Race day recap

Wow what a day!!!! Woke up at 4am even though alarm was set for 5am not sure what is up with the no sleeping. I did not feel nervous just excited to go give it my best.  Ate my breakfast of oatmeal, decaf coffee, rice protein to get about 400 calories in made sure I had my bottle of gatorade/carbopro for the last 200 calories to be drank before the race.

Joshua wished me luck then clasped his hands together and said “here is all my luck mommy I am giving it to you for the race, you just give it back when  you are done” How sweet!!! My very sleepy Katherine gave me good luck wishes and Kevin drove me a couple miles to the start. Bless his heart they had to deal with some major traffic issues to get out of there and head to Duluth. It was chilly and light rain when they dropped me off. I walked to the elite starting area hoping for a tent, no such luck. I met several other women that morning that were trying for the same goal. In the few minutes before the start we all got together and agreed to do what we could to help each other out. Huge mental boost right before the race. Thank goodness for facebook so I can look these girls up and tell them how amazing they are!!!

A few quick prayers and they started the race. Coach John had told me it would be ok to be a little slower in the first 3 miles if I needed to warmup, in other words dont panic. I felt so calm as the start usually my heart rate is 110 and it was 86.  I did not feel any pressure. My plan was to just run 618 pace as long as I could and hold on til the finish. My previous best time was in Austin 308 so I knew whatever happened today I would have a huge PR.

I stayed with the girls maybe about 5 miles and they just seemed to be going a tad faster than I wanted to and I had the confidence to run my own race. At several mile splits I hollered out some mantras: Believe, Yes I can, Where the mind goes the body will follow. It gave me a boost to hopefully lift up the others.

There were lots of runners in sight to try and catchup to or hang with for a bit. I came into aid station at mile 3 looking for my elite water bottle missed it but kept going. Next mile I slowed down just a bit to grab the bottle and drink it up. I had about 8oz in each bottle with some gatorade/carbopro mix. I took my first gel at mile 7. Any time doubt crept in my mind I pushed it aside and thought of all my strong workouts. The mental training I did for this race was so helpful, I will step it up in this area next time.

I took gel at mile 11, 15.5 and I think it was 20. I was able to get about 10 of my 15 water bottles that I left out on the course and that really seemed to help. Even though the weather was in mid 40’s and rained for a while I still felt thristy. There was hypothermia warnings on the course and I was running in shorts and a sports bra, shoes were soaked from rain did not feel cold.

When I hit mile 13.1 half way mark I was a little off what i wanted to be but felt confident I could get it done. I did some running alone and just get my eye on the Garmin watch that gave me splits each mile. This watch was my life line!!!!!! I knew mile 22-23 had some hills that I would lose a bit of time on so I was trying to make up some ground. I knew I was running in unchartered territory with my pace and was willing to risk it all to get my qualifying time.

Around mile 19 I surged a bit to catch a guy and quickly told him “hi 41yr old mother of 2 trying to qualify for Olympic Trials today help hold the pace” He did for about 1/4 mile and fell back. Ok find someone else to pace on. I learned this would be super helpful the day Susan and I ran the time trial on the Beeline. I still was feeling good just fatigued legs. I was concerned about pushing it too much and tried to be patient. The plan was after the hill about mile 23 to run like I stole something. I knew my family would be there around mile 24. Each time I thought of them I got teary and emotional and little fast breathing. For the 1st time ever I was not going to try and high five them and wave I was afraid of an emotional melt down. I ran by Katherine and she was screaming super loud “Go mommy you can do it” I think they knew how close it was going to be.  I hit a short downhill at 25 followed by an uphill and some wind just trying to run as hard as I could I was definitely in the zone. Saw a clock out of the corner of my eye must have been mile 26 and it said 2:46 something which is when I guessed I did not make it. I kept pushing all the way to finish.

