Beginners and Beyond

12

Banshee's Back to Back Halves (Read 89 times)


Trail Monster

    Part 1: Fox Township

    This weekend I was feeling frisky. Well, actually I was feeling fed up, anxious, and antsy thanks to a bout of shin pain that cut my weekly mileage short. Shane and I were already signed up for the Fox Township Bicentennial Half Marathon on Saturday so I just hoped I would survive without too much pain.


    We woke up at 2:30 am on Saturday morning (no, that's not a typo) and left at 3:30 am to make the 3 hour drive to Elk County, passing such wonderful towns as Weedville and Lickingville. We made it just after 6:30 and picked up our packets and shirts. Our goody bags contained 3 Gatorades and 3 Gu flavors. Can't beat that for a $20 race!


    Around 7:30 we were all herded onto school buses and taken to the start line (point to point course). Rumor has it that some people misunderstood and showed up at 8 for buses that were already gone!

     

     

     

    During the 20-ish minute drive to the starting line Shane and I noticed that we were doing an awful lot of up and down. There is no elevation chart on the site and I don't feel like trying to find USGS data so you'll have to take my Garmin's word for it. However, the hills at the end felt much bigger than they look here!

     

     

     

     

    We were dropped off in Big Springs on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and shortly after we lined up at a spray painted line and a guy yelled 'Go'! My shins were already giving me grief from step one and I was starting to worry that I'd made the wrong decision in running the half. I tried to hold my pace down as people took off ahead of me. There were overweight men, old ladies, and young kids just leaving me in their dust and I wanted to cry.

     

     

    The first couple miles I wanted to just quit but I was in the middle of the mountains and forest and I hated to miss another day of training with Burning River approaching so rapidly. My shin pain started to fade, however, which brightened my outlook considerably as I approached the turn around (we started on a side road, turned left onto the main road for a couple miles, and then turned around and ran up the main road for the rest of the race).

     

     

    Miles 1-4: 9:49, 10:27, 11:17, 10:19

     

     

     

     

    Around mile 5 I started to feel good and began to pick up the pace. I caught a couple stragglers and set my sights on the next few women in front of me. I would reel them in and then run next to them for awhile until I felt ready to go after the next one.

     

     

    Miles 5-7: 9:41, 8:55, 8:29

     

     

    Around mile 8 the woman I was running near suddenly stopped and told the man she was running with that she felt like she couldn't breathe. The heat was pretty oppressive by that point and she was wearing all black. I instantly lost all competitive spirit and stopped to walk with her and offered her my handheld. Thankfully it seemed to revive her and as we approached the mile 8 water stop she started to run again. We ended up running most of the next 4 miles together and she even took a picture of me while we were walking up a hill.

     

     

     

     

    Miles 8-12: 10:59, 8:59, 12:41, 10:35

     

     

    As we neared the finish line we left the countryside and began to run along residential lots. The houses all had a lot of acreage but the trees had been cleared meaning there was very little shade. The last 5k was tough with lots of rolling hills and temperatures nearing 90*F or more. Some nice folks set up beer stops in the last couple miles. I gladly drained my cup at both stops.

     

     

     

     

    As I reached mile 12 I realized I wasn't doing too badly despite the heat and decided to see if I could get 2:10. I was trying to pace it just right and as I approached the last turn a woman told me I was less than half a mile from the finish. I must have lost GPS signal in the trees because I had figured I had about half or three quarters left. I kicked into gear and cruised into the finish, catching one more woman before I crossed the line. Official time: 2:11:32

     

     

    Mile 13: 8:47

     

     

    I had to laugh when the woman I gave my water to finished and told her kids that I saved her life. They promptly thanked me for saving them from having to do the cooking and cleaning!

     

    I ended up 54th overall and 2nd in my age group. We also won two door prizes, a bunch of Gatorade and a hat. Overall, I'm thrilled with my performance. The last time I ran a half this hilly I was almost 20 minutes slower and it about killed me. This time I could have kept going and kind of wanted to. Which lead me to Sunday.....

     

     

    Part 2: Peace, Love, Run

    I knew I wanted to do a long run Sunday and I preferred to do it with people rather than by myself. I've really had enough of running by myself at this point. So I set my alarm for 5:30am knowing there were two group runs or a half marathon within an hour drive. I surprised myself when my alarm went off and I rolled right out of bed.

