Monday, October 20, 2008

2008 Wichita Marathon

I am so sorry Blogger but somehow I forgot about the craziness of life, work, and running somehow you got scooted to the bottom of my todo list and were lost in the never-ending page of tasks I must complete in the short 24 hours a day of life I I will get to the point....

We are going to pretend (wink-wink) like this is the day after the Wichita Marathon 2008 (like I never forgot) and I will share a bit about my 4th marathon with my 3rd PR:

It started off like any other race day; oatmeal, water, 5 trips to the bathroom, drive to the race start, and of course the nervous stomach. But it was different also; surrounded by family and friends, point to point race, and running marathon 1st time with Chanti ;-) (my savior, but I digress).

With 3 cars full of excited racers and a bunch of support crew members, we headed to Derby, KS to meet up with the other 265 racers for a beautiful day of running with the wind at our back (for most of the day). Tralaine, Andy, Angie, Brooke, Chanti, and 1st-timer Don, dressed in orange, stood out like pumpkins on the starting line as we waited for the gun.

At 8am, we were off. Of course Don, Tralaine, and Andy were out in front. In fact I think we saw them for about 1 block and then not again until we crossed paths in the dreaded McConnell AFB and then again at the finish. Angie, Chanti and I took up a good 8 min. 30 sec mile pace and entertained each other, and if you ask us, others around us, for a good 9 miles travleing the neighborhoods of Derby until we reached the south side of McConnell.

Upon entering the Air Force Base, at first I thought..."this isn't too bad, it's nice to be off the concrete and out of traffic" and then we had to make our first turn into the wind. By mile 13 (which was a PR 1/2 marathon time for Chanti) I realized that I was running low on fuel and I was hungry with only Gu to eat. Chanti kept me going and we had our first Gu at mile 14. We kept up the chatting, although it was more her than me, for a few more miles and then had to turn into the wind again only this time it was also on a bit of an uphill. And this is when you could say I hit a wall!!! As soon as I turned into the wind I just knew I was going to have to walk. I seemed to have no energy, was light-headed, and if I remember correctly, was a bit nauscious. I mentioned this to Chanti and she said what all great friends say "get behind me". I declined of course but she said it again and after saying "really?" did I get behind her and put my head down.

When we finally came out of the Air Force Base, I took a RR break and while resting in a port-a-john thought "only 7 more miles; I can do 7 more miles, right???" When we hit mile 22 and I almost threw up on the side of the road with family watching, I thought "I can make it 4 more miles". And when we finally hit mile 23, Chanti reminded me of my rule: You can always run a 5K! With her in front of me trying to talk me through it, telling me "we're doing great and we're having fun", and letting me walk a little every half mile, we made it to the end. I made sure that I ran the last mile and think I might have even sped up a bit.

The best part was we made it under our goal of 4 hours and 10 minutes finishing in 4:09:04 - that is a PR for thos of you that didn't know it. I bettered my time by 9 full minutes and got to cross the finish line with my training partner, running confidant, and one of the original members of the CRC.

So what did I learn....
1. Eat before you get hungry.
2. Breakfast should not be 1 1/2 hours before start time if you are used to eating 30 minutes before you start your training runs.
3. You can rest/hide in a port-a-poti
4. Doing a race close to home may not be the coolest way to select a marathon site but it does allow you to surround yourself with family and friends and have your own personal pit crews along the way.
5. I can run faster - Maybe faster long runs pay off in time
6. An awesome running partner is essential - take Chanti on next race whether 5K Marathon, or adventure race - She is the BOMB!

Congrats to:
Don Presson - 3:28 YOU ROCK!!!
Tralaine Benefiel - 3:43 Boston Qualifier again
Andy Benefiel - 3:43
Chanti Downey - 4:09 PR
Angie Benefiel - 4:12 And this was a training run for NYC

And a HUGE Thank You to our support crews:
Michael, Tanna, Calvin, Sharon, Diane, Alan, Jackie, Don's Brother, Jackie's friend, and Grandma Roberts

Monday, September 22, 2008

4 Weeks Out

This weekend is supposed to be my last long run before my 3 week taper but crazy people that we are....Chanti, Jonas, Don, and I have signed up for the Berryman Adventure Race meaning our 23 miler will be pushed off a week and we will have just a 2 week taper.

I am feeling pretty good these days...hip problem seems to have subsided, bunion is just a little achy, and my blisters on my big toes are on the mend. But....I have 2 new blisters on my baby toes, I have constant fatigue, and I am eating like a horse.

