching in between.

The first day:
As planned, I ran a 5 mile loop, and had some water and a few minutes for rest and some stretching before beginning the second loop.  I was feeling OK and mostly managing to keep a 10 minute or more pace so I made it a 6 mile loop to work in some extra miles.  After I went home, showered and stretched.  I put on my compression tights and did some work on my foam roller.  For the second run, I managed two loops of 5 miles.  I worked in a bit of walking any time I came to a slight incline or just to rest for a minute.  That evening, I had a 60 minute massage scheduled and I slept in my compression tights, taking them off after a couple hours.

Second day:
I woke up very early after sleeping well and ran 1 mile as a warm up.   After eating breakfast and a little more stretching and foam roller, I went for another run.  Another 2 laps of 5 mile runs with stretching in between and brief walking breaks during the second lap.  I went home and rested and stretched and foam rolled some more.  Then all I had left was 3 miles, so I made a promise to myself I would run the entire 3 miles.

Third day:
I scheduled a final 90 minute massage to work out final kinks.

Nutrition/Fuel:
I made sure to consume plenty of fluids, in particular water (for basic hydration), nuun and pedialyte (for electrolytes), chicken broth (for sodium), chocolate milk (for recovery), Coke (to settle my stomach).
I ate plenty of bananas (for energy and cramps), peanut butter on bagels (for nutrition), Cliff Shots/Gus (during runs), salt (for sodium and cramps).
And of course a celebratory “Shower Beer” before meeting friends for (veggie) burger and (waffle) fries and more beer.

beer

Runs:
I worked on trying to keep the first runs slow at 10 minute mile or slower and allow it to get slower on its own or be dictated by my pacers.

1.  Sat, Dec 8, 2012 8:10 AM
Distance: 11.00 mi
Time: 1:49:56
Avg Pace: 10:00 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:49:55 11.00 10:00
1 9:46.92 1.00 9:47
2 10:17.85 1.00 10:18
3 10:12.61 1.00 10:13
4 9:55.64 1.00 9:56
5 9:50.09 1.00 9:50
6 9:55.49 1.00 9:55
7 9:58.4 1.00 9:58
8 9:58.6 1.00 9:59
9 9:58.71 1.00 9:59
10 9:55.06 1.00 9:55
11 10:06.16 1.00 10:07

*****

2.  Sat, Dec 8, 2012 2:14 PM
Distance: 10.00 mi
Time: 1:48:44
Avg Pace: 10:52 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:48:44.4 10.00 10:52
1 10:44.4 1.00 10:44
2 10:56.9 1.00 10:57
3 11:03.6 1.00 11:04
4 10:35.2 1.00 10:35
5 10:32.9 1.00 10:33
6 10:36.0 1.00 10:36
7 11:07.6 1.00 11:08
8 10:59.1 1.00 10:59
9 10:37.2 1.00 10:37
10 11:29.1 1.00 11:29
11 :02.5 0.00 9:35

*****

3.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 6:49 AM
Distance: 1.00 mi
Time: 10:11
Avg Pace: 10:12 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 10:10.7 1.00 10:12
1 10:10.7 1.00 10:12

*****

4.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 9:06 AM
Distance: 10.01 mi
Time: 1:45:32
Avg Pace: 10:33 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:45:32.0 10.01 10:33
1 10:41.2 1.00 10:41
2 10:36.9 1.00 10:37
3 10:13.9 1.00 10:14
4 10:08.4 1.00 10:08
5 9:58.8 1.00 9:59
6 10:36.1 1.00 10:36
7 10:23.1 1.00 10:23
8 10:38.9 1.00 10:39
9 11:39.0 1.00 11:39
10 10:32.8 1.00 10:33
11 :03.1 0.01 9:44

*****

5.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 3:06 PM
Distance: 3.00 mi
Time: 31:33
Avg Pace: 10:32 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 31:33.5 3.00 10:32
1 10:28.0 1.00 10:28
2 10:34.6 1.00 10:35
3 10:31.0 1.00 10:32

And as far as how I’m doing after the run, well I walked away fairly unscathed.  Yes, I have some muscle soreness.  Only had some pain in my knee while running on the last day, but that didn’t stick around.  Oddly I developed blisters on the bottoms of several of my toes.  No new blisters on my feet, but several toes (only on the bottom) were casualties.  I also have 2 weird tiny chafed spots on my back.  I’m assuming from a sports bra, but it’s just 2 small spots the size of a pencil eraser and kinda low to be my sports bra, but it doesn’t hurt and I can’t see it so I’ll pretend it’s not there.  Otherwise I escaped relatively injury free.  Not bad for an old lady!

