Monday, December 19, 2011

Yes, I am alive!

It's been almost 1 month exact since my last update.  Not a whole lot has been going on.  I am still running as much as I can.  lately its only be about 30 miles a week, including a weekend long run.  I still have not told very many people about the baby either.  But, that will all change Christmas eve when we announce it at our big family party.  I also plan on finally telling our closest friends when we see them for Christmas and NYE.  It's been so hard keeping it a secret.  I can't wait to share our excitement with everyone. 

I do not have any races on the calendar until February.  I am running an organized event on the 31st out on the Poto trail. That will be a great way to kick off NYE morning.  I also start Boston marathon training January 1st.  So expect to start seeing more updates!

Please stick around.  I plan to make this blog more exciting come the first of the year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Detroit Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving morning was my 4th year running the Detroit Turkey Trot.  The event offers three distances; 1 mile aka Mashed Potato Mile, 5K aka Stuffing Strut and 10K aka Turkey Trot.  I have ran the 10K each of the 4 years I've registered. 

I wasn't feeling this race at all that morning.  I was cold, I knew I would be slow and had kind of wish I had just stayed in bed.  This is unlike me.  I love races.  Lately my pace has been so slow that it has really done a number on my confidence with running.  I had registered to start in the first wave but opted to go with the 2nd.  Big mistake.  Every year I am weaving in and out of people, dodging walkers and this was no different!  I kept reminding myself that I didn't care about my time, but my legs felt fresh and strong. 

Around 3 miles in I caught up to one of my running buddies from the YMCA.  We ran the last half together.  At the end, my Garmin read 6.37 miles, 48:27 with a 7:37 pace.  Not my fastest 10K but definitely one of the fastest runs I have had since being pregnant.  Maybe those slow weekly runs are what I need to get a fast race in!

Jeff (one of my running friends) & I after the 10K, sporting our other friends running team shirts.

Official Results:
Finish Time: 48:23
Pace: 7:47 (my Garmin read 6.37 miles with a 7:37 pace)
AG Place: 27/563

Monday, November 21, 2011

Missing in Action?

It has been a month since my last update.  A lot has been going on since the Detroit marathon.  I have not ran any races but I am staying consistant with running about 30 miles per week, including a long run of 10 miles on the weekends.  I've also added a day of full body strength training that kicks my butt.  I Spend 2 + hours with the weights on Sundays and have now made Mondays my rest days.  I am so sore. 

I've also gained 4 pounds since the marathon. I've got a good excuse though.

I found out 5 days after the Detroit marathon that I am pregnant.  Not only was I pregnant for the Detroit marathon but I was pregnant for Dance with Dirt 50K! 

As of today, I am 11 weeks & 2 days with a due date of June 9, 2012.  This definitely affects my future race plans but I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life.  I've only told my parents so far.   Everyone else will find out around Christmas time and I am keeping it off facebook as long as I can!  I have quite a few family and friends I want to tell personally before they go reading it on a social networking site!  Who would have thought that my son would turning 14 in January and having a new baby sister or brother a few short months later. 

Recently I have noticed that my pace has slowed.  It's ok though. I am running for two.  I am going to continue with my race plans and continue to train for Boston.  My training will just be altered to fit the slower paces and to make sure I do not harm the baby.  I've done a lot of research on women who run marathons pregnant, specifically Boston.  In 2002, April Nolan was 46 years old and 32 weeks pregnant.  She finished the Boston marathon in 6:46.  not an official Boston finishing time, but she did receive 2 medals when she crossed the finish line; one for her and one for her baby.  If I can complete the course 32 weeks pregnant in 6 hours, it will require me to maitain an average pace of 13:45.  I think that is totally doable.  So far my doctor is supportive of my running.  I will continue to talk to him about it at each appointment.   My dad is very supportive and frequently reminds me that I need to listen to my doctor and my body.  If I can't run Boston, it won't be the end of the world.  I'll work hard to BQ again.  Ask me today though and I think I can do it.  But we will see how I feel come April 16, 2012.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back to the grind!

