Exciting Newsflash!

Remember when I was rejected from not one, but two marathons?  Well yesterday, I was asked by a very awesome running colleague whether I wanted her sister’s friend’s or maybe some other person’s (does it really matter?) spot in the Marine Corps Marathon!  Aside from this little race called the Boston Marathon, MCM has been on the top of my bucket list ever since I discovered the joy of running 26.2 miles a little over 2 years ago.  Well, as of 8:42 this morning, all logistical hurdles have been hurdled and I am officially registered for the 40th Marine Corps Marathon on October 25, 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Basil
In case you are curious as to what Basil and I will be doing later today.

More details to come.

Recovery, trails, and running uphill for 2 miles!

First of all, a big thank to the Vermont City Marathon for posting the link to my little blog on its Facebook page.  Basically, I am famous now, so I can retire.  Goodbye.

Just kidding!  Really got ya there, huh?  However, the pressure is on to keep my interwebs friends up to date on my running adventures!  The first update is more of a non-update.  As you may recall if you are one of my loyal readers, I mentioned in my last post that I would be running the Capital City Stampede 10K.  I was really, really, really ^ 999 looking forward to this race, but I decided against it at the last minute.  Despite my earlier claims that I would “take it easy,” I know myself well enough to know that I would have charged out of the gate at lightening speed, realized my legs were made of lead, and drowned myself in the Winooski River injured myself.  There will be many 10Ks, but I only have 2 legs.  I need to take care of these puppies!

The good news is that 21 days after the marathon (hard to believe), I am finally beginning to feel like my legs are not made of lead.  To celebrate this development, I have been frolicking through the woods without my Garmin.

Hubbard Park deliciousness.
Hubbard Park deliciousness.

For the foreseeable future, I plan to only run on trails unless I am racing on a course that is not a trail.  The reasoning behind this extremely complicated plan is five-fold: 1) Trails are awesome, 2) Trails are generally shady, 3) Trails make me stronger, 4) Trails are easier on me old bones, and 5) I have always wanted to befriend a bear.  At some point, I will probably start training for a Fall marathon and resume running on the roads, but right now I just want to run with my bear friends in the woods.  After training for a marathon for a gazillion weeks, it feels GREAT to just run when I want, where I want, and for however long I want.

Another perk to running in the woods?  Provided I carry her water (SLACKER), this little monkey gets to join me for the shorter jaunts:

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Kettle Pond. Do not go there. It is awful. There are bears.

Yesterday, Basil and I “ran” a 3 mile loop around Kettle Pond.  I put “ran” in quotes because we stopped numerous times to swim, and parts of the trail looked liked this:

While I am generally up for challenging terrain, I also happen to like my face.
While I am generally up for challenging terrain, I also happen to like my face.  (Also, polar bear.  Seriously, do not go to Kettle Pond.)

However, we managed to run about 75% of the trail, because other parts of the trail looked like this:

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Delicious single track.  Really a shame about the polar bears, though.

Upon completing the loop, Basil and I decided to take a selfie to preserve our memory in case the escaped murderers were hiding out in the Groton State Forest to commemorate one of our more fun adventures:

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Basil is obviously too cool to take a picture with her mother.  Kids these days.  :/

Oh, I should probably mention that I raced this morning!  Coined the Worcester 4 Mile Challenge, the race was more of a fun run than a race per se.  No clock, no real start/finish line (let’s start by this car, ok?), and one massive hill.  The course is an out and back and climbs ~700 ft in the first 2 miles, most of the elevation being in the second mile alone.  Out of a competitive field of 9 women in the race, I crossed the finish line in 2nd place!  Almost accomplished my goal of winning a race!  My legs are definitely still partially made of lead, but I had fun and won a really cool prize.  That’s what it’s all about, RIGHT?

Can you tell where the hill was?
Can you tell where the hill was?
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Totally worth the $10 entry fee.

I heart running.

What’s next?

