2017 New York City Marathon – Week 17

2017 NYCM Infographic - Week 17

One week until the 2017 New York City Marathon!  This week, the weather was near perfect for running.  I ran a fast long run on Sunday trying to finish in time to cheer for Marine Corps Marathon runners.  All of my workouts left me feeling confident about November 5th!

Training Schedule
October 22nd – October 28th

Sunday: Long Run. 17 miles.
Monday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Tuesday: General Aerobic Run + Speed. 8 miles w/8x100m strides.
Wednesday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Thursday: VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/3x1600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.
Friday: Recovery Run. 5 miles.
Saturday: General Aerobic Run + Speed.  7 miles w/8x100m strides.

Mileage Total: ~58 Miles

Notes.  I followed the schedule until Saturday.  The forecast showed rain on Sunday, so I decided to move my last distance run up a day.

Goal.  Get in a good last long run.  Outcome:  Success!  In fact, both distance runs this week were solid.

Workout Details

Long Run. 17 miles [Log Details].

My last long run of the training cycle!  I wanted to finish strong and early enough that I could cheer for 2017 Marine Corps Marathon runners at Mile 24.5 on the course.  I started the run heading uphill towards the Custis Trail.  When I got there, I pushed the pace until I was under 9:00.  Near Lee Highway, I got excited seeing race spectators gathering!  I kept looking for the front-runners but didn’t see them.  I thought it was strange but realized if the race was delayed, that gave me more time to make it to my spot.

It was a beautiful 56 degree day!  I stopped a few times to take pictures on the Mount Vernon Trail.

Monument View from MVT - 10222017

Monument View from MVT – 10222017

I started to run “hard” when I reached the Humpback Bridge.  I expected to fade two miles later on the Four Mile Run Trail but I felt fantastic through the end!  I finished the run at 9:40am, grabbed a few things from my house, and drove to Crystal City so I could cheer at Mile 24.5 of the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon.

Overall pace=8:22.

General Aerobic Run + Speed. 8 miles w/8x100m strides [Log Details].

This was a “general aerobic” run so I told myself, “Not easy, not hard.”  The course I ran started uphill and I focused on powering from my rear foot and getting good leg turnover.  I thought about the bridges on the New York City Marathon course.  “Hmm…  Maybe I should have done more specific hill work this training cycle.”  I reached the Custis Trail and finally ran a little downhill.  I stopped for water at the W&OD Trail and finally looked at my pace – 8:12 on hills!  I slowed down over the next three miles and my overall pace was 8:03 before I started the strides.  I tried to stretch out through my hips as much as I could for those.  I ran a home hard to complete the workout.

Overall pace=8:01.

VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/3x1600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between [Log Details].

I started the intervals near National Airport on the Mount Vernon Trail.  I wouldn’t say I experienced a “runner’s high” but during the first repetition, it was as if my legs had a mind of their own.  I was shocked to see I finished under 7:00 pace.  The second repetition was partially on the MVT and half on the Four Mile Run Trail.  By then, I was running into the wind.  But, I pushed hard thinking, “It could be windy on race day.”  The final repetition was slower than the others but I chalked it up to the terrain and elements.

My hips were incredibly sore throughout the day.  I guess it was from over-striding during this workout.

1600m splits=6:48, 6:59, 7:17.  Overall average=7:01.

Medium-long Run. 13 miles [Log Details].

The forecast for Sunday didn’t show rain.  It called for a “downpour”.  So, I moved up my final distance run up a day.  It was a lovely morning – crisp and sunny.  I wondered if I should start checking the weather for race day.

I felt absolutely terrible during the first few miles through Crystal City to the Mount Vernon Trail.  My felt so heavy!  I chalked it up to tapering.  I stopped in Gravelly Point for pictures.

Monument View from Gravelly - 10282017

Monument View from Gravelly – 10282017

I ran well heading north towards the Custis Trail.  On the long uphill, I ran hard so I could get a sense for what I could run the Queensboro Bridge.  I managed 8:45 pace.  I thought, “That’s a minute off of goal pace.”  I ran around that range for the rest of the rolling hills.  For the first time in a long while, I ran past the water fountain at Nelson Street and left the trail at Quincy Street.  I ran fast through Ballston on my way home.

Overall pace=8:21.

Health

Injuries. Physically, I felt great!  Until Thursday.  The interval workout irritated my piriformis.  It made sense – I was really striding out and they were working more than usual.  The pain continued for the rest of the week.  I thought about using my TENS unit after my run on Saturday but held off.

Weight. My weight was around 125 pounds for most of the week.  Out of laziness, I ate fast food on Thursday night and saw the result on Friday.

Sleep.  Now that I’m tapering, I got to sleep in a little in the mornings.  But, I went to bed pretty late most nights so I was still only getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep.

Weather

Fall finally took hold over the region.  Morning temperatures were 45 to 65 degrees in the morning each day.  The wind picked up on Thursday and there were some sprinkles.  On Saturday, it was a lovely 56 degrees for my last distance run but a little gusty at times.

Recovery Run Selfie - 10272017

Recovery Run Selfie – 10272017

Racing Schedule

Runner rankingsPotomac River Running – Regional Runner Rankings – Summer 2017.  I didn’t make the age group rankings even though I ran a lot this summer.  My guess is that I didn’t run particularly fast.

Next race: 2017 New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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2017 New York City Marathon – Week 16

After a huge mileage week, I “only” ran two workouts.  I was so tired after the 2017 Bourbon Chase that I took two extra easy days.  I was back on schedule by Wednesday, though.

Training Schedule
October 15th – October 21st

Sunday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Monday: Long Run.  22 miles.
Tuesday: Recovery Run.  6 miles.
Wednesday: VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/5x600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.
Thursday: Medium-long Run.  14 miles.
Friday: Recovery Run + Speed.  7 miles w/6x100m strides.
Saturday: Recovery Run.  6 miles.

Mileage Total: ~70 Miles

Notes.  I was too tired to run 22 miles after the 2017 Bourbon Chase and took two easy days.  I was back on schedule by Wednesday.

Goal.  Have a good final long run before starting my taper for the 2017 New York City Marathon Outcome:  Fail!  The 2017 Bourbon Chase took more out of me than I anticipated.

Workout Details

VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/5x600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between. [Log Details].

After a couple of extra easy days, I thought I should be ready to run hard but I didn’t have specific goal paces in mind.  It had been cool the day before but the spiked to 74 degrees in the morning.  But the intervals were short, so I still thought I could have a good run.  I decided to do a loop around south Arlington rather than an out-and-back on one of the trails.  I did a casual warm-up through Crystal City.  I started the intervals on the Mount Vernon Trail near the Airport and headed south.  My Garmin was showing I ran the first repetition over 7:00 pace, which seemed a little slow.  But the second interval wasn’t much faster.  Running on the Four Mile Run Trail, I dreaded running through the bug field near the water treatment facility but it wasn’t bad.  But, it probably wasn’t a coincidence that I ran my fastest repetition in that area.  I did another speedy repetition on my final 600m in an area where the grass was being mowed.  Hmm..  Maybe I’d be a faster runner if I had to avoid more environmental allergens and hazards.  I was running late for work so I cut the cool-down short.

600m splits=7:07, 6:59, 6:49, 6:53, 6:50.  Average=6:56.

Medium-long Run. 14 miles [Log Details].

This close to my goal race, I wanted to have a good long-ish run.  I hoped cruising pace for a medium run might be in the 8:20-8:30 range.  The temperature was finally something close to good weather for running long, so that goal seemed achievable.

The course I ran was uphill at the start.  I managed 9:00 pace, which seemed pretty good.

Fields Park - 10192017

Fields Park – 10192017

Once I got to the Custis Trail, my pace dropped to around 8:30.  I felt like I was running much faster than what my Garmin was showing.  I stopped briefly for water twice even though I wasn’t thirsty.  It felt good not carrying a water bottle.  Cruising along on the flat Mount Vernon Trail, my pace dropped closer to 8:00 for about two miles but that was the most I could handle.  Along the way, I was thinking about all the things I had to do before the marathon!  Usually, I pay a lot of tension to details but it’s as if I’m in denial that I’m actually running the race and not just training for it.  I slowed down to an easy pace as I made my way through Crystal City.  It was my first long-ish run in my new Mizuno Wave Rider 21s and they felt pretty good.

Overall pace=8:32.

Health

Sleep.  I tried to catch up on sleep after the 2017 Bourbon Chase, but I was unsuccessful.  I was exhausted and restless at the same time.

Injuries. Early Tuesday morning, I woke up to severe pain in my hips.  I usually suffer through pain but I took two ibuprofen.  The pain went away and didn’t return.

Weight.  My weight bumped up a little since I ran a little less.

Weather

The weather fluctuated a lot this week.  I flew back to Washington, D.C. on Sunday and ran in 70 degree weather.  But, by the next day, the high was in the low 60s!  It peaked again on Wednesday.  There was a lot of moisture in the air in the mornings but dew points were low.

