Monday, December 31, 2012

Savage Seven Marathon - Day 5

Winter Springs, FL December 30, 2012

The Savage Seven Marathon series is one held the day after Christmas to New Years day. I guess the location moves around, last year it was in Northern Florida on a track. This year the race was held in a town just to the east of Orlando. I had been thinking of trying to make it over for one or two races, but didn't think I could make it work. So the week leading up to the race I didn't taper at all. 5 miles on Monday, 8 miles on Wednesday, a track workout (3 miles) on Thursday. Thursday afternoon, I discovered that I could make it over for the Day 5 marathon. There was race day registration available and Brenda said I could stay in her hotel the night before. I figured I would just go out and run it like a long run. The weather forecast looked good (nice and cool) and I would be able to see Brenda and Patti on their quest to become Marathon Maniacs. I worked a short shift Saturday, before making the 2.5 hour drive over. So glad I don't live in the Disney area just west of Orlando. Major traffic for a few miles through there, but I finally made it to the hotel around 5 pm. Brenda and I had a good dinner, got our gear set out and ready for the race and then got a good nights sleep.

Me and Patti.
We got up at 4:30 the next morning. I got dressed, capri skirt, compression sleeves, socks, shoes, Maniac Diva shirt, Maniac arm sleeves, pullover half-zip and visor. I hoped to at least take the pullover off at some point in the morning. The temp said low 40s, but the feels like temp was 32! The race start was at 6am. I needed to find a place to get coffee before getting to the race and registering. I somehow got my self turned around with the directions I wrote out (I should not try to find places at 5am with no coffee in me first!) I finally stopped at a 7-Eleven to get coffee and also pick up a power bar. I had left my pre race Marathon Bar at the hotel! I ate that on the way while trying to find the race. I started getting worried as the clock went past 5:30. I ALWAYS get to a race early. I wasn't even signed up yet! Finally I pulled in around 5:40. There were just a few people there at this point. I found Bettie, the race director, right away. I got signed up, got my bib and shirt and then went to my car to get my stuff set up. I had brought a TV try table to set up my water bottle, gu and wash cloth on. I figured I could stop by it as I ran by, when needed. I hit the porta pottie and then headed over to the small group that had gathered. Bettie had told me there were around 24 runners. So, a very small group of runners this very cold, winter morning. Race course: 50 loops around the parking lot at Winter Springs High School. Since I just ran a 58 loop marathon a couple of weeks ago, I knew I could mentally do this one. Thank goodness I had my music today as there was no DJ! (I wore only one ear bud so that I could hear and talk with other runners.)

I started off in the middle of the pack, but very quickly moved up front. I knew the main reason I was out front was because most of these runners had already run 4 or 5 marathons in the previous days. But I didn't care, it was a cool feeling to be out front. I was feeling good, the effort didn't feel "fast" so I went with it. By the time I had run past the start line and was about half way through my second lap, I could see I had gained half a lap. The lap counters and others at the aid station kept giving me surprised looks each time I ran by them. I guess I was going a lot faster than most of the runners had been running in the previous days. :) At mile 3, I turned on my watch that was set up with 3/1 intervals. I was feeling so good though, I figured I would walk every other time it beeped. So I was really doing a 7/1 interval of run/walk. Around mile 4.5, I stopped at the aid station for the first time, grabbed a gu and a cup of water and walked a bit while I ate and drank. Then I was on the run again. Miles 1 thru 5 - 9:32, 9:21, 9:18, 9:41, 10:12

Me and Brenda
Some time between mile 8 and 9, I realized I hadn't been drinking as much as I normally do. Usually, I drink a little every 2 miles and I also have an endurolyte every 2 miles. But today, It was so cool and it didn't seem like I was sweating as much, so I didn't even think about it. Around mile 9, I had 1 endurolyte and and another Gu with water. I was still feeling really good. I ran with Jeff once or twice during these early miles. He was on marathon #5. His lower shin was bothering him and he was hoping he would be OK for the days race. He also told me I was still in the lead. What! Even though it's such a small race, if felt pretty cool to be in the lead. :) Miles 6 thru 10 - 9:24. 9:08, 10:02, 9:47, 10:09

I made it to the half way point still feeling good. I still had on my pullover though. Every time I thought of pulling it off, I would hit the very windy stretch and decide it was still to cold to take it off. It did feel a little better out once the sun came out. Around mile 12, I had a banana and during mile 14, I had to make a pit stop at the porta potty, which cost me almost 2 minutes. :( Miles 11 thru 17 - 9:58, 9:56, 9:54, 11:42, 10:31, 10:12, 10:12

