Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seattle RnR Marathon- WBR2R

I have been having some trouble writing this post. It's really hard to find the words for Saturday's race. So I'm going to talk about just the race in the post, and pre and after race in separate posts.

Saturday morning I woke up at 4:45am, got dressed, ate some breakfast and was out the door by 6 am. Got dropped off at the start and proceeded to corral 17 wear my fellow Wear Blue Run To Remember (WBR2R) team mates would be.

Right after the National Anthem was sung the people in our group read the 43 names of the Soldiers killed in action.

I teared up as the woman in front of me had her head bowed and cried when her husband's name was read.

As we headed toward the starting line, the announcers talked about Wear Blue Run to Remember and the names were once again read out loud, this time by the announcers.

Here's a picture of the starting line sea of blue in corral 17

Once the race started everyone ran at their own pace. Every time I passed a WBR2R runner I patted them on the back and encouraged them along the way. I ran next to one Soldier that was running the entire half marathon carrying a full sized American flag.

As we ran around Lake Washington at mile 7.5 there wear two signs that read "Wear Blue: Run to Remember" "Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of the American Military"

Right after this were the photos of the Soldiers KIA

Then the flags, each with a black ribbon with the name of our fallen heroes embroidered in gold.

The flags were held by mothers, fathers, husbands, brothers and sisters of the fallen.
It was very emotional running through here. This is why I was running. For the Soldiers that can't be here today. To help the families find some kind of comfort. They were cheering for us as we ran by, but I was cheering for them. For their strength and courage.

Sybil Williamson ran the marathon in honor of her son SGT Patrick Williamson who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.

As we passed each other on the out and backs along the course we cheered and encouraged each other. Giving thumbs up. I got to run for a few minutes with Lisa Hallett at mile 16. She is the co founder for Wear Blue: Run to Remember. She ran as a way to cope with her husbands death and started the group to help other wives and families affected by deployment.

There were many times where I would think about the reason I was running and I would start to tear up. I would think about the pain these families have gone through and any pain I was feeling running would suddenly seem so insignificant. I ran through every hill even the mile long stretches of incline around miles 17-20 except for mile 25 when we go up the over pass, got a bad side ache.

 As I turned the corner heading towards the finish line I was getting cheered on by my fellow blue runners on the sidelines. I remember the announcer saying, Cynthia Ibarra the girl in blue. I ran faster and pointed my fingers to the sky to show that this was for them. Our Soldiers.

Finished in 4:07:34
A 10 minute PR

If you are interested in finding out more about Wear Blue: Run to Remember check out there website at www.wearblueruntoremember.org You can join their facebook page, donate or find out how to start your own chapter.

I look forward to running this event with WBR2R next year. Please check out their website if you would like to join the group and be a part Seattle Rock n Roll next year either as a runner or volunteer.

Thank you to Ingrid Barrentine from the NW Guardian (www.nwguardian.com) who was kind enough to let me use the photos he took on Saturday for this post.
You can check out more of the photos HERE

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Seattle here I come!!

Thank you everyone for the comments on my kickass 1:53 half marathon!

This week has been very busy! I barely had time to squeeze in a run yesterday. I'm hoping to maybe get a quick one in early tomorrow morning. Just 2 or 3 mile to get my legs ready for the road trip! We will be driving to Seattle tomorrow. It's about an 8 hour drive. I think I will play catch up on all of your guy's blogs during the drive!

I miss WA. Weird to say cause only 3 years ago I was crying that I missed Idaho. But I grew to love the state and the people. It's kinda nostalgic going back because WA is wear my running adventures started. It will be fun to hang out and enjoy our time there, and RUN.

I will be in corral 17 starting with the sea of blue - Wear Blue Run to Remember. If you are running, volunteering or just cheering on someone, be sure to thank the people in blue if you see them on the course or at the water station for mile marker 5. They will be Soldiers, Army wives, Gold Star wives and family members running in honor of hero's that were not able to make it home.

