Wednesday, July 11, 2012


If you asked me 5 years ago if i could ever break 3:40 in the marathon, i would have laughed and said yeah right!!!!! And here i sit at a 3:07. 18 years ago - i was a sprinter, hurdler, high jumper & triple jumper. Everything i did was about power and speed...explosion! not endurance. I said i never would run a marathon. Then after college i got a little bored not having the ability to run those explosive events anymore. So i started doing 5ks then 10ks, the half marathon and when bored there after saying i never would do it - i entered the NJ marathon, 15 years ago. It was their inaugural marathon. I was part of it! I ran a 4:03! and i was thrilled. I had just finished a marathon!!! Over the years i did one here and there and did a little better but not much. In 2010 something happened and i stopped thinking i can't do this distance stuff, i am not a sprinter anymore and i started to believe that "yes, yes, i can run." Next thing i know my 5ks went down from 24 minutes to 19 and then eventually low 18s. I entered the NY marathon and started thinking i could possibly break a 3:40 in the marathon, maybe even a 3:30. So, i set my goals and trained. I eventually wanted a 3:20 and ran a 3:18. A huge PR for me. I ran a couple more since then and kept my time around that. That is a bit of my marathon life i  in a short story format. Jumping to the NJ marathon. 15 years ago it was its first ever and my first ever marathon. This year they were celebrating 15 years! so i seemed perfect to go back and do it again! Not to mention all the friends i will get to see! It was Marathon #11 for me. My training for this was different. The running - the same. But i wasn't training for a triathlon. I focused on running and resting. So on rest days i truly got to rest. I had weeks where i had 3 days off even. And let me tell you that rest time was HUGE! instead of swimming or biking i rested! did nothing. Lazy! but my runs were so much better because of it. And i really think this was a big part of why i ran what i did. I trained to PR so i really wanted to break a 3:15. I felt so strong over the weeks that i felt inside i could even get a 3:10 but was scared to try it. what if i would crash from going faster than my ability. This goes into the 2nd reason i believe i ran the way i did - mental strength. I stayed focused on how i felt through my training. I felt so strong i didn't know what to do with it.
Race Morning:
i got up to the line and continued doing what i had been doing the last 48 hours - visualizing myself doing what i was strong enough to do. Run a 3:10. I knew that i could place pretty well in the event, but i did not want to focus on that as that is not what i was there for. If i start to focus on that i lose track of what i am there to do and suddenly i don't run MY race or better yet - MY FAST!
Nervous - you betcha! i haven't been nervous like this in a loooong time. Sure i get nervous in tris. But its different, its not because i care how i do it is because im terrified of freaking out in the swim! HA! But i use to always say if im nervous (this kind) its a good sign. I was nervous because i wanted to so badly to run a great marathon! And that is what i did.
I started out a little fast but was quick to discover i was running ahead of a pace group that was going for a 3:05 so i slowed up and snuck in behind that group in the back. I felt really good. And i figured lets just stay with them as long as you can. It is only a few seconds faster than the pace i would do for a 3:10. So if i am capable of a 310 that pace wont crush me later on. It was perfect.
I ran very focused on how i felt. The last month + in my training i stopped relying on my GPS watch and started to focus on my body signals (reason #3 i feel i ran how i did). And i told myself to do this in the marathon too. So, i had it on so that i can review stats after but i never looked at it. Miles were going by and i continued to feel so great. I had a few mistakes in the marathon, but nothing i would ever say "if only." i don't like to do that as you run the race you run and you can't change the things you think if only i did this. That and i am so ecstatic about my race that i wouldn't change a thing!!! First little mistake is that i noticed the clock at the half marathon point and doubled the time to realize i was on target for a 3:02 marathon (our pace was 6:45-6:55 miles, where i should have been more around 7:10-7:15s))- YIKES!!! but i felt so great! i probably should not have done that, but it happened. In at the moment decided to slow it up as i didn't want my race to be ruined. Who knows, maybe i could have held it the entire time since i felt so good or maybe i would have crashed and walked to get to finish. Either one could have happened...i ran the run i was meant to run that day. I eased off the pace but still never looked at my watch to know what i was doing. Honestly i thought i was doing 8 minutes but a few days later when i got to look at my stats i was running the pace i set out for to get a 3:10. So i was on target and ahead still.
around mile 18 headed toward the ocean the wind was a bit strong and it slowed me up. Again i thought i was going to see 8+ when i looked at my stats but it was about 7:15s - 20s (what i would have run if i stuck to the goal of a PR of 3:14). So not to bad. The wind got to me, i stopped my hydration and fueling. I get this way when something upsets me while im tired. In this situation it was the wind. I have had long runs that either the cold or the rain did that - carried water and gels the entire run and finished the run with both as full as when i started. So i do need to work on that. But i think that didn't really hurt me in my run as much as it did after with major dehydration!
Sadly, this is the short story. There is so much more to it. But thanks to a realllllly busy exercise class and personal training schedule - work has been taking up a lot of my time!
NJ Marathon - 1997 - Finished 4:03
NJ Marathon - 2012 - Finished 3:07
Pretty cool right!

