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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hood to Coast AkRUN style

This week was one I hope to never forget, well maybe just the weekend, but if you have ever experianced anything like Hood to Coast you understand what I mean!

My week started out uneventful, I would even go as far as to say fricken boring! A down week after 4 weeks over 100 miles had me feeling like a fish out of water at best. But Thursday the Young Tarts and Old Farts team headed to Oregon for what would become one heck of a good time!

We arrived in Portland around noon, and were greated by the Captain and his First Mate! With sandwiches to fill our stomach we were in our vans, which would soon become home for a day, and on our way to Sea Side! We got to the condo, and the view was amazing. I'm not one to care much about a view, but this was something to see! We unloaded our bags and were off to enjoy the very thing that brought us together in the first place...RUN!! 8 miles later we were all back at the condo quickly getting ready for drinks, then dinner. As I showered I thought, "well enjoy because you are going to feel nasty for a longgggg time before your next shower!". After dinner we had a little team meeting and it was time for rest.
5:30 am came quick, but since our bodies believed it was 8:30 (EST) we were up and at em'. We went to breakfast, I can't remember the name of the place, something to do with a pig, and then it was time to pack up and get to the top of Mt. Hood!
We arrived about 2 hours prior to our scheduled 3 PM start time, we watched some other teams start, bought some race memorabilia, and got our race packets. Our team number was 83, and I quickly stated it was the year of my birth, which sent the team into angry glances and laughter since I was 16 years younger than the second youngest person on the team! haha!

3pm- It is finally our turn to go! I am all smiles watching Anne getting us going down the mountain. As we drive to see her at the exchange zone I can't help but think of what an awesome thing we are part of. People from so many places, backgrounds, and walks of life coming together to enjoy this sport just brings me so much joy! I giggled, and excitedly waited for my chance to run. Ginny flew though leg 2, Mike crushed leg 3, and his honor ran a strong leg 4. We were already 10 minutes ahead of what we thought we could finish in. Capt'n Dave assured me, the time would catch back up. I looked at the folks getting ready for their legs, and I simply couldn't see it happening. We had such a strong team!

7pm- Van 1 arrived at a church in Portland to wait on the arrival of the runners from Van 2. Somehow we were expected to rest...there was no way! I was too excited, it was too early, and plain and simple I was too jacked up! Turns out that was a good thing. I got to thinking and started wondering how far ahead of schedule Van 2 might be. After a few txt messages from #5 Ann I knew I would be running sooner than we had anticipated. Chris and Ann had made up more time on legs 5-6, Jim ate up leg 7, Donny apparently didnt realized his is a good runner and killed leg 8, Tony was tough as ever on leg 9 and Cathy got the slap bracelet to me 25 minutes ahead of schedule!
10:20pm- I am FINALLY running! It's a dark, kinda barren, sorta, well, scary bike path though Portland! I set my sights on blinky lights (which each runner is required to wear between the hours of 6pm-7am) and tried to keep the pace quick yet comfortable. I only was stopped twice at street crossings and I met Lisa at exchange 11 29 minutes later. Finally I was tired, but sleep wasn't in the cards right now.

3am- I switched over to Van 2 and we are about 1/2 way through the rotation. I just can not stay awake. I am in awe of the people in my van and the tenacity they are showing. I finally catch some sleep as runner 5 gets in a little over 8 miles. Then I was back awake. The course starts getting quite hilly and I am impressed with the times that our team is pumping out. I now know why Capt'n Dave said the time would catch back up. I am pretty sure Donny just ran up a 4 mile hill and the dust was so thick we couldn't see him coming until he was 20 meters away!

7am- My second leg, and I am feeling like crap! I think it is fair to say I am pretty tired, but the sun is coming up, and I am catching a lot more people on this leg! 25 minutes later I hear my team, and see Lisa waiting to do our 4x1 style relay exchange. HAHA, this is fun! Back in the van and off to get some rest! We figured we had about 3 hours to sleep once we got to exchange 29. But it was not in the cards, it took us nearly 2.5 hours to get there because of traffic! So no sleep it was!

12:04pm- We knew Chris should be coming anytime around 12, and we no sooner thought that and there he was coming down a bit@# of a hill just 4 minutes behind what we figured would be best case scenario. Ann took the slap bracelet and we were off to get Jim in place and hopeful we could do so before Ann arrived. We had a couple times were our next runner had to jog ahead of the van to make sure we were at the exchange in time, but we NEVER missed an exchange!

3:50pm- I looked at Lisa and said "We can break 26 hours...don't fu@# this up", winked, took the slap bracelet from Cathy and was on my way to catch some girl that was bragging while she was in the exchange zone. She left a few minutes before me, but I had faith I could catch her. Jim did too and it was a good thing because I got there faster than I planned! First thing out of Jim's mouth, so how long did it take you to catch that girl? haha! I hadn't even mentioned it. Jim saw me glaring apprently! haha! Lisa was on her way to the beach and we just needed to get there to cross the finish line with her!

