Archive for October, 2011

Baltimore Running Festival – 4 Person Marathon Relay

Monday, October 17th, 2011

This past Saturday was the Baltimore Running Festival.  Ever since I started running I have wanted to run the relay there, but haven’t been able to pull a team together so I have run either the 5K or the Half instead.  Well this year was my year.  Not only did we get one team together but we got 4.  So we had people to run with, people to wait with, and people to cheer with.  It was going to be a fun day! 

Over the past several month Jen L and I have been training together since we were running our leg together.  We have been gradually getting stronger and stronger as she and I have been both coming back from a hiatus on running.  I was really looking forward to our leg together.  At the last minute we recruited my friend Kelly, one of my bridesmaids, to run with us as well.  She is a much faster runner than I and was exchanging with a fast runner, so I knew she would be off before we were but it was nice getting to catch up with her on the bus ride to the exchange and hang out with her in the port-a-potty lines, lol. 

As we waited for our runners to come in Jen and I spotted a woman who must have found her long sleeve shirt a little too warm and decided to tie it around her waist but unfortunately was not wearing  a bra appropriate as outerwear.  We decided she was going to be our target.  We were going to pass her during our leg and then we started eagerly awaiting the arrival of our teammates.  Six minutes later they arrived.  My maid of honor, Jen H, was running the first leg for our team and we paired her up with Margaret from Jen L’s team so they could run that first leg together.  They had a very hilly leg which also ran through the Baltimore Zoo.  Those of us that have run Zoo Zoom and the Baltimore 10 Miler were very familiar with the hills that they had in store for them, but both ran strong and rocked their leg. 

Jen H and Margaret were awesome bending down and moving the chips to mine and Jen L’s ankles.  We gave them our bags and hugs and off we went.  We were starting on a wicked uphill but it is one she and I have run on multiple occasions before so we pushed through.  We were running down some streets in Baltimore….some really hilly streets in Baltimore, but we also had some downhills to make up for the ups.  We were on a roll and weren’t about to stop.  We passed some zombies that I quickly snapped some pictures of and sent off to my fellow Zombie hunters and teammates Kim and Megan.  Before we knew it we were headed down to the inner harbor.  We passed close to the exchange but it was more of a tease as we still had about 4 miles to go before handing off to Dad and Kim.  They then took us up Federal Hill, which is part of the Run to Remember course, and immediately back down it then we were on to the flat part of our course.  I was looking forward to the turn-around point as the race organizers said it was going to be awesome. 

We were running around the harbor and on the same course as the Survivor Harbor 7 and the Baltimore Women’s Classic.  We were having fun discussing the race we had run these particular streets on.  The wind was really picking up on us and we always seemed to be running into it.  We made the turn to cross under the Under Armour logo and turn onto their parking lot.  There was a DJ and a fuel stop and that was about it.  The fuel was cool with bananas, oranges, chips and pretzels.  I was just expecting a bigger crowd and more energy.  We turned to leave the parking lot and found a marathon runner confused about which way to go.  We screamed for her to go left and then followed her out of the parking lot.  As we made our way back from the factory we spotted a Looper nemesis – the Joggler.  We got a little boost knowing he was almost half a mile behind us and kept on running.  Some of the neighborhood’s and schools along this out-and-back came out to cheer and it was definitely needed along this section of the course.

We rounded near some of the really expensive condos that they have been putting up along the harbor and I spotted her not even a tenth of a mile in front of us.  Bra lady!  We turned on the afterburners and started closing in on our target.  We passed her not even one interval later.  We both giggled as we realized we passed her and still had over half a mile till we handed off to our teammates.  I texted Kim to let her know were closing in on them and we pushed through for the final section of the race knowing we had run at a pace nearly a minute faster than we had been training at.  Kelly had run back and turned to run us into the finish line.  We ran up to the exchange, moved the chips from our ankles to Dad and Kim’s and cheered them of before grabbing their bags and heading for the finish. 

The walk was nice and relaxed.  We stopped for  a second so that Jen could pose with both the joggler and bra lady in the background and giggled our way over to the runner’s village to get our medals and some crab soup.   We settled in with the awesome spot Jen H had scoped out for us to chear runners in to their finish.  Somehow we managed to miss almost every runner we were watching for except for Laura and Megan.  How we missed them all we have no idea. 

I really enjoyed the relay and would definitely do it again.   One of the things that surprised me was that with a race course that is open 8 hours the back-of-the pack seemed to start really early in this race…at about 13 minute miles.  It made for some really lonely stretches of roadway.  As relay runners since our distances were so short it wasn’t too bad but I really felt for the marathon runners still out there and the half marathoners as well.  It messed with Dad’s head some when he ran his leg as he didn’t expect it to be so empty and really felt slower than he was actually running causing him to head out way too fast.  However in the end all 4 teams had fabulous races with most of us running at paces faster than we had trained for.  Go team!

Wine&Dine Half Marathon 2011

Monday, October 17th, 2011

This year I gave the Wine & Dine half marathon a second try.  Last year I did everything wrong.  I spent the day before and the day of the race at the parks.  Ran a 5K the morning of the race.  Had a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  Didn’t get a true chance to nap or rest before the race start.  All of this added up to sore feet and being exhausted at the start line.  I was determined to do things differently this year.  Woops!  

This year when I got to Disney Steve was attending a conference, which meant it was my first chance to spend some time with the kids without him.  I was determined to make it a fun and enjoyable experience for them, which meant sacrificing my legs and feet a little before I got to the start line of the race.  Do I regret it?  No, just like I don’t regret last year either.  However I do really look forward to next year when I will be living down there and have no reason to spend the day before an the day of the race in the parks.  On with the recap!

