Sunday, January 13, 2008

What a Weekend of Racing!

Many of "The Group" was running this weekend. Congrats goes out to Lori and Leanne for completing their Goofy Challenge. For those who may not know what that is, it is running a Half Marathon on Saturday and following that with a Full Marathon on Sunday (in Disney World of course). Throw times out the window, just completing that in 2 day is AMAZING and OUTSTANDING! I tip my hat to you both!!

Congratulations to Lynda as well for completing the Full Marathon and to their Dad (yes Lori, Leanne and Lynda are sisters) for completing the Half Marathon!

I will say right here and now that I envy them - to have a family that would band together to do something of this nature is awesome!

Now to the local race! Jim, Cathy and I ran in the PSCI Icicle 10 Miler this morning. It was a great day to run! The sun was shining and the temperature was 45 degrees. There were 478 runners in the race - a far cry from the Marine Corps Marathon for sure! It only took me a couple of seconds to get to the start line - pretty cool! The course was made up of rolling hills but for the most part it was more uphill for the first half of the race and down for the last half. There is 1 MAJOR hill right at the end of the race that I thought was going to cramp my right hamstring! I've never been so happy to get to the top of a hill!!

When the race started, Cathy took off at a really nice clip and Jim and I were moving pretty well too. Jim and I hit the first mile at a little over 8m/m and Cathy was somewhere ahead of us. I didn't really have a specific goal for the race - I really haven't been doing much in the way of hard or fast training - so when we hit that first mile at about 8 I was thrilled and decided that I would be ecstatic if I could average 8 - 8:30m/m for the whole race! I ended up picking out a runner in front of me (wearing a green shirt) who appeared to have a nice easy stride/pace going and just told myself to stay with her. Shortly thereafter, I saw Cathy up ahead of me a caught up to her. We spoke for a couple of minutes but my green shirted runner was pulling away so I sped up in order to keep contact. There were a couple of times when the hills started to get to me and I just concentrated on my breathing and sticking with the green shirt and before I knew it, we were at the turn-around point and I knew that MOST of the tough hills were behind me - YEAH!

On the way back to the finish, we definitely had to contend with some wind! I was wearing some loose tights and a long sleeve shirt. Temperature-wise it was a pretty good choice but the wind was cutting right through my shirt and was actually making it hard to breathe at times (I'm sure my cold wasn't helping there either). I could actually feel the cold on my chest and stomach and how it was constricting my chest. It was a really weird feeling! But it wasn't so bad that I thought there was a problem, just enough to have the sensation. Once we got back into the wooded and residential areas I didn't have the sensation as much. We also got onto a nice long down hill section and I really tried to stride it out. I was still sticking with the green shirted runner and was feeling great about my race. I had been consistently hitting the mile markers at 8 minute intervals. Then I saw it - the right turn that led to THE HILL! About 1/2 way up the hill I was even with the green shirted runner but when we got to the top, she had a bit more left in reserve and was able to pull away from me. At the top of the hill we turned left and ran about 1/4 mile to the finish. It was in this last 1/4 mile that she pulled away. She finished about a second in front of me - yes, she was also in my age group but I didn't care. I had given this race a great effort and was thrilled with my time! I finished the race in 1:20:32 which is a pace of 8:04/mile! I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to maintain an 8 minute pace for the whole race. Bill and the kids met me at the end of the race - it was a great way to end the morning!

Congrats go out to Jim who finished in 1:30:49 and to Cathy who finished in 1:31:48. My hat especially comes off to Cathy because she has been fighting her sinuses all week long. They really flared up on her during the race, making it hard to breathe, and she gutted it out anyway. WAY TO GO CATHY!

Overall, a great racing weekend! Again, congrats to everyone involved!

Moving on: now that everyone is past their major races, I'm looking forward to being able to add some harder training days into our schedule. I have come to realize that my legs aren't responding as well to race days when I don't do ANY harder training days. Lori has already said that she would be willing to do some track workouts with me once she has recovered from The Goofy. I'm actually looking forward to putting in some time on the track.

Keep on runnin' and thanks for taking the time to read this report.

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