Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend report...

Days like Saturday make me wonder how I ever ran a marathon in the first place...(if you stepped outside on Saturday then you now what I'm talking about).

It was SWELTERING. The air was absolutely soupy...

There were several moments when I thought I was going to vomit or pass out. I told myself it was all in my head (it was) and kept chugging.

But when my Garmin chirped and let me know I hit 2 miles, I turned around. 4 miles, 42 minutes of misery.

Sunday's exercise was a lot more entertaining...I played my first lacrosse game in over a year. I woke up so so so sore this morning. That's the sign of a good game.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Box O' Nerd

Wow, I've been slacking in the blogging arena.

I have a new schedule at work which affords me a couple days off here and there, so this week I've thrown myself headfirst into some projects around the house.

I've also been able to get my runs and workouts finished before noon! Oh, what a feeling.

Today the track at the park was really crowded, so I grabbed my stick and headed over to the lacrosse field to shoot on a goal for a while.

And then on the way home I kept giggling repeating the phrase "laCROSSe training."

Here's my week so far:
Sunday: Speed work, 5 x 400
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 4 mile tempo
Wednesday: 30 minutes elliptical
Thursday: 1 mile warm-up, 45 minutes lacrosse shooting

Oh, and there's also been a lot of this:

One of my coworkers (a former law student) gave me what I am affectionately referring to as a "Box o' Nerd."

It's a huge box filled with law school related materials.

I haven't touched most of it, but I am thumbing through all the articles on essay exams and general "how to not embarrass yourself as a 1L" stuff.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Speedy post

Here's a quick post about SPEED WORKOUTS...

Here are my stats (these are 400m laps):

- 1:50 (7:23/mile)
- 1:58 (8:01/mile)
- 1:40 (6:42/mile)
- 1:50 (7:23/mile)
- 1:42 (6:44/mile)

Still getting a hang of speed work...after my first lap I realized I was going too fast, so I tried to keep it consistent at a 8:00/mile pace.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Dream Sheet

The results from the Hatfield McCoy Marathon were posted and LO AND BEHOLD I came in 6th in my age group...out of 7 runners.

I said to Hubs, "I came in second to last in my age group."

To which he exuberantly replied, "YOU BEAT SOMEONE!"

Ah, the optimism of Hubs.

That's a good crew chief/grilled cheese maker/husband for ya.

Now that I've sufficiently buttered him up, moving on to my marathon dream sheet -- races on my "must-do" list (Hubs is shaking his head):

1) Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon
If this race were a tagline for an action movie, it would be "This's about REDEMPTION." I ran the half this past April and it was the most unpleasant of my race experiences. It was hot, runners were fact I've yet to hear a positive race report from anyone I know. I'd like a chance to redeem myself (I think we all would).

2) Rock n' Roll Arizona Marathon
The Rock n' Roll marathons have a reputation of being fun and "runner friendly." Plus one of my BFFs lives in Phoenix now, so I love to work in a mini-vacation to see her too!

4) Kiawah Island Marathon
Sigh...I love Charleston, I love Kiawah. Why not? Trying to talk my Mom into doing this one with me in 2010.

5) Valley of Fire Marathon
This is a challenging, small-town race in the same vein as Hatfield McCoy. It's also a GORGEOUS might not be a possibility for the next couple of years but it's definitely my ultimate "dream" marathon.

(Hubs is now furiously writing an email explaining why we can't spend any more money on marathons and traveling to marathons).

Don't worry, Hubs...I'm just daydreaming about blisters and GUs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So, what now?

I guess everyone goes through the post-marathon "NOW WHAT" phase.

I kind of love it...of course I want to do another marathon (probably KDF in April) but I also like the "no pressure" running I get to do now.

Well, for the most part.

My next race is the Bluegrass 10K on July 4th and I'd like to set a new PR. I guess that means tempos runs and track workouts, neither of which I really bothered with while marathon training.

Here's my tentative 10k training schedule:

Monday- 3 miles
Tuesday- Mid-distance runs (4-6 miles)
Wednesday- Tempo runs / Speed workouts

Thursday- 3 miles
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Long runs (6+)
Sunday- Cross training

You'll notice my "long" runs aren't really that long and that's simply because I don't need to run 12 miles to get ready for a 10k in July. But I probably will.

If the sun comes out I will try to run an easy 3 miles this afternoon.

As for the long term plan, I'd like to run the Louisville Half Marathon in October, KDF Marathon in April and return to West Virginia for the Hatfield McCoy Marathon next year.