6 easy miles on the treadmill at 5am this morning.  First run since the marathon and I felt great.  Don't get me wrong, my slow pace felt fast, but I did not have any aches or pains.  What a great way to kick off my birthday!  I made sure to spend a good 15-20 minutes rolling around on the foam roller after I finished my run.

While I was on the treadmill, I chatted with one of the guys from the Y who was running next to me.   It just so happens to be the same person I ran with during most of the marathon.  Anyway, we were discussing the Rock CF Half Marathon and he said his wife signed up with him.  I also found out one of my other running buddies and his girlfriend signed up as well.  I planned on running this but thought about how great it would be if my husband would run it too.  Chris said he wanted to try a half marathon one day, so why not make it the Rock CF half?  I called him as soon as I left the gym. I told him my Y running friends and their spouses are running it and how I'd like him to run it too.  He agreed!  I am totally pumped!  It will be his first half marathon and I am so excited to help him train.  I made sure to register us both as soon as I got to work this morning.  If you are thinking about running this, I have a $5 off coupon code.  Just let me know if you'd like it. 


If you like free stuff as much as I do, head over to Tips 4 Running and enter to win a pair Saucony shoes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Detroit Marathon results and review + expo and pre-marathon dinner

The Short:

-great weather/morning for a run!
-had so much fun carrying my camera on the first half of the course.
-finished in 3:45:30, not a PR but that wasn't the point.
-legs are sore, but I am walking just fine.

The long:

The marathon festivities actually start on Friday when I headed to downtown Detroit for packet pick/marathon expo.  I found a close parking structure only charging $5, pulled in and was inside the expo 20 minutes after it opened (3pm was opening).  Wow!  The place was already so packed!  I thought I was being all smooth and going early to beat the crowd.  Guess I wasn't the only one with this idea.  I made my way back to the packet pick up, gave them my bib number, showed my passport and had my stuff in hand.  I slowly made my way back out, stopping at the various vendors.  I ended up buying some Gu and a pair of throw away gloves.  I was ready to head home, but Jeff (the guy from my gym that I was to pace on Sunday) called and wanted me to wait to get a picture with him under the countdown clock.  I paced around the official merchandise booth for a bit until he arrived.  We took our picture and I was on my way home.
Here with Jeff & his friend Marisa who was walking her first half marathon.

Saturday we had dinner reservation for about 20 runners & their spouses/significant others/family members/etc... We had dinner at Pia's, an Italian restaurant.  Perfect for those looking to "carb load".  Up until Saturday, I really wasn't feeling this marathon.  But after having dinner and talking race strategy with the other runners, I was really pumped and ready to tackle another 26.2.  I was home around 7:45pm, laid out all my race gear and climbed in bed around 8:30pm.  I also made sure the camera battery was charged. I was going to do something at this race that I have never done in the past. I was going to carry my camera for the first half of the marathon.

Here are a couple photos from dinner.

All the marathoners and half marathoners in our shirts at dinner

Sunday; Race Day!

The alarm went off at 4:30am.  I had 50 minutes to brush my teeth, make coffee, eat a bagel, get dressed and be ready for Jeff to pick me up.  We met the rest of the group at the YMCA and caravanned down to Detroit.   We were lucky enough to get parking at the Compuwear building.  We were able to stay inside the building using their restrooms and keep warm until we needed to make our way to the corrals.  

In the compuwear building before the race

Around 6:30am, it was time to make our way to the corrals.  We dropped a few off at their corral while the rest of us made our way to corral C.  We stripped off the throw away clothing and awaited for our wave to start. 

waiting for the horn to blow for our wave

The horn blew and we were off!  I love wave starts.  The congestion experienced in the past was virtually non-existent!  It was nice and spread out when we approached the Ambassador bridge that takes us over the Detroit river and into Canada.  In years past, it's been so congested that you basically came to a crawl.  No fun.  But not this year. 

running the approach to the bridge

Had it been a clear day, you can usually catch a beautiful sunrise when running the bridge.  I actually love this portion of the race.  I love the uphill, reaching the top and looking left to the Detroit sky line and then the awesome downhill!  You cross into Canada and are greeted by some great crowd supporters!  We run along the Detroit river with a great view of the Detroit sky line. 

