One of the race criteria was to write a race report, and not just some crap one-liner, “I ran my 6.66 miles in 15 hours 22 minutes” race report - he wants a full-blown, every-tiny-spec-of-detail-until-readers-are-so-sick-of-you-they’ll-never-wanna--read-your-blog-again race report. Sweeeeeet! Mega wordy AND autographed prized swag? I’m in!
Here we go: Jill’s race report to the virtual “GW, MA 6.66!* MR”
I quickly got race registration underway (it was a lot of pressure to comment, “I’m in” especially one who doesn’t follow rules well and originally wrote, “In.” Yikes. I had to quickly re-enter with proper wording so I wouldn’t be disqualified for a minor detail!) and then I went back and read the rules. One can’t be bogged down with rules before registering; all I needed to know was that it was a race and autographed prizes were involved. Then panic started to set in since I had no idea how I was going to fit a 6.66 mile race into a Boston training plan that was already 4-weeks in the tank. I’m kinda one of those chicks that registers for high-profile races before she has thoroughly thought out the logistics of training. Lucky for me, I quickly read one of the race detail was: “You have to complete 6.66 miles. Unlike most races, I don't care how you get it done. Just Get. It. Done. For example, if you think you can win with 3 2.22 mile tempo runs, go for it. BUT, for every race that you do, I expect a race report for each one. Hell, you could even do a relay although I'm only doling out 1 prize for the "team." We're going by the honor system, folks. If you're cheating to win a virtual race, well....I mean.....that's kinda respectable in a scumbag kind of way.”
Are you kidding me? Yeah, baby!!! Not only can I not stray way from marathon training right now having given up a major chunk of it to Mr. Lung Fungus, I can actually USE part of training for this race!! And well, since I’m the ever-so-anally competitive creature I am, I’m going to use my high volume, high speed, 800 interval training day to see if I can land in the top somewhere (I actually have no idea what the abilities of all 60 participants are. I wonder if bribery is acceptable, in an Enron sort of way!!??). Intervals = speed. Major score!!!! I just so happened to have 10x800s on my so-called plan that fell in between the required dates of Mar 4 – Mar 16.
I chose Tuesday, March 10th, as D-day.
Pressure. Nerves. Performance anxiety. Viagra. Opps….wrong topic…
All y’all have heard enough of my whine-N over the course of several weeks to know I haven’t been running my best lately and last week when I attempted to do a teeny-tiny smidgen of speed work, my lungs felt like they wanted to explode; I had no idea how this lofty speed work this week for the race was all going to pan out.
I’m fortunate enough to have a real live track 300’ from where I work. Lucky me. Unfortunately, it’s the height of track season at the high school so said track is a little in use these days. No way in heck I was gonna plant myself on a track with a bunch of 4% body fat 17-year olds who are being recruited by some of the best running colleges in the country. No way. So I hit the treadmill.
I’m actually a treadmill fan. Not for all runs, despite what you might think after that infamous 19-treadmill-miler next to uber-fit ultra-woman, but I do like speed work on them; they keep the pace exactly where I want it and all I have to do is run. Or fall off the end. "Suck it up and keep running" is my treadmill manta. I mean, I have an image to upkeep for all the others on the treadmill, whom I assure you, are all walkers. It's once in a blue moon I ever see anyone ever running on the things. Not that I'm competitive or anything (bawhahahah), I always have to eye the competition next to me and make sure I can outrun him (unless it's ultra-marathon chick...not even my fastest male friends can keep up with her!). Yeah, sick... I know.
I hit the treadmill at my gym because they have a tiny t.v. placed 10”from my head; nothing like a little TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” cat fight between bridezilla and her mother to distract from the task at hand. Plus, I wanted to do some hamstring torture machine after my run and Santa has never left me one of these (meany!). So off to 24-hour fitness I go.
I make sure I’m not wearing my orange shorts or polka-dot socks, we all know how fatal those beasts are. iPod 8 octaves louder than what’s considered “safe” and closed-caption TLC in front and I’m warming up with a mile and a half at 9:14. Legs feel good. Huh? Lungs feel good? What?? Okay, Jilly, you’re feeling great, let’s see what you can do.
