Monday, December 12, 2011


I finally got in to see the doctor after work on Tuesday, thanks to A-train sacrificing his vacation time to pick me up after my 12 hour night shift to drive my slap-happy ass out to Westlake (It turns out the doctor had appointments available in Twinsburg and the scheduling people botched it up.  I think the doc was more aggravated than I was about it). 

I was able to get in almost immediately and went through a series of x-rays and then I headed upstairs to meet with the doc.  His aide took my heart rate and blood pressure.  It was 64 bpm and my blood pressure (get this) was 140/80.  I explained to the aide I had only slept 3 hours in the last 30 or so hours and drank an absurd amount of coffee to get through it, including one of those red eyes (that stuff really works!)

The doctor was pretty cool and let me examine my own x-rays with him.  I was a little surprised to see an extra bone in the medial side of my right foot.  I can actually see where it protrudes from my skin and always thought it a bit odd it wasn't on my left foot.  The doctor's diagnosis is that I am completely flat footed (I already new that) and as I run, my feet collapse distributing pressure/weight inappropriately throughout my feet (I already new that) and that puts unneeded stress on my plantar fascia and a few tendons (I already new that).  He told me I had a pretty bad case of plantar in addition to having a few tendons in my ankle/foot inflamed.  (Do I have to say it again? I already new that too!!) 

As I described my histroy of running with the pain for a year and a half, (including 3 marathons and an average mileage of 30-50 mpw) the doctor realized how much of a stubborn idiot I was.  He even stated "I am beginning to see the problem."  He recommended I get custom orthostics (can you hear the cash register "cha-ching?"  They are a few hundred bucks!), stretch, ice and try not to be a dumbass and run.  He said I should "at least wait until after I get my orthotics and break them in."  He also gave me designated left and right heel cups, which helped alleviate some of the pain almost immediately. 

It's been a week without running and the pain is getting better everyday.  I have managed to restrain myself from actually going for a run.  Heck, I didn't do anything last week for the first time as far back as I can remember.  I took a week off from EVERYTHING.  I have sprinted up and down the halls at work a few times for emergencies, but that's part of the job. 

I feel like I am going to be starting all over again with my running.  It's definitley a little frustrating and I feel like I'm taking a lot of steps backwards (or none at all if you think about it), but I suppose I will have to deal.  My biggest fear is that none of this works, that my foot wont ever handle the mileage, that my glory days are over and there will be no PRs (personal records) in my future.  The term PR for me will come to mean only past records. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Now that it's over...

I have no real direction with my training, except I need to keep active somehow.  I am terrified my weight will sky rocket and I will become softer than I already am.  I hate to say it but I think my hair is going grey too...F!!!!

I have done a few runs at easy pace, just to burn the calories and collect on my RDA of Vitamin D, but the left lower leg and foot hurt pretty bad during and at times worse after thsoe runs.  After a year and a half I am suppose to see the doctor on Tuesday, finally.  I feel it will be futile and time consuming, but maybe I can get an injection of cortisone at least for the pain.  I have the sneaking suspicion the plan of care will include resting, no running and minimal activity, but that's impossible seeing as how I am a nurse and my job requires me to run around.  I am uncertain if I could even wear a boot, because a percentage of our patients have c-diff , requiring contact precautions.   This means anything that comes in direct contact with the disease will be covered in the bacteria (Gross!)  Worst case scenario, I have developed some kind of bone spur that's irritating the tendon and I have to have it filed down (God, just the thought makes me want to vomit). 

I am kicking around the idea of hitting up east side cycling when possible and taking advantage of the W.O. Center and the American Cancer Society gyms.  Whatever I choose it has to be something that will burn some calories and go easy on my foot.  So no races, no training schedule, just fix the foot so I can start the next chapter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am a BOMB: Philadelphia Part 2

I had told E-speed and A-train that I should have had a shirt to race in that said -- "I am a bomb and I am about to go off!!" in case things went bad on the course.  Truer words were never spoken.

We ran along the art museum never turning right to make a 180 turn around a construction barrel like we did in 08.  I was kind of bummed as it meant less time with the screaming and cheering crowds.  I soldiered onward though.  The parkway was the same as it had always been windy and flat.  I started looking for the leaders on the left hoping to get a boost of energy as I headed out.  Somewhere around 15.5 I saw the leader coming back.  The time was about 2:08.  He would go on to finish in 2:18 (I think).  He had a fairly large lead on 2nd place when I saw him that would actually be cut down to only seconds at the line (Quite impressive).

After 16, I could feel my calves getting tight and my left foot started aching a lot.  I ignored it and just kept running.  I saw e-speed coming back somewhere at this point.  In my opinion she looked like she was fighting to keep going.  I hoped that was a good sign she was still on pace for that sub-3.  I yelled something at her to try and boost her up a little. She waved and kept running hard.  I had a feeling she was having a good day, even if she was a wee bit tired.  Turns out after repeating "I'M A BOSS!!" for a large part of the race she did indeed run a sub-3, going 2:51:59. 

We made a right hand turn and ran across a bridge and down a hill (this was new on the course).  I did not like it at all and when we made the turn to come back up, my left foot and ankle were screaming bloody murder at me.  "Great!! Just F*cking Great!!"  I still had over an hour of running and my foot decided to take a sh*T on me now -- Damn!!!  I kept running hoping the pain wouldn't get any worse.  I crossed the 30k mats and knew I had a small chance of PRing if I could hold the pace and throw myself at the finish line. 

When I started this race, I crossed the starting line with every intention of trying for a PR in the marathon and even if I didn't get it I was still gonna run as hard as I could.  I sincerely believe if you want to win big, you have to go big sometimes.  I hadn't killed myself at work and run at all hours of the night and day just to finish another marathon, I was gonna go kamikazee all over this one. 

The pain in my left foot continued to grow as I ran through Manyuck.  The roaring of the fans helped diminish the roaring in my foot a little and then I saw the beer stand I had passed up a few years ago.  I don't know what got into me but I grabbed a cup of Yuengling and downed it.  Some guy next to me yelled at his buddy "Look at this crazy fucking girl, drinking beer!!"  I turned to him and said, "Look buddy, I am in a lot of pain right now and it ain't gonna get any better.  I might as well try and numb the pain at this point!"  He laughed as I pulled away (yeah I was moving faster than him). 

I finally hit the turnaround, after what seemed like a lifetime and I still wasn't at the 20 mile marker.  Mile 20 was still up ahead a little.  This too was different from '08.  I was saddened that the course wasn't the same.  The magic of '08 just wasn't there.  It was almost like an entirely new marathon course today.

I struggled back through Manyuck.  I ended up running with a guy who was pacing a girl.  He was awesome.  He kept pep talking her and she kept running.  He even inspired a few runners-gone-walker to start running again with us.  I even got a few guys to run with me, telling them nothing would help this pain right now, except a morphine PCA,  and definitely not walking. 

I crossed back into the parkway around 22 and there was loud music and cheering fans, pumping up the walking dead, that was most of us.  I was so done with this race.  I tried to push the pace and kept telling myself 30 minutes of hard running and then you could trot in.  I fought my way to mile 23 and then the pain in my left foot became excruciating.  I felt sharp pains shooting up the heel of my foot into my lower leg.  I wanted to walk so bad, but I couldn't fathom the idea fo finishing over 4 hours and  I refused to DNF.  I could feel the panic rising.  I started putting a lot of weight on my right foot and trying to just tip toe with my left.  I was really pissed at this poin in the race that my foot hurt so freakin' bad and for not being able to run faster.  I even started crying a little.  The miles dragged on for what seemed like forever.  I figured I was moving about 10 mins/mile through that last 4.2 miles.  I kept telling myself to quit and give up, that I wasn't gonna make it, that I wasn't strong enough, but I kept going.  I was so mad and pissed off.  I refused to walk.  I wasn't gonna give up, but dammit did it hurt.  I finally made it to the art museum, hobbling along for the last few miles and glad it was over, but it wasn't.  The finish didn't have us turn right and pop out in front of the stairs.  We had to run back to the start, which was now the finish, a few hundred feet farther.  I would end up with 26.5 on Adam's Timex.  As I crossed the finish, I threw up my arm.  It wasn't lost on me that although I had blown up and destroyed my left foot I completed my 6th marathon.  It sucked and hurt so bad (I think I had mentioned that already, but just in case).  Some people asked if I needed medical attention or at least to sit down, but I declined and limped through the shoot.  A-train found me a few minutes later and hugged me while I cried for a minute.  The shooting pain continued every time my heel touched down and it throbbed as I leaned against him, no weight on it.  It was over.  I had tried and failed in 3:46:18.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Occupy Philadelphia: Part I

Race morning was warm.  I had thought there may be a small chance I would run in shorts and a tee with arm warmers, but as we made our way to the start I realized that might still be too warm. 

A-train, E-speed and I left the hotel as late as possible, at about 6:20 am not wanting to be stuck waiting in line for a P.O.P. or wasting nervous energy bouncing around.  The walk/jog was about 1.5 miles.  We had no issues getting to the start.  E-speed bailed on us to hit the elite tent and get herself ready for a sub-3 race and I to my dismay, realized the other 2 bathroom breaks I had already taken this morning wouldn't be enough.  Like 2 years ago, I stood in line for the bathroom.  I was in the 3rd corral and I really, really, really didn't want to start behind the 5-5:30 pacer again. 

