Yikes! Great last workout!!

Oh, man - that was downright fun!

I wasn't really looking forward to this workout, even though it's my last and I know it isn't that taxing.  (I can tell I'm at the end of a very long training cycle... this is NOT like me at all)  I didn't have a training partner due to the timing of things (early conference call meant I couldn't meet my NF group) - not a big deal since it's a short tempo workout - but also cause for me to not look forward to it.  Plus, I couldn't get out until after work, so that leads me to think/stew/dwell on the workout all day. 

I put on my new CW-X revolution tights (shipped to me specifically for the race, LOVE CW-X!), race socks, and Brooks racing flats.  This could very well be what I'm wearing on race day - fun to visualize that.  I made my way out the door and started on the warm-up.

I immediately knew it'd be a fun day.  The legs are really coming around!  They feel quick (no extra time on the ground), strong, and efficient.  I know I complained in my earlier post about the metabolism slow-down that comes with a taper - which is not fun at all - but legs that feel like this make it totally worth it.

Workout goal: 5x1000m at tempo effort, 2 min rest.  My personal goal was 5:50 pace for the first one and then bringing it down a second or so each repeat - practicing bringing down the pace.

Actual: 5x1000m in 3:34 (5:46 pace), 3:31 (5:40 pace), 3:30 (5:38 pace), 3:30 (5:39 pace), 3:25 (5:31 pace).

The first one I found myself checking my watch every 30 seconds or so.  Am I under 5:50?  I finished in 5:46 pace - perfect - but then decided to ditch the watch.  It's dumb to be a slave to the watch like that, I should be running on feel not on what the watch says.  It helped that it was getting dark so if I wanted to check pace/distance I'd have to hit the back-light.

I then focused on running quick, up tempo, and smooth.  I concentrated on bringing air into my lungs, feeling the coolness of the night, and swinging my arms ahead of me (I've become a little sloppy lately).  Low and behold - 5:40 and below pace came to me!

Obviously, I know the reason these paces were do-able tonight was that I had less than 20 minutes of tempo work, with plenty of rest.  My marathon pace goals won't change.  BUT what this workout did give me was the reassurance that my legs ARE there, I am fit and fast, and I should truly be able to race on Sunday (if you've ever "forced" a race on fatigued legs before, you can imagine my fear of running the streets of NY trying to get the legs to MOVE!).  I am SOOOOO excited.

Just 100 minutes of running between now and Sunday.  Wow... 


NYC Updates... and a little grumbling

The NYC staff have done a great job of trying communicating.  The last email said (paraphrased slightly):

Hurricane Sandy hit New York City very hard yesterday.  Everyone in the city is working very hard today to bring the city back to normal, but this will take more than a few days.  Some of the damage is extensive, and there is a lot of flooding, which is the biggest problem right now.

At the moment, all three airports (LGA, EWR, JFK) are closed, and the city's mass transit system is not running.  Most of the bridges and tunnels to Manhattan are also closed.  Electricity is turned off in parts of Manhattan, but the power at the Hilton and Sheraton Hotels is still on.  Central Park remains closed, and there are a lot of trees down. 


Then, they go on to  try to coordinate flights for the international elites - trying to get them into either Houston or LA - where they can fly out of once NYC's airports open up on Wednesday.  I can't imagine how messy the airports are going to be starting Wednesday... wonder how many of the 48k runners were planning to fly Mon/Tuesday (not to mention businessmen/women, vacationers, etc) and will now be scrambling for the first available flight.

Maybe it's lucky that Nate and I aren't planning to fly until Friday afternoon?  

On to more fun NYC Updates:  here's the list of who I'll be starting with.  How exciting to see my name on the list (still surprises me, pretty much anytime I look at it)!

And, as the title of the blog post suggests, I have one big complaint about this week:  metabolism!! I miss being able to eat whatever I want (well, not that I was eating a ton when training - but it seems like mountains compared to now!) and actually getting hungry in between meals and snacks!!  This is probably my least favorite part of the taper... I'm not in the least bit hungry, ever, and am having to really watch portion sizes now.  Yuck. And I'm even running every day - I can't imagine if I wasn't!  Perhaps this is why a lot of America is overweight?  


Coming Around!