I probably won't make another post till after I return from Seattle but you can follow me on twitter @CynthiaRuns for marathon updates!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

See Jane Run Half Marathon Recap

I freaking did it! I ran a sub 2 hour half marathon! ME ME ME

Garmin stats:
Distance: 13.24 miles
Time: 1:53:28
Pace: 8:34 min/mi

Official stats:
Distance 13.1 miles
Time: 1:53:24
Pace: 8:40 min/mi
35 out of 531 runners
9 out of 80 in my age group

To say I'm sooo very happy with my time is an understatement. I am HAPPY and PROUD of MYSELF. This is a 10 min PR for me!

I went into this race with a starting goal of 1:55 (8:47 pace), if I felt good I would speed up half way thru the race and then pick it up some more the last 3 miles.
I was actually nervous about being able to keep a sub 9 min pace for 13 miles. But I had confidence in myself. I wasn't going to let self doubt creep into my head. I COULD do this.

I picked up my packet from the See Jane Run store on Friday night.

I love the shirt! It's probably the cutest I've received from any race. I wanted to wear it for the race but already had my outfit picked out, plus I knew lots of other would be wearing theirs.
I wore a light blue tank and my Lululemon skirt that I haven't raced in yet.

After the race at home. Dash wanted in on the photo too
I got a ton of compliments from other racers, volunteers and spectators including a man that yelled out "Nice plaid skirt!" and another runner dressed head to toe in Lululemon with temporary Lululemon symbol tattoos on her calf's. I love this skirt not only cause it's pink but because it has pleats on the back.

Ok enough about cute running clothes back to the race...
The starting was very busy but I was helping the girls from my work set up their booth with massage tables and stuff. I decided to go to the bathroom and the lines were extremely long! Luckily this is an area I run on frequently so I ran to the next restroom which was about a quarter of a mile away. That was actually quicker than waiting in the lines!

When I got back I said bye to the girls from my work and set myself up a few feet back from the start. I had made a music playlist and titled it "Music to PR by". I set up every song specifically where I thought I would need it in the race and started it as soon as I crossed the starting line.

I decided to wear a 1:55 pace band so I wouldn't have to figure out later in the race if I was still on track to where I wanted to be. This actually helped me with not constantly looking down at my watch. I would look to make sure I wasn't going too fast/slow at times but mostly just looked when it beeped at each mile. I focused on every 3rd mile and made sure I was on track for my goal.

The course was along the Boise Greenbelt (where I usually run). The weather was a little warm but nothing too bad and once we got on track back by the river it would cool down more. Because I knew it would be warm I decided to run with my hand held bottle full of cytomax and took water a few times at the water stops. I took some Hammer energy chews at mile 5 and then took a Triberry Gu at one of the stations and decided to take that at mile 10.

First half splits:

Mile 1 - 8:56
Mile 2 - 8:41
Mile 3 - 8:41
Mile 4 - 8:44
Mile 5 - 8:41
Mile 6 - 8:45

I was feeling good and was going a few seconds faster than goal pace but I felt good and kept going hoping it wouldn't come back to bite me towards the end.

For the next 3 miles I picked up the pace some more

Mile 7 - 8:30
Mile 8 - 8:33
Mile 9 - 8:38

I was actually completely surprised seeing those split times at each mile. I was running negative splits even though I actually felt like I was going slower. There was a section, I don't remember what miles it was where the trail was being repaved so it was all gravel and didn't feel good on my feet so I actually thought it was slowing me down.

At mile 10 I decided to pick up the pace some more. I could feel the fatigue in my legs so I didn't know if they had it in them but I was going to try and hope that my legs held out. I tried not to look down at my watch and just went by feel and was hoping it was fast but not too fast. Each time I looked down at my splits I was surprised at how fast I was going.

