Training Widget

Thursday, September 30, 2010


No Fair
As a mother of an eight year old and a five year old, I hear this anywhere from once a day (on a really, really good day) to five million times a day (on a really, really bad day). Well, kiddies, how's this for no fair: I trained for 16 weeks, I did every last run I was supposed to, I've been eating right, going to bed on time, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm going to finish this marathon; yet I'm still a big ol' bundle of nervous energy. NO FAIR!!!

TCM's facebook status update today:
Twin Cities In Motion Packing up the office in Golden Valley and moving to our temp office at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. Expo set up starts today!

It's almost time :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Hay is in the Barn

Despite having only missed living on a farm by one generation, I had never heard this phrase before a few months ago. That is, other than hearing it in JT's (that's James Taylor, not some 'N Sync Mickey Mouse clubber) song 'The Walking Man.' I first read it in Running Times magazine last spring. I don't remember the exact details, and I'm not going to track down the article, but it was an older woman (who was, by the way, a complete phenom in her age group) saying it in reference to her race day routine. As in, the hay is in the barn, trust your training, you've done all you can, relax and enjoy the moment. I read it again recently in Runners World in an article I desperately wish I could find. In my next life, when I'm not an organizational nightmare, I will be able to quickly put my hands on such things.
At any rate, I love the idea. Perhaps it's my middle midwestern roots reminding me that I haven't always been a city-dwelling runner type. My hay is in the barn. I will do one more run with the YMCA group tomorrow evening, and maybe run a little bit with Jerod on Saturday when he takes part in the one mile race; but for all intents and purposes, my training is done.
I am edgy, nervous, excited, and a little bit cranky. But, I keep repeating to myself, "the hay is in the barn." I have done every last run on my training plan, I have all the logistics worked out for race day, my meal plan for the rest of the week is in place, and I am, at least in theory, READY. It's time to trust my training.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yet Another Retraction...

This time I'm retracting that thing I said about enjoying the taper. I'm totally over enjoying the taper. Can't we just do this thing already?
I am currently obsessing over PACE. I was kind of obsessing on my own, but last night, while running through the park, run club leader asks me out of the blue, "are you going to go for four?". Why, oh why, did he go there? Then, while laying in bed last night, the subject came up with my better half. Thus, we have a new rule in our house: No talking about the marathon in bed. The five minutes of discussion we had was just enough to get my mind good and revved up, thus delaying my trip to dreamland by about an hour.
I started this journey on a Runner's World plan that, based on previous half marathon times, projected a finish time of something like 4:02:00. I was working that plan alongside PJ's plan (the three day a week plan). While I felt I needed to ditch RW and trust my leader, I initially could not let go of the RW plan because the 4:02:00 finish time was oh, so appealing to me.
At week five, I did officially ditch the RW plan. I attribute the ditching to lack of confidence, lack of time and fear of re-aggravating the stress fracture. Summer scheduling with two active kids was just not real conducive to running more than three times a week. I decided that I needed to just focus on finishing, and let go of any other expectations. Let me go on the record right here and now as saying that a four hour marathon is a very lofty goal, and I am not underestimating that.
The problem I'm having now is that I feel like I'm so dang close to being able to do it, and the 20 miler went really well (far better than expected)... so why not try? If I were to start out with the four hour pace group and bonked, I could still finish with a respectable time. Heck, finishing in any amount of time is respectable in and of itself.
I want to be reasonable, I want to finish strong; but I don't want to sell myself short, either. I want to think this through and be reasonable, but I also want to make a decision, commit, and stick to it. Dang, this is hard.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This Really is Happening

These showed up in our mailbox yesterday. It seems we've registered ourselves for a marathon.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taper Time

I am in the midst of my first ever marathon taper. While I've tapered for a number of half marathons before, this is a whole new experience. As of right now, I have to say I actually like tapering. That's a highly uncharacteristic statement for a runner to make. As a general rule in the running world, tapering is a four letter word. But, being that I've trained for this event using a three day a week training plan, I'm actually getting to run more frequently during the taper than I did during the previous 13 weeks. The runs are now shorter, but I ran four times last week and plan to run four to five times during the coming week. And, since running is my drug of choice, getting to partake of it more often makes this particular taper a positive experience.
After running our longest training run (20 miles) last Saturday, I was stunned by Monday's three mile run. I didn't have a pace in mind and went out with the intent of just going out and putting forth a good, solid effort. Imagine my surprise when that yielded 8:26/minute miles. There was a time not too long ago when running at that pace would have been a threshold workout for me. I'm not saying it was a stroll in the park, but it was very manageable and felt great. Then on Tuesday I went out and ran four miles at a pace of 8:15 minutes/mile. Apparently all those Wednesday sprint and hill workouts did serve a purpose!! It's a good feeling to be reaping the benefits of all the summer's hard work.
While I'm excited about my newfound speed, I am slightly concerned about starting too fast come race day. My race pace goal is somewhere in the neighborhood of 9:30/mile. I will be running with Chris and Tiffany, so surely between the three of us we can maintain a disciplined pace.
As of now, I'd say my level of marathon anxiety is healthy. I am looking forward to the race, and have managed to stop the constant obsessing. So, for now, things are good. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts... because I know at some point I will surely lose it!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Anybody's Game

