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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Crazy Runner Chick!

Yep, that's me.  Here's my quotes...

During the Marathon:
"I'm certainly not running Disney.  I guess I can drop out.  Just go as a vacation, since I've got a plane ticket and a hotel room.  I can just support Todd.  That will be fun.  I'm never running another marathon again."

Right after the Marathon (to Todd):
"Well, I don't want to think about training for Disney because that's going to suck.  I'm never running another marathon after Disney."

Day after the Marathon:
"Got to start training for Disney.  Maybe I'll look at pictures from last year's Disney marathon."

A few hours later:
"Disney was such a good race.  That was a lot of fun.  I'm excited about it, but then that's it for marathons for a long, long time."

Yesterday:
"Lots of people are running the Breast Cancer Marathon in February.  I could run that.  That will be fun.  Maybe I'll sign up."


... so, yeah.  Considering another.

However, I still make the guarantee that I will not run Marine Corps again, or if I do, it will be at least a decade from now.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Update on Today...

I'm sore, very sore. Last night, we stayed in the room and I nursed my blisters (even though I had some big ones, for the most part they were a non-issue). I iced my feet as well. Today, my legs are sore - especially quads. I can't sit on the floor, and my feet are very, very stiff. They'll be ok though...

I'm already starting to forget. It's funny how that happens. I'm looking at race reports from Disney 2007 and shopping for half marathons for 2008.

I'm nuts, yes.

2007 Marine Corps Marathon

We got down to DC on Saturday around 1pm or so and checked into our hotel. Our hotel was right on the race course and directly across from the Pentagon (great view!). We headed to the Expo right away to get our packets and ran into Kristy, Sue, Dianne & Natalie while we were walking around. Todd bought a new singlet for our Disney Marathon coming up.

Back to the room, where I practiced using my new watch. Then, we went to dinner at Cafe Italia in Crystal City. It was very nice, thank you for the recommendation, NickF!! WN and WoWN joined us there. We were a big group and dinner was very nice. Then, it was back to the hotel room where I suddenly got very sick to my stomach. I'd decided not to bring my iPod, but then Todd convinced me to take it with me on Sunday to the race, so I occupied myself by putting a playlist together - and I bought an audiobook - Jon Stewart's America, which I'd already read. I didn't end up listening to the audio book during the race, though.

We were up at 5:30 to start getting ready and had bagels in our room before the race. Then, we met everyone in the lobby and headed across the Pentagon parking lot to the starting line. The mood was good and happy.

Days before, I'd spoken to Jeff Galloway over email and he'd suggested that I do 1-1 intervals for the race. Karen later suggested that I do 1:30-1s and since Kathy (down from Vermont for the race) wanted to do 1:30-1s, Kristy and I decided to run with her at that interval, rather than the 2-1 that we're used to.

We started out great and on pace, although it was hard to tell because the mile 1 marker was definitely in the wrong spot. The early part of the race was hilly, but we were maintaining between a 13:30 and 13:50 pace, which was our target. Parts of the beginning of the race sucked - they changed the course this year and threw in an additional large hill around mile 6. Kristy and Kathy were actually speeding up and I spent a large portion of miles 5-10 following just behind them.

The UMBC Gang was out around mile 9/10 at the Kennedy Center and I waived to them, but really couldn't stop to say hello because I was trying so hard to stay on pace and I had no idea what would happen with the potty breaks. Their sign said "KLETCO!" this year so that I could distinguish that from all of the other Kims that are out there :) I love you guys!!

Around the mall, I was realizing that Kathy and Kristy were going to continue to go a little faster than I wanted to, so I finally fell behind and let them go. This happened around mile 11. My mom, Vic, Bo and Bo's 2 kids were out on the course at miles 12 and 14. They had brought canned orange sections in baggies that were REALLY REALLY REALLY good. And, they brought me my baggie of saltines. I saw the UMBC gang again at mile 14, and then headed on towards Hains Point.

So, at about this point - mile 14/15, heading into the toughest part of the race, I was tired. I was trying to maintain my goal pace of 13:50, but it was tough. I was feeling great mentally, and in a weird twist from last year, I was actually ok with being alone and looking forward to the solitary feeling of Hains Point. I was getting tired of people cheering and I wanted to focus on myself for a while.

