Monday, May 31, 2010
Left to right: Kari Ann, myself, Dave and Lisa at the start of the race. 103 marathons between us :)
Another new race and some wonderful friends to share it with on a very poignant day when we remember those who paid the ultimate price with their sacrifice for the freedoms that we all too often take for granted. Thank you Dad for your service on Sword beach, Normandy when you were only 19 years of age and those left behind on those fateful beaches.
I drove to the park and ride and Thanksgiving Point where I met up with Kari Ann, Dave and Lisa. We drove in my Odyssey up to the start at the Olympus Hills shopping center on Wasatch Boulevard where we picked up our ankle timing chips and parked the vehicle. Leslie was there, volunteering at the race in return for a free entry into the Halloween Half marathon at the end of October at Aspen Grove. We chatted for a few minutes and I saw her again at an aid station in the last half of the race.
So here is the play by play !
The first group of about 20 runners set off. This was supposed to be a wave start but ended up being one small wave, a 20 second break, then the rest of us took off. The roads were wide in the first few miles so the wave start was not really necessary and I will suggest to Michael next year that we just do one mass start.
I went out at a brisk pace, full of youthful energy and enthusiasm.
Mile 1: 6:45
Mile 2: 6:44
Mile 3 : 7:21.... the first hill crossing over the bridge which really sapped my strength a bit
(first 5k... 21:27 )
Mile 4: 7:14
Mile 5: 7:42
Mile 6: 9:02... starting the big hills, baby steps, lean in and dig deep for reserves
Mile 7: 9:28... ok this is really tough now... climbing a narrow steep trail by the "This is the Place' monument. How fitting that we run by that and remember also the pioneers who settled this valley
Mile 8: 8:15... took an extra loop around the parking lot as I was leading a group of ten runners and it was really the blind leading the blind. that cost me :20 of a mile and maybe just under two minutes of wasted time.
Mile 9: 7:56
Mile 10: 7:22... should have taken that endurolyte 10 minutes ago as the right calf is cramping. This is all downhill, I should have been pulling out 6:45's from here on
Mile 11: 7:22... can't get rid of that cramp and others are gaining on me
Mile 12: 7:28 fairly steep downhill, mixture of hobble and run here, passed by 5 runners all of whom were younger than me
Mile 13: 7:51... this is really silly, what a slowpoke I was here.. tried to look good for the spectators but I needed some salt badly
Final time: 1:43 and change.... 21st overall out of 265+
I waited for Lisa to come in... 1:49 well done, then Kari Ann in about 2:05 which is an excellent time on a very tough, hilly course. Kari Ann looked radiant and elated as she crossed the line. I asked one of the volunteers if I could " medal" my friend, so she passed me a finishers medal and I did so. We waited for Dave to come in, then sat around on the grass stretching and chatting for about half an hour before taking the shuttle bus back to the start.
It was a pleasant drive back to Thanksgiving Point where the others hopped in their cars and went home. I ate quickly then sat in an ice bath for 17 minutes after a tepid shower. This really felt good on the legs... did some more stretching and then ate some more.
Next race: Marathon #74.. Utah Valley, June 12th 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
So I decided a few weeks ago to travel down to Moab and compete in the Moab marathon. Not a big race - in fact the smallest field this year as Curt did not advertise the race due to the bridge construction on Moab and the lateness of obtaining a permit for the race. Hotels are pricey down there and I worked a full 10 hours on Friday so I went to bed at 8:30 pm, arose at 11:30 pm ( yes.. PM) and was out of the door at midnight to drive down to Moab in the dark. I was a little rested but not much. There was still a fair amount of traffic on I-15, but less as I headed out through highway 6 into Spanish Fork and towards Price. I arrived in Moab at 3:45 am, and went into the Aarchway Inn to spend an hour on the lobby couch waiting for the other runners to arrive. There was a fairly even mix of male and female, but not a super competitive bunch. Even a few of the long haired with grey wool socks kind that show up in races such as Leadville.
So at 5:15 am, we boarded three 15 passenger vans to take us up to Dead Horse point from where we had a scenic overlook of the red rocks and the beauty of Moab's nature. I met a graduate student from CA who had driven 16 hours with three female graduate students to run the race. I met up with my friend Ken Cushing who I once split a hotel room with when we ran this race years ago. He is now an ultramarathoner and was planning on running 32 today, starting at DHP and then the full marathon route after that.
