Tag Archives: races

49 Miles for Orlando + Another 5k

Many runners have pledged to run 49 miles for Orlando.  The miles are to be completed by July 1 in memory of the horrible attack’s victims (learn a little bit about each of the victims here).  While I have over 85 miles scheduled to cover before June comes to an end, it’s nice to havemiles for orlando something to run them for and I’ve joined in.  The murder of someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter because of who they sleep with is absurd and disgusting.  Killing innocent people on purpose at all is.  Each day I’ll click through a few photos and spend some of my run wondering why that person’s day was June 12th, 2016.  I’ll probably also spend those 49 miles for Orlando asking myself what the answer is and getting nowhere.

In other news, my year of 5ks keeps on keepin’ on July 16 with the Allen Stone Memorial 5k.  Started in 1999 as the Braveheart 5k, the event was renamed in memory of Allen Stone for 2000’s running.  A local athlete and Navy 49 miles for orlandoSEAL, Stone won the 20-29 age group at the inaugural race before being tragically killed in a training accident that fall.  Another lost life to dedicate miles to (is this post depressing, or what?).  The day’s events feature a 5k, a run-swim-run (1k, 1k, 5k) and a 1 mile kid’s run.  I’m not one for much open water swimming so staying dry on the boardwalk only works perfectly for me.  It’s a typically competitive event and hopefully the faster crowd will help me improve on my time from the OK5K.  Two weeks from the end of my base phase with lots of miles to log that week, I won’t be looking for a PR but am definitely expecting to see some improvement as my fitness increases towards my goal races this fall.

Meredith

Are you running miles for Orlando?  Any summer 5ks?

2016 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon

The first half of my second back to back half marathons weekend, the 2016 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon was a mixed bag of experiences. The event was very well done with great swag and lots of fun in spite of a slightly rainy day and a less than ideal race for myself.

I was traveling with three girlfriends and we arrived early Friday afternoon.  A quick check in at the Jackson Marriott put us on the short walk to the 2016 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon expo.  Number, shirt and goodie pick-up was fast and easy in the uncrowded convention 2016 mississippi blues half marathoncenter.  Along with tech half zip race shirts each race bag contained a BB King CD, a race logo-ed harmonica and coupons for some local spots.  I then picked up my pacer shirt and 1:45 stick at the Fleet Feet booth after winding through a hallway lined with more vendors.

A late lunch at Parlor Market was next then it was back to the hotel for a little R&R.  We scanned the race guide, came up with a plan for the morning and checked the forecast yet again.  It was calling for some serious rain Saturday morning.  In addition to the possibility of getting excessively wet while running the race guide mentioned that the streets of Jackson also had some blues and we would need to be on alert for potholes on the course.  Dinner at the hotel was followed by more R&R before bed.

We all poured out of the hotel room at 6:20 for the race’s 7am start to find the forecasted downpour was actually a light rain that wasn’t too bad.  The race did not have corrals but went off right on time.  Begin hills.  Right off the bat the course heads out across some slow climbs that only get tougher as the miles pass by.  I was right on track at the 5k mark but didn’t have anyone sticking with me as the crowd thinned out.  That turned out to be a blessing when I rolled my ankle in one of those aforementioned potholes that was masquerading as a puddle around Mile 4.  At that point I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit 1:45 and didn’t know what to do with no aid station in sight.

I shook my ankle out with a stop and lowered my sign.  Soaked from the rain and bent from the wind, it ended up snapping shortly after.  I carried my broken sign and fought to get back on track when I stopped at the Mile 6 water station to see if there was a way I could get in touch with the race director.  I ditched my stick and debated removing my pacer shirt.  With no option but to continue, I rolled on at a slower pace with guilt weighing heavily.

After another ankle breather walk break things took a turn for the better around Mile 7.5.  The 1:55 pacer was ahead of his time and we settled in next to each other passing Mile 8.  We chatted a bit when he told me he was looking to hit the final 5k hard.  I told him I would rock on with the 1:55 sign, taking full advantage of the chance to finish supporting other runners while protecting my ankle for the next day.  I was back in business when he handed me his sign, let me know what his watch read and took off.  Immediately I had two runners with me.  It felt great to be cheering them on as we entered the last stretch.

The last four miles were filled with more hills but my ankle started to feel slightly better with some chatting, left side of the road running and a few walking breaks to eat up time.  At Mile 10 a few runners checked in with me to see how we were doing time 2016 mississippi blues half marathonwise.  I was happy to hear everyone was well on their way to hitting their goals.  At Mile 12 a girl who had been right with me since Mile 10 started to struggle.  I stuck with her to the end and even with two short walking breaks she broke 2 hours for the first time.  Another runner, Eric, was happy to speed past me at Mile 12.5 to come in under 1:57 with a big smile.

I crossed the finish in 1:54.49.  After a rough start to the 2016 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon it was rewarding to gather a group in the last few miles and watch them succeed on such a tough course.  The rain had held off, the finisher medals are huge, the challenging course was a great workout, I nailed my second chance pacing time and by the time I showered my ankle felt almost normal.  Course support had been solid with water stops every 1.5-2 miles, Cliff shots at Mile 9 and several cheer groups.  I would have liked more music on the course, especially since this year was dedicated to B.B.King, though with the wet weather it might not have been the safest thing.  I definitely recommend this event but recommend even more being prepared for the difficult course.  Great organization, super friendly people, awesome swag and solid course support make it worth the trip.

