Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Playlist

A few weeks ago, I asked for running playlist suggestions.  I needed 4.5 hours, which would include a warmup.  Here's the list I used for CIM, with some notes

Fire - Jimi Hendrix
Uprising - Muse
   One of my top five favorite running songs. In an odd coincidence, in the week leading to CIM, I heard each of my top five favorites in various places that I did not control. This makes me crank up my car radio every time.

Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant
I Disappear - Metallica
   from Mission: Impossible II, I think

Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
4 Minutes - Glee Cast
   yes, I like Glee.  It's not plausible and the plots and characterizations are wildly inconsistent. But I am at heart a singer and would have loved to be in this type of group growing up.

I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley
This is How a Heart Breaks - Rob Thomas
  this was the NBA's theme during the playoffs in 2005, when San Antonio, my favorite team, beat Detroit. Through an amazing stroke of luck, I was at the game where Robert Horry sank the three-pointer in the final minute to beat Detroit. So now this song is on almost every running or exercise playlist I have.

How Far We've Come - Matchbox Twenty
Give Up the Funk - Glee Cast
The Club - In the Heights Company
   buy this cast album, please

You Can't Stop the Beat - movie cast of Hairspray
   I love the movie Hairspray.  How do you not?

Gonna Fly Now - theme from Rocky
Jai Ho - from Slumdog Millionaire
Keeps Gettin' Better - Christina Aguilera
Stronger - Kanye West
   No jokes, please. It's a good song.

Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5
The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
Let it Rock - Kevin Rudolf
Here I Come - The Roots
   I need to listen to The Roots more often. This song kicks.

Raise Your Glass - P!nk
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson
Valerie - Glee Cast
   This is a cover of an Amy Winehouse song, and I didn't really know any of her music except Rehab. So sad she cannot share more of this with us.

Something to Believe In - Parachute
   One of the aforementioned top five favorites. Some of the lyrics:
   "Keep my head from going down. Just for a little. Just for a little.  Watch my feet float off the ground. Just for a little. Just for a little."

Sing - My Chemical Romance
   Third of the five favorites. Great anthem.
   "Sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls
     every time you that you lose it sing it for the world
     Sing it from the heart
     Sing it till you're nuts
     Sing it out for the words that'll hate your guts
     Sing it for the death
     Sing it for the blind
     Sing about everyone that you left behind
     Sing it for the world"

Show Me How You Burlesque - Christina Aguilera
   Movie was hokey. Soundtrack was fantastic.

River Deep, Mountain High - Glee Cast
   One more reason to love Glee - they pull out some gems. This song was first recorded by Ike and Tina Turner.

Lubbock or Leave It - Dixie Chicks
Got to Get You Into My Life - Earth Wind & Fire
   Disco in the middle of the race, when I'm just looking to distract my head a bit

Forget You - Cee Lo Green
Crazy in Love - Beyonce
Closer to the Edge - 30 Seconds to Mars
   Fourth of the five favorite songs.

Born This Way - Lady Gaga
The Anthem - Good Charlotte
Evacuate the Dancefloor - Cascada
I Don't Dance - from HSM 2
Boogie Wonderland - Earth Wind & Fire
Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera
Ring of Fire - Social Distortion
   Thanks to Brad for introducing me to this version during spin class

Where Them Girls At - David Guetta, Nicki Minaj
Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
   the only slow-paced song on my playlist. It doesn't need to be fast - the song and the reason they wrote it still makes me mad six years later.

The Power Is On - The Go! Team
   You've seen the NFL Play 60 commercials with the Carolina Panthers and the kids on the bus?  This is the song.

I Would Die 4 U - Prince and the Revolution
The Way I Are - Timbaland
Here It Goes Again - Ok Go
   the video for this song is four guys on eight treadmills. Great video, great song for running.

Pull Me Under - Dream Theater
   I have loved this song since it came out in 1993. However, it was the one song that made me want to skip over it during the race, because it hit right at the time when my quads and calves were screaming and I really struggled. Hearing a song that repeats the phrase "Pull Me Under" for 8 minutes wasn't helpful.

I Need a Doctor - Dr. Dre and Eminem
   So when Pull Me Under was over and this came on, I did laugh.

