Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summerfest Rock 'n Sole 1/2 Marathon

Summerfest Rock 'n Sole (1/2 Marathon) - June 13, 2015
time = 1:50:22
pace = 8:25
placed 16th in my age group (40-44) out of 264
placed 205th in women out of 2021
placed 644th overall out of 3344

when i checked the weather last night there was a 32% chance of rain at 7am.  when i re-checked at 4:45am this morning it had gone up to 100% chance of rain at 7am.  what a bummer.  so i checked the doppler because... doppler.

there was a huge storm headed our way from the south but veering east and planing to end up over the lake.  it looked as tho' there would be a downpour right at the start of the race.  i was not at all happy to see that.  krista is again in town from colorado to run this race (like last year) so we decided to carpool again.

when we arrived downtown traffic was pretty backed up and it took about 20 minutes to get parked.  as soon as we were parked it started to drizzle.  now, drizzle is no big deal... it was this "downpour" i was worried about.  we got our running prep on and headed towards the port-o-potties.

me & krista - photo by john g.
on the way there we ran into my friend john g. who was one of the event photographers!  it was nice to see a friendly face and he got a pic of us to boot.  hugs and introductions were had, and we moseyed on to do our business before hitting our corrals.  the potty lines went quickly and it was about 15 minutes until go time.  krista's corral was right there so we said our goodbyes and i started towards my corral.

when i got to my corral i expected to run alone and was contemplating my goals when i looked to my left and saw rani!  yay!  so i went over to her and we chatted.  we both were really happy to see each other and it turned out to be a no-brainer to run together.  while we were waiting to begin there was this woman in front of us.  she was very fit.  she looked like she didn't eat much but spent a lot of time maybe lifting light weights and/or running/jogging.  she was doing some VERY VERY dynamic warm ups to the tune of kicking people in her immediate vicinity.  rani and i were discussing the merits of such a venture in such a small space.  we agreed that it was odd.  this woman was an odd duck for sure.  she was in full makeup and swinging her legs like there was no tomorrow also... massaging her glutes like it was going out of style.  we couldn't decide if she was super elite or the complete and utter opposite.

when it was time to go that woman took off like a bat out of hell.  it was drizzling and i am happy to report that my choice in long sleeves up top and shorts on the bottom was a good choice.  i was appropriately dressed for once.  yay me!  our pace group started off WAY TOO FAST and we lost them within the first 2 miles.  oh well... so much for a 1:45 finish.

we caught up to dynamic woman within the first mile.  guess she took off way too fast and all that leg pendulum-ing did nothing for her.  we passed her shortly after that and maintained a lead for some time.

the miles ticked by and as always running over the hoan was beautiful.  the rain had stopped and the fog was so thick that nothing beyond the bridge was visible.  each time i run this race the experience is so different.  the next notable runner was a very colorful woman in hokas who stayed just a few paces ahead of us from the bridge on.  why she is notable will come later in the report.

mile 6-7 from the bottom of the bridge to lafayette hill was pretty uneventful except for rani's knee causing her a significant amount of pain.  she decided she would make the decision to bow out (aka slow down) after we crested lafayette hill.  once we made it to the top she said go so i did.  i needed to find a potty anyway.  so i took off and hit the potty near st. mary's.

lost 2 minutes there (mile 8) and took off sprinting.  caught up to rani less than (i think less than) a mile later where she told me that dynamic woman passed her.  i took off and just focused on my pace and passing people one by one.  i wanted to finish strong and since mile 10 is lincoln memorial drive and a big down hill... i knew this was going to be a good split!  i just kept focusing on form, breathing, and ticking off the next person in front of me.  sure enough that mile split was a 7:49.

keep it moving and keep breathing even... i've got this!  i feel great, my legs feel great... everything feels great!  oh my god!  look who it is... dynamic woman is a few people in front of me so i keep ticking them off, and i effortlessly pass her.  i leave her behind and never see her again.

this stretch is totally flat which is wonderful.  i just keep running and keep trying to pass the person in front of me.  my watch beeps and i look at it... ugh.  8:08.  pick up the pace!

i try to move a little faster and IT WORKS, but i'm starting to feel it.  i've done ZERO speed work this year and it's starting to wear on me.  i'm really trying to keep picking off the person in front of me.  a lot of these people started off really fast and are paying for it now.  i really want to finish strong!  i really want to PR, but i know that's not going to happen.

