Sunday, November 29, 2009

Catching Up... Richmond Marathon and Mountain Masters 16 mi trail race

Sorry it's taken me so extremely long to write this race report for Richmond. So much time has elapsed in fact, I have already ran a 16 mile trail race in harlan, Ky since then. So I guess I am somewhat recovered. :o)
 Richmond didn't exactly go as planned. Which is another major reason I didn't blog about it the day I got home. I decided I would give it a couple of days for me to be able to reflect -- I was really down on myself and disappointed. I felt I needed the time to be able to analyze my mistakes with some detachment.
 I was really hoping to run a 340 at Richmond and I really felt like my training indicated that I was in 340 shape.  I had ran a 144 half marathon 2 weeks prior and really felt I kinda dogged it during the race and could of raced harder. Even the day of the Marathon I started out with a 340 pacing group, it was my plan to just "sit-in" with them at 8:20 pace be patient and bide my time  just be relaxed and comfortable and then cross the line at 340-- easy, right?? WRONG! It did feel easy the first 13.1 I crossed in exactly 1:49 and it felt slow, sluggish-- like a slog-- but I was doing what I set out.. the pace that felt so slow to me, at mile 17 got difficult to hold onto-- and even though I wasn't really HURTING.... I just kept slowing and slowing.. so I crossed  mile 20 at 2:55.. I knew my race was out the window. My goal went from qualifying for boston to... not letting the 4 hour pacers catch me.  I never walked I kept plugging along trying to go faster but couldn't-- feet hurt.. joints ached, muscles SO tight..  although at this point I was extremely downhearted, I felt like a big failure.  a loser. It took me an hour to finish that final 10k and I crossed the line at 3:55 with my head down:o(
However, once I got across the line it was SO extremely crowded I couldn't find my family. I was actually relieved.. I didn't want to hear from them that I had ran well, when I knew I didn't. So I walked to the hotel alone for 7 blocks. In that time frame I had my little pity party for poor little Jenny, and by the time I got to the hotel.  I decided that it was what it was. I had a bad race. They happen. I just needed to put it behind me, and try again. So once brock came to the room, I was actually able to celebrate the fact I had finished under 4 hours  it was an 18 min PR for me.  and Sunday morning after Richmond I woke up and registered for Myrtle Beach Marathon in feb. So yes, I am going to try again. :o)

Mountain Masters was a very different story.  I woke up at 430 AM and drove to Harlan, Ky. Once there I met up with beth, JJ, lone wolf, gypsy, Eric Grossman and his wife Robin, Gil Furr, and Jim Bowers. It was like one big family reunion to have so many good friends running the same race. We all cut up and laughed and told stories until it was time to load up on the bus to take us to Shepherd's Trail.  This was my 3rd time running this race. I had ran 2:55 in 2005 and 2:42 in 2006. I was really looking to break 2:30 and just run hard so I could shake off the funk from my stinky richmond marathon performance.
It was about 30F at the start, brisk, clear and cold.  I started off behind the fast boys and had the lead until mile three this lady named cynthia ( who unbeknownst to me at the time is the mtn masters course record holder for females) and I kept passing each other back and forth.. I could tell just my running with her that she was a seasoned ultra runner/trail runner( and she is-- many 100's under her belt). She finally dropped me like a bad habit on mile 5.  I pretty much ran alone and just really worked hard..  I looked at the garmin but never tried to control my pace like I did at richmond. I just ran how I felt.  and I hammered.  I ran hard on the uphill and I ran even harder on the downhill.  I  felt like I was purging myself of all the yucky feelings I had about richmond. I felt so alive running those ridges and looking out at the panoramic splendor of Eastern Ky.  I stayed in 2nd until about mile 14 and another lady came up on me and challenged me for 2nd. I really wasn't wanting to relenquish it to her. So we raced back and forth and finally she just surged big time I and I went with her. We were running SO fast stride for stride..  it felt like an ALL out sprint. finally, I knew I couldn't hold this pace for 2 more miles so I slowed and let her have 2nd and I finished 3rd overall female and 1st in my age group with a time of 2:29. I was extremely happy to break 2:30 and just have a GOOD RUN. after I finished, the lady that got 2nd came and hugged me and told me that when we were sprinting and racing each other we were going 4:50 pace. NICE....

Road trip this weekend!!!!
Beth and I have been invited to go stay with Annette Bednosky on Friday( YAY!! LOVE annette!) and then go run Mistletoe Half marathon in Winston Salem, NC.  I will try to take pictures ( I have been failing at that lately) and post a race report when I return!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Haunted Half marathon

When I first showed up at the startline in downtown Kingsport it was 55F, and the skies had opened up and it was absolutely pouring the rain!  I was a little disappointed because I had really been looking forward to this race!  I just kept praying to myself that the rain would taper off, but i decided I wasn't going to let it ruin my fun!  I told brock: "I'm just going to pretend I'm going swimming!"  I just felt bad for my friend Hank Brown who was the RD because the rain was  messing up some of his plans for the race and I knew the poor volunteers would be MISERABLE standing in the rain and cold for 2 hours handing out aid.  However, with in the next hour,  right before the start, believe it or not the rain moved out!!! The cool weather actually made it PERFECT running weather.
 My husband, Brock got some great shots of some runner's in their costumes!

 and my good friend and fierce ultra runner, Beth ran! Here is a picture of her and Dan:o)

 I confess that once the race began.. I went out way too fast. I was really hyped up and feeling good. My pace didn't SEEM that fast, even though I was looking down at my watch and I was seeing "6:30" I went through the first mile at 6:30, and then the second mile at 14:00. I was desperately attempting to put the breaks on but for most of the first half of the race ( until mile 10) I stayed pretty much at 7:30 pace. by mile 10 I was getting a little tired.. so for the last 5k I was in between 8-8:20 pace the entire time.
Here are some shots Brock took of the half way point:

 beth coming through at half way point:

 beth and i both got passed by the guy on a unicycle:

 I felt pretty good during this race. I really didn't "race" per ce, I just kinda ran my own race and tried to maintain my pace, stay focused and not fall apart.  I think it was a good practice/dry run for Richmond.  I made mistakes during this race, that I hopefully I won't replicate for the BIG ONE:oP
 I ended up crossing the line at 1:44.41 I felt it was a good solid effort.. not spectacular.. but a good run for me and my ability.
 here are some shots of the finish:

 and of JJ Jessee's finish. He was dressed as William Wallace:o) and won 3rd in the costume contest!

After the race, we all hung out at the Bus Pit until the awards ceremony and listened to a band. Then post awards ceremony we head over the Kingsport Central Grocery for some good food, and more live music ( which was awesome) We got to hang out with Jim and Suzy Bowers, and Amber ( a friend of beth's who is AWESOME and very entertaining to converse with) I had never hung out in downtown kingsport before and I was very pleasantly  surprised by it. I definitely plan on returning!:o)

Good Luck to all my friends running MMTR next week!!! You guys are going to RAWK it!!:o)
I'm running richmond marathon on the Nov 14th!