Paris (Ooh La La) - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
The Love You Save - Jackson 5
Empire State of Mind - Jay Z and Alicia Keys
SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
You Make the Rain Fall - Kevin Rudolf and Flo Rida
Bleed It Out - Linkin Park
Cooler Than Me - Mike Posner
I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - Pitbull
Lose Yourself - Eminem
  the fifth of the five favorite songs. I have a lot of issues with his music, but this song is fantastic.

Take Your Mama - Scissor Sisters
Finale - In The Heights company
  I had a silly fantasy during my training runs that I would hear this song at the finish. The first two minutes are slow and dialogue-heavy, but the last part makes me so happy every time I hear it. The show is about community, friends who become family and about our hero's decision to go back to what he has always considered home. But he realizes that his home and his people are right there. My father loves this song and says it reminds him of growing up in New York in the 40s. So it's my song for my dad.
   During CIM, it came on with 0.3 mile to go :-)

Vertigo - U2
I Sing the Body Electric - movie cast of Fame
   The song and movie that I saw at age 11 that made me want to sing. Based on the Walt Whitman poem.

Training Training Training

A couple of people asked about my training plan and what may have contributed to being a stronger runner. There are a lot of components, but there are two key simple things I'll write about here:
1. Pacing.  I learned about and incorporated warmup, speed, tempo, long/slow, and recovery/easy paces


2. I didn't run that much at all.

In case you are skeptical about the second point, here's a breakdown of run mileage per week in the 28 weeks leading up to the marathon.  These mileage totals include race mileage.

10 - 14 miles:  2 weeks
15 - 19 miles:  13 weeks
20 - 25 miles:  6 weeks
26 - 30 miles:  5 weeks
30 - 42 miles:  2 weeks

I ran three times a week, and sometimes four times a week when I was traveling for work and couldn't do anything else. I always ran a long, slow run on Saturday, starting from around 3 miles in May and building up to the one long run of 20 miles in November. I tried to do speed work every week (thanks Dave!) and a tempo run, but sometimes the runs were just 30 or 45 minutes easy because that was all I had time or energy for.

There is a great book called Run Less, Run Faster that I highly recommend.  I bought it last fall and read it in less than a day.  It also espouses a "three times a week" approach for running.  But the runs and workouts each have a purpose, and that's part of what I was missing before. I would run, but I didn't really have a plan or an intent for my runs.  So they were not focused and I wasn't really getting the most out of the time that I was putting in. 

Now for that pacing thing.  First, I had to see where I was at, so I did the Magic Mile as described by Jeff Galloway.  There are a lot of different ways to measure, but because I was a member of the Galloway program, I went with this format and prediction. 

Long slow runs were 90-120 seconds slower than desired marathon pace (at least, in the beginning. More on that in a later post). The Galloway method is about run/walk intervals on the long/slow runs. Our intervals were 3:00 run / 1:00 walk, and we stuck to that on our Galloway runs.
Warmup on midweek runs was around 10:00 - 10:30 pace for 10-20 minutes, as was the cool down. 
Easy runs were always between 9:30 and 10:00 after the warmup. 
Tempo runs were about 30-45 seconds faster than desired marathon pace.

I joined One Step Beyond (OSB), led by Marty and Bri Gaal, in June. Get on to find OSB workouts (come join us for a $5 drop in) and you'll find all sorts of groups around the RDU area.  From Bri, I gained a better appreciation for a recovery workout, or just having an easy run, or finally understanding that when my flight is delayed and I get home at midnight, it's okay to not get up at 4:45a for practice and just sleep in. I'm willing to work hard and long to get better, but I'm new at this and not exactly a spring chicken. My body takes longer to recover.

A typical week of running when I didn't travel:
Monday - OSB run at Bond Metro Park in Cary with strength stations
    I didn't know about Metro Park before this year, and now I hate to miss this workout. We run through the trails to the various strength stations and do whatever is listed or incorporate typical strength moves - pull-ups, lateral jumps, planks, jumping jacks, sprint drills and all sorts of things. The run itself is about 2.5 miles long and we don't go fast on the run. When there are 6-8 of us running, the strength stations give everyone a chance to rest a bit before we start running again.  And stretch when we're done!
    If I was traveling instead, this would be a 5-6 mile run at a tempo pace.

