Saturday, December 30, 2006

End of Year Recap

This seems to be the popular bloggy thing to 5 races, PB, PR's etc of 2006.

Mine are pretty easy. I started 2006 with an injury. Due to overtraining, I strained my IT Band. It hurt to even walk on it, so there was no question of ignoring the doctor's orders. That, with some non-running health issues, led me to have more doctor appointments in January 06 than I have had in five years!

I worked very hard the first quarter of 2006 to stay motivated. I weight trained, after my pool workouts, since I could not do the elliptical or the bike. I was very concerned about gaining weight without all my cardio. I read books on training, started reading blogs about training, and listening to podcasts. This was all just to keep me going.
The doctor cleared me in late February to run. I think that first mile jog on the treadmill, at the gym, was just as rewarding as that first mile I ran a few years ago!
Then came the slogging. I had no endurance. I was whipped after 3 or 4 mile runs. So disheartening!! I remembered the "good old days" where I would blithely respond to the question, "oh I'm going to go run 10 or 14 or 16 or so miles.."

But you just keep at it. You keep building. Even with being dead tired after 4 miles, at least I was out there running!! The injury and the time off were still very much in my head. In fact, they still are. I had just, in December 2005, ran my first 50K. I had discovered trail running and how much I loved it. I had a passion for something and then found I could not do it!! To this day it makes me appreciate my health. No matter how bad a run is, at least I am out there doing the run, and having the abilitiy to run.

Mohican Run

I decided late on Friday to head over to Mohican since the weather was going to be nice. Since I started my run at 8 am, it was still in the 20's at this time! By the end of my run, it had warmed up quite a bit. Well, I was fine, as usual, once I ran a 1/2 mile and warmed up.
I ran the portion of the course which is a big tourist attraction in the area, Lyons Fall. It's an easy mile hike to the first waterfall, then a bit of a climb to the second. This is a 4 mile loop during the Mohican 100; I played tourist today and only ran 1/2 of it and took some pictures.
I returned to my vehicle, refilled the water bottle, and started out on the "orange loop" of the course. This starts out by going up a huge steep hill. Yep, hill just as steep as I remember it.
The mountain bikers have been extending their trails in the area. I followed a new trail that they have cleared on one portion of the trail. Then the Mo course totally is on the mountain bike trail for about 8 or 9 miles. I was wearing a blaze orange vest, due to it still being gun season for deer here in Ohio, and I was keeping an eye out for the bikers, since I had passed a bunch of them at their trailhead.
It was a great run, as usual. I had long conversations with myself, wrote total blog entries, made 'to do' list, and marvelled at the contours of the countryside. The orange loop seemed a little strange to me, even as much as I have run it; the different season made it seem like a different trail. It was fun to actually see ridgelines and roads that normally are masked by the lush greenness.
I didn't encounter any bikers until about three miles from the trailhead, then there were 10 or 12 out. I kept wondering if there were any female mountain bikers out there, and the last biker I saw was female! We were all courteous to each other, I stepped off the trail for them, reasoning it was easier for me to stop then them.
After the mountain bike trail, it's another 2.5 miles back to the covered bridge. I had aid stashed here at the biker trailhead. I drank my first Redbull- it was NASTY!!!!! I only drank half of it. I did not like the sweetness or the flavor. But hey, this is what training runs are for, to try new things out and see how they work. I'm glad I only bought one! I'll be trying a different energy drink on another long run.

I encountered this female and three others about a ½ mile into the section. I started snapping pictures. The deer weren’t moving, and I just moved closer and closer. I kept advancing closer to them. Finally, I went on with my run-the deer still weren’t moving!
About 100 feet down trail I encountered another three leaping spectacularly across downed logs-the mountain bikers were on a trail above me on the ridge and scared the deer.
This section of the run takes you right down to the water’s edge of the Clear Fork River. This was an area hard hit by the storms of July. When we had run this in August, we had to climb over 12 or so trees.The wonderful park works and the volunteer Mohican Trail Club had been hard at work down here. There was only a few trees that I had to climb over, and I could see chainsaw marks in these.

I felt pretty energetic on this last two miles, and wondered how well the cookies I ate at my aid stash were working. Then I remembered the RedBull!! Well, I have to say it does work.
The tourists were out in full force at the Covered Bridge, many of them heading off for a hike to Lyons Fall. I got many strange looks as I started to disrobe at my vehicle. Hey, I actually did sit inside it when I changed my tights and shirt.
I thought about an ice bath in the river, but the water was high and moving, and I thought I would skip that again.
So, another great Mo Run. I realized I won’t be back in the area probably till February with my weekends being booked. I will miss the trails there!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mohican Trail Run

We had a gorgeous day for a run yesterday on the Mohican 100 Trail Course. Four others joined me, Rob, Jeff, Tom, and Dave. Dave drove up from Cincinnati, and Tom came over from Erie PA! for the run! Great weather, in the 40's. The wind kicked up a few times, making it a bit cold when we would crest a ridge, or when we stopped for a quick break, but otherwise just fine.
This is a 21 mile section, which we finished in just under 5 hours. Jeff continued to run to make it an even 5 hours, with the rest of us content with 4.56!
There are also 4 water crossings on this route. Actually there were five, a tiny creek that usually isn't even a trickle had considerable water in it. As we came to the first water crossing, it was evident that there was no way to keep the feet dry.

After the feet were wet for the first time, I didn't see any reason to not avoid the mud. It had rained quite a bit the last few days, and there had been many horses out on the trail. So most of us just started running straight through the mud rather than try and pick our way around it. Nobody lost a shoe to the shoe sucking mud although it was reaching for my shoes a few times!
It was good to have some other runners who was familiar with the course.Jeff had finished the 100 in 2006, and Rob was very familiar with the area, since he runs there alot. Still, we managed to cut off a corner of the course, one that involved a very steep hill. I kept waiting for us to come upon it, and then before I knew it, we were at the fire tower. (Not complaining about missing the big hill!) But we're still trying to figure out how we bypassed it.
Nothing hurt on this run!! What a great feeling! I'm a little stiff today, Christmas Eve, butI think our group pace was a bit fast for me which is good!and I think I pushed myself a bit; that's what I need to do!

Monday, December 18, 2006

4 Mile Non-Trail Run Today

I got out of work late today, due to a late afternoon meeting, due to my own fault, of asking too many questions and (GASP!!!) wanting people to do their jobs. That's all I want. I do my job, you do your job. Oh yes, I guess I need to add, do your job competently. /End of job rant.
I was planning a run on our little rails-to-trail bike path, which is just kind of dirt and cinders at this point, hence, I only brought trail shoes to work. But I knew I would end up in the dark, without a light, so I went for the quick 4 mile run on the local bike trail, which is asphalt. The Brooks ASR trail shoes were just fine for this run. I still want to get to the trails!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My FatAss Report

Should be subtitled:

Snow??!!! or

Every part of my body hurts!!

I only ran two loops, which was 16.6 miles. We got started pretty much at 5am, about twenty runners. Although it was dark out, there was 4 inches of snow, and a partial moon, so it was really bright out. I had a headlight on my hat, which I had to keep adjusting, but it was plenty enough to see with. It was 23 degrees at the start, and didn't warm up much more from that for my 5 hours on the trail.
The Mill Park YUT-C course is a great course to run on. Of course it's a bit less dangerous without all the ice! The Monkey Trail was a good example. The trail kind of goes straight uphill, levels off for a bit, then straight downhill. This downhill is carefully runnable in the fall, but part of it was pure ice. I slipped and slid down a bit on my butt. A tree collided with my thigh, stopping my descent and I thought " that'll leave a mark" and sighed. I had a bruise in the same spot from the last Mo run...
I finished the first loop in 2.20 and then started back the same way I had come in. I had the opportunity to talk to Bruce, another Mohican runner, before he got ahead of me after the ball park.
On this section of the trail, there is a log which you have to cross over a small stream. On the first loop, I slipped on this and gave myself quite a scare. On the second loop, I got smarter and just climbed down into the stream and bypassed the log.
My IT Band was letting me know I had not stretched properly in the past few weeks. I could feel my hip hurting, and my knee hurting whenever I ran. I knew I was getting slower (even more so than my normal slow speed) so that was discouraging. To distract myself from the leg, I tried enjoying the scenery. It was really beautiful in the park with the white covering of snow (it was daylight by now.) I wished for my camera to take some pics, especially of the icicles hanging off all the rock inclines. The portion by the Grist Mill of icicles was really spectacular.
This is where Jim met me again-he was already halfway through his third loop when I was just working on halfway through the second! I crossed the Covered Bridge and headed back toward the Lilly Pond.
On this section, I hit a patch of ice, slipped, got a foot on solid dirt, then the other foot came down on more ice, and WHAM!!! I slipped, legs in the air, landing on my back. My water bottle,which was in the small of my back, kind of melded into my body, which was pretty painful. I stayed there for a couple of seconds, pretty stunned and hurting. Then I rolled over to my knees—anything broke? No. Well, maybe my right middle finger, but if that was all, that was okay. Everything seemed to be working. I got up to my feet and slumped over a big rock, I was pretty shaky. Wasn’t able to move from there for a bit. Some hikers walked past me and I snapped out of it. Okay, forward motion and see how you feel. My head felt a bit funny and I felt my eyesight seemed weird-did I hit my head when I went down? I couldn’t remember. I took my hat off to see if there was dirt on the back of it. No, no dirt, maybe I was just shook up.
I walked for quite a bit, and pretty slowly. I wasn’t feeling all that great. My back, with its imprint from the water bottle was not happy. I wasn’t feeling like running either. But I was getting colder, and I knew I needed to run to keep from getting colder. The Advil that I had at the vehicle, that I was going to take for my IT Band, was looking better and better!!
I got back into a run, and got by the hikers, but still wasn’t feeling the greatest. I was worried a bit about my back. I knew it would hurt more later. I decided it would be best to stop after this lap with my leg and back issues. So I finished up at 4.51. Jim was coming in to start his fourth lap!! Back at the vehicles, so I chatted a bit with him, told him I was dropping, so everyone would know what had happened to me.