Racing Schedule

Future races.  Runners received their wave and corral information this week!  I’m still in Wave 1!  But, I got the green start so I’ll miss the stunning view from the upper-deck of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Next race: 2017 New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

 

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2017 Bourbon Chase

2017 Bourbon Chase Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

2017 Bourbon Chase - Pre Event Selfie

2017 Bourbon Chase – Pre Event Selfie

(If you’re not familiar with relays, my race report from 2015 Ragnar Cape Cod has a brief description of how they work.)

This would be my 5th relay and the 4th with team CopacaVANa – a group of mostly masters women.

The relay didn’t occur during the best time for my 2017 New York City Marathon training. With three weeks to go, it should have been my peak mileage week.  Our team was short runners, so I volunteered to be Runners 10 and 11 in Van 2.

Earlier in the week, I ran the 2017 Army Ten Miler on Sunday and then about 50 miles of other training including a 15 mile medium run before catching my flight to Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday.

 

Goals

In the past, our team has been competitive in the masters women category.  But this year, we were short a couple of runners and one of the women who joined our Van 1 was in her 20s, which disqualified us in the category.  The van was also planning to use the “Buddy Pass”, where they would skip one of the night-time legs and have two runners run the next leg.  That option would also move us to the list of unofficial team times.  I went into the weekend planning to use my legs as training runs.

Strategy: Treat the two longer runs like medium-long runs and run the shorter one as a general aerobic run.

Course

Every leg would be different.  But from talking with runners friends who have done the race before, I expected a lot of hills.

Playlist

Headphones were banned on the course, so I didn’t create a playlist.

Pre-Race

2017 Bourbon Chase - Walmart Trip

2017 Bourbon Chase – Walmart Trip

Most of the team flew into Louisville from Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening.  I hadn’t been assigned a seat on the flight which caused a little angst but, at the last minute, I got a seat in the very back.  At the airport, we piled into our two 12-passenger vans.

After checking into the hotel, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant. I hadn’t seen some of my teammates since my last relay and couldn’t wait to catch up!  For dinner, I had a loaded baked potato, some broccoli, and a few beers.

Next, we went to Walmart for pillows and blankets.  I’d never been to a Walmart before and was drawn to so many interesting items!  In addition to some leopard-print pajama pants to sleep in, I bought a T-Rex head!

Runner 7, Runner 12, and I drank beers and watched the Washington Nationals playoff game in the hotel lobby.  We chatted with another team running the race and then went to bed after the game ended.  (Sadly, the Nats lost.)

Weather

On Friday, it was mid-70s during my evening run.  It cooled overnight and I was treated to temperatures in the low-50s for my early morning run on Saturday.  The heat returned later that day.  For my final run, the temperature was in the 80s!

2017 Bourbon Chase

Friday Morning

Our Van 1 started at 8:30am, so they were gone before I woke up in the morning.  I felt a little bad about not seeing them off.

Runner 12 and I shared a room.  We started getting ready at around 8:30am.  I had breakfast at our hotel – waffles, a biscuit, eggs, juice, coffee…  I was famished!  The race had an 80s theme, so we decorated our van with quotes from songs and movies from the era.  I put most of my stuff on the bench furthest back in the van and would camp out there for most of the race.  Then, we left for the first major exchange – at the Maker’s Mark Bourbon distillery.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Makers Mark 1

We registered and then hung around for a few hours waiting for Van 1 to arrive.  We were trying to track them using the race’s app but cell coverage was terrible and we only got intermittent updates.  Walking through the grass parking lot, there were a lot of cleverly decorated vans.

Some of our runners took a tour of the distillery.  The smell of yeast was thick in the air near the building and after a while, I found it nauseating.  So, I walked around the grounds instead.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Makers Mark 2

2017 Bourbon Chase – Makers Mark 2

There was a “kitchen” behind the driver’s seat of our van with bags of snacks.   While we waited, I snacked on bread with peanut butter and a banana.  I also drank water and a Gatorade to stay hydrated.  I bought some Sword caffeine chews from a vendor thinking I might need the boost at some point.  Van 1 finished at around 1:30pm and Van 2 was on the move!

Friday Afternoon

We got a little confused coming out of Maker’s Mark but corrected ourselves immediately.  We drove past Runner 7 and asked if she wanted water.  On our drive to the exchange, we blasted 80s music from the van and cheered on runners.  We picked our runner up and on our way to the next exchange, groaned about the hills Runner 8 was going to encounter.

Runner 9 had a 7 mile leg.  She predicted she would finish around 5pm.  We navigated the van to Exchange 9, which was at a church.  We parked and talked while we waited.  I haven’t driven the van in any of my relays but this time, I moved the van about 10 feet when a neighboring vehicle moved!

As my start time grew nearer, I started getting ready for my 16 mile run.  I ate a sports bar and drank more water.  I only took one Sword caffeine tablet since I wasn’t sure how I would react to it.

I wanted to play music from a speaker Runner 8 had purchased but I still wasn’t getting cellphone reception so I couldn’t use Spotify.  Grrr!  Heading to the exchange, Runner 12 asked if I would want anything.  I told her I might want water and a Crank Sport eGel.  I also told them where my safety gear was in case we were under nighttime running rules by the time I reached the next exchange.

2017 Bourbon Chase – Legs 10 and 11. 16 miles. [Log Details].

Leg 10 started at a church in Pottsville and finished in the town of Perryville.  Leg 11 finished outside of Danville.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Legs 10 and 11

2017 Bourbon Chase – Legs 10 and 11

I started Leg 10 at 5:11pm.  I didn’t study the legs at all but knew together they were about 16 miles.  I knew it would be hilly, though.  And, it was hot!  My running log recorded 75 degrees!  But, I was thankful that it would cool down as the sun set.

The course started on a highway.  I ran along the shoulder, which was wide enough to feel safely away from cars but the rumble strips meant I had to watch my footing.  I started out fast – 7:50 to 8:10 pace!

The landscape was beautiful!  Acres and acres of farms with horses and cows grazing.

To stay hydrated, I drank Gatorade every 15 minutes.  I’d slow to a fast walk and down a few gulps.  Running without music, I found myself focusing on my drink breaks.  I’d see how far into the 15 minutes I was and then pick a point in the distance where I thought my next break would come.

About an hour later and 7 miles into the run, I approached a town.  Suddenly, I saw my teammates!  They were waiting for me before the exchange.  It took me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting to see them so soon.  Runner 12 handed me my vest with blinky lights.  Runner 9 asked if I wanted a cup of ice water but I wanted a water bottle to carry.  I took off in a rush, but Runner 12 called me back for my headlamp.  She also asked if I wanted my Crank Sport eGel but I didn’t.

I spent the first half mile of Leg 11 running and fiddling with my Amphipod Xinglet and bib.  I don’t wear the vest often and couldn’t figure out the straps.  I also thought I should switch my bib from Runner 10 to Runner 11.  In retrospect, I should have just stopped so I wouldn’t have expended so much energy.  Between that and the rolling hills, my pace slowed to about 8:20 to 8:30 pace.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Leg 11 Landscape - 10132017

2017 Bourbon Chase – Leg 11 Landscape – 10132017

A quarter mile into Mile 13, the course turned left.  The next mile was very hilly but after a right turn, the course flattened out.  As I neared the exchange, there were two runners ahead of me.  The male yelled, “I hear you back there!”  I guess I was breathing pretty heavy.  I asked them how long this leg was and the woman replied “8.6”.  By then, I was barely running under 9:00 pace and couldn’t pass them.  I heard a lot of cheering as I entered the chute at the exchange, which was heart-warming.  The crowd seemed to know I was running an ultra.

Overall pace: 8:29.  Kills: ~34/Killed: ~3.

Friday Evening

We drove to the next major exchange in the town of Danville.  Runner 12 finished at around 8pm and she met us for “dinner” at a small restaurant.  I had tomato soup, grilled cheese, a small Naked Juice, and a hot chocolate.  It was a little rich, but it was what I wanted at the time.

The next major exchange was a resort.  My teammates got outside the van and talked with another team that had hammocks tied to trees and a television!  It seemed like my teammates were having a lot of fun and I wanted to join in but I knew I needed some rest.  I couldn’t find my Nathan Zephyr Fire 300 flashlight so I could find what I needed in the dark, but the Amphipod Swift-Clip Cap Light that I got in an Runner’s World Box worked just as well!   I put on an eye mask and earplugs, and tried to sleep.  In the end, I think I got about two hours before hearing movement in the van.

Friday Overnight

At around 1:30am, Van 1 came in and we were ready to start running again.  We dropped off Runner 8 without a hitch.  Since I had more rest than my other van-mates, I offered to navigate while Runner 7 drove and Runner 8 ran.  At some point, the driver noticed we weren’t see any other runners or vans.  Oh no!  We were lost!  How did that happen?

We turned around and tried to figure out where we went wrong.  We hadn’t gone that far.  The directions in the Guidebook didn’t have an address for the exchange, though, so we weren’t sure where we should go.  To add insult to injury, the book said it was hard to get lost!

