Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 review and 2014 goals

2013 was a full year of running, races and PR's.  

January had no events, but was full of marathon training.

February I ran the Myrtle Beach half marathon.  PR 1:43:29.  

March I ran Tobacco Road Marathon in Apex.  Was supposed to be a Boston Qualifier, but that didn't happen...  3:59 - still, a PR.

April I ran a 5K in Cary NC.   22:14.  PR, well, I ran a 20:32 back in 1990, not sure if that will happen again so yes, 22:14 is a PR for this part of my life. :)

May held the New River Marathon.  Tough course with a finish in the cold rain but managed a 3:54 - PR! 

June held 2 events - first was the Sunburst Marathon - yes, another BQ attempt but fell short at 3:49.  BUT another PR.  See a trend?  getting faster!

The following week I ran the Boogie Marathon then stayed up all night volunteering for the 50 mile folks.  Fun event!!

July held 2 events as well - Grandfather Mountain Marathon which I had a real hard time with.  Great event but an off day...

July 20 was a once in a lifetime event.  I ran the Epic Mountain Relay from Canyon City to Crested Butte.  I was on an ultra team of 6 women.  191 miles.  What an amazing experience with a great group of badass women.  

Not a lot going on in August, but in September I ran Hinson Lake and logged 102.89 miles in 24 hours - a huge PR for me.  My 10 year old son ran 50 miles and my 13 year old daughter ran a 50K.  Proud of them both!

October I was recovering from Hinson but in November I ran the OBX marathon.  Sub 4 with little training.  

November I headed up north to VA for the Crooked Road 24 hour.  Managed to log 91 miles in some tough conditions.  

December held one FA - 50K at Raven Rock State Park.  Fun group of folks on a tough, beautiful trail.  

So what does 2014 hold?  Not quite sure but here are a few ideas going through my mind.  First and foremost is to qualify for Boston at the Myrtle Beach Marathon in  February.  If I can get that 'out of the way' then I will shift my focus to 50 and 100 milers.  Several *possible* races on the radar are Croatan 24, Hinson 24, CR24, Promised Land, Pinhoti 100, Pine Creek 100, 3 days at the fair....  others?  Maybe New River again, Maybe Grandfather Mountain... an MTC shirt run or 2, Boogie, and some FA's and NCRC events.  Lookin to have some fun logging miles, chillin with runnin peeps, and making new friends.

I am thankful for the health and strength that I had in 2013 - looking forward to whatever 2014 holds.  Still "runnin down the dream" of Boston.  Hopefully 2014 will be that year.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Raven 50K trail run @ Raven Rock State Park - December 21, 2013

group shot before the start
So what do you do when you have a weekend to yourself?  Find a run to fill the time!  I signed up 4 days before the event, so of course I went into it very well trained - lol!  Nope, not really, but it was a good excuse to get in a good long trail run. 

I slept all of 2 hours the night before.  Woke up at 4am, well before my alarm, and headed to Lillington shortly thereafter.  It was a short drive of an hour and 15 minutes.  Arrived before the gates opened and chilled for a bit with other early arrivals as we waited for the ranger to open the gates.  

Soon the gates were open and about 2 dozen folks arrived for the start of the FA run.  We snapped a group photo then we were off!  I stayed near the front with some folks who knew the course - Nathan, Paul and Steve.  I figured if there was a way for me to get lost, I most certainly would!  My plan was to stick with them for as long as I could so I would learn the course and be able to navigate it the next 2 laps. 

It wasn't more than 1/2 mile in that I realized that I hadn't run trails in a long time.  Like a really long time.  The last race I ran on single track trail was Umstead Marathon nearly 2 years ago.  It felt great to be back out there in the woods but I was way out of practice on this sort of terrain.  It was not the most difficult trail I have been on, but it certainly was not easy.  Rocks and roots and lots of ups n downs.  The rocks were cold from the temperature of the earth and they got condensation on them as the day warmed up.  Had to be careful!

runnin the blue blazes!
I stuck with the guys for nearly 8 miles then started to slow.  I stopped to take some pictures.  It was a beautiful park and I didn't want to run the whole thing without snapping a few pics :)

I completed lap 1 just over 2 hours.  I knew I was not going to be able to hold that.  Hindsight I probably went out too fast but sometimes company is nice instead of running alone...  

The second lap I took slower.  Walked more of the hills and took more pictures.  It was a beautiful day and was warming up nicely.  

I finished lap 2 in about 4:45.  Considerably slower, but at that point I was just trying to finish the miles.  

At the bottom of the out n back
I went out on lap 3 very tired.  That 2 hours of sleep was not enough.  There was a one mile out and back with this loop and the out is great - its all downhill, but coming back is all up.....  ugh.  I made it all the way out there - took a picture at the bottom to prove I went the full distance - lol!  I got back to the aid station with about 6 miles to go and I started that part of the loop with John - he was unsure of that section of the course so I said I would show him the route but man, he was flyin!  He started late and was maybe 5 miles in, and here I was on mile 25.  I kept up his pace for a mile or so but then told him to continue on and follow the blue blazes cause there was no way I was going to keep that pace.  He was flyin!

My hokas ♥
I ended up picking up the pace that last section and was so ready to be done.  It had warmed up into the mid 70's and I was down to my running tank and shorts - yeah, in December!  I finished up in 7:18 - I thought I would be closer to 6:00 but the lack of sleep, and the lack of training on those trails and hills did me in.  

I sat in the shelter for a long while.  I was dizzy and felt nauseous.  I think I was dehydrated....  It was then that John started to choke on a pretzel.  Of course I thought it was amusing and I started laughing.  He seemed mad that I was laughing but I tell you what, it was a diversion from the wave of nausea that was overwhelming me.  I was not feelin well at all...

Me, being my goofy self - lol!
I downed some ginger ale and picked up my major award - the metals were Christmas ornaments with "Raven 50K" on them.  Super awesome.   I had Nathan take a picture then I packed up my stuff and headed home. 

I had a great time.  Its always great to get together with a group of running friends.  I like the timing of this run - right before Christmas - perfect time to get a long run in to burn off all those junk food calories!  

Thx to Nathan and George for setting this up.  I hope you all keep it going again for next year.  I love small get togethers like this. To me, they are much more fun than the big races.  Granted, both types of events are fun, but small FA events are where its at.  

Til next year *Cheers*