My back stiffened up overnight, but it doesn’t feel too bad, except the whole bruised lower section. But it doesn’t feel like I twisted or wrenched anything, just bruised up. I was disappointed in my bruise, I was hoping for a perfect outline of my water bottle in my back.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

8 Mile Treadmill Run

I'm glad to have gotten this workout in. I have been a bit anxious about running, and future races for the last couple of days-I'm not sure why, I'm sure some of it is my lack of running at the moment, the change of weather and loss of daylight time, my inability to lose weight, and trepidation about doing some long runs in the winter here in the cold weather. I was going to go to the gym and do a weight workout, but when I found myself sitting down in front of the TV, I thought, you might as well go run on the treadmill if you are going to watch TV. So I thought I would run for two hours, since I was watching trash TV for two episodes (What Not to Wear-hey it could be worse.)
It took me about 4 miles to kind of settle into a groove, then I thought I would just run for 8 miles OR two hours whatever came first.
So I felt a bit better about running, getting an actual wokout in. I wanted to run outside, but I couldn't force myself outside into the 36 degree weather and wind. It's just the first time of the year for the cold. In a few weeks I'll just don my clothes and go out and run in the same temps, it's just hard getting used to the first couple of days. I did find my running tights and was surprised to find I own three pair!! Now to gather up the long sleeved shirts, gloves, and hats and get the winter clothes organized. Winter is here.
Oh, and twenty-three days til Christmas!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Mohican Run Saturday

I met up with Dave on Friday and we ran 23 miles on the Mohican 100 Trail Race course. This section is mainly a bridle path, and it was a bit difficult to run, full of sections of mud which became more tiring as the day went on. It was a beautiful day for a trail run though.
It should have been a 21 mile run but we got to an ambigous trail marking. I pointed it out to Dave, remarking this was where I had almost screwed up last time I had run it. And then I promptly screwed up and took us down the wrong trail!! We both knew it was wrong when it brought us to the same stream crossing again. URRGH!! I was embarassed. That was a nice extra 2.8 miles for us.
I was going to run more, on another section of the trail, but this loop had taken us longer than I had expected, so I stopped after this section. When I came out of the woods, which is right by the covered bridge, a big tourist attraction, a mountain biker rode past me, looked at my dirty clothes, sweaty hair and blood running down my shin and gave me a grin of recognition-yeah he could tell I had a good time out on the trail. I usually get some good stares from the tourists out for their stroll around the bridge. They even stared more as I did my makeshift ice bath by sitting in the river. It was pretty darn cold this time of year. And the piece of apple pie I had brought along from Thanksgiving dinner tasted pretty good post run!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I did it! I registered for the Mohican Trail Run 100 today. It's June 16 2007-yes, I am just a bit impatient. The pic is from Mohican 2006, at Little Lyons Fall, if you look closely there is just a bit of water trickling down-it felt good to stand in it that day! I had some day trippers take my picture for me.

Speaking of Mohican, if any of the local runners read this blog, I am running Mohican Friday November 24 8 am. I am running the Red Loop to the Green Loop, back to the Covered Bridge.

A quick stop at my vehicle for lunch, (which will probaly get eaten walking up the first hill) then run the
Orange Loop. I may or may not run down Route 3 for the Grist Mill Loop, then run back to the Covered Bridge. This should be between 30 and 40 miles. I am really looking forward to being out on my trails again!

I did work out today, weights at the gym again. I'm getting into a routine there, which I am enjoying. I will also be happy to see some definition in my upper arms again. Speaking of my upper arm, it only hurts a bit-and that probaly had more to do with zero-ing my slug gun in for deer gun season yesterday. Slugs in a shotgun barrel does kick!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Treadmill Run

I didn't get up early in the morning to run, but I did do it after work!
Today was the five month old German Shepherd's turn to encounter the treadmill for the first time. She kept trying to bite the belt. Then she chewed on the side of the machine. Then she tried to bite my thigh as it moved back and forward. She tried to bite my shoe too. Then she got bored and barked at me. Then she finally went upstairs.

I did stretch, for the record. Not very long. It's hard to sit on the living room floor as three dogs lick the sweat off you. But it was better than no stretching!
I even had a very healthy dinner-beef, green beans, and acorn squash. What's gotten into me?

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Mountain Masochist Trail Race Report

Short version: DNF

Longer version:

It was a cold day when we assembled at the high school for the bus ride over to the James River Visitor Center for the start of the race-4am is pretty early. Horton kept right to his promise and the buses rolled at 4 am sharp.
I don't do well in crowded situations and public transportation-I have a bit of a claustrophobia issue. I sat in the second row and kept singing bits of a Bob Marley song "don't worry, about a thing. Cuz every little thing will be all right now..." over and over again and breathing in and out. It helped, because it got me to the race start without puking.
After about a 1/2 hour wait for the start of the race, we all sang the National Anthem together, and bang, we were off, in total darkness, on the pavement of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just a nice steady fast past off, and we then turned around and headed back back the James River Visitor Center, across the James River (thankfully on the bridge) and off on an asphalt road. This helped to move and smooth out the 300 runners. After about 5.7 miles, we were off the pavement and onto some single track finally!
It was a beautiful day once the sun rose. The race (or at least, the first half) is on pretty much jeep/dirt/gravel roads, so there is plenty of room to run on. I knew I was at the back of the pack, and was worried about cutoff times. I didn't pay much attention to the first couple of aid stations or times because I knew they wouldn't be an issue. We started to climb,up and up and up. It was a refresher to just be able to run when it flattened out a bit!
I started worrying about cutoffs. The time for the 12 hour pace was posted, and I was pretty much dead on that at each aid station. I had no margin for stopping. This is the first time I have had a time siutation to deal with, so it was a bit stressful for me. Around mile ten, we burst out of the woods, and I got a glorious view of leaves, and mountains, and mountains behind mountains. It was wonderful. I thought to myself "this view was worth the whole run". It was great to see, and be out in nature in the early morning, and be in good health to be able to run this race.
I pretty much continued on in the same manner, I didn't have time to stop at the aid stations to grab a quick snack and fill my water bottle and press on. I also didn't talk to the few runners around me-we were all in the same situation with the cut off, and needed to make time.
We had a rather long climb up at one point, and I even asked Bernie, an older gentleman who had ran the MMTR 18 times and everyone knew at the aid stations how much farther up. He said not much, and there was a long downhill following, and how I would enjoy that. (Because I had been smoking him on the downhills and he kept catching me on the uphills.) He was right, because there was about a 4 mile downhill and I punched it. I knew someone was running right behind me, and the other runner thanked me when we hit the aid station around the bottom, we'd picked up four minutes with the good downhill pace.
But then we started to go up again, just fast hiking. Looking at the elevation map now, I see this was the start of the 6 mile uphill (I was afraid to look at the map which I had brought with me, it was too stressful to know what was ahead). There was a 10 minute "cushion" with the pace time, and I kept losing about one minute everytime we hit an aid station.
I was pushing it with everything I had. At one point, I took my pulse, and then hastily moved my hand away---my heart rate was way elevated. I didn't figure there was anything I could do, besides slow down so I didn't take my heart rate again. After the first initial climb of being short of breath, that seemed to go away a bit. I just kept shuffling along, running when I could, walking when I couldn't.
I met up with my friend Rich, around mile 24. We were both skirting the cut offs. He said he was also doing the best he could, and it seemed so slow for both of us. I said I was going to go on til they told me I couldn't.
We came out on top of a ridge, into the nice sun, and I finally peeled off a layer of shirt. This was a nice rural country road, with nice rural country folks looking at us--I'm sure they were used to this once a year phenomenon, it's been going on for 24 years!!!
Rich mentioned the next aid station was # 10, where the drop bags were. I had not realized this, and started thinking about what I wanted to pull out. I checked in with the aid station and then shuffled over to where the drop bags were. I was pawing through my bag,trying to figure out how I was going to carry 2 shirts since I was still hot, when a voice said "Ma-am"?
A man with a clipboard was standing there, and he said "I just want to let you know, you have three minutes to the hard cutoff. I don't want to tell you what to do, but this is a better place to drop, with your drop bag, then the next aid station."
He left, and I stood there undecided. 3 minutes to decide. Another runner yelled out "hey if you got anything left keep going"
yet the more rationale part of my head said, I'm on the hard end of 10 minutes, I will be running out of here now with no time left. And this is the best place to drop if you have to drop.
3 minutes. Not much time to ponder it over. Tears started to well up, and then I sucked it up. No way was I going to march over and drop AND cry at the same time. I walked over to the aid station and said "I'm dropping."
"133. She's out."
I walked away, wanting to cry again. I was very disapointed. I started going through my drop bag looking for socks and shoes. Someone started to talk to me, so that stopped me from crying. My friend Rich came in, and had missed the cut off, so we had time to talk.
At least it was the best place to drop! I got out of my filthy running clothing and into dry sweatshirt and leggings. The buses took us to the finish line, where we had a 4 hour wait until the first bus would leave for Lynchburg.
I had a wonderful afternoon. I got to see a bunch of friends finish, some of them their first 50 miler. I met a bunch of new folks, just kept talking with everyone that was hanging out at the finish line. Rich and I were waiting for Wendy, his wife, who we knew would finish the race.
We waited and waited and waited. We were up to 11 hours. It was getting cold. I put more layers of clothing on. My friend Roy finished, and bless his heart, he was bummed out that I didn't finish! I had tears in my eyes again when he mentioned that he felt bad that I didn't finish-what a friend. He was also shivering in the cold, but worried about Wendy still out on the course, and I shoo'd him onto a bus so he could stay warm-Rich and I were fine, we would wait for Wendy.
We finally spotted her coming up the road!! Hurray, she was going to do it!!!!
Wendy came in at 11.05, her first 50 mile race, and what a tough course to do fifty
Horton miles on.
We got the long bus ride back to town, showered, and headed over for the dinner. I was sitting with the Ohio crowd, and got to hear a very long and funny story from Mark Godale, how he and Dusty Olson, got lost for 1 hour together. We had been watching and waiting for Godale, we couldn't figure out why he hadn't finished!!
I got to hear our friend Bill's account of successfully chasing the cut offs and ending up with negative splits and finishing the race!!!!
It was a very good time. I got to meet and hang out with the Ohio group, and also all my friends from West Virginia-I ended up having breakfast with them before I headed out on Sunday.
Race expectations-I am disapointed that I dropped from this race. It is a tough race.
Did I train for this race? Yes I did. Did I train

