Friday, March 30, 2012

Hunger Games All the Things




Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mar 18-25 : Training for the Hunger Games

Not really, but the movie is awesome, and it's going to make me a lot more excited to train than normal!

I read the book over Xmas break, and I've been really excited leading up to the movie release.  Be prepared to maybe see more HG training in future posts! 

Mar 18: 6.7 at the park.  It was 76 degrees.  I feel like we skipped winter completely... sad... it's my favorite season.  I like snow.  Oh well.  I practiced grabbing water bottles off of tables, the way elites do.  Not that I'll ever need to use it, but it's kind of fun to pretend.  My bottle had lemon + wate juice + salt... some people picture themselves chilling out on the beach, drinking a beer with buddies.  I picture myself with a glass of cold water + lemon + salt.  Whatever's so refreshing to you during/after a run is what you learn to love.  My bottle was a normal plastic water bottle that I filled up, not a typical re-usable bottle, so it was squishier.  Pollen started this week.  When I run, I do fine.  But it irritates my nose and eyes any other time.  6.7 in 58:37, 8:40 ave.

(Washing the sunscreen and pollen and dirt off of my face.  Always a good feeling.)

Mar 19: 1 hr strength session.  Overdid the dumbell rows, jumping from 50ish to 80 in one leap (8lbers), after doing 40-50 for a long time.  It felt fine at the time, but I felt baby back strains for a few days afterwards. 

Mar 20: Oh man, a night run.  My first, I think.  I did a night walk just before Xmas, to see the lights, but I tried a run this time.  I went with reflective gear, but without a light, thinking I'd be fine with whatever streetlights and natural lighting there would be.  I started out with a mile+ on roads, then onto a golf couse.  It was hard running on a course that had lots of dips and slopes.  There was no moon, maybe due to clouds, so footing was tough.  You'd suddenly jerk down or up if the ground got lower or higher.  After maybe a mile of jolting, I got to a flat section and did that for maybe a mile+, but then some backyard lights came on, and people let their dogs out, and they started barking, and I started booking it out of there as fast as I could, haha.  I've had a couple of bad experiences with dogs before.  The backyard was adjacent to the golf course, with no fence, so I wasn't running in a backyard or anything, but I wasn't going to take any chances.  Finished with maybe 1.5 more miles of roads.  I didn't really enjoy the experience.  I wasn't able to go very fast or safely.  Won't be doing that again any time soon!  5.0 in 43:14, 8:39 ave, according to the Garmin.

Mar 21: Treadmill hill session!  Toughest to date.  2 x [1/2 mi @ 1 degree, 1/2 mi @ 5 degrees, 1/4 mi @ 10 degeres] @ 7mph, 0.6 mi cooldown @ 1 degree.  3.1 in 26:14, 8:28 ave.  According to the hill conversion, 1 degree = 8:32 pace, 5 degrees = 7:19 pace, and 10 degrees = 6:21 pace.  I was pretty tired after these 2 reps, so I stopped there.  I may be able to work up to doing another rep after a bit more practice at this level.  Legs were tired the next day.

Mar 22: Saw Hunger Games.  Schedule didn't work out for me to do a LR.  Bought shirt, pin, books, and bow.

Mar 23: No LR accomplished today, either, but I did get to explore the trails at Emory... I found another half of the trail system... maybe even more than half, that I never saw before.  My legs were tired.  Maybe because I had no breakfast before the run.  Maybe because my legs are still recovering from the hill session.  Before the run, I found myself a bow and some dirty looking rope.  I ran with it the whole time. 