I had put my i-pod on (full blast) as we left the hotel, hoping to drown everything out, to center myself.  I kept imagining how awful this was gonna feel and then telling myself it would be way worse than what I was now imagining and most importantly, I would have no choice but to keep going, NO MATTER WHAT. 

I decided at the last minute to strip my shirt and run in a sports bra only.  It felt extremely warm and the last thing I wanted was to be hot and suffering.  I gave A-train all my gear and before jumping into the corral (literally, I had to climb over the white fence) he gave me a hug and told me he loved me.

The wheelchairs went off first and then they let the gold/elite (e-speed's corral) and the maroon wave (the little guy was in that wave) start next.  I was bummed.  I didn't hear the Rocky theme song one time at the start.  I started in the next wave about 3:30 behind them to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.  I flew down Benjamin Franklin Parkway like I was weightless.  I saw A-train on the left about .25 miles cheering as I ran by.  The first mile clipped off in the low 8:20s, I think.  There were a few bottle neck spots that slowed me down, but I didn't care.  I planned to just go with it.  I saw the Tanchon's pass by me right before mile 3 looking strong, almost like their own little pace group.  I was already warm and sweating.  I grabbed water at the first aid station without any difficulty (not like last time). 

I saw the guy in the pink tutu running in front of me along with two people in sandals and thought they were absolutely freakin' crazy!!  My left foot had been bugging me for over a year and a half now and there was no way I would have tolerated sandals.  It was it's usual tight achy self this morning when I had woken up, no worse than normal so I knew I could race on it. 

I rolled through mile 5 at 40:50 knowing I was slightly ahead of 3:35 pace.  I was just going for a small PR today, even if only 1 second.  I didn't slow or adjust my effort though because I knew the course would slow me down between 6-11.  I also only averaged 31 mpw training for this marathon and figured I wasn't going to have a great shot at my PR if I didn't bank some time early on. 

As we flew down the Chestnut Street, the miles continued to go by effortlessly.  I remembered this was where I had told A-train a few years ago I was gonna BQ that day.  I looked around a little bit too much hoping to spot him and around 6-7 miles there he was snapping my pic.  I smiled and waved.  I hit the 10K split at 50:31 (I was 51:31 in 2008).

We headed out of downtown after that, near Drexel University and the hills began to come.  The first hill was just as I had remembered, long with a slight grade, very similar to heartbreak hill on the Boston course.  Just like before I took the hill extremely easy, being passed by quite a few people I might add.  After I crested the top I was able to run the slight downhill grade easily at 7:50 pace.  I made every effort to keep my feet low to the ground and save my quads as much as possible.  I felt great rolling through the next few miles.  I wasn't really paying much attention to A-train's garmin/timex gadget.  It was acting weird.  I only checked my pace and total time a few times to help keep me in check.  The distance was already over .25 miles (a little discouraging, since I run the tangents).

We entered the zoo/park area and the hellish hill around mile 10 was way worse than I remembered.  It was steep and wound back and forth.  I again took it easy to the top, refusing to work hard.  I even debated walking the hill, but that seemed a little extreme.  I was over 1:22:00 when I passed the 10 mile marker so I had bought back some of that time I had saved in the first couple miles, just like I knew would happen.  Another steep downhill came and I again went slow, losing even more time.  Being aggressive on the downhills a few years ago had really thrashed my quads and I didn't want to go through that again, so I cautiouly completed my descent.

We wound our way back on the cambered road back to the half way point.  People on the bridge above us were cheering and I could feel myself getting a little excited.  I was almost to the half and I felt good.  I had a ray of hope I might survive without pain longer than I thought. 

We came up a little incline by the Art Museum and the fans were everywhere cheering and making noise.  I was on the left waiting to swing to the right and run to the barrel at the halfway point like before, but we just kept running straight.  I saw A-train for the 3rd and last time during the race.  He was still cheering and smiling as he took my picture -- and so was I.  I came through the half in 1:48:25 (I was 1:48:21 in 2008, talk about consistent -- sheesh!!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Round 12: Let The Infection Begin

I had managed to bully my way through my big girl job and marathon training for 11 weeks before it became impossible and I needed a break (whether I wanted it or not).  It could have been the 20 miler the Friday before.  It could have been the elderly patient who pushed on her trachea to help her cough RIGHT IN MY FACE or maybe I was just due, but whatever the reason, I got sick.  I haven't had a cold like that for a few years.  Monday I was exhausted and by Wednesday it took all I had to not sit down at the nurse's station and pass out.  Thursday my day off I spent in bed all day drinking airborne and sucking on cold ease.  I was pretty certain I was still going to feel awful by Friday, so around 9pm I called staffing and told them I wouldn't be able to come in.  I was cold and achy.  My head felt so stuffed and large I thought perhaps I had become a bobblehead.  My nose was clogged, my throat was sore, -- yay, I wasn't going anywhere. 

Friday I woke up early and felt surprisingly good.  The cold was in my upper respiratory area and my head, so I thought maybe I could just help burn it right out with an easy few miles.  The cold air helped open my sinuses and I could breathe again!!  I came home and stretched, did a short leg workout before hitting the shower.  I drank more airborne and added in some chicken broth and juice.

I had Saturday and Sunday off so I figured I'd be fine by Monday and would return to work albeit in a mask, just to ensure my patient's safety from me and my germs.  However, by Friday night I was worse than ever and I crawled back into bed, miserable.  I started fretting about having to call off on Monday and what about Chicago and my race the following weekend?  Would I even be well enough to go, let alone run?  Worst of all, I had wanted to do another long run before D-day and that would now be impossible.  I was going to be forced to start my taper early.

Saturday and Sunday I spent all my time between bed and the couch, trying to rest and praying I would get better.  Sunday night came and I called staffing for the second time, reporting I was still sick -- DAMN!!

Finally, on Tuesday I felt a sense of normalcy and returned to work (with my mask on, of course).  I still felt a little ragged and run down, but I was hoping the worst had past and I was on the up and up.

Mon: OFF
Tues: OFF
Wed: OFF
Thur: OFF
Fri: 5.0 miles (8:17/mile -- my legs felt awesome with all the time off and cool temps, even with my head stuffed)
Sat: OFF
Sun: OFF

Total: 5.0 miles

Friday, October 28, 2011

Round 11

After arriving home from the Columbus half Sunday, I had a whopper of a headache, my back was aching something fierce on the drive home and my legs felt like 2 rubber bands about to pop!!  I was in mint condition.  I was kind of dreading the thought of a 20-miler this week.  I was a little mentally and physically tapped out from the race and I knew it had to be done on Tues (my day off) or Friday before I went to work at 11pm.  I had to "get 'er done."

Mon: 7.6 miles (8:55/mile, roads, easy run trying to loosen up)
Tues: 13 miles (8:50/mile, long run cut short, legs were just too sore and soaked from the down pour)
Wed: OFF
Thur: 6.7 miles (3+ miles at about 7:40/mile or faster - tempo, didn't have a garmin, but knew it was a tad over 3 just to be safe)
Fri: 20.07 miles (8:52/mile, long run with lots of rollers)
Sat: OFF
Sun: OFF

Total: 47.37

It wasn't as intense of a week as I would have liked, but I kind of needed the mental down time after the race, I think.  I got the BIG run in (a.k.a. the 20-miler).  A bunch of long slow runs was actually quite enjoyable, well except when I got poured on.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Round 10 -- I think

Somehow last week came and went in a blur and I lost track of my mileage.  I may or may not have ran on Monday.  I don't remember.  I bought a new Garmin to help me, but after using it for only a week the damn thing wont hold a charge.  I tried a soft and a hard reset and nothing worked.  I am a little irritated by the whole situation, but nevertheless still plodding through the rainy weather, garmin or no garmin. 

Mon: I can't recall if I ran????
Tues: OFF
Wed: 2 miles (11:00/mile treadmill AM - knew speedwork would be painful otherwise), 8 miles PM (speedwork target 8 x 400 at 1:54, actual 1:47, 1:45, 1:55, 1:49, 1:55, 1:53, 1:53, 1:52)
Thur: 5.17 (target 3 miles at HMP + 5 seconds, actual 8:08, 8:11, 7:55)
Fri: OFF
Sat: 2.35 miles (9:21/mile easy shakeout run through Goodelle Park in Columbus)
Sun: 1.65 miles (9:05/mile warm-up)  and 13.1 miles Columbus Half Marathon

Total: at least 32.52 miles

My deadline is nearing way too fast and I am desperately searching for an 8 day week.  I am torn because I want to pick up some OT at work, but that will hinder my mileage and I already feel it has been on a down trend as of late...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Columbus 1/2 Marathon 2011

Hopefully, I will write this race recap faster than I actually ran yesterday. 

Ever since I graduated from nursing school, I have had a very nonchalant perspective going into a race, with the exception of Akron.  I have not felt the pre-race jitters, the butterflies in my stomach or that deep burning intensity in my gut for awhile now (and I miss it).  Sunday was no exception. 

I woke up with no feeling of dread, no nervousness about my target time, nothing.  I prepped my stuff and left the hotel solo with my tunes blaring in my ears, trying to focus.  I wasn't sure how to get to the start, so I just followed the massess.  It was about a 10 minute walk.  I stripped down to my sports bra and shorts, so I could bag check my gear and met up with my old boss from LH, JB for a 15-20 minute warm-up.  We ducked into the Westin so I could use the fancy bathroom one last time before the race (I am too awesome to use a port-o-potty --- hahaha). 

