Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Category: Race Reports

Space Coast Marathon

Holy wow, I have a lot to catch up on – but first thing’s first, let’s recap this marathon, shall we?

The Before:

Taper took an interesting turn.  My runs were fantastic the week before, to the point where it made me a little worried because normally everything goes to shit.  My last run, a 5 miler with 3 at marathon pace, went so smoothly it was scary.  Then, the normal taper crap started to settle in, and since it was so late in the week, it was REALLY scary.

Thursday, I only ate one big meal and one plate of deserts.  This made my body just a little off.  I also made the mistake of wearing boots instead of more reasonable shoes.  I didn’t figure I would be on my feet much, but I guess it was enough that my feet were cranky after that day.

Friday, due to long security lines and being dumb, all I had was some beef jerky and airplane snax until about 6pm.  After eating a giant (and pretty unhealthy) dinner and a large beer, and heading to the hotel room, I was convinced I was getting sick.  I slept incredibly fitfully.

Saturday, my ankle hurt after my 1.5 mile shakeout run, so much so that I was really worried that I’d not be able to start the race.  Zliten kept being all excited, and all I could do was hope he wouldn’t have to race without me.  Around 9pm though, I figured the best thing I could do was shut my brain off, sleep as long as possible, and let my ankle knit itself back together.  And I did.

Sunday, race morning, I woke up, put my compression sox and shoes on before I left my bed, and touched my toes down… still cranky, but much less so.  I would start, at least, I knew that.  I got my bar down and munched on some cereal, skipped my normal starbux (just didn’t seem like it would set well).  We got there, poo’d, walked around, watched the half marathoners start, poo’d again, walked around, and then got in our corrals.  My husband was starting with the 5-hour folk, and I filed in next to the 4:40 pacer, and then we were off.

The Good: Mile 1-10

I walked as long as humanly possible.  I didn’t want to feel the hurt any longer than I had to, if I was going to.  Finally, I was about to get trampled if I didn’t, so gingerly I tried and *cue angels singing* my foot was ok.  I thanked the running deities or whatever higher power is up there looking out for babies and drunks and idiot marathoners a lot in the first mile, which ticked over in around 10:35 – under marathon pace, but not too much so to worry me.

If you remember, I had to pick the strategy of following the pacer, watching my watch, or running by feels.  Well, the pace bunny took off a little too fast (he was wayyy ahead of me even though I was running under 10:41s), and while my ankle seemed like it was going to hold, my body was definitely a little *off*, so running by feels meant I slipped to around 11s.  So, early on, it was watch-nazing, and trying to keep that pace group in my sights and not let the next one (4:45) catch me.

At the turn around, I saw Zliten just a bit behind me, and looking good.  One quarter done.  Right on pace.  Let’s do this.  Hopefully all these niggles work their way out for a while.

I finished mile 10 still on pace, but the hurt never got better.  I wasn’t feeling as if I was pushing the pace too much, it felt just fine aerobically, but I think my gait was just a little off, so that made things ache differently.  I also really regretted having my handheld because it annoyed me from mile 1, and I was barely even drinking out of it, the temps were good and the aid stations were plentiful.

The Bad: Mile 11-15

I was hoping to get my second wind, but passing mile 10 just made me mentally implode a bit, 16 more to go and I was already in pain.  I kept going as fast as I could, but I was seeing more 11’s when I looked down instead of 10s, and picking up the pace was harder.  I passed 13.1 exactly on pace (2:20), but just after the mat I pulled over to the side, stopped and stretched out my aching back of my legs, and then tried walking.

Well, the good news is that walking didn’t feel ANY better, so I picked it up again.  Around mile 14, I decided to ditch my water bottle and was struggling with getting it out of the holder, and who pulls up right by me?  Zliten!  He helped me get it out and carried it (I told him to ditch it but he held it anyway).  I was REALLY REALLY in a hole then, and was convinced I’d busted my goal down to JUST FINISH SO I GET THE DAMN TOWEL AND MEDAL.  I might have done worse if he hadn’t shown up.  He was having fun, enjoying himself, talking to people, having smiles for the both of us, while I tried to not cry and grunted and followed him.

