I saw a lot of sites during my runs this Memorial Day weekend. Cancelled my Stridebox subscription and signed up for Runners World Box to try something new. Happy for Runner’s World David Willey‘s sub-3:30!
Clothing & Gear
Ta Ta Tamer III
Sports Bras. Lululemon TaTa Tamer III. I’ve heard great things about this bra and thought I’d try it. It’s comfortable enough and, as was pointed out to me by the woman I share the ride to Hopkinton with at this year’s Boston Marathon, if you take the cutlets out, you can use the pockets for storage. If you want to run shirtless, I think it looks more like a bra than a top from the back and it’s not racer back if you care about such things.
Skin care. Body Glide. After the chaffing I experienced at the Boston Marathon, I bought a slick of the stuff and have been slathering it on before my long runs on hot days.
Arm bands. MoKo Water Resistant Running Case. Now that it’s warmer and I’m mostly wearing tank tops, my arm band has been STINKY! I ordered another one so I can wash and rotate them. Plus, the Velcro has already started giving out after about 6 months.
GPS watches. Garmin Forerunner 220. I gave this model away after I couldn’t get it to pair with my watch. I’ve been happy with my Garmin FR 630, so I don’t think I’ll miss it.
Spring Long Haul. The base for this gel is Basmati rice and it makes for tiny chunks in the gel. It wasn’t bad once I got used to it but I was surprised. The packet was 100 calories, 14g of carbohydrate and 1g of protein and fat. I thought the carbs seemed low and wondered it was a good product for running. I’d try it again.
Carb Boom!. I gave this product another try. It’s 110 calories, 26g of carbs, with no protein or fat. This time, the gel was Vanilla Orange flavor. I had the same reaction to the odd flavor and didn’t finish it.
Post-workout Nutrition. I also thought I’d work through some of the sports nutrition bars.
Picky Bars. I’ve tried this bar before but thought I’d give it another try. I really just don’t like the consistency of this bar. It’s too mushy for me. But, I loved the “Chai and Catch Me” flavor. Nutritionally, the bar has 28g of carbohydrate, 7g of protein, and 8g of fat for 200 calories total. It’s also gluten-free, which from listening to this week’s Runner’s World podcast, is the point.
Bonk Breaker Bar. This was another gluten-free bar with a soft consistency. It’s also 200 calories but has 31g of carbs, 5g of protein, and 7g of fat. The mint chocolate chip flavor was strong on the mint and light on the chocolate.
Jimmy Bar! (Is adding an exclamation mark after your product name a thing?) My favorite type of pre-meal bar is crispy rice, so I liked this one. The peanut butter ice cream flavor was a little bland but I didn’t mind. It’s 240 calories, 17g of carbs, 21g of protein, and 7g of fat.
Stridebox. After over a year of received them, I cancelled my Stridebox subscription and signed up for the Runners World Box. I didn’t have any problems with Stridebox, I just thought it would be good to try something new.
Sights. On the Saturday before Memorial Day, I ran to the Marine Corps War Memorial. I realized, even though I ran the Marine Corps Marathon a few years ago, I didn’t think I’d ever stood this close to the memorial itself.
Marine Corps War Memorial – 05272017
On Memorial Day, I ran along the National Mall and ended up at the World War II Memorial. I wanted to be respectful, but I also wanted a picture.
World War II Memorial – 05292017
Media & Motivation
Music. “Pocketful of Sunshine,” by Natasha Bedingfield.I’ve been in a pop song mood lately during my runs.
Motivation. “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
I thrive as a runner when I’m racing a lot. I thought I would try racing every weekend until I start training for the New York City Marathon in July to bring back that competitive hunger.
This week, if I was running, I was probably running hard! I ran the Capitol Hill Classic 10K on Sunday, a fast 8 miler on Tuesday, some mile repeats on Wednesday, and a hard 12 miler on Friday.
Training Schedule May 21st – May 27th
Sunday: Capitol Hill Classic 10K. Monday: Off. Tuesday: Maintenance Run. 8 miles moderate. Wednesday: Lactate Threshold Run. 9 miles w/3 miles @ 15K to half marathon pace. Thursday: 6 miles recovery. Friday: Medium Run. 12 miles. Saturday: Off.
Mileage Total: ~40 Miles
Notes. I thought 40 miles would be a nice coming back to running number. For the most part, I stuck to my schedule. I changed Wednesday’s tempo run to an interval run. Since it was raining Thursday morning, I took that day off and ran easy today instead.
I ran to the Marine Corps War Memorial (the “Iwo Jima Memorial”) in honor of the Memorial Day holiday weekend today.
Marine Corps War Memorial – 05272017
Goals.Run 40 miles for the week and lose 1 pound. Outcome: Partial success! I hit my mileage goal but didn’t reign in my diet as much as I hoped.
I almost pulled a “did not start” for the race since I hadn’t done a lot of running after the Eugene Marathon and the running I had done was pretty uninspired. But, I took one step at a time that morning and showed up for the race. Just before the start, I saw a friend who wanted company and we ran the race together. It’s been a long time since I ran with someone stride for stride! It was a lot of fun sharing the experience with someone else.
Even though I ran a 10K two days before, I decided to run hard. I felt pretty good during the first few miles. Most of these early miles were uphill, so I was surprised when I looked at my Garmin and saw how fast I was running – sub-8:00 pace on hills is unusual for me. I reached the Custis Trail after 3 miles and the terrain leveled out. I stopped for water when I reached the W&OD Trail and assessed how I felt. I thought I could keep the hard pace going. By then, the route was mostly downhill and I was running under 7:45 pace! The last mile and a half home were mostly uphill but I didn’t slow down by much. When I got home and logged my run, I saw I missed a course PR by 6 seconds!
Lactate Threshold Run. 9 miles w/3 miles @ 15K to half marathon pace 3 x 1 mile @ 15K to half marathon pace [Log Details].
I woke up feeling great and looking forward to this workout! I decided to run it along the Mount Vernon Trail. It would be my steps on that trail in about a month and I sort of missed it. Perhaps I was too enthusiastic because I went out a little hard during the warm-up – low 8:00 pace. A mile into the tempo segment, I knew I had pushed too hard and decided to take a 2 minute walk break. I was upset with myself that I went out too fast, but I thought 5K-10K pace workout was just as good as a threshold effort right now.
