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Monday, January 16, 2017

ORRRC Week 9 + Brokeman's Winter Warm Up Recap

Meeting Devon Yanko + Q&A and a big crowd
Happy Monday! I'm back with the Weekly Review linkup from Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm training for about a dozen races. This week I'm recapping my latest race. 

Week of January 9–15
Monday: rest
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: rest + walk to work
Friday: rest + walk to work
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: Brokeman's Winter Warm Up 13.1 (recap below)

Total (running) miles: 19.1 miles
Elevation gain: 157 ft
2017 total: 42.1 miles

Honestly, I didn't intend to take off so much time this week. Not to be evasive or mysterious, but there was a lot of life stuff this week (all will be revealed) and it was not my week for running. It's kind of funny because I was stressed and NEEDED to run, but I couldn't fit it in.

Kind of sums up my week.
On Saturday we drove to Athens after a morning run and nap (for some reason I was also exhausted this week). We met up with a fellow Oiselle Volée teammate for dinner and drinks, then went to Ohio Valley Running Company to watch Billy Yang's Life in a Day: Wester States 100 (trailer).  Devon Yanko, one of the runners in the film and a hero of mine, was there and held a Q&A after. The director, Billy Yang, also answered a few questions over Skype. I highly recommend the film. It will be on Youtube in a few weeks after the tour is over.

Studio 35!
On Sunday I ran a half marathon (below), then we went to a beer tasting / movie with 11 Bell's Brewing beers and a screening of The Big Lebowski. I could have gone to bed when we got home at 6:30, but somehow I powered through.

Brokeman's Winter Warm Up Recap

On Sunday morning I ran the WWU. This was my second year, but it was in a new (better) location. I got there early for packet pickup, chatted with Chelsea for a while, then sat in my car to keep warm for as long as possible. I haven't run farther than 9 miles since October (and that 9 was before Christmas!), so my goal was to finish in a decent time. It would have been spectacular to run a sub-2, but I wasn't ready. Mainly because I didn't remember I'd signed up for this race until it was too late to add mileage.

There was a wave start, so the 13.1 runners went first, followed by 8 and 3.5 milers. Despite my frozen hands and feet, I tried to keep my pace in the mid-9s as we looped around a field. We encountered a few icy bridges and the field spread out around after 2. The first time I remember wanting to walk was around 3.5. Uh oh. The turn around for the 8 miler was somewhere between 4 and 5 and I considered switching distances. SO MANY people ahead of me did this. I somehow powered through and I'm glad I did.
Miles 1–6: 9:30, 9:18, 9:29, 9:29, 9:18, 9:04

(I stole this from Chelsea.) Brrrrrrr at the start.
The half turn around was just after mile 7, so we got to the see the leaders. They were all so friendly! (I don't want to be a turd, but the official results list a woman in second place and I never saw her. I think she switched to the 8 miler midway because I always notice and congratulate the first woman. I could be wrong, but...) Anyway, I ate my gel just after mile 6 and took my first walk break. I felt kind of bad, but whatever - it wasn't a long break. To get to the turnaround we had to go across a pedestrian bridge over Route 33. All of the bridges along the course were slick, but this one was the longest, tallest, and most treacherous. I ended up walking the second half and then almost the whole thing when I turned around and had to go back over it. I wasn't alone. Most people (besides the leaders) were walking.
Miles 7-8 (bridge miles): 9:50, 9:49

The course
I appreciated the break and felt energized post-gel. I kept a decent pace during the rest of mile 8 and into 9. I saw Chelsea after the turnaround, which gave me another boost. I didn't feel too bad, but I was more tired than normal. Alex texted me at mile 9, so I took it as an opportunity for another walk break (#lazy). From here to the end I walked 3 more times - almost always at the mile marker. I passed some people, they passed me, etc. I probably could have kept running because I wasn't very tired after. Oh well. The finish line was visible for the last six tenths of the race and it was a struggle to keep moving. We were on flat land without tree coverage and the wind was picking up. Brrr. I increased my speed, passed a woman, and crossed the line in 2:04.
Miles 9-13: 9:14, 9:48, 9:53, 9:37, 9:23

Finals Stats and Thoughts
While I was glad to be done, I had a lot of fun. I am happy I ran the full distance. It wasn't my fastest, but it was no where near my slowest. Hindsight is 20/20 because this was an excellent course for a PR and the weather was decent (overcast and 30º). I'm also not sure I can run my goal race on April 9, so it would have been pretty awesome to get a sub-2. Oh well. At least it was a good long run!

