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 miles...lol.   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 directions...email me or hop on over to their site.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Just news

    Well I have a lot to say, hopefully I remember everything.   Let me start with yesterday.  I bought a used tread mill from a friend of a friend.  It is not that great, but it should get me threw the winter and back to running 5 days a week.  I miss that morning high and my miles have been suffering.

     I did not get to go to the Hot Chocolate 15k, which I knew was going to happen.  My daughter was home and I could not go away for 2 days.  Some things are more important then a free entry into a race.  I did get my free hoodie in the mail this week. :o)

    I realized the other day that I had not had fast food in 2 months.  On top of that I have gotten my caffeine cut back to where it was pre September.  I feel great!  Best shape of my so called life.
    For the next 6 months or so I will handing out samples of Emergen-C.  I have joined their "team".  If you want to try it come to a race I am at?  Where am I going to be?...Good question.  If your a race director and want samples for your race bag, email me.  They sent me a small starter kit with more cloths and samples coming.  A lot more...  Is it a big deal to be sponsored..."again"...I guess so, but when you race as much as I do it just comes with the territory.
    My life is starting to get back on track.  Every day is a new adventure.  I am excited for Christmas for the first time in a long time.  Not for me, but for Ash.  Most of her Christmas presents have been bought.  Yes, I know I am head of the game...but I'm a planner remember.  It is what I do.
    I was going to race a half marathon today in Fairmont,WV.  But if your thinking that weather kept me in...you don't know me AT ALL!   I woke up in the middle of the night coughing.  A cold was starting.  I don't want to be sick for Thanksgiving, so I choose to stay in and try out the new-old treadmill.  I did 4.5 miles.     
    Let me end with letter that I received about the Boston Harvest 5k/10k.  It made my day.

"Hi Shane. I just read what you wrote about your race. I was the guy in line. My bib number 157. My wife, myself and my nephew ran your race since you started it and will continue until you stop. I have a lot of respect for what you do. My son wrestled for ringgold and I had to run a couple wrestling tournament with 600 wrestler and they where bracketed every five pounds in 4 different age brackets. Anyways it tough. When you got up on that truck you had my attention. There is something about your family that I really like and since I don't know you personally I'm not sure what it is, but you got it. you have a great race and I hope you never stop. Your good at what you do and I appreciate what you do. I would miss your race if you stopped. So please keep up the great work and aways think positive. Your running friend Bill."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kittanning Fall Classic 10k

     So back around December of last year I decided that my running goals for the year would be to run a marathon and to race in more races than the year before.  I did in fact run a marathon.  But as you may remember I did not have a good time.  Looking back there is only one person to blame and it was not me.  As a runner you need someone to support you, back you in your goals, and push your butt out the door when it is freezing outside.  I did not have that.  I had someone that put me down, did not believe in me, and ignored me.  Would I like to try the marathon again.  Well, truthfully yes I would.  I think,... I know that I can do better.  The future is out there somewhere.
     Last year I ran in 37 races.  After my disappointing marathon, I focused on my other goal.  I got even less support for this goal.   No, that is not true.  I got no support.  I was told that I was racing too much.  That my goal was stupid.  I blocked out the negative and pushed forward.  Yesterday was my 43 race of the year.  How cool is that?? 
     This was my 5th race in Kittanning.  If you follow the blog, you know that I love their races.  The YMCA there does a perfect job EVERY time.  The races are not the biggest or the fanciest, but you get to run and go home without a hassle.  You should put one of their races on your to do list. 
  • Rotary 5k-February
  • Big Foot 5k and Half Marathon-April
  • Fall Classic 105/5k-November
  • Please check smileymiles.com for dates/times.    
     I got a text an hour before the race.  I won't lie.  It shook me up a little.  I turned the phone off and tried to focus on enjoying the race.  That is why I was here.  I picked up my shirt and headed back to the car.  It was only 28 degree that morning.  Running along the Allegheny river is always cold.  So that 28 is more like 20.  Gloves, check.  Hat, check, Coat, at least to start.