As for being prepared for the adventure race, I have warned all of my teammates that I will most likely be the weakest link; secretly I will be dragging them all behind me (hahahaha, kidding). I have been on my bike but not on enough hills. I tried to find a new bike but guess the 100 pound Raleigh will have to get me through. So far there is no word that we will have to canoe with our bikes but the last race update did say to prepare to get wet. Just hoping I don't have to carry it on my back across the river like the last race. Oh joy, at least it is supposed to be a nice day (low 50, high 77...not bad).

Strong legs, strong mind! No whammies, no injuries!

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Shoes ROCK! & Wichita Training

My new shoes are sooooooo FREAKIN COOL. It is a good day when you find out the new model of your favorite shoe are out and they are perfect. So what is perfect? See below....

I was really let down last year with the colors of the Nimbus 9's. I could only find them in blue, "root beer", or grose forest green. Then I found the Ghetto Gold ones with swirls and was excited again. Some of you out there are saying, "It's just a shoe!" but no, everything you wear is a fashion statement. And these new ones match so many of my pick "outfits :-P

This week I couldn't believe it when I started adding up the miles and figured out that somehow I logged somewhere around 520 miles on my Ghetto Gold Nimbus 9's. My feet had been aching quite a bit over the last month but my knees seemed to still be alright so it didn't even occur to me that my mileage was that high. Never again...I promise! For those of you that don't know it I usually try to change around 350 miles.

Of course Michael thinks everyone should be running about 1000 miles per pair of shoes. And last night he said that Chanti and I should double that since we are "small people" and put less wear and tear on our shoes. Guess we know he isn't running :-P

As for Wichita marathon training. I have done 2 long runs (10 miles and 12 miles) and last Sunday Tralaine made me run Pike's Peak road at the lake. It was HELL but I made it up and next time I will take a picture just to show you how steep it is...if anyone can tell me how to figure it, I will tell you the grade also.

I am trying to "Live a runner's lifestyle" as Deena Kastor put it; but I am short on protein and should probably be drinking more water, eating more veggies, getting more sleep, and eating less sugar. Still feeling great though. Need to add weekly runs to calendar to begin scheduling better. Hey, also made it to the gym 2 times as promised (to Chanti).

Next weeks goals:
  • Eat more protein
  • Drink more water
  • Add weekly runs to calendar
  • Lift 2 times
  • Do sit-ups/push-ups 3 times
  • Ride bike one night

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Heart of Wichita Marathon

I have made a decision....I have made the commitment....well, I have put my long runs on my calendar and that means it is set in stone! I am going to Journey to 26.2 for the 4th time and run The Heart of Wichita Marathon.

It will be my first point-to-point marathon in my home town. It will be my first marathon with water stops not every mile but every 2 miles. But the best part, it will be my first marathon with more than Michael will be there to cheer me on. So far it sounds like Tralaine, Andy, Chanti, Don, and myself will be signing up. Sad that Debbie and Robert won't be running the miles with us but maybe I can get them to do the Relay. Very exciting!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

9th Annual OGAR - 36th Place

From our TV Junkies Blog:
"To say challenge would be an understatement as it is every year. The race this year wasn’t as long as it had been in the past but was still a true test of strength, endurance, and relationships. The race location was the beautiful, hilly Gasconade Hills (about 15 miles east of Lebanon, MO) along the Gasconade River. The race started at 7 am with the National Anthem sung by a men’s quartet accompanied by fireworks (that was something new and exciting). We began with an 8 mile blacktop and gravel road run. Canoeing 6 miles on the Gasconade River came next to get us back to the race headquarters. We all got some food and drinks and took off on a 5 mile road bike and a 1.7 mile trail bike. The turn for the first technical section was a power line easement that some teams missed and had to back track but not the Dirty Nelly’s or The Alternates. The orienteering came next; we got lost and took way too long but the Nelly’s made it through in under 2 hours. A short 1 mile trail run gave us just enough time to shake off the ticks to come back and head out for the last 2 bike sections. When Tralaine jumped on her bike she found she had a flat and Andy changed it in record time to get us back on the trail. The last 16.8 miles on the bike weren’t too bad and it gave us the chance to all regroup and finish close together. We had an 8.8 mile technical bike, then fording the river with our bikes on our backs, and finishing with an 8 mile gravel and blacktop road bike back to the finish."

My real thoughts....we did pretty good. I love it when we do better but in hindsight it wasn't a bad day. We were faster than the average teams in all events but one and we finished in 36th place out of 78....BUT I could have done better!