Do i think i can do a sub 3:05? i am not sure. It seems unrealistic to me. But so was a 3:07. Some say i can go under 3 hours. I am not being negative, but i just think realistically that won't be possible...but breaking 3:05 - i will go after it! We shall see! For now:
3:07 = MY FAST! I will try and copy my mile stats soon!!!

Fake Andie, Flat Tires, Penalty Boxes & 13000 feet of climbing

So, what have i been up to since the marathon!!!! LOTS! Nothing i have prepared for, but lots of crazy stuff!
After the marathon i like to take 4 weeks of recovery. Very easy stuff. No planning etc.. But after this marathon i knew i had 5 weeks to be ready for a half ironman and i had yet to start training with the swim and bike. So, 5 weeks after the marathon of my life i did the Eagleman Half Ironman! YIKEs. i usually spend that much time chilling after running a marathon! And of course i had no biking or swimming base since i focused on pure running for NJ. Not sure what i was thinking. So, even though i took about 5 days of complete rest and then a couple swims the rest of the week, the 2nd week after the marathon i bumped up my biking to 56 miles just like that and for that i think i have not been able to recover my legs to be able to feel good while running. But really, for me, these big events i can go into strictly for training and to have a good time! I had many athletes i trained competing in it, one for her first half IM ever. So it was a very exciting event for me to be going to even if i couldn't perform my potential.
The swim i just wanted to not freak out so i swam at a very comfortable pace. It was really enjoyable. When focusing back on how i felt im pretty sure i could swim forever at what i was doing. Especially since i was swimming next to Andie! One of my athletes, close friends, and someone i swim with lots in the lake. So swimming next to her was very calming. I saw her a few minutes into the swim and thought wow this is so cool i am not freaked out. Its calming swimming with her.So i tried to give a little smile/wave to her. There were swimmers to the outside of me and her and sandwiched us in - not a fun situation, but i didn't freak like i normally do when i don't know the other 3 involved. Andie was next to me so all would be ok. But due to that she slowed up quite a bit and was back a ways. So i treaded water and waved for her to get back up with me, she was back up with me and on  we went. Funny thing is - i finally got a look at her face - NOT ANDIE!!! same watch, similar arm and wetsuit etc... But NOT ANDIE!!! LOL. OMG i was cracking up. This girl was probably trying to get rid of me thinking who is the freak that wont leave me alone. So i swam on and separated my self from her, but for the rest of the race i was able to continue to swim at a comfortable chill pace and not freak out by the other swimmers because the entire rest of the swim all i could think about is how i can't wait to tell everyone about "Fake Andie." Too FUNNY! or maybe you had to be there.
Out on the bike i went. Felt great. I was there to get in a GREAT workout, not race. And it was needed since i hadn't been on the bike much. I saw my friend Shane (Andie's Husband) cheering us on and about 1.5 miles later i got a flat tire :-(. So I, (me- one that has no trust in myself to change a tire) dropped my bike off to the side, took off my shoes and ran back the 1.5 miles barefoot! OUCH! You must know that the Eagleman is HOT HOT HOT and NO SHADE. It was 102 degrees that day and that pavement was HOT! but i ran down the road so i can get Shane to come up and change my tire. There goes by everyone i know looking at me running down the road barefoot asking am i ok. Must have been a pretty funny site for them after knowing i am ok! I obviously didnt care about the race (man if this was more than just a training day for me, i would have layed down with my bike and cried).  