We arrived back just as the gun went off to start the wheelchair racers.  I wished JB good luck as he was in corral C (1:46-1:55) and I headed to corral B (1:36-1:45).  I was hoping to be able to PR (sub-1:38) when I signed up for this, but I knew I wasn't even close. I, unlike apparently a large number of runners, according to A-train, dropped back to where I felt I should be seeded (I can't tell you how one of my biggest pet peeves are runner's who seed themselves too far up and force those who should be there to run around them -- Idiots!!) 

The race start was easily the fastest I'd ever been in.  I didn't have to run around anybody and I had plenty of room.  It was a little warmer than I would have liked, but I like it in the 40's because I am a freak, but for most it was perfect.  It was still pretty dark and I had my glasses on to, so I wouldn't have to mess with them during the race. 

My goal was to target 1:43 for the half.  I knew anything over 1:45 would make me feel embarassed (not that 1:43 is fast), but my expectation was to be under 8:00/mile.  When  I race I only have one goal.  Until that goal goes out of my reach, I do not change it, no A, B, or C goals, just that one.  If that goal becomes unattainable in the race, I immediately adjust and make a new goal.  It is the same process at work.  Things are ever changing and I have to prioritize and make decisions for the best outcomes.  I had printed out the pace band to take along, but only wrote down the splits for miles 4, 8, and 12 (I would end up not using them for the race as I saw my splits at the 3 and 5  mile markers).

The race starts off on a long straight for about 3 miles.  It was a great set-up so runners could spread out a bit before crushing on the corners to hit the tangents.  I started on the left and about 1/2 mile into the race my necklace fell off.  My niece had picked it out for me this summer and I wasn't ok with losing it. I  stopped and went back for it nearly getting plowed down by a ton of runners, but I saved the necklace and secured back around my neck where it belonged. 

I tried to relax and focus on running "half marathon effort."  I was a little unsure of what that was and I kept telling myself to "slow down" and "relax."  It seemed easy, but easy can go ugly fast in the longer races.  I only had a watch on and I refused to look at it until mile 4.  I could see the 3:15 pacer up ahead with the balloons and I knew I HAD to slow the "F" down.  I had to learn to trust myself again and not rely on the clock to dictate my pace.  I completely missed mile 1 and by mile 2 the 3:15 pacer had moved ahead quite a bit, which was good.  Mile 3 I saw the clock and it said 23:26.  I figured I was about a minute behind and knew I was still too fast!!  22:26 that was nearly 5k pace for me. 

I didn't even bother checking my watch at mile 4 because I knew I would be ahead of the time I had on my hand.  I really enjoyed the course and the fans.  It reminded me of parts of Akron, without all the hills (thankfully).  The official clock showed said 39:01 at the 5 mile marker as I passed. 

Somewhere around this time the 3:25 pacer and company swallowed me.  It startled me because I hadn't seen a 3:20 pacer.  In retrospect it makes sense, because of the new Boston standards, but it's weird nonetheless.  They were moving faster than me and I knew I had to stay with them if I wanted to hit my goal.  I was a little nervous to because they had time on me from the start, since I had crossed first. 

The second start around the 10k marker was strange.  I didn't think the crowd was any bigger than some of the other spots on the course, but the effort made by the Columbus marathon to make this a first class race was not lost on me. 

As we got back out on Broad Street I started to feel a little fatigue.  I was only half way done and in between my thoughts of "Oh shit" I tried to remind myself to stay calm, acknowledge I was tired, relax and just hold a steady pace.  To add insult to injury some guy in a kilt and blond wig passed me about then.  I noticed the 3:25 balloons had gotten a little farther ahead of me too.  I forced myself to work my way back to the balloons and to stare at them.  "Focus on the balloons Heier!! Focus!!" 

I feel as of late, I get theses bouts of ADD in races and as I passed by a DJ on the left side playing a dope jam that started to pump me up a little, I heard a rock band on the other side drowning it out somewhat.  The master mix just ended up annoying me as I ran by.  Why would someone place a DJ across from a band and not spread them out with one farther down the street? 

"The balloons Heier!!  Where are the Balloons?!"  again "Focus!!"   I was struggling to breathe a little at this point and I forced myself to slow and take a few breathes, trying to re-center myself.  I could tell my arm swing had become a little more side-to-side and I was hunching over more.  I dropped my arms down lower focused on driving my elbows back and engaging my hips.  The balloons had gotten a little closer.

By mile 9 my right leg had turned to cement (usually it's my left leg, with the bad hamstring and the chronic plantar fasicitis that takes a dump on me).  My quad was aching and I could feel those precursor twinges a runner gets in their hamstring and calf before they ball up and say STOP!!  I have not been running the mileage I normally run in prep for a marathon and I assumed this was just a side effect.

It was apparent this was going to get somewhat painful for the last half hour and I was going to have to fight to make my goal.  I had talked to A-train on the drive down and promised him I would not be a pussy and I would run hard for the entire race, no matter how bad it hurt.  I was regretting that promise from mile 9 on. 

My breathing was more labored and there were some spots where we hit a headwind.  It was a double edged sword.  I wasn't happy to be running into the wind because it was slowing me down even more, but it felt so nice.  I was hot from mile 2 and had been dumping water on my shoulders throughout the race. 

When I hit mile 10, I tried to tell myself it was only a 5k, 24 minutes.  It didn't matter 5k was too far.  I could only focus on one mile at a time.  Mile 11 came and went, along with my breathing.  I was dead.  I pushed forward and the the "F-bombs" came spewing out in my mind...

"F*ckin' run!" 
"Don't be a f*ckin' pussy Heier!"
"Less than 2 f*ckin' miles!"
"You should quit now, you can't f*ckin' do it.  Show the world what a quitter you are!!"

That last one worked -- it always does.  I got angry enough to force myself to mile 12.  I know it seems strange, but whenever I feel numb and I am fading, when I tell myself to quit, to stop, that I can't do it, somewhere deep down I get angry enough to hold on a little longer.  Completely stupid, but it works for me. 

With one mile to go, I pushed from one traffic light to the next.  I knew it was going to be really close and I felt like I was barely picking up my right leg.  I could see a straight-a-way that ended going uphill with a left turn.  I knew the finish was around that corner.  The crowds were cheering and screaming.  I used their energy to keep my head up and drive my ass up the hill.  I hoped the finish wasn't too far past the corner. 

I made the turn and couldn't see the finish, just some balloons and banners up ahead.  My only saving grace was it was downhill.  I let rip.  I didn't even give a shit at that point if I cramped up.  The downhill was steep enough I would just barrel roll to the finish if I went down, either way it would be over.  

Luckily, I crossed the line on 2 legs.  A wave of nausea hit me when I stopped and I immediately bent over.  I realize I really don't run that hard.  I just have a weak stomach when it comes to racing.  The nausea passed after a few minutes and I grabbed a mylar blanket and my medal.  I thanked the soldier who hung it around my neck for the medal and for protecting our country. 

I made my way to the side to wait for JB, who was just a few minutes behind me and who got himself a 3 minute PR.  I would not be able to do a cool down.  My right leg was shot for the day.

My official time was 1:43:35.  I missed my goal by 35 seconds, but that's okay.  It was a realistic, but tough goal for me.  I am not mad or disappointed.  I ran with everything I had yesterday.  It was my 3rd fastest 1/2 marathon ever.  I kept my promise I did not run like a pussy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rounds 8 and 9

I have switched back to days the last 2 weeks and it is ALWAYS crazier at work and more time consuming, but only to the point where I get behind logging my workouts (I still do them).  Running is vital to my sanity and stress relief at work.  It's not even the stress of not liking the job. It is the stress of not doing enough for my patients, not "saving" them.  The miles of running allow me to rehash all the work stressors and refreshing me to start anew.  It is my medicine for burnout. 

Okay so here it is...

Round 8 (9/26-10/02) -- this week absolutely rocked for me running wise!!

Mon: 5 miles (9:24/mile roads and easy)
Tues: 7.6 miles (speedwork 4x1200 w/ 3:00 min rest target 5:30, actual 5:23, 5:27, 5:25, 5:25)
Wed: OFF
Thur: 6.1 miles (tempo 2 miles 7:18, 7:22)
Fri: 16.50 miles (9:01/mile long run easy)
Sat: 9.54 miles (paced run target 7 miles 7:50-8:10/mile, actual 7 at 7:56/mile)
Sun: OFF

Total: 44.74 miles

Round 9 (10/3-10/9) -- and this week actually kinda sucked.  I felt tired and slow...

Mon: OFF
Tues: 3.64 (8:40/mile easy, exhausted from 12+ hrs at work)
Wed: OFF
Thur: 7.65 (blown tempo anything above 55 is too hot; 0.94 miles in 7:49 (8:21/mile), 1 mile easy 10:04, 1.94 miles at 7:36/mile,-- ackk!!)
Fri: 3.85 (9:23 easy, still feel exhausted, achy all over, hard to breathe)
Sat: 9 miles (Ladder 400, 800, 1200, 1200, 800, 400, with 1/2 the time rest interval -- I got up at 6:30 in the morning to avoid the heat and do this)
Target 1:50 per 400
Actual 1:43, 3:47, 5:30, 5:26, 3:36, 1:50
and 4 miles (9:25/mile easy in the late afternoon)
Sun: 6 miles (9:13, was going to be a long run, but still tired aching and can't breathe -- too warm)
Total: 34.14

Seems there is always a week every few weeks where my body just quits on me and acts like it has never done this before.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Top Gun

It's getting easier, running that is.  The soreness and stiffness after runs, when I get out of bed and just in general has minimized.  I'm feeling more rested too.  I know aerobic changes can take 6-9 weeks, so hopefully I've finally adapted a little. 