Meredith

How do you deal with getting injured during a race?

Fall 2015 Race Season is Here!

It’s race week!  Fall 2015 Race Season is kicking off this Saturday with the Heart of Ghent 10k.  I ran this one last year as well, winning my age group last year with a PR.  I’d like to repeat with PR and an age group placing this year, too.  After Saturday’s race it’s a quick turnaround to my first back to back half marathons then a lengthy strength of marathon training before the Harbor Light 5k in November.fall 2015 race season

Now, back to this week.  The race is four days away and I’m excited to see what I can do.  I’ve been training at a fairly hard level consistently for the last few months and to make sure I’m ready to perform taper week is nice and light.  Two days of short interval speed work, one easy day and two rest days will get me to the line fresh and fast.  If the weather holds, which isn’t looking good right now, I’m hoping to finish 30+ seconds faster than last year’s 43:24.  If Fall 2015 Race Season starts with Saturday morning’s predicted 70% chance of rain and 20mph winds, I’ll know everyone else out there is suffering, too, and let my time goal slip some.

I want Fall 2015 to start strong because Spring 2015 didn’t go as planned.  Hopefully the changes I’ve made mean an improved Fall 2015 race season is in store.  I’m fueling better, recovering better and using a more flexible schedule that includes less ‘just run’ miles and more goal oriented workouts.  Ideally this new attitude will lead to fall 2015 race season PRs at 10k this weekend and 5k in November.  After that it’s on to a new half marathon PR attempt in December and an inevitable marathon PR next March.

Speaking of my first marathon, it’s exactly 26 weeks away!  The One City Marathon isn’t until March 2016 but I’m ready to hit some late fall 18-20 milers and get rolling.  My first pair back of back half marathons is coming up in a little more than three weeks, making them a good jumping off point for marathon training and I’m glad they’re on the schedule soon.

Meredith

What’s on your fall 2015 race season calendar?  New distances?  New PRs?

January 2015 Right Now: A New Year!

It’s time to really kick off the new year.  My January 2015 Right Now features what I’m eating, scheduling and reading.  I’m excited about what the new year has in store and look forward to sharing some of favorites with you each month.  Here’s what I’m loving right now:

This recipe.  It’s easy to make, filling and a great way fuel my long run each week.  It also works wonders when it’s cold, rainy and all gloom and doom outside.  Hello, warm!  It takes some time january 2015 right nowto cook but makes a great freezer meal.

My spring race schedule is set!  I’ll kick off 2015 with Rock n Roll Arizona this weekend then have a break until serious training starts in February and racing again in March.  Rock n Roll DC and Shamrock, where I’m pacing the 1:52 group (yay!) are back to back in the middle of March and things wrap up with my target spring half in May.  I’m excited to have chosen the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in Wichita for both my Kansas race and target spring race then wrap things up with the EquiKids Cross Country 5k.

I’m reading Mark Divine‘s The Way of the SEAL for the second time.  My first read was just that.  I read and took what I could from the book.  When I cracked it open for the second time, my intentions were to start practicing the techniques and skills described in the book to see how I could benefit.  From the moment I began to reread the first chapter, I knew it wouldn’t be that simple.  I’ve reassessed my goal of implementing all 12 methods at once and have elected to work through two chapters each month.  I spend 30 minutes, twice a day specifically working on the principles Coach Divine describes is his best seller and sporadically during the day.  As I work to have better control over my thoughts and emotions, I’m excited to share my progress as the year moves forward.

That’s what I’m loving in my January 2015 Right Now and I hope you give the stew a try while registering for a spring race and settling down to pick up a good book.

Meredith

What’s your favorite winter recipe?  Are you reading something good?

2014 Rehoboth Half Marathon

The 2014 Rehoboth Half Marathon is one of my favorite half marathons to date.  Also known as the Seashore Marathon, this race features the option to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles through the beach side towns of Delaware (state #9!).  I went into the weekend with no plan.  Absolutely no   plan at all.  I was having some very faint foot pain that I couldn’t induce with poking, rubbing or jumping from a really hard run in my light racing shoes on Thursday but I knew it wasn’t serious.  I didn’t want to make anything worse with 13+ more miles of pounding and decided to just take it one step at a time on my tied legs race morning.

My Rehoboth Half Marathon began with a three hour drive from Virginia Beach straight to packet pick-up.  Both Saturday events were limited to a total of 2600 runners and I’m pretty sure they all wanted to pick up at the same time.  It was cramped and crowded but moved right along as I collected my number, long sleeve tech race shirt (like it a lot), drawstring bag and 2014 rehoboth half marathon post-race party wristband.  Doug and I checked into our hotel, relaxed for a little while then hit the main drag in Rehoboth for dinner.  A delicious shrimp and scallop pasta at Summer House was my pre-race meal while Doug had a perfectly seared filet mignon.  I hoped the chilly, wet evening would dry out for the next day’s race and maybe even warm up a bit.  After one more look at my weather.com app, it was time for bed and a not too early rise and shine for the race’s 7am Start.

