Tag Archives: race

Odds and Ends

Well we are in the heart of summer running here…which means really hot and humid. Same as it is for all of you I’m sure. 

The good news is that I’ve been doing an excellent job getting out before sunrise. It makes such a big difference not to have the sun combined with the heat and humidity. Here is a screenshot of the weather one day last month. If you’ll notice, the temp isn’t bad, but humidity was high. Lately, it’s been even higher! Last week it was 92%!! Regardless of how rough it’s been, I still vastly prefer this to the cold of winter….so hard to get out of bed and run before the sun is up when its in the 20s!
On the fashion front, I made an excellent find yesterday at TJ Maxx! A Boston Marathon jacket! And wait for it….it was from 2015-the year I ran it!

I didn’t buy the jacket at the marathin expo in 2015 b/c it was $110, and I’m WAY too cheap for that! But look here at the tags! Nice bargain shopping!

Final price $40+tax! The only downside is that the size is XL…but when I tried it on my family and I all agreed it wasn’t as bad as we would have thought!

So yeah, this is a post complaining about heat and buying a coat! Hmmmm.

On the race front, we just had the largest 10k in the world here yesterday. The Peachtree Rd race. 60,000 participants!! I didn’t do it this year. But I have done it in the past. It is super fun, and patriotic feeling. 

This Saturday, I am participating in a 24 hour team event. 8 team members… we’re a mixed team. 4 boys and 4 girls. We take turns running a 6 mile loop. The weather forecast for daytime temps is 100! Yikes. But it’s around a lake/in the woods, so maybe a bit cooler?? One can hope. I am looking forward to it. I only know one or two of the runners, so I always enjoy making new friends. 

Hope you all have a nice week. I am looking forward to reporting back on the race!

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

Junk Miles Repurposed – Or Accidentally Training for an Ultra

I’ve been running a lot of miles lately. A LOT. But it’s what I want. And that has been my goal this year. I am trying to focus on what is going to make me happy, and not what I think I ‘should’ do. The high mileage has had a price. I am currently not as fast as my potential. And my race times have reflected this.  Although I’m a little bit bothered by this. I’m not bothered enough to change the current situation.

Recently I came across this race announcement on our run group Facebook page.

image

It is a sign up for a timed ultra marathon. An timed ultra marathon is running event that lasts for a finite amount of time during which you run as many miles as possible.

Many members of our run group do one of these in December and always speak highly of it. And most of the people who do it are not the hard- core-run-100-miles-as -fast-as-you-can type. Which would be me also.

As soon as I saw this listing I was attracted to the idea. In keeping with my new goal to do things that will make me happy, I decided ‘Why Not?’.

Here are my thoughts on running a timed ultra marathon:
1. To do well, I think you should be in at least marathon shape.
2. I’m not. But I am in half marathon shape.
3. My strategy is to run the first 13.1 miles in a bit over 2 hours.
4. I think it counts as an ‘ultra’ (and thus qualifies for the car magnet) as long as you do more than a marathon.
5. This means I have over 9 hours to do 14 more miles.

I can do this!
Just as a test, last Sunday I ran 12 miles in the morning. And 7 in the afternoon. It wasn’t hard at all! Now I only need to add 8 more.

The other great things about this race is the venue. We did some running there this summer with the xc team and I really love the park

image

image

The race is 3/12, so not much time for any intense training….just enough time to look forward to a new experience/accomplishment! And in the meantime, I think I better get some new shoes!

A Trip to Africa and a Race in Atlanta

This blog is entitled travelrunstyle.  My original intention was to have a combo blog that featured all three of those subjects.  Somehow, I haven’t really lived up to the name of the blog, especially in the style area.  Mostly, this has become a blog about running, with a little bit of travel too.  And that’s what this post is going to be about.  (Maybe someday I’ll write a style blog).

A few years ago, we went on safari in South Africa.  My family flew ahead of me and broke up the long flight with a stopover in Paris.  A few days later, I took a direct flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg.  This was by far the longest flight I’ve ever taken – 17 hours! We also had a 2 hour ground delay in Atlanta due to rain!!  19 hours sitting in coach was a really really long time!

