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  1. I signed up for Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 at the end of 2019. Like every other race it was Covid cancelled for 2020. Immediately following my 2 marathons earlier this year (Tidewater at the end of April & Jim Thorpe at the end of May) I found myself on the injured list. I got a calf strain from pushing WAY too hard. I've come to realize I am not someone who can run multiple races hard and come out okay. Sigh. Once my calf got better I hurt my hamstring deadlifting. And then I followed that up with an achilles/plantar fascia issue. To say my running was severely under-trained for this race would be a gross UNDERSTATEMENT! My cycling and swimming however (and CrossFitting) were well trained. My speed on the bike went from approximately 16.5 mph to 18.5 mph and my swimming had nowhere to go but up! LOL! I completed a 2.4 mile swim 3 weeks before IMAC. That swim turned out to be my fastest ever even with my panic attack and my horrible sighting skills. (1:43/100 yds) As race day approached I tried to think about the race and the logistics. If you have never done a Tri before the sheer amount of gear needed is overwhelming! I then started to try to figure out how long the race would take me. 1.2 mile swim - 40 minutes, transition 1 - 5 minutes, 56 mile bike - 3 hours 15 minutes, transition 2 - 5 minutes, 13.1 mile run - 2 hours 10 minutes. Add it all up and that's approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes!! Combine that with having to get to the race at 4:30 am to set up and start at 6:30 am I then realized nutrition would have to also be added into the logistics! I went to packet pick up on Friday before the race. I listened to the pre-race meeting 2 times. I studied my athlete guide. I did NOT want to get penalized. I ended up buying an Ironman cap because the run had no shade. Best purchase ever! I slept fairly well Saturday night and was out the door by 4:15 am. I went and set up all of my gear for transition. Towel, helmet, sunglasses, bike shoes, bike socks, bike jersey that I had prestuffed with food (2 Gu, a Honey Stinger Waffle, a Clif Bar and a homemade peanut butter banana muffin with extra peanut butter), sneakers, handheld with 2 more Gu, Ironman ball cap, bib with pins. Phew! I then went back to my car and ate some oatmeal for breakfast. Before long it was time to put on my wetsuit and goggles to line up for the swim. I placed myself in the 35 - 37 minute swim group and reminded myself to go out calm and smooth. (At AC Tri and the Cedar Island swim I had panic attacks and spent most of my time telling myself to CALM THE F DOWN! Lots of self talk happens when you are under water! Lol) We went out in groups of 5 from a boat ramp. Volunteers were there telling us to be careful. As I walked down the ramp I didn't realize that the ramp wasn't a smooth transition to the ground so I literally fell into the water. The swim went well for the 1st 500 yards. I was calm, cool and collected. Not a panic attack in sight! Yahoo! When we made the turn to swim across the bay all of a sudden it seemed like I couldn't make progress. I looked up to see why there was so much turbulence in the water. There were people standing up and walking! WTF?? The tide was so low that we could stand (and sink into the muck!) I got up and followed my fellow competitors. It was crazy! I was very worried about what might be on the bottom of the bay that we could step on - The race was in Atlantic City after all! -- ditched guns, knives used in homicides?? As we made the turn to head back on the 3rd side of the box I went back to swimming because it was actually faster than walking in the muck. My stroke was something more like pull the water, claw the mud, push the water. Soon enough the water became deep enough just to swim. I finished the swim in 36:32 (1:53/100 m) 10th in my AG Lapped my watch for T1. Felt good enough to run into transition while pulling off my wetsuit. The swim photos of me and everyoneare truly terrible with bay muck covering our faces. I stripped off the wetsuit, pulled on my socks, cycling shoes, bike jersey, helmet and sunglasses. I managed to run/jog out of transition as fast as I could. As I mounted my bike I hit my watch to lap it for the bike portion. My watch showed a screen I've never seen so I tapped it again and now it read T2. Ugh! I didn't panic. I just stopped the Triathlon function on the watch and changed it to the cycling function. Transition 1 actually included 1 "bonus" mile of riding so I still have all of the data recorded for the ride. T1 - 7:03. The bike ride was a loop. We had to ride the loop 2.5 times to complete the 56 mile ride. The wind was out of the southwest at 20-22 mph. Ugh. As soon as I got up onto the Atlantic City Expressway I took my first Gu. I was going to make myself drink and eat. On the forums the day before people were saying they drink up to 4 bottles on 50 mile rides. 😲 I maybe drink 1 bottle. It was around 80* so I knew I needed to stay hydrated. My bike splits were good until my last time coming out of Atlantic City. The wind had picked up and it was a battle. I ate 2 more times - one honey stinger waffle and my pb banana muffin. I skipped all of the on course aid stations. Bike splits per 5 miles -- 19, 19.2, 19.2. 18.2, 18, 18.2, 19.7, 17.6, 17.4, 17.4, 18.6. Overall average pace of 18.4 mph. 13th in my AG We still had a one mile "bonus" to bike back to transition. People were actually slowing down here. I couldn't believe it. I passed so many people who were just cruising in. I dismounted my bike and re-racked it, put on my calf sleeve, running shoes and hat as fast as I could. I grabbed my handheld, hat and bib number and then made a pit stop at the port-a-potties. Even though I still only managed to drink about one bottle on the bike I guess I was well hydrated. I had to pin on my bib number because my race belt broke at my last Tri. T2 - 8:54 (ugh!) I shuffled out of transition for the half mile out and back that we had to do in the festival area before heading down to the boardwalk. My plan for the run was to run 1/2 a mile and walk 30 seconds or so since I was so under-trained. Let me tell you my foot/achilles was killing from step 1! I had no idea if I was going to be able to handle the run. My 1st mile was an 8:47... No idea. As we left Bader field we