Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Solved My "Burning Feet" Issue! (I Think)

If you read my race report from either The Boston Marathon 2010, or the Baystate Marathon (on 10/17), then you will remember I had BURNING feet for both races. Aside from these 2 times, my feet have NEVER burned before, figures, it has to happen during a marathon, right?

Anyway, I was thinking about a barefoot 5k that I had run back in May and that's when I solved the burning feet issue, I think. In May, I ran a barefoot 5k through the woods of Maine, over sticks, rocks, grass, twigs pine needles etc., It was only my 3rd time running barefoot, EVER. The race began and I was surprised by how much it did NOT hurt, when the race was over, everyone was talking about how painful it was, how rough the ground in the woods had been etc. I didn't think it was painful AT ALL, there were men who had been running barefoot for years who thought it hurt...

 Me and my friend, Kenny, "synchronized running."

Have you ever touched the bottom of a dog's paw?? If so, you know what the balls of my feet feel like!! I have callus buildup on the bottom of both my feet . No wonder I could sprint barefoot through the woods with ease, my feet are hard as an animals! OOPS! Aside from those 2 races, my feet have NEVER bothered me before.

Now I have a callus stone (in pink, of course)!  It's fun! And tickles a little

I tried to take a picture of my feet but there is nothing to see really, my feet feel hard if I poke them, but they look smooth and soft. Hmm, weird. Okay, now back to scrubbing ;-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Race Report: Baystate Marathon

As you guys already know, we ran the Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA on last Sunday, October 17th. We've finally found the time to sit down and blog it out. We'll do our usual his/hers race reports, as we ran this marathon solo. :)

This was only my second solo-marathon (without Miss Bethany pacing me), so I didn't really know what to expect. In my last solo-marathon, I struggled to a 4:07, so I was certainly hoping to beat that at Baystate. My A++++++ goal was and always has been to go sub-3:50, my A goal was 3:55, and my B goal was 4:00, and my C goal was 4:07. I wasn't fully sure how the race would go, so I started out at a conservative 9:15 pace for the first 3 miles, kinda just going with the flow until the crowd thinned out and the half-marathoners (who started with us marathoners) branched off. Around mile 3-4, I started dropping the pace down until I hit my average pace of about 8:45 min/mile. Once I hit this average pace, I hung here for a while, feeling really comfortable. I figured it felt good and it still kept me within striking distance of that 3:50 if I decided I felt really good in the second half. I hung at 8:45 min/mile for a while as we finished the first of the two-loop course, and I still felt strong holding this pace around mile 17 or so. From miles 17-22, I started to slow up a bit, and saw my average pace slow to about overall average 8:50 pace. I knew the 3:50 would be a bit out of reach, but I knew I was certainly going to come in under 4 hours. Despite a slowly increasing average pace, I still felt pretty solid finishing the second loop of the course as I headed for the basebdall stadium finish. I made my way into the stadium and crossed the finish line in a time of 3:58:34, Garmin read 26.32 miles, overall average pace 9:03. So I had slowed a bit in the last 10k or so, but it was nothing like the real slow-downs that I had in past marathons. I feel like the ultra-running and the few marathons and trail races that I did this summer have helped with the endurance a bit. I feel like I'm building up that base to the point where I can comfortably run 26.2 without much trouble. Now if I could only get a bit of Miss Bethany's speed.

I felt pretty good after I finished, with minimal soreness, and just a blood blister on the inside of my foot. I was very satisfied with my time, considering that my previous best solo-marathon was 4:07. One thing that this race showed me was how much having Miss Bethany pace me really helps. It seemed so much easier in Disney 2010 with her keeping me on pace, and keeping me going. It wasn't as easy trying to keep myself on pace and going strong.

So up next is the StoneCat Trail Marathon on Nov 6th. That's probably one of the races I'm looking forward to the most. Miss Bethany's first 50 miler!

