Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sauvie Island's Foot Traffic Flat Marathon 2012...Recap in Bullets and Pictures

Mile 21ish.  Thanks for all of your comments on this picture on my Runninghood facebook.  They made me smile.   And several of you have asked about the purple shoes.  They are the Brooks Pure Flows. Great shoe.  Great company.  Run Happy!  

Waking up the morning after a marathon has always been the same for me.  I've only run six of them unlike some of you maniacs who are at 50 plus and counting.  Ha!  But so far, whether I ran a great race or one that I'm less than proud of, I wake up with a heavy load of race residue to process.  Oh, and my body usually feels like I got hit by a truck.  Although I agree with one of my good friends who believes you should wait 48 hours before you honestly evaluate and discuss your race performance, I also think that I need an outlet to process, share, and work through some of that heavy race residue BEFORE the 48 hours.  But I promise not to judge myself too harshly before the 48 hour mark.  

Since it was a late night of fireworks for the kids, they are still soundly sleeping.  I would have been too if it weren't for my middle daughter, the cuddle bug of the family, crawling into bed at 7:30 to wake me up.  Luckily she fell back asleep so that I have time to post here before all three of them are up and tearing through the house with their usual high energy.  So, to save time, this will be a race recap of sorts in bullets and pics. Besides, most of you say you like bullets anyway.  

  • I ran a marathon yesterday.  This one:  Foot Traffic Flat Marathon on Sauvie Island
  • It was my second time running this marathon.  Last year my husband and I ran it for a fun progressive run four weeks after my Newport flop of a marathon where I went for a 3:15 and ended up with a 3:30.  It was his first marathon (untrained) and we ran a fun progressive 3:24 that felt happy and dare I say easy.  
  • This was not the same.  However, my 3:28:40 isn't something for me to hang my head about.  It's what I came to do.  Exactly what I said I wanted.  However, I wish that a few things had gone differently.  As is usually the case after a race.  
  • I don't care for flat courses.  I would much rather have hills to break things up.  I probably won't run this race again.
  • As most of you know, I ran Boston 2012.  I finished.  Enough said.  I was also injured and my hamstring injury was much worse AFTER running a marathon in 90 degree heat that left me at my lowest I've ever been during a race.  You can read more about that in this Sparrow article HERE.
  • I will never again take it as a given that I will BQ for sure.  Boston was NOT another BQ for me.  Rather it was a life lesson that I will forever be thankful for. 
  • After Boston, I took quite a bit of time off.  I had 2 weeks of NO exercise.  Then I very very slowly worked my way into running.  The goal was that I would do just enough to try to hold on to as much as my Boston base and get UNINJURED so that I could run another marathon to Boston Qualify and have the opportunity to go in 2013. It was agreed that the safest way to do that was to shoot for a BQ minus 5 minutes a 3:30.  
  • As training went on, our goals started to shift a bit.  The 3:30 goal was now widened to a possible 3:20-3:25 range if everything went perfectly up to race day (which it didn't...I'll explain below).  It was agreed that if I was sick, injured or if anything was happening on the morning of a race that would keep me from that strong, safe BQ, then I wasn't going to run.  After all, that was the ONLY reason I was racing this race.  No point in injuring myself again.  
  • Speaking of injury.  A lot of the time since Boston has been a slow recovery for me.  I haven't had any serious injuries that have kept me from being active but my hamstring and pelvic pain from back in January were still not healed.  I had an MRI to rule out a pelvic SF before I started running again.  Then I babied my hamstring as if it was my job....heat, massage, ice, rolling, taking days off if I was hurting.  The goal again:  Get to Sauvie Island Marathon healthy and WHOLE with just enough fitness to qualify for Boston and move on to more optimal training.  My training to get here was very safe and gradual.  It was low mileage, plenty of days off, and just enough workouts to keep me sharp and strong.  I even had several half marathon races as workouts that left me feeling really confident.  
  • Week Lead-Up to July 4th race:  Beginning of week was crazy stressful with my son's birthday party, his actual birthday, piano and swim lessons starting, normal race worries, etc.  
  • Because of this stress that didn't seem all that stressful at the time, I wasn't drinking enough or relaxing enough.  My right leg rebelled and cramped up like never before.  I had knots in my muscles from my butt to my foot.  Once the party was over and I could relax and focus on my body and the race, things got better.  I drank Nuun All Day, ate the right foots, massaged like crazy, and got enough sleep.
  • Things got better and I started feeling like a champ!  
  • Last workout before race day besides just some slow easy runs...just getting my body used to the gradual progression that I'd hope it would do on race day:  5.89 miles  7:36 pace.  5 min@7:49; 5 min@7:36; 5 min@7:45; 1 mile@7:32; 1 mile@7:39; 1 mile@7:35 and almost a mile @7:26.  
  • This workout felt great.  Easy really. Strong.  Happy.  Confident that these paces would come naturally for me on race day.  Things were coming together and really I had confidence that I could do MORE than that safe BQ.  In my head, I still had plans to keep things safe but I expected it to feel way easier based on my workouts.  I figured a 3:20 wasn't outside my reach at all!  
  • I continued to get good sleep and be smart with hydration.  
  • Then on Monday (52 hours before the race) at 2a.m I woke up (EXCUSE the TMI) in pain and peeing blood!  WTH ?  This had NEVER happened to me even though so many women say that it is common with a UTI.  But freaked me out!  And hurt like heck.  I lost that night of sleep and started antibiotics later on Monday morning.  I was in bed with low low fever and just fatigue all day on Monday. Luckily, I had my husband to stay home and care for me so I felt pretty recovered by Tuesday.  But still recovering from UTI.  
  • Who knows how much of a hit my body took from this.  I felt pretty darn good by race morning though.  
My best friend and love of my life!  He's ALWAYS there for me.  

