Friday, May 28, 2010

Marathon Pictures

Alert the presses, someone got some good race photos!  I was super concerned that I didn't see any photogs around the course, that there wouldn't be any race pics.  Someone on twitter assured me there were tons along the course, which then had me freaking out because I tend to look not-so-cute when running unless I attempt a smile.  I was insanely happy with my pics and am totally dropping the $55 to get all of them.  (Since I was planning on spending way more $$ at the Expo I figure it's okay.)

Starting the race.  Check out that zen facial expression.  I'm probably trying to not cry.  I actually smiled for most of the first two miles because I was so excited.

This isn't actually from the race photos, but I happened to see this one on the Green Bay Press-Gazette website.  Makes me look fast.  Also, the first time I've ever thought I had runner's legs. Yay.

No idea where this is along the course.  I'm willing to bet the earlier miles since the guy on the left is dressed as the abominable snow man.  Sheesh guy.
Again no idea where this is on the course.  Obviously it's warmed up at this point.  Blech.  So hot.
Best part of the race.  Lambeau!!  I really wish I was in stride during this pic.  Oh well.  The smile says it all.  Unfortunately no energy for a Lambeau Leap.

Right before the finish line trying to haul some booty.  Hurts. So. Much. (In case you needed me to decipher the disgruntled facial expression.)
Seriously the sweetest race photo ever.  I found this one in the 2400+ lost and found photos, and couldn't have been happier that I spent that time searching.  Also had to do a side by side Brett pic so you could see the celebratory resemblance. ;)
This one is a bit goofy because they caught me as I was putting my arms down, so it really just looks like I'm doing the freestyle swim move to get me going faster.  But you gotta love the grin of pure happiness. 
I'm a marathoner.  :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

They're baaaaaaaaaaaaack

I had given myself a strict rest day on Tuesday after the IT band and foot/ankle pain from Monday.  What better way to fill the void of running, than to go out with new running buddy to celebrate her MARATHON!  (Ok, I know that whole MARATHON crap is probably beyond old, but it's still fun for me.  So please deal just b/c you heart me, k?)  Question:  Can we technically call each other running buddies if we have yet to run together?  Or should we be considered Marathon Celebration Buddies?  We have a run planned for this weekend, so we'll solidify the relationship asap to keep people from being up in arms about the title, mmk?

Jenn and I met up at one of my favorite restaurant/bars in town for some celebratory libations and food.  In hindsight, probably should've emphasized the food portion of the evening and down played the libations area just a smidge.  We talked all things racing (obviously) and tried to figure out other random similarities that we shared. I honestly feel like I've known her for my whole life, it's pretty effed up but yay for us.  At one point in the evening, it was obviously photo shoot time.  Oh Lord.  I literally have 24549583749530489 photos on my camera, and I'm sure she does as well.  But any good blogger knows, the key to good pictures is to take 1 million
of them because a few are bound to turn out.  And we followed that rule to a T.  However, since we are both fairly photogenic and adorable (sorry boys she's off the market) we now have 24549583749530489 (times two with her camera I'm guessing) good photos.  Excellent.

I also had a familiar face as my DD for the evening because drinking + driving = Jeri's going to punch you in the teeth.  Apparently we're only able to take cute pictures when we're not together.  Which is super awesome.  We are also only able to get along when we're not together.  So that's another fun fact.  Hah.

And as a gift for the lift home, you get a lick from chin to temple.  Because that's how I roll.  I could probably make a full album out of pictures of me licking him.

After waaaaaaaaaaaay too much fun on a "school night" I was not too amped about my run on Wednesday.  Also, I was super nervous that my legs would be "not ready" yet again.  I had an 6 tempo miles on the schedule which I down graded to 6 easy miles, with the intention of running however far I could depending on how my legs felt.  If I could only do 2 before the IT bands and/or ankle started hurting, I would do 2 slow miles.

In other super-dumb-I'm-an-idiot-and-should-know-better-news I ate 42 servings of dairy today.  My lactose intolerant body?  Not lovin' that.  Honestly....everything I ate today was 2-3 parts dairy to 1 part non-dairy.  And the non-dairy part was merely a vehicle to get said dairy to my mouth.  So. Much. Pain.

