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  2. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. atombuddy (69)
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  4. Took me a while, but I'm glad I popped by to catch this fantastic bloop!
  5. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. Stewmanji (39)
  6. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. TreeGirl --
  7. Happy belated birthday @Dave.
  8. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. Dave (64)
  9. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. SeniorRunner (84)
  10. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. littlefiretop --
  11. Hello goldendesign, Welcome to The Loop. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. goldendesign joined on the 01/09/2023. View Member
  12. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. THE Col Cupcake --
  13. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. RunnerB --
  14. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. Todd Albright (57)
  15. Congratulations on a great race season. From your posts it really seams like your consisent Cross-Fit workouts have really helped your running. Also great photos, thanks for sharing.
  16. Awesome year Gwen! So much fun doing Rehoboth with you again! Already looking forward to next year.
  17. Where to start?? Let's see -- my last post was from Ironman AC 70.3 on 9/10/22. I had a TOUGH time recovering from that all out effort. The heat, dehydration and race effort led me to feel super sore and fatigued for about a week. I still had SO many races and events on my calendar that I really wanted to rebound quickly, but I really tried to listen to my body. I had a super fun Crossfit competition on 10/8/2022. I joined RunEatRalph's GAP relay team (10/15/22) at the last minute and ran 24.5 miles. I used it to train for the New York City Marathon. I had the AC Half Marathon on 10/23/2022. I had originally signed up for that race thinking I would go for a PR. Decided to just use it as a training run. 1:53:52. On 11/6/2022 I got to finally experience the New York City Marathon on a super warm November Day. I was supposed to run this in 2020 but... ya know...COVID. It was a great race, but I was super under trained and got super dehydrated from the heat....again. Once again I had trouble bouncing back. I knew I only had one event left in the year - Rehoboth. I thought about deferring the race, but this registration was from 2020! How many times can I push off this registration?! So when I showed up to Rehoboth I was just going to fun run or see how I felt. By now anyone who knows me knows that that means that I might go for it. I really had zero intentions because my running mileage after NY was pitiful! 11/7-11/13 1 mile 11/14-11/20 7 miles 11/21-11/27 6 miles My CrossFit training is the one thing that had been super consistent through the year. The week of Rehoboth I decided that since I wasn't going to race Rehoboth then I didn't need to taper. I actually decided to kick up Tri training. Lol REHOBOTH WEEKEND: I rode the ferry across with Laurie. We picked up our bibs and then went to Dogfish Head for some beer and dinner. We ran into all of my RW friends. A couple of the guys asked if I was running with them. "Negative. Uh no. Nope. Just fun running." After dinner I went back to my hotel and went to bed early. Time away from my puppy meant a solid night's sleep! Laurie, Tom and I met in the hotel lobby to walk to the race start at 6:45 am. We met up with some of the South Jersey Runners to get a quick picture. I wished everyone good luck and headed over to the 2 hour pacer. Brad found me in the huge crowd. I told him to run his own race and to not wait for me. I had zero expectations. The race started and Brad literally jack rabbited away from me. It was so fast that it was almost comical. I always start with a slow first mile and build from there. It was hot and humid! In December! I took my windbreaker off and tied it around my waist in the 1st mile. So hot!! Mile 1 8:47 The first few miles loop through the streets of Rehoboth and then go up onto the boardwalk. I was running comfortably hard....so much for a nice easy day. As one of my friends says about me -- I have no intentions