I had a window seat, which I prefer.  The seats were off-set a bit, so the person in the middle seat in front of me was visible as well as audible.  At first I was excited when I overheard him talking to his seat mate about running.  I hoped that maybe I could get in on the conversation!

Then he started talking about religion too. He kept on talking about running, and religion. And ON and ON and ON. FOR HOURS.  And I don’t sleep on planes.  Oh my goodness.  I can safely say he NEVER shut up.  Well…ok he did for a bit after he took a sleeping pill.  But still.  And it was loud!

loud mouth_gif9

Eventually, I made it to the lodge at Krueger Park and met up with my family.  I had travelled with my running shoes, in hopes of getting a few miles in Africa.

Ya…No.

You don’t run while on safari.  Too dangerous.  Even without a run though it was an awesome trip.  So awesome, that we went again the next year to a nearby country, Botswana.

CSC_0140

DSC_0034.JPG

DSC_0120

African wild dogs…very rare.  We watched them make a kill, which was really gruesome.

In between the two trips to Africa, we ran some races here in Atlanta.  One of them was a small local race.  Both my husband and I usually line up towards the front in local races.  While we were waiting to start, I noticed someone on the front line that I recognized.  When I asked my husband who the guy was, he said he didn’t know.  Even before I could think to stop myself from talking, I thought I recognized that he was the loudmouth from the plane, and I asked him if he’d gone to Africa last year.  It was him.

Oh geez…why did I strike up a conversation with him?? What if he started a loud on going conversation that lasted the whole race.  I felt panicked!! Luckily, he must have been nervous about racing because the conversation was brief.

Small world…but I don’t think I’ve seen him since.  Or at least I know I haven’t HEARD him!

Hope you all have a nice weekend, and I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts!

Thanksgiving Half Race Review

My husband and I ran a half marathon this past Thursday, and it was a great way to start our Thanksgiving! The following is a recap of the race:

Race course

I had previously run a half on this same course.  It was on a greenway that took us across meadows, through woods, and alongside a creek. Very scenic.
And quite a bit of it was on elevated boardwalks that were somewhat springy. The course was a straightaway, with 2 U-turns. Not hilly at all either! Plus the day was perfect! Sunny, but in the high 40s to start.

‘Celebrity’ Sighting

There were about 300 people racing in the half. For the first few miles, I was trying to see if there was anyone going about my speed so we could run together. The last time I had raced there, I got into a group of 4 others, and they seemed to carry me along.

I wasn’t having much luck, so just decided to enjoy the sites. There weren’t many spectators, but I spied 2 at around mile 2.5. A boy and man. The boy looked familiar. I stared at him for clues as I ran by. He had a letter jacket on. I saw his name on the jacket and realized that he was the boy who’d recently made national news for having been disqualified from the Georgia state high school xc championship race for having a bible verse on his headband. He had finished third, but was disqualified to last place! It was a big controversy.

(See story here: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/11/11/was-it-bible-verse-teen-runner-disqualified-from-state-meet-over-religious-headband.html)

Race Encounters

I was so excited about my ‘celebrity’ sighting, that I made friends with the girl next to me to tell her about it. She was a nice girl and we ran together for a bit. While we were running, the leader, who had already passed the first U-turn and was now running past us in the opposite direction appeared. I cheered for him. And she said that was her brother! Later, I mentioned that I had noticed at least 3 ladies ahead of us who might be in my age group. She said her mother was ahead of us, and we determined that mother and I were in fact in the same age group.

I never did ask her name, but learned that her goal was to finish in under 2 for the first time.  At the time we were going at about a 1:48 pace. I told she had it. Eventually, I lost track of her b/c she faded a bit.

Another Fall

Really, who falls in a RACE?? A dork. I cannot believe I fell!! This is the second fall in the past 2 weeks. And only my 3rd overall. So I’m wondering if its my new shoes? Or the boardwalk? It was a little uneven with boards sticking up. Or is it just me not picking my feet up? Anyway, I slid onto my front and knees, but got right up and started running again. No major damage! Thank goodness!! I am SO lucky. I fall all the time on the tennis court and don’t ever seem to get hurt too bad (knock on wood).