Cowboy Jeff kept me company for a couple of laps.
Based on my splits, I started slowing down at mile 18, even though I didn't notice it much when I was running. I hit mile 20 at 3 hours and 20 minutes, which was an awesome overall pace for me. If I could just hold it, I would have a huge PR! But of course, that was not to be. My body really started to stiffen up. I took a couple more endurolytes with my next Gu, but the damage was done. I am guessing I didn't get enough electrolytes and water in me during the earlier miles. I thought I wasn't sweating much, but as I discovered later, my shirt under the pullover was very sweaty! Jeff came by and ran with me for a little over a lap. he pointed out Rich and told me he was about to lap me and take the lead! There was nothing I could do about it. I could not speed up! Cowboy Jeff came out and ran a couple of laps with me. I really appreciate these guys running with me for brief periods of time. It really helped to keep me going when I felt like slowing down and walking more. By the time Rich finished, and won!, I still had one lap to go. These two high school boys, who were volunteers, ran the last lap with me. I turned off my interval watch and just ran it in as hard as I could to finish strong. Somehow, I must have weaved a quit a bit, with my stop at the bathroom, to toss things next to my car and grab things off the tray and the aid station, because I added almost an extra mile! Sucks! Of course, Garmin could be off a little
Miles 18 to 26 - 11:01, 11:04, 10:57, 11:13, 11:11, 11:19, 12:24, 13:11, 12:23 Mile 27 - 10:56

Jeff, Me and Rich.
Finish: 4:44. I ended up with 2nd overall and first female! That was the first and probably the last time that will ever happen! :) Super happy with it though. I just hope to figure out what is going on with my legs later on in the marathon. This didn't happen a couple of weeks ago. The only thing I can figure is that I didn't hydrate properly.

I think it would have been fun to run more than one day. Maybe in a couple of years when the race series comes back to Florida. Jeff is taking the 2013-14 Savage Seven to Jackson, MS. I was told it would be back in Florida for 2014-15. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12.12.12. Marathon of Sarasota

Gateway Whitaker Park, December 12, 2012

Even though this was a local race and would only take me 15 minutes to get there, the morning started off at 3:30 am. But that was my mistake. I managed to hit the wrong button on my clock, making it an hour later. Oh, well, I was able to play around on the computer, have a cup of coffee and make sure I had everything packed up that I wanted to bring. I got to the park early, backed into a parking spot that was right on the course, and waited for everyone to arrive. When Dawn and Gina got there, we hung out for a bit before I went back to the car to set up everything in the trunk. I had an extra shirt, a cooler with ice, towel, gatorade and water, some fuel and my music (in case I needed it at some point). It was great having this set up. I stopped at my car quite a few times during the race. We all gathered near the gazebo and waited for the big group photo. The race was set to start at 7:12 am, but things got delayed. We got our group shot and then headed to the start line. Not sure what time we actually got started. Some where between 7:30 and 8 am, I guess. The temp was warm, but not to bad yet. Soon, we were off!

With Kimmi
It's hard to remember all that happen at certain mile points when you are running in .44 mile circles. Really, I can break the race down into 3 parts. The first half went great. Gina, Dawn and I were running together. This was our last long training run for Disney marathon next month, so we didn't want to push it. Though I did want to get in under 5 hours. Which should have been doable. We had a lot of fun posing for photos every time we ran by the race photographer. We stopped once to jump in the air and stopped to have a photo with Santa, who showed up to cheer us on. I had my first and only Gu at mile 4. By mile 6 I was feeling very hot and sweaty and ready to change into my dry top. But I only had one extra, so I figured I would wait until the half way point. I was also thinking of the Frappachino that Kimmi said she would bring me. I thought it might happen around the half way point. Around mile 10, I ate half a banana. I had been drinking water and gatorade every couple of miles and also taking my endurolytes every 2 miles, but my fueling was starting to fall off. Splits 1 through 6 - 10:07, 10:00, 9:59, 10:36, 10:29, 11:11
7 through 13 - 10:24, 10:39, 10:50, 11:22, 10:57, 11:14, 11:59

