The Love of the Run

The Love of the Run

Monday, November 21, 2011


Training the last week went great.  Legs are feeling healthy!  I completed my first long marathon progression to end the week with Jordan helping pace me; it definitely was one of my better workouts of the last few months.  I'm getting excited as I'm getting back into marathon shape!  Weather was great all week for training (tan line great even).  I love exploring the DC running area-- still can't believe how hilly it is here!!   I have been increasing my mileage on the roads/ pavement and have been responding favorable which is something my body wasn't handling a few months ago. Being comfortable and confident running hard on the roads is how I want and plan to enter the trials.

I am obsessed slightly with Sparkling water.   I didn't realize how obsessed until today.   I purchased 4 bottles yesterday at Target around 6 pm, by 3 pm the next day they were gone.   4 + bottles a day x 7 = 28+ a week.    I'm well hydrated.   Actually annoyingly hydrated.   Altitude increases frequency of urination as a side effect.  I already go like 10x a day.  Now 10x a day x 3 for altitude = 30x a day.  Ok not that much.... but close enough.

Tent Update:  I definitely am sleeping better than Colorado in the tent, but in Colorado I really wasn't sleeping at all.  The tent was at 5000 feet the first few nights and now has been increased to 6000 feet.   I slept really well at 5000 feet; actually better than I have in a long time.    Since it's been at 6000 feet, things have been more difficult..

"Expect to have nightmares and disrupted sleep at high altitudes. The brain functions differently in thin air and one result is increased nightmares or odd dreams. You will not sleep soundly at altitude. The best to hope for is rest and some recovery"
Disrupted sleep... check
Nightmares.... check
Odd dreams.... check
Still sleeping at 6000 feet..... check
Hoping.... check

Starting week 2-- First 3 hour run next week since June.  Last week I did a 2.5 hour run.  It actually went well, but I can tell my body isn't used to running longer than 2 hours!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Training has Resumed!

Nov 14th  Back
Training started again today- so ready to get in "sick" shape as Jordan always says!  Today I ran at the Theodore Roosevelt Island -- only a mile from our place. "One of Theodore Roosevelt’s greatest legacies was his dedication to conservation. Today, this island stands as a fitting memorial to the outdoorsman, naturalist, and visionary who was our 26th President."   I did the workout on a gently rolling bike path that extends throughout the city that starts from the parking lot. Great view and popular place for runners...  not sure I was a great view... !!

The path!  Nice overcast day-- in the 60s again-- a bit warmer than MN- tomorrow MN is supposed to get 5 inches of snow.  I ran in a sports bra and shorts.... !!
 I ran on what's called the Mount Vernon bike trail
"While Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, WI, on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper shot him, but the bullet lodged in his chest only after penetrating his steel eyeglass case and passing through a thick (50 pages) single-folded copy of the speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt, as an experienced hunter and anatomist, correctly concluded that since he was not coughing blood, the bullet had not completely penetrated the chest wall to his lung, and so declined suggestions he go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech with blood seeping into his shirt.  He spoke for 90 minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." --Wikpedia


Survived!   I did 3 x 15 minutes at threshold today.  This is the longest workout I've done on pavement since June.  Legs held up on the pavement, very happy!!  One more day closer and ready for the Trials!

Monday, November 14, 2011


 I typically haven't been sore after marathons.  I thought I might be sore after New York as I wasn't prepared for it as I have been for previous marathons, but I had little soreness the next day after. Whew, I was relieved until Day 2.... nevermind-- can't move!!  Monday I did a short recovery run with Jordan in Central Park (well we both ran there- I insisted he ditch me and my barely moving pace- I could hardly handle running with myself haha!). 

I flew back to Denver late Monday night and Jen Jones who is amazing picked me up and we drove back to Fort Collins.   Thanks Jen!   I packed my car, went to bed and drove home early the next day-- ALL DAY, 17 hours. The drive alone actually went fairly fast, but the last few hours it was raining and dark -- to be honest I was slightly hallucinating seeing things at this point ... but I made it home!

I packed the next two days, worked a day, saw friends and then flew out to DC Friday!  I have been traveling an exhaustive amount the past few months.    Happy to finally be settled somewhere! I have a new bedroom-- an altitude tent-- see below-  feels like camping (minus bears and smores) ..... the first night I woke up and really did think I was...

