Walk with Him Wednesdays

Friday, September 27, 2019

Marathon #8

Beaver Chase Urban Trail Marathon
Indianapolis, IN

Okay, so I chose northern races for June and July.  Not so much for August.  Yes, Indy is north of Bama, but definitely not any cooler.  This race was billed as a trail race inside city limits. Trails equal coolness of shade, right?...nope.  This course is a cross country course. Which I learned means lots of running on grassy areas.  Not my favorite surface to run on.  There was also a great deal of open area, without the shade I looked forward to.  This is loop race, 4 loops for the marathon distance. Now, I have done looped races before, no big deal.  This course KICKED MY BUTT! In the first loop, no less!  I did like the first couple of miles, after getting of the grass and into the trail portion.  That part was awesome! Nice soft trail, shaded, views of the river...really, really nice!  But, then you go back out onto the grass and stay there for the next four miles.  On my last loop, and I was the last runner, I asked my favorite person if he would do the last 5 miles with me. I was going to walk it, and he walks faster than I do. I figured he could help me stay on pace to finish under cut off time.  He did, and I did.  I probably won't do this one again, but they put on other races that look like fun.

Marathon #7

Jack and Jill's Downhill Marathon
Hyak to North Bend, WA

Northern Washington in July is wonderful!  I am not a fan of big cities, so Seattle was a bit intimidating.  Thankfully, we stayed outside in Issaquah.  This race was different for me.  I wore my trail shoes as it was a former train route.  Trails I've done, but all downhill was new.  The course was mostly gravel and dirt and not completely downhill. The hills were not terrible. I hurt differently and longer from this race. I am usually okay the day after a race, but the stiffness lingered a few extra days.  The race starts in the mountains near Snoqualmie Pass, about 30 miles outside Seattle.  The temperature was in the 40s at race start, perfect!  A mile in, is the above tunnel.  It is 2.5 miles long. I got really warm in the tunnel, as there was no wind.  Once I left the tunnel the wind was back and stayed for rest of race, very refreshing!  We ran 95% in the mountains and the last bit was in North Bend, mostly in a park.  I would do this one again, just because of the mountains and temps.  One thing I noticed though, Washington's pine trees do not have a strong scent, I missed that. Back to Alabama where pine trees smell amazing!

Marathon #6 and mini vacation

Whitefish Point Marathon
Paradise, MI

While choosing marathons for this adventure, I first tried to stay fairly close to home. Then I ran a half last September, the heat and humidity nearly did me in. Decided then I needed to find cooler places to run in the summer.  Where is colder than Michigan?!?! I chose this one as it is the furthest north I could find.  The race is and out and back, from Paradise to Whitefish Point Lighthouse.  The race itself was kinda boring.  The mosquitoes were huge and plentiful.  Thankfully, I had been warned. I ran this one with a lady from Michigan who was running her first marathon.  I enjoyed her company.  Race medal is a rock from the shores of lake Superior.  Aiden gave me a bigger rock from same shore, with a personal message, I liked it better.

The mini vacation part was way more fun!  We got Aiden into four of the five great lakes, searched for Petoskey Stones in Petoskey, climbed the dunes at Sleeping Bear, and went through Hell (MI) to get to Paradise.  We also biked around Mackinac Island.  I would love to go back and just hang out...with loads of mosquito spray, of course.

Marathon #5 and Looking for Motovation

The Flying Pig

This marathon is now my favorite race! So much fun! From flames at the start, winged pigs along the course, games to play, and the amazing medal at the finish.  This was my first race as an official "Marathon Maniac".  I didn't realize the high expectations that come with that shirt, as I haven't run hundreds of marathons.  Thousands of people run this race. The city is completely involved.  I was never alone, as is the case in most races.  The flaming start was really cool. We started in Ohio, ran across river into Kentucky, and back after a few miles.  Along 7th avenue there was a pig....,with wings!!!! Of course, I petted him!  The volunteers made this race so much fun.  Lots of chocolate, candy and sweets.  When the we split from the half marathoners, there were mimosas waiting. How fun. If I had stopped at every beer table, I would've been drunk by the end.  I waited until mile 25.  There were aid stations with candy, gatorade, water, sunscreen, and cold wet towels. By far my favorite was around mile 18...BACON!  It doesn't get any better than bacon! Temperatures were perfect. Course was amazing. I will definitely do this one again!

As far as motivation, I am burned out, mentally, not physically. Not sure what I need to do. I am hoping going over the last few marathons will inspire me to get back out there. I have 3 left as of this month.

Keeping it real,

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Marathons 3 and 4

Raccoon Mountain

I love this race! Its fun, laid way back, and, has great aid stations. Since I was running the full and not the half, I really took my time on the first go around. I love how personalized this race is, as well. I found my sign this year.  I sent David back for it, since I found it at the half way point.  This years course deviated a bit, confusing a lot of runners. I got turned around my self, but only lost about 5 minutes.  Someone was blasting up on the mountain that weekend.  Oh well, kept things interesting.  I knew at the half way point I was going to run about a 7 hour time.  I was/am completely okay with this!  Around mile 21, I looked up coming off trail, and SPLAT! Fell, twisted my ankle...ugh! I was coming off trail, so road for a few miles.  My ankle really hurt, walked a bit, tried running, was going to be slow, but not terrible.  Back on the trail for a couple miles was really painful. At mile 23ish, I made the right turn, to go up "the last darn hill".  Another runner insisted I was going the wrong way, she had called the director to ask directions.  So I turned around and ran with them until we got to a place we had just been.  Decided up that hill was probably the right direction after all.  We probably were supposed to get back on the trail at that last aid station, but my ankle would have protested. Up the hill, across the water, down the other side, and FINISHED!  Took 7:15:30, but hey, I sprained my ankle, and got turned around. It's all good!  I truly love the personalized hand made medals!