Wednesday - speed work at Duke Track
    A friend, Dave Campbell, led me through my first speed workout.  He told me to go run around the track for ten minutes easy. I protested, because I didn't want to get tired. And that's when I learned about proper warmups.  I run a lot faster when I've warmed up for a 10-20 minute period.  Hee.
    Here's a sample workout. You can find these online at resources like
               10 min warmup = 1 mile
               6 x 800 with 200 walk in between
               8 min cooldown

Saturday - long, slow run with 3:00 / 1:00 run / walk intervals with the Galloway Incredibles (10:00 mile)
    Build the mileage throughout the season, although we would do "build/build/short" in a three week cycle and repeat.  So we might do 8, 10, 6 and then 10, 12, 6 and then 12, 14, 6.  We always came back to 6 miles.  The temptation is to keep building, but it's okay to let your body recover and enjoy the surprise of "only" running 6 miles.  These were usually at a 11:30 - 12:00 pace.

On weeks I traveled, I would run one more time, usually a 30 or 45 minute run and most likely on a hotel treadmill if I couldn't get outside (I don't like to run in unfamiliar places and definitely not in the dark by myself).  I ran this "extra" run workout because I typically couldn't swim or ride during the travel periods. That also meant that the speed work was on a treadmill, which is harder.  Treadmills are notoriously unreliable for speed, and they are harder on my body. 

But until the last 4-6 weeks of the buildup, this was it for running.  A session of speed work, a session of tempo or the Metro Park run, and a long, slow run on Saturday.  The occasional fourth workout during the week on the road. 

In the last 4-6 weeks, I joined Galloway for 6-10 miles on Saturday, then ran again on Sunday by myself, which meant my legs were tired for Sunday, but not too tired. These runs would be 25% warmup, 50% marathon pace, 25% cooldown, and with 5:00 run / 0:35 walk intervals.  That comprised the fourth workout in that last month or so, and these were the most intense of the training. 
I'm not kidding when I say I really didn't run that much.

That doesn't mean I didn't train.  I just didn't run that much for my training. 

A friend convinced me last year to try a triathlon with her in June 2011.  That meant riding a bike and swimming. I met my swim coach, Marty, in late January and started attending his Cary Masters swim workouts.  Have you checked yet?  Because this is the second time I've mentioned it :-)  I attended the OSB beginning swim clinic (which is for people who do know how to do a freestyle stroke but need to learn drills and technique).  And lo and behold, Marty and Bri stated that you cannot get better at swimming unless you swim at least three times a week, and you should try for at least four to really see some results.  The focus of the three swim practices - distance, sprints and speed, and a hybrid of the two.  Sound familiar?

Now I had to learn how to ride my shiny new bike, and since I had heard this "distance, speed, tempo" idea in two of the three disciplines of triathlons, I decided to follow the same principles for riding. I found some local groups with whom I could learn to ride.  Whether it was a spin class at a gym, a trainer ride at Cycling Spoken Here, or Inside Out's no drop C group ride on Tuesdays, I was finding the tempo and the speed work.  The long, slow ride was with the aforementioned triathlon enabler friend or with Thorns and Roses or Girls in Gear or the local bike shops on the weekends.  Riding was and is still my hardest event and will be the focus of a lot of hours this winter. 

Dude.  This is your last reminder.  Go to  You will find running buddies, riding groups and swim practices galore.  We in the greater Triangle area are sitting on a gold mine of training riches.  Take advantage of it.

Here was the key to how I got faster - I got fitter.  I cross-trained, just like they said to do in Run Less, Run Faster.  You don't have to join a gym or buy a bike or be a triathlete or invest a lot of money to cross-train.  I was in a hurry for all this to happen, so I invested the money and time, a LOT of time.  But pick something other than running and do that 2-3 times a week as well.  I'm convinced that the weekly spin class and three swim sessions completely changed my body and my athletic capability.  The swimming did wonders for my respiratory system and really changed my body.  The early Saturday Galloway runs of 4-8 miles were followed by a one hour spin class. I'm a lot leaner now than I was in January, my arms, back and core are stronger, and I have more stamina.  I did some hot yoga classes in the late winter and early spring that I'm looking forward to bringing back into my routine this winter. The spin class just made me work hard and sweat a lot.  But the best part was that all of this kept running as something that was always fresh.  I never burned out on any of it, because just when one part started to get a little stale, I would have a different workout the next day. I had days where I was very tired, mostly due to combining a lot of training with a lot of flights and a lot of work. Soon, however, I started seeing some results.