     The 5k and 10k start together, so until mile 1 1/2 you have no idea who your races.  At that point I counted 4 people ahead of me.  I thought that I might be able to pass number 4, but the other 3 were way too far ahead.  I started getting hot, removing the gloves and hat.  It is amazing how quickly you warm up when your running.
     At the turn around I knew that I could not keep the pace that I was running.  My left knee (yes, the same problem!) was starting to hurt.  I slowed down and 2 women passed me.  I tried and tried to catch up with them.  I could see them the whole time.  But I was never able to.
     I finished in 46:32.  A lot better then I thought I would.  I got 7th overall and 2nd in my age group.  On a side note, I have got a medal in the last SEVEN races. :o

     So where is my next race?  Well it was suppose to be the Hot Chocolate 15k in Columbus, but with the divorce it is just not in the budget.   I got a free entry into the race.  However there is still gas and lodging to think of. 
      I have more running news, but it will have to wait.
Can you see the dinosaur?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dirt Monster 5 Mile

     This morning I drove to North Park for my 14th race there.  Wait that's it?  It seems like more.  Last year I finished in 46:11.  This year I hoped to do better.
      The race is mostly uphill for the first mile, rolling trails from two-four, then back down the hill for mile five.  It is not easy, but it is also run able even for the new to trails runner.  The shirts this year were tech.  Love it!

       Before the race I was talking with Bob Lynn, a volunteer and runner from the Boston Harvest when Mark from FAAP asked me to be on a team.  I said sure.  The team was to be me, him, and this british lady named Naomi.   SNM... oh geez...
       I got to talk with Jim Woolfitt who directs two half marathons in WV.  With him, me, Mark, the real director Elaine, Erin, and I think there was one more race director there.  That is six race directors at one race...lol.  It's no wonder the race went almost perfect.   Some of the fastest runners got lost.  But it's a trail race.  You have to pay close attention to the signs.   I've gotten lost before.
       When the race started, it was nice and slow for me.  I was going to run the hill, but not like crazy.  The plan worked.  When I got to the top I was able to speed up and fly through the course.  It was so nice to get energy left.

        I was on track for a 40 minute finish, when the left knee started hurting again.  It was only mile 2.8.  I ran threw the pain until mile 3.5 when the course changed to an open dirt road.  I was able to get some more speed and only had pain on the up hills.
        I picked up as much lost time as I could on the down hill of mile five.  I finished in 42:21.  That is 4 minutes less then last year!!   I got 6th place and 3rd in my age group.  The 2nd placer bet me by 7 seconds!!  What was really cool, was that the team "SNM" got 2nd in the team challenge out of 7.  I have never been apart of that.  It was pretty cool.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Farmer's Inn Half Marathon

     I got up at 4:30am to do my first race in months.  Why haven't I been racing?  Simple.  The personal issue that I talked about in my last post set me back a little bit.  It made life more difficult and stressful.  BUT...I'm working on getting through it.   I have three more races planned and I hope to get things back to a new normal.  If you know me, then you know what happened.  If you don't...well...it is personal, ya know.

     I had to go to this race.  I had been planning on going since last Christmas.  It is a very difficult race, but I like challenges.  The best part is that they include a free buffet after the race.  Yum!
     I really hated going to the race alone, mostly because of the two hour drive up, but I could not find anyone brave enough.  I put the windows down and cranked up the music.  Of course, I was one of the first people there.  It seems like that always happens.  I am either the first or the last person to show up.  Weird...
     Bonnie from the timing company had some trouble finding my race bag.  Then I went and sat in the car with the heat on.  It was cold up in the mountains.  Last year's shirt was awesome and so was this year's!

     About a half hour before the race, I went and helped set up the finish line and then did a warm up.  While I was waiting I ran into Scott S, his friend from last year, and some lady dressed up like a ninja turtle.  Soon after we were all moved to the start line and informed that it would be a different course this year.  WHAT?!?

