Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thank you, Jesus!

I'm not a Christian, heck, I don't even have a religion, but I know why athletes, musicians, actors and other "winners" all get to a microphone and thank Jesus and their mothers.

I have never felt so grateful in my whole life than on Sunday, October 16, 2011.  I wanted to hug a million people and kiss babies and maybe even thank MY mother, who wasn't even there for the big day.  Accomplishing something you hadn't even dared to dream of accomplishing is an amazing thing, and makes you realize how many people helped you get there.  Sure *I* did it, but it's hard not to think that people who believed in me, didn't laugh when I told them I was going to run a marathon, who came to the race, who sent well wishes via text/facebook/twitter, handed me a blue-raspberry coolatta in the middle of the course - so many people.

So here's how it went:

Alarm went off at 5:10am.  John got out of bed.  at 5:30, John came back and woke me up.  He made my protein shake for me, cuz he's awesome like that.  I drank up and got dressed, started stretching.  We were in the car by 6:00am.  I ate a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat and drank 20 oz of diet coke on the ride.  We parked in a garage about a 10 minute walk from the start, and arrived to the starting area around 6:45 for an 8am start. It was in the low 50s outside, so we found a spot indoors to stretch and warm-up.  Then we found gear check, dropped off our stuff and got in line for the bathroom.  I was the last person in line for the indoor bathroom, and we ran outside to hear them playing the national anthem.  JUST IN TIME.  :)

We jumped into the starting crowd somewhere near the back.  no pace corrals.  only about 1000 marathoners and maybe 2000 half marathoners.  We ran together for the first 3 miles or so and then they turned off.

Our race course is advertised as fast and flat, with 2/3 of the field Qualifying for Boston.  John and I were not concerned with the qualifying standards, but we really counted on the FLAT part, which was fairly accurate. The course features a double loop.  We didn't get lapped until our mile 9 or 10 (their mile 19 or 20).  We were hoping we'd avoid getting lapped, but c'est la vie.

We ran the first half in 2:30, which I thought was pretty good.  It was faster than our half time in August, and I thought would be a decent start to running a 5:30 marathon.  Neither of us struggled during the first half  - we walked the water stations as planned, and we walked 2 hills.  After the halfway mark, John's family greeted us at mile 14+.  They resupplied us with Gu, Gatorade for John and a blue-raspberry Coolatta for me.  I think I also ate some chips.  They held signs that said "Goofy or Bust".  I was so happy to see them, but we had to keep going.  That was our longest mile - 20 minutes - so I guess we stopped for about 5 minutes with them.

We made the last turnaround on the loop and were on the "homestretch" at mile 17.5, when my quad started cramping. and my foot.  and my calf.. sort of.  All on my left side.  ugh.  I stretched some, which of course tripped up my hamstring a bit, ate another Gu packet (I was Gu-ing every 2-3 miles up to this point) and vowed to Gu every 1.5-2.5 miles the rest of the way - and did.  At the next water stop I filled my Coolatta cup with multiple cups of water and gatorade and drank that.  The cramping eased up with the upped electrolyte intake.  AMEN.

Around mile 20 John started to run out of gas.  our walking breaks became more frequent, but we soldiered on.  At mile 25 he told me that I should just go on ahead and run for it if I "had it", but I didn't come 25 miles with him to leave him to shuffle alone.  We weren't racing, we'd already missed all our goal times, and our biggest goal was to do it together.  He hadn't left me when I was cramping, so we ran 1/4 miles at a time, and then as we were a 1/2 mile from the finish we picked it up.  My sisters and nieces and nephew were at the 50 yd mark to finish which gave me a huge boost and then the sister with the camera took some pics and then ran to the finish line to catch me.  At this point I pushed ahead and left John and beat him by 3 seconds. LOL  His family was right beyond the finish line waiting with hugs and gatorade.  I accepted my space blanket and bottle of water from the race volunteer, assured them I was good and met up with our fans.  John wasn't aware they were right there, so I had to call him over.  We drank gatorade and accepted hugs and kisses over the fence, posed for pictures and ate protein bars.

I'm so proud of us.  I'm so proud of me.  3 years ago I was morbidly obese.  Not just fat, but "wicked fat".  Now I'm a marathon runner.  Two days later, the pain is fading, and I'm thinking about the next run.  We've got a 5k on Sunday and we're talking Goofy strategies.  Life is amazing!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What will I learn this weekend?

This weekend I make my marathon debut.  I don't expect it to be pretty.  I've been going between fear, ambivalence and all out panic for a few weeks now.  I've been trying to deny it, overcome it, work through it, ignore it... and the problem is, I don't know what "it" is that I'm battling.