Miss Bethany:
My goal going into this race was to PR, so I was looking for about a 3:28. As soon as the race started my breathing felt a little labored and, of course, my feet were frozen. Thankfully toes thawed by about mile 3 as I was getting into my rhythm. I definitely wanted to be conservative for the first 13 miles so i stayed right on 8:08 pace until mile 10. After mile 10 I started picking it just a bit and was on 7:57 average pace by mile 15. Around mile 13 the bottoms of my feet started burning, just like they did in Boston this year. The burning was uncomfortable but not unbearable. I felt really strong and powerful the entire race but around mile 21 my feet became unbearable. It felt like someone was peeling the skin off the rough part of my feet, it really hurt! I thought for sure that I was going to have huge blisters on the balls of my feet, which worried me since my 50 miler was 3 weeks away. At mile 21, I decided to take a 30 second walk break. From this point on I walked for 30-45 seconds every half mile. I obviously lost time walking, but when I started running again I was able to get right back on pace. My legs felt really strong and I didn't even feel tired. It was frustrating that I kept walking but I knew it was for the best. I finished in 3:34:54 and according to my Garmin I ran 26.31 miles. I was really pleased with the .31 as I was trying not to weave. My feet were on FIRE when I finished and I was afraid to take my shoes off because I knew I was going to see nasty blisters...but there was NOTHING, not even a hot spot, no red, nothing. hmm, weird. The bottom of my right foot still hurts.
I was really pleased with my race and my time. It wasn't the PR I was hoping for but I don't care, I'm very happy. (But seriously, how did I run 6 minutes FASTER on this course last year??) Looking back on the race, I realized that all I ate was a couple shot blocks and a few honey stingers, no GUs and no Gatorade, just water. My legs felt great after, a little soreness the next day but nothing major, all soreness is long gone now and I'm ready for the 50 (I think?)!

 Pre-race, waiting inside the arena

 Ryan at the finish!

Post race

****After the finish, Ryan said a woman recognized him from the blog, but he forgot to ask who she was!...If it was you, please let us know!!!!****

Monday, October 18, 2010

We Picked and Signed Up For Our 2011 Fall Road Marathon!

And it is . . . . . . . 
Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Maine! 

Continually ranked as one of (if not THE) most scenic marathon courses in North America, it runs all along Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. 

You may have read about it in a recent Runner's World where it was chosen Most Scenic and 2nd Best Overall Marathon:

We are SO excited! We love picking out our races in advance, because we always have something to look forward to!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baystate Marathon Results

Miss Bethany: 3:34:54
Ryan: 3:58:34

Second fastest time for both of us. We're both very pleased. Full recap to come tomorrow!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BAA Half Marathon and Tufts 10k for Women

This past weekend, we both raced one last time before our goal race this weekend: Baystate Marathon. I ran the BAA Half Marathon on Sunday and Miss Bethany ran the Tufts 10k for Women on Monday. We both kinda just went out at our cruising pace and just enjoyed it. 

The BAA Half is a nice course along Boston's Emerald Necklace in Jamaica Plain. It's a hilly and scenic course, and it's pretty fun. I've done it for the past three years. It's also very popular, and it sold out in about 2 hours this year. I went out at a nice pace that felt comfortable, and ended up easily cruising along at 8:24 pace the whole race. Miss Bethany was out on the course cheering me on, and I saw her on 4 different occasions. It was fun to see her cheering me on, for once. :) 


Cruising along around mile 8.

Cruising again, around mile 12.

Miss Bethany ran in the Tufts 10k for Women on Monday, and every year she runs it with a newbie runner or someone who's trying to lose weight or never run a race before, but this year her person bailed on her! So she ended up running the race solo. Her goal was to just run easy at 8 min/mile pace, not pushing too hard, just enjoying the race, and the camaraderie with her fellow women. You go girls! Joan Benoit Samuelson runs it every year and stays at the end to high-five all the ladies coming in. This year, even after running a 2:47 in Chicago the day before, she still flew to Boston and ran the 10k in 40:29 (6:31 pace). Miss Bethany high-fived her at the finish and congratulated her on her great time in Chicago. Miss Bethany finished in a 49:14 (avg pace of 7:56), not bad considering her first mile was 9:30 b/c of the congestion of the 8,000 women or so on the crowded Boston streets.

Always smiling. I got out of work and watched from the corner near Boston Common. 

Team RaceMenu/mix1 Ladies. Bethany couldn't wait to email Tall Mom a picture of her bib number. As you all know, 333 is her favorite number. 