Canoes on the Potomac – 05242017
I ran the second and third repetitions pretty strong, too. I concluded perhaps I’m just having trouble figuring out faster paces right now. It wasn’t the workout I’d planned but it might have been a better one.
By Friday, I was tired and didn’t want to run but forced myself out of the door so I could keep my weekly mileage up. I felt better than I expected during the first mile. The second mile was mostly uphill and I didn’t fade as much as I expected. I thought, Maybe this run wouldn’t be so bad after all. On the downhill through Clarendon, I was enjoying the sights of the neighborhood waking up until a newspaper almost hit me! I made my way to the Custis Trail through Rosslyn and ran well on the Lee Highway hill. I stopped for water just after the 6 mile mark, the junction for the W&OD Trail, and at Columbia Pike. I didn’t stay long, though. I wanted to work on speed and endurance. It wasn’t a course PR effort, but it was pretty close to some of my best times.
Injuries. Physically, I felt pretty good this week. With all the hard running, I had some general muscle fatigue. And, my piriformis was irritated after the hard efforts on Wednesday and Friday. It wasn’t a sharp pain, though. It was more like lingering discomfort. I have an appointment with the chiropractor next week.
Weight. One of my goals this week was to lose one pound. Last Saturday, I weighed in 128.9. And today… I was 128.4. I’m a half pound down. Not very impressive but it’s a start.
The weather has been a big motivator for getting me out the door every morning. It was fairly pleasant for most of the week with temperatures in the high 50s. It poured rain on Thursday morning, though. Each day, it gets a little more humid. Summer is coming.
Future races. I updated my racing schedule page to reflect the races I plan to do this summer before I start training for the New York City Marathon in early July.
Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.
I ran the 2017 Eugene Marathon two weeks ago. This would be my first hard effort since then. After the race, I employed my “don’t run until you miss it” rule. I resorted to forcing myself out the door after 10 days when I didn’t miss it. By Saturday, my running legs came back and I ran 10 miles.
This would be my 6th running of the Capitol Hill Classic 10K. There are a lot of mid-May races in the area and this is one of my favorites since so few races go through this neighborhood.
10K PR: 42:41 (6:51 pace) at the 2012 Clarendon Day 10K.
Course PR: 43:44 (7:01 pace) at the 2013 Capitol Hill Classic 10K.
The course is an out-and-back in Capitol Hill. It starts at an elementary school, tours the neighborhood for a few blocks with view of the Capitol Building, Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress; and then heads out along East Capitol Street to RFK Stadium. There’s a small hill heading out of the parking lot heading back to the school, but otherwise, the terrain is flat.
There are water stops between miles 2 and 3 on the way out, mile 4 in the RFK parking lot, and miles 5 and 6 on the way back. There are small crowds along the route.
I woke up at around 5:30am but spent a lot of time lying in bed thinking about whether I really wanted to run this race or not. I checked the website and saw it didn’t start until 8:30am, so I had time to decide. I finally got out of bed at 7am. I still wasn’t committed but thought I would take one step at a time. After drinking some coffee, I decided, Why not? I geared up and was in the car by 7:45am. I was downtown about 15 minutes later. For parking, I knew the key was staying south of East Capitol Street so I wouldn’t get stuck in a road closure. I parked 4 or 5 blocks south of the school.
2017 Capitol Hill Classic – Neighborhood View
On site, I ran into the friend from my run club (even though neither of us is running with them very regularly anymore) standing in line for on-site registration. We caught up since we saw each other last at the 2017 Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon. Registration was quick. I didn’t grab my t-shirt at the time because I didn’t want to go back to my car. I was told I could pick it up after. I went to a set of port-a-potties with a short line and then did a very short warm-up. My legs actually felt good.
At the start line, I saw my friend again. He walked forward as the race began but I hung back. Just as I was putting in my headphones and getting ready to run, the female co-host from the Pace the Nation podcast popped up seemingly out of nowhere! She asked if she could tag along with me. I was a little worried about that since I hadn’t been running consistently and wasn’t sure how this race was going to go. She thought she was in sub-50 shape, which seemed fast to me. We chatted as the group slowly moved towards the start line and soon we were off!
The weather was almost perfect for the 8:30am race start – 59 degrees, low humidity, and calm winds.
2017 Capitol Hill Classic – Weather
First Half – Mile 0 to 3 (Capitol Hill, East Capitol Street, and RFK Stadium)
The course was a little crowded at the start but it wasn’t hard to navigate around runners. I warned my racing partner early on that I probably wouldn’t talk too much during the race. This was a 10K and, in my experience, they tend to hurt a little towards the end. She was fine with that but I actually talked quite a bit early on. The first mile marker was just after the course turned onto East Capitol Street. Just under 8:00 pace seemed good to me.
I knew we’d be on East Capitol Street for a while. After a mile and a half, we reached Lincoln Park, which is where a lot of people congregate to cheer. After rounding the park, we were back on East Capitol Street and heading toward the stadium. My friend hadn’t run the course before and I noted it was slightly downhill and would be uphill back. I thought that might be useful information in case we got separated. Heading into the parking lot at RFK, we saw the men’s leader. He was way out in front! We were on the trail that borders the parking lot at the mid-point.
Splits (by course): 7:56, 7:48, 7:48.
Middle Miles, Miles 3 to 6.24 (RFK Stadium, East Capitol Street, and Capitol Hill)
There weren’t any crowds in the parking lot, but Batala was there pounding out some good rhythms. I wasn’t familiar with this part of town and tried to figure out where we were. The only hill in the course came as we were leaving the parking lot. I focused on maintaining an even effort. I noticed my partner’s breathing was a little heavy. I thought maybe we should slow down, but then she would say something and I’d think, She’s fine. We continued along, mostly in silence. We were both feeling the effects of the hill. As we hit the mile 5 marker, the terrain leveled out, which was a relief.
We approached Lincoln Park again. There were even more people out and my friend waved to someone she knew. Back on East Capitol Street, I could tell we were running faster. The pace felt hard but something I thought we could maintain. In fact, I was enjoying myself so much that I allowed myself to low-five a little girl. I clicked off the lap at the 6 mile marker. I didn’t say the time out loud but told my buddy, “That’s a great split!” and smiled. I thought we were holding the same pace through the finish but we actually threw in a little bit of a kick!