adequately for this race: no. I did not. I was not prepared, enough, for the elevation. I had seen maps of the elevation, and really did not understand enough, about how that would affect me.
I am still unsettled. I set out to run a 50 mile race this fall and ended up with a marathon. I know I can run a 50 mile race. I can't run a Horton 50 mile race. At this time. Do I want to do this race again next year? I don't know. I doubt it. I'm such a new runner, there are so many races these days to chose from, that I don't feel the need to come "back and settle the score" so to speak.
BUT I do feel the need to run a 50 miler race. Maybe an official race, maybe it will be a FA this winter. It might even be a 50 miler of my own making over at Mohican this fall. I just want to do the 50 miles.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stomp the Grapes 1/2 Marathon Report

What a beautiful day for a race. This was an inaugural 1/2 marathon at theWinery at Perennial Vineyards in Navarre Ohio. It was in the 30's or 40's at the start of the race, but it warmed up rather quickly after a few miles.
My friend Nancy had emailed me Thursday, asking if I wanted to run with her on Saturday. I told her I was running a 1/2 marathon, and she quickly signed up too! In fact, she picked me up and we drove to the event together, catching up on running and personal life with each other. Nancy expected me to out run her, but I was content to run at her pace-this was my last race before Masochist; I was wearing the clothes I am planning on wearing to MMTR, with my same water bottle waist pack, and I just wanted to try everything out. Besides, running and chatting with Nancy is fun.
The race was out in the country, nice rolling hills, then we turned onto the towpath for about 4 miles-that was the best part of the run, off the roads! Nancy and I chatted up through mile 10-I turned around to admire a tree or a flower or something and damn! she took off on me!! She had already told me she was planning on picking people off at mile 10, and she did it! I set off in pursuit, but my hamstring, which had been annoying me since mile 3 or so, really starting to twinge. I didn't feel I could get much leg extension. (I've had this chronic hamstring issue for years.) So I hobbled in behind Nancy in a 2.17 or something like that.
When we went inside for food, they were out of Subway sandwiches!! Gasp! In fact, the only thing left was bananas, some doughnuts, popcorn, and chips. So Nancy and I left to get some real grub-which ended up being Subway sandwiches we paid for! Still, that will happen for an inaugural event.
So the local race scene is over for the year, and now it's time to concentrate on Masochist!!

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Towpath 1/2 Marathon Report

What a nice day. I ran a 2.19 or something, I really wasn't paying much attention to the clock. I just a great morning of running.
That time itself is funny because I ran a 20K or a 1/2 marathon earlier in the spring in the same time, and I did this one on tired legs.

I was beat when I woke up this morning but discovered on the drive north that I had stashed jelly beans in the car console so I started snacking on them. I found Roy almost right away who had my race number and chip, and then walked until about race time, trying to get my quads to unkink a bit--it was more the 1.5 hour drive than the run that had them stiff.

The marathon and 1/2 marathon started together, and I ran with Roy at the back of the pack for awhile. We spotted Art, who is a very accomplished runner. Art has run the Mohican 100 10 times; he's run 279 ultras and 500+ marathons. So it was fun listening to Art and Roy talk while we ran. Roy split off with the marathoners about mile 5 and I continued on with Art the rest of the race. It sure was fun and educational to hear about races that Art has done, We ran and joked and talked until I made a 30 second port o potty stop at mile 12; Art said he would slow down but I had trouble reeling him in. I almost caught up to him just before mile 13, but I swear he turned on his kick and beat me in.

I hung out for awhile, talking to friends and waiting for the full marathoners come in. I swear, if I didn't see the local ultrarunners last weekend at Akron, the rest of them were here at the Towpath.Bob Combs found me around the finish line probaly due to my pink DirtyGirl Gaiters I was wearing-the Akron Towpath Marathon is on the towpath (natch) so there is alot of fine pebble and grit. I wanted to see if the gaiters would keep this out and it did!! Plus it's a cute color. Bob and the other Team PR folks were timing the 5K race and were also just hanging out at the finish line. This seemed to be the area that the other local ultrarunners found as we cheered in some local ultra runners finishing in the top 10 of the marathon. I finally split off to get home at a decent hour.

Second ice bath in two days, legs feel pretty good.

This has been a great 1.5 months of racing. I feel sad that it's pretty much over, I've seen ultra friends almost every weekend for the last 8 weekends, some of them have been at every race I've been at.

Now to read the schedule to see what I am supposed to do tomorrow!!

Monday, October 2, 2006

Akron Relay Race Report

It was a good time out there. There was a 80% chance of rain by race day, and it was sprinkling on us. We saw Sue, our first leg, off at the starting line. Rob and I were the 4th and 5th leg of the relay, so we had plenty of time to kill, so we were able to cheer Sue on when the course came back through town. We were then able to walk .8 of a mile over to the 3rd leg and make sure Sarah had made it in.
A man was emptying his trash as we walked by. He asked us if there was a walk-athon going on. Rob told him, no a marathon, just down the block. The man asked Rob how long that was. Rob said "26.2 miles." The man looked very seriously at us, and replied "That is the same distance of the New York City Marathon." We managed to keep a straight face, and said, why, yes, it was, and had to walk on so we could giggle.
I finally boarded the bus for my leg and it seemed to take forever! We finally get there, just as the first relay runners AND marathoners are hitting the 15K mark. I go for a short jog to warm up. It's raining now and I have my garbage bag on. I also have throwaway shorts on, and 3 T-shirts. I've been a bit cold, but not too bad.
Being a relay runner is hard!!! Everyone wants to run. Especially in the cold rain!!! All that pent up energy!! I see another ultra runner and say hi to her as we wait. I actually saw a bunch of the local ultra folks out there at Akron.
Finally I hear my number 5283 and I whip off my Thsirts to run in my blaze orange singlet and blue shorts. Sarah and I have a perfect handoff and I am off! Running a bit too fast, because I'm cold and soo want to run.
My leg is a bit of a downhill, then it climbs out of the valley, about a two mile uphill. It seems like no time that I am almost down with my leg. My friend Wendy, catches me on the hill and passes me!! She's running the marathon, how embarassing for me. Wendy went on with another BQ and her best time of 3.35.
I crest the hill and the temperature drops five degrees, we were protected from the wind in the valley. I sprint to the relay point, hit the chip mats and look for Rob. No Rob!!!! I scream "ROB" at the top of my lungs, and turn and see him running toward me--ooops, I was early for him!!! Hey, that was five seconds off his time, not mine! I ended up running a 29.37 I believe. I wanted to do it under 30 minutes so I was pleased.
I turned in my chip, and then I ran the rest of the marathon on, a 10K. I needed more miles for the day. Although it was cold and raining, it was really fun to be "off the clock" and just running. Akron was my first marathon in 2004, and it was fun and different to be at the 20 mile marker and up and not be as tired. I ran into Lloyd another local ultra runner on the course. He was the 3.40 pacer. He said he wasn't doing that great, but hitting his miles. (Lloyd also ran YUT-C last weekend too...) For not feeling that great he was quickly past me!!
I finished and it took awhile to find Shelly and Dan. In the meantime I ran into Elizabeth who was also running the relay-and she informed me that her team had won the mixed relay!! Rats, I guess that means my team did not!!
We did great though, 34th in the mixed, and 67 overall out of 679 relay teams. That was alot of fun, and we had a great postrace party afterwards.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