I ran a nice 16+ miles tonight in the rain.  I had hoped I might catch a break from the down pour, but nothing doing.  I thought the run would be rough too, seeing as how I went out and had 2 glasses of malbec wine and 2 more beers when I came home  last night.  (side note: I am not a bum, but I don't really go out anymore, unless you count me leaving the house for work or to go running). 

I've come to terms with my performance at Akron and I'm moving on.  No I take that back, I am using that race as motivation to train smarter and harder (and not run like that again).  I am egocentric.  I have always appreciated each and every opportunity to share a running (or triathlon or basketball) experience with whomever it is, but I am a competitive junkie at heart.  When I am the slowest person or the least talented person, of course I am going to kill myself to be the best.  The clock and the scoreboard don't reflect my effort, they just show how close or how far I am from the better opponent.  It's like Iceman says in "Top
Gun" -- "No points for second place boys." 

I am my own worst critic.  I have been characterized as overly analytical more times than I can count.  However, I am a realist and while I will never be Kara Goucher,  I still have more milestones and PRs to attain.  I just gotta "watch the hardeck" and maybe, just maybe I'll be able to "buzz the tower" soon. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Round 7 -- Already???

I can't believe I'm half way through my training block and I've only had (IMO) one crappy week of training.  While I didn't always have the most stellar runs, the mileage has remained steadfast and I have become a woman on fire diligently trying to get in every run.  In fact, this week I took my very first day of paid time off (PTO) for my birthday, just to ensure my mileage goal was met.  I got paid for 4 days and only worked 3 and that extra day off yielded quite the mileage windfall to my delight.  Sometimes, I wish I worked three 12's, but with the 4 rotating shifts I do have the opportunity to hit some mega OT (and I need the $$$) and I like that a whole lot come pay day...

Mon: 4 miles (9:04/mile - roads, tight and sore)
Tues: 2 miles (10:00/mile - easy on the TM in the AM after work) and 6 miles (speedwork 6 x 400 meteres @ 6:50/mile with 400 meter RI @ 10:00/mile and 2 x 200 meters @ 6: 45/mile with 200 meter RI @ 10:00) mile on TM to wake up the 3 fast twitch muscle fibers I have in PM  after some sleep) -- also strength training for core and upper body PM
Wed: 5 miles (9:24/mile - roads, easy, still tight and sore) then ice bath -- brrrrrrr!!
Thur: OFF
Fri: 2.50 miles (No watch - easy shake out run before race with 4 x 100 meter strides)
Sat: 13.05 miles (2.5 mile warm-up, Akron Relay Leg, and 7.75 cool-down) 
Sun: 20+ miles (9:13/mile - long run, roads, Garmin refused to come on)

Total Miles: 52.55 miles

Monday, September 26, 2011

Arkon Marathon Relay (Four Fast Freaky Females) 2011

As most of you know the Akron Marathon relay is for 5 people and my team name is "Four Fast Freaky Females," so either

a) my team did not count me as fast
b) we were short a runner and someone had to run two legs

While the more believable answer is a) the truth is b).

I was to run the 2.8 mile leg through Sand Run.  I had never done the 5-person relay before, but having run the full and the 2 person relay one time each, I have ALWAYS run this section.  It is in my opinion the worst section of the course.  It is boring like the towpath and mostly uphill.  There is nothing exciting going on and it comes between mile 15.5 and 18.3 (which completely sucks for the marathoners).  If you survive this section the course is awesome to the finish, not easy, but way more exciting!!

I was the only teammate not in bun huggers.  I want to wear tight shorts, but I'm too smooshy and too slow (it's more the smooshiness that I defer from the bun huggers than the slowness).  Anyway, my mom was nice enough to get up at 5:00am to haul me down to the start and then to the relay point.  We were able to watch the start of the race and see e-speed come through at HER pedestrian pace (which is still a pace, many of us can only dream to run for one mile).  We screamed and cheered for her as she ran down High Street before jumping in the car and heading out to my relay point. 

My legs had felt pretty good the night before on my shake out run.  I had taken an ice bath on Thursday and only worked 3 days leading up to the race.  The plan was to run for fun, but the girls fun pace is still faster than my "shit your pants pace," so I still felt I had to run as hard as I could. 

I ran about 2.5 miles easy for a warm-up and felt pretty good.  It was overcast and cool.  I wasn't certain how fast we would be but I figured worst case scenario daisy would be in at 1:45:30 (that's 7:00/mile).  Impressive huh?  I jogged down the hill backwards to try and stay warm and loose and as I turned to jog back I saw a woman coming that looked an awful lot like, yep you guessed it....DAISY!! 

Oh boy!  Game time.  I ran back up to the hill and jumped just a few steps in front of the mat.  Daisy was almost to me when one of the race people started yelling at me to get back behind the line, runners were coming.  All I could think was "Look ya crazy broad!!  This is my teammate and she is the only one here!!!"  I took one step and she kept yelling, but I ignored her.  Daisy had to run up the hill to me and was probably exhausted and as far as I was concerned once she crossed the mat her job was done.  I grabbed the snap bracelet out of her hand and took off.  I secured the bracelet to my wrist and then started my garmin.  I felt good and knew I probably wouldnn't catch anybody, but hopefully I wouldn't get passed by too many.  The first mile felt awesome (it should have it was downhill or flat).  I dont' look at my Garmin when I run, but after reviewing my splits it came back at 6:52. 

Mile 2 started okay, but between the hills, the inclines and the curvy road I started to slow.  I kept thinking "you're not dead yet, run dammit, run!!"  I felt like I had run a 5k by the end of mile 2 and I was breathing heavy.  I felt like I was in quicksand.  I tried to keep pushing myself.  "Just 0.8 miles, Hang on!!"  I kept telling myself.  My garmin split 7:42 (what the hell, just happened?).

Salty said she would run back about a half mile to meet me, but when my watch beeped she wasn't there.  I know I started my garmin late, so I was well passed 2.5 miles and I didn't see the relay point either.  Oh shit!!  Was this course long?  As I rounded a bend to the right, there she was just up ahead running toward me (Thank you Jesus!!).  She did a U-turn and I could feel her trying to pull me along up to her, but she was too fast and I could see the gap getting bigger.  No women in the relay had passed me until that point and then it happened.  A significantly faster chick ran me down.  I figured Salty was faster, but what about the girl Salty had to run against?  Had I just cost us a spot?  I hung on as best I could and ran for the mat.  

I crossed the mat, relieved to be done, or so I thought.  Salty was running away from me and the race people kept telling us to keep coming!!  What the hell, not again, except now I was on the other end of it and hurting.  Finally got the snap bracelet into Salty's hand and stopped my Garmin.  It had 0.9  at 6:55, yuck!!  I figure starting my garmin late and still being over the distance put me close to 3 miles insteasd of 2.8 -- SHIT!!

I bent over disgusted with the way my leg of the race had gone.  I was bent over and spitting in the grass, trying to decided if I needed to puke or not.

I hoped I hadn't cost my teammates too much time.  I think my official time was 21:23 (suck it!!)

Turns out that girl that had passed me was on a mixed relay team, and Salty ran the last girl down anyway.  We finished in 2:53:57.  We were 3rd overall and missed 2nd by a mere 23 seconds.  All, I had to do was run 8.5 seconds per mile faster and I couldn't do it.  Who knows had I run under 7:00/mile like the rest of my team, perhaps I would have set Salty up for a fighting chance at the line with the first place team.  Damn, my slowness!!!! 

I do feel I let them down and I am embarassed.  I trained as best I could leading up to the race and ran as hard as I could, yet I am still disappointed.  I don't want to end this on a bad note because everything else about the day was awesome.

E-speed was like Tigger on speed bouncing around from the start of the day until the finish.  Daisy was her usual matter of fact self, all business, changing hats from relay team leader to party captain without missing a beat and Salty taking it all in stride, enjoying a little free time with friends, smiling from ear to ear like the cheshire cat before heading home to share her day with the mini-salties. 

As for me, I'm glad they let me run on their team, drink a few alcoholic beverages and share in the moment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Round 6 (almost half way)

This post reminds me quite a bit of my running and by that I mean -- Behind!!  I can't help it, but that's how I feel.  It's been six weeks since I started trying to run more than 15 miles a week and I am just not seeing the time progressions in my races like I used to or had hoped to.  Although, I am not training harder than normal, I am definitely tired than in the past training cycles with all this work mixed in.  I guess I am still trying to cope with being older and being slower, and just when I thought I had the ability to get faster too, after my anemia was fixed a few years ago, arrggghhh!!! 

Mon: OFF
Tues: 4.25 (8:46/mile - attempted long run gone bad, legs were sluggish)
Wed: OFF
Thurs:17.39 (8:39/mile - went out for 8 miles after work and weather was so perfect, forgot to come back - long run)
Fri: OFF
Sat: 9.92 (9:05/mile - quads sore from Thursday)
Sun: 4.74 (warm-up and cooldown for race) and 5K race (7:25/mile)

Total: 39.43 miles

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium 5k

I had a strange request for my 34th birthday.  I wanted my family to run/walk a 5k.  Everyone was game, even my sister-in-law who was 4 months pregnant and who would be pushing my 18 month old niece.  Whoo Hoo!! 