In August I started suffering from insomnia.  I thought it was due to a stressful event.  Event occurred.  it's more than 2 months later.  I still ain't sleeping right.  I'm not running right.  I'm not excited.  I'm terrified.

But I'm preparing.  I'm trying to carb-load like a good marathoner.... well except that thanks to my RNY I have this tiny little pouch for a stomach.  I can't eat a lot at any given meal, and I have an extra hard time with carbs that can occasionally cause me instestinal pain that lands me in the ER hooked up to morphine.  This has happened twice.  Once was a few hours after eating a soft pretzel.  The second time... no real immediately preceeding food, do we're not really sure why it happened.    Needless to say, with no known culprit, I just don't know what to do about carb-loading.  I'm adding an extra serving of carbs every day this week.  maybe 2 extra servings on Friday or Saturday.

I had my first Annie's mac n' cheese since my surgery.  I love white cheddar.  I used to eat a box of this stuff in a sitting, with hot dogs!  I ate about 1/3 of my whole wheat Annie's shells n' cheddar last night.  a little weird tasting, but trying to get more nutritional bang for my buck with the whole wheat pasta.  go me.

I was advised today not to try the full marathon on Sunday.  With so many physical concerns (lack of sleep, nutrition issues and another pesky ailment that remains a mystery and requires further testing), I can see why it was suggested I do something I'm more confident in and run the half marathon. i'm afraid and exhausted, and no one is holding a gun to my head to run this marathon. 

And yet, I still plan to run it.  or die trying.  ok...that's a little dramatic. but I'd rather saddle up to the start line and see how far I go, risking a DNF or an 8 hour time than to not try.  I surprise myself a lot, so I might just do better than I fear.  Adrenaline does a lot for a person.  Family members on the course with blue-raspberry coolattas from Dunkin Donuts can do a lot for a person.

I can't wait to see what race report I get to write when this is done. I know I'm gonna learn a lot about running, about myself, and about my boyfriend who gets to watch this marathon up close and personal.  Wish us luck!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2 years of running is *some* preparation, I guess!

So yes, I survived the RnR Providence Half Marathon.  It was drizzling at the start and rained/poured on and off the whole damn way.  I had a great fear of blisters, but finished with only 1, and a few weeks later, none of my toenails have fallen off, so I guess it went alright.
My sister and I before heading out to the race.

My plan on race day to was to stick with my boyfriend, if I could.  He had never run a Half, but had been running and playing soccer pretty regularly all summer, so I thought he'd fare better on the course.  Turns out we were probably both going to finish around the same time no matter what we did.  there were times when I just wanted to charge ahead faster than him, but I'm pretty sure that would have left me walking a lot more towards the end and he would have caught up.  So I just stuck with him and we stopped for stretching when we needed it, walked all the water stops and plugged along best we could.  I enjoyed all the bands that dared to come out and play in the rain along the course.  I made sure they knew I enjoyed them by clapping and cheering for them, singing along and dancing my way past them.

I think this was in the first 4-6 miles.  Not really sure.

The course was well designed, most of it familiar from the half I ran in Providence in May.  Of course, there weren't all those puddles the first time around.  *sigh*  I guess we all have to learn to run in the rain.  Even pouring rain.  No thunder though, so it was safe.

My sister finished in 2:25ish, which is awesome.  Her first half, crap weather, and she goes sub 2:30.  Very proud!  Of course, she left us at mile 1 when we were warmed up enough to stop and stretch. LOL  We didn't see her again until a turn-around at Mile 11, and of course, at the end with a beer!

John and I finished in 2:43 (i think).  Nothing to write home about for me, but it's his PR for now!  His last "long" run was 9 miles - in June.  so I'm super proud of him too!

We finished! We're smiling! We're SOAKED.
We met up with my family afterwards, told them to go home and get out of the rain, and the three runners got our free beer and enjoyed the Sugar Ray concert in the continuing rain.  This was very helpful as it was time to stretch and deal with my calf muscle that kept cramping the last mile. OMG PAIN.  dancing around in the rain, eating and drinking was good for the body.  When we finally got to the car and rung out our clothes, it was safe to drive home without fear of massive cramping. 

I hope next year there is no rain.  Though, I'm not sure I'm interested in running long distance in the summer.  I just don't like it.  The rain was actually preferable.

The very BEST part of the race... getting ourselves back on track for marathon training.  October 16, here I come!!!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

totally unprepared.

I think my last "long" run was on July 4th, a 10K.  I ran a 10K last night as a training run for my 4th Half Marathon, which is SUNDAY.  Yup, since my last half on May 1, the longest I've run is a 10k.  Not frequently, not regularly, not nothing.

