Friday, June 29, 2012

So What's Next?

So I just ran a marathon!  So what's next for Ricole?  Well first, let's throw in a bunch of photos that have come trickling in during the week.

Megan, Megan, and I in Corral 11 before the race!

Second, do you want to see what it looks like when you throw away your PR?  Because this photographer thought it was definitely picture-worthy.

Yes this is during the race.  Yes to my right is Saint Robyn being like "uhhh, let's RUN!".  Why oh why did you think the barely moving girl with a look of death upon her face should be photographed?!

Now THIS is what a photo should actually look like:

If only it wasn't $40-freaking-dollars maybe I'd actually consider purchasing it.  $40?  SERIOUSLY!?

This photo's actually not that bad either, considering it was taken during the evil DEATH MARCH up the hill to the finish.  It doesn't really capture the miserableness I was apparently protruding.

Miserableness example: the lovely Becky came and spectated the race, and it made me laugh OUT LOUD to read her recap of seeing me on the course near the end: "Guys, she was moving well and looked strong, except her face. (Remember how at mile 2 she was happy and energetic? Not anymore). Her face made it clear that she was miserable. It honestly kind of terrified me seeing her agony, and I questioned my ability to finish a marathon in a few months. I shouted for her, but she didn’t hear me."  (go read the rest of her post about being awesome and handing out Nuun, and yes you will DOMINATE your marathon Becky!).  Anyway, I thought that was pretty funny.  

Another long-lost photo of Jill and I at the Diving Olympic Trials

Third, let's talk marathons.  As much as the race was agony-filled and despair-intense, by Tuesday I was already tweeting some pretty ridiculous thoughts.

Yes, it's official, I'm PR hungry.  I still WANT that PR, even though I had already determined this wasn't the race for it. 

One last long long photo of all of us bloggers at lunch.  
We've got Megan, Lindsay, Tasha, me, Lauren, Erika, Stacie, Adrian, Tri-Girl, & Megan 

Fourth and finally, so what's next for my summer goals?

1.  GET FATTER FASTER!  I want to be as fast as I can for the Nuun Hood to Coast (Go Team Morning!) team come August!  This means speedwork, this means two-a-days. 
2.   Triathlon training!  I have my very first triathlon coming up in August as well, and although it's only a sprint, I want to be READY.  So bring on the biking and swimming!
3.  Heart rate monitoring.  I think this is what needs to be done to take running to the next step.  I definitely seem to have a problem monitoring my pace by feel alone.
4.  Trail running!  Pt. Defiance anyone??
5.  I want to get new shoes.  While I've been through 3 pairs of the Saucony Mirage and they've served me well, I'm ready for something new, possibly something with "less" shoe. 
6.  I want to run more than 3 days a week!  This was an experiment, this "Run Less, Run Faster" business (except for the run faster part!), and it passed with flying colors.  I made it through this entire training cycle without injury, and for that I am eternally grateful!  But now I'm ready to try running more days a week (not running more miles mind you, just spreading them out over more days). 
7.  And, dare I say it, a fall marathon??  Preferably one in cooler temperatures, flatter terrain (possibly even "the fastest marathon in the West?!?!", and NO hills in the last 6 miles??!!!  I'm sure my parents and husband are just loving this statement. 

What are your summer goals?  How many days off do you normally take off of running after a marathon? 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hood to Coast Team Morning!

First of all, the NUUN WINNERS!

We have #25... Ivy!

and #32... Cinnamon!

Ivy and EatPrayTri - email me ( your mailing address and your top two favorite flavors of Nuun (or flavors you most want to try).  If I have them I will try to accomodate!

Next up, after what seemed like an ETERNITY of waiting (likely only to me!), Nuun FINALLY released the teams and the individual leg assignments for Hood to Coast!

And... (drumroll please)... Ricole is a member of TEAM MORNING!  Go Team Morning!  We are going to rock it.