Getting to the Start was very easy.  Doug dropped me off a few blocks from the boardwalk and bandstand and a brisk morning walk to the starting area got my Race Day going.  I passed locked permanent restrooms and a string of Port-a-Potties with long but moving lines (luckily I didn’t need to use one) as I made my way to the wooden boardwalk to loosen up and get warm.  My foot felt solid, leading me to choose a goal of finishing the race between 1:40 and 1:45.  Around 6:50 the Nation Anthem was sung and I was a little disappointed with the sound system.  It took a second to realize what was going on and the young girl who sang it could barely be heard 200 yards from the podium.  There were no corrals at the Starting Line, nor were there signs with paces on them to give people a guide for lining up.  I headed towards the front and asked a few people to get an idea of what was around me.  With a kind-of plan finally in place, I wanted to start with a 8 minute mile pace group then see how I felt as the race went on but expected it was not going to work out that way.

I was right.  The 2014 Rehoboth Half Marathon got a little bit of a late start, going off at 7:05 and I crossed the Start surrounded by runners at all paces.  The course went straight for a while and I passed lots of people as I clocked an 8:08 first mile.  I continued to pass people as the course made a u-turn at the Mile 3 marker, settling into a comfortable 7:50 pace before walking through my first water stop.  By Mile 4 I knew I was overdressed in my long sleeves as the morning warmed and I found myself thankful for the clouds that stuck around.

At Mile 5 I walked through a second well staffed and stocked water stop then picked up to a 7:35 pace until the course hit the trails.  I knew the course map said trails but I didn’t know they were actual trails.  The gravel began at Mile 5.5 and stayed with the course all the way to Mile 11.  The wet trail was soft but also a bit slippery on top of being less firm and my pace slowed back down a bit.  I took the straightest lines I could through the wide, tree-lined path, passing the 10K sign with 6.26 on my watch.  I came to a slow walk at the Mile 8 water stop to make sure I got a decent amount of water down and picked it back up to hit the Mile 9 turn around.  I had 2014 rehoboth half marathonseen the runners in front coming back towards me since early on the trail and knew I might have trouble holding the same straight lines I had taken out on the way back because of incoming traffic.

Over the next two trail miles I cruised on the shortest path I could, passing a few more people and ready to get back on pavement.  I was sad to see the peacefulness of the trails go but happy to have a hard surface again at Mile 11 where it became clear I had done a decent job of sticking with those straight lines because my watch read 11.06.  I was clicking right along to finish around 1:43 and eased up to another female runner to help me finish with a little kick.  A 90 degree right hand turn at Mile 13 finally brought the 2014 Rehoboth Half Marathon Finish into view and I crossed it running easy at 1:42.47.

With my phantom foot weirdness, not fresh legs, soft, slippery trails and no real plan to speak of, I was very happy to hit my sub-1:45 goal.  It was definitely a very high quality training run and I couldn’t have asked for anything much better.  Walking towards the post-race party, I received a huge medal (my biggest to date) and sucked down two small cups of water.  Doug snapped this photo before I took my sweat soaked sleeves of as fast as I could and threw on a dry fleece.  I wasn’t sure if we needed to stay for awards, I had seen that not too many ladies were in front of 2014 rehoboth half marathonme with the out and back course design and didn’t expect anything but couldn’t know for sure.  In the post race party tent, computers gave live race results, which was awesome, and I found I was 6th of 116 in my age group.  A huge buffet style breakfast spread lines one side of the tent while unlimited beer was served at one end and bottled water hung out by the entrance.  One beer and a protein bar later, Doug and I were headed back to the hotel.  I wish we could have hung out at the sure to be rocking post race party longer but we needed to get back home for a holiday party.

I loved the 2014 Rehoboth Half Marathon and can’t wait to run it again someday.  Maybe I’ll shoot for the full 26.2 (eeek!).  The course was mostly flat with a few slight grades to give the legs a little something different, the scenery is beautiful, the weather was perfect, water stops were solid, the medals are massive and the post race party is fantastic.  Crowd support is sprinkled but when they’re there, they’re enthusiastic.  There’s tons of running room once you get away from the messy Start and a few squished minutes on the trails in two way traffic are barely memorable.  I didn’t for one second notice there wasn’t music on the course most likely because I train without it and also because the scenery is so lovely.  The Start area was spacious and being able to watch the sun rise over the ocean isn’t too shabby but some kind of pace organization would have made those first two miles a little more comfortable.  Doug had some issues with the text timing alerts not being on time and the timing mat breakdown here doesn’t match my race at all.  I think the 8.5 mile mat was actually at 9.1 and caused the problem but the Start, Finish and average pace are dead on, so I’m overall happy with the timers.  If you ever have the chance, I definitely recommend making the trip to Delaware’s shoreline for the Rehoboth Beach Marathon.

Meredith

Did you race this weekend?  Would you run this one?