Adventures In Running

Friday, October 25, 2013

Running through memories

I had the opportunity to be back in the area where I grew up in the middle of October. Last time I was there – it was incredibly humid and I struggled through the runs – soaking wet from humidity.

This time, the weather was cool and a bit drizzly. Nice weather for running.

My first full day in Illinois, I headed out from my mother-in-law's house in Downers Grove to run by my old house in Darien. Down Plainfield Road. Though the Knottingham subdivision where we delivered newspapers for years. Past my old house. Looks the same – except they fenced in the back yard. Hey! The hill on my street is not really a hill. Just a bump in the road. It's all in the perspective (compared to mountains). Around my old subdivision and then back to Bruce Lake.

Lots of good memories on the route. It was nice to see these places. I really miss the field between my house and the Junior High School. We caused all sorts of problems there.

The next day, my daughter and I walked around Bruce Lake in the rain and down to the lake as she reminded me of her favorite memories there. I dropped her off at the house and did one final run around the subdivision.

Sweeping and Dog Paw Duty at the Mountain View Half Marathon

Jim Skaggs puts on a great group of races out on Antelope Island. I have volunteered at the Mountain View Half in October for several years in one way or another. It is a nice half marathon without a lot of elevation and the weather is usually good for this race.

This year I volunteered to be the sweeper again. I had done that in 2012 too. Unfortunately, the Thursday before the race I was feeling horrible with a sore throat, pounding head, aching ears, etc. Instead of starting 30 minutes after the race, I decided to start right after the race so I wouldn't have to push hard at all. By mile 2, I was breathing hard up the only real uphill (I could tell my system was not happy with me) and catching up to Marsha Mason and her dog Tinkerbell (a sheltie). We ended up running the rest of the race together. Tinkerbell didn't quite trust me at first, but by the end of the race I was part of her pack.

The course was in good condition. I think a lot of that was due to little rain this year. Last year I ran through tunnels of grass higher than my head and sunflowers attacking me. This year the grass was low. I thought this was due to them mowing the trail – but looking around I realized it was because the grass had not grown nearly as high this year.

We meandered on together running and walking past the lower Frary Peak aid station. Shortly after that we quit enjoying the race as much. From about mile 7-11 we encountered goats head stickers on the trail. Not just a few. They were everywhere. Poor Tinkerbell was constantly pulling up with a paw in the air and I started on paw duty to warn Marsha which paw was stuck. She went off trail for a lot of the time so that she was able to avoid them some, but that was harder on her because of the brush. I took a few turns carrying the dog so that we could speed up running. We kept hoping they would end and once we crossed over to the other side of the road we finally got a break and could enjoy the run again. There were about 8 dogs at the start – I felt really bad for them. I don't ever remember dogs having this much trouble on the trails before.

Finished the race and ate my hamburger and then Matt Van Horn gave me a ride back to the start line.

After the first couple of miles, I totally forgot I was sick. Things cleared up and it was great. I got sick again later that day – but it was a nice reprieve.

Monday, October 14, 2013

St. George Marathon 2013

On October 5, 2013 I ran my 7th St. George Marathon. I dealt with fear and trepidation going into this race because one year earlier my foot started hurting at mile 9 and I was miserable every step of the way from then to the finish. This eventually led to foot surgery and months without any enjoyable running.

It didn't help that the night before was really windy and cold. My sister and I went to see Mary Poppins at Tuacahn and walked out partway through because of the wind and cold. My foot was burning as I lay on the hotel bed and I seriously considered not running the race the next morning.

Saturday morning - foot is still hurting, but not as bad. Decided to give it a try. My plans going into the race were:
A) Finish in under 6 hours
B) Finish in under 6:30
C) Finish

It was pretty chilly as we huddled around the fire up in Central. Some runners were wearing fluffy bathrobes from D.I. I am so going to consider that next year. It was still breezy, but not as bad as the night before and it looked like it would be a tailwind.

The first couple of miles were pretty cold. I always hate that period while the body warms up because everything aches. Luckily - once I started running, the pain in my foot went away.  Shed my jacket at mile one, my tights at mile 7 and my arm warmers around mile 10. I kept alternating the gloves until about mile 20 because I was still cold.

I had my GymBoss set for run 2.5 minutes/walk 2.5 minutes. I wanted to maintain that as much as I could except for Veyo hill and see how the legs were doing when I hit the downhills.

I was actually running fairly easily and could tell I was going to be in Veyo ahead of my expectations. I called my sister and she had not yet arrived there, so told her I was charging through. It was turning into a great day.

When I hit the downhills, the legs were feeling good. My IT Band flared up earlier, but I put an IT strap on it and that solved that problem. Cruised down the downhills. No major speed, but feeling fine. I actually started revising my finish goals and eventually moved it up to 5:45.

I passed my sister at Snow Canyon Road and she handed me some SlimFast. I was having so much fun I pushed to get down the road and on to the Diagonal before she drove past me. My legs didn't start getting heavy until mile 24.  My stomach felt fine. My foot wasn't hurting. Life was good.

I tried to push and beat 5:45, but I made that new goal a little to late in the race. Finished in 5:45:14 and considered it good.

My first great run in almost 2 years. It is runs like these that make all the rest worthwhile.