My lovely vanmates in Van 1 include:
Tricia – Tricia Minnick: Legs 1, 13, 25
Corey – Schnoodles of Fun: Legs 2, 14, 26
Stephanie – Epicurious Runner: Legs 3, 15, 27
Jess – Blonde Ponytail: Legs 4, 16, 28
Caitlin – Nuun Employee: Legs 5, 17, 29
Ricole Runs – Ricole Runs: Legs 6, 18, 30

Van 2 includes more rock stars like: 
Erin – Nuun Employee: Legs 7, 19, 31
Elizabeth – Running For Bling: Legs 8, 20, 32
Dorothy – Mile Posts: Legs 9, 21, 33
Amanda  – Runninghood: Legs 10, 22, 34
Jennifer – The Fit Fork: Legs 11, 23, 35
XLMIC – Taking It On: Legs 12, 24, 36

I'm so excited for August to hurry up and get here!  So what do my legs look like?  

Leg 6:   6.75 miles through Sandy, rated "Hard": Challenging uphills and gradual downhills along Hwy 26 on paved shoulder.

Leg 18:   5.23 miles through St. Helens, rated "Hard": Flat and gradual uphill terrain on hwy and paved back country roads.

Leg 30:  5.35 miles through Astoria, rated "Moderate": Gradual uphill and steep downhill on winding narrow back road with minimum shoulder.
Total running miles during the relay = 17.33 miles, with these set of legs being ranked the 4th most difficult.  EEEK!  I've been runner #2 (3rd most difficult) and runner #9 (2nd most difficult) before in 2010 and 2011 respectively, but never with such speedy vanmates who were counting on me!
So it's time to start training!  I definitely want to incorporate more hill running (both uphill AND downhill) into my running, some speedwork, and a few two-a-days to get ready for this!  My team is full of rock star runners and I don't want to let my team down!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Olympic Diving Trials!

I'm seriously obsessed with the Olympics.  Although I've always thought the Olympics were awesome, I think my intense obsession with them first began when I watched Kerri Strug's vault on a broken ankle to secure the team gold in the Atlanta 1996 games. 

The Olympic Trials though, provide almost as much awesomeness.  Last week I got plenty of inspiration through watching Amy Hastings dominating her way to the Olympics and David Boudia scoring some 10's in the 10-meter-platform diving event. 

So when I realized that the Diving Trials was nearby, I knew I HAD to go.  HAD TO! 

AND I got to meet another awesome blogger in the process - Jill!  We turned out to watch two semifinal events: the women's 3-meter-springboard and the men's 10-meter-platform.

The women's 3-meter-springboard event was awesome and I quickly discovered my two favorites: Cassidy Cook and Christina Loukas (Loukas made it to the Olympics, Cook sadly did not).  But it turns out that the REALLY awesome event is truly the 10-meter-platform.  It is is just SO HIGH!  Taller than a 3 story building, I cannot even imagine jumping off that platform, let alone doing 3 somersaults with a twist off it.  AND starting from a handstand position. 


What's your favorite Olympic event?  I love gymnastics, swimming, the marathon (obviously), track events, oh the list goes on and on!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bloggers are AWESOME in Real Life

There has been so many ridiculously fun events going on lately that I could write 100 posts about them.  But I'll try to give you the Clif Notes version.  Basically the conclusion is that bloggers are awesome in real life, I highly recommend you meet some if you haven't already. 

1.  On Thursday night Lisa, Jordanne, and I checked out the Seattle Rock n Roll Expo.  Lisa couldn't do the race but her leg is feeling better - YAY!  We ate a million samples.

Okay, these ladies aren't bloggers (yet!) but they ARE awesome.  So maybe this post is just about hanging out with awesome people in general?

2.  After the expo we went to the Another Mother Runner event.  Sarah and Dimity write "Run Like a Mother" and their new book "Train Like a Mother" and we got to hang out with some awesome bloggers, hear the authors read some excerpts of their new book, and win some swag (I won some Body Glide!).

3.  On Friday I headed back to Seattle (I went 3 days in a row... CRAZY) for a lovely blogger lunch.  Bloggers are the best.  I met a bunch of them and not one of them disappointed me - they're all ridiculously AWESOME!