My race partner and I went over to the park across from the school to get water. While there, we ran into two other runners I knew. I made introductions and we all chatted for a while. Suddenly, I realized I was really tired and left the group to head home. I realized I hadn’t eaten anything or taken any water during the race. Back home, I realized I forgot to pick up my shirt! And, since there wasn’t a medal for the adults, I don’t have any pictures for this race report.
My time was 48:25 (7:46 pace) [Log Details]. I was the 321th finisher (top 17%), 56th woman (top 6%), and 5th female master (top 3%).
On the elite side, the race was one by two locals – Paul Thistle (31:18) on the men’s side and Caitlyn Tateishi (37:18) for the women. A six-year-old set a 10K record!
I really enjoy this race. Even though I don’t live in the neighborhood, I feel good about supporting the school and getting the opportunity to run in Capitol Hill.
I was genuinely happy that I didn’t stay in bed and managed to run the entire 6.24 miles without stopping or fading. I took a lot of days off after the Eugene Marathon and this felt like a good foray back into running hard.
My time was 48:25 (7:46 pace). I almost pulled a “did not start” for the race since I hadn’t done a lot of running since the Eugene Marathon and the running I had done was pretty uninspired. But, I took one step at a time that morning and showed up for the race. Just before the start, I saw a friend who wanted company and we ran the race together. It’s been a long time since I ran with someone stride for stride! It was a lot of fun sharing the experience with someone else.
I didn’t miss running after the Eugene Marathon. I think I was feeling a little burned out. I forced myself to run a few miles on Tuesday and Friday. Today, I actually wanted to run and completed 10 miles.
Notes. My “rule” when it comes to running after finishing a marathon training cycle has been to wait until I miss it… Well, over a week passed and I still hadn’t missed it. So, I forced myself to run on Tuesday and Friday.I (finally) truly felt like running today.
It had been 10 days since the Eugene Marathon. The week after the race, it didn’t bother me much that I hadn’t felt like running. But, a few days into the second week, it bothered me that the urge wasn’t there. Even though I usually go by my “wait until you miss it” rule, I forced myself out of bed to run a few miles. I thought 30 minutes of running would be a good showing.
The run went well. In fact, my legs felt pretty good out the door and I was running much faster than usual. Instead of slowing down, I held the pace since I wasn’t going far. I was glad to check off this first post-marathon run.. But, it didn’t go any deeper.
By Friday, I still didn’t feel the urge to run. But, I willed myself out of bed to go for a run. This was going past post-marathon recovery and I felt like my rule was failing me. I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted this much rest. What if I never missed it?
I headed south to the W&OD Trail for a warm-up. Once again, I ran pretty fast straight out the door. My legs still felt heavy and some of my joints were sore, but it wasn’t terrible. After 15 minutes, I did some strides and sprints on the trail. The strides felt awkward but I sprinted like I was finding my legs for the first time! During the cool-down home, I still wanted to run hard even though it was uphill. I finished happy that I ran but still worried that I didn’t feel as though it was better than sleeping in.
I was planning to run the Capitol Hill Classic 10K the next day, so I thought I should keep the pace for this run easy. During the first few miles, I was running a little faster than usual – just as I had earlier in the week. At the 4 mile mark, I reached the new water fountain on the Custis Trail and stopped for a rest break. I allowed myself a complete recovery and started a gel before continuing. Two miles later, I took another break at the junction with the W&OD Trail. I planned to linger for a while but felt restless. My running legs had returned! Along the way, I noticed a group of walkers on the trail who weren’t observing trail etiquette by staying to the right. I was a little annoyed. I took a long break before the long uphill home. I noticed a few people from the walking group using sign language and realized some of them were hearing impaired. I felt bad for being so judgmental. Everyone should be able to enjoy these trails! I finished the run a while later and thought it went a long way towards breaking my post-marathon funk.
Injuries. Thankfully, the ankle pain I experienced during the Eugene Marathon didn’t linger. My legs felt heavy this week due to inactivity but nothing was injured. I went to my chiropractor last Friday. I’m on a maintenance schedule now and will only go every three weeks.
Cicada – 05202017
Weight. For a few years now, I’ve been a little heavier than I was a decade ago. I’ve wanted to lose them but it never seemed that important – I’m not overweight. But, I’d like to spend the next month trying to (finally) lose them.
Sleep. Ah, sleep! Since I wasn’t training for a marathon, I could sleep in this week! Unsurprisingly, I’m still waking up at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, but I would just roll over and go back to sleep.
It was unseasonably warm in Washington, D.C. this week. In fact, it tricked some cicadas into emerging early. Temperatures were in the high 60s or low 70s in the morning but the humidity was high – around 80%. It dropped today to about 60%.
The Eugene Marathon was a little over a week ago and I’m starting to dissect the race. Did my carbo-load or shoes contribute to the rough start? Despite the internal criticism, I know I came out of it a tougher runner. Oh, and the Nike 2-hour project was thrilling and inspiring!
Post-workout Nutrition. PR Bar. I continued working through my Stridebox backlog. During my carbo-depletion during my Eugene Marathon taper, I had this bar since it had the most protein of the lot – 15g. I didn’t care for the flavor, but it’s the type of bar I like – crispies. The peanut butter granola flavor was a little bland.
StrideBox. Despite my best efforts to work through my stash, another box arrived! I like ginger flavor, so the Gu looked appealing. I also thought the Salt Sticks were coming just in time for summer.
I walked down the road a bit and took this picture of the area below.
View of 10 Mile Split – 05062017
It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized this was the same breathtaking view I wrote about in my race report after the half marathon split. We were on the footbridge at the bottom of the photograph.
Podcasts. “Shalane Flanagan,” The Runner’s World Show. I felt relieved when I heard Shalane echoing a bit of what I wrote about doping scandals and feeling worse for athletes like Jo Pavey who didn’t get her podium moment. But, her point about doping ruining the hopes of the sub-elites resonated with me most.
“Babies in the Studio,” Pace The Nation. Like many runners, I’m fascinated by some of the stories on the Marathon Investigations website. In the episode, one of the hosts talked about a questionable running practice in a race. It was funny to me because I’ve been feeling as though I’m noticing more “cheating” since I’ve been reading these stories.
