Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Lemon Freeze

I ran the Wish Lemons 5K this past Saturday. This race is put on by the Youth and Family Center at First United Methodist Church, where I have attended for the past 33 years, yes, that is probably longer than some of you have been around! I have missed this run for the past 2 years because I have been occupied with long runs for OKC marathon during that time but since we're doing the relay this year, I decided that I could run this race. I was underdressed, wore my shorts, should have worn my capris and I wore only a long-sleeved shirt and left my jacket in the car. I hibernated in the church until I absolutely had to go outside. The course is an out and back, first going out at 12th and Main, a good downhill, my first mile split was 8:38, much to my surprise. Since I ran that 5K last week in New Orleans, all I wanted to do was finish in less than 29:46 and when I saw my frst mile split, I knew that I shouldn't have any trouble with that. I ran very relaxed the entire time but when we headed back up Main for the last half mile, the wind was in our face and it was brutal. I was so glad I was running only a 5K! I never got warm during the race and when I finished, I was pleased that I had a 28:48. No one that I run with was there but several of my church friends were so I hung around for awhile to moan and groan about the cold. Next weekend-warmer temps and Lake McMurtry 25K.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Great St.Charles Road Race

I've been in New Orleans for a conference and when I got here I noticed they were having a race. I thought, why not? It was in a pretty part of the city (Uptown) and I could get there on the streetcar. So up I got early on Sunday morning and headed out on the St Charles streetcar to De La Salle High School. This race was put on by the New Orleans Track Club. Funny how runners are the same everywhere although I didn't see any familiar faces but I saw lots of fluer de lis! It was a 5 and 10K, I opted for the 5K since I needed to get over to my conference. It was a very small race, probably about 100 in each race. They had a 1/2 mile fun run for the kiddos and they went off at 7:45. Then we headed out on St. Charles, shortly after 8. New Orleans has a beautiful park, Audubon, and we ran about a half mile there and back out on St. Charles. It was a completely flat race but even that early in the morning it was already sunny and hot. The neighborhood is beautiful, lots of Greek Revival homes, an upscale area of New Orleans. They did their scoring really different. You were given a label at the end of the race, you wrote your name, age and finish time (honor system) and then dropped them in one of 2 boxes based on gender. Then they sorted them out and stuck them up on a board, based on finish time. I've never seen that before! They took pictures of most of the race and all the age group awards and they had it up on FB the next day and even a video of the race. They served jimbalaya after the race and even though I was hot, it tasted really good! The awards were all handmade by the art students at the high school and there were lots of the high school students there helping at the race. I'm so glad I ran this for four reasons:

1. I was chicken to go out to the race by myself, worried about the crime, the hotel front desk assured me that it was safe but I didn't trust them, thought they were trying to sell the safety of the city. But once I got on the streetcar (about 5 blocks from my hotel and it was still dusk when I walked to it) I was fine.

2. I needed a new baseline for my 5K.

3. The food here is great and I needed a good run!
4. I got to see a part of New Orleans that I probably would not have taken the time to sightsee otherwise.
Another benefit was the goodie bags were the leftover bags (gear bags) from the MardiGras marathon, including all the goodies inside, very cool!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Little Rock Marathon and future runs

After running the Post Oak events (10K trail on Saturday and 1/4 hilly marathon on Sunday) the weekend before, I was a little apprenhensive about how much I would have in the tank for Little Rock the following week. I did not run at all after Post Oak and felt rested for Little Rock. I wasn't running with my ususal running group since some of them did the full marathon at Post Oak but I had made arrangements to meet with some other runners that I run with during the week. We said we would "look for each other" at the start. I thought I was supposed to be in the open corral even though the 5 hour pace group was in the D corral. I don't know why I thought that except for the fact that I saw bibs with C or D and mine had no letter and rule follower that I am, I didn't want to be in the wrong place. Once the race started and I saw how s-l-o-w the pace was in my area, I realized that I had made a huge mistake and wished that I had lined up with the 5 hour pace group. I did manage to catch up with them around mile 4 and thought I'd see the group I was supposed to run with but they must have been further ahead. I managed to stay ahead of the 5 hour pace group until I hit the long hill at Kavanaugh and then they got ahead of me. I let myself get really discouraged on this hill and mentally checked out and could not wait to finish this marathon but I took it really slow, lots of alternate walking and running.
The marathon overall is well-supportedby spectators, nice expo and an ok course. I don't think it is very scenic but a nice variety of rolling hills, two good sized hills (at the middle and at the end) and relatively flat from 20 until that hill at the end. The weather for me was perfect, mid 30s at the start and high 40s at the finish. I enjoyed seeing one of my friends achieve a PR and the medal is what LR is famous for. I also enjoyed meeting Angie who has a podcast "Marathon Training Academy." This was my first run as a Marathon Maniac and I enjoyed greeting other maniacs and talking about our marathon experiences. I did not feel like a maniac on this day though! We plan to do it again next year for the 10th anniversary of the run and plan to run as a group.
I didn't run again until Thursday of this week and still felt sluggish but when I ran on Saturday, I felt like a new woman, did 8 miles and felt really good. Saturday was a picture perfect day and I felt so good to finally have a good run. Then we had a really good time getting together at IHOP and hearing about some other marathons and running stories.
I am going to take it easy for awhile, Little Rock was an endurance event for me, did not enjoy it at all, I am really tired for some reason. I love running too much to let this get the best of me. My next races will be short ones, Wish Lemons 5K, McMurtry 25K trail run, Run for the 10, OK Memorial Marathon as part of a relay, Jenks Aquarium Half Marathon, El Scorcho 25K trail in July and the Marine Corps Marathon in October.