After the euphoria that was the immediate aftermath of the Vermont City Marathon, I fully expected to experience a serious case of the post-marathon blues.  Luckily, I have managed to mostly avoid this completely medically recognized condition over the course of the last 10 days.  I attribute my continued happiness to the following:

  • Rest!  I did not run or do any cardio whatsoever for a full 5 days after the marathon.  During the 5 days after that, I ran 4 times for 2-3 miles each time (with the exception of one 6 miler yesterday).  I’ve used the time I would normally spend running doing relaxing things such as catching up on Teen Mom reading the Classics and giving Basil her annual bath*.  My body took a serious beating during the marathon (thank god for handicapped bars in bathrooms) and I know that an injury is just lurking around the corner waiting to pounce should I ramp back up too quickly.  While I am feeling more than good 10 days out, during yesterday’s 6 miler my legs, specifically my left calf and quad, were definitely like, “Hi!  Hello!  We are your calf and quad!  It’s so great to be here!  We are feeling feelings right now!”
  • The knowledge that I am in awesome shape just in time for racing season!  While I will certainly not be gaining any fitness while watching Teen Mom resting my weary body, I know that it will take me no time at all to get back into fighting shape.  I’m excited to see what I’m capable of once I am finished watching Teen Mom fully recovered.  (Okay, okay – enough with the Teen Mom.)
  • As a continuation of the above bullet-point (sub-bullet-point?), I am really, really, really excited about upcoming races.  While I don’t have a set schedule at the moment, and I am forbidden from registering for races in the 2-3 weeks following a marathon (analogy: grocery shopping whilst drunk), I DO plan on doing most of the Central Vermont Runners races as well as several others.  First on the agenda is the Capitol City Stampede 10k on Saturday!  Will discuss this below…

* Giving Basil a bath is actually the opposite of relaxing.  It is probably a good core workout due to all the wrangling.

She looks
She looks pretty darn cute when not thrashing around!  Also, it is not lost on me that this is not the first time I have posted a picture of yellow lab bath time.

So what’s next?  A few things.  First up, the Capitol City Stampede 10k in two days!  I love this race because it is organized by my running club (CVR what what) and it takes place right in my backyard!  However, I know that racing any distance is quite stupid 13 days after a marathon.  Therefore, my plan is to run comfortably hard and drop out/slow down if anything hurts.  I do not want to risk a season ending injury for a podunk 10k.

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Here I am running the Capitol City Stampede last year!  Did I win by landslide or lose by a landslide?  You be the judge!  (In actuality, I finished somewhere in the middle of the pack.  Gotta love small town races!)

After the Stampede at which hopefully no one gets stamped on that would be sad, I plan on running many more races in the 5k to half marathon range.  Nothing is set in stone.  I do have a few goals of both the running and sorta running/related to running variety.  Some of these goals are short-term and some are more long-term.

GOALS:

  1. Focus on strength training.  If this means cutting back on mileage to make time, so be it.  Strength training will make me a better runner and help me continue to remain injury free.  I’ve also concluded as a result of following Shalane, Kara, and Lauren on Instagram highly scientific studies that runners have arm muscles.  Given the sad state of my arms as of late, I would be happy with just one bicep.
  2. Set some PRs baby!  More specifically, I would like to:
    1. Break 22 minutes in the 5k.
    2. Break 46 minutes in the 10k.
    3. Break 1:40 in the half marathon.
    4. Break 3:35 in the marathon and qualify for Boston! (OBVIOUSLY SHMOVIOUSLY.)
  3. Run a trail race!
  4. Win a race!  I realize that this one is more dependent on the other runners in the race and less dependent on how fast I actually run.  Therefore, I need to strategically pick some completely unpopular/small-town races.  Even better, I need to sign up for a charity walk and pretend that I didn’t get the memo.  “Oh, this was a walk?  My bad!  NOW GIVE ME MY DAMN TROPHY!”

On that note, I’m going to go celebrate National Running Day a day late.