Beth Runs!

After sitting on my butt all winter, knitting and watching Craig Ferguson into the wee hours, it's time to get up, get out, and move!!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The race before the race

It's 3:52 am and Beth's been up since 3:04. Apperently there was a wake up call to the room but I (Ellen ) didn't hear it. Beth seems to be doing well, eating her oatmeal, mixing her electolite drink and pinning her race number to her chest. She's definitely amped up and excited. Things got a little tense last night at times so we know she's feelin it.

Happy 42nd Birthday and 1st Marathon Big Sister!!! We love you!

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Friday, January 05, 2007

I'm Here! In Orlando! For the Walt Disney World Marathon!

I'm happy. I'm peeved. I'm so excited I could throw up and also so irritated I could throw my laptop through Quality Suites Maingate East's windows and break all of them.

I'm sitting by the hotel pool getting eaten by mosquitoes as I write, as it's the only place in the complex I can get decent wireless internet reception. (And yes, Dad, I'm using Roboform so no one can steal my passwords.) The advertised Internet Cafe just off the main lobby does not exist. Nor do sunlight in my room or clean carpets. Well, okay, the carpet is clean today. They must have sent someone to clean it after I complained about my feet sticking to it last night. Now, it's just wet.

But I'm here! I can't show you any pictures at the moment because my laptop suddenly doesn't want to read my camera card. But I will find a way tomorrow.

(Okay, it's a few days later. Here are photos of the hotel.)

It's 9:43pm Eastern Time. In just over 2 hours Ellen and Fran will be joining me. I called Ellen today. She was already in a bad mood over something that happened at school. We are off to a great start.

Marathoning for MortalsOkay, honestly, we ARE off to a great start. I'd been freaking out for 2 weeks about the weather as I watched the forecasted temperature in Orlando go up, up, and away for Sunday, January 7th. It's hot and humid and kind of stinky here. But my attitude changed this afternoon at the Marathon Expo as I listened to a talk by my hero John Bingham, aka The Penguin, and his wife, Coach Jenny Hadfield, the authors of the book, Marathoning for Mortals upon which I based my training plan.

The title of Bingham's talk was "No Need For Speed." He's a big advocate for the slower runners among us. (His catch-phrase is "Waddle on, friends.") First he asked, "How many of you have a time goal?" A couple of people raised their hands. He responded, "Are you nuts? You paid all this money and went through all this training to come to Disney World, and now you want to get through it as fast as you can? Most people who visit Disney World want to stay all day!" He had a point.

Coach Jenny talked about the the unseasonably high heat and advised as to slow down and drink plenty of fluids so as not to become severely dehydrated and die. She also advised us to eat some salt right before the race and around the 18-mile mark so as not to develop hyponatremia and die.

Afterwards, they stayed to chat with people and sign books. I was so excited to get my book signed, I was practically peeing on myself. Once again, I really had to pee! But I just had to tell them that Sunday is my 42nd birthday and my first marathon and that I couldn't have done it without them! They needed this information! The guy behind me in line was kind enough to take my picture with them, but as I mentioned above, this *#!@$%#^ computer will not read my camera card so I can't post it just yet!

Okay: Here are the pictures:

So here I sit in my room, using a dial-up connection because my computer battery died as I was sitting by the pool and I had to come inside to plug it in. My marathon clothes and gear are all lined up on top of the air conditioner in the bedroom.

I tried to take a nap after the expo today (since I have to leave at 11pm to pick up Ellen and Fran, and who knows how long they'll keep me up tonight). Valium helped me get about an hour of uninterrupted sleep, but then my cell phone woke me up. After that I had about another 2 hours of fitful, mind-racing madness until I gave up. I never get enough sleep on most ordinary days. Why should marathon weekend be any different?

At any moment I could burst into tears.

Okay, I just did.

Here are some things to know:

The marathon starts at 6am Eastern time. If you would like to track my progress during the marathon, you can sign up at Live Results to have an e-mail or a text message sent to you as I cross the mats at miles 5, 10, 13.1, 20, and finish line.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Damned Right Leg!

Argh! My right knee is killing me! Okay, it's not killing me. But I don't think it's supposed to feel the way it's been feeling for the last 2 days. And on top of that, well actually below it, the left side of my shin is hurting too. Ever since I got out of bed yesterday morning.

Then, to add anxiety to injury, I was reading a new book on BART yesterday called Marathoning For Mortals in which the author emphasizes going slow and stopping training when something hurts. He's all full of scary warnings about how your legs will fall off and you'll be stuck in a wheelchair eating through a tube in your nose and no one will ever love you if you run when your legs hurt. I know! I know! But I just want to do this Half Marathon! I really want to do it! Can't I just wash down some pills with a big glass of tasty denial juice and keep going???

So I didn't run my 3 miles today on the road. I used my new Aqua Jogger for the first time at Temescal pool. (No, that's not me in the picture. Just imagine a navy blue bathing suit and maybe 15 more pounds. And no, I'm not posting a photo of me in a bathing suit on the web!)

