Thursday, May 31, 2012

North Face Endurance times coming this weekend

You may remember that last year I volunteered at the local North Face endurance race and had loads of fun.  Who would have thought that waking up way before the butt crack of dawn would yield good times..but it did.  So much so that my friends and I are volunteering again! 

Again I will be waking up at 3am to get ready to be at Great Falls by 5 am.  Again we will be manning the busy aid station in the Park offering all of your food needs..chicken broth..soda..pb&j sammies..and much more.  We will be keeping track of the marathon, 50K and the 50 mile runners.  Please let it not be too hot and no rain!! 

This year Dean Karnazes will be running the race. 
Last year I had no idea who this man was.  After reading his book Run! I may have a little bit of crush.  Hope his wife doesn't mind.  If you are looking for a fun running read, pick up the book it is great!  Karno is such a crazy runner.  Who suddenly decides that they need to run all night long?  Not this girl that is for sure.   Dean has also been named "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World " by Time Magazine.  I feel like such a groupie!  I hope I recognize him.  Not that I'm going to tackle him or anything..but it would be exciting to see him. 

Stay tune to see if I recognize Dean on Saturday...and if I wake up on time...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Historic Half,humongous hills and Half Fanatics

The Marine Corps Historic Half is the qualifying race for Megan and I to become Half Fanatics.  It has been a long 3 months of racing, but worth it.  Who would have thought that 20 months ago I would have ran 6 half marathons, especially since the first one was really rough.  I feel much more comfortable running 13.1 than I thought I would.  Now if only I could increase my speed.  I guess that requires following a training plan and speed work..still working on those two things :)

Packet pickup was very non-eventful.  I did not plan on purchasing anything, but I walked out of the place with a pilsner glass, new running sunglasses and a cool new 13.1 magnet.  Megan and I then headed to Old Town Fredericksburg to meet Sandy from run club.  She put together a little meet up with some friends from racing and facebook.  It was my first time eating.  Well eating with racers that I have never met before :)  It was great to meet new runners.  Mark and Alanna came all the way from Florida to run the race.  It was going to be Alanna's first race.  Go Alanna!!

Race morning we head down 95 to Fredericksburg.  It was our friend's Bridgette's first half. She did a great job!  It was a really hilly a.k.a. mountain like race.  I hate hills.  I am pretty sure that hills hate me.  I know you shouldn't hate, but I figure since they hate me, I can hate them.  I think the first hill was mile 2 and there were more to come.  All I could think of is that this hill sucks..and the down hill portion will be an up hill at the end..ugh...

There were great people cheering on the runners.  Although I will say that some of the crowd needed a lesson on cheering.  Some were sitting, looking like they were watching paint dry.  No noises or sound coming from them at all!  Clap people, clap! 

I loved the sign in a neighborhood that said "four more houses and you are at the top of the hill".  Yeah that hill sucked.  It was a lot of running up and down hills.  We did see some interesting people as we were running though.
There were some historically dressed people dancing as if George Washington was arriving any minute.  It was great!  We ran through Historic Fredericksburg and we were running towards the horrid Hospital Hill.  I have read about the horrible Hospital Hill.  I drove Hospital Hill before..but I did not know...
When they put "own it!" on the road on a hill..that is a bad sign.  I tried to run the down hills faster than I normally would to bank some time because I knew the odds were I would walk hospital hill.  I didn't count on all of the other hills that I also encountered, but that is ok.  If there was no hospital hill I think..actually pretty sure I would have PR'd..curses Hospital Hill!  Hospital Hill is right beside guessed it..the hospital.  I believe we may have ran past the ER.  I guess if the Hill gets you, you can stop at the ER with little problems.  No ER trip for me though.  
Hospital Hill killed my legs.  I was spent.  It was in the upper 70's..maybe even 80's.  I was hot and tired and hating what do I see after the monster called Hospital Hill??  Yep another hill.  What?!  Who does that?  I'm thinking it is the Marines little joke on us runners.  One killer hill after another..ugh.  So that last 5K was a lot of walking.  More walking than running. 
I hit the last leg of the race.  My legs were not liking running.  The top of my leg was just killing me.  I needed to stretch it, but I didn't have time or really want to stop.  If I stopped I wasn't moving again. 

So about a half mile from the finish Sue finds me.  She was a runner walking and cheering on the runners.  She sees me and says that I look like I could use some motivation.  To which I muttered yes I can.  She then took my hand and informed me that she was running me into the finish.  She continued to about anything to distract me.  She made me continue to run when I didn't want to run anymore.  Some runs you are reminded of how great the running community is.  Sue didn't have to run me in to the finish but she did.  She left me before the finish with a task of beat the girl in front of me.  She then took my water bottle and met me at the other side.  I beat the girl :)   Couldn't have done it with out my new friend Sue.  Sue is deploying overseas.  I wish her safe travels and good luck in all she does. 

 I'm officially a Half Fanatic..HF # 2430 to be exact.  We ended our road to becoming a Half Fanatic with a tough race.  Nothing too easy for me and Megan.