Also, somewhere in there, my mp3 player decided to default to random on my playlist and cut my volume in half, and I couldn’t fix it.  Super annoying.

The Ugly: Mile 16-20

Finally, I had to stop and stretch, I told Zliten I would catch up with him.  I stretched, walked for about .05 of a mile, and then got running again.  And I did catch him, and decided that I could make it a mile before I had to do that again.  When my watch dinged 17, I did the same thing, and 18, and 19.  These miles were slow, but I was moving forward and as I got closer to 20, my mood improved.  As we hit the last turnaround, and then the 20 mile split mat, Zliten had to stop and stretch, finally, I started feeling better and getting that second wind I was waiting on.

He happened to mention that we needed to pick it up if we were going to make sub-5 hours, and I asked if it was ok if I ran ahead, he said yeah, and I went.

The Awesome: Mile 21-26.2

Something clicked in me that I wanted to get in sub-5 more than I wanted to not hurt.  So, I took off, running as fast as I could reasonably at that point (11s) and asked myself if I could make it 2 miles without a break.  Let me tell you, if you want to feel awesome about yourself, run a ~11 minute mile pace around the 5-hour marathon finishers.  It’s a lot of people walking dejectedly.  I passed, no lie, hundreds of people in that last 10k.

I passed mile 22 and found strength for one more.  At mile 23, I felt some major cramping in the back of my body, so I stopped to stretch, walked for about .05 of a mile, and then started the 5k push to the finish.  I told myself that I could slow down for mile 24 if I needed, but I couldn’t stop, and I was just so damn ready to be done, I didn’t.  I finally picked back up to marathon pace, and the mile markers said 25, and then 26, and then I was running faster, and then I rounded the corner and saw the finish line and I was passing people, and in my mind I was sprinting like Usain Bolt and I crossed the finish line.

My garmin said 4:59.

The After:

I got my medal and towel and had about 4 cups of water and then sat down the first place I found space and I think I would have cried if I had the hydration to have tears.  I told Zliten that the last 10k was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and a week out, the pain has faded, but I think that’s probably accurate.  I realized a few minutes later that I should go watch for Zliten to finish, and hoped I hadn’t missed him.

I stumbled over to a little bit before the finish line and some couple took pity on me and let me sit where they were standing and I waited… and waited… and then I was about to go check with medical (he said his knee was hurting) and I saw Zliten round the corner and cheered my ass off for him.  I had put 18.5 minutes on him since I left him at mile 20.

I hobbled over to find him at the finish and then we plopped down and stretched and recovered.  I finished in 5:02:35, and he finished in 5:21:07 (his goal was to at least beat my time from last year, which he did!).  I’m about 1% pissed that I couldn’t have found 2:36 in there to at least finish under 5, and 99% proud of that last 10k.

I had two post race beers, and was ready to eat right away, so my tummy cooperated with me.  I didn’t eat as many of my chews as I had expected, but I took in gatorade at just about every aide station.  I might have done better if I chomped a little more in the messy middle miles, or it might have upset my stomach and I’d have done worse.  You never know.

Then, we went and played by the Ocean.

Recovery was not so bad.

Overall – I am happy with marathon #2.  It’s progress.  It’s a 21 minute PR.  I fell apart in completely different ways and places from the first one.  It’s a distance I’m still trying to figure out, and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to do so.  I get the first part, I actually get the end now, I just need to figure out the middle.  My training cycle was awesome, and I fully believe that a 4:40 was within my grasp if everything would have gone well, but my A legs didn’t show up that day.

I’d love to give the distance another go sooner, than later, and I was really considering it, but after discussing with Zliten, our legs need a little bit of a break.  I think mine handled the training and the race better than his this time, but I’d rather play it safe and not immediately jump back into 40-50 miles per week.

What’s next?  Well, stay tuned.