I love running for so many reasons, but the number one reason on my list is that anybody can do it. This video was posted on dailymile today. Holy buckets... brought tears of happiness to my eyes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

El Veinte!

Literally translated, that would be the twenty! I'm happy to say that I'm writing this post in a completely different state of mind than I had a week ago at this time. For our final long training run, we ran the Bear Water Run yesterday. I cannot possibly convey how great it was to have the final 20 be in the form of a well supported race. 20 miles seems way less daunting when you've got a water stop every two miles!
I am by no means saying this distance was easy. It was not! But, for whatever reason, I was a different woman than I was a week ago. I was stronger, both physically and mentally, which felt really good. As always seems to be the case, the last two miles were pretty tough. But, overall, it was one of those days where the mile markers seemed to come more quickly than I thought they would. When I saw the sign at mile 19, I said to Tiff, "Is that really there?". It seemed unreal that we were only a mile away. Oh, how I love the days when it all comes together... 'tis why I run!
So, I'm writing today with a full heart. It feels good to feel so good. Come on October 3rd... I am ready for you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

P. Dippy

I'm stealing this, because it's just my kind of humor... here's the link (in an attempt to give RW their credit).

Marathon: A Race Report by Pheidippides

09/09/2010 3:15 AM

Mark Remy

Via Wikipedia: Painting of Pheidippides as he gave word of the Greek victory over Persia at the Battle of Marathon to the people of Athens.

Via Wikipedia: Pheidippides as he delivered news of the Greek victory over Persia at the Battle of Marathon. (Not pictured: his clothes.)

A reader noted recently in the Comments section of an unrelated post that the 2,500th anniversary of Pheidippides' original "Marathon" run is happening, well, sometimeright around now. Probably. The actual date is hard to pin down.

As everyone knows,Pheidippides or Phidippides or "P. Dippy" (as he was briefly known) was the Greek who… um… ran 26 or 140 miles to Sparta or Athens or somewhere, and announced victory in the battle of Marathon or else asked for reinforcements or possibly something cold to drink and then dropped dead. Or didn't. Assuming that any version of this occurred at all, which it may not have.

Honestly, everything about this story is hard to pin down. It's like a riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in a toga. Google "Pheidippides Marathon" and you get 127,000 results, offering about 127,000 versions of the events in question, few of which even pretend to offer credible citations.

(Note: Watch for's own, authoritative Pheidippides FAQ, with expert info, coming soon.) (Seriously!)

Even on the official web site of the Athens Marathon, the retelling of Pheidippides' story is cast as "legend."

That's why I was so thrilled to discover the following ultra-rare bit of text, transcribed from a scroll unearthed in a dig near Athens — a race report from the man himself, documenting his historic run. Finally, we can hear the real story of Pheidippides, from Pheidippides.


WOW! That's all I can say. Praise the gods, I finished my Marathon run in one piece. Hooray! Some blisters on my left foot, but nothing major. Not sure if I'll do it again, but it definitely was a Life Experience. At least now I can cross that off my Grecian urn List. ;-) Plus, I've raised almost 500 drachmas for Persian Invasion Awareness. Awesome!tunic

Anyway. I was soooooo excited last night, I could barely sleep. I laid out my sandals and my Team Victory Over Persia tunic (see right; no, I didn't run with the sword!), and set my clepsydra for first sun. My room was okay, but a little Spartan.

I had that dream again, where I'm running like crazy but barely moving and while I'm doing that, Persians are raping our women and burning our crops. Don't you hate that dream?

Woke up to nice weather, apart from the stench of death wafting from the battlefield. As I stretched and checked my sandals, Aeschylus walked by. He gave me one final fist bump and a "Go With Zeus," and I was off.

First bit: Felt pretty good. Still kind of just warming up at this point.