     This year it be an out and back using the second half of last years course.  Apparently they are working on a bridge and we can not cross the water.  I walked a lot of this part of the race last year, so I was happy to get a shot at it running.
     Here is the problem though...With my personal issue I have not been training.  Running yes,...training no.   Running was more of a way to deal with the stress and I did not push myself nor put in enough miles.   The most I have ran was five miles at one time in two whole months.  I knew that I would probably have to walk some or most of the race.

     When I started I was going too fast, I quickly slowed up and set in on a comfortable pace.  This was no PR run.  This was an "I can finish" run.
     I was running for a short time when I thought, geez this must be two miles by now.   I looked at my Garmin and saw 3.8 mile.  WHAT!  I was kicking butt.  This was a huge morale boost.  I kicked it up a little bit and got to the turn around at 6.5.  I stopped to fill up my water bottle.   My legs felt like jelly.  I was worried.  I told Jim from the timing company that I was not sure that I could finish.  He said sure you can, just go easy on the hill at mile seven.
     I jumped back into running and started cheering folks on as I passed them.  Really, I was not cheering for them, but trying to motive myself...to finish.  I pushed on moving quickly and even ran most of the hill at mile seven.  I just walked the top part, maybe 10-15 seconds and then kicked myself back into gear.

     Somewhere around 8 or 9 I finally caught up with some other runners.   It was nice to talk to someone and pass the time.  At 10.3 I realized that I could get a good finish time if I just pushed myself.  It was only a 5k left.
      I got to 12.2 before I ran out of steam.  I slowed down a bit and finished in 1:47:42.  A much better time then I thought.   It was my 10th half marathon, all under two hours.  I was 15th out of 41 and I got second in my age group.

Mile 1- 7:14
Mile 2- 8:15
Mile 3- 7:48
Mile 4- 8:25
Mile 5- 8:54
Mile 6- 8:12
Mile 7- 8:07
Mile 8- 9:00 (the big hill)
Mile 9- 8:06
Mile 10- 8:28
Mile 11- 8:42
Mile 12- 8:20
Mile 13- ??  Turned the Garmin off early.

     Will I be back next year?   If I am still running....then YEAH!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Boston Harvest 5k/10k

     I'm not sure what to say here.  This was suppose to be the event I waited for all year.  Unfortunately a few days before the race... life had other plans for me.  Some how I manage to put my personal problems on the side, for a moment, and pull off what many people called the best race they had even been too.  I'll be honest with you.  I was on auto pilot that week.  If it wasn't for experience and putting in a lot of hours pre-working every detail...it very well could have been a disaster.
     Races themselves have their own share of problems.  The first problem I had was that the church we were suppose to use for the bag stuffing did not a person with a key available that day.  With the church out and several volunteers canceling, I made the difficult decision to delay the bag stuffing.  When I woke up the next morning I set up the garage with tables and started stuffing bags.  It was a lot of work for one person and what should have taken an hour, took days.  I know that I could have asked for help and people would have, but I dunno... I kinda needed my space.  No one wants to see race director that can't stay focused.
     After the race bags were stuffed with flyers then I had to add the shirts and label every bag with the person's name and shirt size.  The hardest part was going back and organizing 240 bags by alphabet.  Luckily my family helped me out with this part.
     The second big problem was the pizza.  Little Casear's in White Oak promised me 10 free pizza if I bought 10 and the manager would come in early so that we could have them for 10am.  They do not open until 11am.  Wednesday before the Saturday race, I stopped in to triple check the pizzas.  The manage had been moved that day to a new store in Irwin, about 10 minute down the highway.  It took until dinner time thursday for me to finally get in touch with the manager.  She told that she had been moved, and that she would not help us anymore.  In a panic I posted online about it and a lady told me to try Sabatelllos in Buena Vista.  She gave me the names of the owners and I jumped in the car.  When I told them how we got screwed over and what the charity was, they offered to help.  We got 20 large, better quality pizza, for a great price.
     Were there other problems?  Well...  the tent guy had a dead battery that morning, the band did not show because of the rain, someone trying to help took Rex's grandma's race bag, could not get the UTZ chips picked up, and a teenage stole one of the hand made mile markers.  In the end the tent guy showed up before the rain, no one cared about the band, her race bag was found, the chips got picked at 3pm the day before the race and someone caught the teenage and I got my sign back.  Someone upstairs watches out for this race...
     The day before a race is insane.  I worked for 16 hours without a pause.  Signs had to be posted, trucks loaded, and all the goodies had to be picked up.  Everything had to be ready and perfect.  It was a stressful, day but also a high.  Some how once again it all worked itself out.
      Race morning I was up at 5:30am.  In a few short and quick hours it would be over.  A few deep breaths and a quick pray that the rain would hold out and I was out the door.  I had to get three trucks jammed full of stuff to the race site.  When I arrive with the first one, none of the volunteers were there yet.  I walked home and got in the second truck.  By then two of the volunteers had shown up and soon more.  We got the trucks unloaded, boxes sorta, and started setting up the tables without a tent to cover them.  As we finished the table set up, the race timers showed.  Luckily I know them and they knew what I need from them.  More and more volunteers showed up and I got busy giving directions.  It was my 15 minutes of fame.  Runners were coming in and everyone knew me and every eye was on me.