I had to dig up my old school running watch because my Garmin's battery was dead.  And out the door I went.  As soon as I started up, my legs felt fab.  No pain, no achy, no sluggishness.  The only thing that was weird was my breathing.  I felt like I was breathing hard for no reason (perhaps my lungs aren't used to running in 12,000% humidity yet!).  After about a half mile, I apparently remembered how to breathe again, and all was well.  Even without Garmin, I knew where my mile markers typically are, and mentally noted my splits.  9:20-9:23 range.  This should not be surprising anymore, as that is auto-pilot runner Jeri pace.  Which is a-ok with me.  I was literally beaming on the run.  I smiled and waved at everyone on the trail, I was totally "that girl."  Oh well.  :)

Within the first mile I was within 15 feet of a deer.  It ran up to the trail and then just looked at me while I was running at it.  I didn't want it to think I was ready to engage in battle, but I also didn't want to stop running.  Luckily, it must've thought I was too tough of an opponent, and it took off into the trees.  Bye Bambi!  The last 1/2 mile I had the WORST stomach cramps and almost thought I was going to revisit my dairy-heavy dinner.  Uff.

I did 6 miles in 56:06 for a pace of 9:21.

When I got home, I went to the bathroom to do the quick face rinse of sweat to see this.  Ohmygodthat'ssounbelivablygrossithinkithrewupinmymouthalittlebit.  But seriously.  Just for some frame of reference, one of those black dots is a mole.  The other 47....... [shudders].  Also, for the record, I don't sweat I glooooow.

But most importantly:  welcome back leggies.  I havemissed you. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back To It

I have to share an awesome email I got from my manager post-marathon.  Or I guess just the card attached to the email.  It. Is.  Awesome.

Prior to doing the marathon, I had wanted to do a half marathon in mid-June.  I found one and created my training program to start 8 days after the marathon.  Turns out 8 days was this Monday.  On the schedule 3 x 1600 @ 7:28-7:45 pace.  What the hell was I thinking putting my most loathed workout right off the bat??  Silly Jerbear.

The crazy thing was, I was actually excited about doing the mile repeats because I was so stinkin' sick of not running.  Since it's currently late July- August weather outside (90+ degrees +100% humidity+ 40 mph winds = wtf???) I headed immediately to the gym.  Hey, when it's this hot, you get your warm up and sweat-on during the drive too the gym.  Who needs a warm up?  Seriously...yuck.

I got to the gym and got going on my mile warm up.  Body assessment:  knees are a bit tight but feel good otherwise.  I stretched after the first mile and then got to it.  I was surprised at how great the first mile felt--7:37.  I was not surprised about the copious amounts of sweat pouring off of me.  I chose to walk the first .1 of my recovery 1/2 mile and jog the last .4 of it.  As soon as I started the slow jog my IT bands were screaming at me.  I decided to give the second mile repeat a go to see if they speed would loosen them up.  Nope.  After another quarter mile I realized that doing the full mile would probably just do my harm then go, so opted to bump up the speed a smidge and end with an 800 m. instead.  I finished it in 3:46.  I did another 1/2 mile walk/jog cool down.

I did 3.5 miles in 33:09.

warm up1 Mi9:399:399:39
Interval1 Mi7:3717:167:37
Recovery0.5 Mi6:2123:3712:42
Interval0.5 Mi3:4627:237:32
Recovery0.5 Mi5:4833:1111:36

I stretch stretch stretched and then hit the stationary bike for some ridiculous gossip mag catch up and more leg loosening up.  I think I'll omit the rest of my speed work this week for some easy runs and then hit the ground running (<----yeah... I went there....) next week, since I only have 5 weeks till race day.  WHOO!!!

I do have some pain in my foot somewhat reminiscent to what I had last fall.  If I remember correctly it was a combo of playing volleyball and wearing shoes with too many miles on them.  The shoes I'm wearing are about 100 miles shy of what I usually get out of them (literally I got 430 out of my purple versions of the ones I'm currently wearing, and have 300ish on the pinks), but I bit the bullet and bought a new pair today.  There's a chance I just need a little more stability while my body is still healing, and I can still use the pink ones for some cruddy weather runs so I can still get some use out of them.