made a left to head down to the boardwalk. The traffic the race caused that day was epic! The poor police officers were being yelled at by all of the motorists. The first aid station was right before the 2 mile mark. I filled up my handheld with some of the ice and water, but then I didn't get the lid on correctly. It was spilling everywhere! I saw 2 of my friends as I came up on the boardwalk and then quickly I saw one more. The guy behind me said that I knew everyone. I told him it paid to race local! I continued my run/walk strategy and grabbed water/ice and or Gatorade at every rest stop. Mile 2 - 5: 9:20, 9:06, 10:14, 10:07. I took a Gu around mile 4. I was so happy when we made the u turn to start running back north. I saw another friend volunteering around mile 6. She was directing everyone to run out on the fishing pier. Perfect photo op spot! Mile 6 - 7: 9:35, 9:55. We had to go out around the Pier at Caesars (a shopping mall). It was the only shaded spot on the whole course! mile 8 & 9 - 9:36, 10:50. I took a Gu in the shade. When I made the turn to continue north on the boardwalk I saw Nicole and then Cathy and Cathy's friend!!! Cathy drove all the way from CT to see me race! I tossed my handheld to them and continued on with a tiny bit more pep in my step. Mile 10 10:01. I came up to an aid station that was manned with all of my Tri club friends. They cheered for me. Yay! They said the turn around was just ahead so I decided to keep going and grab some water/Gatorade on the way back. The turn around was not right around the corner! It felt forever away! Mile 11 - 10:21. I wasn't going fast but I just kept going happy to be finally headed for the finish line. I tried to pick up my pace as we rounded the Pier at Caesars one final time. Mile 12 & 13 10:00, 9:24. I could hear Cathy and Nicole screaming for me. As I left the boardwalk to run to the finish through the soft sand I tried to go as fast as I could ... which wasn't fast at all! I was so happy to be done! 13.1 - 2:06:54 (9:36 pace). 6th in AG What an epic day! So many good friends helped me make it to race day! I finished with a time of 6:01:57. 7th out of 38 in my AG. 10 minutes out of 4th and 30 minutes out of 3rd. I went into this race not knowing what to expect. I left this race with goals. Heaven help my friends. Lol!
    6 points
  2. The short: I nabbed my best ever overall placing with what was by far my slowest time at this race, with 2nd overall female in 38:15. Due to various factors (the heat, peak marathon training, seeing two friends suffer devastating losses in the days before the race), my expectations for the race were not high. In retrospect, I am quite happy with the place and quite meh about the time. Results are here. My Strava activity is here. Better together The long: I continued my hot weather racing streak at the Plaza 10k, with no clouds in the sky and 80 degrees on race morning. Because the race fell 3 weeks before my season goal marathon, I planned to train right through it, and the forecast made me confident that was the right decision (i.e., I won't run a fast time at 80 degrees no matter how rested I am). The week before the race I had workouts that never felt good but that I hit my paces on, which is typical for me in the throes of marathon training, and a few days before the race I saw 104 miles on my rolling 7. I don't think racing without a taper necessarily hurts my performance, but I certainly don't feel as fresh; I just grit it out when feeling tired like I do in a lot of workouts during marathon training! Before things went downhill in the days leading up to the race, my goal was to place as high as I could. The best I'd ever placed at the race previously was 6th overall female. I also hoped to win overall masters female, and to break the Missouri age 40 state record of 38:04. Race morning I warmed up with friends and tried to enjoy the moment, but had a really hard time getting my head in the game. In the few days prior to the race, I had a friend who lost her son unexpectedly and another friend who lost her husband, so it was difficult to place importance on the race. My heart wasn't in the race, it was with them. Race instinct took over to some degree, and I slowly upped the effort. Like every Kansas City race, this isn't an even split course, though this is the flattest course I run in that area with about 170 feet of elevation gain. Mile 2 was 6:03 and mile 3 6:11, though as usual I didn't look at my watch during the race. Typically this race has a clock at the 5k but this year they didn't have a clock or timing mat, which I missed! Sometime around the halfway point, Chandler and I pulled away from Amy. I felt confident that I could hold onto 1 and 2 with Chandler; I had no pep but the pace also didn't feel that hard, and I knew Amy had to be feeling a lot worse than I was to let us gap her.I saw several fast Kansas City women on the starting line, and knew they would push me in the race. From the gun a woman I didn't know was ahead for the first half mile or so, then me and the ladies I was running with (Chandler and Amy) passed into the top 3 female positions. I knew both Chandler and Amy were talented runners, and I was hopeful for a top 3 finish because our start felt very conservative (6:13 on the flat first mile) and no other women were around. Running with Chandler is always a pleasure! I really enjoyed sharing most of this race and most of Rock the Parkway with her. She is kind, positive, and helps me get the best out of myself. With where I was mentally and emotionally for this one, running with a friend beside me was extra helpful. Mile 4 is downhill and usually my favorite mile of this race, but this year they were doing road construction in that area and it was all rivety. It was not ideal terrain for Next % shoes, that's for sure! My friend Andrew, who went out faster than me, hopped up on the sidewalk for a moment to avoid the crappy road, and I considered following him but it cut a corner off the course slightly so I didn't because I sure wasn't getting disqualified in my one chance of a top 2 finish at this event! He realized the situation soon and jumped back on the I'm-going-to-twist-an-ankle road, and shortly after that Chandler and I passed him. I encouraged him to go with us, but his faster start had caught up with him a bit. My 4th mile was 5:51. Laughing at Brent around