Category Archives: Marathon

Leading the pack

Ha! They just posted a few more photos from the marathon and I’m thinking of buying this one because it looks like I’m leading a pack (and beating all of those boys)!

It totally looks like I'm beating all of those boys!

OK – so I see another women in the photo. But still…

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments on my last post. I was feeling a bit too mentally exhausted to reply to them, but I really appreciate the support!

It’s been a busy, busy week. On Sunday, we booked our Boston trip! I can’t wait and it feels so good to have the trip booked — one more thing to cross off the list. Who else is going to be in Boston for the marathon in 2014?

This week, I also attended the MIMA Summit, a big marketing and technology conference, for work. The highlights were definitely getting to see Nate Silver speak. (I’m a huge nerd and find the kind of stuff he does interesting.) And the opening keynote from Sarah Lacy was pretty awesome.

I have big plans to run later today — the first run since the marathon! Just planning to run a few miles today to test out the hip. I’m sad to say that I can still feel that something isn’t right, but I’m going to give it a shot!

Next week looks a bit more low key and I’m excited because the hubs and I will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary!

Question: does anyone have a good training plan for a 5K? Or good workouts to do if you’re trying to improve your 5K time?

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Race recap: 2013 Twin Cities Marathon

Race morning was pretty typical: alarm at 5:30, breakfast cookie and coffee. My father-in-law drove J, KK and I to the start where we met up with John and Stef. I dropped my bag with the GOTR SoleMates folks and headed outside.

It was somewhere around 48 degrees at race time and really, very pleasant! I ended up wearing my Oiselle singlet, arm warmers and Stride Shorts. I also decided on sunglasses but later wished I would’ve worn a hat.

Me and the hubs!

Me and the hubs!

My training buddy!

My training buddy!

We said goodbye to Stef and then John, the hubs, KK and I lined up in Corral 2. After the wheelers and first wave of runners took off, it was our turn!

Miles 1-3 8:50, 9:19, 9:23

The first mile weaves through downtown Minneapolis (yeah, Garmins hate that) and once you’re out of downtown you head up your first hill by the Walker Art Center/Sculpture Garden.

Our little group stuck together and maintained about a 9:15 pace for the first couple of miles. I could feel something in my hip (and my foot, surprisingly) but felt great. The weather was perfect and the crowds were energetic. We kept a pretty steady pace as we headed towards the lakes.

Miles 4-8 9:04, 9:09, 8:51, 9:06, 8:54
These miles take you around parts of Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. The paths narrow and it gets a bit crowded through here but we maintained a pretty decent pace. Was still feeling strong and stuck with the rest of the group.

Miles 9-11 8:59, 8:57, 8:51
We saw John’s wife and our friend Mike right before mile 10. Then, at mile 10 I spotted….my face!

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And Jen, Mandy, Tony, Ashley and Andrea! I was quite warm by then (sun was out) so I left my arm warmers with them.

By this point, I started feeling the familiar feeling in my hip that I felt during my last long runs, so I knew it was realistic just to focus on just trying to maintain my pace or increase it gradually, so our little group broke up and I was on my own.

Miles 12-15 9:07, 9:04, 9:15, 8:59 (crossed the halfway mark under 2 hours — still on track for a possible 4 hour marathon)
I’m happy to say that during this stretch, I was possibly the strongest I’ve ever been, mentally, during a race. My hip pain was traveling down to my knee and upper calf and I considered a DNF, many, many times. So I was starting to really hurt, my foot was rubbing in my shoe and I wasn’t even at the halfway mark yet. But I focused on maintaining my pace and on just making it to the next landmark. I focused on getting to the 13.1 mark, then Minnehaha Falls, then 36th and the Parkway (where I knew my father-in-law would be) and then Franklin Ave. In my mind, I just wanted to make it to mile 20 and then would re-focus on finishing the race.

Miles 16-18 9:22, 9:27, 10:35
These miles were very familiar to me since I run them so often. And I truly believe that I was only able to keep my pace through here because of that. But the thick crowds and seeing Kristin, Kelly, my father-in-law and Alyssa during this stretch also helped. Because now I was starting to break — both mentally and physically.

Miles 19-21 10:30, 10:21, 10:17
I finally broke down and adjusted my shoe to try and stop the rubbing. I also started walking through the water stops and doing leg swings to loosen up my hip. I spent this stretch running to the next mile marker, walking a bit and repeating. The rain was also really coming down at this point. My sunglasses were blurry because of the rain so I put them on top of my head but then the rain was getting in my eyes — super frustrating. But then I saw Ashley and Andrea and was so relieved! I got a GU from them and my knee band that I had given Andrea ahead of time.

Another awesome sign!

Another awesome sign!

Miles 22-23 10:48, 11:00
At mile 22 I saw some more familiar faces and then started to head up Summit Avenue. I felt a slight sense of relief to be on the homestretch but knew that it wasn’t going to be pleasant, considering the shape I was in. More walk/running but the distance I was able to run before my hip would totally tighten up was getting shorter.

