Well, where do I start? Maybe with a few observations I’ve made over the last few days and an explanation of the pictures at the top of this post.
I want you all to know, I do wear NORMAL CLOTHES and can look NORMAL when out of running gear. I need a new avatar picture for Twitter, as well as a decent picture to put on research guides we do at work, so I had him take some last night.
Bill took a ridiculous number of photos of me this morning, wherein I’m stuffing my new shorts with stuff, so much so that you’d wonder how I could walk, let alone run. (sigh) And, looking at many of them, I see they have the uniboob bra look going on. (Ladies, no further explanation needed, right?) I found out yesterday when shopping for a new one, that I have been wearing them too small. Let’s hope the new one doesn’t chaff my skin all to hell.
Pre-Race Carbo Loading:
You know you eat too much Thai food when the local Thai restaurant knows your voice and order over the phone, and when you walk in, they ask you how your running is going. They missed me last year when I didn’t do any distances over the 15K mark. For the record, the meal of choice that works for me for long runs is Country Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp, and an order of Steamed Shu-Mei.
A Favor to Ask of Women Everywhere Who Run:
Please, please, please , for the love of all that is good and holy, make sure at least your pants and/or shorts/running skirts fit properly, or at the very least, are not too small, even if they don’t fit you correctly otherwise. Example – before the race, I’m on the ground, stretching, and Bill says to me, “Terri, look up and straight in front of you.” Thanks to Bill for that image – it was the butt crack of a rather large woman sitting down on the bench in front of me. (I don’t want to sound snarky that she was overweight, just that I wish her capri tights had fit better.) He still felt the need to giggle like a school girl. Yes, folks, my husband is 3 years old. That’s right, I married a 3 year old. (Ladies, am I the only one with this problem? Somehow, I think not.)
However, I did see another woman running toward the beginning of the race, who I think was all in powder blue. Her running skirt – well, she either had matching blue underwear, or it was the compression shorts doing something they never should do. Long story short, she had the biggest wedge I’ve ever seen, and I saw way too much of her butt cheeks. My thought “wow, I didn’t need to see that, and also, it’s only the first mile, that CANNOT be comfortable.” Yet another reason I don’t think I’ll ever wear a running skirt, I cannot imagine pulling that crap down every few seconds for miles to go.
By the way, folks, you are all VERY WELCOME for that image. I had to live with it, now you can too.
Best Distances for Me:
I am a much better runner at distances up to about 10K. Really, the 5 mile race seems to be where my strength lies. I’ve even broken what I consider the elusive 8 minute barrier for some of my miles run in the 3Mile and 5K range, and over the past year, I’ve been happy to place sometimes in the top 25% or top 1/3 of folks in my division or overall. That rapidly slides downward when I try to go further.
I should have taken the 5Mile option for today, but today was good for my first attempt at the distance since November 2008, when it was much cooler and I ran a half in something around 2:17. I need to keep in mind, today was really more of a training run for me, and it was hot out (well, very sunny, and 68ish to start). My asthma didn’t start to affect me until about mile 11 or so, when I was definitely finding it more difficult to catch my breath.
Twitter and iPhone Apps and How They Can Help:
So, if any of you followed me on Twitter today, you already have an idea of how I did. I used the I Map My Walk app on my iphone, which enables gps and also connects to your Twitter account. The gps is definitely a bit off as I have found over a few trials, and then today, when it said I ran 13.68 and my Garmin said 13.24. But part of the race was in downtown Boston and anyone who’s run or driven in a bigger city knows how the building can mess with the GPS, even the one in your car. So while my official time was much slower than I wanted, at 2:15.24. My Garmin had me at 2:14 and some change, with 13.14 for distance, and I was like “damn, I’m not at the finish line yet!? Go away, blasted sun!” Also, the minutes per mile do seem a bit slower than reality – I noticed that the other day when I tried it out on a 3 mile run – 9:35 on the phone which was actually 9 flat, 9:08 when actually 9 flat (it takes it a bit to warm up, I think.)
However, I will say this about that app – if someone is your “friend” on the app, they can do real-time tracking and see where you are on the route. This is great if you have folks trying to meet up with you in places – they know exactly where you are. If you are running a full or half marathon, I’d suggest paying the $1.99 if you have the iphone. For the spectator, it’s worth it. Plus, the iphone GPS worked through the material of my camelbak.
- Division: F 30-39; 599/968
- Overall: 3468/4950
- Fastest mile on my Garmin: 8:53 (yep, mile 2, too early)
- Slowest mile: let’s not talk about it
It was really well supported with cops/state troopers (this is a race to honor law enforcement who have been killed in action, so of course, they were there in large attendance) blocking off all of the roads. It started near the Seaport World Trade Center, so there were good sea breezes down there. It takes you through downtown Boston, past City Hall, and some other notable areas, before shooting you over the Longfellow Bridge onto the Cambridge side of the river. (You know, the city with a few world-class academic institutions.)
Running on Memorial Drive is usually pretty cool to do, especially since this part of the course is an out-and-back and you can see the leaders coming toward you at one point. You can see the skyline of Boston. It’s also pretty flat. Unfortunately for me today, it was flat and BORING. Really, I think that was part of what did me in. It just kept going on and on and on. We turned around near the university that encases a lot of its buildings in brick, and around mile 8, I saw Bill. He’d seen me earlier but I had not seen him (somewhere around mile 4, I think? When I was still running well, somewhere in the 36-37 minute range.) With all the traffic, he was lucky to get back to the finish right before I did, which tells you something, because around the time I saw him, I told him I felt like I had nothing left in the tank.
The good news (for me anyway) were no stomach issues on today’s run. I stuck with NUUN in my camelbak and Powerbar Gel Double Espresso 2x Sodium and Endurolytes. (So glad I can still use those, they are like miracle pills.) However, I wonder if I do need to go with more carbs in my drink, guess I can try Gatorade again over the next few weeks.
I tried to go with the advice that one of you had given me to repeat “never quit, never die” in my mind, but it wasn’t working as well as I had hoped. I think I need to get back some mental toughness and focus when the distances goes longer than 10K. (My first 10K was at 58/59 minutes though, which is encouraging for me come this fall when I run the Tufts 10K, which is a course I know well, and a major part of it is on, go figure…Memorial Drive!)
So, while I am disappointed in my overall time, and a bit worried about my coach’s reaction when I tell him (because he thinks I can do 1:52, for which I think he’s on crack), I need to remember, it’s still better than 18 months ago. This was my first run at this distance in 18 months – I’m still building endurance. And, there’s always room for improvement. The legs are there (luckily no pain today, even at the end), the heart is there, the lungs are (usually) there, it’s just the brain I need to work on. When all work in conjunction with each other, as we all know, it’s a beautiful thing.
Happy Memorial Day, everybody!