With the trees, I don't think the Garmin would've been able to maintain a sattelite signal, so I didn't even try.  Guessing at a 8:45 pace, with 1:07:04 logged, that's an estimated 7.7 mi.  Not the 13 I had hoped for.  Seems like I have trouble getting back into LRs after marathons.  Maybe I just need to slow down so that I can make it the whole way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

RACE REPORT: St. Patty's Day 5K 2012

Training this week:
Monday - Some speedwork.  Usually, I would've done it a week out from a race... not 4 days, but I kind of felt like it was appropriate to "train through" this one.  I haven't done speedwork in a while, and I'm still getting back into normal training after the marathon.  I did a 1 mi warmup in 8:14, then 3 x [1/2 @ 9mph (3:20), 1/2 @ 7.5mph (2:00)], 1/4 mi cooldown in 1:56.  That's 1/2 vs. the 3/4 of 9mph that I do when I'm pushing to my max.  3.5 in 26:11, 7:29 ave.  Got some turnover.  Glad it went well.  Had 2/3 a bottle of water+salt+lemon juice.
Wednesday - 4.0 in 33:09, 8:17 ave.  I imagined it would be somewhat of a recovery run.  Oh man, the first 1/2 mi dragged on forever, but it got better after that.  I ran using small steps at times, and it felt really energy-efficient, and it felt good to change up the muscles getting used. 

Race Prep:
I had no idea how the 5K would go.  I hadn't run one since August of last year.  Anything from a sub-20 dream PR to 21:XX would be possible.  It was only 2 weeks since the marathon, and it takes a month to recover, but I also have marathon fitness and endurance left over.

I had some good sleep on the night-before-the-night-before, but less sleep the night before.  Good enough overall, though.

Woke up at 5am, drank, ate bread + Italian hazlenut spread, drank instant decaf, had my hot shower to warm up. 

Drove out, arrived at 6:30am, sat in the car until 6:45am.  Walked half a mile to the morning packet pickup at the baseball field.  Got a really nice brilliant yellow long sleeve tech tee, with a fit and materiali similar to the shirt I love from the Resolution Run HM. 

Went to the bathroom a couple of times.  It had been super warm... record highs this week, but the morning was actually a bit cool, and I needed to keep warmup clothes on.  Sat on a chair and watched as the sun got lighter.  Tried to determine if it would be overcast during the run... partially. 

With about 20 minutes til race time, I dropped off my bag at the gear check, took a gel for the first time before a 5K to try to get an energy boost.  Jogged the 1/3ish of a mi to the start as a warmup.  Small bit of dynamic stetching and range of motion leg swings. 

Good excitement at the race start.  It's a first-annual race, and they did a good job.  Dramatic music at the start.  Then, we were off.

The Race:

(Photo credit: St. Patty's Day 5K)

Starts with some downhill.  Then up... then up and down and up and down.  Rolling.  Nothing bad, but it kept things interesting. 

Splits> 6:38, 6:43, 6:08, 1:26.  Seems like the 3 mi marker might've been off.  I feel like I might've positive splitted, but it's hard to tell.

Shortest race recap ever.  The race went by sooo quickly!  Umm... had a water stop at 1.5.  Had like a mouthful from it.  Temps were a bit warmer than ideal, but nto bad.  There was one girl not far in front by the end.  Tried to kick, but it wasn't enough.  Didn't kick soon enough.  Could've started earlier, felt the pain a bit stronger and longer, but she had a kick as well and beat me by 1 s. 

16s off my PR, not bad.

Got food, got my bag, took pictures.

Watched a touching presentation for the Make-a-Wish foundation.

Then, AG awards.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mar 6-12 - Ten days Following the Marathon

The marathon was on Saturday. 

On Saturday and Sunday, I wasn't particularly tired.  I ate pretty normally, too.  The only real pain spot was a toenail on my left foot.  Toenails should be like a piece of paper on your toe.  That one is like a cube on my toe because it has become so thick, with many layers built up over the years.  That cube got pushed against my toe many times, so it was bleeding under the skin.  It only hurt for a day.  Now, the skin around the toenail is just black.

I took Monday off because the arches of my feet still needed to get their strength back.  My legs were still a bit sore, but they enjoyed moving and getting bloodflow.  My heart (physical) and my body wanted to run already.  I read running blogs to compensate.

