Monday, February 28, 2011

Back in action.

I was just looking at the February stats and despite my positive outlook in my blog last week, I was a bit shocked to see only 117 miles in there in February.  Gulp.  But there was no way round it - I had to take time off when I felt my knee injury happen.  The good news is that I'm back on the road, however.  I started the week with a cautious 3 miler and then progressed to an 8 miler, a 10 miler and a 20 miler.  41 miles as a cautious step back - I'll take it.  My knee held up during the 20 miler yesterday and seems to well on the road to recovery. 

7 weeks out from Boston, I'm beginning to try to line up the have to's for the race:
  • I need to set myself some goals.  I have never done this before - I have had goals, secret goals, but have tended to keep them to myself as I was afraid that saying them out loud might make me look ridiculous if I failed to achieve them.  I have been reading your blogs and so many of you believe in the power of putting your goals out there and positive visualisation that I'm going to do this.  Any tips / tricks / suggested reading material? 
  • Fuel.  I have struggled with fuel in my most recent marathons, almost always being too nauseous to eat by mile 15 which has not helped the last tough miles.  My past 2 marathons were very warm and it appears Boston could be, well, any kind of weather.  This training cycle I have found myself avoiding sports drinks completely.  The thought of them right now makes me feel sick.  I have had chocolate outrage GUs every 5 miles for a long run and drunk water - it seems to be okay - but I have not practised eating while running at race pace.  I think running faster definitely affects my stomach so again - tips / tricks?  I find myself craving real food during races - peanut butter sandwiches in particular.  Has anyone practised with real food?  I have also, in the past, made "real" sports drinks - half orange juice, half water and some salt.  What are your views on that as opposed to Gatorade?  Am I missing much in terms of electrolytes etc? 
  • Race gear.  Given that the weather in Boston could be anything and that I will be doing most of my taper in sunny Florida in the 10 days leading up to Boston I'll be bringing shorts and short sleeves and one set of warmer things.  Coach Zippy's advice in a blogpost some time ago, that you should always feel cold at the beginning of a race, has stuck with me.  I have certainly been guilty of overdressing in the past and overheat very quickly, so might well just put some throwaway warm stuff on and have gloves and arm warmers to deal with the rest.  
Look at that!  Just like her mother - another happy runner!
What else people?  What should I be thinking about?  Given my recent injury AND the fact that my 10 year old is running in a national cross country championship on Sunday (I know!  It's a new passion for her and I am SO proud!) I am skipping next Sunday's half marathon and instead doing a 20 mile race the week after - Coach and I will be working out exactly how I'm going to use that race as a gauge of where I'm at and how to run it.  It will be interesting - it's a hilly course so that will be a good test for me.

I imagine that the next 4/5 weeks will be some really heavy-duty training but my unexpected 9 days off has given me real fire for March - bring it on Coach because I am READY to run. 


Running and living said...

Glad your knee is better!
A few answers:
1> Have you tried electrolyte pills? I like Endurolyte and E 21 (I am on their team, you can get 20% discount using the code on my blog).

2. I train with all kind of GU flavor but race only with Vanilla or plain. More recently I started racing with Pineaple Roctane. If you have stomach issues, I think plain Gu is the best. I would not do real food bc: 1) your body is too busy working hard to be able to digest food and 2) you need easily accessible simple sugars. Ultra runners go slow relative to their ability, so they can eat regular food, but when you push yourself, that asks for trouble.

3. Dressing - Boston can be funny. In 2009 it started warm and got cold toward the end. Check the forecast before the race:)
Good luck!

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

so glad the knee is feeling better. I think we have the same mentality. I also get sick around mile 16. The plain GU works, then I chew a spearmint gum afterwards to ease the tummy. Its been GUUD! hehe.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

You still have time with your training so don't worry about the Feb. mileage. If possible, "for you", go to Boston and enjoy the day. Run well, but don't overly stress about time. IMO - it's a TOUGH course, not a PR course for me. (my Boston time was 19 minutes slower than my BQ time and I'm totally fine with that)

Working on the mental aspects of racing has helped me tremendously. I recommend reading Running Within by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott.

I wouldn't want to "chew" anything in a race - too much energy required for me. I use the gels because I can get them down quickly. My stomach is tough.

I always wear throw away clothes over my racing clothes, throw away gloves too. I take them off just before the race. I keep the gloves until I start to warm up and no longer need them. If it's super cold, I will keep an extra shirt on, start the race with it, and then take it off later and throw it to the side. I totally agree, I want to be COLD at the start of the race and will be comfortable later when the miles are adding up. If it's super cold, I will wear 2 pair of gloves, warm up a little during the race, and throw 1 pr, and then throw the other pair away as needed.

Good Luck! Boston - mostly enjoy the experience and the moment. YOU DID IT!

Fran said...

Settting monthly goals helps me to go for that run on days I don't really feel like running. And I love to keep stats and lists of my running so I like setting goals too.

About the fuel I really can't help you. I took my first gel ever two weeks ago and I'm playing with gels/bars/food/sports drinks to see what works best for me.

Weren't you Dutch or have Dutch roots? Do you know "ontbijtkoek"? I recently got this tip from someone to bring that on a run. Haven't tried it myself yet.

Runner Susan said...

You should be so proud, look at those little legs go!

Jill said...

YAYYYYYY!!!! So good to hear the excitment in your words - you ARE ready to roll and no doubt Amanda and you will get every single detail worked out.

That's awesome about your daughtr - I know I secretly get all tingly when Ryan talks about running track at school opposed to Brendan who talks about marching band (blek!).

And no more comments on the number of my comments....Emz and SUAR have WAY more many than I do and are always there commenting. :)
(giving a hard time).

Boston's getting close...still one of the saddest reasons I'm not doing Boston is to not meet you since we planned so much last year. But there'll hopefully be others.

Now get out there and go RUN!! :)


lizzie lee said...

Dean Karnazes eats pizza. Yes, he has the pizza delivered to the middle of the road... Ok, that's a little bit too much...

For 4 years I have been OK with GU only (every 4 miles, espresso love - double coffee) but lately I am getting hungry, like wanting to eat solids. If bananas are offered I eat a whole one little by little. I keep it in my hand, and chomp now and then....but they are not available in most of the races.

For race day, get throw away gear. Nothing more practical than that. It was very cold in NY and I had a super thick sweater - fleece, and a double layer pants (sweat pants and water proof). It was PERFECT. Never got cold myself. And one minute before the race I removed it all. Ideal. For the race itself, it depends on you. My arms and hands are always cold, so I normally run with arm warmers and gloves. Have tons of glove so I can throw them away if hands get hot.

What else, what else? Well, enjoy the race Dear Petra. Do what you want to do in that race. If you wanna race it and get the best runner there is in you, please, do. If you want to enjoy, and flavor each mile with all its paraphernalia around it, please, do. Go with your heart.

Much love across the Atlantic

Aka Alice said...

I'm with the Gu Roctain peeps (I like the Orange) or plain Gu. I do know that if I have too many, I also end up with tummy trouble, but I don't have much marathon experience, so don't listen to me about that.

I didn't say my goals publicly for a long time, and only started to recently. I figure, my blog...I can do what I want, right?