Bar Harbor? A-Maine-zing!

16 Sep

Get it?  A-Maine-zing??  Yeah maybe that’s a stretch, but I can now officially check Maine off the list.  What a great race!  For those who haven’t done the half marathon in Bar Harbor, do it.  Now.  Well not now, but next September.  It is the only race that runs through a national park, Acadia specifically, although I think that is about to change with another Acadia race on deck for next year.  Most of the route is on trail roads closed off to cars and surrounded by the park and lake with some incredible views to boot.  Despite a couple of time (and leg) busting hills, I somehow came out with a PR of 1:51.  The race was capped at 400 runners to preserve the park and there weren’t throngs of spectators but it didn’t bother me.  In my uncharacteristic failure to plan before I hit the road to Maine, I forgot to pack my Honey Stingers and had to improvise on race day with orange slices.  Too sticky.  Lesson learned.  I’m also accumulating lots of GU samples from expos and race packets but am still too afraid to try it.  I also realized that I’ve become desensitized to the harsh personalities that Boston people are notorious for having (“massholes”).  I was welcomed to Maine with a hug from a complete stranger.  Then I was trying to move around someone on the sidewalk, calmly said “excuse me,” and the man apologized and moved immediately.  Imagine that!

Check out some photos from the area.  Even though the scenery was stunning, I think the Caution photo with stick man doing jazz hands is my favorite!  Next stop: UTAH!

 

 

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Rhode Island? Check!

19 Aug

Today was my first themed race, the Rock n Roll Providence Half Marathon and honestly, it was a bit overrated!  Has anyone done one of these before?  They hype it up by telling you about the tour and the live bands at every mile, but the bands were mostly off-pitch covers and songs that aren’t as lively as you might expect during a road race.  The course was completely empty of spectators at several points, but maybe that’s just Providence.

Now that my whine fest is over, I will say that the weather was perfect (I seem to luck out in that area), the course was pretty easy save a couple gnarly hills, and although it wasn’t my best time I still came in at 1:58:43.  The expo was great, and I was able to listen to Josh Cox (American 50k record holder) talk about some race-day tips.  Today was also 18-mile day in my marathon training schedule, and as luck would have it, my hotel was 2.5 miles away from the start/finish so I ran there and back with as little stopping as possible.  Unfortunately, I got to the start right as the gun went off so I was stuck waiting with a much slower wave and had to fight to keep from getting boxed in at first.  Lesson learned!  These are my splits and final results:

http://running.competitor.com/cgiresults_details?pId=8821525&eId=42&eiId=89&seId=286

I’m also realizing that with the distances I’m now running, little bags of ice on the knees afterwards just don’t cut it anymore.  Tips??  Til next time bloggers and bloggettes!

 

 

Sunday Runday!

5 Aug

Ok, that was pretty bad.  But I just came back from an awesome long run…my first 16 miler!  I’ll admit I was pretty nervous and tried to rationalize my way out of it at first.  Two weeks ago was my 14 mile run which was horrendous.  I have no one to blame but myself though…I didn’t eat or hydrate properly, and I put the run off until the middle of the day when it was in the 90s and humid.  When I got back I could barely even lift my arms to shower off.  This time I took all the right precautions and when I finished I had to double check my route on mapmyrun.com to make sure it was really 16 miles!  I guess that’s a good worry to have…finishing so strong you think you must have taken a shortcut along the way!  Does anyone out there use Honey Stingers?  They are my new favorite mid-run snack.  The raisins still work for runs around 10ish or less but they do have some fiber soooo yeaaahhh, have to be careful.  For those of you living in or visiting Boston, check out this 8 mile route:

I think the key to success on this run was knowing where the water fountains on the esplanade are located, miles 2.5, 4, and 5 (and 10.5, 12, and 13 if you’re doing it twice) to always be sure your bottle has enough.  There are also plenty of places to make an emergency pitstop if that meatlovers pizza you ate to “carbo load” last night is suddenly not agreeing with you.  Two more weeks until the Rock n Roll Providence Half; can’t wait!  Has anyone done one of these before?  I know there are live bands at every mile but I have a codependent relationship with my iPod so I’m wondering if I should leave it at home just this once…decisions decisions!

Annnd we’re off!

