Sunday, August 25, 2013

39 Days to Ragnar

A nearly complete team of 12:

Ladies,

Our team of ladies is nearly complete! We have 10 members fully registered and paid up, and 2 members nearly there. Thanks to everyone who helped pull in a friend or two! Is there anyone under 30 registered? We're setup as a submasters team, so if there's a youngster under 30, I'll have to change that to "Open".

One quick item - the deadline to change our name is tomorrow. We're currently called "A Touch of Crazy" and we have a crazy colorful team scheme. Feel free to throw out ideas today; we'll decide tonight whether to stay the crazy course or take another path. The other DC team names are posted here: http://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/dc/team-list.

Tracy and Jane, you're showing a personal pace of 0:00. Don't forget to update your pace based on previous races; our start time will be determined by the team pace and that deadline is coming up.

Below are the allocations for the runners. If you'd like to shift slots, please contact the person whose slot you'd prefer and see if they'll swap. If the new arrangement is good with those involved, send me an email with the new assignments and I'll make the swap.

#1 - Wendy
#2 - Robyn
#3 - Dusti
#4 - Susan
#5 - Chrisie
#6 - Tracy
#7 - Gwen
#8 - Kat
#9 - Mary
#10 - Jane
#11 - Kristen
#12 - Betsy

It's time to find volunteers! Since we're a local team we need to supply three people. So far we have one volunteer signed up. If you know of someone who is interested, send me their email and I'll send them a volunteer invitation.

That's all for now. An equipment email will hopefully be coming out later today.

Friday, August 16, 2013

48 Days Until Ragnar

And as the team grew:

Ladies,

We are just 48 days away from Ragnar, and we only have five runners fully registered, so everyone needs to turn to the crazy lady next to them and recruit them onto our team. I've continued to put feelers out using the Ragnar site, so hopefully I'll get a few more people to bite. If recruiting continues to go slow, I may have to open the field and start asking guys to join us (nooooo!).

I've seen a few Ragner-related emails come out from the organizers, so I'll sit down in the next couple of days, digest that information, and pass on the important bits. Volunteer slots open on the 19th, so if you know someone willing to spend a few hours helping out the race, send me their email and I'll add their name to the list.

So that's the quick note for today. Those in the "To" line are the ladies currently on the team, and those on the "Cc" are those I want to add to the "To" line. Let's go ladies!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Yikes! Less Than 3 Months

An email to what was the start of our Ragnar team:

Ladies! I've come up for air for a moment to say "I haven't forgotten about the team!". Work has been unkind to my personal/social life and is taking up too much of my attention.

We currently have three runners who have paid and are registered for their legs on the Ragnar site:

Jane Cannata
Chrisie Roberts
Myself

So that means we'll all be running twelve legs (ah haha... that's not really funny...). If you can't find the Paypal invoice, my address, or the Ragnar link to get yourself registered, please let me know and I'll resend.

Starting August 19th, the volunteer positions will open up. I know of two people whose arms will be twisted to help out there, so we'll need one more person to round out the volunteer brigade.

We should ideally have two non-runner drivers, and if someone(s) is/are photographically talented, let's get them in each van to capture the fun and ugly of this run. I'm sure there will be some priceless moments in there.

Theme! One idea that was floated was the "Bond Girls". Let's brainstorm some additional ideas and take a vote. We'll need outfits and van designs at a minimum. If someone would like to take care in this area, let me know.

That's enough of the scatterbrain thoughts running through my head. Be poking your friends and family and let's get this team assembled!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Frederick HM Training and My Broken Feet

The first serious trouble I had in my run training was the blister underneath my toenail that I developed during my twelve mile training run, one week before the race.  I was worried about the final training runs and race day since this quite the injury, but I used my first aid skills to work through the issue.  After all, I was going to run the half marathon unless my toe was actually falling off.