Final time: 2:04:20 (9:29/mi)
Overall: 80 / 188 (42%)
Gender: 33 / 105 (31%)

The woodal was pretty cute.
Did you race this weekend? 
Have you watched any trail running films? (Recommendations? I've watched 4 Deserts and The Barkley Marathons.)

Race Recap: Rocks and Roots #1

Sunday sunrise
Rocks and Roots Race #1 took place Sunday, January 8, 2016 at 8:30am in Alum Creek State Park. The race includes a 10k, 20k, 30k, 40k, and 50k. Alex and I ran the 10k.

Pre Race
So cold before
We picked up our packets the day before (swag included: sweatshirt, long sleeve, sticker, Clif gels, Balega socks, and a water bottle!!), so we left the house around 7:15am and arrived earlier than expected. We parked next to the marina and watched the sunrise. In 2015, the bathrooms at the marina were not open so we had to walk to the start line early. Luckily, the bathrooms were open, so we were able to sit in the car as long as possible.

We walked to the start around 8:20, dropped the gear bag, and lined. The temperature was 10º and I wore so many clothes: two long sleeve shirts, a t-shirt, shorts, pants, capris, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks, a wide headband, and a Buff over my face. Brrrr.

I didn't have any time goals because 1. the course was different than the last time we ran R&R (this was the South Loop instead of the North) and 2. I'm running the 20k in February, so this was more of a "scope out the course" run. I suppose if I had a goal, it would've been to run faster than a 12:30 pace (my average in 2015) because I'm in better shape.

The course - we ran clockwise
The 10k had a separate start and I lined up closer to the front than normal. Once we started moving I felt pretty good and tried to maintain a steady pace. I was still really cold, but kept my Buff over my face to keep the breeze from knocking me out. There was a water crossing three tenths in, but it was more of an ice sheet and I had Yaktrax so it wasn't difficult. The first mile was uneventful besides course congestion. I felt like I couldn't get people off my tail. The course was single-track and we were encouraged by the race director to call out when passing. While some people did this really well, others would power by. I saw one person pushed into a bush and another so shocked by a passer he almost tripped. So yeah, call your audibles when passing.
Mile 1 – 2: 10:53, 10:29

By this point I was pretty shocked by my mile times. Besides people passing and course congestion, the biggest issue was slippery snow and SO MANY tree roots and trunks to jump over. If I took my eyes off the ground I would trip. I didn't fall - luckily - but I almost did several times. The people around me hollered "nice save!" twice if that tells you anything. Somewhere in here the inside of my left foot started to hurt. It almost felt like one of my Yaktrax was digging into my shoe and I assumed it was due to one of my near falls. In a normal race I probably would've stopped to check it out, but there was always someone directly behind me until mile 4.5.
Mile 3: 11:04

This was just after the start.
I started to get tired in mile 4, but I stuck with a few dudes. These guys were going a little slower than I probably would have by myself, but I stayed behind them. Honestly, it was a good decision because I got pretty tired later! We passed the aid station around 4.5 and just after that I tripped or something and realized my right Yaktrax was half off! I stopped and let a guy pass me as I tried to yank it off. I only lost a little time, but I also realized my left Yaktrax was no where to be found! I guess it came off during my mile 2 or 3 fumbles. How did I (or the people around me) not notice?
Miles 4: 11:08

This next mile was my slowest and I can't really remember why. I got separated from my pack of dudes while I messed with my Yaktrax, but I could see them up ahead. I passed a few people walking and really appreciated it when they moved to the side. (Some of them were 20-40k runners.) I think there were more rolling hills in this section and my pace took a beating. I caught up to some new guys and while I ran up/down all of the hills until this mile, when the guys ahead of me walked or slowed down, I followed suit. My foot hurt and I was still weirded out by my lost of Yaktrax.
Mile 5: 12:01

