Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 15th Annual 5K Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk for Arthritis

It's not often that I run an evening race. It always hard to figure out the best way to be ready before the race starts. I went to the gym for a short workout in the early afternoon after I got off work. I rode the stationary bike for 10 minutes and then did weights and core work for 30 minutes. I decided to eat a little something that would get me through the race, but not be to filling. I got an order of fries and a side salad at the nearby Wendy's. :) I then went to do a little Christmas shopping before heading over to the Starbucks near the start of the race. I got there just before 5pm, I ordered a Venti peppermint mocha and hung out until my friend Dawn showed up. Race start was 7 pm. Once Dawn showed up, with her daughter, we hung out for a while, then decided to walk around outside and check the vendors that had set up booths. Before we knew it, we had about 15 minutes until the start. We hit the porta potties then went to find a good spot to start the race. The street was packed! Over 2500 people had registered. We managed to get a spot that wasn't very far back from the front/ start line.

Soon we were off! I felt good. My IT band and knee didn't feel tight at all, which it often does in the morning. I didn't have my Garmin on or my music with me, so I just went at a pace that felt good. I hadn't planned on pushing it at all. It's a "fun run" so there was not going to be any official timing. About a half a mile down the road, I heard a guy next to me tell his friend that we were running an 8:40 pace. That worked for me. Not as fast as I would have fun it in October, but my body isn't in as great as shape as then. I past the first water stop because I figured it would be better to get water when we passed it on the way back, it was an out and back course. But, on the way back, just before mile 2, all the volunteers were facing the runners heading out and when I stopped to ask for water, they all ignored me. I grabbed a cup of water, but all of the cups were empty. :( So, I just decided to keep going.

During the last mile, I was starting to feel thirsty and really hot. It was a very humid night. But, I pushed through it because my legs were feeling good and it looked like I was going to have a good finish time according to my watch. About a half a mile before the finish, the walkers who were walking the 1 mile distance merged with the runners. I was dodging people and little kids left and right. I think it's great that people bring there kids to these events, but they should not let a little 2 year old walk back and forth in front of people running! I was almost tripped twice!

Finally I get to about mile 3. The finish line is straight ahead. I just have to run through the intersection and then the finish line is a little ways down the road. All of a sudden the light turns red and we are forced to stop and wait!! I have never been held back at a red light before! I guess because it was a "fun run" they thought it was OK to do this, but it really sucked! Everyone was complaining. I stopped my watch. I was about to have a great finish time, it wasn't fair that I had to stop! Lots of poeple caught up to me at the light and ended up passing me when we were allowed to start running again. I finished strong through and was very happy with my time of 25:37! I wish this had been a timed race (with no stopping) because that's a PR!

Not sure I will do this race again. I know the money is going to a great cause, but the hassle of dealing with all those people is just not worth it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

10th Annual Holiday HalfathonMadeira Beach, FL 12/11/11

I ran this race for the first time back in 2002. It was the first year for the race. I remember it being a little challenging because of the 2 hills (bridges). It was also a memorable race for me, because it was to be my last half marathon for a few years. I found out two weeks later that I was pregnant with my son. This year was the 10th anniversary for the race, so even though I wasn’t able to run very far without pain, I wanted to go out there and do this race.

My plan was to walk the first two miles, then start a run/walk of quarter miles each. I had tried this method for 8 miles earlier in the week and it worked well. No ITB pain at all.
I arrived in Madeira Beach about an hour before the walkers start time (runners started a half hour later). I picked up my chip and then hung out for a while with a couple of my running club friends. Soon enough it was time to line up for the start. There was actually a pretty decent crowd of walkers. I was worried there would only be a few of us. I got to stand at the very front of the starting mat, my first and last time probably! The race director gave us some instructions, including the fact that we should stay on the sidewalk until the runners caught up to us. The roads were technically closed until then. The National Anthem was sung for us and then we were off!

Right away I was being passed by many walkers and people who were slowly running. I didn’t like that at all! But I stayed with the walking, like a good girl. I actually was keeping up a pretty good pace, less than 15 min miles, which is a fast pace for me. By mile one, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to just run one quarter of a mile to try to put some space between me and some of the other walkers. I picked up the pace to an 8 min mile for the quarter of a mile. It felt awesome to zoom past a bunch of people! Plus, I had a little extra space on the tight sidewalk. By mile 2, I was really happy to start my run/walks. I kept up a pretty good pace, sub 9 min miles, for a few miles during the running portions. This allowed me to gradually get past a lot of the walkers and slower runners who had started off with me. By mile 4, I started looking over my shoulder every once in a while because I expected the fast runners to catch up to me at any moment.

Miles 1 through 5: 14:06/ 12:37/ 11:24/ 11:03/ 10:55

The next few miles went by with no problems. I felt great. No aches and pains. I had plenty of energy and despite the warm day, I felt perfectly fine. Just after mile 6, we looped around a park and then entered the Pinellas Trail. We would be on this until just before mile 12. As I left the park area, I saw the lead runners off to my left, making their way toward the park. The lead runners caught up to me by mile 7.5. It was pretty cool running with the faster runners for the next few miles. They sure make running look effortless and easy!
My running pace started to slow down a bit during the second half of the race, but I was still pretty happy with my pace. I stopped a couple of times to stretch out my hamstrings, which felt a little tight.
Miles 6 through 9: 11:44/ 11:45/ 11:39/ 12:15

By the time we got to the last water stop, just before mile 12, I was starting to feel my knee stiffen up. It wasn’t painful yet, but I knew if I pushed much more, it would become painful. So, I walked a little more during this last mile. Normally I would be beating myself up because I was slowing down and walking more, but for this day, it was part of the plan to finish injury free and ready for Ragnar in a few weeks. I enjoyed the view of the lake and watched out for the guys playing disk golf. I managed to finish the last .1 with a run and run it in strong.

Miles 10 through 13: 11:49/ 12:10/ 12:13/ 13:21

Finish: 2:38
I'm pretty happy with my finish time considering I only ran about 5.5 miles of the race! I got my awesome finishers medal before heading over to get water and a banana and my bag. I found the medical guys to get an ice pack from them, then sat on the grass and stretched a little and iced my knee. I didn't stick around to long because I wanted to get on the bus and back to my car as soon as I could. No waiting for the bus, which was awesome!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is how I feel! It is so hard not being able to run right now!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

IT Band Knee pain

I went for my second run of the week today and it didn't go well. I had taken off 4 days after realizing the pain in my knee wasn't going away. Thursday's 4 mile run went fine, so I thought I'd push it to 6 miles this morning. I got in 3 before the pain started up. By mile 4.5 the pain was pretty bad. I ran very slow to finish out 5 and then walked in the last mile.