Zlitens Posty Post: Post 2

If you want to get a BodyBugg click there, since that will get you 20% off and I think it rewards me some how, but I am not sure how. http://bodybugg.extole.com/a/clk/2sghb

 

But On to Blogging !!!

Part 1. Reading!

Since we last talked, I have read,

Ashes of the Realm; Greysons Revenge

This was a fun continuation of the last book Ashes of the Realm: Juliette’s Dream, and it grew the characters up some, introduced a few new players in the galaxy and a new inter-dimensional race that is now set on enslaving our galaxy. So we now know what books 3 and 4 will be about at least. But as always Saxon Andrew kept the pacing up and even though when compared to his last series this is hitting on a lot of the same topics, they are in slightly different ways, so its still enjoyable. The character development is nice.

 

 

 

Then I read

The Expendable Few

After like 12 books in a row by Saxon Andrew, back to a book by Randolph Ladone. What a treat to go from a 3rd person narrative with an almost omnipotent view to a book written in the first and second person, that goes into the thoughts and feelings of the character as things happen rather than just observing them.

This book is the newest of the Spinward Fringe series, and does not follow or continue on with any of the main characters from the series. Think of it as a spin off book, or an expanded universe book. Things that happened in the series have happened and the universe is the same but things are continuing on.  There were some characters that made cameo’s but it really wasn’t about them. Wheeler ( one of the main bad guys turn good guys from books 2 to 4) shows up for about a dozen pages, and a few “relatives” of people you know from before.

I did really enjoy it though, there were some twists that I didn’t expect and there was some great descriptions of ground and hand to hand combat in this one. No epic space battles this time, but with the way it ends I am sure that is coming soon. To wrap up, Thanks Taylor for the book as a birthday gift, and I can’t wait until Raldolph gets the next hundred or so books out for that series. (Also if your in the media, the first book would be a great made for tv movie.)

Next I read

 

The Giver : What a terrible book. Apparently they are making a movie out of it, and I do love distopian type settings of the future. But this just left a terrible taste in my mouth, and a stain on my mind that I think will haunt me much like the ending of The Prestige , but Worse.

SPOILERS

To recap the story, there is a community in the future that is well regulated all functions are performed by individuals who excel at that function. Families though are not allowed to have more than 2 children, and children can only come from the women of the community known as birth mothers. Once their child has been born it is taken to an institution where it is  kept for 1 year, then given to a family that has requested a child.

Needless to say the book attaches you to not only the main character but a few others who end up being “released”. In other words put down like a dog, and it not only includes the elderly but also anyone who commits a crime or even a baby if it is not “acceptable”. So in one scene there is a “nurturer” who just delivered twins from a birth mother, and he weighs the two babes, then takes the smaller one, sings it a lullaby and then kills it. ( Arrg I am still all pissed off in side just writing about it. But then again that is probably what the author was trying to do.)

So yeah, apparently a required reading book for middle school kids here in Texas. Just disgusting.

 

OK after Finishing that terrible thing, I at least have something fun to back it up with. I had Emailed Saxon Andrew about a month ago just to thank him for the series I had read since it was so much fun, and I got a reply asking if I would read and give feedback on book 1 on a new series. He also just put it up on Amazon so that works.

Lens of Time Series: The Pyramid Builders

So far this has been a fun time about a genius professor, and his slutty dressing friend who has 4 doctorates but was sick of people being intimidated by her smarts so she started dressing like a bimbo. Not the best character introduction to the characters so far, but hey I already am happier about it than the last book I read. So expect in a week or two to have a real review of this since I am only on like page 50.

 

Training:

Its been about 3 weeks since my last post, so my training chart will be kinda big here.

As you can see I have been at it good for the last few weeks, although I should have put in a weight metric in today so that that was more accurate. Pretend there is a grey box on the 19th that says Weight 186.2. I was lowest on the 16th due to being dumb and staying up late on Sunday after the 10/20 having drinks and dehydrating myself. But we will get into the Dumbness of Sunday later.

 

Race!