For the first two days, Sunday and Monday, I kept my toe (the second toe on my left foot) double wrapped with band-aids with bacitracin to help prevent infection.  I skipped Pilates on Monday because I was worried about additional injury to the toe.  Starting on Tuesday I laid off the bacitracin and just double wrapped.  I found during my three mile training run that the band-aid going up and over my toe was rubbing other toes so I knew that wasn't going to work for race day.  For the remainder of the week I decided on one band-aid wrapped around my toe.  My Wednesday run I shortened from four to three miles because my toe was quite sore from Tuesday.  My Thursday three mile training run I dropped completely because I figured it was more important to rest my toe for the race than put in the final training run (this was a good decision).  I knew I was well-trained and ready to go.

My toe survived the race but I had additional aches in my feet from hot spots underneath my toes to additional blisters in those same spots to sore toes in general.  Since this is similar to what I experienced last year, I think I need a different brand of shoe; probably at least a different style since I'm a midfoot runner.  My current shoes do not have too much mileage on them so it's not that they are broken down, they're just not working for me at long distances.

After my shower I took a look at my toe and found that I would most definitely be losing my toenail.  The skin had already pulled away from the nail in most places, and I found I could raise my nail up just a little bit off my toe (that made my stomach flip a little).  So at this point it's all about managing my loose nail to make sure I don't rip it off suddenly.  And that means investing in the bulk size of band-aids and always having one on my toe except in the shower.  Every few days I check in with my toe to make sure there isn't anything funky going on (infection) or any freeloaders (debris).  So far so good.  It took my big toenail eight months to grow out so I'm giving this one three months due to it's relative size.

At some point the old nail is going to fall off, but I am certainly not going to force the issue.  It is protecting the new nail and skin below so the longer it sticks around the better.  If my nail was falling off due to infection or a fungus, that would probably be a different story.  But it's not so I am not going to try to yank it off.  I think I'll stick to home pedicures for the next several months; I am sure those women have seen it all when it comes to feet, but I don't need to wave this toe in their face.

So, here's to a new second toenail on my left foot!  Two weeks down, ten weeks to go.

Frederick Half Marathon Recap

I'm a little slow getting this recap posted, but it's here now.  Yay!

Friday night I slept very well.  Saturday morning I awoke at 5:00a.  My plan was to leave the house at 6:15a, and I figured an hour and fifteen minutes would be plenty of time to do everything I needed to [spoiler: it was].  I warmed up my pasta, threw a little butter on it, and grabbed a cup of water.  As I was getting dressed, I polished off my food and water.  I checked twice to make sure I had everything, and headed out the door on time.

I was able to park on-site at the Fairgrounds which was great.  I sat in the car and flipped through a few magazines; I had an hour and fifteen minutes until the race start so I had some time to relax.  At 6:45a I took off my longs, tossed them in my after-race bag, and headed up to bag check-in.  On my way up I saw a short line at one of the outdoor building bathrooms and jumped in line.  Not too long later I continued on my way.  I checked my bag, smoothed out my gear, and headed towards the start line.  Since I took my time getting to the start line, the road was crowded and I stood in the Fairgrounds entrance waiting for the start, which happened to be around the pace group I was looking for.  The gun went off right on time and I was at the start line two minutes later.

I made sure to pay close attention to my watch and be careful of my pace.  The start is always exciting - the energy is high, and everyone feels good so it is very easy to go out too fast.  I think that was part of my problem last year.  I knew the course pretty well so I thought of the race in stages:

(1) First leg including Market Street
(2) Carroll Creek wind-around
(3) Friends and family! to Schifferstadt
(4) Schifferstadt loop
(5) East Street to the finish

The first stage went by uneventfully.  I found myself unable to fully relax into my run since there were a lot of people around, so I relaxed as much as I could.  The second leg was "annoying" as I had expected. There were a bunch of turns through neighborhoods as if the race organizers were just trying to "find some miles".  The remainder of the miles were well organized so I can forgive them for a few annoying miles.

As I came out of the annoying miles I was looking forward to seeing my friends and family.  I started moving left so they could see me, but I quickly discovered they would probably be standing on the right side of road based on how the race had been laid out this year (we didn't have the entire road, just the right side).  So, I moved right and smiled and waved as I ran by my adoring fans.  And then it was back to work for another five miles.

