"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ranked #9 in the country! :)

2010 is off to a good start so far, and the Letsrun.com marathon rankings at the end of 2009 gave me some great motivation for the year! I put the link at the bottom of this post.

I am ranked as the ninth best female marathoner in the country and hopefully by the end of 2010 I'll be in the top 5. After 2008 I was ranked tenth, so one place higher is a small improvement and better than falling lower, right? The rankings made me realize how much potential I have to improve in the marathon, given my low mileage and being pretty new to the event. My average mileage, even after taking out weeks off last year, was 59 miles per week! Many top female marathoners are running 100+ miles week after week. As my mileage increases and I keep putting in the hard work, I know my marathon time will improve so much. It really excites me to think about what I can accomplish in the event, and makes me proud to say that I am considered one of the ten best marathoners in the United States. :)

Some other great news for this year is that I am now sponsored by Brooks! I am so excited because I love their clothing and shoes. Their women's Trance has helped my arch and bone spur so much. It's incredibly hard to find a shoe that comes with a good insert, so the Trance 9 has been amazing for me. I don't like bulky orthotics either, so it's great. They are cushioned very well too, while also having great stability and some flexibility in the forefoot. Love 'em :) I can't wait to get my Brooks uniform in the mail and wear it proudly, along with my other sponsors' logos!

Training has been going well lately and I think things are finally coming around for me. I was not feeling very great recently and I thought my iron was low or something was wrong. My iron results came back great and I am also feeling a little better on my runs, so I am seeing some progress. I think it was just a matter of not being in as great of shape as I thought. I look forward to racing some shorter races in February to assess my fitness level again, since I have not raced a "serious" race since the Las Vegas 1/2 marathon back on December 6th, after only 11 days of running! I assume the next race will be better and I'll have some more realistic feedback. My mileage was about 80 last week, with one day off and only one double day, yet I feel great and my body seems to be fine after everything I did. I am doing longer runs at a pretty good pace, so I know those are making me stronger.

I continue to get treatment done to my foot with the bone spur, and I recently did a full evaluation with them, and now have some glute, hip, hamstring and transverse ab exercises that I have to do whenever I am up there. It feels great to make these steps toward working on things where I am weak. I know it will pay off as the months go on. I definitely need to get my butt and hamstrings stronger because I am so quad dominant, and my hamstrings and butt get tired the fastest in a marathon, ha.

Well, all for now...one quote I love that I have been telling myself more and more lately if I ever doubt myself is....."You become what you think about".........:)


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

GO Team Marathonguide.com!!

I am so excited and happy to say that I have another new sponsor!! Marathonguide.com has started sponsoring me for 2010 and I am so extremely grateful for their support and faith in me as an athlete. Their website is incredible and offers so much more than a list of marathons, half marathons, etc. They have racing news, quick searches by name, race name, all time best marathon times and more. I haven't ever seen such a great website compile so many races all over not only the United States, but internationally as well! I cannot wait to proudly wear the Team Marathonguide.com logo on my racing singlet and training gear. :)

My training has been going pretty well lately. I have started to do some really hard workouts and my foot (bone spur) is holding up well. I am so happy that I am able to train right now and every single day that I am pain free, even if I didn't feel very good during the run or workout, all I think is "well thank goodness my foot is still doing ok- that's the most important thing". I did a 2 hour and 10 minute run on Sunday and averaged 6:35 pace. I carried 20 oz of my delicious lemon lime GU electrolyte drink and two Jet Blackberry 2x Caffeine GU gels; I swear the gels saved my legs each time I ate one! It was also almost 70 degrees and sunny outside so I wouldn't have been able to finish without the drinks. Doing the run at the pace my coach gave me, made me really proud of myself because I was nervous going into it.

Yesterday was a fantastic day off from running and I did my strength training/core routine followed by 3k in the pool later in the afternoon. The swimming of course felt great and I can't believe how much more stretched out I felt afterward! Today I had another really hard workout of 85 minutes total running with 12x3 min at 5:40 pace and 2 min recovery between each at 7:10 pace. I hit the first few a little under 5:40 pace and a few in the low 5:40's. Eventually my paces got to the mid 5:40's and then into the 5:50's, yet my recovery was also slowing down. I started to get frustrated and freak out but I kept my emotions under control by trying to focus on each 3 minute repeat in the moment, and work on my form and breathing. I got through it and it felt amazing to take an "ice bath" in the pool at my parent's house afterward. :)

Anyway, things are off to a great start in 2010. I am feeling fatigued a lot lately though so I am going to get my iron and hemoglobin tested this week to see if it's low. I set a record at Duke about 2.5 years ago when my ferritin was up to about 150!!!!HAHA... So I am hoping it's not super low right now...I guess I'll know soon enough, and hope for the best.