As I passed through Hains Point, I focused on myself, and tried with desperation to figure out what I could do to recover properly. I added a few walk breaks and pretty much right at the point of Hains Point, I switched down to 1-1s. Pace had slowed to 14-15 minutes per mile, but after I passed mile 19, I tried to do some math and figured I could keep up a 14-15 minute pace and still PR... but it's hard to do math at that point.

... and on to the bridge. I knew I'd beat the bridge this year, I had no doubt I would get across so that really wasn't even a worry for me. I can't even really say that there was something satisfying about making it on to the bridge. I did get to see Davida though, who I cried to. I'd been crying on and off for a while.

Once I was on the bridge, I decided to start the iPod. I'd made a separate playlist of only songs that I felt that I could tolerate during the race, since a lot of times when running with music I skip a lot of songs. Well, that worked out, I never skipped a song at all and the playlist lasted me from the bridge all the way to mile 26 where I took off the headphones... maybe sometime I'll share the list, but there are quite a few embarrassing songs on the list.... I didn't care. No one could hear them but me and what did I care if anyone knew I was listening to the Spice Girls??

From this point - Mile 20 (after seeing Davida) into Crystal City, about mile 23, I fell into a pretty good groove of doing 1-1s and being able to keep a 14-15 minute pace. It was working for me. I saw my family again in Crystal City and also the UMBC Gang.

23-26.2 was a different sort of thing. My feet - and the arthritis in them - could not be ignored again. I was exhausted and my 1 minute of walking was not enough to get me to recover. I knew Todd had finished, which was a comfort, but the text message service was going crazy and I was getting like 50 text messages (LITERALLY!) every time I looked at my phone. I was throwing in extra walk breaks all over the place and walked most of mile 25. Then, as I could see the finish area in the distance, a couple of songs on my iPod gave me new energy and I manged about 4 runs... but no more. Everything hurt and my feet were so sore. There were a couple little hills toward the end, I saw Debra heading towards the finish. I was both happy to have the finish line soon and incredibly angry at myself for being unable to keep up with things to get a PR.

As I headed up the hill, there was Dianne, so I knew that she hadn't finished. I looked at my watch and saw 6:25... A PR would have to be better than 6:23. I shrugged and ran it in, but I was emotional and unhappy at the finish line.

I mean, one thing is good - I fought the inability to run alone and I was actually fine on my own. There were no mental issues on this run. It was just physical. And I curse the fact that I have this problem with my feet that is essentially the source of all of my other problems with running.

So, I guess I'm angry that I have this issue. I'm both disappointed and proud at the same time. And I'm very consistent. I didn't know my finish time, but Sandra called and let me know that it was 6:25 (I wasn't sure if I'd actually crossed during that minute or not). I can assure you that this was my last Marine Corps Marathon and I am relatively certain that Disney will be my last marathon for quite some time. I've already promised Karen from fleet feet that I'll be leading a half marathon group next year.

A HUGE thank you to my cheering section: Mary, NickF, Dustin, WN, Davida, Maria, Mom, Vic, Bo, Dylan and Drew. And thanks to Sharon for the encouragement during the race. Thank you and congratulations to my fellow MCM runners - Kristy, Dianne, Debra, Karin R, Sue, Nancy, Tom, Natalie, Kathy, Jack, WoWN, and most of all thank you to Todd for being a constant source of support, even when he's hurting also. :) I love you all.


Here are some photos... Some of them are from Davida. I didn't take a lot of pictures (only one on the course) because I was staying so focused on my running. Weird... it was just a completely different race for me, and I am still reflecting.

Marine Corps Marathon 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yes, I'm Done

  • Yes, I'm done.
  • Yes, I finished.
  • No, I didn't set a PR.
  • I feel horrible - worse than any other marathon thus far.
  • I am not pleased with my time
  • I did fight some demons by running more than half of the marathon alone.

Other than that, not at all interested in talking about it...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We're Here...

