Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2010 Season - From four to twenty six point two

As promised from my initial post....  This will be my race reports for 2010.  I don't ever plan to have posts this long, but I'm consolidating a full years worth of race report here.

St. Patrick's Day Run - 4 Miles
THE first race.  Met up with Joe, Danny, and Shane before the race, which started at 10:00am.  This was a good start because the pre-race jitters weren't further complicated by a pre-dawn start (of course I wouldn't know what that meant for many months).  After hanging out in Kelly's at Westport, we finally made our way to the start.  The weather was chilly.  I stripped off my running pants at the last minute (don't worry, I luckily had shorts on).  Wore a long sleeve shirt with gloves.  My training would place me in the 7:30 pace group by I decided to hold back and see where Danny, Joe, and Shane lined up.  Off we went!

After the first mile I ended up getting lost in relation to Danny, Joe, and Shane and knew I was on my own.  My second and third miles averaged 7:30 pace and I hit 7:00 on my fourth.  I crossed the line in 30:17.

Post-race food: Banana, Krispy Kreme donut, Yogurt, and Water.  Oh.... and about 6 beers at Harpo's and Sharps 63rd Street Bar and Grill.

I remember thinking how everything was so surreal during the first mile.  Hearing nothing but foot steps was hypnotic and tantalizing all at once.  I was hooked.


Brew to Brew - 11 Miles (3 Legs)
Two races in a row that revolve around beer.  LOVE IT.  This race is a 44 mile relay race between Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City to Free State Brewery in Lawrence, KS.  Joe asked TKB (aka, Wife) to organize the event back in February and she did a great job. There were 16 runners to manage.  We ended up running two people at the same time.  I signed up for two legs but was designated as sober runner for Kyle and Joe on the last leg.  If you haven't heard of Beeritas, you need to.

This was the most fun.  Ken and Kyle flew in from Greensboro and that's always a great time.

Due to our start time and the fact that we actually completed the 44 mile race, we came in last and too late for the post-race food.  That's no joke.  We crossed the finish line and the timing clock put away.

It was a great time and plans were started for 2011.

Trolley Run - 4 Mile
My first early morning race.  Pre-race meal was my fruit smoothie with protein powder.  Start time was between 7:30 and 8:00am and it was cooooold.  I still wore running shorts and short sleeve tech shirt. The best part of this race was it was the first with my brother Mike.  We all met up around 6:45 to take the buses from the Plaza to 75th Wornall Road.  Along with the cold, it was rainy but by the time the race started the drizzle subsided.

After St. Patrick's Day run, I definitely left a lot of energy on the course.  This time I started fast and ended fast.  I averaged a 6:54 pace.  I definitely felt spent by the end of the race.  Even felt nauseous part way through the run, so that means SUCCESS!

With my brother's family there, we had a great time watching the niece and nephew do their fun runs!


Hospital Hill Run - Half Marathon
I decided to sign up for this race after Brew-to-Brew because I figured if I could run 11 miles over a 10 hours, maybe I could 13.1 around 2.  After getting fitted for a pair of kicks and a physical with the doctor, the race was on.

This was the first race that I actually devised a race plan for and did a decent job sticking to it.  My biggest issue was a shin splint.  This caused me to cut pack some of my training but I took the advice of "if I can still run on it.. run on it".

(note:  The rest of this report came from my race report I posted on Facebook)
Clock Time 1:54:32 
Overall Place 699 / 2966 
Gender Place 519 / 1502 
Division Place 104 / 258

My first half-marathon! This was apparently one of the warmest Hospital Hill runs with the temperature at 76 degrees at the gun. The day before I attended a seminar by a running coach who talked about what to do during the race and talked about hydration, especially in the heat. He helped re-affirm my strategy. Start slow! Like so slow you think you'll never finish.

My goal was to finish under 2:00 hours, so I lined up behind the 2:00 hour pace group and stayed with them until after two water stations (3 miles). My plan was to then catch up to the 1:55 pace group and, if able, continue to the 1:50 pace group. So for each water station I walked, drank two cups of water or PowerAde, and then dumped one water over my head (and in my hat). I only grabbed the third cup because of the high heat and humidity of the day.

The other advice I took to heart was to take it EASY on the hill ups and go fast on the downs. This helped me catch back up to the 2:00 hour pace group by the Nelson Art Museum (more on that later).

The route was still very tough. Just when you thought you had crested a hill, it just kept going and going. Just when you thought there couldn't be anymore hills left, there was one waiting for you and it was worse than any previous hill.

Overall, I executed my race plan quite while. Obviously, I did make it under 2:00 hours. I separated from the pack after the 2nd water station. I took advantage of the downs whenever possible. I hit the right song on my play list when I started to separate myself from the 2:00 hour pace group (Black Eyed Peas: Let's Get Started). I admired "Pace Booty" when I could ;). What I didn't count on was my "wardrobe malfunction". 