I'm not sure what to do! I've been icing, foam rolling and using the stick on my IT band. I guess I should take off at least a week, if not 2 weeks. I need to get in a workout though or I will not be fun to live and work with. Just need to figure out what is safe. I might try the elliptical at the gym on Tuesday.

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Women's Half Marathon
St Pete, FL
November 20, 2011

This is the third year of the race and also my third time running it. Even though I ran a marathon last weekend, a marathon the weekend before and my knee had been hurting, I decided to run this race, but with no time expectations. I just wanted to go out and have fun.

Dawn and I drove up early, getting there around 5:30 am. We got everything ready and then walked across the street to the Hilton, where Brenda was staying. We used their nice bathrooms and hung out in the lobby for a while, waiting for Brenda to come down. We decided to head over to the race area at 6:15, even though Brenda hadn't come down yet. Couldn't get her on the room phone and I forgot my cell phone in the car. Thankfully we ran into her down near the porta potties. We made one more pit stop before heading to the corrals. Dawn and I were in corral 2, while Brenda was in 3. We managed to sneak her in with us, yeah! :) After only a few minutes, we were off!

The first part of the race was new. We headed in the opposite direction then in previous years, turned right and then right again heading north. Another right turn a few blocks later and we were back on the regular, waterfront course. I was feeling pretty good and keeping up a fast (for me) pace. I tried my best to keep off the slopes of the streets and run down the flat middle. We crossed a small bridge just before mile 3. There is a short out and back section here. I saw the 1:45 pacer and right in the thick of the runners was Renee! I yelled out a hello to her and continued on. I yelled hello to a couple of other friendly faces before hitting the turnaround. I slowed and walked through the water stop and then kept an eye out for any friends heading my way. My knee was feeling a little tight, but otherwise it was OK.

Miles 1 through 4 - 8:33, 9:04,8:55, 8:54
Just before mile 5, we hit the water front area again and also the brick street. Most everyone, including me, jumped to the sidewalk and ran on there for the next mile or so. I was still feeling good as we headed back toward downtown and the pier. Lots of crowd support once we hit Bayshore drive. We took a left onto the Pier, ran down to the end and came back around. I saw Dawn on the otherside and yelled a hello. Comming off the pier we turned left and then pretty quick after that turned right heading up 1st Ave. This is a long. slight incline. My knee was really feeling that incline! I could tell I was starting to stiffin up.

Miles 5 through 9 - 9:20, 9:19, 9:29, 9:21, 10:03

Just after mile 9 we turned right towards Mirror lake. We ran a loop around the lake and headed back to 1st Ave. The road around the lake was really slanted. I had to get on the sidewalk because my knee hurt on the slant. We ran a little past Tropicana Field, then turned around and headed back. New course change here. We turned right towards the Trop building, cutting out a huge block of parking lot that we had to run through the year before. The little downhill and astroturf in the Trop did me in. I got in there and walked most of the lap around. I managed to get into a slow run for the photographer, but once I made it back outside, I had to walk again.

Miles 10 and 11 - 9:59, 10:25
I tried to get back into running in the parking lot and then again on 1st Ave, but it wasn't working. My knee was really hurting. I stopped at a medical station around mile 12 to get ice. I wasted over a minute here while they tried to bandage on an ice pack. It lasted about half a mile before starting to slide down my leg. I stopped and took it off. I just decided to walk it in. My knee wasn't hurting while I walked, just felt stiff. It was super hard to walk that last mile in. So many people cheering on the course. My name was on my bib and a lot of people were calling out to me to keep going. After the turn back onto Bayshore, I tried to walk it in faster. As seen in the photo at right, I wasn't feeling so hot, but I kept it up and finished with a pretty decent time considering I walked most of the last 2 miles.

Miles 12, 13 and .25: 13:25, 17:36, 3:45

Finish: 2:18:05

Even though it was super warm and humid, I felt great through the race. If it hadn't been for my bum knee, it would have been a great race. I'm trying not to be dissapointed with my performance. I know there wasn't anything else I could do. I wish I had had a better race, but it is what it is. I had a PR in my 5 mile race 3 weeks ago and a marathon PR 2 weeks ago that I am proud of.

Once home, I iced my knee and then went to the Children's reading festival and walked around for an hour that afternoon. The knee is feeling better, but I still plan on taking at least a week off from running. I want to be in good running shape for the Ragnar Fl Keys in early January.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love this! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Marathon of Sarasota Whitiker Gateway Park, Sarasota, FL
The morning started off cold and windy. I was back in FL and not expecting Savannah race conditions! I picked up my bibs, one with numbers for front and one with my name for my back. I also got my timing chip. I hung out with all the Marathon Maniacs who were in town for the race. There were 7 of us that would qualify for Maniacs today and two runners who were running their first marathon. We got lots of photos taken near the water and once the bathrooms were opened (yeah!) we started the race. It got started at 7:30, a little late, but we needed to wait on the bathrooms.
Gina, Stephanie, Dawn, Jeff and I all started off together running 3/1 intervals. I had no time expectations. I just wanted to finish. Really, I hoped for a sub 5 hour finish, but wasn’t going to push it. It was a lot of fun through those first few miles. Dave Mari was taking photos all the time. Endorphin dude was there and entertained us by stopping to sing on the DJ’s microphone. Liz and Renee stopped by to cheer for a while. It was great seeing their smiling faces every lap.
Somewhere around mile 6, Gina slowed down and we all got ahead of her. Soon Jeff and Dawn started running a bit faster, so Stephanie and I held back. I didn’t want to push the pace too hard. We ran the first 13.1 in 2:15, which was only 4 minutes slower than last weekend.
Miles 1 through 7: 9:51/10:07/10:00/10:35/10:14/10:42/10:29Miles 8 through 13: 10:13/10:44/10:22/10:26/10:40/10:18
We definitely slowed down during the second half, but for the most part I felt good. Everyone was friendly. Many people said my name as they ran by and wished me luck. The volunteers, some of whom are friends, were great. They had a table set up by the water with anything a runner could need. I tried a half a banana during the race for the first time. My friend Susan sprayed sunscreen on me at one point. The temps stayed cool and very dry. I was hardly sweating and I tend to sweat a lot! I could feel the saltiness on my face for most of the race. Stephanie is a hoot. Her friends brought her a bloody mary and she drank from it each time we passed it. We came up to Leah, who was running her first time marathon, when she had 10 laps to go (we had 15 I think). She was struggling, but decided to hang with us and take walking breaks. She ended up with a great finish and a time of 4:08!