Packets picked up. We ran into Sue, Natalie, Kristy & Dianne at the Expo. We have an EXCELLENT view of DC from our hotel. We can see the Kennedy Center, Washington Monument, 14th Street Bridge, and many more fun sights. And we have a bird's eye view of the Pentagon. The course actually passes directly in front of our hotel, which might mean that Todd will get to see me on the course tomorrow after he finishes. We'll see. Dinner is at 5:30 and then we'll just relax.

I'm less nervous than last year for sure. It'll be ok. Just a run.

Here we go...

Not quite packed, I have to get the rest of my stuff in order, but we should be able to get out of here by 11am, which is on schedule. I'm sitting with a bowl of cereal right now. Boy, I hope it stops raining.

Did I mention that I got a new watch yesterday? It's a Timex Ironman Triathlon that keeps track of target time. So, I have it set to 6:20 and at each split, it will tell me if I'm on pace or not. Kinda cool... If I can figure out how to work it before tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kim's 2007 MCM iPod Playlist

I'm still working out logistics of how to get headphones to work, but I think I'm bringing some sort of music player for the marathon...  And here are the top 12 songs that I want to put in my playlist (also an audiobook, but we'll see, my prep time clock is ticking down quickly...)
  1. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  2. Under Pressure by The Used (a little faster than the Queen version)
  3. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (cheesy but awesome to run to)
  4. Callin Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks (just a fast, great song)
  5. Southern Cross by Jimmy Buffett (to remember that I have something to look forward to)
  6. The Fever by Garth Brooks
  7. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor (for Haines Point)
  8. Swamp Thing by The Grid (better for running in the country, but that is ok)
  9. The Race is On by Sawyer Brown
  10. Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks
  11. The Road and the Radio by Kenny Chesney (it's slow, but a good song)
  12. Mountains by Lonestar

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Number Crunching

Ugh...

Jump into my pool of misery.

At work, we have this document that gets printed with a ton of numbers (my industry deals a lot with numbers).  On this page, these numbers are all dependent on one another, but the document I'm creating out of them doesn't really say how.  I have to get these numbers to match the numbers from the system we're replacing with our app.

You take one number and you multiply it by a bunch of other things, you add in all sorts of formulas, and the code that it's written in is not that good (frankly, and no, I didn't write it, but I'm stuck figuring it out).   There's all sorts of rounding going on all over the place and I've spent this entire week thus far trying to get them to match.

My eyes are popping out and my head is spinning... WN - is this what it's like to be an actuary?

Monday, October 22, 2007

6 Days to 26.2

I did my last long run of MCM Training tonight. Yes, tonight, because Saturday morning went something like this...

ALARM: BEEP BEEP BEEP...
KIM (turning off alarm): NO! I want to SLEEP!!!! (Rolls over, goes back to bed)
TODD: Sounds good to me... Zzzz...

And Sunday was more of the same.

So, tonight I ran 6 1/2 miles of hills (instead of 8 miles of trail). And now I just have to do 2 little runs this week and then Saturday I make my trek into DC and then Sunday I will torture myself for 6 hours. Huzzah!

I have really not thought a whole lot about the marathon, at least in terms of pain or sweat or mental anguish or anything that would make me nervous. And while I've gone to great lengths to not think about it, I noticed today while I was staring blankly at some Java code that I've been nervously chewing on my nails and such. Still, I'm trying REALLY REALLY hard not to think about it.

So, driving home I was focusing on the positive things. For example, that moment when you start running and you're crossing the starting line and the highway is lined with spectators, so many you'd never pick anyone out as being someone you know... Plus, friends are there with you and everyone's cheering and music is playing and you can't help but be like HELL YEAH! Marine Corps is great for that, because while there were a lot of people at Disney, not a lot of spectators at the starting line (plus it starts in the dark), although Disney has fireworks, which is a plus.

Or seeing friends and family along the course, getting excited knowing they're going to be up ahead and you can stop and say hi.

Or getting past mile 20 and realizing if you've beat the bridge, you can crawl in and you'll still finish... Yet, thinking "ugh, still a 10k race to go..." NO! POSITIVE THINGS!