After I had officially warmed up by the 2nd water station, I began my pursuit to pace group 1:55.  I noticed the small bag on my race belt was flopping around a bit more than normal. This bag is just big enough to hold my cell phone, which was in it at the time. The loop that held the bag to my race belt was ripping. I really didn't want it to rip off and then have to deal with retrieving it, so I popped over to the sidewalk and started walking while I attempted to rip the bag off of the belt. Unfortunately, that took about 60 seconds. So for nearly 10 miles, I had to hold the bag, with my cell phone, in my hand. While doing this I had fallen behind the 2:00 hour pace group instead of running to the next group. Eventually I caught up to the 1:55 pace group around mile 8 and stayed with them the rest of the way.

Now I am looking forward to doing no training for one or two weeks to allow my shin to heal fully. While I could tell shin splint was there, it didn't bother me at all or impact my form.


Susan G Komen - 5k
TKB and I have done this event many years but this was the first time it was a run... for both of us (TKB had finally gotten into running events by this time).   By now I was 6 weeks into training for the Kansas City Marathon.  My weekend training partner, Kristen,  had also signed up for the marathon as her first race ever, so I convinced her to sign up for this race to get a race under her belt.

Since I had run a 13 mile long run the day before I used this run as an active recovery; therefore, I didn't put a major effort into it.  So my official time was 28:35.  Slower than my Trolley Run time, which was .9 miles longer.

Kansas City Marathon
This was a year of firsts.  First race.  First half-marathon.  First FULL marathon.  I had been debating this since the end of Hospital Hill.  Doing another half marathon to end the season just didn't seem good enough.  While walking the dog one late June evening, I got a call from Joe.  "Let's do the KC Marathon."  "OK!"  Training plan was set the next day.  The race was already 15 weeks away, so we started week 3 of Hal Higdon's plan.  Work got in the way during the second half of training and I ended up getting the sick the weekend before the race (DOH!).  But I managed to get in most of my long runs (weekend and midweek).  I hit 346 of the 430 miles I planned to run.

I normally train by myself but ever other week or so I would meet up with Kristin and TKB on my training runs.  It was nice to have someone to talk to during the runs.  I generally prefer to train alone but it was a nice change.

The night before we had a pasta party in which we had a fun guest as part of the invitee list.

(5lb Gummy Bear anyone?!)

I'm very much a control freak when it comes to pre-race now.  I have my routine.  I don't want pre-race stress to cause any additional stress.  We parked at 6:00am and waited 45 additional minutes for friends and family to show up.  I would have preferred to start hitting the porta-potty and doing my pre-race mental checkin.  Instead, I ended up running towards my pace group, downing my pre-race gel on the way.  I wasn't able to hit the bathroom due to lines and the fact that I only saw a small set of them (apparently there were a lot more a block away from the start.  I figured I'd have to eventually anyway, so no big loss. I would just have to do it earlier than expected.  At 7:30am, our pace group was on its way!

To be honest, I really don't remember a lot of the race.  I think my brain has mentally erased it so I'd be willing to do it again (Of course it helps to do the race report within days of the event, not 3 months later).  Here are the highlights:

  • I fortunately knew the one of the two pace group leaders for the 3 hour, 55 minute group, I had met Ashley at work just a month before. It was nice to be able to chat with someone.  The other pace group leader was her sister.
  • The first couple miles were exciting and slow.  Ashley and I got behind her sister and the rest of the group at an aid station but caught up with them by the time we hit the first hill.
  • This course is hilly.  It follows many of the same streets as Hospital Hill Run, so I was at least familure with a third of them, even if we were running them the opposite direction.
  • About mile 4 my brother and I caught up to each other and so I got to run with Mike (who was running the Half) for a while.  He is such a great person and very supportive.  I look forward to running races with him whenever I can.
  • Miles six through 12 were through Westport, the Plaza, and on to Ward Parkway.  About this time I noticed my legs were starting to talk to me.  After being sick the week previously,  I was afraid I had lost some strength but eventually that went away.
  • About mile 16 I noticed I was no longer with my pace group.  I had pulled away from them and was heading towards 3:50.  I still hadn't hit the bathroom.
  • Mile 21 brought another aid station and my time to take a minute.  I stretched, took in extra fluids, and stared down miles 21 - 26.2.
  • The last couple miles were tough but I loved seeing people along the path cheering people on.  Having aid stations every mile was great.  Having people's names on their bib was great too.  In fact, I even congratulated some half marathon finishes watching the full participants come in.
  • Seeing the finish line and my family at the end was great.  I kicked it up pretty hard for a strong finish (which means I left a lot on the course.  I'll work on that).  

Considering I had just completed a marathon, I was definitely expecting a lot more.  One bottle of beer and beef sticks.  Seriously?  They need to work on that and could learn a thing or twenty from Hospital Hill.

Race Photos
Luckily you can't see my feet shuffling along.

Myself, TKB (5k), and brother, Mike (half)

Mike coming in strong!


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