 Tasha and I at lunch at Elysian Fields

4.  After lunch we headed back to the expo for even MORE samples (gotta get your money's worth!). 

Lauren and I practicing how we're going to win the marathon

5.  After sampling free treats we meandered over to Tall Mom's blogger meet-up hosted by none other than Runner World's "The Penguin" John Bingham!  He seemed a little confused about this whole blogging business so we enlightened him.  :-) 

Fellow Mt. Si Relay teammate Lindsay and I

5.  Finally, I met even MORE bloggers before the race, during the race, and after the race!  

Sadly, I'm not in this photo!  The stupid port-a-potty line kept me away.  But I got to see TONS of these wonderful folks during and after the race.  Bloggers are AWESOME!

Saint Robyn pulling me through the last few miles.  Thanks Becky for the picture!

In conclusion, I should have started blogging years ago!

Have you met bloggers in real life?  Did they turn out to be awesome or scary?   

Monday, June 25, 2012

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon Race Report

Well, it's done.  What I've been training for for the last 14 weeks - the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon - is over, fin, finished, completed, dunzo.

 We did it!

Let's just rip the band-aid off, shall we?  No need to keep you in suspense.  I didn't PR.  I DID hit my B goal of sub-4-ing (3:57:41 to be exact).  I didn't hit my real goal of feeling great the whole time.  Maybe that's not possible for me.  

 The course

And it went... okay.  I'm very pleased with how I executed the first 18 miles.  I did this MUCH better than my last marathon (Portland, 2010) even though the end result is nearly identical.  I forced myself to slow down approximately 500 times in the first 10 miles.  After 10 I decided to just let myself do whatever.  My Garmin is all over the place due to saying I ran 26.6 miles and also due to the 400 tunnels we ran through, but the chip splits pretty much show what happened:

5K -        28:04     (Average Pace - 9:02)
10K -      55:04    (Average Pace - 8:51)
Half -  1:55:37    (Average Pace - 8:50)
17.6 -  2:35:13    (Average Pace - 8:49)
20 -     2:58:23    (Average Pace - 8:55)
End -   3:57:41    (Average Pace - 9:04)

Yep, it appears I did pretty well through mile 18, progressively going a little bit faster and faster until then.  Which makes sense, that's about when I stopped feeling great.  But let's back up a bit.  Hold on folks, this is going to be a long one.

We got to the race pretty uneventfully.  Wake-up call at 4:10am (um, that's TOO EARLY!), sat in traffic on the way to the much more congested new starting point, I unfortunately missed the blogger photo while I waited in a never-ending port-a-potty line, and then we were off!

 Photo Shoot in the Never-Ending Port-a-Potty Line Pre-Race

Miles 1-3: 9:12, 8:33, 8:50
Easing into it.  This worked well because I didn't feel warmed-up right off the bat (in races sometimes I do).  I didn't have to worry about holding myself back much until mile 4 or 5 (mile 2 was downhill so 8:33 seemed still reasonably slow).  The first 5 miles FLEW by because I was talking and running with people the whole time - these miles were GREAT.  Ran with Jordanne and Luke for the first two miles.  Although I hadn't been able to find anyone pre-race I was happy to come up on Zoe, and then in Mile 2 I got to run past the Nuun headquarters and their cheering booth, see Becky and Caitlin, and show off my sweet Nuun tattoo! 

Miles 4-6: 8:49, 8:47, 8:42
I next came across Lauren and her friend, and ran with them until the turn-off for full marathons right after mile 5.  Along the way I got to see Kerrie, Jill, Kim, and probably others I'm forgetting.  It was PERFECT because by then I was ready to speed up but they were running my perfect pace and kept me from speeding off into bonk-ness too early.  Hit a nasty hill in here that had a HORRIBLE downhill after it that was so steep I was worried about slipping and falling.  That needs to be changed (listen up course directors!).  Took GU #1. 