As I entered stage four I knew I had about two miles in the loop before I came out for the final two miles.  This is when I caught up with the 2:30 pace group.  I was expecting to finish in 2:30 so I knew I was in good company.  The pacers were fantastic; they were chatty and energetic and I loved it so I stayed with them through the loop.  The undersides of my toes had started to hurt and I found that they felt better if I ran faster, and this group was running just fast enough to relieve the pain.  As we came out of the loop and we approached the eleven mile sign, one of the pacers told everyone that they had had a lot of fun with the group, but if anyone had enough left in the tank, then they would miss us but we should go ahead and take off.  So, I did.

I wanted to leave everything on the course, and I felt great, so I picked up the pace.  Mile eleven went by in 10:36.  Just over halfway through mile 12, I ran by two of my friends/coworkers.  This was on the way to a 9:48 mile and they noticed I was cruising.  I had forgotten about the final hill leading up to the Fairgrounds, but I powered up it (I couldn't slow down or else my feet would hurt again), made the final turn onto the racetrack, and sprinted towards the finish.  I heard someone say "don't let 2:30 show up on the clock" and I made sure it didn't happen.  I crossed at 2:29:59.  And that was when I remembered that it had taken me two minutes to get to the start.  2:27:59.

I had no one waiting for me at the finish so I grabbed my bag, took the moleskin off my feet, put on my longs,  got out of my shoes, mixed and took in my protein drink, and headed for the infield where I grabbed my free "beers" (Michelob Ultra) and an Italian sausage with peppers and onions, for breakfast.  Once I was done relaxing, I picked up my premium shirt and headed towards my car to drop off my bag.  I called Jeff and found out when he and his brother were going to arrive for their 5k run and made arrangements to meet up.  Since the parking area had cleared out, I moved my car closer to the start and met up with the guys.  I watched them race, spent a little more time in the infield while they enjoyed their own beverages, and then we all headed out.

The race was perfect.  The weather cooperated so it was just me against myself and I performed well.  I pulled in mile times of 11:34, 11:36, 11:28, 11:37, 11:38, 11:29, 11:22, 11:27, 11:18, 11:23, 11:37, 10:36, 9:48, and 8:19 for the final 0.1 miles.  Since I didn't have my Garmin last year I don't know what my pacing looked like, but I guarantee it was ugly.  I finished 297/376 in my AG and 1428/3670 for my gender.  This might be the first time I finished in the top 40% of a group.  Yippie!

A body recap to follow.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Pre-Race Evening

Just in case you're not an avid reader of my blog, last post's reference to losing my toe comes from my post-century ride in 2007 and the resulting toenail issues.

It's less than 24 hours from race start and the adrenalin is starting to flow.  And a few nerves too.  I headed to the expo at 4p (the expo ran from 3p - 8p) to pick up packets for myself, Jeff, and Zac.  I perused the goodies and found a Fuel Belt pouch that is the perfect addition to my Fuel Belt.  My complaint has been that I've needed a second, larger pouch and fewer bottle holders, and now I have it.  I tried not to look too much since I'll probably be back after my half marathon is over and before the 5k starts.  I ended up with a freebie cold pack too.

My outfit for tomorrow is finally chosen:


The only common pieces from last year are the shoes, Fuel Belt, and iPod.  I didn't think any bad karma remained on last year's outfit; with it being a little chillier than last year I chose not to wear a tank.  I just noticed that my Garmin Forerunner is missing from the photo; it was busy charging.

And speaking of weather, here's the forecast:

Overnight low of 47ºF.  High tomorrow of 72ºF with a 20% chance of precipitation for the day.  Sunrise is at 6:04a.  The temperature at 7:00a is supposed to be 51ºF and at 10:00a is 62ºF with no predicted precipitation in those hours.  In one word - awesome.

Since it's supposed to be super sunny, I decided to forgo a black shirt.  And without all the heat, I'm leaving the visor behind too.  No need to add unnecessary weight.

I'm done eating for the evening and will finish out the night with a few more glasses of water.  I'm thinking I'll be in bed and asleep by 9:00p and up by 5:00a, but I'll have to listen to my body to see how that feels.

That's it for tonight.  I'll post again after my race.