Infinite Blogging

Tales of love, fertility and nourishing food.

Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2010 April 30, 2010

Filed under: Running — Annette @ 7:18 pm

To sum it up: it was hot.

The race has gotten progressively better and easier every time we’ve run it, but it still always surprises me how challenging it is once we’re actually there. Our training runs always go fairly well, so it takes me off guard when I’m struggling at mile 10 when I ran 12 miles just fine the week before. It’s like all our training gets thrown out the window and I have to run it on pure mental determination. I don’t get it.

But in all fairness, we ran it faster than we’d been running our long runs, and we ran it in warmer temperatures. April is so unpredictable, and it’s a bummer because we train in cool temperatures starting in January, but when we get to April we don’t know if it’s going to be hot or cold. Two years ago it was cool. Last year it rained. This year it was hot.

Really, it was a beautiful day. It started out in the 50s, which was perfect, but was in the 60s by the time we finished. It was a perfect day for just being outside, but the 60s quickly become hot when you’re running 13.1 miles and the sun is beating down on you.

I was determined to not have to run having to pee like last year, so after we found a place in the crowd to wait for the start, I scampered off in search of a portapotty. After crawling under a fence, then getting smarter and climbing over several others I found one that miraculously didn’t have a line (and found out later that it was in the medical section, and later they wouldn’t allow anyone in the area). Got that taken care of, climbed the fences back to the starting line, met up with the gang again and we were off.

They changed the course this year, so we got to see some more scenic neighbourhoods instead of just running around the stinky Anheuser-Busch complex for the first half. We started drinking water at mile 4, but looking back on it we should have started at mile 1 – or 2 or whatever, since this year they stupidly only had aid stations every two miles. That’s both stupid and dangerous, in my opinion. David said they ended up having to treat over 60 people for dehydration.

By mile 6 we were double-fisting it at the aid stations and pouring water over our heads to cool down. We ended up having to stop to pee again around 6.5. Thankfully there wasn’t a line and we didn’t have to cross over the other side of the course illegallly like we did last year.

By mile 10 I was dehydrated and was starting to have difficulty seeing straight. For a long time I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it or not, but by the time we hit 13 miles I was totally out of it and having a hard time keeping my eyes from crossing.

I grabbed a PowerGel thingy at mile 8, buy was hesitant to down it because of my experience the first year with taking Gu and ending up with heart palpitations. I shoved it in my shorts and later had three serious scratch marks on my belly to show where it had ridden for 5 miles. I didn’t notice it at the time, but I sure did a day later.

The last three miles were pure determination. We’d been running our long runs in training at around a 9:35 average pace or slower. At the race our average was around 9:25. Plus with the changes to the course this year there were several big, long hills. It was more scenic, but who’s noticing the scenery when you’re running up a half mile hill?

We hit mile 13 and we all thought, okay, just got to get around the corner and the finish line is right there. But it wasn’t. They’d moved it way back because of the course rearrangement. So we got around the corner and were like, what the crap? Where’s the finish line? We finally crossed over one of the speedbump-type things that they have at the start, that signals your chip to start timing. So I thought that was the finish. I stopped for half a second and Robin was like, “No, the finish line is up there!” So I kept going. We crossed in 2:03:26.

After we stopped Robin took one look at me and grabbed my arm to steady me. I had a hard time keeping my balance, waking and seeing straight. Robin was so great and played watergirl for me for a long time while I got myself back together and rehydrated.

It was a tough race. Like I said, it felt like all of our training went out the window and I had to run it on pure determination. I hate that. What’s the point of training for 12 weeks if I’m going to feel like I haven’t trained at all when I actually get to the race? I know the training made a huge difference. Even last year compared to this year was a huge difference. But I guess when it really comes down to it, 13.1 miles is still a long way to go.

I’m really proud of how well we did. I though coming in in 2:05 would be a great goal, but that 2:10 might be more realistic with 17,000 other people around and losing time going around people in the first few miles, as well as including potty stops. But we did it in 2:03, and I’m really amazed by that.

Sub 2 next year!