Finish

My goal was to finish in the high 140s…but at mile 11/12, I started fading pretty bad. I realized that my finish time was going to start with a 1:5-something. 7 people passed me in mile 13 (yes I counted). For the last 1/4, I was just dying.  We were finishing on a track and I had turned my tunes off….sounds were bothering me. I heard someone behind me getting closer. After 7 people had already passed me, I thought “THE HELL YOU ARE” on this one. And dug deep. Somehow, I got a bit of a kick. I also noticed the photographer near the finish line. I was able to have the coherent thought to pick up my feet b/c in most finish line photos, it looks like I’m barely moving.

TSP_10545660

I am glad my feet are lifted!

Finished with a strong kick. After passing across the timing mats, the lady who had been running behind me congratulated me for the kick, then immediately asked me my age. We were in the same age group, and I’d beaten her by 2 seconds! We chatted for a bit until I saw my husband. He had PRd by 6 minutes!! I am really proud of him!

TSP_10545318 (1)

We wandered around while chatting  with the lady who was in my age group then I remembered my other friend. I wanted to see if she could hit her goal. We caught her just as she was finishing…in under 2 hours!! I was super happy for her and congratulated her. So was the lady in my age group…..her mother!! And then the brother came over to congratulate his sister who had beaten her PR by 12 full minutes!! And it turns out the brother had won the whole thing! So that was fun.

I won 2nd place in my AG, but we didn’t stick around for the awards. We were both starting to get cold, and it was only going to get worse if we waited around for awards time. Plus, it turns out the awards were sorta weird looking.

TSP_10540938

I DID NOT win this award…but you can see they’re a bit odd looking!

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

Food Habits Conquered and Food Habits Not Conquered

Once I started running, I began to start paying more attention to the foods I ate.

For the past six years, I’ve been on a steady path of improving, but still have certain guilty pleasures that I’m not willing to give up.

Things I’ve Been Able to Give Up

Coke:

Mmmm

Mmmm

I NEVER would have thought I could do this one!!  And truly it has been the hardest habit to kick. I couldn’t stop cold turkey, so first I reduced it from seven Cokes a week to 3.  Then, like a heroin  addict  using methadone to ease off, I switched to a few Sprites a week.  Since I don’t like Sprite as much, it’s been easier to wean myself from that.  I also replaced my morning Coke with Unsweet Ice Tea.

Every morning Unsweet Ice Tea

Every morning Unsweet Ice Tea

Wine:  I really never had any intention of quitting wine.  It just kind of happened, and I feel SO much better without it!  Since I switched over to really early morning running, I noticed that it was much easier to get up and go if I hadn’t drank any wine the night before.  So I just stopped.  Strange!

With these 2 changes, I lost about 5 pounds!!  And I didn’t even try.  I’m now the skinniest person in my house…which isn’t necessarily a good thing, b/c in the classic ‘Even Steven’ principle (from a Seinfeld episode where if someone loses weight, another nearby person will gain it), my daughter is gaining.  (She’s a sidelined cross country girl still fueling like an active cross country girl).

Anyway, I digress.

Advil:  Not necessarily I diet change, but something that I enjoyed that I probably overused.  When I first started running, they really helped with muscle pain.  I’d take anywhere from 4 a day everyday down to 2 a day 3-4 times a week.  About 2 weeks ago, I just stopped (wasn’t supposed to have any before the small surgery that I recently had), and noticed how much better my tummy felt.  After having dealt with a chronic upset tummy for years, this is nothing short of miraculous!!

Things I haven’t Been Able to Give Up (Yet)

Goldfish:  I literally eat handfuls of these EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I guess maybe they are fulfilling some dietary need for carbs and salt?  Or maybe not.  When I’m feeling really fancy, I mix two flavors together.  But my go to favorite is pretzel.

Mixture of Parmesan and pretzel goldfish

Mixture of Parmesan and pretzel goldfish

Candy:  Sorry, just can’t quit.  I always have to have a bag of candy in the house that I’m working on.  I have pretty good self control, so it will take me a while to work through a bag.