Miles 7-9: 8:30, 8:39, 8:49
I was really sad when I had to leave Lauren and all the fun I was having seeing people on the half course.  I knew miles 6-20 were going to be some lonely ones and was wishing I had a running buddy.  I did really enjoy these miles running through Seward Park though.  Beautiful views to look at and the water was just so incredibly calm like glass.  I felt bad the half marathoners didn't get to run through here.  Had some nice flashbacks about the Girls On the Run 5k. :-)

Miles 10-12: 8:39, 8:31, 9:32
Coming out of Seward Park I finally decided to stop and use the bathroom (mile 12's split).  I'd had to pee for quite a while, and I won't lie, I considered just going on the run.  But then when I saw a port-a-potty right before the marathoners were to join the half marathoners again I knew it was now or never (at least not again for a while without a wait).  Lost a minute or so in there, which I worried would come back to bite me because by then I knew I really was in the hunt for a PR (previous PR of 3:55:08) and that it would be close.  Took GU #2. 
Miles 13-15: 8:40, 8:37, 8:41
In here I passed by the "Wear Blue to Remember" section which involved pictures of soldiers who have died in the war and the line of American flags - and I was nearly sobbing it was so incredibly moving.  We're not talking a single tear either - which ended up making me not be able to breathe!  We owe our soldiers so much.  Took GU #3. 

Miles 16-18: 8:45, 9:06, 8:41 
We entered my least favorite part of the race, (that's a lie, my least favorite part was DEFINITELY the last 4 miles, but my least favorite scenery / terrain wise), what I'll call the I-90 miles.  We had to cross I-90 and then turn around and cross back and this was over FIVE miles.  I did NOT approve.  By then the sun was out (yes, after my 10,000 weather tweets, NONE of which reported the sun, I appear to have a sunburn and wished I'd had sunglasses), so the sun was blaring with no shade (except for the tunnels), there wasn't much view because we were in the express lanes in the middle so it was just cars on either side of us, and the slant on the road was TERRIBLE for much of it.  Not a fan of this part of the course at all.

Mile 19-21:  9:22, 8:42, 12:26 (a lie!)
I think mile 19 is real though I'm not sure why it's so slow.  Mile 21 is definitely fake, just check out mile 23's split below (lots of tunnels on I-90 and no Garmin satellite reception).  I intended to take my final GU #4 in here but by now my stomach was not too happy.  I took one at the aid station and carried it for at least a mile in my hand debating about whether I thought my stomach could handle it or not.  In the end I ended up throwing it away.  I'm sure this didn't help my poor finish but on the other hand it could have ended in even more nausea disaster. 

Robyn, who is a SAINT I tell you, so wonderfully volunteered to run with me for the last 6 miles.  Even if she hadn't come, the idea of this truly pulled me through the I-90 miles, which were pretty bleak.  It made the end of the race feel like 20 miles instead of 26, since I would keep saying, just 3 more miles until Robyn's here - then she'll pull you along!  So when she didn't show I was disappointed but figured I'd passed her or something had happened.  And sure enough - she couldn't get on the course because of the isolation of I-90!  I felt so bad that she was driving all over the place early on a Saturday!

Miles 22-24: 6:25 (uhh, I don't think so!), 9:02, 9:42
You can see the pain is here.  But Robyn finally showed up!  Thank goodness, seriously.  I've never been so happy to see someone (sorry JMan).  As much as I walked these final miles, I can only imagine how much more it would have been if she hadn't been there.  In retrospect it was really quite funny because she would tell me stories (yes, she is just that AWESOME) and I would have a million questions and / or things to add to what she was saying but by then, even though it was my legs that felt like two 10,000 pound anvils made out of razor blades attached to my body, my breathing was also so labored that I could basically only grunt responses like a caveman.  I'm sure I completely impressed her with my skills at a potential future running partner.  I don't think I'm going to get a second interview folks!  

Miles 25-26.2: 9:47, 9:28, 9:23 (for .51, it says I did 26.51 total miles, .31 extra)
There was just pain.  The last 4 miles were very very difficult.  With 4 miles to go I felt despair - it did not seem possible that I could run 4 more miles or that I would ever have the relief of being done.  There were also a ton of evil hills in the last 6 miles of the race which were sooo not appreciated.  With just 4 miles to go all I needed to do was run 4 miles at around 9 minute pace to PR.  It was so close, I was right there, and I knew it.  I kept doing little calculations at every mile marker (since my Garmin was SO off) and I even had a few minutes of cushion at one point.  I do think I maybe could have done it if the last 4 miles had been pancake flat.  But I just could not make it up the hills without walking.  Okay okay, there was some walking on the flat as well.  So obviously, I didn't run 9 minute miles, and therefore didn't make my goal.  My stomach was NOT liking what I was doing by this point either. 