In late March, I had run a mile and timed it at 9:20.  I didn't really warm up well, if at all, and was just starting the ramp up of fitness.  In June I ran a mile and it was 7:45.  That was a result of getting more fit, learning how to prepare and warmup and having a really good day that day.  In late July, that mile was 7:16.  That was shocking. And fun!  Based on my two Magic Miles and my only running race of the season in late August, I hoped for an 8:35 marathon pace and trained at an 8:20 pace on my later runs on Sundays.

As I tried different groups or events, I eventually connected with riders or runners or swimmers who were more experienced or a little faster or both.  I asked questions, listened a lot, did a lot of reading online, and learned a lot.  I also practiced on my own, and I recorded everything. I had started with but switched to, in part because it would upload a lot of data and my coaches use it.  I write a lot of things down, how I felt, what I thought, things I learned (poor Bri, who reads and comments diligently). And that record is one of my favorite things now. I can look back and see my improvement, and on the days that I wasn't feeling strong, I can remember how that felt like to push harder the next time. It's definitely not been a linear path, as I have had runs that were fantastic and runs that made me wonder if I hadn't taken a huge leap backward. 

Here's an idea of a lighter training week when travel was involved:
Monday:  Cary Masters - distance swim workout
Tuesday:  run on treadmill easy run - 30-45 minutes
Wednesday: run on treadmill with speed workout  45 minutes OR exercise bike if available
Thursday: day off
Friday:  Cary Masters speed swim workout
Saturday:  long run
Sunday:  long ride

The heavier training weeks when I was in town:
Monday a.m.:  Cary Masters - distance swim workout
Monday p.m.:  OSB strength run in Metro Park
Tuesday a.m.:  Cary Masters - beginning swim workout
Tuesday p.m.:  Inside Out C group ride
Wednesday a.m.: spin class
Wednesday p.m.: speed work at Duke Track
Thursday p.m.: longer ride (20-30 miles)
Friday:  Cary Masters speed swim workout
Saturday:  long run
Sunday:  long ride

Yup, that's a lot of training time. Not much rest on the long weeks, but rarely did I have those types of weeks consecutively. I learned to love naps, and not the kind where an alarm would go off in 30 minutes, but the kind of naps where you sleep until you wake up. Chocolate milk after every evening and weekend workout. Sunscreen, lots of sunscreen, and Body Glide everywhere.

My travel involved three trips to Nebraska, six trips to Washington, D.C., three trips to New York, a trip each to Tennessee, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Baltimore and California.  Kinda crazy when I list it like that.  But it was really a prelude to 2012.

Next year I'm only running two marathons. One of them is the Marine Corps Marathon, which I am super excited about and hope to improve on my PR even more.  The second marathon is also exciting, but it won't be a PR.  It will be the third leg of Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  June 24.  Training starts in three weeks :-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why I Run, Why I Train, Why I Race

I'm 41 years old. I started running less than two years ago. Two of the three most important women in my life, my sisters Janet and Jayne, both died at 37 years of age, Janet of brain tumors and Jayne of leukemia. The third woman, my mother, died of lung cancer two years after she retired. After 48 years of nursing, she had five months of retirement before she became a patient. My father has had five heart attacks, two heart bypass surgeries, numerous episodes of pneumonia and other assorted hospitalizations, and lives today with three painful hernias and one quarter of normal cardiac function.

From my friend Angie, here's why I run:

Then I found triathlons. To compete in triathlons, you have to train. At odd hours, usually in the early morning or after a long day at work or both in the same day. After a flight delay gets me in late and takes away my sleep or when I've logged two weeks' worth of work in one calendar week. Plus weekends. Long hours on the weekends. In the cold, the rain, the heat, the humidity and when it's anything but convenient. And it's been the MOST fun. Seriously. From my friend Brad, here's why I train:

I'm relieved and grateful to be healthy. I'm lucky to be able to train. I try to enjoy it just as much as that little boy above - isn't his smile incredible? Such joy.

