Saturday, May 30, 2009

5k Rotary Fun Run Barrie Reality Check

After missing out on the Ottawa Race last weekend, I decided a mid-week 5k would be just what I needed for a good (much-needed) speed work session. The last 5k I ran was in 2005! I had no idea what to expect one month post-boston, but my goal was to finish sub 20 minutes. I wasn't really mentally prepared for this race (just found out about it the night before) and after 24 hours of pouring rain, I was ready to scrap it altogether. At 5:45pm after a call from Val who was headed down to the lake shore to cheer on Trisha (see Boston blog post) I laced up my Brooks ST racers (haven't been worn since Marine Corps) and also loaded up the BOB jogger and headed down to the start line. I was planning on at minimum running with the baby jogger (if they were allowed) since the hubby was still en route from his city commute. I resolved that if the hubby arrived before the start, I was going to race the 5k, otherwise it would be a fun run for baby and me.

I met up with Val and learned that she had already run 15k earlier that day and wasn't planning on racing, but instead cheering along her sis Trisha & her running partner in the race. I talked her into adding one quite energetic 18 month old to the pack of kids she was already watching during the race, rolled I the BOB jogger in her direction and bolted for the start line before she changed her mined.

Right before the gun went off I looked up to see my hubby at the start line giving me the thumbs up and off we went.

My first glance down to the Garmin reported a 4:57 pace - yikes - slooooow down or you'll be sorrry I quickly put on the brakes. By 2k into the run, I remembered why I don't particularly love running 5k's hard work! I managed to relax myself and hold my pace around 6:00 minute mile or slightly under pace through the first hair-pin turnaround. As I made my way back along the out & back course, I was noticed the 2nd women was about 150 meters or so behind so I tried to pick it up a bit and increase my lead. By 3k I was feeling the exertion, but I talked myself into holding the pace and tried to stay relaxed as we made our way back down the lakeshore to the finish area. Seeing the 4k marker brought relief that the end was near and I talked myself into holding the pace for a few minutes longer (vowing to my tired body - ok, no more 5k races for another 5 years I promise if you just finish strong). As we neared the starting line, I heard looked for my number one fan & cheering section (hubby) and expected to hear cheers and congrats as I passed by. He shouted "go pass those 2 guys - you can get em!". I looked in front of me and saw the first 2 men were about 40 and 125 meters or so ahead of me. Not a chance I thought to myself (so much for positive thinking!) It was then that we realized that the start line wasn't actually the finish line also. Instead, we had to run past the start and make another hairpin turn and then return in order to cross the finish (cruel, sick race course planning!!). I saw the male leader turn in to cross what we thought was the finish line and then he popped back out as he was redirected back to the proper course. This realization that the finish wasn't quite as near as I thought sucked some more wind from my sails and I turned the 2nd hairpin corner and headed for the finish line. As I made my way down the final stretch, I saw the clock and realized that I could possibly get a personal best if I stepped on it. I finished in last race in 2005 was PR today. After I caught my breath & narrowly averted losing my lunch on my white ST racers, I said - wow - I love 5ks! They are over so quickly! (sorry legs, I predict another 5k in the near future).

Freihofer Womens Run 2009

RunningSkirts is bi-coastal this weekend at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and the Friehofer's Womens run 5k event in Albany, NY. This weekend marked the 31st annual Friehofer's Run for Women event.

This event brings out the fastest of the fast women from around the world. I had the pleasure of meeting Benita Johnson of Autstralia (three time winner of the Freihofer's 5k with a best of 15.22). She complimented me on the camo haute pink skirt and mentioned that she too runs in skirts!