Saturday evening Steve and I headed over to EPCOT to hop the bus to Wide World of Sports(WWoS) I know earlier than he probably would have liked, but I get antsy spending time in lines when I have some place to be.  He, I think, is getting used to this behavior of mine, lol.  The bus line was no longer than it was last year when I probably got to EPCOT a half an hour later.  It only took a few minutes and we were being loaded onto a bus.  We got lucky and met deanadm from ROTE on the bus.  It was nice having a new ROTE friend to chat with on the ride to the start.  All was going swimmingly till the  bus broke down.   It just died out of nowhere.  I tried to stay calm as I calculated how far of a walk it might be to WWoS from the location we were currently sitting in.  The driver tried several times to restart the bus and eventually we heard it purr back to life.  Half the lights were out on the bus but at least we were moving again.   Whew!  

We pulled up to WWoS and proceeded to wait in a line for the parking lot to unload.  It took maybe 15 or 20 minutes before they parked our bus and opened the door.  Steve and I hopped off the bus and headed in search of the ROTE group in the middle of the field.  The first person I saw was Tammie.  I <3 Tammie!  She also had several of her friends with her that aren’t ROTErs but have participated in several of our events in the past so it was nice to catch up with them.  We parted ways with Tammie knowing we would see her in the runner’s only area and headed through to meet the rest of the ROTErs.  I was in search of Rebecca because I had her new ROTE visor for her.  I got to the area and having not met her in real life before I was trying to figure out how to get her attention so I put the second visor on my head.  Not even a minute later there she was.  J  We spent a good hour catching up with ROTErs and trying to figure out when was a good time to head to the potties then onto the corrals.  I tried to sit as much as I could get just spend time off of my feet, but every time I stood up I knew it was going to get ugly once I got a couple miles on them.  

Before we knew it the time had come to head to the corrals.  A small group of corral C people headed off to get a good spot.  Thanks to the ROTErs that walked with me we found a nice hunk of curb for me to sit in front of.  It was in front of a speaker, but it would work.  We hung out for maybe 15 minutes and then the corrals started to shuffle forward some.   It took maybe 10 minutes from the first corral till we got our send off with our own set of fireworks.  I was tight for the first mile or so, but I was prepared for it.  We spent this time leap frogging with Laura as she was doing a 1:1 ratio and Steve and I were doing a 2:1. Since we were running more we eventually pulled away from Laura, but it would not be the last time we saw her during the race.

We made are way out along the roadway and headed for Animal Kingdom.  We were passed by Rebecca who was having what seemed like a great first leg for her relay team.  We were also passed by Laura as she seemed to also be having an awesome race.  One of the best parts of this race is the park time you get.  Several miles in both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and about a half mile of EPCOT backstage.  Animal Kingdom however can be very dark and the footing tricky.  Several people fell last year and Disney seemed to get the message as they added these glowing eggs to the route right around the edge of the path where the footing was most tricky.  Time flew by once we were in Animal Kingdom but my feet were screaming with every step.  

We made our way out the back and past the relay exchange point.  Then headed back out onto the roadway to Hollywood Studios.  Somewhere along this road way we passed Laura.  My legs were feeling good but my feet were still hurting.  I was just afraid to even think about skipping a walk break.  I needed to keep moving.  I started feeling rougher and rougher as we made our way into Hollywood Studios.  Somewhere in there Laura caught back up to us again and passed us.  Unfortunately somewhere in here is also where I lost Steve.  My legs were feeling good and my feet were starting to almost go numb.  I just had to keep pushing, keep moving.  I was watching my watch and it said we were just over the 16 minute/mile pace.  I caught back up with Laura and we decided to work as a team.  Her runs were stronger and my walks were stronger, so we took turns setting the pace.  I moved to using her 1:1 so we could stay together as we made our way around the boardwalk and on to EPCOT.

As I kept pushing the walk pace I could hear Laura’s wheezing setting in.  She took a puff on her inhaler and wanted to keep moving so we did.  I eased up on my walk just a bit, keeping one eye on my watch, and one eye on Laura trying to stay just ahead of her to help her push her pace.  I was convinced we were on pace to come in just under 3:30.  We pushed through the finish line area that was lined with cast members cheering the runners on and just before I reached the finish line I felt a hand on my shoulder.  It was Steve.  He ran the last mile in 11 minutes to catch me just as we were coming into the finish.  With an extra spring in my step with my love by my side we crossed the finish line.  

I stopped my watch and looked down.  3:35?  Huh?  Apparently I was not so great at tracking the tangents and ran around 13.4 miles.  They were under the 16 min/mile pace but we weren’t under the 16 min/mile pace for 13.1.  Dangit!  The disappointment was fleeting.  When I took a second to look back at where I had been only 6 months before as I suffered through my back injury to where I was then.  My only real goal for the race was to keep up my running interval for the entire event.  That I had done.  While I came in just over the required pace I did so with feet that were telling me to stop.  I pushed through and I did it!  I couldn’t have been happier with my progress.  

Next up half marathon wise in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon.  This was a really strong race for me last year and I am hoping while there I will finally see that sub-3:30 I have had my targets set on.  Let’s do it!

Fall/Winter 2011 Training Plan

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I spent some time a couple weeks ago developing my training plan to get me through the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.  My concentration was to get the mileage under my feet and work plenty of cross training to keep me heatlhy.  If you want to take a gander here it is!