Sunday, November 25, 2012

Myles Standish Marathon Relay: Part TWO (FINALLY!!)

Hmmm so where did I leave off?
I had just run into transition, passed the legit baton to Eric and proceeded to cough up lung chunks for 90 minutes.
I enjoyed the guesses that I immediately succumbed to pneumonia (I did not) or that we ran over Eric and/or Evan with the car (we did not!!)
Here is what actually transpired:
The family and I hopped back into the car to start trying to navigate to the next transition to see Eric run thru. Many of the roads that should have been open to us (according to the official map) were mysteriously closed so we, along with everyone else, was told to make our way thru the course. This would have been cool except nobody would move. We basically had to turn into assholes to go anywhere...
Due to this epic traffic backup this happened much earlier than we had expected:

Who could this be??
And Dink McDinkerson in the striped socks. And runners running on ALL sides of the road. Brilliant.

Eric was motoring along. We helpfully yelled "WHOO HOOOO!!!" and passed him a Gu out of the window.
We made it to the next transition, which was a random 3 mile stretch of road. We parked, I coughed some more and we waited. Not for long!
I tried and failed to take pics with the lens cap on- DUH. Eric asked for another Gu and Even grabbed one and went flying off after him. It was pretty awesome.

"Sara You have the lens cap ON!!!" (I did)
"Evan can you get me a Gu???!!!!!"

Evan said "DON'T STOP, I'LL CATCH YOU!!!!!"
Much running was involved...

We made our way towards the final transition where Evan was going to take over for the last 5.2 miles. It was no easy task getting there. We overtook Eric and took 400 pictures of him (lucky) and kinda drove along him with nowhere to go for quite some time. Again, the topic of him beating us to transition was brought up... Honestly, we saw him a LOT. I did not mind this because I like him but jeesh, miles and miles of serious stalking!

There he is AGAIN!!!
It's like we were stalking him or something.
Or still stuck in retardo traffic...

We did finally make it with about 20 minutes to spare (some good driving and navigating thanks to the family!) We spent a few minutes snacking, looking around and trying to get a feel for how many teams were ahead of us (lots.. JERKS!) Evan warmed up a little saying absurd things like "my asthma is acting up" which clearly does not affect his fabulocity in the least! Gosh!

Getting ready! Waiting for it!!! Freezing! Coughing!
Seriously considering trying to trip up the competition...

One last check of the sweet kicks...
And yeah, I actually ended up tying them because Evan fails at tying. He admits this.

Yes, we are related. I'm standing in a hole, that's why he looks tall (ahem, ahem..)

Evan and Annie! So cute!!!
Right on schedule Eric came cruising down the little hill which concluded his 11 and something miles over a mountain. Lucky man...

Here comes Eric into the transition!
He lest Dink McDinkerson in the dust, thank heavens..

"No YOU take it!!" NO, YOU TAKE IT!!!!"
"FINE! I'll TAKE IT!!!!"

And Evan flies off, faster than a speeding bullet!!

Damn kid is fast. Glad he was on our team...

Eric was good. He had kept up a solid and consistent pace, despite the serious hills he encountered. We all piled BACK into the car and very easily made it to (almost) the finish. Then we got stuck in traffic for 20 minutes as the finish was in a shopping mall and traffic was all effed because of the race. It was a tad messy. However, in the end we made it to the finish where I had more family waiting- YAY! Evan was so fast that we completely missed his finish because we suck. Whoops! He averaged something absurd like a 6:40 pace, he passed at least 40 people and definitely was an amazing sprinting team anchor. Our official time was 3:33:32 which was amazingly close to a palindromic number! We were 14th out of the 3-5 person relay division which is pretty kickass.
We ate some snacks then went out for beer and lunch with my family to celebrate.
So overall, a fun time! Some health issues, some traffic issues but in the end we did quite well and made a great team.

Victory! Race medals for ALL!!!

In the end, we might be a Special Kind Of Stupid but we are also awesome.
And cute, heehee love those boys!
And we're fast too!
Can't wait to do it again... And THAT is a Special Kind Of Stupid for SURE!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Myles Standish Marathon Relay- Part One

Alternate Titles:
-How I spent my birthday weekend
-How NOT to run (with bronchitis)
-The ONLY way to run a marathon is with a dozen other people, or two...
-A really, really Special Kind Of Stupid
Anyway. There are so many pictures and excitement that I decided to break this up into a multi part series. I know that the interwebs are forever grateful for that (ahem, ahem...)
I woke up the morning of the 17th still sick... But nothing makes a sick birthday girl happier than getting a brandy-new shiny Garmin from her exclusive dating partner!!! That's the runner girls equivalent of getting sparkly new jewelry, ya know? (but I might have gotten some of that too- not complaining!!)
Eric and I hit the road to have some quality family party time (which was awesome) and to talk the details of the race over with Evan (which we more or less failed at.) And clearly to pick up our race packets in Plymouth and to try to figure out where we were going and what we were doing...
After an evening of significant eating, moderate drinking (whoops) and excessive coughing we awoke at ass o'clock on Sunday. I have to give props to my Aunt & Uncles hospitality because we slept extremely well and were fed to the point of bursting which is quite delightful! Love you guys...   
Our Team: Special Kind Of Stupid.
How true is THAT???