I've got a fever...and the only more cowbell marathon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Marathon Feet and other ailments

Warning: this is sort of gross.

Before the marathon I taped up both of my big toes with blister pads...

So much for preventative measures.

I actually think the blister pads encouraged the blisters to form. That and when I accidentally dumped a cup of water on my shoes at mile 5.

Around mile 18 I was thinking, " toes are feeling a little sore."

By the time I finished I was afraid to take my shoes off...when I did, THERE THEY WERE. My big toes had alien blisters attached to them.

I don't know how you all are, but I prefer a direct and aggressive approach to dealing with in...popping them as soon as I can get to a bathroom. Gross, I know.

So now I have this to deal with:

I know, I know...I should let them "breathe." But I'm afraid if I do that they will destroy Tokyo.

Also, three toenails are about to make a break for it. The big'uns for sure, but today I noticed one of the ancillary toenails was looking a little blueish.

I'm a lot more mobile today than I was yesterday...I still go back and forth between a low-impact shuffle to a weird little high-step when I try to force my legs to "walk normally."

My boss, who owns horses, said I looked like I had a "hitch in my giddy-up."

I said "Thanks!" and she said she meant I looked a little lame. Oh, right.

In other gross post-race news, I am happy to report that I chaffed like a real life marathon runner...a little around my neck from my sports bra, but the worst of it is under my arm pits.


I'm back in the saddle (enough with the horse metaphors) tonight at the gym-- probably planted on the stationary bike.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hatfield McCoy Marathon Race Report


Now THAT...was fun.

(And sorry in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors...even my fingers are sore today.)

The Hatfield McCoy Marathon was an incredible race. The volunteers were friendly, the course was beautiful and the overall experience was just plain FUN.

So let's start at the beginning...

Got to the hotel and laid all my gear out on the bed.

I overpacked, but better safe than sorry. I think I brought 12 GU's and 10 Shot Blox. I ended up carrying 12 Endurolyte tablets, 3 packs of GU and 6 Shot Blox in my SPI belt (it was filled to capacity).

The race started at the Food City in Goody, Kentucky. I was so nervous, but I tried to stay loose. It was a "small" race; someone mentioned maybe 500 participants (most of whom ran the half).

Each runner was put on a "team" to represent one of the feudin' families: I was a McCoy...

...but I still got a picture with Devil Hatfield.

Oh, we were in the MOUNTAINS. I mentioned this was my first marathon and one of the locals teased me about making it over Blackberry Mountain. I tried to mentally prepare for the worst.

After a literal shot-gun start we were off...I was running my first marathon!

We followed the blue "Hillbilly footprints" along the course. This race was very low-tech, and I loved it.

Miles 1-6:

I shook off the nerves early, and tried to focus on a slow starting pace. My Garmin told me I was chugging along at 10:30ish/mile, and I was happy with that. People were flying past me...but I didn't care. This was my first marathon and I wanted to FINISH it.

My hydration strategy was simple: walk through the water stops, take GUs/endurolytes every 5 miles.

The water-stops were was a contest amongst the volunteers. The first one had a group of elementary aged kids dressed as angels with the "Hallelujah Chorus" playing on a boom-box. Do you think you'd see that at big city marathon?

Feeling good...talking to some runners but mostly eavesdropping. I can spot most of the half-marathoners because they aren't carrying GU and they are pushing the pace.

Mile 7-13

The infamous Blackberry was steep and long; a mile climb actually. I tried to keep my strides short.

I could feel my pace slipping, but I didn't care.

The ride DOWN the mountain was pretty wild. I bid a fond farewell to my toenails and tried not to fall on my face as I zoomed down.

Hubs snapped some great pictures
of the scenery while he waited for me at the half-way point.

The half-marathon ended in Matewan, West Virginia. I ran with two women for a while, Tracy and Christy, who were running the half and ecstatic to be finished. They wished me luck on the rest of the race.

I really wasn't bothered to pass the half-marathon finish and see everyone done and wearing their medals. I never had the urge to just quit at the half. I was too busy celebrating reaching my half-way point!

Only 13 more miles to go!

There I go! Bring it on!

Mile 14-19:
Things got a little wild after the half.

We abandoned the roads and started down a narrow street that became a gravel path that became a washed-out trail. It had rained the night before and the trail was covered in mud.

I had to slow down and watch where I was placing my foot...and dang, it was slippery!

The second half of the marathon was really unique because I felt like I was running by myself...usually there was a runner about 100 yards in front and behind me, but I'd lose sight of them on the country roads.

But the volunteers were amazing so I was never worried about hurting myself or needing help. One man even checked up on us via ATV on the trail.