YUT-C 50K Trail Report

I knew I was going to have a nice race when we turned onto a flat dirt path, with pine trees on one side, and water on the other. I was running a 50K in nature, in beautiful weather, and all was irie with me.
This was the YUT-C 50K, the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic. Run entirely in Mill Creek Park, a gem of a park in the middle of Youngstown, Ohio. It’s a beautiful park. The trail follows around a river and several lakes; there are man made waterfalls on the river and several natural waterfalls in the woods.
I got to the race start a bit early, and Bob Combs, the race director asked me if I wanted to start early, another couple was taking the early 7am start. I had about fifteen minutes to decide, and since my gear was ready to go, I decided to. Instead of waiting around for another hour, I was there to run so why not?
Jim Harris graciously paced us out the first mile or so, through the little urban area to where the trail began beside some football fields and tennis courts. It was fun being out there at 705am, because it really was not very light out yet, and the tree cover was heavy. So Lisa, Dennis and I were pretty cautious and concerned about staying on the trail.
I got ahead of my running partners when we hit the “Monkey Hills”. These were some up and down trails on some pretty steep hills, about five in all, all one after another. But the footing was nice dirt and pine needles and no rocks, so that helped. At the top of one of the last hills was “ The Tree” that I had been warned about. It’s a tree blocking the path. On a 5’2” female, the tree comes up to my waist. My only way over it was to lie down on it, and roll over!
The trail continues to follow a river and lakes. It’s an old path; on one side are the woods, usually at a steep grade uphill. There are many retaining blocks of sandstone that probably were built by the WPA back in the 30’s. It’s all grown over and covered in moss at this time. I marvel at the hours of work it took to put all these stones in place. I am also impressed by the lack of graffiti in the park.
I come to a section of wooden boardwalk,
which leads to the old Gristmill, where the covered bridge and aid station is located.
I am the first runner through!!! (Remember, I started one hour early.) Everyone congratulates me and I laugh—it’s a good feeling to be first! I might as well enjoy it while I can!!!
I decide to keep with that theme, and try to gauge when the first men are going to catch me on the course. I believe I conceded the lead at mile 10. That was pretty funny. There were about 10 guys in the first fast group; about half of them knew me, and figured it out that I started early. The ones who didn’t know me gave me this “what the heck is SHE doing out here?” Oh well, I enjoyed it; they had a long time to figure out who I was and what I was doing.
It was fun running with the “Big Dogs” as I tend to call the front-runners. We get back to the race start, and then we run the same loop again, backwards. So now I was passing all the other runners coming toward me, and that was fun, I think I knew about 1/3 of the runners, and it’s great to hear a personal “way to go!”
I saw a bunch of roadrunners out on the road, and just kept shaking my head. They had a beautiful trail just feet away and yet they ran asphalt!! Freaks!! (I’m sure that they said the same about me when they saw my wet, dirt covered body.) I was crossing a road when I ran into two roadrunners, and tried to cajole them on the trails. They rather haughtily told me “they were training for a marathon”. Dudes! Excuse me! I’m just running a piddly 50K on rocks and roots!! Freaks!!!
I ran the first loop in just under three hours, and the second just under 3 hours also, which was very good for me. I conceded my lead as first female at mile 19. The last loop is shorter, 7.94 miles. As I got into the 3rd loop, I started to feel a little light-headed, a new trail feeling for me. I stopped and assessed my situation. It was a cool day, in the 60’s but high humidity because it was trying to rain. I had been hot on most of the course and doing most of my usual sweating. I had taken my last Succeed capsules on the last loop because I was starting to get a cramp in my calf muscle, and didn’t grab any at the last aid station. I also had not eaten much salty food in the last 3 hours. I also realized I had not peed but once on the run, very unusual for me. So I grabbed a gel from my waist pack, feeling that would have to help. The light-headedness would come and go a bit, but I knew the aid station was only about 4 miles away. I kept running and wondering when I was going to get to the hills. Did I miss them somehow? Ran them already and forgotten?
I hit the last time through the “Monkey Hills” and the third time was actually easier than the 2nd (probably because I was lightheaded!!!!) but my running kept getting slower on this third section. This course was very runnable also, no big chances to walk! The only time I get cranky is when I think I am hitting the last, final section, and it turns out that I forgot a piece that I still have to go through. I finally turn onto the park road for the last little finish and get cheered in by the other runners.
Bob shakes my hand and hands me a pint bottle of beer, from the Buckeye Brewing Company. I get cleaned up and spend another hour eating soup and pizza and cheering in more runners. We get a nice short-sleeved technical T-shirt and I find a pair of Dirty Girl Gaiters in my goody bag!!! Very cool!! I change clothes and when I take my socks off, I am puzzled to see a slug attached to my toe. Hmm, it's a rather large blood blister. I make sure I show it to all the other runners. Everyone is in awe of my blister and say it's a good one. I do remember reading that being dehyrdated can lead to more blisters. I think it's also time for me to try the Injini socks and see if that helps me out.

I enjoyed the course. It’s very runnable, a bit rocky, but not vicious hidden rocks. You just have to watch. Some parts had some roots. I thought the course was marked rather well. There were a few places, where, as a first runner of the course, I had to apply some common sense and keep a watchful eye for trail markings. I hope Bob and Team PR get the word out about this race; Mill Creek is a very nice and scenic place to run. Thanks Bob and the volunteers, the food was plentiful and the volunteers were friendly and helpful, I had a great time!

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Groundhog 50K Race Report

I travelled over to Puxsutawney, PA, the "Weather Capital of the World" home of Puxsutawney Phil, who, every February, tells the world whether we will have an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter.
This is a 50K race, hilly, I am told.
The course is an out and back, and there is a big loop, about ten miles, that you run twice.

We have a great spaghetti dinner the night before. Most of the Northern Ohio contigent is there, which is fun, because I see old friends I met in the past year. My friends wave me over to where they are sitting, and after diving into the food, I notice someone is talking to the man next to me about the Barkley. Huh? I look down and see some DVD's on the table of The Runner . I ask him if he is David Horton.
I introduce myself and tell him I running his Mountain Masochist, and knows my first and last name already! It was very cool to talk to David while we ate. Horton also spoke at the dinner. He was very inspirational. I find I agree with him on many ideas, especially about goal setting and having a positive attitude. He spoke about his Pacific Crest Trail Run. Wow. He talked about running out of food and going on, about how hard it was, and how he cried every morning-and went on. He talked about goading people into going farther than they think they can. It was really great to meet him.

Race morning was cold and foggy. It was typical ultra runner start, we all kind of had to get pushed away from the doughnuts and coffee inside out to run. John says "go" and off we went. The first two miles are through town and out on a hard packed country road, and the crowd (115 runners) thins out.

I stop to rety my shoe and find we've gotten really spread out. We come to the first hill, named "Two Beer Hill". Which is in honor of the local mountain bikers. It apparently takes two beers for the courage to ride down this hill!
It's really steep. I run down it, about taking out Ed in the process. What I also love about ultras is you know about 1/2 of everyone's names already. I have been practicing downhill running, and I take this downhill pretty agressively. Ed's doing a switchback, so I try to get by him while he's out of the way.
We run through some strip mined areas, back to the road for a short distance, then onto the loop. The trail is actually old roads, but they are dirt, some covered in moss, some rocks but all very runnable.
I come to the other two big hills on the course "Yellow Bus Hill". This is a good hill! Straight UP!!! And up!!!! I take a quick look once I reach the top-great view!!
The second big hill "Cry Baby Hill" is not too far past this one. (There are banners at each hill, welcoming you to it-what a great touch!!) At the top of Cry Baby, the rain begins on me. Luckily I did bring my WV Trail Runner Ballcap. The rain keeps pouring down, and I am not that warm out, and a bit concerned about possible hypothermia, but I also know the best way to stay warm is to keep running.
The rain makes the road turn into streams, so I no longer bother to try and keep my feet dry. They are completely wet and it doesn't matter to me. Oh well!!
I hit the last aid station on the loop and almost go the wrong way, but the aid people quickly point me in the right direction. This is also where the first ten males lap me also.
It seems like almost in no time I'm back to the start of the loop again, where the first female runner, Connie Gardner laps me. And I'm off for the second loop. This is even better, because I know landmarks now.
It was a really good run. Very runnable course. The rain stopped and I dried out. I was my usually completely happy self out there. People always comment on how happy I look. I caught up to a woman who said "you must have run this before." And I said, no I hadn't, and she said I looked so fresh. I told her I just love running in the woods and trails. I even know I run with a smile on my face. I look around at nature and the woods and the trees. I ran through a really dark section of pines which made it seem I would see hobbits anytime. The rain was causing fog and steam to come up.
I finish the second loop and it's now just 8 miles back to the chicken dinner I had been thinking about for 4 hours!!
I get to the last aid station, which is about 3.5 miles from the finish. I look at my watch and doubt I can break seven hours, which would have been really cool. I keep running, and then finally realize hey my watch is 12 or 15 minutes fast!!! I've got more time than I thought!!
I still had to get back up Two Beer Hill however!! It was much easier running down it! I would hike up a bit, rest for a count of five, hike more, rest, and that's how I got up it!!
I keep running, and visualizing my sub 7 finish, and have to tell myself you better run faster and keep your mind on the race or you won't hit that!!!!
I get back to town, the most dangerous part of the race, with a 1/4 mile into town and now traffic about. A minivan pulls up to the end of the driveway and the woman is looking left, and I am thinking "You better look right lady I am coming!". I also will the cars to let me dart in front of them because there is NO WAY I am stopping to let me through.
I turn the corner and see the clock: 644!!!!! I run across at 6.45.01!!! So respectable for me!! I am so pleased!!
I love the ultra community. Ron Ross, one of our local elite, is standing there, and I only know him casually, I have talked to his wife way more. He hugs and congratulates me. I believe Ron finished fourth this year. You don't see the fourth finisher of any marathoner hanging out to congratulate back of the packers!!!!
More festivities, the chicken dinner I can't even finish it was so huge follow. It was good to have time to sit down and talk more and rehash some of the race. But after a shower, I got on the road fairly quickly since I had a 4 hour drive ahead.
This was a very nice race. Great trail markings, great dinner the night before, dinner afterward, nice swag-we got a Montrail bottle, a Punxsutawney Phil Beanie Baby, a groundhog pin, a groundhog medallion, and a Bottle of Groundhog Ale! John Goss and his volunteers really put on a great race, and I would recommend this 50K to anyone!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Right in my Backyard