I do not like running in the summer.  I don't like the heat, I don't like the humidity and my asthma doesn't like it either.  I am trying out using Singulair to treat my exercise induced asthma on these awful days, but it's really hard to determine what's causing my misery when it's hot, humid AND i'm completely out of racing form.

The good news (for my running) is that we're on the down side of summer, so things will cool off soon.  The Rock N Roll Half is supposed to be the mid-point of my marathon training, and it's almost become a relaunch.  Whatever, gotta get it done.  After this weekend, I'm heading into previously untravelled experiences runningwise, letting the weekend long runs start drifting upwards of 13.1 miles. 

Well, I'll let you know how it goes on Sunday.  I'm hoping to run more than I walk, and enjoy the scenery and the music of the first Providence Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

it's like riding a bike!

which is why we call it riding a bike. 

One of the things about my boyfriend that initially attracted me to him was that he was a really active person.  He plays soccer and rides a bike.  Mostly, he is a fan of mountain biking, but he genuinely enjoys any kind of bike ride.  I, on the other hand, have always been a swimmer, and as an adult, a walker (and now runner and walker).  I had a bike as a kid, but once I was old enough to ride my bike off my street, I was bored with my bike since I couldn't ride it back ONTO my street ( I grew up on a steep hill).

So he's taken up the challenge of running now, and we've double-dared each other to complete the Goofy Challenge this coming January!  We have run some races together already, and I really like training together.  It means a lot to me that he's jumped into this running thing.  We can talk about training runs, shoes, race strategy, aches, pains... running is a language few other people in my life speak.

And then he goes on a bike ride.  The writing is on the wall.  Must ride bike. I even WANT to ride a bike. People seem so happy riding along the rail trail.  So one day, a few weeks ago (a month?) we put a helmet on me, he adjusts his mountain bike for me, he gets on another of his bikes and away we go.  I don't know how to change gears.  i'm petrified as the first thing we do is go down a hill. and OMG, my lady parts HURT.  We finally get off the road and onto the smooth, straight rail trail and pedal along. Our destination was breakfast in town, 2 miles away.  By the time we got there, I feel sexually assaulted by this bike. My legs feel fine, so I focus on that.  The ride home was not any more comfortable, and that hill I started out going down... I had to walk the bike back up.  Not fun, but at least I didn't have to sit on that torture device anymore.

We decide that getting me some padded bike shorts is a smart idea for "next time".  I'm petrified to have to do that again. 

Then, a gift arrives.  Boyfriend's sister shows up at a family function with a bike!  She's got a new one, and just had a baby anyway, so I can use this one while I'm figuring out what I want to do.  This bike is for a GIRL.  it's got a girl's seat, a comfort seat, and while the bike is a bit too small for me (she's 5'1, I'm 5'6), it's still heaps better for me than that men's racing mountain bike.  I test it out and fly down the driveway, thrilled with the wind in my hair and not feeling anything on my butt.

So, this past Saturday, my no longer fat butt gets on this bike for a ride with my sweetie.  He gets on his torture machine, and I get on my cruiser-ish loaner with my bike shorts and some borrowed gloves.  I'm upset that the helmet doesn't match my outfit, but alas... We ride 7 miles down the bike path and stop to get a cold drink before returning home.  Yes, my butt hurts a little, and my lady parts are numb, but I don't feel like a victim.  we enjoy our drinks, and head back to town for lunch.  My legs are starting to get quite tired, and I'm worried I won't make it back home on the bike...especially with that stupid hill.  But the gears on this bike are MUCH easier to change.  With some grit and not a few reminders to myself that "I ran a damn half marathon THREE times, I can get up this stupid hill!!", I made it.  I'm sure it wasn't pretty, but it was pedaled.  We made it home, cracked open some cold beers and enjoyed the thrill of my victory.

I like riding a bike.  I fantasize about getting my own someday!  After Goofy though... one thing at a time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Harvard Pilgrim 10k, Foxboro MA. my personal Everest.

I ran this race last year, it's appeal is that it finishes on the 50 yard

line at the New England Patriot's field, Gillette Stadium. It was very hot
and humid last year, and even though I'd run a half marathon the month
before, I found this 10K to the hardest race I've ever run due to the

I had hoped the weather would be kind this year, and all forecasts pointed
to my redemption this year. My training has been.... um.... well, lacking
this last month, but I was still hoping to match my time from last year,
at the very least.

Then the forecast changed, as it does in New England. We awoke to 70s and
90% humidity. that was 2 hours before race time. Then the sun broke
through. I stopped checking the weather and kept drinking water.

The race began in the shopping center this year. Loved hearing that the
start line was next to Old Navy and Victoria's secret. Running AND a mall?