At what point do you become a “runner”? January 30, 2010

Filed under: Life,Running — Annette @ 10:47 am

I’ve run three half marathons. Currently training for a fourth. The training schedule we use has us working out 6 days a week. (I slightly modified the schedule so the Sabbath is our off day.) Soon our mileage will be over 20 miles a week. Our pace has increased at least 30 seconds/mile without even really trying to get faster, which I think is substantial. I’ve started taking cold water baths after long runs to reduce inflammation. And I spend substantial amounts of money on having good quality running gear.

But I still kind of hesitate to call myself a “runner.” I’ve always thought of runners as really hardcore people to be held in awe, and I’ve never really associated that with myself.

At what point do you become a runner?Was I a runner when I first tried the Couch-to-5K? Was I a runner when I ran a very pathetic first half marathon? Was I a runner when we ran two half marathons in a year for the first time?

I guess I’m a runner, but I feel guilty claiming that knowing that other people who claim to be runners run 60 miles a week, run through injuries, run Columbia’s notorious hardest non-mountainous marathon course.

I haven’t run a full marathon yet, but I want to. Maybe when I do I’ll feel like a runner.


Overpronation. January 22, 2010

Filed under: Running — Annette @ 9:30 am

Ahhhhh, so THIS is why I get such huge blisters on the inside of my feet! Great video. Thanks, Runner’s World!

Training officially started again this past Monday. Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2010, here we come!


Run #36, Half Marathon. September 22, 2009

Filed under: Running — Annette @ 10:16 am

So the girls’ KC half is in a few weeks, but knowing that I’m going to be away at the Feast for two weeks, I wanted to get my half overwith before I left. Which meant doing it this past weekend.

We were scheduled for a 10 m long run, so I figured I would just run 10 m with Robin and then do an extra 3.1 on my own. Late Friday afternoon we concocted a scheme to drive down to Cindy’s house in the sticks and run there with her instead. I was a little hesitant about running somewhere unfamiliar for my half, but decided to have a positive attitude about it and have fun.

It was a great day, and a great run. Possibly my most favourite run ever. We got there around 6:30am so we could run before the day warmed up. It ended up being perfect weather: gloomy, overcast, misty. We started from Cindy’s house and ran on the gravel roads for about 5 miles, then picked up the Katy Trail which goes across most of Missouri. Missouri really is blessed to have such an extensive network of trails.

Cindy’s husband doesn’t like for her to run alone out in the sticks, so he drives ahead of her with beverages and they meet up at predetermined spots along the route. I am so impressed. He played waterboy for us for 2 1/2 hours. He took our water, Gatorade, snacks and drove happily along to the meeting spots where he’d read the Sunday paper and drink his coffee. What a great support! Their dog Yanna also ran along with us, which provided quite a bit of entertainment.

I was curious to see if I could shoot for a half marathon PR, but partway along the route I realized that wasn’t going to happen. No one was in a hurry, so we stopped along the way to see the swimmin’ hole, two gigantic catfish skeletons thrown along the side of the road (totally disgusting, by the way, and so glad we weren’t there to smell them when they still had flesh on their bones), and we took our time getting drinks and having a breather when we met up with Cindy’s husband.

At about 5 miles we met up with the Katy Trail and ran it for the duration. Question: how is it that we were running, yet the dog was ahead of us the ENTIRE time – walking! – and would have to double back to catch up with us?? How is that possible? There were some great times when the dog would see a squirrel off ahead and would go tearing after it, again leaving us running humans in the dust. It was a good reminder of how fast dogs are. She leaped into the woods at one point and came back with sticks, leaves and debris covering her head and back. It was really funny. She ended up carrying them along for a couple miles.

So, we had waterboy stops at predetermined areas, so we knew how far ahead we’d need to run until we got water again. Having the route broken up like that helped to make it go by faster, I think. Robin and Cindy ran until we reached 10.6, then I got my drink, breather and put on the iPod for the next 2.5.

I think I actually did a good job of preparing myself mentally for the run, especially the last part. I knew it would be hard to run by myself for another 3 miles after having just run 10. But it was nice that we actually stopped at 10.6 so I didn’t have quite as far to go as I thought. The last 2.5 were hard, but not unbearable. I think it was just a little disorienting not knowing where I was or how far I needed to run until the end. But! They clocked the last 2.5 for me and cheered my on to the end. And then I was finished! YAY! 2:24. Not fast, but probably the easiest half I’ve done. I think our pace was about on par with this past April’s race (2:14), but we just took extra time at the stops and tourist attractions along the way.

