Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon ....

Here WE come.

Well I did it! I signed up for Marine Corps. So far there are 6 other Philyfitters and counting signed up. I'm psyched. I have yet to meet anyone who ran this event and did not like it.

The challenge now is not to get too far ahead of myself and stay focused on Gettysburg. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Never Underestimate the Power of Cheesecake....

Today I had 18 miles to do. Actually, I only had 11 but in two weeks I'm supposed to do 18 and knowing that my schedule for both of the next two weeks would likely get in the way of that, I swapped some weeks around. So I had 18 miles to do today.

So let me explain about the cheesecake before telling today's story. I baked one last Sunday. I treated myself to a piece then and left the rest for my husband. Well despite Dave's best efforts there was still one piece left last night. "Do you want it?" Dave asked. "No," I said "But I think I'll save it as reward for finishing all 18 miles on Saturday".

My original plan was to head to Oaks at 7 am and get in 5 or 6 before the 8:00 gang arrived. Then do as many of the remaining miles with friends at 8, 9:30 and 10:30 leaving (hopefully) only a few to do on my own at the end. Well last night we had window rattling winds. The noise and an overactive imagination kept me up. So when the alarm went off at 5:30 I balked at getting up and ..... didn't. I allowed myself another hour sleep and set my sights on meeting friends at 8:00.

Helen, Jen, and Jeannie were there and just as we were about to start out Dan showed up too. Dan is  slower but we were able to check in with him on our way back and again at the parking lot. We opted to head to the right toward the dog park since the puddle on the left was larger than the puddle on the right. The snow melt had created lakes where none had existed before. Also, Helen told us that she saw parts of the upper trail going toward Collegeville and there was still snow (which likely meant possible ice and/or mushy terrain).

Well heading right put us straight into the wind. At times I wondered if were really making any progress. The forecast of 40 mph winds and 60 mph gusts appeared to be spot on. The upside is that we had the wind at our backs on the return trip and we had a nice chat in both directions. Among other things, we heard about Jeannie's half marathon in New Orleans and talked about who planned on running Marine Corps in October.

Back at the parking lot, Helen and I waited for Brian and the 5k group. We set off with only Craig and about 5 minutes into it Vikash and Gina called so I went back to find them. Kristie arrived at some point as well and in bits and pieces we all put in some nice miles. I'm a little concerned for Vick, from the description of the pain in his leg it sounds like he has shin splints and those can be so painful. I know he really wants to do the Get Your Rear In Gear 5k on March 20th. We'll see.

At 10:30 I headed out with Kurt, a new member of the group and a fellow Auburn Alum with Jeannie. Kurt, Kristie and I headed right again. Kurt has just started running again and planned on 30 minutes for the day. Kristied turned around with him and told me that if her knee was feeling good she'd come back and meet me on my way back from the dog park. I recieved her call just as I was arriving at the dog park. She said her knee was not feeling good and she decided not to risk aggravating her healing injury.

Kristie, if you are reading this I'm really glad you did the smart thing by taking care of yourself AND it turns out you did me a huge favor. Had I still expected you to come out I would have turned around to meet you. Instead I went on to the end of the path and out on the road for an extra 1.5 mile and then back; adding a total of 3 miles to this segment of my run. I wanted as few miles as possible left when I returned to the car for the third time today.

About halfway out toward the dogpark this last time I remembered about the cheesecake. The thing is I  am such a dork that if I didn't do 18 miles I would NOT eat the cheesecake. So determination set in. When I did arrive back at the car I had just a smidge over 1 mile to finish. *SIGH* So I took a minute to stretch out my tight legs and then headed out the parking lot up on New Mill Road back in and down to the trail and back and kept going like that until I hit 18. Holy moly, I did it.

At about 15 miles some negative thinking had set in. I was so tired... actually I was fine.. but my legs were tired and I began to wonder what posessed me to sign up for a spring marathon. Or any marathon for that matter. On Wednesday, registration opens for Marine Corps. I have it marked in big letters on my work calendar so I won't miss it. I have been saying that this weekend would be my benchmark. If I feel good after this run I'll go for Marine Corps.

At that moment, I wasn't feeling so good. I am pleased and proud to say though that I talked myself good again. Of course it hurt. It was a long windy day. My legs hurt but they weren't injured and I wasn't in any danger of not finishing. I was still doing 3 and 1's; I hadn't given up. Pain is temporary; Pride is forever. In a few hours after the run I'd be feeling much better. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Just becaue I'd like to be running easier doesn't mean there is anything wrong with me because I'm not. So on Wednesday I WILL be signing up for Marine Corps. And on May 1st I'm going to tackle the hills of Gettysburg with a smile!

The chocolate chips make this cheesecake look funny but trust me it is going to taste very very good.........

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Today I had 14 on the schedule. I chose Betzwood as the location; hoping for a nice flat run. Yup, that's what I thought. I arrived at 7:30 figuring I'd get in 2 miles before meeting anyone else who showed up at 8:00.

Well the trail (both the River Trail and the SRT) were a chunky icy mess. I ran 2 miles up on the SRT but I knew this was not going to be the way to go. Jeff, Marjorie and Julius arrived at 8:00 and we decided to go over the creepy bridge and doing the loop. We made an attempt at the River Trail first but one look told us that was not the way to go either. No wonder all the other folks we saw this morning were seen coming back up the driveway after too short a time.

Marjorie and Jeff had other plans I guess because they went out for about 30-45 minutes and turned around. Julius stayed with me for the loop. I had not run in 10 days; Julius said he had not been out in a month. So it was a bit of a chore for both of us but we finished with 3 and 1's the entire way. Ok almost the entire way. We allowed ourselves to walk up the one hill. You who have done the loop know the one I'm talking about.

Upon returning to the parking lot at Betzwood we met three folks for the couch to 5k training. More on that in the USAFit/Philly blog.

At 10:30 Susan, John and Kristen arrived and Kristen's dog Roxie. Kristen was out for her first run since finishing the Disney Marathon in January. John was testing out his knee and back and Susan is getting back to running this year after a year of injury and botched surgeries. I did not want to go back to the loop so we ran down to the trailhead and back then continued over to the other side of Trooper Road for two circuits around the apartment/condominium complex there. All in all we finished just over 4.5 miles.

So I managed almost 13 running 3 and 1's and 45 minutes of walking with the couch to 5k group. My aerobic fitness was severely challenged at the beginning of the day. My legs were scolding me for the final 1.5 miles. All in all a great day for having been off for 10 days.

Next week I have 18 miles to do. I MUST get out this week to keep the momentum going. I think my best strategy will be to go to Oaks at 7 and go out for 5. Then meet up with the 8:00 gang for 6. And then finish with 7 with the 10:30 gang. Fortunately at Oaks I have lots of choices.

2 weeks; 2 months; 2 days until Gettysburg! Registration opens for Marine Corps in 11 days.