Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here we go again!

  Well, i have to say i do love that my body still has great muscle memory! I have had great confidence building since my last blog! Yes, i am still unsure of what i can do at this point of the year, after the year i have had. But my head is back in the game. Which means, no matter what, i will have a great time out there! Before this, I had struggled coming out of my recovery time too early mentally to get into marathon training. Then had 2 not so great fun runs (races) in early October. Which could have lots to do with one, not really wanting to push hard anymore (mental burnout) and two, a little out of shape after the taper recovery period (which is important to happen as it will make you stronger in the future, more on that in a future blog if you would like). But as i have talked about, if you stay patient, muscle memory will bounce you back fast if you give it a chance to.

So, the last couple weeks have helped my confidence with my training and a great 5k i did in DC (a PR 5k for me) last week shows me physically i am back, taking care of both one and two above. Sometimes you have to run a race and not race a race in order to have a really really good race. Some of you may be scratching your heads on this one, and many of you I'm sure know exactly what i mean or are thinking i have nailed it on the nose! I'd say this t is how my last month was for me. And now i am pretty confident i can run in NY what i did last year and maybe even PR by a few seconds without struggle. And who knows, when the gun goes off maybe i will put it all out there to just see what i can do if i tried, one of 2 things will happen if i do this- i will either PR wonderfully or i will bonk out majorly and struggle big time for the last 10 miles of the marathon, possibly adding 45+ minutes to what i did last year, not so fun. The way i look at it - in April i had a pr marathon in Boston, so i am good with whatever for this one! That and who knows how i will feel the morning after celebrating my 20 year high school reunion. It kind of stinks to have it the night before but it is reallllll convenient to not have to drive up there 2 times over a short period of time. Lots of visiting to do while up there so I really cant wait to see as many old friends as possible! not that we are old ;-)

 So there you have it. I could have written a book on this one as there is so many educational things i could have typed about in the physical and mental process i have gone through since Sept. And maybe it would have helped many of you understand the thoughts that go through your heads when doing a marathon. But i have lots to get done for work and with my boy Ashton. But if you would like to learn more i can surely write more next week for you, or soon after. I did promise to post my email i sent out last year with my experience at the NY marathon. I do promise to do that soon, maybe the day before the marathon i will do that or the day of. I will not re-read and edit it, as if i read i know i will change it all up, i will post how it was written exactly. Heehee.

So this time next week i will be in NJ & NY - celebrating my reunion and having a blast once again at the NY marathon

Monday, October 3, 2011

New York!!! New York???