Books and Magazines. “Moonshot,” by Alex Hutchinson. This article provided an overview and details about the Nike Breaking2 attempt. The article is very technical – focusing on the training, course, and other scientific elements of the challenge.
News. “So Close, Kipchoge Runs a 2:00:25 in the Breaking2 Attempt,” Runner’s World. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay up to watch the event live – I flew out to the west coast for the Eugene Marathon the day before and just couldn’t keep my eyes open. The next morning, the first thing I did was go online to find the result. Amazing! Despite the manipulations, it’s incredible to me that Kipchoge came so close.
Motivation. “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Joshua J. Marine
The Eugene Marathon presented me with a new and interesting challenge – an injury during the first mile! I dealt with it, though, and finished the race a tougher runner.
Achievable: Sub-3:33 (8:08 pace). My goal marathon pace for this training cycle was 7:50-8:00 but most of my runs at this effort were 8:05–8:10. Also, McMillan equated my 1:42:00 (7:47 pace) at the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon to a 3:34 (8:12 pace) marathon.
Stretch: Sub-3:24 (7:47 pace). Based on my time at the 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, I could run significantly faster. McMillan correlates that 1:12:40 (7:16 pace) with a 3:23:59 (7:47 pace) marathon.
Strategy: With those two ranges in mind, I thought I would start out at 8:10-8:15 pace and then slowly increase the pace until I was holding 7:57 pace through the end.
The course is fast! It starts on the University of Oregon – Eugene. It heads south four miles, includes two short hills, before looping back. After passing thorough campus, the course crossed the Williamette River and goes east through neighborhoods. A few miles later, the course goes west through suburbs and parks before crossing the Owosso Bridge. The final miles are through city parks and finishes on Hayward Field.
There are water stops every 2 miles or so. Most of the crowds are around the University of Oregon campus and in Alton Baker Park.
I arranged 54 songs or 3 hours and 30 minutes of music.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Airport Banners
I arrived in Eugene late in the afternoon. I immediately mixed up a carbohydrate drink and sipped it on the short drive from the airport to my hotel. I walked around the neighborhood before falling asleep.
After having a cup of coffee, I went for a 3 mile shake-out run. I felt terrible! My legs were heavy and I was breathing hard. I thought, “This isn’t good.” But, I always feel bad after rest days.
After breakfast, I showered and drove to Pre’s Rock. I paid my respects, took in the view from the road, and then left a pair of my shoes from this marathon cycle as tribute.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Pre’s Rock
I went to the expo at around 11:30am. The website said it was on the soccer fields next to Hayward Field. I didn’t know where that was exactly and had a little trouble figuring out where I should park. It didn’t take me long to figure things out, though.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Hayward Field
2017 Eugene Marathon – Expo
Registration took place in a tent. I picked up m bib and walked around a bit. There were a few vendors selling gear and maybe a dozen others either given out samples or promoting their organization. I took at 3:25 pace bracelet thinking it would help me determine if I was going out too fast.
Back in my hotel, my leg muscles felt a little sore. I rarely resort to taking anti-inflammatory medications, but I took an Ibuprofen. I walked around a local market before dinner. I was feeling heavy and wanted something light, so I had a salad with salmon. I settled into bed after 8pm, gave myself and EMS treatment, and fell asleep watching “Spirit of the Marathon“.
2017 Eugene Marathon – T Shirt and Expo Purchases
I got up at 3am. I ate a bagel and Kind Breakfast bar with coffee. The observed weather in Eugene was 38 degrees! I thought that was a little cold, I packed arm warmers and gloves in my gear bag. My legs still felt a little tight so I took another Ibuprofen. The puffiness was gone, though. I had a banana and took an Imodium before leaving the room.
I got on a shuttle bus to the race site at around 5:45am. I sipped a carb drink on the ride. It was only a 10 or 15 minute drive to the University. In the “Athlete’s Village”, I pulled out a Mylar blanket and rested.
With about a half hour to go, I went to check my bag. I kept the mittens but checked the arm warmers. There was a bit of a delayed as the woman ahead of me waited until the last minute to decide what she wanted to check. I left my bag on the table and rushed off to the port-a-potties. The line was long! I remembered a volunteer saying there were some by the start line so I took a chance and jogged over. Sure enough, the lines were much shorter! After a couple of minutes, I was in my corral and lined up just ahead of the 3:35 pacer. I hadn’t timed thing well because soon, I had to pee again! The color guard presented the flag and a woman sang a lovely rendition of the National Anthem. Alexi Pappas, our official race starter, said some words and then we were off!
Near perfect weather for a marathon.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Weather
Early Miles – Miles 1 to 5 (Agate Street, Hilyard Street, East Amazon Drive)
The start was in a residential neighborhood on Agate Street and had a nice sized, welcoming crowd. I checked my Garmin early on. It showed I was running a little slower than I wanted, so I pushed the pace a little. After a half mile, I checked again and I was where I wanted to be. Around this time, I also noticed my right calf was aching.
At the 1.5 mile mark, the course went left onto Hilyard Street. From studying the route, I knew I’d be on this stretch for a while, so I moved to the far right of the road and tried to settle into a comfortable pace. I looked around, trying to soak up the surroundings, but all I could think about was my sore calf. It really hurt and it was an unfamiliar pain. It covered the entire outside of my right leg from foot to knee and was more throbbing than sharp.
The first of two hills on the course started at the 2.5 mile mark on East Amazon Drive. I struggled to climb it. Runners were passing me like I was standing still. Cresting the hill should have felt like victory, but I was completely winded and my calf was absolutely killing me. I couldn’t believe this was happening so early in the race! Searching for a cause, I went over all the things that could have aggravated the area. “Was it the Ibuprofen? The carbo-loading? … Could it be a blood clot?!”
Just before the 4.5 mile mark, the course headed back towards downtown Eugene. Quitting flashed through my mind. I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know what would make it better. Gathering myself, I tried running a little differently hoping that might help. For a few strides, I’d lift my knees higher, lengthened my strides, or speed up; and then return to my normal gait. At the 5 mile mark, I started a Crank Sport e-Gel. Deep down, I knew I was going to finish this race no matter what.
