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Hogsback Half Marathon – Race Recap

29 Sep

Last year I heard about this event on the Twitter – I’m sure there was discussion about post-race tasty goodies involved! So I rushed to sign up and here’s the story about that happening!

It was such a good time that I was gonna do it again for sure! And, since I’d been doing all this training I was hoping for a better Proof of Time for runDisney #Dopey15! (No spoilers here though!)

Anyway, Friday after work, I went to a local church to donate blood. Then home to get ready. I was planning to wear my new “magic” skirt since rumor has it that there is speed enhancing built right in!! Then Kathy came over, we watched a little tv then headed to sleep!

Up bright and early this morning, got dressed (and KTTaped!)

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and started hydrating (and fueling!) That meant a stop at Dunkin for some coffee! It’s a bit of a drive out to western CT but a gorgeous one, especially at this time of year!

Got there early enough this time to park down near the finish. In fact we got some serious rock star parking so it was a great start!! I was feeling good (better than last year!) and ready to hopefully interval my way to a better POT. Had on my magic skirt and my Newtons. It was a little chilly but I figured that I’d warm up pretty fast – plus, I forgot my jacket so…

Meg got there and picked up her things and we headed up the hill to the start line for the Early Start (really, more race directors should look into this!) where I met Kimberlee, another one of my friends from inside the computer. She knew me cause of the skirt of course!!

Soon enough we were ready to start and I intended to keep it slow and stick with my intervals. Did okay with keeping it slow, but took advantage of the downhills wherever possible. Meg and Kathy stuck with me and I’m sure it was killing Kathy to go so slow!! But if we hadn’t been on a walk interval, she might have never seen this:

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At about mile 7.5 or so I started developing a pain in the arch of my foot. It did *not* get better as I’d hoped it might! Kathy took off while Meg (bless her heart!) stayed with me while I hobbled along .

Near the end there’s a pretty big hill and this is where Meg took off and when I got up to the dam I finally picked it back up so I wouldn’t be walking across the finish line!! It was not a pretty one – in fact it was kind of discouraging. My Map My Run app was *way* off mileage wise – it said I did nearly 16 miles. I did not 🙂 That, and the pain in my foot just made for a not so great run (though a fun time seeing friends!!) And the scenery — worth it for sure!!

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Post race I headed to the car to put on my flipflops,hoping that would help my foot, and went to partake of the amazing post-race goodies! Cake. Yeah, I grabbed a piece of cake first. I also picked up a piece of chicken (tasty!!) and some water. Found Kimberlee and her husband and sat and chatted for a bit.

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When the awards celebration ended, Kathy and I headed into Hartford for the Pipes in the Valley – this was a new thing for me but will definitely do this again!! Kilts, pipes, Irish dancing, Highland Games!! What is not to love?!! I’ll tell you – that Scotchy Scotch Bloody Mary we tasted…that was not loved!!  But everything else? Oh yeah!!

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All in all it really was a great day! I can’t let the results of the Half marathon bother me too much – much more important that I don’t injure myself!! This week I plan to take it easy — I’ll do the miles, but it will be all about time on my feet! What is your plan for the week?!! 

Happy Monday, Happy National Coffee Day!!

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Belated Hogsback Half Marathon – recap (Race weekend 9.28.13)

11 Oct

This was going to be the weekend of races! I had registered for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Providence awhile back and then learned about a great local race and registered for that – not realizing that the local race was on Saturday and the Providence race was on Sunday. Of the same weekend. But, heck, I did Goofy earlier this year, 2 half marathons in a weekend was NOTHING!!

Well, the week leading up to my epic weekend of racing was a difficult one. First, on Monday I strained my back – so much so that the drive home from work was one of the most painful things I’ve done. Things felt a little better Tuesday at work – it was after work, when I rear-ended a truck on my way home that things went a little more south.

I could tell the next day that while my back was feeling better, my ankle and my …er…gluteus area…was more sore than normal. At this point I started thinking that 2 big races in one weekend might not be the smartest move. Then when I learned that I would have to pick up my race packet for Sunday no later than 5 on Saturday I realized that Providence would not happen this year.

So I was focused on Saturday’s race. The Hogsback Half Marathon. I was getting more and more excited as the race director, Kelly Gallagher, would post updates on facebook. And the pre-race communication was GREAT! Lots of information. And, apparently I didn’t read it all very carefully.

