Monthly Archives: February 2010

Ragnar Relay Del Sol

Wow, what an experience! Friday morning we woke up and I ran. We packed, and went to the grocery store to get our food for Ragnar. (We are perpetual procrastinators) At 1pm, Matt dropped me off at Rick and Lynne’s as Terri and I were riding up with Van #1 to check in. The boys and our wonderful driver, Wendy, were staying in the Valley until 4pm so they could pick up Donovan from work then head up. At Rick and Lynne’s we attached our team signs to the vans. Now, this is not the name I voted for, although it is pretty funny! Runners have no shame at all. Really. About 1/2 of our daily conversations involve bodily functions while running. I thought maybe our team name was a little wild, then I saw some others on the course and realized ours was pretty tame!

When we got to Prescott at check in, it was COLD! We all stopped for some coffee and then Van #1 dropped Terri and I off at Starbucks to wait for our van to pick us up. Van #1 headed to the start line to begin the race and we sat at Starbucks for a good 2.5 hours waiting for the gang to pick us up. Luckily we found some nice comfy chairs and bought some gossip mags!  We were kind of sad that we were not able to see the start line as we heard it was a pretty neat sight!

We were picked up and Donovan ran in to get changed as he was our first runner and we had to hurry to the exchange. We had  a good 45 minute drive and Van #1′s runners were ahead of schedule. After a slight detour (oops) we found the exchange, (Yay!) We met up with Van #1 and some other friends from different teams, and waited for our friend Jason to come in. It was dark and cold outside! While we were waiting, I got changed, as I was running my leg after Donovan.

All changed and ready to run! Note my Ragnar ready hair.

There's a Terri in the van!

Me, Mark, Lisa from the Bandidos team, and Terri

Donovan took off fast and we leap-frogged him as he ran. The roads were not closed, no cones or signs were set out for oncoming traffic, so that was a little daunting!

Our first runner, DK!!!

Our good friend Jason just finished bringing it in for Van #1

Dan, Me, Mark, and Andy watching DK take off.

Lynne, Rick, HepperCraft and Wendy

Our miles winded through the mountains and our last runners had to run through dirt trails. There were no other teams around us. In hindsight, we wished we would have padded our estimated finish time so that we were running with more teams. My first leg was 5.5 miles which I ran at a 6:16 average pace. It was so pretty out and I loved this leg of the relay. It was tough- some big hill climbs, but I was able to run some downhill as well. A male runner started before me and in the distance I could see his red blinky-light and knew I wanted to catch him. I am pretty strong on hills, so that was my plan of attack. I was closing the gap and passed him at mile 3.5. As I was beginning to pass, he said “Nice job man!” and in my little girly voice I said “Thanks! You too!” He laughed as he totally thought he was being run down by a guy!  I was coming in fast, just under a 6:00 mile. I could hear the Ragnar time recorders in their walky-talkies saying “runner 119 coming in fast!” That made me feel good. ;) I guess they were asking my team mates who I was. That’s always flattering. :) So thanks Ragnar peeps for inflating my ego. lol! I was so sick after I ran. My stomach was not o.k. yuck.

After I ran, Matt was up. He ran so well, he had a 7 mile all uphill leg and ran it with a 7:08 average pace! After Matt, Mark A. ran and was led onto the dirt road. That was really tough. Mark H. ran after, and Terri brought us to the exchange. Terri and I could not BELIEVE we stayed up so late!!! She finished her run at about 1:30am.  Everyone did so did so amazing and ran so strong! Each finished their tough legs in under 7 minutes a mile. We all talked about how we could not believe the amount of  cars that were just zooming by us. We were really happy to get this night running over with.

We met up with Van #1 at the exchange, saw Andy off, went to get some gas, and headed to the next exchange to get some sleep before we ran again. We figured we had about 4-5 hours.  We started to settle down when Terri got a text from her coach Josh Trask who was out running with his team and informed us that Ragnar stopped his run at about 7 miles into his second leg because there was an accident involving a runner and they were closing the course. We were all freaked as no one had any details or knew what was going on. We tried to get some sleep and woke up to hear that Van #2′s second legs were all cancelled and we were to meet at exchange 24 to re-check in and basically re-start the race. At this point, we were pretty discouraged and saddened by what had happened. We heard some teams were quitting but I really thought we should finish.

We re-grouped at a Starbucks and headed to the exchange site 24 to check in. They told us we could start at 8:30 am but we had heard teams were just going as they were ready so we started at about 8am. We had to switch all of our legs around as *technically* Van #1 was up to run, but they had just finished, so they took our legs to finish the race and we took their middle parts of the race. I started us out with and 8.5 mile incline leg. I ran it at a 6:28 pace and felt great. (I heart Starbucks!)

Feeling great on leg #2

I passed this young guy and he kept trying to run next to me which in turn was forcing me into the road. This was our sprint to the finish

And I won!