mile 4 Mile 5 goes back up the incline the course goes down in mile 4, on the opposite side of the divided road. Some years I have loathed that climb, but it was okay this time, possibly because I was running so much slower than I ever have at this race! The split was 6:13, which is about even effort to our other miles with the elevation gain. Chandler and I were still side-by-side. Shortly after we passed mile 4, there was an aid station on the side I was on. She mentioned she was going to get a water, telling me because she was going to have to cross either right in front of or behind me to grab it. I told her I'd grab it for her since it was on my side. I picked up a bottle and passed it to her, and it was caught on camera. Despite the shot being unflattering of me, I absolutely love it! Team work makes the dream work! We passed mile 5 together, and right after Chandler began pulling away. I tried to stay with her but I didn't have any get up and go. She gradually extended her lead, and I tried not to give up but my heart really wasn't in it and I settled to some degree. If I'd kept at it mentally, she'd have still gotten me, but not by as much - she finished 15 seconds ahead of me and my last mile was 6:02 and final kick 5:45 pace. Clock shot I ended up finishing in 38:15 gun time. They didn't give chip times to the overall winners (i.e., results have chip and gun time as the same, since that is how overall prizes are awarded), but I figured since I started between Christian and Andrew, whose chip times were -10 seconds and -12 seconds respectively, my chip time would have been 38:04 (tying the state record). State records go by gun time so gun time is all that matters there, but of course that would happen to me! Much like in the half marathon, I know I can run significantly faster than the record time, but I cannot do it in 80 degrees. Post-race fist bump caught on film After the race, I headed out on the Trolley Trail for 11 more miles, which is too long to call a cool down. I felt fine running very easy, and finished up my final 20+ mile day before my next marathon. Andrew accompanied me for the whole addendum as part of his Chicago Marathon training, which was quite helpful. I'm not sure what the future holds for my next race or for everything else in life, but I know who holds the future! God's plan often doesn't make sense to us on earth, but it's always best. Miles from Mentor Splits
    3 points
  3. 22km (14 miles or so) and 3400ft of climbing, followed by descent again. This was the high point of my day.. I knew this was going to be hard, but it was still harder than expected, more like a marathon effort than a half. Took me 3hr 53min which is longer than any marathon I've (yet) run. To be fair if I did run a marathon now it would be in the 4h30 region. Not much running in the previous months as I'd been nursing a bad knee which my physical therapist told me not to run on. The first commandment of running injury recovery is, Always Listen to your Physical Therapist - you shall have no other desires but what they say.. A bit of swimming since the other physical therapist had fixed the biceps tendonitis, and a good bit of MTB riding on gravel trails with plenty climbing, thought it would be enough. Ha no. Yes, I had two PTs, one for biceps another for knee. Reminds me of the old joke, 'Trust people ? Trust people ?! you sound just like my other psychologist'. Start at the bottom of Jones Pass, near the Henderson mine. Here they mine molybdenum and they're always recruiting, molyjobs.com posters all around the race site even. 2200 feet over 4 miles to the first aid station, cut off at two hours. I think I ran about 200yds total in those 4 miles, the rest was a determined steady plod at maximum HR while panting heartily. Here's the Alltrails.com picture from the top of the pass where the aid station is. We started away down in the woods somewhere. A failure to read the topo map accurately brought a fine surprise, OK we're up the pass now, but there's still a thousand feet to climb along the Continental Divide trail to that high point. More plods, with occasional jogs. This pic from the race photographer @jordanchapell sums it up - a young woman leaping swiftly down the trail behind me, me firmly earthbound grinding along. Views were terrific. The winds howled over the Divide. When unpinning the number later, I found the winds whipping it around had actually bent the safety pins nearly open. Here's a pic I took at one point while panting on the side of the trail, trying to calm my heart down as it tried to leap out of my chest. Runners all across the horizon, a real highwayman's farewell.. Most of this was runnable if you had working legs, which I did not. It seems I overcooked the climb. Staggered on and out to the turnaround above Herman Gulch to get my bib punched. The volunteer asked if I was OK, must have been looking a bit ragged. Assured him I had a flask of Coca-Cola and two Honey Stingers left, I'd be fine. Another race photographer @sohboyum shows the start of the downhill section. I did break from a walk into a sort of wobbling lurch but you can't tell it from the picture.. One of the volunteers said, "it's all downhill from here !" Replied, "even if that's not true I'm going to believe it - lie to me, please". ;-) Lumped and bumped down the rocks and roots of Herman Gulch, passing day hikers who most politely stepped off the trail for us sweaty plodders. The finish at 22k was also the aid station for the 50k runners. I watched them come in and leave again, legs trembling with fatigue. I could not have left again. A bus, masked, back to the Empire ballfield where the food and beer awaited. Sat down and stuck in the chair until they called my name. Turns out I'd won my AG by default, being the only one. (art by idigoddpairings) Now the proud owner of a genuine Norwegian cowbell, made of genuine brass rifle shell casings from the Norwegian military. What a great prize. Beer by Tommyknocker brewery in Idaho Springs, excellent. Drank two without feeling a thing. Said farewell to my table acquaintances, and went up the road to find a little creek for a bit of fishing. Once I get out of the house I like to get full value from the excursion. Too tired to fish effectively and left soon for a nap, still did get a bit of a lower-leg soak in the cold water and a couple pretty miniatures of trout.