We backtracked until we saw runners and decided to drive towards where they were coming from. We got to an exchange and asked other runners and volunteers which one it was.  But no one seemed to know!  One guy kept yelling, “89!” at us which we guessed was his team number.  It was funny but we were also feeling anxious about our predicament.

The van continued following runners coming into that exchange.  I felt terrible about getting us lost but I thought we were close to my exchange and I thought Runner 9 would finish her leg around around 3:45am – about 2o minutes away.  Runner 12 took over navigation while I went to the back of the van to get ready for my legs.

After driving a few minutes down a narrow road into a isolated neighborhood, we realized we were really off course!  Runner 9 texted us asking if she should continue running and we told her, Yes!  We turned around and a short while later, arrived at another exchange.  We asked which one it was and again, no one knew!  The volunteer said something like, “I’m just here waving this wand.”  I was so sure it was the right exchange that I rushed out of the van ready to run and calling our runner’s name.  Soon, I realized we were still another exchange away!  We got in the van and continued driving upstream.

This road was even narrower than the roads we were on before.  Though technically two lanes, it was really a wide one lane road.  And the other Van 2s were driving in the opposite direction!  We leapfrogged and shared the road for over a mile or two, making slow and harrowing progress.  Other drivers were annoyed with us but we had no choice.  There wasn’t a place to turn around!  And if we did, how would we get our runner?  I felt so bad for our driver.  There were only inches between our van and the oncoming cars on one side, and a drop off into a ditch on the other side.  And, she was doing this AT NIGHT!   Runner 12 grew up in a rural area and was helpful with navigating.  At one point, a woman who lived on the road joined us in our journey against the stream of vans.

Finally, our rattled driver pulled over next to a small driveway and we waited for our runner.  I think we were all relieved.  When Runner 9 arrived she asked, “What happened?” and pointed out it was a straight shot!  We exchanged the bracelet and I took off.  She ran about 3 miles of Leg 22 – an extra hour of running!  She and I share my epic Ragnar run-down, so I felt she would forgive me.

2017 Bourbon Chase – Partial Leg 22 and Leg 23. 6.1 miles. [Log Details].

Leg 22 started in Salvisa and finished at the Bluegrass Parkway.  Leg 23 finished at the Four Roses Distillery.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Partial Leg 22 and Leg 23

2017 Bourbon Chase – Partial Leg 22 and Leg 23

I started the run at 4:49am but I took off hard!  I think I wanted some redemption for getting lost by making up time.

Having driven up the road, the terrain felt familiar.  I realized we had driven through both of my legs – “89” guy was Exchange 23 and “I’m just waving this wand” guy was Exchange 22.  The road wasn’t as hilly as my first set of legs but instead of a shoulder, I was running as far left on the road as I could.  Van 2s drove by on their way to the next exchange – some passing closer than others.  It was so narrow that I thought, “I can’t believe we drove the van up this road!”

I jumped out of the van so quickly that I didn’t take water.  It was cool out, though, so I didn’t think I’d need it.

After two miles, I saw the bright lights of the exchange.  The volunteer announced my number but I told her, “I’m running through.”  I felt angry and started running even harder.  It was pitch dark and I felt a sense of calm washed over me.  Channeling my track and field days, I treated the flashlight like a baton and kept my pace steady and rhythmic.  Occasionally, I would cast light forward to spot the next runner or crest of a hill.  I glanced at my Garmin and saw I was running about 8:00 pace!

Around 4.5 miles into the run, I got to the stop sign we drove by earlier.  I thought, “I know I take a right here.”  There were more hills on this section of road and I knew the finish to the Four Roses Bourbon distillery would be uphill, too.  I was running hard but it felt almost effortless.  And, I was streaming past runners who were struggling with the hills.  As I was climbing the final incline to the distillery, I heard my name. A few steps later, I saw Runner 12 walking to the exchange!  Still focused on running a fast time, I passed her and then realized there would be no one there to meet me!  I stopped and as she caught up to me, I took some of her stuff and we jogged to the start together.

Overall pace: 7:56.  Kills=~21. Killed=0.

After the run, I met up with my teammates who were walking up the hill.  There were bourbon balls and I joked with Runner 7 about them helping to settle her nerves.  I still felt terrible.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Four Roses Distillery

2017 Bourbon Chase – Four Roses Distillery

I completed that run a little after 5:30am.  Back in the van, I laid down for a while.  We drove quickly to the Wild Turkey Bourbon distillery and waited for Runner 12 to finish.   She came in at around 7am and a few minutes later, we were driving to the next major exchange as the sun started coming up.

Saturday Morning

2017 Bourbon Chase- Van View - 10142017

2017 Bourbon Chase- Van View – 10142017

The next major exchange was at a huge parking lot off of Interstate 64.  We realized the person  directing vans into the space was the race director.  We told him about how we got lost and suggested adding addresses for the exchanges in the Guidebook.  We also told him how much we were enjoying the event.

Our driver parked and at around 8am, the entire van finally settled down to sleep.  I think I got another two hours of shut-eye before I could tell most of the team was up.  I put my T-Rex head on and chased my teammate to the port-a-potty line.  We went for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel.  I’d never been to one of those either!  I had eggs, grits, and toast.  It was nice being at a table sharing a meal with everyone.

At around 12:30pm, our Van 1 Runner 6 finished!

Saturday Afternoon

Our van got lost again heading out of the parking lot but we corrected it quickly.  We were in horse country now!  It was another hot day.  We threw water out of the van for Runner 7 to pick up.  When she reached exchange 31, she seemed thrilled to be done.  Our Runner 12 ran in Runner 8 at Exchange 32 – the Headley-Whitney Museum.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Exchange 32

2017 Bourbon Chase – Exchange 32

As we pulled into Exchange 34, we got an email about checking in for our flight home.  We all upgraded our seats to avoid any complications.  We took some pictures, including Runner 9 and I goofing around a little at our final exchange.

2017 Bourbon Chase – Legs 34 and 35. 10.7 miles. [Log Details].

Leg 34 started at a horse farm on Falcon Wood Way and and finished at Legacy Park in Lexington.  Leg 35 finished in the park around the Griffin Gate Golf Club.

2017 Bourbon Chase - Legs 34 and 35

2017 Bourbon Chase – Legs 34 and 35

I started this run at 3:55pm.  It was hot!  My training log recorded 81 degrees.  I broke the rules and listened to music with headphones.  We were already disqualified and I wanted a distraction from the heat and my fatigue.  I went with the same tactic I ran my first run and slowed to a walk every 15 minutes to take in fluid.

The first mile was pretty exposed and I thought it was going to be a brutal afternoon.  But after crossing the interstate 64, the road was more shaded.  The course was straight for almost 3 miles.  I passed quite a few runners on the way.  Just before 4 miles in, I noticed a train was coming through!

Luckily, the train didn’t stop me for long.  Another mile on the highway and I crossed a major road.  It seemed a little dangerous.  There’s was a police officer in a car but he wasn’t there to stop traffic.  The landscape changed and I was in a residential neighborhood. At Mile 6, I turned right into Legacy Park.

Our Runner 12 was waiting for me at the exchange. I put my hand out to high-five her and the next thing I knew, she put a water bottle and a Crank Sport in my hand!  I ran with the two water bottles in my hands for a while but managed to stuff the gel in my pocket.

The course was mostly uphill – not a steep grade but just enough to notice.  There were several people walking and I realized some of my “kills” might have been visitors to the park.

I handed off the bracelet to Runner 12 at my final exchange.  I was spent but felt good about my effort.

Overall pace: 8:38. Kills=~24. Killed=0.

Saturday Evening

We made it back to the van by 5:30pm. I changed into our team shirt so we would all match as we ran our teammate into the finish line.  We parked the van at the hotel and rushed to the finish line and ran with Runner 12 through the chute!

Result

We finish in 33 hours, 57 minutes, and 34 seconds (10:03 pace).  All things considered, it was a good time!  But since we were disqualified, we didn’t place in any of the categories.

Post-Race

2017 Bourbon Chase Medals

2017 Bourbon Chase Medals

We got our medals and headed to the finish line area.  It was very festive!  There was a band playing 80s music and bourbon tastings.  I’m not good with hard alcohol so I went with Kentucky Ale instead (only to find out it was 8% alcohol!)

We had dinner at a local restaurant and then went back to the hotel for a drink.  We ran into one of the members of the team we watched the Nationals game with before the race!  Back in the room, I slept like a rock that night.

Runner 12 and I packed quickly the next morning.  Somehow, I managed to fit the T-Rex head in my bag!  We flew back home at noon on Sunday.  Our upgrades hadn’t gone through because the airline flew a bigger plane but we all got seat assignments when we checked-in for the flight.

Epilogue

This was the largest relay I’ve done.  I enjoyed interacting with the other runners and teams.  This might be the last time our team runs a relay, so that made the race bittersweet.  We might take a trip to Las Vegas next year instead.  My only complaint was the scarce driving directions for the vans.

