Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Music to Run By

My longest training run is now behind me, leaving me looking forward to the day (where I promise to apply sunscreen liberally now that I know the sun is here). I am excited, nervous, anxious and just ready to get this thing going! I feel like I did when I was about 39 weeks pregnant. You're just done. You're ready for the big day to get here so you can put in the hard work you've been anticipating and preparing yourself for over the past several months. Even though it's so close, that baby feels so far away!

My goal has changed since I first started training. I first wanted to just finish, period. Then, I decided I wanted a sub-six marathon. Based on my first few long runs, that seems totally attainable. With the last few runs, I've adjusted my goal and now would be very happy to come in under 6.5 hours. I'm no longer going to beat myself up over the periods of time I walk, but I also want to put in the best effort I can so that when I look back on the day I don't think (well, as much, because I know I'll dissect it anyhow) I could have done x differently. I want to feel completely done at the end, spent, all effort exerted on the road.

For my twenty miler, I had just enough songs so that my Running Mix stopped playing mere steps from my house. Good tunes are going to be so important on race day, so I sat down with a list of recommendations from my friends in the Facebook community and my current playlist and created what I think will be a mix of fast and mellow (mostly upbeat) to get me through what will be the hardest physical test for my body to date. Yep, I'm including pushing out that 9.3 cherub and having my abdomen cut open for my first babe.

I still need to do some tweaking, but if you need some musical inspiration to get your Athena (or Bonnydale in the really cool races that really give us our own category :)) bod moving, here's my playlist -- 6.5 hours (101 songs) of race day inspiration.

Ready to Run 3:51 Dixie Chicks
Let It Rock 3:51 Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne
Circus 3:12 Britney Spears
I'm Shipping Up to Boston 2:34 Dropkick Murphys
Put You In a Song 3:40 Keith Urban
Party In the U.S.A. 3:23 Miley Cyrus
Just Dance 4:02 Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis
California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) 3:56 Katy Perry
You and Your Heart 3:16 Jack Johnson
On the Road Again 2:32 Willie Nelson
Girlfriend 3:37 Avril Lavigne
Viva la Vida 4:01 Coldplay
Rhythm of Love 3:22 Plain White T's
Hey, Soul Sister 3:37 Train
Breakeven (Falling to Pieces) 4:21 The Script
Say Hey (I Love You) [feat. Cherine Anderson] 3:56 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys) 4:37 Jay-Z
Gold Digger (feat. Jamie Foxx) 3:28 Kanye West
Lollipop (Squeak E. Clean & Desert Eagles Remix) 2:06 The Chordettes
Under Pressure 3:58 David Bowie & Queen
Born to Run 4:29 Bruce Springsteen
DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love (feat. Pitbull) 3:42 Usher
Fix You 4:55 Coldplay
Firework 3:48 Katy Perry
Stuck Like Glue 4:08 Sugarland
Iko Iko 2:51 The Belle Stars
Let's Get Rocked 4:56 Def Leppard
Teenage Dream 3:48 Katy Perry
SexyBack 4:03 Justin Timberlake
Uptown Girl 3:15 Billy Joel
Don't Trust Me 3:13 3OH!3
Thnks Fr Th Mmrs 3:24 Fall Out Boy
Need You Now 3:57 Lady Antebellum
Here Comes the Sun 3:06 The Beatles
Paralyzer 3:28 Finger Eleven
Sugar, We're Goin Down 3:49 Fall Out Boy
Dynamite 3:24 Taio Cruz
Breathe (2 AM) 4:40 Anna Nalick
Back to December 4:53 Taylor Swift
Please Don't Go 3:17 Mike Posner
All the Right Moves 3:58 OneRepublic
As She's Walking Away (feat. Alan Jackson) 3:44 Zac Brown Band
Tik Tok 3:20 Ke$ha
Raise Your Glass 3:23 P!nk
I'm from the Country (Single) 3:34 Tracy Byrd
Lose Yourself 5:20 Eminem
Love Shack 5:22 The B-52's
Pour Some Sugar On Me 4:53 Def Leppard
Old Alabama (feat. Alabama) 5:02 Brad Paisley
Bittersweet Symphony 5:58 The Verve
Move Along 3:59 The All-American Rejects
Cooler Than Me (Single Mix) 3:35 Mike Posner
Mine 3:51 Taylor Swift
The Time (Dirty Bit) 5:08 The Black Eyed Peas
Somewhere Only We Know 3:56 Keane
King of Anything 3:27 Sara Bareilles
Bad Romance 4:54 Lady GaGa
Secrets 3:45 OneRepublic Waking Up (Deluxe Version) Pop 7
Vivaldi The 4 Seasons (Summer) Iii. Presto 3:08 Antonio Vivaldi Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Classical
Uprising 5:05 Muse
Something More 3:37 Sugarland
Intergalactic 3:30 Beastie Boys
Mr. Brightside 3:43 The Killers
We Made You 4:30 Eminem
Just a Dream 3:58 Nelly
Armageddon It 5:22 Def Leppard
The Cave 3:36 Mumford & Sons
Magic Carpet Ride 4:28 Steppenwolff
Lover, Lover 3:14 Jerrod Niemann
California Love 6:26 Dr. Dre Feat. 2pac
Born This Way 4:20 Lady GaGa
S&M 4:03 Rihanna
Better Life 4:44 Keith Urban
Girls Just Want to Have Fun 3:08 Starf%#$er
Forget You (Glee Cast Version) [feat. Gwyneth Paltrow] 3:41
Rolling In the Deep 3:48 ADELE
If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows) 3:38 Rodney Atkins
Changes 4:29 2Pac & Talent
Kids 5:03 MGMT
All I Want to Do 3:33 Sugarland
Without Me 4:51 Eminem
Accidentally In Love 3:09 Counting Crows
No Rain 3:37 Blind Melon
Cecilia 2:55 Simon & Garfunkel
She 2:14 Green Day
Days Go By 3:45 Keith Urban
Seven Nation Army 3:52 The White Stripes
Blister In the Sun 2:25 Violent Femmes
This 3:39 Darius Rucker
Vivaldi The 4 Seasons (Spring) I. Allegro 3:33
Numb / Encore 3:25 Jay-Z & Linkin Park
Who Knew 3:28 P!nk
Give Me Everything (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer) 4:16 Pitbull
Tonight Tonight 3:20 Hot Chelle Rae
Lust for Life 5:14 Iggy Pop
I Wanna Be Sedated 2:29 The Ramones
The Distance 3:00 Cake
Dream On 4:51 Aerosmith
I Will Survive 5:11 Cake
Ring of Fire 3:51 Social Distortion
Fat Bottomed Girls (Glee Cast Version) 4:12 Glee Cast