First, I did not train enough on my road biking, especially on hills. Riding around town is not enough. Riding for an hour is not enough. I really needed to go on some long, hilly rides followed by running. The spinning helped and the trail biking really helped but my legs did not feel great over the long haul. And training with my husband this year on bikes was deceiving. I felt like I was ready because I was doing so much better than him but forgot (don't know how) that he is out of shape and I should be doing LOTS better than him, not just a little.

Second, I should have run with my pack filled with water more and maybe should have done more back exercises to prepare to carry a full pack. This race requires the least amount of gear of any race and my pack was too heavy for me on the run. It was the first event followed by canoing back to the bikes. I could have dumped half the water and been fine. Mental note for next year....don't take too much; asses the course and plan accordingly.

Third and final improvement that MUST be made....I have to get better at orienteering. We were out in the woods for 2 hours and 34 minutes. The best team was 50 min, Jonas' team was 1 hour 50 min, and the average teams made it in 2 hours 14 minutes. Do you notice all of those were faster than us and I take full blame; I am supposed to be the navigator and I made some mistakes in judging distance and reading the land. A good navigator has to be able to read the map, plan a course of action, and find the points. To do that you have to know how to use a compass, plot points, judge distance, and get from point A to point B. I lack in the JUDGING DISTANCE and keeping track of the can I get better???? I have to get better! I want to take a class, practice, and do more races! I mean really, one day I hope to do a 24 hr+ race and the key to those races seems to be good navigation. This has to be a part of the training and not something I practice the day of the race.

See full Alternates results. Our Gallery of race pics are pretty cool too.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Getting the Bikes Ready

You should see our campground....which I must tell, has wireless,....there are bikes everywhere with chains taken off, upsidedown and grease flying. Ahhhh, Ozark Greenways is awesome.

Sounds like we will be canoeing before noon (heard the owners saying people could rent after noon) and betting it will be a bikers race this year since last year we had to run 13 miles.

Manidtory check-in at 5am - will get the maps in the morning ;-)

Packing for 12 hours

Last night when talking to Tralaine, I asked, "So what are you packing to eat?" And she replied, "Oh, I have a Cliff bar, a peanut butter and honey sandwich, and maybe some trail mix."

Now I feel like a HUGE is what I have just packed: 2 GUs, 2 packages of Shot Blocks (margarita and pina colada flavors), 2 half peanut butter & honey sandwiches, 3 Cliff bars, and I am still thinking about how I can fit a bagel in my pack. Oink, Oink, Oink

Get the Complaints Out Now

Race Saturday.... the night before -Thunderstorms, and the day of the race, supposed to be hot and thunderstorms in the afternoon. And not just ran but scattered, isolated, strong thunderstorms.

....didn't get my bike ride in this week and am feeling a bit lacking in that area.

....legs feel tired.

....haven't drank enough water all week and is it good to eat lots of sugar the days before a race? Guess we will find out.

Well now that I got that's all good :-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

OGAR Time Again

Getting ready for the Ozark Greenways Adventure Race. Looking like it is going to be a good one again. The location has changed to Gasconade Hills outside of Lebanon, MO. We have a new race director and a new location which could add to the excitement. I just hope there is no Frisbee throwing or Archery.

This year, you have the chance to follow our teams real-time. You can get real-time results through emails or text messages to see our progress.

The Alternates - Brooke, Tralaine, Andy, & Bob

The Dirty Nelly's - Jonas, Don, Chanti, & John

Starting to get nervous about a big day of racing. I feel pretty good about the running and I feel pretty good about the trail biking but putting it all together with road riding is feeling a bit overwhelming. Still need to do a bit of orienteering practice; hopefully I can get that in this weekend. It is the first lake weekend so we will have to see how much time will fit in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's a Run not a Race

Michael kept saying "It's not a race it's a run." I do see a difference but even when I go into an event thinking that it is just for fun I still notice we find ways to compete. The Brew-to-Brew relay race is different...teams start at different times and teams have different amounts of runners from 10 to 1 so one minute you are keeping pace with the "rabbit" in front of you and the next minute someone is flying by you like you were standing still. At no time do you ever know where you stand in the rankings. You don't know if you are running next to a solo runner or someone that is just running one short leg.

