Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Twinsburg Du - June 5, 2011

A few days ago the opportunity came up for me to do the Twinsburg Duathon, so I went for it! It's run by a great guy, it's close to home, and I knew lots of friends that would also be there participating. It's a two mile run, ten mile bike, and two mile run.

Sunday I got up around 5 am, drove to the Twinsburg Rec Center, and was setting up my gear in transition by about 6:15. It was GREAT having so many others there that I knew! I had fun chatting with everyone, but I still managed to fit in a short warm-up. The weather was good, too, no rain, no wind, and sunny.

The race was a mass start at 7:30 am. First was a 2 mile run that was out and back with a loop in the middle. (like a lollipop) With only one speed workout so far this year, I wasn't sure how my time would be, but I was quite pleased with 17:31.

This was my first "sprint distance" multi-sport event in almost two years. So, I did a short transition practice the night before. I think that paid off.

At packet pick-up the day before the race I drove the bike course. Minus one hill around mile 7, it was really nice. It was fun passing people all throughout the course. I'm quite happy to say that only ONE person passed me, and it was while I was standing on the side of the road putting my chain back on at mile 2.5. My bike time is listed as 37:45, but that includes T1 AND T2. On my bike computer my time showed 34:52. The extra 3 minutes are from both transitions and the time spent putting on my chain.

Bike Computer Stats:
Distance - 10.36 miles
Avg Speed - 17.8 mph
Max Speed - 31.1 mph

Like always, it took me awhile to get my running legs back on the second run. Around the one mile mark I finally caught my breath and felt good. Of course, during that first mile several of the people I passed on the bike passed me back.

Once I was feeling good, I heard footsteps behind me and I decided that I wasn't going to let anyone else pass me. I powered up a short hill on the loop and tried to stay strong. At the next turn I was able to see it was someone I knew behind me. Sorry Marsita! She had really given me the push I need though. I tried to just continue to push harder and harder til the finish. Once I could see the finish line I gave it my all, and came in at 1:14:10. Run #2 took 18:54. I was thrilled to beat almost all the goals I had set for myself!

Post race included a Grunt Girl Racing team photo from everyone on the team that came out to race. What a GREAT group of ladies! (I'm on the far right with my hand on my hip.)

To top it all off, during the awards I found out I placed 3rd in my age group for females 35 - 39. :-) The frame was I given now holds the GGR team photo above.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My first marathon, The Cleveland Marathon

I finished.

My goal was to finish, and I did. Standing at the starting line, I wasn't sure I'd be able to go 26.2 miles. Even at mile 12 I still wasn't sure, but once I passed by the half marathon turn off point, I knew I'd finish, because I HAD to!

Race day conditions were almost perfect, I made it to downtown Cleveland without any problems, and I found myself SUPER lucky to be able to park right by the start/finish line. (HUGE, HUGE thank you to Liz F.)

After chatting in the parking lot, I dropped off some clothes at gear check, used a restroom in the Brown's stadium with NO LINE (that was a BIG bonus in my book), and then met up with the Grunt Girls and some other friends.

Just before heading to the starting line:

While standing with Stacy and Patty at the starting line, we were joined by Jen C and a friend of hers. It was so nice having others around that I knew. The gun went off, and about 5 minutes later we finally crossed the starting line to begin our race. We barely moved for the first mile, but I was near the 4:30 marathon pace group, and happy with that.

Every now and then when the road had some pot holes or was uneven, I had a little knee pain, but nothing too bad.

Miles one through six: 11:08, 10:21, 10:08, 10:49, 10:26, 10:45.

At mile seven Heidi caught Patty and I here:

I continued with Patty until she split off for the half-marathon finish. I was worried I had been going a bit too fast though, and slowed up a bit.

Miles seven through twelve: 10:50, 10:50, 10:57, 10:53, 11:12, 10:51

I think this is when the 4:45 pacer caught up to me, and I believe they pulled away from me just as quickly as they approached. I was happy with my 1/2 mary time, but knew I needed to slow down to get through this whole thing. I even got a bit emotional when I made the turn WITH the other marathon runners. I had never made that turn before. WOW, I then knew there was no where else for me to stop until I got to the END.

Miles thirteen through seventeen: 10:40, 11:06, 11:56, 12:49, 12:43

At mile 17.5 I looked at my garmin and realized I had never run this far before, so I stopped running to walk. I'm not sure why. It was like I was happy to have made it this far, and anything more was just a bonus. Yes, my training should have including more distance, but I was worried about my knee. So, I walked for .3 miles, found an empty port-o-pot to use, and then decided it was time to run again.

I enjoyed running down MLK. I was running alone now. Well, no one I "knew" was around me. This gave me lots of time to think. :-) I did chat with a few strangers. I even found a guy from Cincinatti that had completed the Full Rev3 at Cedar Point while I was there doing the half last year.

The rain drizzled on and off. Most of the time it wasn't too bad and almost feld good. A pic from somewhere in the second half:

Miles eighteen, nineteen and twenty: 14:52, 11:53, 13:07

THEN, the FIVE HOUR pacer caught up to me. I didn't want to let her get away, so I sped up to stay with her and the few runners hanging on as well.

Miles twenty-one and twenty-two: 11:29 and 11:48

BUT, I had to let them go. I was tired.

Miles twenty-three through twenty-six: 14:13, 14:46, 13:30, 13:11

It was a shuffle at this point, but I was finishing. When I saw the "MILE 26" sign, I got a bit emotional again.

I ran the last .2 and celebrated.

Final Time: 5 hours and 13 minutes