35-35-35 3rd+ Run
December 9, 2012

Another 11 miles down in the books.  Just 3 miles left to reach 35!

Last night as I was falling asleep I had a dream about…running.  Go figure.  It was one of those dreams, I’m watching my feet as I run, then I step off the edge of the greenway and nearly roll my ankle…And jerk awake at the same time.  After that I got a decent night’s sleep.

Then I got up early and decided to do a short shake out run of 1 mile around my neighborhood.  Marc was a trooper and joined me on a humid 1 mile at a 10:12 pace.

Wow, my eyes look tired and puffy.

Wow, my eyes look tired and puffy.

And of course I had to get a close up shot of my hat.  This stuff has been getting me through the weekend.  Regular Body Glide on my body and the WarmFX Anti-Pain on my tendonitis and any other sore spots.

bodyglide

After getting some breakfast, I headed out to the greenway to join Karen for some more mileage.  She was a great pacer! And she had just paced her daughter during a good portion of a marathon the day before.

 5 miles with Karen and Marc.

5 miles with Karen and Marc.

Then Marc was a trooper and ran with me for the last 5 miles.  While I’ve been feeling surprisingly good, especially on the first 5 miles, I was starting to struggle the last 2 miles of this run.  I was sore and really thirsty.  It is unseasonably warm here and very humid because of the off-and-on rain.  But I did it.

Another 10 miles at 10:33 pace.  Maybe a touch too fast at this point.

Because of all the soreness and the heat I had to wear the most ridiculous outfit today.  Note the tri shorts under my running shorts hoping to minimize muscle vibration and my Swiftwick compression socks for the same reason.  I couldn’t wear my beloved fancy compression tights because it was so darn hot.  And speaking of the heat, I’m wearing a tank top…in DECEMBER!

Seriously, this is winter?

Seriously, this is winter?

Then I proceeded to take an Epsom salt bath and rest in my compression tights.

Consumed:
Banana and most of 1/2 of a bagel with peanut butter, with some coffee and some Pedialyte, and some extra ibuprofen.
Salt packet and Mocha Cliff Shot before running with some sips of water.
Mint Chocolate Gu at the halfway point and sips of Pedialyte.
Nuun during the last mile of my run.
Salt packet, chicken broth, Pedialyte, and big cup of chocolate milk after running.
Small coke while I was in Epsom salt bath.
Banana and a few small pretzels after the bath, plus an Immodium.

So far my stomach seems to be hanging in there.  I didn’t take any Immodium this morning because I was feeling ok, but managing your GI for 30+ hours is a delicate balancing act.  Hoping it holds out this last run and then on to the celebratory beers with friends after.

I’ve been doing pretty well about stretching (maybe not quite as much as I should), but the massage yesterday helped and I’ve been working my foam roller in quite a bit.  I try to wear my compression tights during rest when I can, or use The Stick.  I’m not nearly as sore as I expected, but definitely feeling the 32 miles I’ve done in 27 hours.

Less than a 5k left!

35-35-35 Second Run
December 8, 2012

Second run complete. 10 miles. 1:48: 44 (average 10:52 min/mile).  Thanks to Marc and Amanda for joining me for this run.

Looks like I have 3 hands holding her coke and my phone.

Looks like I have 3 hands, one holding her Coke and two holding the camera.

We started out with a 5 mile loop around one of my favorite greenways.  After a brief bathroom/water/stretching/Gu break, we took off down another part of the greenway.

As we started going through the two tunnels to another section of the greenway, I found a little surprise that Amanda had set up for me.

Holy Trackspikes Batman!

Holy Track Spikes Batman!

When I saw the first one, I had decided to walk that short but steep hill.  I laughed, because I figured one of the nearby high school track teams had been leaving messages for each other.  But then I got to the next tunnel.

tunnel

It says “Keep Going” and has a hopscotch with 35 on it.

Keep

Keep

Going

Going

35 hopscotch!

35 hopscotch!

Have I ever told you how awesome Amanda is?  She drove to a different part of the park early to write it on the greenway with chalk.  Best part, I’m running there tomorrow so I’ll see it again!

Fortunately the rain held off for these runs.  Had a little drizzle in the first run, but it was very light.  But it was really warm, especially for December.  I had a few more walk breaks this run and walked any small hills.

The park where we ran has a giant tree decorated for Christmas.  So, of course we had to get a picture in front of the tree!

tree

After the run, I went home and made a little dinner.  Then I had a 60 minute massage scheduled.  Really glad I had that set up.

Consumed:
Banana about an hour before I left for the second run.
Salt packet and Mocha Cliff Shot and some sips of Pedialyte before the run.
Salt packet and Peanut Butter Gu and some more Pedialyte at the break.
Chicken broth after finishing 10 miles.