Tuesday (Mar 6) - Usual 50 min body weight strength session.  450 crunches/side, 110/110 adductor/aductor side leg lifts, 2x45 quad dips (fewer reps than the usual 2x75, left leg weaker than right), resistance bands for arms, 110 seated lower leg raises, elastic bands in 4 directions for hips, 50 superman.  I had been craving milk, since I hadn't had it in like 4 days.

Wednesday - bike session.  Low impact, get my heart pumping.  50 min, 13 mi on a recumbent bike.

Thursday and Friday off because of Friday night plans.

Saturday - First run back!!!  Felt good.  For the first block of the run, I had even totally forgotten that this was my first run back.  I had been feeling "blah" all day before the run... not in the mood, which was odd, since I had been craving it all week.  But once I stepped outside the door and breathed in the fresh air, I was pumped up to run.  I figured that I'd do somewhere between 5.5 and 11 mi.   My legs felt like there were maybe small crystals between the muscles... I've felt something similar before, but it's been a while.  It was less noticeable this time than it was last time.  Not a big deal.  I ended up doing 8.7 mi.  I thougt about doing more, but it was probably better to play it safe a week after the marathon.  Also, I did a fast mile.  A girl came  up and passed me during my run, which doesn't happen often.  I decided to speed up a bit to keep up.  Then, I realized how fast she was going.  It was a challenge keeping up!  It kind of felt like how it is on TV shows where two people are at a traffic light, and they eye each other and essentially challenge each other to race.  We didn't eye each other, and we weren't racing, but it was fun to really push it for a little over a mile.  My Garmin gave the mile split a 6:55.  That thing can be unreliable sometimes, so I don't know if it's real, but we were going fast, and I was breathing really hard.  She wasn't.  I wonder how far she had run before that.  Anyway, I stopped once I had a mile split, and she kept going a bit further and finished her run not long after.  It was kind of fun to push it.  I don't have training buddies, but many people do, and there are many benefits to having people to push you, motivate you, and keep you company.  I finished the run with a slower last 1.5 mi. 

Splits> 8:43, 7:58, 8:20, 838, 8:07, 7:28 started running with the girl, 6:55 keeping up all the way, 7:25, 6:02 for 0.7.  8.7 in 1:09:40, 8:00 ave... a good run on any day.  It was god to get in a bit of speed before the 5K.

(Post-run Recovery Mix : Whey Powder + Cocoa + Instant Decaf)
Sunday - Another strength session, doing the following week's one early, so that I'd have plenty of time to recover before the 5K.

Monday - Some speedwork to get turnover back before the 5K.  Nothing overly intense, but it was a good chunk of effort.  1 mi warmup in 8:14, 3 x [0.5 @ 9mph (3:20ish), 0.25 @ 7.5mph (2:00)], 0.25 mi cooldown in 1:56.  3.5 in 26:11, 7:29 ave.

Lessons from the Albany Snickers Marathon

It's been 10 days since the Albany Snickers Marathon.  It was a great experience, and although I wanted to take it easy and lay off running for a whole week, I was itching to run the entire time.  My body craved the feeling of my heart pumping hard.  I was also longing to race again, and I signed up for a 5K this coming weekend.  The exciement of the race... the anticipation, the challenge, the thrill, and the satisfaction you get from pushing yourself is a joy of life.

Anyway... I jotted down some notes in my running log the day after the race, and I wanted to share them.

Overall: Taper was good.  Race execution was ok.  Too bad about the warmer weather.

Next Time:
- Remember to relax arms and shoulders, especially on downhills.
- I needed (and could easily tolerate!) 4 gels, at miles 8, 13.5, 18, and 23.  I could've probably used even more.  I've never had that much fuel before.  Most races only give you gels twice, so I may need to bring my own.
- I may need more fatigue-resistance training to help me in the final miles.  My quads had trouble lifting my legs, and my calves and ankles had little power to push me forward in the last few miles.  This may involve doing more days-in-a-row of running, instead of my usual run-every-other-day pattern that allows me full recovery between runs.  It may also involve more strength training.
- Cloud cover is a wonderful thing.
- I had dried sweat crusted on my skin after the race... it was probably good that I took Endurolytes.
- Having a pacer was great - I didn't have to worry about the pace, and I could draft.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

RACE REPORT: Albany Snickers Marathon 2012

Tornado sirens and thunderstorms... my trek to a 3:37:49.