We still don't really know how we placed yet (results aren't up, check back soon) but if you want to know how we compared ourselves to each other we seemed to fight it out to see who was going to get to run the most: Brooke-22 miles, Don & Julie-19 miles each, Jonas-13 , Chanti-13, and Bob-8. (hope i got the total miles right)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I Really Want to Run Half

My goal this year with the Brew-to-Brew is to run 22 miles (half of the race) in the hopes that some year I would try to run the whole thing...well that is not seeming like it is going to work out. Why I have to get the worst flu ever a week before the race I have no idea but then for me to pass it on to my teammates was really bad. Guess we will have to see what happens. Hoping for the best (which right now would be to finish my 18 miles I am signed up to run myself).

On a good note...the weather is looking pretty good..low of 48 and a high in the mid 60's.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Getting Ready Again

Have the Brew-to-Brew Relay in a couple of weeks. I am planning on running 22 miles (half of the relay). I registered our 2 teams Monday and everyone is getting excited. With the relay being 44 miles total from the Boulevard Brew Company in KC to the Free State Brew Company in Lawrence we should have a great time together. Last year we weren't a drinking team...I wonder if we will be this year. I know were are packing a cooler but think it might be full of G2 and snacks.

My other race for the near future is the Ozark Greenway's Adventure Race May 31. The location has changed to Richland just past Lebanon which seems to be hillier but who knows. The camping location seems nice and not so primitive and has RV hook-ups so Dad and Beck plan on brining the new RV. There are cabins available and Chanti and Don are checking that out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Plan

More info to come but have been eating better and have dropped a few pounds. Been running more and more; now starting training for Brew-to-Brew on April 6.

I am not a professional...

Funny thing happened the other day on the way home from a run; my neighbor stopped me and asked me to give advice to her roommate who is training for the OKC Marathon 15 weeks away. It is hysterical that I can pass along advice that others have given me and even offer to be a support person for her. We will see what she does..she didn't seem so excited about it, but I don't blame her. The person that she has been taking advice from is having her run 7 days a week and she swims. Guess she would be in shape but....AHHHHH, talk about overkill. I would be exhausted.

As for my running....back to the treadmill this week; early mornings in the dark aren't fun and today we have a little ice, snow, and wind. Ran 4 outside (73 degrees) on Monday and 5 on the treadmill today.

New tool, maybe not so cool: In sharing my new found use for Google Calendar with a friend...I noticed that when I wasn't logged into my Google account that none of the dates showed up. So we would need to all share our calendars to be able to view them on a blog or webpage.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cool New Tool: Google Calendar

Not that this is really a new tool...Google has had it out for a long time but now I have an idea that might help us out. Right now you just see my calendar but Google Calendars have the option of sharing and we could keep track of everyones running schedules and maybe coordinate runs. If you want to be added to this calendar let me know and I will add you.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Run with the Wind"

...think it might be a little crazy to run a 15 mile race in February when you don't like the cold. Yesterday must have been my lucky day because it was 38 at 7:30am and did get a few degrees warmer. There was a head wind out of the west :-( Wish we would have run from Carthage to Sarcoxie instead of Sarcoxie to Carthage, but it was all good.

The race format is either individual or team and the CRC (the Carthage Running Club) had 3 individuals (Julie-1st place over all, Brady, & me) and 1 team (Chanti-Robert-Debbie: 1st place). Julie and Brady were of course in the front pacing each other with a 8:10 pace and finished in 2 hours 7 minutes. I was a bit behind, but ran 9:16's which was awesome and finished in 2 hours 24 minutes. Ran first section with Chanti (who then rode her bike the rest of the way), the second section with Robert (who set an great pace, got me through the hills, and blocked the wind for me - thank you, thank you, thank you), and Debbie (who kept me going through the last miles when I wanted to walk and complained a lot).

It is so fun running with friends. Next race: Brew-to-Brew - April 6

Monday, January 7, 2008

January Rain Storm

Went out for a 6 miler and should have checked the weather. It had sprinkled earlier but I thought that was over. The wind had even died down a little, temp was almost 70 and it is January in Missouri; unseasonably warm. Little did I know a huge thunderstorm was coming.

So about mile 3 when I am furthest from the house I start to notice lightening coming from the direction I have to go. Was think I could make it home but no; get poured on for a couple of miles with the wind and rain in my face and did I mention it was dark. My own fault, but must admit, it was a little fun. Almost seemed like spring. my good shoes are wet and we all know not to put them in the dryer. Will have to trade down to some older ones while they dry out.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Memphis Marathon Slideshow

Been playing around with some Google tools today and figured out how to use Picasa Google Images and figured out how to make a slideshow. Here are some pictures from Memphis Marathon.