And in still more aren't you sick of hearing about my marathon news:  I found a video of me starting the race!  I was pretty excited because my parents were beyond bummed they couldn't be there, so they were able to see me run 2 seconds of my 4 hour and 12 minute race. ;)  You can see me at 1:30-1:33 running towards the middle in my pink shirt and green shorts. :D

Make sure to check out Beth at Shut Up and Run's Sweet givewaway!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Running Buddy + Race Recovery

Something fabulous has occurred.  I may have met a running buddy sole mate for realsies this time. :)  I joined the Daily Mile a few weeks ago.  A girl added me as a friend (or I added her, either way it was FATE hah).  After looking at her training runs and race times I realized we were pretty much exactly the same speed.  Of course she was coming to this same realization at the same time and sent me a message letting me know that very information.  :)  After reading through her blog secretly (while she was also reading through my blog secretly) we deemed ourselves new best friends, without meeting, or actually speaking in person.  My god runner's are odd, no?

She was one of my best cheerleaders from afar during race weekend, and Monday night we planned an ice cream date to talk all about the race as well as her upcoming Fargo marathon (May 22nd). cream....running talk?  Jenn, if you didn't have a hubby, I probably would've proposed to you right then and there!  If you aren't already reading her blog, here's another Jeri-endorsed-read-this-blog-yo!  PurpleShoe Runs If anything head there to read her race report from Fargooooooooo which I'm sure will be up soon if it isn't already!!  I can't wait until we're both recovered from our 'thons and can actually do the running buddy shiz. :D  [If I was a good blogger, I would've brought my camera and there'd be a smiling picture of us inserted right here, but I'm not, so use your imagination.]

Recovery has been not so fun.  You mean you can't run during recovery, wth?  Ok, I knew that, but I had this strange idea it was because you wouldn't want to run, not because you were physically unable to.  I spent some major time with Mr. Ice Pack Monday through Thursday.  I also did some mad stretching especially in the mornings when I felt like a creaky old lady.  Thursday I decided to take out Miss Polly and ride my bike to work (since I would be unable to on Friday which is actually Bike to Work day in my city).  Conveniently I live a nice 5k from work.  Yes, I know I'm blessed to live that close, hence why I drive like 10 miles/month. :p  By the time I got to work my quads were tiiiiiiired.  I think they were still in recovery mode plus biking into the wind with one gear is never an easy task. :)  Biking home was a breeze.  Literally, I had the wind at my back.  Did you know everyone smiles at a girl with a bright yellow bike?  It's fact.

I finally got my first run in Friday after work in holy crap it's hot weather.  Seriously.  I thought I was wearing pants and a jacket last week on my runs???  What's with this 80-90 degrees?  When I started out, I immediately started to feel all the places that were aching the latter parts of the marathon.  My hips felt like they needed replacing and my IT bands didn't take long until they were tired.  I stuck with the plan and did an easy 2 mile route, stopping at .75 to stretch stretch stretch, and stretching really well when I got home.  After stretching round 1, everything felt really great, except the IT bands were still pretty tight.  When I got home I had a nice little date with my rolling pin (which I had forgotten to bring to Green Bay with me, UGH!)  Hurts. So. Good.

I did 2 miles in 18:52 for a pace of 9:26.
1. 9:33
2. 9:19

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Race Weekend Recap: I Heart Lambeau Field

Honestly, thank you all so much for your support and congrats on the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.  I've been totally slacking on my posts, and there was so much about the weekend that didn't make it in to the race report, so here goes!

I started my adventure to the land of cheese and awesomeness on Friday morning.  I headed to the rental car place to pick up my flyyyyyy ride, grabbed an iced latte from Starbucks and some snacks for the weekend and I hit the road.  Btw, my obsession with iced lattes is getting way out of hand.  I literally crave one every minute of every day.  More so than ice cream at this point.  Insane.

