Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Monday, 28 May 2012

Med City Half Marathon minus the Med

If you are a Wisconsinite, your chances of signing up for a marathon that isn't cancelled are currently very low:

La Crosse
Green Bay
Madison (added to the list today)

We happened to choose the Med City Half today (Rochester, MN), where they gladly accepted transfers from the Madison Marathon and announced there would be "no cap" on the number of runners allowed. (perhaps this was a way of the Mayo Clinic saying they could handle the emergencies?!)

Anyway, with nearly 3000 runners, there was a very frantic scene at the busses in Rochester this morning when they suddenly realized we needed to pack into the busses in a highly illegal and sweaty way in order to tranport all the runners to the start in Byron Minnesota, 13 miles to the west, by 7 am. It looked like everyone made it.

This race would be tough. Very strong headwinds (how often do winds come out of the east, seriously?) and a high projected in the 90's. It is a hilly course on roads with a net downhill. I lined up with  Jen, from the blog Marathon Mom, very nice, cool girl even in real life. I had to point out this woman to her at the startline, whose physique, I couldn't help but admire.
Maybe you can't tell how tall and thin she is in the photo, but she just looks like someone who will take charge of a race and she did. She took first for the women and 5th overall in 1:22. Her name is Laura Brostolon and she is from Connecticut.

She was only 4 minutes behind this guy, who ran in 1:18:20. He had a good race, though is probably in 1:14 shape minus the headwind. Here he is holding a big sponge.
My race was unremarkable, other than my attempts to draft off of men around me like a big, prickly burr on their back. I think they liked it.

I ran a pretty even-tempo'd race and came in with the 1:35 pacer to take 4th for the women (out of 509 women).... (actually the pacer, Kelly, let me finish ahead for her and then she showed up as taking 4th in the official results because of her chiptime- how naive of me to think that pacers didn't get a placement!) I think this could be considered a relative PR, since my current PR is 1:33. SR and the leading men estimated one could take at least 4 minutes from the finish time if there weren't a headwind and high temps. That would land me at about a 1:31, which is a lot faster than I thought I could run right now.

I didn't even think I could run a 1:35 today, especially given my ITB, which amazingly, didn't bother me during the race. Let's just say I'm getting excited for the full marathon at Grandma's June 16th.

Another thing that went well for me this race was I had no stomach issues! I made the big decision on Tuesday to go off the PPI (stomach acid blocking med) that I have been on since I was 19 years old! I got acupuncture to help prevent the pain of the rebound acid on Thursday. And now it seems that it was all of that inadequately digested food being sent from my stomach to my intestines that was causing a lot of my distress. Plus now I actually get heartburn when I eat things I shouldn't - and that might be a good thing!

There are no pictures of me posted yet, so I will leave you with the guy who I aspire to be like when I am 60:

The men's 3rd place winner, David Kallmes, who ran in 1:21:12

Recommended in Rochester: Fiksdal Hotel &
Goonie's Comedy Club - try the bean burger with peanut butter!


Karen said...

Did you guys use the frozen sponges trick too? It soooo rocked my world at Green Bay.

Great job to both of you! What a tough month May has been in the midwest marathoning world.

Danni said...

Ok I will bite. What shouldn't you eat? I have a friend who has been hospitalized with her anorexia a couple times and being physically unable to eat isn't a good progression...

Olga King said...

I think SR might be faster without a (black and floppy) t-shirt and by wearing skimpier shorts. Rumor is, wind resistance plays role in short races. It sounds brutal to run a half in this temps. While I ran plenty of ultras (via living in TX) in high heat and humidity, pushing LT in it sucks. Reminds me NYC days and all the half's I used to run there in the summer series...blech. Congrats.
So, about stomach meds. What did you have, and how did you decide to get off it?

sea legs girl said...

Karen - I wish I would have. My hearing is terrible and I had no idea what they said they were offering! SR loved them.

sea legs girl said...