I was starving, so I had a big hummus sandwich on the way to the pool: just the thing your mother tells you not to do. I didn't get a cramp and drown, but with the Aqua Jogger belt tight around my middle, I felt like I was going to barf.

Anyway, Temescal pool is much nicer than the gym's. The pool is big and outdoors and goes to 10 feet deep. I hung out in the deep end and ran in place for 35 minutes. It took a few minutes to get the hang of the rhythm of underwater running without looking like a spaz, but soon I was chugging right along. I just hope that doing this today gave my knee enough of a rest and the rest of me enough of a workout to do my 10 miles on Sunday!

Other things I have learned from Marathoning For Mortals that will be goals for the coming weeks:

1) Add 10 minutes to EVERY SINGLE run to warm up and cool down. That means, walk for 5 minutes before running and then walk for 5 minutes afterwards.

2) Add more time after the run to fully stretch all the relevant muscle groups. (This one is actually in my training manual, with illustrations, but I have been lax. Not stretching enough is probably part of the reason for my pain now.)

3) Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Against All Odds...

I completed my 7-mile run today, and it wasn't bad! I hadn't run at all since the 10K last Sunday. The blister was too raw for me to run all week. So I used the Stairmaster at the gym twice and apparently that (and all my previous training) was enough. I ran from home to Berkeley, around the UCB campus, and back. ( There were several steep hills, but somehow they did not daunt me. I just kept reminding myself how much fun it would be to run down the other side.

Maybe my body appreciated the rest this week because I ran today without getting very tired. It wasn't exactly easy, but there were parts that were totally fun! And, once I started, there was never a moment when I doubted that I could and would do it all.

Discovery: Clif Shot Mocha Energy Gel is vile! I brought one with me to refuel after running for an hour (just like they tell you to do in all the books!) I ripped open the packet with my teeth and sucked the thing down like a pro. And gagged. A nasty glop of sticky glumpus that made me feel like I wanted to hurl. Having nothing would have been better than this. Blech! There's got to be a better way!

Oh, one more thing! I found out that my 10K time last week was actually 68:54, not 71 minutes as I thought. I placed 140/150 overall and 42/50 women. I was faster than I thought and I didn't come in last! There's something to celebrate! Tuelo was the #3 woman and received a 3rd place ribbon. And she was disappointed in her time! She thought she should have done it in 42 minutes rather than 44. Everything is relative, isn't it? Here are the complete results that I copied from the Yahoo Groups posting: Stack 10k Results.htm

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Beth comes in 8,632nd Place!

8,632 sounds pretty awful, until you consider that there were 40,000 registered participants and an estimated 62,000 total. I was worried I wouldn't come in under 2 hours. Look at my time! 1:35! Better than I thought!

I didn't run for 30 full minutes at any point during the race. I think the longest I ran was about 18 minutes in the very beginning. Then, I thought I ought to pace myself. I ran and walked and ran and walked the whole way.

I had planned to run the entire length of Golden Gate Park, but by the time I was there, my shoe was rubbing a painful blister onto the back of my ankle. It was a real mental fight. It didn't hurt as much when I walked, but it would take longer to finish. Running made my ankle hurt more, but the pain would be over sooner. Man, was I happy to cross the Finish Line and head for the Red Cross tent for a bandaid.

So one thing I learned from this race was that I ought to put bandaids on the vulnerable parts of my feet ahead of time, knowing that I am prone to blisters in those areas.

Another thing I learned is that oatmeal is a good thing for me to eat before a race. I had a cup of oatmeal and a mug of tea at 6:30am, and I never felt sluggish or nauseated or hungry during the race.

I think I'll make a list of these things that I learn as I go, and post a link to it on the sidebar.

Here's another thing: a new mantra. "Pain is just weakness leaving your body." Don't think about it too much or over-analyze it. It sounds good. I'm going to add it to, "I know I can do this!" and "Quit whining, Beth. You know you're not going to stop." Maybe I'll make a list of these as well.

What else about the Bay to Breakers? The rain held off for us. The weather was cool and slightly muggy. Michael ran ahead of me for most of the race but would stop and wait for me to catch up. He took a lot of pictures with a disposable camera. I'll post the rest of the photos, as well as the Official Bay to Breakers photo when I get it in a few days.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Food and running...

Day 14 (Week 4): Man, did I learn a hard lesson tonight. I was at the office working and also pigging out until very late. I got to the gym on a full stomach. Running on the treadmill, I started feeling nauseated. I completed the first 20 minutes of running, and was so relieved to get to the 5 minutes of walking. But during the next 10 minutes of running, I actually had to stop and walk for a minute and a half in the middle. This is the first time I have had to slow down and walk when I should have been running. But I really felt like I might be sick.

No more running on a full stomach! I have learned my lesson!