Check out the top 50 results from todays run - this is one speedy 5k:

  1   1/416  F2529 15:26.1#  4:59 Teyba Erkesso           26     3 Ethiopia          
2 2/416 F2529 15:29.8# 5:00 Mamitu Daska 25 21 Ethiopia
3 3/416 F2529 15:38.4# 5:03 Rose Kosgei 27 16 Kenya
4 4/416 F2529 15:40.8# 5:03 Genoveva Kigen 27 8 Kenya
5 1/296 F2024 15:52.7# 5:07 Ashu Kasim 24 15 Ethiopia
6 1/385 F3034 16:00.0# 5:09 Benita Johnson 30 1 Australia
7 5/416 F2529 16:06.4# 5:12 Jane Gakunyi 29 4 Kenya
8 1/489 F3539 16:06.7# 5:12 Dulce Rodriguez 36 9 Mexico
9 2/296 F2024 16:09.9# 5:13 Millicent Gathoni 23 5 Kenya
10 6/416 F2529 16:13.6# 5:14 Rene Kalmer 28 19 South Africa
11 2/385 F3034 16:15.3# 5:14 Mariya Konovalova 34 2 Russia
12 7/416 F2529 16:22.3# 5:17 Salome Kosgei 28 24 Kenya
13 8/416 F2529 16:24.1# 5:17 Tera Moody 28 22 USA
14 3/296 F2024 16:30.3# 5:19 Diane Nukuri 24 17 Burundi
15 9/416 F2529 16:37.3# 5:21 Natalia Sokolova 27 12 Russia
16 1/354 F4549 16:38.9# 5:22 Colleen De Reuck 45 42 Boulder CO
17 1/433 F4044 16:40.0# 5:22 Anzhelika Averkova 40 44 Ukraine
18 2/489 F3539 16:42.2* 5:23 Elva Dryer 37 6 USA
19 10/416 F2529 16:43.7 5:24 Marina Ivanova 27 7 Russia
20 11/416 F2529 16:45.3 5:24 Adriana Pirtea 29 14 Romania
21 12/416 F2529 16:53.0 5:27 Allison Krol 25 2956 Pittsfield MA
22 3/489 F3539 17:15.1* 5:34 Sheri Piers 38 49 Falmouth ME
23 13/416 F2529 17:16.4 5:34 Mariko Holbrook 27 26 Somerville MA
24 4/296 F2024 17:23.4 5:36 Kaitlin O'Sullivan 23 56 Syracuse NY
25 1/262 F5054 17:27.3* 5:38 Joan Samuelson 52 52 Freeport ME
26 2/433 F4044 17:32.7* 5:39 Trina Painter 42 46 Flagstaff AZ
27 1/332 F1519 17:37.3* 5:41 Jillian King 19 2351 Scotia NY
28 2/262 F5054 17:42.3* 5:42 Carmen Ayala-Troncoso 50 43 Austin TX
29 5/296 F2024 17:47.6 5:44 Jen Adams 23 59 Gansevoort NY
30 3/385 F3034 17:52.0 5:46 Mendy Taylor 32 2562 New Paltz NY
31 1/422 F0114 17:52.0* 5:46 Keelin Hollowood 14 2697 Saratoga Springs NY
32 6/296 F2024 17:56.1 5:47 Toni Wiszowaty 22 25 Plattsburgh NY
33 7/296 F2024 17:57.1 5:47 Alyssa Recny 24 57 Cortland NY
34 14/416 F2529 17:58.9 5:48 Vanessa Martell 26 2552 Penfield NY
35 3/433 F4044 17:59.4* 5:48 Paula Wiltse 41 41 Canada
36 2/332 F1519 18:04.9* 5:50 Cassandra Goutos 17 234 Saratoga Springs NY
37 3/332 F1519 18:07.5* 5:51 Brianne Bellon 17 2543 greenfield NY
38 15/416 F2529 18:09.5 5:51 Maria Varela 28 2551 Brighton MA
39 16/416 F2529 18:11.6 5:52 Trisha Byler 25 2578 Rochester NY
40 4/489 F3539 18:11.9 5:52 Hayes Murphee 35 58 Marathon NY
41 4/433 F4044 18:15.7* 5:53 Lori Kingsley 43 83 Wysox PA
42 4/385 F3034 18:23.6 5:56 Karen Blodgett 33 2555 Fairport NY
43 5/385 F3034 18:24.6 5:56 Jory Waldman 33 3915 Slingerlands NY
44 17/416 F2529 18:26.2 5:57 Lara Johnson 28 3693 Boston MA
45 4/332 F1519 18:30.6* 5:58 Sydney King 15 1852 Saratoga Springs NY
46 8/296 F2024 18:36.1 6:00 Jessica Snyder 24 3624 Rochester NY
47 6/385 F3034 18:42.0 6:02 Eileen Combs 31 82 Schenectady NY
48 9/296 F2024 18:47.1 6:03 Ashley Gorr 22 2229 Albany NY
49 10/296 F2024 18:53.6 6:05 Brittany Heninger 20 1894 Bristol CT
50 2/354 F4549 18:55.9* 6:06 Charlotte Rizzo 46 98 Broxvill

