what will 2012 hold for you? where will you run? who will you run with?
The Olympic Marathon Trials are happening in January in Houston Texas. I am a huge fan of all things running, so I have been closely following the excitement.
In this blog update I will pick my favorites for the top 3 and a few dark horses who I think have an outside shot at making the team. I am sticking with the women in this update and plan to do the men in another blog.
First things first: The Favorites
Shalane Flanagan: A stud on the track. Once held the AR in the 5k, holds the AR in the 10k. Bronze medal at the Olympics at 10k. Ran her first full marathon last fall at New York running 2:28:40 and placing second. She does not have the fastest marathon PR in the field nor is she the most experienced. I believe she is the favorite for the win because she has the fastest track times and in a recently ran 1:09 for a half marathon in a very controlled effort. I think the race will be controlled by Flanagan. The only person I think capable of beating her at the trails is:
Desiree Davila: Davila is a pure marathoner. This past spring she dropped down to the track to gain some speed and PR’d in 5k and 10k and Half-Marathon. She has the fastest time run this year (not fastest PR) running 2:22:38 in Boston (also placing second). She runs her own race and isn’t afraid to make big moves. I think she has more experience than Flanagan and this could give her the edge. She should be the favorite, but for some reason is always overlooked.
The others that will fight for a spot on the team:
Kara Goucher: Should be listed as a favorite but has had a rough year. In 2010 she took some time away from the sport to have a child. She returned to competition in Jan 2011 by running an impressive 1:09. Since then she has dealt with a stress fracture, hip injury, and a recent coaching swap. I still think she has a very good shot of making the team because she has lots of experience, talent, and is a very tough racer.
Deena Kastor: Has been the favorite at the trails many times. She has an Olympic bronze medal at the marathon and also holds the AR in the marathon. She has the fastest PR of the field with a 2:19:36. The reason she is not listed as a favorite is age. At 38 she is getting close to the end of her professional marathoning career. She also has recently taken time off to have a baby and I am not sure how this will affect the kind of shape she will be in. She should not be counted out.
Magdalena Lewy-Boulet: Placed second at the last Olympic Trials. Boast a PR of 2:26. Age is a factor with Lewy-Boulet also. She looked great at the last trials, but that was 4 years ago. She has an outside shot this year, but it seems like the youngsters are taking over.
Amy Hastings: Had a breakthrough year this year in track and on the roads. Dropped her 5k pr significantly and then ran an impressive marathon (2:27). She trains with Deena Kastor and has only just begun at marathon. She definitely is someone to watch if the pace plays into her favor.
Stephanie Roth: Also had a break through year. She finally figured out some nutrition issues and has improved a ton. She boasts a 2:29 marathon PR from this year and a 1:08 half marathon PR. In a recent interview she said her training was going even better than it was when she ran 2:29. Look for her to make a splash and probably place top 5 if not better.
Molly Pritz: After a bit of drama surrounding her coaching situation (switching from brooks-hansons to a private coach) she rebounded with a VERY impressive marathon debut 2:31:52. At 23 years old she is one of the youngest ladies in the trials and will definitely be making a splash in later years. Look for her to steal a spot from a veteran.
It’s going to be a very exciting race!
Finally doing my marathon recap! I spent the entire last week forgetting that I was a runner and enjoying other things. I really like taking my weeks off when the time calls for it.
On friday night poboy and I drove about half way to College Station and stayed at my mothers house. The next morning we drove the last 4 hours. We had to make lots of stops at gas stations because I was drinking lots of fluids. Once we arrived in college station we found the hotel and I picked up my packet. We then found a place to get some lunch. I ate some sort of chicken sandwich and some fries (carbs!). Then we went back to the hotel to check in and settle down for a while. After an hour or so of hanging out I went on a short jog and did some stretching.
Later in the afternoon our group drove the course to check things out. I noticed that the course had LOTS of turns and gradual hills. Around 7pm I had dinner consisting of steak, mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. It was very delicious.
The morning of the race I woke up at 4am to eat breakfast (a blueberry bagel and honey). I attempted to go back to sleep until 6. I didn’t get much sleep. At 6 I got out of bed and proceeded to get ready. We drove to the start and then did a 5 min jog and found woods to use as a bathroom. The race started promptly at 7am and it was dark.
The first 6 miles I was worried about going to fast so I tried to stay calm and relax. My splits were: 650, 645, 642, 13:51, 658. Then I took one gu. I started taking water/gatorade immediately at 1.5 miles and continued to take it every 1.5 miles after. I was running with a pack of one female and two males at this time. It was nice to have a group to run with. I started to warm up and feel good during the second 6-7 miles. I allowed myself to run a little bit more aggressively. 643, 650, 655, 631, 645, 13:34. I took my second gu at 12 miles. The course started to get a bit hilly around 12-14 and I started to realize just how far this race was.