     With the registration up and running and the parking lots filling up, I set about putting out small fires and trying to guess where the next one was before it started.  I grabbed some runners standing around to control people not getting their timing chips and driving into a filled parking lot.
      The kona ice truck and the tent guy.  While the kids rushed the snow cone truck, volunteers hurriedly put up the tents and then set up the food.  I went to check on the start line and then bring the 10k runners down.  I stood up on a truck and yelled of everyone to hush up.  Amazingly they listened.  The crowd of runners started moving toward the start line.  There was a line at the porta-johns and I asked who was in the 10k.  The gentleman in front of the line was in the 5k and offered to let the 10kers in front.  AWESOME!  Wish I would have notice his bib number as I have no idea who he was.

      At the start line I give a quick speech thanking everyone and reminding them to have a timing chip on.  The timer let me use his bull horn to start the race and it had a siren noise on it.  I turned on the siren and kept it on as all the runners pasted the start line.

     Then I hurried back to the registration to get the 5kers down to the start.  There were more 5k runners then 10k by 2-1, so I had to yell extra loud to move the crowd.  Once they started moving, I went to check the food tables for after the race.   There were still a couple runners registering, so I waited for them and then walked down.   I thanked everyone and told them to be cafeful with so many kids running.  I also told them that if they wanted to race competitively you should have signed up for the 10k with the big boys.  Everyone laughed.

     The siren sounded and we were off.  I ran with Sara and a little kid named Lukas for awhile then picked up my pace.   With no good sleep and all the stress from the race and my personal problems I did not have a lot of energy to run.  I tried instead to in courage all the other runners by cheering them on by name and high fiving as many as I could.  The race was over pretty quickly.  I finished in 23:41.  It was a flat easy course.  I used have gotten in the 21s.
     When I finished I felt sick.  I ran over to the bushs... but was able to get myself under control.  I drank water and tried to relax while more and more runners finished.  After being there for awhile, I went up the tents to check on the food and get a snow cone.  People kept asking me when the awards were going to be because they had to go.  I told them when the last person finished.  I walked back to the start line and watched the last few folks cross the finish while the results were printed.
      It finally started to rain.  I grabbed the results and asked to use the bull horn for the awards.  The timers said yes and it was a huge help.  I need to get one of those! 
      My niece Brooke and Sara started laying out the awards while I started shouting into the bull horn.  It went pretty fast and I screwed up some of the people's last names.  I did the best that I could.  After the 5k awards the pizzas showed up and then I started into the 10k awards.
      The rain was coming down pretty good now and we started loading up the trucks with the wet gear.  Stuff was getting packed up as quickly as we could, as the rain picked up.  We drove the trucks to the house, opened the garage, and backed them up one at a time so that we could be dry.  Once the trucks were loaded, we took the food upstairs and cleaned up the water coolers.  
      The race was over.  80 finishers in the 10k, 168 in the 5k, totaling 248.  Plus we had dozens of untimed walkers and spectators.  My goal was 300 and I'm sure we got close to that.
       It was a great race and we raised a lot for Rex.