     

     

    I chickened out of the group runs knowing that I might not be able to keep up on dead legs and I didn't want to be lost in Pittsburgh. I decided to go for the Peace Love Run Half Marathon (advertised as 13.22 miles?) thinking I could run some trails or another loop of the lake after I finished. My aunt and uncle were both volunteering at the race so that added incentive too. I hustled out the door with only coffee in my hand and inwardly groaned when I noticed it was already 70*F at 6am.

     

     

    I made it to North Park with little time to spare and ended up parking a little over a quarter mile from the registration table. I jogged in and registered quickly and then checked my race bag and shirt since I was out of time. Thankfully my aunt was working the bag check so that saved me time! I then lined up for the port-a-johns and made it out just as the mass migration to the starting line began.

     

     

    I lined up farther back than I normally would and missed the fact that there were no starting mats, despite chip timing and a large number of entrants, so my Garmin splits are probably way off. As I started I wanted to see how close I could get to yesterday's time. I could feel the heat picking up by the minute and I worried how bad it would get on a course with much less shade than yesterday's half.

     

     

    Miles 1-4: 9:38, 10:13, 9:44, 10:03

     

     

    It didn't take me long to decide to back off the pace and just enjoy the run. I was running beside another woman and we were chatting about the heat and our recent races when I heard footsteps behind us. A cheery woman asked if we minded if she joined us and we assured her we didn't. She told me this was her first race (not first half, first RACE) and she'd started running in January. She had also lost an awesome amount of weight in that time. I instantly liked her so we stuck together.

     

     

    Miles 5-8: 10:28, 10:11, 11:44, 11:40

     

     

    Around mile 7 it was pretty obvious my new friend was hurting. She began to take more walk breaks and linger longer at water stops. She kept encouraging me to leave her but I really didn't care about time. I was more excited to see her first finish. It brought back so many memories of my first half marathon and I remembered clearly all the pain and doubt of those final miles. I encouraged her and tried to be patient without letting her go slower than necessary (I hope I wasn't too pushy).

     

     

    Miles 9-12: 12:54, 12:02, 14:19, 13:15

     

     

    Once we were less than a mile from the end I started to push her a little harder. I told her everyone on the course was hurting (I was hurting) and the best way to end the torture was to get to the finish line. I pushed the pace on our running sections and tried to walk a little faster when she needed a break. Even though it was obvious she was really suffering she took it like a champ and ran the last quarter mile non-stop.

     

     

    Mile 13: 11:53

    Last .22 (0.34 by Garmin): 9:45 pace

     

     

    I crossed the line in 2:31:38 and she finished 2 seconds behind me. We collected medals and ice cold water bottles and then I gave her a high five. She really earned her medal and I had a blast helping (I hope) her do it!

     

     

     

     

    My official finish results are 157/181 overall and 26/35 age group. It may be my slowest half time yet but I wouldn't trade it for anything! It was way more fun than any other half I've run so far.

    2013 races:

    3/17 Shamrock Marathon

    4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

    7/27 Burning RIver 100M

    8/24 Baker 50M

    10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

     

    My Blog

     

    Brands I Heart:

    FitFluential

    INKnBURN

    Altra Zero Drop


    Bad Ass

      Great job on both and thanks for helping that lady that couldn't breathe.

      Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

      Next:  RnR Country Music Half Marathon

      Blog

      "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


      Sloooow.

        Congratulations on your back to back races!

         

        You are such a selfless runner, I hope to find someone like you if I ever manage to run a half. I bet those women are forever grateful.

         

        Amazing Smile


        Will run for scenery.

          Well if you were feeling frisky in Lickingville, I don't give a crap what Goo did in Austria :  B&B FTW !

           

          But seriously, great RRs and you managed not to totally kick that new lady's ass in the Peace & Whatever run.  Wink

           

          p.s. : Vhat is dis Burning River of vhich you speak ?

          Stupid feet!

          Stupid elbow!


          Trail Monster

            Well if you were feeling frisky in Lickingville, I don't give a crap what Goo did in Austria :  B&B FTW !

             

            p.s. : Vhat is dis Burning River of vhich you speak ?

             

            LMFAO!

             

            Burning River is a 100 mile race. It's my next big adventure (see signature).