Or crossing the finish line and being frickin' glad you're done and trying to decide if you should just lay down on the ground or what (the answer is that if you lay down on the ground, you don't get back up, so the best thing is a shower).

6 days.... 6 days.... 6 days...

Side note: While I was writing this, Todd saw picasa up on my screen and leaned over in a "hey! What photos are you looking at?" kind of way and then saw it was marine corps photos and said, "Oh God. I don't want to look."

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Day After

Get Ready.

Question of the Day: Tipping

For our Friday, here's my question today...

When you PICK UP food at a restaurant, whether it is carryout or just the carryout section of a full-service restaurant, do you tip?  Often, if you pay by credit card, there is a tip line on the receipt.  Do you write a tip down?  If so, do you tip more or less than you would if you were at a sit down restaurant or if you had the food delivered?

I want to hear peoples thoughts on this, because this is a real dilemma that I face all the time.

Tentative Marine Corps Weather

The forecast is finally out!  It's been killing me all season not knowing the weather...

Sunny, High of 66, Low of 47, 7mph winds

... that's pretty good.  It could be a little cooler, but maybe this will make my spectators more comfortable than last year.  I have a feeling that it will be windy at Haines Point no matter what.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dining

Thanks for the suggestions for pre and post marathon dining. I'm taking Nick's Cafe Italia suggestion for pre-marathon, but I don't think that Jaleo will work for post-marathon. I looked at the menu and put myself in that "place" where you are post-marathon. It feels kind of like a hangover, where you really only want certain things. I don't think spicy food or lots of squid/seafood will work. I've decided not to eat squid anymore anyway, after playing with them too much underwater (even though I LOVE calamari, they're just so smart, it would be like eating a cat). Part of me is wondering if we should just get carry out from somewhere and eat in our room, except that I want to wear my medal around. I mean, how often do you get to walk around wearing a medal?

UPDATE: I'm thinking about maybe Hamburger Hamlet in Crystal City. Has anyone been there?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marathon Information

UPDATE TO THIS... I double checked and I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon in my MAIDEN name. If you're unsure, look up both names.

Hi everyone,

The Marine Corps Marathon is Sunday, October 28, 2007 and I will be running it for the second time. If you are interested in coming down to watch the race, here is some information.

The closest Metro Stations to the race are:
1. Arlington National Cemetary, which will take you within a mile of the starting line.
2. Foggy Bottom/GMU, which is about a half mile of the course between mile markers 9 and 10.
3. Federal Triangle, which brings you to about 2 blocks from the course at mile 12/13.
4. Smithsonian, which is around mile 14. It's a great idea to go to Federal Triangle, catch me at mile 12 and then walk across the mall to catch me at mile 14 and then take the Smithsonian Metro station, which is right there.
5. Crystal City, which is about 3 blocks from the course around miles 22 and 23. This is another great opportunity to see me twice.
6. Rosslyn, which is about a half mile from the finish line. I"ll be walking to this metro station after I finish in order to get back to my hotel.

The race starts at 8:00am and I run at about a 13-14 minute pace (meaning that it will take me 13 or 14 minutes to run a mile). You will have to do some math to figure out where I will be when. If you are looking for Todd, his pace is somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes per mile.

I will have my cell phone, you can call me at (email me), but I may not answer if I'm feeling bad. You can also text message me at that number.

If you want to bring things to give to runners, they like small gatorades, candy (gummy bears, starburst, candy corn), small pretzels and crackers. Bring them in a bowl or tray so runners can grab them as they go by. A lot of runners write their names on their shirts so that you can cheer for them as they go by.

If you are coming to see me, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN ADVANCE! No surprises, it really encourages me to keep going if I have someone to look forward to seeing (and it really means a lot!!). I'd prefer to know exactly where you'll be so I can look for you and look forward to seeing you.

I also recommend remote runner tracking at http://www.doitsports.com/results/MSG-signup.tcl?sub_event_id=2941 If you register at that website, you can track where I am and the service will text message your phone or send you an email to let you know when I cross certain points on the course. (You can do this even if you aren't coming down to watch).

