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2013 Mamas and Papas by Charlotte Kopp


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Perks' Posse DID IT!  Web Master | 10/13/2009 at 8:33 AM


We finished! We all did the 26.2 - and we are still smiling from the accomplishment.

It was a blast: the training, the changes on our bodies, the weekend in Albany, Coach's face along the route, the pain of the last 4-6 miles, the triumph at the finish, the ending at Kevin's Mom's house for spaghetti! Pictures are on the website in Race Results>>Race Photo albums, but here is a teaser:

.Perks' Posse at the Albany Finish

Awards go to:

RUN-TUFF: to Barbara, for running the last 17 miles with a terrible blister, skin pain in addition to muscle pain.

RUN-SMART: to Polly and Karen O for their negative splits

RUN-ZUCCHINI: to Karen T. for her award, handed to her by Margaret at the finish line (I never really got the story of why)

RUN-BELIEVE: to Deborah, who thought she could never run 26.2 miles but proved that good coaching, hard work, and a great Posse can make miracles happen.

Many thanks to everyone who encouraged us along this path, especially to Steve, Margaret and  Denise.

Perks' Posse: in search of a marathon finish  Web Master | 9/17/2009 at 8:53 AM

 Our group has grown since the start of these blogs. Last night, we all met for a social hour and lots of running talk.


.Perks Posse

We are (from left to right): Margaret, Karen O., Barbara, Denise, Deborah, Karen T. and the famous Polly. Right now, two of us are injured so they can't run - but the injured will be cheering us on.

Wish us luck on October 11 at the Mohawk Hudson Marathon.


The Marathon Day Mystery  Web Master | 9/15/2009 at 5:03 PM

The buzz on the Posse trail: how on earth, if our longest run is 20 miles, will we ever finish the actual 26.2 miles at a faster pace?

Here is the response from Coach Steve:

As far as getting through 26.2 miles - remember you are doing all these runs in the middle of serious training. You will have a nice couple of weeks of tapering down to get ready for the marathon. A lot of it is mind set. Going into the race you will have mentally set yourself to be out there for over 4 hours. Being mentally ready for that ahead of time makes a big difference. Of course the last miles are going to be tough. On the other hand you guys have done awesome training so if it's a decent day to run and you run smart races (which I know you all will) they may not be as tough as you think.

And here is the response from Wayne McDaniel:

Excitement of race day, being more rested, hydrated and carbo loaded then you would/should (theoretically) be in your training phase - that's what you hope will get you through..  

You never know though. That's the difference between good and bad marathons. Sorry to say there's NEVER a guarantee that things come together as you plan. That's what makes marathoning so different then shorter races.  Most of those things above are things you need to consciously be aware of in your days leading up to race day (and guessing what you think is right for you).

This may sound weird but I consciously ensure that I drink at LEAST a gallon of fluids the day before a marathon!  I sweat a lot.  If I'm not hydrated to the max it will affect me getting through that distance at the pace that I want.

There are other things that will happen on race day - some you CAN control and some  you CAN'T control. The weather being a biggy that  you can't control - but it may affect your race day decisions on things that you can control. In the excitement of the race you can make right or wrong decisions during the race itself.  Things like: did you pick the right pace? Did you take in enough water, gatorade, GU's (or whatever) along the way?  That puzzle is unique for everyone. To make it even more challenging, the pieces of the puzzle will be different for each individual each time they run one!  I don't mean to get you nervous -  it's all part of the complexities of the marathon.

The good news is you don't have to get them ALL right! I've run over 30 marathons and I don't think I've ever gotten them all perfect on any given race. What keeps you coming back is having the runs where you get most of them right and the result was good enough to motivate you to try again with a little different recipe the next time.

So there it is: be prepared but expect the unexpected. For now, 3-1/2 weeks before our marathon, we are all just trying to avoid injury. We have a training challenge at the Classic Half (run the last 10 miles at marathon pace) and then we are looking forward to the fabled taper. And, on the plus side, we are all really enjoying feeling strong and in shape and having so much energy. Stay tuned.


Running and Ribs  Web Master | 9/3/2009 at 8:03 AM

So, we were happily beginning our run in Millbrook, a short 10 miler with Kelsey, Sue, Karen, Polly, Barbara and me, feeling strong and doing our favorite chatting thing. One minute, I am upright and in an instant my face is in the dirt. Ouch! Bruised knees, scraped wrist, wind taken out of me. So, as is usually done, I get up and finish the 10 miles, joking that it is typically Kelsey or Polly who fall on our runs.

At about mile 7, wrist really hurts. Small pain in ribs. By Sunday night, wrist is really bad so it is off to the doctor for x-rays. No breaks, rest is recommended (and still, 2 weeks later, wrist is tender and hurts to use). Fast forward to Thursday night, after a week of packing kids for college, cleaning, unloading, long car trips: ribs hurt so much I can't get comfortable - even a deep breath hurts. Off to the doctor again, more x-rays, no breaks, more recommendations for rest, pain pills that put me to sleep but finally provide some relief. Marathon dreams shattered. Missed the great 20 mile run that everyone did great on and felt terrific at the end (cool weather was a help, but good training was the key).

Surprisingly, I find out that it is not uncommon for runners to fall and hurt their ribs. It has happened to some of our best: Pete, Steve, Irv. They no longer bind ribs (too many bad side effects), but Irv claims taking a deep, slow breath helps the pain.

I've started up with some easy 6 mile runs and may try the short (12 mile)  long run with the Posse on Sunday. But, I've missed 2 weeks of speed work. I'm hoping my marathon dreams can come alive again, but I am playing it day-by-day. And last night, I stubbed my toe on our coffee table. Do I run because I don't have to be too coordinated? Am I accident prone? And rib pain from running?


Posse Update from Polly Sparling  Web Master | 8/15/2009 at 3:51 PM

Perks's Posse is now eight weeks away from Marathon Day, and so far I've only written one measly blog post. There is a good reason for this: it's hard to find the time to do anything at all when you're always running!

Our training started in late April with 10 weeks of logging progressively more miles, taking us (or me, at least) from an average of  20 to 40 miles a week. In early July, we added a weekly tempo run to go along with the speedwork and Sunday long run we'd been doing from the start. Tomorrow we'll cover 18 miles, making this our longest week so far -- 45 total.

Most of my miles are run by myself, which leaves lots of time for the mind to wander.  Here are a few of my thoughts about this whole experience, in no particular order:

  • Marathon training is sort of counterintuitive.  We're told to run the short distances fast, but urged to go very slow on the longer ones.  Seems illogical -- but what do I know?
  • Before we began the training, I was convinced that, once we reached the 40-mile weeks, I would be spending non-running time in a constant state of mental and physical exhaustion. Surprisingly, that's not the case at all -- I feel just as energetic as I usually do (although the odd Sunday afternoon nap is less rare than it used to be).  And I was equally sure that I'd begin to hate running, and dread having to log all those miles. In fact, the opposite is true -- I look forward to my runs, and feel a little peculiar on the rest days.
  • My bathroom scale and I are on speaking terms again.
  • One toenail has already fallen off, and three others are brilliant shades of red/purple/black. This is the sum total of my "injuries" to this point (knock wood).
  •  I approached this marathon thinking that it would be my one and only "serious" attempt at the distance. I'm already beginning to wonder, though, what life will be like after it's over.  Will I go back to being a casual, 20-mile-a-week person? From this vantage point, that seems unlikely; I'm enjoying the challenge, and -- yes, I'll say it -- having fun training. Does this mean there could be other marathons in my future?  I'll let you know after race day.