Sunday, December 26, 2010

Manatee River 5 mile run

Saturday, December 26, 2010
Palmetto, FL
Last race of the year! :)

A great run! Not my fastest 5 mile race, but I am happy with it. My hips were very sore and painful yesterday. I went to bed thinking maybe I shouldn't go to the race. But I got up this morning and they felt a bit better. I think the massage Friday made me sore! She pressed hard on those trigger spots.

It was very windy this morning. 18 mph and gusting to 35! Temp at 50. The course was on paved roads and trails. The trails felt great under my legs. :) We had a brief glimpse on the Gulf and the Skyway bridge in the distance before running the last 1.5 in.

It was chip timed, but no starting line mat to read them. I was stuck behind a lot of walkers, so lost about 10 seconds at the start. I should have started further up but I didn't want to block any of the fast runners. This was the RRCA 5 mile state championship race also. The guy who won ran it in 25:29!!

Unofficial time (watch): 46:53.
splits: 9:19, 9:30, 9:42; 9:26; 8:53! (most of the wind behind me on the last mile ;)
Official time: 47:02.
7 out of 20 in age group. overall: 184 out of 334

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Women’s Half Marathon

November 21, 2010
I got up at 4 am race morning to have a cup of coffee and watch a little TV before the drive up to St. Pete. The weather channel showed that the temp was already 69! It was going to be another hot run in Florida.

I made good time on the interstate and found a parking spot right away in the lot closest to the start. For some reason they had no one there charging for parking! Score! I made a call to Brenda and we decided to meet near the start line. She had parked quite a few blocks north of me. We ended up meeting near the porta poties because I couldn’t wait any longer for her! We got our photo taken a couple of times then headed over to the corrals. I decided to stay in the third one with Brenda instead of going up to the second corral. I planned on taking it easy. I just wanted to finish this race without injuring myself anymore than I already was. For the past week, my left hip was out of alignment, which caused pain all down my leg. Two visits to the chiropractor helped a lot.

We got started right at 7 am. Not even a quarter of a mile down the road, I saw my friend Gina. I made my way over to her to say hi and wish her luck, then I ran back to the middle of the road. I wanted to stay on the flattest surface I could find, so my plan was to stay near the middle. The first 3 miles were good, though I had a little pain in my leg.

Mile 1 - 9:20
Mile 2 - 9:13
Mile 3 - 9:37

Around mile 4.5 I stopped at the water station to eat my cliff blocks and swallow 2 advil and 2 endurolytes. That stop added to my mile by more than a minute, but it was worth it. Taking those endurolytes helped me keep the dehydration feeling away until the last mile. This was a beautiful part of the course near the water. The only downside was the road made of brick (I ran on the sidewalk) and low tide, which made it kind of stinky.

Mile 4 - 9:41
Mile 5 - 11:09
Mile 6 - 9:41
Mile 7 - 9:52

By mile 8 I could defiantly feel myself slowing down, but the pace felt good, so I didn’t push it. We ran down towards the Pier and back. There were a lot of people cheering us on for the next few miles. We then headed away from the water. This was a slight uphill. I didn’t mind to much because we now had a great breeze and I knew the downhill on the way back would feel great.

Mile 8 - 10:09
Mile 9 - 10:37
Mile 10 - 10:34

During mile 11 we ran through the parking lot of the Tropicana stadium. We then ran into the stadium and ran around the outside of the baseball field. Such a nice and cushiony surface! It felt great to be out of the sun for a short while also. By the time we headed out of the stadium, I was starting to feel dehydrated and in need of water. I was happy that I had made it so far in the race before getting this feeling though. Usually on a hot race day, this feeling hits much sooner. I had two more cliff blocks at the water stop just past mile 12. It was just what I needed to pick up the pace for the last mile. The slight downhill towards the waterfront helped a lot too. The last little bit to the finish line took forever! A woman pulled ahead of me with just a little bit left to the finish, so I picked up the pace and beat her just as we crossed the finish line. :) I grabbed a bottle of water and my finishers medal. Had my photo taken with it, grabbed a banana and yogurt then headed right to my car. I wanted to get home as soon as possible to spend a little time with my family before going in to work at noon.

Mile 11 - 10:25
Mile 12 - 11:10
Mile 13 - 10:28
Mile .16 - 1:29
Finish time: 2:13:29 (Chip)

I am very happy with my finish time. It’s over 6 minutes faster than last year at this race! So happy that my leg wasn’t too much of an issue. Looking forward to next year.

Stats: place: 1303/4746; Division: 234/793

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon Weekend Race Report

October 29-31, 2010

I traveled up to the D.C. area Friday morning. My friend Melissa from the WW Marathoners group generously offered a room in her home. She picked me up at the airport, we dropped off my bags and then walked to the metro. We got to the expo and met up with first Heidi and then Vanessa. The shirts we got were men’s sizes and fit very snug around the waist but big in the arms. So I decided to buy a nice shirt from the Brooks booth and also a visor. We all wondered through the aisles, finding lots of fun stuff to sample. I bought a tank top at the one more mile shop that says “Will run for coffee.” After 2 hours at the expo we headed out to lunch and then they left me at the Spy Museum. It was very crowded, but a fun place. I would like to go again one day when I am not so tired and my feet don’t hurt so much. I spent a lot of time on my feet Friday. Saturday morning we met up with a group of ladies from the board for coffee then headed back to Melissa’s for a relaxing day on the sofa watching the Rally to Restore Sanity. I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to tire my legs and feet by standing so long out there. We had a nice walk around Old Town Alexandria that afternoon before heading back to the house for dinner. We watched Spirit of the Marathon before heading to bed early.