When my watch beeped 25 (about .3 ahead of schedule) I was finally feeling like I could finish this race, and had picked up the pace (well, as much as I could at that point), until the final hill hit me in the last half mile of the race.  HOW EVIL.  Seriously.  There wasn't even a downhill following it to help you recover your strength.  So there was absolutely no finishing strong.  I was probably running a 13 minute mile when I finished.  EVIL.  That part of the course MUST be changed.  

Total elevation gain was 1,154 feet, so really not that bad for 26 miles.  A lot of it was pancake flat though so when a hill hit, it was often a serious one.  Further, as you can see, most of the hills were in the last 6 miles, when you're hurting the most. 

So, I didn't PR, and wouldn't have even if I hadn't stopped at the bathroom.  2.5 minutes off, so 1.5 minutes off without the bathroom stop.  My Garmin says my average pace for 26.51 miles is 8:58 and I like a number in the 8's WAY more than the 9:04 they gave me so I'm going with that!

 Surprisingly - I don't know this girl nor remember her!  Go Team Nuun!

The Nausea:
I've never faced nausea in a race before and it didn't let up until nearly 3 or 4pm that day - when I could FINALLY eat something (a delicious FatBurger burger I might add) which is when I finally felt human again.  I'm not exactly sure why.  Perhaps it was the veggie curry I had at the blogger lunch the day before or the calzone I had at dinner the night before.  I don't think drinking the Gatorade helped - it was strong Gatorade (normally it's nice and watered down in races which I prefer) and this is the first training cycle I have fueled pretty much primarily with Nuun instead of being more varied.  I suppose that means I need to carry my own water but it's so nice not to carry and they did such a great job of having plentiful aid stations.  The last GU I had was an Octane one I'd never had before and I thought it was DISGUSTING but I've fueled with all different kinds of GU all training cycle so I kind of doubt it was that.  Whatever it was - I need to NOT do it next time!  I think being able to stomach at least one more GU would have helped a lot.

 Kerrie took these lovely gems of me after the race.  I just wanted to lie down and never get up!

Would I do this FULL again?  No I would not.  Why, you ask?  Because: a) I don't like to do races more than once with a few exceptions, and 2) I hated the I-90 section so much and that was almost a quarter of the race.  Would I do the HALF you ask?  Yes, of course I would.  It's my hometown race, it seems entirely unlikely that race envy wouldn't take over when everyone else and their mom in this area is doing this race again next year. 

Did you actually read this far?  If so, pat yourself on the back.  Did your eyes glass over there for a bit in the middle?!  If you made it, you deserve some bling.  Maybe even an EXTRA medal for doing both Portland Rock n Roll and Seattle Rock n Roll, kinda like this one:

Ohhhhhh yeah. I like how glittery the Seattle medal is! :-)

The End.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Finished!

It wasn't pretty at times, but it's done.  No PR, but a sub-4 all the same.  3:57:41 and marathon #3 is in the books. 

Before the race

Though it looks like we're best friends, and there was no one else in sight, I don't even remember this girl.  If she started in corral 14, she executed her race WAY better than I.  
At the finish with my sweet Nuun tattoo.  

 We did it!

Hopefully I'll have more (aka better) pictures and a recap up on Monday.  Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ode to SWATH

Did you enter my Nuun giveway in honor of MARATHON WEEK yet???

I forgot to mention that when Leandrea was visiting we went to see SWATH.  What's that, you ask?  Why, Snow White and the Huntsmen of course!

