Tuesday, September 10, 2013

this was not how they said it would be...

a smile is a poor umbrella. can i get a towel here?
when you're inside and comfy, weather is a ho-hum subject.

when you're outside running in it, however, it's less pedestrian. or, you know, more.

"training specificity is key," according to somebody at runner's world. "tailor your training to your event. if you're traveling to an event, there's not a lot you can do to control elevation and climate changes. but you can study the surface, average weather, and elevation of your event, and plan your training accordingly."

which means my training should've taken place on a treadmill. in the shower.

the forecast for the lake chelan shore-to-shore marathon called for a high of 74, with a 30% chance of showers. the forecast was wrong. so very wrong.

at the start: rain

mile 1: rain
mile 6: rain
mile 14: rain
mile 20: rain
at the finish: rain

every mile in between: rain

i'm not complaining. last year, i've learned, race day was sunny and 90° by 10 a.m. between those extremes, i'll take the rain, every time. it makes "staying hydrated" so much easier.

still, the sloshing was epic.

from what i've heard, the chelan course is very scenic. during the race, however, there was little to see: wet pavement. wet runners. wet volunteers. driving out of town after, the skies lifted a bit, and yes...beautiful. water surrounded by a diorama of high, rolling hills, wrapped dramatically in low clouds. it'd be worth running this event next year on that basis alone (and to test the local claim of "three hundred days of sunshine a year!").

speaking of the volunteers, those out manning the aid stations during this race were spectacular. instead of staying in their cars (or bailing altogether), they geared up and showed up and kept everybody going. they smiled and laughed and cheered, and i would like to high-five all of them.

random rain-related observation: when they're really sopping wet, compression shorts chafe in some unfortunate areas.

random gender-related stat: according to race organizers, 70% of this year's runners were women. make of that what you will ~ but according to the surgeon general, it's because more men are watching more football on the couch these days, and women are just generally smarter than men.*
(* i don't have actual statistics to back this up, but really, would you be a bit surprised?)

song stuck in my head the entire race: long road out of eden. could have been worse. could've been "the night the lights went out in georgia."

my race pace: not fast, but considerably quicker than my long-run training pace. my longest training run was 20 miles, so the last 6.2 miles at chelan were run as if uphill. underwater. still, not so bad.

goal one: finish. check.
goal two: finish in 3:56 or better. check.

waiter, we're done here. check.

on my feet and moving.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

first fest

"don't overthink it."
"for everything, there is a first time."

~ shakespeare (or was it spock? i don't know. let's go with "shakespock" and call it good)

i'm not a list person, but i have a marathon coming up. and since it's my first marathon, i have a list.

it's got some weird-sounding stuff on it: injinjis and altras and zoots. oh, my. it also has some normal-sounding stuff: shirt, shorts, hat, sunglasses, chia seeds, lime...what?

i'm guessing many of the items on "the list" are completely superfluous, and will be left in the hotel room. but, you know, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. i'll make a different list next time.

at the top of "the list," in red ink, is the minutes-per-mile pace i'll have to run to finish under four hours. it looks kinda like this: *9-minute miles = 3:56

also up there is the time i'd have to beat to qualify for the boston marathon. it looks kinda like this: *BQ = 3:30:00 ha ha

i left off *marathon world record = 2:03:02 because, you know, there's only so much room on a post-it note.

according to another list, of sorts ("16-week training schedule" @ marathon rookie.com), today was my last pre-event training run. three miles was prescribed, but that seemed short. so i ran 3.5. not sure what impact this transgression will have...if i fall down a half mile short of the finish line, unable to continue, i'll know.

existential dilemma: headphones or no headphones?

there was a time when i wouldn't go for a run, any run, without some kind of sound being pumped into my head. for months it was the music in my itunes library, which eventually evolved to a random pandora mix. after a few months of that i switched to pandora stand-up comedy. i would literally lol while i ran, which may have scared people as i passed by.

that was a long time ago. with a couple rare exceptions, i haven't run with headphones in over a year. then again, i haven't run a marathon before. come mile 18 will i curse myself for deciding not to bring them along? will they distract me so much that i forget to stay hydrated and fall down a half mile from the finish line?

f*ck it, no headphones.

the race-day forecast for lake chelan and vicinity...

Day Sep 7

Few Showers
Few Showers
Chance of Rain:
N at 5 mph
UV Index:
6 - High
6:27 am
9:01 am
Waxing Crescent



this is fantastic news. daytime highs in chelan can range into the 90s this time of year. so, assuming there's no hair-igniting lightning associated with these showers, we can stay focused on important topics, such as why there was no rain gear on "the list."

(note to self: add "rain gear" to "the list." then figure out what "rain gear" means in this context.)

packet pick-up and pre-race dinner will be at the vin du lac winery in chelan. they'll be pouring $5 glasses of wine for the occasion. woo hoo, cheap-but-good wine! which i will totally be foregoing. mutter*mumble*murmur...

my first marathon put up a fight. i was all trained up in april ahead of a may 5 target event (vancouver, BC!)...but life happened, that window closed, and months went by. come to find out there aren't that many (road) marathons scheduled during summer, and fewer still that synchronized with our family schedule.

but an obsessive scouring of the internet turned up a race that fit the calendar, was not too far from home, and was not insanely expensive. when i signed up it seemed far in the future. now, in the blink of an eye, it's upon us. so it goes.

as someone said (i don't know who), "you run the first ten miles of a marathon with your head. you run the second ten with your legs. and you run the last 6.2 with your heart."

standing here, t-minus three days and counting, i have a good bit of confidence in my legs. in my head, not as much. it's time to find out about the heart.


"when I run, the world grows quiet. demons are forgotten, krakens are slain, and blerches are silenced."

~ matthew inman

on my feet and moving.

Monday, September 02, 2013

sept. 7, part III

more than one way to dance...
as i may have mentioned once or twice, i'm preparing for this "marathon" thing.

which means i've been running extra miles here and there, in hopes my body won't get halfway into the event and decide, "no."

in the handful of months leading up to race day (sept. 7), i averaged about 110 miles per. in the final few weeks pre-taper i averaged about 39 miles per. in august, according to my handy-dandy mileage log web site, i ran 155 miles.

that's 20+ miles farther than any calendar page in my brief running history.

i don't want to make a big deal of this, because lots of runners i know put in lots more miles than that every month. on the other hand, i do want to dance a quick little dance celebrating the difference between august and all the months that came before it.

there. done. i'm not much of a dancer.

continuing on this path, it turns out that i want to continue on this path. which is to say, i want this to be the first of many such events. after this, i have an october trail half marathon on oahu...after that i'm eyeballing a trail marathon in november. 

after that...who knows.

but, i get ahead of myself. one goal at a time.

one step at a time.

on my feet and moving.