Rick and I running along the Detroit river on the Canadian side.  You can see the Ren Cen in the distance.
5 mile mark along the Canadian side of the course

All thumbs up while running in Canada

this is what a picture looks like while running and trying to capture a photo of Detroit

The back to the US is by making a turn and heading to the famous "under water mile" where you run through the tunnel that is below the Detroit river connecting Detroit to Canada.  The tunnel and be very warm and smell like exhaust.  I didn't find it as stinky this year as I have in years past.  I did shed my gloves in the tunnel though.  I got warm!

the sign as you begin the decent into the tunnel

enter the tunnel

Jeff & Rick running in the tunnel

running the under water mile!

leaving Canada and entering the United States!

We come out of the tunnel and are greeted by a ton of cheering spectators.  It's also a great feeling when the cool air hits your face after getting quite warm in the tunnel!!

out of the tunnel and running where cars would stop for customs

making the climb/turn to Jefferson Ave in Detroit after the tunnel

Once we made the turn on to Jefferson back in Detroit I was all eyes on the crowd.  I knew my dad would be in the area.  I heard "stephanie" and spotted him right away.  I ran over, gave him a quick kiss & hug and continued on my way.  We ran past Cobo Hall (where the expo took place) and Joe Louis Arena, where our beloved Red Wings play.

blurry pic of Cobo Hall

passing Joe Louis Arena

We kept running (obviously) and were still feeling great!  We had a good pace going and knew it would soon be time to ditch the camera.  I was going to pass it off to Jeff's wife, Kristin, around the 11 or 12 mile mark. 

trying to get a picture of the old train station.  the last picture I took before handing off the camera.

Jeff, Rick and I around the 11 or 12 mile mark, getting ready to hand off the camera.

We ran through Mexican town where they had a mariachi band.  Of course, we past them right after I got rid of my camera so no picture.  Bummer.  We also run through Corktown which has some really unique houses.  Again, no camera.  There is very popular race in Corktown held every year the day of the St Patrick's Day parade.  Anyway, after Corktown we run down Layfayette passing two famous coney island; Lafayette and American, turn left and we make the split from the half marathon field.  As they head towards the finish, we proceed on to the 2nd portion of our race. 

I ended up seeing my dad just past the split.  We ran by and gave him a high five.  This part of the course can be a bit boring.  You run straight for a few miles and the crowd support dissipates.  Around mile 15 my hip was starting to bother me and I had also realized Rick was no long behind us.  I knew we would see Kristin around mile 17 so I was going to remove my fuel belt to hand off to her to help eleviate the pressure on my hip.  What a relief that was! 

It was also around mile 16-17 that Jeff really began to struggle.   I kept talking to him, trying to get him to focus more on his form and to not think of the aches and pains. He kept telling me to go on without him.  He said "you can make a 3:35 if you just go on without me".  I told him that was not the point of this race.  I signed up to pace him and that is what I was going to do.  Around mile 18 he needed to stop and walk a couple times.  He'd walk for a few seconds and I would try to encourage him to shuffle on.  We were coming to Belle Isle, a place most dread, and I wanted to make sure he would be ok.  We started up the bridge to Belle Isle and I turned to talk to him and he was gone.  I looked a few times but didn't see him. 

I had to make a decision.  Keep running or stop and wait. 

I did the selfish thing and went on without him.   The last 6.2 miles clicked on by.  I was feeling quite a bit of soreness in my left hip and down through the back of the leg. But it was nothing that I could handle.  I just knew I'd have to back off the pace a bit.  No hitting a wall for me.  Making the turn toward the 26 mile mark and then turning to the finish is the best feeling in the world.  I can't keep the smile off my face.  People are lining both sides of the streets cheering.  It's an amazing feeling.  I saw my dad yet again just as I approached the finish line.  After I crossed, there was my mom and step dad, who were start line officials that morning.