It seemed after lots of trash talking amongst certain family members, only my little brother and I would be running.  My little brother is by far the best runner in the family (he ran a marathon when he was 15, because he is nuts), but after dislocating his knee cap a few times over the past 10+ years his leg just doesn't handle the repetitive pounding that running provides.

My legs were trashed from the 17+ miles I had run after work on Thursday.  It had been such a nice evening when I had gotten home from work the scheduled 8 miles, somehow transformed into 17.  I thought maybe a 3 mile warm-up would help workout some of the stiffness, but all throughout the warm-up, I felt fatigued and tight.  I stretched and did a few dynamic exercises along with some striders -- nothing seemed to help. 

My brother and I started somewhere in the middle, which was still too far back.  We had to run around people and it took us a few seconds to just cross the starting line.  My brother's plan was to try and run with me (and then probably move in for the kill at the end) for as long as possible.  My plan was to run steady effort throughout and not fade, like last time. 

The course was not flat.  It was rolling, but shaded.  There were a lot more women in front of me than I had hoped.  I hoped some of them would start coming back to me as the miles wore on and to my delight a few did by the first mile.  I felt good and on cruise control.  Mile 1 was 7:20 and although I felt good, it was slower than the last race and knowing there were more rollers coming I had low expectations. 

Mile 2 seemed to take forever and I was able to get a few more girls, so I think I passed about 6 at this point.  I had lost my brother almost immediately and hoped he was just a few steps behind me.  I was breathing well, but my legs were dead.  I split 7:27.

At the start of the last mile, I had been focused on this brunette in a long sleeve white tee and black capris.  I had worked my way up to her over the last two miles.  She had faded pretty hard, but I had the feeling that if I passed her she would be one of those that will fight you to the end, even if she has to sprint, back-off, sprint and back-off -- you know the kind I'm talking about.  I don't usually strategize in a foot race.  I am too slow.  I just run my best to the finish, but for some reason with her, I felt if I passed her I would have to pick-it up and give her the impression that I had started off slow and was now just getting up to a pace that she shouldn't even bother trying to hang on to.

Apparently, I am a bad actress.  I opened my stride up and took off as I passed her.  I know I gapped her, I could feel it as I ran hard for about 200 meters.  I had also managed to close the gap on two women up ahead of me.  I tried to focus on catching them, but I had the feeling that the girl behind me was more of a threat than the two in front of me.  I surged again as I caught and passed each girl.  I was definitely beat at this point and with 500 meters to go I hit the last hill before the finish and then it happened.  The girl I had passed and suspected would be a threat at the finish passed me!   Crap!!  I picked up the pace and stayed with her to the 3rd mile marker and split 7:29. 

As always, when you hit that 3 mile marker in a race the last .1 feels infinitely longer than when you run it in a warm-up.  I was gassed.  She picked it up and started pulling away.  I half-ass tried, but my body and my heart had nothing.  I couldn't get my legs moving faster than a 6:55/mile pace.  I hit the line in 23:13 (garmin).  I  don't know the official results, the website is "under construction." 

My garmin said 3.14 and avg pace was 7:25/mile, which was about the same as the last 5k.  Uuugghhh!!  I am so not progressing as fast as I would like to. 

My little brother finished in 24:37 (7:55/mile).  He said could see me up until the last mile and then I "took off."  We laughed about that, because he admittedly faded pretty hard that last mile and ran 8:45. 

My parents finished holding hands (my dad was listed first in the results, so of course he razzed my mom, who will probably never finish a race with him again, haha!).  My preggo sister finished by running into the finish and my niece started screaming bloody murder at the 2 mile marker so my brother had to pick her up (she gets a DNF!!). 

Here is the video to the finish.  I think I am somewhere afte 7 mins and my brother is about 8:30 - 9:00 minutes in. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Unnecessary Thank You

In my last post I mentioned I had received a letter from a family member of a cancer patient thanking me for my "help." As I also mentioned I don't feel I did anything extraordinary, but I did what I do, and will ALWAYS do for my patients. This is why I chose oncology and why I can be an oncology nurse.

Yes, it tears me apart when a patient and his wife get discharged after just being told to go to the beach, spend time with your loved ones because all avenues of treatment have been exhausted and goodbyes are less than a year away, like I did on Friday last week. I shed a few tears of my own with them and hugged them goodbye, really pissed off there wasn't anything else I could do for him, angry that this stupd disease existed.

This stupid disease can scare even the strongest and bravest at any moment, even those with very promising outcomes, like my other patient. He needed 3 cycles of chemo and had tolerated the first cycle just fine, but this second round he was hit with chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), and it scared him so badly he wanted me to stop his infusion pumps and discharge him at that instant. We talked (and I don't consider myself funny, but for some reason others do and my sense of humor has become an asset in oncology) and laughed, even left the building for a little bit. In the end, he survived his second round of chemotherapy and gave me a huge bear hug before he left the unit to go home upon discharge.

I am always touched by the large and small gestures of cancer patients and their families. It reminds me even for those who I can't help save, perhaps the support and care I gave them helped ease their mind and pain for just one second.

Anyway, here are the letters I received from the family...

"I would like to acknowledge Beth for being such a kind,compassionate and informative nurse. She has provided patient X, who has cancer and is struggling with this, has renewed my hope in our profession. The time, care and true understanding of a pt's needs made me proud to have met her."

and (same family, different person)

"I wanted to thank you for going above and beyond, showing sincere compassion for patient X when he needed it. You are an incredible nurse, and my family is thankful he was in your hands."

and the letter they wrote to my boss...

"Dear (ElizaBeth's Boss),
I wanted to thank you for being kind to patient X, although I know you treat everyone like that-I would just like to recognize your thoughtfulness.

Also your nurse Elizabeth Hxxxx, (I hope I spelled it correctly), showed patient X empathy, warmth, and understanding during a difficult time. Despite having other work to attend to, she took time to destress patient X by walking him outside, which made all the difference. She had to stay late to chart and never complained about it, instead she held patient X's hand and talked with my family. She admitted she is a newer nurse, but one would not be able to tell. Her thoroughness, motivation and skills preceded her. She is your best asset and thought you should know how wonderful one of your own has done.
On behalf of patient X, my family and myself-thank you!"
It was extremely kind of this family and unnecessary for them to recognize me like this and I appreciate their kind words more than they will ever know.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Round 5....

was in my opinion a fail!  Monday started off well with the race and some additional running, but then Tuesday I was asked to work over, Wednesday I was scheduled 12, Thursday I tried to get back on the horse, but by Friday I got bucked off.  Friday I had my first float shift to a leukemia floor (and no it's not the same stuff as on my floor) for 8 hours only to have the boss call and ask if I could stay over for a total of 12 and then with the full moon Saturday and Sunday the patient's went crazy!!  When it was all said and done I worked 63 hours.

Although, running was not the focus of my time for the week I feel the work I put in with my patients was well worth the trade (I'll even share a letter I got from a patient's family in another post).  I don't feel I went above and beyond or did anything I wouldn't normally do. 

Mon AM: 12.3 (0.73 mile warm-up, 5k race, 3.42 mile cool-down)
Mon PM: 5.05 (8:33/mile a little bit harder than an easy run)
Tues: OFF
Wed: OFF
Thur: 11.62 (8:40/mile - long run)
Fri: OFF
Sat: OFF
Sun: OFF (very glad, but tired this work marathon was over for 2 days)

Total: 23.92 miles

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Round 4

I have been following this SmartCoach training plan from Runner's World.  It has me running 3 times a week (one long run and one tempo or speedwork and then an easy 3-6 miler). I have been able to run those workouts and then squeeze in easy miles around the two (hard) workouts the best I can. I have managed to cover about 10-15 miles more than this plan calls for which makes me feel a lot better than picking a more intense, harder program would have.  I believe the latter would just frustate me because of my ever changing work schedule.  The additional mileage has come by doing doubles on my days off and on days when it seems pretty much silly to suit up to run but I have jumped on the treadmill to get in a mere 2 miles at a poker's pace, just to say ... "I ran."

Mon: OFF
Tues: 2 miles (treadmill easy - 10:00/mile)
Wed: OFF
Thur: 15.25 miles (roads - 8:34/mile - skies opened up and lightening tried to strike this turtle down!!)
Sat: 4.1 miles (roads easy - 9:00/mile)
Sun: 11.1 (SERC run - 8:29 - quads felt beat-up)

Total: 32.45 miles

Each week there are days I really just don't want to do the mileage to break 30 or even 10 miles, but when I type this up I'm glad I did.  I think this running is also really helping keep my head about me at work.  I had my second code blue (in retrospect, the patient never truly lost a pulse ) at work yesterday and was the second responder, never left the room and took it all in stride.  Also, had a patient who wanted to stop treatment in the middle of his chemo bags and leave due to severe chemotherapy induced nausea vomiting and a PCNA that was to say the least not very helpful yesterday.  I think I punched out at 9:30ish last night for another 14 hour day and I'm ready to go at it all over again -- after I enjoy my day off today ;o)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Aurora Labor Day 5k - The Fade Away

The last time I ran this race was 2006 or 2007.  Let's just say it had been awhile. 

Anyway, this week called for a 3 mile tempo at 8:00/mile.  I had just done that a week or so ago, but the idea of running it on the treadmill did not appeal to me -- at all and the weather was 65F and overcast (a near perfect day in my book to race), so at 8:14am this morning, I made the executive decision to hit up the race that started at 9:00am. 