Middle stretch: Terrain got a bit rough, with some hills I could have done without.

Noon: A goatherd shouted at me to "Get out of the middle of the rough terrain!" Jerk. At least I'm out here getting fit, and not sitting on my ςς watching goats all day.

Final bit: Where… is… Athens?!? Argh! And then, I saw it. Somehow I managed a final burst of speed into the city, just barely beating another man through the gates. My time was either 5 hours or 6 or perhaps 8. (Am I the only one who can't figure out these stupid sun dial things?) After a long drink of water and announcing Greek victory at the battle of Marathon, all I wanted to do was collapse.

And so I did.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

101 Reasons...

This was posted by one of my dailymile friends. I love it!

101 reasons to run a marathon, pick yours, or add yours.
• Fire yourself up with excitement and anticipation
• Let go of negative emotions
• It’s a great topic to share
• Soar high with runner’s high
• Don’t you love toned legs?
• Eliminate “I can’t” from your dictionary
• Boost your self-confidence
• Dare to dream big…
• Lose your weight and gain your life
• Enjoy looking at the mirror
• ”Waaw” the crowd
• Rationality and marathoning don’t rhyme!
• The older, the better…
• The joy of true accomplishment
• Inspirational experience
• Meet fellow “marathoners”
• Longer happier life
• Rediscover yourself
• The most guilt-free dinner all time: the after-marathon dinner
• Stamina…
• Explore a new city!
• Make history
• Get your “finisher” medal.
• Be the pride and joy of your family
• Get the marathoner “chin”
• Kick off your adventure
• A replica of life
• Tears of joy
• The Queen of England passion for marathons (true story) .
• Puff Daddy, Oprah and George Bush did it!
• Think of all the French toast and cheesecake you can devour…
• Crossing the finish line
• Getting a well-deserved sway bag
• Finally, all that hard work pays off
• Become a star
• The beer truck at the finish line
• Make a meaningful contribution: donate to your favorite charity
• Rejuvenate your soul
• Because it’s quicker than walking?
• Amaze others
• Enjoy running in the middle of the streets
• Run your Personal Record
• You can scratch it off of your bucket list
• Looks great on your resumé!
• Oprah did it!
• What does not kill you makes you stronger
• You’ll be in the best shape of your life
• A great preparation for an ultra-marathon
• You’ll have something to brag about
• Show the world that marathoning is non-fiction!
• Use it to quit smoking
• Playing the song “Chariots of Fire” while you run your last mile/
• Have a laugh and cross the finish line running backwards!
• Do it for the men/ladies
• Meet new and interesting people
• Finally put a decent distance in your running log
• Because it’s a really good excuse to buy new clothes
• Why should the Kenyans have all the fun?
• Because toenails are for sissies
• So for the rest of your life you can start whatever story you want
with “Well, when I ran my first Marathon…
• For the free drinks along the way
• To get that “26.2″ tattoo
• To be a small part of a big legend
• Because 20 years from now, you’ll be shocked you were ever in such
good shape
• It’s better than a poke in the eye!
• There is only one person you’re truly accountable to: yourself
• It puts things in perspective
• To save yourself from the growing obesity epidemic
• Experience the emotion of giving your all to yourself
• Conquer your laziness
• A great way to kill time
• Ask the right questions
• Jump in!
• Bond with your friends
• You will be happy you did!
• A care-free experience
• A good reason to throw a party!
• A wonderful icebreaker!
• A good reason to escape a nagging spouse!
• Become invincible
• Break some conventional rules (1)!
• Break some conventional rules (2)!
• Boost your “WaaWooMeter”
• Compete with Tom Cruise!
• There can be miracles when you believe…
• Would you prefer to sky dive instead?!

Just for the record, my 26.2 will NOT be preparation for an ultra...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Candor is the Word of the Day

I have reached the point where the anticipation of the Saturday long run leaves me with a queasy tummy. Thankfully it always subsides once I get moving, but there is now no uncertainty whatsoever that there's going to be some point in the run where it gets really, really, reallllllly hard. I never know when exactly the struggle will come, or if it's going to be physical, mental, or both; but some sort of hardship is now a given.
As the map above shows, we didn't complete the loop. Today's schedule said 18 miles. The route that the run club powers that be settled on said 19.something. In actuality, I think it was 18.something. Ultimately we ran 18.0 and ended with a cool-down walk.
I ran with Chris and Tiff, who I've done some personal training with and is nothing short of awesome. All somewhat intimidated by the thought of such a long run, we were intent on starting with a slow and steady pace. We did very well on that front.
Avg Pace

