Sunday, June 21, 2015

Everyone Loves a Parade (Marathon Training, Week 2)

This week included endless 400 repeats, a great new clubhouse, and the rowdiest, sugar-pumped entry in the local parade.  Oh, yeah, and 24 miles.  However, the highlight was Saturday morning….
I got to the “early miles before the club run because we have a parade today” group about 20 min late, so I didn’t get to start with the group.  However, I was able to do a four mile loop and get to the actual start at 7 am, meeting up with the club and doing five more miles.  I didn’t want to go all the way home and back, so I wore my parade getup to run club—a club singlet and pink shorts. 

I have to say that wearing a team uniform always powered me to run faster, and yesterday morning was no exception.  I may not have been going faster, but I definitely felt faster.

After the run, I headed over to Starbucks to chill before the parade lineup started.  One of the baristas is a member of the club, so we chatted a bit.  It started to get super-busy, and a family sat down in the chairs near me.  Their order got messed up a bit with all the insanity, so I scored a free mocha.  I was set for the parade.

Now, I am a parade veteran.  I think I’ve done 30 or 40 for work, so I knew about all of the little details that people don’t think about when putting together a parade float.  Like that people love bringing their dogs to parades.  Since we were handing out donut holes to the kids, I figured that I would shop around and get a couple dozen donut shaped dog biscuits to complement what the club was doing—and was thrilled to find the perfect product:  Gourmet Tails Festive Donuts.  I threw them into an empty donut hole container, and I was ready to go.

We were a huge group of participants, with half a dozen parents with running strollers, superheroes, people running laps around our entry, kids handing out donut holes, and even two dogs.  It was loud and crazy and fun, probably the most entertaining entry of the entire parade.  At first, the strollers did formation runs, but as the kids ran out of donut holes, they joined in….to the point where the entire club was running formations and having a great time.  As I handed out my “dog donuts,” I would announce that the club meets on Saturday mornings and that all paces are welcome.

After we were finished, we took our time getting back up the parade route and our cars.  It was a fantastic morning, a fantastic showing for the club, and a great way to cap off the first hard week of marathon training!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My club’s marathon training plan started this week with yesterday’s long run, and my run was a stomach-knotter, literally.  I had gone to a gala the night before and something didn’t really agree with me….but it was my coffee that really put my intestines in a knot.

As I’m suffering through eight miles, I started wondering why I was suffering so much….and it came down to my morning coffee.  Okay, I am completely addicted to coffee.  I get excited to try a new blend or roast and drool when I read the phrase, “chocolate notes.”  It’s what I need first thing in the morning, but I’ve gotten into the habit on run club mornings to grab a few extra moments of sleep and pick up my morning coffee on my way to our meeting spot.  Any runner knows the problem with this logic. 

(On the plus side, guess what my extra large coffee on the way to the Wisconsin half failed to do?  Good thing I had all that practice, sigh….)

So my mission, should I choose to accept it, is to get up early enough to have my coffee at home so that my intestines are relaxed and ready to run.

On a side note….I am a charity runner for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so I’d be crazy not to post the link to my donation page.  Please click here to contribute, and thank you for your support!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The “Puke Point”

I have to apologize, since bodily fluids are not exactly a great topic, but currently a necessary one.  As someone who is naturally squeamish about discussing such matters, I will try to do it in a minimally gross way.

I’ve been really pushing myself of late, speed-wise, because I like going faster.  Of course, that means I’m running more anaerobically, so I’m also swallowing air.  Then I need to belch, but the water in my stomach wants to come up with it….and the sour taste of butyric acid gets into my throat and mouth, blech. 

For obvious reasons, I’ve named that moment when you are when so fast you’re bordering on getting sick, the “puke point.”  As a kid, trying to avoid the puke point probably contributed to my lazy runner attitude.  I was so scared that I would get sick that I would slow down, especially on speed workouts.  I never ate right before a workout, including not eating more than a few simple carbs when I was competing.

However, my pace at the puke point isn’t fast enough for me—and actually, is slower than the pace I need to maintain to qualify for Boston.  So not doing my training, not pushing to go faster, is not an option.  I’m going to have the winning combination of pushing through the discomfort and figuring out my eating and drinking habits to reduce the problem.  I hope by the end of the summer, I'll have this conquered--and be much faster!