Me, Sondra, Kelly and Melissa

Race morning started at 4:30 am. We had time to get dressed, have some coffee and a snack and take a group photo before heading out to the Expo. Melissa’s husband gave us a ride so we didn’t have to walk the mile to the nearest station. Melissa and I headed off on the Blue train, while Sondra and Kelly had to wait for the yellow, to take them to the 10K. We arrived at the Pentagon station and then had a long walk to get to the race start center. We found a group of port-a-potties with no lines! Hit those up before dropping off out bags with the UPS trucks. I tried to get a hold of my friend Gina, but she never texted me back. Should have thought of a meet up plan the day before! By then it was about 7:30 am, so we started the walk to the starting area. Again, we found a group of Port-a-potties without lines! So we took one more pit stop before heading to the 4:15 to 4:30 area. This was a little slow pace for Melissa, but speedy for me, so it was a good in between spot for us. We tried looking out for Katie, B.J. and Alison, but didn’t see them at all.

At exactly 8 a.m. the guns blasted and we were off! Well sort of off. It was a slow walk to the starting mat that took just a little over 5 minutes. Melissa and I started off together. I figured I would run at least the first two miles slow but without intervals. About a mile or so into the race we came up to friends Vanessa and Heidi. It was fun to talk to them for a little before wishing them luck and moving ahead. The first two miles seemed to be mostly up hill. Just before mile two, I told Melissa that I was going to start my 4/1 intervals, so she should just go on ahead. I tossed my jacket soon after hitting that first water stop, but I kept my gloves on. It was still pretty cold. When my watch started beeping after 4 minutes, I noticed the time went back to 4 minutes instead of the one minute for walking. What a pain! By my walk break at around mile 3, uphill again, I tried to fix the problem with the time. But I haven’t used it much, so I couldn’t figure out how to make two different times appear. So I finally just kept it at 4 minutes and worked in the one minute of walking, which meant a lot of looking at my watch. That walk break ended up being a little long too.

Even with all the hills, I was feeling pretty good. I enjoyed all the beautiful scenery along the river and tried not to pay attention to all the men (and a few women) on the side of the road going to the bathroom. The course was very packed with runners still. It was very hard to get to the side for my walking breaks. I was constantly trying to run from the middle, flat area to the side for walking that in the end, I had run .3 mile more than I should have!

Mile 1: 10:19
Mile 2: 10:05
Mile 3: 10:20
Mile 4: 10:06
Mile 5: 10:31
Mile 6: 10:11

At the water stop just before mile seven, I tossed my gloves. Mostly because I couldn’t open the baggie that had my endurolytes. I unfortunately forgot to take any before the race like I normally do, which I think lead to the problems I had later. At mile eight, we had a crazy steep downhill. We then entered an area with lots of spectators. For well over a mile there were just tons of people cheering us on. It was great, except that I hated taking walking breaks with people yelling my name (my name was on my tank top) and encouraging me. Just after mile nine, the volunteers were handing out orange slices. Those suckers were dangerous on the ground! I really had to watch my step so that I wouldn’t slip on them.

Mile 7: 10:45
Mile 8: 10:18
Mile 9: 10:18
Mile 10: 10:12

From mile 11 to 13, the cheering crowd was smaller, but still there. It was nice to have a bit of peace actually. I got to the mile 13 water stop in good time. I was thinking that even if I slowed a little, I could still make my 4:45 time goal. Once we passed the water stop though, we changed direction and that was right into the wind. It wasn’t too bad, it just made it colder. Unfortunately there wasn’t a water stop again until just after mile 16. I really needed it by mile 15. I was behind on eating my cliff blocks and taking my endurolytes. Before getting to that water stop, I saw the Washington monument to my left, so stopped for a few seconds to snap a photo of it. I think I drank a bit too much at the water stop, I was already feeling like it wasn’t helping like it should. I was still thirsty. My muscles were tightening up and I was feeling tired, so I talked myself into trying to keep this pace for a couple of miles before switching to a 3/1 interval. This didn’t work so great. By mile 17, I had to stop at a curb and tighten the laces on my left shoe because I could feel my foot sliding to the outside and pinching my little toe. While bent over doing this, my calf muscles really tightened up. So after a few steps of walking, I had to stop at the curb again and stretch my legs. At this point I decided to just change to 3/1 intervals. It would make the tracking on my watch easier. I could just stop for a walk when it beeped and then start again when it showed 3 minutes.

Mile 11: 10:21
Mile 12: 10:43
Mile 13: 10:54
Mile 14: 11:15
Mile 15: 11:31
Mile 16: 12:25
Mile 17: 12:36

Just after mile 18 we came up to the Capitol. I stopped and asked a woman to take a photo of me with the building behind me. This took at least a minute because she had a hard time figuring it out! Next time I look for a young person who knows how to work a phone with a camera. Lots of course photographers past this point. Hopefully I got some good shots. I tried smiling when I got close to them. By mile 19 I had switched to the 2/1 intervals that had got me through a summer of training in Florida. Soon we were heading onto the famous bridge. This is the bridge you have to run over by a certain time or you get picked up by a bus and can’t finish. It wasn’t so bad, just super long! When we got to Crystal City at mile 21 I was feeling like crap. I drank 3 cups of water. Of course this made my nauseous. I think I walked the whole 3 minutes after this water stop. So for the next 3 miles I was struggling to keep those 2/1 intervals. I had quite a few 1.5/1.5 intervals in there. When I got to mile 24, I knew there was no way of making my under 5 hour second goal. I didn’t feel too upset about it, but I did try to keep to those 2/1’s more. At mile 25 we started running through the area we had been at before the race started. We ran past the starting line and then past mile 26. Then came the crazy last hill I had heard about. Nothing could really prepare me for it though. It was the steepest uphill yet! I made it half way up and then had to walk. It flattened out a bit before curving to the right. I saw the finish line up ahead, so powered through the last part of the uphill and finished!

