Friday, June 11, 2010

Some Reflections on RnR, my PR, and other stuff

I've had some time to think about Sunday's Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon and what worked and what didn't.

Spreckles Organ Pavilion - Look at those HUGE PIPES!
    The Laurel Street Bridge - When it was built in 1916 for the
    World's Fair,there was a pond where the freeway is now
  • Walter - He drove us there, volunteered at an aid station (in part so that he could pick us up after the race to avoid the predictable post-race Cluster-F) and then once we got home and were in our post-race mental stupors, he made and served us breakfast.
  • Logging Miles - I trained enough to make running this 1/2 marathon doable and not painful. After the last two 1/2 marathons, I was due for a success on this one.
  • Setting a PR - Let me make this clear, I am THRILLED with my PR! I was more disappointed in myself that I walked for a bit in Miles 11 and 12, not in the time. There are lots of reasons for this (see FAIL! below), most of which were under my control...That being said, I'm still pretty pleased with my 2:27:47 finish.
  • The course - There are lots of complaints about the course, but I for one love running in my adopted hometown of San Diego. Running through Balboa Park was a blast, especially when we ran past Spreckles Organ Pavilion.  I was especially amused by one woman who was trying to be the local-expert and and course tour-guide. As we ran past the Organ, someone asked our local-expert-tour-guide if it was "THE SPRECKLES Organ Pavillion," and confidently she responded "OH NO, that's in Chula Vista." About then we ran past the a sign with the name on it...and she had to admit "oh, I guess it is Spreckles..." DOH and LOL...  Also,  I liked the run up the 163. I mean the city closes a pretty major highway and we get to run on it. We ran under the spectacular Laurel Street Bridge (which I run OVER pretty frequently). Yeah, there were parts of the course that were just "MEH" but overall, as I ran over the bridge onto Seaworld Drive and could, for a moment or two, see the marathoners head onto Fiesta Island, and see Mission Bay, and felt the ocean breeze, I mean, how could you NOT love this course.
  • No injuries - This is HUGE! Getting to the race without injury, then getting through the race with no injury. 
  • Running with the Herd - What else can I say. Elsie and Mik made made my day, and I'd probably STILL be sitting on Seaworld Drive, or in the parking lot, had Kat (the young one) not been there to pull me up. The only thing missing from the day was Betty. But she promises to not miss any more events.
Betty was with us in spirit, if not in person and Yes, she is sitting on my lap. Is there a problem with that? You are also completely impressed with my mad Photoshop skillz right now, aren't you?
    • The yellow shirts - while comfortable and all heffer-logo-ed, the yellow shirts are not bright enough and just do not have the visual impact of the neon-day-glo-glow-in-the-dark-lime-green shirts. I lost Elsie a couple of times in the crowd when she was ahead of me and Penny told me later that we weren't that easy to spot (unlike times when we all wear the neon-day-glo-glow-in-the-dark-lime-green shirts, which are truly 'effing beacons). I suspect the neon-day-glo-glow-in-the-dark-lime-green shirts will be back in the near future.
    • Dehydration - So...maybe wine on Friday night wasn't such a good idea after all? I will never know if the wine consumption was part of what affected me in the last few miles or not, but I'm willing to give it, and myself, partial responsibility.
    • A complete lack of strength training - According to my copious record keeping through The Daily Mile, the last time I lifted weights, or did P90X, or any sort of strength workout was March 31...yep, over two months ago. I suspect this was an error since I've been feeling some tightness in my Plantar Fascia Tendon (Not the dreaded P Fascitiis, yet, but I can feel the tendon, which is not a good thing at all). This I know. No strength = get hurt. I must avoid that equation, so back to squats and lunges for me.
    • No training run over 11 miles - I think that in the future, I want to do at least one, if not two long runs that are at least 12 miles. I also don't know how much of my wanting to stop and walk at mile 11 or 12 was just mental, or dehydration, or not enough quad and glute and core strength or what, but I also think that I'm not used to running more than 10 miles right now. I've done it before, just not recently and that part of the problem I have after mile 10 is mental. 
    So...the San Francisco 1/2 Marathon is in six weeks. I've never run 1/2 marathons this close to one another, so we will see how the training goes. I need to strike that balance between getting some good miles in and not overdoing it and get injured. I ran yesterday (2 miles, 22 minutes...MEH!) and did some lunge matrices and one legged squats off a riser, and so now I can barely standup after sitting, which tells me that I REALLY needed to do the strength work.

