Friday, March 23, 2007


I'm getting really excited about Boston. I really can't wait. I feel great, and scary numbers not withstanding, I think it's going to be an incredible time! I am determined to make it fun no matter what. If I went out too hard and my legs are shredded at 20, I'm having fun shuffling to the end! If my goal pace was too conservative and I come off the hills fresh, I'm having fun (and flying down to the finish!). I still have some anxieties: what if it's 90 degrees?! what if I get trampled by all those people at the start?! what if I'm not nearly as in shape as I think I am?! what if I pee my pants?! what if the hills are really steep and ouchy?! what if I eat something that makes me have to take a pit stop (or worse many pit stops) and then I have to wait to udse the portapotty?! what if I wuss out and dnf?! But these fears are either about things I really can't do anything about, or things very unlikely to happen (yes--peeing my pants is one of these things!), or things I have faced before in races or training that I have dealt with just fine in the past. Now's the time I need to reflect on my training and my experiences and get confident that I am tough and ready to run the Boston Marathon! Sure there will be moments of pain or doubts but they will pass quickly and be replaced with giddiness and confidence. I love racing--this is why I put in the hours doing long runs on -20 degree windchill days and suck it up and push through to finish crappy tempo runs in horrible wind and pick up the pace in the last two miles of a tune-up race while festering in phlegm. As mrp would say, I've done the work now's the time to reap the rewards!

In other news, last night I was supposed to do 10 miles with 6 reps of a .5ish mile hill. However, mrp and I got lost in conversation and didn't hit the road until after 7! I decided I only had time for 5 reps and this was fine since Boston has 4 biggish hills--so one rep for each of those and one extra for good measure! So, I had to modify things to get the workout in before dark. I ran a faster warm-up than usual--I'm guessing 8:00 pace--but instead of 2 miles I made it 1.75. When I was almost to the bottom I saw something on the trail and it turned out to be a snail with little attenae and a shell! I made sure not to step on it on any of my reps, don't worry!

Anyway, as soon as I reached the bottom I turned around and started the workout gunning up the hill. The goal for this workout, according to mrp, was to "suck wind." So, as I ran I kept evaluating whether I was sucking wind. I didn't really feel any wind sucking until the last 30 seconds or so of the first rep. I finished in 3:00 on the nose. I turned around immediately and ran comfortably, but faster than recovery effort, back down the hill. When I got to the bottom I immediately turned around and darted back up the hill. A storm was threatening and gusty wind kicked up. I felt like I pushed this one a little harder, but again, no wind was sucked until the top of the hill. This rep was 3:01. Again, I headed right back down the hill and again headed right back up it after I got down. This time I was determined to suck more wind! I pushed and pushed and definitely felt a little more wind sucking but it was all at the end again. I couldn't get any wind-sucking going on until the last seconds. This one was 2:57. During the 4th rep I felt a bit fatigued so I guess the lack of wind-sucking did not mean I wasn't running hard enough. The fourth hill was 3:01. On my way back down the hill after 4 it was really dusky and I looked up and saw a bat chasing a bug! "Hey there Mr. Bat, get that icky bug!" I thought. And then I heard a little rustling and I looked to my left and there were three squirrels chasing each other--one gray, one red, and one black! Awww, harmony in squirrel land! By number 5 I was tired but pushed and pushed, thinking about the last few miles of Boston, and came in at 2:58.

After the last one it took me a minute to catch my breath. Once caught, I ran another 1.75 miles and I tried to keep the pace up a bit more than my usual cool down just to make the run more workouty. In the end I did 5 .5ish mile hill reps and 8 miles total. I ran today at lunch and didn't feel like I ran hard at all yesterday. That means either I didn't run hard enough yesterday or I'm in good shape for Boston!


Joe said...

Thanks for the shin-splints tips! BTW, do you really like database administrators? It says so in your profile.

I'm a database designer and database developer. :-)

The Salty One said...

Mrp is a database adminstrator so that's why I say that. Before I met mrp I didn't even understand what a database was!

Joe said...

Wow! Great run and an even greater description of it. When I read it, I felt like I was there. Good luck in Boston!

Joe said...

Jeez, Salty One. I've just been perusing some of your blog posts and I'm realizing that you're one fast woman! You must be one of the fastest women in...err...Aruba? Wow, what the heck are you doing down there? I don't think I've ever met a blogger from Aruba.