Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's next?

That's the question I'm asked the most now that the race is over.  Well, that and "Are you addicted?"  Yes.  I think I am, folks.  It was such a great experience to do the race that the training doesn't seem cumbersome anymore.  Maybe I should go back and reread my posts because I know there were days that I didn't want to walk, much less run, yet I had to somehow run 8 miles.  But, that's so far long gone that I've already forgotten about it. Since I've been asked so much, I've given it some thought.  Here are some reasons (in no particular order) why I'd like to do more:

1. I have to break 4 hours.  It's not a question anymore, I have to do it.  If I'm consistent in my mileage over the next year, and start running faster there's no reason why I can't drop 12 minutes for next year's race. (Ok, this is probably my #1 reason- the rest aren't in order though)
2. It's something Phil and I can do together.  We've already proven that we're good distance partners, and both enjoy it.  Phil's been doing it longer than I have, but I'm only 15 minutes slower than his best time so we could do some great training together.
3. Health benefits.
4. Energy. I didn't work out the past couple of days, and today I felt gross, sluggish and overall heavy.  Running specifically is a source of energy for me now.
5. Hot legs.  They're not there yet, but they will be.
6. Free shirts.  Yep, it's true. I like free things.  AND, the general rule is the longer the race, the nicer the shirt.
7. Bragging rights.
8. Keeps me from drinking too much (well, the night before a long run anyway)
9. Gives me an excuse to drink.  I earned it, right?!
10. Cute running clothes.  Like the jacket I got from Phil as a gift for finishing my marathon (LOVE IT!!)
11. An excuse to listen to pop music.  Lady Gaga is my hero when I'm running.
12.  Stress reliever.  Training was a little stressful, but it also gave me a ton of time to think, and really run the stress out of my body.
13. Wilson needs exercise, and if he doesn't get it it's going to drive me nuts.  I hate throwing the ball in the house so if an hour run can knock him out a little, I'm all for it.

My next mission is to find more races.  I'd really like to have a half marathon to train for during the winter, but that means I'd have to travel to get to the race.  I don't mind doing that, in fact I'd love to but this winter we have a couple trips planned already so it probably won't work out.  Eagle River 1/2 marathon is in May, so we'll definitely do that one.  I just wish there was something before that.  This is really a downside of having a winter season.  I read a blog about a runner in CA, and she gets to race all the damn time because it's always summer!  I do have a couple of races planned for the next couple of months- this weekend is a 5 miler, Briggs & Al's run downtown.  Then in November I'll do the Turkey Trot, which is a prediction run.  I guess those will have to do until I find another longer one.

For now, I'm going to focus on keeping my mileage up, and getting some speed workout in.  I'll be reacquainting myself with the treadmill (joy.).  If anyone has some suggestions about races let me know!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm sore.

Yesterday I ran 3 miles at the gym.  Although rough at first, it got better, and faster.  Today is a different story.

Today, my calves are burning like a thousand fires.  The pads of my feet are missing several layers of skin.  I need WD-40 for my knees, and the tin man feels like a closer descendant than anything else.  My quads are stiff as rocks.

But, you know what? It was worth it and I can't wait to run another one and break 4 hours.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Starting line, Grafton High School!
Here we are- at the post I've been waiting to do for months. I ran the Lakefront Marathon yesterday- and I feel great!  (ok, that may be an exaggeration).  Let's recap.

First of all, let me tell you about my stats from the race.

Finish Time: 4:11:45
(Goal time: 4:20)
Pace: 9:37/mile
7 mi: 1:07:29
half: 2:07:46
20 mi: 3:14:33

Dan, Me, Nikki
I slept great the night before the race, so I woke up nice and refreshed the morning of.  Normally I wouldn't even think about showering before a run but race day was different.  I wanted to feel fresh, and ready to go so I showered, and by the time I was ready my crew team was also ready.  Wendi picked us up (me, Phil, Danny & Nikki) and we left our place around 6:40 a.m. The race started at 8, so I had plenty of time to get there, use the bathroom and stretch.  I was really nervous on the drive up to Grafton, it felt like forever getting up there.  I just kept thinking- if the drive takes this long, good lord this run is going 
to be forever.  

Family Photo!
Me & Wendi!
Once my crew left, I put my sweats in my race bag and dropped it off.  The race takes all the runners bags and transports them to the finish line to be picked up as you cross the line.  It's awesome because you can stay in your sweats until the last minute if you want to.  After dropping my bag off, I lined up with the 4:20 pace group.  That was something really helpful with the race- the pace groups.  They had a pace runner who was designated to run their respective pace during the whole race. They carry a sign with their time on it, and help carry you to your time goal.  4:20 was a good place for me to start because it was slow enough, but not TOO slow.  The pacer's name was Gary- it was his 50+ marathon!!  He was really energetic, and very welcoming to everyone, especially 1st timers like myself.