Registration and packet pick-up were efficient and quick.  I even had time to hit the porta-john twice before the race.  I only managed 0.75 miles for my warm-up.  My legs, specifically my quads were tight and a little sore from yesterday's run.  I kept reminding myself, this is going to cover your tempo workout this week and be way easier, if you're racing.  I did a few striders and lined up.  I planned to run my hardest and hoped it would be in the 7:30s. 

I had been guessing my fitness level based on my long runs and treadmill workouts, but with the relay coming up in a few weeks I need to know how close to 7:00/miles I would be.  Obviously, I am hoping for sub-7s (as I'm sure my teammates are too). So, I needed a fix.  I needed a race, not only to see where I was physically, but mentally. 

I started too far back, on purpose in hopes of going out conservative and picking it up each mile.  It would ultimately cost me at the end, but alas  I wasn't out to win the race (not that I ever would be).

The race is two laps around the park.  There is one little incline in the first .25 miles and then a small but steep hill right before mile 1. 

The horn sounded and it seemed a lot of people didn't move.  "What are they doing?"  I thought.  The race was only chipped at the finish, not the start.  I immediately ran by a bunch of people.  I didn't see any fast chicks at the race and new I would more than likely be toward the front.  I assumed some high school ringer might blow the field away, but that wasn't the case (duh!! cross country season is in full swing).  I followed a blonde through the mile 1 and split 7:16 (garmin - 7:18).  That was a lot better than I thought it would be.  I felt good too, but I didn't want to die at 1.5, so I tried to rein it in and stay under control as I passed the blonde and took advantage of the nice little decline back to the entrance of the park.

We had to make a handful of sharp turns back at the entrance to the park before heading out for lap 2, which definitley wasn't helping me.  My breathing was good, but my legs were fatigued and my stomach was a little off.  You know how you poop before a race and then you get that crampy, either you're gonna crap your pants or your uterus is gonna fall out feeling?  Well, I had a mild case of that as I neared the 2 mile marker.  The timer called out 13:2x and I was glad I had my garmin on.  It was undoubtedly short.  I ran and ran and no beep.  Crap!!  It finally beeped, but I didn't care what the split showed and just kept running.  Mile 2 split (per Garmin) 7:25. 

I was hoping at this point, I would feel good and be able to pull out my fastest mile here at the end.  I finally saw a girl about .5 miles ahead and she looked like she was fading.  I tried to focus on her and close the gap.  I wondered if she would look back to see if anyone was behind her.  She never did.  We passed the water stop and I heard someone call out 4th woman as I went by.  I managed to work my way up to her with a little at a time.  As we came out of the woods to the front of the park where the finish was I wasn't exactly sure if we cut through the grass to the finish or had to go around on the path.  It didn't matter.  GD saw me and yelled "Come on ElizaBeth!!!" 

Now, I have never seen a girl jump like that in my life, but apparently that woke her up and just like that she straightened up her form and picked up the pace.  "Darn It!"  I hadn't planned on trying to kill myself yet.  Oh well, I took off and remarkably closed the gap on her!  I was almost on her shoulder.  I yelled "Come on girl!!  I'm coming!!  Go!!  You can do this!!"  to her.  She picked up the pace and I matched her, running right off her shoulders.  I yelled again.  "I'm still coming!!" or something like that and she found another gear and so did I.  She crossed the finish banner one step in front of me, but the mats were 2 steps after that.  I had once made the stupid mistake of stopping too soon, so I went to the mat.  Mile 3, 7:35.  (That song, "Sail Away" popped in my head, but I changed the lyrics to "Fade Away, Fade Away --- Booooo!!!)  And the last 451ft., 31.5 seconds.

I felt great at the finish, except for my stomach, which was a little wonky.  I knew I had to hit the bathroom asap.  I shook hands with the girl and congratulated her.  She definitely didn't look too good at the finish.  I asked if she was okay, before leaving her and she nodded.  I ran to the bathroom and felt better after I did my business. 

At the awards ceremony, they had me as 3rd female overall, because the girl had stopped after she crossed the banner and walked to the mat, but I explained to the RD what had happened and pointed out the girl that should be 3rd overall.  She was super nice about it and I told her it was a training run for me to gauge where my fitness was at.  She said the same for her.  I suppose, to the mat I beat her.  Had I started up farther in the beginning of the race perhaps I would have never had this happen.  Either way, it is a shoulda, coulda, woulda, such as this I think, that makes runners even more neurotic and overly analytical than they already are.  I'm not sure what was in the little box the top overalls got, but I'm okay with not having it whatever it is.  My official time was 22:49.  Avg Pace: 7:24.

In basketball, the fade away is a sweet shot (Michael Jordan did it best, in my opinion), but in running there's nothing sweet about it. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Round 3

Well, I survived another round of training and work.  It is definitely easier when it's not my weekend to work.  My run week runs Monday - Sunday, but my work schedule runs Sunday-Saturday, so when I work 12s on the weekends it just mess everything up.

I don't know why I set myself up this fall the way I did.  It could be I like a challenge, maybe I like to just be stressed out about a lot of things, or perhaps I'm a sadist and just glutton for some punishment.  Whatever the reason I signed myself up for a full, a half and the Akron marathon relay.  I'm the least nervous about the half, but the other two....  Well, I would like to PR in the marathon again and with the relay I have 3 freaky fast chicks counting on me to drop the trailer and move my butt.

Training is much more difficult than I thought it would be with 3 days/week off.  One day, half the time is just dedicated to recovering from the long hours I put in at work.  Not to mention, I am a sucker for OT.  These last two weeks at work have been extremely stressful on the unit, because the patient acuity is so high and we are short-staffed.  This stresses the nurses that are coming to work out and then they call off, so it's just one stressful day after another.   I refuse to call off, even though I dread the thought of going in some days and I hate having too many patients I don't know where to begin, so when the boss asks if I can come in early to help alleviate evening shift, of course I say yes.

All that said, here is the run down from round 3.  I am on borrowed time as I offered to come back in at 7:00pm tonight and it's already 10:30am and I need some sleep. 

Mon: 13 miles (long run - 8:34/mile)
Tues: 2 miles (easy treadmill - 10:00/mile) and rehab exercises (SI joint in my spine is bugging me)
Wed: OFF
Thur: OFF
Fri: 8 miles (tempo 2 mile warm-up with 4x100 strides, 3 miles at 8:00/mile, 1 mile easy 10:00/mile, 1 mile 7:30/mile, 1 mile cool-down)
Sat: 7.5 miles (easy roads - 9:12/mile)
Sun: Double Day 2 miles (easy 8:42), 7.5 miles (easy - 8:34/mile) and rehab exercises

Total: 40 miles
Peace OUT!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Work vs. Training - Let the Battle Begin

I have had a rather challenging time figuring out how to solidify a training regiment that fits my revolving schedule.  It is nearly impossible to workout on the days when I work 12 hour shifts and if I am behind to begin with on my sleep, the days I work 8's I find myself coming home exhausted and falling into bed in hopes of catching up on some much needed rest and forgoing yet another workout. 

I am still fighting the good fight, trying not to succumb to the ever popular American lifestyle.  That one which the way too many are overworked throughout the day and come home to eating comfort food and laying on the couch only wishing they had the energy to get out there and do it. 

All that said, last week's training was pretty much thwarted by my 53 hours of work (not counting drive time).  Saturday night, I barely made it to A-train's house a little after 10pm, without falling asleep at the wheel, to pass out and get back up at 5:15 am and do it all over again.  Each day at work was more and more stressful for me.  Lots of complications (neutropenic fever, nausea/vomiting, constipation, high methotrexate levels, bone mets with compression fractures and my all time favorite c-diff) made the thought of the day "F me!!"  I couldn't hang blood, potassium, set-up PCA pumps and provide emotional support for extremely anxious family members who wanted to vent on me fast enough.  I kept thinking "who is gonna die?"  and that's who I would go see and that meant sometimes 1 of my 5 patient's didn't see me for a few hours. 

Anyway, here is the rundown for the last two weeks. 

Week of 8/8-8/14
Mon: off
Tues: off
Wed: off
Thur: 11.11 ran (3.0 in afternoonat 10:00/mile, 2.96 warm-up and 5.15 race)
Fri: 4.5 ran easy (9:25/mile)
Sat: 9.55 trails at S. Chagrin (10:03/mile)
Sun: 10.5 long run (8:40/mile - ran around at Perfect 10 miler)

Total: 35.67 miles

Week of 8/15-8/21
Mon: off
Tues: off
Wed: off
Thur: 6.5 speedwork (2 mile warm-up, 2 x 1 mile at 7:38 and 1 x 1 mile at 7:35 with 800 meter RI at 10:00/mile)
Fri: 10.15 trails at N. Chagrin (9:09/mile)
Sat: off
Sun: off

Total: 16.65

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Twilight Trail 8K Race (My Eleanor)

For those of you that have seen the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds" you know what I am referring to when I call this race my Eleanor.

Every year that I have run this race, I have barely made it up th big hill only to blow up.  Hell, I have even thrown-up throughout the race sometimes and always at the end.

This year I hoped it would be different.  I wanted a PR, but more importantly I wanted to do the course like a progression run with each mile getting faster, until I was at all out effort coming into the finish (not the first mile).