My legs really started to cramp up after I finished.  So bad that I almost felt like I would be sick.  I had my mom rub my legs while I chugged a chocolate milk.   I looked to my dad and said "I have to stick to trail ultras because marathons hurt too much".  I also kept my sight on the finish line waiting for Jeff & Rick to finish.  Finally at the 4:02 mark, they both came across the finish line.  And both were feeling very rough.  Rick ended up with a PR and Jeff missed his 3:45 mark by 17 minutes.  For all the walking Jeff did and the fact that 4:02:xx was still faster than his slowest marathon, he should be proud. 

Could I have ran a 3:35? maybe.  But I would not have had the experience that I had.  I was socilaizing with many runners, snapping pictures (took 47 in total) and didn't have the stress of hitting a certain pace/finish time.  I had so much fun!  Just how a marathon should be.

Official Results:
Time: 3:45:30
Pace: 8:37
Underwater mile pace: 8:16
Age Group place: 27/240

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 days and 18 hours....

Until I run my 4th marathon/2nd marathon for 2011 (or 5th marathon/3rd for 2011 if I count my ultra from last month). 

I am going into this race without expecting a whole heck of a lot.  My goal is to run a 3:40-3:45, as I am running with a friend from our local YMCA and that is his goal and would give him a PR.  I really hope that I start to feel better about this event.  As of today, I am not feeling ready.  My left piriformis has been bothering me and I have not gotten good sleep in the past 2 days.  It's already Wednesday and I am in the red when it comes to hours of sleep per night.  I am going to lay down tonight around 8pm with hopes of catching up.  It doesn't help that I spent Monday tailgating and attending the Monday night football game.  It threw off my schedule and isn't the best way to prepare for a marathon!

I am taking a few hours personal time on Friday to go to the expo since it opens at 3pm.  Last year they ran out of women's size small shirts.  I didn't pay $90 to have to wait 2 months for my race shirt.  :-)  I also want to pick up a fun headband or two and any thing else that may peak my interest. 

Saturday we have a group of roughly 20 going to dinner at Pia's at 5pm.  Should be a fun meal considering that we are all either running in the event or will be spectating the event.  And speaking of spectating, my dad is coming to watch me for the first time ever!! He's never spectated a race, he usually runs them so I am pretty excited to see him out on the course. 

My mom and step father are working the start line and my aunt is working the finish.  Sunday is turning out to be one big family event! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chicago Marathon Weekend

The running of the Chicago marathon is this weekend.   I want to give a quick shout out and wish "good luck" to a couple bloggers; Christine at flyrunner who is Ms. Speedy runner and PR-ed in Chicago last year in the 90 degree weather.  Who does that?   and Jessie at live-love-run. Jessie is running her first marathon so please make sure to check out her blog and wish her the best! 

And for your viewing/reading pleasure, my update after I ran Chicago in 2010.  Click here if you dare. It wasn't pretty.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mail Call

Although I had already received my confirmation email, it was so exciting to find this in my mailbox Monday afternoon. 

It feels more official now!  :-) 

Monday, October 3, 2011

a couple DWD photos

Mike, myself and my dad at the 22 mile aide station/bag drop.  After changing our wet shoes, socks and shirts.

All smiles as we run to the finish line!  My first ultra!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm an ultra-marathoner! DWD Review & Reults!

The Short: 

AMAZING!  One of the most fun I have had in a race.  Ran 50K/31 miles through trails, woods, water, vines, picker bushes, you name it.  I have cuts up and down my legs to show for it.  I walked away with another awesome racing experience as well as a 3rd place finish in my age group and 5th female overall!  Next year I fully intend on doing the Dances with Dirt 50 miler.

The Long:

Dances with Dirt Hell, MI - want to know more?  click here or here. 

Our day started bright and early at 4am.  Dad & I got dressed, brushed our teeth, loaded up our gear, grabbed a bagel and headed out the door by 4:30am.  We stopped at Mc D's for some caffeine (coffee w/ cream) and hit the highway.  I was obsessing over the weather. They were calling for rain, but when I checked it that morning, it changed!  It was going to be dry. 

