Saturday, September 24, 2011

2011 Indian Summer Distance Classic 4 & 10 mile race at Lake McBride in Solon, Iowa

Today started at 6:45 a.m. I got up and showered so I'd feel amazing for this race. Stephany and I arrived at Lake McBride in Solon, Iowa about an hour before the race began. We picked up our timing chip, shirt and race number and then waited for the race to start. I decided to run only the 4 mile race since I save my long distance races for half marathons only. It was only 43 degrees so we were cold. Luckily it was warming up quickly so I think it was around 48 degrees when we started running. By mile 2 my hands finally felt normal again. By mile 3 I was able to take my long sleeve shirt off and tie it around my waist. My goals of this race were these:
1. To finish
2. To have a time of 36 minutes
3. To place in my age group.

I accomplished Goal 1 and 3. I finished and I placed 3rd in my age group of 30-39! My final time was 37:37 which is pretty impressive for me and I'm really happy for that time. This means my mile pace was 9:24 mile pace. Here are some pictures to enjoy.
Rhoni Jo, Stephany and Me just after we picked up our shirts, timing chips, and race numbers.

Stephany and I taking our traditional picture of ourselves.


Brownies, cookies and muffins.

More sweet treats.  Oh how I LOVE CVRA races.

Me with Bill Johnson, Murial Naumann and Stephany Coleman after the race waiting for awards.

Race results!

Murial receiving the award for 3rd place Overall female!

Here is my award for 3rd place in my age group of 30-39.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2011 Spartan Fund Run 5K in Solon, Iowa

I knew on Friday, the day before the race, that on Saturday morning in Solon it would be cold. Not freezing, but nice and chilly at around 55 degrees, which in my opinion is PERFECT running weather. I also knew that this course for this race was flat from what I had read. So I was excited for the possibility to get a new personal record. I dressed that morning in running skins and shorts over top and a tank top with a running coat over top. I knew I wouldn't run in the running coat, but as the race approached I was cold, so I found a jacket to run in that I could just throw to the ground around mile 1 or so where a volunteer of the race could bring it back to the school. This way I would be warm, but not too hot and be able to run fast.

The course ended up being nice and flat with only a couple tiny hills that really couldn't be called hills. I ran super fast, well as fast as I felt I could go and accomplished an 8:33 first mile and a 17:27 time at mile two. That third mile is always difficult for me, but I wanted a new personal record so badly that I ran super fast trying to catch my friend who was just a few hundred feet ahead of me. I must have been running and over doing it more than I thought because when I came within 2 car lengths of Stephany my body said no and I had to walk about 10 steps to regain breathing control. I feel that it was these 10 steps of walking that cost me my 6 seconds.

Either way I haven't seen a 5K time of mine in the 27 minute range all summer, so to finish at 27:16 was very exciting.  I'm glad I finished without passing out and I'm glad I did well for my age!

Here are the final stats:
Time 27:16 Mile pace of 8:46 minute mile
I placed 5th of 13 in my age group of 30-39
18th of 66 Women and 38th of 120 total people.

Here is the breakdown of the 13 times in my age group,and I share this because usually (at least the last 10 races, I've been at a 29 and 30 minute time)and had I done my "usual/comfortable pace time" then I would have been 10th or 11th place. I tried extra hard to do better this time.  Now I know I need to work on mile splits to become faster.  There is always that "What if I hadn't walked those 10 steps?"  But then again, maybe I would have passed out.  Either way when you see this list below of how far away I was from 3rd/4th even if I had sprinted at the end, I wouldn't have come in 3rd and that is just okay with me.

1st 24:17--33 years old
2nd 25:23--34 years old
3rd 25:47--37 years old
4th 25:47--38 years old
5th 27:16--39 years old ME
6th 28:22--32 years old
7th 28:59--35 years old
8th 29:17--33 years old
9th 29:30--39 years old
10th 29:43--32 years old
11th 30:00--36 years old
12th 36:10--31 years old
13th 36:21--36 years old

Stephany and I before the race.