The plan was to get in the early start group at 8:15 – the suggestion was to get to the race start by 7:30 to pick up and make it to the start in time. In my mind…I had a 40 minute drive or so since I was thinking the race was in Colchester, CT. When I was double checking the information at about 6:30 Saturday morning, I discovered it was COLEBROOK, CT. Which is on the other side of the state. And a little farther drive…

So I started making my plans for what I would do if we missed the start – I’d volunteer! I mean, I would already be there. But, miraculously, we got there in time to get bibs and get to the start for the early start!

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Early Autumn view at the start/finish area.

This was by far one of the most beautiful courses I’ve been on – and it’s a great time of year in New England with the leaves changing and just enough of Autumn in the air to make things comfortable!

Timewise, I did pretty well considering my “injuries”, better than I have done all year so I was happy with that. I’m still slower than I used to be but I’m getting back there.

Course support was great – plenty of water stops. No potties on the course though, that would be the only downside. There were a lot of hills…and it seemed that most of them were of the uphill type, very view of my favorite downhills 🙂

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People lining up for the tasty post-race buffet!!

The post-race buffet was amazing! So many thanks to Kelly Gallagher and her husband as well as her entire family for all the hard work they put into this! I totally am volunteering to bring some desserts for next year’s event! Chicken, pasta, potatoes, salad, cookies, brownies, pies…I didn’t have to eat the rest of the day!!

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This is what I’m talkin’ about!! Noms!

Awards? I didn’t get one but these awards are definitely motivation to work harder– fabulously decorated sugar cookies from Cookie Cowgirl. An award. You can EAT!! So, you might think that I think this race is all about the food – but…

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There were leftover cookies…I didn’t win one 🙂

Did I mention? This race is in support of Running for Rescues– so a big portion of the miniscule registrations fees ($35 for a half marathon? In 2013? UNHEARD OF!!) goes to helping doggie rescue organizations.

So, let me recap the recap 🙂 Cheap registration, option to start early (which I need these days!), beautiful New England course, GREAT post-race spread, cute awards, wonderful charity…all great things!!

This doesn’t mean there weren’t one or two things I was less than happy with.

Um…that mile 12 hill? That went from Mile 12 to Mile 13? Yeah…can we do something about that? 😉 And, maybe that uphill walk to the car after as well? Thanks! Also, I know it’s nearly impossible given the course but a potty somewhere near the middle would be nice but I totally get why it’s not feasible.

All in all – this was an amazing event and I’m definitely signing up again!

To read more about the HogsBack Half Marathon, check out Kelly’s blog post on how she works really hard to put on an affordable, but quality, event here: http://somerandomthursday.blogspot.com/2013/08/economics-of-race-2013-hogsback-half.html And check out her other posts on putting on the race! Interesting stuff!!

And…The bling!!

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Let the Re-Capping Begin!!

26 Sep

As I mentioned Friday in my ‘return to blogging” post, it’s is Fall Race Season. Or as I like to call it, “Sunrise Season” – on account of how many sunrises I’ll witness in the next few months!!

In my quest to stay on top of my race recaps (and get back in your good graces) I present to you – the 2016 Hogsback Half Marathon

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Kathy came over Friday night for an early morning drive up to northwestern CT – and it was an early, wine-free night of reality tv.

Got up dark and early to make my oatmeal and have time to digest it before hopping in the car. It’s really a pretty drive, once the sun comes up. I was aiming for good parking, if I can be honest! And, whaddayaknow, I got it! #Rockstarparking.

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Picked up bibs and shirts and got back in the car since it was chilly out! We had signed up for the early start (which is an awesome benefit to this race!) so didn’t have long to wait before we headed UP THE HILL to the start line. We picked up Kim and Tom on the way. Kim was starting early and I figured I’d see Tom later when he passed me  (spoiler, it was around mile 11.5!) It was a pretty decent group of early starters and we had our own pacers. 2:45 and 3:00. I was going to try to keep 2:45 in my sights but stick to my 30:30’s as long as I could hang in there.

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I managed to keep up my intervals and everything felt pretty good most of the way. I’m working on breaking in the shoes I plan to wear for Marine Corps but they are causing me some issues…so we’ll have to see what happens. If I need new shoes I need to get them pronto!

