Monday, May 30, 2011

stillwater runs slow but strong

I ran 20 miles yesterday.
Dorks 'R Us.  I lost one of my gels in the mile 6 porta-potty.
I have to say, I looked like an absolute tool with this belt on.
And having my number on the belt was not going to happen.
It would have driven me crazy.  I pinned it to my shirt instead.

I repeat, I RAN 20 miles yesterday.  

I did the Stillwater Marathon 20 miler and it was an amazing day for me.  I was actually quite anxious before the race and wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it.  Remember, I'm the spazz with all the injuries and pains that slow me down.  I'm also not mentally tough when it comes to running. I'm really kind of a wuss.  Plus, 20 miles is a long way to run.

Ladies and Gentlemen - start your Garmins!
My trainer, TenacityChris, had given me strict instructions that I was not, NOT, under any circumstances to run faster than 11:30 minute miles.  Here is the excerpt from my training plan: 

Sunday: 5/29
Stillwater 20 miler:  Nothing faster than 11:30 pace –This is time on your feet running NOT RACING.  You WILL sacrifice Grandma’s if you race this as you’ll need so much recovery time from racing that you’ll not be ready to run Grandma’s!!! Listen to Coach!!!!  Any time you think about speeding up I want Tenacity Chris in your ear saying, NO NO NO !!!  ICE BATH AND CARB REPLACEMENT POST RUN!

Ah yes, she knows me well, Grasshopper.

I tried, I REALLY tried to stay slow.  I would feel myself speeding up and look at Garmin Electra and tell myself to back off, slow down, be smart.....  But I'm pleased to say that it was damn hard to consistently go that slow!!  I'm hoping that is a positive sign for Grandma's and that I'll be able to finish the race strong.

About mile 4. The belt is NOT
flattering. A spray tan before
Grandma's might be a good idea too.
Highlights of my run: 
1. Meeting a fellow runner named Misty who has only been running for 7-8 months.  She was wearing a shirt that said, "100 pounds lost and still losing!" We ran together for a couple of miles - she providing inspiration to me due to her accomplishments, and I'm happy to say that I was able to lift her spirits as we climbed the second largest of one of the MANY hills.  She saw the hill and said, "We have to go up that thing?"  I told her, "You've lost 100 pounds!  Think of that!! That hill is NOTHING compared to that!"  She thanked me for helping me over that hurdle before I moved on.  It felt great to be able to do that!  Like me, she's training for Grandma's so this was also her longest run to date.  It was so awesome to see her head toward the finish line!

2. Seeing many members of my family around mile eleven.  I almost started to cry when I saw them.  I had planned to stop for a photo op but was afraid I'd melt into a weepy puddle so I just kept going.   How wonderful to hear them cheering for me!

3. Right after mile 16 I heard people screaming my name - it was DD and her boyfriend.  "You're the strongest mama, EVER!"  "I love you, Mom!"  More music to my ears!

4. The husband.  Went with me to the start.  Calmed my nerves. Drove to a bunch of different points on the race to take pictures and cheer me on.  Met me at the finish.  He's amazing.  
Finishing strong!  Yay for me!

5.  Wonder of wonders, this was a remarkably easy run.  Keeping the pace slow helped tremendously, and the weather was absolutely PERFECT.  I'm amazed that I was totally comfortable the whole way.  Never felt tired or out of breath.  It was a little Memorial Day Weekend miracle, folks.

I'm happy to say that my right ankle was not a HUGE issue, however, it was definitely an issue so it will need some sorting out before Grandma's.  It got pretty painful and then the left ankle started bitching too, so I'm guessing it's my faulty anatomy.  Shoe inserts, maybe?  

Here are my splits.  (My official time was 3:45:24.  Garmin Electra time is faster because apparently, unlike Garmin Electra, the "official" clock doesn't get paused when you use the porta-potty.)  Had to stop and stretch the old hip a couple of times during mile 18.  Please note that my last mile (which I have obnoxiously highlighted) was my fastest.  Yeah, baby!!!

Avg Pace


  1. FANTASTIC! Great race details - it was just like being there, only I didn't burn 4,763 calories. ;D Can't wait to see how Grandma's goes - if you can do 20, you can SO do 26.freakin' TWO!

  2. Awesome 20-miler! Can't wait to hear about Grandmas!

  3. Nora, you have proven that running at a slower pace keeps your body feeling good and you not exhausted afterwards. What a great race--you will rock the marathon!

  4. AhhhhMAZING. You know how you're so inspired by the lady who lost 100lb? well I'm so inspired by YOU! I love how we can train our bodies to do stuff like this, stuff we'd never imagine doing.

    I hope you didn't go looking for the gel when you dropped it. :P

  5. You guys are the best! Thanks so much for your awesome support. I really appreciate it!
    @Suzy - My body is still wanting to know what the hell I'm doing to it! And no, I didn't go looking for the gel. Let's just say it went to a better place....

  6. LOVE your coach's instructions - sounds just like that voice inside my head that I like to ignore a lot :)

    You did so SO well! You are going to do amazing at Grandma's. Can't wait to meet you!

  7. @Bobbi - my coach really does know me well. I always want to push it! Of course, "pushing it" for me is still a tortoise pace for faster runners, but it's all relative.
    SO looking forward to meeting you at Grandma's too!

  8. Great Training run - perfect pacing. Hope to meet you at Grandma's. Right now we are training in 100 degree weather in Louisiana - I'm doing a tapering 12 miler this Sunday.

  9. Nora, I Googled something to do with Stillwater Marathon vs. Grandmas and stumbled upon your blog! HOW FUN!! Thank you for your kind words!! Seeing you near the finish was AWESOME! although, not near as awesome as you helping me up that GREAT HILL!!! Congrats on a successful run! And HAVE FUN in Duluth!

  10. MISTY!!!! I was so excited when I saw your name!!! It's so crazy that you stumbled upon my blog!

    I hope you don't mind that I mentioned you, but you were such a huge inspiration to me that I had to! I should thank you for making me feel like I had helped you, although I know for a fact that you didn't need my help at all - thank you!! And let me add this: Girl, you were AMAZING in that race. You looked SO STRONG at the finish! Good luck at Grandma's - you are going to rock that race.

  11. @Grannie Frannie - good grief, 100 degrees?!?! Any weather Grandma's throws at you will feel like nothing! It would be fun to meet up in Duluth!

  12. That sounds like a wonderful experience for you. I loved that you had to force yourself to go so "slow". Your slow pace is like my being-chased-by-a-bear pace. You are so totally, unbelievably, absolutely ready for Grandma's!


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