This is all a huge luxury, and this year especially has been The Year of Spoiling Michele. I'm so lucky.

But I'm not so noble or altruistic that there isn't something else in it for me.

And that? The outlet of competition. Me against the course. Me against the clock. Me against myself.

Here's why I race:

Time to Do Work.

Becoming a Runner

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a congratulations party for some friends who had just completed their first Ironman. As with most discussions that include more than one triathlete, the conversation turned to training, and someone asked me, "So are you a runner?"

And I immediately answered, "No. Not really."

Which is odd, isn't it? I've completed three marathons and four half-marathons in the last eighteen months. I run 3-4 times a week and get worried and cranky when I don't run that often.  A three mile run is "too short."  I'm less than 24 hours away from Marathon #4, and have signed up for two marathons and an Ironman in 2012, with plans to do two more in 2013.

But my immediate instinct is "I'm not really a runner."  Hmm...interesting psychology at work here. I've always wanted to be a real runner, but have always felt too . . . not like a runner. Runners are taller, lankier, fitter, faster. There's really such a thing as a runners' build. That's not me. There's also a runner vibe. I don't have that either. I do run, but I don't consider myself a runner.

And since I woke up at 4:00 a.m. local time on the morning before Marathon #4, I took some time to retrace my steps on how I got to Sacramento, California this weekend.
It started with this new townhouse in a new city

With one final piece of mail from my old house that made it's way into my new house, advertising this group

That led me to an organizational meeting, which gave me the outlet to the "OMG I'm turning 40" midlife crisis that was brewing. Which led me to my very first road race of any sort, the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon in June 2010 with this lovely new friend Tisha.

Me and Tisha, crossing the finish line hand in hand.

Newbie runners - I don't recommend that your very first road race be a full marathon.  Try a 5K first.   A little easier.

But I now had a desire to "Try that again, only train better for the next one".  So I kept running and joined the Galloway group, 400+ strong in Raleigh

Which introduced me to the run-walk method and more trails around the greater RDU area.  Trails mean roots, which are sometimes treacherous

But I met more fantastic running women, like this group that went to Virginia Beach:

Renee, Rekha, Amy, Michele

And Myrtle Beach

Amy, Tisha, Michele - and the coolest medal ever

Meanwhile, Tisha was slowly but persistently convincing me that I will love cycling and that I should buy a bike and do a triathlon with her. So on Black Friday 2010, I decided to buy this

But I didn't ride it yet.

I had my "redemption race" yet to go.  Another Rock and Roll Marathon

The tall blond on the right in red is Michelle. I hope to connect with her again someday - this was her first half.

Bonus points for those of you who recognize the location. Here was my first PR, lowering my San Diego time by 47 minutes.  Still could do better - that was a double-digit mile pace.  And oh by the way, total weight loss in 2010?  Nothing.  Not a pound.

Tisha and I sign up for the Festival of Flowers triathlon in June 2011.

In the meantime, I had been invited by a co-worker to go to Disney and do the Goofy Challenge (a half-marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday). That's where I met this group

I am not in this picture above. I was in the hotel room on six work conference calls. Because I am an idiot.

You get excellent medals and shirts for Goofy, as modeled above by Blake, Julie, Stephanie and Brad. However, I ended up walking the second half of the full, thanks to a dumb decision to wear compression socks that I had never trained in.

So I have another date with Goofy in my future, where I will take him down. The goal is to run both the half and the full in the amount of time it took me to run the full, with time to spare.

The Goofy crew and friends, hereafter known as the Brier Creek Posse, held a chili cookoff and invited this guy, Coach Marty.

Who coaches the Cary Masters swim team. Once I realized that "Masters" refers to age instead of ability (although there are a lot of swimmers there who swim two laps to my one), I was excited. Time to start swimming again, which introduced me to 4:45a wake-up calls. I learned that I loved structured swim workouts and confirmed from Coach Marty that my swim stroke did not have any "fatal flaws".  Good.  Less chance of drowning, I think.

I learned how to ride that beautiful bike above. Those who say you never forget how to ride a bike have never taken 15 years off and then bought a tri bike with clips for your first bike back. Important tip - clip out when approaching a stop.