And the beautiful red rock formations...
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Adding cold water...
Back home, it was the cold water bath as soon as I was through the doors. Sit in first and add the cold water while listening to music and pretending that the water is much warmer than it really is.........While painful and shocking to the system at first, the 20 minutes in there is worth every second. I kept my hat on and listened to some good running music to pass the time, then finished off with a warm shower then a cold water cooldown on the legs. And guess what this morning ? - no pain. Absolutely none. I cannot really tell that I did a long run yesterday but I will still take tomorrow off and maybe get out the tri bike on Tuesday for a light ride. There's another long(er) run scheduled for next week out of town....hehe....that should be fun..red dirt and all....
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I didn't feel too good early on in the run. In fact by 3.5 miles my legs were cramping and I was having a tough time. Leslie gave me an endurolyte and after a few minutes that seemed to do the trick. It was cool and a little windy at the turnaround. We headed North, but by 7 miles it was raining quite hard. At the next turnaround it was hammering down to the point that running was uncomfortable. We were drenched when we got back to the cars.
So I think the first photo is from the end of the run. Truth is.. we didn't look as bad as we felt. But I an not going to run 7, wait an hour and run 10 again. The blood pools in your legs and it's tough mentally and physically to do that second run. Plus I much prefer getting out really early for my Saturday run. Still, it is always great to run with somebody who motivates you and makes you stronger. Leslie's quest to finish Ironman St. George has helped immensely with my marathon training this year. I am putting more miles in than I have for several years and I hope that pays off with some better finish times. 3:30 was too elusive last year. I think I have a good shot at breaking it this spring....
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Heidi, me and Leslie at the end of the Riverton half marathon. Saturday March 27th, 2010.
Leslie at the end of the race with her second place overall female trophy.. a PR of 1:35:05, and a $40 gift certificate to Get Fit Athletic Wear in Highland. Way to go Leslie !!!
So, after weeks of waiting and waiting... and training and training... here it was.. the Riverton half marathon. A race that didn't involve getting up at some unearthly hour, driving for hours etc and waiting in line for ever to pick up my race packet. Yet I still managed to sleep in and there was a mad panic to get everything ready and be out the door by 8 am. I did have time for a shower - I don't like to smell bad while I am running. So I mixed up some electrolyte drink, grabbed my gloves, Timex hat and a few other things and off I drove the 18 miles to the Riverton City park from my house.
As it happened I was one of the first ones there. A few runners were milling around and there was no line for picking up race packets. My bib number was # 280.
Leslie, my zippy training partner , showed up 5 minutes later and we chatted for a while then jogged down the street to the gas station to use the restrooms then back to the start. By this time most of the runners were lining up behind the balloons which was both the start and the finish of the race. I met a few more friends, plus some new ones such as Steve and Chuck at the race start. Leslie and I lined up near the front and the plan was to run 7:30 pace all the way for a 1:38:30.
Unfortunately, my adrenalin got the best of me and Leslie reminded me of that as we hit the first mile in 6:50. But what the heck ...I felt great. Three females passed us, and I tried to stay on them for Leslie's benefit ( I really wanted her to place in this race) which meant we hit the three mile mark in 20:52 , about 1 1/2 minutes too fast.
I sure paid for that at the first big hill when the old jelly legs were struggling and Leslie took a 50 yard lead. It was several minutes before I had recovered from the uphill. By then Leslie was 100 yards ahead and it stayed that way for several more miles. At 8-9 miles I stopped for some water as I was becoming a little dehydrated but was still holding sub 8 minute miles.
The real killer was the "s" hill at 10 + miles where I decided to walk, counting the runners who passed me, and then tried to pass all of them back on the other side. For the most part I did that, even putting a good push through mile 11, determined to get as close as possible to 1:38:30.
I ended up with 1:38:34, which, although 38th place out of 390 runners, was clearly not up to par. I chewed it over and over in my mind - If I had held back the first three miles, would I have made up more time later in the race.? .. I think I would. Leslie and I could have pushed each other to a better finish . I really believe that I would have come in around 1:35:30 to 1:36:00 if I had run a more controlled race. After all, I ran TWO 1:34 half marathons last year and have broken 1:30 five times in my racing career.