    Tomorrow is the first meeting of the SDTC's 1/2 Mad Program. It's much more laid back and low key than the rockin' and runnin' group. Walter and I will be out there.


    1. Gosh, I think doing another half in 6 weeks will be perfect! You aren't injured (really) and now you have had another long training run. I see another PR in your future!

    2. 6 weeks sounds just about right - you're well trained, you're still fresh on where you want to improve AND you have 6 weeks to get back onto the strength training wagon..

      I think you did really well and I think of you when I run my runs in our very minor heat..

    3. Overall, it sounds like a great experience. Btw, I laughed out loud at the picture of you guys with Betty stuck on there.

      I think 6 weeks between races is perfect. You have your base and now you can tweak it. See if you can ease your way up to 13 or even 15 on a training run. Slow the long run down to make sure you don't over do it. Believe it or not, since slowing down my long runs to about 75 or 80%, I have been able to run my races faster. You build your endurance that way.

      Walter is AWESOME, btw. My hubby has a hard time even dragging himself to races. I'm glad you know how lucky you are.

    4. Every runner who says something nice about the 163 part of the course is always local. I'm with you - I think it's cool to run on a major freeway, even if that freeway is not flat. But I can also see how it would be unpleasant if you had serious injuries that were aggravated by such a long stretch of uneven roadway.

      And judging by all the complaints about the shuttles at the finish, you and Walter had the right idea. Now I know why my husband and I had no problem getting home from Fiesta Island that afternoon.

    5. My friend, Sammi, ran the full marathon and she had problems with the lack of shade on the course. She also said some things about it going through some boring areas. I have to say I’ve ran some races where you’re there for the scenery and others where you’re there for the race. You make it what you want it to be.
      I have had the same “lack of WT” experience so I’m going to try P90X. I’ve used a Bosu ball for my PT and it’s great, but I would like to get a PR out of the Denver RnR in Oct. How is the P90X series working for you? Do you enjoy it? What should I expect when I first get it?

    6. I liked the shirts and I loved your "Success" points. #1 warmed my heart, it nice that you are grateful for your supportive GUY. No injuries and your Herd are also my favorites...sounds like you had more successes than failures! See you in SF, I didn't realize it was so close!

    7. A 6 week gap between races will be great; you have time to recover, get a few long runs in, then taper a bit and be refreshed. You'll do awesome at SF!

    8. You have a wonderful husband!

    9. I thought the part through Balboa Park was the highlight of the race! If it wasn't for the cluster at the finish, I'd consider doing the Half next year just for that part.

      As far as dehydration - I don't think it was the wine. I know it was *awfully* warm at the start. When I finished my leg I was literally dripping with sweat. In fact, I left a puddle of perspiration in the trolley. Yikes!

      See you in San Francisco. Six weeks? I better get out the door....

    10. it wasnt the wine-it was the heat and humidity!!! I usually have a glass of wine the night before.

      I'll see you ALL in San Fran and you had better be in neon Green!!!

    11. Dehydration - So...maybe wine on Friday night wasn't such a good idea after all? I will never know if the wine consumption was part of what affected me in the last few miles or not, but I'm willing to give it, and myself, partial responsibility.

      Hahahahahaha! I love this!

      "Yes, I just killed this kid's parents, so I can't help but feel partially responsible for making him an orphan. But mostly? I blame society."

      Congrats on the PR, sister, and for staying injury-free.

    12. Good observations...
      I don't know what route I was running, but I don't remember Spreckles OR running under the Laurel Street bridge. And I still hate the 163, no matter what you say, LOL. I just think SD offers so much more scenery than the route provided.