I was watching my watch like a hawk and my watch read 621 pace near the final mile so I thought I was definitely going to make it. When you finish the race your watch never is exact I had 26.49 miles ran. Even if those last 2 were a little faster they still could not have helped. I missed it by 1 minute 57 seconds. My brother told me I passed 5 people in the last mile.

I felt strong and ran a smart race for me. I am super proud of my 21 minute PR, for non-runners reading this that just does not happen very often at all. I am going to take what I learned and build on it and try again. My body needs some rest and then probably California International Marathon Dec 4 in Sacramento. This dream will take me lots of places this year.

My friend Ariana Hillborn ran a PR of 2:37 and got the A standard for the Olympic trials so proud of her!! She was the first person to greet me at the finish line.

Here are my mile by mile splits

1 6:23
2 6:20
3 6:13
4 6:18
5 6:13
6 6:13
7 6:19
8 6:25
9 6:19
10 6:14
11 6:28
12 6:21
13 6:22
14 6:13
15 6:19
16 6:20
17 6:25
18 6:23
19 6:16
20 6:26
21 6:19
22 6:23
23 6:31
24 6:27
25 6:33
26 6:21

I am not in Tempe, AZ anymore!!!

We arrived in Two Harbors, MN last night after 2 plane rides and a few hours in the car. I had found an awesome restaurant online, Duluth Grill that served vegetarian entrees and gluten free menu!! They actually had food to feed our whole family and our allergies and it was tasty.. it is always a challenge when traveling to get what I need. Needless to say the last thing I want before a marathon is stomach distress.

Our cabin is awesome it overlooks Lake Superior which is about 50ft outside the door. This morning when I looked out the window the lake and sky were one I almost felt like I was on a ship looking out, very surreal. Temp was 45 and a light mist of rain my dad would say it was “saw dustin” out.

Went on a 6 mile run this morning with 8 1min pups at 620 pace felt so good to run in the cool weather. I am really excited about this weather for the marathon it should be awesome!!! Much better than the Austin weather in Feb 80 and 80% humidity!! I thought I would run towards the start area hoping I could find it. Low and behold big yellow letters painted START and tons of port of potties, hmm this must be it. It is just as I have been visualizing for weeks; old highway road in the middle of a bunch of green trees.

I have been in touch online/facebook with a couple girls trying to qualify for the trials also, Heather is from Chicago and Nicole I believe MN. I will get to meet them Fri and sat.

Friday’s plan

4 mile run with strides, massage, media luncheon for elite runners followed by interview with Wendy Shulik (see her post on facebook) she is making a documentary about women trying to qualify for the Olympic Trails

Miles & Trials: Running Towards 2012 Film
The countdown to Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, Inc. this Saturday has begun for two of the women we’ll be filming for our movie on their way to an Olympic Trials Qualifier (< 2:46). Kerry Camberg and Heather Bolingbroke Prekop are departing for Duluth tomorrow. This producer feels like a nervous stage mom! Wishing everyone running Grandmas FAST FEET. Go get that OTQ, ladies!!!

Bags are packed, Grandma’s here I come

Well it is much later than I would like on Tuesday night, the bags are almost all packed. I think the kids are finally getting the importance of the race. Josh was great today helping me get the water bottles ready to bring. He commented that mom was  a little crazy obsessive and wanted to know what he gets to do to celebrate after the race. Katherine told me I worked really hard and I should do just fine at the race. I will be wearing a prayer bracelet she made me in 3rd grade (always race with it).

Last track workout this morning went great with Flash and Susan. 4x1mile repeats 6:37.6:32,6:30,6:18. Susan gave me a great encouraging card and a Believe necklace for good luck (I will be wearing this at the race too).

I am bringing: fast legs, strength, courage, BELIEF, endurance, 6:18 pace and a sub 246 marathon

Leaving behind: pain, injury, fatigue, FEAR

This past 16wks has flown by and I am glad it is finally time to go after my goal. I had one last treatment today on my right foot and hamstring. They will hold up fine for the race and then get some TLC once I get home.