My legs are slowly but surely coming around!  Today's run was a big confidence booster - my feet hit the ground and immediately bound up, and there wasn't any feeling of forcing the pace.  Nate and I clipped along at 7:50's (vs. the 8:20s that have been common these last two weeks - including a run earlier this week where I started in 9:15 (tired legs!)).  We picked it up the last bit to home, and for the first time in a while, it felt GREAT to stride out.  My legs WANTED to move faster, and I felt like they could. Again, there was no forcing the speed - it just felt good to move.  I'm not to the point where my legs feel like they're being "pushed", like some of those amazing tapers give you, but if I have legs even a little bit more rested than what they felt like today, I'd definitely take it :)

On another note, Nate and I had a fabulous weekend.  Saturday we were able to watch the most IMPRESSIVE and inspirational race I have ever seen.  I'm not kidding. 

Gustavus women were racing at the MIAC championships at Como park.  They were ranked about 5th coming into the meet - they hadn't beat Olaf, Carleton, St. Ben's or St. Thomas coming into the meet.  They raced with as much heart and determination as I have EVER seen, placing 4 runners in the top 15 (All Conference) and their 5th in 26th place to take home the WIN!!  That's the second time in the program's history that the team has won the conference title (I was a part of the first team to win, in 2003).  I'm so proud of the women!  I'll bring the memory of their faces, their determination with me to New York, no doubt.

Leighton, my cousin, also had a good race, although not quite what he was looking for.  He's just saving it for a knock-out race at regions :)

Me + Kate Eggers, a senior on the team (yeah, someone my height!).  So proud of the Gusties!!


Packing and Prepping

It's exciting around here!

I've started to set aside things for the race (also made a long checklist, I love making lists & crossing things off :)).  Here are a few highlights:

Yumm, Carb BOOM!

I was lucky enough to get bottle service on the course - think I'm in the 38th position, and they had room for 40.  Yikes!  There are 50 total women racing.  I haven't double checked the list, but I'm pretty sure that when I looked at qualifying times that there were only a handful that were slower than mine... but maybe I missed a few (hopefully!).  I'm pumped just because it makes it so much easier to get gels out on the course where you need it.  I typically eat a lot during the marathon, so the thought of carrying 5 or so along with me is a little daunting (I'm sure I'd find a way if I had to, though!).  So -- I've laid them out like I typically do and will mark them for when I'd like to take them.  Nothing scientific about it, other than: spread out caffeine, take in approximate amount/time as at the Trials. 

Race Info stuff:
I found out I'm rooming with Devon Crosby-Helms, a super accomplished ultra-runner (and very speedy marathoner).  I'm so excited!  She's a little banged up at the moment so isn't sure she'll be racing... selfishly, I hope she does so I can meet her!  Plus, I would love to pick her brain on how to transition my current training into training for an ultra (I'm considering doing the road 50k (US Championships) next spring).  Second plus, I just feel like she is a cool person & someone I would really get along with.  Weird to say, since I've only read a little of her blog...

(watch me regret saying this...)

They've also been in touch with us regarding transportation, race uniform stuff (need to measure my logos... ug).  I'm especially thankful for all the help with logistics!

Very cool article on NYC/tips by Ryan Hall here.

Wish I could say I'm flying through workouts right now, but that hasn't come yet.  I need to shake that expectation out of my head... just because it happened before Grandma's last year doesn't mean it will happen again (in fact, it hasn't...).  I just vividly remember the feeling
But, I would like to be a little faster at this point.  This week I've been fighting a head cold (I don't really get "really" sick anymore), so hopefully that's zapped the legs and lungs a bit and that's what I'm feeling.  Oh well -- still 9 days to go -- and really, the legs don't need to be there until then!  Today was my last longer workout, 3x10 minutes at tempo.  I went out in the morning with Craig.
Times:  6:08 average for the first one (6:00 for first mile, then 6:23 pace for last 4 mins! Yikes!)
6:06 pace for second one
5:50 pace for last one
(out and back on Sechler trail - first one was all into wind, 2nd was half/half, 3rd was with wind)
(again, hmm, would hope these would be faster, but it wasn't for lack of effort!  Blame it on the cold)

Now, it's REALLY time to taper!

