Category Archives: obx

Rest and Recovery

Thank you all for your congratulations on my big marathon PR! It was exciting to cross another marathon finish line, and I know I will do it again someday in the future.

The past week has been filled with rest and recovery. We spent the week in the Outer Banks after the race. I wanted to share a little and show you some photos of the beauty of the ocean and the shore.

Monday, we checked out some of the sights like the largest sand dune at Jockey Ridge State Park while hobbling around on sore legs. We also played some mini golf, and made bets to run into the ocean. In the end we almost all went in — even those who won the bets!

The middle of the week was quiet lounging around the house due to some cold and windy weather. But the end of the week and over the weekend, we went on some long walks, went fishing, lounged on the beach, played some card games, and ate a lot.

It was so nice to have vacation time after race day!

Outer Banks Marathon: Race Recap

On Sunday, I officially finished my second marathon at the Outer Banks Marathon in North Carolina!

Race morning was great. We got dropped off at the start about 50 minutes early. With less than 1200 marathon finishers, the start area was small, and easy. We got in the bathroom line right away, and only waited a few minutes afterward before getting into the corrals. It just seemed like a nice hometown race.

I was nervous I was going to be cold for the first few miles, but I actually warmed up pretty quickly. The first few miles of the race were on a heavily tree lined street. Many of the local families were out cheering us on. I loved it. You know how sometimes people talk about getting emotional at the end of the race? Yeah — I got emotional at mile 3 when there was perfect temperatures, sun streaming through the trees, and a guy had some great music playing on the side of the road. It was amazing.

I felt awesome for the first 9 miles. Running felt easy. I was flying. I decided not stress about looking at my watch, and just go by feel. I made a quick pit stop around mile 6. We went through a split timer at the 10k mark. Based on my watch, my pace for the first 10k was about an 8:50/mi average. Looking back, this is a little faster than I probably should have started….but like I said, I was feeling so good! I loved this first part of the race. there were so many people out cheering…especially around the Wright Brothers Memorial.

{running around the memorial}

Around mile 10, we headed onto the trails (like I mentioned in my pre-race post). The first 2 miles of this were on hard packed dirt with rocks. I was nervous about rolling my ankle. The terrain was also rolling hills. My pace slowed, but I kind of expected that to happen during this portion. I tried to keep up my pace as much as possible though.

At about mile 12, we transitioned to single track trail. The ground was softer in this area, with some of it being a bit sandy. I had never really run much trail before. I loved how quiet it made everyone’s footsteps. Even though it was difficult, I still kind of loved it. I think I might have to try doing more trail running! (Side note, I read a few recaps before the race that said there was a non-official aid station here that handed out amazing banana bread. I had to get some. It was true. So delicious!)

Finally, right at the half way mark, we were out of the trail. As soon as I was back on the road, I realized how much trying to keep up my pace in the woods had tired me out. I crossed the half way point at 1:58. I was able to pick my pace back up to right around a 9 min/mile for a few more miles, but then things started to break down.

Around mile 16, my stomach was starting to feel off. I was feeling hungry, but the bloks I was eating were not sitting well, making me feel nauseated. At mile 18, I felt a little dizzy, and knew I needed some more calories. I forced myself to eat some more, and that helped. I think the other thing that started to affect me during this time was the heat. The day was actually a great temperature, but the second half the course provided no shade at all. On a day with full sun and 18 miles into the race, I was getting pretty hot!

I started taking some walk breaks at mile 18, but I was able to keep my pace up to 10 min/mile for a couple miles. I tried to keep the walking to a minimum. I started taking extra water at the aid stations to dump over my head.

At mile 21, the course turned into a 20 mph headwind. At this point most of my remaining energy really started to get sapped. I again stopped looking at my watch, knowing my initial goals were out of reach. My new goals were 1) enjoy the rest of the race as much as I could, and 2) to finish ahead of my time from my previous marathon. There was a bridge to go up for about half a mile from 22.5-23. I just kept plugging along with a mostly run, some walk ratio. I honestly don’t remember too much about this part of the race…I just tried to keep putting up as much effort as I could and keep my heart in it.

{love the run…even when its difficult. Great idea, Coeur!}

Just before mile 25 I took my last walk break. When I started walking, another runner came up behind me and convinced me to start running with her. We only chatted for a few minutes before she needed to take another break, but she helped get me motivated to keep going to the finish line. I was able to keep running until finally crossing the line with an official time of 4:14:46.

