Sunday, September 6, 2009
That's a Portland Wrap...
Yesterday, I did my last continuous long run before Portland. Usually, I like to hit the last long run 3 weeks out but next weekend, when that 3 week mark would land, I will be up in the mountains running 3 legs of the Colorado Outward Bound Relay. I'll run 20 miles next weekend with the relay, but it will be over 3 legs ranging from 8.4 - 6.1 miles each. I really was nervous about this relay playing havoc with my long run but I asked a few people in the marathon world and all agreed that I can use the relay as a long run and I should NOT attempt a long run on like Monday or Tuesday after the relay because my legs will be dead. And I'm going to be exhausted.
So, yesterday was it!
I'm having mixed feelings about it. Two weeks ago when I ran the Park City Marathon as a training run I had some problems with my pace and how I felt at the end. Yesterday's 24 miles was not much different, but I did run it faster. I started at 5:20am and there is absolutely zero sunlight out then (duh) and to get my Garmin to light up, you have to hold that bezel down in two places but I lock the bezel because I tend to bump it and stop it accidentally, so I can't really use the bezel unless I unlock it and I've screwed up my watch totally a time too many times doing this...therefore, I really had no idea what pace I was going until I'd run under a street lamp, but I knew it was quicker than I needed to be or should be. Got to mile 7 where I refill my water-bottle at the car wash/Conoco but the gas station wasn't opened yet and I needed to stop, I started having some pretty bad stomach problems...err. I am wondering if GU isn't contributing to this!!??!!??. I ran on to the nearest Starbucks at Cherry Creek Whole Foods after I left the closed gas station and Starbucks, too, was closed until 7:00 (huh? Don't people who drink coffee want it before 7:00??), which was only 10 more minute so I ran around the area until it opened, refueled, and headed out, stomach feeling slightly better. After I hit the Denver Country Club, I headed North path to get in the mileage I needed. It's hilly. Not terribly so, but enough to mess with my pace. I really just want to find a nice, flat area for like two miles so I can gauge what is "effort" to me and how I feel. Portland is mostly flat. I started to have some pretty icky back problems, too, which I had in Park City. Glute was so-so, a major improvement over two weeks ago. Knees felt really good - yea...and my legs overall felt really good - yea again!!
But in the end, I just was spent,my back was killing me, and I just can't stop my mind wondering if a sub 3:45 is obtainable in Portland. Thought yesterday's run really felt okay overall, it didn't fell great in the end and therefore left me with a few confidence problems right now. I've always run a marathon better if I run it very conservatively in the beginning and have enough fuel for the end... but lately with the tail miles of my long runs being pretty miserable, I can't help but wonder if Elaine has it all right: you run like hell and bank time in the first half because no matter what, you die at the end anyway. Hear that, Elaine?? :) No, I won't run it like that cuz if I have to walk, that's a major defeat for me, but I have a LOT of thinking to do from now til then. And a lot of confidence adjustment. Ugh.
I really don't like the feel of the long run over; it makes that finish line that much closer. And makes me that much more nervous. I always run better when I have a purpose behind my running so it makes me edgy with Portland being so close and my confidence smashed. I just really don't like the taper because I have to really be careful with my diet and I can't run as much. Running, the thing that puts my mind at ease is the one thing I get to do less of during one of the times when my mind is the most tangled. Hum....
Time to think of some new goals and time to fine-tune some Portland details.
This morning, I went to a pilates/stretching class for an hour and a half. Never been, never even heard of this place. An ex-Bronco that works with me recommended this place, Artistic Body, and said it would cure all my achy muscles. Well, I certainly felt like a fish out of water; I had no idea what I was doing (but the instructor was incredible and sat by me most of the time and showed me every move...he's an incredible runner himself and knew personally all the people in the class. A very warm individual), and I'm certain my body parts are just as sore from yesterday's run as they would be had I not gone, but I DO think it was a great class, the stretching felt great, an I plan to go again. I wonder if it would be better to go to this class day 1 and day 2 after a long run to maximum muscle relief. But who has the time or the money!!
I'm getting a little more excited about the CO Relay and Brendan and I spent some time today making pickle signs. I'll take some pictures before the relay. I have two days of orientation for Abbey so gonna be a little busy this week. Relay starts at 9am on Friday morning!!
On an unrelated running note: I'm not as emotional today as I thought I would be as I spend the last full day with Abbey, helping her pack up her room, before she heads off and is an an official college student tomorrow. Come tomorrow, though, that may be a totally different story....
24 miles run
1 pilates/stretching class