Just Food is offering 5% off on Saturday (Northfielders, I expect to see you there!), so I'm definitely hitting them up for this last week's worth of food.  Yumm, whole wheat tortillas and organic fruit.  I may splurge for some of their salmon or beef - I've never tried wild salmon or grass fed beef before (been afraid of the price), but I figure if not now... when?  Any other fun ideas for super nutrient get-my-legs-feeling-super-springy recipes or food? :)

I'm trying to get as much done tonight and this weekend so next week won't be as crazy.  Budgeting season is almost done, thank goodness... my brain can't handle much more.  If I had to do things all over again, I would definitely have managed stress/hours a little better, I know that was a contributing factor to the overall-tiredness this last month.

So, with that... time to put in a few good hours of work yet this evening.


Mental Prep

I picked up my race prep CD from Dr. Asp yesterday.  I was so excited!!

I listened to it for the first time right before bed last night.  I knew that was a mistake, but that was the first time I had since picking it up and wanted to start committing it to memory as soon as I could.  The CD itself is a whopping 23 minutes long (!!), so I ended around midnight (oops... wasn't so good about getting to bed early).  I then laid awake for nearly 45 minutes thinking about things, visualizing the race further, and really thinking through what Dr. Asp had to say.

Dr. Asp has really perfected his visualization CDs, even since a year ago when I first started working with him.  I think he's just worked with so many other runners/athletes now so has new perspectives and knows how to address common issues/beliefs (even if you don't know they are there!).  This CD in particular hits on everything so perfectly - he's incorporates all that we've talked about recently, things that have worked in past CDs, races, etc.

I am SO glad I have him on my "team" & his work has become an integral part of my race prep.  It's already changing the way I'm looking at the race (an opportunity to lay it out there vs. being scared of starting with the professional women, wondering if I'll be fast enough).  I can't wait to see what it'll change in me in the next coming days.

(I just need to find time earlier in the day to listen to it!)


Mesa hates the taper!

Mesa is not a happy camper.  She hasn't been run much lately since a lot of my doubles have now been cut out (she probably ran upwards of 50 mpw during my high mileage weeks).  So... to use up that pent up energy, she has escaped from the house on two occassions only to come back covered in poop. 


Oh, Mesa - happiest when running (lots) :)  Guess she takes after me :)


Sleepy! And can there really be so few workouts left?

I've tried to prioritize sleep this week.  I've been doing much better (most nights at 8+ hours!), but what I've found is that I'm actually more tired.  Much more.  My brain sometimes has a hard time concentrating.  So, guess that means that more sleep is needed.  Good thing a weekend is coming up (one where Nate will be away at a ski training camp) - one that I fully intend to utilize sleeping, catching up on work, running (not too much! Yeah taper!), napping, and cleaning a little (house is a disaster).  So excited.

There are just 3 hard workouts left (and one "shake-out" harder workout the week of the marathon, not sure if you can count that since hopefully it will feel easy, and it'll be pretty short).  Crazy.  This week's hard workout went better than last week's (5:57 average tempo pace vs. 6:05's last week), so I know I'm moving in the right direction.  Might be perfect timing, let's hope!

So, need to keep moving in that direction, and nail the next 3!  The next one is on tap for tomorrow afternoon, should be a lot of fun.

PS - Any recommendations for things to do while in NY?  We're staying 2 days after the marathon.  Since we're just 2 weeks away, I guess I should start planning at least a couple of things to do/see/eat!


Brooks post!

For those that haven't seen it, my first guest blog for Brooks!



Mental Training

I'll meet with Dr. Asp next week to lay out a definitive race plan and work on my mental prep.  It's a good thing I have something scheduled - it forces me to think ahead to the race earlier than I maybe otherwise would (work and a massive house project have been consuming most of my time and mental energy lately - and likely would continue to if I don't carve out time this weekend).

I'm going to try to segment the marathon into shorter segments (4 or so?), having specific thoughts to focus on and goals during each.  I haven't really worked on segmenting the race before; instead, it's been more overall race/coping thoughts, overall goals, etc.  I think this will be a good addition.

If anyone hasn't already read, my first experience with Dr. Asp's help was absolutely fabulous (helped that it was also my OTQ).  I've never been able to internalize pain like that before :).  Let's hope he can help train me to be able to do that again!