At Mile 18 we popped back out onto a golf course and ran over a swinging wooden bridge. Again, you wouldn't see stuff like this at a big marathon.

They were handing out leis at the next water-stop, so I thought "Why not?" This is MY marathon...I can wear a lei if I want to!

As I came over the hill towards mile marker 19, I noticed Hubs and my parents were waiting for me! I hadn't seen a single spectator on the course and THERE THEY WERE!

It was a great boost...I gave some sweaty hugs and told them I'd see them at the finish!

Mile 20-26

Y'all want to hear about "the wall?"

Well, I never hit "the wall."

I decided before the race to implement scheduled walk breaks in the later miles to avoid bonking. Basically, I wanted to walk so I could run.

I never walked more than .2 a mile at a time, and I kept my pace above 14 min/mile when walking (and I pumped my arms like a power-walker too).

As a result, my legs felt as fresh as ever when I started to run. I was running 10:30 min/miles again! At mile 24!

I NEVER had a "I hate this" moment. I NEVER regretted signing up for the marathon. I NEVER wanted to quit.

Sure, everything hurt but I expected that...I didn't expect to enjoy myself the entire time.

Mile .2:

Another bonus of a small town race?

Running the last .2 by yourself, down the a city street with the entire town cheering for you. Talk about worth the effort!

I gave Devil Hatfield and Ranel McCoy a high-five and I was a marathoner

5:25:07 clock time (my secret goal was sub 5:30!)

So there's the report...I will probably be posting more about this marathon because I just loved it to pieces.

My first marathon is in the books, and I must say...I may have set the bar too high. It will be hard to find a marathon that was as fun as this one.

And holy crap, I am sore.

Friday, June 12, 2009

24 hours...

" Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the aching in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and a little voice inside you that yells "can't". But you don't listen, you just push harder and then you hear a voice whisper "can" and you realize the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."

"No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it."
- 1 Corinthians 10:13

Thanks again for all the encouragement and support!

Talk to you soon, have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Convo with the Bestie about Cycling


Another double-post! Egads!

Anyway...I was chatting with my BFF on instant messenger about volunteering at the Louisville Ironman.

She's a cycling junkie, so started asking her questions about cycling etiquette, rules of the road, etc.

The resulting conversation, in all its un-spell-checked glory:

Brittany says:
how fast are they going when they [cyclists] come down a hill?

Brittany says:
like a medium sized hill

Casey says:
top speeds on big hills are like 60-70

Casey says:
in races

Casey says:
so on a med hill

Casey says:
just riding for fun or whatever, probably 30ish

Brittany says:

Brittany says:
so if someone [cyclist] hits me, say clips me in the leg

Brittany says:
at 30 mph

Casey says:
you would die

Brittany says:
in my leg?!

Casey says:
i dont make the rules.

Brittany says:
ok, but say they get tossed from the bike...head over handlebars straight up tossed

Casey says:
and then you get into a fight?

Brittany says:
...this is why we are friends

Brittany says:
yes, who wins in the resulting fight?

Casey says:
well you may have a broken leg

Casey says:
but they could have any number of broken things

Casey says:
and you could still lift up the bike to hit them

Casey says:

Brittany says:
yeah, i would have position on the bike

Brittany says:
this is blog worthy

Casey says:
everything we say is blog worthy


FYI-- I'm totally safe on the roads and respectful of cyclists. I've never had a problem with them and I don't expect I will.

My friends and I can (and often do) debate stuff like this for HOURS. Though typically the fictional match-ups involve T-1000, Batman and Predator.


A critical step in race prep...polishing up the ol' playlist.

Chances are I won't listen to music for most of the race, but I wanted to have an hour or two of POWER SONGS just in case.

I'd like to think that I won't activate the POWER SONGS until mile 20, but I'll have them ready to roll.

Some of my favorite POWER SONGS:

"Diva"- Beyonce
"Gun Powder and Lead"- Miranda Lambert
"Head Bust"- Shark City Click
"Love Game"- Lady GaGa
"Rock Me In"- Brit Brit Spears
"Sweeeeeeeeeet Emooooootion" - Aerosmith
"How I Could Just Kill a Man"- Rage Against the Machine
"Bombtrack"- RATM
"Bulls on Parade"- RATM
"She's Country"- Jason Aldean
"Fortunate Son"- CCR
"Fuel"- Metallica (quite possibly the most POWERFUL of the POWER SONGS?)

