Friday, February 24, 2017

Best Damn Race Safety Harbor

Half #72
Gina, Carolyn and I headed up to Safety Harbor, super early race morning. Gina was going to run the 10K and then the 5K. Carolyn and I were running the half. We got a great parking spot, then headed over to pickup our packets. We then headed back to the car, to wait for about half an hour. While getting all of my gear ready, I discovered that I had left my ipod shuffle at home! I couldn’t believe I was going to have to run this race without music! I’ve done if for triathlons, but this is different! It helps me keep a quicker pace. What a bummer. L Gina’s race got started about 30 minutes before ours. We were able to watch the 10K start, then head to the porta-potties, then watch the lead 10K group pass by us. We got to see Gina, before we headed to the start area. I put myself near the 1:50 pacer, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay with him. No speed work in the weeks leading up to the race! And, once again, my stomach was bothering me! I need to pay better attention to what I’m eating in the few days leading up to races. After the national anthem was sung, we were off!
I really enjoy this course. We head north, next to the water, then turn left, and then north again, until we get to Pilippe Park. This park is beautiful. My favorite part of the course. I had been keeping up with the 1:50 pacer, who kept telling us jokes, but I had a feeling I might be losing him soon. There were a couple of hills in this park. I managed to pull ahead, then, when we were heading back out, he (and the group) caught up to me on an uphill. It worked out great, as I was able to stay to their left, letting them block the wind, coming off of the water. As we headed out of the park, I fell back on the long, gradual uphill climb, just before mile 5. Just before Mile 6, we pass by the finish area. There are always lots of people out here cheering, which makes it a lot of fun. Miles 1 through 6 -8:18, 8:10, 8:15, 8:27, 8:27, 8:35, 8:53,
Philippe Park

Now I was noticing my times start to really slow down. I had a very loud breather behind me, then next to me then in front of me for a couple of miles! At first, I thought the grunting meant she was having troubles. I kept looking over my shoulder at her. Then, when she got closer to me, she seemed to be ok, she just kept making loud noises. Grunting, barking(!) and other strange sounds. I almost stopped to walk, just so she could get ahead of me! Thankfully, she did pull ahead enough for me not to hear her. I had forgotten about how many little hills there are! The one at mile 10, which I think is really the last one, was the last straw! I needed to eat my Honey Stingers anyway, so I walked up half of it while I ate! Once it was flat again, I started running. We start heading back just after mile 11. Those last 2 miles were the longest! I did manage to pass the heavy breather, about a mile from the finish. I was so happy to make the right hand turn and then pick up the pace to the finish!  Miles 7 through 13.1 – 9:11, 8:37, 8:54, 9:29, 9:19, 9:04, 0:45
Finish: 2:54:28

Friday, February 3, 2017

Chilly Willy Duathlon

January 29, 2017
It’s been years since I’ve done a duathlon! This was sort of a last minute race for me. Wendy and I joined the Kennedy Law Race team at the beginning of February. This race was one of their discounted races. They would have tents and food and beverages provided. We decided to sign up and participate, so we could meet some of the team!  On the 16th, I did my first brick in a long time. I got in another one, the following weekend. Besides my normal tri training, that’s all I got in leading up to this race.
Finishing up the first 5K run.
Race morning, the weather was bad. Forecast called for rain. The radar showed a mass of green and yellow, heading to the race spot at Ft Desoto. We were meeting at 5:45 am. We decided to go ahead and drive up. If the race got cancelled, we would drive back down and stop at Cyclebar for an indoor workout. Once we got up there, we went to check in. Carolyn and I got our packets, but the volunteers could not find Wendy listed. We went to talk to Park, who is in charge of KLR. He talked to the race director, getting Wendy all set to compete! We got our gear into the transition area, met up with Terri and her friend, then hung out under a tent. There was a light sprinkle. Temp was in the low 50s. I had on capris, a short sleeved shirt and my Skirt Sport windbreaker jacket.
Just after 8 am, the elite athletes took off, then the rest of us lined. There was a pretty decent group of people to show up on such a crappy day! With the blast of the horn, we were off! The first mile and a half was through the parking lot, then onto the wide paved trail. I just tried to keep a steady pace that was a little hard, but not all out. I wanted to be able to get on the bike and push it! Just after the water stop at 1.5 miles, we made the turn to start the second half of the run on the hard packed sandy trail. Thankfully, the sand was pretty packed down due to the rain. It was a good run. Happy with my pace. 5K Run - 26:43 (8:37pace)
T1: well, I sucked in transition! I should not have bothered trying to change my watch from run to bike, when I was just going to get those splits at the end in the official results. Plus, I had my older garmin on my bike, so I was going to look at that when I wanted to see what speed I was going. But, I did mess with my garmin. Hitting the wrong buttons and having to go back and forth on it. Then, I put my windbreaker back on, took of my running shoes and but on bike shoes, put on helmet and then my gloves. I walked my bike through transition. I was at the very back end of the area. I should have tried to run a little. I had one of the longest times in T1, which would hurt me in the final standings. T1 – 2:58
Bike: Heading out on the bike, I felt good. I passed a boy (maybe 10!) who told me I was doing good. How sweet! J I wanted to keep my speed up as much as I felt comfortable. The street was wet from the rain, but thankfully, there was just a little rain during the ride and only one bigger puddle I needed to ride around. When I took the turn at the end of the road, I slowed down more than I usually do when I ride this course. Heading back, we had a bit of a headwind. It really felt like I had wind 75 percent of the time! I’m sure that’s not true, but, there is not a lot of protection out there on the island, so it can feel very windy, even when it’s not. I’m glad I took the time to put on gloves. I was plenty warm while riding. Just my feet got a bit cold. 10 mile bike – 31:46 (18.9mph)
Transition 2: I was disappointed to see that my shoes, which I had placed just inside a large plastic bag, had been knocked out of the bag, by the guy’s bike next to mine. They were very damp. I was much faster during T2. I racked my bike, switched shoes, took off my jacket, put on my KLR hat, then headed out.  Time – 1:28
Run: Back out on the same course that we ran for the first 5K. My shoes were so loud! All I could hear was the stomp, stomp, stomp of my shoes. I had half a gu at the water stop, then made the turn onto the sand. This helped to dampen the sound of my loud shoes. Around mile 2, I caught up with another KLR team member. We ran near each other and side by side for the last mile. We shared a few words, then just as we made the turn off the beach, she took off fast! I picked up the pace a little more, crossing the finish line with a smile. 5K run – 26:52 (8:40 pace)
Finish: 1:29:48
5th in age group. The long T1 cost me 2nd/3rd place! There was only  30 seconds separating 2nd and 5th place. L