The good news is that Leslie, who I thought ended up 3rd, actually took the second place female with less than half a mile to go. I passed the girl who was originally third but then was passed by two other females during the course of the race. Leslie was waiting with a big grin for me at the finish line as she told me the story about passing the girl for second place near the end.
This was a pretty well organized race. There were plenty of massage tables at the finish line. I did have to remind the girl giving me a massage than she was NOT kneading bread and to go easy on the soleus muscles. I drank ample fluids and recovery drinks, chowed down on a bagel and a banana and then spent several minutes posing with Heidi and Leslie for photos and waiting for a few others runners to cross the line. The weather was really good, just a bit of a northern breeze that hit you early on and then once again in the last couple of miles. All in all this was a great course, well organized with a reasonable finishers medal to hang on the rack at home. Since I recently found a half marathon medal from the Top of Utah half marathon last year that I had forgotten about, that makes 102 medals on the wall in the home gym now.
This was a cool parting snapshot by Heidi and captures in my face the fun morning we all had at this race. Thank you Heidi for being there with your hubby and your Nikon and thank you Leslie for a great run, sorry the rabbit died at 3. I will put the cruise control on 7:30 next time we race.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I have completed two half marathons so far this year. The first was the Painter's Half on January 23rd at which I posted a fair 1:40:06, good enough for 146th place overall out of close to 2000 runners. I don't think that many showed up due to the rain that night which finally stopped 30 minutes before we set off. The course was good but challenging, especially the section of hills around 8-10 miles. For an early season race I was very happy with the time, but I did two 1:34 half marathons last year and have 8 career half marathons which are sub 1:30 including a PR of 1:27:37 at Hobble Creek in 1999 as well as a 1:27:50 at Hobble Creek in 2001.
I think that if I did a lot more speedwork I could possibly get back to a 1:30 at a fast summer downhill half marathon.
I have had three great workouts with my new training partner, Leslie, who is training hard for her first full Ironman at St. George in May of this year. We run well together as we both like to train at 7:30 to 8:00 per mile pace. In Moab at the half marathon last year we ran a couple of miles together in the middle of the race until I became severaly dehydrated as I failed to drink before the race started. We hooked up again at the beginning of the Ogden marathon two months later where we ran at least 18 miles together at exactly 8 min. mile pace., and finished only a couple of minutes apart.
So here we are at the end of the run ( taken on Lelsie's camera phone)
Another friend, Mary Anne, had organized an unofficial half marathon yesterday which involved meeting at the new GET FIT running store in Highland, carpooling down to the soccer park in Orem, and running back. Four of us showed up at Get Fit, and seven more in Orem. Leslie and I ran together and added a little bit on at the end to make it exactly a 13.1 mile distance. We clocked 7:40's early on with some sub 7:30's on the downhills and over 8:00's on the long uphill from the Alpine tabernacle past the cemetary up into Highland. We finished in 1:42:20 which was perfect for a training run and gets us some good mileage to get us ready for spring racing. We ran 9 miles late on Wednesday afternoon which was difficult after a long day at work, but when you have a reliable training partner, it is so much easier to get some good miles in even after work.So Leslie is pure dynamite... yes we ran 13.1 miles yesterday, but GET THIS... the day before , she did 80 miles on a bike trainer. There is NO WAY I could have done that and then run a half the next day, but this, folks, is no ordinary girl. In May, Leslie will swim 2.4 miles at 5 am, then hop on her roadbike and crank out 112 miles, then run a full 26.2 mile marathon probably starting that leg of the triathlon at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. And 3 in the afternoon in St. George will not be pleasant at the beginning of May... believe me.
Until then, we are going to make Wednesday afternoon an 8+ mile run with speeedwork and hils, and hopefully a long run on Saturdays. With Lelsie's help, I hope to get close to a 3:30 in may at Ogden, and, failing that, have another whck at it a month later at the Utah Valley Marathon which this year, starts further back in Wallsburg.
So here are a few more photos from the end of the run yesterday where we were posing for Robyn who was behind the lense:
So until who knows when, we will run and run and run. And while she swims, I will run, and while she bikes a lot, I will bike a little, and we will chase our athletic dreams until the end of the rainbow !