of racing... until the gun goes off. Mile 2 & 3 8:10, 8:01 As I passed my hotel I realized that I needed to ditch my jacket. It was WAY too hot having it tied around my waist. As quickly as I could I untied it and jettisoned it onto the hotel patio. I was unsure if it would be there later, but no way could it stay tied around my waist. Thankfully Harlen from SJR saw me do it and grabbed it and handed it off to Marianna. I got it back right after the race! #winning After the boardwalk section the race course heads into Cape Henlopen Park. My friend Don from the Tri club came running past me at this point. he told me to run with him at 7:45s. I declined and let him go, but somehow I must've clicked it up because I caught him. I was literally running right behind him....but didn't tell him I was there. Lol. My friend Brad was about 15' ahead. I really wanted to introduce Don to Brad because they run similar paces, but didn't want to expend the effort. Mile 4 7:48. At this point it became apparent that I would need to stop and use the port-a-potty. Damn GI tract. Thankfully there were 3 POP in Cape Henlopen at the 1/2 marathoners turn around. I had to wait in line. The stop cost me roughly 2 minutes according to Strava. Mile 5 10:10 At the turn around I realized the wind had been at our back and was now in our faces. Ugh! Somehow I managed to get right back into race pace. Mile 6 & 7 8:01, 8:10. After mile 7 the wind was at our backs again. I stopped at an aid station and grabbed a small cup of water. I slowed to a walk and took a sip and swallowed it. Decided to take one more sip and start running again before I swallowed. I choked as I tried to swallow and ended up having to spit it all back out. I REALLY wish someone had caught that on camera. LOL! Mile 8 8:03 Now we were headed for the trails! I love, love, LOVE the trails! A lot of people slow in this section, but I can usually hold on and it feels WAY better on my funky achilles. You run under a section of flags and out to a turn around. In this section I had SO many people calling my name! Super fun. Eric, Jenster, Jess, Ashtin, Laurie! I realized I wasn't that far behind the guys who were going for a 1:50 finish, but man, I was WORKING! Mile 9 & 10 8:02, 8:19 At this point someone yelled out my name and then they yelled out Joelene's name. I had no idea until then that she right there. Now I was running scared! LOL! I was thinking that I had to hold on for 3 more miles! I also knew that I was super close to a new PR. Mile 11 & 12 8:04, 8:19 When we popped back out onto the road I was happy to know that I was close to the finish. We ran down the main street, onto the bike path for a bit and then along some residential streets. My GI tract was threatening again, but thankfully behaved. I was giving it everything I had. Mile 13 7:59 and I managed to kick it up for the last .17 to a 7:39 pace! At the finish I ran into Brad and Don and I finally got to introduce them. New PR of 1:49:10. 2nd in my AG -- Actual moving time -- 1:46:58 => I'm going for a sub 1:45:00 in 2023! You heard it here! I am not getting any younger! The after party was epic as usual. Brad Joelene & Don DJ Pesch Ashtin, Jess & Laurie Tom, Laurie, Jess & Ashtin I got hired and fired as a chaperone that evening. #winning Jess & John ________________________________ 2022 Season Recap 2/25-3/12 CrossFit Open - finished in top 84% of my AG 3/20 Shamrock 13.1 -- 1:53:27 4/18 Boston Marathon -- 3:58:58 BQ (also a PR of POP stops ... smh) 5/1 Broad Street Run 10 miler -- 1:18:47, 10th in my AG -- 7:52/pace -- Probably the race that I am most proud of this year 5/28 Murph WOD 6/18 Cape May Pointe 2 miler - 15:00 -- Probably the race that I am most disappointed with. 7/9 1.2 Point to Point Bay Swim 9/10 Ironman AC 70.3 - 5:41:06 -- 1st in AG & World Championship qualifier. Probably my most shocking (to me) race result. We're going to Finland! 10/8 AC Fittest Comp 10/23 AC Half Marathon - 1:53:52 11/6 New York City Marathon - 4:22:14 12/3 Rehoboth Half Marathon - 1:49:10 PR!!!!
  18. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. Laura McElduff (53)
  19. spectacular, thank you.. good bread is very hard to find in the US.. I like Dave's Killer Bread, if my wife doesn't make bread for me ;-)
