Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Grand Rapids Marathon Update

I started writing a blog post regarding my experience at the Grand Rapids Marathon but I erased it.

I'm having a hard time writing it so I thought I'd give a brief update so you know what happened to me! I can finish writing the recap later.

So my goal this year was to PR my marathon. I didn't try to PR anything else. I worked on my mental attitude with pushing out negative thoughts, finding my happy running pace and staying consistent and be able to push through.  Well....

I did PR!  My official Grand Rapids Marathon time was 4:39:20! My previous PR was from the 2012 Chicago Marathon with a time of 4:44:54! So I'm super happy about this! I didn't make my #1 goal of 4:35 but I am happy with a PR ... AND with a time in the 4:30's somewhere!  I will try to finish up an actual recap soon.

Also, I ran a 5k last weekend. And I have the Lakefront Ultra 50k this Saturday, so I'm pretty busy! I better get moving on my blog posts then or they will be getting backed up (I also have 2 half marathons in November! Yikes!).

Can you believe it's almost November??

So happy to PR!!

The medals are pretty cool!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Home Stretch

Well, it's the home stretch before my marathon this weekend in Grand Rapids.  I may be stressed, I may be nervous, I may be excited...regardless, I KNOW I will have a good time.  Here's why...

1. I've trained. I did my physical training and I've done my mental training. I know you've heard me talk all year about working on my positivity, pushing out negative thoughts, working on running happy, and finding my "Melanie Pace" (a.k.a. The pace that makes me run happy). 

2. I've only ever heard great things about this marathon. I'm very excited to experience it myself. I hear it's well organized and the race director shakes every one's hand that finishes the race! Very nice! Can't do that in Chicago, that's for sure!

3. The colors should be beautiful. It's fall and the leaves are all changing. A good portion of this race is on a trail and I'm excited to see all the beautiful colors! I might have to take my phone out around part of that time in case I want to snap a photo or two!

4. The weather is supposed to be marathon perfect!

Actually, a little too perfect and I'm not sure if I should be wearing tank or tshirt, or capris or shorts. I'm bringing everything and will figure it out while there!  Arm sleeves are a definite and cheapy gloves.

5. My friend Julie will be there and probably running at least a few miles with me. Um... Julie is one of my best running partners!! How can I not have some fun?

Julie and I at the finish of our first ultra last fall!
6. Pickle Juice. Yes you heard me correctly. This race has pickle juice as part of their hydration/fueling on course. I've recently searched blog reviews of this marathon and everyone said they had never had pickle juice during a run but tried it during this marathon...and loved it! Now, I love pickles. One of my favorite foods. And as a child, I secretly drank pickle juice. Don't judge. I've been known to do it as an adult occasionally. DON'T JUDGE. So I'm super excited to try this at the race. I've never had it during a run before and I know you aren't supposed to try anything new on race day. But I've heard that it doesn't apply to pickle juice at the Grand Rapids Marathon, right? lol.

Pickle juice actually has sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc. All the good stuff to help prevent cramping! I'm game!

7. Have fun. Yes my goal is to PR. Yes, I'm going to try to do it. But I want to have fun. I want to enjoy my marathon. If for some reason a PR doesn't happen, that's ok too. I want to look at the race as a whole and think... I enjoyed myself. I did my best. I'm happy with my results. I have an awesome experience! Because after all, that's what running is all about!  But yes, I'm going after my PR. That doesn't mean I need to be fast. It just means I need to be consistent!  Keep going when the going gets hard!

I think that's all I've got for you all today! Hope you all have a great weekend. And to my friends running marathons this weekend (Indianapolis and Grand know who you are), have a fantastic time!

Big shout out to my girl Becky doing her first marathon in Indy!! Love ya! Have fun and kick butt!
Becky and I after our holy hot half marathon in Vegas this year

Monday, October 6, 2014

Marathon Thoughts

Happy Monday! Actually I'm not feeling particularly happy today but that's because of my own personal "female" issues. TMI? Whatever, it's life.

My thoughts are all over the place right now. Some are personal issues: my dad had hip replacement surgery a month ago and has had his ups and downs with his recovery. Others are running related, namely, the Grand Rapids Marathon.  Bear with me while I talk out my random rambling thoughts about the marathon.