As far as my training, I was happy with the effort I put into my legs.  I was sore in a good way after the race was over.  My schedule called for a 22 miler that weekend, but I was too tired to run that far on Monday.  I ran close to 33 miles total over the weekend and hoped that was enough.  I started my taper for the 2017 New York City Marathon after the race!

Abridged Version

I had a great time running through rural Kentucky at the 2017 Bourbon Chase.  Going in, I knew our team would be disqualified so I ran the race as hard workouts rather than all-out efforts.  I was Runner 10 and 11.  For my first run on Friday evening, I ran 16 miles at 8:29 pace in 75 degree weather.  We got dangerously lost on Friday night.  Early Saturday morning, I ran 6.1 miles at 7:56 pace in cool 50 degree temperatures.  On Saturday afternoon, I ran 10.7 miles in 8:38 pace in 80 degrees.  I ran 32 miles for the relay and 93 miles for the week!

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2017 New York City Marathon – Week 15

2017 NYCM Infographic - Week 15

It was my final hard training week before tapering for the 2017 New York City Marathon.  The Army Ten Miler was disappointing due to the heat.  I didn’t plan for the 2017 Bourbon Chase very well and accidentally ran 93 miles for the week!

Training Schedule
October 8th – October 14th

Sunday: 2017 Army Ten Miler.
Monday: Long Run. 18 miles.
Tuesday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Wednesday: VO2Max Run. 12 miles w/6x1200m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.
Thursday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Friday: 2017 Bourbon Chase. Leg 10 (7.2 miles) and Leg 11 (8.6 miles).
Saturday: 2017 Bourbon Chase. Leg 22 (5.4 miles), Leg 23 (4.3 miles) / Leg 34 (6.7 miles), and Leg 35 (4 miles).

Mileage Total: ~88 Miles

Notes.  I messed up my schedule.  I didn’t reconciled my online training plan to accommodate the 2017 Bourbon Chase.  As a result, I ran a mid-week medium-long run the day before the event!

Goal.  Get in a good long before the Bourbon Chase.  Outcome: Success!

Workout Details

Army Ten Miler. 10 miles @ 10 mile race pace [Race Report].

2017 Army Ten Miler - Finish Line

2017 Army Ten Miler – Finish Line

The weather on race day was miserable – 76 degrees, a dew point of 74, and 94% humidity! I stayed with my plan to start the race just under 8:00 pace but gave up on it mid-way through. I finished in 1:22:20 (8:14 pace). Due to the heat, the race was rerouted after two hours.

Overall pace=8:14.

Long Run. 18 miles [Log Details].

Thanks to the Columbus Day Holiday, I was able to do my long run on a Monday.  I knew it might be my last long run of this training cycle, so I wanted it to be a good one.  I headed out into a light rain.  I did the Arlington Triangle counter-clockwise.

During the first 5 miles, there was a pretty noticeable cross-wind but when I reached the Mount Vernon Trail, the wind was at my back.  During a water fountain stop near National Airport, I looked into my handheld and saw threads of mold!  I thought I’d cleaned it out well before the run but clearly, I hadn’t.

I hit the mid-way point at the scenic overlook of the Lincoln Memorial from the Mount Vernon Trail.  I stopped to eat a gel and enjoy the view.

Scenic Mount Vernon Trail View - 10092017

Scenic Mount Vernon Trail View – 10092017

I made frequent stops on the Custis and W&OD trails.  It was so muggy and I just needed to catch my breath.  Still, I managed to finish the run before the sun came out.

Overall pace=9:13.

VO2Max Run. 12 miles w/6x1200m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between [Log Details].

Recently, I ran a 10K in 7:14 pace.  But the weather was cooler and I thought I should aim for 7:00 to 7:25 pace.  The warm-up went well.  The first few repetitions were fine.  I ran through the big field of bugs on Four Mile Run, though.  The repetitions felt easy until the final split.  My legs just wouldn’t turn over any faster.  I thought it was a good workout, though.

1200m splits=7:15, 7:18, 7:10, 7:24, 7:47.  Average pace=7:23.

Medium-long Run. 15 miles [Log Details].

It was sprinkling rain when I got ready for my run.  For some reason, I decide not to carry water or a gel with me.  I wanted this to be a easy effort run, so I just tried to enjoy being outdoors.  The run was pretty uneventful until I felt a slight pull in my lower hamstring about 10 mile into the run.  I stopped and stretched it a little.  It fired a few times over the next mile but then went away.  It was such a relaxing run that I didn’t look at my watch until the end.

Overall paces=9:01.

Bourbon Chase. Leg 10 (7.2 miles) and Leg 11 (8.6 miles) [Log Details].

Full race report to come!

 

2017 Bourbon Chase - Makers Mark 1

2017 Bourbon Chase – Makers Mark 1

I started my leg at around 5:11pm. I was thankful that the sun would be setting. The views were fantastic. Acres of grasslands with horses and cows grazing. The highway was busy but the should was fine. The rumble strips were annoying in parts. I drank Gatorade every 15 minutes to stay hydrated and keep my electrolytes up.

Overall pace=8:29.

Bourbon Chase. Partial Leg 22 (5.4 miles)/Leg 23 (4.3 miles) [Log Details].

Our van got lost and I only ended up running 2 miles of Leg 22.  I started the run at 4:49am and ran the miles hard!  Channeling my track and field days, I treated my flashlight like a baton and kept my pace rhythmic.  The finish to Four Roses distillery was uphill.  As I was climbing it, I heard my name.  A few steps later, I saw Runner 12!  I slowed and took some of her stuff as we jogged to the exchange together.

Overall pace=7:56.

Bourbon Chase. Leg 34 (6.7 miles)/Leg 35 (4 miles) [Log Details].

2017 Bourbon Chase - Exchange 32

2017 Bourbon Chase – Exchange 32

 

My last two legs were at 3:55pm and the temperature was over 80 degrees.  I broke the rules and listened to music to take my mind off the misery.  I drank Gatorade until the exchange when I lot water from Runner 12.  The last four miles were mostly uphill.  I was so happy to hand off the bracelet at my final exchange.

Overall pace=8:38.

Health

Sleep.  I slept well early in the week.  During the Bourbon Chase, I got about two hours of sleep on Friday night and another two on Saturday morning.

Injuries. I had a new pain during my medium run on Wednesday.  My lower hamstring behind my right knee felt strained.  Luckily, it disappeared after the run.

Weight.  My weight dipping a little due to skipped meals.  After my 18 miler on Monday, I didn’t eat until later that evening as I waited for a plumber to show up.  I also missed lunch a couple of days trying to finish work before leaving town.

Weather

Record-breaking heat for the Army Ten Miler on Sunday led to the race being rerouted.  The temperature dipped into the mid-60s on Thursday and the light rain made it feel cooler.  During The Bourbon Chase, I ran in 70 degree weather on Friday evening, lower 50s overnight, and 80 degrees on Saturday afternoon.

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I registered for the San Diego 50 Mile & Trail Marathon!  

Next race: 2017 New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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2017 Army Ten Miler

2017 Army Ten Miler Banner

2017 Army Ten Miler Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

The Army Ten Miler is one of the largest 10 milers in the world.  It’s also one of my favorite local races.  Running with members of our armed services is incredibly motivating.

I’d been training for the New York City Marathon since July.  The heat has been unrelenting this summer!  I’ve been getting in good mileage but not hitting goal race paces.  I ran the 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K in 45:08 (7:14 pace).  The week before the race, I ran all of my workouts by Thursday and had two easy days on Friday and Saturday.

Goals

Personal Records:

  • 10 Mile PR: 1:08:26 (6:51 pace) at the 2014 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.
  • Course PR: 1:08:40 (6:52 pace) at the 2012 Army 10 Miler.
  • Most Recent 10 Miler: 1:12:40 (7:16 pace) at the 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

Achievable: Sub-1:18:00 (7:48 pace).  I ran close to 7:50 pace at the end of my most recent marathon paced run.  I should be able to repeat that effort.

Stretch: Sub-1:14:00 (7:24 pace).  I ran the completely flat 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K at 7:14 pace.  If I could manage to keep my slow down to 10 seconds/mile, I’d be very pleased.

Strategy:  Start out at 7:50 pace and see if I can run negative splits after the mid-point.

Course

The course is mostly flat.  It starts at the Pentagon in Virginia and crossed the Memorial Bridge into the District of Columbia.  After a loop through northwest D.C., the course goes along the Rock Creek Parkway near the Kennedy Center to Independence Avenue.  After a brief out and back, the route heads back into Virginia on the 14th Street Bridge.  After a brief jaunt through Crystal City, the race finishes back at the Pentagon.

Army Ten Miler Course

Army Ten Miler Course

There were three aid stations with water and Gatorade approximately at 2.25, 4.25, 6.6, and 8.75 mile marks.  The crowd support is mostly at the Pentagon and along the Mall.