Miles 14 to 18: 10:53/11:28/11:06/10:47/11:23
I caught up with Dawn at some point during this time. She was not having a good race and saying she was never running a marathon again. She ran NYC last weekend and it wasn’t a great race for her. We went back and forth for a bit, but soon she pulled ahead again. She ended up finishing a couple of minutes before me and feeling pretty good about it.
Miles 19 through 23: 11:24/11:33/11:53/11:55/11:49
The last 3 miles were very painful. The side of my left knee hurt a lot. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife! But, I kept going. A very slow shuffle. I did get to see the couple from England get married and have photos taken. I think I passed by them 3 times during this process. The woman came in first overall woman and the man was second overall man.
I was so ready for the last lap. I tried to speed up my pace a little, but couldn’t do it. My knee almost collapsed a couple of times. I was so happy to finish!! I got my finishers medal and my 2nd place age group award. There were only 3 people in it, but so what! I’ll take it.
Miles 24 through 26: 13:19/13:17/14:08
Finish time: 4:49:08 for 25.96 total miles. It’s still a marathon to me! J
I didn’t hang around too long before making my way to the medical tent. They taped a bag of ice to my knee and gave me some Tylenol. I hobbled over to the food area and then on to where I had left my bag. We saw Gina pass by a couple of times. She was not happy, her knee was hurting a lot too, but she didn’t want to give up. I made it back to the finish line in time to see her finish. I got a couple of photos taken with my medals and my “I just qualified for Marathon Maniacs” sign, before heading home to spend a relaxing afternoon on the sofa.
It is now a few hours post race and my knee is feeling tender but better. I will take it easy this week and will decide by Friday if I will run the Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday! What was I thinking??? J

One thing I’ve realized post race is that I didn’t encounter any stomach issues and for the most part I didn’t cramp up. I think the two halves of banana I had, one around mile 18 and the other a few miles later, really helped. I also didn’t wear a waist pack today, so nothing compressing on my stomach. I was pretty good about eating when I should and taking the endurolytes when I should. I drank more water today too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon
November 5, 2011
Race morning started off early. Brenda and I got up at 5:30am and had plenty of time to get layered up for the cold morning walk over to the start line. So happy we were staying so close to the start. Gina, Donna, Stephanie and Charlotte stopped by on their walk from the hotel they got moved to. (long story) We got there in plenty of time for the big maniac/fanatic group shot. It was so fun to be in a race with a large group of them. I hope to be joining the maniacs next weekend! I also got to meet Kate, one of my team marathon bar members. After the photo, we went in search of the baggage check and then bathroom breaks. The lines were so long for the porta potties, so we decided to go down this ally and squat behind some cars. A couple of women came riding by on their bikes and told us that we could get in a lot of trouble for urinating in public. She was very nice though, and offered the bathroom in her office, which was right there! We made it into the corral area about 10 minutes before race start. Most of us were in corral 12. After the first wave start, we slowly made our way closer to the starting mat. It was about 15 minutes after official race start that our group got going.
Gina and I decided to stick together as long as we could. We were running 4/1 intervals, which seemed very doable in this cold temp (45ish). The first mile was straight running and it felt great. The runners had about 4 lanes of road to run on, so we were not too packed in. The first few miles were a little fast, but I wasn’t out of breath and I was feeling good, so we kept up the pace. We ran through some rough looking areas outside of the historic savannah district, but the people were friendly. Lots of people came out of their houses to cheer us on. Bands were at about every mile, which was a big energy boost to the crowd of runners. One woman in front of me ran up to the front of the band and did a cartwheel! Funny.
Miles 1 to 6- 9:18/9:29/9:47/9:54/10:03/10:04

It was great to be back into the historic district. Lots of crowd support here. At one point Gina yells to me, “There’s Dave!” I look all around me and then spot him to my side. He runs over and puts his camera in front of us to take a photo. Then asks who is with me. I tell him Gina is and runs over and snaps a photo of the tow of them, then he runs in front of us to take a photo of us. He tells us we are running fast and falls back. We yell to him to “have a great race” and continue on. Lots of great characters running in the race including a guy dressed up in a Beeker (from The Muppets) suit. Crazy! Lots of great signs being held up too, like “Run, Stranger, Run.” My favorite said: Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass! Around mile 9 the course started to head out of the historic district and into a nice neighborhood with beautiful older houses and tall trees that provided some shade.

Miles 7 to 9- 10:20/9:58/10:12
By mile 10, we are both wondering where the split for the half marathoners was. We didn’t want to miss it! Thankfully it was hard to miss. Around mile 11 there were signs on the road and volunteers on the course yelling out which way to go. It was nice to see the half marathoners break away, since most of the runners were running that distance. Once we were on our own, we had a lot more space to run and it was easy to get to the side to take our walk breaks. Mile 12 was run on a highway. We could see mile 24 on the other side of the road. Soon police cars started driving down it and following them was the first marathon runner heading home! He was smokin fast and looked like he was out for an easy run. Just before mile 13, we took the off ramp from the highway and ran through more neighborhoods. We hit the 13.1 mile mark at 2:11. That was a pretty good pace and ahead of our goal pace.
Miles 10 to 13- 9:58/10:14/10:05/10:12
The rest of the race was a large loop through the southern part of town. By mile 15, I noticed my left Achilles tendon was feeling strange when I stopped to walk. At mile 16 we passed the Savannah State University campus. That was a lot of fun. Lots of students were out cheering. The band was there playing too.  I decided to stop and use the porta pottie at mile 17. I told Gina to go ahead and I would try to catch up with her. There was someone in the bathroom already and one guy waiting. While I stood there, I stretched a bit, which felt good. I waited for a couple of minutes and the first person was still in there, so I decided to just keep running. It was really cold still. It seemed like the wind was getting stronger. I still had on my arm sleeves and kept ahold of my gloves in case I needed them later. I decided to run through every other walking break in hopes I could catch up with Gina. Eventually I saw her up ahead and slowly caught up to her after a couple of miles. It was good to have my running buddy back by my side! My Achilles felt better after the stretch, but I could tell I was slowing down. My muscles were really stiffening up. I need to figure out how to stop this from happening! I was eating my cliff blocks when I was supposed to and taking my endurolytes on schedule too.