This is a beautiful ‘country’ course — an out and back of sorts along a river. This year for the first time there were a few families out in the yard cheering runners on. The run takes place on country highways but there isn’t a ton of traffic. The first finisher passed me around mile 5 – the next runners showed up when I stopped at mile 6 to take off my jacket! There was a HUGE gap between them – amazing!!

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Course elevation – first half is my favorite!!

Tom caught up with me about mile 11.5 and stayed with me a bit but he had a plan and took off after a few minutes. At some point, I had managed to let the 3 hour pacer catch me. Ruh-Roh!! Picked it up again but she passed me for good on “the hill” – about a quarter mile incline. That I walked up. I had given up on my goal apparently.

Heading across the dam to the finish line I passed Kathy! I don’t think I’ve ever beat her in a half!! Though, in her defense, she said her hamstrings were tightening up..whatevs, I still beat her!! haha And then I saw Kim and Tom waiting on the side of the bridge so stopped for a second – mainly to point out that I was beating Kathy! Then, ta-da!! The finish. And it turns out that I only missed my goal by 48 seconds.

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Small sample of the post race eats! Ziti, chicken, meatballs, cornbread muffin, TWO kinds of Rice Krispie Treats!!!

Post race is one of the best ones out there!!! LOTS of homemade food – chicken, pasta, cookies, muffins…NOMS. And great raffles. And time to hang with friends. And puppies. Did I forget to mention that there are puppies? The charity partner for this race is Running for Rescues and there were a few puppies visiting and hoping for a furever home. I don’t think I’m ready for 2 dogs yet…

And now I’m going to try something new for these recaps – maybe it will stick and maybe it won’t!

Welcome to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good
1. Early start ya’ll! When you register, there’s an option to register for an early start if you think you’ll take more than 3 hours. And it’s been a couple few years since I’ve finished under 3. The only caveat is that you get disqualified if you finish faster than 2:20 since this is the RRCA Championship event
2. The outfit. Please. (Tantrum Jette Skirt and Tantrum Lotta Love  top – converted to Eclipse Tank in Marine when I took off the jacket!)

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3. The post race party. The RD and her family do all the cooking and baking. Plus this year there was a new baby!! Congrats Kelly!
4. The medal.
5. The charity. Running for Rescues. Dogs dogs dogs. My house loves the dogs!!
6. My time – only missed my goal (per my MCM plan) by 48 seconds

The Bad
1. Newer shoes that I’m breaking in for Marine Corps. Found a bruise at the base of my Achilles tendon post-race. Need to figure out what to do
3. My time – missed my goal by 48 seconds.

The Ugly
1. This Hill. Mile 12.5 ya’ll.
2. Post-race crampy legs. Walking around helps
So, I really had to reach for the Bad and the Ugly cause this is really a well-run, fun, small race with a great family-like atmosphere

Except the Ugly. I really do hate that hill.

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Hello, It’s Me.

23 Sep

Once upon a time, I thought, “hey! I’ll write a blog! It’ll be great for accountability and I’ll meet new people and…it’ll be great!”

So here I am.

 

But haven’t been terribly consistently accountable.

I *think* I might be getting close to organized enough in the other areas of my life to jump right back in – and hopefully, to even eventually share some of the awesome things I’ve done so far this year but never posted. We’ll see. No promises, right?

And now it’s coming up on Fall Race Season – you know, that time of year when I spend several weekends either travelling somewhere to run or running at home (mostly the former though). Last year wasn’t completely disastrous. Until I got to the end of October and then beat myself up – privately of course – for my horrible performance at Marine Corps Marathon.  I swore that I would never again run a marathon without doing the training.

Well. For the last 2 months I HAVE been doing the training. Mostly. Yeah. I started late, missed a couple of the shorter long runs and more than a couple of the short mid-week runs.

But I’m hitting the road. And the treadmill. Ya’ll I did FOURTEEN miles on a treadmill when the temps were over 100 a few weeks ago. I ran nearly every day when I visited my dad at the end of August. Usually around noon. In Texas where, again, it was pretty darn hot. But it all felt good!!

Now I’m 36 days away from my redemption at MCM – and feeling confident that I won’t repeat last year’s mess. Because I’m spending a lot of time with hills. BIG hills

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Just an example of how things are running at home….this from my 18 miler turned 19.5 miler last week….