We have a long day of travel planned between the flights and a 3hour drive to Duluth so I better get to bed soon. I am really excited to see the course after visualizing it for along time.

Just Gotta Believe!!!!

Wow it was taper week of training and I still look back and think how did I do it?? After a disappointing marathon in Austin (thanks mother nature) Feb 19 I shifted gears and set my eyes on Grandma’s Marathon. The best thing I did was leave that race in Texas once I boarded the plane to come home (thanks for the advice Susan). I took about 48hrs off and then hit the spin bike until it was time to start running again (total of 10 days off from running). I started this training cycle with a fresh attitude and the belief that I could do anything I set my mind too. I have improved more than I could have thought in 16wks, I put fear aside and just let it happen.

After Austin my coach and I talked about a couple of approaches to my next marathon. One option would be to be a little conservative and run a pace I know I can hold the whole race and have a huge PR. Second option run 6:18-6:20 pace for as long as I can hold it (like to the finish line) and if luck is on my  side I will get the qualifying time I need for the Olympic Trials (sub 2:46). See the quotes below and you will see I am going with option 2 SUB 246 OTQ time all the way!! I believe I can do it and am excited to go and make it happen.

I have been reading Mind Gym to help with some mental training. A few of my favorite quotes that have kept me going:

“You must be 100% committed to each action”

“Don’t let fears get in the way of your dreams”

“Do you want to play it safe and be good or do you want to take a chance and be great?” love this one

“Keep calm, carry on” stole that one from Sally Meyerhoff (may God bless her soul)

Taper week (worked 3 ice packs at a time this wk, left knee, right hamstring and foot)

Sun-16 planned (ran 14 due to cranky hamstring)

Mon-much needed day off and a treatment for my hamstring and foot

Tues Track 11 miles:2miles in 12:37, 1mile in 6:00, 4×800 256,253,251,250

Wed 6 strength and core

Th 10 trail run core

Fri 6 treatment for hamstring and foot

sat 8 with strides

weekly total 55

Last big week, Sponsorship

Well it is the last big week of running before starting a bit of a taper. It is hard to believe I made it this far and my body has held up really well. I dont think I could run this fast/long without the help of someone very talented, Dr. John Ball. My right hamstring has been a little dicey off and on but I have only made minimal training adjustments. Making it through Sunday’s 14miles at 625 pace without any hamstring issues was a huge success. School got out last week so it has been very busy running and taking the kids everywhere they need to be.  I have been getting up most mornings by 445 to get my run in and back in time for Kevin to get to work then start my shift of taxi driver/summer camp counselor with the kids and their friends/activities. I have decided next week needs to be way toned down. I need more rest!

I got a new sponsor this week Honey Stinger they make the all natural gels I use to fuel myself while running. Yummy and no junk in them.


Words cannot describe how much Dr. John Ball has helped me with my running over the last 3 years. Many of my friends have been to see him so they know but for those that don’t. He gets what it is like to be an injured runner. He uses Graston and ART to treat and heal and is a gifted and talented healer. He has helped me alot to keep my hamstring healthy so I can train at this level. Yes it hurts to get treated but it is worth it ten fold. Without him I simply would not be where I am today with my running.

The week ended with a bang on Fri night. Kevin and I were all set for a date night when during a sibling scuffle Katherine shut Josh’s fingers in the door and did not open it right away thinking he was joking about his fingers being in the door. Usually the tables are turned and she is injured. Luckily I have the best ice packs and anti-inflammitory gels ever so he is feeling better already. Such is the life of a mother and a runner!

I am ready for the race to be here, only 14 more days.

Sun 18 (last 14 in 325)

Mon easy 6

Tues 8

Wed 10

Thur 15 last 3 at 630pace (had to back off fast pace due to cranky hamstring)

Fri 6 tried some strides to test the hamstring and it felt good

Sat 8

week total 71 Yipee!

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Training Notes

from fastkate


Masters marathoner