Miles 14 to 19- 10:13/10:40/10:36/10:32/10:52/10:22
I managed to plod along and a decent pace for the next few miles. I don’t feel like I hit the “wall” until mile 22. My stomach was bothering me. It felt bloated and my waist pack made it worse because it felt so tight. I ate my last cliff clock around mile 24 and within a minute I thought I was going to throw up! It hit my stomach hard. I took of my waist pack and immediately felt better. I thought of just tossing it since I got it on sale for $10, it wasn’t a big waste, but decided to hold on to it for a bit. It wasn’t too bad carrying it. Gina started pulling ahead of me during these last few miles. I told her to go ahead, but thankfully she stayed near me. I think I might have really struggled to stay running if she hadn’t been there. Running directly into the wind and having to run over so many over passes was really taking it out of me! Soon we left behind the highway and started running towards the historic district and the finish. Gina pulled ahead again around mile 25, which was fine with me. She looked strong and I didn’t want to hold her back any longer. I grabbed a bottle of water from the medical tent just before the next water stop and ended up drinking half the bottle! I guess I was thirstier than I thought! This last bit was tough, but knowing the finish line wasn’t too far away, kept me plodding along. I managed to run through the last walk break and even pick up my pace a little just before the finish line. So happy to be done! And with a PR!
Mile 20 26.2- 11:09/10:54/11:37/11:12/11:16/11:57/12:29/3:29
Finish 4:37:07 a PR of 28 minutes!
Overall: 2619 out of 4722
Division: 207 out of 421
Gender: 1156 out of 2473
Gina was waiting for me after I crossed the finish line. We were both so happy about our PRs! We got out photos taken with our bling then grabbed some food and drink. I really needed to sit down and get off of my feet, so we walked over to get our bags, meet up with Brenda and then Stephanie and then walked over to the large grassy park to hang out and listen to the band playing. Within a couple of minutes of trying to stretch my legs, my calf muscles seized up. And then the front of them did too when I flexed my foot. I couldn’t unflex my foot! Brenda rolled my water bottle over the spot for me until it loosened up. I’ve never had that happen before. It hurt!

So happy I ran this race! We had some issues with housing and hotels during this trip, but the race and spending time with friends was so fun. Look forward to the next girls racing weekend!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bill's Beer Run Casey Key, FL October 30, 2011

I had a great time at my 5 mile race this morning. I crushed my previous PR by 5 minutes and got 4th in my age group.

I got to the race site super early, because the parking lot (at the beach) is small and I wanted to make sure I got a good spot. I hung out in my car for about 40 mins and then met up with my friend and we hit the bathrooms. Lots of friendly faces at this race, so we chatted with people for the next 45 minutes until the race start. A lot of my ragnar team was there dressed up as 80s fitness stars. Suzanne Sommers, Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons and Suzanne Powers.

A guy sang the National Anthem and messed it up big time. I felt so bad for him, but he tried to recover and we all gave him a big cheer at the end. All of a sudden the gun went off. I hit my watch about 8 seconds after the official start (so my official time is a bit off). I felt really good going out. I had to weave through a bunch of people, but soon had some good space. I made sure I didn't start to far back today because I knew I wanted to go for that PR.

Mile 1- 7:55

I was surprised when I saw my first mile time! Even though I felt good, I thought maybe I should pull back a little, but ended up keeping pretty close to the first mile pace. There was a water stop at mile 1.5. I grabbed a cup and tried to drink a little without stopping. I got a little in my mouth and a lot on my hand. :)

Mile 2- 8:06

Starting to feel the hard pace here, but seeing all the runners coming back my way kept me going. Soon I see speedy Renee and yell out encouragement to her. She is about the 10th woman heading back. I hit the turn around and I’m happy to start seeing people on the other side of the road behind me. I see Gina and she tells me to keep up the pace. With that encouragement and seeing all my competition behind me, I keep at it. Just before mile 3 I finally pass and leave behind this speedy little girl. I was wondering if this 10 year old was going to stay with me the whole way! She was fast.

Mile 3- 8:14

I spot a woman in an orange tank top and decide she is a good one to try and pass. Before we get even a half a mile down the road, I have past her. Still feeling good, but decide I should slow it down a little so that I have something left at the end.

Mile 4: 8:19

I pick out an older guy in a bright green shirt to pass next. I gradually gain on him and end up passing him before getting to the water stop. Again I grab a cup of water and try drinking it without stopping. It slightly wets my throat. :D Not so good at that. Now I start to notice my bottom lip is going numb. This happens to me on cold, windy days sometimes. I think it’s a combo of being hot and sweaty and then getting a cold blast. The last quarter mile was a little scary because my top lip was also starting to go numb. I was breathing deeply, so it wasn’t lack of oxygen. As I was about to finish, I could hear a guy just to my back left. He tried to pass me at the end, but I got across the line just before him! Once I stopped and drank half my bottle of water, I felt much better and my lips went back to normal. I stood on the sidelines and watched some of my friends come in.

Mile 5- 8:14
Total: 5.04 miles in 41:08

I hung out for a long time to find out the race results. They gave awards 10 deep in age groups! I thought I had a chance of placing. I ended up with 4th in my age group. A few of my friends placed in their age groups too. It was a great day for a race!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Florida 1-Day Relay

Bradenton to Venice, 50plus miles.

Team Sisters with Blisters was made up of me, Dawn, Gina, Stephanie and Linda. We all arrived in downtown Bradenton at 7 am. Race start was 8am, but we needed to be there early for the race directions meeting and to decorate Dawn’s car. The hour went by quickly, and before we knew it, Linda was lined up at the starting line with about 14 other runners. The race had a little over 50 teams. There were staggered starts of 7, 8, 9 and 10 am.

