Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reindeer 5k Report, Interclub Run Report, 2011 wrap up and Barkley

I hope everyone had a great holiday and hope no one suffered from any sugar comas :) My family and I traveled to Pittsburgh to see my family and one of my heros - my grams:

Grams is the best! Love her!



Back in November the legendary Jean Toth asked my family and I if we'd like to go to the Reindeer 5k with her. "But we had to dress up!" She stated. We agreed and picked up Jean the day of the race. Our plan was to run the whole thing alongside Jean and have fun with it. We saw lots of great outfits there and plenty of smiles! Jean, my husband and son were no exception:

The race was a blast and time with Jean is always special - Jean's an inspirational runner, still running marathons and every other local race you can think of. Her next marathon is coming up in February in Arizona. WOW!!!!



This month my family and I also ran in the Interclub Run at West Woods Park. Dissapointment ensued as there was BARELY ANY SNOW. PSSHHT. What was this anyway? It doesn't feel like winter and I'm starting to get antsy for a significant amount of the white fluffy stuff. My husband, son, and I made up one team and went there again just to have fun, as none of us were training for anything at the moment. Luckily we weren't racing, as I had my first asthma attack of the winter out there. YAY! While there was no snow the temps were the coldest I had run in since last year. Those first cold weeks of winter are always the hardest to get used to, and I always expect bare minimum 1 asthma attack. You just have to put your head down and keep at it, because things do improve eventually! I had mine and hopefully that's the last one of the season! I kept running to finish my leg of the relay, but it was naturally a slower pace because hey, I need to breathe :) Poor NERC VP Sean ran past me smiling and talking and I pretty much ignored him. SORRY SEAN! I think I may have mustered up a half smile or grunt or wheeze of some sort.Despite that the event was a great one, and it's always great to chat with people from other clubs. NERC had a chili cook off there and I made my "Ass Burner Chili". Fellow NERC Beth and Mike Shaughnessy made a "Steelers Suck" chili to be funny har har har! (For those that don't know, I'm originally from Pittsburgh and yes I LOOOVE the Steelers! Lets just say I lost the chili cook off. Might have to do with the name. Hmpf. (I have to admit I did taste the chili though and it WAS yummy, AND I even voted for it! The name just really stunk) . Beth should be the one to choose the name from now on. After all she is the one that made it! ;-)



My goal race. #1 must do. (or try) So far there have been no female finishers of Barkley. Actually, they haven't had many finishers at all. 10 finishers total since the race has begun in 1986. I don't know why it is I want to do Barkley. I hate hills. I get lost easily. This race is notorious for both. If I got in it would be the ultimate challenge. I've submitted my entry and am waiting for word, I'm wondering if I should cross my fingers or not? One thing's for sure I will submit my entry every year until I make it there. I doubt I'll get in this year, but one of my running friends has also submitted his entry,and unlike me he is definitely the most qualified and I'm hoping he's lucky enough to get in.

Some Barkley stats:

Official distance: 100 miles

Unofficial distance, according to “Frozen” Ed Furtaw: 130 miles
Time limit: 60 hours

Fun Run distance: 60 miles

Fun Run time limit: 40 hours

Elevation change for the 2011 course: 118,200 feet

Average gradient for the 2011 course: 22.39 percent

Amount of runnable trail on the 2011 course: 59.6 percent

Number of finishers, out of approximately 700 entrants, since 1986: 10

Number of repeat finishers: 0

Entrants in 2011: 40

Finishers in 2011: 1

Female finishers: 0

Race record: 55 hours, 42 minutes (Brian Robinson, 2008)

Official record for futility: 2.95 miles in 31 hours, 42 minutes (Dan Baglione in 2006)

Number of runners banned from the race by Frozen Head State Park officials: 1 (Baglione)

Notable geographical features: Testicle Spectacle, Rat Jaw, Son of a Bitch Ditch, Meth Lab Hill, Big Hell, the Garden Spot, Prison Mine Road, and the Bad Thing

Typical nicknames of runners: “Raw Dog,” “Cave Dog,” “Frozen Ed,” “Old Gristle,” “Animal

2011 WRAP UP

It's been quite a year, a year that I'll never forget. There were a few ups and many downs, but you just have to keep on trucking and remember the good that has happened. The Beast of Burden (both summer and winter) were events I'll never forget. Sam Pasceri and all the volunteers are excellent people and I highly recommend this race. The Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon is by far the highlight of my year. Not for the running necessarily, but getting to spend time with the amazing Tarahumara and my friends Caballo and his girlfriend Maria. The people I met during my journey will remain close to my heart for a long time to come. Barefoot Ted, Bookis, Patrick (all of the Patrick's), Ravi, Shawn, Diego, Maria, Leah, and so many more. I would love to go again but could not afford to go back this year, despite Caballo's generous offers - we'll have to wait a year or so to go back.

2011 and family running:

My son's first marathon was a special experience, he worked hard, put in the miles and ran his first marathon! It was a nasty rainy day but still a great experience for all of us. It was amazing crossing the finish line together! He says he plans to do one again, but not until his senior year - right now he's focusing now on speed for cross country.

My husband's first 50 miler and 100 miler were incredible! To quote my husband after his 50 miler "I'm never EVER coming back here again!!" Ha yeah he did BR100 soon after. What was that again?! I realized how much work crewing was during these events. I'm proud of both my guys and looking forward to a lot of family running in 2012 as well!

I hope everyone had a great year and hope you're looking forward to big things in 2012! Happy New Year, and Happy Running!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Turkey Trot 5k Report

So it's done - our family's first Turkey Trot! We all woke up early on Thanksgiving Day and headed to the Y. I haven't done a 5k since right after the Boston Marathon in 2010. It was strange running a 5k race again. I've been doing lots of work trying to get faster, and wanted a PR for this race. A PR is what I got! 21 mins and 7 seconds. (However I did NOT beat my husband. HMPF.)

I'm torn between being proud of this race and disappointed in myself. Proud because of my PR, but disappointed in myself because despite what the numbers show, despite my PR, I didn't push myself. I ran easy the whole way and feel like I could've broke 21 mins. Breathing was good, muscles felt great, I just got in a comfy spot and didn't budge. I didn't even get sweaty WTH! That's a big indicator I didn't work it, that and the fact that I crossed the finish line and didn't grab anything to drink, because well I just didn't work hard enough to need one :) So I crossed saying both "YAY!" and "DANG IT!" I got first place in my age group and 6th place female overall, and I'm pretty sure this was the largest 5k I've ever run. Over 950 people registered and 750 people showed up to run. This was great news for the Y who didn't expect nearly that many people. (Soon after we got a letter stating membership fees for the year were not increasing for the first time since we've been members - maybe it's thanks to the runners!)

The cutest part of the whole race was a little kid I was running next to for nearly the entire race. I believe final stats have him listed as 10. TEN!! I just kept on watching him, smiling - wishing I had 1/2 of the competitive drive he had. He was trying SO hard, pushing it the whole way. He constantly would look back to see where I was, how close I was to him. I think he probably would have beat me if he didn't waste so much energy turning his head and looking back!! I actually felt bad when I passed him with 1/2 mile left because he was working SO SO hard. This great kid came up to me after the race and told me "Great job!" Competitive but great Sportsmanship - I LOVE IT!

The best age group award ever:

Thankfully I won a pumpkin pie, because the night before my son and I were doing the prep work for our Thanksgiving dinner and he accidentally put black pepper in our pumpkin mousse!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and some Turkey Trot fun of their own.

Happy Running!