I was nervous to sleep in the tent mainly because my coach said to make sure that we "read all the directions so we don't die our first night in", thanks Chad ... !  I had a really difficult time acclimating in Colorado to altitude and that made me nervous about the tent.   Surprisingly I slept better than I have in a long time the first night in it.   I woke up with a bit of a dry throat-- but nothing as severe as Colordao (difficulty breathing, swallowing, pounding headache, numb and tingling fingers...  great memories !). 

The tent!   
Training starts tomorrow!   Excited and eager which I believe means I'm ready! I did two strength workouts and easy running this past week to recovery from the marathon.  Soreness is finally gone-go time again! 


Incredible city & Incredible race (tough)!!  I finished in 2:41:01, 19th female, 4th American.  Due to some hamstring and foot issues I wasn't able to prepare fully as I have for other marathons entering the race.  I entered without injury and came away injury free besides my hip which smashed into the ground as my legs buckled as soon as I stopped running at the finish.. OUCH!

This is the first time I have ever collapsed at the finish of a race. I started hyperventilating and two volunteers tried to whisk me into the tents.  After a few minutes when I caught my breath and my legs I was able to convince them I was fine.  The course was by far the hardest I've ever raced on-- amazing views, spectators and despite not bringing my "A game" I had a great race experience!  The support and assistance from ING was incredible and their hospitality much appreciated!

I made the UK newspaper!

This link is to an ASICs recap of the marathon-- again my fall made it in the video (about 60 seconds in, 30seconds in is another MN Erin Block Ward also being escorted from the finish)!  Here's a link to an interview I did a few days before the race-- I haven't watched it yet :)

Chad and I at the VIP post race dinner!  So happy to have Chad out in New York.  The dinner was at the Essex and we saw Morgan Freeman roaming in the hallways.  No big deal :)

Another personI was very happy to have in New York the entire week I was there! Best tour guide ever-  besides getting lost in Central Park every day (thankfully it's really flat there-- this is a lie).... !!

View of Central Park-- great place to run or pretty much the only place to run in New York City, but still was amazing!

Colorado/Altitude Training

Altitude camp in Colorado for 18 days:

Colorado Springs
I drove to Colorado Springs (6000 feet) and arrived Friday the 18th of October.  I spent my first 4 days here.  I had a really difficult time adjusting to altitude.  The first night I couldn't breathe or swallow, I was miserable.  I slept a total of 4 hours the first two nights and woke up with my hands numb and my head throbbing.  I was ready to head home or to the hospital!  It took me about 5 days to adjust, but I did eventually.  My sore throat improved, but I did lose my voice while out there-- luckily I spent most of my trip in isolation so it wasn't an issue! 

 I ran the majority of my workouts while in Colorado Springs at the Garden of the Gods, which was absolutely stunning.   Jordan flew in Tuesday for 5 days and we ran in the Garden that day.  While out running Jordan was joking about seeing horses on the trail as we kept running past piles of horse droppings.  I am not a fan of horses (intimidating!!) and made some comment about how I really would hate if that happened.   SO of course about 5 minutes later we came upon 4 of them!!!!

Estes Park (7500-8000 feet)
I was here for 7 days, alone! Beautiful, great running in the Rocky Mountains.  It was HARD running at this high of altitude.  I averaged 13 minute pace while running in the Rockies one day.  My coach had told me to run 10 minute pace for recovery runs.  I was thinking that is going to be impossible to run that slow.... I was wrong....

Grandmas MN mile

Last minute I asked my coach if I could run the MN mile as we were working on a MaxV02 block before Philadelphia 1/2--

The result -- I ran Grandma's MN mile on September 11 in 5:07 and finished in 7th place.  I was at 2:20 at the 1/2 mile mark-- I was ALL OUT of all out at that point!   I enjoy racing in Duluth as my family and coach live in/near Duluth.  My grandma cheers (screams)  louder than anyone I know!   Great weekend with family and friends!

Coach Chad with wife Mimmu and Taavi and Iita

Love my family!!

Philadelphia Rock & Roll 1/2

Philadelphia Rock & Roll 1/2:
1:17:41 28th place

Getting back into shape!   Due to my hamstring injury I was just able to start tempo work the week prior to the race; I was still hoping to be near PR shape (nope!)--   I was happy to finish without injury and despite being out of race shape I still felt mentally engaged during the race and have been feeling stronger every week. 

Video link to the finish of the race