    3 points
  4. Feels like forever since I ran a race thanks to Covid so I jumped when I had the opportunity to team up for this race. The race consists of a 2 mile running leg, 18 miles on the bike, and another 2 mile running leg. One of my RBs (J) who cycles frequently was interested in teaming up for the race so I was glad to take the running legs. The duathlon is a fund raiser for the group that maintains the Byway. Three other RBs from my LRG were there to volunteer so there were familiar faces around. The race was scheduled to start at 8:30 AM Sunday. I arrived around 7:45 and met J in one of the parking areas The temp was 50 degrees with a chilly wind - much different from the 70+ degree temps over the past 2 weeks, but good for running. We set up in the transition and I ran a few miles to warm up. J is into the local Tri scene and thought we had a good chance to win the teams division. Our optimism didn't last. We saw a local cycling club who calls themselves the Dutch Flyers had sent a team to the race. They're fast. Very fast, just as the name implies. J pointed out our competition. He recognized their cyclist from some Triathlons and knew him to be very fast. There was no way J was going to beat him so I would have to beat their runner to give J a head start on the bike. After a briefing on traffic, road hazards, and transitions it was time to line up. It was so nice to line up with a group of runners again. Around 100 runners were lined up. Soon the horn sounded and off we went. My prerace strategy was to hold back a little on the first leg to save something for the second leg. That strategy wasn't going to work if we were going to beat the Dutch Flyers, so I went out hard. The running route was an out and back with some rolling terrain. 7:15, 7:14. So much for holding back. Apparently our competition didn't send a fast runner because I beat him soundly to give J a 3 minute head start on the bike. We made the transition and J started the cycling leg. J figured he would need around 55 minutes to cover 18 miles on a hilly course. I watched other runners come in and make their transition. It's impressive to see runners who can jump on the bike after running and continue to crush it. After 40 minutes or so I started warming up again with some easy running and mixed in some pickups. Cyclists started arriving back to the transition area so I waited near the timing mat for J. The transition area wasn't policed. The Dutch Flyer rider crossed the mat. Like clockwork, his daughter was right there to peel the Velcro chip strap off his leg and hand it to their runner. All I could think was really, did that just happen? J wasn't kidding when he said the Dutch Flyer rider was fast. J had a 3 minute head start and averaged 19.5 MPH on a hilly, windy course, but this guy caught him and proceeded to finish 1 minute before J. I could do nothing but stand there and watch their runner go as the rider and his daughter laughed thinking they had us now. After that 1 minute which felt like an eternity J pulled in. The 2 of us and our cold sluggish fingers took forever to peel off the Velcro chip strap. As soon as it was in my hand I took off running hoping I could chase down the runner who now had a head start with only 2 miles in this leg. The fast first leg definitely took something out of me. I pushed to the point just before gasping starts. Finally, just before the turn around I came over an incline and saw him about 100 yards in front of me. It was going to take a while to catch him. I hit the turn around just after my watch showed 7:25 for the first mile. I started back on the uphill hoping the incline would slow him down and tried to step on the gas. The incline must have slowed him because I caught him quickly and passed. I knew I had to put some distance between him so I dug deep and tried to draw on anything I had left. The last .5 seemed so long, but soon enough I crossed the finish line with the Dutch Flyer runner still behind me. The other RBs from my LRG were there and were cheering as I finished. 7:20. Crushed it. Beat those Dutch Flyers. Stick to the bike my friends or come bigger. The post race food was provided by 99 Restaurants and was good. I really enjoyed this experience. Not sure if I enjoyed it enough to dust off my bike, but would definitely do the team thing again. I'd like to find another race before Rehoboth. Forgot how much I'd missed the racing scene. Run well my friends.
    2 points
  5. Very sorry to hear this. I had to stay away from all forms of exercise after dealing with chronic itbs injury where my hip was aching all the time even while not running. After seeing all kinds of doctors, many imagings done, three different PTs over two years period, I just stopped everything including stretching and strength workouts for about 2 months resting completely. I build back gradually starting with my PT workouts then slowly increase my milage and incorporated strength exercise too. I have flare-ups here and there but never lasted more than for few days. I hope the complete rest will do you good. And be patient coming back. Good luck!
    2 points
  6. Mrs. Dave is in a facebook group that I am not. Couple of weeks ago she saw a post about a Ragnar team that had a runner drop out at the last minute and did anyone know someone who might want to go. Ragnars have always looked fun to me, but outside of the Loopsters I don't really have any running friends. Maybe I should get out more. It's never really fit into my marathon plans, so I don't know that I'd have done one anyway. Although, being uber-susceptible to peer pressure, if someone had asked before I likely would have said, "Take my money," and joined whether it was a good idea or not. I'd had a good couple of weeks of running while we were visiting the new grandson, but still hadn't made any definite fall race plans, so it seemed like I'd be able to do three legs of a Ragnar with no problem. Thought about it for a couple of days, then told her to pass my interest back to the team captain, if he was still looking. He messaged me the next day and said I was on the team. This was Sunday evening. The day after that I went out in 81o and 90% humidity and rode the struggle bus for 4 miles before Gallowaying another 2 miles home. Tuesday was roughly the same conditions and roughly the same result. Had me questioning most of my life choices at that point. But by then I'd Venmo'ed Russell the money, so I was committed. So many times in my life I should have been committed, so why change? Wednesday I felt fairly crappy still after the two rotten days of running so I just rested and packed (and mowed the lawn). Ragnar does publish a thorough list of things you need for their events, and that alleviated a fair amount of stress getting ready. I only needed to buy a reflective vest and a tail light, and borrow an air mattress. Apparently Russell has been organizing two teams from church to run the Michigan Road Ragnar for all six years it's been held (minus last year, of course). They rent four vans to avoiding overcrowding in transportation, stay in hotels both the night before and the night of the relay so there's no sleeping on the ground or crashing in the vans. Costs a little more, but after seeing other teams doing it dirty and getting rained on and/or frozen, everyone considers it worth it. Ragnar Road Michigan runs 190-ish miles from Muskegon to Traverse City, much of it along the shore of Lake Michigan. Beautiful scenery and cooling lake breezes. We all met at a Park and Ride in Ann Arbor, then drove in the vans to Whitehall, a little place just north of Muskegon, for the night. Turns out that I already knew several of the runners from various church functions over the years, so I wasn't the loner I expected to be. I called age privilege, which scored me one of the two beds in the room. Then after dinner it was straight to sleep, with a long 30 hours coming up the next morning. I was runner #3, which gave me legs 3, 15, and 27. Our first leg was Ethan, a freakishly tall guy who's prepping for the Baltimore Marathon this year. It's pretty dark at 7:00 AM Haven't mentioned the weather yet. It was perfect for Van#1. At start time it was around 50o with almost no wind. Ethan cruised through the first leg and handed off to Alex in second place. Not that place had anything to do with anything. Maybe it's normal or maybe this was just because they were short handed because Covid, but we were only allowed to over achieve our expected times by an hour at four designated exchanges. If we came in too