Rex and his family.

How did you like the race?
Should I do it again?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Big Beaver Big Dawgs

     Back in December of 2012, I joined a local running club called the Big Beaver Big Dawgs.   There is no training runs, no fees, and no pressure.   Just show up at races and run.  To join you just have to get your picture taken with another Big Dawg at a race.
      A few days ago I finally got my Big Dawg's shirt and a towel that I was suppose to get at the Big Dawg's annual race.  It was the first and only race that I ever missed.  I was in the hospital, so I guess that is a good excuse.
Big Dawgs at the Boston Harvest 5k/10k

Columbus Hot Chocolate 15k/5k

     A few weeks ago I signed up to be an ambassador for the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k in Columbus, Ohio.  It is pretty cool to be picked.   They give me a running shirt to wear that day and a ton of cool swag.  Plus if I have 25 people sign up using my code, I win a free entry!  If you use the code you get a super awesome hot chocolate MUG added to your swag bag when you sign up.   The race looks like a lot of fun.   I'm glad it is November 17th, because I think a hot chocolate race in the warmer weather would be dumb.
      Take a minute and look into this race.  You don't get a plain white t-shirt.  You get an awesome hooded shirt.    Plus hot chocolate and other stuff.  The race is a little pricey, like most novelty races, but definitely worth doing once!!
 Columbus Hot Chocolate    
---race is over, code removed. :o)---

Monday, September 16, 2013

South Allegheny 5k

     I was trying to decide if I wanted to drive to Monroeville or just do a 5k in Liberty Boro.  With anything going on I really did not feel like running.  I have not been able to do any training doing the week.
     When I was driving to the race there was a lot of fog.  Because of this I was not able to see what would become the race course.  I signed up and then did a little run around the high school to warm up.  Star 100.7 was there with a prize wheel.  I wanted to find out how to play, except they were got by the time I finished the race.

      With the fog gone the race started.   Flat for about a tenth of a mile then it started to go up.  It was one long hill followed by one long down with three hills just like it.  The hills were more like mountains.  3.1 miles and only .2 of it was flat.  I got in second place in the beginning of the race and I was able to hold on to it.  Finishing in 23:32.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

FAAP Fall Classic


     Yesterday I won a 5k.  Today my legs are tired.  I really thought that I would do bad that this race with how my legs felt.  I was wrong.
      I drove to North Park for the 14th time since I started running to try out the FAAP Fall Classic 10k.   It is a trail race that starts on top of the hill near the pool.  I preregistered Sara and I, so we got shirts.  Sara's Garmin would not turn on before the race.  It will not take a charge anymore.  Time for a new one, I guess.
      When the race started Sara was ahead of me.  I caught up with her and told her that she was running a 6:25 pace.  She said "oops".  Then the race turned from road to trail.  It was little ups and downs with a lot of turns.  By mile two I settled into a comfortable pace with three people right behind me.  At mile three I moved over to let them ahead of me and I started to slow up a bit on a big hill.
      Around mile four a volunteer said that there was ten people ahead of me.  I had to pick it up.  I could use a ten top.  I pushed my pace and caught up with a group ahead me.  They had slowed down to climb a hill.  Okay, well a cliff.  I made it up without slipping back down.  It was scary, my was hugging the hillside.  My legs were shaking and I was not sure that I could get running again.  I walked for a few seconds, got mad at myself, and then took off. 
     I got close to the group again.  Six people running close together.  I also had one guy behind me in bright blue, but not close enough to be a problem.   Before mile five I could see two of the folks slowing up.  We hit a mostly flat access road and I made my move.  I was able to get pretty far ahead of them.  Then I was just trailing the other three.  But I was not sure how or when I could pass them and if I could stay ahead.
     I decided the that my best move was to hold out for the last minute.  The finish was up and around a hill, then back down and on to the road.  As so we hit the top of the hill, I started letting the down hill carry me.  I rounded the bottom and past one guy.   Then on the flat I floored it.  Three more to go.  I passed one more guy and closed in on the girl.   I flew past her before she knew that I was coming.  I did not get the last guy though.  He beat me by five seconds.  If I..if I ...if I ...
     I took 7th place with a time of 55:12.  After I finished Bonnie from the timing company, Miles of Smiles, needed help.  I jumped in to remove bib tags.  Sara has done this a once or twice.  It was nice to get to try it and help out.  I drink two bottles of water while I was helping.  Mitch R came by and I asked him if he could bring me another water since I could not leave the finish.  He bought me two bottles and I downed them both.
     Sara was having a harder time with the race.  I runner, who I did not know came into the finish and said, "Shane, I was running with Sara, she is having a tough time".  When Sara finished she laid on the ground for ten minutes.   Not sure what the problem was.  She normal does well at trail runs.
     In between the 5k and 10k awards they entertained us with ethic Filipino dancing.  They also gave out hand made bamboo awards.  I got first in my age group and Sara got third in hers.  I was nice to get something different.
     Over all a great race.  Some people got lost, but that happens in a trail races.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Henry's Hope 5k