SO the 10/20 was last weekend and it was a blast! I had to make 1 quick bathroom stop at mile 2.5, but thankfully it only really added about 2 minutes to my total time and I felt MUCH better afterwards. That redbull went through me fast LOL!

Click Here if you want to check out all my info for the race. gps, heart rate, cadence, elevation and overall great data! BTW Training Peaks is just awesome for the amount of info you can put on there, and the Garmin 310XT gathers a ton of data when you have the heart rate monitor and cadence sensor attached.

My perfect weather, perfect feeling, super awesome goal was going to be 1:45:00, but it was Humid, then raining then muggy, and a bathroom break added in, and my total time was 1:49:52. I am very happy with that time, its not the best ever but for sure the best 10 miles I have had so far.

 

TRI Season!

Rookie tri is in 17 days!

Lets list out things I need to do before Tri season.

  1. Keep going to Swim Class. So for Christmas Quix got me “lessons” and we finally found a place to get them. Thanks to Moolala or what ever the deal site is called. This last Tuesday was my first lesson, and my goodness, I had no clue how bad my swimming techniques really were until I was shown how to do them properly and coached on it also. That explains all the pool time you see on my schedule this week.
  2. Wash the bike again, and lube it all up. This is kinda important all the time, but with the more miles we have been getting in the trainer and on the road lately, this is a must. Really id I don’t post at least once a month saying I washed and lubed the bike, get on my butt for it. Its the longest portion of any Tri, and if its not in great condition how can I expect to do well.
  3. More open water swims. I am not afraid of swimming in a lake or river, but it would be benifitial for me to get out there and practice my swimming in Not-a-pool just so I can get the feel again of waves, and the choppy waters.
  4. Get mentally prepared for even more training. I really should step it up from 4 to 5 times a week to 6 to 7 times a week.

GUILT 🙁

Things I did wrong over the past 3 weeks.

Weight, I have seemed to have hit a lull in my weight loss, but I think a big part of that is I stopped tracking so consistently, and just kinda didn’t care much for some days. Here is an update weight chart.

The yellow line is where I want to be, the blue line is where I am.

Desserts have also been an issue, I can usually go without desserts, but lately I want chocolate after every meal it seems. or pie, or chocolate pie. I gotta get that under control.

Next I had too many drinks after the 10/20 race.. Too many, and it wasn’t that I was too hung over or evil or anything like that, but that I got it in my head to go prune a tree in the back yard that my mother in law got after me about the day before. While doing this, I did not hurt myself or anyone else, but I did get my glasses caught on a branch of the tree, and they somehow flung into the yard. We searched everywhere and could not find them. Needless to say I had to go get new glasses Monday morning.

NEW GLASSES!

Well Leah hated my old glasses anyways. Complained about them probably once a month that they were either dorky, or didn’t fit my head right, or something. That’s OK, this time I was prepared. At the glasses store I took pictures of 14 different pairs of glasses on my face and then emailed them from my phone to her desk at work. Then just let her pick out the ones she wanted me to have. (Guys, this works great. The sales people might think your crazy now. but Believe me, its worth not getting told you made a bad choice over and over.)

It really kind of worked out for the best, I knew my prescription had changed and I needed to go in. I had been getting headaches again every day while sitting at my computer for a  few weeks. But I had been avoiding going to the optometrist because the place I went to was full of jerks, or at least people I didn’t like dealing with. They also nickle and dime everything, like do you want the old machine with worse results included in your visit, or for 35$ more we will put you with the new machine.. There was no way I was getting an apt there without at least a weeks notice, so I went to the place next to the lens crafters that I had decided on since I could get the glasses in about an hour.

Well This place was amazing, the staff was nice, they had tons of modern equipment that all just worked the first time, and the Doctor even explained things to me as he was testing my eyes. (Unlike being berated at the other place for making the doctor late to his golf game since his own machine broke.)  Best of all the visit only was 35$ because they actually took my insurance!

The Lens Crafters experience wasn’t amazing, but I know their lens grinding machine broke or something and instead of 1 hour it took them 4, but over the next 2 days they kinda made it up to me.

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