And so ends half marathon training #3. I’m actually pretty proud of myself that I did it in 8 weeks instead of the 12 weeks that the training schedule has us do. In April the half marathon was run #65, and this one was #36. Not bad.

Now I get to not run for a while.


Run #26-35

Filed under: Running — Annette @ 9:55 am

Running log, Cliffs Notes version. Mostly because it’s been so long I don’t remember anything.

#26, 8×400. Me and Robin. For some reason this one kicked our butts. I think it was hotter than we were used to.

#27, 10K.

#28, 4.5 m.

#29, 24:28 5K PR.

#30, 4 m destination run to my house.

Should have had a 4×800 run in here, but I skipped it in lieu of getting up at 3:45am and flying to Texas.

#31, 4.5 m with David in Texas. I think David was about to puke at the end. That’s a good friend right there.

#32, 9 m. Me and Robin. Started an hour after I got off the plane from Texas. Fairly insane timing, but went okay.

#33, 25:09 5K. Should have cranked the speed up sooner.

#34, 5 m. Took our time on this one because Cindy’s legs were starting to hurt again like when she was close to having stress fractures.

#35, 3×1600 race pace – kind of. 3×1600 race pace to me means “slow and easy 3 miles,” but it was on our speedwork day so it got me confused. I did 2.75 m and cut out a bit early because my toe shoes were starting to hurt under my big toes again. I didn’t want to get bad blisters right before my half.


Run #21-25 September 4, 2009

Filed under: Running — Annette @ 7:57 am

I’m slacking.

#21, last Thursday. 3 miles. I don’t even remember this one. Early morning gym, treadmill. OH YEAH! They were playing infomercials on the Food Network, so I was forced to channel surf – and stumbled across another Kevin Trudeau infomercial. Instead of being for “natural cures ‘THEY’ don’t want you to know about,” this one was for finding “free money.” Sigh. SCAMMER SCAMMER SCAMMER!

#22, last Friday. 8xhill. We did this one on campus in the middle of the day, and ended up having to do quite a bit of dodging of students. I felt like we ran it faster than we have in the past. I think upping the speed on the treadmill has forced me to open my stride and made that more comfortable.

#23, Sunday. Me and Robin, 8 miles. It was a nice day – in the 60s. Perfect running weather. Although, it did get hot when the sun came out. I started feeling tired in the last couple miles, but we got ‘er done.

#24, Monday. Me, Robin, Cindy. Old 63 hilly route, 4 miles. I can’t even believe this was during this week. It seems so long ago. The Old 63 hill didn’t seem so bad this time, and it was definitely better than the last time we ran it.

#25, Wednesday. I was in training all day so I had to go in the evening after I’d finished. Me, treadmill, Food Network’s Challenge – Cereal Bridges: Part 2. Basically, creating bridges out of large blocks of rice krispy treats. Pretty ridiculous, but entertaining. Worked on my 5K time. Did the first 2 miles at 7.2 (8:20 minute/mile), then about half a mile at 8.5 (7:36) and the other half at 9.0 (6:40). New 5K PR: 24:43. PLUS I was wearing the toe shoes. The 9.0 mph was pretty absurd. I didn’t know if I’d even be able to keep up, but I did and it didn’t feel too bad. What’s really absurd is that 9.0 mph is still not as fast as the pace Niki ran their 5K last weekend. I’ve still got a ways to go…


Run #20. August 26, 2009

Filed under: Running — Annette @ 3:18 pm

Me, Donna. Treadmill and Everyday Cleavage. 5K. Ran 2.22 miles at 7 mph (8:34 min/mi – which seems retardedly fast for me, but whatever) then cranked it up to 8.5 mph (7:03 min/mi) for the last 0.88 mi. That was fast. And long. New PR: 25:26.

We have a 3 mile run scheduled every Wednesday, and it had never even occurred to me before to try to run it fast. We don’t really run fast. We just run long. But since I realized that, hey, you can change the speed on a treadmill and have it accurately time you, I’ve been working on it every time I go on the treadmill. It gives me something to think about and makes the miles go by faster. Obviously. I’ve cut off over 3 minutes since last week, and 4 1/2 minutes over my last real 5K race time. Woo!