Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jerry Maher 5k

     Moments before the race started, they let us in on a little secret.  The course was totally different then last year.  A bridge was being replaced on the course and a tree had come down the night before in the storm.  They had us run up a road, turn around, and come back past the starting line in order to get the full 3.1 miles.   Only thing was... the course was short any ways...   I didn't mind.   My legs were still tired from last week.
     At the start line there were a lot of kids.  Sara was worried they would get in the way.  WRONG!  Those darn kids were fast!  In fact most of the top twenty were kids, including the top female and 3rd place male.  This new course was harder.  Last years course had two small long hills.  This one had a hill from mile one to mile two.  It was not a steep grade, but the hill beat on your legs.

     Coming in to the finish there was no one close in front or in back, so I just was dogging it in.  Then out of no where comes some little 10 or 12 year old.  He flew past me.  I sped up and caught him and then he went even fast.  I was like "Little way" and I took off at top speed.  Yeah...I raced a little kid, but I did  I finished in 21:18.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fox Township Half Marathon

     What is it about running that no matter how difficult a course or how bad a run, the first you want to do when you finish is sign up for another race?
      This was race number 95 lifetime and number 25 this year.  I think that I am addicted to several things in racing.  How everyone is your friend when your running and how total strangers cheer you on at the finish.  Getting a medal every once in a while helps too.
      This Saturday I dragged Sara three hours into the mountains of Elk County for a $20 half marathon.  Yes, I realize that the cost savings got eaten up in gas money.  But it was still fun.  The trip took us threw Allegheny, Butler, Armstrong, Jefferson, & Elk County.  On the way home the GPS added Clarion County to the mix.  The trip started in the dead of night because the race started early.
     The race was a point to point run so we had to first get bused to the start line.  The person in the next seat up said "Dude just took a picture of the back of your head".  The driver did not know where to go and pasted the starting line up.  We had to turn around on an old country road and drive back.  We had about 5 minutes to spare and everyone hit a bush.

      When the race got started I was in trouble with humidity and heat.  The first 3 1/2 miles were awful.  At mile 4 two older guys, Todd & Bill, started running beside me and helped pool me along.
      At mile 7 the hills started and I went back and forward from running to walking.  By mile 11 I was done with the hills but did not have much left.  I knew that if I did not hurry, I would not get under 2 hours.  I ran hard and fast and finished in 1:52:59.  Now my left leg is bothering me again.  I also have a lot of pain in the top of my right foot.  Sara thinks that I ties my laces too tight.  A day later and I still have the pain makes me think that I damaged something. We'll see.

Sara finishing
2nd in age group 28-35

All the stuff you get for $20!  Note: Sara's award is in the picture so really $40.
The finish line park.  I wish I was little.
 Getting my award.  At this point I was sunburn and it was over 90 degrees.
Picture Sara took while running.
Training on the Yough Trail with the kids weiner dog.  And yes she can out run me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dayspring 5k and then some

     I decided the night before to do a 5k in Ellwood City.  The Big Beaver Big Dawgs posted that they wanted everyone to come out and I did not have a race for the weekend yet.  I had been warned the weekend before that the Dayspring 5k was a hard course.  It was.
     The view from the start line was down hill and this was an out and back course.  I went out hoping for a top 10 finish.  At the beginning I was 13th.  I moved up as folks slowed down at the hills.  By the turn around I was in 10th place.  Unfortunately the 9th place runner was no where close, so I would have to hold on the 10th position for the next mile and a half.  The first place female was close on my heels and that kept pushing me along.  The course was up and down hills.  A lot of hills.
      At the up hill finish I got passed by the female runner and a male runner.  I wanted 10th place!   I took off after them, up hill mind you, as fast as I could.  I died off quickly and decided just to be happy with 12th place and continue at this speed.  I looked at my Garmin and I was running 6:30 pace.  Those two in front were speedy.  I finished in 21:53.
     When I got home Sara asked me to do a Red Dress Run with her.  It was a Hash Harrier run.  These people run a little bit, drink a little bit, and then repeat.  It was not looking forward to the drinking part (I don't drink) nor the "red dress" part, I just wanted the extra miles.  It was suppose to be 4 miles.  I ended up running 6.7 miles.
     At the first bar stop I stayed outside.  By the time we got to the second bar I had to use the bathroom.  I was in the front group when we got there and went right inside.  This is what greeted me.

