Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Space Coast Marathon November 29, 2015

At the beach
It all started out as a great idea sometime last spring "hey, sign up for Space Coast with me, we can train all year and BQ!" Guess who was the instigator of it... you guessed it, Paula :)  

So that was the idea.  Train all summer and fall and crush it at the race....  

Funny how life seems to get in the way of the big training plans - lol!
at the expo

I managed to train *fairly* well for it.  Was it a hard core strict training regimen?  No, but when have i ever done anything to the book?  I had a decent amount of speed-work and long runs on the weekends, but my mileage was down...  Not significantly down but less than it was last year...

Regardless of the outcome, I was looking forward to a weekend away with the girls and a bit of time off. 

Met up with Holly at Paula's house in the wee hours of Black Friday.  From there we hit the road.  
feelin pretty spunky

The drive was a lot of fun.  We passed someone along the way with a lot of running stickers on their car and of course I had to look to see if I knew them and sure enough, it was Eric.  No we didn't wait up for him but we did keep in touch with him and his whereabouts during the travel.  

Paula is such a fast driver that we made it there an hour and a half before he did - lol!  

I did some driving.  And of course Paula made fun of my technique.  There was heavy traffic and construction on 95 and my hands were at "10 and 2" and she was laughing her tail off.  Hey, it was not my vehicle, I was being safe!  lol!

We got to the hotel about 3 in the afternoon.  We got our stuff into the room, settled in and then it was our time to chill.  

We went to the beach and walked around some.  Hung out at the outdoor hotel bar for a wee bit of time... ok, maybe a tad longer than that... It was a great afternoon and evening.  Have to admit that this was my favorite afternoon/evening of the trip.  Lots of laughing and sunshine. 

this thread had me dyin! LOL!
The next morning we woke up and went to the expo.  Saw a lot of familiar faces from the Raleigh area and hung out there for a while.  From there we drove up to where the start / finish was so that I could get an idea of what to expect there.  

Went to lunch at the sandbar with some other peeps from Raleigh and watched some football - yeah!  :D

Then went back to the beach and just chilled out and took in the afternoon...  

Ordered take out from an Italian place and ate it at the hotel.  Figured all the pasta places would be packed so we opted for take out.  

Headed back upstairs, I put together a last minute music playlist, and I think we had lights out by 9:00.  

hangin with the 3:40 group
Of course o dark thirty comes all too soon....  We got all our stuff together and drove out to the start.  Managed to find a parking spot in the grass at the park.  Good thing Paula has a truck - it worked out great!  Sat there and watched a Jeep try to park over the curb and in the grass and epic-ly failing at it.  I wanted to take their Jeep card away for such an awful performance - lol!  anyway.... just my 2 cents.... ;)

We all kinda scattered at the start and lined up where we all thought we were going to finish.  I lined up with the 3:40 group...  and right on time, the gun went off and we started.  

I was feeling pretty good for the first few miles.  The sun still was not quite up and the temp was not too hot yet.  It was humid tho...  Far more warm and humid than I had been used to in NC this fall.  

Managed to stay with that 3:40 group for about 10 miles.  Then it started to become warmer and my pace started slowing down...  I was upset but knew that today was not a BQ day.  My breathing was off and I was working far too hard this early on.... It was then that I started to dial it back some as I knew that the next 3 hours or so were going to be work...  I often called it character building... 

Very cool rainbow
I took in the day.  Watched the runners.  Took some pics of the sunrise.  Was I feeling good?  Mentally yeah, I was in a good place, physically, no, I was feelin lousy...  still doin my best to refocus and do what I could.  

Had a random rain shower that added to the humidity, but provided a beautiful rainbow :D

Got to the 13.1 mile point and there was a spot where marathoners could quietly bow out of the full....  no, couldn't do that... I didn't go all this way to not finish the full.  My half time would have been 1:55 - quite respectable.  Could have finished with a great half...  

me, kenneth and sung
I am not exactly sure when it was, but there was a runner who was along side the road laying down and was in a bad way... I knew that there was no shot at me finishing in BQ or PR territory at this point so I stopped to be there with her until medical arrived.  She kept saying that she needed to get up and run, but her eyes were involuntary moving back and forth... she was in no shape to get back out there at all.  Not sure what caused her to fall off the pace but dehydration could have been part of it.  Power of the runner spirit tho, not wanting to stop because the body is weak, but mentally wanting to get out there and run the race...  My heart went out to her...  Medical help came so I proceeded on... 

