Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Detroit Marathon Results

I did it. I finished out my year of racing just the way I had hoped to and celebrated my birthday the way most marathon runners would want to.

I wanted to push hard and keep up my streak of Boston Qualifying marathons. If you read my previous post, you'd see my goal was 3:35 on my 35th birthday. That would give me a 5 minute padding to my BQ time of 3:40 for Boston 2015 (I'm already registered for 2014). I definitely did just that and then some.

Let's start at the beginning though.

Friday evening a small group of us headed downtown to the expo to pick up my race packet, poke around for a bit and go out to dinner.  My friends Jeff & Kristin have a baby 6 months younger than my daughter and they are both named Anna!  Of course we had to get a picture of them with the countdown clock.

Future BFF's and marathon runners (my Anna is on the left)

me, Jeff and my dad

Packet pick it up quick, as usual. And the expo was like trick or treating for adults. I left with all kinds of free sample sized Lara bars, granola, pop corn, etc... I picked up a container of PB2. I never tried this stuff and figured it was worth the $5. I also purchased a hooded sweatshirt from the official marathon gear area.

After the expo, we all headed over to the Eastern Market district for Thai and Sushi.  I've never been to the restaurant Jeff chose, Sala Thai but it was very good!  It was so nice to get the expo out of the way on Friday so that I had my Saturday free since Sunday was the marathon.  I spent Saturday visiting my niece and then carb loading on pizza with my dad, step mom and my son & daughter.  We had a slumber party back at my house since it would make Sunday's logistic easier on everyone.  I laid out my race day outfit and hit the sack by 9:30pm. 


Sunday morning we were up by 4:15am and to Jeff's house by 5:15am.  We made it downtown and in a structure within a half hour.  We parked next to the Compuware building in Campus Martius.  The Compuware building is open the morning of the marathon so you have a place to hang out, use indoor rest rooms, meet up with other runners, etc... So nice!   We took a quick group photo and headed to the start line at 6:30am for a 7am start.

missing from the photo is my dad, he was in the restroom doing his "thing".  LOL!
We started right on time.  I felt good, even though we were off to a quicker pace than we had planned.  When I am feeling good, I like to just go for it.  Why hold back?  One of my favorite parts of the marathon comes within the first few miles.  We cross over the Ambassador bridge into Canada.  Depending on the weather and when you reach the bridge, you can see a really pretty sunrise.  We ran along the Detroit river in Windsor and enter the tunnel at mile 7 to head back into the US.  This is another favorite part of the course.  You hear people chanting "USA, USA", its a nice downhill into the tunnel and you are running 1 mile under water!  it does get pretty warm in there though.  I had my gloves off and sleeves up by the time we made it out.  The course then takes you back into Detroit, through Mexican Town, Corktown and back towards downtown where the half and full split.  Miles 13-18 are the most boring to me.  I do like the MLK High School band and I enjoy looking at the unique homes in the Indian Village portion (miles 16-18).  It was a breezy day and I really felt that head wind from mile 18-26.2.  I knew I had a great pace so I made sure to focus and keep pushing.  My left hamstring was a bit painful, but I was able to not let it get to me.  I felt strong mentally!  I made the turn on to Fort Street, heard "Go Stephanie, Happy Birthday baby, you got this" and saw my friend Susie who just ran a 3:37 in Chicago the week before.  I smiled, waved and crossed the finish line in 3:29:50!  I beat my goal by 5:10 and BQ-ed by 10:10!  Happy Birthday to me!!  My dad crossed just behind me in 3:30:35.  He also BQ-ed by 19:25!!!  
I managed to meet my goal and stay strong however, once I finished the pain set in. Oh the pain...  My legs were cramping up pretty badly.  I sat down, had my dad rub my legs out and then rub his out.  We collected our post-race food, took a quick finishers photo and headed straight to the car!  I was cold.  I  just wanted a hot shower and warm sweats.  
Detroit ended up being a great way to celebrate my 35th birthday.  I aged up this year too.  I am now in the 35-39 age group.  Time to go scope out my competition.... lol
Official Results:
Time: 3:29:50
Pace: 8:00
Age Group Place: 6th/318
Gender Place: 40th/1,898
Overall Place: 304th/4,291
Oh and just because, I had to share with you my birthday cake.  We get this every year for my husbands birthday, my son's birthday and my birthday.  It's a 5lb double layer frosted chocolate chip cookie cake.  Yes, that is Dora the Explorer.  :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Detroit Free Press Marathon is THIS Sunday!

Sunday, October 20th, is the 36th annual Detroit Marathon.  This will be my 5th marathon this year (6th if we count my 50K, which I usually do).  I signed up for the marathon almost immediately when registration opened.  You can beat the early registration fee! I think I paid $65?  That is really inexpensive compared to most marathon fees.  And, since the event is held on my actual birthday, what better way to spend my 35th birthday than to run a marathon! 

Over the last couple weeks, I was starting to have my doubts on how well I will be able to perform bit now I am super pumped about this race.  The last time I stepped foot on this course was October 16th, 2011.  I ran my 2nd slowest marathon (3:45:30) but it didn't matter.  I had SO much fun that day!  I had carried my camera, took tons of photos along the course, didn't feel bad at any point in the race and, little did I know, I was 7 weeks pregnant!!

