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Monday, May 21, 2007

Huge deposit in my Ironman bank

I believe I had a breakthrough weekend this past weekend. It was totally unexpected, which somehow makes it even better.

Saturday morning, I met Jodi for a long bike ride. She had 7 hours on the schedule and I had 5, so we met after she'd been riding for an hour. Many, many hilly and sometimes super-windy miles and 5:15 hours later, she dropped me back at the starting point. We had covered 82 miles longest ride ever. My butt was complaining a little, but overall my nutrition was solid and I felt relatively good. I headed out for a very hilly, yet quite fun 45-minute trail run after. I found my legs pretty quickly and really enjoyed traversing many streams and jumping over logs. I finished up near the Chagrin River, so I took off my socks/shoes and waded in up to my quads to soak in the chilly water for 15 minutes. I'm sure the people out for their afternoon walk thought I was a nutball, but it was easier than going home to a cold bath.

My sister-in-law was in town for the Cleveland marathon, so we hung out after my workout while Matt made us a great dinner. Maggie was as cool as a cucumber. I know I was nervous before my first (and second) marathon, but like her brother before a big race, she showed no fear - must be a trait inherited by blood and not by last name. : )

I got my race plan for Sunday from my coach - it said: stay in aerobic zone 2 for 10 miles and then pick up to zone 3 for last 3.1, but no higher. It was a training run after all, not a race for me.

We got to the start line a little late. I couldn't see any of the pacers, so I should have known I was too far back, but it didn't occur to me. For the first two miles, I dodged many walkers while making my way up from the 6-hour pace group to eventually the 4:30 one. I figured I should be able to do a 2:15 within zone with no problem.

It turns out that I had more in me than I thought. My pace was not technically zone 2, but it was very low zone 3 for the first 10 miles. There were times when I felt great and others not so much. Around the mile 6 aid station, I saw TriSara passing out PowerAde. She allowed me to rub her pregnant belly for luck. It provided just the boost I needed at the time. Thanks Sara!

Around mile 8-9, there is a long climb on the highway back into town. It was at this point that I passed the 4:15 pace group. I just kept feeling better and better after that. The Carnegie bridge from mile 10-11 is on my typical running route and I flew up and down it. Unfortunately, I didn't see Jodi at the bottom as the others did. After that, I just picked up the pace and finished strong. My final official time was 2:02:41, which is a 2.5 minute PR. Not bad for a training run the day after a 6-hour workout! It is definitely a huge deposit in my Ironman bank and a welcome confidence booster!

After the race, Matt, his mom and I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed out on the course to see his sister. Matt and I waited at mile 22 for Maggie. She was smiling and still trucking along when she got to the mile marker. She was using a Galloway plan, which she had modified at that point in the race to 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. It kept her focused and moving forward, which is exactly what she needed. Matt and I accompanied her to mile 23 and then we sent her on the way. We waited for her around mile 25. By the time she got there, the race people had pulled up the cones from the road and had sent the police home even though the course was supposed to be open for 8 hours. She was forced to walk/run on the sidewalk and obey the traffic signals. That didn't bother her (it did me and her mom though), but the worst part was they removed not only the aid stations and mile markers but also the directional signs. WTF! Now that she was rightfully angry about. Luckily, I knew the rest of the way and accompanied her to the finish line. She did so awesome and was right around her goal time of 6.5 hours! I am really proud of her accomplishment and hope she keeps running despite the poor treatment from the classless race director. I will go on record saying that I will never do the Cleveland marathon again, which is too bad, because I did like the race course. Regardless, Maggie rocked her goal and she was fabulous! Here is a picture of her and me at mile 23.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww- Thanks Jen. I emailed the race director and actually got an apology. It was actually pretty funny in retrospect. People.... signs. Are. A. Good. Thing.

Between you, matt and my mom- you guys are the FIRST CLASS cheering section. I'll try and live up to your motivational ways when you are rocking the IronMan and want to hear rowdy fandom cheering you on.


8:01 PM

Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Congratulations on a PR--and after a 6 hour workout?!?!?! You rock!

Glad my belly's good for somethin'! :) Luck had nothing to do with it though. You ran a great race!

9:16 PM

Blogger Matt Collister said...

I am pretty much just making withdrawals from my Ironman bank at this point.

We're very proud of Maggie. She's come a long way!

5:43 AM

Blogger Jodi said...

I knew you had a PR run in you! Great job, Jen!

I had a wonderful time on Saturday too



6:11 AM

Blogger Mallie said...

Sounds like a very awesome weekend, Jen. You're gonna have so much dough in your IM bank you'll even be able to make some loans to athletes in need! So glad you had such a good time, and glad your sis-in-law made lemonade out of some lemon-ish behavior.

8:42 AM

Blogger E-Speed said...

firstly congrats on your huge pr.

secondly I have seen similar treatment to back of the packers at other races, but it never gets easier on me. My heart breaks every time. Your SIL did great, what a great race for her and a great attitude.

9:08 AM

Blogger DaisyDuc said...

Jen, fantastic weekend!!! A PR on a training run following a long day before...even better!!!

I am so jealous to keep missing out on these fun-filled rides but once I get back from vacation on 6/3, hopefully I can tag along!!!

So sorry to hear about your SIL, but her attitude was amazing and it is a true achievement to finish a full marathon!!!!

4:45 PM

Blogger Charlie said...

Congrats to both of you.
I found a comment of yours from nov saying that you would be lucky to even run the 1/2.....You PR'd!
You have come a long way this year. Your patients through the injury has really paid off.

7:26 PM

Blogger Craig said...

Congratulations on the speedy PR and breakthrough weekend! Awesome weekend for the 3 of you!

7:25 AM

Blogger Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on your half marathon PR!. And congratulations to Maggie on completing her first marathon too. Good for you to help her manage those last few desolate miles with her.

10:02 AM


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