Category Archives: marathon

An Excellent Race Plan – Not Followed @Tear Drop Half Marathon

Hello, as promised a report on last weekend’s race (just in time for this weekend!)

This was my first race in 8 weeks. Ever since I ran the 50 mile event, I’ve been having some glute and hamstring pain.  I’ve really been babying myself with a lot of rolling and easier workouts.  In fact, I haven’t done a double digit run since then!  Truthfully, I wasn’t super excited to do this race for a number of reasons, but I had promised my friend I’d do it, so…as my mother says, “you have to be a friend to have a friend.”

Here are excerpts from the race description on the web-site:

Tear Drop Downhill Half Marathon
Event Information

Lace up your sneakers, lean forward and get ready for the 2nd Annual Tear Drop Half Marathon! If you’re looking for a fast and scenic half marathon then join us on Saturday, April 30, 2016

The race will start on top of Fort Mountain at an elevation near 3000 feet and finish 13.1 miles away in Chatsworth, Georgia, for an over 2000-foot drop.

The race course features 8 miles of 5-10% (which should improve your pace :40- 1:20 per mile!) grade downhill and then a flat to rolling finish.

So, it actually sounded great when I first read about it and convinced my friend to sign up.  She signed up early, and I procrastinated.  As the event drew near, I thought of all kinds of reasons that I didn’t want to do it:
1.  I wasn’t in shape for a half.  My longest run for 8 weeks was 8.5 miles.
2.  I didn’t want to make my hamstring/glute thing any worse.
3. The race started at 7, and it was a 2 hour drive away.
4. I had heard a few bad reviews from last year’s runners.
Eventually, I signed up and let some other running friends know about it through FB.  That’s when the torrent of bad reviews came rushing in!
So, based on fear of injury, I came up with what I thought was a pretty good race plan.  I decided that I would run/walk this race.  My plan was to start out running, then as soon as the hamstring/glute thing started waking up, I’d walk.  Or if in the later miles, I felt tired, I’d walk.  My friend said she was out of shape, and her plan was to run/walk too.  We’d be able to stick together!
Without pressure on myself to go fast I felt super relaxed!  I slept like a baby the night before.  And woke up before 4:00 without an alarm!  As I walked out the door, I made the decision to leave my watch on the kitchen counter.  A race without a watch!
At the start of the race, I felt smug while others were clearly nervous.  I didn’t care about my time, and just planned to run until it didn’t feel good.  The beginning of the race was a bit kooky.  We took off on a 1.6 mile descent, made a U-turn, and came back uphill 1.6 miles to the start for another U-turn, and then an 8 mile descent.
During the 2nd 1.6 miles, which was back up the hill, my friend started walking.  I’m sorry to be a bad friend, but I abandoned her.  I just wasn’t ready to start walking even before mile 2.
So I ran.  And one thing that I’ve always known about myself is that I’m good at downhill running.  By good, I mean that I don’t brake. AT ALL.  It’s where I’ve always gained an advantage in a race. In the downhill.   It’s how I BQ’d.  On a downhill marathon.
The scenery was beautiful.  We ran down a mountain that was surrounded by other mountains. 9401025_orig
At one point, we passed this scenic overlook.  3874945
And I kept on running.  I never got any pain, or lead legs to make me stop.  The descent ended at around mile 11.  But at that point, I wasn’t going to walk.  Plus nothing hurt. So I kept running.  I got to the finish line and saw the clock.  It was 1:51:19!  My race plan had been to finish in 2:30 minutes!!
img_20160430_095633.jpg
So there you have it…a great race plan, not followed.  My son, and husband and friend all laughed at me when they saw the results.  Each of them knew my run/walk plan was nothing but a fantasy.
wp-1462545982027.jpeg
We both want to do it next year.  Imagine the possibilities if I was actually in condition to do a half!!

Today I am trying a link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here. Thank you ladies!

WeeklyWrap

Advertisement

Race Report – A Timed Ultra Marathon

Well, you already know the end of this story.  I ended up surprising myself and running 50 miles in my first ultra marathon.  My goal was to run 50k (or 31 miles), so it was a real shocker to end up doing 50 miles!!

It was an absolutely awesome experience, and I will definitely do it again.  Especially this one.  It was 15 minutes from my house!!

 

fb_img_1457891550515.jpg

The trail.  It was close to parking, so we could all set up our own stations right out the back of our cars

First, a bit of the particulars:  The 12 hour event was held in a park that had a .75 mile hard packed sand track loop.  To make each lap a full mile, there was a .25 out/back trip to a bridge added on.  There were 54 participants who ran the gamut in age (20-69) and fitness levels.  30 of the participants were female (two of whom were 67 years old and one who was 68!!!).  The one mile laps were counted by volunteers, who tracked a set number of runners all 12 hours long!

 

wp-1458135312898.jpeg

The ‘to the bridge’ portion of the loop

 

Let me tell you, this was one of the most inspirational events I’ve ever witnessed/participated in.  (Boston Marathon being the other one).  This was not like a regular race.  While regular races really are fun, they are competitive (which don’t get me wrong, I like!) vs. cooperative.  Everyone at this event was so supportive of everyone else.  In the course of the twelve hours, we all got to know/run with many of the other runners.  These are people who  never would have met each other in our everyday lives. And here we were, running with and encouraging each other for hours!! As you can image, we’re all now best friends forever on Facebook!