Mile 18: 13:21
Mile 19: 12:26
Mile 20: 12:33
Mile 21: 12:07
Mile 22: 12:30
Mile 23: 12:46
Mile 24: 13:31
Mile 25: 13:23
Mile 26: 13:42
Mile .5: 6:11 (if I hadn't done so much weaving, I could have taken at least 3 minutes off this time!)

I got my medal and mylar blanket and then started looking for water. After getting my power aide I noticed that not many people were getting their photo taken with the Iwo Jima statue behind them, so I headed over and had that done quick before sitting on a grassy spot to stretch and call my boys at home. The finish area was a crazy, packed mess. A huge crowd lined up for a bag of food and then to get up the hill to the finish festival. It would have been so much better if they hadn’t allowed family and friends here. I stopped at the Brooks booth to buy a nice long sleeved finisher shirt and then stood in line for 30 minutes to get into the metro station. Finally I got to the station near Melissa’s house. I decided to stretch my legs and walk the mile back to her house. I made sure to stop in the Starbucks for a Venti Mocha on my way back. :)

During the race I thought that I would never run this race again. But I want a sub 5 hour marathon!! I know I have it in me, I just need to get my fuel and water situation worked out. Maybe a flat course would help. I think I'll try to get down to my goal weight and then start training again. I'm sure these extra pounds don't help me out.

I need to add that this is a PR for me! :) My first marathon was in 1998 at the first San Diego Rock N Roll. The clock time was 5:36:21. I don't know about my real time because this was prior to having a chip on your shoe. I was in one of the last few corals. I know it took me about 25 minutes to get to the start, but even so, Sunday's race was still a PR! My 39 year old self beat the skinny 28 year old I used to be. Just proves we can get better with age. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready for the Marathon!

Marine Corps Marathon is 6 Days away!!
So excited to be heading up to D.C. on Friday. I have been planning and training so hard for the race, I almost forgot that this is also my last week of being a 30 something. :) The big 4-0 is next Tuesday.
Goals for the marathon:
1. Run it in by 4:45.
2. Run it under 5 hours.
3. If I can't get 5 hours, than I want to at least beat the 6 hour time of my last marathon. Everything went wrong that day, so hope for a better race this time around.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

University Park XCountry 4 miler

University Park (Sarasota) September 11, 2010

This is my second year running this race. It's a tough course, but a good challenge. I got to the race venue with an hour to spare. I did not want a repeat of the Orlando race. They had people in golf carts giving rides from cars to check in so since it was pretty dark, I went for a ride. :) Picked up my gear and shoe tag, then headed back to my car for more coffee and a Cliff bar.
Just before the race I met up with Renee, Karen and Amy. We chatted for a while before Renee headed to the front of the pack (she's fast!), while Me, Amy and Karen hung out in the middle of the group.
The race started out at the bottom of a grassy hill. We headed up it to cross the start line after the horn went off. I felt pretty good from the start, but knew it would be tough in the heat. No wind to be found. I had to dodge quite a few people who were moving slower than me, but there was a lot of space to get around people. Most of the race was on the grassy part of the golf course in the full sun. This means lots of rolling small hills. Every once in a while we got to run on the golf cart road.
I got a drink of water at the first water stop just before mile 2. Walked a bit while I drank, then started to run again. A woman breathing very loudly had been near me for a while. Even with my music on I could hear her! So I decided to speed up just for a bit to put some distance between us. Much better. :)
All those little hills and soggy grass were making my legs very tired! But I managed to keep a pretty good pace the last mile. Just before the finish line, when I was giving it all I had, a woman ran by me super fast! AARRGG!! That sucks!
My garmin time was 38:14. I beat last years time of 38:53, so pretty happy. :)

I've got a 23 mile run to look forward to next Saturday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celebration of Running 5K

August 14, 2010. Orlando
This was a rough morning. I don't know what ELSE could have gone wrong. I didn't drink enough Friday, so I went to bed already feeling dehydrated. No wake up call, but thankfully I got up on my own just before they should have called. Left my water bottle on the counter at the hotel room and I missed the Starbucks and had to drive a few miles before I was able to do a u-turn. I really needed that morning cup of coffee! :D I managed to find the right exit off the interstate, but was then stopped by a train for a few minutes. I finally got parked, on the top floor of the garage, with only 10 minutes to race start. I ran down the stairs at the parking garage, ran to packet pickup and then pack to the car to drop off the shirt. With a couple of minutes to spare, I was able to get in a quick line for the porta pottie (wow!). Very hot already and HUMID. No breeze.
There were alot of runners out for this race. I expected that after seeing that last year had over 1500. I put my self in between the 8 and 9 min mile signs. We got started with out to much delay. There was a hill in the first mile. I was surprised to see that! My first mile was 9:45. WHAT! That's crazy slow for me. I wore my smaller sized running skirt and noticed about this time that it was sliding down my bum! I had to tuck it into my waist band of my compression shorts to keep it up. I had to keep checking it every once in a while to make sure it was still up. Geesh. No more skirts from this company. I wore it last week, and I guess my waist pack had kept the skirt in place. The second mile was still tough. I walked through the water station at mile 2. I made it about another half mile before I had to walk. I never do this in a 5K! I was just not feeling great. I walked for a couple of minutes and then made myself get going again.
I must have gained some speed somewhere because my finish time was 29 minutes! Garmin showed only 3 miles and not 3.1. It was a major bummer that my time was so slow, but I'll shake it off. Next race will be better.I need to remember that it is the hottest month of the year in Florida. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Firecracker 5K

North Port, July 3, 2010

This was a small race down in North Port, about half an hour away. I drove down with a new running friend, Liz. We got there with plenty of time to spare. My friend Karen showed up just as we did, so we headed over to pick up our bibs and T-shirts. Just cotton shirts, but they are nice ones. The price of the race was only $12 for preregistration, so I wasn't expecting much! We hung out and talked for a while until it was time to line up for the start. The course was out and back. Not the most exciting. We ran on a road that's on the side and back of a housing development, with not a lot around us, just trees. The sky was overcast, so that made the summer conditions much more easy to run in.

