Monday, October 29, 2012

Apocalypse 5k & Farmer's Inn Half Marathon

     This weekend was the third time that I did a race both Saturday and Sunday.  I did this at the beginning of the month also.  Apparently I did not learn my lesson then. 
     The first race was a 5k on the Yough River Trail.  My favorite place to run.  It is close to home and flat...very flat.  The 5k had 51 people, most of whom were at the Boston Harvest.  Sara and I said hello to friends and chatted a bit while we waited for the start.  A few people did not talk to us and I can not help but wonder why.
     Our friend Jason said to me right before the race, "if you run a 7 minute mile, you might win this".  He was refered to the fact that most of the runners had on halloween custumes.  The horn blew and he was gone.  I took my time because I wanted to be able to do the half marathon the next day.   By mile one I was in 5th place and I passed what I thought should be a faster runer.  The next mile I pushed hard trying to keep ahead of another friend, Micheal.  At mile two he had gotten ahead of me and I was out of steam.  I walked a little bit and then ran again. 
     As I closed in on the finish line I could hear feet.  I sped up.  So did the feet.  I went faster.  So did the feet.  I thought F-it, they are not going to beat me.  I closed my eyes, and dropped all my energy to my feet.  I was flying.  Turns out there was 2 people behind me racing each other.  I beat them both. :o)  Time of 22:09. 
me, chris, and super gym dude

    Sara, myself, and nanny (my mom) all received 1st in our age group medals.  Ash and Gemma were there too, however Gemma was not into running that day.
     Sunday was an early up at 4am.  We had to drive a good ways to get to the second race.  This time it was a half marathon.  The second in 16 days!  And only my third ever.  It was cold.  It was raining.  Sara and I where both wearing shorts. Some old dude said, oh your going skins.  She did not bring a running coat, luckly I packed two. 
After the free buffet. yum.

     The race started at 9:03.  The race directors told us about the course.   Flat with some rolling hills and a moutain at mile 3. they did not say a mountain, but they should have!  In mile one I was already hurting.  The course was all downhill so far.  When mile two hit, the pain was gone and the hills had started. At mile 2.5 the mountain got to me.  I walked alot of it.
     By mile four the hills were gone, but I could not get my pace going again.  The mountain had beat me.  All I could do was keep running as best as I could.  Up until mile six I was going back and forth with other friend, Allison.   She then got ahead of me and at mile 10 I lost sight of her.  There was no one behind me that I could see.  This being alone, coupled with a weird cold wind that showed up at mile 11, almost made me quit. (note that other runners including my wife, commented about the cold wind that came in at mile 11.  Halloween Spirits maybe?)
     I looked at my Garmin and need to do the last mile in 8:30 minutes to get under 2 hours. I tried running hard to finish, but I kept stopping, walking, and running again.  I finished in 1:59:45.   15 seconds to spare.
T-shirt and finishers thropy
     After the race we all got a free buffet dinner.  Well not free, it was included in the race price.  It was awesome!  Country home cooking.  I had four plates full.
     On the way home we stopped for gas.  In front of us was an old suv with the tailgate up.  The suv was loaded as if someone was living out of it.  Then we saw the owner brushing his teeth and rinsing with a gallon jug of water.  His t-shirt said "phish" and he had a girlfriend who looked as if her hair had not been washed in monthes.  I said out loud, "damn hippes".  I can not help but think that when they saw us get out of the car in our running gear, they must have thought "damn runners".

Monday, October 22, 2012

History of the shirts

     I spent the month of December, 2010, coming up with designs and ideas for the team shirts.  Originally I was going with the Brunazzi Running Team.  That is until my boss told me that when his family all did a sport they went by Team_Last Name.   He said that's normally how people word it. 
     I changed the name to Team Brunazzi and then went back to the design.  The front was easy.   I wanted the back to be cool.  I couldn't come up with anything that did not curse.  I decided on a turtle.  I got the feeling Sara did loved it.
the back
the front
     "We might be slow, but we always finish."- A fitting title, except that I started to get faster very quickly.  Sara and I sported these shirts at the Run Outta Our Mine Race where people thought the back was funny.   We raced in them again at the Belle Vernon Race for a Track where the newspaper camara guy took some photos for the turtle.  We never did find out if it made the paper.
Running Outta Our Mine-Feb. 2011
     In April of 2011, Sara's dream of having a race on the Yough River Trail happened.   The Deadman's Hollow 5k and Half Marathon.  The day of the race I got an idea.  New team shirts.  The shirts were expensive, close to $40 each.   So, I decided to get some local businesses to sponsor the shirts.   It raised a little bit of money and helped lower the cost.
     Picking the new color was hard.   I really wanted bright safety yellow or orange.   Looking back on that, it probably would not have been that great.  After much thought I went with blue.  Simple, calm and peaceful. 
Run for Hunger-August 2011

     In April of 2012, I became a Race Director.  For the race I wanted new team shirts.  Mostly because some of the team sponsor had went out of business.   I asked a local printing company to do the shirts and they said sure, 15 bucks.  My jaw dropped.  I ordered a whole bunch.  Lucky my work bonus arrived just in time to pay for them.  The new shirt has 2 big and 2 small running skeletons for me, Sara and the girls.  The back is a simple TEAM BRUNAZZI.
The new shirt!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Half Marathons

     This is my first 'real' blog post.  To see my other two posts, visit

     I ran my first half marathon is April.  The only time I had run distance was about 3 or 4 ten mile training runs.  I was signed up to run in the 5k (that's my distance), but my wife got hurt before the race.  Since she was signed for the half marathon and I hate losing money, I decided to go for it. 
     I was doing really good for the first 7-8 miles, then I started to feel it.  I was trying to go too fast.  I wanted to do the half at 7:30 minute pace.  That was not going to happen.  At mile 11 my left leg starting bother me.  I had passed two friends a few miles back and I did not want to let them win, so I pushed forward.  By mile 12 I must have looked like a rabbit hopping down the trail.
clapping with Scott P.

    As I got with in sight of the finish line, I could hear feet.   I knew it had to be one of my friends.  I dropped from a 9:25 to a 6:48.  It felt like I was flying... I had done it.  I bet them both.
 Jason S. and Kelly U. closing in.
Finish Time !

     The point of the blog post was not that I finished my first half, nor that I beat two friends.  The point was that I was stupid to run a distance race with out training first.   I screwed up my knee.  I think in that last "push" to win.  It was a month before I could run with out pain.  Of course 2 weeks after the half I was running in a 5k. :o)  You just can't fix stupid, right.   Six months later, I finally got my speed back.  A nice 20:50 and then a 21:06 in 5k's.
I won't lie, I run for the medals. :o)
     Month 7 saw me back at the half marathon distance.  This time at Baltimore.  I did not try to run as fast nor as hard.   I finished in 1 hour 49 minutes.  My left knee was good, but my left leg was not.  The upper part felt like someone was twisting it.  It has been a week and the pain is all but gone.  So, what do I do?  Sign up for a 5k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.  At least I can join the Half Fanatics Club.  You need 2 halfs in 16 days.  This will be 16 days, dead on.

Stupid, Crazy, or Totally Freakin' Awesome!