Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pittsburgh--A New Chapter

For many reasons, this marathon has become my absolute favorite race ever. My husband finally got to meet the woman who gave him up for adoption almost 43 years ago. He was able to revisit his childhood home; and in essence, reclaim some happiness long lost to him. Despite the the tumultuous relationship he shared with his adoptive mother, I believe Bob has found a "homecoming" with his biological mother. I completely swam in his happiness--because I can't think of anything else that makes me happier!

The city of Pittsburgh was one of the most friendliest places I have ever visited. I spoke with so many fellow runners, that any goal of time was completely lost to me at mile 8. I picked up a running buddy for a good hour, and I was sorry to see him go at mile 19. I believe his knee injury took him out of the race. I enjoyed chatting with "Pat", and he was a good distraction for me.

I could never have prepared for the elevations this course presented, so with that being said--it was brutal. The food and energy level of this city was incomparable. I don't know what lies ahead. I am still in the stars.

I love my husband dearly. We received a beautiful gift this weekend. I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good morning, Blog

It's Tuesday and I got up at 4 AM to go hit the track with the running group. I despise track when I am there--especially this morning. It was 50 degrees and there was a good wind I was up against. I screwed up the work-out. I ended up doing a bunch of 4X400s when I was was supposed to do 4X200s. I realized this talking to Bob just now. Oh well. I love track when it's over, lol. I do feel a sense of accomplishment.

So the Pittsburgh story. Bob and I never figured that the marathon would close. We just assumed we would go to the expo, register, and rest on our laurels. Well, a couple of weeks ago, we found that there was a cap on the race. Much to our dismay, we were also informed the waiting list had closed! Bob already purchased airline tickets on Orbitz--so no refund for us! Plus, this is a historic trip for Bob because he is going to meet his biological mother for the first time. She placed him up for adoption almost 43 years ago, when he was a newborn. So after six years of sporadic searching and investigating, I was finally able to locate her. The rapport she and Bob have built is refreshing, and we are looking forward to making this trip. Well, she seems very impressed with Bob's running. She always asks him questions about his training, races, etc. She was thrilled that we are doing this race, sending us links various media coverages. Turns out, she has a connection with a local charity. Within two days of breaking the unhappy news that we weren't going to race, Bob's biological mother announced she had gotten us in through the charity!! And it isn't going to break the bank!!! Plus, of course, now the race is a write-off, so SCORE US!

This sudden change in plans has left me without a plan! The race is in four weeks, and I am not prepared. So I have decided to pile on the miles now...did six Sunday and biked, did three yesterday, did 5.5 today at track and tomorrow I will do 13-14. We are going home this weekend, and we picked up a 5K in Sunrise--Easter Sunday. I will do a 17 next Wednesday, and the next weekend I will carve out a 19-20. That will be my last long run before the marathon on May 3. I think I am more leery of the elevations of the race more than anything. I haven't been in the Northeast since 2001...ought to be interesting.

Monday, March 30, 2009

This shall pass and other observations.

I have a huge story concerning the upcoming Pittsburgh marathon. It is so convoluted right now, that I can't actually say whether I will be running it or not. I have the tickets paid for, and the hotel reservations...but that will have to wait.

I have been in a running rut recently, after doing well at the Gate. I had a 9 minute solid mile 7.3 today, so I felt some redemption. I was still struggling with the ankle issues. That is easily remedied by a new pair of running shoes.

A note to the lady in Pennsylvania who is obssessed with belittling me at every opportunity. Joye, you are a fifty-something-year-old single woman. On your own account, you are a loser magnet when it comes to making good life choices. You persist on mentioning me at every post, and it is pathetic. You don't know me, and you don't know what actually occurred in the past--and yet you have this schoolgirl bully need to "stick it to me". Do you know how pathetic that is? You weren't there, you don't know much. If you were a mature and adjusted person--you would let this go and desist in following me around obsessively. It is disturbing. Very disturbing.

I could be catty and be reciprocative, but I respect senior citizens. Please exercise good judgement.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gate River Run USA 15K Championship and a Disturbing Accident Witnessed