Teyba Erkesso 26 year old winner!
I didn't have the opportunity to run this 5k since the expo hours ran through race day today into the afternoon. Colson, however, had his 2nd race (50 meters) for 4 years and under and had a great time. (video coming soon).

This is a well organized outstanding event for the first time runner, race-walker or fitness walker up to the elite runner. There are also kids runs by age after the 5k. Fun for everyone. We were surprised by the charm and beauty of Albany - the architecture, river and parks are beautiful! I definitely recommend this as a destination race if you are looking for a speedy 5k and a chance to run with the fastest women in the world.

Good luck to all the runners at Rock n' Roll Marathon this weekend - see you at mile 18-19 at our Rockin Otter Pop Stop!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mississauga Marathon 2009

Can you tell spring race season is here? We are way behind in the blogging - sorry for the brevity, but here's a brief recap of the last few weeks.

Mississauga race weekend was amazing. This is the first spring marathon in Ontario 2 weeks after Boston. Here are the highlights - Judika finished 3rd women in the 10k event Saturday night. Josiane finished 3rd female in the half marathon.

(Judika wearing navy haute pink - 3rd female - 10k!)

I love this race - it has a lot of gradual downhill, some rolling hills, but overall it's a really fun and scenic course to run. I'll always have a special sentiment for this race as it was the first (only) marathon I ran with my husband*. I ran in 2004 with Arma in hopes of pacing her to a qualifier. (she had itb problems the last portion and just painfully missed a BQ by less than a minute or so). Her hubby also ran in 2004. This is a separate story with a whole belly busting comedy life of it's own - I'm gonna leave it at that for now*.

I wasn't sure how the legs were going to do just 2 weeks post-boston and mere days post 7 week holiday in Hawaii! After working the expo with weary legs on satuday p.m. I was ready to write off the race on Sunday, when I received a text message from my friend Patric "Are we still running?". Several months ago I had persuaded hin to run & train for missisauga and had completely forgotten. This text message was the little push I needed to get into the mindset for running the half on Sunday. I inquired of his race plan and he responded he wanted to run around 1:35 or so.....perfect!

We agreed to carpool down to Toronto - Missisauga race morning and we picked up Patrick on our way out of Barrie. Much to my surprise, I was informed that this was to be his first half marathon 21k run ever! Wow - a half marathon virgin who planned to run around a 1:35. Normally, I would be seriously doubtful, but I know that he is an amazing hockey player and I've seen him doing speed work on a treadmill before, so I took it in stride as we made our way to Mississauga. We started chatting about our pre-race rituual and race nutrition. When I asked him what he ate/drank before a race, he burrowed into his bag and pulled out a "Red Bull" energy drink and informed me that he never drinks when he runs as it causes him cramps. Uh-oh I thought to myself, this could be bad. Patrick informed me that his longest race was a 10k, double uh oh I thought to myself.