2.5 miles, and REALLY excited!!

Mile 7, feeling really good!
The first place I knew I'd see my crew (that's what I'll call them from now on) was about 2.5 miles in.  I was so excited to see them!  Hence, the jazz hands showcased to the left. I was really relaxed, and just wanted to have fun, and it worked out!

Quickly after the 2.5 mile mark, I realized the pace group was a little bit behind me. I wasn't sure what to do- I felt like I was running at a sustainable pace, but was afraid it was too fast.  I ended up finding 2 others feeling the same way- Rob & Lisa-(right behind me in the pic to the left, in  the left of the picture)  It was their first marathon too, and we kind of decided to just run together.  We were all shooting for the same goal and seemed to be going the same pace.  The 3 of us ran together until 13.1, when Lisa dropped back a little.  I actually ran with Rob until Mile 18, where we started to separate.  We would run together a bit further past that point, but separate after that.  He ended up finishing 2 minutes behind me.  It was really helpful having them to run with because even if we weren't talking, it was someone else to hold us accountable.  The picture to the left is at mile 7- there were a TON of spectators- I felt like I was thanking everyone for cheering- it seriously helps!! If you ever watch a race- don't be a quiet spectator!!!  Cheer everyone on, it was really helpful!!

Now, mile 7 was one of the first "checkpoints" for the timing chip.  I said before that it was supposed to update on Facebook, but that never happened... so, let's break it down.  Mile 7 timed me in at 1:07:29, which is 9:38/mile pace.  I felt really good here.  I started to realize that this pace was sustainable and that I was going to break 4:20 if I kept this up.

The next few miles flew by.  If I had to name the most surprising part of the race, it was how fast it went by.  After mile 7, the half-way point was the next 'check-in' and I clocked it at 2:07:46.  I remember thinking- holy crap...if I keep this up, I'll clock the finish at 4:14. Well, gotta try- and I kept going.  I didn't give my timing much thought except, if I'm feeling good I have to capitalize on it and keep going.

Around this point, my fan base increased dramatically- SO THANKFUL for all of you!!  Around 14-15 miles Beth and Zach showed up!  They were really excited to see me, and had a sign!  I cannot stress enough how awesome it was having everyone on the course supporting me!  The Vogels hit up like 4-5 spots- they seemed to pop up everywhere!  After them, the morning crew showed up again around mile 17. I think that's where this picture is from, but I'm not sure.

Mile 17-ish, still having fun!

My legs started to hurt, especially my IT Band but I was still smiling and having fun.  Phil and I always say that if you can relax your face, and smile then your cadence and pace will follow.  Around mile 18, Dave & Ginger popped up and invigorated me again.  They were on the Harley and were able to drive down the road slowly and chat a little.  The first time I saw them I was doing well. The second time I started to feel tired.  With only 7 miles to go at that point, it was nice to have someone around to keep the smile on my face.  Dave yelled at one spot- "You seriously look really good! Keep it up!!" Having someone tell me I looked like I was doing ok reassured me that I wasn't going to keel over and I could continue to push through :)  Funny how something so small affects you mentally, isn't it?  Mile 20 was another check-in, 3:14: 43.  This was really exciting because I knew I had less than an hour- plus, I was totally going to beat 4:20!!  

Until that point, I hadn't walked at all, except through water stops. Even that was brief- I'd grab water or gatorade, walk briskly, chug and continue running.  That was key to my time- NO BREAKS.  Although I wanted to have fun, I also wanted to see how it was to actually race it and for not stopping to walk was key.   The hard part really kicked in around mile 23.  And then, by miracle there were Beth & Zach again!!!  They were at the top of the Lakeshore Drive. Pre-race, I told myself to get to that point because from there it's not far to the finish.  I probably would have broken down and walked at that point if it wasn't for them, so great timing guys!

After mile 23, the course is literally all down hill.  I knew my friend Ashley was going to be down there somewhere, and I just kept looking for her.  Coming down the hill, past Bradford Beach was crazy hard- mentally.  My goal at that point was to get to mile 25.  It was just past Alterra that I did, and guess who was there?!  ASHLEY!  I saw her and freaked out a bit- then freaked out again because Katelyn and Steve were there too!!!  Steve's voice carries really well, so I could still hear him cheering probably 1/4 of a mile away.  Mentally I was beat here.  You want to know what really got me through it?  The food waiting for me at the end!  I was starving, despite the fact that I'd eaten 3 Hammer Gel's throughout the race, plus lots of water/gatorade. Just when I thought I couldn't do it I passed 25.5, and was within a mile of my destination!!  