Well. last year after the New York marathon, i enjoyed my time so much i decided to sign up again the day it opened,which was the day after the marathon. I signed up with the intentions of it being an A race for me and going back and run a sub 3:10. But at the time i did not know #1 - i was going to go to China for real which would make all my focus on that event and #2 - that i would tear my calf 2x over the summer, keeping me from running for quite a while and when back into running i had to focus on the 10k for China as the longer stuff just made it feel like it would pull again.
So New York soon became a race i just wasn't going to do anymore as i didn't want to make the trip up if i couldn't run a respectable time, for myself. (of course i would want to go and visit friends but if i weren't doing NY i would rather make the trip closer to xmas) BUT.....since that high school reunion was decided to take place the night before the new york marathon. So my status now is that since i will be up there for the reunion i may as well run NY now since i have a #. Why not, i am there and i don't lose that race fee $$.
I like to get up to the NY NJ area about 3-4 times to visit HS and college friends. So i have been doing that and throwing a race into the mix too. So now, for NY, i get to visit all my friends, see old friends i probably haven't seen in 20 years and experience the NY marathon emotion again (i will hunt down my email i sent to all last year and post on here soon, as soon as i find it that is). But for those that remember, it was one of the most emotional races ever in my life, due to the life connection i have there.  And the emotional experience started as my best friend Jumana drove me to the start.
So, maybe it is a blessing my reunion is the night before. Not the best thing to do before a marathon, but with the timeline of this year, i dont foresee a PR there this time anyway, so a party the night before won't be such a bad thing. But who knows, read on.......
Here i am. a couple weeks after one of the biggest months of my life. Doing well in China at an age group world championship event, then doing well 2 days in a row in my hometown just 6 days later and only a day after getting home from half way around the world. I think it is safe to say that the emotional, mental and physical energy that went into September was enough to well, burn me out. In fact, the emotional energy that went into China for many months, well, when it was all over, i was too!! To be expected of course. i gave all my emotional energy into that. That is what it is all about - and then celebrate as the off season begins. Well, kinda. NY marathon may have gone from and A race to a C race for me (meaning i will not be peaking for it, as already hit my peak for the season, but it more for fun - thats right a marathon for fun - and once again, those that know me are saying "thats just jen") But important race or not a marathon isn't exactly something you do in your off season. So right now i am trying to scrounge up the want to train so i can at least cross the finish line in a respectable time. And yes, of course i would love to be able to go and still get a PR, i just need to be realistic if that can happen. So, that is where i am hoping muscle memory will kick in big time. It has for me in the past. But i am having some minor over use issues as well as not having that mental drive to want to train hard. ??? hmmm. i wonder how NY will go for me this time. As i have told some friends that asked, i will decide in the middle of October what my goal or what i think i can do in NY will be. I have a few options at the moment that i will have to judge my training on what i can do. i can pace myself to:
1 - go after a 3:10
2 - do a 3:15 to PR by and just a little bit
3 -  do a 3:20 to be pretty close to my PR
4 - or run a 3:30 which is still respectable for me but a time i think would be easy for me to do in shape or not.
Here are the ins and outs o
So, i think # 1 is out of the picture at this point. The way i feel now # 4 and #3 are possible basing it on this:
1. After tapering, racing and lots of recovery in September i am a little out of my shape for where i was. To be honest, that is all part of an important race. So it is to be expected, and i did expect it. It is what makes me stronger for the next year. Last week i got back into training, kind of,  i did up my miles but im still not wanting to do the intensity to help me with a strong pace in the marathon, such a head game So, my 2 long runs have not been quite the mental boost i need to go after a PR
2. I did a tune up 15k on Saturday. It is a local fun run. I love the race and was hoping to do a course PR there again but i was not quite as strong as last year. I didn't have the want to go after the PR and i don't think i was strong enough at that point to go after it. But it was truly a fun run for me. Which i needed after September being so serious.
So i dont know if i should use this 15k as a way to adjust my goal or not. The course is a downhill course so i don't want to use my time to get an estimated marathon time. But the fact i was not at or faster than last years time may be a sign.  Will depend on muscle memory over the next couple weeks.
3. Trying to jump the miles up fast has brought out some aches and pains that i have not been able to work through.
 so you see the pattern so far :-). I am thinking it is safe to say i won't be seeing a PR in NY, but we shall see how the next 2-3 weeks go.
The hard part for me now is how to pace my self. This is an issue with most people in the marathon. but the last 2 marathons i knew exactly what i was going out as. The 4 options above are all different paces, i know i can't go after #1 as that will probably ruin the race for me for going out to fast, but the other options i hope to figure out with my training the next couple weeks. I have always been very good about predicting pace for myself as well as most of my athletes i coach. So im confident this dileman will take care of itself in 3 weeks. i hope i have a cleared image of what i can do in November. I feel out of shape compared to last month, but i do bounce back quickly. Hence hoping muscle memory will kick in for me. 
So you see lots of pros and cons to what i may be able to do in NY. i will update in 2-3 weeks. As of now, not seeing a PR. but seeing having a great time. In a couple weeks that may be the same or it may be going after a PR and still having a great time!!! It is a win win either way it goes. I had my PR marathon already this year back in Boston. So for NY crossing the finish line will be great. The time i have up there means so much to me that really it is all that matters.
That is all for now. Sorry, this one was a bit boring. But those that run marathons and know all about the ins and outs of pacing and the joy of PRing, well, i know you understand this oh too well!!! and maybe you like to read that you are not the only one.
Hers is to a good week of training and the 2 pains in the lower leg and foot to go away quickly!
All and all i look forward to the experience again, even if i am an hour off my time. The ability to go up and see old friends and be a part of the NY marathon, a place that is a huge part of my life...well it just doesn't get better than that!
So to the tittle - New York with a ! and New York with a ? i say - "i want to be apart of it New York New York!!!" 

Next blog will be 2-3 weeks from now to let you know how muscle memory is kicking in, unless something WOW happens before then.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you get something from it. It has been great for me to write as my head gets so crammed with thoughts and this has been a great way to get lots out and clear my head for other thoughts -HA!