Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Facebooking a Marathon

My marathon progress Sunday will post directly to my Facebook page. Yup. Awesome or scary? Too much digital age sharing or a great way to get motivated around mile 22? Tough to say.

Hopefully, since it should be a beautiful Sunday morning and the race has a relatively late start time of 7 a.m., my Facebook friends will be out biking, running or just brunching — and not checking my Facebook marathon progress.

It's not that I think I'll be embarrassed of my performance, I'm just not sure I want to Facebook universe with me every step of the way, peeking in at the 10K and half marathon and on and on until the finish line arrives approximately four hours later.

Yes, this makes me a little nervous ... a little more nervous.

So why don't I just delete the feature? Well there is a running group friends whom I'd love to have out there with me — literally running with me if that were possible — and at least this way they are with me online. Also, it's a damn easy way for Mom and Dad or my brother and his wife to figure out when to meet me on Main Street in Springfield (mile 14, good spot to drop clothes, gloves, etc and get a hearty cheer) and when my exhausted, sweaty, sore self will be needing picked up at the finish line.

There are benefits. And it's not like I wouldn't post my time on my Facebook page anyway.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Left My Mind ...

It's tapering time, 15 days until the marathon.

This is the time to go crazy with doubt. Did I train enough? What about that one day when I skipped my ... run, yoga class, sit-up? Can I make it up now?

I've run enough marathons to know the answers are always the same: hay's in the barn, it's in the bag. Pick your metaphor, the bottom line is you can't do anything about it now. From here on out it's maintenance runs, getting good sleep, drinking lots of water and trying not to get hurt. (Important last point, so maybe this week's surf session was a bad plan and riding bikes this weekend could be risky?)

So with this extra time and energy on my hands, what to do? Plan the next marathon, of course.

Picking another race before competing in the race you're training for is a way to trick yourself into not getting lazy once you've crossed the finish line. So I about 13 hours left to decide if I should use a Deal-of-the-Day to register for the Morgan Hill Marathon in October. I'm thinking, for $35, why not?

Then there's the Bizz Johnson trail marathon out in Susanville two weeks before the bargain-bin marathon. Fast, negative elevation gain and trails, but it's at elevation so the altitude may cancel out those pros.

Do both? My awesome long-distance running buddy Sonja would say yes.

For sure, I'm running the Nisene Marks Half Marathon a month after the marathon. That will keep me going post-marathon and roll right into summer ... maybe triathlon training?

But for now, I'm just plotting. Muahahaha!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Many Miles?

I hurt myself. Specifically, my hip. All week, I could hardly run — yesterday I trudged along for 15 minutes before giving up and walking home.

This was after getting a killer massage/torture session from Jamey, a friend of Scotty and Coach Rod. Fifty minutes of elbow-digging into my hips left me feeling like I'd already finished the week's prescribed 20-mile run.

So you can imagine I was not looking forward to today's outing, the last loooong run of my marathon training plan. With some prodding from Mom and a whole lot of stalling, I headed out to Nisene Marks around 11 a.m. to run the fire road.

I had a plan, I swear. I routed a course on this very nice map, calculated the miles, even told Mom and Christy where I'd be in case something went awry and the sheriff's search and rescue team needed to be summoned.

It turned out to be the best run I've had in weeks.
• Sunny skies, but not too hot under the trees
• Few people out on the trails
• Fun music on my iPod
• And, best of all, no pain in my hip.

The only problem? At the advice of some very kind (but possibly alcoholic) weekend warrior mountain bikers, I veered from my carefully planned course and continued up the fire road past the Sand Point Overlook. The bikers were right: it was beautiful up there. But I think their ability to calculate distances might be inhibited by their love of vodka- and kahlua-laced milkshakes.

When I came across a small "11" sign on the side of the trail, I said a bad word and turned back. Best guess? I was 11 miles from somewhere. (The bottom of the park? Top of the park? Hell?) So it's pretty likely I ran 22 miles.

It took me about 3:45 running time ... but as you calculate that mile pace in your head (10ish), remember there is about 2,000 feet of elevation gain in that run and it all happens at once. Oh, and sometimes my girly pop country causes me to break out in dance while I'm running and I don't stop my watch for that part.

Point is, I'm back and can run the Eugene Marathon on May 1. Thanks to those who helped (or just smiled politely when I ran by singing today).

Here are some photos. No videos of the singing and dancing, though.

What are you searching for?

"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."