Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Burger Brains.

Training for a half marathon is tough. Training for a full marathon is NUTS!  Last weekend was the furthest I've ever ran, without stopping.  I am not boosting because my pace began to drop after the last few miles, but the run was worth every minute because it is a difficult, quality running course.  I want to  be as prepare for my first marathon and don't believe what I read when the descriptions of the marathon say rolling hills.
This last weekend's long run was 14.5 miles. The last 1/2 mile is for my mind. It gets a little burger brained and I start second guessing my miles and ALWAYS rethink my route.
I started at 0510am. It gets hot here as soon as the sun comes up and I wanted to get an early start.  As I run, the first 5 miles let my body work out all the muscle kinks.  It's dark outside, but the street lamps are on.  I begin the second set of 5 miles and I work on Patty's version of Fartlek'in. This helps kill time as I keep my mind off the sweat stinging my eyes and how I hate running with the hydration belt. The hydration belt is essential at this point of my training.  I've been getting my body use to drinking water and consuming gross energy gel.  No offense, but energy gel tastes like flavored semen. Yuck!  Heading into the last 4.5 miles, my brain is like hamburger aka burger brain. The Ipod music is annoying me. My mind begins to tell my body, you're nuts for thinking you can run this far and you can stop all this, join a gym or do Cross Fitness. Towards the end of my miles, I begin thinking about the various books and articles I have read.  Hahaha why didn't I think of this earlier?  Bye bye burger brain.  I begin think about the various chapters in books, articles about other runners struggles, accomplishments, and yes, even posts by other bloggers.  Saved just in time! I'm at a point of crazy miles and longer training hours on the road. I now need to find the time to read more!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Camp Pendleton Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon 2012

Camp Pendleton Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon was amazing. It was my first time running this half. The race started at about 0840 in the morning. Military personal were in the 1st wave and civilians were in the 3rd wave. I have no idea what was the 2nd wave. It didn't matter, it was already hot.  My running pal, Ann ran this race with me and she drove. We arrived at the Las Pulgas (area 43) at 0630 to register for the race. The temperature was 69 and had little humidity.  Registration could have been done online, but we choose to register the same day.  It was very easy and extremely well organized event. The volunteers were some civilians but mostly Marines. As we waited for the race to begin, two Marines asked Ann what kind of watch she was wearing.  Ann wears a Garmin that is many years old. She has been running marathons & halves for over 10 years!  We joked later saying these guys probably thought the watch was a laptop! There were plenty of porta potties, very cool wash stations, and bleaches for runners and families to sit in.  The Marine Corps thought of everything! 
The race is time chipped. I did wear my snazzy Timex watch and hit it as I crossed over the timing pad start to finish. At about 0840ish when the civilians started their race.  I would guess the temperature was about 78 degrees.  There was no wind.  The course was paved for about 3/4 of a mile, then turned into dirt/gravel road taking you though base around the barracks.  The race started with a couple of small hills then at the 2 mile marker, we began to climb up a hill.  According to Ann's Garmin this hill went up for almost a full mile. This was Heartbreak Ridge and I did walk for about half of this hill. I tried to trudge up it off and on, but mostly I walked. I found this picture from another blog site showing the climb up Heartbreak Ridge. Yes it's hard!
The camera guy took my picture coming back up the other side. Can't wait to see me walking again! At the top there was a water/g-raid station! Yippee! These stations were about every one to two miles and strategically place the stations were you would need it the most. Love that! Thank you Marines!  Coming down Heartbreak Ridge was hard! It was shorter than the other side, but steep.  The hills continued to run up and down through the miles.  The turn around was roughly the 6.5 mile area. The Marines cheered you on at every station. Heading back towards Heartbreak Ridge, was crazy HOT!  During miles 7, 8, and 9 there was no wind and no shade.  It gave me time to think about how extremely hot I was :)
Oddly the run back seemed easier. Maybe because I was having some symptoms of heat exhaustion!  I alternated water and g-raid at each aid station. Sometimes I dumped water over my head to cool off. Going back up Heartbreak Ridge was shorter distance up.  I had to walk again but not as long.  Once you get up & over Heartbreak Ridge, it was all down hill and faster.  If I had to guess, I would say the temperature was in the high 80's. The last 3 mile were easy.  I round the final 1/4 mile and found myself all alone heading into the last corral.  Awkward! All eyes on me and my sweaty, dirty self! The crowd cheered as I came through.  As I pasted over the finish timer, I was handed a yellow plastic strip and moved onto another group of Marines asking me for the strip at the bottom of my bib.  They had to help me because my fingers were all swollen and I had no dexterity. 
I pass some Marines on my way back.  I have been training over a year to run half marathons and soon a full marathon.  These guys just wake up, go out, and do it!  Marines are hard core!
After race offered more g-raid, water, bananas, & oranges. No frills here. They did have vendors set up for beer, dip-n-dots, and others you could purchase drink and food.  
My Timex read I finished the race in 2:29:31, but the time chip race results read:
Place Overall:  836 out of roughly 1166
Gun Time: 2:30:01
Chip Time: 2:30:01
Place in Age Division: 21 out of 37.