I was supposed to meet up with Alyssa and Steph for lunch, but due to some unforeseen scheduling issues, it didn't work out.  SO BUMMED!  But we will hang out some time fo sho.  :)  I powered through the drive, stopping only for potty breaks (which was roughly every 100 miles for my tiny coffee fueled bladder).  The first time I saw a road sign for mileage to Green Bay, I got all teary eyed.  Can we say emotional taper beast?  Holy crap.  I got to town 8 hours later and after some minor getting lost, finally got to my hotel.  It. Was. Fab.  I stayed in the Aloft hotels, and they were amazing.

King sized bed for the princess.  ;)  I loved the funky interior of the hotels.  Totally my taste/style.  
Macbook loooooved being able to sleep next to me at night.  (I loved it as well.  Way better than a dude.)

I had planned to do some exploring of the great city but I was struck with the worst headache EVER.  I ordered up some dinner and hit the hay early.  Of course, I managed to wake up in the middle of the night thinking that Saturday was race day and I hadn't set an alarm.  Silly brain.

When I finally woke up on Saturday (super early), I was so excited to head to the race expo.  But more excited to lay eyes on Lambeau Field for the first time.  Sigh.  It was breath taking.  But seriously.  I had no words.  

While at the expo I met up with Neil for some pre-race chatter.  He discussed the course a bit since he's familiar with the area, and totally helped set my mind at ease.  We parted ways so I could go to the first timer's presentation, which was also great at calming my brain.  Such a good program they have and yet another reason I'm glad Green Bay was my first.

After forking over only $20 at the expo (I'm just as shocked as you are), it was time to find some chow.  I checked my list of "must eats" I'd been compiling from friends and decided Curly's Pub would be a great choice.  
Curly Lambeau poster leading up the stairs to the restaurant and amazing ceiling.  I wouldn't mind having that as my ceiling.  The food, sadly, wasn't that great.  But I was doing a strict no-dairy prior to the race to avoid any digestive issues, and they're obviously known for some amazingly cheesy dishes.  So sad.  My special Curly Ale totally made up for the not so amazing food.  No dairy means no amazing ice cream either.  One single tear. :'(


I also knew I needed to make a stop in the Packers Pro Shop.  I promised my debit card that I would go easy on her.  Can I say...kid in a candy shop?  Because....ya.  I could've easily spent $10,000 in that store.  No joke.  I was impressed I walked out down only $110, and the proud new owner of a Greg Jennings jersey and fabulous hoodie.  

Even though I wanted to hang out at the expo for hours, I made myself head back to my hotel so my legs could rest.  But not before taking some cute pictures.  I have a feeling this is what heaven's gates will look like. :)  God's totally a Packers fan.

After a delicious nap, it was back to Lambeau for a pasta dinner.  I didn't realize the pasta dinner was included in the race entry fee, which was awesome!  I got to meet some other runners and enjoy the special 26.2 brew that Titletown had created specifically for the weekend.  Sadly I had a ton of drink tickets and a stupid marathon to run the next morning!

After taking more photos of the field, I actually overheard a lady say, "Oooooooh so there's actually a guy this place is named after?!?!"  I swear to God my jaw dropped.  :)

Then it was lights out for this chica, and know the rest.  :)  The drive home sucked, to put it mildly.  Although, I managed to make it home in 7 hours and 15 minutes instead of the 8 hours it took me to get there.  Never again will I drive the day after a marathon.  Lesson learned.  I have never been as happy to be reunited with my ice pack as I was Monday afternoon. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Race Report: Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

Sunday I set out to complete my #1 goal for 2010:  to become a marathoner.  As you may know if you've been reading my blog for awhile, I decided back in 2005 when I first started distance running that Green Bay would be my first full as I'm a HUGE Packers fan.

I woke up after a good night of rest (shockingly) with no horrible race nightmares.  Without much fanfare, I was fed, clothed, and waiting on the hotel shuttle to take me to the race start.

Extra shockingly, there were no hardcore race nerves.  My nerves were so bad on Saturday that I wasn't hungry at. all.  I literally had to force food down my throat.  Sidenote:  this is NOT normal.  I am an EATER.  Luckily I was 100% able to drink beer and enjoyed one at Curly's Pub and a special brew by Titletown of 26.2 created just for the race. Can you say awesome?