Beautiful on race morning.  So EARLY.  This was at 5a.m.  Race started at 6:30!  

I couldn't feel my toes at the start.  It wasn't cold.  I was just having circulation issues.  Weird.  

  • But I didn't feel as good as I should have while racing.  Or as I'd hoped.  
  • I'm not quite ready to post my splits. I was smart at the start.  I did just as I said I'd do and I kept my miles between 7:45 and 8.  Well there were no 8's for the first 17 miles and I think I ran 1 or 2 7:40's at mile 5/6ish.  
First half of the race.  In the zone.  Right on.  

  • The second half of the race wasn't horrible...I was just MENTALLY done!  My miles were all falling right around 8:05-8:15 at the very end there and despite my husband telling me to dig deep and stop wussing out, I just wanted to be finished.  
  • It was pretty windy for many of the miles during the first half of the race (as expected on an island), so I did as I was reminded to do and drafted off of a group of big guys.  They were very funny too.  And keeping at a pretty consistent 7:49ish pace.  
  • At the turn around at mile 11 we passed a woman as a pack.  She asked if we'd all started late or something.  I just said:  " motto for today is from a friend and it is "First half, don't be a hero.  Second half, don't be a zero." so we're just picking up the pace a bit.  She and the guys thought it was a good motto for a marathon.  
Drafting = smart idea!  Should have done it for the entire race. 