Mile 10 - 8:29
Mile 11 - 8:28

By this point I just wanted to be done. My legs were starting to feel like jello. I wanted to walk. I kept giving myself pep talks that I could do this. That I could walk when I was done. I was almost there. There was a woman in front of me that was wearing a grey Lululemon skirt who I passed once but then she passed me again. I kept her in site. Her form looked strong so I focused on my form. By the time I realized it I turned the corner and there was the finish line! So I picked up the pace passing the Lululemon lady and about 1 or 2 other women.

Mile 12 - 8:16
Mile 13 - 8:05
Last .2 ran it in 1 min 52 sec or a 7:41 pace

I was so happy to see a 1:53 on the clock! But my legs were tired and felt like jello, I remember just saying f**k and trying to catch my breath as I walked up to one of the volunteers removing the ankle timing chips.

After that I grabbed my champagne glass, water and some bagel and banana pieces and walked over to the booth my work had set up to help out. Yes I worked right after I ran a PR half marathon! Stood on my feet for an extra 2.5 hours making sure runners came and got their free massage.

It was great to be able to help out. To see these woman whether they ran the 5k or half marathon, they were all happy and enjoying their day. I normally don't stay long at races but because I was working I was able to see the awards ceremony and also the last runner come in. I went over to the side line and cheered her on as loud as I could along with everyone else there. It was so inspiring. When she rounded the corner she saw the clock was at 3:59 so she ran faster as we all cheered her in. She crossed in 4:05 but the official time was around 3:50

I was also able to meet a local blogger too! The super cute Linzi from Beyond Destination 26.2
She also ran a PR half marathon and is training for her second marathon The City of Trees
We connected through email and I told her I plan to run that marathon so hopefully we will be able to get together for some runs!

This was such a great race. From the expo to the course I had a great time. I plan to make this race a yearly event!

Here are some more pics from the race
Start/Finish line
Some goodies I got after the race. They had a photo booth where they printed your pic for free so I took one of myself and one with the girls from my work.

My champagne glass rimmed with chocolate and medal

And one of me :)

I am still on a runners high!
I hope you all had a great running weekend too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Light as a feather

Today I did some 400 meter repeats on the treadmill. 7 to be exact. IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME.
I love doing speed work on the treadmill. It forces me to go at the exact pace without slowing down.
I did a warm up and cool down with about a 10 min pace recovery in between repeats with the mill on 1% incline.These were my splits.


The last one was the best. I could feel the burn, I loved it! Yes I think I may be (completely) a little crazy.
I set the speed and I just ran. I focused on form and breathing. And you know what? The last one was the best because even though I could feel the pain I know my legs had more to give. So either I could have done more repeats or gone faster. But I didn't want to over do it. It's all about quality and not quantity these next two weeks with the See Jane Run Half on Saturday and then Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon next Saturday.

So I got a haircut 2 weeks ago (cut about 5 inches off) and had a feather put in it just for fun. I would like to think it's helped with me speed. Gave me a little bit of flight. What's the saying... Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Oh wait that was from the movie The Craft.

Anyway what do you think?

Feather...Thumbs up or down?

Today I also had a movie date with this handsome little man.

After the movie we played some air hockey. He beat me by 1 point!

Tomorrow is back to work and then another 3 day weekend!

Hope your Wednesday was as awesome as mine!

Monday, June 13, 2011

12 more days!

12 more days till Seattle RnR!!! Cant wait! I'm excited if you couldn't tell!

I haven't set much race goals for this race. Not expecting to PR but would like to be in at the same time for my last marathon. I just want to enjoy this run and remember who I am running for.

Yesterday I ran 11.5 miles. It was supposed to be 12 but I got home with half a mile left and I didn't feel like circling the block so I just stopped. I was tired and hot. I ran later in the evening. One cause I was too lazy to wake up early and two I figured it was a good idea to do some training runs in the heat.

I decided to use Accelerade during this run.