Within 1/2 mile of the finish!
 The guy next to me, in all black was really funny.  He heard my name so many times from my fan club (hahhaha, I can pretend like I have one, right?!) that even he said- good job Haylea!  He goes- you helped me get this far, we're almost there!  We basically ran together from mile 23 to the end.  He out-sprinted me at the end- good for him!  He came up to me after wards- we congratulated each other and then he took my picture, ha what?!  He was like, I want to remember the girl that pushed me to go faster at the end!
What a beautiful course!

I look like I'm not going to make it, ha!

The course itself was absolutely beautiful. It was along the lake (duh, the name is Lakefront Marathon), and with the leaves starting to change it was the perfect midwest scenery.  The weather was perfect as well.  I literally wouldn't have asked for anything different than what it was.  It was chilly enough that I didn't get hot, but not so cold I couldn't move.  Plus I got to wear my hot pink shirt- YES mission accomplished :)

The picture above makes me laugh- I look like death!  I'm so close to the finish but look like I'm seriously not going to make it.  Phil even said I was looking a little rough at this point.  Ha, oh well!!  If I waited until Mile 25 to the end to look like this, I think I did a pretty good job!  I could see the clock from here and knew I crushed my goal.  I saw my crew on the sidelines, but it was different because Monica was there too!!  She brought Cheech (her dog!) down for a walk- I was really excited to see her.  Phil, she and I worked out hard during the winter together, so it was nice to have her there- she knew how hard I worked to get to this point.

I'm in the bottom of the picture- the clock was off on my official time by about a minute.  I officially clocked in at 4:11:45, 9:37/mile pace!! I couldn't have asked for a better race. 

I was beyond elated at this point!!  SO happy about my first marathon!!
After I got done, I ran through the food tent and stocked up on every cookie possible, and naturally found the free beer. Phil and Danny appreciated that- I took a couple sips and handed them over.  My legs were TIRED and SORE, but not as bad as I expected.  The race was one of the best things I've ever done.  It was so empowering, and felt really good to push my body like that.  I know you're all wondering if I'll do another one, and the answer is YES.  I have to at least try to beat that time, don't I??

After all is said and done, I feel kind of sad that I'm done with it.  I know I'll have plenty of opportunity to do more but it was really exciting to do that for the first time.  The training was hard, but totally worth it.  It's funny that it's classified as such a big accomplishment because to me it just seemed like something natural to do after all that training.  I never believed anyone that said it's the training that counts, but after the race it's true! I was totally prepared for the race, and can't wait to do it again.

Support Crew!!
This last picture above, is one of my favorites- it's my family/friends that were at the finish- a few people are missing that were there- Beth & Zach, Ashley, and Monica (who took the picture).  I am so fortunate to have such an amazing team of support.  There were a lot of people who gave me encouragement during training that weren't able to come, and I want to thank them as well.

I'm not quite sure where this blog is going to go now that the race is over, but I'm sure I'll do something with it.  As for now- let me say this - if you're even thinking about trying road racing, whether it's your first 5K, or something bigger like a 1/2 marathon or full marathon- DO IT.  It is an amazing, and rewarding experience!

Happy Running!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Marathon Eve.

Today is the last day I can claim I've never run a marathon!  As of tomorrow, I have one more stat on the ole' resume of life.  (ha, so nerdy to say that)  I'm bummed I couldn't go to Farm Aid- it would have been really fun.  But, I am definitely relaxed and enjoying the day.  My brother Danny and his girlfriend Nikki came down for the race, and to hang out today.  I haven't seen Danny in a really long time so it's been nice to hang out.

We just finished dinner- I made a spaghetti, brussel sprouts and garlic bread.  Yes, you're supposed to load up on carbs before a big race, but that's not why I made it.  Above all, it's something I eat regularly and won't give me an upset stomach the day of the race.  I'm also enjoying a small glass of wine (while hydrating on water) so I'm feeling nice and relaxed.  In fact,when I'm done with this I'm going to do some dishes and catch up on Grey's and Private Practice (which, is terrible by the way-private practice that is. but, I've invested too much time into it to quit now)

Overall, my sentiment is pretty relaxed.  I'm getting antsy to get started of course, but I'm letting myself just enjoy tonight without getting stressed out.  At this point, there isn't anything else I can do, right!?

Next time I write, I'll be a marathoner :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Race Packet!!

I picked up my packet tonight!  I got a "first timer" sticker too :)  Lots of energy buzzing around.  People comparing stories.  Veterans walking in like they owned the race, and newbies like me not even sure where to go! I'm already wearing the race shirt they gave us- long sleeve, black, fits like a glove!