Miles 24-finish 10:36, 11:55, 11:46
Seeing Tracy at mile 24 (OK, I didn’t realize it was Tracy at the time) gave me a boost to run just a little further! I ran up the little incline to the top of the hill and the Capitol (and the finish line) was finally in my sights. It was pretty amazing how completely opposite I felt this year compared to last. Last year, I fed off of the crowds, dug deep and sprinted to the finish. This year, it was all I could do not to walk across the finish line. But I crossed the finish line just feeling relieved to be done — and then my left leg started to lock up and then when I saw KK and the hubs waiting for me, I lost it. All of the emotions — the pain, the disappointment, and even still a sense of accomplishment — came over me and I had a good cry.

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You can’t tell how much pain I’m in here.

We waited to see John finish and a few minutes later all of a sudden I felt short of breath and like I was going to pass out. I muttered something to J along the lines of “I think I have to go to the medical tent now” and stumbled over to the tent. I ended up knowing the guy that was helping people into the tent (went to college with him and hadn’t seen him in years!) and told him I was really dizzy. He helped me into the tent and I was taken to a station where I laid down with my legs elevated and they promptly slapped a blood pressure cuff and finger pulse thingy on me.  I started shivering uncontrollably and lost feeling in my fingers. On top of everything, my hip had totally tightened up. But they kept the warm blankets coming and alternated between feeding me broth and water and eventually I was able to sit up without feeling dizzy. I took a few shaky laps around the tent, sipped on some more broth, and had my vitals taken one more time before they finally let me go. I met up with the hubs and my father-in-law and we headed home.

The rest of the day we laid around and then hobbled over to BDP to get some burgers and beer.

Still felt sick so couldn't finish my beer :(

Still felt sick so couldn’t finish my beer 😦

Final official time: 4:20:15 (Garmin said 4:18) — a PR of 29 minutes!

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So there you have it! I’m thrilled with a new PR but obviously disappointed that I wasn’t able to go into this race totally healthy. I’m looking forward to taking some time off and setting some new (shorter distance) race goals. Although I won’t be signing up for one in 2014, I’m pretty sure another marathon will be in my future!

Here we go!

Earlier today, the hubs and I headed to the TCM Expo with KK and Corry and picked up our race packets. If you don’t already know, I absolutely LOVE race expos and the Twin Cities one doesen’t disappoint. However, I didn’t feel like there wasn’t anything TOO exciting this year, but I did get this super cute necklace:

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Oh, and I had to talk myself out of buying a really expensive/cute zip-up with the TCM logo on it.

Since we got home from the expo we’ve been relaxing and are planning on stroganoff (my traditional pre-race meal) for dinner. I started laying out my gear for tomorrow and read this oldie, but goodie blog post (a breakdown of the TCM course, mile by mile) and then will probably try and get to bed early.

Game plan for tomorrow is to be up by 5:30, arrive to the start by 7:15 a.m., drop my bag with the Girls on the Run SoleMates and then meet up with the 4:00 pace group. (Still going to try my best for sub-4 hours, but not feeling overly optimistic about it.)

Here’s what I’ll be wearing:

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Still deciding between Stride shorts or Rogas….

If you want to track me tomorrow, you can sign up using this link.

What should be my post-marathon meal? I’m thinking Mexican food…

Side note: This week my athlete profile went up on the Oiselle website! I can’t wait to get my photo switched out to one of me in my racing kit.

I never thought I’d say this… (and a GOTR winner!)

…but as of this moment, my husband will be running the Twin Cities Marathon by my side.

Yes, you read that correctly. My husband, who just ran a 3:04 marathon is aiming to run TCM in 4 hours. He’s coming back from an injury so has (for now, anyways) decided to run this marathon “for fun” so he doesn’t jeopardize his performance at Boston. I haven’t run with my husband since we first started dating, so I’m really excited about this!

In other news, the first few days at the new job have been awesome. As much as I miss my old co-workers and manager, I already feel right at home with this great team and in a small office. On my first day, we went out for all-you-can-eat sushi and I was welcomed by Urkel (how many people can say that?):

Creepy, yet so thoughtful!

Creepy, yet so thoughtful!

As far as workouts go, I ran Tuesday evening and my calves have proceeded to knot up in balls again (perfect timing) but I do think my glute/hip strengthening exercises are continuing to help.

Nice night for a run!

Nice night for a run!

The rest of this week includes getting in one more short run and a SUPER short shakeout run the day before the marathon. I am also finishing up my last week at my second job before they close for the season (woot!):

Had to order ceviche before they close for the season

Had to order ceviche before they close for the season

Do you run with your significant other?

Urkel — cute or creepy?

CONGRATS to Erin who won the GOTR 5K giveaway! Email me and I’ll get you set up 🙂

My favorite season of them all + weekend workouts

I love fall. I love boots and scarves and pumpkin anything and making apple crisp. I guess I also like to run marathons in the fall. (well, one marathon anyways) This year, we’re having kind of a strange fall in Minnesota — it was 85 degrees over the weekend.

So this past Friday, the hubs and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and headed out to Stillwater during the day to do some shopping and eating. Our first stop was Aamodts:

My husband loves goats.