NOTE: I am registered at the Marine Corps Marathon in my MAIDEN NAME.

Thanks everybody!

Baltimore Running Festival 2007

Yesterday was the Baltimore Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay and 5k. I had done my running before hand (running 9 miles at 6:15am), and then we headed down to do our cheering for the marathon.

It was a beautiful day for a race, the weather was perfect. We were at mile marker 20 for the full marathon and mile marker 8 for the half marathon. There were some pretty tired looking people.

Wacky Neighbor was running the half, and I was there to cheer. Also running were Fleet Feet's Debbie, Rose, Michelle and Gary... and a guy dressed like a can of Miller Lite. I also saw Elvis, a guy wearing a big afro, a guy in a tuxedo... and two guys who are also running Marine Corps!

I couldn't make it to the finish line, but at mile 8, WN looked great (as did everyone, actually).


Sue, Debra & Todd


Giving out candy & cheering


Mile 8


Wacky Neighbor looking great!


Wacky Neighbor at Mile 8


Debbie at Marathon Mile 20


Gary


Rose and Michelle


The Miller Lite Can was running the Relay

Monday, October 8, 2007

More on Chicago

Read some of the debate on the Chicago Marathon...


Let's talk about this some more.

Without a doubt, the marathon was a disaster. So, was calling it off the right thing? Yes, I think so. At that point, everything had gone too far downhill. They were at a point where the marathon organizers, LaSalle Bank, the City of Chicago, and everyone else involved were risking lawsuits. As much as I'd like to agree that runners should be able to decide if they go on or not, the fact of the matter is that we sue in this country too much and that just feeds more and more the idea that companies and organizations have a responsibility to protect us from ourselves and our own stupidity. Plus, someone who has just run 16+ miles in 88 degree weather and is suffering from hyperthermia and dehydration is unlikely to make a rational decision either - especially when they've been training for 5 months. You get taught to run through everything, keep going even if it hurts, so you do. It's that simple. I can't even say with accuracy if I'd have stopped or not.

Chicago, New York, Marine Corps, Boston and all of the largest marathons in large cities should really think about this. There should have been a lot of ways to prevent a screw up like this. Yes, weather is unpredictable, but it's not unpredictable days in advance and enough water should have been brought in. As much water as possible. There should have been more volunteers, and attention should have been given to the back of the packers, who are out longer and face a much larger danger of dehydration and heat exhaustion. You ALWAYS want more water than less, because you can't get the water to the water stops during the race because the roads are closed. There should be contingency plans, and um, they should work.

Some suggested starting the race earlier. Well, if you make that a regular thing, you risk evil Chicago wintery weather that could be just as miserable. Changing the start time a day or two before the race is more difficult than I think people realize. It's not just getting word out to runners, it's coordinating an entire city and a ton of volunteers - not everyone can just up and change their plans and changing the start time might have resulted in less volunteers and therefore less water. Although it would have helped... this year... if it were possible.

Disney can do things a little easier, since they're on Disney property, most of the volunteers are Disney castmembers, and they have access to a lot of bottled water and beverages just for the parks. And, well, they're sort of good at managing crowds. It's what they do. I don't think the other cities have the same ability to manage 30,000 people who are out doing one of the world's ultimate tests of will. Every single person puts themselves in some sort of danger when they choose to run a marathon. What to do when circumstances happen and those 30,000 are taking even more of a risk? Chicago and New York are always challenging each other to see who can have the title of largest marathon. Maybe, in the interest of safety, we should think about reducing those numbers a bit.

NOTE: For the record, Baltimore had water troubles in 2005 and they're a much smaller marathon - the city's residents stole the water. Get my hands on those guys.

Who knows. Hindsight is 20/20, but I do think that race organizers should pay close attention and do something to make sure that there isn't a repeat of this. It's only going to get hotter, guys.

Marathons...

UGH.


First off, the Chicago Marathon just can't catch a break. Last year, they had the winner fall down at the finish line and this year there was a horrible mess with the temperature. This is frightening. It's OCTOBER. I was out at 4pm yesterday planting flowers and the heat was killing me. They shut the marathon down early... can you believe that?? I wouldn't have finished - and I even considered the Chicago marathon this year. That article gave me chills.

