Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Remembering my first time

13 years ago I ran my first marathon. I can still remember it vividly. I was twenty years old and serving in the U.S. Army overseas. I had always wanted to tackle the marathon distance and I felt that with enough training I could finish the distance. I registered for the marathona di Venezia (Venice Marathon).
 I found a training program in a Running Times magazine. It was a 16 week program that focused on time spent running. The runs were measured by time and not by miles. Instead of my long runs being 14-20 miles they were 110-200 minute runs.  I tried to follow this program as best as I could. I would work out in the morning with my unit doing PT. Then, I would run at lunch time, or after work and on weekends.
I was fortunate enough to live in beautiful Northern Italy in a town called Vicenza. There were beautiful areas to run in. My favorite runs were early on Sunday morning thought the town piazza and through parco corini.

The night before the race I had trouble sleeping. I was so nervous and excited. On the morning of the race I woke up to light drizzle. When I arrived at the warm up tents before the start of the race it was full on raining. I had trained my butt off for this. There was no way I would wuss out because of the rain. I told myself to just enjoy this race.I also believed that with my training I could run a 4 hour marathon. When the gun went off  I tried to hold back my pace. But, I was so excited that I think I may have been running faster than I should have. The course is a beautiful point to point course that starts in Stra and ends in San Marcos Square in Venice.
 Runners Go Over Bridges At The End in Venice

In the U.S. we have mile markers at every mile. In Europe there are kilometer markers at every kilometer. There are 42 kilometers in a marathon. In the early miles of this race it felt like the markers were very close together. I was also in for another European surprise. At one of the first water stations I grabbed a bottle of water and it was "aqua frizzante" (carbonated water) It is a common and popular beverage in Europe. It was also very hard to drink. I got lucky because the weather was very cool and there were many spectators along the course cheering on the runners and handing out regular bottles of water.
I can remember hitting the wall at around mile 20. There is a bridge that is about 3 miles long and it becomes an optical illusion. You can see the other side of the bridge but it doesn't seem to be getting any closer. The last three miles were pretty brutal. There are lots of small bridges and staircases to cross the channels in the city of Venice. This was the most breathtaking part of the course but, each staircase on trashed legs hurt.
I knew I was getting close to the finish because I could hear the crowds and then I heard an announcer announce in italian " una minute per quatro hours" this translated into "one more minute to four hours" I gave it a final push but, I wasn't close enough to the finish line to come in under four hours. I ended up finishing at 4:01. I wasn't disappointed at all. I was amazed that I had finished a marathon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Putting in some hard time on the treadmill.

This week has been a solid week of treadmill training. Sometimes the treadmill is so boring, and sometimes I can just meditate while the miles tick by. So far in the last 5 days I have run 24.5 miles.
Monday 5 miles
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday 3.5
Thursday 8 miles (1 mile at the park with Sam)
Friday 8 miles (1.5 miles the first session 6.5 the second session)
I am hungry for the pavement. I am hoping to head out for 9 miles in the AM. Hopefully the baby will only wake up once in the middle of the night.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Tempo Run

I can be indecisive sometimes. I wanted to run but I just wasn't sure what to do. My body has an internal clock and it goes nuts if I don't run every so often. If I have been logging heavy miles then I can afford to take two or maybe even three days off.  If I'm logging lower mileage  then I can only take a single rest day before I start to get "ants in the pants". It's an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, my mind begins to race and I feel grouchy. Sunday was a day for doing chores in the morning and watching some NFL. Alas, it was noon and I needed my fix. I didn't know what I was going to do. Should I do six miles easy? Maybe run some tempo? Hmmmm. I left the house and I let my legs do the thinking. It was a warm day. Afternoon high was 90. I wanted to get the most bang for my buck so, I headed to the park.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mommy has a four day weekend

Last night I ended up running on the "mill" for four miles.  I thought my legs would be tired from the long run the day before. But I felt good. I started out at a 9:30 pace and I kept increasing the speed with each mile. The last mile was ran at an 8:12 pace. It was a nice run done after the baby was put to sleep. My husband and I purchased a treadmill about 5 years ago.I didn't really like the treadmill because I love being out doors. But now a days the treadmill is a godsend.

This morning I put my little one into his stroller. I have yet to purchase a real running stroller.   We went to the park. I have a neat park right around the corner from my home. It has a half mile track around the park. I measured it online because I'm a running nerd and I like to know how far I run. Yet I refuse to buy garmin. (more on that in another post). We ran two laps in the park and then we went around the neighborhood.

Fall is my favorite time of year. The mornings are cooler and the running just gets better and better.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kara Goucher I'm not and running around Green Valley.

Yesterday I ran 11 miles. I ran during the middle of the day and it was quite warm. My goal was just to complete the distance. I have a very hilly 10 mile route that I love to run. It is 5 miles out and 5 miles back to the start point. The first 5 miles are uphill with some rolling hills the next 5 are down hill the same way back. Before I had my son. I could complete this route in about 80 minutes. I did this route last week and it took me just over 90 minutes. The run started off well but as the noon sun beat down upon me I began to wonder if I was going to do the full ten. I got to the turn around point and I decided that I just didn't want to take the same way home. I started snaking my way downhill through side streets to the starting point. I stopped for water and ice about halfway through the run. I kept looking at my watch thinking, "wow you are slow" It turns out that by going a different way back I had tacked on an additional mile. I'm happy that I tricked myself into running another mile.

It has been almost nine months since I gave birth to my son. The rule I have heard is "that it's nine months on and then nine months off".  I am still waiting for my body to return to it's pre pregancy shape. I have about 7lbs to loose and some speed to regain. I find it amazing that some women can return to racing shape so quickly. I'm not an elite athlete. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I just hoped to be further along by now. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here we go

For the past year or so I have wanted to start blogging. I have been running for about 19 years with various levels of intensity. I love to run just for the sake of running but, I also love to race. I'm trying to get back into shape. I gave birth to my son Samuel in January of this year. This blog will be mostly about my running. I want to keep my family/private life private. Thank you for reading and happy running.