Don't knock it til you try it.

Don’t knock it til you try it.

More chocolate milk.
Baked salmon and broccoli au gratin rice for dinner with a small Coke and some nuun.
Couple candy cane oreo type cookies for dessert and water and a small ginger ale.

35-35-35 First Run
December 8, 2012

First run down.  11 miles.  Thanks to my friends Tracy and Trent for joining me.

trio

First run we did an out-and-back of total 5 miles on Shelby Bottoms Greenway.  We tried to keep it at a 10 minute/mile pace.  It was overcast and we could hear thunder in the distance, but figured it would be fine.  After the first loop, came back to our cars.  Had a little stretch/bathroom/water/Cliff Shot break.  I got to run into 2 of my lovely Hoop Ladies who were going out for a little hoop walk.  So glad I saw them!

Just as we were starting the second loop, it started raining.  We ran through rain for about 2-3 miles, but it cleared up some.  Fortunately most of the greenway is tree lined so we didn’t get too wet.  I decided to run 3 miles before the turnaround.  So by the time we finished, we had gotten in 11 miles in 1:49:55 (exactly 10min/mi pace average).  Not a bad first run.  24 more to go!

Remember to finish saying "cheese" before you take the picture.

Remember to finish saying “cheese” before you take the picture.

At the finish, we ran into my friend Tiffany, who was waiting to cheer us on.  Trent and Tracy had to go their own separate ways, so I had breakfast with her.

Bonus, when you do a birthday run with Trent, you get visited by the beer fairy! Gotta love running friends who are also beer friends.  Thank you!!!  Can’t wait to dig into these lovelies soon!

beer

Back home I’m in my compression tights stretching and waiting to head out for another rainy run with friends.

Consumed so far:
Last night I went to the Nashville Tri Club party so I had a couple vegetarian soft tacos and a couple Miller High Life beers (don’t judge it’s the Champagne of Beers!) and some water. When I got home I scrambled an egg before bed so I had some protein in my system.

This morning I got up and had some coffee and some Pedialyte, half of a bagel with peanut butter and banana.

Before I ran I had a salt packet and a Mocha Cliff Shot and a sip of nuun and some water.  At the halfway point I had a Chocolate Mint Gu and some nuun.

After the run, I had about 3 small cups of chocolate milk.  Then I had another salt packet and downed some pedialyte.  I had a breakfast sandwich (egg/cheese casserole on a cheese scone) at Sweet 16 Bakery and cup of coffee with Tiffany.  Once I got home I had a small Coke in the shower (hey can’t start in on the shower beers yet).

Birthday Week Run
December 5, 2012

So I’ve lost my mind and decided to do something really not smart for my birthday.  I’m going to run.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m a runner.  But, I’m talking about running a lot.  A LOT.

Inspired by my very good friend, I have decided I’m going to run 35 miles* in 35 hours for my 35th birthday.  That’s a lot of running.  No I haven’t particularly trained to run 35 miles, but I’m also not planning to run all of it at once.  But I am planning to split it up into several runs over the day and a half.  I’m calling it my 35-35-35 Run.

I’m begging encouraging my running friends to come and run some of the miles with me.  Mostly I need someone to help pace me V E R Y  S  L  O  W  L  Y.  I figure the slower I go the less wear and tear on my body.  The first 3 runs will be split up into at least 2 loops so that friends can join me for a few miles at a time if they want, and to give me a chance to circle back around for water/bathroom/stretching breaks.

Saturday
8am – 10 mile run (split into 2 loops)
2pm – 10 mile run (split into 2 loops)
6:30pm – 60 minute massage

Sunday
9am – 10 mile run (split into loops)
3pm – 5 mile run VERY SLOW (if I manage to work in an extra mile or 2 in the runs above, this may be shorter, or longer if I was struggling)
6pm – Celebratory beer(s) with friends

Monday
90 minute massage (if I can still walk)

I fully expect there to be several walk breaks and that my last run will be nothing short of a fast walk slow run crawl.  I plan to switch out shoes periodically, and probably go through several bandaids and/or moleskin.

I’ll drink plenty of water, chocolate milk, nuun, pedialyte, chicken broth, and Coke.

I’ll eat countless Gus/Cliff Shots, Honey Stinger Chews, Sport Beans, pretzels, Immodium, ibuprofen.

When I’m not running, I’ll take ice baths, get a massage, use The Stick on my legs, fight with my foam roller, nap, stretch, and generally rest and stay off my feet.

* NOTE I reserve the right to change this to 35k at any time if I decide I have bitten off way more than my running shoes can chew.