It was fun running with others as I got to pass a lot of people. Men don’t really like that too much and I got a lot of exasperated sighs and grunts. I finished and was able to relax the rest of the day. It was so fun cheering on our team. Everyone ran so strong!! Matt even ran his 3.4 mile leg at a 6:10 pace!

Mark A. running in after is 4 mile uphill climb

Mark handing off to Terri, and she's off!

Matt getting ready to run!

Here comes Terri looking strong as usual!!

Off he goes!

And he's in! Matt passed 20 people!

Here comes the Heppercraft!

Donovan running hard!

Some of our team from van #1 cheering and waiting for DK to run in!

We finished our legs, met Van #1 at the last exchange so they could finish up the race. We headed down to Tempe for some food and beer while we waited for our team to finish. We got word that they were arriving so we met Rick at the finish line to run him in. We recieved a medal (that doubles as a bottle opener- apparently some people drink in the vans during this! Holy smokes, how can you attempt to run and drink? Crazies!) we hung out with our team for a bit and headed home for a long-overdue shower and good food!

Pros-  We had a great time with our friends, I loved running through Arizona!

Cons- No food/water/toilet paper left for us at the exchange sites as we were one of the last teams to start and there should have been more cones/signs/ road closures for the night runners. Just my humble opinion. We paid so much for the race and I thought there should have at least been water left for us! Oh well.

Big thanks to our drivers- Wendy and John. Thanks to Lynne and Rick for setting this all up for us! Great job team! Overall it was a great time and I will always remember it as a fun and interesting experience.

Van #2: me, Matt, Wendy, Mark H., Donovan, Terri, Mark A.

Runningly Yours,

Random Food Thoughts…

Terri and Mark have totally gotten me hooked on 2 things. You MUST try them!!

1. Nothing but Banana- flattened, dried, banana from Trader Joe’s. Nothing added to it at all, kind of like banana jerky. (Sounds wierd/gross I know!) Such a good snack! Warning: Do not attempt to eat the whole package or even half the package in one sitting. You will want to, trust me. However, force yourself to step away from the dried banana goodness. Your stomach can thank me later.

2. Buy True Blueberry Tea by Celestial Seasons. (For us AZ folks- cheapest at Sprouts) Brew a cup, add vanilla creamer and: Mark adds Stevia, I add organic agave nectar to sweeten it. SO good! This treat has been taking the place of dessert every night this week!

More randomness:

As Valentine’s Day ended, I had realized that I have been eating total junk. I am a cookie/cake/cupcake fiend! I have been eating way to much of the aforementioned using the excuse “But I am running 80+miles a week”  I have realized that I need to reread “Racing Weight” and get back to the program. Not for weight reasons, but to fuel myself properly for running. If I am going to take it seriously, I need to watch what I am using to prep my body for running my best. This week has been much better, hopefully I can have the strength to say “no!” to the artifial junk! Now a pure, chemical-free cookie or cupcake from Tammie Coe Cakes is a whole ‘nother issue.

Happy running and eating friends!

Runningly Yours,

South Mountain 22 Miler

This morning I had a 22 mile run scheduled for South Mountain. I got decked out in my new Brooks Nightlife ID uniform. It came in the mail yesterday and I love it! It is really comfy and I am super happy to represent my favorite running company. :)

Matt and I at the top of South Mountain, 7 miles left!

We had a great group of runners, Matt, Terri (someone needs to tell her that if she can talk, she should run faster!) ;) , DK, Bradford, Dan the man, Dan 2, and Steph. The weather started out great, but the rainstorm started to blow in at mile 15. There was a *great* headwind but at least it didn’t start to rain until we were done! South Mountain is quite a workout. It is such a bear, but so good!  After the run, we met the Marks at breakfast and I chowed down!

Great pic of DK almost to the towers!!

Here comes the storm! DK on his way down the Mountain

I ran the 22 miles with an average 7:24 pace. I have 12 miles split tomorrow to end this week with 92 miles.

Runningly Yours,

Lost Dutchman 1/2 Marathon

A race on Valentine’s Day…aw… so romantic! :D I had a great race yesterday. Last year I ran the race in 1:34:xx and the top female time last year was 1:30:xx. This year was much more competitive and I loved it! Saturday night there was a Valentine’s party at MWC’s house. Usually before a race I feel the need to do 2 things- go to Runner’s Den as I posted below, and then “rest my legs” all day long by pretty much being a slug. This race I felt more relaxed about. I actually got stuff done on Saturday, had peach french toast at Orange Table instead of my lucky monkey cakes (!!) and enjoyed the party until 8:30 pm! *gasp* Way past my bedtime! It was really fun talking to a great bunch of people all night and 8:30 came around so fast! Of course, when we got home, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 4:30am, ate my rice with honey and had my coffee and gatorade. In separate glasses of course. I chose an appropriate race outfit for Valentine’s day and as we left, I saw that Matt had made a sign on our door that said “You are a champion!” Awww… He is the most supportive, wonderful, husband in the world! We were on the road by 5:45. We parked and started walking to the start area which was about 1.5 miles away. Little did we know that we could have taken a shuttle. Oh well! I used the restroom about 101 times and did my 2 mile warm-up. Start line:

My great friend Rick was announcing this race, so he was talking me up over the microphone, which was nice! We were off at 7:30am. I started with a pack of about 6 or so gals, but they dwindled off as Super Speedy (As I renamed the first place woman) and I were pulling ahead. Splits: (My goal was a 6:20-6:30 pace)

Mile 1- 6:12- Way too fast but that’s how that first mile always is. Mile 2-6:32- Trying to reign it in a bit. Mile 3-6:12 Mile 4- 6:04 Mile 5- 6:11- This is where I let Super Speedy go. I knew I could not hold on to this pace for the entire race without blowing up. This part had some good uphills, so I am pleasently surprised at my pace. Took my first and only Gel- Gingerbread Gu Mile 6- 6:22- Started running my own race. Incline up to the turn-around. Super Speedy is about 100 yards in front of me at this point. Mile 7-6:26- I am getting a lot of cheers at the turn around to go and chase down S.S. Mile 8- 6:13- Finally some nice downhill Mile 9-6:31- Uphill Mile 10- 6:43 (!!) Uphill. Not a good split. Mile 11-6:31 Super Speedy is now out of my line of vision, but that’s ok with me. She ran an awesome race! Mile 12-6:09!! Almost there! Mile 13-6:15 .1- at a 5:30 pace- nice finishing kick

Rick is announcing me across the finish line!

A 1:22:45 Finish time!

Finish time 1:22:45!!! My goal was 1:23, so I was super happy! That is a 6:19 average mile.I am proud of myself for accomplishing my goal coming off of mega-mileage weeks with no taper. Now I just need to hold that pace for 13.1 more miles! Results page The course was very beautiful and the volunteers were really great!

Striking a pose post-race

I have to say that one of the only reasons I finished so strongly was due to my best friends and training partners Terri and Mark. They woke up early on their rest day and on Valentine’s Day to come out to the race and cheer me on. ( A LONNGGGG drive for them) But, they didn’t just cheer me on, they actually brought along their mountain bikes and met me at mile 8 to ride with me to the finish. I cannot tell you how much that helped me mentally. Just having them there for encouragement was amazing. I feel so blessed to have them as friends. They even brought me a Valentine cookie (Terri and I were eyeing them up on Saturday) from Olive and Ivy. Thanks you guys! Love you!

Terri, me, Mark, and Rance.

Rance runs a marathon every weekend and PR’d this week! I think it is 4 weeks in a row now of Sub-3 marathons! Holy smoke! After the race we waited around for the awards ceremony for 2.5 hours. It ended up getting all messed up and we pretty much just wasted our time. Oh well. At least it was nice out!

1st Place Age Group Award

Then Matt and I had the most wonderful Valentine’s Day. We got home (both of us starving so there was not a lot of talking going on!) at 12:30, then rode our bikes to the Orange Table. After lunch (and a mimosa!) we sat at the Civic Center park and listened to a live Big Band. Then we rode home and drove to Trader Joe’s to pick up dinner. We decided on grabbing a bottle of red wine, cheese, apples, olives, and bread. A perfect dinner after a perfect day! Oh! I almost forgot. We were going to go see a movie, but we decided against it because after 2 glasses of wine, I would probably fall asleep in the theater, so we had ice cream instead! What a treat!! Back to the grind of training today! Next up -Ragnar Relay! A 202 mile relay run on Feb 26 and 27th. We have a 12 person team in 2 vans. Should be a blast! We are running from Prescott, AZ down to Tempe! Runningly Yours,

Quick Run-By

Hey friends! I apologize for being blog MIA for 2 weeks. Work and training have been taking up a bunch of time. It is 5am right now, on my way to do 6 miles with strides and then to pick Matt up from the airport. He was gone all week and I missed him like crazy!

Tomorrow I RACE!!! YAY!!! I am running a 1/2 marathon called the Lost Dutchman here in Arizona. They supposedly made the course pretty flat this year after taking out a hill called “Dutchman’s Revenge”. This will be a very interesting race for me. Last year at this race I did a 1:34. (!!) However, I am not tapered at all. Which I am ok with because my legs feel ready. Last week I ran 90 miles, this week 80 miles. I feel great though, so here is my goal. I am putting it out there–1:23:xx. Hopefully my legs and endurance will come through for me. I feel pretty confident as I did 1:24 at PF Changs last month when just starting to train for Boston. But, anything could happen!

I get so finicky the day before a race. My nerves always make me think I need a trip to Runner’s Den to browse and look for that perfect race shirt. It is so silly, but it calms me down. I am not really a big shopper either, but that day before a race, the prospect of a new, sleek, race top beckons me to the Den. So I am sure after my monkey cakes today, I will be making a trip to the store. Runner’s Den employees beware- crazed runner girl coming through!

I will update tomorrow with results and pics from the race! Happy running!

Runningly Yours,