Splits (by course): 8:08, 8:05, 8:01, 8:00, 8:10.
Early Miles – Miles 5 to 10 (West Amazon Drive, Agate Street, Milrace Drive)
Despite the pain in my calf, I was still trying to enjoy the race. For example, during this stretch, I saw a woman out on her run cheering for us as she went along and I smiled. In general, I was in a better mood because I could tell my strategy of speeding up and altering the flexion in my ankle was helping. But, I knew running this hard so early was dangerous.
The second hill of the course arrived about 7.5 miles into the race. In what seemed like an instant, I went from running recklessly fast to shuffling. “This is going to be a train wreck,” I thought. There was a string of balloons over the course at the crest of the hill. This wasn’t Heartbreak Hill but you wouldn’t know it from the crowd support. Feeling a bit disappointed and sorry for myself, I zoned out as the course turned left onto Agate Street and back through the University of Oregon campus. Half marathoners were finishing, which was a little demoralizing when you’re feeling so bad with 17 more miles to go.
After leaving the campus, the course continued onto the Riverfront Parkway. I felt a little better and was surprised that… I was passing people! Even though the race wasn’t going as well as I hoped, I realized I could still improve my placement. Turning right onto Milrace Drive and then Garden Avenue, I set my sights on passing a half dozen women ahead of me.
Approaching the half marathon split, the course went over a pedestrian bridge. The view of the river and I-5 Bridge with the water rushing towards us was stunning!
Splits (by course): 7:58, 7:58, 7:55, 8:25, 8:09.
Middle Miles, Miles 10 to 16 (Centennial Boulevard, Leo Harris Parkway, Alton Baker Park)
2017 Eugene Marathon – Mile 10-11
The half marathoners split off shortly after the 10 mile mark. Knowing this can feel lonely in smaller races, I immediately quickened my pace to catch the pack ahead of me. I also started my second gel. The course was on a narrow rail trail until D Street when it went back on road. I tucked behind the pack I’d trailed for the last mile. Then, over the next mile, I surged and passed them and a couple of other runners.
After the half marathon split, the course turned left onto Centennial Boulevard. The road was slightly downhill and I took advantage by letting my legs fly for the next mile or two. I saw one of my second favorite sign, “Persevere”. Given my calf pain earlier in the race, I felt like I was doing just that. Along the way, I saw the recreational runner from Mile 5 in the race! “How did she get all the way up here?” I started feeling a little tired, so I tucked behind two women and let them pull me forward for a little while. When they slowed down on an uphill, I left them and looked ahead for the next runners to pick off.
Just before 16 miles, the course went left onto Leo Harris Parkway and Alton Baker Park. I started my third gel. I saw the backs of runner who passed me on the East Amazon Drive. I had to pass them.
Later Miles, 16 to 21 (Alton Baker Park, East Bank Trail)
The next few miles were on narrow concrete trails with gorgeous views of the Williamette River. The crowds were sparse but I didn’t even care. Runners ahead to pass and my playlist were enough to keep me motivated. I spied and then passed a woman in a rainbow singlet who passed me on the first hill! I didn’t give up then and I wasn’t going to give up now. I kept pushing the pace even though I could sense the course was slightly uphill and into the wind.
On the North Bank Trail, I started to fade a little. The route was very slightly uphill and into the wind. I would surge and fall back. At one point, a woman with long braided pony tails passed me. How is that possible? I tried to stay with her. I stayed maybe 5 strides behind her for a while. I passed a few runners, but I few passed me, as well. I hit another rough patch and started my last gel. I was running alone for a while and saw another pack to chase down – a woman with a few guys, all in black.
At the 21 mile mark, the trail went up a steep ramp and onto the Owosso Bridge. The view from the bridge was beautiful and serene. Before the race, this is where I thought I would want to push the pace. After crossing the Bridge, trail went downhill for a while and I lengthened my stride to take advantage.
Splits (by course): 7:58, 8:13, 7:59, 8:08, 8:11.
Later Miles, 21 to 26.2 (Copping Street, West Bank Trail, Spencer’s Butte Park, Agate Street, Hayward Field)
The course went through a residential neighborhood before going back onto trail. “Down the Road,” the song from the course video I studied, came up on my playlist. I thought, “Didn’t I arranged for this to play at Mile 21?” I realized, despite the calf cramp, I wasn’t too far off a 3:30 marathon after all! I passed the pack in black. There was a group of people cheering right at the entrance to the West Bank Trail. I gave them a confident head nod as if to reply, “Yeah, I got this!” and they cheered enthusiastically.
At Mile 22, I didn’t know if I could keep this intensity up for 4 more miles. I got passed by a guy in a green shirt and it rattled me a little. Was I about to get passed back by all the runners I’d flown by? I decided to ditch my gel and the mittens I’d been wearing. I was motoring for a good half mile or so before I knew my body was done. The best I could do is try to hold this pace, going faster wasn’t an option.
The course was on a narrow bike path through several parks for the next mile or two. At Mile 23, I turned my Garmin to overall time. It said 3:15:something. Doing a quick calculations, I estimated I would have to run two 7:30 miles to get under 3:30. That was not going to happen. I let up a little and accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to hit my goal. But, I also told myself I shouldn’t be surprised – most of my marathon pace runs were over 8:00 pace. I passed another woman who’d passed me on that first hill and felt good again. I really put up a good fight today. I thought, “Some might say you even ran with guts,” and smiled.
At Mile 25.5, the course left the bike path and went back onto the Riverfront Parkway. They led us down a narrow chute. The grade was downhill, and I repassed the runner in the green shirt. Two women pass me but I don’t remember passing them so I was okay with it.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Mid Fiving Little Kids
Clicking off Mile 26, I put my headphones away. I wanted to completely soak in the atmosphere before entering Hayward Field. I high-five some kids before heading into the stadium.
I saw the sign overhead and in an instant, I was on the legendary track! I looked at the bleachers and felt the spongey track under my feet. With less than 200m to go, I channeled my track background and started turning my legs over as if I were in high school again. The announcer said my name and a few things that I couldn’t hear. I crossed the finish line exhausted but completely elated.