  • The second half of the race was run mostly alone.  Boo.  Nobody is out there. can hear them.  
  • SOOOO Thankful for my husband.  He rode the course and had water, fuel, encouragement and loving energy.  He was a support to all the other runners too.  
  • I felt like puking most of the second half of the race so not sure what that was all about.  I couldn't stomach a third Clif Gel (I took one at mile 7 and 16) so I used a PowerBar Gel since they are more watery and go down quicker.  Almost came back up though.  I'm thinking I need to do my fuel differently next time.  I have success in the past with the gradual fueling and I think I'll try that again:  1 gel slowly over 2-4 miles.  The beans do the same for me.  It almost helps me mentally too.  
  • At around mile 21?, a woman passed me.  I eventually caught up to her at around mile 23?  So glad I found you Julie!  Julie was running Sauvie after Boston for a better BQ time since she didn't get the time she wanted at Boston.  She still qualified there though so that makes her a badass in my book!  I've never really had an experience where I've worked with a stranger in a race but we encouraged, pushed, and pulled each other to that finish.  We were both so done but we picked up the pace and both finished sub 3:30.  If we hadn't found each other, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had that sub 3:30.  As a way to motivate me even more she told me that I was the one she'd picked out at the start to beat.  :)  Ha!  That just made me want to make sure she met her goal...little did she know that my mentality as a runner isn't all that competitive when it comes to racing at the end.  ;)  I did end up finishing before her but barely.  So thankful for her.  Being encouraging to her made me tell myself the messages that I should have told myself all along.  INstead, I was fighting a mental battle from mile 17 on.  
The very end of the race.  Maybe last mile?  The half marathoners were finishing at the same time so it made us feel like we were passing more people than we really were.  Julie, my angel for the day, is on my left in the white hat.  

  • Overall, I'm proud of yesterday.  I did EXACTLY what I said I would do despite my secret thoughts about what I hoped might be the case.  I said I was going for a safe and smart BQ with a time under 3:30.  I said I was going to be conservative with my paces so that I didn't end up coming home having fallen on my face and with no BQ.  And I came home a winner.  My stats:  8th woman overall.  1st in my AG. Too bad Sauvie doesn't give AG awards.  Official time: 3:28:40
  • I finished so happy to be DONE.  I was all smiles and jokes.  The job was done!!  I did what I had come to do and even though the race residue would set in later, I felt GREAT then.  I ate some salt n' vinegar chips, checked e-mail, sent messages to friends, took pictures, iced, indulged in the Sauvie Island Berries and had some of the famous strawberry shortcake that is offered.  I'm not sure when my next marathon will be.  Definitely not until Boston 2013 if I decide to do it.  Right now I'm excited to rest up, get strong and ready for Hood to Coast so I can represent for my team for After Nuun Delight.
Happy to represent Brooks.  And HAPPY to be done!!!  

Big Medal and yummy strawberry shortcake.  And yes, Run Happy in the background.  Nice pic hon.  



  1. Way to get the job done!!!!! I'm sorry you had stomach issues. :( We've all been there. I got very sick 2 weeks before I ran Boston in 2003, and the doctor told me that your body really isn't fully recovered until the entire cycle of antibiotics is finished. Were you still on them? That could have something to do with your stomach issues, too...

    Ps. I found your FB page- yay! Congrats again on getting the job done out there! Way to tough it out.

    1. Oh, this antibiotic thing is good to know. Maybe it explains why I felt sick AND low in energy. Yes, still on them. Done now though.

  2. Great job Amanda!!!! So proud of you!!!! I loved the pictures that Waylon took of you, they are great. I am happy that you will be back in Boston again, you have some business to take care of there. It looks like you will have to BQ again so you can go with me in 2014. :-)

  3. I know I'm a big cry baby and coming off my own race emotions, but I'm sitting here in tears. Proud of you and like I said, you're a natural :) You are awesome, friend!

  4. YAY for running buddies!!! Congrats Amanda. :-) Good job running a smart race. I know that can be hard when you've told yourself differently in your head. Marianne and I were running the half yesterday, after PRing at Rock n Roll. Neither of us were feeling great yesterday, and we said we were just in it to finish strong...but I think both of us were secretly hoping we could somehow pull off another pr. ;-) We missed it by about a minute (hindsight, maybe wouldn't have stopped for a potty break at mile 5 LOL!), but we were really happy with the job done, and finishing together strong! It was a beautiful morning! I saw you guys pulling in to the parking lot and waved, but you were focused. ;-) Nice work lady! Enjoy H2C!

  5. Oh man!! So much to read here but I just had to read every.single.word. I LOVE that quote- "First half, don't be a hero. Second half, don't be a zero." I must admit I've never heard it before but you better belief I will be adding that to my marathon mantras!