I think I’m pretty tricky on Halloween though.  I buy candy that I don’t like to give out! (I’ll bet I’m the only person on the planet with that strategy).

Don't really like these candy flavors

Don’t really like these candy flavors

Cookies:  Every single morning for breakfast 4 (or sometimes 8) Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Cookies.  Mmmmmmm.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

What have you been able to quit?

What are your guilty pleasures?

2 Days 2 Races

What an awesome weekend!

I haven’t raced too much this Fall ( I guess maybe due to conflicting high school cross country races) , but now I’m really getting back into it with back to back races this past Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was a 5k and  a potential PR course.  The course has a net elevation drop, plus they changed the course to take out the tough hill at the beginning of mile 3.  The start and finish were downhill, and the middle mile was rolling hills.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, sunny and in the low 60’s.  So all the stars were lined up for a spectacular race!  And it was!! Although I didn’t PR, I did get a time that I’m pleased with, and my best time all year.

The best part of the race was all of the friends that were also there.  Several of them PR’d, including my husband who shaved 8 seconds off of his previous time.  My marathon buddy, who I hadn’t seen in months was also there.  And so was my running nemesis (who really is a good friend…and who really is MUCH faster than me). I told her that I was thrilled that she had decided to run the 10k!!  I also told her that she is one of the fastest ladies in the city in our age group.  She didn’t believe me…but keep reading for more on that.

I won second in my Age Group, which made me kind of cranky b/c I thought I’d get first with running nemesis in the 10k.  I’m sorry and embarrassed to say that I think I scowled when I accepted my award from a former Olympic cross country racer.  What a poor sport I am!

On Sunday, I ran the Atlanta Track Club’s 10 miler with 4,057 other people.  Big, HILLY race, and a guaranteed PR b/c this was my first 10 mile race.  My goal was to finish between 1:20 and 1:30, and I just barely squeaked in with a 1:29:47! I also knew several people who were going to be running in this race, but didn’t see any of them the whole time.

Participation in this race benefitted our cross country team.  For every 10 mile runner who specified our cross country team as a beneficiary, the Atlanta Track Club donated a certain amount to our team.  Another way for our team to raise funds was by manning a cheer station.  The more participants, the more funds raised.  Our team had a cheer station at mile 2/8.

Running by our team was just GREAT!! I wore a team shirt, to make sure that everyone recognized me.  Our station was set up on a corner, with the boys  first, and the girls as you rounded the bend.  The boys cheered politely as I passed…many of them don’t know me.  But when I came around the corner and the girls recognized me, a giant, genuine cheer went up!  How Thrilling!  That truly made the whole race for me.

Did I mention that the course was hilly?  6 miles after passing our cheer station, I was feeling pretty awful from all of the hills.  I was coming up another hill when I could hear a lot of cheering ahead.  In my run drunk state, I was able to figure out that I was coming up on our cheer station again.  I felt really embarrassed at how slowly I was running, so as I came into their view, I perked up a bit  and faked it.

Faking it past our cheer station

Faking it past our cheer station

The last mile or so was downhill…a blessing, but as I checked my watch I knew I had to put a push on to get in under 1:30.  I managed to do it, but felt pretty fuzzy for a while after the finish.  My running nemesis said she saw me finish, but I never saw her.

And end of the story for her…she came in third for our age group in a big race where all of the fastest ladies in the city compete…so there I was right!

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

Hope your weekend was as great as mine?  Did you run any races?

Two 5ks and an A Half Ironman Triathlon

Wow!  I had an awesome weekend!  2 5ks, a half Ironman Triathlon,  and a visit with my sweet in-laws!

My first 5k was on Saturday on the cross country course that my daughter was going to be racing on later.  Super muddy, and super slow time for me.  I hope the 2 were related! On a funny note, I noticed my racing nemesis (who is really a good friend) way behind me.  I thought to myself HA – FINALLY, I’ll get to beat her!  But at the moment she saw me and yelled out my name, I knew I had a target on my back! And yep, she got me coming up a hill turning into the finish straight away.  Her son saw, and was laughing as she passed me! (In a good way).