Next up: Best Damn Race Safety Harbor half marathon on Feb 4th.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jacksonville Best Damn Race Half Marathon

Half marathon #71
January 14, 2017
Gina and I headed up to Jacksonville Friday afternoon. They drive took longer than I thought it would. We arrived at packet pickup 5 minutes before they closed!  We then headed to dinner and then to our hotel. The next morning, we made our way to the race start, which was at a waterfront park next to the Jacksonville Jaguars football stadium. Lots of parking available as well as real bathrooms! We watched the 10K and 5K runners start, then got lined up for our half marathon start. The was in the low 60s, with fog in the air. Not the best conditions. I stood near the 2 hour pacer, hoping to stay in front for the entire race. Since I was not in the best training shape, I knew the chances of a PR were not good.
After the national anthem was sung, we were off! We had a wide 4 lane road to run on for about half a mile, which was awesome. Soon, I was smelling the most wonderful scent. Coffee! The Maxwell House coffee plant was on the course! Just after mile one, we encountered our first hill. It was an overpass bridge. It wasn’t long, but it was kind of steep! During the rest of the course, there were some small up hills, but nothing as bad as the first one. We passed through some great old neighborhoods and some cute shopping districts. I ran a couple of miles with a guy with a half fanatics tank on. We chatted about our races and training. He had been racing almost every weekend and was still pushing the pace faster than I could hold for long! He pulled ahead around mile 5. The course is pretty much an out and back. A couple of minutes after getting to the turnaround, I saw Gina. She wasn’t far behind! Miles 1 through 7: 8:10, 8:25, 8:28, 8:33, 8:46, 8:47, 8:47
I started to slow down on the way back. I struggled to keep my pace around 9 min miles. I walked through a couple of the water stops and when I hit the last up hill pathway, I walked it! I figured I could run the down hill and make up some time. But, the down hill was a square ramp, so I would get two steps in and take a sharp right turn. This was hard on my right knee. So, I didn’t push the speed on the down hill like I wanted. Once I passed the Maxwell House building, I knew I was getting close to the finish. I tried to pick up the pace a bit. We made a right turn off of the main road, to run over grass and finish in the middle of the park. So happy to be done and so happy to have finished under 2 hours! Miles 8 through 13.2 (course was a bit long)- 9:11, 9:06, 9:10, 9:18, 9:59, 9:01, 1:39
Finish: 1:57:39
4th in age group
A mile or so from the finish!

Gina finished just under 2 hours! Hooray! We got a couple of beers, then stood in line for the free massage. The massage was totally worth the long wait. We then got some food and then headed out as a light run started to fall. I enjoyed this course, but probably wouldn’t make the trip back up to Jacksonville for the race. It was just a really far drive. But, we made a fun weekend out of it. Headed to Epcot after getting cleaned up. J