Hip Problem

November 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Marathon training, Richmond Marathon | 3 Comments

Of all the rotten luck!  I’m 10 days from my marathon and I’m hurting like crazy!  My right hip is sore from the front (hip flexor area) right around to the back (glutes).  What do I do? 

I ran 7 miles last night and felt terrible going uphill.  Maybe I should hit the pool and spin class.  Maybe I should just run on my treadmill.  Maybe I should forget my marathon.  WHAT SHOULD I DO?


Training and Tapering

October 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Posted in 1, Cross Training, Goals, Marathon, Richmond Marathon | Leave a comment

fl triOver the past 3 months, I’ve been training for the Richmond Marathon.  This will be my second time running this course and I’m really excited!  Richmond is a beautiful, historic city, and the race is friendly, fun, entertaining and challenging.

In previous years, I devoted myself to marathon training like it was my job.  I ate, slept, and drank my training.  I dreamed about the race.  I contemplated which strategy I would adopt for race day.  I set 3 different goals…the dream goal, the realistic goal, and the please-just-let-me-finsh goal.  For this race, my 12th marathon, I’ve adopted a whole new training plan.

With my new focus on triathlons, I haven’t run the number of miles I once did.  Instead, I swim and bike much, much more.  I’ve noticed that the crosstraining has kept me healthier and hurting less.  Hmmm…must be something to this!  That is, until this last month. 

 During October I’ve picked up my running considerably and backed down my crosstraining.  Guess what?  My hamstring on my left leg is hurting and my legs feel heavy and tired.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I firmly believe that the addition of the bike and swim have made me a healthier, stronger athlete. 

Next week begins my 2 week taper.  I’m going to taper like it’s my job.  Bring it on!

First Run of 2.5 Miles

November 16, 2007 at 1:15 am | Posted in Racing, recovery, Richmond Marathon | 1 Comment

Yesterday I decided to test my sore leg with an easy 2.5 miler.  Please note the stress placed on the word easyIndeed, my ran so easily that I really didn’t break a sweat.  Although my hip flexor is still letting me know it’s injured, I really didn’t feel too bad.  My quads and hamstrings (which normally are very sore after a marathon) felt great.  Nonetheless, I maintained a very slow pace of 9:13 for the short distance.

Next Thursday I’m planning on running the Webster 4.4 mile Turkey Trot along with 800 or more of my closest friends.  Quite certain that I won’t place, I will go out and have fun and talk with a few folks whom I haven’t seen since September.  (Seems hard to believe that I haven’t run a race in Rochester since then!) 

I’ve been thinking about all of the mistakes I made at Richmond as well as what I did right.  Tomorrow, I’ll write about some lessons learned at my 7th marathon. 

Pictures from Richmond

November 14, 2007 at 2:09 am | Posted in Richmond Marathon | 5 Comments


 November 10, 2007 – Race morning, anxiously waiting to begin!


Mile 20.  Notice the red streak down the front of my white shirt?  Note to self:  Next time use vaseline or another lubricant on chest where the band of the sports bra lies. 



Virginia is for Lovers

November 13, 2007 at 2:04 am | Posted in Gratitude, Richmond Marathon | 6 Comments

Virginia is for lovers.  Lovers of marathon running, that is.  A more beautiful marathon than Richmond I just can’t imagine; I’m so glad I ran this race!

Saturday morning just before the gun went off, I stood in line to use the restroom and struck up a conversation with the woman behind me.  Turns out, it was her first marathon and she was really excited, nervous, anxious to get started.  As we continued to chat, I learned that she and her husband are from my hometown.  Small world!

I’m not the best at recalling every detail of a marathon, but I’ll try.  The first few miles were a straight shot through downtown Richmond and basically flat and filled with cheering fans.  Then, I turned the corner and came face to face with Stonewall Jackson (his statue, that is).  Remarkable!  Much to my delight, the next few miles were run on Monument Avenue which features beautiful, historic homes and wonderful statues (can’t recall all that I saw but Arthur Ashe’s monument was fantastic). 

My favorite section of the Richmond Marathon was between miles 7 – 13.1, the run along the James River.  It’s difficult to capture in words the beauty I witnessed, but I’ll try.  Imagine enormous stone and brick mansions with huge pillar columns set in a backdrop of autumnal greens, oranges, and reds on one side of the road and the river on the other.  Absolutely breathtaking!   (I guess I should mention that this portion of the course features rolling hills, so you really need to pace yourself.)

If I’m honest, I’ll tell you that I positively hated miles 15 to 18.  First of all, approximately 2 miles of this stretch was run across a slick bridge that was a bit of an uphill climb featuring gusty, cold winds and traffic.  It was somewhere during these miles that my injured hip flexor started screaming, too.  My leg actually felt like it could easily have been detached from my hip.  Painful.  Thankfully, a very, very nice man named Ray ran along side me for a few miles chatting and joking the whole time.  Still, I thought of dropping out, but remembered Tom’s encouraging words, “Never, never, never give up!”  Instead of quitting I opted to slow my pace, take some ibuprofen, and trudge along to the finish. 