Here is the took me a bit longer than three minutes to run it :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Less than a week and I'm running with Alison Sweeney

Well I don't really think that I will be running side by side with Alison Sweeney, but you never know.  Maybe she is a slow runner like me :)  Sunday will be the day..the day that I become a Half Fanatic..the last of the 3 spring races.  The Marine Corps Historic Half will be taking place this Sunday.  I am starting to stalk the weather forecasts.  There are two things that make me stalk weather reports..a possible snow day and an upcoming race.  Hoping for some cool, rain free running, but really expecting some hot weather.  Not looking forward to the hills of Fredericksburg, but looking forward to finishing the half fanatic quest.  Can't wait to see what my Half Fanatic number will be!  I attempted to run yesterday and it seems that someone put some lead in my running shoes.  My legs felt so heavy.  I hope that is a good sign for Sunday.  Heavy legs now, light legs race day. :)  I'm going to go for a run today after school.  Might have to head to the gym if it keeps raining.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wonder if George Washington ran at Ferry Farms?

Today was a beautiful day!  The perfect day to run.  I, however, did not run.  I cleaned some and ran some errands and then decided that Riley would probably enjoy a walk and I would like to check out some new potential places to run.  I hate running along the road..I am looking for somewhere to run that is not super hilly and offers some nice scenery along with the option of not getting hit by a car.

We headed out the door and I was looking for a park in Fredericksburg that is a "great place to run and bike" with paved paths.  I headed to old town Fredericksburg and never found the place.  It looked like it was the middle of downtown according to the address.  I guess they do have paved sidewalks, but not really what I had in mind when I read the write up on line. 

So I continued driving and saw a sign for some Battlefields and Ferry Farms (George Washington's boyhood home)  And next to the sign it had Bird Watching trail.  That sounds like it might be a nice place to run.  So Riley and I pulled in to old Georgie's old place.

Gardens..not a good place to run...

Me in the woods..luckily no snakes were spotted..I am not a woodsy person b/c of snake sightings!

Not a lot of places to hike.  Riley and I tried to find some trails. There was one that was a really hilly loop and probably less than a mile..not exactly what I was hoping for.  So George has a nice place to walk, but not so much for running.  I even took off into some fields, but it was  large loop not adding much distance to a run. 

Looks like I may be doing a long run around my neighborhood again tomorrow.  Then maybe I will head back out and try to find those battlefields.  Battlefields are probably pretty well kept up and large I would think.  Why is it so hard to find a great place to run?? 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Eye Spy...Color Me Rad

So this weekend I had a fun 5K.  I headed down to VA Beach to run a family fun 5K with my old college roommate and her family.  We were running the Color Me Rad run! 

I signed up a few months ago to run.  It sounded fun and all three nieces are running it too!  It was their first 5K!  And since there are 3 kids and 3 adults (Me, Kristi and Shawn) I figured our odds of not losing a kid was pretty good. :) 
Saturday me, Shawn and the girls headed over to packet pickup. 

The line was pretty long for packet pick up.  Luckily they had a bouncy house so the girls didn't mind the wait at all!  Finally we picked up our race packet, shirt, and sunglasses and we were off!

The next day we headed to the race an hour early.  We were running at 9:05.  The race is only 15 minutes from Kristi and Shawn's place.  Slowly I was starting to get Hot Chocolate Race flashbacks.  It took us over an hour to park.  People were getting out of their car and heading for the race while the lone driver was left to park.  Umm Hot Chocolate Race??  Kristi then informs me that we are not racing on the road.  There are some trails through the grassy area that we are running.  Which is great..they do not have to worry about keeping roads closed and having runners not able to run b/c they missed their running time. 

We parked the car and headed to the Sports Complex.  Lots and lots of people.  Turns out this is the largest Color Me Rad event so far (although I have no way to know if that is true or the man was just yelling that in the mic for crowd reaction).  We were all ready to run!

We are all so clean!!

We finally head to the start and have to wait in a really long line.  Thankfully they are starting us off in waves and they are waiting a good amount of time between them so we are not going to be all bunched together.  There are lots of kids and parents with kids in strollers and wagons.  A very family friendly event.  We are off and Ali takes off.  I decided that I would run with her and just let her take the lead in what we would run or walk.  For her first 5K..Ali rocked it!  All the girls did great!  It turned out we each ran with a kid.  We headed to the first color station and we got sprayed with some wet color stuff.  They sprayed it from what you would use to spray weed killer over your lawn.  They did not skimp on the color.  I had what looked like black (but later we would realize it was dark blue) all over the side of my face and the side of my body.  Both Ali and I decided that we did not like the spray.  Soon we came to a bunch of people throwing colored cornstarch at us.  Yeah cornstarch is more our style!  I think it was yellow and total there were four color stations that we went through.  It was great! 

There was a bit of a Color Me Rad the last spray station I was sprayed with red.  It got under my sunglasses and I guess in my eye.  It turned my contacts red!  So I ended with one zombie eye!!!  As soon as I got home and took out my contact my eye was fine.  I just have to change my contacts. 