I am trying (and for the most part succeeding), on seeing this as a victory due to the fact that my struggle didn't come until somewhere between miles 15 and 16. Holy cow, though, when fatigue reared its ugly head today, it did so with a vengeance. My heart and lungs were doing fine, my mental state was alright, but my legs just got so very tired and heavy. It was a level of muscular fatigue that I had not previously encountered. In looking at my splits, I am nothing short of stunned to see that mile 18 was one of our quickest miles. Because it was damn hard. I apologize for my sometimes less that pristine language, but I feel this certain struggle requires an expletive.
While I'm pleased to be done and pleased by our final split, I'm a tiny bit discouraged by the way I felt at the end. I repeat that I expect the struggle, but when we were standing around at the end with our fellow run club members, everyone seemed to feel wayyyyyy better than I felt. While I'm overjoyed for them, I cannot deny a twinge of jealousy. I fully confess that this is stupid, but this blog is my journal and its readership is limited; so candor is the word of the day.
Final thoughts on the run:
I finished. Being that I don't have a marathon goal other than finishing, this counts as a victory. Last week I downed a Gu every five miles. The thought of downing so many Gu's during the long runs and the actual marathon scares me a bit, so I decided to try to stretch it out to one every six miles. For a run of this distance, that was perhaps a mistake. Having one at 5, 10, and 15 today might have made a slight difference in the way I felt. Or, maybe it wouldn't have. I guess we'll never know, as there won't be any 18 mile runs in my near future. Next week is our final long run, a 20 miler. I need to come up with a fuel plan between now and then. Today's run is done, I ran more than a lot of people could even dream of running, and, most importantly, I completed the goal set before me. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010



Congratulations everyone on a well run race. The next five weeks are the toughest but most important part of our training where we take that step beyond the half marathon and towards a full 26.2. Next Saturday is a tough run because we jump up 2 miles to 15, then for the next three weeks we add a mile each week. I will also talk about increasing your miles on one of your runs during the week (if you run 4-5 miles you should increase to 5-6 miles).


These might be the toughest three weeks of our training, we will work harder then ever on Wednesdays and run the most miles of our training in the next 19 days.

Keep pushing forward, these are tough times in our training. We are sore, we have aches and pains but we keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will pay off, it will be worth it, I promise you.

The above are excerpts from a couple of the emails that our fearless leader has sent out in the past few weeks. He must be some sort of prophet or something...

Despite having used words like scared, terrified, and daunted to describe this journey; I think I've underestimated it. But, my struggles right now are not a function of aches, pains, or sore muscles. Other than some general fatigue at times, I'm feeling great. My struggles right now are of the mental variety.

Last weekend's 17 miler did leave me feeling this is more manageable, but the marathon is consuming my thoughts. Some of this mental consumption is courtesy of my husband, who is currently obsessing over whether or not we should run together, and what our pace should be. But, anyone who know me knows that I need no assistance whatsoever to be a complete head case. I am obsessing over what to eat, what do drink, getting enough sleep, worrying that I'm taking too much time away from my kids, fear that my mind is going to completely sabotage me, and the list goes on and on and on... I'm even obsessing over the obsessing and worrying about the mark I'm leaving on myself and those around me!

To elaborate on the kid thing... we do sprint and hill workouts with the group on Wednesday nights, and long runs on Saturday mornings. My eight year old son has baseball on Wednesday nights, and my five year old daughter has soccer on Saturday mornings. We thankfully have a 'village' of amazing people who have been quick to volunteer to help us out with these scheduling challenges. The fabulous Klukow family has been awesome and always willing to do whatever needed to help get the J-man to baseball. My parents have jumped right into the role of soccer mom, carting Elise to and from soccer. It's all good and well, but I can't help but have a little mommy guilt about not taking care of this stuff on my own and being more present for my kids.

I've titled this post 'Doldrums.'


[dohl-druhmz, dol-, dawl-] Show IPA
–noun ( used with a plural verb )
a state of inactivity or stagnation, as in business or art:August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises.
the doldrums,
a belt of calms and light baffling winds north of theequator between the northern and southern trade windsin the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
the weather prevailing in this area.
a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

My definition is slightly different. More appropriate for me would be:

on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean, with no wind in the sails and no land in sight

Consistent with my behavior, this is exaggerating a bit. The end is in sight and I do have wind in the sails. Fellow run clubber Becca says it quite well in her recent blog post. Just two more really long runs left, then the taper, then the marathon. I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not get ahead of myself!