PC: Tommy Martino

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Haaaaaaaaaaave you met Taper Trisha?

           (Disclaimer: this is incredibly long winded report. Enjoy!)

Well if you haven't you may consider yourself lucky. Taper Trisha is needy, emotionally erratic, at times mean, impulsive and scared. Coined by my ever patient husband, Taper Trisha is a slight resemblance of my former 80+ mile per week self. In-training Trisha is too tired to walk downstairs and clean the litter boxes (yes there are 3!) and just hungry enough to convince my husband to drive me to Dairy Queen on Sunday night. Taper Trisha usually appears about 8-10 days prior to an 'A' race, but due to the enormity of the 118th running of the Boston Marathon next week, she reared her ugly head a bit early this. 

Examples from this past week:

  • My two week out Sunday long run had a minor setback when I found myself in someone's yard crying because I didn't hit my splits. I know I was tired. It was windy. I know it wasn't that bad. I know the pitch was steeper than that of Boston. I'm not an idiot! I am just irrational. (There is a difference people!) I just couldn't keep the dark thoughts of doubt from creeping in. I needed a good cry to release some pressure. After a few minutes, I composed myself and ran back to my car. 
  • Disagreement with my boss an which I ended the conversation with slamming the phone down to hang up. Not good on any level.
  • Road rage! On my morning commute, a minivan drifted over the white line into my lane, only to erratically swerve back into her lane. I thought it may have just been an over site, but as I drive by her, I saw her texting on her phone on her steering wheel. Not even hiding it! I hung out the window, honking and pointing at her to not text and drive. If the cars had been stopped, I am sure I would have knocked on her window. 
  • I cut my hair.... For the first time it's short in more than six years. Not just cut, chopped. About 7 inches! No more ponytail whipping me in the eye. 

Who is this impulsive person? Unfortunately, I have to admit it's me. An emotional hot-mess. So, what gives? I don't remember being this unruly before my race last fall. Probably selective memory. I think it all comes down to pressure and fear. A wise (and British!) woman told me only I can control the pressure I put on myself.... And I have laid it on thick here in the early parts of 2014 leading up to Boston.

Fear is also a powerful motivator in life, good or bad. I have had a lot of people ask me if I'm afraid for my safety or my mom's as she spectates. And my answer to that is no. I truly believe last years attack was an opportunistic one that won't be duplicated. The BAA is organized and prepared for the new security measures it will have to endure in our new era of marathoning. 

My fear is failure. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about failing as much as succeeding. I have no excuses, no outs if I fail. I have trained hard, remained injury free and now I just have to stay calm and rested. Easier said than done... Clearly as demonstrated by previously noted actions! (Perhaps my 'No alcohol for six weeks before race day' challenge I issued myself, should be revisited as a big glass of Cabernet would really nice right now!) But, I also know, deep down, the biggest failure would be not to give it my all. If I go for it, give it my all and come up short, is that a failure? No. Just fuel for the fire I suppose. 

But, as I approach the final week, I am feeling much better than the last, more calm anyways. My nerves are lessening as my body regains some freshness. There's still a bit of panic as the legs are still fatigued, but I know I have seven more very easy days to recover. (Again, not an idiot, just irrational.) 

Ok, so enough about my mental state, let's get down to crunching some numbers (for you Taco Bell Timmy) and other fun stuff that's happened in the past few months. 

Let's talk build ups. Here's a breakdown of the past three race marathons and then Boston's build up. (For consistency - 10 weeks total for each, not including race week or prior week, so starts 12 weeks from race) 

California International Marathon 12/2/12
719 miles
Half marathon 10 weeks out
One 5k in there and an 8K 10 days before race
No over-distance runs

Cleveland Marathon 5/19/13
764 miles
25K trail race 4 weeks prior to race
No over-distance runs

Twin Cities Marathon 10/6/13
804 miles
Half marathon 4 weeks out
2 over-distance runs

Boston Marathon 4/21/14
809 miles
Half marathon 8 weeks out
4 over-distance runs

Although its the same miles almost for Twin Cities and Boston, logging miles in August and September is a whole lot easier than February and March. If I go add up a 16-18 week build up, there are almost 100 more miles for the Boston build. 
Total mileage for 2014 = 1,163 (average about 79/wk)
March was also a big mileage month for me, I think my most miles in a single month to date. 392! And I had two back to back mid-90s weeks just recently. That's new! Makes me think this summer I will have my first 100 mile week! Now I know this is baby stuff for pros and much more dedicated and experienced runners alike. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it was just shy of three years ago that I broke thee hours for the first time and was running about 50-60 miles a week. So this is big for me!

