Marathon Training

I leave today to travel to the Eternal City, Rome, Italy for my 3rd marathon.  I’m both excited and nervous. All 3 marathon training cycles have been wrought with a few Burnt Toast moments…

My first marathon was supposed to be the New York City Marathon in 2012.  I trained, tapered, went to NYC, actually managed to pick up my packet & number and then returned home after the race was cancelled.

I managed to get into the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney Marathon, but tweaked my knee in an extreme downhill race in Fountain Hills, AZ about a month before the race, and even worse, I went out for a short run 2 weeks before the race and felt like my foot was broken.  So forced taper it was, but I was able to run the race and even better felt better after the marathon than I did before!! Who would have thought?

20th anniversary disney marathon

Considering it was 85 degrees and about 80% humidity, and I was still in minor pain 2 days before the race, I was pretty happy with my time of 5:09.  I ran walked using 1:1 intervals and walked most of mile 25 before running it in.

Then I ran 3 more half marathons in 6 weeks and ended up with plantar fasciitis.  Big suprise there. 🙂

I claimed my NYC entry for 2013 and started training.  I upped my run/walk interval – I’m a huge fan of Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run method (more on that in a future post) – to 2:1, got a coach & a nutritionist and was determined to drop my marathon time.  As I ran thru the summer and got closer to my second marathon, a disturbing trend was developing…the hamstring pain that was previously just a minor nag, was becoming more and more of an annoyance and not just when I was running.  It was starting to become where I was in pain the majority of my day.  I continued running, as we runners do, and did in fact run the  2013 ING (last year for ING) New York City Marathon with over 50,000 other runners.  It was absolutely amazing and I dropped 35 minutes from my first marathon!!  This was doing 2:1 intervals pretty much the whole way, although, I did do a bit more walking in mile 18 before getting my act back together & finishing strong.

NYCM 13 Post Race Photo

Fast forward to now…I’ll post more on my hamstring again in future posts. I started training for the Rome Marathon on January 1 and 12 weeks later will run marathon #3.  This time, after dealing with my hamstring and doing PT, getting a new coach, etc. it was determined that the run/walk/run method that I loved was causing me more pain. So I started running straight after 2 months off.

Running is never easy, but when you are so used to one method, a new one is even harder.  11.5 weeks later and I still struggle to not walk during a run, short or long.  I know I am capable but the run/walk/run mindset was one that I religiously practiced for almost 3 years.

I will never forget the first time in over a year, I when I ran completely pain free!!  It was such an amazing feeling and almost weird having had some sort of pain during every run all thru 2013.

I have been so incredibly fortunate to be able to run all of my marathons so far in amazing places.  Walt Disney World, New York City and now Rome.  In the end, as much as I have time goals and to run a certain way, I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to do this and not only that, I get to do it in amazing places!!

Do you like to travel for races?

What I Crave…Post Race Food

I really try to eat as clean as possible.  I eat tons and tons of veggies, whole grains, very limited sugar (boo!), very little alcohol and drink my green juice daily.  But that being said, I absolutely love food.  All of my memories revolve around the food I eat.  I’m extremely fortunate and I am incredibly grateful for great genes and a very fast metabolism.

What I crave post race…Burgers with a side of fries…

Chuckbox The Big One

After the Phoenix Marathon (half for me), I went home immediately after the race, since I was exhausted from lack of sleep.  I waited until Sunday when I got a burger from The Chuckbox in Tempe.  I’m still relatively new to the Phoenix area so I’m still discovering new places and I was actually at another, much more healthy place, next door, meeting with my team for the Ragnar Trail – Zion, UT and all I could smell were these burgers.  So of course I had to have one.  Oh and my team still needs 2 more runners so if anyone is interested, please email me at jenny@runnylegs.com.

The Chuckbox

We walked in and there was a line that snaked around the restaurant – it was 2:30pm! That really shows how popular of a place this is – although, it is in the university area & a Sunday so that could be part of it ;). There was a diverse crowd so I don’t think that was it.

Check out the menu early because you are asked for your order way before you are actually at the counter.

Chuckbox Menu

Chuckbox Woodfire Grill

They have quite the system for getting the burgers to you.  I’m not quite sure how they keep track of the burgers but there is a system of toothpicks on the buns.

I picked the Big One with a wheat bun (still trying to stay semi healthy – lol) with a side of fries. They have a great topping bar with a variety of toppings, I’m boring and just like ketchup, yellow mustard & tomatoes so I didn’t really take advantage of the topping bar to the fullest.

The Big One Chuckbox My Way

Chuckbox Burger Bar

Overall, I can’t say it was the best burger I’ve ever eaten but I did really enjoy it.

I paid for my own meal, or rather my friend did, and I have no affiliation to The Chuckbox, they have no idea who I am, I just enjoyed my visit and wanted to share my experience with others that crave burgers post race.

What do you crave post race?

Phoenix Marathon or Rather Half Marathon Recap 2014

Welcome to Runny Legs Burnt Toast!! This blog has been a long time coming and I am so excited to share my running, eating, traveling & living with you all!!