These are the essentials. The rest of the playlist will likely consist of Pitbull, Rage Against the Machine and the Fast and Furious soundtrack (which is mostly Pitbull).

But what about that last mile, when I need to start my mental celebration?

Check out some of my LAST MILE SONGS:

"Big Time"- Big and Rich
"Down"- Chris Brown*
"Southern Cross"- Jimmy Buffett
"Piece of Work"- Jimmy Buffett

*I still listen to Chris Brown. Sue me.

There you have it, my POWER SONGS.

Not sure when I'll actually plug-in, but I'll have the iPod on standby.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hey! You there!

I hate double posting, but I had to share some beautiful artwork with the blog world today:

This is my APB to any "lurkers" out there who may be running the Hatfield McCoy Marathon...

If you see me at the start line, on the course, laying on the side of the road...please come say "HI!" to me!

I'm generally pleasant in person and would love to make some new runner friends.

Here's a composite sketch of BB on race day so you can find me:

I call my special marathon outfit "The Johnny Cash." I'll be rocking the visor with my 'fro tied up in double-buns. On a good day it's very Minnie-Mouse; bad day it's Princess Leia.

Anyway, shout me a holler if you see would make my day!

Born to run?

After watching the NOVA Marathon Challenge (thanks, Jake!) I'm taking away some interesting points:

Are humans born to run?

We have...
-Springy arch of the human foot
-Hairless skin
-Abundant sweat glands provide exceptional cooling
-Large muscular butts that prevent humans from tipping forward while running

We're not necessarily built for "speed"; sometimes squirrels can out-race us...but in a warm climate over distance, we can outrun dogs, antelope and even horses (which would all overheat).

This series also illustrates the devastation of injury during training. I'm happy to report that as of my afternoon run yesterday, all tightness and pain in my calf and shin are gone.

It's a marathon miracle...

Here's hoping my luck holds up!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mind Boggle

The Five Stages of Pre-Marathon Mind Boggle:

"A marathon? No problem. That won't be hard at all."


"I can always just run the half..."

"Why bother running?"

"I'm running a marathon on Saturday."

I'm definitely a Stage-Fiver at this point.

Right now I'm too caught up in the little details (Which pair of socks should I wear? What kind of bandaids should I pack? How many chicken nuggets can I fit into my mouth afterwards?) to worry about the race itself.

Speaking of mind boggling, my new Garmin is AMAZING. I always knew I was slow, but now I have a tool to tell me just how slow I am!

The heart rate data is especially interesting...after a run I can go back and see why my heart felt like it was about to explode at that hill at mile 2...

...oh, because it almost did! Technology is wonderful.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy 1 Year!

Yesterday was our 1 year wedding anniversary!

At the church...

The Mellwood Art Center...(such a neat place)

Our cake was a little frozen, but still pretty good!

Hubs spoiled me with a new tote for law school and lunch out. We also got one of those single serving coffee makers from my parents, which is pretty awesome.

It was a great day!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Toy

I went a little crazy with the Running Times Calculator...

Potential marathon times based on previous races:

Race / Time = Equivalent Marathon Time / Pace
5k (28:18) = 4:36:41, 10:33/mile
10k (58:38) = 4:35:11, 10:30/mile
10 miler (January- 1:51:36) = 5:16:04, 12:03/mile
10 miler (April-1:40:18) = 4:44:05, 10:50/mile
Half marathon (2:28:07) = 5:10:07, 11:50/mile
20 miler (training run- 3:30:00**) = 4:42:48, 10:47/mile

**I added some extra time to account for the water stops on race day**

Another way to predict your time is to take your 10k and multiply it by 4.65:

58:38 x 4.65 = 4:54:38 marathon (272.6 minutes)

I like what I'm some sub 5:00:00's in there! To set goals or not set goals, that is the question?

And now I have a way to keep track of my pace...


My parent's gave me a brand, spankin' new Garmin Forerunner 305 as an early birthday present...they wanted me to have it for my marathon!

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I'm going to give it a whirl this afternoon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Hills

My half marathon experience still lingers in the back of my mind...I did so many things wrong at that iPod, no gels or blox, cotton shirt (last minute wardrobe emergency).

Oh, and not to mention the intense and unexpected HEAT.

Since then I've been training in the heat and been smart about my race fueling.

I've also worked the hills like crazy!

Here's the elevation map for my 15 miler:

All of my "long" runs (8+) are based on this route. FLAT is not a term in my training repertoire.

Which is good, when you consider THIS:

Hatfield/McCoy Elevation

Kentucky Derby Festival Elevation

Behold, dear bloggies! The Hatfield/McCoy Marathon elevation map on top, KDF Marathon with the park hills on bottom for a little compare and contrast.