As you can see, this race didn’t quite go as planned for me, particularly in the second half — not sure if it was that I didn’t eat enough, that I started too fast, or just that it wasn’t my day. However, I’m still so proud of my accomplishment of finishing those 26.2 miles. Plus, I had a huge improvement over my first marathon with a 17 minute PR! Just like I said when I finished my first marathon, I am so proud and excited to have finished a marathon — something I definitely never thought I would be capable of doing. Any day that I can finish a marathon is amazing.

 

The Final Countdown

Now that I have that song stuck in your head….enjoy the rest of my post!

I know my posting has been light the last few weeks. I am nearing the end of my PhD, and most of my time and energy has been focused on working. In the meant time, I have been tapering for the Outer Banks Marathon, which is now only 3 days away!!

If you read the November issue of Runner’s World, you have probably seen a little taste of this marathon in this article. It made me so excited to see this race featured!

The course is a mostly flat point to point race. Just before the halfway point, there are a few miles on a packed dirt trail, but otherwise the remainder is on the roads. On my training runs, I tried to run a few miles on the packed dirt off to the side of the path I run on as some practice. The only major incline is a large bridge at mile 22-23. It is 82 feet tall, and a 4% incline over 650 feet– yikes! But at least it shouldn’t last too long, and the final few miles will be downhill and flat into the finish.

{photo from obx marathon website}

Right now I’m feeling both nervous and excited. I always get a little nervous before a race, especially after putting so much time and energy into training. Like I mentioned in my last post, even though my training didn’t quite go exactly as I planned, I’m just going to go out there and give it my all (by the way, thanks for all your positive energy!). I am so much stronger than I was before last year’s marathon, and I think that should translate to a better race. Horray for progress!

I have never been to the OBX, so I am pretty excited to hang out at the beach — I think we will be trying to catch some blue crabs one day. So excited!

I don’t think I’ll get another chance to post before race day, so see you on the flip side!!

You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more updates!

4 weeks to go!

I am down to less than 4 weeks before the OBX marathon, and I am getting pretty excited! This week I unfortunately didn’t get in as much running as I wanted, but I did fit in some cross training instead. Early in the week my ankle was sore following the Rock n Roll San Jose half marathon. Then later in the week I had a few busy days at work so a run didn’t work out.

Here’s how the week went down:

Monday: rest.
I needed a day off following last Sunday’s race.

Tuesday: 35 minute sweat-soaking spin
We bought a spin bike to allow us some more time in the saddle over the winter time without having to go to the gym — plus it will be good for run cross training. So since my ankle was feeling sore, I did some time on the spin bike instead. It felt great and I watched some Chopped on the Food Network as I went along.

Wednesday: walk + stretch
Instead of our usual leg routine, Ryan and I decided to go for a walk. It is nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful evening weather on a sunny fall day sometimes.

Thursday: AM spin
I had a busy day at work, and I knew I wasn’t going to be home until almost 9pm — nixing my usual afternoon run plans. So instead of a rest day, I opted to utilize the new spin bike again for a quick 30 minute hard spin. I closed myself up in our office and really worked up a sweat while listening to some podcasts.

Friday: rest
On Friday I found out that I had qualified (from my August Olympic distance triathlon) for the 2014 USA Age Group National Championships. I don’t think that I will go this year , but I hope that I can qualify and attend again in the future.

Saturday: 20 mile run!!
I was sooooo nervous before this run. I really wasn’t sure how my ankle would feel since my last 20 mile attempt I cut short at 16 miles. I decided to just take it slow and steady. My most recent long runs had been at a little faster pace (by about 10-15 seconds per mile), but I decided it would feel much more confident about the marathon if I could finish this run at a little slower pace than not complete it.

In the end, it worked out great. My legs were definitely tired after, and I’ve been working on recovery / foam rolling / stretching a little extra.

Later in the day, I went to early packet pickup in Sacramento for the Nike Women’s half marathon next weekend! Even though there was still an hour long line, it seemed to move along pretty quickly, and was a gorgeous day! I’m excited to run next weekend, and see a few girls from HTC (Kara + Leslie!)

Sunday: walk + rest
After a busy Saturday, we took the day easy. We went to the movies and did our usual Sunday grocery trip. We went for a brisk walk in the afternoon and fit in a little bit of stretching.

Do you go to the grocery store once a week? Or more often? We try to get everything on our Sunday trips, but sometimes we have to go buy some veggies on Friday if we are eating at home since they are usually all gone by then.
Anyone else running NWM next weekend in SF?

OBX Marathon Training: Week 14

Sorry this post is a little delayed this week. We’re already almost through another week! Life has been seriously busy, but going well. Just may make posting a bit light sometimes. Anyway — on to the good stuff of training last week…

Wow. I really can’t believe how close the marathon is getting. Yesterday was already down to 1 month until race day! Last week I was feeling more back to normal with my ankle. I also had my first race of the fall at the San Jose Rock n Roll half marathon! Here’s a little about how it went:

Monday: 1 hour yoga
It felt so good to stretch and move my body this day. Some days I just need some yoga!

