Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Various happenings...about time I posted an update!

I've been an extremely lazy blogger lately.  I think perhaps, like Physically Philosophical, I need to give some thought to what I want my new blogging identity and purpose to be now that I've achieved that seemingly unattainable marathon goal!  Once it hits January, though, I think marathon training might actually begin again.  I need to bust out the book with my training plans in it and see if that is the right timeline.

Future Marathons:
I'm thinking at this point that I have two choices for a spring marathon:  either the Cleveland Marathon on May 15, or the Sunburst Marathon on June 4.  I want a flat marathon, so that rules out Pittsburgh and Cincinnati's Flying Pig.  I have my reservations about Sunburst because, while it was a great first half-marathon for me and while I could stay with my parents to run it, it's pretty late for a spring marathon--the half I did was extremely hot, and I'm not sure I could handle a full in those conditions.  Also, it's a small field of runners (950ish expected for 2011) and also an exceptionally fast field for some odd reason compared to most bigger marathons.  Oddly, too, it's mostly men--the 2009 results show, of 595 finishers, 409 men and 186 women.

I want to do a spring marathon and then a fall one as well--I'd love to do Columbus again because it was a super-awesome race.  Throwing a wrench in my plans, however, is the extent to which my 2011 year is completely up in the air.  It's possible I will be graduating in June, and could be moving away from Columbus in either June or August.  It's also possible that none of that will happen for another full year, so I'd be here as usual, but completely broke.  I want to plan to do a destination race with weeona, but as of yet I have no idea if I will have a job and what and where that job will be (and thus whether I can afford a trip).  I also don't know if I'm moving and graduating in June or not, and if I am, the Sunburst marathon would have terrible timing (Cleveland would be a little better).

So, these things are keeping me from making a real commitment and registering for a race just yet.  I'm not really sure what to do... it could be well into April before I have any idea what is happening with my life for the remainder of the year.

Fun Running News!
I got picked to be a pace group leader for Cbus Pacers, Dublin!  This means every Saturday morning for the first half of the year I'll be leading a group of runners on a long run at a 10:30 pace.  I'm hoping I can handle this regularly without imploding, as my usual long run pace was around 10:45, but I think I can do it.  I did 10 miles Sunday on snowy terrain at about a 10:45 pace, and if I can do that in snow with unsure footing, I should be good to go for 10:30.  This is good because now I have committed myself to not be a lazy-ass in the foul winter weather.  I do wish I lived closer to Dublin so the drive wasn't so far, but eh, it's ok.  I'm a pace group leader!  And hopefully I'll get to meet some more awesome runners.

Other happenings:

  • I've still been seeing my chiro, who's working on my right hip that's been bugging me a little since the marathon.  Good news is he thinks it's basically just muscular rather than structural, so I see him once a week and he rubs on the sore spots to loosen them up.  I have seen some improvement (actually a lot of improvement) but we're not quite there yet.  Also, randomly my achilles started hurting really bad a few weeks ago and he fixed it with only two treatments.  He is my hero, seriously.
  • I got some new shoes and, after several pairs of loyalty to Saucony, have switched to Brooks Ghost.  They are SO LIGHT it's awesome.  So I have a neutral pair of shoes with superfeet inserts (who knows if those silly things even do anything, but I've had them for awhile so I just use them).  These shoes are so light, and they aren't all overly smooshy like some pairs of shoes--I like to feel the road.  I'm pretty psyched.
  • I bought a scale and have discovered that my weight is basically normal and I haven't turned into a huge post-marathon fatty even though I feel like it sometimes.  My weight fluctuates within about a 4lb range, though.  And I also discovered that on Sunday my 10 mile run caused me to lose 2lbs (water weight... and I looked this up online and you have to drink 16oz to replenish each lb lost).  So I lost a lot of water.  No wonder I'm always so thirsty on runs... I guess I sweat a lot.  I have a feeling my hydration needs in a marathon are much higher than I had been accounting for before, but there will have to be some experimentation with this.
  • I've started doing cross-training!  D. has some really sweet cycling trainer videos, where you ride along with Robbie Ventura and the bottom of the screen cues you along with what intensity you should be working at.  I wear my heart rate monitor to help me gauge if I'm working hard enough.  The one we did on Friday was a criterium... we did a 10 minute warm-up and then what amounts to a really hard interval workout for 45 mins.  On the video, Robbie Ventura narrates race strategy and you follow these guys riding the course through crowds, etc... and there was even a sprint finish.  Of course I got totally geeked about all of this because I'm totally obsessed with watching pro cycling and this was like.... simulating me getting to ride along with the Big Guys.  So D. and I set up our trainers in his living room and did an hour long workout.... I was so sweaty by the end.  I don't think I've ever sweated that much even on hard runs, probably just because we were inside with no wind and on trainers.  We have plans to do this again on the 28th, when we might go to a group trainer ride at the local BikeSource.  I'm afraid I'll look like a total n00b loser with my uncool older road bike, but he insists it will be fine.  If we keep this up I might consider clipless pedals for a better workout and for more comfort (I was getting some pain behind my knees and D. says this is because of the toe clips....)  Anyway, I have high hopes that workouts like this will help me improve my cardio fitness.  We will see.
The Holidays...
I'm soon off to Indiana to spend Christmas with family... this is usually terrible news for running, because they live in an area that gets tons of lake-effect snow and much colder temperatures due to Lake Michigan. Last year I ran 6 miles in literally an ice-storm... literally.  It was completely insane.  I have my screw-shoes so I can get traction in such situations, but I'm definitely not looking forward to doing that again!  Going to try to squeeze in one last interval workout tonight, and then I'll have a tenuous running situation until I return on the 27th or so.  Whee!


  1. Thanks for the shout out!

    First off, I love the sound of that cycling workout! Awesome that you have D to get you up and running on the bike. Sounds like a perfect winter x-training plan.

    Secondly, congrats on the pacing gig! I think if you're worried about getting out regularly during the winter then having a group to do it with is great. And then you can all go for hot toddy's together afterwards ;) What kinds of distances will you be running?

    Finally, I so get where you're coming from with the "where will I be in 6 months" confusion. I guess that's the sucky flipside to the flexibility that being a doctoral student gives you. All things considered though it sounds like you'd rather go for cleveland? It'll be so exciting to train a second time round, now that you have snazzy new shoes and a snazzy new chiro! :)

    Have a good break!

  2. Thanks! We can vary the distance on the pacing runs... I think we're expected to do 5 minimum, but the courses are all out and back, and everyone in the pace group will just turn at their desired turning point. So we'll lose a few along the way, most likely. I'm just supposed to show up so people at that pace are guaranteed to have someone to run with and stay on pace at least part of their way :o)

    Yeah, Cleveland's lookin' pretty good. I have a friend I could stay with there, too! Enjoy your break too :o)