     I rushed around when I realized that the race started at 8:30am.  It was 7:22am and I was not showered nor had I eaten yet.  I left the house nine minutes later.  When I got there, I saw only six cars.  There were two ladies with a stack of bibs standing at a single white table.  What had I gotten myself into this time...
     I walked up and asked if they were ready yet.  One of them asked if I was registered or not.  I said no.  As I was signing up they told me that there was not a lot of runners.  They also said that the winners (top m & f) each got a $50 gift card to True Runner.  I replied, "That won't be me". 
     I asked if the race started at 8:30am like runhigh.com's website stated.  They said no, it starts at 9am.  Great, I thought, I could have finished breakfast.
     While I was waiting I ran into Eric P who ran the Harvest 5k last year.  He always reminds me that the course was a little bit short.  I tried to relax and remember that this is just a run, not a race.  I have a 10k tomorrow morning, so I needed to take it easy.
     At the start line there were a few people who I thought might be fast.  However they had there bibs pined to their backs.  A sign that they were not racers.  When the race started I took off at an easy pace.  There was one guy behind me.  I tried to stay just ahead of him.  I expected to get passed at any point.  By mile one I was in a commanding lead.
     As we hit mile one & half I could see that the guy behind me was falling behind.  There was a kid in jeans! closing in on him.  After that was a big gap and then a pack of runners, including Eric.  I passed him and he told me that I had a good lead.
     By mile two I could see no one behind me, so I started to take it easy.  I probably could have PRed if there was someone to push me.   I finished the race in 21:57.  1st OVERALL!
mile 1:  6:33
mile 2:  7:00
mile 3 & the point 1:  8:20

Monday, September 2, 2013

For The Love of Lindsey 5k

     This was the third time that I ran this race.  It is always a difficult course because of the August heat.  Each year I do a little bit better.
2011 20th place, 25:20
2012 13th place, 22:51
2013 10th place, 21:45
      I'm not sure why I go to this race.  It is always too hot and they do weird award groups.  Only the top two overall and top two in each ten year age group.  I like doing race with the top three in each age group.  The only thing that the race has going for it is that is it close to home.
      Every year this race is really hot and humid so this time around I carried my water bottle.  Each year someone drops from the heat.  This year was no exception.  It is always some teenage that probably did not train right. 
      When the race started I was in 11th place.  I had looked at last years results and decided I needed 10th place to get a medal.  In the first mile I worked my way up to 9th place.   At mile two I made my play for 8th place but started to burn out.  Just then I got passed by the second place female.  That put me back in 10th place.  The humid was awful in the third mile.  But I was able to keep just ahead of the guy behind me.  I finished and went straight into the air conditioned fire department building.
       I waited around for the results and handed out race flyers.  When the results were put up, I was very excited.  I did get 10th place!   However I got 3rd in my age group, which means no medal.  I would have had to beat 21:06 to get a medal.   Geez.  Maybe next year.
 They did improve the shirt this year.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baker Relay, Part of the Baker Ultra 50 Mile Race