Taper period:
See for the detailed plan.

Tapering went pretty much according to plan.  I took the day before the race off from work to travel down to Albany and the expo.  I focused on a 1-day carbo-load, aiming for 7-10g/kg of carbs.  I probably hit that lower end, through a combo of oatmeal, a WW-banana-chocolate chip pancake, a couple of whole wheat rolls, beet juice, and an orange. 

I ended up sleeping only 5 hrs/night all 3 nights before the race.  It seemed to be all my body wanted, which was odd.  Maybe my body normally needs more only because of all of the training?  Or maybe it was excitement.

For my last 2 runs on race week, I just did 3 mi as easy as I could stand on the treadmill.  My body took a few days to recover from the first easy 3, which concerned me, but it might've just been needed recovery accumulated from the training cycle.  The 2nd 3mi didn't take as long to bounce back from.

I was checking the weather every day (multiple times per day) since 10 days out from the race at  I kept hoping that Friday's weather would stay on Friday, since it would have a high of 80!  It stayed that way, although Saturday's weather wasn't ideal, either.  Temps were forecasted at 71 degrees, which was still way too warm for my tastes, but at least it looked like it was going to rain, which would help keep the sun hidden, and which would provide extra cooling.

In Albany:

We checked into a motel just 0.5 mi from the expo and the start, which was really convenient.  We walked to the small expo held at the Hilton Garden Inn.  While I really, really enjoy big expos with lots of swag, this small expo was nice in that it had enough to give it an expo feel while eliminating any temptation for me to walk around for an hour or two.

I got my number, a shirt, some Mars Co samples (Snickers Marathon bars and the like), and tested out Newton shoes, which I've been curious about for a while.  Maybe I'll get a pair of Newtons at some point. 

I had created a chart of possible pacing strategies and the mile splits for each.  On the conservative side, I'd do even 8:11s for a 3:35 finish, and I had different variations of speeding up from the 16 and 18 mile marks.  I taped this to the back of my number, so that I could reference it if I needed to.

Race Morning:

I went to bed at about 9pm and woke up at 12:30am.  My plan wasn't to wake up until 3:30am so that I could drink up and have some breakfast, but I was up and didn't feel tired enough to go back to sleep.  I just laid there and drank and ate a granola bar went to the bathroom a number of times and essentially laid around until 3:30.  At that point, I took a hot shower and started final preparations of getting my stuff together.

- Anti-chafing gel
- Filling pockets with salt packets, instant coffee packs, a gel (ended up taking that out later), and my iPod shuffle.
- Putting on my calf sleeves and Feetures socks.
- Eating a Mini-clif bar.
- Drinking more instant decaf
- Drinking concentrated instant coffee
- Assembling my gear drop kit.

My family walked to the race start, where I dropped off my kit, did a wee bit of dynamic stretching, and chatted, taking in the excitement of the morning.

I found my pacer and introduced myself.  Pacer George would be taking me to Boston, I hoped!

As it got closer to race time, more people in the pace group assembled together, and it was time to line up!

A few minutes before the start, the rain started coming down.  At the last check of the weather, from 7am-10am, there was supposed to be a 10%, 10%, 35%, and 25% chance of rain or something.  Maybe not.

Then, a loud cannon blast went off, and my race for a BQ had begun.

The Race:

Mile 1:
The marathoners and half marathoners started together for the first block, but we split off after that.  I was all about just going out easy and sticking with the pacer for the first mile.  Just settling in.  We went by Albany State University, and I almost forgot to look up and take in the scenery a bit, since I was focused on staying behind the group and planting my feet out of puddles.  Just getting into the groove.  There were maybe 15-20 in the pace group.  There was another distinct pace group (3:25 finshers) up ahead. 