So I lined up in the unrealistic 9 minute corall with my friend who was in
town hoping for a sub 60. I had tossed that idea out the window with my
poor training, and with the humidity (and my asthma) just hoped to "do my
thing" whatever that was meant to be. I lost her right at the beginning,
and wondered if my boyfriend, who had carefully taped his ankle and started
with the 12 minute pack would catch up to me. I ran/walked most of the
course, taking advantage of the few patches of shade, every water station
and making the spectators cheer for me along the way. The course is mostly
flat with a few small rollers, but the sun was brutal with very little
shade to be found.

At the last water station, when we turn into the access road to the stadium
a lot of young men (a local track team perhaps?) was manning the station
and they were splashing folks who requested it "say 'splash' once for on
cup, say it twice for many", so as i approached i yelled "splash splash
splash" and got a wave of water thrown at me. it felt DAMN good. I had no
idea how long I'd been running, but I was hot. I wore my Garmin, but I
purposely never looked at the timer. I occasionally glanced at my pace
when I was walking, just to make sure I was not going too slow, as I decided
along the way I was hoping for a 12 minute pace average. Then with about
.4 to go a splash of water hit me in the back, and my boyfriend greeted me.
He had just sprinted his way to catch up to me. We ran to the finish
together, which was perfect since I liked having someone to chat with and
distract me from the misery of the conditions. We agreed that this was one
race worth NOT sprinting to the finish because we wanted to enjoy running
through the inflatable helmet onto the football field and across the fifty
yard line. No sense in rushing through that! This was his first 10K (and
longest race yet), so a PR for him, and for me, a PW!! (personal worst).
I will conquer this course someday, but yesterday was not the day to die trying. My friend did not make her sub 60, which would have been a PR by 4 or 5 minutes for her, and I tried to explain to her that we can't PR every time, and that conditions such as weather, course terrain and a million other factors are going to effect us! By the end of the day, she had become pretty pleased with her effort, but it does suck to be disappointed and frustrated with things beyond our control.

My official results:

Div Guntime Nettime Pace Name
F3039 1:14:32 1:13:12 11:47 Sue Doucet

garmin link:
and a photo of me pre-race... my headband was chosen to match my plan for the race.


After the race we grabbed some food and spent the afternoon soaking in the sun at my mom's pool. No better way to spend a post-race day, as far as I'm concerned.

I recommend this race to everyone! Great chance to finish a race, on an NFL field with your face up on the jumbo-tron!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moody Street 5K

So, after my HM on May 1, I took a little time off from running.  not a lot, but just relaxed a bit, didn't push myself too hard.  The weather got crappy, so it was hard to fit in outdoor training and I H.A.T.E. the dreadmill. For the past couple of weeks I've done a few speed workouts though.  partially on purpose, partly by accident and partly by necessity - as in "I don't have time to get much done, so let's try and see how fast I can go".

I'm running a 10K on July 4, and I'd really really really like to run sub-60.  I ran 1:01 something on my last one, so I think I can get there, especially if the weather cooperates on race day.

Anyway, this 1st Annual Moody Street 5K was being held right in my backyard, so we reassembled members of Team Missile Toes for the occasion.  Unfortunately, one member lives in DC (Hi Anamarie) and one member was in the hospital (get well soon, sweetie!), so 3 of us ran.
L-R: me, Geno and Joanna

The first 3/4 mile was uphill through the retail district of Moody Street.  I remember when this hill would kill me.  Pleased to say that now it was nothing.  I looked down at my Garmin and was shocked to see how fast a speed I was sustaining while still managing to fall behind my sister and my nephew.  My nephew was going to be out of sight in no time, I didn't worry about it.  My sister starts fast and then falls off, so I wasn't worried about her getting too far ahead.  I caught up to her right after the 1 mile mark and we ran together for a mile, cheering for the leaders who were passing us heading back out. We kept a pretty good pace on this one mile loop of "the island" section of town. Nice and flat with a water station that was well staffed and easy to maneuver.  Soon after the 2 mile mark I knew I was slowing down a bit, cuz I'm just really not ready for speeding along for that long.  Neither is my sister, and she fell back into the pack while I just kept repeating to myself "you have run a g-d half marathon, you can gut this one out" and "there IS more gas left in the tank".  While I took the sharp turn onto a paved riverside path, I knew there was .6 left to go in the race, and I run this path often as it is a block from my home.  I know every tree, turn, bench and duck on the path, so I was pacing myself well to have something left for the finish.  I plodded along with my mantras hoping and praying that I might PR.

I made the final turn off the path (cursing the sharp turn which forces you to slow down) and just had to run over a bridge.  I waved to my family and charged for the finish line.... to a PR!  My Garmin read 27.26.  The "official" time is 27.36.  we were not chip timed, so they don't have a net time.  BOO.  My nephew pulled off a 25:15 (he's 14) and my sister clocked at 28:01. 