After getting my medal, volunteers handed me a race themed bag with goodies and a water bottle. After claiming my bag, I rested for a few moments.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Post Race Goodies
Suddenly, I remembered I had to go to the bathroom! I walked around and ate some grilled cheese sandwich samples before grabbing a beer. I met up with a friend who also ran the race before taking a shuttle back to the hotel.
2017 Eugene Marathon – Finish Festival
2017 Eugene Marathon – Post Race
My time was 3:32:04 (8:06 pace) [Log Details]. Interestingly, it’s about the same pace that I ran my last marathon effort workout! I was the 350th finisher out of 1,480 (top 24%), 75th woman (top 11%), 12th female master, and 5th in my age group (top 7%). The time should be a non-guaranteed qualifier for the 2018 New York City Marathon, assuming the registration method and standards stay the same.
For the total marathon experience, this may be my favorite marathon behind New York and Boston. The course, the pre- and post-race festivities, and the logistics were all on point.
Looking back on my race, I thought I was fit enough to run faster but my time wasn’t far off from what my training suggested even with a sore calf! Moreover, it’s my second marathon in a row with a near even split, which means I’m getting better at sensing marathon effort.
It’s been a long training cycle – 20 weeks! I’m looking forward to taking a bit of a break to rest my piriformis and then focusing on some shorter stuff.
What an amazing and exhausting day! The weather was perfect and pre-race logistics went great. Then, not even a mile into the race, my calf cramped! I ran through it and the pain finally eased up by Mile 7. But, I had expended so much energy by then that I thought my race was over before it even began. Feeling a little disappointed, I zoned out until the half marathon split. I snapped out of it and I spent the next 10 miles reeling in runners. Along the way, I enjoyed spectacular views of the Willamette River. I started to fade about two miles from the finish. But, what a finish! Running in the footsteps of so many legends on Hayward Field was inspiring!
Greetings from Eugene, Oregon! I think this was my most restful taper ever – I “only” ran 32 miles this week. My workouts went well but I felt sluggish during some of them, which isn’t unusual for a taper. My time goal for tomorrow… I think 3:30-3:25 should be achievable.
Training Schedule Week 20: April 30th – May 6th
Sunday: Medium run. 12 miles hard Monday: Recovery run. 5 miles. Tuesday: Off Wednesday: Tempo run. 6 miles w/2 miles @ tempo pace Thursday: Easy run. 4 miles w/sprints. Friday: Off Saturday: Recovery run. 3 miles
Mileage Total: ~30 Miles. I reduced by 60% of 74 miles.
Adaptations. I stuck to the schedule, more or less. I ran a half mile or mile more here and there but nothing too drastic.
Goal.Resist the urge to run more than scheduled. Outcome: Mostly a success.
I felt a little sluggish during the first two miles of this run. I chalked it up to the rest day and weather that was warmer than usual. It was over 70 degrees and 90% humidity when I started! Even though I didn’t feel great, I wasn’t running much slower than usual. I was running in new shoes that I planned to wear on race day. The laces felt tight. At the intersections, I adjusted the Speedlaces. It also gave me an excuse to rest a little. On the Custis Trail, I struggled on the almost mile-long Lee Highway uphill. I ran better during the flatter sections but still struggled. I lingered at the water fountain at the junction with the W&OD trail and doused myself with water. I was pretty tired at the end of the run. “12 miles shouldn’t feel this hard,” I thought.
Whoo hoo! This was my last workout of this training cycle!
I checked the schedules Pfitzinger and Magness for guidance on when and what to do for this final workout. I decided to do just a few miles at marathon pace three days out from the my goal marathon.
I didn’t feel great during the workout. I chalked it up to not sleeping well this week and abstaining from carbohydrates. For the marathon pace segment, I ran the first two miles at what seemed like a hard long run pace.
View from Humpback Bridge – 05032017
For the last mile, I thought I’d run close to my personal record pace to see how it felt. And… It didn’t feel too hard!
Everything considered, I felt confident about a sub-3:30 effort but wasn’t quite sure I should aim for sub-3:25.
Splits=8:15, 8:06, 7:46. Average=8:02.
Plane from Seattle to Eugene – 05052017
Injuries. I went to my chiropractor on Tuesday. My piriformis has been feeling much better and I expect I’ll just go for one more treatment next week. No matter what happens tomorrow, I’m happy with how it held up during this training cycle (with the exception of the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon.)
Carbo Pro Powder and Pure Protein Shake
Weight. I lost and then gained a few pounds this week probably due to my carbo-load. I started with a depletion early in the week by limiting my carbohydrate to about 30% of my diet. For the load, I tried to get about 600 grams of carbohydrate a day and drank extra water. By Friday night, I felt utterly bloated but hopefully my glycogen stores are full.
Allergies. It was another high pollen week but I didn’t take anything for it.
Sleep. On average, I got a little over 6 hours of sleep each night but I didn’t sleep soundly. I napped a lot on my flights to Eugene, though, and slept in late today.
On Sunday, the temperature was 70 degrees in the morning with 90% humidity. The temperature steadily dropped during the week but the winds picked up – gusting over 20 mph on Wednesday. It cooled down to the mid-55s on Thursday. Today, it was in the high 40s during my “shake out” run here in Eugene.
Future races. I haven’t looked much past Eugene but I think my next race will be the Capitol Hill Classic 10K on Sunday, May 21st.
I’m getting ready for the Eugene Marathon! I started breaking in the shoes I’ll wear and I’ll start carbo-loading on Wednesday. I watched the London Marathon live and found a video of the Boston Marathon since I missed the elite race. Locally, an upgraded water fountain is coming to the Custis Trail.
Clothing & Gear
Shoes. Saucony Ride 9. These will be my shoes for the Eugene Marathon! They arrived on Wednesday and I started breaking them in the next day. I should have about 50 miles on them for race day. I wish I’d bought them a couple of weeks earlier.
Saucony Ride 9 – Grey and Coral
Sports Bras. Brooks Juno Racerback Sports Bra. Taking a shower after the Boston Marathon, I screamed out in pain. My sports bra chewed up my back! Two weeks post-race and the two dime-sized sores have scabbed over. It’s weird because the sores are at the lowest part of my rib cage – almost to my waist rather than my rib cage. In any event, it’ll be a while before I muster up the courage to wear this bra again.