So I was on the quest for some new running routes. I finally thought of Woodbury.
Woodbury is the largest wildlife area in the state of Ohio. Beginning with an initial purchase of 779 acres in 1934,
Woodbury remained a wildlife area of less than 2,000 acres for 55
years. The original tract was the site of a small mining town and
a coal mine that was integral to the making of soap for the
Woodbury Soap Company. The area was managed as a game
refuge until 1948 when it was opened to public hunting.
During 1987, an agreement for wildlife management and public
hunting and fishing was reached with Peabody Coal Company
and the Hurst Trust, owners of land adjacent to Woodbury.
Further negotiations led to the Division of Wildlife’s purchase of
this land totaling 14,615 acres in 1991 and 1992.
Prior to state ownership approximately 50 percent of the
Peabody-Hurst Trust lands were affected by strip-mining.
Mining began in 1963 and concluded with final reclamation
efforts completed in 1987. The older mined areas contain
highwalls and spoil banks which were originally planted and now
contain pole-sized trees. More recently mined areas (after 1972)
are open grasslands. Since acquisition, emphasis has been placed
on the development of small wetlands and the planting of trees.

So I have this huge area of deserted township roads to run on, old jeep trails through the area to run through!!

It was a perfect running day. I had a makeshift horrible map off the internet, but I had pencilled in all the township and county roads. I just kept making right hard turns, and ended up right back at my vehicle for 10K. Just a bit short of the 8 miles I wanted, but I now have more running options!

The only drawback is, this is also the biggest hunting area in Ohio, and bow hunting will start soon. From a safety standpoint, I won't run there once all the hunting seasons commence.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Chick Run at Mohican

We had a blast. We ran the "orange loop" part of the Mohican 100 race course. It was just the three women, Cheryl, Nancy and myself. Nancy had just ran her first 50K at the Buckeye Trail, where I met her. Cheryl had volunteered at one of the aid stations for the Mo Race and was training for her first 50K, the Youngstown 50K Race.

The weather was great, in the 80's but not bad in the woods. I'm back to triple appreciating the great trails at Mohican, after running in WV and in Salt Fork State Park, it was so nice to be on the smooth dirt path of Mohican! It seemed like I spent much more time not watching the trail and gazing around the beautiful woodland.
Nancy was much happier about the trail too than her first ultra experience. I think she now understands she picked a very tough race for her first 50K, and not all trails are like that one!

The girls did great on the run too. I yelled at them just once, they were running up a small hill at the start of the run-I had already started walking that one. We had a great time talking and laughing, it was a nice change of dynamics with other women. I ran first about the first half, and then let Nancy go ahead, because I wanted her to get her own pace, what she was comfortable running at. It turns out the three of us were pretty well paced, and stayed pretty close together the whole run.

The last part of the run is down by the river, where there was a bad flash flood in July. There were many trees down, we had to climb over about 10 or so. At least 10 or 15 trees had already been cut and cleared from the trail. I will be monitoring the
Mohican Trails Club to see when they have another work day on the trails scheduled. It's hard work, but I use the trails and like to give back.

Just another great run in paradise!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

North Fork

I had a great time down in WV. I really needed the getaway, no cell phone coverage. Beautiful country, and really friendly people. I arrived on Friday afternoon, hung out with everyone, a bit surprised at the amount of beer being drank.
We got up to the mountain about 8am, and the run was on.
While I had a great time in WV, I really did not have a good run. This was a 12 or 24 mile fun run. The only aid station was 11 miles into the trail. I fully planned on running the entire 24 miles.

I found myself outpaced almost right away-not a problem. But I also found myself having a bit trouble breathing, a 1/2 mile into the run. Can that be blamed on the elevation? I have now been told that yes, if I have not been in any sort of elevation, it can play a factor. This was at 3520 feet. I live at 980 feet.
It just was not my day. I tripped and fell at mile 1, cutting my knee. By the time I walked it off, I was comepletely alone. Now I was a bit worried about getting lost.
I also had some "baggage" issues which I may or may post about later. I left some things out on the trail, which I think was a good thing.
It took me three hours to go 11 miles. I knew the remaining 13 miles would take closer to four or so. I didn't want to make people wait for me. I didn't want to be last-but actually it was more about making the other slow people sit there for an hour for me.
I thought if the aid station was still there, I would drop. If not, if the vehicle was gone, I would go on--because there was no alternative, and someone would just have to wait around for me.
The sag wagon was still there, and I dropped. Embarrassed a bit, felt like it just wasn't my day. I almost felt like leaving and going back home that day, and then decided that was a big baby move.
I got back to the campground and got a shower, and when asked, told everyone the truth, I dropped after 11 miles, it just wasn't my day. And, as really expected, everyone nodded and said those days would happen.
We had a big cookout, huge amount of food brought by everyone, and I had fun sitting around the rest of the evening enjoying the beautiful weather.
I think I will go back next year and conquer the course!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Inaugural Run

On my treadmill today. We had to drop off my vehicle for service and run some errands, so I thought it was time to give the new machine a try. Of course, we then had to move a TV, satellite receiver, and DVD player into the room. And then we had to run the satellite cable to that room...more time in setting up than actual running. I only ran two miles, but I think the tread is going to work out well. It didn't seem to be too noisy, or cause noise upstairs.
Now I have no excuses!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Great Run Today

Beautiful weather, in the 70's, low or no humidity, sunshine, but lots of cloud cover while I ran. I left from my gym. This route goes up a hill .8 miles long, then downhill for about 1/2 mile, then kind of rolling. This route will take me out of town and then right back to the gym in 4.3 miles. So I ran 4 miles, back to the edge of town, then doubled back on my route.
I haven't stretched well after yesterday's hill workout, on the immediate uphill, I had knots in my lower legs, kind of on the edge of the shins-a weird spot. It only really eased up after about 4 miles or so. I had a pretty slow pace for quite awhile, it seemed like my shoes with only a 150 miles or so needed replaced!
I felt pretty good on the double back, it's always interesting to look around, you see things differently when you reverse the course. I kept scaring up a small flock of yellow finches that were nestled in the thistle-so pretty.
By the time I reclimbed the hill in the last mile, my legs felt really good. I really kicked it on the downhill, watching my leg turnover and not braking at all as I came down the hill.
I spent 10 minutes stretching well at the gym also. It just turned into a great workout. One of the good ones!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Hill Repeats

Since I got home a bit later than I wanted, and took the dogs for their stroll around the estate, I did my hill repeats on a hill closer to home.
This hill is only 1/3 of a mile long, but steeper than my other hill. The incline is about 15%.
I ran up and down it three times. Whew! This would definitely count as a focused quality workout! As my quads burned, and my calves burned, and my hamstring burned, I kept remembering Roy's advice "hill repeats. Baby steps up the hill". I reminded myself that this was to strengthen my quads, that in a race I would be power walking the hill, but the purpose of training was to build strength and endurance!
I also concentrated on the downhills, on not slapping my feet down, trying to keep a quick turnover, and not braking, just trying to flow down the hill.
It was a good workout, both uphill and down!

I went to the doctor today. I just have some inflammation in the head of my bicep, nothing is torn or wrong with my shoulder. He told me to take ibuprofen and can the upper body workouts for a couple of weeks. Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Yes, it's Still Raining

I have been reading “The Triathlete’s Guide to Mental Training” and I would have to recommend this. Although not a triathlete, training is training. For folks like me newer to the sport of ultrarunning, I’m always looking for help and advice with my training.
There are chapters devoted to:
Part Two goes into Goal Stetting and mental training plans. I have gotten a lot out of this.
Some random things I wrote down while reading this last night:
I had a coach tell me this as I was starting marathon training, but somehow I think I forgot it along the way:
What is the purpose of this workout? What is the goal I am working toward?
I think I do this quite a bit; I do the workout without thinking about the purpose…maybe junk miles or even junk workout. Yes, it’s still a workout, but I don’t think I focus mentally enough on it. I might do a great workout on my legs at the gym, but I think I also need to think about it, telling myself “this workout is to strengthen your quads so you have better endurance at the Buckeye 50K Race”.

This came from a chapter:
8 Laws of Prime Preparation
1. Take responsibility for everything that can influence your performance.
2. It’s about “the grind”.
3. Train smart
4. The purpose of training is to develop effective competitive skills and habits.
5. Consistent training leads to consistent race performance.
6. Patience and perseverance.
7. Failure is necessary.
8. Prime preparation is readying you to perform your best under the most demanding conditions in the most important race of your life.

Take today for example. I was all focused for a long trail run today. With all the rain, I thought maybe I could run around here. Then I finally thought, well, you could do your hill repeats today instead of Wednesday, why not switch the schedule around a bit. Sometimes I don’t think enough about the overall training plan, I just focus on the day.