Evan and I modeling the less than gorgeous race shirts at 5 AM in the bathroom.
Yeah, we are cool. And the kid is TALL...!!!

The awesome team, FREEZING at the start.
Yes, we had a legit race baton.
I started hitting people with it all Tonya Harding style around mile 8... Watch out!

So, we arrived at the start which was in the middle of a state park but felt like East Bumstumble Sasquatch/Jabberwockey land. It had been decided that I would run the first leg which was about 9.5 miles and then hand the amazing baton to Eric who would run 11ish. Evan, who forgot to mention that he has been crushing the competition at his track meets was immediately put in the anchor/sprinting position as we plotted a strong finish, with the responsibility to speed thru the last 5.2. No pressure.


Yeah, I'm tough! Don't mess or I'll whack you with my PVC stick!!!

Starting. Once again wearing that heinous 1st Run shirt to throw away...

I ran the first 2 miles at about the same pace that I started the All Women's Half in a couple weeks ago. My legs, thanks to the amazing 2 week taper that I had given them felt amazingly fresh. My lungs, however, had completely different ideas and protested loudly whenever I thought about pushing it. I had expected to only keep an 8:30-8:45 pace so I was very pleased that I ran solid 7:45's- 7:50's for the first several miles. I slowed down a little after that- lots of hills impeded my wind and I was kind of a phlegmy, loogey hocking mess. I'm very attractive, thank you... 

Running thru T-1 and trying to get out of my shirt! Which I simply can not seem to just throw away...

Running away from T-1 and away from my cheering fans! HAHA...

Another pic of my struggle to remove that stupid shirt while running. Challenging..

There were only 4.4 miles between T-1 and T-2. The traffic became kind of an issue thru this stretch and remained this way (more on that in Part 2!) The runners were ALL over the road, apparently oblivious to the 2 way traffic and there were a lot of frustrated drivers making for some really dangerous situations. Race management needs to pull an MDI and tell runners to stick to one side of the street under penalty of elimination- this would take care of almost all the problems... My Aunt and Uncle were nice enough to drive us all around the course and it was no easy task! We sure were glad to have excellent chauffeurs- I think left to our own devices the transportation situation would have been a bit of a nightmare.. I was actually a little nervous that I might beat them to the transition, given the severity of the traffic congestion.

Luckily, they made it there well before I did and made a great assembly line to let me know where Eric was (in a big crowd!) and to let him know I was coming. GREAT pit crew!!!

Passing the baton to Eric!

A little good luck pat as he sprinted off to basically climb a mountain...

I look like I'm about to die here because I am.

I managed my 9.5ish in a 7:58 pace which is not too shabby for a sick lady. I spent the next 2 hours coughing non stop, prompting my Aunt to offer me hits off a rescue inhaler which I was too scared to try (I'm a terrible junkie apparently...) At this point we headed off thru the incredible chaotic traffic to try to see Eric at T-3. Little did we know, we'd be seeing him well before then..


Friday, November 16, 2012

Marathon Relay Preview (or, how NOT to prep for a race..)

This weekend is sneaking up on me in a big way. I had planned to be back to 100% excellent health by now and feeling really good about kicking this Marathon relay in the teeth. Truth be told, when we signed up for this madness a few weeks ago I was thinking that we were on the right track to really rock this shit out.
Pretty excited to get this kid onto the team even thought it means we have to compete in the youngest age group. That's just weird....!

There's Evan, flying by in the yellow shirt.
He's FAST and has been running like crazy this Fall.
I figured that he's have no problem running crazy fast, like 7:30 kinda fast...

Here I am.
We all know I'm so fast that it is stunning (ahem, ahem)
My thought was that even if I ran a 13 mile leg that I could manage a 7:40ish pace no problem...

And here is Eric.
Not only is he a frigging Ironman but he suddenly has some serious speed as well!!
I thought he's nail some 7:40ish miles without breaking a sweat!
And he probably will...

