Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 in Review

     I have not posted to the blog all year.  I wrote a couple but they never made it to print.   Lets just go with highlights of 2015.
-Team Brunazzi officially became Team Brunazzi Events LLC
-Organized three successful races
-Joined the Elizabeth Township Recreation Board
-Ran in 31 races
-Add new signage for TBE (shown below)

     For 2016 I added a 15k to the Polar Vortex race.  Also started the TBE Scholarship Program for the Polar Vortex.  The charities for the Harvest and P&LE will remain the same as in the past.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Tale of Three Halfs. Part Three.

     This is one of my favorite races.  It is so difficult, so challenging.  I was hoping for the full course this year but there was a problem with the hill sliding.  This year would be the same as last year.  An out and back on the last 6.5 miles of the course.  Still difficult.  Still challenging. 
     I did not do as well as I could of this year.  I just ran out of steam in the middle of race.  A lot of rolling hills.  Just did not have it in me.  After the race there is an all you can buffet at the Inn.  It is very good.   Farm food, not high end.  Last year I ate by myself.  This year I tried to find someone to go to the race with me, but no luck.  Even though I knew a bunch of people at the race, I still ended up eating alone.  It is my fault I am too quiet.  Maybe next year will be better.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Tale of Three Halfs. Part Two.

     My second half was the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon.  Everyone has done this race once.  And everyone talks about how great it is.  The biggest difference is the size.  There were 1,200 runners.  I think that is my third biggest race I have ever been in.  I normally stay under 200 runners.
     When I got to the parking lot it was dark.  I saw people boarding buses, so I did.  They rode us to the starting area.  I got off the bus and looked around.  No registration tables.   Umm.... I looked at all the runners and they had bib numbers on.  Great I thought.  I boarded the next bus back to the parking lot several miles down the road.  It was now light out and I could see the registration set up. 
      Once I had my bib number it was back to the buses for me.  I do not know what it is about buses that make me get claustrophobic but I do.  Once back at the starting area I go in a huge line for the bathrooms.  It was cold.  It was windy.  And there was no warm car to get into.  There were so many people there that I could not find anyone I know.  Which is weird because I know a bunch of people running it.  My friend Tim came over and we talked for a bit before he did a warm up run.
      We were all starting to line up when they told us to move up closer.  Some lady looked at my tattoo and said "Us fast people need to move up".  I just looked at her like...whatever.  I'm not fast.    The first couple miles are on country roads.  As I was running a guy came up and started talking to me.  He was wearing the Boston Harvest Half Marathon shirt.  My race!  I have no idea who he is.  I meet a lot of people once...  So I do not always remember there name.

       After the country roads we were put on a rails to trails.  It was flat.  I was running okay until mile 10.  Then I just died.  I had nothing left.  I tried pushing though it.  At mile 11 an old guy came up and passed me.  Like old-old. I thought no way... I got right behind him and stuck like glue.  The faster he went.  The faster I went.  I followed him right up to the big hill and bridge at the finish.

       I was slow going up the hill.  On the bridge everyone was running slow.  There was traffic moving on one side.  I ran a little bit with the group then I saw the finish line.  I was like F-this.  I crossed the cones into traffic and flew past people.  Jumping back in after I got a good led.  I finished in 1:47:37.  Yes, just a hair faster then the half last weekend.

A Tale of Three Halfs. Part One.

     Last year my plan was to run 4 half marathons in October.  Life did not work out that way.  I was very lucky to do one half and finish.  This year I was determine to try again.  I could only find 3 halves that were with in driving distance.  So 3 it would be!
     Up first was the Mahoning Shadow Shuffle Half Marathon in Punxsutawney.  This was a rails to trails and mostly flat course.  On the drive up I got really sick.  I was not sure if I had a flu or just car sick.  Luckily it turned out to be car sick and I got better as I ran.  What?  You thought I wouldn't ran?  HA!
     I took it easy for the first 6.5 miles.  I did not want to burn out.  At the turn around I realized I might just be able to get in the top 10.  That made me run a little bit faster.  A few more miles down the road I came upon a runner who was walking then running really fast, then repeating.  I asked if he was okay.  He said that he was and that he had to run that way because of his knee.  I told him that he could take his time because he was going to finish under 2 hours.  That was my goal.  He said that at his pace he was going to get under 1:50.
     Well that means I can get under 1:50.  That was boost I needed.  I took off.  Each mile was a little bit faster.  I was hitting close to a 7 minute mile in mile 12.  I was so going to hurt tomorrow.  I finished in 1:47:52.  12th overall and 3rd in my age group.