I’ve been doing some reading on downhill training: This is an area I want to improve upon. My quads were getting trashed at Mohican-I was finding myself starting to walk down the last couple of hils sidewise.
Maybe this rain will let up and I can do practice!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Trail Run

I went down to Salt Fork State Park yesterday and ran about 12 miles, 3 hours on the bridle trails down there. I got a good workout in the heat, as it was 2pm in the afternoon. Most of the trail was dry and dusty; I of course didn’t think to wear my gaiters-duh. I was surprised to encounter large stretches of mud, which slowed me completely down as I had to pick my way through it. I did not lose any shoes to the shoe-sucking mud monster.
I encountered 20 deer; 3 were wee baby deer-fawns, still with their beautiful little white spots; one was a fine 8-point buck, with great brown velvet covering his antlers, he was gorgeous.
The heat really wasn’t bad in the woods, a breeze was blowing. I had two bottles with me, and had stashed a refill where the trail meandered by the road. I did take my Suceed capsules every hour too. A lot of the the trail was right by the lake, which was the noisest part of the run-it sounded like a highway with all that boat noise going on!
I got another blister, in this same weird spot, on the outside of my right foot. I guess I need to tape this area. I was examining my shoes this morning, and found there is a big spot worn through! Looking closer, I can more deterioration in the shoes-wow I didn’t think I had that much mileage into them. Maybe it’s time for a new pair of shoes.

I got home about six, which really seems weird, I usually run much earlier in the day, and Dennis and our friend Nigel, who is visiting from Norway, were just finishing up dinner and had opened the first bottle of wine for the night. So we had a fine evening, sitting outside, drinking wine and chatting. Nigel was dumbfounded to see “lightning bugs” as call them, or fireflies-they don’t have these in Norway.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Found Another Race

I am thinking about doing this race in August: North Fork Mountain Trail Run. Since I now know I can set up camp by myself, and run in hot weather, this looks like a good experience for me on some mountains (eep!!).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hill Repeats

I composed a big long blog entry on paper during an all day management meeting but of course, I didn't bring that paper home with me. Then my boss emailed me in response to my email, so I put my phone to voice mail real quick because I knew he would call me as I was trying to slink out the door to go run!!!

The running gods were smiling on me. I parked about a 1/2 mile from my hill, which goes up for 1/2 mile, ran over to the hill, and went up and over it twice, for a total of 4 miles. The thunderstorm was moving in, so I was moving rather quickly on the last uphill, and saw my pace on the last downhill was under a 9 minute mile!! The rain struck as I got into my vehicle. (I was just happy to be away from the lightning...)

I wore my trail gaiters, first time, as an experiment. I knew the road I was running was loose gravel and rocks. They seemed to keep the pebbles out of my shoes. I think I got them on correctly. They felt a little heavy and strange at first, but then I was concentrating on running uphill so really didn't pay them too much attention. I saw alot of runners at Mohican who had cool Dirty Girl Gaiters on so I think I want a pair of those!!

Maybe I will remember the rest of my post from work later. Most of it involved things I want to buy for running. Maybe I can finish composing that at work tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

4 miles today

Whew it felt good to be running again! I was going to weight train, but then thought about a run. So I left from the gym. Someone had told me about a road which would make a complete loop from the gym right back to town, so that would be a new route for me.
Good 1 mile hill up! Then about 1 mile down, then only about 2 miles back to town-so that's a nice new little route I have. Nice and hot on the asphalt at 430pm here, good heat training.

I feel great. I have a slight strain of my left quad-I fell, slipped actually, trying to push my riding lawn mower off the garden hose that I ran over on Tuesday yes, one of those stupid tricks you hope no one was watching. But it's just a slight pain, should subsist soon.

Tomorrow is hill repeats for me-the start of training for the Mountain Masochist (and it will only help for the Buckeye Trail 50K!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Favorite Pic from the Race

This is my favorite pic from the Mo Race. I was so happy to see my friends, and Regis seems delighted to see me too. This is what running is all about-friends.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kim & Regis Shivers Grist Mill Mile 36.6

Kim's Excellent Adventure

Very long, very rambling...

I had the most excellent, wonderful weekend.
Short version: I completed my goal of running 52 miles at the Mohican 100 Trail Run.
I also reached goal # 2, which was to run a bit further than 52—I finished up at 61 miles.
So I have run my first 50 miler this weekend, and my first 100 K!!

The weather just got hotter and hotter for June 17. We had a predicted high of 90 degrees for Saturday.

I arrived at the campground around noon on Friday, immediately met up with Sherry Meador from Alabama, got my tent set up. I gave Sherry a driving tour of course loops then we went back to pick up registration materials and talk with everyone. This was my first real socializing with other ultra-runners-what a friendly, nice group of people. How obsessive-compulsive we all are. I saw people with computer spreadsheets, handwritten pace charts of various times, course maps redrawn—all wonderful fodder for us runners. We even got into the “what’s in your drop bag” conversation. I heard about lots of other races (I heard enough about Massanutten to not really want to ever run it!!!) and got lots of advice. (I don’t know if it was good advice or not, but advice.) I felt good because I felt like I gave people not from the area good intel about the race course, having ran it before.
Even though we all were hyped to stay up and keep chatting, most of us were to bed early. My 330 am wakeup was the only cool part of the day. I kept thinking, ‘this is the only time you would be cold today’.
Race started right on time at 5am. It was already a bit humid at this point. The course was on the road at this point, country dirt roads, all ups and downs. We’d already been warned again and again of the temperatures, and all of us were walking the uphills.
We finally hit trail, which is the ‘green loop’ and were pretty much off on the adventure!
I had a good time. I felt strong, and kept drinking. I monitored myself, making sure I was sweating and peeing at least hourly. I was taking Suceed Capsules every hour. Probably most importantly, I was hungry at every aid station. I was eating with no problems.
I got through the first portion to the Covered Bridge. (Actually I’m still trying to figure out time splits, but they’re not very important.) Then we go out a short 4-mile loop, which includes a hand over hand climb up roots to a waterfall, a bit of an uphill road march, down to another waterfall, and back to the covered bridge. It was fun encountering tourists out for the day and politely asking them to step aside. I encountered some hikers asking how far we were racing. When I replied “100 miler” they said, “You’re crazy!” Well, yeah!!!
I grabbed two sandwiches (still hungry!) for the big hill that starts the orange loop. This loop is 17 miles long, and at one point, 7.5 miles between aid stations. This, on the hottest day of the year so far, probably did a lot of runners in.
I hit the aid station on this loop, load up with food and water, and start on this long 7.5 mile stretch between aid stations. This is where I am glad I know the course. I know how long it will take me to get down to the road section, and keep eating all my food I have brought with me. There was also a breeze blowing through the woods, and although it was hot, the wind was keeping some of the humidity away.
So I finally hit the road section about 2 pm. It’s very hot. It has to be 90+, and we’re hitting about a ½ or ¾ mile of pavement. I take the bandana from around my neck and place it over my head and plop the ball cap over it. I feel like I’m getting ready to run Badwater.
It’s very hot. I walk some, and then run as I am closer to the Gristmill, which is the next aid station. I turn into the driveway, and I see people coming out to see me! It’s Regis Shivers, his wife Diana, Wendi Babcock, who is crewing for her husband, Rich, in the race, my running buddy from Erie, Tom Jennings, who is waiting to pace Jim Fitch later that evening! Wow! How nice! It was totally unexpected! I knew I would see Regis and Diana out there somewhere, but really hadn’t been thinking about it. That was a great boost to my spirits at this time. They bandaged up my elbow better (I fell once, a great face plant, cut by arm up, got it bandaged at an aid station, then fell later and reinjured the same spot). I had a short ¾ mile loop up the side of a mountain and reunited with my friends for the short spot of hell on the highway. I had wet my bandana to put over my head this time. So I ran back toward the woods, energized after seeing my friends. By the time I was about at the woods, though, I started getting chills, which is the start of heat exhaustion (or heat stroke, I don’t remember.) I immediately slowed into a walk, and keep drinking. I knew I would be beside the river shortly, and I could always refill my water bottles there if I needed to.
This short section starts with a steep hill, then levels off, then has another steep hill. I started calling it suck*ss hill as I went up it. I heard a noise behind me, and I turned, expecting to see another runner. But it was a deer. Who didn’t want me to call it’s home that name. So I relented, took a pic of the deer, and thought more kindly about the hill.
In no time I’m down to the river section which is two miles. This has dried out greatly since we ran it two weekends ago. Another reason I’m glad I’m familiar with the course, I know landmarks, I am not just running on and on. It seems like no time when I’m back to the Covered Bridge. This time we cross the river, and this is wonderful! Because I’m wading through the water. It’s nice and cold and refreshing. Since I’m already soaked with sweat, I crouch down and get my entire body in the water waist deep. It feels great. I wade the rest of the way across and ask “can I stay here in the water for awhile?”
The workers say I am the only one who has asked that!! They plop me into a chair, bring me my drop bag where my dry shoes are, and ask me what I want to eat! The aid works are great! I ask for two turkey and cheese sandwiches-I am still eating and drinking just fine. I’ve also discovered V-8 juice is tasting wonderfully to me (which is good, with its high sodium content). Regis and Diana have also popped up here at the Covered Bridge to see me, which is so great to see!
In no time, they send me on the red loop, which I now remember why I have conveniently blocked the memory of it! It kind of stinks. It seems like relentless uphills. I get to a stream crossing, where I can’t cross without getting my feet wet. I really make my first mistake of the day. I’m thinking of taking off my shoes and socks, and another runner advises against it. So I splash across the stream and continue on.
I catch up to two runners, who are locals from Ohio too, and I actually slow down to their walk to chat with them. They are also only running the 52 miles, so I tease them and try to get them to run farther-because, by this time, everyone has told me I need to go farther than 52 and I’ve agreed I will go as far as I can!
This red loop seems never ending, even though I remember some of the landmarks. We finally hit the road to Rockport, which is the 52 mile point, my official “50 miler” spot, and I see my peeps-Diana, Regis and Wendi, just walking up the hill in front of me!
I get the official “Welcome to Rockpoint” bellow and get nice pics taken at my first 50 miler!! I also sit down to change shoes and socks. I’ve developed blisters from the wet socks and shoes and really don’t have anything to treat it with. So I change socks and shoes and decide to just gut it out to the Covered Bridge where there is podiatrist help.
I thank Wendi and Diana and Regis for being there at the 52 miler spot for me, and then talk to Regis for a final second, and tell him “I gotta go, I’m going to cry” and run out of the aid station (where I had to ask if I was going the right way). So I run down the trail, have a short little happy cry of celebration and set off into unknown mileage territory for me. I’m pretty good for a short while, the little celebration euphoria is still with me. But then it seems like I’m doing a bit more walking that running, and I’m feeling pretty fatigued now. I’m still ahead of the cut off times, but it seems like forever before I hit the next aid station. I don’t stay too long, and keep going to the fire tower. I know I have a really steep ravine to go down and then up, and I’m tired. My quads are pretty tired, and now my attitude is “I’m not so cheerful now”.
Let me explain. I’ve been happy since I started exploring the idea of running Mo. I was happy and cheerful on Friday, and so pumped and ready Saturday morning. I really felt good for the whole run. I kept meeting other runners who commented on how good and strong I looked-and that’s really how I felt! So actually, I was still happy to be out there, but just not quite so happy. It looked like the ultimate fantasy goal of running 100 probably wasn’t going to happen which was also okay. I wasn’t set up for a night run, I had never done a night run; I had flashlights, but they weren’t good ones and not tested, so I really would be out there in inexperience. So I decided out on the trail to drop at the Fire Tower, which was 7 miles further than 52, to put me at 61 miles, which I was wonderfully happy with! I walked the rest of the way in, just enjoying my time alone in nature. I saw a fawn, still with spots, just standing and looking at me. It probably had never seen a human before and had no fear.
I get to the Fire Tower and Regis and Diana are there again!!! I officially drop, Diana and Regis congratulate me, Tom is there also, Wendi is there waiting for Rich, so we have another celebration! Then Tom surprises me and says Jim, his runner is there. Jim ended up dropping at RockPoint behind me. We take some pics and chat about next years run-I’m sure Tom will be doing the whole 100 by then! And maybe we can scare up a pacer or develop some strategies by then.
Regis and Diana offer to take me back to the campgrounds, but first we have to get Rich through the aid station and beyond. He’s tired and not wanting to go on. Regis offers to walk down to the Covered Bridge with him (2.5 miles) and Diana and I drive over. As we are walking to the Covered Bridge, I cover my race number so they don’t think I’m still in the race-in fact they recognize me, but I reassure them I am out so they don’t need to get excited. I get some more soup here and we sit and chat with others while we wait for Reg and Rich to emerge from the woods.
We get Rich shoo’d out of the aid station for his second trip up the orange loop, and Reg and Diana deliver me back to the campgrounds for a wonderful shower. I have a really bad looking big toe, having smacked it good on a rock back at mile 18, but I figure there’s nothing that can be done at midnight, so I crash in my tent. I think about a beer or a glass of wine, but decide against it. Which was good, because I got nauseous about a ½ hour later, got outside my tent, threw up, of basically nothing, then felt better and went back to bed.
Sunday morning I was over at race headquarters with the rest of the walking zombies-I swear that’s what ultra runners look like post race. As bad as some of look during the race, we could do our own movie! It was a really nice morning of race reminiscing, cheering in the folks still out on the race course, finishing up!!! There is also a nice award for the “Last of the Mohicans” who came in at 29 hours 45 minutes.
I left for home shortly thereafter with some great memories and a great race experience.
I learned a lot of lessons too:
1. Although I don’t blister a lot, I need to learn how to tape my feet and have the products available to treat blisters.
2. Mental attitude is everything! I ran this race with my longest run of 2006 being 23 miles-here at Mohican. I knew I could do the 50 miles, though, because I knew the course and was confident.
3. More attitude-I was happy to be here-and it showed! I had a positive attitude all day long. It was something everyone kept commenting on, how good I looked. I felt good. I wasn’t going to let myself feel bad. I was still happy after I dropped. I was happy the next morning!
4. Make sure you hydrate and deal with the conditions. There were people out in the hot road section with no head covering.