  20. Congrats, way to rock WSER, and to be smiling at the end!
  21. Congrats on such a monumental achievement.
  22. Wow! I love it! Such a dream come true! Thanks for all of those gorgeous pictures!
  23. Back by unpopular demand – an account of my WSER Be patient: I’ll try to keep it as short as possible. A salacious “Gravity is a b*tch”, uttered by a fellow runner, greets the first, steep uphill known as the escarpment. The race only started a few minutes ago; the anticipation, the jitters and tension, the excitement and fear giving way to focusing on breathing and not going out too fast. I stay well behind: I can actually see the sweep team not far behind me. But this was the plan all along… go out slower than you want to – and then slow down further. Fescennine remarks all around. Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho I’d whiled the time away before the start chatting with Loop stars Mild Sauce and Laura of the Flying Matzes. I badly needed to… rarely had I been this nervous before a race. I really wanted to bring this one home. After all, this race was the result of 7 previously unlucky draws, one intercontinental flight and countless hours spent running on the hills nearest to my place. For this race, I’d foregone steep mountain sides and technical trails in favour of gentler inclines, swapped rocky singletracks for hills and woods, forced myself to run when tired, while I would usually start hiking. All for the coveted buckle. It's NOT all downhill from here There's nowhere else I'd rather be The first part of the race covers the high country, but I can feel that it is going to be a hot (VERY HOT) day. So I decide to get doused in cold water at each aid station. This would prove to be a wise decision. The 2022 run of the WSER was one of the hottest on record. The heat training Rewind the tape back to May, 2022: an unwilling runner from Northern Italy decides to face the unseasonable heat to train smack dab in the middle of the day – he’s been warned that one of the possible dangers of WSER is the heat. He also looks online for a sauna and discovers that one needs to be careful when choosing one: some are apparently chosen by swingers for the thrill of transgression. After carefully weeding out the saunas attended by such riffraff (don’t get me wrong: I’m all for freedom, but “ewww”), he chooses a respectable sauna not too far from where he lives. “I must’ve gone out too fast, after all”, I say to myself after seeing Mild Sauce at the Duncan Canyon (24 miles). She’s smarter and younger, fitter than I, so maybe this is not my place to be. But I’m only looking to finish this thing – actually, I’d secretly harboured hopes for a GOOD finish, but I soon realized how foolish such harbouring was. Duncan Canyon is also where I first meet Countess Fifi and my mate (also soon-to-be pacer) Roberto. Their sight is a welcome relief, they help me out with aid-station-related chores, and they raise my spirits. The highs before the lows. The Robinson Flat aid station is simply fantastic: you get a Tour-de-France style cheering, wonderful volunteers, and a chilly dousing to die for. I wish I could stay here for a looooong time, while pampered and treated like a pharaoh. But of course I can’t; I leave with a smile on my face, ready to tackle the heat and the following section of the course. Little did poor, hapless Moose know that such jollity and mirth were soon to be quashed: after the Miller’s Defeat aid station, I enter the dreaded canyons section of the course. Dreaded because this is the hottest part of the race, the one I was warned about, the one I was fearing the most. Also, slow punters like me enter this section in the hottest hours of the day, so we get the best worst of it. The trails there are not particularly technical, so I try to run whenever I can, helped by an ice-filled backpack and an equally chilly bandana for my neck. It’s likely also that my circumspect sauna training also played a role in me not succumbing to heat stroke. A mouthful of dirt and the art of the creek bidet Unfortunately, the trails are incredibly dusty, which means that if you have someone running in front of you (like I did), there’s about a half pound of dirt per mile cheerfully shoved in your airways. But I take it all in stride, mindful it could be worse, like that one time, years ago, when I fell face first in mud while running – Euromud is not very tasty, in case you were wondering. At the bottom of the canyons, thankfully, there are creeks in which one can dip oneself, arse first, for a bit of respite from the torridness which surrounds us. There’s a small group of us sitting in the creek, and we glance at each other in compassion, our eyes glazed by sweat and fatigue. Yeah, ok, but I almost want to LAUGH and I secretly grin (secretly ‘cos I don’t want to spoil the pity fête for the others), because these kinds of “bidet experiences” au naturel are just fantastically AWESOME. My formerly overheated perineum is experiencing some sort of nirvana. Sir Ernest Shackleton’s soup Aaaand… up we merrily (yeah right) go up to the Devil’s Thumb aid station (who comes up with these names anyway?). A fellow from the medical team, so I assume, tells me I have a surprisingly – and literally - salty face and need to replenish