I have a few thoughts sketched out, but thought it'd be interesting to ask here if people knew of any good resources to check out that have ideas on coping thoughts/interim race goals/etc.  Any/all thoughts, links, book suggestions welcome!
Other thoughts:  I glanced through the participant guide for NYC.  Holy cow... I knew it was a huge marathon, but it's intimidating to read through all that goes into an event like this.  Drop your bags off no later than 1:30 before your wave starts, the corral closes 50 minutes to start time... this wave follows this course... etc.  In some ways, I am really thankful to be starting in the Professional wave - I'm sure it'll be a lot less stressful as they'll usher us to where we need to be, hopefully there won't be a ton of standing around, etc.  I still find it very, very crazy that a marathon like NYC would want me racing for them, giving me the perks of not having to worry about all of the logistics (again, just assuming - and hoping! I am very small-town midwestern-ish in my ability to navigate big cities, and am even more brain-less the morning of a race - ask Nate!).

There was one particular thought that crept into my mind when reading through the guide.  Wave 1 starts 30 minutes after the Professional Women's division (9:10 and 9:40, respectively).  Wave 1 has the professional men and the sub-elite men and women.  I saw that, and my immediate thought was, "I belong there"... (meaning Wave 1 instead of the professional wave)

I'm not sure why.  I am fast enough.  I am stronger, more fit, and have trained harder than ever.  Remember those 11 weeks where I averaged 98 miles/week?  Remember some of those crazy tempo workouts that I nailed?  I fully believe I'll be able to run a new PR (it's just a matter of how big!).  Why do I constantly doubt myself?  I corrected myself after that thought came to me, but I can tell I'm trying to convince myself I'm right - and I don't "fully" believe it yet.  If that makes sense?

So - that will be something Dr. Asp and I talk through/work on :). 


Getting that spring back, one workout at a time

As I warmed up to meet Craig for today's workout (16 miles total, 2x3 mile segments), I felt the normal "Nichole" spring in my step.  My stride is a little bouncier and the quads don't feel bound or immobile anymore. YES, I thought to myself!  This is going to be the day!

I honestly think my legs are coming around mainly because of the iron supplementation I started a week ago.  Could also be the taper for TC10.  It's been a full week now since I started with a supplement, and overall I just feel like I'm getting back to my normal.  The normal where I'm working hard on the hard days, but it takes just a day or so to recover.  The normal where my legs feel the effort after a workout or run, but it's a good feeling.  Does that make any sense?  I can tell even lying in bed at night that they have more energy in them, and they just feel faster.

Totally cool.  Thank you to Camille's perfectly timed post!

Anyway, back to the workout. I picked up Craig and did another .5 miles of warm-up to our starting location.  I stretched (the old injury in my hamstring has been acting up lately, so have been working on trying to loosen that area and the glute - regular visits to Jim, the miracle worker/chiropractor, as well) and we were off.

Except it really wasn't my day.  I looked at my watch.  What?  6:00 pace?  I tried focusing on my form to make sure I wasn't over-striding, pushing off hard, running tall and efficient.  Quick, powerful steps.  I tried picking up the pace for 10-20 seconds.  After I realized that 5:55-6:00 (and a little slower when we headed straight into the wind and uphill) was just my pace for the day, I just focused on making sure the repeat was quality.  The most important thing for me now (I think) is to make sure I'm not letting up that last mile and trying to pick up the pace.  I'm happy to report I was able to do that in both segments.  That's a good "win" for me, I think my typical lately has been just to settle in and then get a little slower for these longer segments.  I don't want that to be my norm when racing, so have to make that change in training.

Times: 18:11, 18:18.  I think the loop we did was a little more uphill/into the wind.

So, even though the paces weren't there, today was a very good day.  The legs are coming around, and given another week or so to continue to get stronger/snappier and another week for my lungs to figure out how to work with my legs again, I'll be there.  And I am oh-SO-excited for that :)!


TC 10 mile and the next 4 weeks

Oh, TC 10 mile… the race (and race distance) that will always elude me! 21st place in the Women’s Professional Field (finishing ahead of 2 other women), 1:00:48. 