We arrived to Halfmoon Lake at about 5:15am.  This gave us 1 hour to park, use the the port-o-potty a couple times, find my dad's friend Mike and get to the start line.  The three of us planned to run this thing together!  Since sunrise was not until 7am meaning the first 5.3 miles will be ran in the dark.  It was hard running through the woods on a technical trail with only a headlamp.  Lucky for me, my dad and Mike were in front of me and would yell out things like "rocks", "roots", "step up", "step down" so I knew what to watch for.  At the first aide station (water and Gatorade only) we were able to drop our headlamps and continue on.  We ran another 4.95 miles to Hell Creek Ranch to the first fully stocked aide station.  We're talking coca cola, sprite, water, Gatorade, oreos, fig newtons, pringles, Gu, bananas, orange, boiled potatoes, salt, etc... I had a volunteer fill up my fuel belt bottles and I ate 1 fig newton.  I also grabbed an espresso Gu.  I knew I would need the caffeine later on.  The only thing lacking were port-o-potties.  They had one, so we stopped for about 5-10 minutes while my dad waited in line.   

We continued on for another 4.75 miles.  This had one of the roughest stretches, flat ground.  Seriously.  When you get off the trail on to flat ground, you start to think of all your aches and pains. My hip hurt, my foot hurt, I had to pee...  We came up to a fluids only aide station and I ducked behind a volunteers car to relieve myself.  I filled up my water bottle and off we went. 

This next leg is where we experienced the famous "butt slide" and "stripper pole".  The butt slide is exactly what it means.  A dirt path so steep you can't help but almost sit down and butt slide to the bottom.  You run a bit through the woods and come to the "stripper pole".  Basically you scale the side of a dirt cliff in the middle of the woods.  Crazy!!  I found a video someone made on you tube.  You can check it out here. 

We ended up going through not 1, not 2 but 3 river crossing and then had to make our way against current for roughly a 1/4 mile in a river to the 22 mile point.  Here is a video from youtube of one of the river crossings and here is a short video of heading up stream. We climb out of the river at the 22 mile point.  We had our drop bags at this location so we were able to change out of our wet gear and fuel up.  We took a good 10 minutes driving off our feet, changing out shirts, shoes & socks and grabbing a few snacks off the aide station table.  I stuck a Gu in my fuel belt, drank a shot of coca cola and had a handful of trail mix before we headed out for our final 9 miles.  The last aide station was 2.90 miles into our final 9.  I stopped at the port-o-potty, ate an Oreo (my first oreo in about 10 years!), sipped one some sprite and head out to a familiar trail, the Poto!  We run this trail often so I assume my final 6 mile leg would be smooth sailing.  Not so much.  I was really starting to feel sluggish.  I kept telling myself to correct my posture and watching my footing.  About 2 miles in, I figured I better take a Gu.  Again, I took one with caffeine.  I wanted to make sure I could make it through these last 4 miles without totally crashing.  I pushed on, thought of "pick me up" songs while frequently reminding myself to correct my posture and watch my footing.  We came off the trail, crossed a road and headed into the parking lot of Halfmoon Lake towards the finish.  All three of us picked up the pace and cruised to the finish line.  Mike placed 1st in his age group earning him a DWD hat and DWD camp chair. My dad placed 2nd in his age group earning him a DWD camp chair and I placed 3rd in my age group earning me a DWD mug (also placed 5th female overall).  Our official time was 6:16:56. 

What an experience.  Completely different from road racing.  I loved it and can't wait to run more trail races in the future.  I am really developing a love for distance running and trails.  I will be running this event again, but next year I am moving up to the 50 mile!!

Once the professional pictures are available, I will make certain to share them with you all.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dances with Dirt pre-race logistics

2 more days until my first 50K.  And not just any 50K, Dances with Dirt Extreme trail 50K!  They also have a 50 mile race and a 100 mile relay race.  My dad has done the 100 mile relay so at least I will be with someone who knows what to expect.  If you are curious what the course is like and what we will encounter, click here. 

Since this is a trail event, we must have a headlamp or flash light at the start.  Our start time is 6:15am, which calls for us to be out the door by 4:30am.  I have decided to stay the night at my dad's the night before for various reasons.  One of them being that I do not have to drive.  Ha. Joking. Maybe.  It really just makes it easier on us both.  We will consolidate our drop bag so instead of each having one, we will pack our stuff in one larger duffel bag.  We will need extra shoes, socks, shorts, gels, body glide, ivy block, etc...  I laminated us 2 maps; one to carry with us and one to keep in our drop bag in case the other gets ruined.  I am hoping we won't need to use them though! 

