Sunday, March 29, 2015

Run the Bluegrass 7 Miler Recap

Yesterday was the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon & 7 Miler.  This is the second year I have run the 7 Miler.  You can read last years race recap here.

Fortunately the weather was dry & sunny but it was the coldest day in the 10 day forecast.  I had a hard time deciding what to wear but settled on a long sleeved undershirt, thermal top & windbreaker on top.  I wore compression shorts, thermal pants & knee high wool socks on the bottoms.  I also wore a ear wrap & my Thoroughbred Classic beanie & 2 pairs of gloves.   Overall it worked.  The only thing I took off during the run was the gloves & depending on the wind I unzipped or zipped my jacket.

We got there a little early & hung out in the Expo area to stay warm & take some pre-race pics.

Me, Audrey & Shannon
Me & Steve
So speaking of Steve.  He is 7.5 weeks post rectal cancer surgery & was committed to running this race.  He has run all previous years of the Run the Bluegrass & would be one of 60 streakers if he raced this year.   He also wanted to show cancer who is the boss.   

Steve, Jen & Dave at the Start
Three of his running buddies ran the entire half with him to keep him company.   I think they thought it would be an easy run but nothing about this Half is easy.  The hills are constant. I think someone said there are 33 hills in the half marathon.   His Garmin 920 has the live tracking feature which comes in handy.  When I finished the 7 miler I saw he was already at mile 10 maintaining a sub 9:30 minute / mile.  He ended up finishing the half in 2:03.  Crazy.  He totally kicked cancer's ass!!

My race was uneventful.  It is pretty much the same story as last year.   Lots & lots of human traffic for the first 3.5 miles.  Wave 7 is when all the 7 milers start which means weaving through the wave 6'ers & even some wave 5 folks.  Around mile 3.5 the half marathoners turn left & the 7 milers go straight so the second have of the race is awesome.  The half marathoners rejoin the 7 milers shortly after the split but then it is the lead runners.  It isn't often that I get to run with the leaders even if it is only for a few seconds as they zoom by.  Still it was awesome to see these speedy guys & gals fly by.

For the most part I maintained a 4 minute run / 1 minute walk.  There were a few times I adjusted based on hills/water stops but for the most part I tried to stick to the plan.  Every time I thought about how tired my hips & legs were I thought about Steve & how he was probably feeling.   Thinking this way got me to the finish line & with a time about 45 seconds off of last years time which I was very happy with.  

The crowd support & volunteers are awesome!  This race has really blossomed over the past 5 years.  This year they had over 4,000 runners and it keeps getting better & better.  Post race there was live music, food, beer & an indoor expo.  They had gear check which was extremely convenient.   It meant hanging on to warmer clothes longer before the race & having dry clothes post race to change into.  They even did right by the race shirts.  Due to the port strikes the normal Nike dry fit shirts were not going to make it in time for race day.  They came up with an alternate plan & had hoodies screened by a local company.  They are pretty sweet.  I think I like these better than the Nike shirts. 

My only wish was that it was about 30 degrees warmer so we could enjoy hanging outside more.

This year they offered the option to sign up for free race photos automatically posted to your Facebook wall.   Below is an example of the free race photo - hehehe.  
Ruth, Audrey, me & Shannon post race free photo
Race Results Station Inside Expo 
Hoodie, 7 Mile Medal, Race Guide & Personalized Bib
Steve's 5 Year Streaker Shot Glasses & Half Medal

Post race we headed to West Sixth for their 3 year birthday celebration.  We hung out there for a couple hours then headed home for some serious couch sitting & to watch some basketball. Go CATS!

If I am serious about this Olympic Triathlon in May then today I have a 1 hour swim & 2 hour ride on the schedule.  I am trying to muster up the energy & motivation to head out the door.....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Twofer Race Weekend

Race #1 of the Twofer:

Yesterday was the Railrunner 10 Miler & 5K.  It was originally scheduled 2 weeks ago but thanks to a foot of snow & 3 inches of rain the course was flooded out.   I won a race entry from 3 Way Racing at one of the West 6th Tuesday night runs.  I signed up for the 5K since there was no way I was in 10 mile shape.

Treacy, Audrey, Mary & Me
The forecast for race time was mid 40s & sunny.  I wore 2 long sleeved shirts & tights.  Too much.  I got really hot around mile 2.  I would have been fine with 1 long sleeved shirt & capris.  The course was really nice.  Both races were all on the RJ Corman property in Nicholasville.  There were some hills too.  I decided to wear my Newtons - big mistake.  My calves were crazy sore afterwards.  Should have stuck to my Hokas.

The 10 miler started at 9AM & the 5K at 9:05AM.  My favorite cheerleader, Steve, was back too.  This makes me happy.  It was weird not having him at my last race.  

Our run group was split between the 10 Miler & the 5K.  Once I started running I was very happy to only be doing the 5K.  I have been building my run / walk intervals since the first of the year & decided to run 1 mile, walk 1 minute for this race.  It worked well - I pushed hard but not too hard since I knew I had to run another 5K on Sunday.