I don't know what I'm wearing, and that includes shoes. I'm incredibly frustrated. First, clothing. This isn't much of an issue. I never found the right sports bra yet (and I've been trying for years). I get horrible chafing and it sucks. I think I've found a temporary solution for the marathon. A couple of the bras haven't been chafing as much on my long runs combined with Vaseline (lots of it). Depending on the weather, I know the capris or shorts I'll be wearing. Not 100% on the shirt and now it depends again on the weather. I've run in lots of shirts so I think I'll be fine in whatever I wear.

Shoes. Oh shoes. Last year I ran in Brooks Ravenna 4's. I had trouble but ONLY because I think I wore my laces too tight on my first marathon, which caused major foot pain during that marathon and the subsequent ones. I think the shoes were fine. With that said, I've never found the "perfect shoe." I was fitted again and they put me in neutral plus shoes (I was previously fitted for stability). I tried the Brooks Glycerin. They are ok. Again, not the perfect shoe but fine. I also previously had gotten Mizuno Wave Inspire 9.  I never liked the shoes after I got them because the ankle fits higher up on my ankle. I only wore them before for short runs. And for a long time, I never wore them.

Brooks Ravenna 4

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9
I decided to try the Mizuno's for a long run. Coupled with wearing the new Injinji toe socks. I loved it. My feet felt great. I got no blisters (I'm guessing from the socks). I thought I would give the Mizuno's more of a try. After several long runs going well, I figured these would be my marathon shoes (but the new versions). I bought a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 10's. And I wore them on a couple long runs, and short runs. They felt good too. I'm sold. Marathon shoes. Until I wore them for my 20 miler and they started hurting my ankle (from the outside ankle area being too high up). It wasn't too bad but definitely a concern of mine. I wore my older ones the following weekend for the half marathon.  And my mile 10, the shoes were really hurting my ankle. Definite pain. When I helped my cousin after my half for the end of the marathon, I could barely walk in them anymore. I took them off several times and walked barefoot. These were no longer my marathon shoes. No way was I wearing them ever again!
Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 (Super cute)

I've debated trying to just shave off the top of the shoe a bit near the ankle bone so that it's lower. I thought about doing it on my older pair. I haven't decided if that will work or not and if I should try it. I don't think it would affect the shoe at all.

I bought an emergency pair of Brooks Ravenna 5's. I figured I ran my marathons last year in the 4's and it was ok. I wore them for my short run 5 mile run last week and for my 12 this weekend. And I'm just feeling "Eh" on them. I have absolutely NO IDEA what I'm going to do for my marathon....that's in less than 2 weeks!  Ok moving on...

Brooks Ravenna 5 (Also super cute)
I'm wearing Injinji Toe Socks. My new love. I love you Injinji. My non-blistered toes love you too. Thank you!


My ultimate goal for the marathon would be to PR. That means I have to come in under 4:44:54. I think it's doable. But I have no strategy. I've just been trying to average or maintain a pace on my long runs between 10:15-10:30 for the most part. I've walked at points and miles come in in the 11:00's. That's fine. I've been trying to "run happy". But I have no idea what to run for my marathon to achieve my goal. I mean, I know I have to run below a 10:53 average pace. But... how do I start? How do I keep going when it's tough? How do I get a PR? Should I see if I can run with the 4:30 pace group? Should I start out and run with the 4:45 pace group? (Roughly...the grand rapids marathon has "celebrity pace groups" and it's 4:29 and 4:44).

Ultimately, I'm just going to run. I'm going to try not to worry about it too much. I'm going to try to not start out so fast. I'm going to try to stay consistent. And I'm going to try to run happy.  My pace will be what my pace will be.

I'm attaching my 19 miler and 20 miler garmin splits. As you can tell, I haven't done too bad. I had a rough time on my 19 miler and a better "happier" time on my 20 miler but on both, my splits are pretty decent. (My 20 miler, my garmin messed up and I'm missing 1 mile somewhere in the middle, but it didn't matter to me).  So this makes me believe I can do it if I keep my head on straight and "run happy."
19 miler/20 miler

I'm SO EXCITED for this marathon. I feel like I'm running my first marathon. I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I'm physically feeling better than last year and part of me thinks a PR is possible. I haven't tried to PR anything this year. THIS is the one I'm waiting for.  But I'm feeling nervous. As it's getting closer and all of my long (really long) runs are now over, I only have the marathon to think about now. No more worrying about my 18, 19 or 20 milers. This is it. Less than 2 weeks.