Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 Days to Marathon 3!!!!!

It's beginning to look a lot like a Marathon!!!!!

So excited to see these things popping up all over town! I had a great run today, I have been volunteering during my days off this week & tonight we are going to see Joan Benoit Samuelson speak!!!! I am getting EXCITED for race day!

Anyone else running this weekend?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wineglass Marathon Blogger Role Call...

Anyone out there running Wineglass this weekend?????

Team Crazy Canuck 2009 Wineglass relay
It's my 3rd time running a Wineglass race....1st as part of a relay team with HID & Thing 1 in 2009....I ran the middle leg. It was the longest I'd ever run. 9.1 miles seemed like FOREVER!

My all time favourite 'crazy lady' running picture!
Last year I ran my 1st Marathon there!  It pored rain, I panicked in the was still one of the most AWESOME & INCREDIBLE experiences I've ever had.

This year, Wineglass will be my 3rd Marathon. There is still a part of me that can't believe that I can do this.  I am continually amazed that I can not only DO this....but even more so that I LOVE it!  I remember way back when Oprah ran her marathon and thinking "well, that is one thing I know I will never be able to do".  I love the new me :)

2011 Wineglass Marathon
If any of you are running Wineglass too, I am excited for you.  My little hometown marathon has become a pretty big thing here.  I know you will have a great time!

So if you are coming, maybe we can meet for a photo before the race starts?  I will be by a giant tree near the back of the pack with my hot pink socks & purple shoes....if you dare to be seen with me & my outfit, stop on by :)

Oh, and for those of you for whom my 'crazy lady' picture isn't enough laugh for you today.....I went out for an easy 5K this morning with my lululemon tutu running skirt on backwards and didn't figure out what was wrong until I was almost done! Yup, that desperate for a run after working 12 on/12off for 3 days, I just laughed and kept going!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Cortland Tri for the United Way Race Report
800 yard swim/14.8mile bike/5K run

Swim: 15:49
T1: 1:48
Bike: 54:53
T2: 00:27
Run: 27:14

What a Fabulous race! I had SO much fun AND I rocked it!!!!! All of it!

This is my 4th triathlon & usually I come out of the swim feeling pretty good but then it all turns to crap after this when all I hear for the entire bike leg is 'to your left' and end up at the back of the pack.  It was sad & I always felt demoralized.

Saturday it was a whole different ballgame....

with HID...he rocked it too @ 1:21:40
This summer I turned to cross-training because my foot has been giving me a bit of trouble and my husband suggested that cross training for triathlon would help make me stronger overall.  Not having a good record with sticking with cross training, I found a relatively local triathlon that was still open for entry (all the big ones were full, but I like a smaller race anyway so this was a perfect fit).  So since the beginning of August, I have been adding in swimming and biking to my weekly workouts.  We were up at 4:30AM for the almost 2 hour drive to the race.  It was a cool morning & I have to say I was pretty worried that I was going to freeze my you-know-what off in the water (I don't have a wetsuit)!  We arrived at Dwyer Park at Little York Lake in plenty of time for packet pickup.  Everything about this race was well organized & efficient.  Volunteers were everywhere and they were all in great spirits.  We got a nice tech shirt, collected our race numbers and chips, set up transition & then just hung out until the race started.  HID was in the 1st wave & I was in the 3rd.  Air temp was in the 50's but the water was 68 degrees so it actually felt pretty warm! Waves were 5 minutes apart and I was stunned to see the leader come out of the water at just over 9 minutes...just before my wave started! Simply amazing swimming! Soon the horn blew for my wave and we were off. I lined up at the front because I have always had a decent swim so I figured I'd just go for broke and battle it out up front.  It was an out and back loop and I was in a clump of about 5 women and it was pretty tight. I had to watch out for kicking legs but found an easy rhythm pretty quickly.  The water was calm and I even passed a  few guys in the second wave, finishing the swim in 15:49! My only complaint about the race is that I had absolutely no idea what my time was at the splits.  Coming out of the water, I figured I was doing about what I usually do, but there wasn't a clock that I could see so really didn't know how much time had passed.  I got to transition, quickly threw on my jersey & shoes, grabbed a drink and was off.

The bike leg was reasonably flat.  Some rolling hills but no major elevation changes. The wind, on the other hand, was pretty fierce going out the first 6 miles or so.  I had strapped my Garmin to my bike so I knew I wasn't hitting all my splits, but I hoped that the wind would be in my favour on the back half of the ride.  It was and I had some great mile splits on the back half of the course!  The great part of the bike was that I not only held my own, but I was only passed by, I think, 4 riders and I passed about that many myself!  I actually finished this leg 109/159 riders...which I am THRILLED about!  My goal was to crank at 15mph pace and I ended up 16.4mph....yay me!  What completely different bike experience! Who knew the bike could not suck?!?

Once again though, I didn't know what my cumulative time was, so I was not sure how I was doing at this point.

Being a clipless pedal scaredy-cat, I was already in my running shoes, so my T2 consisted of throwing my bike in the rack and dumping my helmet.  27 seconds. Enough said.