fast, they'd hold our team up for two hours to put us back on schedule. We spent most of the day trying to go slow enough to avoid the hold. That was fine as far as I was concerned. I'd originally submitted a 10K pace of 7:30 per mile since I'd run a few miles at the end of my workouts near that. Approaching the whole thing as a race that seemed the way to go. After the two crappy runs at the beginning of the week, I'd re-submitted at 8:00 per mile and hoped I'd be able to be in the neighborhood and not embarrass myself. My first leg was 4.1 miles. I was warming up when I heard someone start yelling my name. Oops. So I raced across the parking lot and met Alex just in time to get the bracelet. And of course I'd forgotten to get my watch going early and since I was still thinking, "race," I couldn't very well wait for the satellites to find us. It took almost a quarter miles before it did. But I was finally running and not feeling terrible and while there were only a couple of runners in front of me, I thought I might be able to reel them in, and hoped I wouldn't get passed myself. Mile 1 (from the time I got a satellite lock) was just under 8:00. Felt like I could go 4 miles that fast but not faster. Also made me worry that it wasn't going to be doable for my other two legs - but I'll get to that in a minute. Mile 2 was 7:53, and I'd passed two people and saw another kind of far out there so didn't know if I could catch him/her. With that decision left for later I just tried to keep from dying. Mile 3 was 7:57. Not bad. Since I'd started measuring late I knew the last mile was going to be short, but I also saw that I was gaining on that other runner - some of the time. She (by this point I could tell it was a woman) wasn't holding a steady pace. Sometimes I'd make visible progress closing the gap and at other times not. There wasn't much left in the tank, but I pressed as much as I dared. Got within 10 or so yards and she put on another surge, and I thought I'd lose her. Then she backed off again and I passed. Not exactly with authority, but at least steadily. She must have lost it right after because she finished a good 50 yards back. Mile 4 (.89 to be accurate) was 6:49, or 7:40 pace. So there was a little bit - not a ton - in the tank for that last mile. I was beat, though. Final time 30:39 for 3.89 miles/7:53 avg pace. While that first leg was almost exactly what I'd submitted, there was also no way in hell I would be able to run 8 minute pace for legs 2 or 3, both of which were 6.7 miles and both of which had much more elevation than those first 4 miles. The good news was that there was time for lunch and some rest before my second leg. We ate at a small diner out in the middle of nowhere. Not middle of Wyoming or Montana nowhere, but pretty nowhere for Michigan. The food was good but I regret having the pulled pork sandwich, because it stayed with me for far too long, including throughout the second leg. I also regretted A. not resting more, and B. not warming up, before my second leg. We were almost an hour ahead of schedule, so there was no rush to get going, but instead of jogging lightly and making sure I was loose to start going, I stood around and wondered several times if I ought to go use the POPs one more time before I ran again, then took off right behind another running, foolishly expecting that I'd pass her right away for another "kill." BTW, I've decided I don't like the dark imagery of "killing" other runners in these things. There should be something more friendly. At any rate, after just a few steps I was sucking wind and my right IT Band was not happy, so there was no killing to be had. I was lucky to keep from falling way behind. Since we were ahead of plan, I had selflessly agreed to run this leg at 9:00 pace. Good thing, since I knew immediately that I wouldn't be going much faster. And of course less than a mile in I heard from Abby. The instructions were VERY clear about relieving ourselves along the course. I had zero confidence in making it 5-1/2 more miles. Panic rose. I may have prayed. I rounded a wide bend in the road and saw a park and baseball field on the other side of the road - AND A POP!!! Disaster averted. I had passed a couple of slower runners in that first mile and two of them went by while I was engaged. Didn't care. Back on the road, I saw that the first mile (including 80 feet of climb in the last quarter) had been 9:08, just like I planned. The next two were a little fast. 8:32 and 8:35, although they felt slower. The ITB wasn't getting any worse, and that was helpful. This was the prettiest section that I ran on, between two little beach towns. No view of the lake, but the road was quiet and winding and tree-lined. Really nice and peaceful. Mile 4 had some rolling hills. 9:28, so I was tracking pretty close to the 9:00 pace I was looking for, and if I'm being honest was about as good as I was going to get. Passed a few other runners. Mile 5 was 8:52 and Mile 6 was 9:03. Finished the last .7 in 6:20 (8:59 pace). Total 59:58/8:57mm. Just like I'd promised. This is where I give mad props to Russell for planning the hotel for the night. Monster storms rolled in about 10:00 PM and lasted through the night. We felt sorry for the two Van 2's because they had to run through all of it. We were warm and dry and quiet on soft mattresses. Really glad I was in Van 1. I showered, skipped dinner (still had that pulled pork in my system) and crashed hard. 2:00 AM was awfully early, but I did get almost 4 hours of sleep, despite my ITB hurting like the dickens. How would I be able to run at all tomorrow, let alone another 6.7? We woke up to no power in the hotel as a big section of town was knocked off the grid by the storm, but at least it had mostly stopped by the time we started our third legs running at 4:00 AM. My run was at about 5:00 and still pitch dark. The ITB had settled to a minor irritant, so I was happy about that. Oh yeah, this 6.7 miles started flat, then climbed 300 feet in less than half a mile. We were still flirting with a timing hold, so slow was better than fast, thank goodness. There was no giddyup in these old legs by then. 9:34 for the first mile, then 10:15 as I started the hill. I walked up 2/3 of it. And I'd do it again. There was nothing to see since it was so dark, but I'm sure it was pretty. Actually walked most of the way with Josh, a young guy who I remembered passing in Leg #2 the day before. But my running pace was better than his, so he dropped off when we reached the top. The ride down was just steep enough to not be fun. 12:40 for mile 3. There was a Ragnar sign at Mile that said, "Soak in the view." I can only guess what sick bastard decided to put that there when this leg was being done at 5:30 in the morning and sunrise still two hours away. 8:54 across the top and then 8:17 coming down the north side. I saw a couple of flashing tail lights ahead in the distance, but there was no way I was catching anyone else that morning. 9:06 and then 5:13 (8:45mm) for the last .7. Total for Leg 3 - 1:03:58/9:42 avg. Just like that, I was done. My body was grateful, but I think my mind wanted another run. After we got into the van to go to the next exchange point, I crashed on the seat and don't remember anything until the two exchanges after that. Body won. I think I saw another handoff, but I can't be sure. We passed off to Van #2 and went to find breakfast. Eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes. I was hungry. Then, to Traverse City to meet the rest of our team and Van #1 from the other team, and wait for the Van #2's to finish. Not a bad weekend. The crew from Van#1 Saints on the Run, Team #1 A team called the "Barbies" left these girls on several of the other teams' vans. Naked. I thought that wasn't appropriate for a church related van, so I dug into my supplies and gave her an outfit to be proud of. Ragnar bucket list item checked off. Does this replace the Hood to Coast I've been wanting to do since forever? Maybe. Of course if I get invited to fill out a HTC team I'll probably go, but I'll have to think about the expense, etc. before I try to lead another effort to get into that lottery again. As for now, I had one so-so run yesterday - felt super heavy and slow and awkward - and the ITB was killing last night and this morning. Got it to settle down with the roller and some heat but the rest of the day my lower right back has been killing. No run today. We'll see about tomorrow tomorrow. Not very encouraging about a marathon still this year, but I'm nothing if not an optimist.