But I kept trying to ride.  15 mph!  Woo Hoo!  I am FLYING, baby! 

Now I'm swimming and riding some. Finding that running is getting a little easier. Back to Disney for a total girlie princess weekend in February.

Tisha, Me and Princess Bella in the front

It was a really strong run. Not easy, but a lot easier than any run prior.  Hmmm . . . there is a bit of payoff brewing here.

Galloway season starts up, and I've been nominated to be a group leader. It's the largest Galloway group in the country, and we get a visit from the man himself:

Fellow group leader Cara, Jeff Galloway, Me

My first brush with an Olympian. I have his autograph on one of his books. There will be another post about that conversation and book. Stay tuned.

A lot of swimming and biking and working, it's time for the first triathlon at White Lake

If you squint really hard, you can see the start of a bicep there. Marty had incorporated TRX work into our swim workouts. Ten pounds down, 20 mph on the bike and 9 minute miles regularly. And the biggest shocker of all:

That's me on a podium. Second place in novice females. With that, my mindset changed. The more hopeful casual approach gave way to "I want to get better". Because once you've been on a podium, you want to get there again.  I ran for a year because I wanted the shiny medal and the cool t-shirt.  Now I want more than that.

Time to put that running to the test. Run for the Dream, a new race in Williamsburg, VA. I was ready. I finally understood the importance of a warm-up, slept really well the night before, and had trained well.

And it didn't really work out like I had hoped. Oh, I set a PR by 15 minutes. But it could have been more, and I didn't feel like I had run the race intelligently. I had developed lofty goals and serious expectations, but  needed the right way to get there.

I'm lucky. I have a job that rewards me for working really hard and a manager who is understanding when I'm really sleepy on swim workout days. That means that I usually have some customer trip on the same week of a race, but it also means that I can work with great coaches.

Coach Bri and Coach Marty of One Step Beyond, with Tassie in the front. That's Logan under the stripes - we'll get a better picture of him in a few days.

So on my first run with OSB, I'm introduced to "strides".  Let me just say that there is nothing more humbling than running next to someone, thinking that you're doing a pretty good job of keeping pace, and then she turns on the jets and dusts you off in a matter of seconds. While she's five months pregnant.  But it was fun. A lot of fun. And inspiring.

Within two weeks I start asking Coach Bri, "can I do this" and "can I do that", which also implied, "please don't think I'm crazy". Because this whole triathlon thing is starting to develop into an addiction.

That's me and Tisha holding our awards for second and third Masters novice at Festival of Flowers in June.  Like I said, addiction.

No more "novice" categories though. Time to sit at the big kids' table.  Which means that I have to get fitter and faster to get more hardware.  Okay, I'm game for that.

Along the way, I meet more and more wonderful people:

Brad, Jen, Steffen, Blake, Julie, Scottie, Dave, Jon

Steve, Deirdre, Tisha

Tisha, Michele, Alan, Jaime - in a photo taken by


So I was doing a lot of swimming and biking and some running. On weeks where I didn't travel, I would log 4-5 miles swimming, 80-100 miles on the bike and 15-30 miles running. I was also logging a lot of miles on my new car.

Yes, I made a major life purchase with the criteria of "it has to fit my tri bike in the back". I took my bike with me to the car dealership and was sold by the very cool storage compartment in the back that holds all my tri stuff. Is that so wrong?

Let me put those earlier numbers back up here:  On weeks where I didn't travel, I would log 4-5 miles swimming, 80-100 miles on the bike and 15-30 miles running.

That's not a lot of running. My weak area is the bike, so that's where I have to devote the majority of my training time. I would run more when I traveled for work, so those weeks might be closer to 30 miles. My friends who were training for their marathons only were easily topping 50-70 miles in a week. So it would make sense that the discipline in which I'm spending the least time is the one where I'm not seeing as much improvement, right?

I like to be contrary. I got faster at running. Go figure. I have definitely had some setbacks and have had weeks where my total run miles are less than most marathon runners log in their long run.

But six triathlons, four half-marathons, three marathons, a 10K where I won my age group, two 8K's and three 5K's later, I still have an instinctive response of "no, I'm not really a runner."

Let's see what happens tomorrow :-)