Post Oak Triple 2019 Race Report

This last weekend I did the Post Oak Triple Challenge. This is a Friday, Saturday, Sunday set of three races where you get to pick your distance for each race. The options are 10K, Quarter, Half, 25K, Full, 50K with Friday and Sunday being the ‘mile’ distances and Saturday being the ‘metric’ options.

I’d signed up for this last March to take advantage of the price discounts and had chosen the Half, 25K, Half as my triple option. Frankly I didn’t know where I’d be in my ability to run long and at the time 42 miles in one weekend seemed like a decent challenge.

Because the races are ‘heavy’, i.e. they’re all longer than the standard distance it was actually closer to 44 miles for me.

Bunny because she doesn’t sign up early for races because Life gets in the way too often for her ended up last minute only doing the Full on Sunday.

I’d of loved to have done it with her but by Sunday morning I made the decision it was too much as there is a 24 Hour run coming up in 3 weeks that I wanted to be in decent shape for. As a result she now has a trail marathon up on me.

The course is a roller coaster type course with at least for my courses about 1500′ of gain over the half distances and 2000′ of gain over the 25K. The vertical wasn’t enough to be super significant under normal racing conditions but as with last year as I understand it, the course was about 75% inches deep mud. This made for very unstable footing for me and forced me to slow down to an almost crawl at times. Buried in the mud were also just enough rocks to make thoughts of tripping and smashing ones face in a thing.

The race was very well done especially given the circumstances of having so many different races and distances all occurring at the same time over the same base set of trails. The aid stations were well staffed with friendly people with what I’d call an okay selection of offerings. But you have to remember the longest race was a 50k so having a full buffet at every AS was simply not necessary.

The mud was fun…. the first 20 miles.

On Friday I maintained not a bad pace for me, especially under the circumstances of the mud but something odd around mile eight happened and it felt like my left calf had torn with some level 7 or 8 pain punching in with each step, especially the climbs. I hauled out my Paria poles and used those to help take some of the pressure off with each step. It was bad enough that I really questioned if I was going to be a DNS for the next day or at least if it would be the ‘smart’ thing to do. But while I’m pretty smart, I’m not always wise.

Friday’s ending was the oddest ending I’ve had in a race so far. We get to the finish line, technically about 100 yards away and we’re stopped and asked what distance we have. I had been wondering as I had 12.4 miles at this point and the race was billed as a 13.7 heavy half. We’re directed to basically ‘head out that way and do some laps until you get the distance’.

All righty then. I ended up doing 14 miles because I didn’t want to get back and get sent out again for being short. ūüôā

Saturday with little sleep had me at the start line for the 25K. The route that had been fun the day before was just now a comedy of entertaining slips and slides with 2 falls, one of them left feeling like I was a hair away from popping my arm out of its socket due to the way I landed trying to catch myself. This pace took a big nose dive. The trail was just torn up from the day before with even the good parts now slippy and slidey.

Running on a slippery surface works all the muscles in your legs, your arms and shoulders tense up as you use them to balance yourself and it’s mentally fatiguing. I.E. it’s a really good workout / training and if it doesn’t’ kill you it makes you stronger.

There was no funny business with the end of this race, nor Sunday’s. There was the ‘Hill from Hell’ but honestly it’s a lot scarier sounding than reality is. I was expecting some 2000′ 60 degree slope or something but while it does have some slope to it it’s just not that long or that high.

On Sunday we basically did a kind of combination of the Friday and Saturday routes except part of it was backwards so no surprises. And thanks to there having been no rain for the last 24 hours the track wasn’t worse than it had been the day before for the most part. First couple of miles the mud was still half frozen from the sub freezing temps overnight but the sun came out and fixed that, turning it all back into mush again.

I was feeling the exertion by this time, the mud, the balancing act going up and down slippery slopes and general lack of sleep, not unusual for me but it certainly doesn’t help and while the pace was a little better than Saturday it wasn’t much better. And by this time I was tired of mud running after almost 30 miles of it going into Sunday.

So I was pretty happy to finally come around the ‘victory lap’ and cross over the finish line ending my Triple challenge.

We missed Bunny’s first lap finish by about 15 minutes, the full’s had a 30 minute head start on us so I went home, washed 20lbs of mud off my legs then went back out to wait on her to cross the finish line to put her medal around her neck.