My husband loves goats.

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Look at alllll those Honeycrisps!

Look at alllll those Honeycrisps!

Then we walked down to watch the lift bridge lift to let a boat pass through! (Side note: the Ragnar course goes right across this bridge):

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Then, we headed back to the Cities and had dinner at Borough! My former (fabulous) co-workers had gotten me a gift certificate for my birthday. It was a pretty awesome meal and we had great service. Plus, it was a nice night and snagged a table on their patio (I particularly enjoyed my view of the valets parking all of the fancy cars). The hubs ordered an old fashioned and I started with some sangria and then we feasted!

The carpaccio, octopus, pasta and marlin.

The carpaccio, octopus, pasta and marlin.

Saturday morning I ran the Building Strength 5K — a race to benefit South Metro Human Services. The funds supported South Metro’s programs that benefit their clients (people who have mental illnesses or chemical dependencies).

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Andrea and I ran together and with the marathon next weekend I wasn’t going to “race” this. However, we still ended up tying for second females overall! Nice. It made me feel better that even if I would have run my 5K PR time, I still wouldn’t have beat the first place female 🙂 3.06 miles in 28:25.

The rest of the day was pretty lazy. It was rainy outside, so the hubs and I lounged around with bloody marys and watched college football all afternoon.

Sunday I slept in and then went to brunch with some friends at Groundswell — an adorable restaurant/coffee bar in St. Paul. I ordered the biscuit and gravy. Their version of biscuits and gravy was a rosemary bacon gruyere biscuit topped with Southern-style sausage gravy — SO delicious.

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After brunch, I did some desperately needed cleaning/organizing the house, made that apple crisp, made a trip to the grocery store and then went for a 4.18 mile run in 39 minutes. It was about 75 degrees and sunny — just glorious!

The 10-day forecast now includes marathon race day. Today it’s looking like it’s going to be 61 and sunny. Just lovely! Can y’all just keep thinking good thoughts so that it’ll stay that way?

What’s your favorite thing about fall?

Pumpkin pie or apple crisp?

Life lately

Life has been hectic lately. Like forgetting to eat lunch or to wash the conditioner out of your hair, hectic. Like I’ve left multiple voicemails from my car while driving for people starting with “I had to call you right this minute to tell you XYZ or I’m going to forget.” But I feel like things are maybe starting to slow down a little bit. Yesterday I worked the last day at my “current” job and I’m so excited to have today and tomorrow as “me” days and then I start a brand new job on Monday!

For the past two and a half weeks (ever since I put in my notice) I’ve been a roller coaster of emotions about leaving the amazing people I work with, stressing out about getting everything done/leaving things the way I wanted to and dealing with my running injuries and trying to feel ready for this *little* marathon coming up. Yet still being so excited about the new opportunities that lie ahead with the new job!

So with everything going on, a few things have suffered — mainly my marathon prep, my sanity, this blog — and sadly, my husband. (He puts up with a lot.) But writing this now, at 3 p.m., outside in the amazing weather, in my Oiselle Time Out sweatpants — things are looking pretty fantastic and I’m starting to feel like myself again.

EDIT: they are looking even more fantastic because these just showed up!

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So what’s been going on lately that I’ve been feeling too tired and scatterbrained to actually get around to posting about?

Work going away happy hours.

Work going away happy hours.

20 mile runs.

20 mile runs.

Bridal showers.

Bridal showers.

Sushi.

Sushi.

So yeah, a busy life…but a pretty amazing life.

T to the A-P-E-R + GymPact giveaway winner

My packet pick up information just came in the mail — it’s getting real! Officially less than two weeks.

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Thrilled. clearly.

So, it’s about that time again — taper time. I had my last “long” run yesterday and now it’s allllllll downhill from here?

I have a love/hate relationship with the taper. Last year, around this time, I was really struggling mentally with the taper. I was in constant fear that I wasn’t running enough to make it to the start line, prepared. Or then I would start worrying that I was running too much and that I wouldn’t be as rested as I could be for the race. We’ll see how I handle it this year, but I think having one marathon under my belt will help me feel more confident in the training I’ve already banked away and to listen to my injured body to help guide me in what I should be doing.

The next couple of weeks will probably look something like this (a modified training schedule to take my injuries into account):

Week of 9/23: run 10-15 miles

Week of 9/20: run 5-10 miles before the marathon

I have my follow-up appointment with the orthopedic doctor today and two more PT sessions before the marathon. I’m hoping that doing my hip/ankle strengthening exercises will help me not completely fall apart on race day. The next couple of weeks also will mean abstaining from alcohol and trying to eat clean (which will make happy hour this evening somewhat challenging.)

It also won’t be long before I can start stalking the 10-day forecast for race day. I already know I’ll be rocking my Oiselle singlet and either my Stride shorts or Rogas. And probably starting off with arm warmers.

race morning 2012.

race morning 2012.

How do you approach the taper?

Congrats to Alexa who won the GymPact giveaway!

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Please email me at hyedi.nelson [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!