Monday, September 22, 2014

MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon

I did it!!!! I completed the MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon yesterday with a PR time of 3:41:39!

There was a lot to like about this race and I always enjoy running in familiar places.  I'll share my pros and cons later this week.

The weather called for a 70% chance of rain so I made a game-time decision and decided to race in a baseball cap.  Normally, I don't really like running wearing hats, but I hate having rain beat down on my face more.  It was the lesser of the proverbial two evils.  This is a hat i got back in 2009 at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City.

One of my favorite things about running locally is knowing exactly where I'm going.  My parents who were staying at a hotel in a neighboring town (there's just not enough room at my place) picked me up around 6:15 in the morning.  At that point, I had already been awake for two hours.  I woke up early to have my normal breakfast of cereal before the race.

Before I knew it, I was standing at the start line:
The race had about 600 runners, so no corrals for us.  Everyone starts at the same time.
I situated myself between the 3:45 and 4:00 pace groups, thinking that with my current training, that would be what I was running.  In front of me was one of my favorite race shirts I've ever seen at a distance event:
(And yes, I totally creeped and took this picture)

Before I knew it, we were off on our 26.2 mile journey through the city and neighboring suburbs of Rochester.  We took off around two quick turns in the city and then began to run on East Avenue.  This was when I realized that my legs were feeling better than I anticipated and I picked up the pace.  I was able to see my friend Brittany at mile 3.  It's awesome when your friends cheer you on.  It makes the race so much better (and always makes me a little misty).

A little after mile 6, we approached Fisher and I was able to see two more of my friends Amanda and Kara cheering me on.  It was much needed after running up the huge hill approaching campus! 

We ran over rolling hills on East avenue until about mile nine where we turned onto the Erie Canal pathway in Fairport.  We would be on the canal for the next twelve miles or so.  This was the worst part of the course.  I am definitely a city runner and having nothing to look at or have cheer-ers for 12 miles was hard.  What made it worse was the very visible quickly approaching dark cloud.  We could see the storm coming and there was nothing we could do except run into the darkness.

And rain it did.  I was glad I made the hat decision.  In retrospect, it would have been nice to have had a spare pair of socks. Running with soaking wet socks and shoes was not the best situation for my feet and miles 14-15 were a bit of a struggle.

I broke through that wall and kept going.  I didn't end up hitting another wall until mile 21ish.  It was at this point that I decided to walk through the few and far between aid stations (more on that in a later post).  Even so, I knew I was making good time and tried to pick it up for the finish.  Around mile 25, I discovered a burst of energy that I wasn't expecting and I powered through to the finish.  Seeing Brittany and my parents cheering for me helped a lot too.  And I finished with a PR time!  I'm slowly chipping away at a BQ.  Maybe next year...

Here's me at the finish!!!

Now I'm officially letting myself count down to my next event: the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Twas the night before the marathon....

I can't believe tomorrow is marathon Sunday.  It crept up so fast!

Today I went for a quick 1.5 mile run just to get the nerves out and keep up the run streak (day 145). I had my normal breakfast and spent the morning compulsively cleaning.

My parents arrived this afternoon.  It's so nice to have them cheering for me at the start and finish of these major races that I do.  And you can't beat having your family to care for you when you're all finished!  We went to the expo which was...underwhelming.

The Expo:

The expo was held at a different location this year.  Fleet feet is the new owner of the MVP Health Care Rochester marathon.  I'm really excited to see what they do with it in the coming years.  I was hoping to see new vendors...or at least more of them.  Maybe next year.

The race shirt was pretty cool though:
Bonus points for having a women's extra small that actually will fit me :)

Pre-Race Fuel:

I try and stick to the tried and true when it comes to a race morning.  Most runners believe in the power of pasta, but that's not me.  My pre-race meal is a veggie burger and sweet potato fries.  Today, we went to Hogan's Hideaway, one of my favorite places in Rochester for dinner and it was absolutely delicious.  We followed dinner up with ice cream at Pittsford dairy (which might not be the best pre-race food, but oh well)

Race Outfit:
I'll be running in an under armor heat gear fitted tee with nike capris.  I'll also be wearing my women run the roc sweaty band, pending weather.  With a 50% chance of rain tomorrow, I may have to switch to a baseball cap :(

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Fuel

Today after work I ran a quick 1.4 miles.  Normally the taper stresses me out more than the training or the race.  However, this time around, I'm pretty zen.  Even so, going out for a one-ish mile run still feels unnatural.  I'm hoping all this taper pays off on Sunday!

I really struggle to fuel for long races, marathons in particular.  I struggle to drink enough before and during a run and I have a hard time digesting fancy race gus and chomps.  What works for me is something simple: Gummi Bears.  I take a ziplock with me on my runs and fuel with a couple every couple of miles.

The last time I ran a marathon, the aftermath was not pretty.  It was one of the sickest I've ever felt in my life. live and you learn.  And I've found I need to get sugars back into my system as soon as possible.  My post-race food, especially when I don't feel well enough to eat anything is popsicles.

Tonight, I took a quick road trip to Wegman's and picked up the last of my pre-race supplies:

Tomorrow, my family comes to town and I get to pick up my packet at the expo!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I was able to get 2.4 miles in before the sun came up this morning.  It's been my first morning run in a while and I couldn't believe how I could see my breath.  I know it's Rochester, famous for its lake effect snow, but it's also SEPTEMBER! I felt good through the whole run, but the taper is finally  making me twitchy.  I just want to get to marathon day and be done with my 26.2.

In honor of throwback Thursday:
Here is me finishing the MVP healthcare Rochester half, last year.  I felt great the whole race and set a (at that time) PR.  And yes, it was cold, although I probably could have done without the fleece headband.  I just hate being cold at the start of a race.  You can also tell I was feeling really good at the finish because that's COFFEE in my hand...not typically what you'd find a runner drinking after a race, but oh well.

If I can look and feel half this good after covering twice this distance on Sunday, I'll call it a win!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rochester Marathon Countdown: 5 Days to go

I can't believe the countdown stands at 5 DAYS until my 2nd marathon, the MVP Health Care Rochester Half Marathon.  I have run the half marathon coupled with this event the last two years...but this is my first year taking the plunge and running the full.

Today was my last tempo run before the big day on Sunday.  4.6 miles at an 8:57/mi pace.  Happy final taper week to me.

For tune in Tuesday, it was this gem that powered my run today:

AJR -I'm Ready

Ready or not...26.2 here I come! :)