So that's that. You will certainly be hearing from us either Sunday or Monday, after our Baystate Marathon this weekend. We're both really excited and hoping for new PRs. Only time will tell. We've put in the training and the effort and the hard work. This is the fun part now. We'll let you guys know how it goes! Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A 5k With My Co-workers!

Last Sunday, October 3rd, I had the pleasure of doing a 5k with my co-workers! Earlier in the year I organized a Biggest Loser type of challenge at work which lasted for about 3 months. Collectively the staff lost 70 pounds and then decided they'd like to try a 5k! The timing couldn't have been better since there is a 5k near my hometown that is put on by past Biggest Loser contestants Mark and Jay (season 5). The race was to raise money and awareness for Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. The 5k itself was awesome, Mark and Jay did such a great job!! In addition to Mark and Jay, there were 5 other Biggest Losers present, including 1 person who is CURRENTLY on the show, I won't say who, because I don't want to spoil anything, but all I can say is WOW!! He/she looked amazing!!!

For those of you who don't know what I do for work, I'm an American Sign Language interpreter but I also work at a Deaf community center where I have a wellness program. I teach the Deaf community about disease prevention, I teach cooking classes, exercise classes, provide workshops on various public health issues/concerns etc., all in sign language. Most of my co-workers are Deaf or Deaf-Blind. I love my job and I love my co-workers! (we all sit at a big table and have lunch together EVERYDAY).
 Post 5k. A few people are missing from this picture. See past Loser contestant Amanda? #316, what a beautiful girl!!

I love this picture! This is my Co-worker, Elaine(in black). She is Deaf -blind. Everyone did such a fantastic job!

My dear friend, Beth, with Rudy!

I ran the race on my own and then went back to find everyone else. I came in 6th female OA and 3rd in my AG. Ryan ran with his brother and mom, she did such a great job, ran one of her best times yet. This race was just so great, I can't say enough good things about it! There were SO many newbies and first timers, it was such a welcoming environment. 

The best part about the day?? My co-workers want to do it again next year! YAY! Actually, they can't wait for next year so we are going to do another one in the spring!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My First Almost Dog BIte

Yes, as the title tells you, I got my first almost dog bite this weekend while running in my hometown! I've been chased by dogs numerous times on my bike and while running but this is the first time a dog has ever actually made contact with me, usually they just bark or run along side. The little bastard chased me while jumping on my leg and trying to bite. I say "trying" because it's mouth was too small to get a hold of my ankle. I could feel wetness from its nose and mouth and I looked down a few times and saw its jaw rapidly trying to get a grip. When it first ran out at me I didn't really care because 1. I thought there would be an electric fence, and 2. the dog was so tiny. The only thing that makes me angrier than the dog is the fact that its owner WAS STANDING IN THE FRONT YARD AND SAID/DID NOTHING. I kept looking over my shoulder waiting for the owner to run out and get the dog and apologize but nothing. Are you kidding me? Your dog is hanging on my leg, does this look like good behavior to you?
I tried to talk to the dog at first saying in a sweet voice "hey little guy, don't bark at me, I'm just out for a run, go home!" No good. I tried to cross the street, no good. I tried to slow down, no good. So i just kept running and eventually it went home. It's not like this size dog could have wrestled me to the ground or anyhting so I just kept going.

This is what the dog looked like. Pretty vicious, huh?

Part of me wanted to stop and yell at the owner or call him on the phone(small town = easy to figure out who people are) but I was so pissed that I was afraid to make a scene. Also, this happened in the town I will someday move back to, who knows when my path will cross the owner's path again so I didn't want to seem like a jerk. I did however call the animal control officer in my town and she was very sweet and is going to go by the house and talk to the owner. I also happen to know the people who live across from the dog so I asked them about the dog and they said it runs wild all the time and is ignored. We do have a leash law in town but it's not the fact that hte dog was loose that bothers me, it's the fact that it made contact with me. Is this a violent dog? If I was child-size it would have bitten me no problem.

I've been running for 13 years so I knew it was bound to happen sometime. If the owner had been more responsible and said something or came to check on me I wouldn't be so annoyed. It's just plain irresponsible. Needless to say, I won't be running by that house again!

What dog problems have u guys had?