Brooks Running Bras Stink

I have owned two Brooks running sports bras since I started running just under two years ago. I started with the Juno model two sizes ago, and now I am into the Rebound Racer. These two bras alone have hugged my girls and kept them nice and snug for all of my major races and long distance runs.¬† I also own and use a C9 (Champion Target Brand) and a SheFit, which I use for day to day running mostly, choosing the Brooks because they have softer materials and fit better as they are quality bra’s, but they are not without their issues.

Brooks Juno & Rebound Racer Pro’s & Con’s (The short version): If you want a bit more back story read below the bulleted lists for my personal experience in each of these areas.

Pros:

  • Good soft materials – doesn’t really cause chaffing (with the exception noted below) during distances up to a Marathon.
  • Durable materials – has taken almost daily washings and been worn for over a year (Juno) and a half (Rebound) without showing visible signs of wear and tear (one major exception also noted below).
  • Snug fit – my girls don’t bounce and the front tacky strap adjustment helps synch them in nice and tighten on the fly.

Cons:

  • Stinky Fabric – After about 3 months of summer wear, both models have a breakdown in the materials and begin to trap odors which are released while wet. NO it’s not just me, or my laundry routine.
  • Outdated Design – Sports bra’s should be easier to get on and off. Especially when one is wet with sweat! See below for my opinion on the matter.
  • Price – are you kidding me? I paid full retail marked up price for mine at local running stores, and if they were perfect I would happily pay that price. But come on, I get almost as good support and coverage from my Target bra and it never stinks!

All in all I would recommend these bra’s for fit and comfort for longish and short distance, mainly because I haven’t found anything else that I like better. But for the price I would like something I love and I don’t love these bra’s. I use them because I bought them and I like to get my monies worth. But given the issues I have had with them I am on the hunt for a better bra for my Ultra distances.

More In-depth experience:

To begin, as mentioned before in other posts, I am rather sensitive to the feel of the material against my skin, so it is EXTREMELY important to me that the materials be soft (to me). I don’t like rough seams or scratchy edges, or stiff materials. And as I am upping my distances chaffing is going to be a HUGE concern.¬† So to be noted, with the Juno I occasionally had a problem of chaffing just above my breast plate where the fabric sagged into my cleavage. It started happening during my first marathon and happened a few times after that. My guess is that my boobs shrank just enough to allow this to happen, or I simply hadn’t run far enough for it to happen before that time. Either way I don’t like the burning sensation it caused during my post marathon showers.¬† Since boob shrinkage is a real thing thanks to running, I had to move down a couple sizes and purchased the Rebound Racer, and I have not yet had this chaffing issue, instead I have had a different problem.

With my Rebound Racer the straps compress over my collar bones during long runs and have left bruising on both side after races. Of note this occurs primarily when I have to wear a my Nathan Vest. Now you could argue this is the vest’s fault and not the Rebound, but I wore my vest with my Juno during Little Rock and didn’t have this problem. The fact is that the strap material of the Rebound feels thicker and doesn’t seem to absorb/compress softly enough over my skin and bones to prevent this from happening. Not sure if this is the Bra’s fault but worth noting nonetheless as it is a BIG factor in why I won’t be using it for our 50k.

My next complaint with both of these Brooks Bras would be the design. I don’t know about you but I HATE, with a passion, pulling a nasty sweaty sports bra off over my head. Not to mention wrestling into one before my runs. While you have the options to unstrap the shoulders on these models, I tend not to because they are a PITA to re-thread through the eyelet due to the velcro.¬† I also HATE the old fashion hook and eyelet adjustments on the back. I find myself looking like a contortionist every time the hooks catch over the fabric and won’t find the eyelets!¬† I would seriously like to see an open front option, and a velcro back adjustment maybe like my SheFit; the key here would be for the fabric and materials would have to be just right as to not cause chaffing or pressure points, I haven’t found my SheFit to be perfect in this department hence why I still wear the Brooks.

But so far my number one complaint about these two bras is that that they stink. Literally. About 3 months of wear during the summer months and both bra’s developed a stink that is released after they get wet with sweat. A smell like dead rotting vegetation wafts up into my nostrils and is most unpleasant during my runs.