Playlist

Listening devices are prohibited on the course, so I ran without music.

Pre-Race

2017 Army Ten Miler Shirt

2017 Army Ten Miler Shirt

Friday and Saturday

I went to the expo at the D.C. Armory on Friday afternoon.  I think this is the first year the race shirt was technical fabric instead of cotton.

I returned on Saturday morning to pick up some items I needed for The Bourbon Chase.  Waiting to cross the street to the Armory, I saw a girl get out of an SUV.  The car bumped her and seconds later, she started screaming and hopping around on one leg.  She yelled “You ran over my foot!” over and over again.  When she went to put her foot down, I ran over.  I supported her by the waist and told her not to put weight on her foot.  I left her when the woman who had been driving the car came over.

Race Day

For some reason, I woke up at 3am.  I couldn’t get back to sleep until 4am and only slept an additional hour or so.  I started getting ready for the race at around 6am.  Since it’s been so hot, one of the first things I did was check the forecast.  It was going to be around 75 degrees with high humidity and 10 mph winds out of the south.  There was also a chance of thunderstorms towards the end of the race.  I wondered if they’d cancel the race.  “Nah, it’s the Army,” I thought.  I drank some coffee and water, and ate a half bagel.  I left the house at 7:15am and jogged to The Pentagon.

There were so many people at the starting area!  The security screening was quick and I walked briskly to my wave since it was less than a half hour to race start.  But intermittently, I stopped for the National Anthem or some other tribute that required respect.  I got to Wave 1 about 15 minutes before the start.

2017 Army Ten Miler Start

2017 Army Ten Miler Start

After the wheelchair start and a few more announcements, the crowd was off!

Weather

Conditions were miserable – 76 degrees, a dew point of 74, and 94% humidity!  It rained a little during the middle miles of the race but it didn’t bring any relief!  (The day turned out to be the highest low temperature for October for Washington, D.C.)

2017 Army Ten Miler - Weather

2017 Army Ten Miler – Weather

The Race

Early Miles – Miles 0 to 4

It was hot and unbelievably humid!  I felt tired from the first steps.  Running without music, I thought it was oddly quiet.  I checked my Garmin after maybe a quarter mile and I was at 7:50 pace – exactly what I wanted.  Runners streamed past me but I figured they weren’t adjusting for the heat and I would see them again.  “Hmm, maybe I should slow down,” I thought.  But, I knew 7:50 pace was a conservative start for me, so I kept the pace going.  I finally felt I hit my stride by the time we hit the first mile marker near Arlington Cemetery.

I ran well on the Memorial Bridge but then I felt myself fading again around the Lincoln Memorial.  I clicked off the second mile.  I saw it was a little fast, but wasn’t concerned.

The first water stop was on Constitution Avenue.  It was mayhem, so I opted to run through it.  I thought, “What’s your hydration plan?” but didn’t have an answer.  I slowed down quite a bit during the uphill on Virginia Avenue.  A runner friend passed me and I sputtered out a, “Hey.”  My next split was over 8:00 pace but I thought my effort was where it should have been.

Near the Kennedy Center, it started raining.  I wore a headband and sunglasses instead of a visor for the race because I thought I’d try that combination for the New York City Marathon.  It was a bad decision.  I wiped away rain and salty sweat from my eyes and clicked off the next mile.

Splits (by mile markers): 7:50, 7:40, 8:02, 7:53.

Middle Miles, Miles 4 to 7

Coming out from under the Kennedy Center, I started feeling the effects of the heat.  I’d been so smug about other runners starting too fast but it appeared as though I hadn’t made enough of an adjustment for the heat!   I ran through the next water stop since the road was narrow and I wanted to avoid the crowds.  Immediately, I knew it was a mistake.  It’s too hot out here not to take in fluids!  On Independence Avenue, I slowed down significantly.  By the time I reached the next mile marker, I was running over 8:00 pace.

The course was a slight uphill to 14th Street.  I heard a shout-out from my friend and Run Washington reporter cheering on the sidelines.  I felt a ping of shame that I was running so slow and sped up once the course flattened out.  I passed a fair amount of runners during this part of the course.  There were spectators cheering, which really helped.  On the back side of the Federal Aviation Administration Building, I hit the lap button for Mile 6.  I was still running over 8:00 pace, but it was a little faster.

I continued running well heading back on Independence Avenue.  I turned left onto the 14th Street Bridge and despite knowing this was the hardest part of the race because it’s slightly uphill without crowd support, I felt a sense of relief the the race was closer to finishing!  Finally, I grabbed some water from a water stop but it was too little too late.  By the next mile marker, my legs couldn’t manage much more than a jog.  I knew my race was over and started telling myself, “Save it for tomorrow’s long run.”

Splits (by mile markers): 8:16, 8:09, 8:13.

Later Miles 7 to 10

2017 Army Ten Miler - Finish Line

2017 Army Ten Miler – Finish Line

On the Bridge, I saw a runner at the side of the road with his head in someone’s lap being fanned.  I think this is when it first occurred to me just how dangerous the heat had become.  I heard an ambulance approaching in the distance.  But then, a group of runners jaunted by carrying flags and wearing shirt dedicated to a fallen soldier.  They seemed to be running well, so maybe the conditions weren’t so bad.  I clicked off Mile 8.

Coming off the bridge in Crystal City, I saw a friend who was cheering and I waved.  I grabbed a cup of Gatorade at the next water stop.  The mix was strong and I coughed some of it up.  I passed a runner cramped up on the side of the road before heading onto Long Branch Road.  At that stage of the race, runner were abruptly stopping so I kept a keen eye on runners in front of me.  Finally, Mile 9!

I ran past the area where I’d be cheering for Marine Corps Marathon runners in a few weeks.  A medical golf cart was attending to a runner laid out on the side of the road.  The road was a bit torn up and dark under the bridge.  I saw a runner dry heaving and being comforted by some people just short of the finish line area.  Hearing the ambulances, I picked up the pace for fear that they would shut down the race at any minute.  This video gives a good sense for the experience:

Splits (by mile markers): 8:35, 8:39, 8:31.

Post-Race

I chatted with a friend at the finish line, got my finisher medal and a box of food that contained pretzels, a cookie, almonds, granola bar, and a fruit cup.  I lingered a little while to cheer on runners.  Later in the day, I read that the course was re-routed at 10:08am, 142 runners got medical attention, and 39 were taken to local hospitals.

2017 Army Ten Miler Medal Calendar and Tags

2017 Army Ten Miler Medal Calendar and Tags

Result

My time was 1:22:20 (8:14 pace) [Log Details].  I was the 2,298th finisher.  I was 407th woman and 26th in my age group.

In the elite race, the winners were Haron Lagat in 49:23 and Susan Tanui in 56:50.  Both run for the Army.

Epilogue

One month out from the 2017 New York City Marathon, I wanted an honest race effort so I could get an indication of what goal marathon pace should be for me in November.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t get that but I had a big training week ahead to focus on – almost 90 miles on my schedule – before I start my taper!

Abridged Version

The weather on race day was miserable – 76 degrees, a dew point of 74, and 94% humidity!  I stayed with my plan to start the race just under 8:00 pace but gave up on it mid-way through.  I finished in 1:22:20 (8:14 pace).  Due to the heat, the race was rerouted two hours in and 39 were taken to local hospitals.

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Training Supplement – October 15, 2017

Training Supplement Banner - 101517

I tried compression socks in an effort to alleviate some plantar fasciitis pain in my left foot.  I had a good experience with a caffeine product but troubles with sunglasses.  There were lots of new things to look at on the trails in South Arlington.  I found motivation from the Breaking2 documentary and two marathon majors.

Clothing & Gear

Recovery gear.  CEP Progressive Compression Socks.  I have the calf sleeves but wanted to try to socks because I’ve been having some plantar fasciitis issues in my left foot.  My calf is 12 1/4″, so I’m between sizes.  I bought the women’s size 2 (II), which is for calf size 9.5-12″ since I tend to want more compression in my recovery gear.  I wore them at least five days in the past month.  Did they help?  It’s hard to say.  I think just having them off made my legs feel lighter.

Sports BrasBrooks Juno Sports Bra.  With all the running I’ve been doing, I needed another sports bra.  I’ve tried this bra before but ended up tossing them after a few months.  The clasps became malformed because I put them through the drier.  This newer model was made of silkier fabric and was much more comfortable to wear.  It reminded me that it’s good to products that I was previously neutral about since manufacturers make changes.

Sunglasses.  I need to find new sunglasses.  I forgot my Oakley Commit Sunglasses were in a punch of clothes before putting them in the washer/dryer.  When they came out, the frames were okay but the lenses were scratched.  I wore my Smith Optics Parallel Max during the 2017 Bourbon Chase but they were too tight and gave me a headache.

(My Complete Clothes & Gear Page.)

Nutrition & Hydration 

Runners World Box.  Again, I was a bit mystified by the selections in this month’s Runners World Box.  I probably won’t eat the rice or the venison.  And, I haven’t been impressed with most sports detergents.  But, I’m interested in trying the earbuds and handheld.

