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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.