We have 2 options of checking in prior to the event; either the night before or the morning of.  I will be going to the start area Friday evening to turn in our signed waivers and to pick up our race packet.  It will make it easier on us come the morning of the event.  We've already decided on our pre-race dinner and breakfast; pizza Friday night and bagels w/ coffee Saturday morning. 

I hope I am ready for this.  At this point, I really have no choice.  I can't wait to be able to wear one of those famous DWD shirts! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm in!

Dear Stephanie,

This is to notify you that your entry into the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, 2012 has been accepted.

Oh my gosh, I am so excited!  I want to jump up and down and cry all at once.  Not only that, but my dad got in too. 

I will definitely have more (as stated by my dad) piss and vinegar in my step tomorrow when out doing our last trail training run for DWD on the 24th!!! 

How many people can say they run with their parent, let alone qualified for Boston and will be running Boston with them as well?

Today is a good day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thank you for submitting an entry to the 116th B.A.A. Boston Marathon.

I pulled the trigger as soon as 10am hit.  I submitted mine and my dad's registration for the Boston Marathon.   According to what I read on the B.A.A.'s face book page, I still have to wait until Friday morning to get the 2nd email with my confirmation that I am in. 

Ah!!  This waiting game is so nerve-wracking!

Friday, September 9, 2011

August Mileage

Last night I decided to sit down and tally up my mileage for August. I wanted to post my "August Stats".  I didn't realize how devastated I would be when I saw the grand total for August.

199.86 miles

Only .14 miles away from 200 miles for the month.

I know 199.86 is a lot of miles, but being so close to 200 kills me.  I wish I had kept track better for the month because then I would have made sure to run that extra .14.   


On another note, last year I ran a total of 1,383and some change.  This year I am already at 1350 miles and it's only early September.  Can I reach 2,000 miles for the year?  I will most certainly try!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pushed it at the Poto

Taken from Runner's World: Potawatomi Trail
Pinckney, Michigan
This 17.5-mile mostly single-track loop in the Pinckney State Recreation Area, 20 minutes northwest of Ann Arbor, twists and turns around kettle lakes and bogs and undulates between lush forested lowlands and along the high crests of glacial-formed ridges. Known locally as the "Poto," the hard-packed dirt trail has plenty of technical terrain features, including several creek crossings, steep climbs and descents, and many sections with gnarly roots. Not surprisingly, the Potawatomi plays host to some of the best trail races in the Midwest, ranging from 5 miles to a full marathon.


Saturday morning my dad, his friend Dave and myself headed out to Pinckney, MI to run the Poto.  My dad and I are training for DWD Ultra 50K and Dave is part of the 100 mile relay team.  We need to get in as many training runs as possible out on these butt kicking trails.  We have less than 4 weeks until the event. Time to really get cracking here!

It turned out to be a perfect morning to run.  It was cool, light breeze with some sun and clouds.  My dad wasn't feeling 100% so he was unsure how long he would last.  Well, I think he discovered the best remedy for a cold.  Run for close to 3 hours and 40 minutes!  Yep.  We ran the trails for just over 3.5 hours.  It was awesome!  I felt great almost the entire time, other than being stung/bit by something in the ear.  We all got a bit tired towards the end, but that is to be expected when running the terrain we were on and for that length of time.  Afterwards we walked over to Silver Lake to soak our legs.  Taking a dip in a cool lake after a sweaty run is so refreshing! 

This coming weekend we are changing up the terrain and heading to flatter trails.  After having 3 weekends in a row of killer hills, I could use the break.  We are going to run in Toledo at Oak Openings.  It will be nice to have the softer ground under foot, yet still be able to run a faster pace.