There’s plenty of good that came from this race.  The first was getting me used to lining up with real “professionals”.  When you narrow the field just to the professionals, it has a very different feel.  Perhaps it’s because it was a field of true FAST 10 milers that made me feel out of place; there is something distinctly different about 10 mile athletes.  Their body types are more uniform: tall, slightly built, long legged.  They also have a certain “fast-ness” to them, a quickness and power that I simply just don’t possess.  Perhaps it was because a lot of women had their professional coaches next to them, looking serious and stressed.  They have a job to do, after all – this is their huge presentation for the week/month and they have to ace it. 

Whatever it was, it was different.  I’m very glad I had the opportunity to experience this now, as I’m sure it’ll be the same as at NYC.  Except then I’ll get to line up against top marathoners, where I feel like I fit in much better.  [Aside: after the race and cool down Nate and I biked up on the course to cheer for the marathoners.  I watched the lead women and immediately felt drawn to them, feeling that sense of “yeah, they’re faster than me – but I feel like I am one of them, could hold my own against them”] 

I ran a new PR, 1:00:46, and ran strong throughout the race.  I ran through the first 5 miles in 30:08, the second 5 miles in 30:40.  Not bad, considering the course profile the second half.  I also passed two women within the last two miles (and was reeling in the 3rd, the race just wasn’t long enough!).  I feel so strong those last couple of miles.  It’s a fun feeling.

But, there was also a lot that could have gone better and that I have to learn.  First, I couldn’t get myself to move any faster!  I’m not sure why.  You would think that a 2:44 marathoner could break 60 in a 10 mile, right?  I think my marathon time translates into a 58-something 10 mile.  The plan was to start at 5:55, then drop to 5:50, then to 5:45’s and hold my pace between 5:45 and 5:50.  I came through the first mile perfect (finding myself in last place, how humbling!), but then found myself stuck at 6:00.  C’mon, legs, I pleaded!  My lungs are so strong, but I just didn’t have that extra gear.  I explained it to Craig, and he commented that of course I can go faster – we do 5:40 tempo miles and track workouts faster than that all the time.  Good point… so why can’t I translate that into a faster middle-distance race?  I think my answer to that will be to try to start my tempo workouts a little slower and then work into a faster pace as the workout progresses.  Practice cutting down my paces so that I’m able to do it in a race.  As for getting the legs to be able to hold a faster pace in general… I don’t know how to remedy that one… perhaps my legs are still fatigued (although getting better!), or perhaps it wasn’t my day.  Perhaps I just don’t have the track work I need under my belt?

Second, I was so impressed by the powerful strides the top men had as they passed me.  That’s a power and snappiness that I don’t have – at all.  My stride is very smooth, efficient – almost quiet.  They also have a little more range of motion.  Their legs come up farther, snap upward quicker.  I noted this, and think I’ll spend just a little more time stretching and add in just a few plyo drills to get some snappiness back in the stride.  Continuing with strength work and working on some snappiness there will also help.

Me, around mile 7 or 8, just trying to get out of the way!  This is also when I was marveling at their stride and speed. Note Abdi's expression, wonder what he was thinking? :)
The race also reminded me how much I love racing and how excited I am for NYC.  Gotta love the excitement in the air at a big event! 

Besides the race, there’s a lot more to cover!

Jerry laid out the next 4 weeks, which are slightly down from the original plan in further attempts to get my legs fully recovered & feeling FAST again.  It’s a little scary, as most tapers are.  Have I really done enough?  There are only 6 hard workouts left, 22 runs (maybe a few more as I break some of the runs into doubles – currently none are written in).  Yikes.  It makes me want to make the most of each and every day.  I need to prioritize sleep (hard to do in the middle of budget season at work), eating well, and all of the little things (stretching, plyos, strength). 

The other thing I’ve done is added an iron supplement.  Funny thing, actually.  At the beginning of last week Camille posted a long interview (I’ll link to it later when I find it) where she talked about her progression as a marathoner.  She’s someone I really identify with.  After her first 100 mile week, she felt like something changed in her – running felt more effortless and she felt like she could run forever.  She was less tired after 100 mile weeks than at lower mileage.  Those have been exactly what I’ve found as well.  She mentioned something else that struck a cord.  After a month or two of 100 mile weeks she began to feel run down and was sick more often.  She thought it was just mileage based, but found out it was iron related.  Even though she was a healthy meat eater, she was breaking down more red-blood cells with the additional foot-striking of high mileage.  Ah ha!  I wonder if this is a part of what I’ve been experiencing these last few weeks.  It’s highly unusual for me to be running tired for this long.  Yes, mileage was pretty high for 11 weeks, work is stressful, etc, etc, but I normally snap back after about 7-10 days of reduced mileage.  We’re now at week 3.  I also reflected on my diet lately, which is as good as it’s been – but realized that as I’ve eaten more vegetables, beans and “real food” that I’ve cut out more red meat.  Not by design, I really like red meat – I just have been preferring to make a bean/quinoa dish to hamburgers lately.

