Monday, October 27, 2008

Nike Women's marathon

On Sunday, October 19th I ran the Nike Women's marathon.  This was the 5th year running and my 3rd.  Due to the popularity of this marathon, it went to a lottery process for entry.  A large group of us signed up and fortunately, we all got in.  Pictured below is Cathy, Michelle, Gena, Sarah and Anita (in front) at the expo.  This is a very "foffy" marathon.  It's not called a Expo, but an Expotique and they offer pedicures, manicures, an oxygen bar and all kinds of other girlie things.  So not me!   

On race morning, we all gathered and headed out our hotel, walked 50 feet to our corral.  Man, staying at the Westin is handy!  Anita's nieces were going to undertake their first marathon.  Only one small problem, they didn't really train.  We decided to do a 3-1.  Run for 3 minutes and walk for 1 minute.  
Here is Sarah and I before the start.
We started out and Sarah was having problems keeping the pace, so we decided to walk the half marathon.  At that point, she was going to cut off and finish at 13.1 miles and I would catch up to Anita and the other girls.  At the split, I took off looking for the girls.  I saw Anita and Danielle at the 14 mile point.  The others decided to call it a day with a half marathon also.  Danielle was the only one who was going to gut it out and she was looking good.  I don't think her legs were feeling so hot though!  We dropped down to a 2-2 ratio.  Going around Lake Merced is the worst part of the marathon.  Once we got back on the Pacific Highway, it was all downhill (sort-of).  Danielle got emotional at mile 25, contemplating if she could finish.  
She came across the finish line in 5:58.  She completed her first marathon.  She is already talking about doing another, so that's a good sign.  Maybe she will train a little...
Here is the 3 of us at the finish.  It was a great day.  The weather was beautiful and the Tiffany necklaces are great`

Run Fun.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Riverbank Wine and cheese

This morning Roos, Connor and I went to the Riverbank Wine and Cheese 5k/10k run.  
Roos decided to do the 5k while Connor and I signed up for the 10k.  Connor is now officially in training for the Surf City half marathon in February.  Connor initially decided he wanted to do this without Roos or myself walking/running with him.  I agreed but the more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I felt.  I decided to walk/run with him.  So I awoke at 5:30 a. to go out for a run.  I knew I wouldn't be doing a speed workout today so I opted for more mileage.  I ran 4.5 miles, arrived home, we packed up and drove to Riverbank.  It was rather chilly this morning but the Galaxy theatre opened it's doors for runners to use the restrooms and to stay warm!
At 8:00 sharp the horn started and we took off.  After about 50 feet, Connor was ready to walk - not a good sign.  Fortunately we met a young boy who decided to run with us.  Pictured below is Connor and our new friend Devon.
We were moving slow, so Connor and I pinky promised that the three of us would walk 50 steps and run 50 steps.  This was the key and we watched the mile markers fly by (sort-of).  We even found time to play at the playground!
Around mile 4.5, we ran into Devon's brother Gary.  The four of us stuck together.  Pretty soon, the sag van was right next to us.  I'm not sure, but we were pretty close to DFL.  Gary and Devon's mom and grandpa met us with about 1/2 mile to go.  Connor and I kept trudging on.  At this point Connor was very whiny.  He didn't want to run at all and just wanted to walk.  Of course being the loving and encouraging mother I am, I threatened him and we finished.  Our time was 1:30:20.  Not bad, Connor finished first in his age group, 12 and under.  He got a nice gold medal!  
Amazingly, he still had some energy and ran the Kids K-9 100 yard dash and received a sheriff's badge with another pretty pink ribbon.  (The run benefitted the Triumph group, a cancer survivor group)

Roos finished the 5K in 46 minutes and change.  Overall, we had a great day!

Run fun...

Friday, October 10, 2008

San Jose Rock N Roll half marathon

On Sunday, Roos, Andy, Anita and I drove over to San Jose to run the Rock n Roll half marathon.  This year the four of us decided to do ALL the Rock n Roll runs.  They were:  Arizona Rock n Roll, Nashville Rock n Roll, San Diego Rock n Roll, Virginia Beach half marathon, San Jose half marathon, and lastly, in November, is San Antonio Rock n Roll.  They have been fun and we got to travel alot!   
As you can see from the photo above, lots of other ShadowChasers were also running.  It was cool because it was Danielle (far left) and Linda's (between Anita and I) very first half marathon.  The weather couldn't have been better.  
I started out to fast (as usual) and at the 5K mark was: 23:03.  At mile 10, I was at 1:19:08.  I took a walk break and then the 1:45 pace group came up from behind.  Crap!  I wanted to do better than last year (1:44) so I tried to stay ahead of that pace group.  I hung in there, pushing it to the end and came across the finish line at 1:43:19.  My new half marathon PR.  My achilles felt pretty good.  It was a little stiff on Tuesday morning but is now feeling good.  I am so relieved to be healthy.  I only hope it stays that way.
Andy finished in 1:58, Anita finished 2:17, and Roos finished at 3:16 (his new PR).  Overall it was a great day.  What could be better than running and wolfing down In-n-Out on the way home!!