I am taking 2 days off from running (took Sunday off and will take Monday off too).  My legs are sore so I'd rather make sure they recover before pushing it.  I've got a two-a-day lined up for Tuesday and Wednesday, easy 6-8 mile run Thursday, yoga Friday, long run/trail run Saturday and strength training/cross training on Sunday.  I have tried to follow a specific training program, but lately I've been "winging" it.  It's sort of difficult to find a training program to prepare you for 6.5 - 7 grueling hours of mud, hills, rocks, roots, water, etc...  I am getting really excited for this event though.  I am ready to take on the challenge and earn the right to wear a DWD shirt!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Somerset Stampede race results and review - The Cliff Notes Version

I am going to keep this short and sweet.

Half marathon + 4.20 miles.  ran 2 miles w/u, 13.1 race and a 2.10 mile c/d.

For me, this race was awful.  The hardest I have had in a long time.  I lost focus early on and could never regain it.  The hills kicked my butt, the sun annoyed me, my hip was sore, etc...  I didn't expect it to be this hard after coming off the Run thru Hell.  I had a successful race on an extremely hilly course, so why would this race be any different?  Well it was.  My pace was all over the place, I struggled up the hills and couldn't wait for it to be over.

I ended up running my slowest half marathon (not including trail half's) in 3 years!!!  Not only that, I ran this course 4 minutes slower then last year.  WTF?!  Since this is such a small race I snagged first in my age group with a finish time of 1:44:24, 7:58 pace.  Clearly this was not my day.  I ran my marathon pace for this half and felt awful the entire time.  Oh well, you can't be 100% all of the time.  I just chalk it up to being a good hill training run for Dances with Dirt. 

Official Results:
Finish Time: 1:44:24
Pace: 7:58
AG Place: 1/10

Friday, August 19, 2011

Half Marathon and Nascar weekend!

I have another half marathon this weekend.  This will be my 3rd year running the Somerset Stampede.  It's a small and inexpensive race (only $20!) that offers two distances; a half marathon and a 5K.  The course is made up of challenging hills out in the country, dirt roads, a horse trail and finishes at the Somerset Beach Campground.  My current PR for this course is 1:40:02.  My goal is to break 1:40:02 but I would be thrilled if I could come out with an overall half PR by breaking 1:37.

It just so happens that this race fell on the same weekend of the Nascar race out at MIS (Michigan International Speedway).  We attend every Nascar race at MIS (June & August).  It's nice being able to enjoy the lake that my in-law's live on yet being within 12 miles of the race track.  I am off work Monday so I can get in another hilly 6-8 mile run before heading home. 

Fun & training going hand in hand. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Run thru Hell results and review

After a 3 year hiatus, my uncle's race was back on!  In the past, the crowd has topped off near 1500-1800 runners total between the wienie run (4.8 miles) and 10 mile race.  This year it just reached 1,000.  I am hoping that the word will get out that the Run thru Hell is back and we can double that total next year!

I got to the race location 2 hours before the start.  I had assumed I would need to help set up or hand out registration packets.  They didn't need me to do a thing.  I was there to be food for the humming bird sized mosquitoes though.  Holy moly, these things were awful!  I was getting eaten alive.  I tried to hard not to use insect repellent, but finally broke down and sprayed myself from the waist down.  so instead, they bit my face.  I had 3 very large welts on my forehead and side of my face.  Guess that is what happens on a damp morning out in the country! 

3 runners from my gym were running this race as well.  We met up at the start line, waited for the gun to sound and off we went.  I took off on my own.  I may run with them during the week, but I like to race alone.  My goal was to finish in 1:15, which would be a 7:30 pace.  This course sticks to mostly dirt and gravel roads with lots and lots of hills.  Definitely a great work out!  I kept leap frogging this younger woman.  She would kick my ass on the up hill but I passed her every time on the down hill and flat ground.  About 2 miles left to go, she passed me one last time and I never did catch her.  I tried.  Afterwards I thanked her for the push.  I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:17:05 with a 7:43 pace.  Good enough for a 3rd place finish in my age group but 2 minutes off my goal.  I looked up the results of the woman I ran with and she finished in 1:17:10.  So although I had not caught her in the end, I ran the course 5 seconds faster.  Feels good to know this 32 (almost 33) year old body can take on a young woman who is 23 years old! 