It was really warming up fast and I was stopping at every water station to fill my handheld. I was also taking gu's and s caps every 4 miles.  

Somewhere along the way I saw Sung Ho Choi - ultrarunner from MTC - he snapped a pic of us running along the route.  I was running with someone who he knew which I thought was cool too.  Small world!

just the encouragement I needed....  <3
Paula ended up passing me somewhere about mile 18.  She wasn't expecting to see me at all during the race so needless to say she was shocked.  Told her to keep goin that I was going to finish, just not my day...

Had a good friend text me this picture during the run.  They knew I was having a hard time with it and it was just what I needed to keep movin...  

It was hot, I was frustrated, and was ready to be done.  There is nothing tougher than running any race when all your goals are shot and its just "hurry slowly but hurry" to get to the finish.  No I wasn't going to quit and sure was looking forward to seeing that finish line!

One of the last gu's I took almost didn't take :/  Nearly had a gu reversal.  My stomach was kinda jacked up and I was nauseated.  The heat was getting to me for sure...  

Where was that finish?!  

Managed to finish the last mile fairly strong.  The last .2 I gave it all I had, which wasn't much but still...  Finished with a 4:25.  I received my medal and towel and found a spot in the shade to have a bit of a pity party, then pulled myself together to find Paula and Holly.  

None of us did well that day.  We all came with big goals and gave it all we had.  Everyone from our extended group that came from Raleigh had a time of it.  Noone was ready for the heat... So it goes... 

We got some post race breakfast, eggs, pancakes and beer at the finish - it was good!  

Paula was not feelin well - same thing happened with her after the scream...  dehydrated maybe?  We walked over to the parking lot and I drove back to the hotel.  

"polar plunge"
Of course I had to do a "polar plunge" ha ha ha - right!  November in FL is not a polar plunge, but its kinda a tradition for me to jump in after a race.  

Went back to the hotel, got cleaned up and drove part way back to Savannah GA.  Went out to dinner and walked along the river.  Stopped at a tiny bar where there was a guy singing and playing and listened for a bit.  It was a chill evening.  Except for the stairs - seriously?  lol!!

Continued the adventure the next morning - had 2 breakfasts with Holly - yes 2 - we were up that early!  Then headed back home.  

What a fun weekend.  If the worst thing that happened is I ran a slow marathon and had a warm beer at the sandbar then I think it counts as all good :)  It was great to get away with friends and unwind for the weekend.  So thankful and  blessed to have great people in my life.  

Not sure if I would run this one again.... all depends on if my race director asks me "hey, you want to try to BQ this fall?"  


love this shirt!


chillin with the girls on the beach

Paula not feelin well :( 
chillin - gotta love the guy in the background - LOL!


steep old steps!

seriously?  lol!
on the river bank in Savannah GA

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Crooked Road 24 hour November 21, 2015

runners on the new part of the course
So did I run this race this year?  Um no, I didn’t….  but I had to get up there to see a some of my favorite people.  

Who drives 2 ½ hours to run 10 miles then drives 2 ½ hours back home?  Well, me!  Left home about 10am.  Brought a friend along who had never been to an ultra – you know that he was in for a surprise! 

It was a great drive up to VA.  Weather was good and so was the traffic.  Got up there about 12:30.  First person I saw?  Paul Heckert!  Of course I get a BIG bear hug from him and we take a lap around together.  

It is nice this year that they changed the course to be 1.18 miles and not the .95 miler.  Two bonuses with this… the more miles you log, the more that .18 adds up.  That -.05 mile drives you crazy when you start logging big miles – lol!  The other nice thing is that “the one big hill” is no longer part of the course. 
Cant tell you how much I appreciate the friendship I have with this man! 

Lots of familiar faces there.  But one in particular stands out… His big smile when he saw I was there waiting for him – Bill Gentry.  He comes around that lap and – yep, you guessed it – another hug.  Haven’t seen him in months and it was sooo good to see him again!  

