Monday, March 16, 2009

Churchill's Half Marathon

We didn't run this race, but Tammy and I showed up in sleepy, little Monclova, Ohio yesterday afternoon after a great message by Pastor Dean on Restoring at church in the morning. It was the most beautiful day of 2009 to date as far as the weather went. It was brisk in the morning and by the time we left church around 10:30 a.m., it was warming nicely by the full blown sunshine on the eastern horizon. The sunrise was spectacular! We didn't have to be to the race till noon so, on our way down, we treated ourselves to a rare breakfast out together at IHop ~ Come hungry ~ Leave happy ~ We did.

We made our way south to Monclova and got to the race just before noon. There was some confusion early on with the coordination of the volunteers and water stations, but we soon had our assignment to man the first water station that would be hit twice due to a turn around in the course. We were paired with two other woman, Mary and Allison, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had worked with Mary a number of years ago at a local insurance agency she worked for till she and her husband relocated to South Carolina to live on a sailboat. She said they returned about 10 years ago and lived in the area again and she had recently joined the Toledo Roadrunner's just as we had.

The four of us headed to our water station post and were becoming quite anxious as it was about 12:25 and no one had delivered our table, water jugs, and cups yet and the race was beginning at 12:30 and we were less than a couple miles out from the start. Finally, one of the race administrators dropped off our supplies. As I said, it was a glorious day as far as the weather went. My face actually got sunburned!

I had a great time catching up with Mary and meeting and getting to know new fellow Roadrunners, Allison, and Rob, who eventually joined us to assist at our station as well. I also had the pleasure of seeing online running friend and one of my many marathon saving graces, Phil Mishka, at the finish of the race and catch up with him a bit. And, it is always a blessing to me to spend time with Tammy. I get whistful when I see how quickly our girls are growing up and in the knowledge that, all too soon, both of them will be off on their own, but I am also selfishly enjoying the alone time that I get to share more frequently with my beautiful wife. The race was awesome. Serving was awesome. Catching up with Mary and getting to know new running friends was awesome. Spending most of the beautiful day with Tammy was awesome.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Long Train Runnin'

This post has absolutely nothing to do with The Doobie Brothers, though I do love their stuff. Tammy and I did what was kind of our first long training run in preparation for the Bayshore Half Marathon we are running Memorial Day Weekend up in Traverse City, MI. I say kind of because we had done a run of just under 7 miles a couple of weeks ago. This morning, on a beautiful, crisp, sunny morning, Tammy and I headed out with the intentions of doing 7 or 8 miles. I had run the past 2 days and she a longish 6 miles yesterday, so I didn't know how our bodies would be feeling today.

Both of us felt pretty good so we did end up stretching this mornings run to 8 miles. This is her second longest run that I am aware of and my longest run since the grueling disaster that was my first marathon almost a year ago. I thought for sure I would have some leg pain, but had none! Yeah! She felt really good. We averaged about 10:13/mile, which was right in the ballpark of where I wanted us to be. It was a glorious, sunshiny, brisk morning, perfect for a long run. When I reflect on the longer runs I did last year in preparation for the marathon, I am really thankful to be running them now with Tammy. The run seemed to go by so much more quickly than they did last year. She's doing great too. Her stride and gait are so smooth and easy and she has great stamina. Most of the time I am pulling in the reigns on her to keep her from pushing the pace! I am so looking forward to running this half marathon with her.

Tomorrow we are volunteering at the Churchill's Half Marathon. Have some giving back to do. I think that will be possibly more fun than running the race. Looking forward to serving at the race.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wearing of the Green 7K

I participated in the 55th Wearing of the Green 7K race yesterday sponsored by the Toledo Roadrunner's Club out at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio. The weather conditions were very reminiscent of those I experienced in the last half of the Glass City Marathon last April with temps in the mid-30s and a wind driven rain. The race was 4.2 miles, but my Garmin logged it as 4.32. I was shooting for an 8 minute/mile pace, but was not able to maintain that. My splits were 8:09, 8:17, 8:21, and then 8:34 in the last full mile. The final .32 mile was at a dismal 9:06 pace. The cold coupled with the wind driven rain just sapped me in the final mile and a third of that race and the last half mile was along the open lakeshore of Lake Erie into the wind driven rain along the flooded asphalt path littered with floating goose poop that permeated ones nostrils like Vick's Vaporub. Was not a good finish to the race. My Garmin time for the race was 36:16, but I did not get an "official" race time yet. Should be very close to that. It was a lot of fun despite the lack of feeling in my legs at the end of the race and the TRRC does a very nice job on their race organization. Now if they could only do something about the weather on their selected race dates! When am I going to break down and invest in a good pair of running tights and rain proof pullover?!? Oh, and I was about the only one that dressed in green! What the heck? All in all, it was a ton of fun though and I am enjoying the challenge of racing on a regular basis. Next up will likely be a rematch with the Glass City Marathon, though as part of a 5 person relay team.