Run Fun....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rio Del Lago Part 2

Darkness set in early. We were worried that they didn't pack any flashlights in their last drop bag before arriving at Cavitt School. It would be very difficult to run on the trails in the darkness. We figured since Clare packed the drop bags, they must have packed flashlights!
We could see headlamps bobbing up and down on the trail. We would start whooping and hollering for the runner in hopes it was Clare or Scott. Finally Clare arrived, again looking fresh and happy. She had one small blister on her left baby toe which I took care of for her. Her and Jon set out on the out and back section. Clare was in 3rd place, but not a lot of time separated the 2nd place woman and her. Jon was determined to make up the difference and push Clare.
Scott arrived around 9:30 p.m. He looked awesome. His weight was good, he ate some soup and we posed for a picture before we headed out for the last 33 miles.
When I follow a pacer, I like to flash my light on their feet and just follow their steps. No thinking, just running. I told Scott to do just this. I told him not to worry about course markings and glow sticks, I would keep us on the path. We started running and we were moving fairly well. We walked all the ups but ran everything else. Well, following the trail proved a daunting task. The course was not well marked. Many times Scott and I were stopped dead on the trail looking for the right direction. Once we made a small loop that brought us right back where we started. I'm sure he was re-thinking my plan.
Scott was feeling pretty good. He said he stomach was "jiggly", not really upset, but not right either, just jiggly!
We arrived to the first and second aid station and Scott ate some soup. He didn't really feel like eating but the soup was going down good. After leaving Negro bar aid station, we would come to Hazel Bluff aid station where Kristen and Johanna would be waiting. We finally arrived and Scott was happy to see his crew. Kristen informed us that Clare and Jon had taken a wrong turn and had lost 45 minutes.
We headed out down the trail. This section runs on the trails that parallel the bike path on the American River. It was very beautiful. Scott must have been energized by his crew because as soon as we left Hazel Bluff we were moving. Scott and I ran every step of the way until the turn around point. We were now passing those who were already on the return and we ran into Clare and Jon not far from the turn around point. I think this motivated Scott to pick up the pace. We quickly ate and headed back to Hazel Bluff. We picked up another runner who was without a pacer and he joined us for some time. We were really running. I was in the lead, followed by Scott and then our new friend John. Suddenly I came to a complete stop on the trail with Scott running right into me. Directly in front of me, not 3 feet away, was a skunk with his rear end facing me. All I could think was, no one would like us if we came back stinking to high heaven of skunk! Slowly, he moved off the path and we began running again. John, our new friend, could not keep up with Scott's pace and he fell behind.
We arrived back to Hazel Bluff much earlier than was expected. Kristen and Johanna were so excited. Scott was at mile 90. 10 miles to go!
We headed back towards Cavitt School the way we came. Scott was starting to slow some. He wanted to skip the aid stations but I forced him to stop and have some soup and Mountain dew. He would need the energy. Much to Scott's amazement he passed 3 runners and their pacers. I think this was a boost and we picked up the pace again. We arrived to Folsom dam aid station, 3.1 miles to go. We blew right through the aid station, not even bothering to stop. Shortly after passing through that aid station, we passed another runner.
We came to the levee right before the left hand turn to Cavitt School. Scott could "smell the barn". We ran our last mile at a 10 1/2 minute mile. We could hear Kristen and Johanna yelling.
Scott came across the finish line at 23:32. An amazing time for his first 100 miler. He finished so strong. According to my garmin, we ran a 13:30 min. pace for the last 33 miles, with mile 99 being the fastest.

Clare finished at an amazing time of 22:59. Good for 3rd woman.
She finished only 1 minute and 16 seconds behind the 2nd place female.

Here is Scott's amazing time!

Here we are in the gym, shortly after Scott's finish.

I had a blast pacing and crewing. I am so proud of Clare and Scott. They remained strong and ran well, despite the heat. 96 people started the race and only 50 finished. A job well done.

Rio Del Lago Part 1

The Players:

Clare Abrams

Scott LaBerge

The Crew
John Fors:  Crew/Clare's pacer
Kristen LaBerge:  Crew/Scott's loving wife
Johanna Dennehy:  Crew/Kristen's sister
Me:  Crew/Scott's pacer

The Story:
Saturday and Sunday, September 27-28, I headed up to Auburn to crew and pace for my friends Clare and Scott who were attempting their first 100 mile ultrarunning event.  
The runners start at Cavitt School in Granite Bay, then head towards Auburn Dam Overlook before heading out to Cool, CA.  In Cool, they loop around twice and head back to Auburn Dam Overlook (ADO) which is mile 44.  They then head back to Cavitt School (mile 67) before starting an out and back section totaling 33 miles.  The finish line is Cavitt School, mile 100.2.
I got to ADO at noon.  This is a good place to hang out because the runners pass through here twice.  The day was brutally hot!  Many runners were experiencing nausea and vomiting due to the heat and dehydration.
Clare arrived first and looked fabulous.  She didn't have any issues (blisters, nausea, upset stomach, etc.)  She ate some and headed on towards Cavitt School.
Scott arrived around 3 pm ish and also looked fabulous.  He too, had no issues.  Earlier on in the day he was having some calf cramps but those had resolved and he felt good!
The fearless crew and I watched more runners come through ADO then we headed to Cavitt School.  This was were I was to meet up with Scott.  I was running the last 33 miles with him.