Runners World Box - October 2017

Runners World Box – October 2017

CaffeineSword Energy Caffeine Tablets.  I bought these from a vendor at the first major exchange at the 2017 Bourbon Chase.  I used them before each of my runs and it helped motivate me to run hard even though I was tired.  According to the packaging, each tablet has 50 mg of caffeine and there are two tablets in a packet.

Routes

Long Branch Creek Mailbox - 09302017

Long Branch Creek Mailbox – 09302017

Sights.  There have been quite a few new things to see along the trails in South Arlington.

On the Four Mile Trail between Shirlington and Glebe Road, there’s new signage indicating that the neighborhood is Long Branch Creek.  I didn’t know that.  I also noticed a mailbox just off the trail.  Who is getting mail here?

Art.  On my way to the Mount Vernon Trail, I spotted a new art installation in Crystal City.  It’s a slate wall with white outlines and buckets of chalk.  People can fill in the empty spaces with color.

Further down the trail, there are signs printed on the trail educating users about the types of fish that live in Four Mile Run and how they want a healthy stream.

 

Crystal City Chalk Art - 10012017

Crystal City Chalk Art – 10012017

Flybys.  I ran by a lot of friends this month during my runs.  What’s funny is that I don’t recognize people until they’re right up on me.  This includes people I see on a regular basis.  I think seeing them out of context takes a while for my brain to process.

Media & Motivation

Music. “Flashdance,” Irene Cara.  My Ragnar crew is running the 2017 Bourbon Chase and its an 80s theme.

(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)

Podcasts.  “Episode 403 – Rowan Ardill,” Marathon Talk.  I enjoyed the Berlin Marathon and Breaking2 documentary discussions.  They also talked about the woman leading the Warsaw Marathon who fell.  I’d heard about it and finally looked up the video after the podcast.  It wasn’t what I expected.  She clearly needed medical attention but I thought she would be unresponsive on the pavement.  To me, it looked like she was suffering from severe leg cramps.

Books and Magazines. Running Your First Ultra,” by Krissy Moehl.  After reading some online reviews, I bought this book as reading material for my first ultra-marathon.  It gave me confidence that I’m ready for a 50 miler. The book mentions how your first ultra-marathon will have a special place in your heart.  Even though the book recommends staying close to home, I registered to run my ultra-marathon in my home town at the San Diego 50 and Trail Marathon.

TelevisionBreaking2 from National Geographic.  I think the best part of this race was that it humanized these elite runners.  I got a taste for who they were and what motivated them.  Zersenay Tadese winning the first Olympic medal for Eritrea.  Lelisa Desisa’s Boston Marathon victory on the heels of the bombing.  And Eliud Kipchoge who lived a monastic life before running 2:00:25.

2017 Berlin Marathon.  I missed the Breaking 2 broadcast because I was running the 2017 Eugene Marathon the next day.  But, I got up early and watched what was billed as a world record attempt.

2017 Chicago Marathon.  I rushed home from the 2017 Army Ten Miler to watch the race.  I caught the last half hour.  I was surprised to watch Galen Rupp win the men’s race and happy for Jordan Hasay for finishing third for the women.

News“Mad Pooper Jogger Craps on Family Lawn”.  I tried ignoring this story but it made TMZ!  But, I have nothing to say about this story.

Motivation. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!'” – Audrey Hepburn.

At the end of the Breaking2 documentary, Eluid Kipchoge smiles as he talks about someone else conquering the 25 seconds he couldn’t get.  That’s the beauty of sport – challenging yourself and encouraging others.

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2017 New York City Marathon – Week 14

2017 NYCM Infographic - Week 14

I had a fantastic training week!  Cooler weather at the start of the week helped me run faster than usual.  I had some plantar fasciitis and piriformis pain, though.  I’m looking forward to the Army Ten Miler tomorrow and The Bourbon Chase next weekend!

Training Schedule
October 1st – October 7th

Sunday: Marathon-pace run. 20 miles w/14 miles @ marathon pace.
Monday: Recovery Run. 6 miles  (AM) + Recovery Run. 4 miles (PM).
Tuesday: VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/5x600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.
Wednesday: General Aerobic Run. 8 miles.
Thursday: Medium-long Run. 14 miles.
Friday: Recovery Run + Speed. 7 miles w/6x100m strides.
Saturday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.

Mileage Total: ~74 Miles

Notes. A busy workday on Monday led me to move my second run to Tuesday.  Otherwise, I followed the schedule.

Goal.  Run goal marathon pace during my 20 miler.  Outcome: Success!  My goal was sub-8:00 pace and I hit 7:59 overall.  The splits were very consistent, too.

Workout Details

Marathon-pace run. 20 miles w/14 miles @ marathon pace [Log Details].

Air Force Memorial - 10012017

Air Force Memorial – 10012017

After a 3 mile warm-up, I started the marathon paced miles on the Mount Vernon Trail.  I decided to run north into the 10-13 mph winds and then head south.  The first miles were just over 8:00 pace and I was happy with that.

I turned around at Roosevelt Island, started an Crank Sport eGel, and drank water at the fountain.  I forced myself to finish the gel before I reached the water stop at National Airport.  My mind wandered to the Breaking2 documentary and Eliud Kipchoge mentioning running the marathon with your mind and heart.  I ran a little faster.

I turned north when I reached Alexandria.  My breathing was heavy but I imagined this was how I’d feel in Central Park.  I was channeling the race so intensely that tears welled up in my eyes thinking about those final beautiful, painful miles in Central Park.

I was so proud when the segment was over.  All of my splits were between 7:50 and 8:09 pace.  I couldn’t be happier with how it went!

Marathon pace segment=7:59.  Overall pace=8:26.

VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/5x600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between [Log Details].

I started the intervals on the Mount Vernon Trail after a 3 easy miles.  Running south near the Airport, I thought the first repetition was a little slow but the trail had some slight inclines.  The second interval brought me to the Four Mile Run Trail, which is completely flat.  The remaining 600s felt pretty effortless and I ran a faster cool-down than usual.

I missed my double the day before, so I ran a little under 4 miles during my lunch break.

600m paces=7:07, 6:42, 6:56, 6:44, 6:33.  Average=6:48.

The National Mall - 10032017

The National Mall – 10032017

General Aerobic Run. 8 miles [Log Details].

The first three miles were mostly uphill to the Custis Trail, but I ran it pretty well.  I had a lot more energy than usual.  On the first mile of Custis Trail, which is mostly downhill, my legs really started to turn over.  I stopped briefly for water at the junction with the W&OD Trail.  I didn’t want to stop running!  I glided across the trail for the next two miles.  It was hard keeping the pace on the uphill home, though.  It didn’t help that a bug made a direct hit to my right eye and I spent the last mile trying to flush the remains out of my eye.

Overall pace=8:10.

Medium-long Run. 14 miles [Log Details].

Arlington/Alexandria border to the Mount Vernon Trail and then headed north.  I ran fairly hard from the start – around 8:10 pace.  I listened to a playlist I’ve labeled “Swagger” – mostly hip-hop and dance music.  By the time I reached the Mount Vernon Trail, I noticed I was close to running sub-8:10 pace overall.  I stopped for water at National Airport and took a breather.  I slowed down after the rest but tried to maintain a hard pace.  I stopped to take pictures at Gravelly Point.

Gravelly Point - 10052017

Gravelly Point – 10052017

I finished the run feeling spent but not exhausted.  Bonus: the shower wasn’t occupied when I got to work!  Later, when I looked at the splits, I was surprised that I didn’t slow down as much as I thought.

Overall pace=8:09.

Health

Injuries.  My left foot still hurts with plantar fasciitis.  I wore a Strassburg Sock on Sunday night and it helped.  My piriformis was a little sore after my interval run on Tuesday but it felt better the next day.

Sleep.  I’m back to sleeping with the television on.  Most nights, I fell asleep between 9pm and 10am, but waking up around 2pm or 3pm.  Still, I got 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night.

Weight.  My stove has been broken for a couple of weeks, so I’ve been eating take-out most nights.  Work has also been busy and I didn’t eat lunch most days this week.  But, my weight didn’t really change.

Weather

Temperatures were in the mid to high 50s in the morning for most of the week.  I wore gloves during my runs on Monday and Tuesday!  By Wednesday, the humidity starting rising back to summer-like ranges but the heat and dew points were still low so it still good running weather.

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I found out on Wednesday that I didn’t get into the London Marathon.

I booked my hotel, train, and started my itinerary for my trip to New York City for the marathon.  I haven’t taken much time from work this year, so I decided to treat myself and go up a day earlier.

Next race2017 Army Ten Miler on Sunday, October 8th and the 2017 Bourbon Chase on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th.  I’ll be Runner 10 and Runner 11! (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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2017 New York City Marathon – Week 13

2017 NYCM Infographic - Week 13

It was a high mileage week!  I followed my schedule for the week but between the heat and racing the 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K last Saturday, my legs didn’t have much speed in them.