25 hours and 36 minutes after this crazy race had started for us, Lisa crossed the finish line. With tears in her eyes you could see the joy of accomplishing something very special. We ran across the line with her and after a picture we all had a drink and sat down to talk about our adventure! We finished 85th out of 1050 teams and nearly 100 places better than the team did in 2011!

I had such a great time, I hope I never forget how much laughter we shared in those vans! We had a great team, we ran well, and we never had an appearance from Princess Ashley! What a great trip! This trip added to my belief that in this city I have angels all around me!

5 weeks to go until Akron!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Blue Paint

This week FLEW by! I can hardly believe it has been a full week!

Sunday-Tuesday were easy recovery days following a hard 2 day stretch on friday and Saturday last week. By Wednesday I felt ready to go, and was able to get in 8 miles of tempo in a 14 mile run. My legs felt as good as they could running up Sand Run and I was happy with the effort. Thursday I was nice and tired again, but got in the miles I needed to keep my last high mileage week alive! We had a Hood To Coast gathering and it was nice to hangout with friends! Dave and Margaret were gracious in opening their home to a bunch of us silly folks. The past stories about the upcoming race really sent me home more excited to get our little adventure underway!

Friday I had intended to do a longer workout, but listened to what was right and did 10x1k over 15 miles instead. Then it was off to a wedding, while listening to my new HTC CD's Ann made for us! Haha this is really going to be a good time!

Finally to end the week I met with Tony down near the start line, and we ran the entire Akron Marathon course, complete with a full, and freshly painted BLUE LINE!! 26.4 miles 3 hours 19 minutes and 58 seconds later I had my week behind me. We saw A LOT of other runners out there this week, and every one of them made me smile. What a great sport we get to be part of!

I was able to get in 2 decent workouts, and 102 miles this week.

It is hard to believe we only have 6 weeks to go until we're on that blue line with racing flats on! Cheers to my 29th year (my birthday was Friday) and another week of training behind us all. I hope you are all embracing the aggony, because it's coming!

Monday, August 13, 2012

This week "STINKS"

This week started off on the wrong foot! I woke up sick on Saturday which lead Sunday and Monday feeling completely drained. I ran a total of 11 miles between the 2 days. Lots of rest was pretty much all I chose to do between work. I even made the comment "this week stinks" and had to retract the statement because I realized it was only Monday and I shouldn't go writing off the week just yet!! haha!

I was able to muster up a 14 mile progression run by mid week, and I felt like my normal self in time to have fun with my Hood To Coast team by Thursday! We got in a run together and hungout at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones. I was pretty excited for the race, but now I am STOKED!!

The end of the week saw a lot of me putting in miles on my legs, and I was lucky to have a lot of people break it up for me! I ran with Ryan for 6 of my 10 mile repeats on Friday morning. Then Ann, Krystn, Tony, and Chris for my afternoon run. Finally I got to run from 3.5-26.1 with Tony on Saturday morning! I hit my highest 24 hour mileage-47 miles in 23 hours from Friday-Saturday morning! 3 decent workouts and 105 miles rounded out my "stinky" week! haha! That shows how much patience I have!

I am feeling healthy, and excited about where my training is. I haven't ever been this consistent in training, and I am having some of my best running since 2009! I am still being careful to stay healthy, and looking forward to one more higher week followed by a down week, which ends with Hood To Coast!

Lots of work to do, and 7 weeks to do it in! The Akron Marathon will be here before we know it, so lace up and get those long runs in!! 7 weeks to go...

Monday, August 6, 2012

9 is my favorite number

With 9 weeks to go prior to Akron, you can see us all getting in longer runs, longer workouts, and the murmer of excitement is starting! At the 2011 Akron Marathon, I was literally on the start line with only seconds to go prior to the gun when Creigh Kelly announced this would be the start of the 9th running of the Akron Marathon. I got a huge smile on my face as I thought, "9 IS my favorite number".

My week went by quickly and I was able to get in 106 miles. I am feeling healthy, and I believe my fitness is coming along well. After a true recovery day on Sunday last week, I did a workout with some of the lady Zips running 2 miles at 6:00 pace, 5 miles @ 6:30 pace, and 2 more miles @ 6:00 pace on monday with a longer warm up and cooldown getting in 21 miles on the day. Wednesday was a medium length run of 14, and Friday was 20k contiunous running 1k@ 6:00pace, 1k@7:00pace alternating every other K. Finally Saturday rolled around, and I woke up sick! I slept as long as I could, and hydrated as well as I could and then began my 24 miles...I ran 20. My ears were achy, my head was feeling like it might pop and my rational mind said, "if you keep doing this you might be sick ALL next week instead of just today and tomorrow". So who knows if I made the right call or not, but I layed down on the couch for 6 hours and watched some T.V.

I have started to hear the question, so are you fit? I respond the same every time, "I don't know, Im not letting myself test it"! I will test myself a smidge on Labor day with a 10k in Alliance, and then I will test myself on my home course on the 29th. If were talking about it before 9:45 AM on September 29th...Im fit and everything went well!(the race starts at 7:00 so that means I would have run faster than 2010) HAHA!!

I felt much better this week handling the miles than I did last week.

It's time to lace up...8 weeks to go!