Got to Lambeau and made bathroom stop #1.  Did some stretching and was surprised that a knot I've had in my upper right calve was still there from Thursday's easy run.  Get in a loooong line for bathroom stop #2.  Somehow I'm not stuck waiting in line for the bathroom during the Star Spangled Banner (this seriously happens to me in EVERY race leading to some major nerves that I'm going to miss the start/get stuck in the back/etc.)

I chatted it up with a few people around me, and before I know it we were getting ready to start.  And I am beaming (not surprisingly).  I'm starting my first marathon.  In Green Bay.  This is a dream.  I ran without my music for the first couple of miles to really take in the experience.  I revamped my race goals a bit after everyone's very thoughtful and intelligent advice.  I wanted to shoot for a pace between 9:15 and 9:30, erring on the slower side for the majority of the race, and then pick it up at the end if at all possible.

I made sure to check my garmin frequently in those first few miles to avoid getting swept up in the crowds.  There were so many people lined up on the course, it was amazing.  So many adorable little kid Packer fans that I wanted to steal, and many other easy on the eyes Packer men.  Ooh la la! [Sidenote:  Whenever I see a Packer fan, I immediately check him out. I think I'm destined to marry a Cheese Head.  With so many dudes on the course in Packer gear I was in heaven, but almost overly stimulated...whoa! :P]
These first few miles literally fleeeeew by.  I took my first GU at mile 5 and was feeling just dandy.

1. 9:19 
2. 9:17 
3. 9:25 
4. 9:22 
5. 9:30

The miles continued to cruise by, and I somehow managed not to do the mileage countdown game in my head.  Nothing worse than getting to the 10k mark and thinking 20 to go.  Shoot me now.  The crowd definitely thinned out during this point, which was nice.  There were a couple of run-walkers that were leap frogging with me during these miles which was entertaining.  I met a dude who is an Ironman (crazy fool) who was shooting for a 4:10 finish.  I told him I was going to keep my eye on him and let him pace me.  Sadly he stopped leap frogging with me around the half way mark.  I took my second GU at mile 10.

6. 9:19 
7. 9:22 
8. 9:15 
9. 9:24 
10. 9:25

As many people tweeted who were following me at home via email/text message updates, I was running a ridiculously even pace.  Each time I would get to a mile marker, I would spend a minute or so figuring out what my average pace was.  It hovered around 9:22-9:23 until mile 15.  The halfers and fullers split off around 12 miles.  I was running with a group of dudes at this point, and once we were out of ear shot of the half marathoners, I had to blurt out, "This is where we separate the men from the boys!"  Of course that got a good laugh out of them, and my one witty comment of the day was used up. :)  At the 13.1 mark, I was at 2:02:35 and I thought that my 4:04-4:08 goal frame was in reach.  I took my next GU at mile 14.

11. 9:12
12. 9:22
13. 9:22
14. 9:31 

My only complaint about this race (because it truly has had my heart long before I even ran it) is that the crowd support diiiiiiies after the halfway point.  Understandable, since there are 5000 half marathoners and 2000 marathoners, but stinky for us going the full distance.  During this stretch I started to get really really hot.  The clouds that were supposed to be out shielding us from the rays were no where to be seen, and I was toasty.  I started grabbing two water cups at each station, one to drink and another to dump on my back and a splash for my head.  Felt. So. Good.  Highlight of this section (and best fluid station EVER!) was the little punk rock kids jammin' a Blink 182 song!!!!  I was soooo excited.  I'm a big Blink fan, and it made my day that little junior highers were rockin' their tunes.  I took my next GU at mile 18. And yes I was soooo sick of GU at this point.  Ugh.