    2 points
  7. September 2021 in review! Total mileage for the month: 360.3 August 30-Sep. 5: 97 Sep. 6-12: 90.4 Sep. 13-19: 90.8 Sep. 20-26: 78.1 Sep. 27-Oct. 3: projected at 67 (marathon week) Deciding between #swoleseptember, #smallseptember, & #stuckupseptember #speedyseptember Races: Sep. 12: Plaza 10k in 38:12 for 2nd overall female, making it both my worst Plaza 10k and best Plaza 10k. #celebratingseptember Workouts: Sep. 4: 23 miles via 3.3 easy, 4 x 5:00 tempos, 8 miles easy, 4 x 5:00 tempos, 2.7 cool down, with 2:00 jogs between tempo portions. This was one of those workouts where I never felt great, but gritting through and hitting goal paces was possible. My tempo paces were 5:58, 6:00, 5:54, 5:57, 5:57, 5:55, 5:59, 5:55 (goal 5:55-6:05), which I was very pleased with in 74*/dew point 73* and considering how I felt. After I finished the first set of tempos, I thought there was no way I could run another set at that pace, and certainly not after running 8 more miles, but turns out I could. I love workouts like this and think those tempos near the end really pay off! Casey and Colin ran the same workout, and I got Colin to run on the outside of the loop (farthest path) while I ran on the inside (shortest path) and I was able to stay close enough to him that it helped pull me along. Sep. 7: 3 x 10:00 at tempo at 6:02, 6:00, 5:58 with 2:00 jog recoveries (3.6 warm up, 2.4 cool down). This was another one of those workouts where I never felt great, but I could grit through it. Must be high mileage marathon training! Sep. 15: 20:00 tempo (6:05, 6:22, 6:22, 6:18), 4:00 jog, 10:00 tempo (6:26, 6:23), 3:00 jog, 5:00 tempo (6:12), in a 15.2 mile run. Oof. My body felt trashed on this run, and even though I didn't hit my goal pace on anything except the first mile, I was strangely satisfied that I stayed 6:12-6:26 when I had nothing. Running the Plaza 10k and 20.2 miles total when not at all rested on Sep. 12 and being away from home longer than planned took its toll on me (I worked in Kansas City the two days after the race then stayed an extra night before going straight to SE Kansas for funerals). Andrew and Josh ran this with me at the Downtown Kansas City Airport, and I was thankful because I needed all the help I could get! Sep. 19: 18.7 miles with 10 easy, 2 MP (6:20, 6:21), 0.5 easy, 1 MP (6:08), 3.7 easy, 1 MP (6:19). This workout could be titled Indecision! I was scheduled to run 2 x 6 miles at MP in an 18 miler, but I didn't think I had it in me mentally or physically to hit that workout due to the week I'd had - plus I'd made Sep. 15 into a long run workout since I didn't think I'd have time to do a second run that day and ran all my miles in the morning. I went back and forth a lot about what to do on Sep. 19, and settled on doing 18 easy, reminding myself that I hadn't missed or modified a single workout the whole training cycle, and cutting this one was better than trying it and digging myself into a hole 2 weeks before my marathon. I felt okay during the run, and Casey was running 12 with a 2 mile fast finish, so I decided to do those fast finish miles with her. Then I decided I'd do another MP mile so I'd have 3 at MP, or 25% of the original plan (it seemed sensible at the time!). Then I ran into Colin towards the end of his 2 x 6 miles and ran one more MP mile with him to finish off my run, which was also why I ran 18.7 instead of 18. I'm still not sure if I did the right thing, but it's done! From the 4 miles at MP I did, I can say I wouldn't have hit the 2 x 6. Sep. 22: 2 x 6 miles at MP with 0.5 recovery, or Third Time's a Charm, because after missing this workout on Sep. 19 I was planning to run it on Sep. 21, but a severe thunderstorm delayed my run start by 45 minutes that day and I didn't have time to run a 15 mile workout before work at that point. I was beginning to wonder if I was just not meant to run this workout, but I am glad I was able to. After a poor workout on Sep. 15 and a reduced workout on Sep. 19, I really needed a confidence boost before racing, and this workout helped. I ran the first 6 miles as I plan to run the first 6 miles of my marathon, aiming for 6:25 pace. I averaged 6:23 via 6:30, 6:23, 6:29, 6:19, 6:28, 6:10 (1, 3, and 5 were into the wind and 2, 4, 6 had a tailwind). I ran the second 6 miles at what I hope to run the final 6 miles of my marathon at, aiming for 6:10 pace. I averaged 6:12 via 6:15, 6:11, 6:09, 6:20, 6:13, 6:06 (the 6:20 mile was mostly into the wind, the rest were a mix). The first 6 miles were gently rolling and the second 6 relatively flat. My average for the whole shebang was 6:17.5...who knows the significance of that? Hah. As much as I wanted my marathon pace to be 6:15 this cycle, this workout made me think that it is probably 6:20. Sep. 25: 4 miles at marathon effort within a 12.3 mile run. I went by effort and not pace since we were on a hilly route and since that's best for me at this point in training. My splits were 6:13, 6:21, 6:33, 6:19, with the first mile having more downhill and the third being mostly up. 6:21 average seemed about right, and that was also right were I was on miles 2 and 4 which were more equal with their rolling hills throughout. I ran this with Colin, who then had 3-2-1 mile progressive tempos after the 4 at marathon pace. My 12 miles with some pace work the week before a marathon never inspires confidence and this one was no different! Sep. 28: 3 x 1 mile at MP with 1:30 recovery in 6:12, 6:16, 6:12. I don't think this is my marathon pace and because my sinuses were really stuffed up it sure didn't feel like it. I've done this enough that a not-confidence inspiring taper week workout is just par for the course. Strides: Sep. 6, 11, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, and at least a couple before workouts/races. Doubles: Sep. 