Monday, April 14, 2014

Polar Vortex 5k

     I knew that I wanted to do a spring 5k.  I did not know when or for what.  Then a tragic accident happened near McKeesport High School.  I just knew this was what I need to do a run for.  My sister works at the high school and helped get the word out about the race.
     The night before the race, I could not sleep.  I was nervous.  When I did finally shut my eyes I was awoken by fire truck, and then another.  There was, as you may have guessed, a fire up the street.  It was 2 am.  I was now wide awake.
      In the middle of race planning my dad died.  It was awful.  But it is a part of life.  The race must go on, right?  It was good that I had the race to focus my thoughts on.  It kept me busy.  Dad always told me when something was bothering me, "You need to stay busy, keeps your mind off it".  Okay, so really he was yelling it...  But you can not hear it the way I remember it.
      At 4:30 am I was loading the trucks, alone, with the food, Gatorade, and a few other just in case items.  All the other stuff was loaded the day before by volunteers.  At 5 am I was down by the river, it was 24 degrees.  I put on my head lamp and started unloading.  It is amazing how much stuff we were able to get into two trucks. 
       I was setting up tables when people started showing up.  Runners? nope.  Volunteers? nope.  Navy soldiers there to drill?  yes.  Argh.  What amounted to two companies of Navy soldiers showed up and filled the parking lots.  They would at least be gone from the parking lots before the race.  One of my volunteers came at 6:30am with bananas, coffee, and donuts.  We loaded the water stop in his vehicle and he left to set it up.  I had the registration finished by the time the rest of the volunteers came.  All they needed to do was go to their spot and wait for the runners.  Most of them had volunteered at other Team Brunazzi Events. 
      The music and then the timing company showed up and so did the runners.  It was starting to get busy fast.  I stood off to the side and waiting for any problems to come up.  None did.  All the planning was coming together.  I talked with a few people and got my photo taken.  I thought about running in the race, but without sleep it would not have been good.
      I said a few words and then started the race.  140 runners and walkers.  That is better then 35-50, right??  After handing out kid's medals for a while, I moved up and ripped off bib numbers, so the timers could get started typing in the results.  Everything was going fine and the weather was warming up quickly.
      In the end we raised $2,975 for the family of the tragic accident.  Which was pretty awesome in only a month. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Frostbite 5k

     Since I'm addicted to running, I decided to race with the ribs that I bruised last weekend.  There is a fine line between dedication and stupidity.  I run on that line. On and by the way, no photos.  I forgot my phone.
     I arrived at the race an hour before the start.  The lot was already getting full so I parked down the road and walked up.  The registration was on the bottom level of the Rose barn.  It was.. one big line for pick up and race day sign up.  It was a mess.  30-35 people deep in one line.  When you get to the front of the line the pick up was divided by the alphabet in half..."by your first name".  I left the line after waiting 15 minutes and just walked over to the race day sign up.  There were too many people and too little space.  I was starting to freak out. 
     Signing up was on half sheets of paper.  This makes it hard to fill in and hard to hold in place.  Saves a few cents though...right?  No extra shirts at this point.  Not that I need any  I got my timing chip from Bonnie, then made my way to the restroom.  I went back to the car and downed a GU energy gel.  Sat for a few minutes and wondered why I do this to myself.  This was going to hurt.  No way around it.  I took my coat off, locked the car, and made my way to the starting area.
     I got to the finish line first.  Talked to Herb for a minute.  He was going to open a gate part way out on the course.  I volunteered to take care of it.  
     I walked around for a bit.  Now it was about ten minutes before the start at 10am.  Only a handful of runners were there.  Where was everyone??  I could see them walking into the boathouse parking lot and then they stopped.  They were doing some kind of speeches.  I hoped it wouldn't take long.  It was cold.  I talked to two guys who started racing in April of last year.  This was their 4th or 5th race.  I don't remember which.
     Twenty minutes later it was time to start.  One of the local new stations were there with a camera filming the start.  Maybe I was on TV? 
     I did the best I could.  The two ribs were hurting.  I got to the turn around and walked for a few seconds.  Put my hands over my head and started running again.  I kept running and walking.  I probably walked four times.  I had to.  I was guessing I was at 24 or 25 minutes.  I finished in 22:55.  Not bad.  I got 20th place and 6th in my age group.  No medal.
     After the race I helped Herb take off timing chips.  When the results for the first 250 people were done, I walked them over to the Rose barn and taped them up on the wall.  I told the DJ there to tell people about the results and I decided to head home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kittanning Rotary Winterfest 5k