The run, I was SO happy to find out, was on the park trail (yes trail...OMG...Per-fect!). It was 2 loops, with a just one, not too bad hill at the beginning of each loop.  I couldn't get my watch switched to run mode, so I just let it run in bike mode for the run. I have to say, I had a girl in pink that I had been trying to catch since she left transition onto the bike just ahead of me.  I couldn't catch her on the bike and she was about 25 seconds ahead of me, but since my T2 rocked, she was maybe 20 yards ahead of me coming out onto the run course.  I kept at a steady pace and slowly came up on her.  As we neared the finish, I sprinted and caught her, but I went too early and she caught me at the end.  I felt bummed until I saw the '22' on her calf....bwahahahahaha...girl, you almost got beat by an old lady twice your age ;-D

Pink chick getting me, me laughing at her '22'
Collecting my AG award!
It wasn't until we rounded the last corner and came within about a 100 meters of the finish that I finally saw the clock.  You have no idea how awesome it felt to realize that I killed my PR and did my best ever in every single leg! Plus, I had none of that 'oh my god, why on earth did I think this was a good idea' feeling when you start to run.  My legs felt good.  By the time I had run out of transition, across the grass and onto the trail, they felt fine. No rubber legs.  My goal was to get under 30 minutes. I came within a minute of my all-time 5K PR.  27:14!

3/11 in my age group
89/159 overall

I am doing this again :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Trail of Terror

Snakes....Why did it have to be snakes????? 

Just call me Indie ;-D
Channeling my inner Indiana Jones, I ran (officially) a 24.35 mile trail race through the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon the last weekend of August (I know....I am a delinquent blogger).  It was a last minute thing...happened upon an ad for the race in my works' internal weekly newsletter and thought 3 things:

1. That 24 miles wasn't much
2. I was due for a long run that convenient
3. It's close by
and most importantly....
4. I bet I can convince trail buddy to run it with me.

So, in an whirlwind of psychotic enthusiasm we sent in our race entries the Monday of the race. 

What a mistake that was.

It was like Twilight Zone met Wild Kingdom.....I kid you not.

We show up to the race early due to race day packet pickup, not wanting to get caught up in lines. We are the first ones there.  I suspect something is up when my race number is '3'.  It turns out that the race is a field of 4.  Really.  Now I wonder if they are actually going to go through with the race or cancel it, but the race organizers are super excited and really want to carry on...even if it's a learning experience for next year.  Okay.  Then she personally highlights the route on a map, making note of the 'bushwacking' areas (wtf?) for each pair of participants (turns out it was Trail Buddy & I versus 2 guys power hiking). I am a little scared but already Trail Buddy and I are laughing and ready to 'lead the field' ;-D
Trail buddy showing off her mad walking stick skills!

This is a 'trail'???
And we are off.  The first 1.5 miles were ok, then we hit a rocky logging road with about a 1000% grade that we could barely walk up, let alone run.  It went straight up for over a mile.  The first aid station was around 3.5 miles and we were happy to just be able to run again.  Unfortunately, a ton of the terrain was un-runable.  It was very frustrating. There were a few nice patches, but rarely more than a mile or 2 before you had to stop to walk because the grade was so steep or it was just plain unsafe underfoot to run.  We had several areas where there wasn't even a trail and we were fighting our way through the forest & scrounging for walking sticks to help us up the hills.  It was sad.  

Then there were the bears.  That's right, bears, as in plural.

The first we heard it up ahead of us.  Pro's that we are, we started yelling our conversation really loudly and it took off.  We did not see this one, but it sure sounded huge! The next one was smaller and up ahead of us crossing our trail. Scared this one off too.  Most likely they were thinking "we better get out of here, only crazies run in these woods!"

Then we got lost. Yes, lost.  Completely lost the trail.  Went back a couple miles and still couldn't find the markers.  We ended up orienteering out of the woods, across a stream & up a cliff to get to an access road to catch the trail again....all on the last 10% of my iphone battery.  We were pretty scared for a while.  We figure we added 2-3 extra miles on the course.  By the time we got to the next aid station, the power hikers had caught up to us....claiming (& smirking!) that they didn't get lost.  We are convinced they were lying.  I was pretty thankful to be out of 'bushwacking' territory.

And then it gets better....

Yes, this is real!
More awesome 'trail' along a cliff
                                        down a logging road, 22 miles in, within 4 or  5 miles of the finish I almost freaking run on a freaking rattlesnake! I hate snakes. You know I hate snakes.  This guy was 4 feet long and as thick as my forearm...and it was stretched out across the road looking and hissing at us.  There was no going back.  22 miles in, folks.  We were tired. It had taken MUCH longer than either of us anticipated.  We had NO cell service and no way of letting our husbands know we were going to be late....and now a rattlesnake?!?  Well, it took about 10 minutes of strategizing & freaking out before we mustered the courage to throw a big branch between us and the snake and run like hell past it.  I had no idea if one can outrun a rattlesnake, but luckily it did not follow.
Entrance to the PA Grand Canyon

We get to the last aid station and tell the guy about our close encounter & he says 'cool', leaves us there and jumps in his truck to see if it's still there so he can take a picture of it!  We then are a little freaked about what might be underfoot as we head into another bushwacking section on the way to the finish.  We finally finish, me just a couple minutes ahead of Trail Buddy & here is my claim to fame:

Yup, 1st overall.  See, I knew I'd entered the Twilight Zone ;-D

But, it was for a great cause, to raise money for a very sick little I'm still glad I went. But I will never, ever run in the PA Grand Canyon again. 

Next's Tri Time!!!!! Yup, tomorrow I am re-entering the realm of the triathlon. I'm hopeful there are no snakes.