Happy Running!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Twenty is Plenty...plus a 10k

Note: Do NOT neglect to apply sunscreen if you plan to run for five hours in the sun.
Phew! Yesterday I completed the longest training run on my plan. Twenty miles. TWENTY miles. 2-0. Yes. I did it. 20. The kind of sad part is that my garmin battery died just before the 18 mile mark, ah well. I still lived without it giving me constant feedback about my progress, pace, time, heart rate. Really? I look at all that stuff while I'm running? Isn't that a little obsessive? Yes. And I love it.

As I started out, I had the same overwhelming sense of What have I gotten myself into?! but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and before I knew it, I was running past the high school. I had planned out my route (with about 400 turns) and meticulously wrote the turns and at what turns I'd stop for water, or a water and Honey Stinger combo. Luckily I studied it obsessively, because when I got home it was right where I left it. Folded lovingly on the counter. I only had to call J once when I was over the half-way point and had mapped in some tricky squiggly turns to get enough mileage in at that end of town so that I didn't miss any turns and all was well.

Instead of my normal fuel belt, I had J's fanny-pack style camelbak, which held 50oz, and had a pouch big enough to put in my iPhone, chews and a five dollar bill in case that wasn't enough water. Fifty ounces is a lot of water right? Well, I re-filled that with just over 6 miles left and drank it all. That's 100 ounces of agua bliss. When I filled it at home, I took the advice of my running sages SBS and Dimity and added a couple tablets of Nuun (which I love!). I am really looking forward to race day when the water and fuel will be provided for me, because I had to fiddle with the straps quite a bit.

But how did the actual run go, you ask? It was actually really good. I decided that I was no longer going to beat myself up for the times that I walk. At the point of twenty miles, I don't care how I cover that distance, just that I cover it.