I started off a bit fast, but found a good pace that I could keep. Mile 1 - 8:25
There was one water stop at about the half way point. I was happy to grab a cup and walk for a few seconds while I drank it down. I had been thirsty before we even started! Mile 2 ended with another good time - 8:44.

The last mile was a bit tough. A woman just ahead of me was making a lot of loud grunting noises. As I was about to pass her and ask her if she was alright, the guy in front of her stopped and talked to her. He got her to stop running and just walk a bit. I then came up to a father and young son. They had been ahead of me the entire race. I told the kid he was doing great and asked the dad how old the kid was. Seven years old! (He is in the photo above) Mile 3 - 8:53

In the last bit before the finish, I heard the father tell his son to pick up the pace, this is were they race it in. They both passed me! I finished strong though. :)last .1 - 0:46.

My time was 26:48. I got 5th out of 19 in my age group. I am very happy with this time. It's 50 seconds faster than the 5K from last month. Considering I had no taper at all, I ran 18 miles this week and rode 16 miles on Tuesday, I was very surprised to have run so well. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Publix Family Fitness Duathlon

June 12, 2010

Race morning started dark and early at 4:30 am. I wanted to leave the house by 5:45. I had some coffee and watched a little tv before loading my bike and my gear in the car. Left the house right on time.

By the time I got to the parking lot, it was about half full. I found a spot right away and then headed over to the timing chip table. I got my race number and age marked on my body, then went back to the car to eat my power bar and relax in the air conditioning for a while. It was very hot and humid already. Temps were in the mid 70s at start and low 80s when the race was over. Of course with the humidity factored in, it felt A LOT hotter!

I headed out toward the water and the race start at about 6:45 am. No one seemed to know where the duathlon start was, so we all just kinda hung around together. Finally about five after 7:00 am, an announcer let us know where to go and told us that we would start in a couple of minutes. The group for the duathlon was very small. It looked like my competition was going to be tough. I kept looking around at the back of women's legs to find who was in my age group, but didn't see anyone.
Finally we were off! The run was only a mile and went by quick. I just had my regular watch on, but it would get my total time for the race. I had no way of knowing my pace. The run back over the sand to the transition area was tough! Lots and lots of loose, deep sand.

I got my bike pretty quick. Took off my visor, put on my helmet and headed out. The woman in front and to the left of me was taking forever to get her feet clipped in, so I went ahead of her on the right. I was worried for a few miles if I was going to get a penalty for that. The ride went pretty good. It felt pretty hard though the whole time. I really wasn't well trained for this. I hadn't been out on my bike much in the past couple of months. I did manage to pass a few people, but I got passed by lots.

The second transition was pretty easy. Jumping off the bike and walking fast into the transition, my muscles were supper tight! I knew once I got running they would loosen up. I got my helmet off and my visor back on. Grabbed my dry wash cloth, I use it to wipe the sweat off my face, and then headed out for the 5K. I ate one powergel bite and drank a little bit of water before really getting into the run. We had to run back over the dry sand and then we were able to run along the water were the sand was hard packed. I could tell most people were really feeling the heat. No shade out there on the beach, so with the heat, it was brutal. I think my once a week run on the beach for the past 3 weeks helped me a lot here because I passed quite a few people on the run. I got water at the stop just before mile two, which in a normal 5K I would not have. Just before the turn around I saw to women that were already heading back. I picked them as my goal people to pass. I actually passed them about 5 minutes later and one was in my age group! I got water again at the next stop and also ate one more gel bite. I just kept thinking "It's almost over, It's almost over." Finally we were heading off the beach toward the finish. I kinda looked behind me to make sure no one was coming fast, and then pushed it hard over the finish line.

I got a couple of drinks and some fruit and sat for a bit to cool off. Then I noticed the Breyers Ice Cream stand. Wow, that oval ice cream bar hit the spot! There was no waiting for the free chair message, so I went and had one of those done. Felt great! I hadn't planned on staying, because the announcer had told us before the race started that the computer was down and we wouldn't have official results until later. So age group awards would be mailed. I hadn't even thought that I might place, but when they informed us that the computer was up and running and that results were posted, I headed over to check them out. I was very surprised to see that I had second place in my age group! There were only 4, but I don't care, that's 2 other people I beat! So, I called Kevin and Aidan and told them I would stick around for the awards. I got some fruit and a couple of drinks and then sat in a shady spot for what turned out to be close to 2 hours before they finally got to the awards!!

Overall I felt like this was a great race. Lots of course support and plenty to eat and drink at the finish. The age group awards are very nice. The shirts aren't so great, but you can't have everything. I might do the duathlon up in Ft Desoto Park in August that is part of the same series. It's a short ride and run, so shouldn't make a bad impact on my marathon training.

Overall Details
Time: 1:24:42
Category Place: 2 of 4
Overall Place: 49 of 83
Gender Place: 19 of 43

Run: 7:56
T1 - 1:04
Bike: 44:05
T2 - 0:56
Run: 30:41

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Island 5K

Anna Maria Island, May 2, 2010

Aidan and I had a pretty good race this morning.

It was hot though! Already close to 80 at the start. This race, in the county north of ours, is on one of the barrier islands. I used to live down the street from the race about 10 years ago. Oh how I miss island living!

Aidan started off fast but then got a side cramp by the half mile point. So from then on we walked/ran the rest of the way. He did great though. Passed quit a few people in the last mile. I told him to go all out when we could see the finish line up ahead. So he finished a couple of seconds before me at 38:30. He ended up getting 2nd place in his age group of 9 and under. There were quit a few kids that ran the whole race too.