I’m really really pleased with my performance. Hey, with some actual training and maybe a bit cooler conditions, I’m feeling really positive about doing the whole 100 next year!!!

I did it!!!!!

I ran 52 miles at the Mohican Trail 100 Run...+7...I ran 9 more miles to finish up at 61 milers, so I can call it my first 50 miler..and my first 100K!!!

More to follow. I just had the most excellent, fun weekend! I had a blast!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


This is my little dog that I've been fretting over. He's still here!
Rodan, or Danny as we call him, was one of our original two dogs. He had a sister, Godzilla (Zilla) who died about two years ago. Get it? Godzilla and Rodan? There was also a turtle for a short while, named Gidra, but Godzilla ate it...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tapering Sucks

To start off with though, there is a fox in this picture!(That's if the picture somehow shows up on blogger...) The little red fox was out again...and then, up toward the top of the hill, through the binoculars, we saw another one! So we think these are pups. Our neighbor has done some logging in his woods, so perhaps the foxes have been displaced a bit. Still neat to see in your front yard. We own 40 acres, some on either side of the road. Which is nice, because we can't see any houses from ours. Everything we look at, we own. Quite a nice thought, that no one can put a house, or a trailer, on anything I have to look at.

Okay, back to the taper sucks thread...

I'm far more antsy this time than last December, before my Las Vegas marathon and then the Huff 50K. Maybe because I was so busy with work, and a convention in Vegas that followed the marathon, I don't know. I guess some of it was I was extremely well prepared (and over-trained) for the Vegas thon. I mean, I had run 26.5 miles in prep for the Huff Vegas was merely a training run for the Huff.

I'm looking forward to seeing some people I have run with before on training runs at they can say "..thought you weren't ready for this!" I am looking forward to meeting some of the folks who also think Mohican is a beautiful place to run. That's part of my whole attraction with Mo, it's just so darn pretty to run on. You want a surface to run on? Soft pine needles? soft dirt? Rocks? Roots? Mud? Water? Tall Grass? Mo has that all.

While I enjoy running solo, I do like the company on the Mo trail. Even if I know they are far ahead, I know someone is out there. We're going to share the same experiences. The race winner is going to share the same thoughts that I did when we run through the beautiful ferns right before we get to Campground A. I hope the race winner looks at those gorgeous lacy plants and appreciates them as much as I do. I hope the winner looks at the symmetrey of the pine forest that was planted and marvel at the straight lines of the trees and stops to take a picture like I did...

Wait, this was supposed to be a bitching thread, I haven't gotten to that yet!!
Okay, every time I check the weather on, the temp goes up a degree or two in Loudonville. Maybe I should stop checking it.
I'm going to try to sleep in a 1/2 hour or so the next two mornings. If I can. I normally wake up around 430 am, then watch the clock click over to 515 am, my normal wake up time. So if I can sleep to 545, that would be great. I need to catch a few extra zzz'sss....
I guess I don't really have anything to bitch up. I want to go run!! I am planning on a 2 or 4 mile run tomorrow but then I think to myself, why bother? It might help with some excessive energy, but that's about it.

I just really want race day to get here!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

5 Hour Trail Run Today!

I ran the orange loop with Tom and Jim from Pa today. About 19.6 miles, 5 hours total.
Actually we started out at the fire tower, ran the green loop to the Covered Bridge, then ran the orange loop. (Mohican speak for the loops.)
The green loop was nice, muddy and rocky, leading down to the river and the Covered Bridge.
Then the orange loop is great; it's so varied. Many ups and downs. A great section through the pine forest, nice soft needles to run on. The ground is soft and muddy in places, but not too muddy.
I got my feet wet almost immediately, and they stayed that way the whole run. I have some blisters in weird spots (I think due to the wet feet). They are on the outside of my feet, near the heels. Maybe my sock got bunched up there.
I could have used a bit more food on this loop, and I will have to think about that for the race. I had 2 CliffBlocks (left over from the last run) one gel, and a few Jelly Belly Beans (that I never did finish.) So no wonder I was hungry. We stopped about mile 18 at the campground, where I had stashed water and cookies, and I think those SoftBatch cookies got me through the rest of the run!! (There will also be two aid stations with food on this section too.)
The part of the trail by the river was kind of underwater due to all the rain we've been getting. It was also raining on us there. There was no way to keep your feet dry; so there's definitely a shoe change at this next aid station!
We also have a river crossing here, which will be mile 32 into the race. Which will be interesting; right now the river is WAY up; like flood stage level due to all our rain. I don't think, if this continues, that this would be a safe crossing. And if we do still have the river crossing, I will need a complete change of clothing, not just shoes and socks. I can't see running in wet shorts and bra. So I think I will plan on that also.
Also, I am going to take my camera on my little journey, and I would definitely be double bagging it for a river crossing!
So way good intel for the upcoming race,,and good last minute long run before taper officially beginning now!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Shoe Sucking Mud

I went out for a 12 mile trail run at Salt Fork State Park this morning. It was a beautiful morning, about 70 degrees. I got to Salt Fork at 8am, nobody around but the fishermen. I started out on the 'orange loop' trail which the map advertised as 12.5 miles. A good horse trail, except for the shoe sucking mud!