17 Jul

Marathon training has officially started!  So far so good, but next Sunday is my longest long run to date: 14 miles.  It’s about to get real!  I have opted to go with the Galloway plan to run the marathon in 3:30, but I also have a standard plan that will allow me to just finish in case plan A proves to be too much.  The downside of Galloway is that one of the long runs is 26-28 miles.  Seems like running a marathon in training might take some of the magic out of finishing the marathon itself on race day!  I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

On another note, I resolved in my last post to put up more pictures so here goes…my new favorite thing: powdered PB!

Sounds gross, yes.  But if you’re like me, there is no such thing as too much peanut butter..at least not until it starts getting painful to eat.  I found that even though this stuff is $8.99 a jar, I’m satisfied with much less so it lasts much longer!   I also don’t feel as heavy when I eat it which meeeeeans I run faster :)  In fact, I’m going to eat some right now.  Til next time bloggers!

28 going on 18

7 Jun

Wowza…has it really been this long since I posted anything?  Life has definitely been keeping me busy!  I took a summer internship in Boston at a local college and moved to campus for the summer.  It’s such a trip living in the dorms again!  The biggest downside is that there’s no kitchen.  Anywhere in the building.  They gave me a meal plan, but since my marathon training officially starts in July that just won’t cut it.  I’ll be 28 next week so, dorm or not, my stomach will not tolerate Easy Mac and Ramen noodles like it used to!  I decided to draw a line in the sand and buy a mini fridge and a hot plate (they’re forbidden, shhhh!) to keep some semblance of a normal diet in check.  Several nights a week though, I just have to chuckle at myself…I’m 27, living in a dorm again, and cooking cross-legged on the floor with my sad little single burner hot plate.  Ya know what though?  It sure beats being trapped in a cube all day with my boss micromanaging my every breath.

My running has been touch and go.  With the meal plan, it’s basically all you can eat with each swipe of the card and you better believe I take full advantage.  I have all sorts of excuses…gotta get my money’s worth, you can eat right when training starts, yadda yadda yadda.  Overeating is a constant struggle, but I’ve started making healthier choices to overeat with.  Baby steps!  The diet is almost harder than the running itself!  I’m doing my best to keep the endurance I built up  earlier in the year with my half marathons, but I have yet to stick to an “off season” schedule.  There’s a gym in my building, thank goodness, but the only thing I’m missing is a foam roller.  Does anyone else use those?  I used to roll out my back after every run but since I moved a month ago I haven’t been able to.  Helloooo Ebay!  These posts are starting to look a bit bland, so for the next one I’ll resolve to get more pictures up.  Til next time bloggers!

Happy Marathon Monday! I mean, Patriot’s Day…

16 Apr

It’s a cool breezy morning here in Boston, but from the weather reports I gather it won’t stay that way for long.  High of 84?  Really?  Gross.  I was in North Carolina for a wedding and decided to run a local 5k before heading back yesterday.  It was probably in the 70s by morning, and holy hell, once I started running it was brutal!  The funds went to support the Brunswick Forest Vet Hospital, and lots of people ran with their dogs which was something fun and different I’d never seen before.  Despite the heat, I PR’d at 25:41 and was the first female finisher for the 5k!  Ok, so there were only about 60 people and only a handful of them were women so I really came in like 13th place overall, but I’ll take my victories where I can!  I also picked up a trashy book at the airport to pass the time and a copy of Runner’s World: The Beginner’s Guide.  There was an expose on Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray and I found a lot of inspiration in his story.  The man is a machine!  If I can ever accomplish a fraction of what he has then I’ll die a happy lady.  Anyway, here’s hoping everyone hydrates properly and makes it through the marathon today.  Good luck runners!

A solution to the post-race blues…

21 Mar

Don’t stop running!  I have found that finishing a race makes me feel a little sad that it’s over, but sadness is usually overpowered by the runner’s high and excitement over the next time I get to race.  Always have another one planned, I say.  I finally broke 2 hours in the Half of Quincy with 1:57:02…but damn those extra 2 seconds!  Still, I took off 8 minutes of my time from the Hyannis Half just by stopping at all the water stations.  I had always been to afraid of getting cramps or slowing down to take the water, so I have probably been hitting “the wall” until now without knowing better.  I should probably give myself some time to rest, and not doing so will probably come back to bite me later but I have the bug!  Even my diet has gotten better, if only a little bit.  Completing a race, to me, feels like hitting the reset button.  Starting anew.  Sweating and muscling out all the stress and BS since the race before.  A cleansing, if you will.  The next race isn’t until September but I’ll see what I can fit in the meantime.  Onward and upward!