5K Time: 30m24sec - 3/19 AG  <<------ Also read 3rd in Age Group!

This was the first time running this event & it was awesome.  The facility is great.  Indoor toilets, heated pavilion to hang out before & after the race.  Post race food - Gliers goetta sliders, Zaxby's chicken sandwich & Ice Cream.  All racers received a finishers medal.  The best part of the race is it benefits the Chrysalis House.  This event raised almost $6K for Chrysalis House.  Just Awesome.

Race #2 of the Twofer:

This morning was another early wake up.  It was the 2nd race in the Shelbyville Triathlon Series.  (Race #1 Report).  The 2nd race is a 400 yard swim, 12 mile bike & 3.1 mile run.  The weather was about the same as yesterday - low to mid 40s for race time so we were on for a tradition triathlon today.

Due to a miscommunication during registration the swim ended up being self seeded.  I was not too thrilled with that but it actually worked out well.  I self seeded around 9:30 and was only passed by 2 people.  I didn't pass anyone.  For the majority of the swim I had clear water.  I remembered that I forget to start my watch around 60 yards into the swim.  I started it mid stroke.  Didn't really matter since I somehow also messed up the multisport setting.  Oh well.

Swim Time: 9m25s  <<---- Pretty darn close to my 9m30s self seeded time

T1 felt like an eternity & it pretty much was.  My plan was to wear my BTC kit for the swim & then put cycling tights, a jacket & windbreaker on for the bike. It is not fun trying to put on clothes over wet skin.  I did the best I could & headed out to the transition area.  There I put on my socks, shoes, helmet & gloves.  I always feel discombobulated during the first triathlon of the season.  Even more so when it is cold & extra clothing is needed.

T1 Time: 3m37s

The bike was a 2 lap course.  The course was nice - mostly on small roads & on the shoulder of the bypass.  Traffic wasn't a problem & the roads were in good shape.  With all the snow & cold this winter I was concerned about pot holes.

The first half of the loop was into the wind.  I didn't realize that at first - I just thought I was painfully slow coming into my first race of the season.  This winter I did try to maintain my bike with lots of spin classes & time on the trainer.  The only outdoor rides were the last couple of weeks on the Legacy Trail.  I had no idea where my speed was going to be for this race.

When we finally turned I realized how windy it was because it felt like I was flying.  Since I had accidentally set my watch to swim I had no idea what my speed was and since I started it late I really didn't know where I was time wise.  Again, oops & oh well.

Bike Time: 41m40s (17.3 mph)  <<----- OK, wow, that was a surprise.  I ended the last season at Tri for Sight with a 17.1 mph ride so this was super shocking.  I really thought I was somewhere in the 15 mph range.  My data junkie self really wishes I didn't botch my watch settings since it would be nice to confirm the course was really 12 miles.  :-)

T2 was crazy slow too.  I was planning to wear my New Balance shoes that had the speed laces but after how sore my calves were this morning I switched to my Hokas.  These do not have speed laces yet so I actually had to tie my shoes in T2 - gasp!  I stripped off the wind breaker but left the jacket & cycling tights on for the run.

T2 Time: 2m10s

I decided my run/walk interval would be 3 minute run / 2 minute walk.   The Hoka's were the right call.  These shoes are really working great for me right now.

About 3 minutes into the run I had the sensation that my pants were falling down.  Well, that's because they were!  What make good cycling tights does NOT make for good run tights.  Every few minutes I had to pull them up.  I finally pulled them up & tucked them into my tri shorts which worked well enough to get me to the finish.

I followed my run/walk interval until the turnaround.  I decided to walk the hills instead & I think that worked well for me.  It meant more running but it did my calves good.

Run Time: 33m08s

As usual, when I was driving out to Shelbyville this morning I was wondering why, oh why do I do these races?  Can't I just train & be happy with that.  Well, of course after the finish the feeling is always the opposite.  I am so glad I signed up for this series.  It pushed me to train all winter when I would have been much more lax like previous years.  I think I am starting this season where I left off last season which is great.  Now if I can only stay injury free!

Total Time: 1h30m02s  <<---- Ugh, I totally could have run 3 seconds faster!

Age Group: 2 / 3 <<----- Hello, what!?  Another age group place?  OK, so the odds were pretty damn good today but still I am still digging it.

Me & Kimberly
Love the shirts, Love the functional awards!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Fast Forward

The last 5 weeks have been a a bit of a drag and to say I am looking forward to Spring would be an understatement.

Since March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month I figured now is as good of a time as any to share that my husband was diagnosed with rectal cancer last October.  They found 2 polyps during a colonoscopy & one of them was cancerous.  He had a couple of MRIs and they determined the cancer had not yet spread to the lymph nodes.  In order to know for certain the cancer wasn't in the microscopic stage & undetectable by any blood test or MRI/PET/CT scan he had to have his rectum removed.

He had his surgery on February 4th.   We found out a week later that the cancer didn't spread (YAY!!) but he has had a rough recovery.  Part of the surgery included a temporary ileostomy to let the internal surgery site heal.  It has taken some time for his digestive system to adjust and he is finally starting to feel better.  He goes back to the surgeon on March 12th should be able to schedule his reversal which should be end of April / early May.