If you like Garmin data, you can enjoy my positive splits (oh well).  :)

Go Team Missile Toes (we named ourselves for a Jingle run...but thought the "missile" speed was fun - my nephew kept calling our logo "bomb feet" so if you look at his shirt, we made him a special one)!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recovery Drinks...

So, I read all kinds of stuff on sports, been to a few expos and ran a few races... everyone's got an idea about recovery drinks.

As WLS athletes, some of us have issues with dumping or other special needs, so I'm wondering what people are doing for recovery drinks.

I've been using G2 mostly, and old fashioned water.

I tasted some coconut water by Zico on Sunday, in Lime flavor, and not being a big fan of coconut, I was not thrilled with the taste.  Needed more Lime for sure!  John thought it was "ok", and he also later tried the PomBerry flavored Zico, and it got an "ok, if you like coconut" review from him.

I also got a couple of ounces of chocolate milk after the race, good for the sweet tooth.

The Boston Marathon expo had POM juice telling me it was the best thing.

I also saw Cherry juice being acclaimed as a great recovery beverage.

I don't see any reason to change what I'm doing with water and G2, but of course, would love to know if you've got some good miracle story of super fast recovery with something.

So, whatcha drinking??

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

fun race slideshow!

A photographer put together a great slide show of this past weekend's race.  I made the cut!  I'm at 1:04.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Great running birthday gifts!

So, my birthday is this week, and my family celebrated on Sunday after my race since I was going to be super-close to my sister's house.  We went out to a nice brunch, and then went back to my sister's house for presents and dessert.

My sister and family got me a new running skirt, a new sports bra in HOT PINK and a matching running tank.  woot!

My boyfriend got me 2 major running tools.  The first is something a friend let me try out a few weeks ago, and it's like the old foam roller, but BETTER!!!  Meet Trigger Point!  Hurts so good!!!  and it doesn't warp!

Also, we had a coupon for REI, which is an outdoorsy store - clothes/gear/etc for biking, hiking, running, camping, etc.  We wandered around to see if there was anything we wanted/needed that we could justify spending money on, and after a long stroll through the store, we both walked up to the Vibram Five fingers running "shoes".

I think we mostly just wanted to see what they were like, so we each tried a pair on.  The women's didn't come big enough for me (or maybe they just didn't have any larger), so I tried on John's since he was trying something else on.  I ran around the store with them, and thought it was pretty interesting. 

Anyway, long story short, we decided that we both wanted to give them a try for so long, that we got them!  He bought my pair for me as a present!  YAY!  The silly part is that we got identical pairs in the same size.  We're going to have to mark them so we know which is which.  LOL  I think I'm going to start out just wearing them to walk around before I even think about running any real distance in them. 

John ran in them for a short run on Saturday and said that they felt pretty good.  He was having calf issues anyway...so he can't say they were better or worse.  Anyway, I look forward to reviewing them as I get to use them. 

RACE REPORT: Cox Rhode Race Half Marathon, May 1, 2011, Providence, RI

Finally, my 3rd Half Marathon arrived!

I drove down to Providence (which is about 50 minutes from where I live) on Friday afternoon for packet pick-up and the Expo (lame, especially after attending the Boston Marathon Expo a few weeks back).  The Convention Center in Providence is attached to a Mall, so needless to say, I made the most of the situation by getting some shopping done while I was there.  :)  It was all pretty uneventful, except that I wore a pair of sandals that were a little too new, and ended up with a blister on my little toe.  stupid stupid stupid.

Anyway, race day was Sunday and I was all carb-loaded and foam rolled.  The alarm went off at 5:15am for a race start at 8am.  I stretched for about 15 minutes before getting out of bed (which is normal for me every day).  John got up and put on the coffee and made my protein drink - he pretty much makes my shake for me every day that we're together regardless of whose house we are at.  LOVE THAT!  We were on the road by 6:05am, which wasn't bad considering he asked me for stuff that I didn't anticipate ahead of time (I had all MY stuff packed/laid out, etc the night before).

We got to the race, parked, etc and I had plenty of time to stretch and relax and pee (3 cheers for flushable toilets to use at the convention center).  About 15 minutes to start time we wandered over to the corrals and I ate my first Gu, handed over my fleece top and John went off to watch the start.   I turned on my MP3 player and then put it on pause so that I could chat up the runner next to me about his shorts since I'd wondered about them - they have exterior pockets like a cyclist jersey.  He had nothing but great things to say about them.  Anyway, when I went to turn on my MP3 player again, NOTHING. silence.  I tried everything I could think of, but nothing.  I almost spent the first mile of the race screwing with it.  I gave up, tried again at mile 4, but nothing.  I gave up.