    You ran a very smart race and stuck to your plan. After two challenging marathons in 2012 I completely understand your wanting a break from them. Maybe you could focus on Half's for a bit while you decide what to do about Boston. You've got plenty of time! For now enjoy the fact that you just ran 26.2 MILES yesterday!! I think it's so cool that your husband got to bike along side next to you. What a great memory that will be!

  6. You are such an incredibly tough lady, Amanda. I can't believe you went out ans smashed a BQ goal right after the infection. LA runner is completely right on about the stomach and the antibiotics. You fared very well considering that!

    I love that your Hubby is always there for your races, that he supports you with cycling, tough advice :) about not wussing out, and then takes all the pictures. He rocks!

    Secret ambitions- we all have them. But you are honest to reveal them here. That takes some guts. I agree about some hill in a long race. It's a good break up.

    Again- So proud of you and what you were able to accomplish. Love you!!

  7. Great job, Amanda. It sounds like you ran the race smart and did exactly what you need to do. I agree with you that flat courses are tough and can get kind of boring, sometimes you need just a little bit of a hill so you can then have a downhill!! Very proud of you and your accomplishment. Great job on your BQ!

  8. Like I said on Facebook, happy happy for you!! Great job! And you kept going in spite of those moments of weariness. Bravo, girl!

  9. Nice job on running the race you wanted even though you weren't feeling it that day!

  10. thats a cute medal! congrats on another marathon finish! wish i knew the secret recipe for the perfect marathon, it's just so stinkin hard! but i know it's out there and if anyone can find it, you can ;)

    rest up, you deserve it pretty lady!

  11. Loved reading about how the race went for you. I ran the marathon yesterday too and saw you on the out and back portion. I looked for you after to say hi, but didn't see you. I BQed for the first time, although only by 2 and half minutes (I'm much older/slower than you :) ), so maybe I'll make it into Boston, maybe not, we'll see.

    Congratulations on persevering in this race with all that you had going on.

  12. Congrats on your 3:28!
    Finding that person to help push you during those last miles is such a great thing. My last marathon I find that but couldn't keep up with her and told her to go on ahead. Looking back I wished I would have stayed with her.
    Rest and recover. I know your next marathon will be awesome!

  13. Congratulations! You ran a smart race and should be proud! Did you get some strawberry shortcake after? Isn't that what that race is famous for?! I must do it sometime!

  14. Nice work! Rest and recover and you may change your mind about the marathon.

  15. Nice Boston redemption!! These tough moments we go through, whether the weather or our stomachs or some other variable, I really believe are meant to make us stronger for the next race....

    Happy recovery :)

  16. Great job!! I finished about 54 seconds behind you! They DID give out AG awards, I heard your name, but you must have already been gone. Loved reading your account of this race!! I saw you at the start (was behind you for 2-3 miles) and at the ice bath station, but didn't figure out it was you till they called your name at the AG awards :) Congrats on a great race!!

  17. Clap clap clap!!!

    WTG Amanda! I may be wrong, but I imagine this will be one of those performances you're most proud of over time-overcoming the UTI, not quitting and still qualifying! Sounds like some good old fashioned toughness to me. Awesome work Lady :)

  18. Wow, Amanda- despite all that you were dealing with, you still came in with a very respectable time and first place ag! Feeling blah and fighting that mental battle is incredibly tough. I'm so glad you had the support of your husband. And now it's done, woo-hoo!! Rest up, and enjoy the break. :)

  19. Congratulations!! You are one tough cookie. After all that UTI nonsense you still ran a sub 3:30!! You're amazing. :)

  20. Great job! You really bounced back quickly!

  21. Congratulations, Amanda! You are truly amazing. AMAZING! Now you can get your ass back to Boston and show that course who is boss! So proud of you, girl!!

  22. Congrats!!! You ran a smart and string race. Take it easy now and get some rest, you deserve it! :)

  23. Belated Congrats on a (another) BQ!

  24. you made it sound like you tanked... a 3:28!!!!!!! i mean sure maybe you didn't feel your best, but i was like, expecting to hear you walked and finished in like, 4:15. haha. your "off" day is much much faster than mine, obviously.

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