Nutrition. Carbo-Pro Powder and Pure Protein Shake. I’ll start carbo-loading for the Eugene Marathon this week. I’m planning to start by eating less carbohydrate for a few days, so I purchased some cans of a protein shake that I know I liked. Each shake has 170 calories and 35g of protein. It has 4g of carbohydrate and 2g of fat, which I think helps it taste better than other products that are only protein. As a carbohydrate supplement, I bought a product that I haven’t tried before. I’ll report back in my next training supplement on whether it helped. But, two scoops of the product contains 200 calories and 50g of carbohydrate – no fat, no protein, just carbs!
Post-workout Nutrition. Buff Bake Protein Cookie. I decided to clear out some of my Stridebox items this week. This cookie didn’t look appetizing but since it was bulky, I decided it was first to go. It was actually pretty good. It tastes like a regular cookie. But, I didn’t think it was really a nutrition supplement. The cookie was 180 calories, 17g of carbohydrate, 8g of fat, but only 8g of protein. I thought there might be better ways of getting more protein in my diet. It is gluten free, though.
Car on the Mount Vernon Trail – 04272017
Hazards. On Thursday, I ran my last tempo run of this marathon cycle. As I was rounding a bend on the Mount Vernon Trail, I saw a car on the trail! There were a couple of people gathered around and I stopped. There was a man lying on the trail but he didn’t seem seriously hurt and a cyclist that seemed dirtier than most so I assumed he may have had to dump his bike to avoid the collision. I couldn’t help thinking someone – myself included – may have been killed and whether there needs to be a barrier in this location.
New Water Fountain on the Custis Trail
Water Fountains. A few days ago, I noticed workers tending to the water fountain on the Custis Trail next to Nelson Street. They were putting in an all-weather fountain! It’s beautiful. Thank you, Arlington County!
Media & Motivation
Music. “Down the Road,” C2C. This is the song playing in the course video for the Eugene Marathon.I found myself grooving to it every time I watched the clip that I decided to buy the song and add it to my growing Eugene Marathon playlist.
Podcasts. “Episode 379 – Jo Pavey,” from Marathon Talk. I’m a new listener to this podcast and I think this was my favorite episode so far. There were two parts in particular that I enjoyed. First, they talked about advice you’d give to your younger self before running a marathon. The part about not taking your race time too seriously resonated with me since I just ran the Boston Marathon as a long run. Second, they interviewed Jo Pavey, who was recently awarded a bronze medal from the 2007 World Championships. I haven’t been compelled by the whole “these athletes miss their moment” argument probably because I’ve been looking at it from U.S. athletes who were upgraded. As a fourth place runner, she missed being on the podium entirely and that’s a shame.
News. The Boston Marathon and London Marathon. The downside of racing a marathon major is that you don’t get to watch the elite race live. Days later, I found a video of the Boston Marathon! I didn’t write this in my race report, but I saw Desiree Linden in my hotel after the race. Seeing how the race went down, I wish I’d said something other than, “Congratulations”. She must have been disappointed even though she’s one of the greatest American marathoners. Then, I caught the end of the women’s and men’s race at the London Marathon this past Sunday. Both were close, which was very exciting! The overseas lottery for next year’s race opens tomorrow and I’m planning to apply.
Movies. Prefontaine. I’m running the Eugene Marathon next weekend! I thought I’d finally watch this movie about the University of Oregon track legend Steve Prefontaine. I thought the movie itself was pretty bad but I learned a few things about him that I didn’t know. For example, I didn’t know he ran in the Olympic Games in Munich. I also found him more relatable than I thought. I understood his competitiveness.
Motivation. “I run to see who has the most guts.” – Steve Prefontaine
Thinking about a time goal for the Eugene Marathon, I’m struggling between running within myself and running aggressively. When I think about my personal best at the 2013 New York City Marathon, I ran hard from the start. Do I have the guts to run that way again?
Are there unique things you eat or drink during your taper?
Since I’m tapering, I only ran two workouts this week – a long on Sunday and a tempo on Thursday. The countdown to Eugene has officially started – 8 days to go!
Training Schedule Week 19: April 23rd – April 29th
Sunday: Long run. 15 miles steady Monday: Rest Tuesday: Easy run. 8 miles w/sprints or hills Wednesday: Easy run. 4 miles Thursday: Tempo run. 12 miles w/ 6 miles @ half marathon pace. Friday: Rest Saturday: Easy run. 6 miles
Mileage Total: ~45 Miles. I planned to follow the taper guidelines in Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning. This was the second week of my taper, so I reduced my mileage by 40% of its maximum, which was 74 miles/week.
Adaptations. I adjusted my tempo run after consulting Pfitzinger and Magness’ Science of Running. I also moved Saturday’s easy run to Friday since I was up early anyway and thought it might be better to sleep in the next day.
Goal.Take my scheduled rest days and run my easy days easy. Outcome: Slight fail! I took my rest days but ran my easy days a little too hard.
It’s been a while since I ran with my Sunday run club, so I thought I’d drive downtown to run with them and catch up. Plus, I thought I could bore them with stories about the Boston Marathon.
Deer on the Capital Crescent – 04232017
We started out running towards the National Mall. I ran with a stranger who was looking to do 8:30-9:00 pace. We ended up running 8:15, which was a little fast. She seemed alright with it and I knew I could do it even though that was “hard” for me. Maybe 2 miles in, we were joined by another woman in the club who I haven’t seen in ages! The “slower” woman pulled ahead and joined the guy running 7:30-8:00 pace and I caught up with my friend. She left me after 4 miles, so I ended up running on my own for the rest of the run, which was fine except running their pace left me spent. After 10 miles, I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. But, I hit my mileage goal for the day.
Tempo Run. 12 miles w/ 6 miles @ half marathon pace 7 miles alternating 400m @ LT pace and 1200 @ MP [Log Details].
It seemed both Pfitzinger and Magness had the last hard workout of a marathon training cycle 10 days out from the goal race. But, the workouts were very different. The Pfitzinger plan had 9 miles w/3 x 1,600m @ 5K with 50-90% recovery time. But, Magness scheduled 7 miles alternating 400m @ LT pace and 1200 @ MP not including the warm-up and cool-down. Since I did mile repeats recently, I went with the Magness workout. I wanted to leave the house around 6:30am, but I left a couple of minutes “late” deciding which workout I wanted to follow.