Our race shirt.  I think it's a very interesting design.

The famous picture of ourselves taken in the car.

My race number

Monday, September 12, 2011

Park to Park

I normally don't write about a race when Michelle has already written about it but we did different races at the save venue this time.

I am not crazy enough yet to do anything longer than a 10K so the idea of a 1/2 marathon makes me a little queasy. I am still concentrating on getting my 5 K time down as low as I can. I knew this race would be a good race to go for a PR since it was a flat course and the temperature would be in the 60's. Also, Michelle's running partner, Stephany, was gunning for me. The only time Stephany has ever beaten me was at the Marion Art's Festival when I was running with a bruised medial meniscus. However, Stephany's PR was only about a minute off of mine going into Saturday's race. Is all it would take was for me to have a mediocre day and Stephany to have a great day. She has been running a lot lately so the chances of her coming off the victor were quite real.

We lined up at according to our pace - Stephany and I were at the 8:00-8:30/mile pace marker. The gun went off and Stephany shot off to her normal pedal to the metal pace. I wanted to keep her within reach because I knew if she got too far ahead of me, her traditional sprint at the end would put her out of my reach. At one time she pulled about 50 feet in front of me. I could tell she was worried because every time someone would come up to her shoulder, she would look over at them. I wasn't feeling very good at this time. I was running faster than I normally do and was having a tough time finding a rhythm. I had also been having some problems with a sore left glut muscle that had me worried. After about 1/2 mile, I began to feel better and realized that nothing really hurt (Ibuprofen is my friend). I concentrated on increasing my cadence and having mid-foot landings. This actually increased my speed and I caught and passed Stephany. She yelled at me as I passed, "How's your butt?" I yelled back, "It feels fine. I have no excuses." The day was beautiful and I was actually enjoying the run. The turnaround at 1.5 miles was not marked well - only an orange cone in the middle of the trail. Several people, including my son, Brenden, who is much faster than me, ran past it not knowing it was the turnaround. I actually stopped for a moment with a couple of other runners as we debated what to do. We decided that the cone was the turnaround and started running again. I saw Stephany about a minute or so later and then saw Amber and a bit beyond Amber was Allison (a fellow Zumba instructor doing her first 5K). We cheered each other on and I decided to push a little harder. Mile 1 to 2 is the most difficult for me so I really have to dig in and make myself work. Sometimes I count steps, other times I use my feet to provide the bass drum for a beat that I ring out inside my head. I was getting tired but still felt relatively good. Brenden caught up with me just before the mile 2 marker a bit disgruntled because he missed the turnaround. We ran together for a bit and then he pulled ahead. As I came around the end of the lake, I knew that I was on the home stretch. I could feel myself slowing down and had to really work to pick my pace back up. I knew that if Stephany was anywhere close to me that she would leave me in the dust at the finsh with her sprint. The UNI drum line was playing for us along the trail at about a 1/2 mile from the finish so I began to pick up the pace even more. By this time, I was in a lot of pain but knew that it would be only momentary. Finally, I could hear the announcer's voice and began to see spectators lining the trail. This provided the final push I needed. I rounded the final corner and saw the finish line. Even better was the view of the clock. It said 25:05. I was shocked. I had never run a 5 K that fast. I sprinted the best I could, finishing with a final time of 25:18. I was very satisfied with my time and ended up getting 2nd place in my age group.

I really don't like running that much but I love to race. I love the atmosphere, the people, the challenge, and particularly the emotional high that I get from finishing a race. I also love introducing people to racing. I have had the opportunity to run in races with 2 friends who were racing for their first time. I love seeing the emotion they feel when they successfully finish. Racing is about people making positive changes in their lives and I very much enjoy being a part of that process.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

2011 Park to Park 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. Cedar Falls, Iowa

Last year I did the Park to Park Half Marathon in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and had such a fabulous experience that I talked several of my friends into doing this race this year.  Tracy my friend from Williamsburg who I met 1 year ago next week did the Half Marathon with me.  Stephany and Amber from North Liberty who I both met because they attend my Body Sculpt class both did the 5K.  Allison Haack who I met from North Dodge Athletic Club did her first 5K race today.  Allison's husband Ryan did the Half Marathon and I managed to stay running his pace for the first 5 1/2 miles. Jason (my husband) and Brenden (my son) both did the 5K race as well. 