I had only been running about 10-15 mpw and knew I needed to get back into the groove of things, work or no work, this couch potaot/lazy ass BS had to come to an end (I'm not really lazy, work just sucks up a minimum of 48 hours/week now). 

I jumped on the treadmill a little before noon and did 3 easy miles, then did some upper body and core training for about 20 minutes.  I ate and waited for 5:00 pm to come, trying to get caught up on laundry, blogging and cleaning up in general.  I almost chickened out, but somehow made the drive, 2 detours and all to the start.  I was really early, hoping the race had not filled up and I could still get in.  I even donated an extra $5, since the race proceeds go for such a great cause (Cleveland Rape Crisis Center).

I decided to run an easy 3 mile warm-up 1/2 road, 1/2 trails with my headphones on full blast.  I felt a little warm with my shirt on, but my legs didn't feel dead as per there usual at this race.  E-speed passed me on my warm-up pointing to her ears, later telling me that she had been screaming at me, but I hadn't even heard her (I know IMPOSSIBLE right?).

Almost forgot to spray myself with bug spray before the start, but caught my mistake with about 5 minutes to go before the start.  I lined up in the middle of my age group.  I also had my headphones on.  I felt I needed to be able to drown out everything around me and get it done today.  I know 'phones are a sin in some groups and I never wear them when I race, but today I was going to break the rules.  I had every intention of going out nice and easy, too slow if need be.  Nothing mattered but keeping my heart rate low and surviving the first 2 miles. 

God, I was so nervous I was going to mess this race up like every other year that when the horn sounded I almost didn't move.  I trotted through the grass, trying not to pass people and go out too hard.  We hit the woods and before I knew it, we were crossing the stream me, daisy, twizzle (and of course e-speed too) had foolishly jumped in, on an all girls Halloween run a few years ago.  It was much shallower and I opted to ford it in a different spot than most of the racers (didn't even get my feet wet). 

The big hill was next.  I was going slow enough still.  I was breathing easy, but just the thought of the hill stressed me out as I ran.  I started up the hill nice and easy, slowing as the effort increased until I felt I was working too hard and then I WALKED.  To hell with this hill I thought.  I have run it before and it kills me.  I watched person after person pass me on the steepest part and kept wondering what the hell was wrong with me, why couldn't I do that.  I got to the top and started running again and then it happened.  Many of those people that had run up the hill started coming back to me and I FELT GREAT!!  I felt like I had just started running.  I upped my effort a little for the second mile, but not too much as it is rolling but a little uphill.  Mile 2 came and went and now it was time to up the effort even more.

I was getting passed by guys but no women.  I was the one passing other women today.  My form felt relaxed and I was picking up my feet, no shuffling yet.  My tunes just kept me jamming along and before I knew it the big hill I normally run up was in my sights.  I went down it quickly but safely, EE caught me and went careening down it a little wrecklessly with his hands flailing in the air trying to slow himself down and overcorrect for taking the first turn too wide. 

I grabbed some water at the aid station and worked my way up to Squire's Castle and could feel my right calf turning to what felt like cement.  Oh No!!  I had less than a mile and I was running out of gas.  My legs had covered 10 miles today and had, had enough.  Blah!  It had been awhile since my mental self had pulled out a can of whoop ass on my physical self and with a 5+ minute PR looming within my grasp, I let the beating commence.  I mentally told myself to keep at it and to not back down (I used a lot of obscenities at this point) and I thought e-speed may be somewhere up ahead to drag me along, ensuring my inability to back down.  Lo' and behold a little after mile 4 there she was.  I let her pull and push me along, trying to give it a little gas on the downhills.  She was talking to me, but I couldn't hear a thing.  It didn't matter I was glad to have some human lightning at my side.  She pulled off right before I exited the woods and I gave her a thumbs-up as I pulled away from her.

There was a girl about 200 meters ahead and I was able to close the gap a little, but the legs were so tired and for the first time in a long time I ran with everything I had through the grass, cursing in my head the whole way.  I felt slower than ever and there seemed to be a hundred cones between me and the damn STOP line.  I told myself somewhere deep in that pansy ass was one more gear and I could go faster.  I did and it got me to the line.  I staggered through.  Spit on the ground and thought "Hell Yeah!!"  I finally completed this race successfully.  My time was still weak, but I finally knew I had defeated my Eleanor.  I had beaten the course today.  It had hurt me, but I had run it as planned. 

Splits via my Garmin: (I even tried to cut the corners and run the tangents and still ran over 5 miles!!)
Mile 1: 9:37
Mile 2: 8:29
Mile 3: 8:11
Mile 4: 7:59
Mile 5: 8:05
189 ft. 0:16

Total Time: 42:39, Pace 8:19 (I like what my Garmin says much better)

OFFICIAL TIME: 42:37, Pace 8:42 (6 min 4 second PR)

I am a very weak trail runner as you can see.  I just don't have overalll good general strength to handle that type of terrain, but I am committing myself to run trails more often and learn.  I may never be a mountain goat, but here goes nothing.  I got you now Eleanor!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fairport Triathlon 2011

Sheesh!!  It's been such a whirlwind the last 3 weeks I just published some comments from my June race.

Anyway,  after doing the Crossfit Triathlon, I was re-inspired to swim, bike, run and whip myself into shape to have a better than average race at Fairport!!  I paid my $20 early in hopes it would force me to train, but alas I swam zero times between the 2 races and got out on my bike 2 times the week before the race.  I did however manage to pick up some OT in the weeks leading up to the race and even hit 52 hours one week (so now I am richer and lazy). 

I waivered on doing the race until e-speed stopped by and said she was coming to cheer with NC and daisy, and then A-train reminded me it was KP's annual birthday celebration after the race too.  It wasn't too hard to convince me to go. 

Packet pick-up was a little slow (like usual), but for $20 really who can bitch?   I had gotten there early and had plenty of time to prepare. 

Me and Twizzle before the swim

The race brings about 300-400 particpants, so the 35 and under women's wave always has a decent sized group.  I actually positioned myself pretty well throughout the swim.  I spent most of it swimming side by side with a girl that had no wetsuit on.  It felt like it took a lot longer than it should have to get out to the turnaround buoy and of course, I was gasping for air every time my right arm came out of the water.  There were lots of pokey men in the waves ahead of us we had to swim over and around.  I took no mercy clobbering them on my left and right, just as they have done to me in races -- hehehehe!!  Swam to shore until my hand scraped the ground (since I can't dophin for jack), jumped up and ran for transition.  I heard my friends cheering for me as I ran by, kicking sand all over my suit.  Thankfully, they have people with hoses spraying you off as you run to T1.  I looked at my watch and it was a little over 10 minutes when I go to the hoses (good but never good enough -- seems I have one speed in the water, whether I train or not). 

T1 takes forever to run in, change and run out of.  It was fairly smooth, except for the fact that I had left my race belt clipped and decided to wear it on the bike for some reason.  As I ran out of T1, I tried to awkwardly put it on and steer my bike, but no dice.  I had to stop at the mount like and do it.  T1 was probably around 2:00, but it's added into the swim time, so no exact time for sure.  (Swim and T1 were 12:30, per results -- I think).  The thing is I was the fastest swimmer in my age group and probably in the top 10 women.  I'm guessing there weren't a lot of strong female swimmers at this event.

The bike course was the same as usual on the way out flat and fast with a tailwind and only minimal turns.  The tailwind was not as strong as in past years, which meant the headwind wouldn't be as bad on the way back either (YIPEE).  I figured there were 10 or 15 girls tops in front of me.  I was about 3 miles in when I started to feel tired.  I hit the wall and was overcome with this urge to stop and lay down in the grass.  I kept going trying to shake it off, but then a girl on a cervelo passed me and I knew I was in trouble.  I tried to get amped and go after her, but I had nothing.  I was out of shape and weak.  My endurance was lacking (I was slow).  A few miles later I caught up to a girl and realized it was MJ.  She looked really strong.  I asked her if she was running too and she said "no" she was doing the relay and someone else was running (she had been one of the women that had beaten me out of the water sans wetsuit).  She pushed me to ride harder on the bike and I took the lead when the turns on the course increased.  I noticed a guy drafing off her when I looked back and thought that was pretty shitty, but once we got back out on to Fairport-Nursery Road, MJ dropped that guy and caught me and then blew by me in the headwind.  I tried to duck down as low as I could on my aero bars, but she just rode away from me like nothing.  Thankfully that guy was even worse off than me and couldn't catch me to draft off of. 

Me and MJ after the race

I came down the hill to the T2 and volunteers were screaming at us to slow down.  I didn't really listen, whoops!  I had no time to soft pedal and get my feet out of my shoes, so I did something really stupid.  I unclipped on the right side, swung my leg over to the left and stayed clipped in on the left side with my bike moving and then it dawned on me!!  I was stilled clipped in and going to try a flying dismount. Oh my God!!  My foot was still locked in the pedal and I was going to crash.  I thought about grabbing the brakes and stopping and then dismounting, but my weight was all on the left side and I would fall for sure.  I did what I had to do.  I sent up a very silent, but huge prayer to God "Please let me make this dismount without crashing.  Please God protect this idiot!!"  I cracked my left foot at the last second before I hit the dismount line and the curb in hope my left shoe would release from the pedal.  It did!!  It worked.  My feet were on the ground and I was running for T2.  YES!!! YES!! YES!!  I ran in ditched the bike and was off like a prom dress.  My bike split and T2 were 39:20.  I remember my total time was about 52 minutes at that point by my watch.