Here are some highlights to training this year so far!

Seaside Half Marathon 
2/23/14 PR! 1:18:22
So not to be overly dramatic (which is an every day occurrence for me- see above taper rant), but February or Snowbruary, in Missoula was out of hand. Yep, 26 of the 28 days had snow accumulation. The last week of this month was just straight up ridiculous. I was so freaking excited to go to Ventura, CA! It wasn't a very long trip, but a productive one and a much warmer one to boot.

Jenn and I left the snowpocolypse on Friday afternoon and arrived in 70 degree Burbank later that evening. We switched to flip flops and grabbed the keys to our sick (POS) Crystler 200. We hit the road heading west, not stopping until we hit the Pacific. (Only one near death experience on some giant CA highway.) It was dark by the time we arrived, but I could smell it. Salt. Ocean. Humidity. Green. Blue. Life. Yay!

Both Jenn and I scored PR's and it was Jenn's B-day!
Fairly good race, can't be bummed about a PR in the middle of training!

Indoor 26 miler 3/2/14
Sunday long run inside because Missoula got four feet of snow in 3 days! Damn you SNARCH! 13 on the treadmill and 13 on the 200M track. It really wasn't that bad! And it was nice having all my Hammer fuels right there on the t-mill or nearby, not digging through a pocket or dealing with a frozen water bottle.

Thanks to my buddy David for keeping me company on the last half! 

Run For the Luck of It 7 miler 
3/15/14  42:02 (ran faster in 2012)
This was probably the worst I have ever felt racing. I should have slept in. Culmination of exhaustion from work travel, then Seattle weekend for the stair climb, hard training, worst female cramps of my life and did I mention lack of sleep? It was a grind. 
Bright spot: I had a sweet cat/leprechaun shirt that said 'I feel so lucky right meow.' 

I can't finish this talk about training without mentioning my Hammer fuels.
They keep me on point, help me recover and train harder!

Daily: 3 Premium Insurance Caps 
          2 AO Booster
Pre-workout: Hammer bars 2 hrs before
              Anti-fatigue cap one hour before
During run: Tropical, orange, huckleberry, apple-cinnamon gel
              Anti-fatigue cap half way through
Post-workout: Recoverite with extra scoop of whey if necessary
I did try Race Day Boost for my half marathon in Cali, I don't think it effected me and it was a hassle to take it so much. Not going to try it for Boston. I will maybe try it again this summer for another race. 

Looking forward to Boston!  

Getting to see me moms! It was a decade ago the Miller women descended upon Bean Town. It was my third marathon. My time was 4:27...something. It was 86 degrees, started at noon with no wave start. And it was AWESOME! We had the best time. I can't wait to spend some QT with my mom in the city again.

Me on the way to the finish line in 2004 - my number was 8,XXX something!
Baby face at the finish line - I was 23! Thanks to my mom for texting me these pics and making me laugh!

KATH! Yay Kath. My lovely and brilliant friend who keeps me laughing and understands my neurosis, because she's crazy too! She's running Boston and is primed for a great performance. 

Elite start! By the skin of my teeth, I get to run with the big dogs! Elite Women's Start is a HUGE honor and I am going to be star struck being in close proximity to American's Flanagan and  Linden and last years winner Jeptoo. I can't even begin to talk about the talent in this years competition. Hashtag epic.

Well, I think that's enough for now. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the ups and downs, both physically and mentally, of my training. 


  1. Glad you're human, Trisha. All your hard work will pay off in Bean Town. Run fast and enjoy the epic-ness of it all. You rock Sara

    1. Thanks Sara! Good luck to you too :) See you in a few days!

  2. Trisha! You are an inspiration to those of us who do our best to just get out there and run. You have accomplished great things and keep moving forward - after all you have a finish line to cross!

    Thank you for sharing your struggles and triumphs with the rest of us!!

    I will be cheering you on from Portland! Enjoy!!

    1. Thanks Allison :) I appreciate the cheers!

  3. Trisha,

    Good luck in Boston and enjoy the moment no matter what the outcome. You have come a long way in a short time and that is Awesome! I look forward to hearing about your run on your blog and I will look for you on TV so make sure you wear something (Hammer) that will make you stand out.


    1. The HAMMER attire has been picked out! You shouldn't miss me - thanks Ed!