Andrew Jackson

Another new race and town for me.  The day started cold, yay....but, quickly got really warm....not yay!  This is another 2-looper.  Three in a row, now.  This is a really small race, marathon wise, anyway. Only 54 runners, and one couple stopped at the half way mark.  Jackson, TN is a really cute small-ish town.  We through a college and hospital district, really pretty area.  I met up with the girl who had paced Rocket City in 2017, and helped me to a 32 minute PR.  She was coming off injury as well, so we stayed together from around mile 6.  I had no real time goal. I just wanted to finish without messing up my ankle any further.  This race's aid stations were lacking in my opinion. The people were absolutely fabulous, but no GU, not much fruit.  Pickle juice always a help, but I do get tired of that. All in all, a fun race, because of the people, and especially Dianne.  The medal is cool, what looks like mountains is actually Andrew Jackson's face sideways.

Next up, Flying Pig in Cincinnati.  Have been told this is an amazing race.  I have my GU, just in case. 

Run far, Run free, Run because you can!


Thursday, March 14, 2019

First Two Marathons of 2019

I have made it through the first two of my twelve planned marathons.  First up was "The Mississippi Blues Marathon" in Jackson, Mississippi.  I was concerned about forcasted rain, but was blessed with perfect temperatures and cloudy skies.  Our first impression was the roads, they are really bad! The hubs didn't like driving on them, at all. The expo was small, but found an adorable charm that was a mini of the medal, guitar shaped! Those same friendly peeps engraved medals the next day.  The race itself was fun, lots of bands along the way.  The course wound through a college campus, downtown, some really nice, and quiet, neighborhoods.  There is a really long hill around mile 22-23.  I don't particularly like hills at the end, but it wasn't terribly aggressive, just never-ending.  I stumbled on the horrible roads around mile 6, treating it like a trail race from that point on.  My feet hurt like never before in a race, had new-ish shoes. They had plenty of miles on them, but they are definitely not for me.  Lesson learned, back to my Asics!  I enjoyed this marathon, but probably won't do it again, or maybe in my trail shoes.

Second on my list was "The Mercedes Benz Marathon" in Birmingham, Alabama. Running another marathon just two weeks after the first was a bit concerning.  Was not sure how I was going to do, this one has a 6-hour cutoff, as opposed to "Blues" 7-hour.  I needed to stay in front of the balloon ladies.  Mercedes is a loop race, two for the full marathoners.  Thought the elevation gain was the problem in MS, so inquired about hills before hand.  First 5-6 miles of loop are where the hills are. None were game changing, and wasn't worried when I started my second loop.  Both half and full distances start at the same time, so course seemed crowded for first 13.  So much room as the half marathoners broke off to finish.  I was never alone, which was nice.  Talked with a guy named Scott for a bit near the industrial part of course.  His family even met him out there, really nice!  Best part of day? The pancakes and bacon around mile 17. Oh MY! I also got my beer at mile 25ish. I will absolutely do this one again!  I managed to PR for my marathon distance!

Number three was supposed to be "Snickers Marathon" in Albany, GA.  Felt really good going into race week. My last two runs were horrible, and a new class I took kicked my butt, however, I knew I could do this.  Woke up morning of race with a bout of stomach flu. Nope, could not even look at food, much less GU. Very disappointed, we drove home before the start. I slept in the camper all the way home.

So, number three will be "Raccoon Mountain".  I ran this as a full last year with a friend, her first. I also have run it as a half, which was my intent for this year. A nice slow relaxing, forest-bathing, trail/road race. Well, now it will be nice, relaxing, forest-bathing, full marathon. I should, barring unforeseen problems, beat my 8 hour time from last year.  But, if not, they do give a prize for last place.  Win-Win

See you on the other side!

Run Far, Run Often, Run Happy


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy New Year!

Finally back to running, although it is slow and not nearly long enough.  23 days until my first marathon of 2019.  I plan to run it slow and easy.  There is a 7 hour time limit, and I plan to use most of it.  I have been a 5:30-45 marathoner. The plan is to ease back in, as much as you can ease over 26.2 miles.  My shin is in good shape, achy after runs, but no sharp pains.  The physical therapists are encouraging.  I haven't tried my aqua-jogger yet. The holidays didn't leave much time for such things. 

So here's the current working plan.  Run 1:1 intervals for 2 miles each day, until Saturday. This Saturday will be a 6.2 mile run, 3 mile recovery run on Sunday.  Then next week, if I am pain free, increase to 1:30 :1 intervals for 3 miles daily, resting on Wednesday.  All goes well, 10 miles the following Saturday. Repeat miles with 2:1 intervals.  Still on the fence for a race on the 19th.  The Hound Dog half is that day, LOVE this race! Love Ludavine the half marathoner hound dog who it is named for.  Will run that distance if all is well, so maybe.

Looking forward to some long runs soon!

Run Long...Run Safe....Have Fun