     Ashlyn got a cold.  While I  was taking care of her, I knew that I was going to get her cold.  I did.  Only I got it worse.  The cold lasted a week and a half.  Toward the end of the cold I decided to run a race.  I was finally training again without shin pain and the cold stopped me.  I can't run if I can't breath.
     I drove up to Kittanning for what I believe is my 6th race there.  Same place, same course, always fun.  The YMCA up there puts on great races.  There was not many people there, maybe 30.  I guess the weather scared them off.  It was actually nice that day.  Sunny and 40.  The trail was snow and ice covered so it would be slow going.
     I was there to run with a group not race.  I told this to myself a couple times.  When the race started no one took off fast.  No leader.  There was 4 or 5 of us all running the same pace.  The race starts on the road, so this is a good time to pull out in front.   I took the lead and held it until the turn around.  But something wasn't right!  I ran a little more than stepped to the side and let two runners ahead of me.  I couldn't breath through my nose because of the cold.   I was sucking in air through my mouth coughing the whole time.

     I finished in 3rd place.  Could I have won?  I don't think so, but I would have made them work harder for the win.  When I finished the race the coughing was worse...and worse.  A few hours later at home.  My chest hurt.  Seems I bruised a few ribs.  :o(  The pain is "oh my god" bad.  The only thing that I can do for it is sit around, and that just doesn't happen.  I'm a always has to be working on something person and a single parent.  There is no down time or sick time. 
     Once I get better I'm excited to race again.  Any race suggestions?  I'd like to try new ones.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Harmony 5k/Run to Read Marathon/Shin Splints

     Where have I been?  Well I got shin splints and had to stop running for a while.  I had been having some pain but was not sure what it was from. 

     When I ran the Harmony Silvester 5k on New Years Eve I made it two miles when my shins started to really hurt.  I walked and ran the last mile to a 22:36 finish.  Not bad, but I was on pace to finish in 21+.

     A few days later I was at the Read to Run Half Marathon.  This time I only got in a mile before the pain started.  I tried to run through it.  It just got worse.  At mile 5 I made the decision to quit the race.  I hated to do it.  But this way I would not do anymore damage to my legs.

     I started running again this week.
4 miles
4.5 miles
4 miles
7.5 miles
     Pretty good runs with no pain.  It feels good to be back.  I missed running a lot, but I had to take care of my body.
     In other running news, my gear for Team Emerg-C came in.  It is...bright.  I love it!  Also GU energy gels is again a sponsor of Team Brunazzi for 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Freeze Your Bells Off 5k

     At the beginning of the week my free pair of running shoes came in the mail.  Who does not love that?

     I finally ended a three month of no fast food.  It was going to happen at some point.  Got too busy and had to stop for something quick.  Oh well, at least I am not one of those people that eat it all the time. 
     This past Saturday I drove to Sharpsville, PA with my friend Emery.  His dude wins most races that he runs in, including the Boston Harvest 10k.  Point is, he is fast.  It was a long drive, close to two hours.  It poured down rain the whole way.  Maybe it would stop for the race? haha

      The race parking was at a small dive bar where after the race we would all meet for free wings!   Yes, I will say that again.... FREE WINGS. "Yum".  Only about 30 people came to the race.   Should have called it the Free Wings 5k to get more people.
      Now the race itself started up the street on a trail.  I was wearing my Emerg-C shirt, which is white, so I decided to put on my black Big Beaver Big Dawgs singlet over it.  Why?  Because the white shirt was going to be see-threw with all the rain.