There was a raffle after the race. I won a runnergirl backpack and DS won a $25 gift card for the local running store! (not mine) The first thing he asks: "Do they have toys?" :) He said I could have it. So we stopped by there on our way home. I got a One More Mile shirt that says "Kick Asphalt" :D

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shark's Tooth 10K

April 10, 2010

I had a great 10K this morning! My back, which was hurting when I got up, was feeling better by the time I got there, but then I was having tummy issues. I had to go to the pora-tpotty 3 times before the race started, but once I got going, I felt great. Just a little dehydrated. I was very happy to see the water stop at mile 2! The course starts in a lot off to the side of the Venice airport. We run through a neighborhood, then back around the airport parallel to the beach. We then go through Caspersen Beach parking lot (dirt) and take a dirt trail for a bit before running along the canal and then back to the finish.

I felt pretty good the entire race. For most of the second half of the race I saw this woman far ahead of me with long blond hair in a pony tail. I gradually got closer and closer. At mile 6 I was at 56 minutes on the dot. The woman was just ahead of me, so I got my speedy legs going in an effort to pass her. Well she turns her head to the left a bit, sees me and then speeds up! Her husband on the other side of her was telling her to keep it up and that I was on her heals. So we both ran all out to the finish. At the end she said sorry, but I told her "no problem, you helped to get me moving faster so that I could catch you!" :) Garmin time was 57:29. Clock time should be pretty close to that as this was a small race and I didn't start to far back.
This race was a lot of fun. Hope to run it again next year.

Time: 57:31.8; age group: 12/29; Overall: 145; Pace: 9:17/M

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Florida Beaches Halfathon

March 21, 2010

I was excited to run and finish this race. It would be my fourth in 22 days! As part of the Half Fanatics group, this would put me up to the fourth level, Jupiter.
Sunday morning started out early, 4 am. I got up had a cup of coffee and watched a little TV while I tired to wake up. I was out the door by 5 am. I made good time driving up to Ft Desoto Park, getting there just after 6 am. I stepped out of my car to go get my chip and then had to turn around and grab a sweatshirt. It was cold with the wind! I was a little worried about this. I hadn’t checked the weather before leaving the house, but a few days ago it had said it would be sunny this morning.

I hung out in my car for a while reading the latest issue of Runners World. At about 6:30 I gave Brenda a call to see where she was at. She was just finishing up a 3 mile pre race run. I left my sweatshirt in the car and thenI hit the porta potties, then went to find Brenda at our meeting spot. I ended up finding my friend Melissa and one of her friends. Brenda came up and we chatted for a couple of minutes before going to find a spot behind the starting line. Brenda said there was a chance of rain later and I just hoped it would hold off until after the race.
We got started right on time. We started our run in the parking lot, then headed out to the main street and then ran a loop through a pretty tree lined area. After exiting this area, we ran north, then came back around toward the finish. I felt pretty good, but now we were going to have a long stretch of running into the heavy wind. From about mile 3 to 5.5 the wind was strong, but then we turned to the east and now had good protection from the trees to the side. Just as I passed mile 5.5, the lead man passed me heading home.

Mile 1 – 9:12
Mile 2- 9:22
Mile 3 – 9:30
Mile 4 – 9:57
Mile 5 – 10:10

I am still feeling pretty good at this point. Just a regular long run day with a bunch of other runners around. Just after mile 7 we were running out in the open with no trees on our right to protect us from the strong wind. It was a beautiful view of the Gulf, with the Skyway bridge in the distance, but so windy! The rain had started about half a mile before this and stayed with us for a couple of miles.

Mile 6 - 9:46
Mile 7 – 10:12
Mile8- 10:19
Mile9 – 9:48

The rain was gone by mile 10. I kept trying to get a good look ahead so I could see the next water station. We got to the spot where it should have been (it was there the first time we ran by) but they must have packed up and left when it started raining! I needed that water! Thankfully there was another one at around mile 11. My stomach was getting a little upset here, so I didn’t eat anymore of my fuel.

Mile 10 – 10:03
Mile 11 – 10:30

As I passed mile 12, I had a time of 2 hours. I thought I could finish this race at about the same time as last week if I could pick up the pace. So I started to run faster. Big mistake. My stomach didn’t like that one bit. I ended up having to walk a half mile later. I kept it short though and just took it easy until I saw the mile 13 sign. We turned a corner and headed back into the wind. The finish banner was just ahead, so I put the speed on. I passed a guy at about 13.05 and kept my lead on him into the finish. I held up 4 fingers to proudly proclaim my Jupiter status!

mile 12 - 10:43
Mile 13 – 10:30

I got my starfish medal and a bottle of water and then walked around a little bit. I stopped off at my car to grab a sweatshirt because it was cooling off fast. Then I went to the food table and got a banana and a cookie, then headed over to the finish line to keep an eye out for Brenda. I got a photo of her just before she crossed the finish line and then we hung out for a bit before leaving. As I was heading to my car I saw my friend Melissa heading in to the finish. Stopped to cheer and clap her on before heading out.
I am so happy that I did all these races back to back. It was a lot of fun, but now I need a rest! Surprisingly I feel pretty good post race. I’m not sore at all. Makes me wonder if I could have pushed myself more. Off to the next challenge. My first triathlon? New York Marathon? Disney’s Goofy? We will see.

chip 2:11:28; time: 2:11:38; age group 35/64; women 171/357; overall 392/644;Pace 10:03

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sarasota Half Marathon

March 14, 2010

Sunday morning I left the house at 5:45 a.m. and drove over to my friend Karen’s house. She had bought a VIP parking spot so we could be right next to the start area. The morning was a coolish 60 degrees. It felt colder in the wind, but Karen and I found a sheltered spot to hang out at for a while, so I was comfortable in my tank and shorts. About 15 minutes before the start we decided to get lined up behind the start sign. There were signs for the different paces, but they were to close together! I ended up standing behind the 13+ mile sign, which normally would have been too far back. Looking behind me though, I could see a lot of people, so figured I was somewhere in the middle and that would work.