15. 9:21
16. 9:37
17. 9:25
18. 9:40 

Yeah, screw you mile 18.  I hate you.  Always have, probably always will.  Sorry, if you forget my intense hatred for 18 milers please revisit.  I was getting close to the 20 miler mark; the point where I was going to estimate where I was physically to assess what my finish goal time should be.  Assessment:  nap time!  jk.  But it would've been nice.  I knew speeding up was not an option, except for maybe the last 2-3 miles.  I would continue on at a steady pace.  Based on my calculations at this point, I should be able to finish at ~4:10 if I stayed at a steady pace and didn't give in to walking (although I wanted to REALLY REALLY BAD!).

The Mile 20 "Wall Party" was simply awesome.  You could hear them from about 1/2 mile away (which actually wasn't a good thing because you just wanted to *be* there not at 19.5) and there was a huge inflatable castle wall that we ran under.  People were lined up along the route for a good 1/4 of a mile screaming their faces off.  It was great. :)  I took my last GU at mile 22 and resisted the urge to GU all over those running around me.  I knew I needed it but did NOT want it.  Even a little bit.  Ick.

19. 9:41
20. 9:43
21. 9:42
22. 9:52 

I was so ready to be done.  My hips hurt.  My IT bands hurt.  That calve tightness I mentioned earlier?  It hurt for the first 15 miles, but then because everything else hurt so much, I forgot about it.  Excellent.  Everyone around me was walking, and I really wanted to join in.  I was so overheated that I started to get cold.  Uh oh.  Jeri doesn't really *get* cold.  : /  I knew if I stopped to walk I may not get started again.  I saw those around me stop to walk, start up for a few seconds, and then revert back to walking.  I did not want to go through that pain.  Plus, my 4:10 finish was still in sight if I could run 10 minute miles.  10 minute miles are EASY right?  I can run that without trying, right?  Wrong.  Hah.

23. 10:00
24. 10:25 

Oh heeeeeey there 10 minute and 10 minute + miles.  I haven't seen you in a year and a half of training.  How are you dooooooing?  Luckily I was in such a daze, I didn't even hear my garmin beep, thus not seeing these times.  Guarenteed I would've stopped because I for sure felt like I was running an 8:30 pace.

I knew I just had to make it to 25ish because that's when we could run through LAMBEAU.  I knew I'd be fine once I got there, that was my DREAM.  By the time we got up to the field, I was ready to cut through to the finisher's side and to hell with Lambeau.  I was getting very dizzy, but knew I had about 10 minutes to go and then I could die/pass out/do whatever my body was on the verge of doing.  I ran through Lambeau.  And it was love.  :)  I beamed....even though I'm convinced that smiling while running is wasted effort.  It was worth it.  My garmin lost signal on the tunnel into Lambeau and out of Lambeau so I had no idea what my time was.  I pushed for the final couple of minutes and sprinted (yes! I actually sprinted!) to the finish line.  I raised my hands in the air with the biggest smile EVER, crossed the line, stopped my garmin, and immediately started to look like those weeble wobble toys.

25. 10:22
26.2 12:43 (10:36 pace) (6:34 max pace at the finish line)

26.2 miles in 4:12:00.  Yeah, I'm *that* good.  For a pace of 9:37.
*That* meaning I finished with :00 for the record. ;)

A couple of medics came to support me and guide me into the medical tent, but I refused to let them until I had my medal around my neck.  Priorities, yo!  I have a tendency to faint after long runs, so I wasn't too concerned, but I just didn't want to faint standing up....concrete is not my cranium's friend.  I explained to the medics that I thought I might have some mild heat exhaustion or heat stroke and was probably also dehydrated since I couldn't take down any fluids the last couple of miles because my stomach was so upset.  I chilled for a while, literally with a blanket on and ice pack on my face, and drank some delicious gatorade and then called it a day.  Once the dizzies and nausea passed I was ready to celebrate my marathoness!

Yes my clock time and Garmin time were the same again with the :00.  I swear I'm just as impressed as you all are.  ;)

So there you have it.  I'M A MARATHONER!!!!
Toughest thing I have ever done in my life, and biggest accomplishment to date.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support.  Even though I didn't have anyone out on the course, I knew there were tons of you checking your emails, text updates, refreshing the race website, tweeting away cheering for me, texting me to HUSTLE UP (haha!), writing on my facebook wall.  You are all amazing and much appreciated.

When's #2? ;)