Now before you jump to the conclusion that I have poor hygiene or don’t know how to wash clothes let me explain. First I don’t and have never had this issue with any other bra or sports equipment for that matter.¬† My husband is also a runner and his stuff doesn’t stink.¬† I wash our running clothes immediately after use in a detergent (Nellies Natural Laundry Soda) which I used to wash my babies dirty cloth diapers and my Roller Derby pads, so I know it is NOT my laundry routine that is the problem.¬† Again it is only these bra models I have ever encountered this problem.

With the Juno when the problem occurred last summer I tried using Biokleen Bac-Out before washing, as it is an enzyme based odor remover, but that didn’t help. The only thing that has helped is Bleach, which seems to kill whatever bacteria is able to develop by the way the fabric traps in sweat.¬† I did a sniff test yesterday after I ran in my freshly washed Rebound and it seems to be the mesh fabric that traps the smell. It wasn’t the fabric that lays over my breasts, but the waffle woven dry fit fabric that surrounds the padding on the inside, which I thought was interesting.¬† So into the bleach it went. Problem solved.¬† I am sure Trex’s nostrils will thank me. He’s never said anything but I am sure he’s just being polite.

So my search continues. I guess one plus of moving into the ‘itty bitty’ category is that I don’t need quite the support as I did before, so I can move away from these thicker fabric models. Wish me luck in my endeavors to find a replacement for my first Ultra.

~B

NOTE: I purchased all of the products mentioned in this article at retail price, from retail stores, for my own personal use. I have no affiliations with any retailers, company, or suppliers. This is strictly a user review of these products.

Sacrifices & Rewards

Finally I have (unofficially) broken my 12-year-old Half Marathon PR. Today, thanks to the creative planning of my RH, we Raced The Dawn and I managed break my record by a whole 1:01 for a total finish time of 2:15:15. This was no easy task, and it surprised me just how difficult it ended up being given how confident I was in my abilities to break this record.

What made it so difficult you ask?¬† (You probably didn’t ask, but I will tell you anyways.)

For starters, in order to make this happen it required extra hydration over the last few days which resulted in numerous trips to the bathroom, including in the middle of the night; eating when it’s rush-hour at Luby’s (5pm); going to bed before 8pm; getting out of bed at the early/late hour of 2am; and leaving my house 45 minutes later, so T-Rex and I could meet at the half way point, stash a vehicle and water reroute, with just enough time to spare to start our “race” at 3:57am (PR time – Sun Rise time).¬† As previously mentioned in another post this was a re-run of The Golden Driller route, at which this year I failed to break my PR; and at which last year was cancelled on account of torrential rains, gale force winds, and considerable lightning in the area. This resulted in our not getting to run the half marathon we were trained and ready to run, and the decision to plunk down the premium last minute entry fees for the OKC Memorial race the following day, and we know how that race ended up now don’t we?

The official race conditions this year were near perfect for a PR, but it seems our re-run was not able to escape the ‘Curse of the Golden Driller’.¬† As we arrived at the park, much to our amusement, once again we were met with a torrential downpour, strong winds, and lightning. As we sat in the car watching the sheeting rains there was nothing to do but laugh and check the radar again. Luckily the worst of it passed quickly over us and we were left with steady light rains and winds with cloud-to-cloud lightning far enough away not to be of danger, and just enough time to make our official start time.

So into the rain we stepped, found our official start/finish segment of pavement, set our watches to the same race program we used three weeks ago, and then set off at our race pace.

The weather being what it was actually cooled the morning off enough so that overheating wasn’t as big of a problem as it threatened to be, but all the water on the trail eventually soaked our shoes completely, and by the end of the race I was weighed down, drenched in water from head to toes. My soaked clothes and shoes probably added a good 2lbs of dead weight. But the rain made nice sounds as we ran under the trees that canopy the trail in several areas, so there’s that at least.

It being as late/early as it was and pitch black thanks to the clouds, we discovered that the Riverparks trail lights don’t blaze all night. Luckily we had headlamps to light the trail and all the frogs that hopped in front of us.