Training Schedule
September 24th – September 30th

Sunday: Long Run. 18 miles.
Monday: Recovery Run. 6 miles (AM) + Recovery Run. 4 miles (PM).
Tuesday: VO2Max Run. 12 miles w/6×1,000m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.
Wednesday: Medium-long Run. 15 miles.
Thursday: Recovery Run. 6 miles (AM) + Recovery Run. 4 miles (PM).
Friday: Medium-long Run. 12 miles.
Saturday: Recovery Run. 7 miles.

Mileage Total: ~84 Miles

Notes.  I followed the schedule but didn’t quite hit goal pace for the interval workout on Tuesday. 

Goal.  Complete the mileage in the schedule.  Outcome: Success!  Running to work for my medium runs made it possible.

Workout Details

Long Run. 18 miles [Log Details].

Since I raced the day before, I thought I would make this a “time on your feet” long run.  I also felt as though I’d been focusing so much on training lately that I wanted to just enjoy running.  I set out to run the “Arlington Loop”, which covers the W&OD, Four Mile Run, Mount Vernon, and Custis trails.  The early miles sluggish.  I listened to some podcasts as background noise but mostly took in the scenery.  I had a Crank Sport e-Gel at about the 55 minute mark and washed it down with plenty of water at the Airport water fountain.  Along the way, I saw several running friends.  The scenery looking over the river into Washington, D.C. was just beautiful!

On the Custis Trail, I stopped for water at Nelson Street and sat on a bench while I finished my second gel.  By then, it was over 80 degrees out.  My legs felt a little tight after the rest but my legs felt better once I reached the downhill of the W&OD.

Overall pace=9:25.

VO2Max Run. 12 miles w/6×1,000m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between [Log Details].

I didn’t know if it was realistic this workout was two days after a 10K, but I’d do my best!  I started the intervals on Four Mile Run after running 4.25 miles.  I felt good during the first two repetitions.  I noticed the same pain in my hips that I had during Saturday’s 10K but it felt like a good pain this time.  My legs had good turnover as I ran south on the Mount Vernon Trail.  I turned around when I reached Slater’s Lane.  The fourth repetition was very slow.  I thought it was mostly due to the uphill but I didn’t get any faster for the final two.

Split paces=7:03, 7:05, 7:13, 7:31, 7:25, 7:23.  Average=7:17.

Medium-long Run. 15 miles [Log Details].

It was 74 degrees when I started this run, which I did as my commute to work.  I went south down to Alexandria, Virginia before heading downtown on the Mount Vernon Trail.  An hour into the run, I felt pretty tired and started a Crank Sport eGel as a pick-me-up.  I stopped for water on Madison Street to wash it down.  I switched to more upbeat music for extra motivation.

Washington Marina - 09272017

Washington Marina – 09272017

I lingered at the water fountain near National Airport for extra rest.  It seemed to help and I ran the rest of the way downtown without unnecessary stops.  During my cool-down, I bought Gatorade from a sidewalk vendor.  The $2 seemed reasonable to me but a fellow patron was trying to negotiate his purchase down to $1.50.  It didn’t work.

Overall pace=8:53.

Medium-long Run. 12 miles [Log Details].

The weather finally broke!  It was 59 degrees when I started this run-commute.  I decided I’d try to run “fast” again even though I have a tough 20 miler on the schedule for Sunday.  Early on, I noticed the stitching on my new Saucony Impulse Short was irritating my belly.  I couldn’t find a way to make it stop so I tried to ignore it.  As I made my way to Slater’s Lane, I recognized a friend approaching!  He gave me a high-five and told me not to stop.  (I really wanted to stop, though.)  Six miles into the run and I started to run “fast” – going well under 8:00 pace.  I stopped for water at National Airport and took my singlet off for the next few miles.  It felt liberating feeling the cold air against my skin after weeks of miserable humidity!

Overall pace=8:20.

Capitol Building Selfie - 09292017

Capitol Building Selfie – 09292017

Health

Injuries.  I have pain in the arch and heel of my left foot.  I’m guessing it’s plantar fasciitis because it hurts most when I wake up in the morning.

Sleep.  The week started off well.  No televisions shows keeping me up late on Sunday night.  I went to bed between 9pm and 10pm and got at least 7 hours of sleep most nights!

Weight.  No real change in this area.

Weather

Summer has been never-ending.  Morning temperatures were in the 70s through Thursday.  It was 86 degrees by the end of my long run on Sunday!  And, the afternoon temperature was 88 degrees when I started my double on Tuesday.  And then suddenly, the weather dropped to a glorious 59 degrees on Friday morning.

Racing Schedule

Future races.  On Monday morning, I found that I didn’t get into the Tokyo Marathon. I was a little shocked.  I get into everything!

Next race: 2017 Army Ten Miler on Sunday, October 8th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K

2017 Dulles Day 10K - Banner

2017 Dulles Day 10K – Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

I started training for the 2017 New York City Marathon back in July using one of the plans in Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger.  It’s been a tough training cycle, mostly due to the hot weather.  Physically, I’m holding up well, though.  I’d like to run a sub-3:30 marathon in November but I’ve struggled to hit goal race paces in my workouts.  This race would be my first opportunity to see what marathon pace might be for me.  The week before this race, I ran hard through Wednesday and then had two easy days.

Goals

Personal Records:

Achievable: Sub-49:00 (7:52 pace). I managed sub-8:09 pace during my last tempo run.  I thought 20 seconds/mile faster would be reasonable even with the heat.

Stretch: Sub-46:00 (7:23 pace).  This would be slightly faster than I ran my last 10K and would indicate some improvement since then, which would boost my confidence.

Strategy: Start off at 7:23 pace and run it as long as possible.

Course

I couldn’t find a course map online!  The course is an out and back on Dulles International Airport‘s Runway 1R.  The elevation was zero.  There isn’t any crowd support because – it’s on an airport runway!  There was one water stop at the turn-around.

2017 Dulles Day 10K - Course

2017 Dulles Day 10K – Course via RunningAhead

Playlist

I didn’t see anything on the website to indicate headphones were prohibited, so I created a playlist with 46 minutes of music.


Pre-Race

Race Day

I hadn’t done this race before and wanted to get to the race site an hour before the 7:40am start.  I’d registered for the race a while ago, which was good because it sold out.  I woke up at 4am, which was just under 6 hours of sleep.  I had water, coffee, and peanut butter toast for breakfast and then left the house a little after 6am.  Parking was at The National Museum of Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center, which I’d never visited.  I knew it was near Dulles Airport (obviously), but turned on Waze for navigation assistance.  I made good time to the race site.  The parking lot was ushered and well controlled. As I headed to the Udvar-Hazy Center, I noticed there was a security check.  I went back to my car and left everything except what I wanted for the race to avoid any hassles.

2017 Dulles Day 10K - Outside Udvar-Hazy

2017 Dulles Day 10K – Outside Udvar-Hazy

Udvar-Hazy - 09232017

Udvar-Hazy – 09232017

I arrived at the race staging area by 7:15am.  There were port-a-potties to the left and then bag check and packet pick up to right.  I got my bib quickly.  I took a risk and didn’t go to the bathroom before the race.  Instead, I did warm-up laps in an open area away from the crowds.  I walked over to the “Finish” line assuming it was also the “Start” line with 10 minutes until race time.  Since this was a small race, I lined up pretty close to the line.  With very little fanfare, we were off at 7:40am!

Weather

It would be 60 degrees at the start, which seemed downright pleasant given how hot and humid it’s been this past week!  Winds were calm, too.  But, humidity was about 90%.

2017 Dulles Day 10K - Weather

2017 Dulles Day 10K – Weather

The Race

Early Miles – Miles 1 to 3

The problem with small races is that I end up behind sub-6 minute runners.  A few yards down the runway, I checked my Garmin and it was showing 6:50 pace!  I didn’t panic, though.  I gradually eased off the effort until I was closer to 7:20 pace.  Despite warming-up before the race, my hips were a little sore at the start.  I wondered if the hard surface was irritating them.  I noticed the runway was a little sticky on this stretch.  At the time, I guessed it was tar but after researching this later, it might have been rubber deposits.

The tarmac widened just before the one mile mark and I encountered the 5K runners, who started 10 minutes before us.  Looking ahead, I kept my eyes on a male runner in an Air Force shirt who had passed me moments before and two women who started ahead of me – one in a white tank top and another in a crisscross strapped sports bra.  The crowd cleared when we hit the straight-away on the runway.

2017 Dulles Day 10K - Mile 1

2017 Dulles Day 10K – Mile 1

I stayed as close to the cones as possible.  I felt there was a slight wind so I tucked behind runners at different points along this stretch.  The 5K runners split off around our two mile mark.  The runway seemed never-ending!  I focused on picking off runners ahead of me but not running too much faster than my goal race pace.

Splits (by course): 7:24, 7:24,7:16.