I came through 13.1 at 1:28:30something. I was feel pretty good at this point and probably pushed the next couple of miles harder than I should have. Next 6 splits: 653, 647, 632, 648, 14:07, 7:09. I started to falter a bit at mile 18 but still thought I could hold on to sup 710 pace for the rest of the way. I took a gu at 18 and tried to think positive. The final 5 miles were horrid. My legs were cramping (feet mostly) and my hips were killing me. This makes sense because I only had one long run over 18 miles. I don’t think my body was familiar enough with running over 18. Last splits: 722, 717, 719, 14:49, 731. The last 3 miles I was just surviving. We merged with the half marathoners and ran some on a bike path. This was annoying because it made it VERY difficult to get around people.
My overall time was 3:03:21. Not exactly what I was aiming for, but still a good debut marathon. I learned a lot about myself and about what to do next time.
After the race I took an entire week off! I was very sore on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wed I started to loosen up nicely.
Since Sunday I have run twice (3.5 and 5 miles) and my glutes are still a bit sore but overall I am not feel to bad. My return plan entails this week running 3-5 miles 5 or 6 days. Next week aiming for 35ish miles. Then by week 3 being back at 45-50 mpw. Hopefully I just keep feeling better and better.
Let the over thinking and over planning begin!!!
I have been tapering now for twoish weeks. I did my last longish (12m) run on sunday and it went really well. Probably because I am so rested. Yesterday I jogged a measly 3+ miles and it felt short. Today or tomorrow I will run a few miles at marathon pace (think 3-4) then thursday will be a day off. Friday and sat I will probably only run 3 or so miles.
I continue to have mixed emotions about the marathon. They range from very excited, nervous, and scared. I think when the day comes I will be mostly excited. It is my first attempt and my expectations are wide ranging. Something I like to do with races is to make 3 separate goals. A – B – and C. A is usually a “perfect day” kind of goal. If the weather is great, everything goes according to plan, and I feel great kind of deal. My A goal is 2:56. This goal is always hard to reach but not impossible. My B goal is basically what I should be able to do on a decent day. My B goal is break 3 hours. My C goal is the goal I set for if things go wrong or I feel awful. This kind of stuff happens and it is NOT good to just roll over and give up. My C goal is to finish the race with reasonably even splits, not to give up, and to be proud that I can even run 26 miles.
I spent a good chunk of time yesterday researching fueling. This is my first marathon and I have only run one half marathon so I am not very familiar with taking things on the run. Our marathon has water/gatorade stops ever 1.5 miles. I plan to start taking fluids immediately. I also plan to carry 4 gu’s. I have practiced with the favors I plan to take so there should be no supprise on the stomach. I plan to take the gu’s at 6-7.5 miles, 12 miles, 18 miles and then 22ish. If I feel like I need more carbs at any point I am not afraid to mix up my fueling plan.
I have planned for all the things I can control and let go of all the things I cannot control.
This blog is awesome! Her account of the marathon is pretty neat and detailed. Check it out.
Not marathon related. For the next few weeks until Christmas I will post about things I think would be excellent running gifts.
The Soleus GPS watch. This is a great gift. It costs $99 which is a lot cheaper than the garmin that I currently run with. It is a great way to keep detailed track of you runs.
The stick! This self-massage tool is a great way to keep the muscles loose and work out tight, sore muscles. I use my stick multiple times a week to help keep my tight IT band moving.
Nike reversible headband. This headband is great for how cold it is outside right now! It covers your ears but allows your head to breath. I have a problem with my head getting very sweaty under a cold weather running hat. Also , its reversible, which is like owning two headbands.
Less than two weeks until the marathon!
Two Race Recaps in this update.
First, Cajun Cup 10k:
I finally got a 10k pr! I ran 37:45 which bettered my previous time by about a minute! The race was in Lafayette, LA and the weather was lovely. I really like this course because it doesn’t have too many straights or too many curves. It also has pretty decent crowd support which is rare in a 10k. My splits were: 5:52, 6:03, 6:04, 6:07, 6:15? 6:12? I also won which was pretty cool!
Turkey Day 5 miler:
This past thursday I ran the turkey day race here in NOLA. I love this race because of the amount of people that come out. People are also usually pretty happy because you get to eat lots of delicious food afterwards. This race did not go as well as Cajun Cup, but it also didn’t go poorly. I placed second to Sarah Skotty and ran 30:32 (which is a pr for this race). Splits were: 5:55, 6:00, 6:06, 611, 6:19. I got a pretty terrible stomach cramp during the last quarter of the 4th mile and had to slow up more than I wanted. I hope to figure out what caused the cramp before the marathon!
Speaking of the marathon, OMG it’s approaching so quickly. My emotions keep jumping around from excitement to terror. I am worried that I haven’t put in enough training (I think everyone worries this). No matter what happens it gets to count as a PR because it is my first time racing this distance. Also, I am just happy to be uninjured and running PR’s!