I haven’t been tested (I should get in), but decided to buy an iron supplement to take in addition to my multi-vitamin.  In a week’s time, I can already tell a difference (coincidentally, that's when Camille said she also felt things turn around).  I’m tired after the 10 mile race, but it isn’t like the tired I was experiencing 2 weeks ago.  Wow – I’ll be so happy if this was the cause (or a contributor) – something very easy to change!!! 



Good article!



30 days to NYC!

I'm really excited.  Just 30 short days!  That's all :)


Giving myself a chance?

The TC10 mile is this Sunday.  I'd really like to set a new PR (and finally go sub 60!).  You'd think that if I can hold 6:15's for a marathon that I would have a PR faster than 1:01.something, right?  Yeah, it's time to remedy that :)

My legs have been oh-so-tired, lately, though, so after last Tuesday, Jerry instructed me to be pretty drastic in cutting out mileage and some intensity from the plan leading up to the race.  After about a 5 minute "Gasp! No doubles! No! My legs aren't that tired, are they?!?" freak out, I came to my senses, knowing full well my legs WERE that tired (if not more so!), and I desperately needed a BIG down week (or two).

After just easy miles and a rest day, the workout planned for Saturday went OK - Jerry edited it down to 2x (2 miles at MP, 1 at T).  I felt like I was doing a fast tempo segment to hit the marathon paces, and practically an all out mile to do the tempo.  Not super encouraging, but at least progress vs. the Tuesday workout.

Fast forward to this week.  By Monday evening's run, I could tell the legs were starting to come around.  Tuesday's workout with the Run Club (we need a team name...) actually went OK, despite a slow start.  We did 6x1 miles at tempo, and I finished in 5:55 (hmm, I thought to myself), 5:50 (okay, you can just focus on getting faster each one!), 5:49 (yes, I fought to make that one faster), 5:45 (Nate stuck with me on this one, so nice to have the side-by-side push!), 5:43 (again, fighting to make it faster!), and 5:40.  Yes!  I was still working harder than I should have been for the 5:40-5:45 pace, but it's nice to know that I can at least move that fast. 

Today's run was mighty slow as a result of Tuesday's effort.  Any spring I gained before Tuesday has since left, so I know I'm not still 100% (maybe 80%?).  Ahh, oh well.  All in good time.

I've also been trying to eat as well as possible.  I figure I need to be giving my body every possible opportunity to heal itself, and I feel like nourishing it with plenty of good foods is one of the best things I can do for it.  There have been several times where I've actually went out of my way to make something that consists mostly of vegetables, grains, and beans (think late night at the office, tired... easy just to scrounge...).  It's actually been a lot of fun!

Except when I opened a package of burrito shells (Chi Chi's brand) - yes, bought on sale with a coupon - for my typical egg white/spinach burrito and found myself tasting the un-natural-ness (is that a word?) of the burrito shell.  I took a look at the package to find:

Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Water, Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, Leavening Agent (Bicarbonate of Soda, Cornstarch, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Fumaric Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Propionate to Retard Mold and Conditioner (Soy Flour, Calcium Sulfate, and Sorbic Acid).

Definitely not within my "5 ingredients or less" goal, and I could completely tell (when did that change happen?).  Guess it's time to get back to the Co-op :).  Or find a way to make tortillas myself?  I really wish I had more time in my day to make more meals, make things from scratch, keep learning creative ways to substitute for better ingredients (Craig's bread making and ingredient list he told us about this weekend sounded SO good!  On the prowl for a bread maker now!) etc.  Maybe someday? :)

So... here's hoping that the legs soak up the rest of this down week and come to the line Sunday feeling springy, light, and FAST!  (also very excited to cheer for everyone that's running the marathon, especially fellow GAC alum Brooke, who will be running her first!)