Later Miles – Miles 3 to 6.24

I hit the lap button on my Garmin at the Mile 3 marker and a few strides later, was on the turn.  The one water stop for the race was on this backstretch.  The woman in the crisscross strapped sports bra ahead of me grabbed water but I ran through it.  Moments later, on the home stretch, I passed her.  I looked ahead and next up were Air Force runner and a woman with a pony tail.  They were pretty far ahead so I took in my surroundings as I worked to reel them in.  I glanced to the right and saw a plane landing.  I was very glad I had music because there wasn’t much to focus on.  As I drew closer to the pair, I realized the woman with the pony tail was actually a guy.  I pulled up step behind him and let him pace me for a bit.  At the 5.5 mile mark, the course re-joined the 5K route but we were separated from them by cones.  The woman in the white tank top was getting closer.  I told myself, “You can catch her! Don’t give up!”  But, I had my doubts.  There was a lot of course left and she was still running well.  But with about a quarter mile to go, I passed her!  I started to kick thinking maybe, just maybe, I could catch the next woman in front of me.  I hadn’t noticed her earlier.  But, the runner in the Air Force jersey sped up, too and it momentarily demoralized me.  I regained my composure, though, and dug a little deeper.  I was closing!  But, she crossed the finish line a few seconds before me.

2017 Dulles Day 10K - Finish Line

2017 Dulles Day 10K – Finish Line

Splits (by course): 7:21, 7:08, 6:56, 1:41 (6:29 pace).

Post-Race

I crossed the finish line and my stomach was seizing so strongly that I thought I was going to throw up.  I went over to a grassy patch and bent over until the nausea passed.  I walked over to the post-race refreshments and the line was long.  I opted to get my bag, sit down, and wait for the award ceremony.  On my way out, I finally grabbed a water, banana, and a cereal bar.

Blackbird Aircraft in Udvar-Hazy

Blackbird Aircraft in Udvar-Hazy

Result

My time was 45:08 (7:14 pace) [Log Details].  I was the 34th finisher overall out of 740 (top 5%), 4th woman (top 2%), and 1st in my age group (top 2%).  I missed placing 3rd for women by only 4 seconds!

The top finishers received round-trip tickets from United Airlines!  As an age group winner, I received a pint glass and $25 gift certificate towards breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Dulles Airport Marriott.  I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I’m not sure it will get used.

Dulles Day 10K - Shirt Medal and Award

Dulles Day 10K – Shirt Medal and Award

Epilogue

I thought this was a well-organized race.  I enjoyed the unique opportunity to run on an airport runway even through the scenery was a little boring.

I crushed my race goal!  I didn’t expect much since my training times have been so slow.  But, I tend to race better than my training would suggest.  For race prediction, the McMillan Calculator correlates the race to a 3:31:45 marathon but the VDOT table in Daniels Running Formula puts me around a 3:28 marathon.

The 2017 New York City Marathon is only six weeks away!  I only have three weeks of hard work left until I start my taper.

Next race: 2017 Army Ten Miler on Sunday, October 8th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

This was my first race of the 2017 New York City Marathon training cycle!  The course was completely flat and the weather wasn’t terrible. I ran fairly splits.  I started picking off runners mid-way through the race.  I moved into 4th place at the 6 mile mark and was seconds away from out-kicking the 3rd place woman at the end!  My time was 45:08 (7:14 pace) – almost a minute faster than where I thought my fitness was!

Time=45:08.  Splits=7:24, 7:24, 7:16, 7:21, 7:08, 6:56, 1:41 (6:29 pace).  Overall pace=7:14.

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2017 New York City Marathon – Week 12

2017 NYCM - Week 12 Infographic

I entered the race preparation phase of the training program this week. All the hard work came early with three workouts in a row.  I had a rough medium run on Wednesday.  But, I ran the 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K today in 45:08(7:14 pace), which is much faster than I thought I would.  It was a terrible week for sleep and summer refuses to leave.

Training Schedule
September 17th – September 23rd

Sunday: Recovery Run. 6 miles (AM) + Recovery Run. 4 miles (PM).
Monday: VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/5x600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.
Tuesday: General Aerobic Run. 10 miles.
Wednesday: Medium-long Run. 15 miles.
Thursday: Recovery Run + Speed. 7 miles w/6x100m strides.
Friday: Recovery Run. 6 miles.
Saturday: 2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K.

Mileage Total: ~63 Miles

Notes.  I entered the race preparation phase of the training program.  The hard work came early in the week and my mileage was lower because I moved my long runs to Sundays.

Goal.  Finish the Dulles Day 10K in sub-46:00 (7:23 pace).  Outcome: Success!!!  I ran 45:08 (7:14 pace).  I’m shocked.  I thought sub-46:00 was a stretch.  I didn’t think I’d come so far under it.

Bluemont Park - 09172017

Bluemont Park – 09172017

Workout Details

VO2Max Run. 9 miles w/5x600m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between [Log Details].

After weeks of long, steady running, I’m getting more speed work in my schedule.  Even though I woke up feeling tired and sore from last week’s workouts, I was looking forward to turning my legs over for a change.  My goal was to run faster than I did during my last interval workout.  I ran close to 4 miles as a warm-up to the Mount Vernon Trail.  I listened to a mix of songs that I might use for my playlist for this weekend’s 10K.  I started the intervals after having a drink at the water fountain at National Airport.  I ran the repetitions on the Four Mile Run Trail.  The first repetition was a little stiff.  I didn’t have a good feeling about how this workout would end.  But then the second was much speedier.  “Maybe this won’t be so bad,” I thought.  I stopped to take a picture and got a complete rest.

I felt great for the final repetitions and was able to hold a consistent pace.  Afterwards, I was certainly tired but not exhausted.  I did almost two miles as a a cool-down home, walking the steep uphill.

Splits=6:57, 6:44, 6:54, 6:50, 6:58.  Average=6:53.

General Aerobic Run. 10 miles.  [Log Details].

For this workout, I wanted to have another sub-8:20 pace general aerobic run.  I listened to some songs that might end u as my playlist for this weekend’s 10K.  When I reached the Custis Trail, my overall pace was 8:10.  I felt good.  “That gives me some wiggle room.”  I stopped for water at Nelson Street.  After finishing the rolling hills, my overall pace was up to 8:18!  Just before the W&OD, I got passed by a female runner gliding down the trail.  “I’m going pretty fast here so, who is that?”  She didn’t pull away until we hit the junction.  I stopped for water and kept up the pace the rest of the way.  I slowed down a little.

Overall pace=8:11.

Medium-long Run. 15 miles.  [Log Details].

I wanted to run hard since I was taking the next two days easy, but I was pretty tired from the day before.  I did this run as a commute to work but looped down through Alexandria, Virginia since I’m only 7 miles away from my office.

I realized pretty early on that I should have brought a handheld and food.  (I didn’t eat breakfast.)  Still, I felt surprisingly good during the early miles!  Just as I was leaving Old Town, though, I hit a wall and felt terrible.  My legs completely lost their pep and I started shuffling along the sidewalks.  I stopped for water before reaching the Mount Vernon Trail and miserably thought, “I still have 6 miles to go.”  I trudged along and then stopped for water again at National Airport.  I filled my belly with water to trick my stomach into thinking it had food.  Why did I feel so terrible?  Was it the heat?  The wind? I crossed the 14th Street Bridge, which meant I only had two more miles to go.  I thought about finishing early – I could take the Smithsonian Metro stop to Capitol hill.  But, I managed to finish the run.

That evening after work, I realized I forgot my house key in my gym bag and had to go back to work.  I walked over to the Capitol and took a picture:

US Capitol - 09202017

US Capitol – 09202017

Overall pace=8:48.

2017 Dulles Day on the Runway 10K. 6.24 miles. [Log Details].

This was my first race of the 2017 New York City Marathon training cycle!

Udvar-Hazy - 09232017

Udvar-Hazy – 09232017

The course was completely flat and the weather wasn’t terrible. I ran fairly splits and started picking off runners mid-way through the race.  I moved into 4th place at the 6 mile mark and was seconds away from ou-tkicking the 3rd place woman at the end!  My time was 45:08 (7:14 pace) – almost a minute faster than where I thought my fitness was!

Time=45:08.  Splits=7:24, 7:24, 7:16, 7:21, 7:08, 6:56, 1:41 (6:29 pace).  Overall pace=7:14.

Health

Sleep.  It was a terrible week for sleep.  I took a long nap on Sunday and it messed up my sleep going into Monday.  On Wednesday, I forgot my key at work, after already working late, and had to double-back.  I didn’t get to bed until 11:30pm.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to make up the time later in the week.

Weight.  I didn’t eat very much after my runs mid-week, so my weight dropped a little.

Weather

Usually, our region gets fall-like weather by mid-September.  But, summer won’t move along.  Morning temperatures were in  the low 70s but with high humidity most mornings.

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I find out if I got into the Tokyo Marathon on Monday!

Next race: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 2nd. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

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