I’m kind of being helped along by a couple of changes being made by the Marines due to some logistical difficulties this year. The Guantlet and The Bridge have both been moved up by a couple of miles so SCORE! And, as I mentioned, I’ve actually done some training this year.

But before then, I have a few other things on my plate –

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Tomorrow is the Hogsback Half Marathon – I discovered this one on the Twitters when someone mentioned the great post-race feast and I’m glad I did. It’s a fairly small event, with a gorgeous course – seriously, no part of this course is ugly! – great post-race festivities. And, they offer an early start for us slower folks which is really nice because you’re finishing with #allthepeople and not straggling in

After that, starting in October, there is the Hartford Half Marathon – I did this one once before I moved to CT. A few years back they changed the course and this will be my second year running the new course. This is another fun post-race – particularly the Mile 27 Beer Garden (the Hartford Marathon Foundation also offers a full on the same day) and the longest drinking fountain ever! Instead of bottled water, you get a water bottle which is pretty awesome.

The following week I will be travelling to the Sweetest Place on Earth. That’s not a typo! I’m heading to Hershey PA for the Hershey Half Marathon. This will be my third time running this one and one that I plan to keep on my must-do list for as long as I can. I mean, great swag and fresh chocolate at mile 12? Yes please!  A few of my friends are planning to run this one as well which adds to the great weekend!

Then. Dun dun dun….it’ll be time to head down to DC and #runwiththeMarines. I’m not out to set records, but I am out to do the best I can. And again, lots of friends running this one as well but I will probably spend most of the 26.2 on my own. Laser like focus right? And I have a plan…

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My MCM Race Day plan – based on the original timing

My plan – for all of my events coming up but most especially for the Marathon – is to stick with the intervals I’m training with. No funny stuff!! And really work on not taking off so “fast” and holding back the first few…or first 10-15 miles.

Run my own race, work towards the goals I’ve written down. Trust myself. I’ve done it before and I can do it again, right?

The One with the Resolutions

1 Jan

happy new year 2016

First off I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year filled will all the good things!! It’s always nice to have a clean slate. Hopefully this year I can make up for any shortcomings in 2015.

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And so with that….On to the resolutions!

Running Resolutions: 2015 got off to a good start when I was running Dopey, then the Houston half and then the Paris Marathon. And then, I just quit running. Yeah, I still signed up for races, and I showed up but…that was about it.

In 2016 I, along with a group of friends, have pledged to run 1000 miles. Someone else did the math and it’s a bit more than 20 a week. I think 🙂  My current running plans are pretty unplanned at the moment. I will be running the Houston Half marathon again in a couple of weeks and I am registered for the runDisney Dark Side Challenge in April. I have plans to go for redemption at the Marine Corps Historic Half and will likely repeat my October trifecta – the Hartford Half, the Hershey Half and the Marine Corps Marathon (got my “club” number so get to bypass the lottery!!)

There are some events on my “want to do” list — Hershey’s 10K, the Skirt Sports 13er (which will combine and ambassador retreat with my return to Boulder after too many years!!) Run With the Amish, Hogsback Half, Shipyard Old Port Half…and I’m sure a few more will rear their heads in the next few months! And there will also be multiple 5K’s and possibly more 10K’s.

So I resolve to actually be more diligent in training – and will work my hardest to make it to 1000 miles! And I resolve to actually show up for races I register for — so in full disclosure I will say that I was registered for a 10K this morning that I did *not* go to, but I *DID* run a bit more than 10K at home!!

Health Resolutions:  The addition of an insulin pump to my arsenal this year has made it much easier to track my sugar numbers so I’ll continue on that path! I will also head back to Bikram on a MUCH more consistent basis. I plan to also throw a Whole30 or two on the pile this year — or at least eat more cleanly more often.

Blogging Resolutions: Yep. More consistency! More posting! More pictures! More fun! I hope to have a lot to share this year in all areas of my life.

Random Resolutions: More quality time with the Phred – working away from home takes away a lot of the time we used to spend together and he’s a good dog and deserves more attention!! And, I resolve to make my bed every morning.I will also work as hard as I can to be less road rage-y and angry when I’m driving! And finally, I will take time every day to express my gratitude – there is so much in my life that makes me thankful and I need to acknowledge that much more often!

Do you make resolutions? Do you keep ’em?!! What is the easiest resolution that you’ve made and kept?

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