Most of us stayed in the same hotel that was connected to the Convention center so we could be right by the race in the morning since we had to be at the Park where the race was at by 6:30a.m. to get decent parking.

We got up at 5:30a.m. and dressed for our races.  By 6:10a.m. we were off to the Park.  6:30 on the dot we pulled into a parking space.  There was a ton of excitement going on and I decided to take a lot of pictures which you will see later on.  At 7:20a.m.  Tracy and I started lining up for our Half Marathon race.  The National Anthem was sung.  The girl who sang it had a FABULOUS voice.  I didn't like her arrangement, but her voice rocked.  I was choked up at the end of the song.  At 7:30a.m. our race began.  At around the end of mile one I looked next to me and there was Ryan (Allison's husband).  I was able to keep with his pace for the next 4 miles but then after stopping to stretch I never did catch him again.

At 7:50a.m. the 5K race began.  Allison, Stephany, Amber, Jason and Brenden all ran that race.  There was a bit of a problem at the turn around for the 5K because the volunteer was missing, so both Stephany and Brenden ran a little further than they should have.  However even with running a little further than they should have Brenden placed 2nd in his age group of 13-19.  Also Jason did so fabulous and not only did he place 2nd in his age group of 40-44 but he got a personal record time of 25:18 which beats his last time by over a minute.  This was Allison's first 5K ever and Amber's 3rd 5K.  Amber beat her personal best and met her goal of 35 minutes! 

By the time their 5K race was ending, I was on about mile 6 on my race.  This was just about the time I started to hurt badly.  My IT band was tightening again and that made it difficult to run.  I walked for about 1/4 mile in mile 6 then decided that it hurt as much to walk that it did to run and I might as well just run so I could finish faster and get food!  I talked to myself and told myself that I would run from mile 7-10 and only then I would walk some.  When I arrived at mile 10 I felt okay and decided to just keep running till mile 11.  It was then I did some walking and then continued on.  By mile 12 I was in serious pain, not as bad as the Columbus Half Marathon in May, but bad enough that I wanted this race to be over.  About 3 tenths of a mile before the race was over Jason was there to run in with me.  I was having a hard time running and felt he had too much energy for me so I sent him away.  He took some pictures of me.  Then right at the very end of the race, the last tenth was Stephany and Amber.  They ran to the finish with me then held me up so I wouldn't pass out.  I was close to passing out and my left leg hurt so badly.

After a cold ice towel on my neck and a finishing medal around my neck I was officially done and could eat as much food as I wanted!  I'm so glad I finished.

Tracy Schmidt, myself, and Amber Burgus on our way to the Park to Park race.  I asked Jason to drive so us girls could talk and be in the back seat together.  Brenden sat up front with Jason.

Jason was driving and the speed limit was 70m.p.h.  He came up upon a slow car.  The slow car was going 65m.p.h. and Jason followed the car for a little bit, then pulled out and around the car.  That car was a police car and after Jason pulled out and around him, the policeman put his hat on, put his speed radar gun in the window and flipped the lights on to pull Jason over.  This picture is of the policeman walking away after he issued a warning.

We all arrived in Cedar Falls, checked into our hotel and then went to the Packet pickup area at the Convention center.  We met up with Allison Haack and her husband Ryan.

To get our carbs in before the race we went to a local restaurant named Doughy Joey's.  Jason and Brenden had mini pizzas. Amber, Tracy and I had spaghetti.

These two goofballs were trying to give eachother bunny ears.

Tracy, Amber and me outside of the restaurant.

The convention center advertizing the race.

My race number and it adds up to my lucky number 13.  1 plus 4 plus 8 =13!