My thoughts go to Marine Corps. I have already run a marathon in 80-90 degree temperatures. I know what hell it is and how much it slows you down. What do I do if Marine Corps is as hot?? The differences between that and Disney are tremendous - Disney doubled the water stops, something I don't have faith that the MCM has the bandwidth to do. Disney also starts 2 1/2 hours earlier than the MCM - in preparation for potential heat. I don't know if I could do 26.2 at 85 degrees starting at 8:30am (I think it starts at 8:30 - if not, this should be something I am figuring out).

So, my thought is that if the forecast is for a sunny day hotter than about 80 degrees, I'm bailing on the marathon. Please don't be shocked. I will run either Richmond on November 10 or Philadelphia on November 18. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are real threats... and I really don't want to take the risk for a race that isn't my target.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Running Update

Right now, things are ok but not great.  I tried a weekday short run last night and I had pain in my calf.  I knew that if I continued to run, after a mile or so it would go away or at least lessen, but I also know from before that if I continue to run through it, it won't heal or go away and it will get progressively (although relatively slowly) worse.  So, I chose to stop running and walk back home after roughly a third to a half mile last night.

The right foot/arthritis problem is fine, I have a bit of minor pain on the pinky toe side of my foot and the big toe joints on both feet are a little sore because I've been screwing with them, doing things like "Hey Todd, how far does YOUR big toe bend?  Let's try mine."  Nothing really unusual.

So, I'm really just fighting the calf.  Do I see a doctor?  What type of doctor?  Orthopedist doesn't make sense.  As much as I'd love to say that I should get a sports massage when it bothers me, that's going to get mighty expensive quickly (yes, I bought a massage package when I went in last week, but part of that is for my pre-marathon massage in October... Oh crap, it's October now.  Blah).

I'm trying to get the marathon info together, both for those that wish to come down and see me run and those that just want to track me online.  Congrats to Davida, also, for running the Berlin Marathon on Sunday!!! 

Also, too, if anyone knows of a good place to get pasta or pizza or both in the Arlington/Crystal City/Pentagon/Rosslyn area, I would be much appreciative.  It's ok if it's in DC, too, as long as it is very close to a metro stop.  I'm also looking for POST-marathon meal recommendations in the same area (not in greater DC, after the marathon I'd prefer to stay close to the hotel).  Post marathon meals are very tasty, but not too too greasy or heavy.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Running Update

Well, I finished my longest run of the season on Saturday.  It turned out to not be the longest run of the season, because my group elected to do 21 miles when we'd done 22-23 miles a few weeks earlier.  But it really shouldn't make a difference in the end.  I have a full report of the run itself on my private blog, go check it out!

After the run, I was in a lot of pain.  My ongoing problems with my feet are all caused by a problem with the bone of my big toe being too high on both feet, which makes walking/running difficult for me, and I compensate by turning my feet out (something I always thought I did because I was fat...).  It also means that I have arthritis in my feet, worse on my left side, worse on the big toe joints, meaning that I don't have range of motion in that joint.  The different stride also means that I get callouses and blisters on my feet because shoes were meant for people who run normally.  So basically all of my foot troubles go back to this one issue. 

Why do I mention this?  Well, I still don't know why it was so bad on this run, but I had a MAJOR arthritis/joint issue on my right foot this weekend.  As soon as I got home and took off my shoe, it was THROBBING.  I was in severe pain all day on Saturday (and I was also getting weird flu-like symptoms that caused me to sleep for at least 6 hours Saturday afternoon).  I was better Sunday (more leg soreness than anything - normal) and I'm much better today - almost normal.  It's weird, though, and my only explanation is that my shoe laces were too tight on my right foot.  When I bought new shoes a couple weeks ago, I only loosened the left laces to prevent blisters.  The right foot seemed fine.

So, there aren't any more really long runs before the marathon, and as long as I left my foot in the shoe I was ok (pressure on the foot really helped the pain, but when I removed the pressure, the throbbing started all over again).  Let's hope this doesn't interfere with anything.
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