After loading into the car, we followed the path Linda had just run. She was the third woman and hot on the heels of the woman in front of her. We drove on to the exchange point to wait for her and write a few more things on the car windows. Soon, Linda came in and slapped the bracelet on Dawn. We all loaded into the car and I drove us to the next exchange point at Palma Sola Causeway Park. It was here, out in the open, with water on both sides, that we noticed how very windy it was. It was great for the people running toward the island because the wind was at their backs. I knew for me, when I was running off the island later this morning, I was going to have the wind coming at me. Dawn came in at a good pace and Stephanie ran off. Stephanie just ran a marathon last weekend! She did great on this leg, running a good pace. We all loaded back into the car and drove to the next exchange at Bradenton Beach were I would start my first run.

For some reason I was so nervous to run! Maybe because it was a team event, I felt like I needed to run a good pace. My run started off great. My garmin was having issues with the signal, so every time I looked at it the display would show anywhere from 10 min mile to 7 min mile pace! I ran down a curved neighborhood street that put me out onto the main road of the Island. I had to cross to the other side. I lucked out here as the light was already green, so I didn’t have to stop. I ran in the bike lane, no sidewalk, facing traffic. First mile was 8:14! A little fast, but I figured I’d push hard for this first leg. About a half mile later, I had to cross the street again at a pedestrian cross walk. Thankfully, the cars in both directions stopped for me right away, so that I could cross the street. Lots of team vehicles out on the road honking and yelling in support of all the runners. It was great. They strange part was being out there pretty much on my own. I saw one guy way up ahead of me and that was it. It was fun running this route, since I used to live on the island and would run this all the time. I passed by my old place at one point too. Mile 2: 8:32. I caught up to the runner in front of me at about mile 3: 8:38. The last .8 was all under the trees on a path next to the beach. It was beautiful out. I finished strong and handed off to Gina. Total time for 3.8 miles: 32:21 with an average pace of 8:30!

I changed into a dry shirt and stretched a little before we loaded into the car to head towards the next exchange. We stopped a little ways down to get out and cheer Gina on as she ran by. She didn’t have much shade on this section, so she was pretty hot when she came into the next exchange and handed off to Linda. We again got into the car and drove down the road a bit to find a good spot to cheer on Linda as she ran by. Then headed to Ken Thompson Park for the next exchange were I would be running again. I changed back into my race shirt and then we all hung out on the swings while we waited for Linda to come in. It was still pretty windy with partly cloudy skies. I decided to leave my visor in the car so I wouldn’t have to fight the wind to keep the visor on my head. Linda came in and I took off!

My second leg of the race started around noon. Thankfully the temperature didn’t feel too bad because it was so windy. I had the wind at my back for a very short distance, but then I changed direction and it came at me from the side. Mile 1: 8:44. When I ran over a small bridge and got the full force of the wind, it was so strong that my skirt lifted up around my waist. Good thing there are built in shorts under it. :) Just past the bridge I turned into a neighborhood that went along the water and ended at the major road leading to and from the Island. This is where I started running straight into the wind. Mile 2: 9:00. It wasn’t too bad for the first half mile because of trees and buildings on my left that helped to block a little of the wind. But then I got to the open and the flat bridge and got slammed. I powered through it to get to Bird Key Park were my team was waiting to cheer me on. We had to cross the street here and use the light. I was so lucky that a truck was already waiting at the light so that when I got near the cross walk, it had turned green. I ran fast through the intersection because the light didn’t stay green for long. Now I had to power up the bridge. Running up that bridge into the wind was so tough! But I did it! Top of the bridge was end of mile 3: 9:49. Running down the bridge felt great! Even with the wind hitting me, I felt my pace pick up. I passed a runner going down the bridge and then passed another as we ran near the Kissing Statue. I ran into Marina Jacks for the hand off to Dawn. Last 1.09 mile was 8:58. Total miles 4.09 in 37:17 with a 9 minute mile average pace.

I was tired after this leg. It was really hard. I stretched a bit before we loaded into the car. We drove down to Southside Elementary to park and wait for Dawn to run by. While Linda, Gina and Stephanie played on the playground, I hid behind the car door and changed out of my sweaty sports bra and top into dry stuff. I got into the car to change my bottoms though.  We stopped at another spot on Siesta Key to watch Dawn run by before heading to Siesta Beach to wait for her to run in. This was the longest leg of the day with 7 miles. We hung out with some other teams at the transition spot waiting for Dawn to run in. She made great time and soon we were on our mandatory 45 minute break. At this point all teams needed to load into their cars and drive to the next exchange just over 9 miles down the road. It’s not a great area of 41 for runners to run on, so the race organizers cut this section out of the race. My teammates were nice enough to stop at the gluten free bakery for sandwiches on our way to the next exchange. I got a yummy turkey and avocado sandwich and a brownie to save for after the race. By the time we left the bakery and drove to the next exchange, we had only a few minutes to wait before Stephanie took off on her last run.

This part of the race was run down Casey Key. The runners were warned to run against traffic and to be very careful because there were no sidewalks and the road is very narrow. The roads were extremely narrow! So happy that Stephanie made it through that section safe and sound. It was pretty crazy with all the team cars on the road, plus other cars on the road heading towards our runners. Soon Stephanie was handing off to Gina. We all used the bathrooms here and then took off to find Gina on the course. We got worried after a while when we couldn’t find her and noticed missing signs on the road. Stephanie noticed a friend of hers in his front yard, so we stopped to talk with him for a while before driving on. We kept looking for Gina, but could not find her, so we drove to the next exchange point at Nokomis Park. The runners had to run down part of the Legacy Trail (rails to trails path) so we couldn’t drive on that section of the course. Soon we saw some runners that had started after Gina at the last exchange, so we got worried that she was lost. Dawn and I left Linda (the next runner) and Stephanie at the exchange and then drove back along the course looking for Gina. We still couldn’t find her, but just before getting back to the exchange, I called Stephanie, who said Gina had made it in and Linda was off and running. We picked them up and headed to the next and last exchange by the Venice Airport. Gina said some of the runners that we saw come in ahead of her had missed a turn and ended up running a shorter distance, that’s why they ended up ahead of her. We grumbled about that for a little while waiting for Linda to come in. I got my gear on and got ready for my last leg. It was now about 4:30 and the wind was even stronger now, but I didn’t think I would be running into it much. Linda came in strong and handed off to me for the last leg of the race.

