Sunday, March 28, 2010

The State Of Being Certain

Marathon Plan - Regressive Countdown - Week Six
03/22/10 - 03/28/10 - Week Total: 24.6 miles

When you follow good advices you reap the benefits. Week Seven I was off... Totally off with the exception of a Pikermi (former Half Marathon) I had registered since December. It was a good run in a tough course. I had battled the fatigue I had.

Half hour after that race I got a terrible cramp in my left leg and
Week Six didn't start good. On Monday my leg hurt badly. I was desperate thinking I could not afford more resting. Did some investigation and found that arnica is good to increase blood flow. My mother in law is a blind believer of arnica and she uses it on a regularly basis for everything. Drove 30 min to the closest natural products' store and got the arnica in gel and pills. What the heck, it would not hurt. On Tuesday I was afraid of running, and took another day off. I had battled the cramp.

Tuesday night I got up with the start of a cold. Like a drug-addict, reached my Zicam and started taking it, same with Thera-flu.
Another battle, now against the cold.

On Wed with no pain in my leg and with the cold on the leash, I went for a 6-mile run in a 69F sunny afternoon. It was an amazing run. I did intervals of 200 m (not because I needed them) but I could not run faster for longer because I had some respiratory difficulties due to the cold (cold and asthma don't make a good combo).

The week was going to be short of mileage. I didn't run on Thu or Fri because the cold, and focused on another registered race of 30K. Yes, my second-to-last long run before the marathon. The race was Birch Bay International Road Race, in Birch Bay and Blaine, WA (border with Canada), sponsored by American and Canadian companies.

My husband and I rented a cabin to combine the race with a nice getaway by the beach. We got there earlier Fri afternoon, settled in the cabin (wasn't too nice after all), and went to drive along the beach and the race course. Pretty much a flat course, with a beautiful scenery: the strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the mainland Pacific Coast of British Columbia, Canada.

The cabin was located half a mile from the start/finish area, and happened to be the 5K mark and the 29K mark. Good plans for husband to see me going all cheerful with 25K ahead of me and coming all tired with 1K to go. I gave him the best scenario times when I would be running by.

Being a small town there were no hassles to pick up the packet or to park or to anything. I was sharp at opening time - 6:30 on Sat - to pick my bib number and time chip. Went back to the cabin. Had a cup of coffee, a yogurt, and a banana. Guess what was the best part? I had the cabin's bathroom all to myself. At 8:10 we left the cabin and went to the start area (race time 8:30 am). I was happy that my hubby was there with me but really nervous because the lack of mileage on my legs, the cold, and the previous cramp.

Temp 49F, overcast, no wind. Wave one - 6 to 8 min/mile - left. I was in wave two. 10 seconds, kisses to hubby, three, two, one, go.

Everything the race site said about the run, was true: "A spectacular run along the shores of scenic Birch Bay and country roads for serious and recreational runners alike. Inspiring vistas, rural roads in the early morning. A scenic 5 K and 15K along the Bay. The 15K and 30K add rolling rural roads and million dollar views. Measured course, great "A" race class event at international distances. A classic road race in every sense of the word".

Being a metric course changed somehow my perception of the distances. I didn't know if to focus in every K, or in every water station (every 3K). My first focus, for sure, was going to be the 5K mark when I would see my hubby. He was at the beach and came to me, took a picture, kissed me goodbye and took my jacket and gloves as I was already hot. Strategy after that was to stop for water at every station and power walk at 12:30 min/mile to the count of 100 steps.

We left the shore at Km 6, ran through quiet country roads, then had again the Semiahmoo Bay for our eyes to enjoy, went back again inside the country and turned around at Km 17.

At Km 20 I started to ask for an additional cup of water to pour on my face. It was mid 50's and partly sunny. After ten years in Washington State, this tropical girl is so acclimated that mid 50's is hot for her.

I ran good all the way at a steady pace. I felt so good and strong. At no moment I felt tired, or desperate or anything. The only discomfort I had was about Km 25 when the left lower back started to bother me, but it was just a 5K race now, and I was looking forward Km 29 and hubby's face.

And there he was. Waiting for me with a strawberry/banana juice. How sweet that was. I kissed him and continued. It was a one K race now.

Left the beach behind me to face a 0.1 mile tough hill before the finish line. I finished so strong and guess who was there at the finish line. Hubby. I got my medal and hugged him and cried (A LOT).

30K (18.6 miles) is not an easy distance. But after a fatigue diagnosis and the proper rest, I overcame the major hurdles I've had this training season. I still have a 20 miler in 2 weeks, but I know I am ready for Eugene.

I definitely went from
staleness, to independence, to The State Of Being Certain.

Time: 3:31:01 - Pace 11:20 min/mile
Mile 1: 10:17
Mile 2: 10:36
Mile 3: 10:41
Mile 4: 11:03
Mile 5: 11:12
Mile 6: 11:17
Mile 7: 11:01
Mile 8: 11:36
Mile 9: 11:18
Mile 10: 11:40
Mile 11: 11:23
Mile 12: 11:33
Mile 13: 10:55
Mile 14: 11:23
Mile 15: 11:24
Mile 16: 11:49
Mile 17: 11:31
Mile 18: 11:53
Mile 18.6: 8:21


ShirleyPerly said...


I'm so happy you have gotten over the overtraining "hump" you had a couple weeks back. You really ran this 30K race well and look to be right back on track for a great marathon in Eugene. Congrats, Lizzie!!

Marathon Maritza said...

You have been running some BEAUTIFUL races lately!! Congratulations on the 30K...looking good for the marathon, chica!

Petraruns said...

That is a GORGEOUS race and the smile on your face is even more so - way to go conquering those demons. Nice pace as well - you're really on track now my dearest. Keep smiling - you're doing great!