I felt a little flat during the warm-up to the Custis Trail. But, my paces were fine when I started the repetitions. In fact, I was probably running a little too fast. During the 1200m part of the 3rd set, I was running on the Mount Vernon Trail and realized – THERE WAS A CAR ON THE TRAIL!
Car on the Mount Vernon Trail – 04272017
There were a couple of people gathered around it so I stopped. They seemed dazed and not in a mood for talking. I also saw a couple of people gathered around a man lying on the road. For a moment, I thought about not looking. But, I looked. He wasn’t bleeding but was clutching his chest and breathing heavy. Surveying the scene, I was shocked to see a TRUCK on the river side of the trail IN THE BUSHES! I guessed the man on the ground was the driver of the truck since he was in street clothes. A cyclist who was stopped had some dirt on his shirt and I guessed maybe he had to dump his bike to avoid the collision. I wasn’t any help, so I decided to keep running.
The next couple of sets were very fast as I contemplated the fact that the accident had just happened. Had I left my house on time or ran a little faster, I could have been a part of that accident. I felt lucky to be alive.
Injuries. My left knee was sore this week. I was pretty concerned because it hurt to the touch, which to me suggested some type of impact injury. I’m hoping it heals before Eugene. I also went to my chiropractor on Wednesday for my piriformis problems.
Weight. Surprisingly, my weight stayed pretty consistent this week. Tomorrow, I’ll start my carbohydrate load after a medium depletion run.
Sleep. I slept like a rock all week! Not always for 8 hours, but I slept through the night for about 5 or 6 hours.
Allergies. The pollen was high this week. I dealt with it since I wasn’t trying to run particularly hard this week. But, I finally took a Zyrtec today to deal with my nasal congestion.
Pollen Creator – 04282017
The weather was overcast but perfect for running most of the week. Rain moved in on Monday, which was a rest day for me, and it was overcast and windy on Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures rose on Thursday and I was sweating steadily during my tempo. It seems our “spring” was only a few weeks, (which I think it typical for Washington, DC.)
2017 Eugene Marathon Weather – 04292017
Future races. I’ve been studying the Eugene Marathon course and broke it into 5 different segments, each roughly 5 miles. Then, I watched the video over and over again until I felt like I knew what to expect in each section.
I couldn’t help myself and checked the weather. I also did a weather check – overnight low of 39, Sunday high of 65, sunny with some clouds. Yes, please!
I ran the Boston Marathon on Monday and started my taper for the Eugene Marathon the moment I crossed the finish line. After three days of easy running, I did an interval workout on Friday. I feel fantastic! Time to lock down a race plan for Eugene!
Week 18: April 16th – April 22nd
Sunday: Recovery run. 4 miles Monday: Boston Marathon Tuesday: Off Wednesday: Recovery run. 6 miles + strides Thursday: Easy run. 6 miles Friday: Tempo run. 10 miles. 6 miles @ half marathon pace. Saturday: Easy run. 6 miles
Mileage Total: ~58 Miles. I planned on following the taper guidelines in Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning. I’ll do a 3 week taper. This week, I’ll reduce my mileage by 20-25% of my maximum, which was 74 miles/week.
Adaptations. I didn’t change much. I ran 5 miles instead of 4 before the Boston Marathon. I ran a very easy 2 miles after the race on Tuesday. only ran 4 miles on Saturday to get my mileage down. Instead of doing a tempo run, I did an interval workout on Thursday instead. I thought it might be good to do a little fast running this week since most of my mileage was slow.
Goal. Finish the Boston Marathon in 3:50. Outcome: Success! In fact, I ran a little faster than that.
I’m going to try to run the Boston Marathon every year that I qualify. Since my goal race is the Eugene Marathon in three weeks, I treated it as a long run.
It was a hot day – about 70 degrees at the start. I kept the pace very easy. Running with no pressure, in some ways I felt like it was my first Boston Marathon. I took in the scenery and interacted with the crowds more than usual. By the time I reached Wellesley, I was overwhelmed by the support. I ran the hills in Newton well and picked up the pace after Brookline. I’ve felt like a runner reborn since the race. Bring on Eugene!
Result=3:42:59 (8:31 pace).
Interval Run. 10 miles. 6 miles @ half marathon pace 4 x 1 mile @ 5K-10K pace [Log Details].
After a few easy days, I thought I was ready for a workout. I thought it might be helpful to do this interval workout on the rolling Custis Trail instead of as an out-and-back on the flat Mount Vernon Trail.
I ran easy through Arlington to reach the Custis Trail near I-66, rested a bit, and then started the repetitions. The first went well. It ended on the brutal uphill near Glebe Road but surprisingly, the incline didn’t hurt my pace much. During the recovery, I ran into a running friend. He offered to pace me for the workout but I was a little afraid of setting a goal pace since I ran a marathon four days ago. The next two repetitions went well. I cut the recovery after the 3rd repetition short so I would finish the hard part of the workout on the trail instead of neighborhood streets. The last repetition was downhill and my legs were turning over effortlessly! It’s been a long while since I felt this much range of motion in my legs.
I was pretty impressed that I could hold these paces a few days after a marathon. I felt sure that I didn’t go out too hard on Monday.
Splits=7:14, 7:08, 6:55, 6:46. Average=7:01.
Injuries. After the marathon on Monday, my feet and ankles hurt and I had two dime-sized sores on my back from my sports bra. But the best news… My piriformis didn’t hurt at all! I didn’t see my chiropractor this week but before bed on Sunday, I gave myself an EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) treatment.
Weight. I thought I’d lose some weight this week but surprisingly, that did not happen.
Allergies. After a lot of sneezing and congestion last week, I finally took a Zyrtec before bed last Saturday night. It definitely helped while I was in Boston. But, I’ve been congested again since returning to D.C.
Sleep. Since the Boston Marathon, my sleep has been pretty terrible. I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep, but I kept waking up in the middle of the night.
It was another warm year for the Boston Marathon – about 70 degrees at the start. Back in Washington, D.C, it rained during my easy run on Thursday and I got drenched! It also rained today but it was light.