Saturday morning around 7a.m.  Brenden standing under his race pace sign.

Tracy and I standing under our DREAM race pace sign.

Left to Right:  Amber, Stephany, Jason, Brenden, me and Tracy.

Tracy and me

Stephany and me

Amber and me

Jason and Brenden after their race at the awards ceremony with their 2nd place medals on.

Me running in for the finish.  I was at mile 12.8 in this picture.  I was smiling the best I could to have a great picture, but was in severe pain.

Stephany and Amber running with me to the finish.  I had .1 to go and could see the finish line. Stephany was pointing it out for me.  You can tell how much I'm hurting by the look on my face.

Tracy running in for the finish.

The Half Marathon finishing medal!
The race packet bag that we were given with our race shirt and timing chip.
This is my 2nd favorite part of a race.  First is finishing.  2nd is food and lots of it.  This is only part of what I received.  There was also chocolate milk, bottled water and a vitamin enhanced water called vidration.  Then there were pulled pork sandwiches from the local HyVee grocery store.  At the very end of the race I was over at the food table getting some chocolate milk and the race volunteer loaded up my son's bag and my bag with extra chips and other things to eat on the way home.  The pizza was AMAZING.  It was from "The Other Place" pizza restaurant and they made pizza right at the race.  Everyone in my group LOVED the pizza.  The sandwiches from HyVee were great as well and I'm glad that the race director cared enough to have lots of food for all the race participants.

I won socks through one of the race drawings.

At last, home with my park to park shirt and finishing medal!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011 Captain Midnight's Run for Cystic Fibrosis 5K

Since my birthday is on Labor Day weekend, my request was that Jason would do a 5K race with me, a really great race, as a birthday present to me! I found this race advertised on and decided that since it was on a Friday night it would be fun to travel to Des Moines, get a hotel, do the race and then just enjoy a 24 hour period of time without children. Jason booked our hotel at Drury Inn in Des Moines. A great hotel by the way. We had a fabulous room. There was a hot tub and pool at this hotel so we were able to spend time in both of those before and after the race.

The race was in Ames, Iowa and started in the parking lot of a mall.  The weather was super muggy and around 80 some degrees.  I was almost dreading running because of the humidity and hoped it would cool off even more, but it didn't.  It was such a great feeling to finish this race because it was one of those that I wasn't sure I could run the entire way or finish.

Jason did an amazing job on this race and as a result got a new personal record.  He finished this race in 26:15 and was 7th of 20 in his age group of 40-49.   He was 51 of 109 Men and 74 of 241 people overall.

My final time was 29:13 and I placed 11 out of 37 in my age group of 30-39.  I placed 39 of 132 Women and 110th of 241 runners overall.

Here we are before the race taking a picture of ourselves.  We were on our way to the hotel.

A picture of our room at the hotel.

The other part of our room.

Free pop all day as much as you want in the hotel lobby.

Free popcorn all day as much as you want.

Jason and I right before our race.

Our race numbers

Taking a picture of ourselves right before the race.

Our timing chips on our ankles.

The leader of the race.

This is Alvin Ravenscroft from Ames, Iowa who is 77 years young and has ran in hundreds of races over the years.  I had to have a picture with him because he helped me finish this race.  I saw him up ahead of me and thought that I should be able to catch him, however he was so fast that it took me a good mile to catch him.  Then his pace seemed to match mine and I was running next to him for the rest of the race.  At one point I felt that I was running too fast and it was so hot outside so I started to walk for about 5 seconds, and had mentioned that I wasn't feeling well.  Alvin stopped, turned around and said, "Are you okay?"  I told him I was, just felt super warm and a little sick. He then said, "Just keep going, You can do this."  At this point I had renewed energy and was able to run with him all the way to the finish.  It is because of Alvin that I finished this race.
All the pizza you could consume was at the end of the race!

Lots of cookies of all types from Cookies and More!

A final picture of us taken today on our way home from our mini trip.  We had a great time!  This is my last day at age 38.