The next laps I ran were with Bill.  And we talked about everything and the miles went by too fast.  Of course I had to stop and say hi to half the people in the race but that’s what I came to do – hang out with my running family.  Its what makes me happy and really brings a lot of joy.  Good for the soul...

At some point Pam Rickard found me.  I only saw her for about a ¼ of a mile but her words of encouragement were exactly what I needed.  She is one joy filled, thankful and amazing person.  So thankful to know her!

Still chillier by the river than it is out in the middle of the course
My friend joined us for a while.  He was taking in the day, the surroundings, the people, and the friendships and slowly getting a grasp on what the ultra running community is like.  It was great to see it through a “newbies” eyes whose interest was quite piqued.  You could see “that sparkle” – you ultrarunners know that look…  what kind of cookies are these people eating and ya know, I might want one!  Stay tuned.  I may have another unknowing individual coming over to "the dark side" ;)

I told him the stories of some of the people there and the obstacles they have overcome.   Just seemingly normal people with a never give up attitude. 

I could only run about 10 miles that day.  Was planning to race a marathon next week so I was in taper mode.  Could have run many miles with everyone that day.  I felt that I was “cheating” though running from 12:30 – 3:00 or whenever it was in the sweet spot of the day.  I know full well of the long cold dark hours of running through the night.   

Still very grateful for those 10 miles - good to spend time with Ricky, Sharon, Eric, Jo, Thomas, Buddy, Jamie, Penny, Jason, James, Johnny, Tom, Charles, Veronica, and the rest of the Crooked Road peeps.  Grateful for this crazy ultrarunning sport that has brought us together into an amazing family.  

Big thanks to all those who make this race so great - the leaders and the volunteers.  A lot goes into it and this is a great, well organized event.  


City of Oaks Marathon and Half Marathon November 1, 2015

COO pace group team - 2015

This is not much of a race report as it is more like a cliffs notes version...  Life has gotten in the way and my time to write has been limited…  I am getting around to writing it nearly 6 weeks later…. Still I want to keep a record of the event and highlight the important things that happened. 

Yay!  A local event!  I always love volunteering for races on my home turf.  This race is no exception.  I paced last year so I signed up again this year to pace.  Was hoping for a pace group between 2:10 and 2:30 but was given 2:45.  Hey it’s all good!  Just had to figure out a strategy to make it happen.

me ,blanca and amanda!
Race morning was clear and cool.  I met up with the other pace group leaders at the start.  Had an issue though… my Garmin was not syncing!  It would not get past the first home screen to look for the satellites.  Brads watch was doing the same thing…  Not good Mav!  I ended up downloading map my run and had that ready to go…  

Thankfully just before gun time, after the 25th hard reset the watch synced and it was working. Woooooo!  Good to go!!!  :D

The gun went off and it took us a long while to get to the start line.  I was with Blanca and Amanda – they were pacing the 5:30 half so we stuck together.  I hadn’t run with Amanda in so long and it was great to spend time with her again.  

Yeah, pacing makes me happy, esp in a sleeveless shirt! :)
Have to admit, it was a slow pace. I walked through the water stops and walked hills.  It wasn’t Galloway but my own thing…  I chatted with runners near me and passed the time. 

I was getting pretty warm in the long sleeved shirt they gave to me as a pacer.  Around mile 6 or 7 I think it was I saw a medic table.  I stopped and asked them if they had a scissors.  They did!  Told him I wanted to cut the sleeves off my shirt.  They laughed and the one guy cut them off for me.  Woo!!  Much better!!

I busted my tail at a sub 7 pace for about a half mile to catch back up to Amanda and Blanca then fell back into pace.  Made it!  :D  

I managed to bring it in on time!  I handed in my sign and went out for another 5K to run out the slow pace.  That was tough to run that half “that slow” - needed to stretch out the legs some.  Not sure I will run that pace again.  

Got back and yes, spent time at the beer garden with friends.  That is another fun thing about local events.  Lots of familiar faces to spend time with and local craft beer.  Spent some time there then headed home for a shower and a nap.  

Will I volunteer again next year?  Absolutely!!  Will it be the 2:45 group?  Probably not…  2:10 – 2:30 would be really comfortable for me to run.  

Til the next race *cheers*