Official Results;
Time; 1:17:05
Pace; 7:43
AG place; 3rd/22

Monday, August 8, 2011

Training, races and other ramblings

I am going to apologize in advance at how "all over the map" this post will be!

I have an ultra marathon in less than 7 weeks.  Am I ready?  Not at all.  I am following Hal Higdon's intermediate I marathon training since I am running the Detroit Marathon in less than 10 weeks but have altered the program to include my races as well as trail running.  I really need to get some distance running done on the trails or I will never survive Dances with Dirt!   The longest I have run on the trail is 13 miles.  That won't cut it!!

I had a long run of 15 miles this past weekend.  My goal was to force myself to run 30-60 seconds per mile slower than my marathon goal pace.  I ended up running an 8:00 pace.  Not only did I run much faster than I intended, but I did it in the sunshine and humidity.  As much as I know long runs should be runner slower, I really needed this.  I've felt so sluggish over the past few weeks so this was definitely the boost of confidence I needed.

Here are my splits for my 15 mile run I did on Sunday on Grosse Ile. 

Mile 1:    8:05
Mile 2:    7:52
Mile 3:    8:00
Mile 4:    8:01
Mile 5:    7:53
Mile 6:    7:54
Mile 7:    7:50
Mile 8:    8:08
Mile 9:    8:01
Mile 10:  8:06
Mile 11:  8:26
Mile 12:  7:51
Mile 13:  7:57
Mile 14:  8:05
Mile 15:  8:08
Mile .01: 7:30

I've been running with a group from the YMCA.  Last week I ran with one of the runners only twice and spent the rest of the time on my own.  It definitely made me realize how I miss running alone.  I was always a solo runner, unless I ran with my dad.  I recently began running with a group at the gym every morning at 5am.  As much as I enjoy the company, I need to get out on my own too!  I was able to get a great speed work out in (on the treadmill), had a fast long run and even hit the track.  Now, to break it to the group that I just can't run with them every day. 
I have a 10 mile race this weekend.  I am really looking forward to this race.  The course is quite hilly and I could use a good hill work out.  I have decided to use this as a training run and not race it.  Wish me luck on sticking to that goal!  I will be arriving to the location bright and early that morning to help out.  It's my uncle's race and he can use the assistance.  My dad is arriving at 4am to set up all the water stops on the 4.8 and 10 mile courses.  I really hope this race has a great turn out.  In years past, prior to the 3 year hiatus, they had close to 1300 runners.  From what I have heard, there are only 300 registered.  :-(  
Another thing that has been on my mind a ton lately are shoes.  I love my Brooks Adrenaline's but I need something lighter in weight for speed work and tempo runs.  I really want to try these from the Brooks PureProject line, but they do not come out until October.  I also like the look of the Saucony Mirage and Saucony Kinvara.  Running Warehouse also has Nike Free 3.0 for $64.88 and I can use a code to get an additional 10% off.  What to do, what to do.  I know the simple answer.  Head up to Running Fit and see what they suggest!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red Eye Relay Photos

You can read my review and results here.

The course elevation chart
Here are a few photos I took while out on the course.  As you can tell, once darkness fell, the camera was the least of my priority!  I was just happy to get a few shots so you can see how dark it truly was.  I will add the photos from the Red Eye site once they are uploaded.

Our Team Photo

 Starting the relay

                                                      Jaclyn and our "crew chief" Larry

Jason coming into the exchange point from his first leg

Jason & Jaclyn making the exchange

Jaclyn finishing an extremely hot 6 miles!

Jaclyn & Dan handing off at the exchange point

                                          Taking a time out to pose by one of the course signs

Jaclyn & I

Dan & I handing off at the exchange point.  A leg of down hills, gun shots and a "meth house"! ha ha!

Safety first!  Jaclyn suited up for her first leg in the darkness

Jason and Jaclyn at the exchange point, about 12:15am

Jaclyn and Dan exchanging on the track, the start of our 2nd 50 miles!

                                                                        Dan waiting to run

Dan running his final leg at 7:15am

Our team finishing on the IU track