Before I knew it,  it was mile 20!  The final 10k!  Wow!  I couldn’t believe it!  I was really going to finish this marathon, injured and all!! I smiled, no I beamed.  (At least that’s what one of the volunteers at the 23 mile water stop told me.)  As I slowly pressed on to the finish (my pace had slowed to about 10:00 per mile) I just kept thinking about how lucky I am to be a runner.  At one point (I guess it was mile 24), I started to cry a bit and just kept saying thank you.  Thank you, legs, for carrying through this distance once again.  Thank you, heart, for beating strong.  Thank you, mind, for tricking my body into finishing this course.  Thank you, friends and family, for all of your support and encouragement. 

At mile 25, I knew deep in my soul why I run.  I run because it makes me feel strong emotionally as well as physically.  I run because it brings me peace.  I run because it boosts my self-worth, and while my feet are moving and my body is sweating and my heart is accelerating I feel like a beauty, something I’ve never been.  Once again, I muttered an audible thank you and moved toward the finish.

The final stretch of this marathon was AWESOME!  The finish line was at the corner of 10th and Cary Street, and when I turned onto Cary St. and saw the finishline at the base of the hill and the sea of humanity lining both sides of the street, I started to run with all of my might.  Waving to the crowds as I ran, I let out few shouts for joy.  I DID IT!  I FINISHED!  My time was 4:07:00, not a PR and not a Boston qualifier.  But it was the very best I could do under the circumstances.

My mindset for this marathon was much, much different than any other I’ve ever run.  When I awoke Saturday morning at 5:00 I promised myself that I would run easy and just enjoy the race.  Honestly, that’s exactly what I did. 

I would be lying if I told you that I’m thrilled with my time.  But it’s nothing more than a memory now; there’s nothing I can do to change it.  What I can do, however, is learn from this experience.  The most valuable lesson I learned (I think) is that I MUST listen to my body and throw in more easy days along with the hard ones. 

Countdown: TWO DAYS!!

November 9, 2007 at 2:38 am | Posted in Goals, Gratitude, Richmond Marathon | 5 Comments

Two days remain till I hit the roads at America’s Friendliest Marathon in Richmond, VA!!  This will be my final post until Sunday or Monday as I’m leavin on a jet plane first thing tomorrow morning.

My final thoughts include:

“Ohhh!!! I’m so excited!! Can’t wait to see Richmond!”

“Damn! I’m scared!  Hope my leg will let me finish!”

“I wonder if I’ll make any new friends?”

“Okay.  Focus.  When the going gets tough, remember your 10:1 strategy.  After 10 minutes of running, allow yourself a 1 minute break.”

“Remember to whisper a thank you for the strength to run.”

“Send positive energy to your friends.”

“Never, never, never give up!”

“You can achieve anything into which you put your heart, mind, and soul.”

“Enjoy every step of the journey and SMILE!”

Thank you, BRFs, for your encouragement.  I’ll send a post on Monday. 

Pre-Race Jitters

November 6, 2007 at 12:13 am | Posted in friends, Inspiration, Richmond Marathon | 3 Comments

As each day brings me closer to the Richmond Marathon a little voice inside my head starts whispering (or is that screaming), “It’s not too late to turn back!”  Actually, I woke up Sunday morning and wondered if I could postpone my entry until next year.  Of course, that would mean changing my airline tickets, too, not to mention the humble pie I’d have to eat in front of all of the Rochester runners who’ve read that I’m committed to running this weekend.  CRAP!  There’s no backing out now!

Then, I read a local runner’s account of a 66k he ran in France last week WITHOUT any training.  That’s right:  he ran 41 miles after only running 12 times this year!! Can you believe it?  (What I haven’t told you is that he formerly was a professional duathlete, but still, he’s not in the shape he once was.)  He reminded me of the power the mind has over the body, for it was sheer will that took him to the end of an extremely arduous journey.

Then, I read Tom’s post for today.  He reminds his readers to Never, Never, Never Give Up.  That’s all I needed to read.  Now, my mind is made up:  I won’t give up!  I’ll run this marathon with a smile.  In fact, I’m going to enjoy this race and let go of my dream of qualifying; instead, I’ll focus on the beauty and history of Richmond.  I guess this just isn’t my time to qualify but I KNOW I’ll qualify some day.

My friend, JP, is running his first 50k this Saturday.   He’s trained so diligently and so consistently – I just know he’ll do great.  His smart approach to a very challenging training schedule has taught me a valuable lesson – it’s okay to veer from your plan once in a while. Please join me in wishing him good luck.

Although my legs don’t feel as fresh as I’d like them to the week of my marathon, I’m so thankful that I’ve chosen to run Richmond.  My mantra for this race will be, “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP“! 

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