And unlike a sponsored public race, and because of the ungodly hour of the morning, in the rain, there was no one else on the trails running but T-Rex and I, which has its pluses and its minuses. On the plus side, you don’t have to constantly bunny hop around other runners, forced to weave and dodge around them expending additional energies. Also there is something nice about the quiet of running in the middle of the night in the rain. Meditative. But on the minus side there were no cheering fans, or by-standers, no support, no one to catch up with, and lastly the lack of energy and enthusiasm that comes from the race high. Not that T-Rex wasn’t good company, quite the opposite, although we ran mostly without conversation on account of the harder pace and need to conserve oxygen, which felt scarcer thanks to all the moisture in the air.

Eventually I was given the direction to “go on without me,” and unlike last-time I did.¬† Right around mile 10 I broke away and hoofed it as fast as I could go at that point, which wasn’t nearly as fast as I had hoped for and squeaked into the finish with just a minute to spare. But my speed vs T-Rex’s gave me just enough time to grab my celebratory supplies, to setup some finish line tape, and open a confetti popper as he crossed the finish. Mission accomplished.

Many things are sacrificed in the pursuit of one’s personal best. Today that sacrifice was sleep, energy, wear-n-tear on the body, and time with family while I mostly lazed around the house in recovery from my run. I was completely deplete of the energy needed to do more energetic activities most of the day, stove up with some muscle knots in my back, and I couldn’t to do much with my family besides sit around and watch movies. Although I did take them to the pool hoping to help them burn off energy and give me a chance to soak in the hot tub, but the latter didn’t happen and I ended up in more pain than when I went in. Oh well, put some mom points on the board for sacrificing recovery for making happy memories with the kiddos, and hopefully this spasming pain in my back will go away with proper rest home treatments.

But, for me, the sacrifices made were worth the feeling of accomplishment that came with finally putting this PR win on the board. And because no race would be complete without bling, separately–unbeknownst to each other,¬† T-Rex and I both made, and had made, special awards and medals to make official our First Place Male and Female statuses of Race the Dawn, a RunSalty production.

Today turned out to be one our most memorable and fun events, and though T-Rex doesn’t know it yet, I am going to propose that we do this again next year, and turn this into a yearly event. Next year maybe our friends will join us as we try and beat the sunrise again and break the curse of the Golden Driller.

 

Race the Dawn – A RunSalty Production.

It’s been a busy last couple of months with a lot of races from 5K’s to back to back Halves.¬† One of those though was a special race, a try for my #firstrunningwife to break her personal best from several years ago in a half.

Sadly I wasn’t up to the challenge and in the end cost her about 2 minutes which kept her from PR’ing.

We’re going to try to re-run the route this coming Sunday (5/20/18) and get her a PR.¬† Given how I felt this morning in this heat (70+ temperatures) I’m pretty sure I’ll have to pace her until I can’t pace her any more and then she’ll have to fly on her own to see if she can break her PR.

I’m calling this race “Race the Dawn” as we’re going to start long before sun up and try to beat the sun up.¬†¬† We’ll have her PR time + 2 minutes give or take before the sun should be peeking over the horizon.

If she crosses her finish line before the sun then she PR’d.¬† Pretty simple. If not then we’ll have to wait till fall by which time I’m sure she’ll beat it by a lot based on our training roadmap.

This particular race was all done on a running trail so we don’t have to worry about traffic and at 4 in the morning we don’t have to worry about about a mass of people getting in our way.

Water is a concern with the pace and the heat but we’ll do what we can to fix that.¬† We’ll have a resupply around mile 7 and I’ll have frozen towels as well for neck and head wrapping.

These were a big hit today after we ran a 25K in our ridiculously too soon heat.¬†¬† Good thing the climate is stable and doesn’t shift. I bought a big pack of cheap hand towels from a big box store and soaked them in water and then threw them in the freezer last night.¬†¬† Then into an ice chest to take to the trail today where they stayed super nice and cold and were awesome at dropping core temperature fast.

 

OKC Memorial Half – Disappointing?

