Ok, by this time, it is time to get the show on the road!  I mean, tick tock……tick tock.  All I can say is this:  The weather in Arizona right now is DREAMY…cold, wet and colder.  Sure, I had snow flurries here in Chi-town, but I can ONLY hope that Arizona is miserably cold – now I realize this is far from probably what will happen, but a girl can dream.

I caught myself reading OPRAH magazine tonight while watching X Factor with the fam.  Definitely good times.  I worked all day and never left the house – from 7:30am-5:45pm – trying to get ready to head out of town for 2 weeks – and I am trying to get ahead so I can truly relax in Arizona!

If you are on Facebook you saw that I posted that I AM OVER the pool.  HA!  I said it – out loud!  I woke up this morning and felt a little off….I spent Monday afternoon in the PED office with Graham (he is fine) but I had on a hat, full down jacket, and a scarf over my face like a mask.  I KID you not.  The PED thought I was totally a loser.  I might as well lick a toilet bowl – really.  Anyway, so THE thought of going to the pool almost made me gag.  So, in a rare moment, I slept in.  Yep….for whatever reason, and perhaps it is the COLD weather but I am not interested in swimming.  It will all come back and I am excited for the IM Swim, but just ho hum about the pool right now.   As I dealt with that guilt today – I thought about April – yes, April, when I was already months and months into prepping for the State Championships for Masters and I had to work so so hard to win the 1650 and 500 again …and I was so focused and so hell bent on winning come hell or high water.  And, thanks to some great competition I was pushed hard to win – I did end up winning both, but my mere seconds.  Looking back, I think that prep and races took months off my life this year.  I poured my soul into those events.  And, yes, it was worth it.  So, when I am tired of full blown swimming in November- that is OK!!!  I will draw on this memory come November 20th.

Ready for a fun taper story?  THIS one really set me back on my heels – I emailed a few of you b/c I just had to share….because I am rarely at a loss for words, but this bold lady threw me for a loop….I was out running near the river trail that runs near my house…there is a lovely area where people feed the ducks.  This lady – who I would say was 55-60ish…was ripping up bread and throwing it at the ducks – she sees me – whips a full piece of bread at me and says, “This is for you – you are too F*CKING skinny!”

I kid you not.

I wanted to kiss her.  BUT I was so taken aback by her profanity that I snapped something at her and ran off.  What I said was not the most pleasant thing I have ever said…but I do not usually have a filter, so that is par for the course.

But, then I ran off and thought…..GOOD…time to race. (and for what it is worth, I am not that skinny, pleeeasseee).

I am going to jump to something that really has inspired me in my final IM prep…..This is an excerpt from an email I got from Dave Walters (some of this is a PR piece that is why it is so formal), who was my coach for 10+ years and is my mentor.  Dave is the one who really taught me how to race and suffer and really get what I wanted as an athlete.  And, I thought his story about his season this year was worth reading…..keep in mind, Dave’s marathon PR is 2:19 (Olympic Trials in 1979) – but now at 56 years old how inspirational he is.  I know he makes me a better athlete every time I talk to him (and I talked to him this AM!)…so thanks Dave..for keeping it real.


Here is what has happened in my pursuit of the Trifecta!

The Boston/Chicago/NYC Podium Finish Trifecta is something that I have been aiming towards for the last few years.  The object has been to run hard enough to get on the podium yet easy enough so as not to incur major leg damage that might limit the next marathon attempt.  Obviously the Chicago/NYC combo is the toughest with four weeks between and the reason I had to negative split Chicago.  In previous years I noticed that I was fully recovered from marathon efforts in 3 weeks if I had run even splits during the race so I figured that Chicago/NYC was doable if I kept to the plan.  This year I was able to register for all three marathons and stay uninjured – and NYC went as planned!  Age group wise I finished 3rd at Boston, 1st at Chicago, and 2nd at NYC this year.  

 I am very happy with my effort this year at Chicago.  I went out slow (first mile in 6:39!) but picked it up slowly after that.  Averaged 6:28s thru the half (1:24:37) then started to drive it down to the low 6:20s.  After turning the corner in Chinatown I pushed the ‘balls to the wall’ for a second half of 1:23:25.  Things that helped me during the race – drinking a cup of Gatorade at every station, wearing Recovery Sock compression socks, and wearing compression shorts.  All three combined to help hold off fatigue during the last miles.  One critical change that I made going into this race was wearing light weight trainers (Saucony Kinvaras) instead of racing shoes.  Much less late race muscle soreness.

 The NYC Marathon last weekend was a great experience.  Super crowd support and a perfect fall day – sunny and 51 degrees.  Due to some confusion at the start corral I was pushed into starting in the second wave (!) but managed to move thru the crowds OK during the race.  Pacing wise I held it to an average of 6:35 for the first 18 miles to make sure that I would be able to accelerate out of the Bronx and down 5th Avenue into Central Park.  Running up the mile long hill on 5th Avenue after the 23 mile mark illuminated all the weak spots in my stride.  I corrected what I could but knew then that I was feeling Chicago from 4 weeks ago!  I threw myself down the hills in Central park and was able to finish the last mile faster than any other in my race.  I wound up negative splitting the race by 10 seconds.

This year I was coaching half a dozen runners.  Working as a United Airlines 767 Captain puts a limit on the number of runners I can assist.  Most of my flying is between Chicago and London, Lima, or the West Coast.  All my 22 mile runs were done in Portland, OR this fall during layovers – which worked quite well.  I get my mid range runs done in London and Lima – both excellent locations for 12 to 16 mile runs.

2011 Results:

Boston  2:52:09  3rd in 55 – 59 age group

Chicago  2:47:52  1st in 55 – 59 age group

NYC  2:52:12  2nd in 55 – 59 age group

Amazing.  Truly inspiring.  Thanks Dave.

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