The moral of the story - Get a colonoscopy!  Start at 50 if no family history or earlier if you have a family history.  My Dad had colon cancer in his late 40's so they started me in my mid-30's.  I have had two now & let me tell ya a colonoscopy is way easier than what Steve is currently going through!

On top of this we have had a crazy winter in Lexington.  It actually was good until mid-February and then all hell broke loose.  In the last 3 weeks we have had two 12+ inch snow storms.

February 16th Snow Storm
Driving to the Pharmacy
Later had to take Steve to ER
February 16th Snow Storm - 12 inches
February 16th Snow Storm
I did like the Igloo Icon
Arboretum - This weather has made training miserable

Last week we had a high of 61F on Tuesday, ~2 inches of rain on Wednesday, 17" inches of snow (official Lexington total) on Thursday and a low of -2F on Friday.   Lexington is just not equipped to handle this type of weather.  

March 5th Snow Storm - 12 Inches at our House
March 5th Snow Storm

Thankfully, the 10 day forecast has several 50F+ days.  Combined with the time change I am hoping to get my training back on track.

I will end this post with some Sammie snuggle pictures because they always put a smile on my face.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Shelbyville Tri Series - Race #1 Recap

The first race of this series was supposed to be last Sunday.  It was rescheduled to today since it still looked like this around town.....

UK Arboretum
This week wasn't any better since it started raining/sleeting around 6AM.  It was 33F when I left Lexington at 6:30AM & raining but by the time I got to Frankfort 30 minutes later it was 28F and sleeting.  

Just passed the Kentucky river on I-64 I passed through what would eventually be an 8-9 car accident scene due to black ice.  When I went through there were 3 cars on the side of the road.  They closed I-64 shortly after.  Below is a photo of my friend Audrey's car & on the right side of the road is her bike. :-(  She went through the area a few minutes after I did and slid off the road.  Another car later came through & hit the back of her car which had her bike on it.   Fortunately she is OK but her bike and car are not.

From WKYT Facebook Page
When I got to Clear Creek Park in Shelbyville the parking lot was covered in ice.   The temperature was still around 30F & sleeting.  It wasn't boding well for a triathlon.   I found Kimberly when I went inside to check things out.  She went through Frankfort before me and said her truck was sliding all over.  I didn't notice any slip on my drive but I also took my foot off the gas when I saw the car lights facing me & coasted through this area.  So far, I am really happy with my Subaru in this crappy weather.

Back to the Triathlon.  The first race of the series is a reverse triathlon, eg. Run, Bike, Swim.  The distances increase for each race in the series.  This first one was a 3K Run, 6 mile Bike & a 400 yard Swim.  Shortly before 8AM the race director called off the bike so now we were left with a Dash & Splash.

The race started shortly after 8:30AM.   The temperature warmed up enough for it to be a steady rain instead of sleet but the path was slushy.  Once they cancelled the bike I changed into my swim tights.  I got these at Athleta thinking they would be good in events like this as well as kayaking.  I wore my tri top underneath a couple of thin tops along with gloves & an ear muff.  It was only a 3K and a lot of folks were only in their tri kits.  Hard core I say!

Run Time: 18m08s

No bike meant the transition was inside by the pool.  For some reason I didn't get a T1 time only a Run & Swim time.

Since I was 4th to last in the pool I had clear water the entire way.  Thankfully I didn't have any issues with my googles today.  The swim tights were OK.   I had them pulled up when I got in the pool.  When I pushed off they slid down a little.  Thankfully they settled there but there were a few moments that I thought I would be baring my bum to all.  About halfway through the swim I got hot with them on.  They were perfect on the run though.

T1 & Swim Time: 11m03s

From Shelbyville Triathlon Facebook Page
Total Time: 29m12s

The location is really nice because of the shower facilities post race.   Immediately after the swim I jumped in the shower.  When I was getting ready I heard the announcers start the awards.  I couldn't tell where they were when I walked out but then heard them say Women's 45-49 & thought 'oh well, I missed my age group'.  I then heard my name called out and remembered I aged up this year.  Doh!  Even though my birthday isn't until December USAT uses your age on 12/31 as the age group for the entire year.  I ended up winning my age group. Never mind I was the only one in my age group!  Considering 46 folks showed up today & only 8 of them were women pretty much everyone won an award for showing up.  The awards were a multi tool for your bike which was very cool.

Apparently I was a little excited to win...
From Headfirst website
Kimberly & Me Post Awards
Shirt & Award
Every year I say I am going to do this series but I usually bail because of the weather.  This year I finally bit the bullet & signed up for the series.  Had I known the roads were so icy I wouldn't have risked the hour drive.  I am glad they cancelled the bike but it really did seem crazy to spend 2 hours in the car for a 29 minute race and a garbage bag full of wet gear.  Oh well, this will be chalked up to one of those races you never, ever forget!

The next race in the series is in 3 weeks.  Hopefully the weather gods will be kinder to us.

How many days until Spring???


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