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 21, 23, 28. #sleeveseptember or #sleeverlessseptember Long Runs: Sep. 4: 23.1 miles (7:27), with a workout described above. I had 3 friends (Casey, Colin, and Christian) running 20+ this day too! Sep. 5: 12.3 miles (8:03) with Elise, David, Colin, Casey, and Zach. Sep. 8: 12.1 miles (8:06) with a big Wednesday morning crew! Sep. 12: 20.4 miles via 3.2 miles warm up, the Plaza 10k, and 11 miles addendum (too long to call a cool down)! Sep. 15: 15.2 miles, with a workout (described above), in lieu of running 11 miles in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Sep. 18: 18.7 miles (7:31), with a little work (described above). Sep. 21: 15.1 miles, with a big workout, described above. Sep. 25: 12.3 miles (7:23) with 4 at marathon pace. Note: I defined 12 miles+ in a single run as a long run for the purposes of this section this month. Running Highlights: My mention in my niece's collegiate athlete bio pretty much made my month! Read it here. I hit 104.3 miles on my rolling 7 for September 2-8, but didn't realize it until September 9 (e.g., was unable to add 1.8 miles that would have gotten me a new 7-day mileage PR). I try not to be too obsessed with mileage numbers but I kind of am... This is more a low-light but needs mentioning. My coach is taking a hiatus from coaching due to a new job and life stuff, so I'm back to self-coaching temporarily. It went okay when I did it this spring, so I'm optimistic, but I also know I can't be 100% objective about my own training. My running buddy, who I also coach, Casey ran an awesome PR in Berlin with a 2:52:37. I was so excited about this I felt like I'd PRed! Seeing it all come together for her was thrilling! Life Highlights: Jon and I celebrated our anniversary on Sep. 17, and Albani's birthday on Sep. 18! School picture day for someone who currently hates photos Birthday - she did not want photos Celebrating Also celebrating I wouldn't let her eat cake until we took pictures Anniversary! Books: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin The Swallows by Lisa Lutz My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami True Colors by Kristin Hannah Mean Streak by Sandra Brown The Passenger by Lisa Lutz Theme for the month: It's just running. One of my friends lost her 24-year-old son and another lost her 40-year-old husband this month, which made running seem really unimportant. In the midst of an unplanned trip to Kansas to attend their funerals, I trained as scheduled, but I was not emotionally invested in it then or really for the remainder of the month. I'm running a marathon on October 3 but I can't seem to care about it like I usually do.
    2 points
  8. the bike is very annoying because you can buy speed, which means to be competitive you have to spend money.. every single expensive bit of my tri-bike is from ebay ;-) including the frame, bought it for $500 and then built it up.. A new bike won't do much for speed. Cheaper and faster is to buy a few bits for the existing bike. A disc rear wheel is worth 2min or so over the 70.3 bike ride. That is relatively easy, $100 for a wheel cover from wheelbuilder.com. Real discs are thousands but the wheel cover is about 98% as effective aerodynamically as a real disc.. front wheel isn't so easy, but can be found used for a couple hundred. Another minute or two. Tires and tubes are startlingly important - mostly through rolling resistance. Check bicyclerollingresistance.com for more detail than you could possibly want ;-) I tend to get the mid-range tires that are a bit cheaper and more durable, something like Continental 4000. Then latex tubes in them for race day. Ordinary inner tubes are butyl and slower and less comfortable than latex. Other cheap improvements that give good bang for the buck, - aero helmet - tight fitting bike top with sleeves, and keep it zipped up ;-) A generally good aero helmet is the Garneau P09, though I have trouble paying $200 for a bike helmet. My aero helmet was $100 used from a friend who was upgrading. Position on the bike is the single biggest factor in speed, because of aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is weird and wildly specific to the individual. The only way to tell if a bike fit or position change will actually be faster is to go to a wind tunnel, or do some homebrew aero testing. I used to ride a small circuit on the road out at a state park at max effort, early in the morning to avoid wind and traffic, and do 5 repetitions with each setup. Averaging the times gives a rough idea of whether it is any better. Things like angling the aerobars up, moving them up and down, saddle etc.
    2 points
  9. I've been stewing over here with my strained ITB, and this gives me a much needed jolt of excitement. Racing! Way to crush those Dutch.
    1 point
  10. Hi people! I think I can tell the same story as a lot of you can tell right now. Maybe. You'll see that I don't talk to a lot of runners these days. Running has been a part of my identity since I was in high school, although I have always struggled with my relationship with running. Sometimes it was just running. Sometimes I was happy to go out for a routine run and felt that I needed it more than I felt obligated to it. There have been times that sticking to my running expectations created inner turmoil and feelings of insufficiency. I've ignored injuries, I've nursed depression with months of not running. I have won small local road races just as many times as I have walked off a course to a DNF (neither many times, but it's an example of being all over the place). But running has always been personal to me. My father and I have a long history of running the Peachtree Road Race together. I've been living out of state since 2014, and moved back in late 2019. COVID crushed the excitement of PRR2020, but the old man is still going, so we got another chance, at long last, this year. The race was great, as it always is. But as we are always evolving as people, I had my first "no shame run in public" where I just let my body do what it could. Yes, I am out of shape, and I knew better than to expect anything faster than 10:00 min miles. There's always that edge that racing and competition give you, and I always think that maybe I will pull out some magical time due to that hyper-drive state. But this year I didn't want to. I wanted to be right where I was, I wanted to do exactly what I could, and I didn't want to feel inferior because of it. Running is so mental, in all the ways one can interpret that. What a freeing feeling it was to just let go and enjoy a day with my dad. He whooped me, of course, but it was fun! All this said, I have realized that my struggle with my own ideal of what kind of runner I SHOULD be has drained the enjoyment out of it all. I have isolated myself from making runner friends, from running groups, and even from talking about running. I made it too hard and too high pressure. So today, I set the Garmin face to show only my heart rate. Whenever I couldn't slow my pace down enough to get down from threshold, I walked. I even walked in front of another runner; no posturing! I walked most of the way home! And I was happy for it! Anyway, I know it's kind of quiet here these days. I hope that just maybe any of you who come by this get a little boost. My name's Crystal.