Yikes. I think is a pain face.
I walked up a few hills in mile 6 and knew the course ran a bit long (according to the race director) so I just started my "15 more minutes" countdown. I noticed myself sliding around more and more, but who knows if it was lack of Yaktrax or all mental. We came back to the water crossing close to the start and this time I fell on my butt crossing the ice sheet. Whoops! In my defense I was trying to say hi to an instagram friend. ;) My butt hurt when I got up, but I kept on trucking. I felt drunk during this last mile. I was mentally exhausted from making sure I stayed upright and avoided tree trunks and roots, and my feet were tired from all the fancy footwork dodging said objects. I must admit a 20k sounded pretty terrible as I got closer to the finish line!
Mile 6: 11:07, last .35: 10:46

Happy afterwards!
Afterwards, I met up with Alex (who placed 7th and felt "slow"), got a hot chocolate and a cookie and stood around the fire for a bit. Alex, having been finished for about 15 minutes before I crossed, was suuuuuper cold and ready to go so we took off for the car. Honestly, I wasn't very tired after. I was sore two days later, but that's about all.

Oh yeah! The pain on my left foot? Not a Yaktrax related injury, but instead, a run-of-the-mill blister. I changed socks at the last minute and I choose poorly. Bummer.

Final Stats and Thoughts

I'm pretty happy with my stats. I'm a better runner than I was in 2015 and my pace reflects that. However, this loop was easier than the North loop, so I'd be lying if I said I'm not terrified of the 20k next month. I know I can finish it, but not sure I can do it in a decent time. Maybe I need to concentrate on finishing strong vs. finishing in a specific time.

Final Time: 1:10:29 (11:06/mi)
Overall: 57 / 186 (30%)
Gender: 11 / 86 (13%)
Age Group: 2 / 10 (20%)

The woodal.
Up next: R&R #2: the 20k. Yikes!  I'll say this now: if it's terribly muddy I will only run the 10k. 

Monday, January 09, 2017


Wednesday's sky

Happy Monday! I'm back with the Weekly Review linkup from Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm training for about a dozen races, but my goal is a half on April 9. You can see my schedule here

Week of January 2–8
Monday: 6.5 miles
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: rest + walk to work
Friday: rest + walk to work
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: Rocks and Roots Trail 10k

Total (running) miles: 20 miles
Elevation gain: 308 ft
2017 total: 23 miles

This week's goal: rest up for Rocks and Roots. We ran it in 2015 (race 1, race 2), but this time we'd be on the South Loop. I didn't know what to expect with elevation and obstacles, so I took it easy in preparation.

Scioto Audubon

Monday was my final day off work and the last "warm" day of week (48º and overcast), so Alex and I took Tobias to Scioto Audubon Metro Park. They walked around while I ran 4 miles on the downtown paths. There were a lot of rolling hills, but at the end my Garmin said 0ft. Hmpfh. I had energy to spare, but the guys wanted to go home, so I had them drop me off at the base of the biggest hill in our area so I could run home. I thought it would be further, but it only added 2.5 more miles. It worked out because my legs were still tired from Sunday's 5k.

Tuesday was a rest day and on Wednesday Alex and I ran 3 miles before dark. Once again, he was my speed work. Thursday and Friday were also rest days. At least we were productive on Friday and ran errands after work, then got pizza and beer at my boss's arcade.

Mural in the ladies' room at the arcade
I joined my training group Saturday for 4 miles in 5º as a literal dress rehearsal for Sunday's race. I started with my new pace group (the 10s), but somehow got sucked into a different group at the turn around and returned with the 9:45s. The last half mile is a 135ft hill and I chatted with ease (never happened last season on that hill). The 9:45s were a lot friendlier than the 10s, so I may stick with them for a while. We'll see.

Before the race. Brrrrrr.
Sunday was Rocks and Roots race #1. I was dreading it due to the 10º temps and the unknown course, but it all worked out. I'll post a recap when official photos are available. I ran the 10k and next month I'm running the 20k. A 20k isn't too scary, but the South loop we ran Sunday was very technical and I know the North loop has crazy elevation. My legs / brain were exhausted by mile 5, so I'm not sure what kind of a performance to expect... Eek!