BMO Phoenix Marathon or Half Marathon in my case

This was my first time running this race, although I was signed up and ready to go for the 2013 race, I ended up with Plantar Fasciitis and ended up skipping the race, which was probably for the best :).  I signed up for 2014 on December 31 to take advantage of the discounted rates and because this race tends to sell out especially in the marathon distance.

There are 3 different race distances that are a part of BMO Phoenix Marathon, marathon, half marathon and 10K.  I’ve only participated in the half distance, but it’s a great race for PRs as it is a net downhill course.  I think I heard that about 14% of the marathoners qualify for Boston on this course so it’s pretty fast.  Since I’m training for the Rome Marathon on March 23, I just wanted to do the half.

When I signed up, I didn’t realize I was going to be traveling for work the few days prior to the race, which resulted in an interesting day before the race.

We left the Omni Nashville at 5:45p CST and headed to the jets.  Yes, I am so so lucky I got to fly in a private jet home.

Private aviation, trip home
Private aviation, trip home

However, we did fly in the smaller jet, which required a stop in Wetherford, OK for about 30 minutes half way thru our trip.  We didn’t end up getting back to Phoenix until around 11:00pm, then had to drive to the office and back home, which meant no sleep until after midnight. Burnt Toast moment #1. Normally the night before a race, especially one that starts at 6:30am!!, I’m in bed by 8pm or 9 at the very latest.  Who am I kidding? I’m normally in bed at that time no matter what day it is :).

Burnt Toast Moment #2 – when I fell off the sidewalk outside my office, WHAT?? How does that happen? Well it did, resulting in a huge bump & scab along with a decent amount of pain on my left knee.  Fortunately when I woke up, it didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t fully scabbed over so I put vaseline all over it and ran with no pain.

My bruised & semi bloody knee after falling off the sidewalk
My bruised & semi bloody knee after falling off the sidewalk

The night before as I realized how late we were going to be arriving home, I was frantically facebook messaging Phoenix Marathon to make sure I could pick up my bib the morning of the race.  If they weren’t going to let me I was going to have to beg my sister to drive down to Mesa to get my packet.  Fortunately, they let me pick up my bib race morning so that eliminated one stress.

So after getting home at midnight, my alarm went off at 2:45am, I jumped out of bed, got ready, ate a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter, realized I didn’t have any gatorade for my fuel belt bottles and left the house at 3:20am.  I stopped at Circle K, where at 3:25am there was a line of 4 people. A LINE??? Again WHAT??? who is at Circle K at 3:30 in the morning? Obviously not me, normally :). Got my gatorade – lemon-lime, my fav, and then started the 35 min drive to Mesa, where the race was.

It’s an easy drive and the race is right off the highway so it didn’t take too long to get there. I got my bib, and my shirt after the race. and then headed to the buses that would take us to the start line.

Buses to Phoenix Half Maraton Start Line
Buses to Phoenix Half Maraton Start Line

 Each of the races was a point to point so there were 3 different sets of buses taking you to each start line.  It took about 20 min (at least that’s how it felt to me, but after only 2.5 hours of sleep, who knows). Once at the start area, there were tons of heat lamps, bag drop off trucks, water, vaseline and 2 announcers that were entertaining us while we listened to music and chilled.  There were 2 sides of port-a-potties.  I didn’t wait too long, maybe 5 min.

start line village, phoenix half marathon, 3/1/14

Pre Race Photo, Phoenix Half Marathon, Lululemon, 3/1/14

Fireworks during the national anthem
Fireworks during the national anthem

The race started right at 6:30am, it was a mass start with no corrals so i just started about half way back because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen considering that I didn’t get much sleep, oh and I forgot to mention, my dinner was a small container of chips and a 1/4 of a sweet potato muffin, not my normal pizza pre-race meal :(, my knee mishap and that it started to rain right before we took off.

As per usual, the first half of the race was pretty fast, although my legs were just so incredibly tired, especially my quads.  I stopped to walk around the halfway point and ran a half mile with a short walk break until mile 10 when I apparently got my second wind and ran the rest of the way.  Burnt Toast moment #3 when I got my garmin out before I left, I realized it was dead, I was able to charge it for the 35 min drive, thank goodness for USB ports in cars!! and managed to get to 12.5 miles before it died so I don’t have record on my own devices of a new PR of 2:05:52.

The course itself, to me, was kind of boring, just on the streets of Mesa, no real scenery or anything special, but it wasn’t a horribly expensive race.  I think I paid $70.00.

I was happy that I was able to do that well, I really didn’t know what was going to happen and I’m just glad I was able to make it thru with no more burnt toast moments :).

Finisher Selfie in the Car :)
Finisher Selfie in the Car 🙂

They had a great finish line set-up with food, I saw bananas, oranges, muscle milk, water, bagels and fruit cups.  There were a lot of food trucks and other booths and a nice area for awards.  I was so incredibly tired, cold and wet that I didn’t take any photos or do anything but grab my shirt, which is awesome, it’s Abion Fit. It really fits well, I don’t normally wear my race shirts, but this one fits great and I discovered last night it even has a cute little pocket.

Phoenix Marathon bib, medal & shirt

All in all, it was a really well run race and even with all my Burnt Toast moments, I’m really happy to have added it to my race list as my 17th half marathon.

What kind of crazy things have you had happen to you before or during a race?