    This bar is called the Tilted Kilt.  This was my favor part of the run.  Oh and fries were good too.  After this it was a run though Point State Park.  I had acquired a sign that read "Happy Birthday".   I run passed people holding up the sign, and the crow would cheer.  The third "bar" stop was a loading dock near the county jail.  We had been at this for three hours.  I was done.  Sara was done.  We took off running toward the strip district where are car was.  "Hashing" is for some people.  It is not for me.  I don't drink.  Not something I would do again.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Quench 5k and Alpha Fitness 5k

     Three days ago the treadmill broke.  Not broke as in, it can be fixed, but broke as in it is headed to a landfill near you.  I normally do all my weekday training on the treadmill.  Without it, I was lost.
     Two days ago I decided to go for a run on the Yough Trail.  I was going for 3 or 4 miles.  When I got 3 1/2 miles out, I realized how far I had gone and thought, "I feel good. I will keep going".  I turned around at 5 1/2.  By mile 9 I was out of water, hungry, tired, and I dogged it back home.  I did 11 miles and it felt great.  
     Later that day I was asked if I would mark a 5k and 10k course.  I decided to go for it.  If you were at the Boston Harvest 5k last year, you might remember that I measured the course short.  I needed to redeem myself.
      Yesterday I decided to do a 5k two hours before it started.  I grabbed my gear and drove there in a hurry.  I got there with only 30 minutes to spare and signed up.  I did not get a shirt because they only had shirts for pre-registered people.  There were not that many people and I thought I had a chance at another top ten finish. 
     The race started with an uphill.  I paced myself and let 10 people go out ahead of me.  By the top of the hill people were starting to drop back.  I passed one runner after another until I was in 3rd place overall.  There was a guy just ahead of me and a girl, well she was gone.  I thought maybe she had taken a wrong turn.  I used the second mile to catch up with the guy in front and then pass him.  I held first place male for a mile and then right at the end he passed me for the win.  It was okay.  I still got 2nd place male, 3rd Overall. A good run.  21:12.  Only problem was I locked myself out of the car right before the race.  The will teach me not to hurry. 

         Once I finally got home, I ate lunch and rested for a bit.  After that it was back out of the trail for 6.2 more miles carrying a can of spray paint.   And yes people did look at me funny.  I was marking a official race course and could not stop and talk when I saw a runner that I knew.  Once it was checked, I knew I had done it right.  

     This morning I was up at 6am.  I needed to put up turn around signs on the course.  I did not do this the day before because I was afraid some kids would steal them.  I added another 1.8 mile run to place the signs and my traffic cones.  Last year someone at this race ran too far.  I won't say who. 
     When I got to the starting area only one runner was there and the timing company was just hanging out.  I walked over and opened the gate for their van.  A few more people showed up.  It was getting close to 8am, half hour before start and I realized this was going to be a small race.  Well, two small races (5k and 10k).  I asked the timing company how many people were signed up.  They said only 22 for both, total.  I called Sara and told her to get up and get down here to run.  I thought she might win this one.  
     My legs were tired and sore.  I thought that I really wanted to win but two guys looked faster than me.  At the start I glued myself to fastest runner for the first mile.  If he sped up, I sped up.  If he slowed down, I slowed down.  He started to die off and I took off ahead of him.  6:45 first mile.  I keep running until the turn around, by then my legs were burning.  I took a quick drink and then was off again, high-fiving Sara and a few runners as I passed them.  I took a good running lead and then walked/ran/walk, etc.  My legs were killing me, but I so wanted to finally win a 5k.  I did win!  23:43.  Not a great race time, but I won!  

Me and the 1st place female

trophy and shirt

Sara got 2nd place female and a door prize.

Jennifer C got 3rd place female and her son won TWO door prizes.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Run for Alex 5 mile

    This weekend Sara and I both did the Run for Alex 5 mile.  We had done this race last year.  It is a nice race and I think it is the second largest in Washington County.  They do a 2 mile and a 5 mile with 650 combined finishers.  We chose the 5 mile.

     It has been very hot and humid.  Not good running weather.  I am more of a fall/winter runner.  I like the cool air.  I knew that I was going to do awful at this race.  I should have been able to met or bet my time last year.  Instead I added 6 minutes on to it.
    This race has a lot of small rolling hills and one huge up hill at mile 2.4-2.67.  I ran good for about 1.3 miles then had to start walking the hills.  Got too hot, too fast.  Next year I will do better. (I hope)

   (Sara won a door prize)