my salts, then tells me to ingest a boiling hot chicken soup. I really don’t fancy something hot in this natural, beautiful, open-air tandoori oven, but also don’t want to question him: word has it that in the past people have been forced to retire from the race for non-compliance with the instructions of those manning the aid stations. The scene goes like this (some dramatization may have been added): Aid station fellow: “You really need to replenish your salts, your face is kinna briny and you’ll end up like a dried gherkin” Me: “Hot, salty chicken soup when the outside temperature is probably over 100F? Ea-sy pea-sy, sir.” And I fake an unconvincing approving face. But I get to next-level faking when I ingest the scorching, lava-based concoction in front of the fella, and I do it smiling and with gusto – as if I were Sir Ernest Shackleton being handed the hot soup upon his arrival on Elephant Island. After this ordeal, I spot some ice lollies (oh yes, I mean popsicles) on the table and proceed to taste, with double sampling, all of the flavours available there, to the amazement of the lovely lady in charge of the popsicle bowl. I leave the aid station, but only after having received much encouragement from our friend Laura, who was probably there all along but whom I only spotted as I was departing. I really needed to see a friendly face! Thanks!! 🤩 The following descent to El Dorado Creek and uphill section to Michigan Bluff see me at my lowest point in the race – a shapeless mass of organs and limbs trying to fight the force of gravity; jetsam and flotsam in a sea of fatigue and helplessness; a former also-ran, barely progressing on a red carpet readied by the fickle trail gods to laugh at my unspectacular likely demise, only pushed by the prospect of finally seeing our Countess FiFi at the Bluff. "Where's the ambulance?" There, I try to eat a turkey sandwich she made for me, but honestly it feels like eating mattress foam (to be honest, I have never tried mattress foam. But I’m guessing it tastes exactly like this soulless bread). So, two bites it is and a few minutes of rest. I get to Foresthill as the sky turns dark; I get someone to fix my foot blisters, rejoice at seeing the wonderful Matzes who convince me I’m still looking great (I’m pretty gullible, you see) and then get going again, but this time in the company of my pacer pal Roberto. Thank you Laura and Kynan - you guys ROCK I don’t remember much of the night hours spent on the trail, apart from a. The wonderful JoAnn of the medical staff at Cal-2, who, upon my request, gives me a cream for my sore muscles. It may well have been a cream pour le visage - I’m a firm believer in the power of the placebo effect; so I feel much better. b. The awesome 24-hour party people at Cal-3. c. Chatting with legend Gordy Ainsleigh before crossing Rucky Chucky. d. Crossing the river – so awkwardly I wish there wasn’t a photo record of it. e. Roberto going quiet after I surprising start running again after Green Gate and never stop for at least 1h30 minutes. He says he doesn’t want to burst my running bubble. The awkward moment of silence - ahem. "Hold on to the rope, you fool!" And so, with the first light of day, we get to Quarry Road; a Måneskin song blares out full blast, and we spot Scott Jurek, who BEGS the two Italian trail running superstars for a picture (loosely based on a true story). We grudgingly agree – after all we’re still the humble snotty kids who started out on the street. Just this once, Scott. The rest is just a dream, so vivid it may be real – knowing I will soon be a finisher of this race, the 30-hour time barrier ghost having been banished and left in the dust somewhere in the night, a lonely No Hands Bridge and the Pointed Rocks aid station - a welcome sight, with the Countess giving me the last bits of encouragement. What a star. The trudge "Did I remember to shut the gas at home?" It’s just past 8 am, but the day’s already hot as St. Pacer and I tread upon the tarmac in Auburn, thanking onlookers slouched on camping chairs and awkwardly smiling at everyone. Roberto lets me have the stage for the last 300 metres on the Placer High School track. I hear the speaker say my name and a bunch of info of no interest to anyone, and I slow down: I want to make these moments last forever, I don’t want to wake up, this dream can’t be over so soon. Where's the toilet? But the finish line is there, and with it a finish line photo op, the feeling of elation, the sight of the Countess, the hugs of my friends, a few of which I didn’t expect to see (Alice! Mark! Jukka!). Ice cream - NOW PLEASE! Right then I’m not fatigued, I can’t wait to bask in the glow of the remembrance of a lazy, scorching weekend in Northern California. A weekend which I will always treasure – because life, the one worth living for, is probably made of silly choices like this one. A choice made to discover once again I’m the luckiest person alive, because I can count on a bunch of punters who love me and dream the same dreams as me. Cheers, Moose
  24. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. meowmom --
  25. The Loop would like to wish all members celebrating their birthday today a happy birthday. gdionelli --
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