If you are going to run a color run..and you have contacts..wear some goggles...the sunglasses don't always cut it!  It didn't hurt, but it did freak some people out! 

Great day for a run.  The color did come out of most of our clothes.   I have my shoes in the washer right now hoping that they will come clean.  I had to really scrub to get the color off of my skin.  Missed a few spots of extra scrubbing, by tomorrow's shower I should be just like the old Pam :)
Just a little color after the run!
We looked so different at the end of the run!
Hopefully I will get my old shoes back! lol

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kentucky..big fun running the Mini

So it has been almost a week and still no race recap on the Kentucky Derby Mini (a.k.a the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon). 

Megan and I stayed at the Galt House a few blocks from the start and finish of the Kentucky Derby Mini.  Great planning on our parts!  We woke up and I ate my bagel that I brought from home.  This was the only hotel that I can remember that did not have a mini frig.  Luckily I didn't need to refrigerate the pretoasted bagel. 

We walked down to the start.  Megan's parents came to watch us run for the first time!  We had an audience for the Derby!!  We were walking with lots of people trying to find Megan's parents and the bag drop off.

It looked like everyone was being called to their death.  I think the aliens were making us walk towards the ship and we were all going to be goners for sure!

We found Megan's parents pretty easily.  And Bag check was pretty easy too.  Although it was not well ran. Megan said that bag pick up was a nightmare!  One person manning the station and people were just finding their own bags. We said good luck and made our meeting place after the race and we both headed off to our corrals.  I found mine pretty easy.  Now getting to the corral was not as easy.  It was pretty well barricaded..but I found a way in.  There wasn't too much time passing before we were off.  I will say I have never seen so many new runners at a half marathon.  The two ladies behind me were appalled that people were just throwing their clothing on the ground.  The one lady was wondering if people would come back for their clothes.  If I could run and look back at the same time I would have told her that they donate them, but I can run forward and look backwards without dying. 

The first few miles were pretty good.  The weather was great.  I was going to wear my throw away jacket but I didn't need it.  The temps were in the mid fifties...a great day for a run.  When I started running the first few songs on my ipod were playing background music again.  Not sure what is going on there.  It happened during a training run so I just figured it was the headphones.  I bought new headphones and still had the same problem.  How was I going to run 13.1 miles listening to background singers?  Ugh..this is not a good start to my run.  Well a few songs in and I had no problems.  I am thinking that Rihanna did not like the fact that I put her right beside Chris Brown.  But no worries I had my singers back after a few songs. 

No real issues during the first half of the run.  I did later find out if I kept my pace the entire second half I would have PR'd.  GRR  maybe next time I guess.  I did learn that the guy running near me just purchased 25 acres of land for $25,000.  Not sure where it was located, but he needed to take the girl he was running with there to show her.  I love listening to some other peoples conversations as I run!

I was running in my Athletica running skirt.  I had previously ran 5-6 miles in it.  It is a great running skirt for 5-6 miles!  7 or more miles however, not so good.  This is my first half marathon that I had to stop at the medic.  The skirt started to slowly kill me around mile 8.  The Chafing was horrible!  I had on Body Glide, but by mile 8 I'm not sure how much glide I had left.  My skirt is just cutting into my legs and promoting the wonderful chafing that I was starting to feel.  Around mile 8 I was scanning the crowd for a mom with a big purse..she might have some hand lotion that I could beg for.  No mom with big purse was seen.  I then started scanning the area for marathoners with packs that may contain something to help me luck there.  So I suffered through.  We head through Church HIll Downs.  Very cool to run through Church Hill Downs.  I did miss the horses practicing on the practice track..I did see the ambulance calling my name.  I ran over and asked if they had any Vaseline..none..lotion?..still negative.  Looking sad I started to leave when the ambulance man asked if lubricant would work..yes it will!  Thanks!  I rubbed it all over my thighs and was off!  I was feeling much better.  I pulled over around mile 10 or 11 to another medic tent to lube up again.  I should be fine until the end now! 

The run was great!  I felt the best I have at the end.  I walked the least amount that I have walked so far!  So improvement is in the air! 

After the race Megan found me at our meeting place.  We got our beer and headed off for some french toast (I guess that is my go to after half marathon food choice).  We found Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  If you are ever in Louisville, you must eat here!  It was a great find! 

It was great place to eat.  Megan's parents left for Cincinnati after lunch and we headed back to the hotel to shower and decide on what to do for the rest of the night.  We decided to head out and take a walk down Bardstown Rd.  We ended up eating at a place that her cousin recommended and then afterwards we were forced to wait out a really bad storm at Famous Homemade Ice cream and Pie...I was forced to eat some Derby Pie...ah the hardships!
Derby Pie= chocolate chips and bourbon..can you ask for better?
After the rain let up we headed back to the car and back at the hotel.  We were tired..we were going to get up early to head back to VA.  Thanks Kentucky!  Great race and great food!