After having a couple of weeks of good running, and successfully completing a 10 mile run last weekend at a 9:17 min/mile--I decide to take on this fast 15k in an atttempt to do well. I wanted to do the race in a 9:20 min/mile, and I needed a finish time pf 1:25:12. That was what I predicted, and I had Garmin in hand to undertake this endeavor.
My dear husband offered to run with me, and to tell you the truth, I was hesitant to accept. I knew I would be slowing him down, but then again I realized he may be the "pull" I needed to achieve my goal. I ended up accepting his offer, and I left the Garmin in the truck.
We got to the venue and marvelled at how many people were there. My third year racing this course, and it grows more every year...over 12000 finishers. The weather was cool, and there was complete cloud cover. We met with our running buddies, took photographs, and took our place in the 9:00 mile corral. Guess what? There was a section for walkers. Think the walkers occupied that section? Hell no! We still had to dodge walkers the first mile and a half. Now ask me about the first two miles--ha ha, WAY TOO FAST. We ran low eights, slowing down a bit for mile 3 and got to the 5k mark just sub-26 (27:07) (our chip versus gun time). I got on his case after beaming heavy hateful wife eye rays into the middle of his back. I got a rock in my shoe, and I had to stop briefly and empty out my shoe. I was doing "o.k." until mile 6. I just started feeling the gag reflex and nausea coming on. I really didn't eat well before the race, but I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
Then we saw something terrible. A young girl, at the water station, had somehow drifted past the safety cones--and right into oncoming traffic. Bob was ten feet away, she was five, and the impact of Bob turning around in horror to see what was happening...I hear myself shouting, "Jesus Christ!"...the girl collided with the car. She was struck in the shoulder and hip, and the impact penetrated my iPod...and the look of terror on her face...and the shards of car pieces striking my shins...

Someone came quickly and helped guide her to safety. I hope dearly she is ok tonight. Wherever you are, young lady, I know that hurt. I also know it had the propensity to be so much worse. The car behind the car in question may have collided, as people stalled and I heard a "crunch."
Bob is talking me up the GREEN MONSTER--the Hart bridge--slowest mile of the race to release into speed toward the finish. We barely passed the hot dog and mustard costume-wearing couple. A man falls in a "tuck and roll" right in front of Bob--he helps him up. We arrive at the finish: 1:25:44.

I am getting better. I am looking forward to the next few years. I want to do better.

OH! And the race result had me at 42 years old. WTF?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Douchebaggery and Other Tricks

I went ahead and removed my Donna marathon post because some folks with too much time on their hands have regressed to junior high school and think it's "rad" to use my photos for evil intent. Such a waste of perfectly good oxygen I have to share with them....anywho SO! That being said, I will no longer post pics on this blog--but those of you who know me well can follow up on my Facebook for my race photos. Love you guys:)--keep reading.

I have taken a couple of days off running, and I will do an easy 3-5 tomorrow. Saturday is the big day, and I am still determining if I should run with or without the Garmin. All of the group, it appears, is doing this race. I am getting excited!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reflection/Gate River Run

It was a year ago I started this blog. I had documented my fun time at the Gate River Run National 15K Championship. I have always run this race with friends, and we made it kind of a party in Asics, lol. We would stop and take photos, indulge on whatever the onlookers had to offer, and just chat it up with the folks around us. I miss my girls. They have moved away.

This will be the first time running this race alone. This was the only race I tolerated running with friends, so this will be new territory for me. The Gate is my absolute favorite local race, without a doubt. It coils you through the nicer Jacksonville neighborhoods from the start downtown. You have a beautiful view of the St. John's river for part of it, and it provides the challenge of climbing Jacksonville's bridges. The last hurdle, the Hart bridge, is lovingly called "The Green Monster". When you descend off the bridge, you are literally catapulted to the finish in Jax Stadium--where the Jaguars play. See why it is my favorite race? Who doesn't want to see themselves finishing on the HUGE big screen?

I have suffered from tendonitis for the last few days, but today was beautiful and I felt good. I went for an "easy" seven-miler. When I got going, and it took awhile, I decided to step it up and see how I could do casually while working it a little harder. I didn't want to eject lungs, or anything like that--I just wanted to see where I was pace-wise in a race capacity at a distance smaller than a marathon.

My Garmin said 9:12 min. mile--one second faster than my five mile PR. I also knew I could push it harder. I know the race route very well, and I know one big part of it is getting proper placement at the start. So, taking the bridges into consideration, I should be able to do well at the Gate. I can do this for two more miles. That is all I have to do.

I am getting excited. This is the first race I will actually "race" since.....well, hell....who the hell knows when?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Is In Like A Lion

I first want to mention that my Clydesdale husband completed a 35-mile ultra marathon entirely on the beach--from the Atlantic Beach jetty to the St. Augustine Beach jetty. It was 80 degrees. There was also a strong headwind and some soft sand he had to balance against the tidepools. He finished under 7 hours, and I am so in awe and wonder. Go Bob!
So I embarked on an eight-and-a-half miler with a 25 MPH headwind the first five-and-a-half. I was blown all over the place, and the gusts were so insistent, I had to wear a bandanna on my face like a convenience store thief. I worked very hard to get to the turn-around so that I could have the wind at my back. I got a good kick going on the way home, and I felt strong. I have another 8 tomorrow with a much faster runner, so maybe she will intimidate me to get a little more out of my comfort zone. I have this personal goal to acquire 1000 miles this year--and I have been a slacker as of late.