I started passing people right away and that was pretty much the way my whole run went.  I told every person, "good job" or "keep going."  One guy said I was "running great" and wanted to know my secret.  I told him "I'm trying to hurry and get this thing over with."  In years passed I have always had one woman pass me through the condo/apartment complex at about the half way point.  I swore it wouldn't happen this year and I started running harder, but it happened anyway.  NH passed me from the Erie Tri Club (Damn!!!).  I tried to keep the gap as small as possible and surged on and off from there to the finish.  As I turned to run through the grass I picked it up to a hard effort, in hopes no one would try to challenge me at the line (I really didn't want to sprint, but I would have if need be).  No one did and I finished in 1:13:54.  The run was about 2.8 and I did it in 21:59.

Me running to the finish (that's about as fast as I get these days)

The race itself was fun, but I am losing to people I used to beat and that is a hard pill for my ego to swallow.  I am killing myself in these races and I'm slower.  I just can't come up with a training schedule with my ever changing and time-sucking work schedule (heck, I can't even find time to type up a race report hardly).  I like racing, but my ego is definitely getting a little banged up in the process. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crossfit Triathlon

I had never done this race before and I was very hesitant to sign up for it this year having only swam one time about a month or 2 ago in a swimming pool with e-speed, but I thought it's only 400 yards, how bad could it be, right?  It was also A-Train's 41st birthday and some of his training buddies would be there and even my parents were going to come down to watch.  It was a done deal, I had to race (or try). 

We arrived in plenty of time and I actually got to rack on the end for once.  I hoped it was a good sign.  I realized I had not packed a gel while I was setting up, but wasn't too worried.  It was only a sprint.  I rummaged around in my packet and to my delight found a complimentary one!  I successfully taped it to my top tube on my bike and thought - SCORE!  Then my first bad sign of the morning occurred.  A girl was asking me about where to rack her bike (the racks were clearly marked) and as I looked up to answer her I saw it was "pink shirt" from this race. Oh crap!!  Not her again.  She started to put her gear by me on the rack and I told her she could go to any of the four around me and there was even an end spot open on a different one.  Lucky for me that idea appealed to her way more than racking by me and she headed over there - whew!

The women 34 and under were to go off at 7:06am in the first wave.  Usually, the women all go off in one wave (and last for that matter), but surprisingly this race drew quite a decent size of women participants and we had two waves with mine going first!  This I knew was going to be weird.  There were 6 minutes between waves and although BH had once told me how he had swam over a ton of slow old ladies and "clobbered them," I wasn't worried.

I lined up more on the outside and toward the front for the swim, not wanting to get trapped between the lane line and swimmers, course being near the outside would have it's own challenges I would find out.  It felt so weird standing in the water about to race.  It seemed like another lifetime ago when I had raced a triathlon.  I was nervous and praying by some miracle of God I would make it out of the water and be able to put in at least an average performance.  The horn sounded and arms were a flying!!  There was more body contact than I am used to on the way out, my arms hitting others and vice a versa, a couple women swimming on my ankles and legs.  I felt my heart rate going up and up and before long I was gasping for air.  Swimming on the outside allowed me to see the lane line and sight easily, but it put a lot of girls between me and the ropes and more times then not I had to hold my line and take an arm to the body to keep them from pushing me wide of my line.  My arms and back were on fire even before I made it to the turn around.  I had a little trouble getting under the lane line and practically clothes lined myself trying to dive under it at the same instance some girl grabbed it and lifted it up.  I was completely anaerobic, just trying to hang onto the pace and relax.  I found some feet and hung on them for part of the way back.  I had a much clearer path, but then there was another lane line and I was a little confused as to where to exit.  This time however, I successfully cleared it without mishap. 

(My dad got a good laugh out of the stupid look on my face)

I hit the beach and felt how much the swim had taken out of me.  My arms felt like dead weight and as I ran for transitioin, I reminded myself "this is fun and it's only going to hurt more - weeeeeee!!!"  I had put my chip on outside my wetsuit and I struggled to get it off (rookie mistake #1).  I ended up sitting down and wrestling with my right leg for what seemed like two minutes.  Finally, with one quick burst of strength and my dead arms I got the thing off.  I pulled on my bike helmet and realized my hari bun was too high on my head and my helmet was choking me a little (rookie mistake #2)  I tried my best to re-adjust it, but I had to go.  I had already wasted too much time trying to get my wetsuit off (tick-tock, tick-tock).

I sprinted for the transition exit and noticed my legs felt okay (surprisingly).  I figured there were about 15 girls ahead of me.  We climbed up out of the park and I was immediately able to pass 4-5 of them in the first 400 meters. 

The bike course was 2 loops of rollers with right turns.  The climb up route 91 at the end of each loop was the most challenging part of the course.  I noticed a weird sensation on my back end when braking and  noticed when I was in my easiest gear I was working really hard.  My legs felt the same as always, but I didn't seem to have any power.  I assumed the swim had just killed my body from top to bottom.  I decided to ignore my computer and just go with it.  What other choice did I have?  (Later, KP and A-Train were working on my bike and noticed my brake was rubbing (every time I don't check it before the race, it seems to happen!!  DARN IT!!! rookie mistake #3).  I got another 4 or so girls on the first loop and after that couldn't tell anymore with other waves merging.  I rode alone for most of the race.  No girls passed me on the bike, but as I re-entered the park one girl had caught up to me.  I started ripping my feet out of my shoes and soft pedaling on the downhill a few hundred meters from transition.  I jumped off my bike and after not doing it for nearly 2 years managed to successfully complete a flying dismount - WOOT!!  I was on the ground and running when my pedal flipped and my shoe dragged and went flying as I was running.  "Shit!!" I said.  I went back for it, even though I wouldn't have gotten a penalty for abandonment of gear as this was not USAT race.  A volunteer tossed it to me and I ran back and grabbed my bike where I had leaned it against the transition tent, but the nose of my seat go stuck on the tent pole and I wrestled with it trying to get the bike lose without taking out the entire tent.  Arrrgggghhhhh!!!!  Come On!!!!  It was only a matter of seconds, but in triathlon, it always feels like forever. 

I finally racked my bike changed my shoes and blew out of T2 (Some people's forte is the bike or the swim or even the run, mine is unfortunately transition, even when it's bad, it is usually faster than most.  Too bad it doesn't buy me a lot of time back).

I saw my mom and the Bails and I waved and yelled "Hi Buddy!!"  That was a mistake, apparently he became super excited to see me and wanted to run too.  He spent the latter part of the race trying to drag my mother on to the course for her own unsanctioned 5k.  I grabbed some water and gatorade at the turnaround table and headed out for my first loop.  I saw my dad taking pics and cheering for me right after that.  I was breathing really hard and blubbering and wheezing from the get-go, but my legs felt way better than normal.  The run was thankfully shaded most of the way and flat too boot.  I was alone and it was dead quiet.  At about 0.5 miles in there is a little turn around area near the main gates and I saw a girl less than a minute behind me.  Yikes!!!  Her stride looked fresh and strong.  I was holding steady, but knew if my breathing got worse or my legs got tired I was D-O-N-E.  I yelled at her "Good job!!  You look great!!!"  She yelled "Thanks, you too!!" 

Around one mile we hit the only climb on the course and I saw A-train coming into the park off the bike.  I knew he had put up some insane bike time as soon as I saw him.  I worked my way up the hill.  I had no idea how many girls were in front of me.  I saw nobody.  BM passed me as he entered on his bike and yelled some encouragement.  He too had had a good bike.  As I was working the downhill, a young man blew by me like I was standing still.  Without thinking I just said "Holy Shit!"  as he passed me.  The kid never slowed and later I would come to learn it was DJ, a former Perry HS cross country runner.  We had taken him with us to Footlocker Nationals a few years ago in Wisconsin, now I experienced first hand why!!! 

As I started the second loop I was still holding off that girl, but not wanting to look back I forced myself to run hard every few cones, trying to gap her and let her think it was impossible to catch me.  At the turn-around she was still about the same distance away.  My dad had yelled at me that A-Train was only about a quarter mile ahead and I could catch him (haha, funny!!).  I had a little less than a mile to go to hold her off, but then out of the blue a female KG also a recent graduate HS cross country runner, went by me.  I was in shock.  She would go on to finish in 18:00 with one of the top 5 runs out of the women and men!!  At the hill I finally started to tire and it took a lot more energy to climb it the second time.  Over the top and heading for home I tried to open up my stride until I hit the grass and then I just cruised on in, prepared to kill myself if someone tried to sprint me down at the line (thankfully, that didn't happen).  I crossed the line in 1:10:xx.  Again, opted not to do splits and just go with it, just glad it was over and I had survived.

(I was waving my arms saying "Thank God that's over!")

It wasn't even close to my best performance ever, but I had put out a lot of effort (all that I had as a matter of fact), just to finish where I had.  The stupid mistakes definitely needed fixing, but because it was A-Train's birthday and my parents had come down (my mom had never seen me race a triathlon before), not to mention it was a beautiful day, how could I not be on cloud 9 about the day!! 
--------- Edit-----------------------
Splits for the Race
Swim 400 meters: 7:07.7
T1: 1:34.1
Bike 12 miles: 37:16.8
T2: 0:39.5
Run: 23:32.7
Total: 1:10:10.9 (6:09.4 back from the leader and most of my time was lost to her on the bike)