I started off my last leg way to fast. I got a side cramp right away, so slowed down a little in hopes it would go away. I noticed a guy from another team a ways behind me, so my goal was to keep him there (and I did). :) The first mile was along the intercoastal waterway. Not much to see here, but it’s a quiet, peaceful place to run. Mile 1: 8:38. Soon, the course curved to the right, and we ran past a playground and through the beach parking area. Then we turned again to the right and headed into the wind once again. Mile 2: 8:56. This last 1.3 was tough. I was so ready to be done! Running hard 3 times in one day takes a toll on the body! I was so happy to see my team waiting for me at the turn into Sharky’s restaurant. We all got together and headed across a grassy area to the finish. Yeah!! Mile 3: 9:22 and last .34: 2.5 for a total of 3.34 in 29.48. Average mile pace of 8:56.
Sisters with Blisters came in 4th out of 20 in the women’s category! So proud of my team! I hope we can all run it again next year. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Running Skirts

I love running in skirts! Pretty much all I run in now. Skirts sports "Happy Girl" and "Happy Hour" (grey skirt on the right)styles have always worked the best for me. Since I am taller and suffer from "chub rub", I need a longer skirt with longer shorties underneath. The skirt sports brand does it for me.
I used to wear the Running Skirts brand, but would have to add longer compression shorts under to cover more of my legs. This morning I decided to try out the Running Skirt (white print on the left) during a short run to see how I did with it. The run went pretty good! The skirt (athletic stye, slightly longer than their normal style) is still a bit shorter than I feel comfortable with, but the shorties under did not ride up. The best thing about this brand is that they have lots of fun prints to choose from. I might be adventurous and wear this shorter skirt out more in the future. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Firecracker Triple - 4th of July Weekend

Stars and Stripes Half Marathon, Beaverton, OR
July 2, 2011

I had a great time running the first of three half marathons this morning. Met lots of fanatics, maniacs and another Team Marathon Bar member. And of course I got to meet Ruthie from the WW Marathoners Board! I was chatting with a couple of people when I see this woman holding up a big sign that says "go jenna" I say "hey that's my name" and start walking over there. I then notice Ruthie HOLDING the sign! :) It was great of her to come out for the race. She ended up going to get her camera from home while I was running my third lap. She was like my own personal race photographer!

I ran 3/1 intervals during this 5 lap course, so that I wouldn't be tempted to run too fast. :) I started out wearing my waist pack, but decided to drop it by my car as I ran by it after 2 laps. Each lap was a little over 2.5 miles, so I figured getting water once each lap would be enough and it was. I kept a pretty fast pace for the first 4 laps during my running portions, then I slowed it down a lot during the 5th and final lap.

Although it was a course that we had to run 5 times, I didn't get bored with it at all. It was fun to see familiar faces many times on the course. There were lots of shady parts and also stretches were you could enjoy some of the sunshine.

I stretched out a lot after the race, so I think I'll be ready for tomorrow's Freedom Half marathon! My time was slower than normal. 2:19, but I am cool with that. It's not about the time, it's all about getting to MARS status in the Half Fanatics! :D
Time: 2:19:50
18th out of 51 overall

Freedom Half Marathon, Greshem, OR.

July 3, 2011

The Second half marathon of the weekend is done! A lot cooler this morning. I ran 3/1 intervals again today. I felt great going into the run, but by mile 2 I felt hungry! I realized I probably didn't eat enough yesterday, specially low on carbs.

First 7 miles went by at a good pace, about the same as yesterday. Around mile 7.5, I sped up to try and catch the green light at the cross street (there were 2 busy streets we had to cross each way). I made it, but I used a lot of my extra energy for that surge. I started to feel very light headed and began sweating even more than normal. I walked a little bit then tried to run again, but got dizzy again. So I decided to walk to the next water station that was about a half a mile further. I got there, ate 2 cliff blocks, drank water and then walked a little more. I did start running again, but kept the pace slow. This worked and I kept the slow pace going for the rest of the run.

This was an out and back course on a rails to trails paved path. Because the race was so small, at times, it felt like I was the only one out there! Interesting sight of the day. Two big peacocks. One with it's feathers spread out. Pretty impressive. :)

Lots of great food at the finish. I don't normally eat after a race, but I got a plate and put chips, hot dog and beans on there! Plus 2 pieces of watermelon. Did I mention I was hungry? :)

Time: 2:26:09
32 out of 59 overall

Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon, Sauvie Island, OR
July 4, 2011

What a beautiful morning for running a race! Temps in the 50s with clear skies. I got to the start area super early. I couldn't sleep, so decided to head out early and get a good parking spot. It gave me plenty of time to finish my pre race organizing in the car before heading over to meet with other runners competing the Triple. We had a group photo taken for the maniacs/fanatics and then for all those running the Triple.

I made one last trip to the car to get my mp3 and drop off my coat before heading to the start. I set up my garmin for 2:15/1 intervals because I figured my body was tired, so I wouldn't push it. Well, the race started a bit late, so when we got going, I realized my Garmin had set back to watch mode! I crossed the starting line and then set my watch back to intervals while running slowly.

I skipped the first interval because I wanted to let the crowd thin out a bit before taking a walk break. After the first few walking intervals, I realized I was feeling pretty good, so decided to run 5:30/1 and then go back to 2:15/1 for a while. I ended up running most of the rest of the race at 5:30/1 intervals because I was feeling so good and not pushing the pace while running.

During the race I had a chance to talk to fellow fanatics Marie and Stephanie for a little bit before they ran on ahead of me when I walked. They both had great races too. this race was pretty flat. I was amazed because it was in hilly Oregon! I took my endurolytes and Cliff blocks right on schedule, which also helped me to have a good race. Plus, I didn't hold back on eating yesterday!

I was so happy to come into the finish and see the clock at just over 2:16! The fasted time I had of all 3 races! I got my medal for the race and then found Steve (race director for the Triple) and got my special Firecracker Triple medal also. I enjoyed a yummy Strawberry Shortcake (minus the cake) after stretching out in a grassy, shady spot. I also remembered to eat my Marathon Bar protein bar soon after finishing too. Recovery eating is important!

