Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010- A Trail of 4 Deer

I had to get up at 3:45 this morning to hopefully make it on time to my run, the Little Miami Half Marathon (it also had a 10K option). I've signed up for several races over the next few months to get some long training runs in and to try some things. Today I was trying GU Strawberry Chomps and my new socks I bought at Dicks' (yep, they were on sale). : )
  My drive there was looking pretty good until I reached Cincy. I don't think I've went to a race yet that I haven't come across a closed road. I was just blaming the state of Indiana, but now Ohio. Yep, I-71 was closed and of course, I missed the detour thanks to the big semi on my right. Thank goodness, once again, for GPS. The British chick got me around and back on the way after yelling "Recalculating" several times.  I only lost a few minutes. I got to the race about a half hour before the start. So plenty of time to get my bib/goodie bag and fill up my bottles for the run. I made my way down to the start line- still about 10 minutes to go, so I thought I'd sit down and stretch my hammies out due to the drive. This race was in Morrow, OH, and there are some very old buildings where we were. Pretty neat little area. The race is held on a bike path through Phegley Park (I believe), which runs right next to the Little Miami River. It was 90% shaded and no elevation change at all. My goal was to do my 9 minute run, then walk for a minute. I had Powerade and Gatorade in my bottles and I figured I'd get water at the aid stations. I also had the chomps to try out. Still not sure if I like them better than the gels or not, but they aren't bad. The race started and again, it was 3 minutes or so before I started my watch. Geez, I am such a goober! I have to say once we got about 1 mile into the race, I began to be a little envious of the townspeople. What a great place to run/bike. It was so cool and refreshing and beautiful. Even though the path was a little hard on my feet (been training on trails and skipping pavement lately). About 6 miles or so, I saw two deer go right across the path in front of me. I stopped running and watched them. They watched me. Beautiful. Someone else was coming and they took off down the path, but not before I saw the third one turn and go back up the hill. I hope they don't stay separated for long. Praise God for creating deer!
  Since it was an out and back, I got a chance to try to encourage the front runners. Which is pretty good for me, since I'm pretty shy. I also tried to say "Morning" to the bikers that passed me. Most did not return a greeting and a few got a "pffftttt" from me after they had passed. But then I remembered they probably couldn't here me that well with the wind rushing past their helmets. 
  I'm going along and I notice a runner in front of me (was not in the race) and she is wearing a hydration belt.  I have to say I'm always envious of the tall, lithe bodies around me at races.  Not so much now after watching her keep tugging up on her belt several times.  Thank goodness for hips or butt or whatever it is that keeps my belt riding smooth.
  On my way back, another deer stepped out on the path, but saw me and high tailed it back around. He probably didn't want me to say "morning" to him. The race was over in no time it seemed. The clock said 2:17:07 when I stepped over the timing mat. Shows me that either I'm getting a little better conditioned for the distance, or the beautiful scenery took my mind off of the run. Either way it was a great run. It was about 3 hours and 40 minutes from my house, but in the end, worth the drive.
Final Results:  Overall 133/168  Age group:  17/17 (I love being last at something!)  10.28 min/mile

August 21, 2010 First ever triathlon- sort of

I was actually on a team- so I really can't completely count it as my first ever triathlon.  (I still need to complete all 3 legs before I can claim that.)  My workplace, KORT, was a sponsor and I was more than too happy to help.  Two of my coworkers and I made up our team, Girls Gone Wild.  It was the Inaugural MAC (Meade Activity Center) Mini-sprint Triathlon (350 meter swim, 8 mile bike, and 2.2 mile run).  I got to complete the run- yeah!  I'd still be swimming if I had to do that part!  Thanks to Mother Nature, there was about an 1 1/2 hours delay before we officially began.  Finally the lightning subsided, but not the rain and we were off.  I watched my swimmer, Nikki, take the pool.  Boy was I glad I didn't have to strip down to my bathing suit in the cool morning rain and swim in front of everyone (our team number was 19-so alot of spectators still).  When she tagged Dany, our biker, I went to the bathroom.  Figured that might be important before running.  Anyhow, back at the transition area, I waited for Dany to come wheeling in and talked to several other team members.  Here she comes. We slapped hands and I was off up the hill.  Running uphill right off the bat is always kind of cruel, but it could be worse- it could be running uphill at the end.  I get almost to the top and I remember I didn't set my watch.  Dang- I wasn't hoping to see if my time was better than a previous training run.  Oh well.  The bike and run course overlapped, so it was nice to chat with the riders as they went zooming past.  All were smiling, well except the serious competitors- they were focused.  Not me though.  I don't think I have a serious bone in my body.  I felt good, felt strong, and before long it was over with.  We all stood around chatting and unfortunately, witnessed the one catastrophe of the day- a biker and runner colliding.  Thankfully, the ambulance was there and tended to them quickly and the organizers let us know that they had received work that all were well. 
  For a first time event, it went pretty smooth- with maybe a few changes needed.  The volunteers were great and I think that all seemed to have a great time.  Kudos to my coworker, Meg King, who was the race director of the event.  She did an awesome job, espeically since the participants were double what was expected.  Congrats to my other co-worker, Kim Devries, who finished 3rd place in the women.  Also, hope all that wiped out on their bikes (Dr. King and Dr. Honaker) at the turnaround are not too sore.
  Still waiting for results to see how we finished.