 

Since the event was in “our territory”, 10 of the runners were from the same run group. Many of us already knew each other. And the ones who didn’t know each other at the start did by the end! Also, since we were so close to home, many more runners from our run group stopped by to cheer or run with us!

image

Steve and I ran the event, and ran together for the first 28 miles.  My best running friend Maria (in the tigger capris) showed up to run a bit with us!

image

Runners and supporters from our run group!

All that support made this event super!
As I already said, my goal was initially to do 31 miles. But, once I reached that goal, I felt like I could keep going. My next goal was 40 miles.

A friend showed up at mile 38 and told me I was doing 50. Another one of the runners started saying that too. I wasn’t interested, but kept on running. By mile 43, I agreed to 50!  And by the time I committed, I just barely had enough time to finish.  I completed 50 with 8 minutes to spare!

My friend ran with me….or i should say ran/walked all 12 of those last miles! She was my cheerleader and encourager. Without her, it truly wouldn’t have happened!

image
There is so much more I have to say about this race. But I think I’ll save it for another post. In parting, I want to say, that when it was over, I took a shower.
image

Devised by Me: A New Training Plan for 2016

I call it the ‘I Want’ training plan.  And it means just that, I’m going to do whatever I want!

Without any big races on the horizon (like last year this time, I was marathon training),

cropped-14295592239461.jpg

Medal from last year’s marathon

 

and without a burning desire to plan any big races, I’m just going to train in ways that make me happy.

giphy

Here’s a for instance…yesterday it was warm outside.  My rational brain said ‘Oh you better run outside…it may be raining the rest of the week.’ But, I didn’t feel like it.   So instead, I went to our gym, and rode on the Arc Trainer for 7.2 miles.  My hair still sweat, so I know I got a good work out.  Plus I had total control of the TV remote, and watched silly shows like Love it or List it, and Judge Judy!

Here’s another for instance.  On Sunday (after a Saturday run with some intentional speedwork), I decided this was going to be an easy junk mile run, or if you want to sound more fancy, a LSD (long slow day).

 

screen-capture-5

Blah BLah BLah…This guy seems a little uptight!  Who cares if you’re out for head clearing junk miles!

But, toward the end of my run, I started feeling pretty good.  I sped up and finished my 9th mile FAST.  Because that’s what I wanted!

One of the best things about running and training is the goal setting.  So don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to set goals.  Right now, the goal that is exciting me is achieving a weekly/annual mileage.  I’ve set these type of goals for the past 2 years, and enjoyed achieving/surpassing them.

odometer_70000.jpg

No I didn’t run 70,000 miles this year!

I’ll keep you posted if I change my training plan.  And check out this site for similar sentiments, and my inspiration for today’s post! http://slackerrunner.com/

 

Today I am trying a  link up with  PattyErika, and Marcia!  Thank you ladies!!

Tuesdays-on-the-Run-2.jpg

Big Adventures Re-Cap 2015

So overall, some pretty good adventures this year.  In no particular order, here they are:

April 20, Boston Marathon

By far the biggest highlight for 2015! In fact running in the Boston Marathon is in my top 5 of ALL lifetime experiences.

I was so fortunate that my mother and daughter came with me. wp-1451316402051.jpeg

The whole trip was such and awesome experience!

I went to high school outside of Boston, and it was the first time my mom and I had been back in over 30 years! Someone had bought our old house…and then tore it down and put up a new one!!

189

Replacement house

The day before the race, the weather was beautiful, sunny and high 50s.  Race day, not so much.  Heavy rain and REALLY cold (low 40s).  But so what?? It was the Boston Marathon!

Screen shot 2015-12-28 at 10.23.14 AM

Crappy pic…screen shot from Marathon photo.  Still too cheap to spend $30 on a single photo download!!

I finished the race with a less than speedy time (4:18).  My BQ was 3:49, so I was a little disappointed…but not really. Again, it was the BOSTON MARATHON!

Spring Break In Costa Rica

Fun trip with 2 dopey teenage girls.

Snorkeling, jet skiing, white water rafting, horse back riding, mud baths, zip lining…Great adventures!

Rolling Stones Concert, June

My husband and I had each seen the Rolling Stones once before…when we were teenagers back in 1981.  The 1981 concert was pretty awful.  We were in Dallas, TX on Halloween and the weather was absolutely horrible. Flooding, cold rain and the concert was outdoors. The rain was so intense that the concert was cut short.

This time…AWESOME!  The weather was perfect. And the Rolling Stones were fantastic.  It was my teenage daughter’s first concert.

The Rolling Stones

June 9, 2015 The Rolling Stones Bobby Dodd Stadium, Georgia Tech

 

First High School Cross Country Race

Our son ran cross country when he was in high school and we had become huge fans of the sport.  We hoped that our daughter would  run too when she got to high school.  We knew she would be fast, but she doesn’t often  do what we want…

But she joined the team, and quickly became one of the top performers! Her first race was in Florida, and we drove down there to watch her.  She did great, and placed, and helped their team win 2nd place overall!

wp-1451316296877.jpeg

Aren’t they so cute??

 

Thank goodness we took the time to drive to Florida (6 hours) to watch her run!  That  turned out to be her only race of the season.  She got a stress fracture, and missed every other race.

So those are the highlights of my year.  I’d love to hear about yours!

Today I am trying a link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here. Thank you ladies!

WeeklyWrap