Are your nearby trails technical (narrow and full of obstacles) or manicured (crushed gravel/flattened dirt)? 
How cold did it get in your area this week?

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Race Recap: First on the First 5k

The medals are always great - Photo by Cap City Sports Media

The First on the First 5k took place January 1, 2017 at 11:00am in Westerville, Ohio.

Pre Race
Sleepy?' – Cap City Sports Media
This was our 4th year running this race, so we knew what we were getting into. In fact, this is the only race we've participated in every year since we started running. My stats have certainly improved: 2014 - 31:20, 2015 - 27:31, 2016 - 25:00, 2017 - ??

We picked up our packets early and they included a fleece headband, long sleeve tech shirt, training plans, granola bar, bib, and gear check bag. We arrived around 10:20 and walked to the community center to use the indoor bathrooms. I saw a few friends, we pinned on our bibs, checked our extra gear, and eventually sauntered over to the start line with 10 minutes to go. The weather was warmer than normal. It said 38 degrees, but it felt more like 40 something because of the sun. Needless to say, I was very overdressed in capris, tall socks, long sleeves, gloves, and a headband.

When I began 5k training five weeks ago I intended to get a big PR. Well, I forgot about a half marathon I have to run next weekend, so I shifted my focus to distance vs. speed. In the week leading up to this race, I ran 29 miles to reach 1,000 miles in 2016... so my legs were tired and my goals were loose. I planned to run by feel and hoped for a sub-25.

I'm behind the tall guy. Cap City Sports Media

The Race
After Alex went to the front of the pack I found myself next to two running friends. One, Jeff, was shooting for his first sub-25 and the other, Steve, was someone I met the day before in my new pace group. He remembered me and we had a nice chat. Directly in front of me was a girl in shorts and a tank top who looked fast, so I decided to keep her in my sights as long as possible.

Meh – Cap City Sports Media
The first two tenths were pretty congested but I could see Jeff, Steve, and fast girl and felt pretty good considering how tired my legs were. Most of mile 1 is a straightaway, so I focused on maintaining my pace and not getting caught up with the folks passing me or stuck behind the folks I passed. This was the first 5k in eons where I didn't get stuck behind a 9 year old sprint/walking, though there was a woman next to me for a bit who sounded like she was dying.
Mile 1: 7:45

Mile 2 winds through some trees and is always my slowest section of the race. I wasn't really gunning for a PR so I decided to stick with my beacons: fast girl and Jeff (not sure where Steve went). At one point I looked down at my Garmin and saw 9:0x. Whoops! I tried to rally, but I was pretty tired and the narrowing course didn't help. My 2017 goal of all miles under 8 went out the window as soon as mile 2 chimed.
Mile 2: 8:16  (Booooooo)

I figured a PR was hopeless and tried to power through. I'd lost ground on my beacons in the last mile, but I was slowly catching up to them. A little after the mile 2 sign I saw Jeff stop and walk. Steve patted him on the back as he passed and I ran by and gave a sympathetic thumbs up. I could hear him start to run again behind me. I think having him there motivated me to finish strong. The last mile is flat and along the outer edge of several soccer fields, so you can see exactly where you're going... and how far you are from the finish line. It was really hard, but my pace only dropped when we turned corners. I would have gladly walked if it wasn't a race. Instead, I kept fast girl in my sights, and as we took the final turn to the finish I must have passed Steve because he shouted, "Finish strong Elizabeth! Save yourself!" What's truly great is he caught up with me and we finished side by side (unfortunately photos don't really show the finish).
Mile 3: 7:43

That's Steve in blue! And I was way overdressed.
Steve and I congratulated one another and Jeff was mere seconds behind and got his sub-25! Alex met us at the finish (he finished in a "slow" 21:xx / top 50) and we grabbed a few photos, then went inside for the free taco bar. (Unfortunately, they didn't have chocolate milk this year.)

Afterwards we stopped at Starbucks for a free drink, cleaned up, then went to my mom and step dad's for Christmas #3 / New Year's. We were both beat by the end of the day!