We seem to be having some issues. I still have a very miserable chest cold going on and have only managed 2 miles this week. The good news is that my legs feel better than they have in months but sadly, that does not distract me from the lack of good breathing... I fear that I am not going to be able to pull off more than maybe 9 miles, at perhaps an 8:45 pace if we are lucky (I'm a hurting lady!!) Evan seems to be in the same boat. His allergies and asthma have been off the hook lately so he's not feeling 100%. Since he is a kid, and basically insane he might slow down a little (and we'll let him, that's legit...) I'm anticipating that his need for oxygen might slow his pace a bit as well.
Eric seems to have recovered well from his plague, and I think he's going to be carrying the team. He went out for an "easy" run yesterday and pretty much killed it with some numbers that did NOT look easy... So he's the anchor for sure! (No pressure, no pressure.)
We're heading to Mass tomorrow and if nothing else there is going to be an epic celebration of family fabulocity and that is worth the trip. It will make up for the fact that we won't be done with the damn race until 3PM on Sunday (with an 8AM start... DOOM!!!!)
Wish us luck. Actually, wish Eric luck. Evan and I are going to let him do all the running while we sit in the warm car coughing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

In which I have a nasty plague...

After the Half Last weekend I had plans to do about 40 miles this week, which would bring me back to some almost "normal" mileage post MDI. 
Somewhere in the chaos of life I seem to have forgotten that November was supposed to be my lazy recovery month. I planned to do weeks that maxed out at 20, maybe cross train (probably not) and basically just let the old bod heal and concentrate on getting fat and out of shape,
Per the norm, and despite the fact that I had felt a little run down for weeks I forgot that that was the master plan. I am straight up challenged sometimes...
And then I got sick. Like, nasty sick with a pretty awful cold. I spent the first day of this virus of doom in full on misery. Aches and chills, the worst sore throat I have had in years and a gross runny nose. The next day I felt better and totally overdid it because that's how I roll. And today I awoke about 100% sicker, with a dry hacking cough and laryngitis. So Awesome...
So I'm getting my lazy week in after all!

My Birthday is next weekend! Send me gifts! I love my birthday and am especially glad to see this one as I'm going to be 33 which is a palindromic number. I was having a bit of trouble deciding what to do until, prompted by some ominous threats to take me out club hopping I made a wise choice!

Yeah, a race... Big Shock I know!


Eric, my super big pimpin cousin Evan and I are going to turn it into the coolest most badass relay ever. I'm seriously so excited and absolutely can't wait! (sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me and then I remember nothing! I'm just so super cool....!) I'll be excited to go out club hopping, dancing and taking shots off hot boys bodies some other time. (rolls eyes, slightly...) For my own national Holiday, this is clearly the way to go!Gonna try to recover from this bubonic plague the best I can in hopes to sneak a few miles in by Sunday. If nothing else I hope to feel refreshed? I suspect I should have taken some lazy time that did not involve germs/hacking up lungs for optimal effects but this will just have to do!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The All Women's Half (and that one lucky guy!)

Today kids, we get to talk about how running isn't always easy.
(but how even when it isn't, I manage to still look good at the finish. Obviously!!!)

Super cute shirt. Might be in contention for best shirt of the year!

Sunday AM, Newburyport MA. The scene of the All Women And One LUCKY Guy Half Marathon. This, as previously discussed was my 6th Half for the year and one that I have been looking forward to for quite a long time.
I was skeptical of the outcome, knowing that realistically I was in no shape to run a PR. I thought if I was able to maintain I'd be able to make in into the top 50. Looking at last years results I felt that if I had a bang up day I could possibly top 20.
Confused about my summery outfit?
Well, it was 50 degrees and NOT raining so apparently I made a summer attire comeback..

The weather was spectacular. I had no idea how to dress due to the fact that my last 3 races have been in anything from intense drizzle to flat out pouring rain. I concluded that one last race in the summer apparel was in order (and it was a good choice- I was sweating bullets out there..)
I felt ok pre race. I had fueled well, taken 2 advil, 2 tums and 2 pepto per the norm and had tried to stretch out my fussy hip (and by tried I mean, I thought about it. Yeah, that was it...)

Eric wasn't the lucky guy. But he's still a lucky guy, look at his blazing hot girlfriend!!!

OMG THE LUCKY GUY!!!!!!!!!!!
And Eric's finger. Oops..!