The race got started on time at 7:15 am. It was still a little dark out, but not as dark as previous years. I had to maneuver around a few walkers that had started to far forward, but soon I was able to run at a good pace without weaving. The first 3 miles are though a nice neighborhood near the water. After we turned on to Tamiami trail, we had to stay to the right lane of the road because cars were allowed to drive in the lane next to us. I hit the water station at about mile 4, grabbed a cup of water and had my first bit of fuel. We ran to the right, through a parking lot next to the Van Wezel and coast guard station and then back out to the main road.

Mile 1 - 9:54
Mile 2 – 9:38
Mile 3 – 9:35
Mile 4 – 9:36

This part of the course is great. Lots of people cheering on while we run by. I was at about mile 4.75 when the first half marathoner ran past me heading home. About a mile down the road, we turned to the right and headed toward Ringling bridge. We stayed to the right, ran next to the bridge and then under and back around to the other side. Going up the bridge wasn’t too hard. It’s the bridge I run my repeats on, it's the steepest "hill" around. Mile six ended at the top and I noticed on my Garmin that I didn’t lose much time. I passed a bunch of people on the down side. At the bottom we once again ran a loop under the bridge and back around. I walked through the water station here and had more fuel. We then turned and headed back over the bridge. I kept a look out on the other side for my friend. At the top I finally saw her and yelled out a greeting and waved. She heard me and yelled back.

Mile 5 - -9:40
Mile 6 – 9:59
Mile 7 – 9:44

I felt pretty good heading into mile 8. I noticed that if I could keep up 10 minute miles I would finish with my fastest time this season and close to my course PR. I tried not to get too pumped about it though, thinking of my last 2 weekends of races. By mile 10 I started to feel some pain. My right knee was hurting, but then I moved to the middle of the road and it felt better. I had been running to much on the down slope of the road. Running back through the neighborhood was tough. I told myself to just make it to the 11 mile water stop then I could take a longer walking break. I got there had more fuel and water and did walk a bit longer than I had before. Once I got going I felt a bit better, but then a mile later I was hurting. It wasn't so much a body hurt as a mental tiredness. I once again told myself I could take a walking break once I turned the corner and was about half a mile from the end. Then I saw this woman I often see out on my long runs. She has always been a person that I challenge myself to keep up with, so I once again tried to keep up with her. She was struggling to. I passed her twice, but then we got to mile 12.5 and she passed me. I couldn’t stop and walk! So I kept going and tried to make a strong finish. Got to the finish line, held up 3 fingers to show I’d finished 3 in a row! Got my medal and a bottle of water and then remembered to turn off the Garmin!

Mile 8- 9:53
Mile 9 – 10:06
Mile 10 – 10:25
Mile 11 – 10:30
Mile 12 – 11:03
Mile 13 – 10:24
27.71 feet – 0:05

Chip Time: 2:10:29. The one thing I noticed on the course was that my garmin was showing the miles well after I passed the signs. So I think I ran less than a 13.1 according to Garmin. That’s a first!

Overall this is a great race. The shirt wasn’t so great, but the medal and post race food was good. One more race to go before I move to the Jupiter level of the Half Fanatics!
Age group- 68/143; Overall- 824/1750

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Disney Princess Half marathon, March 7, 2010
The day started off early. I got up at 3:15 a.m. because I planned on leaving at 3:45 and I wanted some time to have a cup of coffee. I had bought a 3 pack of the Starbucks VIA the night before. I just brewed some hot water and poured in the packed. Perfect.
I left the hotel on time. I got to the Epcot parking lot pretty fast. My hotel wasn’t that far away. I talked to Brenda and made a plan to meet her and Joanne. I found Brenda first, and once we made it through the baggage drop off tent, we found Joanne. We hit the porta-potties then started the long walk to the starting line. It was cold! I was happy that I brought the mylar blanket from last weekend’s Gasparilla half. I also had on my arm sleeves, which defiantly helped. We got a group photo taken before Joanne headed off to her B corral. Brenda and I hit the porta-potties one more time before going to the Group A corral. We were pretty close to the start line, it was a great spot to be. I think they had groups A through E. They started 7 minutes apart. I was happy that I didn’t have to wait any longer than I already had to, which was 30 minutes.
A big spray of fireworks started us off. I tossed my mylar off to the side and tried to stay behind groups of people to keep the cold wind off of me. Normally I like to get out on my own, but since it was crowded anyway, I thought I might as well use it to my advantage. It helped a lot. Somewhere in the first couple of miles I saw a few of the men of Disney movies on a stage, so I ran over and got my first photo taken. This was my plan for the race. Go out and have fun. Take lots of photos. I pushed pretty hard last weekend, so I wasn’t too worried about time today. Even though I had to deal with the crowd and stopped for the photo, my first few miles where fast!

Mile 1 -9:39
Mile 2- 9:09
Mile 3 – 9:26
Mile 4 -9:39

I’m feeling pretty good at this point. I needed to make a pit stop, but they were all pretty busy and I didn’t want to waste time waiting for one to open up. By mile 5, just before running into Magic Kingdom, I spotted a large group of porta-potties, so ran over to use one there. I added a good minute here, but no worries. Running through Magic Kingdom was great. So many photo opportunities! Running down main street, heading toward the castle was great. Lots of cheering people. I stopped and asked a guy to take my photo with the castle behind me. We then ran a loop around to the back of the castle. Then I stopped to get a photo with Minnie and Mickey before running through the castle. I stopped again right in front of the castle for another photo before continuing on. I stopped again for a photo with the Genie before we ran out of the park. Still feeling good. At this point last year I was miserable. The only issue I started to notice was the small blister on my second toe on my right foot. I could feel that it was going to be a lot bigger when I got my shoe off. Thankfully it wasn’t painful. The next few miles went by fast. A few more photos with with Belle, the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and her Prince.