We were lucky to have decent weather for Ontario in May (this race always gets cool sunshine). It was a bit chilly as we lined up at the start (i wore the technical long sleeve with a technical tee over top) and my navy haute pink running skirt. Val and Arma were no where to be seen, so I started off a solo skirt along with Patrick. As the gun went off we made our way down the course. Patrick was outta the gates like a bat out of hell - I could hardly keep him in sight. I looked to the garmin and immediately slowed the ponies down over a 6:00 minute pace back to my 6:30-6:45 that I wanted to run. RJ - a co-worker of Val's and amazing speedy runner passed by me and informed me that Val was about 40 people back. I was feeling the urge to make a quick pitstop at the porta potty between 1k & 2k (full bladder) and figured Val would catch up and we could run together. I made a quick stop - in & out - and didn't see Val anywhere when I emerged. Patrick was also gone. Darn - got some ground to make up. I cruised along on pace wondering what the legs were going to do and tried to relax and enjoy myself. I caught up with Patrick around 7-8k I think -when we were approaching the school. We ran together around the bend of the school and at starting up the hill. As we were climbing the incline up out of the school area toward the next aid station I was singled out by one very large Canadian goose. I'm not sure if it was the haute pink technical tee shirt that I was wearing or what, but he took one look at me and charged toward me - beak wide open in attack mode. I still am a bit dumbfounded at what I did to set him off, but he was obviously on a mission to bit my arse! I squealed and did my best hurdle and whew! thankfully cleared the 20 pound ball of feathery fury. This pleased Patrick and everyone in the crowd and water aid station as there was an eruption of laughter. I took a minute to bow to the water stop peeps and shout out my pleasure to entertain them all and off we went up the hill. I grabbed a cup of water and noticed Patrick didn't take any. I asked him if he had anything to drink yet, and he reminded me that he doesn't drink during cardio as it causes cramping. I strong-armed him into drinking the rest of my water and reminded him that he's never run this far before and that he probably would benefit from a little water. Off we went up the hill. I was still feeling ok at this point and remember a few sizeable hills that I didn't recall from previous years races....funny how we forget or block these out. I do remember getting a nice shout out from Peter of "my next race" as we were almost down to the lakeshore. I had about 8k to go and was starting to feel my boston-weary legs twinge a bit. My goal at this point was to finish without horrible cramping and injury. With about 5k to go I was passed by another female, I questioned whether I should turn up the pace or let her go. I heard my coach in my head (he didn't think I was ready to race again) and didn't want to risk an injury. I pulled ahead a bit and held pace for the next km or so. Legs were screaming at this point, so I eased off and away she went and then 2 more. It was all I could do to finish the last 5k near pace and finish...just didn't have the juice in the tank anymore. I finished in 1:27:55 - a PR for Canada, so I'm happy with that.

Patrick finished in 1:32 - wow - an amazing time for a first half, no water or energy gels, etc.

Here a few more pics from race day.

Arma sporting her Boston singlet with the new "gold/maize" running skirt also PR'd the half marathon course! If that wasnt' enough, she ran back and helped run her hubby Andrew in for a BQ marathon 3:16:47! Nice work you two! Check out the video
& turn up your speakers - it's funny!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Honolulu Marathon Clinic Run

I had a chance to re-connect with Dr. Jack & Donna Scaff on a recent visit to Hawaii. They run a huge running & marathon training group called the Honolulu Marathon Clinic.

Jack is the man who started the Honolulu Marathon many years ago! Donna invited us out for their weekly long run on Sunday- they meet at Kapiolani park and then run various lengths up & around Diamondhead. We were staying on the North Shore during the weekend and made the early morning trek back to Waikiki to meet up with the group. We arrived just in time to catch Dr. Scaff's 10-minute talk about weight distribution and it's affect on running. ( He was one of the first physicians to prescribe running as treatment for heart disease. ) Good stuff!

Then the group broke into various smaller groups based on ability. Donna quickly pointed me to a group that was already taking off up Diamond Headand so off I went in hot pursuit (my boston legs still a bit heavy). As I made my way through the the group a familiar face shouted "Hey- what are you doing here?" I looked over an recognized my friend Jeff (from the Disney running gang).

The last time we met we were taking funny photos of "mara-thongs" at Jeff & Donna's Honolulu marathon party! We had a quick chat and then he pointed out a few others that had recently run Boston and off I went to chat with them about their races. I had a nice visit with Rosie -who had just ran her 2nd Boston PR (for those who train in the crazy heat & hills of Hawaii), apparently Boston is "fast course". We chatted about her recent races, training & PR's and tried to keep up with Jacque, who was leading the pack. Before I knew it we were headed back over and down Diamond head toward the picnic waiting at Kapiolani park. Check out the photos - we got some great action shots of the group to - you can see them on our facebook fan page here.