I totally demanded to have a pic with the Lucky Guy. "LUCKY GUY" I shouted "CAN WE HAVE A PICTURE???!!!!" Snap, you would have thought he was Robert Downey Jr the way I was all up in his biz...
The race started right on time (big plus) I turned on my ipod (I've been running without it lately so that when I get to a race it's like a big dance party!) And I got down to the business of running.
Mile one went by fine, lots of people faded from the front by the time we reached the one mile mark and by mile 2 people had pretty much set themselves in close to the order that they were going to finish in. I think I passed (maybe) 10 people from that point on.
The other thing that happened at mile 2... My legs checked out.
Legs: Yeah, we're done.
Me: What? Are you serious? You have run 2 miles! This is a Half, did I not mention that?
Legs: Fuck you dude, fuck you.
Me: *genuinely shocked*
I was a bit troubled by this turn of events, as I certainly wasn't laying down any land speed records and there was a hell of a long way to go. My hope was that (as is often the case) between mile 3-6 my legs would go onto auto pilot, I'd zone out and just run like a boss.
Legs: Remember that little bit of Friday speed work? BAD CALL.
Me: Well I certainly am regretting it now!
Legs: As you well should
Stomach: I hurt. I'm going to get in on this fun too! OUCH!!! I HATE YOU!!!!
Me: OMG you guys, knock it off...
I really started talking myself into it at mile 7 when an old dude in his front yard yelled that we (there were maybe 3 of us, 10 or so seconds apart) were in the top 20. My competitive side wanted to hang onto this quite badly. Everything else wanted to sit with the old guy on his front lawn and take a permanent break...
The second half of the race was really, really strange. I'd have a mile of so where I'd feel great- and I'd hope that I was finally hitting my stride when, just as quickly as the energy burst had come on it would leave. I was really, really hurting during those miles. I knew that the brisk pace, the unexpected hills and the moderate headwind were taking a toll on me which was even more noticeable due to my questionable state. I got a terrible case of the fuckits- which is when all my brain can say (despite my attempts to stay positive) is fuckitfuckitfuckit!!!!!
I'm not sure if any final mile, of any race EVER has been so much of a challenge. I was legit exhausted and a bit put out with my situation, drowning in sweat, sad stomach, super sore hip and just feeling like junk. It was a perfect storm of imperfection that led to my partial demise (seriously, it was the polar opposite of MDI when everything just kept going my way!) IT WAS ROUGH.
I crossed the finish in 1:38:47 which is pretty badass.
I immediately sat down and started to cry because
a: I'm a big fat baby
b: I was so so so tired
c: I hated running and decided it was time to retire.
Eric was worried.
Then I stopped crying and RAN to the porta pottie. That was fun.

I look quite well all things considered.

When I reemerged from the porta pottie it was discovered that I had held on for 17th place and a 3rd place AG award.  I was happy about that. Totally worth the effort (really??? yeah, I guess so...)
Honestly, I knew I was due for a challenging race. I've had a few too many awesome ones lately and they can't all be fun! I was very pleased with the time that I ran in considering that I'm built for endurance right now, not speed AND endurance! I am a good hill runner but the hills tired me out- and the wind was in my face for 3/4 of the race and it made things a bit trickier...
It was a good race, well organized, lots of post race snacks, cute girly medals and nice usable shirts. It seemed like an ideal race for somebody to pick for a first Half, or a fun race to run with a bunch of girlfriends.
This elevation profile did not scare me. It should have...

It feels hillier than this. I've been hill running like a BOSS for months- but, my hill training was designed for an 8:30 plus pace and certainly not for a 7:30 pace. I really felt it, apparently I'm a bit weak and under trained dammit!
Anyway, once I got over my vomity feeling and stopped shouting about retirement I came up with all those positive things that I said a minute ago, HAHA...
If nothing else, it's Half Marathon number SIX for the year in the books, along with my second best time ever. So, I'll take it!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Half Marathon Number SIX!

Unless I forgot to blog about some random race then today's little jaunt is number six on the list of Half's that I have run in 2012.

No idea how today is going to go, to be honest, I'm not feeling very fast right now so I estimate that a PR is out of the question. My guess based on recent 5K and 10K sprints which left me gasping like a beached whale lead me to the belief that 1:45 is attainable. I do not think that this will be the day to sub 1:40 AT ALL. And kids, I'm not sandbagging. When it comes to kicking ass at this distance speed work- and lots of it- is my friend. And speed work just re-entered my life after marathoning/shin shit/ foot shit/ long runs taking up my speed work time... Whoops!

I am looking forward to running today and hope to enjoy the race regardless of the outcome.

Let's recap the Half's I have done thus far:

#1: The Indoor Half, a PR at the time...

#2: Half At The Hampton's, not much to say...

#3: Quincy Half, a fairly weak effort.

#4: GBH: Killer PR plus I meet all of my favorite people!

#5: Maine Half: Great race with my favorite boy. Bad weather..

This is the worlds laziest post. And also reconfirms my feeling that this is gonna be a 1:45 kind of day.