Tuesday: 4 fast miles.

Wednesday: P90x legs.
We’ve been doing a good job of keeping up with leg strength routine this fall, which I think is really helping keep some injuries away.

Thursday: 4 miles easy

Friday: rest

Saturday: 30 minutes easy yoga
We drove down to San Jose for packet pickup and had a nice evening checking out the city and relaxing.

Sunday: race day! check out my recap on my 13th half marathon here.

This weekend I’m looking forward to watching the Kona Ironman! Anyone else watching??

OBX Marathon Training Week 13: Getting back in the game

Week 13 was a mix of rest and getting back into running. My ankle and lower leg has been starting to feel more back to normal, so I was hoping to get in my long run on Saturday. I still rested a little more than usual, and skipped my Tuesday run. Throughout the week, I also really focused in on ankle strengthening exercises. I think these have been instrumental to my recovery and gaining strength back in my lower leg muscles to support my ankle.

Monday: stretch

Tuesday: 2 mile walk + stretch

Wednesday: P90x legs

Thursday: run 3.1 miles easy

Friday: rest

Saturday: 16 mile long run
On my training plan, I had a 20 mile long run scheduled for Saturday. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure how far I would be able to go, or whether my ankle would give me a hard time. After taking two weeks with hardly any running, I was hoping for something good.

Usually for my long runs, I run on a paved bike path. I like to run half the distance in one direction, and then turn around and come back. On Saturday, I decided to aim for a 10 mile out and back first (5 miles in each direction), then see how I felt to do another. After 11 miles when I took a quick bathroom & water break, I noticed that my ankle was feeling tired, but it didn’t hurt. At that point I knew I wasn’t going to make it 20 miles, but would shoot for 17-18. When I was 3 miles from my start point (13 miles in), I saw Ryan and he encouraged me to just turn around now and cut it to 16. I agreed — no reason to push it.

Afterward, I actually felt pretty good. My ankle was tired, but still not hurting. It just felt like I had done a hard run. After some legs up the wall and relaxing, I was feeling pretty good. In the evening, Ryan and I went to San Francisco to visit a friend. We probably walked about 2-3 miles over the course of the evening around town. Good to move the legs around for some recovery.

Sunday: 3 mile walk + stretch
Legs felt pretty good, but it was nice to take a walk for extra recovery. It was also beautiful outside, so we had to get out and take advantage of it!

This coming week I am going to try to get back on my official schedule with 3 days of running, some yoga, and strength…and fewer rest days. I will also be running the San Jose Rock n Roll half marathon on Sunday!

OBX Marathon Training: Week 11

I’m so happy with how training went this week. I really tried to stay on track, like last week and have good quality training days.

Monday: 1 hour of yoga using the Yoga Studio app.
Just found this app thanks to Starbuck’s pick of the week. It’s awesome. Quite a few preset workouts, and you can even make your own! Really enjoyed this as a good stretch.

Tuesday: Speed day — 5 x 1000m with 400m rest on treadmill for total of 5.5 miles.
The last time I tried this workout, my calf cramped before I could finish. I was due for redemption on this workout! I started conservatively, and ramped up the speed each interval. Ended feeling really good!

Wednesday: The usual — P90x legs workout. Gotta get in the strength training!

Thursday: 4.4 miles steady state run

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 18 mile long run
This run went really well. I felt stronger and kept almost the same pace as my last long run two weeks ago. My shoes felt pretty good too. I was just so happy to be out there, feeling strong and enjoying the day.

At mile 10.5 I stepped on a big rock and rolled my ankle, but it didn’t really hurt badly and did not seem to affect my pace. Later in the day it felt a little stiff, but ok for the 5k on Sunday. I didn’t really think too much of this until Sunday afternoon.

Sunday: Lets ROC 5k.
You can see my full recap here. I hadn’t run a 5k in almost 2 years, so I was due for a good hard run and a new 5k PR. I’m excited by my time since I ran an 18 mile long run the day before!

Sunday afternoon I spent a lot of time lounging. My ankle felt a little stiff again, so I rested for the day after the race, watching football. Starting out this week, I have been keeping things easy, because I think this rolled ankle actually pulled a little muscle on the side of my leg, so I won’t do a track workout this week. (The 5k should count for that, right?!?) It is already starting to feel a little better, so I think in a few more days I’ll be back to normal. Gotta watch out for rocks now!

PS. I know this mileage is nothing to some people, but this was my highest weekly mileage ever!! Exciting!