     So I have been asked "What no race last weekend?" and "Why no blog post?".  Simply put, I have been busy.   It is one month ago from the harvest race and I am going nuts.  New sponsors signing on, people registering and forgetting a piece of information,  door prizes and flyer's shipping in everyday, and I have to order the shirts Friday!
:::deep breath:::
      A month or so ago the Steel City Road Runners were looking for someone to fill in on a relay team.  I checked my race calendar and I was free, so I joined up.  This was for the Baker 50 mile Ultra Marathon, which Sara was running the whole thing.  I was joining one of three Steel City Road Runner relay teams.  It was only $30 for a 10 mile run.  Good deal!
      Sara want up to the race the day before because the start for the full 50 mile was at 6:30am.  I was not running until the late afternoon so I came up Saturday morning.  I was suppose to meet my team leader at 11am.  At noon she had finished her leg.  Turns out the course was super hard and everyone was going over there time. 
      The team leader and her husband drove me to my relay start, but not before losing my timing chip.  Her husband was team leader of team two and turned in my chip because he thought someone had left it behind.  No big deal.  They got lost a few times trying to get me there, but found it in time.
       The water stop where I was starting was not set up yet when I got there.   However the front runners were all ready starting to come in.   I had about a two hour wait before my relay team member came in.  I laid in the shade trying to stay cool.
     In the window of the car is a map of the course.  I looked at it many times as I waited for my turn.  I knew every turn, every road, before the race started.  When it was finally my turn, I was out warming up on a road near by.  I quickly came back and then got started.  I took off.  I passed up the first three people that I came too.  It was all up hill and the sun was hot.  By the time that I got to the first check point, about four miles in, I was starting to get dehydrated.  I got more water and left very quickly.   I really needed to make up time.  Problem is ...there were only more hills, more sun, and one case of running out of water ahead of me.  This part of the course there was no shade.  Just open road at 3 pm on a hot August day.  I was dragging.  I got to the last check point, about three and half more miles in, got more water, and hoped for shade.  They tried to give me food, but it was too hot to eat.
      I took my last GU gel and started out.  This part of the course was on an Amish road and the folks just stared at me.  I had forgotten that I took my shirt off, so I was wearing just shorts.  A big no-no in Amish land.  I got myself through the course including one last hill at the end, finishing in about an hour forty minutes.   Bad time?  Yeah, I know...
     Everyone on the relay team got a finishers medal.  We got a quick picture, then I tried to eat.  The food they had just did not sit well on my stomach.  I walked to the car where I had a half of a sub from lunch left.  After I was done I went for a mile run out on the course to wait for Sara.   She had said that she was going to finish at 5:30 and it was now 6:30.  Several people came by but not Sara.  I was starting to think that she may have dropped out.  After 7 she finally came walking up the road.  I ran with her, Brian N, and his pacer for part of the last mile, then took off for a short cut so that I could get a picture at the finish.

     After the race we had to wait around because the race director wanted to personal hand people there rolling pin.  (You get a pin after you do all three sections of 50 miles).  It was nice of him, but he kept having to leave.  I was getting mad.  I had to drive Sara to the airport still, plus drive home.  Five hours of driving and I was tired.   Sara's mom was taking her and the kids to Disney. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yizner 5k