I like to be identifiable, but OMG, this shirt got small. Oh, electrical tape for the name. lasted 13.1 miles!

I was feeling awfully tight before the race, in places I don't normally feel anything.  My hamstrings were awfully stiff and my quads weren't much better. Oh well.

The race started on a short downhill, with the Marathoners and Half Marathoners running together.  The full marathoners broke off at the top of a hill at mile 2.  I made sure I had studied a bit of the course map to know when/where that would happen, cuz I didn't want to be one of those people who goes the wrong way.  The race crew did a GREAT job of making it all VERY clear, with signs, by telling us repeatedly before the start, and again telling us as we approached the split.  I shouted a good luck to those folks, and we continued on.

The rest of the course was pretty flat, with the exception of one very noteworthy downhill (short, but STEEP) at mile 6.something.  It was really a lovely course, and I was very happy to see my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece (and their dog!) at mile 4.7 and 7.7.  I had worn my name on my shirt for people to cheer for me, but it's extra-nice when you know the people cheering for you!

I had been working hard at conserving on the front half of the race, and to save some kick for the end, and I wonder if not having music was helping me stay on task for the race.  I tried really hard not to look at my Garmin too much, I knew that since I felt so tight at the start (and throughout the race) that I didn't want to worry about a PR the whole way since I might hurt myself.  I just tried to feel good and enjoy the people around me, follow what I knew I needed to do, which was Gu every 4 miles or so, and walk to use my inhaler every 3-4 miles.  I carry Gatorade with me and took water at most of the stations.  Right before Mile 10 a spectator told us we were under a 10:00/mile pace, and the pretend goal in my head was a 10:30, so I was excited to see how it would turn out.

I met a woman around 10.5 miles and chatted with her a bit, and as the crowds got bigger I was hearing more "GO SUE" coming from people.  I felt as good as I did the whole race, so I told myself to take one last walk to use the inhaler, one last Gu and then it was time to GO.  The scenery was gorgeous, it was sunny and high 50s outside.... I couldn't ask for more... until I rounded the last corner and could hear the PA system.  I'm pressing faster (I have to really build up to speed thanks to my asthma) and I hear "and here comes SUE" over the PA.  I laughed and was excited to hear him talk about me for 5 seconds or so.  I knew John knew I had finished - I didn't see him but he caught me with the camera before they started talking about me.  I saw the clock time at 2:19 something when I crossed, which was awesome cuz I had a few goals coming into the race.
Goal 1: PR - anything under 2:20 was a "win"
Goal 2: 2:17 would be a 10:30 pace, which I thought was a good push, but attainable
Goal 3: 2:15  maybe for next month's race, but no complaints if I did it!
Goal 4: no STOPPING to use restroom or stretch.

3 out of 4 goals ain't bad!  My official time:

1818  2539 Sue                  Doucet                     2:17:30 10:30 2:19:18 36 1000/1450 F 292/412 F3039

Here's my Garmin accounting, that shows my very pride-inducing negative splits at the end.

I'll get that 2:15.  If not in June, then maybe in August.

Post-race I met up with John at our designated meeting area.  I drank a bottle of water, ate a slice of pizza, ate some pretzel MnMs, half a Twix bar, a 15g RTD Protein drink and did some stretching.  Sitting down felt good, though I worried about getting back up.  I did use the ice packs from the mini cooler on my hams, then quads, then calfs, then feet.  I enjoyed about 30 minutes of rest and food (and some clothing changes) before I went in search of my free beer.  (priorities!).  Scored a Narraganset Light and box of Coconut water (they were giving away boxes! - 12 bottles, figured it was worth a try).  I also managed to get a shot of chocolate milk, and then we headed out.

20 minutes in the car was enough for my toes and calf muscles to cramp up and make John laugh at my pathetic inability to speak or get out of the car.  Jerk. standing up helped a lot, once I finally managed to get out (he undid my seatbelt at my request).  i had another bottle of water, a bottle of diet coke and half a bottle of lime coconut water (my review is ICK).

After a shower and another clothing change, I was ready - we - my family, John, my best friend Gina and her stepdaugher - went out for brunch in celebration of my birthday which is Tuesday.

Good day, all around!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

recent race and related photos

pre 10K, showing off my ridiculous pink glasses that match my race headband

6.2 miles later, ready to finish.

Checking out the finish line on Boylston in downtown Boston.  Someday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

a last minute 10K

Groton Road Race

Our weekend trip to NYC was cancelled last minute, so my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of a local set of road races happening in his town.  He ran the 5K and I ran the 10K in keeping with our current stages of training.