Today my Running Husband, Dear Husband, myself and another good friend of ours ran our second half marathon of the weekend. This makes my RH and my second time running the OKC Memorial Half Marathon, and I am of the opinion that if I never run this race again it will be too soon. Not because it is a bad race. In fact it is quite the opposite. It is extremely well supported both by cheering bystanders as well as aid, and is full of runners at all paces. You will never run alone doing this half/full marathon. But alas I am not a fan of the course as it winds up and down the City with only a few flat areas in the more boring sections of town which are always against the wind. I grew up in Tulsa and for some reason prefer our hills and neighborhoods to theirs. Just a personal thing, no offense to lovers of this race.

In terms of races I would totally recommend OKC, but I just simply don’t like it. The only reason I did it again this year was to earn my qualification into the Half Fanatics organization. So now that I have met the criteria I have no need, that I can presently think of, to run this race again. Things can always change but I have no plans in the foreseeable future to return to this race.

On the heels of yesterday’s disappointment, not PR-ing at the Tulsa Drillers Half,¬† I was hoping to redeem myself today, but alas it simply wasn’t in the cards. I am not however disappointed today, and I am at peace with knowing that I had it in me to blast my old PR out of the water yesterday. The thing about disappointment is that is can be fleeting with the right distractions or occupations to take your mind off of it or to give you a new perspective.

As for today’s performance, I just didn’t have enough juice to run the needed 10 minute mile average on this very hilly course, and luckily I knew this by about mile 2 so I didn’t burn myself out as it was hard enough to finish in 2:27. I was just too sore, dehydrated, and sleep deprived to run my best.¬† It was actually a bit of a relief to know quite early that I wasn’t going to PR, it took the pressure off and allowed me to enjoy what I could of the experience, although given how horribly sore I was during the race, it felt more like I was running the back half of the Little Rock marathon as we didn’t stroll leisurely and still finished with a respectable time and a PR for both of us for this particular race. Let’s just say my new time is just a tad better than last year’s when I was closer to 40lbs heavier.

After the race, on our way home, we stopped off in Edmond and enjoyed some rather tasty burgers at the Cow Calf-Hay. I would recommend it if you are looking for a decent burger in a down-home atmosphere. The décor is as you would expect and the service was great. All-in-all I am happy to have this whole back-to-back half marathon thing out of the way and in general I am good with my overall performance, and super proud of my team. A good ending to the weekend, one that I am not disappointed in after all.

Dealing with Disappointment

First let me preface this post that my Running Husband and my Dear Husband both ran amazing races today. Both breaking PR’s. My RH did this again so soon after his back to back race/long run two weeks ago. He pushed himself way harder than I did and I owe my own improvements race over race to his continued efforts to be a #betternonrunner.

That all said I am super disappointed in my finish today. I didn’t think I was going to be, I honestly didn’t think going into this race that I cared about my finish time as much as I now have come to realize I do. That was my a big mistake. Not knowing the importance to me of my own personal goals. As an adult we don’t get too many opportunities to shine. Projects tend to have anticlimactic endings in my line work, and as a parent we shine through the accomplishments of our children but that is indirect. We occasionally need a personal win and today I missed that chance.

Overall I felt really good. The hill up Turkey Mountain was a bitch but I had energy to burn because we were conservative and ran/walked smart. Again I give that credit to my RH. I chewed some nasty tasting Run Gum around mile 9 that gave me just enough juice to feel like I could really pull this off, but alas I didn’t. At a 2:18, I was two minutes slower than my personal best from the inaugural race of the Tulsa Route 66 Half Marathon in 2006. That was 12 years ago, I am that much older but honestly I am that much wiser thanks to my RH and his zeal for self-education which he has shared with me.

Things I learned about myself today. First never underestimate the importance of putting a win on the board for your team. Getting me to this place in my running career has been nothing short of a team effort. I owed this PR to my team as much as myself. I feel as much that I let myself down, as I let my partner down. He has worked hard to help me get to where we both are and I totally had it in me to make us proud but I let myself lose sight of this and as a result didn’t push myself when I should have and didn’t follow my instinct which was another big mistake.

Second pay attention to your actual run time and don’t depend on race time predictors. This was a major mistake on my part. I got, for lack of a better turn of phrase, cocky when I saw my finish time was several minutes ahead of my goal time. This allowed me to mentally feel like I had extra time at my disposal to hang back and finish with my dear RH. I DID NOT. The¬† predictor was off because my distance calibration on my Stryd is slightly off and as such my projected finish time was 2:13, by the time it adjusted and swapped to marathon finish time it was too late for me to make up the time.