(one of the girls from our team) Look how muddy the race was!

(one of the girls from our team) Look how muddy the race was!

My second 5k was on Sunday morning.  And I ran it as a bandit. Here’s the story:

I had been chatting with a friend last week who told me that she was training to run a 5k in under 30 minutes.  She told me which race she was going to try for it, and I – without thinking – told her what an awful finish that race had.  I could see immediately that I’d unintentionally scared the crap out of her.  Then I felt really bad.  So to try to make up for being such a butt-head, I offered to pace her.

Cheering on a friend at the end of a 5k (I'm to the left of the cones next to shirtless guy who is one of the HS XC coaches)

Pacing a friend at the end of a 5k (I’m to the left of the cones next to shirtless guy who is one of the HS XC coaches)

She didn’t quite make her goal because the finish (a full, steep, uphill mile) really is awful.  But we had fun.  Plus it was a local race, so I got to see and chat with tons of friends.  And yes, my racing nemesis was there too! I think she won the Masters! (at age 53!!)

And then it was on to the Ironman Half Triathlon in Augusta, GA.  And no, I didn’t participate.  My sister and another friend were competing, so I decided to combine a cheer trip with a quick visit with my in-laws who live nearby.

I am super impressed with both of these ladies for completing this race!  The total distance was 70.3 miles.  1.2 mile swim (1.9k), 56 mile bike (90k), and 13.1 run (21.09k).  And my sister did it in less than 6 hours!!  How awesome is that!

My sister in the run portion

My sister in the run portion

My brother in law and I were spectating next to a couple whose son and daughter were racing.  The parents were SO excited when they spotted their kids – running together!

Their mom waving to Bobby and Amy - brother and sister

Their mom waving to Bobby and Amy – brother and sister

And I saw this funny sign

A funny sign

A funny sign

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

So, overall a pretty awesome weekend.

How was your weekend? Did you do any races?

So….Not a Real Post. But I Do Have a question

I’m a stickler for mileage goals. I truly plan everything around how to get in my weekly mileage. I have a 5k on Saturday, and I’m planning on nothing, Or really light tomorrow (so that I can have fresh legs for the race). So it doesn’t look like I will hit my mileage goal for the week.

So here is my question… I played tennis on Sunday. My friend kept her Garmin on while we played. And it registered 3 miles. Do these 3 miles count towards my mileage? My inclination is no.

Your thoughts?

A Day Well Spent

Well, another weekend, another cross country race!  This weekend, our school was the host.  That meant that all parents were encouraged to volunteer.  There is actually a lot of work and coordination that goes into the organization of a cross country race…from marking the course before the race, to manning the parking lot and collecting parking fees, to coordinating the porta-potties, to arranging for timing, to removing the timing chips at the end of the race.  And I could go on.

Since both my husband and I run, we were selected to be sweepers.

Sweepers

Sweepers

What an AWESOME job!! It was our responsibility to pick up the last runner in each race and escort (or trail) and encourage them to the finish.  There were a total of 8 races, so the sweeper crew took turns.  I wound up sweeping 4 times (jumping in after the first mile in most of the races).

This job is awesome for several reasons:

A) You get to meet some really great kids.  I got to meet 4 kids this time.  I chatted with each one, got to know their names, and a bit about them.  All were new (VERY NEW) to running.  None had ever run 3.1 miles before.  And each one was DETERMINED to finish the race even though they were going to be last by a substantial margin.  Very Admirable.

Cross Country Race Sweeper

Cross Country Race Sweeper

B) As a parent spectating at a cross country race, you normally only get to see portions of the course.  As a sweeper, you get to see and know the whole course!

C) Spectator support.  Everyone was so supportive of the last runners.  Over and over parents and kids yelled out encouragement and compliments as we passed.  Some even yelled out encouragement to me, which was pretty super!

Overall, we spent more than 6 hours at the races, and I can’t think of a better way to have spent our day!  And the funny thing was, our girl didn’t even run this race (due to some calf pain).

Trying a link up again.  Thank you ladies! Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life! Please check out their blogs and link ups!