      When the race started I stayed glued to Mitch R.  He always beats me.  I thought if I could keep up with him I might get a new PR.  The trail was wet (duh!), covered in leaves and patches of ice.  At mile one Mitch was starting to slow down and I got ahead of him.  I caught up with the next guy in front of me and glued on to him.  At mile three I tried to pass him, but he sped up.  I got behind again and waited.  It was going to be an up hill finish.  As soon as the hill started I give my all.   I got passed him and finished in 10th place!
      After the race I headed to the car to change out of the wet cloths and eat some (a lot of) wings!

      On Christmas Eve my friend Kelly had a group run on the Yough Trail.  His company is also a two time sponsor of the Boston Harvest!   Eagle Home Inspections.  It was a silly run where you had to let the kids win or else wear a t-shirt that read "I'm a pretty princess".  It was to be just three miles.  I ran the first half with them, then went off on my own.  I wanted to get in six miles.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oil City 5k / Deerslayer 4 mile

     Now that I have a tread mill I have been getting back into daily running.  The other morning it was 58 degrees outside in December!  I grabbed my headlamp and hit the trail.  I had so much fun.  I am not sure the wildlife were all that pleased with me. 
      I miss racing every weekend.  It has become a part of my life.  I decided nothing was going to stop me from doing two races this weekend.  I have been going to Oil City to race for a few years now.  Every year I say to myself driving 2 1/2 hours for a 5k is stupid.  Yet, I found myself heading there again.

     The temperature was 26, but felt like 15 according to the weather guy.  I think it felt more like 10.  It was cold.  This year they moved the race into the city.  Before it was just an out and back on a rails to trails trail.  I signed in and realized that there was not anyone I knew there.  I may have a good chance at this race.
     I was going to race with no coat.  Just the Boston Harvest shirt and gloves.  Crazy? yes, but I thought it might help me finish faster.  Or I might just turn into a popsicle.  Looking at the other runners I thought only one was probably fast.  Dude was.  He finished in 15 minutes.  I might get 2nd place!  When we started out I was in 3rd place.  Some little dude was out ahead of me.  He would probably die out later. Right?

     At mile one the chick behind me made her move.  She got just ahead of me and was kicking up rock salt and snow.  I was like "oh hell no...".  I put on some speed and a half mile later she was in my dust.  After running though the city, they put us on the trail.  At mile two I started hearing bells.   Like Christmas reindeer bells.  I did not know where it was coming from.  On the way across at long trail bridge the bells got closer.  A guy yelled, "come on youngin', this old guy is catching you".  I started running faster and so did he.  I got beside me and said, "come on".  The race was almost over and could not hold the pace.   I slowed down.  He finished 6 seconds before me!!  I lost my 3rd place finish.  HOWEVER... I did do the 5k in 20:53.   My second fastest time. 

      The next morning was I was back up again.  I thought I was going to wake up sore, but I was fine.  This time it was a real trail race in South Park.  There were two races, 4 and 8 miles.  I picked the 4.  I invited a lot of people to go, but the weather kept them away.  It was just me, Chris, and Tim.  The course was snow covered and icy.  As soon as we started the snow came pouring down and it was hard to see.  Fun?  Oh yeah!  It was a blast.  No speed, but it was a work out.  Finished in 42:00.  Yes, that is 10:30 per minute   I guess my legs were tired.  I finished 9th out 15?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

No Turkey Trot

     No Turkey Trot for me this year.  It is always a crazy day to race.  No parking, drunks, and long lines are all good reasons to skip.  I planed to do more then 37 races this year.  I am at 43 and will hit 45 with out a problem.  Don't want to set next years goal too high, right?  lol.
      If your looking for a race next week.  There is a trail race in South Park called the Deerslayer.  It is done by the Greater Pittsburgh Road Runners (same group that helped me put on the P&LE Express) so the cost is only $3!!  No shirts or anything fancy.  Just dirt!  There are two races 4 and 8 miles.  Warning there are hills...
      Start time is 10am under the big clock at the fairgrounds.  Questions or need me or hop on over to their site.