I hit this first patch about 1/2 hour into the run. I was trying to pick my way through this patch, when wham!!! My shoe sank and my foot came right out of it! I yelled "oh shit" and as my momentum kept going, I lost the other shoe to the mud! Now I am standing in ankle deep mud, in my socks, looking at my shoes behind me!
I just started laughing, it was so funny. I plucked my shoes out of the mud, then had to find a spot at the side of the trail to get them back on my feet. I looked at my total muddy socks. There was nothing to wipe them off on. So I just put my shoes back on and hoped for the best! And they were fine, no blisters, nothing. This was a nice trail to run on, besides the mud. This was a little waterfall I encountered.
BUT I would have to say this was nowhere near 12 miles. I finished up in 1 hour 57 minutes. My Garmin said 5.8 miles, which I also figure is inaccurate due to all the tree cover. So I am guessing maybe 8 miles.

This leaves me far shorter than I planned for the weekend, but I will take it.

I did another ice bath after I got home. Ice bath rocks! (Well, after the firs 30 seconds, they do!)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ogden 20K Classic Race Report

This was the 30th year of the Wheeling WV Road Race.
I ran this last year, and this year's course continued to be the same-the "easy" course. (Due to road construction, several of the killer hills were removed.)
This leaves the Bethlehem hill, which is a nice 1.2 mile uphill, and then a tiny little hill about mile 11.7.
I decided to run this as my hill workout. I didn't get over to Wheeling as early as I wanted, and then the timing chips weren't available right away.So I got a 2 mile slow run in before the race.
The weather was beautiful, maybe 60'ish and kind of humid at the start. But it seemed like a cool breeze kept blowing throughout the race, really holding the humidity back.
Although my time was about 17 minutes slower than last year, I felt I had a better race. I just felt good, and happy! throughout the entire run.
These first miles are through a somewhat quiet industrial section of Wheeling. But what was different this year, besides no pouring cold rain, was spectators!! It was so abandoned last year, with the rain, that it was nice and surprising to see all the folks out, saying hello and cheering us on. One man offered us a cigarette around mile 3, and he then cracked up when a fellow runner quipped back that they'd be back in 2 hours!
Mile 4-- the infamous hill begins here. I kept wondering whether I should try and run it, or just assume ultrarunning status and power walk. I kept running, because I wasn't having that much difficulty. I was reduced to a small baby step turnover, but I kept my head and shoulders upright. I did turn it into a power walk briefly, but then hit a 'relative' flat spot and began running some more. Don't get me wrong, it was little more than a power shuffle. I saw so many people just fighting the hil and expending so much energy flailing their arms--it's not worth it!! Save your energy!
Mile 5- 13.53 The rest of the hill
Mile 6 11.20 The long downhill, about 1 mile downhill. I began chatting with a nice man, Mike, from the Pittsburgh area.
Mile 7- 9.46 this must be the rest of the downhill area. I lose Mike at a water station and continue on. I am feeling really strong, really good, and just so darn cheerful!
Mile 8. 10.37 We enter a bike path, which is flat, but it's not that bad. I have caught up to the walkers (there was also a 20K walk, which started 1/2 hour before us.) It seems like there are many more walkers these race, probaly due to the nice weather. It's not so lonely out there, and much easier to pick people off!
Mile 9 10.43. I take my lone gel around here, without any water, and my stomach makes some growls like that wasn't the best idea.
Mile 10 11.17
Mile 11 10.32
Mile 12 11.37
0.48 4.48

All around a good race. I saw some friends pre-race and had time to chat with them.
I didn't stick around for the free luncheon, it was still about 1.5 hours until noon, and I knew I would be home in 1.5 hours.

I got home right at noon and did my ice bath, and my legs feel better already.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Who Am I Kidding?

I just signed up for the Mohican 100 Trail Race June 17.
My goal is to run 50 miles at it. (Or, more like 52, to the nearest aid station.)

No more waffling, just focus on the race!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Marietta 5 Mile Race Report

Beautiful weather this morning for the race, about 55 degrees and sunny. This is the third time I have run this race right outside of Marietta, Ohio. It's put on by the YWCA and includes a 1 mile fun run, a 5K Walk, and the 5 Mile Race, and brings alot of people out. Luckily the 5 Mile race starts first!
I wear my Garmin 201 during races, and it helps to see my pace. I actually kept slowing myself down in the first mile-it was nice and cold out, and I just wanted to pound it! but I knew if I blew the first mile I would fade in the fifth, so I kept reining myself in.
Mile 1 in 9.22, good. Having run the course before, I knew it was flat, then we dipped downhill, and then kind of slowly crept back uphill again, then the last mile was pretty flat.
The two women pushing the baby joggers passed me. I just mentally sighed, because I have no frame of reference about these women-they might be 20 year old elites out there. Besides, I was there to run my race.
One of the baby joggers stopped on the downhill and I was able to pass them! (And they never caught up to me again.) Mile 2 was 9.11.
I did a really good job of reining people in. I picked off quite a few runners. Mile 3 was 9.02. I set my sight on the man in Black Shorts ahead of me,and gradually, I moved in on him. We started up the long slight uphill, and I just got closer and closer. He finally glanced behind him at me--it probaly was my ragged breathing.
I caught him on the crest of the hill and pulled away from him and never saw him again! M ile 4 in 9.35.
Woman in Yellow Shorts was ahead of me, and she actually stopped and I was able to blow by her. Some guys were yelling closer to the finish line to push it, which really inspired me to sprint it to the finish line mile 5 in 8.57, overall 46.25!
I knew I really pushed it at the finish line because I was thinking about throwing up!! LOL! Then that passed.
Only negative for the race was there was no food available, and the only drink was Cytomax or GUH20 in little Dixie Cups. There was bottled water and pizza available for sale. Luckily, I do not rely on races to provide,so I had my string cheese, apple, and ClifBar that I had brought (and my own water!)

I stopped and picked up some water and food for the run tomorrow. I hope to plant this before the run, at a spot where the trail will intersect. Of course,the maps of Mohican are not the greatest, and I am not all that familiar with the area yet.
I'm looking forward to the run tomorrow!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Musings on the Long Run Schedule

I am trying to work on the long run schedule for the MMTR. I don't want to overdo it, but I do want to have enough endurance built up. I was stressing for awhile wanting to do the Buckeye Trail 50K at the end of July, but I don't know if I will be prepared for that. So, I am not going to worry about running that race.
It's alot harder finding information on training schedules for ultras than marathons.
I think I am going to keep steady at running about 12 miles a weekend, and just steadily increase from there, and add a longer run on Sundays.
My MMTR Schedule does not "officially" start until July. I think I am going to redo that, and have it start June 1, just as base endurance training.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

If it ain't raining you ain't training

I ran 4 miles in Lake Park today after work. It started out as a really uninspiring run. My shins were tight, my thighs were heavy. I was thinking of maybe only running two miles after about 1.5 miles. (whine, whine, whine...) Then, I thought about the whole training commitment, and what is important in training for a long race--being consistent with your training schedule. And I had read somewhere, where a bad run might actually be good training, because you are pulling through the bad things. So, I decided to keep going- I mean, it IS only 4 miles, people!!
I had to duck into a restroom right at mile 3, and when I emerged, it was pouring down the rain. So off I went into the rain, now smiling, now I had no tight shins at all. It cooled off just a bit and it was a nice warm wet rain coming down. No one was on the path, the baseball players were huddled in their dugout. I savored the nice rain coming down and had a great fourth mile back to my car.
When it did promptly stop raining.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

6 Mile Run Today

A beautiful day for a run, in the 60's. I was rather tired, after work, but I changed clothes as quickly as a 120 lb lab and 82 lb chow/rottie dog would let me. It turned into a good run, too, so I'm glad I persevered. I still am trying to build endurance.
I ended up jogging two miles on the treadmill on Monday, I took that as a recovery day. Tuesday I did my core workout and cross trained on the elliptical trainer, since my quads were still a bit sore. They felt fine today.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ecothon 10K Race Report

[This was the Ecothon 10 K Trail Run, where I fell in love with running on trails last year... But as I drove up to the, I noticed the start/finishing line was right beside where we parked. Uh huh! New course! You could not ask for nicer weather. It was in the 60's, a wind blowing slightly, nice sunny day. A little chilly in a singlet and shorts at the start. The 5K and 10K runners went off together, so it was a bit of a crowd until the two groups split about the one mile mark. My friend, Marina, who I lost at the start, passed me around here saying she was now warmed up, and was at least 1/2 mile ahead of me for the whole race. I almost forgot, this was a cavewoman run for me. I took Garmin out at race time, and noticed the battery was dead! Oh well, time for a race accordingly to how I felt. It felt strange yet liberating not to be starting a watch at the start. Unlike last year's course, this race was completely over strip mined pasture land, over nicely rolling up and down hills. Some really good hills!! It was both pleasant yet boring, as it was a very gentle trail. The footing was soft, due to recent rains, but not muddy at all. I did feel my IT band a bit as some of the hillsides had us on a slanted surface, but I did stretch after the race. I clocked in at 1.11, which was two minutes off last years course of 1.09. Pretty good considering I knew no splits and had no way of monitoring myself other than the race.

1.11 was also good enough for 3rd in my age group!!
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