Time: 2:16:20; 62/113 age group; 979/1639 overall; 535/1068 female overall

Thoughts on the Triple:
I went into these races thinking I could definitely run them, but did worry about injury. I think what helped me the most was making sure I ate and hydrated properly during the runs and after. I wore compression sleeves on my calves during the races and I wore my Saucony recovery tights each night.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Zombie Runner Half Marathon

Trail race in San Francisco, June 18, 2011

What a challenging race for my first trail half marathon. I didn't see the elevation chart until a couple of days before the race. If I knew what it was going to be when I found this race a few months ago, I might not have signed up!

I drove from Aptos to San Francisco very early this morning. I ended up making pretty good time, getting there at 6:45 am. I had to sit in my car for a little bit until packet pickup opened at 7. When I got out of my car, I saw that Jen and Jenni (two other half fanatics) had just arrived too. We picked up our gear, then hung out near our cars for a bit. After a couple of photos, I went in search of a bathroom. They had just 3 porta potties for us, but it was a small race. I am glad I went early, because as I walked to the race start at 7:50, there was a huge line.

The race director gave us some instructions about looking for flags before starting the race. We headed south for a little bit, then turned around and headed back towards the Golden Gate bridge. About a mile into the race, a large group of runners merged in with us. It became hard to see who was part of the race and who was just out running. I've never had that in a race before!

Around mile 3, I was running along at a great pace and enjoying the nice flat, gravel surface, when I realized I hadn't seen a course marker for a while. Lots of people running in front of me, so I kept going toward the base of bridge. I get towards the end when I discover that it's a dead end. Lots of other racers were in the same boat as me. We started running back the way we came, figuring we missed a turn some where. As other racers came towards us, we would tell them to turn around. A lot of people who had been behind me caught up to me. :( This detour added half a mile. Bummer. Around Mile 4 we started to climb up the mountain. Steep dirt trails and steep steps. Great views though. At the top, we ran through a path right under the bridge to the other side. A bit of flat trail for a while until we encountered more steps. There was a stretch for about a mile or so that was single track (very narrow) that didn't allow passing. I got caught behind some runners here. It was frustrating not being able to get around them! It was also scary because there were parts were there were no bushes or trees on the right side of us. Just steep cliff.

I'm a little hazy on some of the descriptions at certain mile markers. We did encounter about half a mile of deep sand that we had to run through. This ended at the first aid station. I thought we would turn around here, but no. Only the 10K runners headed back. The half marathoners continued on. A climb up a hill lead us to a neighborhood. We stayed on the paved streets for a bit until we entered the Lands End part of the Coastal Trail. Many, many up and downs for the next 4 miles. Very steep climbs and downhills that I couldn't even run down because they were so steep. We turned around just before The Cliff House and then ran all the wonderful steps and hills again. :)

When I got back to the aid station near the sand. I filled up with water and grabbed a handful of M&Ms. I walked the sand portion back. Just didn't have it in my legs to run it. I ran the short, flat part, then had to walk the next mile that was all up hill. I managed to run at a good pace all the rest of the flat parts. A few people passed me on the steep down hill leading from the bridge, but I managed to catch up to the during the last mile, which was nice and flat. :)

Time: 2:41:40 for 13.6miles (extra .5 because of the wrong turn)
127 out of 156; 11 out of 16 in age group

Overall I am happy that I ran this race. The time is no where near my normal half marathon time, but as I understand it, most people are slower on trails. I would like to run another trail race one day, but I'll train for it next time! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

3rd Annual Sammy's Run 5K

May 28th, 2011

What a great 5K this morning! It was hot and humid out, but that didn't stop me or a few other hundred runners from having a great race. This race always brings out the fastest runners from throughout the county. I started off pretty fast, but I was trying to keep Gina and Linda in sight. Soon they were both way ahead of me, so I just decided to run my own race. I finished strong and with a PR! 26:11 was the official chip time. Very happy with this. More than a minute faster than last years race and about 25 seconds faster than my last 5K PR.

Official stats: 12 out of 47 in age group.

8:27 pace per mile.

Other great news:

I am a sponsored athlete with Team MARATHON® Bar for 2011! So happy to represent this brand. Keep a look out for me at races. I should have some tasty samples for you to try. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Florida International Triathlon – Sprint Duathon

1 mile run/ 13 mile bike/ 5K run
May 14, 2011
Race morning started off early. I got up at 4:45 am, got dressed and had a cup of coffee while I watched a little t.v. I headed out the door at 5:45 am and got to Siesta Beach just after 6am. They had people directing cars into lanes and parking spots for this race. It made parking much easier than previous races at this location without help. I got a great spot just one row over from the bike racks. I sat in my car for about 10 minutes drinking my coffee before deciding to head over to check on my bike, get my chip and see if I could trade my shirt. So happy I could trade in the medium sized shirt they gave me at packet pickup on the day before. It was skin tight! The large is still a little snug, but much better fit. While setting up stuff next to my bike, a guy came over and started touching my bike and checking it out. I asked him if I could help him with something and he tells me that I had been missing an end cap (?) and that he was just checking that one had been placed in the handle bars. Wow! Never noticed the race officials being so official at the past races before! I then headed back to my car to finish off my coffee, eat my cliff bar and check the internet on my phone for another 20 minutes. A little after 7 am, I made a trip to the bathrooms and then sat on a bench on the beach to watch some of the triathletes start their waves. The duathlon participants were not scheduled to start until 8:05 am. I finally headed over to the waterfront were I had to wait until 8:20 to get going. We were all ready to go!
The tide was almost at high tide, so there was very little hard packed sand to run on. The run went by quick and before I knew it I was running into the transition area.
1 mile run (really only .9) - 6:28!!