I didn't have the privilege of running the second set of park hills at the KDF (I was a left-turner)...and I'm glad I didn't have to do that.

But hey, let's focus on the race at hand...check out Blackberry Mountain at mile 4-7!

This is one of the staples of this race and I will treat it with the utmost respect. Not gonna mess around with that's like a seismic blip!

(But word on the street is the little roller at mile 23 is the real killer)

Goody, goody!

Thursday mish-mash

I woke up this morning with about 5 different things I wanted to blog about swirling around in my noggin, so you'll get a little bit of everything this morning!


I hit the gym and ran 3.5 miles in honor of National Running Day. I still think I'm tapering "too much" but I don't want to take a chances with my wonky calf.

Has anyone ever gotten a sports massage after a race or hard run? Was there a lot of screaming involved?


I was in Target when I heard a mother and her two sons blabbering in the aisle next to me. The oldest son (about 10) held up a shirt and asked "THIS is an extra-small? It's huge!"

To which to mother replied, "Well, America's FAT."

I was absolutely incensed. For two reasons...

1) This woman is no brilliant social-scientist, making an original or groundbreaking assertion in the racks of target. No, no...she probably just watched a Dateline episode entitled "America is FAT." I half expected her to turn to me and shout "GO GREEN! ECONOMIC DOWNTURN! BRANGELINA!"

2) Now her son is going to go to school, find the chubby kid and execute the use of this phrase in the ugliest way possible.

That's all I've got...just a case for sterilization by the clearance rack.


Speaking of Brangelina, they didn't break up. The world can keep a'spinning!


I think I need this for law school:


Happy Thursday! (it's almost Friday)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National Running Day

Whadda ya know, it's National Running Day!

So, get out and RUN!

Just a trip around the block, whatever never know, it may be the start of a blog-inducing addiction to running :)

Unrelated: I joined Twitter...I don't Tweet, I just look at Tweets? Listen to Tweets?! Whatever...anyway, I'm now following Levar Burton and the entire cast of the Hills.

And I'm dumber for it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Still talking about gels...

I went to the Trail Store for the first time to pick up some Endurolytes and Recoverite for the big day...loved that place!

I'm still trying to get a handle on how many gels/blox I should put away during the marathon.

Here's a sampling of opinions on the matter:
- 1 per hour
- 1 at mile 6, 12, 18 and 24 (or 5, 10, 15, 20, 24)
- 1 every 12 minutes (the Lance Armstrong method)

I've got an iron stomach when it comes to gels, but I think that 1 every 12 minutes would make me throw up fo' sho'.

No matter what schedule I settle on, there's no way I can carry all of this stuff with me. My SPI belt is handy, but if you load it down too much it bounces (and looks like a fanny pack).

I guess I'll just have to rely on my pit crew (Hubs, Mom and Dad) to hook me up during the race.

Speaking of which, I'm still looking for an Official Hair Braider to join my crew. Must have experience with unruly hair. Let me know.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I ran 8 miles on Saturday and then 4 miles on Sunday.

I'm really starting to like this taper thing!

Now the nerves are starting to kick in...5+ hours is a long time to do anything, let alone run through the West Virginia mountains.

I'm planning on walking through each (and EVERY) water stop to give my legs a break. There will be 25 water stations (approx. 1 every mile) so when things get crazy I can tell myself: "Only 10-12 minutes of running and then a little break."

I have a feeling that will become my race mantra.


I'm still undecided on race fuel...I like Shot Blox (tasty, easy to carry) but I get a bigger "boost" from PowerBar Gels.

I also get disgusting jam hands after I eat one, which drives me crazy.

And what should I do about my salt intake/anti-cramping measures? Grab some packets from Wendy's for mile 20, or spring for the Endurolytes?

Here are some Endurolyte facts from the Hammer Nutrition website:

Use prior to, during, and after workouts to satisfy the body's electrolyte requirements with maximum precision.

Mixing / Usage:
Instructions: Use as needed but primarily when:

1. Exercise lasts for more than 2 hours, regardless of temperature or humidity.

2. Exercise lasts less than 2 hours and:
- Temperature is above 80 degrees and/or 70% humidityor
- Temperature and humidity is 10 degrees or more above what you are accustomed to

1-3 capsules 30-60 minutes prior to exercise

1-6 capsules each hour during exercise

1-3 capsules after exercise

Ugh. Running and math.

But considering I took the time to blog about it, I'm probably going to invest in some Endurolytes.