Saturday, July 30, 2011

Too Much Information

Here's the first installment of my answers to your questions, all on the topic of Training & Racing:

Thanks to everyone who asked a question. I hope this isn't too boring... feel free to scroll down to your name. I know how these things work. ;)

RunningLaur asked: “ You’ve done so much in 5 years. Anything you're most proud of? (maybe other than the BQ? ;) )”

I would have to say I am most proud of taking up this sport, sticking with it and going as far with it as I have. Hard to believe it all started with one 10-minute run on the treadmill (almost) 5 years ago.

TMB asked: “Other than Boston (obviously) if you had to choose only one race next year what would it be?”

Chicago with 2 of our best friends on my 30th Birthday weekend!

Johann asked: “Will you go up to ultra running eventually?”

I always thought I would try an ultra before a triathlon. It is definitely on my bucket list.


“Have you done any trail running/races?”

I have done a handful of trail runs over the last couple of years, and definitely enjoyed them. I have done a 10K “mud run” trail race, and a half marathon earlier this year included some long trail and cross-country sections. Fun but tough!

Lilmeg asked: “If you could get ANY bike regardless of cost, which bike would you get?”

I’m pretty clueless about bikes. If I had unlimited funds for a new ride, I’d let our friend Erin choose it for me!

J asked: "What's your favorite long run distance?"

15 to 18 miles is a happy distance for me.

Anna B asked: "The Goofy Challenge: how horrible was the second race?"

Not horrible at all, actually! We ran both races for fun and took it very easy on day 1 and for the first three-quarters of the marathon. We stopped frequently for photos and felt pretty strong throughout. The most horrible part was waiting outside in the freezing cold darkness for 2+ hours before the start. (Goofy Challenge Race Report)

Lish asked: "What are your long-term tri goals???"

I'm not quite ready to put those out there yet. ;)


"What Race was the most defining for you?"

I would have to say the Chilly Half Marathon last year - it was the first time I executed a race perfectly and finished in a time that led me to believe that some big goals could be within reach.

Dietitian on the Run asked: "If you could run in ANY country (race or otherwise), where would you go?"

 I'd love to run the Great Wall Marathon in China.

Jill asked: "when are you coming to Colorado to run with me!?!?!?"

One day I will!

Misszippy asked: "What's the biggest lesson about running you have learned so far?"

Learning the importance of recovery has been paramount in becoming a stronger runner. In order to maintain the mileage that I want, I have to make sure I am running recovery runs at a true recovery pace. This is easier said than done!

Rene asked: "While I know that running is your passion, do you think a half iron man or iron man tri are in your future?"

Let's just say that anything is possible. 

Kim asked: "What is your dream race that you have yet to do?"

I have hopes of running the big five: Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Berlin. If I had to pick one, it's Boston. 

Char asked: "What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you while training or racing?"

The first summer that I was running, hubs and I drove downtown to run on the waterfront path. I wore a new top with a v-neck and a built-in bra. I was clearly new enough to running that I didn't realize a sports bra was still necessary. Let's just say I was giving quite a show to other folks out on the trails and spent a lot of time running directly behind hubs.  

Jason asked: "Are you prepared to learn to pee on the bike for the triathlon?"

I'm not sure yet... but I have mastered peeing in a wetsuit!


"How did the whole changing in the bathroom to workout start?"

I can't remember exactly, but I decided one day that lunch hour would be the perfect time to squeeze in a run. No shower? No problem.


"What is the one race that you want to do that after you do it you can never do it again? You can't get revenge no matter how bad it went and you can't repeat it no matter how great it went?"

I'll have to go back to the Great Wall Marathon with this one. I think it would truly be the experience of a lifetime, but one where I wouldn't have the urge to do it again.

Sara asked: "When you started this "diet blog" did you plan to run marathons to get into shape...was that your goal? Or did you just want to get into shape and fell into running in the process?"

Running was far from my mind when I started this blog. It just happened one day when I was getting bored of my regular routine. It wasn't until several months after I started running that the thought of running a marathon entered my head.


"Did you meet your husband through running, or before?"

We met in high school! Hubs started running shortly after we got married and was definitely my inspiration to give it a try.


"When you are going to post your core routine that you promised me?? (ok, it wasn't a promise, it was a mention that you might, but Please??)"

Sorry about that! This is the routine I was using (oops, need to get back at it!): Core Routine


"Where do you get your marathon training routines? I know you've mentioned your husband gets them ready for you, but does he create them? or just organize them into a spreadsheet for you?"

Hubs creates our programs from scratch. He has done a lot of research and it has become somewhat of a hobby.


"If you miss a week of training due to sickness or injury do you skip that week on your training schedule, and just move on, or do you continue with the week you missed and try to even it out later during training?"

Fortunately I've never had to miss an entire week of training (knock on wood!) since I started following a schedule a couple years ago. If I have to miss a few days will usually just move on - trying to make up workouts can be risky!

Richelle: asked: "Would you ever want to do an Ironman?"

I always used to say "I don't want to do triathlons... but I'd like to do an Ironman!" Does that answer your question?

Wifey asked: "What is your most memorable race? Not necessarily your favorite ..."

I would have to say my first - everything was so new and exciting, from timing chips to water stations to that first finish line. The last 5K was probably the hardest of my life, but I will never forget it.

Elizabeth Dean asked: "What about being a runner makes you feel the best?"