Mile 5 – 10:53
Mile 6 – 10:16
Mile 7 – 10:18
Mile 8 – 10:23
Mile 9 – 9:41

By mile 10 I was starting to feel tired. My quads were getting tight and my feet were hurting. It’s time to retire these shoes. They have close to 500 miles on them. I couldn’t believe how cold it still was! Much colder than last weekend. I still had on my arm sleeves. So happy that I made them out of socks. In the last 3 miles, I got photos taken with Jack Sparrow and with Tinker Bell and friends. I was so happy to make my way into Epcot knowing the finish line was less than a mile away. I was walking a lot at this point in last years race. I took off the arm sleeves in the last mile, didn’t really need them anymore. I was so happy to be feeling pretty good and running pretty strong. I was very happy to see the finish line ahead. I didn’t push it hard, just ran it in with a big smile on my face.
Mile 10 – 10;08
Mile 11 – 10:25
Mile 12 – 10:45
Mile 13 – 9:47
Mile .27 – 2:29 ( a little more than the .1 it should have been!)

I got my beautiful finishers medal, got a photo taken with it and then headed for the drink table. I saw a big jug of Biofreeze at the medical tent. They had paper cups next to it, so I grabbed one and pumped about 5 good pumps of the biofreeze into the cup. I knew I would need it after a shower. After picking up a banana, I thought of trying to wait for Brenda or one of the other WW ladies, but I was getting cold, so just decided to head to my car and take off.
I am very happy with the results of this race. Much better than last year, about nine minutes faster, and I had a lot more fun with it too.
Now I just need to figure out a good recovery plan for this week leading up to my 3rd half in 3 weeks!
Chip time – 2;12:56; overall- 2397/11324; Division: 469/2052; pace- 10:01

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Excited for the Princess half!

Getting excited for the race on Sunday. I plan on driving over to Orlando late morning. I'll hit the expo before checking in to my hotel. Then it's off to Wolfgang Pucks to meet up with some ladies from the WW Marathon group. Should be a fun pre race meal.

My crown for the race. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gasparilla Half Marathon

February 28, 2010

Race morning started off at 3:15 a.m. I wanted to leave by 3:45 a.m. and I needed some time to drink a cup of coffee before getting in the car and driving for an hour.
I got to Tampa just before 5 a.m. Just off the interstate, cars were backed up pretty far, but they seemed to be moving at a decent pace. I got a great spot on the first level parking garage next to the convention center. I got all my gear on, double checked that I had my race tag for my shoe and other needed things, then headed inside to meet up with friends Katie and Brenda from the WW marathon group. After making a pit stop, I found Katie and her husband waiting for me at our planned meet up place. We hung out and talked for a while, but Brenda didn't show up. Was a little worried she got held up in the traffic.

At 5:40, I decided to make another pit stop at the real bathrooms. Katie and her husband decided to head on down to the start line. I was not too far behind them when I ran into my friend Susan and her husband. Talked a little with them as we walked towards the start. I went off on my own and moved through the large crowd. Got as far forward as I could get. About in the middle of the large group. I could see the 4:30 marathon pace group just ahead of me, so I figured I was in a good enough spot.

The race got started pretty much on time at 6 a.m. It was pretty congested for a while, but thinned out a bit after a couple of miles. My first mile was pretty slow for a race, but maybe this was a good thing. I got a drink at the first water stop, but didn't eat any of my Sharky's fuel yet.

mile 1- 9:52
mile 2- 9:42
mile 3- 9:37

By mile 3 I was thinking that it was a mistake to have worn a long sleeved top. The weather forcast had shown temps in the mid 40s and with the possibility of the wind coming off the bay, I figured this would be a good thing to wear. The first 6 miles were fairly protected by homes, so no wind and I was very warm. I hoped for cooler breezes once we hit the water front. At around mile 5 I had my first 2 sharky bits and some water. My plan for the race was to walk fast through water stops every couple of miles. I would drink a little water and have 2 sharky bits. (similar to Luna moons) At around mile 6 we ran back over a small bridge toward the finish line. But of course it was too soon to finish, we ran down a lane bordering the finish! Lots of crowd support here. We ran by the post race food area. The smell of cuban/mexican food at 7 am is NOT pleasent!

mile 4- 9:45
mile 5- 9:52
mile 6- 9:52

We ran a loop back towards the start line and then around to the waterfront. This was familiar ground for me. I ran the 15K here 2 years ago. Lots of beautiful houses to look at and a good amount of people cheering us on. I had a pretty good rhythm going, even though I was still hot. I started planning what I was going to wear for next weeks race already! short sleeves and a toss away long-sleeved top! The 2:10 pacer passed me around mile 8, she was going fast! I couldn't believe her pace was on target. My plan was to keep her in my sights for as long as possible.

mile 7- 9:42
mile 8- 9:58
mile 9- 9:37

I was very happy to turn around at about mile 10. I could see the finish area off to the distance. I was still feeling pretty good. My drinking and snack plan seemed to be holding up. I didn't really have to make a pit stop ( my biggest worry with day 2 of monthy visitor here). At mile 11 ish I had my last drink of water and 2 more sharky's. I knew I had it in me to run the last 2 miles at around 10 minutes each. I got excited that I might beat my last race time of just under 2:12! The last mile was tough. The heat was really getting to me, but I kept seeing those race photographers and giving them a big smile. I tried to keep up a good, strong pace for the last half mile. I was passed by a few people, but didn't have it in me to run any harder than I was already going! As I got closer I saw the clock show 2:12 and change, so I pushed it hard trying to get in as quick as I could to beat chip time of 2:10. I ended up finishing 2:10:10.

mile10- 9:39
mile11- 9:55
mile12- 10:10
mile 13- 9:57

Overall I am very happy with this race. I hope to run it again next year. It's a fun event, lots of great support and nice finishers medals. Looking forward to next sunday and the Disney Princess Half Marathon!