I’m not a firm believer in the whole Yasso thingy, you know….knock off 10 consistent 800’s at a certain time and compute that time to predict what your marathon finish line time is. Example: my halves for this little project I wanted to set to 3:31 so I should be able to run a 3:31 marathon. Hahahahah….not so much. This has never worked for me, though I’m not against saying it can’t work for others. Still, on good days, I can run speed work pretty well and knew I used this 800 number for my last marathon in Tucson so heck, might as well try it again this round (and best I can tell, I'll never run a 3:30 marathon. *sigh*). So 7:03 min/miles I set the THANG and I ran.
First one about did me in. Oh Lordy, I was gagging and looking at the little guy going around the track on my display screen every 10 seconds. Geez, must he run soooo slow? Finish #1 and do a very (and I stress very) slow recovery 400. #2 is better. #3-5 go uneventful, I’m just trying to divert my attention away from the little track guy and more into a little Bad Romance from Lady GaGa (yeah, I have horrible taste in music...but whatever it takes, baby!!) and the mother on t.v. who is being a total biotch to the poor bride who wants the $21,800 dress. I mean, geez, come on, mom! How many times can you say you spent a downpayment for a house on a wedding dress??!! #6 I am in awe how well I feel. The dress show is now over and enter “What Not to Wear” – the show my 19-year old always swears she was going to get me on. Yeah, I’ll take a $5K shopping spree to NYC any day, sigh me up! Oh, I have to go on national television? Um…..back to the race report. #7 is another story and after a 400, I hop off. My footing is off. Yeah, that’s it, that’s why my pace wasn’t feeling right – It has nothing to do with it being too fast. Start #7 over and now I got the stride down right and things are going mighty fine. Man, the chick on the pathetically-dressed show WAY needs a make-over more than me. #8 and 9 just feel really amazing….I am truly in awe that after 4 weeks of barely running and no speed work whatsoever, I am able to crank these puppies out. And damn, I need those gold metallic open-toed flats!! #10 is a little tougher, I’m sweating profusely and drinking water like I’m in the Mohave, but I finished and never once adjusted the pace nor the 1% incline which is what “they” say is needed to convert treadmill pace to real road pacing.
Sooooo, I ran 5.5 miles @ 7:03 pace. I could go out and run the other 1.16 miles at a faster than 9:14 warm-up pace for this workout to get my 6.66 total or I could be a scumbag and respectably lie and say I ran the remaining time in like 5:58 later that day …..but that’d require me to write another race report and well, one of these RR's is about all I’m sure I can write (and you can read) in one week. So I'll use the warm-up pace plus the intervals if I can do the math correctly, which I’m sure I can’t, I’m giving myself an unofficial time of 7.12 min/mile = 47:57:11999 (Feel free for anyone to fix this if I’m off….had I worn the Garmin, I wouldn’t have had to spend 48 minutes computing this). To the Japanese spam/porn star commentor, let's see if you can top that time (I get spammed a lot by this dude or dudette).
And there ya go, my first PR of the year!!! Yay, Jilly!!!!
A sign of things to come, perhaps? Ah, I can’t put myself through that sort of pressure but I’m flying pretty dang high from a spectacular (for me) workout, I mean RACE, and the following tempo workout I had yesterday …. FINALLY!!!! Finally. Smiles all around on this girl's face tonight as I write this little report up. I thank Razz for hosting this race to get us all out of our winter coma and united in a fun little event, it was exactly what I needed to get myself feeling good about my running again. Not so much in the fact I hope to come out on top (well, okay, swag never hurts the ego :) ) but because for the first time in 4 weeks, I actually FELT good running. Maybe all that rest fueled the legs for a couple good workouts, I'm not sure. I’m also working my a$$ off trying to get down to marathon weight and have been pretty successful this week….let’s hope the trend continues and this all comes together in ... um.... 38 days (gasp). Thanks Razz, I had a blast!!
Yeah MarathonPhoto, take that awesome picture. And I didn't have to pay $3500 for it! (btw, this was later in my basement after I got home and did a little stretching. I still look like a drown rat!)