Posing with Alex and Jeff - Cap City Sports Media

Final Stats and Thoughts
Well, shoot, this went better than I expected on tired legs. Of course - in hindsight - I sure wish I could have nailed the second mile. This isn't really the best course for a fast mile 2, but I could have been a bit more consistent to get all miles under 8.

Final Time: 24:32 (PR by 3 seconds)
Overall: 127 / 1301 (10%)
Gender: 34 / 838 (4%)
Age Group: 9 / 192 (5%)

Alex took this one
Up Next: Rocks and Roots #1 (10k) this Sunday. Hilly trail, with lots of turns, and it's going to be 11 degrees. I'm physically ready, but not mentally. Oh, and I have a half marathon the weekend after and I haven't run farther than 9 miles since October. What am I doing?! 

Monday, January 02, 2017

ORRRC Week 7: Hitting 1,000!!!

Saturday morning
Happy New Year! I'm back with the Weekly Review linkup from Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm training for about a dozen races, but my goal is a half on April 9. You can see my schedule here

Week of December 26-January 1
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 7 miles
Wednesday: 7.2 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: 5.7 miles   
Saturday: 5 miles
Sunday: First on the First 5k (recap)

Total (running) miles: 32.1 miles
Elevation gain:  482 ft
2016 total: 1,000 miles (!!)

Going into this week, my main goal was to hit 1,000 miles for 2016. (Read my Year in Review post), but I got off to a rough start.

Monday was Christmas #2 at my dad and step mom's and marked another missed holiday run. We stayed late and I tried to motivate myself to run in the dark, but it didn't happen. I think it was a blessing in disguise because throughout the week I had terrible stomach pain and when I chatted to a friend she said something was going around.

Christmas #2 with Jack and Hugo
I took Tuesday off work and my mom and niece came over for an afternoon visit. I eventually got in 7 miles before dark. It was rough and I was thankful for every traffic stop. I didn't look at my watch and tried to run by feel (to go slow), but by the end I's gone much faster than intended. Afterwards I felt really bad, but it didn't seem running related. We watched Sausage Party (meh) as I tried to feel better.

Goose convention
I went back to work Wednesday, but left early to get in my run. I was not feeling it, but when I got home after 6 miles and saw sunset was still 10 minutes away, I decided to head out for one more mile. Another 7 in the books! It was another rough run and afterwards my stomach pains returned. Again, they didn't seem to be related to running and they lingered for 3 days! After my run, I got cleaned up and we went to the Tiki Bar for a friend's birthday dinner. I did not drink any alcohol -- so you know I was feeling bad! ;)

Wednesday night: Not my drink
Thursday was silly: I got a bunch of texts in the middle of my run that I had to respond to and when I pulled my phone out of my pants pocket I dropped my keys... which I didn't realize until mile 2. I turned around to retrace my steps, cutting my run short. Luckily I found my keys! Later than evening I had a meeting about the next book I'm illustrating. It's monster-themed and should be fun... whenever I have free time!

On Friday I ran 2+ by myself, then another 3-ish with Alex. The run with Alex was a killer progression: 8:41, 8:23, 7:47 (we had 3 traffic stops and last mile was downhill). I'm going to keep using him as my speed work... Luckily my stomach felt a bit better on Friday night.

Saturday was my first training group run of the new season. I ran 5 with my new pace group: the 10s! I missed the 10:45s, but the pace felt better, even on my tired legs. The last mile was a 140ft climb. What a great way to end 2016. And I hit 1,000 miles! Here's my year in review. Alex and I ran a bunch of errands later in the day, then watched a terrible OSU game. :(

Giant beers before the game

We ran the First on the First 5k on Sunday. This was our 4th year and my times have steadily improved: 2014 - 31:20, 2015 - 27:31, 2016 - 25:00, 2017 - 24:31. I'll post a recap in a few days when the official pictures are online (EDIT: recap here). Summary: my legs were tired from this week. Afterwards we went to my mom and step dad's for pork and sauerkraut, games, and Christmas #3. A nice start to the New Year!

First on the First!
Happy 2017!

Did you do anything exciting to ring in the new year?
What's your proudest accomplishment of 2016? 
Have you ever lost anything on a run? 

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