Mile 2:
There were water stops every 2 miles, which was nice.  During this mile, we went by some sand dunes, which were supposedly where the Gulf of Mexico once met land.

Mile 3:
Heading back to the main section of Albany after completing the small loop that you see on the lower right corner of the map.  There was some wind on that open, broad road, so it was nice to be able to draft behind others in the group.  On this stretch, there was a woman hanging out of the window of her gas station cashier station, cheering us on.  It was really nice!

Mile 4:
Back in the main section of town, passing the starting area again.  I saw my dad first, then my mom and sister.  The course happened to run past our motel! 

Mile 5-7:
Tornado warning sirens (sounded like air raid sirens) started going off.  "Seek immediate shelter".  I wondered what my family was thinking.  I hoped, hoped, hoped that they wouldn't make us stop running.  We just kept chugging, and none of the marshalls stopped us.  Thank goodness!  I found out later that the tornado was going in the opposite direction, so we were fine.  I took some Hammer Endurolytes with my Gatorade to boost my electrolyte intake.  With 71 degree race temps for the entire duration of the race, I would be needing it.

Mile 8:
Went by Darton College.  Got my first of 4 Hammer Gels.  Not caffeinated, unfortunately, but I had a pack of instant coffee to ingest later in the race.  The race was great about giving us enough on-course fuel.  Never had so much food before!  Publix sponsored fruit at every station past mile 8, and there was plenty of water and Gatorade.  I didn't take any fruit during this race, but it was nice to have the option.

Miles 9-11:
Some uphill.  It was pretty slight, but it was going up.  I had seen the elevation chart and expected net uphill for the first part of the race, followed by net downhill for the second half, but not much change overall.  If I had to pick any configuration, this would be it... you wouldn't want uphill in the second half.

Mile 12:
We entered a residential area, which was a nice change from the highway.  Lots of green grass and some curves in the road.  It gave you a nice mental shift in the race.  At mile 12, my pacer had to stop at a portalette and would catch up, but we charged on.  I felt kind of special "holding the fort" until he caught back up a couple of minutes later. 

I had some trouble opening the packet of instant coffee at the 12 mile mark water stop, so once I eventually got it open at about 12.5, I just dumped the contents into my mouth.  It was strong, but tolerable.  I've never heard of people taking instant coffee during a race before - only caffeine pills.  I don't know how I feel about caffeine pills, so I don't know if I'll ever try it.  However, I have had chocolate-covered expresso beans before.  Only 2, during the Houston Marathon, I think.  I had prepped a bottle of the beans for this race, but it waskind of heavy, and the coffee packets were so light, so I went with one of those instead.

Mile 13:
At about this point, I think we lost many from our group.  That's my guess, at least.  I didn't look back during the race.  There were two other guys plus the pacer there.  The pacer did a great job of keeping us within a couple seconds of the target pace the whole time.  Impressive.  I had another gel at the 13.5 mark and got to wash down the coffee a bit.

Mile 14-18:
After the 13 mile mark, I thought "ok, I'm on my way home now".  The true "halfway point" of the race isn't until mile 18 or 20, but the theoretical halfway point was here, and it was the farthest point from the start.  Just kept it up.  The pacer was really helpful and gave me some good advice while I was running.  On the downhills, take advantage of it and let your arms hang down more and relax your shoulders.  My mantra of the race was going to be "relax", to keep my muscles from being tense the whole time so that I could conserve the energy, but I forget, so it was good to have the reminders.  On the uphill, lean into the hill. 

At this point, I felt pretty good, like I could keep up the pace for the rest of the race.  At one point, I considered asking the other guy who was hanging with the pacer if he was planning on splitting at some point, so that we could go together and pace each other, but I felt it would be wiser just to wait and see how things went. 