I don't know why exactly, but I LOVED this movie.  LOVED LOVED LOVED.  I actually didn't want it to end.  I in no way promise you will feel the same way.  It is obvious from my boredom with The Avengers that my opinions rarely match those of the general public.  However, without any spoilers, here's what I liked about it:

1.  The costumery.  There is no way you can see this movie and NOT be impressed at least with this.  Seriously, the costumes are AMAZING.  Charlize Theron deserves some sort of Oscar for make-up changes.  Her dress made out of ravens is truly amazing.  I promise you will be impressed.

2.  The imagery.  Perhaps this is too synonymous with #1 to be it's own bullet point, but there is a point where Snow White is in the Dark Forest and all these crazy things are happening and I just think they did such a fabulous job bringing fairies and hallucinations and scary trees and all kinds of magical things to life and making them feel real at the same time.  A stag made out of butterflies?  Pure genius I tell you.

3.  I had low expectations.  I think this helped.  I honestly was not expecting anything, so with that alone, it was able to blow me out of the water. 

4.  Even though you guessed it would have a happy ending (it is based on a fairy tale after all), I truly didn't know what was going to happen next.

 Plus, Thor's not so bad as a Huntsmen.  I approve. 

5.  Oh yeah, and I'm running a marathon tomorrow.  Did you know?  So I think I'm officially in denial and am trying to pretend like it's not really going to happen by writing this post.  When the going gets bad (which we all know it will at some point, hopefully later rather than sooner), I'm just going to imagine I'm a character in SWATH.  Never give up, Never surrender.

Here goes Marathon #3. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hey Girl - Tell Me Your Revised Marathon Plans

Did you go enter my nuuntastic Nuun giveaway yet in honor of MARATHON WEEK?  Go do it!

So freaking SATURDAY is the MARATHON.  Whoa.

So remember when I was all like ooh, look at me, I've got marathon plans and they involve smashing my PR?

Yeah.  Scratch that.  During my 22 miler I had a whole new revelation.  And it involves just SURVIVING this marathon.  And not just surviving it.  But hopefully ENJOYING it.  You see, during this run, in which, you may recall, I didn't just feel fine but I actually felt good and strong at the end, I realized that these two goals are mutually exclusive.  Maybe not for everyone else but they definitely are for me.

 But getting negative splits is too much pressure.  source

Because you see, during the Portland Marathon I felt terrible from mile 14 on.  That's HALF THE RACE.  Of feeling terrible.  Over 2 hours (yes it took me a full 10 minutes longer to run the second half than to run the first half) of feeling awful.  And yes it poured the entire time and that probably didn't help (and might be why I'm freaking out about the possibility of rain on Saturday!), and yes I've suffered from many mini-injuries since then and missed a good chunk of training while I was in Singapore last year, but STILL, I haven't trained for a marathon since 2010.  And before that since 2008.  So you see, in a ramble-ramble-ramble way of getting to the point, I worry that if I don't enjoy this marathon, I may never run another one.  And continuing to run marathons seems a whole lot more important to me than getting that sub 3:55 I'm dying for. 

 I thought so.  source

Don't get me wrong, I have more reasons than just that.  For one, I completely 90% doubt my ability to even run a PR.  My speed workouts in the last few weeks have been less than stellar (okay okay, they've been non-existent), I seem to have more bad runs than good, and my stress level is HIGH due to the data entry nonsense you hear about nonstop.  I feel like I've lost my running mojo and am so ready for this training cycle to be over.  Because of all this, I think the likelihood of blowing up if I go out there running 8:35 miles from the beginning is 80%.  Or higher.  And yes I just made that percentage up.  But you get my drift.  And given that this interacts with my desire to feel good (see point #1), I think I have to let the PR goal go.  If the stars align, they align.  But if they don't, I don't want to be devastated after these months of training and hard work.

Or is this just a case of the taper crazies? source

Am I crazy?  Don't get me wrong, if it's there for the taking, I will go for it.  But if Saturday's not the day, it's not the day, and I don't know want that pressure hanging over my head. 

Do you guys ever think the pressure of getting a PR is just too much pressure?  Like everyone will be disappointed in you if you don't get it?  Isn't that crazy?  Is it crazy / weird that I just want to run without any time goals weighing me down?