but i wanted to get the workout in i came for! When i saw Andie ride by i started running much faster as i knew there was a good chance that once Shane saw her he would hop on his bike to get to his next cheering location. As i got closer i could see him so i started waving my shoes in the air and yelling his name (he was near an aid station) so next think i know i have race officials running up to me thinking i need a medic! oops. Freaked everyone out a bit much i guess. Anyway, he came up, i told him whats up, he gave me my flip flops to get my feet off the burning pavement(thank goodness i gave those to him to hold onto for after), he biked back to my bike to change my tire and i ran back in my flip flops. Heehee....only i can find a way to add a 3 mile run in the middle of a bike portion of a triathlon. FUN! except thanks to the hot pavement i had a HUGE horrible blood blister now on the back of my toes. OUCH! Anyway, tire done and off i went. I didn't know if i would just get back into the grove or just chill ride. But i had turned my watch off so i can get my bike time as officially it will be with that long stop for tire. So i told my head to get the bike workout and push. It was great. I was much stronger than i ever imagined on the bike at this point in the season. About 10 miles left and BOOM!!!! Penalty flag! UGH! really. So i have to stop at the next penalty tent and hang out for 4 minutes. So, LOL, i got to the tent and as i approached and got off bike i felt like i was a kid at school going to detention - it was such a horrible feeling. They gave me a watch and said you have to stay here for 4 minutes let us know when its 3:30 and we will count you down. and my darn talking! i hung the watch on my bike and blab blab blab then when i looked at it again it was 6 minutes - oh well. I said its 6 minutes can i go now. And on i went and FINALLY got to transition. My time was a 2:31:46 for the 56 mile flat course (22+ mph avg) but officially it was 3:17 thanks to flat tires and penalty boxes! but a great workout for sure!!!
and i was happy to be able to hold a good pace. I took my time in transition and off on the run. By now it was so hot. but i started out real strong. I just wanted to catch up to someone and run with them. I had a few miles in the low 7s but didn't seem like i was going to catch up and i started to think about the upcoming week and how this heat and running hard is going to make it hard to recover fast, so because of that and the dreadful heat - i slowed it up to low 8s and eventually did catch up with Andie. She was trying to send me on but there was no reason for me to run my pace when my race was over with my flat. She, like everyone on that course was struggling with the heat. It was her first half IM and i was going to see her through it. It was such an emotional run for me and so much more meaningful to me to be able to finish with her than if i went on for no reason.. We walked through the aid stations loaded up on fluids and put ice down our jog bras and started running again. We did this at each station. And as we neared the end, i got that lump in my throat. I was so proud of her and my other athletes for doing what they did! She was about to cross the finish line and i was about to get to enjoy that moment with her. What a joy! What a joy that event was...every part of it! well not the 102 degree day!
Great job Andie Myers, Kellyann & Steve Green and THANK YOU Shane Myers!!!

2 Weeks later - i was signed up for the Gran Fondo Bike Ride by I was to do the 62 mile ride. but thanks to my dear friend Kellyann we did the 102 mile course that has almost 13,000 feet of climbing.
Another reason my legs are just not able to run still. My running has gone downhill but my biking has gotten real strong.

GRAN FONDO with Kellyann Green

so at the Fondo...i was suffering from a real bad bad cough going into this and coughed the entire 102 miles. My lungs were hating me as was my voice box. The coughing i think really aggrevated it and i have had a horse voice ever since! couging really takes a lot out of you. And i had known this already from a few years ago when i did a marathon with bronchitis. And like the wind, and training runs in the rain or cold or whatever frustrates me - the coughing in addition to the climbing and doubled miles i have ever done......i was tired and aggrevated at my coughing and sure enough - stopped fueling- Kellyann brought it to my attention it was a looong time that i had any fuel! I think at 4 1/2 hours i stopped fueling. We were out there for 7+ hours. I know, i still need to work on that - summer project!!!???
What a great day though. The event itself was wonderful and the ride was most beautiful. And i loved the hills. All 13000 feet of them!!!!
SOOOOO...........WHATS NEXT?......................STAY TUNED!!!!!