    1 point
  11. Our Gilda's Family Walk & 5k Run was in-person this year which I ran on Saturday, Sep 18th. Gilda's Club is a wonderful organization located in Royal Oak that provides free support and networking groups, educational lectures, workshops and social activities for cancer patients and their loved ones. One of the women from our running group formed a fund raising team for the event. We had about 11 people associated with our run group sign up. The race starts and finishes at our city high school and since it is only a little over a mile from my home I run up to the race using it as a warmup run. The start time weather was actually pretty pleasant after the many hot summer days with it being in the low 60s and partly cloudy. I started out running with one of my running buddies that's a few years younger than me and who is usually little faster than me. We ran together for the first mile and then he says he is going to try to catch one of the women from our running group that is ahead of us. I am pushing pretty hard and let him go, first mile in 8:08. I keep pushing and after passing through the parking lot of our Gilda House finish the second mile in 8:01. I keep pushing for the third mile passing a few people but not catching my running buddy with my third mile in 7:55. I try to pick it up for the last 0.3 mile trying to catch the runner in front of me and narrowing the gap a little before he also starts picking up the pace and I can't catch him. My last tenth of a mile was at 7:22 pace. Anyways I always hate it when somebody passes me just before I finish, where I alternate thinking I should have been pushing harder to the finish or that the person or people that pass me had been running easy during the race and were just sprinting to the finish. I finish in 25:07 ten seconds behind my running buddy. With COVID the number of in person runners was very small; 107 total, but I still only managed to finish 3rd in my age group of 60-69 (which just happened be the largest male age group with 9 runners). Overall I was happy with my effort since I have not been doing any real speed work for over a year.
    1 point
  12. I didn’t mean to go almost 3 months without writing. I’ve been busy but not that busy. There’s been stress, but who doesn’t have that? Somehow, at the end of the day, I just have lacked to motivation to sit down and write. I’m too mentally tired tonight to spend the extra half hour dealing with photographs, even though that is always the best part of my posts. I will add just one as the "feature" photo. Marathon training for Chicago has gone well, though that perpetual goal of 4:30 will remain out of reach. I might have a PR (under 4:43) in me. We’ll see if the weather is good and how much the flat course helps. I’m still a little short on my Team in Training fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – as of this moment I need $135 to hit my minimum and $385 to hit my posted goal. I’ve gotten a lot more than usual on facebook by posting video messages. Shocking, considering I don’t have one of those pretty faces that people can’t resist. (Seriously, my sister as a child could walk down the street at the farmer’s market where we had a booth as a family and people would constantly just give her stuff while I was standing right there – granted she was still a little kid at the time, and I wasn’t, but it was weird…) It stayed hot for a long time, got cool for a couple weeks, before it got really warm again last week. I feel like I should write more about running since that is the what the point of this blog is supposed to be, but it’s mostly been uneventfully smooth. (Which is great) The job search continues, but finally seems to be making progress…I have two jobs where I am in the interview process and would be happy to accept either one. The in person interview I did on Monday went really well, but I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait to hear back. The second job I did a Zoom interview for last week, and now have an in person interview scheduled but not for another two weeks. By then I might have heard from the first job. They are somewhat different, but both health research related, and would both at least somewhat relate to my master’s degree. Speaking of which, last month I got a real in person graduation ceremony exactly a year after it should have happened. (Although I took all of the classes online, even pre-pandemic, the university was local, and I liked the idea of getting a real ceremony. Getting “hooded” for a master’s degree is kind of cool) My household situation has changed, since my sister has gotten engaged, bought a house and moved out of the house we have been sharing. She’d been spending less and less time here anyway, but it’s still lonely and now I have to do all my own cooking again! (She did most of the cooking when she was here). I thought my diet would improve when I started planning the meals again but it hasn’t that much. Maybe once the job thing has settled I’ll have more mental energy to devote to planning meals and eating better… If anyone wants to help make a dent in that $135/$385 (or push me beyond - it all goes to fighting cancer) here's the link to my fundraising page - https://pages.lls.org/tnt/gat/chicago21/ABrinker (But I know everybody's got more places for their money than money to go around...)
    1 point
  13. Fantastic job! Considering also the muck-wading/swimming (ew)… massive congratulations!
    1 point
  14. Way to go OC! You crushed it! Congrats. Miss you.
    1 point
  15. OMG!! That’s exactly what I’m thinking!! Honestly if you saw my running leading up to this event you would know that I left so much out there in that event alone. Definitely thinking about a professional bike fit or a new bike … if I can afford it
    1 point
  16. Finish on the sand. Add that to my list of reasons I'll never do a tri. I know you don't do any of this to impress me, but I will say it anyway - I'm seriously impressed.
    1 point
  17. well done ! and so it begins ;-) That's exactly what happened when I started tri.. hm wait, I'm nearly on the podium, just a bit more training maybe ? a new bike perhaps ?
    1 point
  18. 1 point
  19. Great Race, way to adapt to running the half and finishing it well, especially after doing the swim and bike portions.
    1 point
  20. Great job! It sounds like a good time, but finish in soft sand, I would have died! (Who am I kidding, I would have been dead long before that!)
    1 point
  21. Way to go, Gwen! Such a great race. You're really an exceptional athlete - you know that, right???
    1 point
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