As the race went on, I got thirstier.  A couple of people from town were handing out whole bottles of water on their own, which was really nice of them.  I really needed it.  The course went around Lake Loretta, which would've been pretty, but I was just trying to keep the pacer and the guy not too far ahead of me.  Had another gel at 18.5.

Mile 19-20:
The race got tough.  I started breathing heavier and getting tired.  I'd close my eyes every now and then to try to rest a bit.  It was down to one guy plus the pacer and me, with me hanging on some yards behind.  They were sooooo nice and kept encouraging me to hang in there, looking back every minute or so.  They had to keep up their pace, of course, but they did everything they could to help me.  One surge, and I could've caught back up, making up the 10 yard gap, but the gap widened gradually.

Mile 21:
It was all about keeping it up as best as I could.  The pacer's target was 3:34:30, so if I was still close at the end, I could conceiveably put in a surge to close right under the BQ mark.  But I'd have to at least hang on to do that.

Mile 22:
Got harder.  Went around some pretty neighborhoods, but I was just tying to survive.

Mile 23:
Forced myself to take another gel to get whatever energy I could.  My quads were having more and more difficulty lifting up my legs, and my calves couldn't push off as much as they used to.  Alone to fight the wind, under the falling rain. 

Mile 24:
Carnage.  I heard a podcaster's wife (Dirt Dawg's Rambling Diatribes) use that word to describe watching the back of the pack of a marathon.  It was appropriate.  In miles 13-20, the pace group had paced a good number of people who had slowed down, but I was starting to get passed.  "Every day I'm shufflin" is what I felt like.  Just keep moving.  I thought about stopping, how nice it would be to walk for a while, but I couldn't.  Not when I still had a chance at a BQ.  And not if it wasn't absolutely necessary.  It was going to be hard, but I had to keep rolling.  Had to earn that turtle medal.

I got really thirsty at this point.  Not an unfamiliar level of thirst, but I wished for a water station.  One came farther on, and I had some.  Someone took the last in-hand water right in front of me, so I ended up with Gatorade, but one of the volunteers had heard me asking for water and actually ran after me to hand me a cup of water!  That's dedication.

Let me take an extra moment to say how great the volunteers were.  It's one thing to run through tornado sirens and thunderstorms and pouring rain while chasing a goal, but it's another thing to be volunteering and spectating through it all.  There were locals and supporters all along the way who were cheering enthusiastically and doing everything they could help, despite the hardships.  Couldn't have asked for a more dedicated group - those guys were so hard-core and selfless, and we couldn't have done it without them.  They were incredible.

Mile 25:
Last stretch on a straight road.  You could see all the people up ahead trudging along.  Not much farther now.  I saw one girl close to my age up ahead, and I was able to close the gap and pass her with about 1/3 mile left.  The course turned into a train depot, which we actually ran through, and after that, it was just 0.2 miles left.  The first part of the 0.2 was on a secluded sidewalk path right outside of the park, but then a clearing appeared, and there was the crowd and the finish.  I didn't try to surge too much at the end, given last year when I cramped up with like 10 feet to go.  Finished hard but still with ok form. 

(My pacer finishing in 3:34:13)

(Me finising in 3:37:49)

After crossing the finish line, I was so tired.  A medical volunteer caught me and helped me to the med tent.  They said that my face was white and that I was dehydrated.  I laid down for a while, drinking Gatorade, then I worked my way to sitting up in the bed, then to sitting in a chair.  The med volunteers were really nice, professional and helpful.  It was pouring down rain at the time, and it looked like a field hospital with all of the mud and bodies everywhere.  The color came back,a nd my vitals were normal.

I had my turtle medal, and I was curious about whether I made it on the age group podium.  I had checked the times for the past few years before the race, and the past 2 years, the 3rd place for 25-29 was 3:35-3:37, so I had a shot.  It was warmer this year, with more difficult conditions, so maybe I'd make it?