Being a part of such an amazing community - from my training group to bloggers, there is no other spirit like that of runners!


"How do you cope with fatigue/lead legs/lack of motivation to push through?"

I'll usually remind myself of previous hard runs or races that I have pushed through. Even when it feels like the hardest thing ever, it probably isn't. I also try to remember that the harder runs are the ones that will make me stronger.

Tall Mom asked: "What is the best local race for someone from out of town to come run WITH you??"

I would definitely recommend the Niagara Falls International Marathon to visitors (it's about 1.5 hours from here). It starts in the U.S. and finishes in Canada, which I think is pretty neat. It's a beautiful route along the Niagara River, with a memorable finish right at the falls. 

Cat B asks: "How do you feel the running 'scene' differs in Canada as opposed to the US?"

Running and marathons have become increasingly popular here in Canada; unfortunately, we don't seem to get the same report from the cities and non-running locals as there is the States. I'm hoping they will come around! 

H-Woman asked: "Do you meal plan? What are your pre-and post-run meals/snacks?"

I don't meal plan, but I do try to record the foods that I eat daily. I'm all about PB&J before a run - on a bagel before a long run and on a small tortilla before a shorter or afternoon/evening run. My favourite thing to have after a run is chocolate milk or a big fruit smoothie.

Jenn asked: "I just started using energy gels and noticed that you use salt as well. This might sound dumb..but what kind of salt? Do you use it in training or just in runs?"

I use SaltStick capsules, which contain sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and VitaminD. I take them on all long runs and races.

Tricia asked: "You've kicked butt loosing weight, but more importantly, you've maintained the loss. What are your tips for maintaining?"

I still sturggle with occasional fluctuations, but I am most successful when I track my daily calorie intake. In this way I can ensure that I am eating enough to fuel my workouts, but not so much that I allow weight to creep back on. Treats in moderation (something I am constantly working on...) is also key to (my) long term weight maintenance.

Running Lawyer asked: "What do you say to yourself internally when you want to quit, when you are tired, sweaty, it's awful weather, etc to get out there and do it?"

"Don't think, just run." Sometimes I just have to get out there before I can talk myself out of it.


"Most embarrassing running story?"

Answered above. Don't make me repeat it! ;)

Leave me a comment answering one of the above questions!


Sara said...

Sweet jesus, i asked you a lot of questions! Haha, Sorry about that. I'm just nosy!

That core routine looks harsh! I need to start a core routine, but I am just really lazy about it. I need to just DO it.

Julie D. said...

Fun! Love that you met your husband in high school. My dream race? Whatever race I bq at. :)

Meg said...

COP OUT ON THE BIKE QUESTION! I was trying to make you research. Cop. Out. Fail. :rofl:

Char said...

Because you shared your embarrassing moment I'll share mine - I was running with my sister and had decided to go commando in my long black tights. My sister's not one for discretion and let me know in the first 500m that they were see-through. I still had another 8k to run.

Anonymous said...

...just came across your blog for the first time.

Very inspiring :)

misszippy said...

Yes to recovery runs! It is hard, but so important!

So next question--which IM?

; )

yumke said...

Hehe, awesome.. you need to give a talk or become a motivational speaker..

Amy said...

I like the "Don't think, just run" - great words of advice!

My most embarassing run goes back to when I ran cross country in high school. After a final push to the end of the race, I would always let out a huge burp at the finish line (where of course, all of the cute boys were).

Jess said...

It's fun to read these! Amazing transformation from 2006 to 2011!

ajh said...

Best local race for someone to come do is Vermont City Marathon hands down.

Anonymous said...

Not "too" much info, just of a lot of new things that we know about you know ;)

I want to run the Rome Marathon (in Rome, duh) - basically just to take a trip to Italy!

runnergirl training said...

Good post!

Keri said...

I would love o do the chicago marathon one day!!

Jason said...

First off I am thankful for Sara. I was thinking I ask a lot of questions and then bam Sara trumps me with one additional question. Thanks Sara.

The one question I will answer is this:
"What Race was the most defining for you?"

It hasn't happened yet. It will in the next 12 months though b/c I am going to BQ at Vegas and also race my first Ironman in May. At that point I'll be able to answer the question./

Sara said...

I loved reading this post and learning more about you - thank you! It is very inspirational to me. Your weight-loss and running journey is amazing - great great great job on both! My favorite thing you said was in response to what about being a runner makes you feel the best, "Being a part of such an amazing community - from my training group to bloggers, there is no other spirit like that of runners!" I feel the same way and you said it beautifully!!

Lindsay said...

i have the same thought towards ironmans... i don't really want to do a tri (/ows), but an ironman sure is tempting! lol. hey i never claimed i was of sound mind... :)

hmm, you wanted us to answer one of the questions. so i'll answer the one about meeting hubs. mine, since i haven't met yours...
i met josh way after running. in fact, i got him into running.

Nicole said...

you are STUNNING. SO much to be proud of Marlene!!! :) your an INSPIRATION!

Anonymous said...

Putting Great Wall marathon on my bucket list now. Let's do it!!!

Laura said...

Great Q&A! The London marathon is very high on my list and I'd love to get into that one.

Denise said...

love this post!! and it won't be long before you're peeing on the bike, i know it!

Richelle said...

Great post! I enjoyed learning more about you.

My dream race is Twin Cities Marathon, which I hope to complete next year. Someday, I'd love to do a 70.3, but I need to get over my fear of riding a bike first.