I didn't really like the flavor much and probably wouldn't use it again. I did feel like I had some energy in my legs but I also had an FRS energy drink (wild berry is my fav) so it could have been from that. It didn't feel any different from when I used Cytomax and I really liked it's flavor so I'd rather use that.

I also used the Honey Stinger Waffle. It wasn't bad but probably wouldn't be convenient to eat on a run. (I ran a few miles on my treadmill before I decided I wanted to run outside so I had it while I was still at home).

Someone else wanted to try some of my honey waffle

This Saturday I have my first half marathon race of the year! The Boise See Jane Run Half.

I have to work after the race. We are donating massages to the runners so I will be working the booth getting people signed up.

Is there anything specific you would like to see at a massage booth after a race?

Since I am a runner they are relying on me to tell them what to have at the race. I told them maybe a few chairs for runners waiting for their massage and some ice packs too. Ok well this is stuff that I want after the race since I have to work right after running 13.1 miles but I'm willing to share with the other runners :)

I'll leave you with a pic of my son. He road his bike while I ran at the Greenbelt.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mental Strength

Got my Seattle Rock 'n' Roll confirmation today!

Race number 16068
Corral 16

The corral will more than likely change. I am running with team Wear Blue Run to Remember
so I'm pretty sure we will all be starting together. I need to find out the details still.

So yesterday I went onto the Boise Ironman website to see where the course was. Not cause I ever plan to enter one, I'm not a swimmer, but because I thought it would be fun to watch part of it and cheer on some amazing athletes!

When I was browsing around I saw a link to an article titled "Ironman Mental Strength: The Fifth Discipline"
While the focus of this article was only about Ironman racing I thought it was very helpful for any kind of endurance event.

It talked about the connection between the mind and the body and how the mind can have a powerful influence over the body. It listed some mental exercises to help an athlete get through training and race day.

These are the ones that I liked. You can check out the article HERE

  • Self-talk - Getting rid of the negative thoughts of "I can't or I'm not" and replacing them with "I can or I will"
I definitely believe in the power of self talk. If your head is always filled with I can't then it will more than likely never happen. When I'm running longer distances I always try to give myself positive pep talks and they always seem to help.

  • Checking-In - performing a self assessment of your body, your form, any aches and pains.
I don't have the best form but I like to think that I've improved since I first started running. I know while I run my shoulders tense up so I have to shake my arms and relax my shoulders. Especially towards the end of double digit runs or marathons when my body is tired I try to do a self check of my form. I'm still not the best at this as my past race pictures have shown but it's something I try to always work on. I've had to stop and stretch out tight muscles cause I would rather lose seconds in a race then end up injured.

  • This to shall pass - During some point in a race you are going to feel bad but the key is to keep moving forward and take breaks.
If I am feeling tired or worn out I walk if I need to. I would much rather walk than quit. I always remind myself of however many miles it is I have left. Even if the last few miles of a marathon seem to take forever, I know the end will come.

  • Misery Loves Company - Talk to people when you are racing. This can help distract you from negative self talk or pain.
One line they said was "Although you may be competing in an individual event, you are far from alone" This is so very true. For my last marathon I spoke to runners around me. I remember one woman telling me I was exceeding the speed limit for this part of the race. We both laughed and talked about the race and I found out that was her 4th time running it. It was motivating and it helped me take my mind off running for a little bit.

  • Have A Reason - Have a reason, not just a goal, to focus on and keep driving forward. "Some make the commitment for a charitable cause, a friend or family member, or some other deeply personal reason."
I know for Seattle Rock 'n' Roll my reason will be the Soldiers and their families. For our hero's that were not able to make it home. For the wives that don't get to feel their husband embrace. For the children that will never get to kiss their daddies or the ones that never got to meet them.

And last but not least...

  • Have fun - Enjoy the process and be proud of all your hard work and training! Smile! It can result in positive thoughts, emotions and energy!