It took me a while today to grapple with my disappointment. I unfortunately let it get to me, since I wasn’t expecting to feel this way immediately following the race, and sort of stomped all over my DH’s accomplishment of 2nd in his age group and 14th overall which is 1:42 finish time. Yah he is much faster than I will ever aspire to be. I did apologize and congratulated him on his victory, but alas the moment was passed. Seems to be the theme of the morning.

So all that said, tomorrow I am going to try again to break my PR here in OKC. It will be harder, on tired legs, and a more hilly unknown course. BUT so was Tulsa the first time I ran it, and so was San Francisco, so no excuses. I will do my best, and this time know that disappointment may be lurking should I not. I followed my self-care routine this evening and used the hotel tub to soak in hot and ice cold baths. I have tried my best to re-hydrate, although I am sure I will be under-hydrated somewhat tomorrow.

My dear RH is going to pace me until he can’t which likely means that for some portion of the last half of this race I will once again be running solo. I guess this OKC run is just going to be like that for us. One of us has to go off and leave the other, this year I guess it could be my turn, but at least I know I can do it alone.

Back to Back Half Marathons

We’ll be doing back to back half marathons this coming weekend.¬† Technically 2 half marathons within about 26 hours.¬† The first one will be the Golden Driller Marathon put on by FleetFeet in Tulsa, OK.

Then we’ll head to Oklahoma City to do the OKC Memorial Marathon half.¬†¬† I’m still very unpleased by their decision to ban hydration vests and this will be the last time I do the OKC run as a result. But it’s their marathon and they get to choose what rules they want to add to the run and I respect that right.¬† But I also have no desire to change the way I run based on a rule I disagree with.¬†¬† Especially for a race that has a No Refund policy and race directors that choose to change the rules well after most people have paid to participate in their race.

We’re going to be shooting for a sub 2:15 half result at Golden Driller.¬†¬† It’s a bit of a push, I _just_ broke a 2:20 half (#250lbnonrunner), and as a result I don’t if I’ll be able to squeeze that out of me. I’ll have to do a little more tapering than normal, this half just happens to fall on the same weekend I’m doing a half for training purposes for my trail marathon in June.¬†¬† Doing two is pushing that.

I believe my #runningwife is more than capable of breaking her own PR of 2:16:xx that she set at the Nike Half Marathon in San Francisco several years ago.¬†¬† She’s not hampered by the extra 100 lbs of weight between us and 15 years younger and #better so I’m just going to try not to be a #boatanchor for her and push her to set a new PR for herself.

To do that I’m going to be trying a 6-30 run walk run.¬†¬† 6 minutes of 10:00 pace, 30 seconds of walking whatever that turns out to be.¬†¬† If my math is right that’s a 2:15 and change.

But it’s going to be a hard sell for my old dinosaur body so we’ll see.

But barring cardiac arrest I’ll finish both and that will move up out of Uranus and into Jupiter as my Half Fanatic status.¬†¬† Not that I mind Uranus.

Hogeye Half Marathon

This last weekend I ran the Hogeye Half Marathon in Springdale Arkansas.¬† Sadly I did it without my normal running partner, aka my #runningwife.¬† I did though have a running buddy, a much better runner than me normally and when he tries he’s #awesome but he dialed it back and ran at my ancient dinosaur pace.

We drove down the morning of, getting there right at 5:00 a.m.¬† We went to the tent to try and do our pick up they weren’t ready for us, technically no one was there at all, so we went back to the car to change and then headed back where of course there was now a line.

There was a lot of issues with bibs just in the few people in front of me.¬† Most couldn’t be found, one guy didn’t seem to have ever registered for the race.¬†¬† One marathon runner was a little pissed that he couldn’t get a shirt in his size showing up late on the day of the race.

And as it turned out the guy I was running with ended up with someone else’s bib.¬† I hope Joshua isn’t too upset about his time.

The course wasn’t bad, it wasn’t awe inspiring, it was a city run after all in what is basically a small town but it wasn’t bad.¬† And the last 3 miles wasn’t uphill which was very much appreciated.