Chip- 02:10:10; clock- 02:12:32; overall- 1917/3896, Gender- 823/2129; division- 176/389; Pace 9:55

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clearwater Halfathon 2010 Race Report

January 23, 2010
I got up race morning just before 4 a.m. I had trouble sleeping the night before. I was worried about my alarm not going off.
After having a cup of coffee and hitting the bathroom, I loaded up the car and hit the road. My stomach was feeling a little upset. I had made the mistake the night before, of eating something new. I got up to Clearwater and had to stop at a gas station for another bathroom break. I was getting a little worried that is was going to happen throughout the race!
The race start was set up next to a park with a large parking lot from the library right next door. I got a great spot, put on a toss away jacket over my tank, because with the wind, it felt pretty chilly. In the chip line, I met a woman who was wearing a Half Fantatics shirt too!  I got my bib, t-shirt and timing chip and then headed back to my car. It was a little after 6 a.m. and the race didn’t start until 7. I got my shoes on, pinned on my bib and looked through a magazine before hitting the porta potty line. Sigh. I was feeling a bit better, just really hoping that this was going to be my last pit stop. I kept the jacket on, because it was still chilly and we had about 15 minutes to stand around.
The race got started just after 7. We headed up a hill and then around the front side of the library. I decided to toss the jacket in the bushes next to the parking lot thinking it might still be there after the race. We turned to the right and then started running up the first big bridge. This thing is steep! I flew down the other side. I looked at my garmin and noticed a 7:30 pace! I was feeling great though, so I just went with it. Even when I got to the bottom and was running on flat ground I was going at about a 9 min mile and felt great. This is when it popped into my head that the wind was behind me and I was not going to be feeling great running IN to the wind and over UP the bridge on the last mile. Beautiful course the first 2 miles are next to the water. We then turn south and start running next to the beach. Just before mile 3 we get to the first water stop. I didn’t bring my waist pack with me, I just didn’t want it sitting on my stomach, so I needed the water break. The biggest bummer about this race is that the water stops are set up kinda wacky. I ate 2 luna moons, had some water and kept going.
Mile 1- 9:45
Mile 2- 9:00
Mile 3- 9:35
Just before mile 4 we start up the second steep bridge. Ugg. At the bottom of the bridge is another water stop, just outside a park. I drink a small amount of water here before turning in to run a big loop through the park. This section is kind of boring, but it just lasts a little over a mile. Just before leaving the park, we hit mile 6 and then a water station. I have 2 more luna moons and water.
Mile 4- 10:07
Mile 5- 9:30
Mile 6- 9:59
The next 3 miles we run on the road heading south through Condo Canyon. (This is what the DJ called it before the race and it fits!) We get to the turn around at about 7.5 and start heading North, into the wind. This was not pretty. I could feel myself slow down a bit. I kept my sights on the walker who I met earlier at the bib line and who was wearing her Half Fanatics shirt. I got up to her and yelled “go fanatics”” as I passed. The next water stop was just past mile 9 before we started back up that second bridge (3rd up hill) That was a long way to go before having a water break. I had the 2 last luna moons in the packet and then started chugging up the hill. It was slow going, but I made it without walking. The downside was great and then the next mile or so was nice because the buildings to the right blocked a lot of the wind. I had some more water at the next stop, at around mile 10.5.
Mile 7- 10:02
Mile 8- 9:52
Mile 9- 10:11
Mile 10- 10:41
We passed the beach again and then started running back toward the northeast. WIND! The last 2 miles were the toughest with the wind. Around mile 11.5 was the last water stop. I decided just to have a little water and not bother opening the other packet of Luna Moons. I was feeling pretty good actually. My breathing was going well. I had been working on taking nice slow deep breaths through the race. I tend to take short shallow ones, which adds to the bloated feeling that I get during races.
Just after mile 12 we started the last steep climb up that first bridge. I told myself to just get up half of it and then I could take a break. I ran up half and then walked for a bit, until I saw the race photographers at the top, same spot as last year. I started running again so that I could get a nice looking photo.  I zoomed past a few people as we ran down the other side. Just before we reached the bottom, we turned to the right and ran down this spiral walk way down to the road below. The last quarter mile is flat to the finish. I was going as fast as I could, but other people had more juice left in them. I was passed by about 6 people! Bummer. I finished the race strong and with a big smile on my face!
I was so happy to see that I had a 2:11 on my Garmin. Considering how my stomach felt, I was thinking I would be lucky to get the 2:15 of Decembers half. So with hills and the other issues, I was thrilled to see such a good finish time.
Mile 11- 10:18
Mile 12- 10:50
Mile 13- 10:30 (wow, and that’s with walking a bit of the first part of that mile up hill!)
Mile .1- 1:23 (think I slowed down a bit here)
I grabbed a banana, an orange slice and a piece of bread before heading up to my car. After getting my G2 (can’t drink the stuff they make at races) I walked over to where I had tossed my jacket. There it was! I’ll save it for the next colder race. I stretched a bit next to my car, before heading on out of there.
Treated myself to a grande peppermint mocha at Starbucks before getting onto the interstate and driving the hour home.
Official chip time is 2:12:18. What? This is the second race with this same company doing the time and I've had a chip time more than clock time. It will be interesting to see how the Gasparilla half time turns out.