Dirt Monster 3.0

     Today I did the Dirt Monster 5 mile race in North Park.  This is a very fun, very difficult trail run.  Last year I was on a coed team for the first time and I had a lot of fun.  My friend Mark, the race director of the FAAP 5k/10k, organized 4 teams this year for the North Park Trail Runners.  I was on Team Red.   There was also Blue, White, and Green.  I had custom shirts made for Team Red.

     I got to the race early as they were still setting up.  Quickly got my things and sat in the car to get warm.  Then I went to talk to Herb who was setting up the finish line.  While I was there my team captain Mark ran over.  He wanted to get his shirt.  He said that he was looking for a female to be on Team Green.  I saw my friend Allison and invited her to join in.

     The race started slow with a small hill then the pace picked up.  At the back end of mile 1 is a long tall hill.  It wears you down.  After that it is rolling hills and then a big down hill.  I picked up speed at this point.   Too much speed.  Once I was at the bottom of the hill I was running, instead of looking.  I don't know if I tripped or slipped.  But I fell hard and fast, face first.  I caught myself with my hands but the impact knocked the wind out of me.  This was at mile 2 of a 5 mile race.  Argh! 
     Both of my Red team mates were ahead of me and there wasn't much chance of me catching up.  I tried to hold ground but every hill was too much for me.   I got passed by person after person.  By mile 4 I was finally moving at a decent rate of speed.  But there was no one close to catch up to.  I finished in 44:52.  I was 4th in my age group, so no medal. 
     Team Red got 2nd in the overall race teams and 1st in the 4 North Park Trail Runner teams.  We got a medal for the 2nd place and a trophy for the 1st.

Trophy to be reused at other NPTR team events.
Best looking team.  Team RED!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

For the Love of Lindsey 5k, take 4.

     Not my favorite race.  Always too hot.  Four years, four 90 degree days.  WTF.  The race is growing on me.  I don't like that they only do top 2 in 10 year age groups.  But at least now I know so I don't have to wait around. 
     No sooner had I parked and started making my way across the lot when someone yelled "hey Mr. Brunazzi".  Which is kind of weird... I mean, I'm not a teacher and I'm not old.. Well I guess I am getting old. 
     I signed up and then ran into Chris B. & Emery S.  The race started a little bit a late because of a new kids race this year.  While I stood waiting for the start a girl said "hey, you blogged about this race, right.  I read it.  It was funny.  I totally agree with you".  Which is great, except...I don't remember what I
     My goal was to run the whole race.  No walking. No stopping.  As the race started some needed clouds rolled in taking the sun of our backs.  Didn't help with the humid though.  Somewhere along the course the top 4 runners missed a turn.   So part way through they rejoined from behind.  I thought they were doing a second lap of the course!
     I finished in 23:02.  Yes, I know if I would have ran just a little bit harder at the end...  Oh well, always next time.  I got 3rd in my age group.  No medal...grrr.

Brain Cancer Awareness 5k

     It is close to home.  That is what I kept telling myself at this weekend's race.  I guess it was my fault.  I expected a small race.  What I got was a circus.  This was the kind of race I would think should be in downtown Pittsburgh and labeled a "walk". 
     Parking was as far back as a mile from the race.  When I got to the end of the road there were a bunch of huge tents.  There were dogs (a lot of them), costumed characters, and little kid cheerleaders.  The huge tents were not registration, as most runners would think..."I say nay-nay".  Registration was in fact a little farther back in the woods at a shelter.  It was staffed by a ton of volunteers.  All of whom were happy to take my money but not sure what I should do with my now filled out registration form.  Five people later I was shown to the far back of the shelter where I was give a bib and chip. 
     I did not like this 5k.  The reason is because it was not a race.  It was a walk, that also had a running race.  The whole time it felt like the runners were a second thought to everything also going on.  And there was a lot going on.
     The course was the same hilly one from the 5k to Fight Decay.  The race director asked if I liked the tough course.  I answered with, "this is the third time I ran it".  The race director was the only one there that seemed to care about the runners.  I'm not sure if she had a hand in all the other stuff going on or it just got out of control. 
      There was too much humid and I crashed and burned.  25 minute + 5k.  BOO!!!   I did get 1st in my age group and a ribbon.....