I hadn’t planned on running this one fast, I wasn’t really ‘feeling’ it to be honest but I knew I wasn’t doing based on feel.

As usual I started off a little slow (for me, a lot slow for others) but you know what, as usual I ended up passing some of those folks later on who went out too fast and burned out.¬† It can be hard to set a plan and even harder to stick to it. But I’ve found over and over that setting a plan enables me to finish stronger.¬†¬† But as always run your race, not others.

Springdale has a nice wooded area near the lake which they share with Fayetteville and it was a nice place to put part of the route.  Although it was a wee bit hilly to be honest.

For the most part the 2018 route had some sharper hills but they were usually quick to deal with and move on, only one long gradual climb.

Around mile 10 or so I knew I’d been going fast enough that I had it in the cards to set a new PR so I stepped it up a bit and the last few miles rolled past as I ‘ate up’ several people that I’d been playing tag with or that had passed me earlier.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out a heart felt thank you to an incredibly lovely but nameless girl that I leap frogged a couple of times.¬† She brightened the cold dreary day by just being visible.¬† But in the end getting a new PR beat out hanging back with her so I moved on.

The last mile was very ziggy and zaggy but coming around the last corner I could see the clock at the finish line and it was ticking up to 2:20 so I kicked it up as much as I could, breaking into a 7min pace for that block thank you very much, and I crossed the line with 8 seconds to spare, with a 2:19:52 cutting another couple of minutes of my half PR which I’d just set 2 weeks earlier cutting 7 minutes off my PR with that one.

I’m going to try and break 2:15 with my next half which is in a week and change just to let my running wife get a new PR for ‘real’.¬† She has a 2:16 and change PR from several years ago when she ran the Nike Half in San Francisco.¬†¬† I think she could easily break 2:16 if she wasn’t stuck with #boatanchor in the form of a old reptile.

But I’ll do what I can to get her there.

Gear for this one included (it was damn cold with 20mph winds):

  • Brooks Running Tights
  • Underarmour Shorts (had to wear this to avoid getting naked in the parking lot)
  • Underarmour Infrared Top
  • Chowder Dish Running club shirt
  • Patagonia Vest
  • Garmin HR monitor
  • Ultimate Direction Endure waist belt
  • Crank Sports eFuel and eGel
  • Altra Paradigm V3.0
  • Stryd Footpod
  • Injini Socks
  • Sweetheart Run stocking cap

T-Town Half Race

The T-Town Half race has come and gone and I actually cut my PR by 7 minutes from my last half.  18 minutes off my first half.  It was a typical Fleet Feet race in that it was well done with decent aid stops on the usual course.

My #RunningWife didn’t race it with me but she did join me for part of it as her weekend run.¬† She caught up with me on the public running trail and ran that section with me and then peeled off once we got back to the closed off streets.¬† Some people might call that banditing but she only ran on the publicly open running trail, she didn’t use any of the aid stations and she didn’t cross any start, finish or timing mats and she certainly didn’t steal a medal at the end.

So I’ll argue most strenuously with anyone that says that is banditing a race.

The route was the same as last year and most of it is the same as the Golden Driller race coming up in that it uses the Riverparks West trail for the majority of the race.   Most flat course although the last mile or two does have some climb back up to the start in it.

This was also the debut race for our Chowder Dish Running Club shirts.

TREX Near the Finish

First Half of Half Fanatics Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be the first half of the two races I need to get into the Half Fanatics.¬† Next weekend is a 25K which will satisfy the entry level ‘2 halfs in 16 days’.¬†¬† It’s not so much that I want to be a Half Fanatic but that I want to be a Double Agent.¬† Which requires both Half Fanatic and Marathon Maniac membership.

My dear running wife will pick up her entry into the Half Fanatics at the end of the month when we both do back to back halves and jump up to “Neptune” level.

Why?  Because we thought the shirts were cool last year when we ran the Route 66 half.

And it’s both a way to ‘show off’ and a way to encourage others to maybe push through that barrier they think they have and achieve even more.¬† Honestly because of those Double Agent shirts is the only reason I’m considering doing 2 marathons in 2 weeks and that will require some extensive pushing through barriers both mental and physical.

And for whatever reason my post mid life crisis seems to require me to try to push those limits before I can’t.