With my Half just 3 weeks away, I really didn't want to race hard on this 10k, and in fact really preferred to treat it like a handy training run that came with company and some water stations.  In order to log the #of miles I had originally planned to conquer this weekend (so much for my chance to go for a run in Central Park), I instead ran from my boyfriend's house to the starting line of the 10k.  He drove there, and we found ourselves in the midst of quite a big community event.  These people put on a good race.  The 5K started at 11:50am, so we got him corraled and I took pictures of the start and then found my way to the finish and waited.  He ran a sub-30 race, which was better than he expected (and exactly what I thought he would do).  He cautioned me that it was MUCH warmer on the course than either of us had run in all year and advised me to carry water with me, not just wait for the water stations.  He's smart!

I gulped down a 12 oz water about 1/2 hour before my race started and began re-stretching as John did some post-race stretching.  When he was reasonably rested we walked over to the corral for me to get in and I had my pre-race Gu, handed over my windbreaker and let him head to the starting line for good photo op of me. :)

I was mostly unfamiliar with the course, but it was small rollers through the backroads of this small town.  I remembered my mission was to just get it done, not to risk injury or insanity by speeding along.  The competitor in me won out a little bit, but I kept a steady pace throughout and allowed myself a few small walking breaks to use my inhaler and swallow some more Gu.  Carrying water with me was great since I didn't need to get into the fray of the first water station and never felt desperate for "when is the next water/?" 

There was a time that I saw I could run a sub 60, but decided not to go for it since it would be very close and I wasn't used to this new-found spring weather.  I did make sure to PR though! (1:01.14 - official).  I will work on the sub 60 for my 10K on July 4th.

The finish was a half lap around a track, which somehow seems like the hardest part.  I gave it as much kick as I had left and even saw across the field my boyfriend waiting for me at the finish line, camera in hand. I gave him a wave and he waved back.  My mustard colored shirt and neon pink headband makes spotting me easier.  I even added hot pink sunglasses to the look - hopefully he will upload the photos soon.

So, I gorged myself on water, chips, pretzels and cookies after the race.  John even had a cold diet coke in-hand for me which I greatly appreciated.  We met up with some friends that also ran, so we joined them for a post-race feast (of healthier choices than pretzels, chips and cookies).  I look forward to seeing the same people again in two weeks when we will convene to bottle the beer we brewed a few months back.

Anyway, it was a nice surprise race for me, and I was pleased with my performance.  Gave me some good confidence as I head towards my half-marathon!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Training days are really here!

Finally, I have a race on the horizon!  I should never have let it go this long, cuz it's hard to get back into the swing of things once you've sat on your butt for a few months!

That's all in the past now.  On May 1st I will run my 3rd Half Marathon a few days before my 37th birthday.  What does that mean?  Nothing, really.  Not the birthday part anyway.  I ran my longest training run of the season yesterday, 7 miles and it felt pretty good.  I love when long runs give me confidence.  I'm struggling with some gear - trying to find the right waist pack to run with, but physically, I felt pretty strong.  I could have run more except that when I have a # of miles in mind it becomes very difficult for me to run MORE than that.  Plus I was cold towards the end. 

Anyway, I'm getting very pumped up for the Cox Road Race Half Marathon in Providence, RI.  I think being out to watch the Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks will have me bursting to get out and race, though I'm not expecting a PR in May...(would love to). 

I'm really hoping to PR in June.  Last year I ran the Worcester Half Marathon in hopes of running sub 2:30, and I ran 2:22.  I ran the BAA Half in October and despite being sick the week before, I ran 2:20.  I'm aiming for 2:15 in Worcester this year - got to catch up with my fellow Team Pink member Anamarie who just debuted in the Half at 2:15!

Monday, March 14, 2011

let's see if I can do a meme athletically... or not.

A = Age: 36, for a little while.
B = Bed size: queen, perfect for one or two people. :)
C = Chore you dislike: vacuuming.  I seem to avoid it like the plague, and would rather run 10 miles than do it.
D = Dogs: PJ, the best pug on earth
E= Essential start to your day: Carnation Instant Breakfast (chocolate), double skim milk
F = Favorite color:in athletic wear: black and/or neon pink.
G = Gold or silver: Silver or White Gold.
H = Height: 5′6.
I = Instruments you play(ed): I used to sing.
J = Job title: Sr. Development Researcher.  You don't wanna know.
K = Kids: um, cats.
L = Live: Greater Boston
M = Mom’s name: Gerry.  I used to joke that I was one of "Jerry's kids".
N = Nicknames: Sue, SueBee, Suzie, Auntie Sue, Snoozy, Skinny Bitch
O = Overnight hospital stays:birth, Gastric Bypass Surgery 11/08 (2 nights), Emergency Hernia repair 12/09 (2 nights), Abdominal pain 2/10 (1 night), Abdominal pain 3/11 (1 night)
P = Pet peeves:people who run races and run more than 2 abreast.  It's a RACE, we're going to PASS! make room.
Q = Quote from a movie: "You like apples?  I got her number, how do you like THEM apples?!" and the ultimate: “Nobody puts baby in the corner!”
R = Righty or lefty: Righty. 
S = Siblings: One biological sister.  Some other ladies I consider "sisters". and my Pakistani brother. Oh, and my mom's dog, Bella, is my "sister"
T = Time you wake up: weekdays - 7ish.
U = Underwear: often not when i run.
V = Vegetables you don’t like: most.
W = What makes you run late: need more sleep!
X = X-rays you’ve had: ankles, wrists, abdomen, teeth, knees
Y = Yummy food you make:  pot roast in the crock pot.
Z = Zoo animal favorites: big kitties (lions and tigers), penguins