My first marathon Oct 2010. Still smiling even though it's pouring down rain!

Taking time to be silly and have fun after my second marathon on May 14th.

Check out the article it definitely is a good read no matter what distance you train for.

I think mental strength is very important in long distance running. It's something I'm always trying to improve on.
What things do you do to help you with your mental strength?

Monday, June 6, 2011

My 22 mile run

For yesterday's 22.25 mile long run I decided to try some new fueling so I went to REI and picked up some goodies.

I have only tried the clif shot, everything else I bought to experiment with. It's the only way to find out what works for your body right, experimenting?

I have heard some good things about Cytomax and Amanda over at 5 Miles Past Empty used it for her 10 mile race and said she could feel a difference drinking it.

I haven't heard too much about Accelerade but it claims to

  • Increased endurance by 29%

  • Decreases muscle damage by 83%

  • Increased rehydration by 29%

  • Increases endurance in a subsequent workout by 40%

  • Pre-run I had a clif bar, some peanut butter and half a banana.
    I decided to go with the cytomax this run so I filled up one of my fuelbelt bottles with it (fruit punch flavor) and the other with water along with the clif shot (2 other one was in my car) and some Powerbar energy blast chews.

    I was on the path at about 7 am. It was very peaceful running near the river. I was able to see some deer in the park I was running through!
    Can you see the two deer?
    This one stopped to look at me, the other one went into the trees

    The first few miles were uneventful. The path that I run doesn't really have any hills. It is a slight incline till I reach my turn around point.

    The spike is where I decided to run up a side road to get a little hill workout in.
    View of the hill, I ran up to that big house. My future home.

    Up I go!

    View from the top!
    It was about half a mile up and half a mile down. I couldn't control my breathing on the way up so I walked for a few seconds till I could catch my breath.

    I had great energy which I haven't had in a while on my runs since my last marathon on May 14th.

    At about mile 10 my stomach was not feeling good. It started to give me some warning signs that I better find a bathroom soon. I decided to keep going cause I knew there was a bathroom in about 1.5 miles, which was also my turn around point. By mile 11 my tummy was really not happy! I had to run/walk so it wouldn't get even more upset. There was no bushes for me if I needed them. To my left there was a highway with people driving to Lucky Peak to enjoy the day on their boats, to my right there was nothing but water! Literally the water is almost up to the path. I sucked it up and walked the last bit of it till I finally reached the bathroom! I need to figure out what to do to make myself go before I run. This has happened before on my long runs and it's not fun! Sorry if that was TMI.

    I was supposed to take a gel at mile 10 but because I was scared it would make matters worse I didn't take it till mile 11.5. After I got back on the running path I felt good and my legs still felt like they had more in them too give so I decided to up the pace just a little. But by mile 20 my left hip flexor was feeling tight and I was wanting to be done. The sun was out and it was warm. I kept having some mental talks forcing myself not to walk and if I just kept running I could finish faster. It didn't work for very long. I walked for a few minutes. I find it harder to push myself when it's just me. During a race I try to focus on other things like passing runners. While I was walking another girl running passed me. I decided to focus on catching her. I kept my pace slow and focused on moving rather than pace. It worked and I was able to pass her, get a little burst of energy and pick up the pace.

    22.25 miles done in 3:37:58. A 9:47 pace. This included all my walking breaks.

    I am just about ready for Seattle RnR Marathon. I want to run a few more hill repeats! Those Seattle hills are kinda scaring me. I used to be able to run out my front door and encounter hills on pretty much every run. Now I have to drive to find a hilly path!

    I did like the cytomax, I think it did help but I just wanted to be done running. I liked the flavor though and will definetly try it again.

    So tell me do you guys ever have tummy issues (*aka have to take a crap during run*) during your run? How do you prevent them?  *edited for RoseRunner :)
    I've heard hot tea or coffee works. I will do some experimenting for this weeks long run!
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