mile 12 beeps off.  7:52.  not bad... keep pushing!  so i keep pushing, but so do a couple of other women.  we play frogger for awhile with me winning some and a couple of other women winning some... only one mile left and i'm running up on the very colorful woman in the hokas.  i finally caught back up to her!  so i decide to push harder... it's only one more mile!  i can do this.  when i pass her she exclaims: "hey!" so without missing a beat i raise my right hand and wave to her over my right shoulder.  i can't even waste a moment turning my head or my pace will suffer... she laughs and i'm glad.

i am running as hard as i can which is still not hard enough for a PR.  it is all i can make my body do. my toes hurt and i'm pretty sure i'm getting a blister on my right foot just between my big toe and the ball of my foot.  i keep telling myself it's just a mile... i can do this!

unfortunately i am not as fast as i feel and i finish out the last mile at a 8:07.  still respectable but not good enough to meet my goal of finishing in under 1:48.  i came into the finish with a smile tho' and i am really happy about that.  normally i feel so awful at the finish that the pain on my face can be read from a mile away.

man, i guess i didn't look as good
as i felt at the finish line
beastmode or beefneck? finish face

walked it out to the end of the finish shoot, and read my text messages.  found out where krista was and then i saw rani in the finish shoot!  we hugged and she finished strong in spite of her knee.  only a 5min difference between the two of us so she did excellent!  then i saw the colorful woman and tapped her on the shoulder!  i told her she did a great job and we laughed about my passing her and the wave.  i love runners and how connected we are!

finished with a smile

rani, her boyfriend brian, and i stood around and talked a little bit and then we went to our cars.  i stretched it out and got ready to head back and wait for krista.

krista finished strong around the 3 hour mark and we unceremoniously met at the end of the finish shoot and headed to the car.  by then we were both done.  we did a little stretching at the car and headed home.

this race is always fun.  i really enjoy the course and will probably do it ever year if i can.  i love running over the hoan bridge and i think it will be all that more amazing once the repairs are done and it is completely open.  my hope is that they will go back to the original course and we will get to run an out and back on the bridge again.  june race in the books... now to prepare for dances with dirt in july.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

the body achieves what the mind believes

"it takes the same amount of breath to say a supportive word as it does to criticize, yet one could very well mean the difference between someone achieving the impossible and giving up altogether. which will you choose? ~ susan lacke for

 i was reading this article today and was thinking how very true the above statement is.  when i was deciding to sign up for the ice age 50k the non-runners in my life were very skeptical about whether or not i could do it.  they didn't understand WHY i would WANT to do it.  many though it was an impossible goal.  the runners in my life (bless their little hearts) were very encouraging and didn't once question whether or not i COULD do it or why i would want to... they questioned my time goal but not whether or not i could finish the distance.  maybe that's sort of the same thing?  a little bit?

when someone tells me they're going to do something i don't question it.  i just believe them.  i think that when someone wants to do something they are fully capable of doing it if they want it bad enough.  i've done things i previously thought impossible.  i know anything is possible.

yesterday morning several of my friends started off on a journey to run the kettle 100.  there are 3 distances: 100m, 100k, and 50k.  i am so proud of everyone who went out there and gave it their all!  so many amazing athletes running with their hearts when their bodies were not cooperating.  they are so inspiring.  some people finished last night and some finished this morning... all left a bit of themselves on the trails.  it's a beautiful thing.

someone asked me not too long ago why the people who run these ultra distances do it?  do they actually enjoy these distances or is it just a competitive thing?  i have to say that i believe for most of them it's the pure love of running that they do it.  you have to love running to be out on those trails for that long.  some of those people yesterday were out there for more than 24 hours.  when i ran the 50k i was out there for more than 5 hours and while the last 9 miles were torturous they were also beautiful and transformative.  i loved running that race.  i enjoyed the majority of it and even the painful parts gave me something in return.

there's something very soothing and healing about being in nature.  being surrounded by the earth untouched by the modernization of humankind.  it feeds the soul and mind.  gives energy and drive where previously there was none.  being out there doing the impossible with everyone else who was out there doing the impossible made it possible.

anything is possible if you believe.  maybe next year i'll run the 50m instead of the 50k... why not?  gotta have goals.

next time someone tells you they're going to do something... believe in them.  keep in mind that if you choose negative words and/or disbelief... that might just be the thing that stops them from attaining their asserted goal.  on the flip side... your positive affirmation could be just the thing that pushes beyond wondering into believing that they can achieve their goal.  you determine the energy you put out into the world.  wouldn't you rather it be positive?