            2013 races:

            3/17 Shamrock Marathon

            4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

            7/27 Burning RIver 100M

            8/24 Baker 50M

            10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

             

            My Blog

             

            Brands I Heart:

            FitFluential

            INKnBURN

            Altra Zero Drop

            Awood_Runner


            Smaller By The Day

              The day after a HM, if I wake up with a tough decision it usually involves omelet or pancakes.  Running another race has never crossed my mind...lol  Congratulations on the award in the first race, and on saving a life.  The second race sounds equally rewarding.  I'm sure the woman you helped to reach the finish line will never forget you.  At the rate you're going, someone's going to have to write a summary of your races at the end of the season.

              Improvements

              Weight 100 pounds lost

              5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

              10K 48:59 April 2013

              HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

              MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

               

              St. Jude's Hero Profile


              Muddling through

                I can hardly believe you'd get up that early to run, even for a race. You made good use of your time on the courses, though, slowing to help that runner finish.  How are your shins feeling now?

                 

                I found your report serendipitous. I have my first ever back to back long runs coming up soon - this weekend. While I'm not in a panic because I trust my coach, I've been a bit anxious about what it will be like and how I'm going to manage the second day. Your report helps me visualize what it might be like and how I'll have to spread out my effort more than normal and just enjoy the run.

                2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


                LimpingBehind.com

                  The day after a HM, if I wake up with a tough decision it usually involves omelet or pancakes.  Running another race has never crossed my mind...lol 

                   

                  This!  lol

                   

                  Great job, and you're kinda nuts.  Big grin

                   Want a discount code for the San Francisco marathon?  Message me :)

                  GinnyinPA


                    Great job on both races. I'm glad the shins stopped hurting.  I would love to read the RR of the woman you helped on the second race. Were you savior or demanding drill sergeant?  Probably both.


                    Trail Monster

                      The day after a HM, if I wake up with a tough decision it usually involves omelet or pancakes.  Running another race has never crossed my mind...lol  Congratulations on the award in the first race, and on saving a life.  The second race sounds equally rewarding.  I'm sure the woman you helped to reach the finish line will never forget you.  At the rate you're going, someone's going to have to write a summary of your races at the end of the season.

                       

                      I'm on 91 races lifetime, only 16 so far this year. I'm slacking! Big grin

                       

                      thanks everyone. It's fun to be crazy but I really enjoy the people aspect of racing so this weekend was great for that! The woman from the second race promised to find me on FB but hasn't yet. I hope she eventually does!

                      2013 races:

                      3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                      4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                      7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                      8/24 Baker 50M

                      10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                       

                      My Blog

                       

                      Brands I Heart:

                      FitFluential

                      INKnBURN

                      Altra Zero Drop

                      BruceD555


                        What a fabulous weekend of racing for you. I so much enjoyed hearing how you went out of your way in both races to help someone out who was hurting. BTW, I love the kids' response for helping their mom in the first race ... always looking at priorities. Wink You are certainly living up to the Auhugh!! moniker.

                        Train smart ... race smarter.

                          What a great weekend.  Just terrific.  I always wonder if I would stop or slow down if I saw someone in distress and I'd like to think I would but I'd likely just keep running.  Congrats to you for being a better person than I am.

                          Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                          Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                          Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


                          Trail Monster

                            What a great weekend.  Just terrific.  I always wonder if I would stop or slow down if I saw someone in distress and I'd like to think I would but I'd likely just keep running.  Congrats to you for being a better person than I am.

                             

                            Its easier to be a bigger person when you're not giving up an award to do it. If I was faster I probably wouldn't be surrounded by so many catastrophes. LOL.

                             

                            thanks all. I really feel like I got more than I gave. I finally found my new friends on FB so I will be able to run with them in the future (if I didn't scare them off) so I am thrilled!

                            2013 races:

                            3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                            4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                            7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                            8/24 Baker 50M

                            10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                             

                            My Blog

                             

                            Brands I Heart:

                            FitFluential

                            INKnBURN

                            Altra Zero Drop

                              Wow, sounds like 2 great experiences. I guess one of the benefits of racing so much is that each one does not have to be such a, well, race. You can stop & smell the roses, or help a fellow runner. And I can't imagine the feeling of dread with the shin pain on day 1 step 1, but glad it became manageable. Might not have worked itself out had you all-out raced.

                              Dave

                                Good stuff, Banshee.  Race one, run another for fun, spread good cheer and help amongst fellow runners at both.

                                 

                                Great job.

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