As I got about 8 miles in, I had a surge of energy and felt great until about eleven miles. Then I realized I hadn't even run a half-marathon yet, ugh. Pushing negative thoughts aside, I tried to take in all the blossoms on the tree-lined streets, the beautiful houses that were for sale which I might someday afford and then I took another long draw on my camelbak straw and came back with air. Oopsie. Luckily, my son's school was just up the road, so I detoured to the playground and re-filled in drinking fountain, rinsed out my mouth and splashed water on my face. It felt fantastic. At this point in the run, I pitied anyone who had to walk past me and catch a whiff of my stench-tastic self, because I am one salty, sweaty beast!

The last 5 miles had me back out in familiar territory on the rural roads behind my house and before I knew it I was on the home stretch. Except for a little twinge in my hip, I felt pretty good. Ready to be done, but good. I chowed a banana and a cold glass of chocolate milk before making a cup of tea and prepping my ice bath. Bathed and showered, I felt like a new woman. My arms had a bit of sun, which progressively turned into lobster claws by bed-time. That's right, for the first time, I was able to wear a short-sleeved shirt on my run and I completely neglected sunscreen! I am the sunscreen queen, so I'm not sure how this happened. Lesson learned, and it's fine now, so all's well that ends well.

Sunday morning I treated myself to a massage, and scheduled another for the week I get home from Newport. Now, if I can just shake this chest cold, I feel pretty golden!

I thought I'd never run another, but I'm already thinking of strategies for my next training (after all of my kids are in school, so we're talking next decade) and found an awesome goal: I will beat Freddie Prinze Jr's time of 5:50:49...yes, 5:50:49 in the Los Angeles Marathon in 2006. I would really like to beat Mrs. Cruise nee Miss Katie Holmes' time of 5:29:58, but first it'll be Mr. Prinze Jr. When I first thought of celebrities who'd run a marathon, I wanted to beat Oprah's time; alas, it was Skinny Oprah with a trainer, so I'll never touch her time of 4:29:20 at the Marine Corps Marathon in '94. Want to see which celebrity time you'd like to crush? Go to Celebrity Marathon Times and be prepared to be a little surprised...looks can be deceiving! Which brings me back to the thought I've had all along: Marathons are ridiculously hard!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bloomsday 2011

All spring I had been anxiously awaiting running the Bloomsday 12K with sister #3. The anxiety built as life got extra busy and I did not stick to my intended training plan. With the exception of a few runs and a hike up Ramo Flats, I was not doing a whole lot of running and consequently my blog posts dropped off as well.

Nonetheless, my sister kept on encouraging me and letting me know it would all be okay, that Bloomsday was an ideal course for my entry back into fun runs. As we were driving over it hit me that though she had talked about the size of the race, I had no concept of what 50,000+ participants would be like. I had asked my sister if we were going to drive the route the evening before to which she laughed and said with so many people around, I would always know which direction to go.

As I boarded the bus some anxiety was washing away, and noticing the light hearted atmosphere at the starting line continued to ease my fears. And then it all started. Our color group was given the go ahead to start walking toward the starting line. I caught myself close to tearing up over the emotion that I was actually there - ready or not, the time had come and it was exhilarating.

We were sticking together for the first part, but with so many people around we could not always run side by side and we spread out a little bit. Cheered on by a range of entertainment and spectators along the way, I tried to focus on my breathing, staying relaxed and knowing when I needed to walk a bit. I hovered in the center, easily transitioning from the left (for runners) and the right (for walkers). As time went on, I realized that I could jog the majority, with the exception of the water stations.

Sister #3 and I met up again on the Doomsday Hill and walked together before getting back into our jogging pace. By the time I reached mile 6 I decided that I would not do any more walking. I even passed up the last water station knowing that I was not as successful with trying to drink while still jogging at water station #1 and did not want to shift to walking.

During the last mile I thought back to the start of the year when #3 had to give us an assignment to go out and run that first mile, to just jump right back in. Considering that I was thrilled with my accomplishment for the day, my longest run ever in my adult life, despite not sticking to my training plan.

As I rounded the corner to the finish line and heard the announcer saying he was proud of the finishers, I thought "prouder" in my mind and finished with a smile.

*While in Spokane I got some fun running gear that I will post about later, and now I am looking forward to the Ben Does Life Seattle and Portland 5Ks in July and will also sign up for the See Jane Run 5K if I end up not needing to teach a summer school class on the same date. As for longer runs, Bloomsday gave me the confidence to potentially set my sights on a half, but I do not want to sign up until I get myself into a consistent running schedule. Until then I think the comfortable 5Ks of my cross country days will be my typical distance. We are going to make Bloomsday an annual sister tradition as well.