Dave and I got our Frapps!
Just after mile 13, I stopped at my car for a fresh tank top and a dry wash cloth for my face. The sun had come out and it was getting wicked hot. Kimmi brought my Frappachino sometime during mile 13. I was so happy to see her! The first few tastes were awesome, but when I tried to drink too much, it didn't sit well in my stomach. I stopped with her for a little and waited to see if Dave was anywhere close. She had brought a drink for him as well. I think we managed to both be with Kimmi on my third time around. We got a photo together with our drinks, before continuing on. I ended up setting my drink inside my cooler. I got a few more drinks from it during the rest of the race. My fueling plan fell way off. I had that drink, some gatorade and water at various stops, and another few bites of a banana, and that was it! I know I should have had more, but I just couldn't think of eating anything else. I was no longer running with Gina and Dawn. I would just see them every once in a while. I did get a chance to talk with other people though and that was nice. Splits 14 through 19 - 13:05, 10:39, 11:39, 11:54, 11:59, 12:46

I guess I really hit the wall just before mile 20. I started walking a lot more. I probably would have done better if I had set up my own interval timer. Hearing the beeps really motivates me to get moving again. But I had just been taking short walk breaks by the water table. The walking breaks got longer and longer. It was hard to start running again when it was so hot. I do not handle the heat very well. Finally I was on my last lap. Happy day! I ran it in and finished with a smile. Splits 20 through 26.2 - 13:03, 14:00, 15:56, 13:07, 13:56: 13:44, 13:41. They last bit was .9 on my garmin and not .2, so the time was almost 10 minutes. :(

Finish: 5:19. I'm good with it. I just hope we have better weather in a month for the Disney Marathon!

Still having fun with Dawn and Gina!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Halfathon

December 9, 2012
Madiera Beach, FL

Super foggy morning in FL race morning. I drove over to the Super Target to meet up with Gina and Ken. Ken was going to drive us to the race, which I was thankful for. It was scary driving in that thick fog. We got to the race start area pretty early. We hung out in the car for a bit, then went to use the bathrooms in the building were packet pickup was being held. We ran into Brenda on the way over, took a photo next to a shark statue outside the Firestation and then headed in. Ken picked up his shirt and bib, we got our chips and then headed back to the car for a bit. Ken decided to start early, with the walkers, because his foot was really bothering him, so we headed to the start area just before 7. I got in line to use the porta potty one more time, then we had a bit of a wait before the race start. It was warm. High 60s and super humid. Just before the race started, my stomach got queasy and my mouth started watering. Not a good sign. I quickly adjusted my time goals. This was not going to be a sub 2 hour half day. Soon, the national anthem was sung and we were off!

Just before the finish. Yeah! :)
Gina and I started pretty close to the start. We got caught up with the fast runners. I kept looking at my Garmin and seeing times in the 7 min mile range! When we got to the main beach road, I eased up the pace a bit. Gina kept on going. By mile 2, I could hardly see her up ahead of me. I was OK with this. If she was having a good day, I really wanted her to get that PR if she could. My stomach was doing ok for the first few miles, so I decided to push the pace for as long as I could. The first small bridge was at mile 4. Got over that just fine. :) Splits 1 through 4 - 8:19, 8:40: 8:56, 9:13

After we get off the island. We run east, through a very nice neighborhood. We have all of the left lane to ourselves, which is nice. My plan was to take an endurolyte every 2 miles and a gel at around mile 6 and 10. So, just after mile 6, I slowed to a walk to have the gel and drink some water (slower time). Soon, we were running the loop around a park and then making our way onto the Pinellas Trail. I stopped at the water stop for a quick refill of one of my water bottles, before continuing on. I was hoping to wait for another walking break until mile 10, but I couldn't wait. Walked a little at mile 8. I forget where the first overpass bridge was, but I did manage to power up that sucker. Splits 5 through 10 - 9:10, 9:32, 10:19, 9:33, 9:59, 9:57

The second overpass was around mile 10, I got half way up that sucker, before walking. I was just happy to be over it, because I knew it was the last one! I feel like I forgot how boring it can be to run on this trail. It seemed to go on forever! I might have to skip this race next year, but maybe that was just the heat talking to me. Just before mile 12, we turn off the trail and enter the park were the finish is located. We enter to the right of the finish area. You can hear all the people cheering, but we turn to the right, away from the finish. There is a big loop around the lake to run first. Part of that run is on a dirt trail. This didn't bother me much. Just happy there wasn't a lot of gravel! I did have to take 2 walking breaks during this last mile. If I had been "racing" this, I would have pushed through, but I knew I would get a sub 2:10, which was my second goal, so I figured, why not save something for the end. :) I was really happy to take the last corner and push it in. I even passed a guy just before the finish! Splits 11 through 13.1 - 10:30, 10:21, 11:00, 1:21

Finish 2:07:34. Happy with my finish time. Actually, considering the heat and how I was feeling, I'm very happy with it. :)  Gina almost got her sub 2! She finished in 2:00:27! Next up, the 12-12-12 Marathon of Sarasota in just a few days!