LSU STILL UNDEFEATED! Bring on Georgia!
Cajun Cup 10k in Lafayette LA is a very fun race. This was my second time doing the race. The first time was 2 years ago and I placed second in 39:00. My previous 10k PR was 38:45 run at Crescent City Classic my senior year in college. I always thought the PR was a weak one and figured I could beat it this weekend. I did NOT expect to crush it by so much. New PR 37:45!
Mile one: I went out pretty quickly but not stupid 5:52. I ended up in a pack of a few males. I felt AWFUL during this mile and figured I would have a pretty terrible race.
Mile 2: Still not feeling very good. I figured I would just see what the pace was and try and keep it together as best as possible. I was shocked when my watch showed 6:03.
Mile 3: Not feeling any worse. Decide to try and stay with this pack of guys until they drop me. 6:04
Mile 4: Still not feeling any worse. Same pack of guys. Starting to make deals with myself on how long I have to try and keep up. I am very good at bribing myself. 6:07
Mile 5: Our little pack starts catching some other guys. I know we slowed down but am satisfied just trying to stay with the pack. 6:15-6:16 (dont remember exactly).
Mile 6: I am pretty sure we are slowing down more and I decide to just try and move when the guys do. We don’t slow down and run 6:12.
The last .2 I just tried to finish up so I could stop. Stopping is the best feeling in the world.
This race had TONS of people, food, and drinks. The course was well marked AND the volunteers were so friendly and happy to point you in the direction you needed to go in without you having to ask. The course also had lots of spectators, which is rare in a 10k. It is a fun race that I suggest trying next year.
My week of running went well. I started off heavy with monday and tuesday being 11 and 12ish. Wed was 7 at run group. Thursday and friday I cut it to 3 each day because I was feeling tired and awful. Saturday was 9 or so with the race and warmup and cool down. 4 weeks until the marathon!
Running related DRAMA: This week was pretty intense in the world of running. High School phenomenon Lukas Verzbicas dropped out of Oregon University to chase his tri dreams. Him dropping out and quitting the team aren’t huge deals, but his timing couldn’t have been worse. Oregon’s cross country team was set to compete at regionals a few days later and with Verzbicas being their 2nd or 3rd guy, they took a huge hit. The team ended up not making it to the national meet and it’s kind of hard not to put the blame on his shoulders. It is a classless move to drop your team at such a crucial moment.
There is lots of speculation as to why he left on such short notice. It is hard to discount how much trouble he was having in his first college cross country season. It is sometimes hard for someone who is used to winning everything to deal with being 3rd on a team.
THIS WEEK IS POBOYS BIRTHDAY!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY POBOY!
I’ve got the marathon fever. Watching New York did not help.
Last Weeks Recap:
Sun: I took sunday off to rest and relax.
Monday: I ran 6.9 miles at run group. The legs did not feel great or terrible. Somewhere in the middle. The pace was a little quicker than I had planned.
Tuesday: 3.5 miles in the morning alone. 6.75 in the evening. The evening run started and ended at the candy bar. It was a pretty good run except that running down St Charles is a mess right now. It really needs to rain to soak up some of the sand.
Wed: 11.3 miles at run group. I started this run not feeling like running at all and ended up running much further than planned. We ran mostly easy but ended up tempoing the last 3-4 miles. Last two miles in the 620′s. I was trying very hard not to get dropped by POBOY and Powder, but was not successful.
Thurs: 4.75 miles from the store after an AWESOME adidas event.
Friday: LONG RUN. Met Skotty at her home to begin a 20 mile long run around the city. It was dark for the first hour of the run. I felt better than expected and we ended up doing 21 in 2:33:03. Excellent long run.
Saturday: 3.5 miles. Easy jogging before and during the Crescent City Fall Classic 5k. My legs felt dead and my hips were sore.
My feelings on New York. First off, I made a bet with Powder saturday night that the winning men would break 2:05:30. I won this bet! 20 dollars in my pocket! Geoffrey Mutai is AMAZING. His second half marathon was run in 61! We get excited when Americans run 61 in a stand alone half marathon! Also, cant help but be a little sad for Mary Keitany. She did go out pretty stupid, but man that looked painful! I was really interested to see how Lauren Fleshman did (I read her blog regularly). It seemed like a rough debut. I’m sure 2:37 is not what she wanted, but she got in the training and should have an excellent year at the 5k distance. Molly Pritz really impressed with a 2:31 debut. At only 23 years old she has a long time to work on bettering that time. Watching some of the crashes happen in the last 10k has be a bit worried about what will happen around 20 miles in my marathon. I just have to hope that I control myself and don’t go out stupid, fuel correctly, and stay calm. Woohoo marathons!
Non running related note. LSU IS STILL UNDEFEATED! Bama was a tough game, but we beat them on their turf in over time. GEAUX TIGERS!
Other news. I am doing a 10k race on saturday and will hopefully get a race recap up quickly.