     I have not been able to run this week.  Between the kids,  Sara changing jobs, my job being super busy, and me gearing up to full on race director mode, I just did not have the energy.  I knew that I had to pick a race this weekend just to return the clock rental from the P&LE Express.  I planned to run, cause I mean, I am going to be there.  I just could not pick a race, nor did I really want to run.
     I ended up in North Park at the Yinzer 5k.  The North Park boat house is under construction.  The indoor bathrooms are now portojohns and the normally outdoor registration was on the second floor of the boat house.  I think that I heard they were puting in a resturant, but I am not sure.  I got there, checked in, and then went to carry the heavy clock about a half mile to the timing people.  I parked far away.
     Before the race I did not see anyone I knew, so I went out for a little warm up run.  After that I found a bench under trees to relax under.  As I was sitting there I noticed a runner with their bib on their back, running with a running whose bib was on the front.  Normally when I tell people that their bib goes on the front, they look at me like I'm carry.  But these folks were cool about it, thanked me for the help.  (Note: A bib is the race number that gets hooked to your shirt or shorts in the front during a race.  It is used to identify you.)
     At the start line these three guys were joking around and the crowd was laughing.  It was the first 5k for one of them and he was not really in "running" shape.  I tried to get them to come to my race, but they were from Erie and Baltimore.  Weird...
     When the horn went off I briefly thought I could win this, then a kid took off out front, and I decided to hang back.  When I did this a hole group of people passed me.  This folks were going out too fast and I knew I could pass them later.

     After a half mile the folks started slowing down and I picked them off one at a time.  By mile one I was in third place.  The turn around was just after mile one.  The course was really short or there was something fancy going on in the course. (I'm raced this course many times).  On the way I kept up my speed thinking the course was short.  I was going at 6:40 per minute.  (pretty awesome for me).  I finished 2.17 miles in 14:28.  Third overall, ya!
 Problems with this race:  (Note was a 1st time race, RD was NOT a runner)
     Cost: more then normal 5k
     Course:  almost a mile short
     Awards: only the top 3 m & f overall, NO AGE GROUPS
     Water:  had water and gatorade, but the gatorade was warm
      Shirt:   white, for the cost they could have upgraded
      Runners:  were all super nice.  no one was mad that the course was short.
      Logo:  was pretty cool
      Cause:  helping homeless people

      Would I go back.  Normally with all the cons I would say no, but we are all suppose to get a discount next year, so... it is a maybe.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

P&LE Express 4 mile/10 mile

     Well months of planning and worrying turned into a very nice event.  Yesterday I was a huge ball of stress.  I was going over everything aloud and going around the house making sure things were going to be perfect.  I had to be up at 4:30am, eek!
     The car was preloaded with most of the race stuff.  I had to get the water, ice, and clock ready and loaded.  Then I was off to pick up a volunteer while Sara went to set up the water stop.  At 6 am we meet back up and drove to the start line.  At 6:18 I was back at the parking area and there were no runners.  I was stressing out.  I walked to the house to get my water bottle, that I had forgotten.  When I came back there were cars parking and runners and I was thrilled!  I was soo afraid no one was going to show up.  With out preregistration you just do not know how much people are coming.

(The start line at 7am)
     After a quick speech by me and waiting for a few more people to sign up, we started.  I ran the first two miles with Jason S and Kelly U.  They were running the 10 mile race so I lost them when I stopped at the water stop.   I said hello and thanked the volunteers, Heather & Dana, and then got back on my way.  I was in first place in the 4 mile race.  I did the 4 mile so that I could be at the finish line as people got there.  I won the 4 mile for the males and Jenn C took 1st for the females.
(Emery winning the 10 mile)
(Danika-1st place female-10 mile)
(Joe H)
(Walter B racing after a few months off with an injury)
(Tammy S doing her tempo run, She could have beaten them all!)
(Charle W letting Chris B finish first)
(Kelly U racing Jamie)
(Jason S cruising after 10 mile, he and Kelly U ran 10 more miles after the race)
(Sara "chicking" Scott P at the finish)
     In the end everyone seemed to have fun and a good run.  I enjoyed it.  We had 33 runners.  My targeted guess back in the early spring was 30-35.  How about that? 
     I would like to thank all the runners that came out for an early race at 7am on a Sunday, and our great volunteers.  As you probably know, there would be no races without volunteers.  THANK YOU!!