It's weird to see the Gun Time the same as my Chip Time. I was in the back of the wave 3.  My running pal, Ann, didn't even get posted. She was in the same age group as me. Guess there were are a few kinks to work out.  I would run this race again if the start time was going to be earlier in the morning. The race was so well organized & friendly volunteers. Thank you very much for allowing me to participate :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Breast Chafing With Running. Ouch!

Training for a marathon, as the miles increase, my body begins to change too. Two weeks ago, after a 13 mile long run, I found chafing under both breast & along my front chest where the lining of my high impact Champion 360 sports bra was rubbing.  It was a surprise.  A year ago, I experienced the severe chafing when I first began running. I started using anti chafing Body Glide. This didn't work.  During this time I tested the Victoria Secret sport bra, Old Navy sports bra, Under Armour sports bra, before coming across the Champion 360. It stopped the chafing up until now.   I began researching for a new bra.
Once again, I have lost inches around my chest.  My first Internet search, I found the Enell . The reviews told me, the bra does take time getting use to, but does compress the breast to keep them from moving.  The Enell isn't pretty, but sounds like it would do what it promised.
The next bras, I researched, were by Moving Comfort: .  The Juno and the Fiona both promised to minimize bounce and decrease the chance of chafing.  I found the Road Runner Store carries this brand of bras and headed into the store. 
First I tried on the Juno. I had found this blog site showing a woman putting on the Juno: . Let me tell you, it took a lot of dexterity to get into this bra. I couldn't get into the bra the way this woman had gotten into it. I did put it over my head but undid the straps. Once in the bra, it fit very snug and had no bounce. The back of the bra has large crisscross bands and a regular bra closing. I like the crisscross design because the weight isn't distributed over my shoulders. The straps are a super-stead-fast Velcro and adjust easily in front. The Juno has no plastic parts or pieces. The fabric was soft and thick.
I thought since the Juno fit all my criteria, I wasn't going to try on the Fiona, but I drove the distance to the store, I thought I might as well see the comparison. The Fiona made fun of the Juno as far as getting into the bra. Unlike the Juno, the Fiona looks like a regular bra with the claps in the the back. The claps has the same super-stead-fast Velcro it has on the straps to insure it stays in place.  It has all the same elements and fitting snug but does have a little bounce. By adjusting the straps, again in the front,  stopped the most bounce.  The bra's material, like the Juno, is very soft, but really thick.  The banding around the chest is wide.  The Juno & the Fiona have the wicking material and are pleasant to look at with various colors to choose from.
I choose the Fiona bra because it was easier to get into. I took the Fiona for a few short runs and there was no bounce but because the material is so thick, it felt hot! I ran in the Fiona during the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon.  It caused chafing on the outer edges of my breast on both sides near my armpits.  Man this hurts!
 My step daughter ran the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon 2012. She swears by Vaseline. I read a blog that said to first use deodorant followed by an application of Vaseline. Desperate, I gave it a go and found it worked! I retried my Champion 360 running bras with this deodorant/Vaseline combination and found it worked again! Gosh I'm so happy. I also found the product New Skin to apply onto the chafing areas in transition of healing. It burns like the old school "monkey blood" use to, but the blowing on the boo boo made the stinging go away quicker. I plan on using the Fiona for winter short runs. Chafing can really make you want to toss in the towel. Try not to get discourage and try different bras to see what works best for you.