I got on my bike pretty quick and got out on the road after dodging a few people who were slow getting their bikes moving. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to pass here, so I held back until we were on the main road. I was very worried about the officials DQing me for some violation! The ride always stresses me out. I worry about getting a flat tire and then missing out on the rest of the race. I saw 3 people in the first couple of miles walking their bikes back! I managed to keep up a pretty good pace on the ride. Passed a lot of people and I was also passed by a lot of people. The ride went by very fast and before I knew it I was turning into the parking lot and headed for the transition once again. I had a little trouble racking my bike, but finally managed to shove it in and then grab a drink of water, put on my visor and head out.
Transition and Bike - 47:37

I wasn’t feeling to great right off. It was HOT. I loved the little bit we had in the shade before heading on to the beach. The beach was brutal. Tide was all the way up at this point. There were many spots were we had to run to the left to run around a large area of water. Some people just ran through it, which was a straight shot down the beach. I added distance on by running around the water. The turnaround was tricky. Two people just ahead of me passed the small sign. They turned to look at it again just as I came up to it. We all stopped and looked at it again and wondered if we do turn there (the Olympic distance runners ran past the sign). We turned and headed back. There was a water station just after we turned around, so I asked to make sure we had done the right thing. They should have had a volunteer there! I struggled big time on this run. I slowed down a lot in the last mile. I did run through a couple areas of water because I didn’t want to use the energy to go around them anymore! I was so happy to see the area where we turn and start to run off the beach. At the “200 meters to finish” sign I passed 2 women and then just a few yards before the finish I passed a guy!

I stuck around for a while to see how I placed. I hadn’t been able to tell before the race who might be in the Athena category with me. I ended up placing first! If I had stayed in my regular age group, I would have taken 4th. I was 4 minutes behind the 1st woman.
Transition and 5K – 28:15 (the 5K must have been very short. I spent up to a minute in the transition and there is no way I ran this fast!)

Finish: 1:22:18
Garmin shows a total distance of 16.36 miles ( did not hit the split buttons between run/bike/run)
Total distance should have been 17.1 miles (not including running through transitions)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Clearwater Iron Girl Half Marathon

April 10, 2011

Race morning started off early. I got up at 3:45am, got some coffee and computer time in, then grabbed my race bag and purse and headed out the door to meet up with Gina and Charlotte. I picked them up near the interstate, then we headed to Clearwater. We got to the parking lot at 5:45 and saw Brenda heading to the super long line of women waiting to get on the trolley to take them to race start. I yelled "hello" out the window and then managed to snag one of the last few spots in the parking lot. We waited in line for almost an hour! Charlotte and I used the disgusting porta potties in the parking lot just in case we didn’t have time when we got to the race start. It’s a good thing I did, because we got off the bus to hear the National Anthem playing. Yikes! Gina and I speed walked toward to starting area. It was all blocked off on the sides, but Gina had the great idea to pull down one of the mesh like barriers so we could climb over and get in the starting area. 2 minutes to race start! I stretched a little and before we knew it, we were off.

I felt pretty good for the first couple of miles. I knew the big bridge was coming up quick, but was not afraid. I’ve run it at mile 12 of the Clearwater Halfathon twice. After the bridge, we ran south through a very nice neighborhood near the water. By mile 3 I was sweating like crazy and very happy that I decided to wear my belt with a couple of water bottles. I saw Gina a few times ahead of me for the next couple of miles, but then didn’t see her again until the end of the race. We had a short out and back on a side street around mile 4 that was just wrong. We ran down a small hill then had to turn around at the base and run right back up it. The next few miles consisted of beautiful big houses facing the bay and a few small rolling hills. I ate one cliff shot block at mile 4 and took 2 endurolytes at mile 6. Normally I eat 2 blocks, but with the heat, I didn't think it would sit well in my stomach.

Mile 1 – 9:12
Mile 2 – 9:34
Mile 3 – 9:13
Mile 4 – 9:41
Mile 5 – 9:53
Mile 6 – 10:03
Half way point: 1:03. I thought that even if I kept an 11 minute mile pace in the second half, I could make it in around 2:10. Nope.

By mile 7 my left periformis was showing its displeasure. I kept getting sharp pains that would strike my bum, then my leg would feel like it was about to give out. My left Psoas muscle was also acting up. I stopped around mile 8 to kneel down and stretch it out. I swallowed an advil in hopes it would help deal with the pain. When we turned the corner and headed west towards the next bridge I got a big surprise. I thought for sure that the bridge would be a drawbridge, which would have made it not much of a “hill.” Boy was I wrong! Another steep bridge greeted me. I made it up and almost to the bottom before I pulled off to the side again to stretch out my legs. While on the bridge I gazed off to the distance and noticed another bridge that I had forgotten about. I’ve run it a couple of times during the Clearwater Halfathon and knew I’d be running it again today. It was on the way to the finish! I tried to put it out of my mind, because I knew it was a steep one. At the bottom of the bridge I stopped once again to fill up my water bottles at the water station and ate one more (and last) shot block. From here on out, I started taking walking breaks often.

Mile 7 – 10:44
Mile 8 – 11:16
Mile 9 – 11:42

The last 3 miles were tough. I was feeling very hot. My feet were burning! My legs were cramping. I knew this was not going to be a finish time I would be happy about, so I decided to just finish and be proud of that fact. After each walking break, I would actually feel pretty good for a short time. I probably should have added regular walking breaks earlier. I swallowed 2 more endurolytes at mile 10(these help a lot!). Finally, just before mile 12, we came to the last bridge. I ran up about a third of it and then thought “screw it, I’ll walk it,” which is what I did. At the top I started running again. At the base of the bridge another Half Fanatic ran by saying “hi” as she passed. She motivated me to keep going. I stayed behind her for a bit, until her watch started beeping and she took a walk break. As I passed I introduced myself. She told me her name was Stephanie. Turns out she is Gina’s friend that we had tried to meet up with before the race started! The last mile went by quickly. I found some extra energy from somewhere and ran the rest of the race in strong.

Mile 10 – 10:46
Mile 11 – 11:42
Mile 12 – 12:16 (evil bridge)
Mile 13 – 9:58 (!!)
Mile .16- 1:25

I found Gina and Charlotte just past the finish line. A few minutes later, Stephanie came in. We all walked over to the food area, grabbed some grub, a table and dug in. Couldn’t eat the breakfast burrito or the muffin, but did enjoy a banana, yogurt and a bottle of Muscle Milk. We met a couple of other Half Fanatics and finally saw Brenda! The wait for the trolley was once again long. This time we were tired and standing in the sun.

Overall I am happy to have run my 28th Half Marathon. I wish my body would have held up better though. I think I could have managed the heat issues better if I didn’t also having to deal with the pain in my leg. I'll probably run this race next year. But I would either get there early or figure out a different way to get to the start. Maybe bring my bike and get a nice warm up by riding the 2.5 miles to the start. :)
Finish: 2:17:33 (official time is 2:17:30)
Age group 89/268. Overall 576/1640