Monday, March 7, 2011

sometimes it's not distance or speed, it's just doing it. (long and rambling, sorry)

So, I've been a runner for over a year now. Got a few races under my belt. After my last half, the burnout started. I know some of you have experienced that motivation decline once your "big event" of the season is complete. I had other races planned afterwards, but really didn't exercise much during the week, just a few weekend races here and there. And then there was all the snow, and I hate the treadmill. You know the drill. I haven't been shy about my lack of activity.
I got back into the swing of things mid-February. Treadmill, elliptical, building back my cardio, thrilled to discover that my legs still have some distance in them. Then my grandmother died. I missed the call that she was fading fast that day because I was at the gym doing intervals (and I'm ok with that). I didn't run again that week.... but i was back running the next week, finally able to run outside, and was finally getting some of that cardio back.

Then Thursday I found myself in horrendous pain. It started out as discomfort, and it progressed all day. I left work at lunch, went home, took GasExx, drank peppermint tea, put a heating pad on my belly, but finally called my surgeon to ask what to do. After explaining my situation, they advised me to go to the ER. I was Xrayed, CT scanned and given morphine (not in that order). They finally admitted me telling me that they could see gas and stool in my intestines. I passed gas finally and the pain resolved, but due to fear of a partial blockage or hernia, they wanted to observe me for a day. I left the hospital Friday at 5pm. I took it easy on Saturday, but frankly, felt fine.

According to my training plan, I was due to run 5 miles this past Sunday. I've yet to run more than 2 without needing to give my lungs a walking break, but I wanted to fit in as much mileage as I could, even if I had to walk it.
I decided to break up the mileage and run to a cafe where my boyfriend would meet me and have lunch, and then after waiting for digestion, I'd run home again. Total mileage: 4.5

I ran all but 1 minute of this 2-part run, and it felt as good to complete it as did my last race. It was raining, it was gray outside and I'm struggling to get my stamina back, but I KNOW I can do this. I WANT to do this. It's ok to take things slow and be SMART about pushing myself without hurting myself. I felt like a rockstar.

I'm COMING back people!! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

You can tell how athletic I've been, since this is my first post of 2011

Taking a rest is good.  Taking nearly 3 months off...not so good, but what's done is done.  I'm well rested and developing a bad sleep pattern, so it's definitely time to exercise and see if that straightens me out.  It sure isn't going to make anything worse, that's for damn sure!

Part of the slacking was having a real lack of a goal.  Sure, J and are planning to run a Half and a Full in preparation for our 2012 Goofy Challenge, but without having pinned down events, we were just floating along doing nothing.  The weather (snowpocalypse every week!) and our dread of treadmills were not helping either.  So I picked a race and pretty much said "THIS IS IT".  We're slowly getting ourselves back on track, and even ran together this past weekend.  Just two miles, but we've got to ease our way back in.

Oh, and speaking of the Goofy Challenge, check out the cool shirt J had made for us for Christmas!

and BACK:

We wore these on our first race of the year, a 5 Miler on New Year's Day.  Lots of the runners knew what it meant, and a few had plans to go to Disney the following week to run the Half or the Full.  No one had taken on the Goofy yet...  I did know someone who did the Goofy this year - He ran the Half in less than 2 hours and the Full in less than 4.  REMARKABLE.  I'm not entirely sure what my goals will be, but I sure as hell will not finish a marathon in under 4, even if I sleep the whole day before, nevermind run a Half!!  :)

Anyway, May 1st I hope to run a Half Marathon in Providence, RI, and possibly another one on June 4th in Worcester, MA.  I'll need to find some other races between now and then, but for now, I've got a training schedule to work with.  WOOT!  It feels good to have some real goals to work with. 

So I'll throw it out to the internet - I'd like to run a 2:15 Half this year.  My best was a 2:20 last year, so here's hoping!