Danni - what I shouldn't eat: empty calories/artificial sweeteners like gum and diet soda. Plus meals consisting only of a ginormous quantity of greens with ketchup- my stomach can't take it anymore now!

sea legs girl said...

Olga, let's just say I will pass on your advice to SR without interjecting further comment, other than to say he looks really good when he wears tight clothing (or so I would imagine!).

As for my stomach- yes. What do I have? I have seen stomach specialists since I was very young and had colic as a baby (probably also due to stomach issues). Starting in high school I became totally disabled by heartburn anytime I ate fruit, vegetables, fatty foods or sugar. I would lie down for 1-2 hours after every meal unless I only ate a bland carb product. Trust me when I say I ate a lot of bagels and rolls.

I have had 3 upper endoscopies (without sedation, mind you!) and before I went on the meds there was serious gastritis and esophagitis from all of the stomach acid. But otherwise no explanation was found.

Danni said...


PiccolaPineCone said...

congrats on the relative PB. What would I give to see you run a half marathon under the following conditions:
1. with zero wind (in a vacuum?? in a wind tunnel?? or is that the opposite of what i am looking for)
2. under a constant 15 deg C
3. on an accurately measured course (perhaps a track inside a vacuum)
4. with your shoes tied tightly (though that seems to be under control)
5. with no stomach issues (ditto)
6. after a proper taper.

sub-1:30. no question in my mind.

kathleen said...

Have you ever tried playing around with your diet? Higher fat and lower carbs, more cold water fish for omega-3's, FODMAPS for irritable bowel syndrome, SCD, what about gluten, fructose or lactose malabsorption (these malabsorptions also play a roll in mental health issues)...

I think it's an interesting blog. Her name is Melissa Mcewen. She blogs at (I would link but I am on my phone) she was on PPI's for GERD and apparently no longer has it. Although I don't think she knows what exactly she changed to cause her GERD to disappear, she does have some nutrition studies you might find interesting.

sea legs girl said...

PPC, every time I run a race under less than ideal conditions (every race), I think of what you would say. Today I concluded that Montreal must be a city in a vaccuum that is always 15 degrees; I need to do more racing there. If nothing else, I could be inspired by your presence.

Kathleen, thank you so much for this link. I have gone lactose-free, gluten free, high omega three intake, atkins (high protein) and nothing changes the fact that I regurgitate everything I eat. Except bread. And when I'm not on those meds, it hurts (heart burn) every time I eat and it has been this way as long as I can remember. But now is the time to see if it has gone away on its own I guess. If it hasn't, I am going to find alternative ways of treating it because I don't want to be on any medication anymore! (I will go to her blog - thank you!!)

SteveQ said...

When I look at the photo of Laura Brostolon, all I see is that she swings her arms all the way across her body and rotates her feet way to the outside on the backswing and maybe rolls her head as well.

Marathon Mom said...

It was great to meet you finally. Those buses were fun to the start, so happy it was before the race and not after as our driver had us smashed in 3 to a seat, yikes!

I had been on PPIs for years and found no diet changes worked, I'd get heartburn and reflux from water! Finally gave in about 10 years ago and had a Nissen for a hiata hernia and no issues since :) Hope your stomach continues to be fine off the meds.

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Congrats! Races in hot and windy conditions are HARD. Yes, sub 1:30 no problem. And sub 3:10 for the marathon:)

I agree with Steve Q...and I also see a bad foot strike. But, who cares? She is FAST!

Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia said...

That is super fast in that heat! Wow. Divesh is going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to beat you at Grandma's. Speaking of which, I'm really sad I will miss the party at my parents' house... did you guys hear that you and SR are getting your very own key?

I had no idea pacers counted as finishers!

sea legs girl said...

Congrats, Alicia, on your marriage!!! Loved all the photos on Facebook, again wish you had a blog.

I think I will have to send you an email or FB message about Grandma's - thank you :).