Running in the Ontario part of the course

Rick, myself and Jeff - my running friends I ran with that day

Me, my mom and my stepdad
My goal is to run a 3:35:00 or better.  Every road marathon I have run since having my daughter Anna back in June 1012 has been a BQ time.  I want to keep my streak alive and finish out this year with another BQ.  My marathon times have been the following; Grand Rapids Marathon in October 2012 was a 3:39:02, Boston Marathon in April was a 3:29:46, Pittsburgh Marathon was a 3:33:16 and Ann Arbor Marathon was a 3:30:26.  I know I can pull off a 3:35:00, if my legs feel good.  I've put a lot of miles on my legs over the summer with various races including a trail marathon & 50K, running 220+ miles in July, etc...  So hopefully I don't show up Sunday with dead, heavy legs.  If so, I will have my dad there to pull me along like he does best. 
I've been trying to make sure I get a little bit more sleep than I usually do, as well have increased my carb intake.  I will be resting my legs Friday and Saturday so that they are fresh on Sunday.  The weather is seeming to cooperate too.  I've done the work, now to push hard and hope for the best. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Heroes on Hines half marathon results

Saturday was the Heroes on Hines half marathon and 5K race.  The proceeds were to benefit a memorial for fallen first responders.  I decided to make this race Anna's first race in the jogging stroller which my dad and I were going to run together.  Since I knew I'd be taking it easy, I didn't eat right the night before or morning of the race.  Well, mother nature wanted Anna to sit this one out.  It was raining, humid and just not the ideal conditions for a 16 month old to be pushed in the half marathon.  So, I opted to sit her out.  This meant I would now have to run hard. 

We made it to the start line with only a couple minutes to spare.  Which was just long enough to meet a local blogger that I follow named Michelle.   We said hello, wished each other good luck and then we were off.   From the start, my dad pulled away.  I'd say by mile 3, there was no chance I'd be able to run with him.  He was cruising!  It was also at that time I was told I was 2nd female overall.  Not what I needed to hear.  That messed with my mind along with the side stitches, stomach issues and the fact I felt completely zapped of energy.  My friend, Dave, kept trying to encourage me but nothing seemed to work.  It wasn't that it physically hurt, because my legs felt OK, but I just couldn't get into a groove.   I felt like I had zero energy and hills were really taking a toll on me.  I forgot how hilly this end of Hines Drive was.   At mile 8.5 I was 3rd female overall, by mile 9 I was 4th female overall and when I crossed the finish line I finished 6th female overall and 2nd in my age group.  Clearly not my day.  Not only did I get progressively slower with each step, but I ran a disappointing time of 1:42:18.  I know that may not be all that slow of a half marathon, but it's not what I am used to seeing.  I am used to seeing 1:40 or faster.  At least over the past couple years.   I am really trying to not let this get to me, but I have a marathon in 13 days and I am stressing over the fact that this could happen then too!  All my races this year have just come so easily.  I've put up some great times and I do not want to crash and burn on the 20th.  I hope I was able to get out all of the crappy race stuff done and over with this past weekend so that my marathon is as successful as the others I have ran this year. 

Official Results:
Finish Time: 1:42:18
Pace: 7:48
Age Group Place: 2nd/51
Gender Place: 6th/292
Overall Place: 30th/595

My shirt, medal and age group award (water bottle)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Speed work, prepping for marathon #13

October 20th marks the day of my 13th marathon (well, 10th 26.2 if I do not count the 50K's but I have been lumping marathons & ultras in one category).  I've been running some high mileage weeks with lots of tempo runs but have not been doing any speed work.  at all. 

I recruited my friend Dave to do some speed work since I am horrible at pacing on the road or track.  I usually do speed work on the treadmill since I can set the paces and just change with a touch to the screen as needed.  So,Tuesday morning a few running friends and I hit the road to run some Yasso 800's.   My goal for the Detroit marathon is to run a 3:35 or faster.  I know I can do it.  All my road marathons this year have been 3:33 or faster.  There is one thing that has me worried and that is how fatigued my legs will be come race day.  I have run some high miles this year.  Will my legs still be 3:35 quality?  I probably should have focused on speed much sooner too. but hey, I haven't been one to really do things the right way when it comes to my training this year.  So better late than never???

Anyway, we were shooting for at least 4 - 5 800's.  I needed to run each 800 in 3 minutes & 35 seconds.  Remember how I said I am horrible at pacing?  Here are my splits for 5-800's:

800 #1: 3:19 - too fast...
800 #2: 3:20 - wow, maybe the first 800 wasn't too fast.  let's see if I can maintain this pace for the rest of them
800 #3: 3:25 - ok, I am not in 3:20 shape
800 #4: 3:27 -  at least I am getting closer to my pace I was supposed to run
800 #5: 3:27 -  yep, definitely started out too fast but at least I stayed consistent with #4

Positive splits.  Not how I am supposed to run this work out.  Oh well.  It felt good.  With warm up and cool down I ran 9 miles.  I will do this again next week, with a goal of 6-7 800's (you are only supposed to increase 1 each week and do the last work out at least 10 days prior to the race).  I also hope to run the correct pace and not go out too fast.  And if I do go out too fast, try to maintain the fast pace for each repeat. 

I'll report back....  :-)