My energy level has increased a lot the last couple of days as a result of tapering.  I'm getting antsy, and just want to work out.  (ha, I bet I won't be saying that in a couple days!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


It's Thursday, so only 2 full days stand in the way of me running my first marathon!  I'm having to start really prepping for it.  Yesterday I printed off maps for all the peeps coming (thank you Phil, Wendi, Mom, Danny & Nikki, Vogels, and Dave & Ginger!!) and decided where it'd be easiest for everyone to be.  The cool thing is I watched Phil run it last year, so I was very familiar with the map and what are easily accessible places to be.  Phil had run it so he knew where it would have been nice to see someone.  To confirm the course, we drove it.  Let me tell you- it's LONG!  I know, 26.2 miles long.  But seriously, it took forever because it's mostly a 25 mph zone, and people were creeping last night, driving super slow.  But, I'm really glad we did it so I know just how long it is.  I think the hardest part is going to be getting to the top of the hill, right around mile 23.  It's a gradual incline to it which shouldn't be a problem, but I'm guessing there aren't many spectators at that point and it's going to be mentally tough.  Plus, once I crest the hill and start coming down it's only 3 miles to the finish.  In fact, you can probably see and hear the finish almost the entire way you're running. It's a straight shot, that I've run a ton because I use to live at the end of the road (basically on top of the hill parallel to the park we finish in).  So, at least it's familiar territory.  I just know it's going to be a torturous stretch because it's so long and boring.

I've got a list of things to do Friday and Saturday.  Friday, immediately from work I'll drive down to the Kern Center to get my packet. Then, I'll probably pack- I have to have my clothes ready, plus my before, during and after bags ready.  Before the race will include sweats that I'll put in a bag and send to the finish line so I'm not freezing at the start.  The during will be what Phil & crew will keep with them- water, gatorade, gels, extra clothes (just in case!) etc.  After bag will have a couple towels (you wouldn't want me sitting in your car that sweaty, would you?) fresh clothes, water, flip flops, etc.  Maybe a little overkill, but I'm anal and being over prepared makes me comfortable and calms me down. So, that will get done tomorrow.

Saturday I'm going to the farmers market and grocery store to make sure I have ample food for that day, plus the day of the race and Monday (recovery day).  They have amazing fresh veggies right now, especially eggplant and Brussel sprouts (which it turns out I love!) PLUS, my Mama, Brother & his girlfriend are coming!  I promised a spaghetti dinner, with garlic bread (bro's request) for Saturday night.  I'm really excited they're coming because Phil will be at Farm Aid and I'll be home alone bored and stressing out.  Plus, I just haven't seen them in such a long time. I'm also going to run to the movie store and stock up on movies for Saturday night and Monday.  Then, the other task on Saturday is to shower before bed, shave the legs (haven't done it for almost 2 weeks based on superstition from high school!) and basically get ready for the race. I want to be able to flip on the coffee, pop the bagel in the toaster and have everything set.

The weather is looking good so far- low 50's for a high, sunny.  I'll take it- I'd rather have it be a bit cool than too warm.  Plus, I really like my hot pink long sleeve shirt and want to wear it. :-)

For race day, I thought this was something cool the race is offering.  The timing chip company has a Facebook App that will post your times as you cross certain mile markers during the race.  So, when I cross mile 13.1, it will post my time on my wall!  How cool is that?!

For tonight, I'll be carbo cramming (I love using that as an excuse to eat pasta) with eggplant rigatone.  SO delish.  Next time I right, I'll be even close or perhaps done with my first marathon!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still excited!

Another day closer to the race.  I can't believe that when I started this blog it was winter.  It's been such a long road!

Today's schedule called for 3 miles.  Easy enough, did it at lunch during work.  But, what made it better was this fantastic podcast I was listening to.  My friend Chelsea made it as a training gift for me.  How cool is that?  The podcast is over an hour, so it's perfect for long runs.  She talks a little bit throughout, tells a couple jokes, and quick stories.  The music is super upbeat and pushes you through at a decent clip.  There was a comment she made during it that was like "I don't know how you're feeling right now, but if I had been running for the past 1/2 hour I'd be thinking of every reason why I'd like to stop.  But you're training for a marathon so who knows what you're thinking!  Let's pump the music and keep going"  She's not a runner, but she nailed it on the head.  It's exactly what I was thinking when I head it.  It gets so boring, and after all this running I think I've literally run out of things to think about.  Seriously, make a list for me I need help!!

The other gift she sent me (besides the most adorable headband in the whole world) is a playlist.  I have tried so hard to perfect THE playlist.  Music for your Running Soul.  It's got some awesome songs on it that I would have never thought to put on a list!  I'm not joking around when I say I've tried- just ask Phil how hard.  Although I'm not taking my ipod with me during the marathon, it's going to get me through some hard hill and speed workouts on the treadmill this winter.

Let me finish this by saying THANK YOU for all of your support- everyone.  It has meant a lot and really kept me going throughout the past few months.