Thankfully, they offered shelter from the rain and our energy-depleted bodies at the Albany Welcome center, where they also had a computer where you could look up times.  I figured out how to look up my time and helpled others do so (putting my academic background to good use, for once, and in a cool setting!).  The first time I checked, I saw maybe 1 time in my division that was faster than mine, so I was hopeful and was going to wait around for the noon awards.  Then, I discovered a field in the program for Divsion Place and saw that I was 4th... "nooooooooo!"  I said.  They don't give duplicate awards, so if someone in my division got top 3 overall, everyone would get bumped up, but the fastest girl I could see in our division got 7th.  I had been hoping to win the sports bag, since I had actually been wanting to get a sports bag for a while.  I was soooo disappointed.  As my poor family was waiting around in the Welcome Center, wet and probably tired from the night of little sleep and travl as well, I kept wondering whether I should wait around, joking with my sister that maybe I could hope that they would make a mistake and that I would end up winning something afterall.  I couldn't believe it.  I also joked that maybe I had made a mistake when I was looking up the times, even though I had checked 3x already.  Before giving up and leaving, I decided to check one more time, and then I saw it... one girl got 3rd!!!!  It was like 12:02 at that time, so I ran outside, so excited and hopeful.  Was the 4th after she was removed?  Or before?

They announced the overall winners, and then the age group winners.  When they read the time of the 2nd place winner, who made it in 3:35 and change, my sister and I knew that I was 3rd after the place re-set after all, and a flood of relief and sheer joy came over me.  Thank you, Erika Huerta, for finishing 3rd overall (in an awesome 02:58:43, too!).  I got the sports bag, got my picture taken with the Snickers plant manager "the M&M man"), and celebrated.

No BQ this time, but I can always try again. 

It's good to set multiple levels of goals.
My goals had been:
A: 3:30 & safe BQ
B: 3:35 & BQ
C: Age Group Award
D: PR (from 3:41:40)
E: Finishing

To get 3/5 goals, I'll take any day!

I'm also excited to be able to post a time at for the first time and share in that experience.   It's a great podcast with two hilarious British runners... it's my favorite thing to listen to while I run. 

Many thanks to the fantastic supporters and volunteers, the race director and organizers who made this a great race and let us run!!!! (thank you for not cancelling!!!), to my encouraging pacer and the nice guy who ran with him til the end, and to Albany and all of the sponsors. 

BQ, I will get you next time.

After the race, when I was waiting in the Visitor's Center for my mom and sis to get the car, I met the mens' winner, who was waiting for the rain to subside before going to the same motel where we had stayed.  We offered him a ride, which was really cool, since we got to chat with him a bit in the car.  He was from Nairobi, Kenya, and told us about where he runs and races.  Cool guy, and I wish him the best of luck.

I drank a lot the rest of the day.  Fluids in my system went from being a shocking red to pale by the third time around.  Yeah, maybe I was dehydrated, although I did heed nature's calling 3x during the last 3 miles.  I was soaking wet anyways, and I was intent on surviving and making it across that finish line.  Normal hunger levels, maybe because they forced me to drink a couple cups of Gatorade in the med tent - so much that I was tired of it. 

I wasn't sleepy, even.  Maybe it was the 2-cup equivalent of coffee.  I normally don't drink any caffeinated coffee, although I do drink tea and eat chocolate.  Recovery is fine so far.  I have a couple of blisters and a toenail that got driven into the toe, making it bleed underneath the skin all around it.  There's also a knot on my left hip and my left butt is tight, but it's pretty minimal.  Not bad at all.

Good race.  The BQ is within reach.  With better weather, and maybe more training to make me more fatigue-resistant, I can get it next time.

Splits> 8:07, 16:15 (8:08 for 2), 16:21 (8:10 for 2), 8:11, 8:08, 33:34 for 4.1 (8:11 for 4), 1:47:06 at the half (8:10.5 ave), 7:16 for 0.9 (8:06), 8:02, 8:11, 8:05, 8:12, 8:10, 8:10, 8:05, 8:21, 8:43, 8:59, 18:42 (9:21 for 2), 1:40 for 0.2.