Saturday, April 23, 2011

How Much Wood...

would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

This is a tongue-twister, but it's also a question. Does anyone have the answer?

5 more weeks to figure it out...

Monday, April 18, 2011

From Wenatchee To Boston

I got a PR by 4 minutes in the half distance this weekend, but for some reason, I was not totally happy about it. The race was in beautiful Wenatchee, my first US home, on a very familiar course - I have run part of it in my earlier US runs. After driving around Wenatchee, Apple Capital of the World, and around memory lane, hubby and I had a nice dinner, and retire early to our hotel.

At the onset of the race we had a sunny day in the high 40's, with no wind. Perfect. Chuck told me to run 9ish, and I expected to do so: to run this Half as a test race, and see where could I go and for how long. First mile was at 9:11, and increased to 9:30s from mile 1 to 4. At mile 5 got a climb to a viaduct that cost me the pace for a couple of miles. Then got the pace down and ran good after the turn around, but at mile 11 I started to get tired. My legs and cardio didn't feel bad, but I was running out of gas. However, I wasn't spent. I compared this "out of gas" with the same I had in AZ marathon after having run half of the race, to get a second wind and a good recovery at mile 17 that led me to a strong finish.

On Sunday I rested the whole day while my head asked a million questions about the results. I am not sure I learned something. I don't think the 9ish is out of question nor that I went too fast at the beginning, nor that I was really spent, but I didn't find any answer. I'll talk with Chuck and ask for advice.

Today, Patriot's Day, I ran with US and world elite men and women, as I have done in the past. Bought Boston Marathon live coverage and set up my laptop in front of my treadmill. I ran with them side by side... half of the distance, though. A very interesting race, with a heart attach finish for the women field. Desiree Davila: Hats off, what a race!!!

First than anything, congrats to my good friend Petra, from the UK, who finished her Boston Marathon in 3:47. She qualified to run it in 2010, but a volcano was in her way. Her entry was deferred to 2011 and, with a dormant volcano, she crossed the pond safely.

Congrats also to all Chuckit Runners that ran special congrats to Jason (The Intimidator, intimidator in a good way) who achieved his goal, an awesome sub-3 - 2:54.

A definitely excited weekend, all the way From Wenatchee to Boston.

Ready to run Boston with US and World elite field !!!

Running Boston.... virtually!!!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Seahawks Race Without The Seahawks

Latest races and 2-mile trials are pointing out the prediction of a very nice time for my 6th marathon, 5th state: Idaho... And I am still 7 weeks away...

Training is going fantastic, no complains, no injuries, no tiredness. To the contrary, every day I feel better and better, and faster!

This week's plan called for an 11-miler, with 8 miles at marathon race pace, which as I mentioned in a previous post, was calculated at 10:06 min/mile. There was a 12K race in town (7.5 miles) which would be perfect to simulate race pace. 

Plan was to run 3.5 miles prior to the race at a leisure pace, and then run the race to total my 11 miles. But I knew I could do better than 10:06. Last year, I ran this very same race at 9:54, but I wasn't sure if the 3.5 miles prior to the race would slow me down. Happily, they didn't.

I ran at a good effort, with an average HR of 169. The last miles (4-7) were tougher as we had headwinds. HR was above 172. The last burst  - 0.5 miles - was at 184. I happily clocked 1:10:48 for a 9:29 min/mile and 7/32 in my division. My PR for this distance is a 1998 PR of 1:07. I have never planned to beat a 13 year- old PR but ... it seems possible, doesn't it?

One of the highlights of this race is that is a Seahawks race. We run through the Seahawks training camp by Lake Washington and Seahawks players hand us the water. But this year, the NFL lockout guaranteed a Seahawks Race Without The Seahawks.

Congratulations to my friend Chris who completed today the 100 days challenge (running 100 days in a row)

W/Marie Spengler. We are in the same team for Ragnar Relay Jul 2011

W/Benny Benefiel another constant face in Western WA races

Sunday, April 3, 2011


20-miler was the plan for the weekend and there was no long-distance race in the horizon. Well, only one. the Yakima River Canyon Marathon.

As the name describes it, it's in the Yakima River Canyon, where the road starts north and ends south with no exits in between. I love that road and I have floated that portion of the river several times. Good friend Susan was running it, so my first option for the 20-miler was registering to run part of the marathon, however, it was logistically complicated. The road would be close, so nobody could drop me at mile 6, and I don't think it would have been OK to start the race there, it looked like cheating. I could run up to mile 20, but then I'd get stuck. I would have to: wait for the course to open to get a ride to the finish line; to continue the 6.2 miles left, burning my legs; or to jump after Roza Dam to flow down the river and arrive dead due to hypothermia.

After this "deep" evaluation this plan didn't look good.

Second option was to run with somebody from my training group. The third and last option was to run my 20-miler miserably  (emphasis added by the author) alone.

After coach's intervention, I went for option 2.  He told me I could run with Adina and Glyn (sp?). I didn't know what the protocol would be for such a long run with people I don't know. What about if I want to take a walk break? What about if they go too fast? What about if I can't keep up? A bunch of silly what if... But I committed to do it.

There I went on Sat 7:30 am, to find a club full of people ready to roll. I was very impressed by the turnout. I calculate we were about 50 people, give or take. All paces, all abilities, all distances to run, from 4 miles to 20.

There was no on your marks, get set, go, but a "get the hell out of here before it rains".  Do we know where we're going? Glyn "only" had to run 14 miles, as he is tapering for Boston, but he would guide us when we had to split.

I learned about Glyn, a Boston veteran who is running his 8th Boston; I learned about his health, and how his spirit should be the spirit of many; I learned about Adina, and her 19-months old baby daughter; about how she has improved so much in her running; about this being the longest that she's ever run; about how she felt spent, while she looked physically strong to me.

I learned that long runs are still long even if we run with others, but that company makes those runs smoother, and less demanding. If any of us wanted to take a walk break, we did. If any of us wanted to go slower, we did. If any of us wanted to push the pace, we did. If any of us wanted to stop for a restroom, we did.

I learned we could run free. Wow. Revelation.

PS: Congrats to my friend Susan who smashed her Marathon PR (about 30 min) at Yakima Canyon for a 4:34:50