Saturday, February 22, 2014

Febapple Frozen 50

This race was a bit disappointing for me.  I signed up for the 50K and was excited about doing my first Ultramarathon.  It turned out to be the most unbelievably difficult trail.  It was a hilly trail run but it was also covered with a couple of feet of snow.  It was also very wet snow and there had been no grooming whatsoever.  It was just deep snow with only the holes from previous walkers and runners and some orange spray paint to mark the way.  There were two loops, one of 4 miles and the second of 6 miles.  After each loop we would reach the aid station again.  To do the 50K I needed to do both loops 3 times.  On my first 4 mile loop I managed to fall into one of the many creek crossings and land on my right knee on a big rock.  It took a minute for me to even be able to stand up again.  I limped for a while, wondering if I would even make it back to the aid station.  But the pain finally subsided and I was able to go on.  I was mostly walking, with very little actual running.  Each loop seemed to take forever and with each loop I was ready to give up.  As I finished up the second 6 mile loop, I was continually falling and with each step painfully twisting both ankles. I reluctantly decided that I really didn't have enough time to do the last 10 miles within the allotted time limit.  So I decided to call it a day at the 20 mile mark.  They allowed me to simply switch to the 20 mile race so I did get an official time rather than a 'Did Not Finish' for the 50K.

Now that the official times have been posted, I do have some regrets that I gave up.  I see that many of the 50K racers took considerably longer than the allowed time limit.  So I would likely have made it even if I had just continued to walk.  But it is easy to forget how totally exhausted I was at the time.  It took me over 7 hours just to do the first 20 miles.
I will do another 50K soon, but not one with steep hilly trails covered with deep unpacked snow.

However, it was a beautiful day and a gorgeous trail.  I did enjoy it in spite of the terrible conditions.
My friend Lisa met me and we went out to lunch and had a great visit.

The Trail

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Myrtle Beach Marathon

I felt certain that I would leave the winter weather behind as I drove to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the Myrtle Beach Marathon.  But that was certainly not the case.  The infamous Polar Vortex followed me all the way there.  I had planned to do some traveling along the South Carolina coast but once I hit a massive snowstorm in Atlanta, I pointed my car for Myrtle Beach and did my best to outrun it.  I spent a couple of extra days there riding out a couple of nasty ice storms.  I did enjoy Myrtle Beach though.  I visited the aquarium and took several nice walks along the boardwalk and the beach, bundled up in my winter down parka!  No chance I was going for a swim in that water.  I also took a ride on the giant Ferris wheel.  What a lovely view I had from up there.
Race day started with a torrential downpour at the start line.  But fortunately it stopped raining just as the race started.  Even though the actual air temperature was close to 50 degrees, it was freezing the entire time because of a wind of about 40 miles an hour.  It was much colder than the Mississippi River race last week.  I think my bones were frozen by the time I staggered to the finish line.  This was the slowest of the three for me, but it's about reaching the finish line and not about breaking any speed limits.  That's a good thing!

This one had the cutest medal of all.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mississippi River Marathon

Well, I was a little too warm last weekend in New Orleans, but that was sure not the case for this one.  Yikes, it was colder than Alaska in the morning when I made my way to the start line.  First I had to beat about 1/2 inch of solid ice off of my rental car so I could drive to the finish line area to catch the shuttle to the start line.

This is an interesting race because the first half of it is in Arkansas and the second half is in Mississippi.  It was very cold at the start and fortunately the race officials had started several bonfires for the runners to huddle around to stay warm.  There was snow on the ground and the road was also ice covered.  It looked pretty grim at the beginning.

There were quite a few Marathon Maniacs and we all got together for a group picture.  I am wearing several layers topped with a clear plastic rain poncho.
Marathon Maniacs
It was pretty cold the whole way but at least the ice on the road melted.  The first half was along the most beautiful lake.  I would love to see it in the summer. Crossing the bridge over the Mississippi River was the only uphill section, but it seemed to take forever.  The bridge is several miles long. I was poking along in my usual way wishing somehow I could pick up the pace.  But I did reach the finish line and even got an award for 3rd in my age group.

The medal for this race was really beautiful too.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans

What a lovely event!  It was very warm, in the 70's but we were blessed with a heavy fog to keep things a little cooler.  Actually, the fog kind of obscured most of the view of New Orleans. In my usual way, I slogged along at a slow pace.  But in the end, I did reach the finish line in time to get my medal and an official finish time. 

But the best part was knowing that we raised a lot of money to help fund needed cancer research.  Hoping for a cure in my lifetime.

We got double medals for this one.  The second one was for doing the race for charity. I will be signing up for my next Team In Training event soon.