Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Catching Up After The Races

OK, I have been slacking a bit in the reporting department - having more fun running and not wanting to take the time to sit down and put the reports in writing. The weather has really been great to get out and run, so I have been taking full advantage of it.

On March 13 Joe and I went to the Annual St. Patrick's 4-Miler in Binghamton. I have always said (and still stand by this) that this is by far the best race we do! It's a mere 4 miles, but it is tough! The great thing is that it is early enough in the season that I haven't gotten into my "ultra shuffle" and still have a little pent-up speed in my legs.

Actually, the really great thing about this race, aside from the people who put it on and the volunteers, is that Joe and I go all-out with our outfits. This year we made a few alterations - I am certain that we spent more on the outfits than we did on the race entries!

Race day weather was cool but there was a bit of humidity in the air with some decent winds. I somehow managed a 27:52, only 7 seconds slower than last year's time! I'm certain that the hair created a little extra wind resistance!

This is truly the best race with a great feast and excellent beer after. This was my first race this year as an "old lady" Master - and I actually won the female Masters division! And, still maintaining my weight to keep me in the Athena division, I pulled-off a first here. It was a really really fun time with friends and a great day for running.

Now . . . onto the HAT Run 50K, which was held on Saturday, March 20. This is also one of my favorite races, mostly because after a long winter and being tired of the snow and cold we go to Maryland, it's warm, the sun is out, the flowers are in bloom, and we get to reunite with our ultra family.

This year the weather proved to be the biggest challenge for me. It was waaayyyyy warm - high 70s, maybe it even cracked 80. I just was not acclimated to it yet. But still, I had fun even though I ran my worst 50K time ever. I wore my Inov-8 X-Talon 212s which I absolutely loved. And I didn't fall once!

Not sure what was up with the water that was being served at the aid stations. I had planned to run with just plain water in my bottle and use Hammer Endurolytes and Hammer Gel (rock-on Huckleberry flavor!!!!) as my fuel. After the first short loop through the woods (about 4 miles) I decided to top-off my water bottle before heading out on the big loop. Shortly after leaving the aid station I took a big gulp and nearly tossed my breakfast. There was a very chlorinated taste to the water which made it totally non-palatable. At the next aid station I dumped the bottle and filled it again with new water, only to find the same problem. Not good; it was way too hot out to not be drinking well and I was not able to tolerate the taste of the water, which meant that I wasn't drinking as much as I should. I started running with my friend Doug who told me that he was drinking the HEED, which helped to disguise the taste. So at the next station I filled my bottle with HEED and discovered that even though there was still a hint of the awful taste, I could tolerate this. So the HEED and hot salty french fries got me through.

Joe completed 17 miles before giving in to the heat (he was smarter than me, I think!), Lorrie pulled-off a sub-6 hr run, and Karen bested her last year's time by something like 25 minutes! And even though my time was my worst, I take heart in that I got some really good trail time in and it counts as "time on my feet" in my training book for MMT 100!

So as for races, it's sort of fun time now. Yesterday was the Annual Forks XV (15K) road race, which was good fun. I did an 11-miler before the race and finished the race in 1:13. Next up is the Skunk Cabbage 1/2 marathon on April 11, which I plan to do as some add-on miles in my training log.

The weather is up and down, hot then cold, sunny then raining. Even had a bit of snow the other night, which fortunately did not last!

In the world of rugby . . . France pulled-off an amazing grand-slam win in the Six Nations tournament. I'm am totally a fan of Ireland, but I have to say that they played pretty pitifully this year. Now it's onto Magners League and Heinneken Cup and rooting for my Munster team (and keeping a close eye on my other fave, Leinster).

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