Monday, November 22, 2010

WEEK 46: 35 miles and Lil Rhody Runaround

Monday: plyopower, TM 2 x 1 mile and 2 x .5 mile HMP (8 min/mile) with quater mile rests at 6.5, light upper and core...log 5 miles GOOD WORKOUT
Tuesday: Struggled for every one, but log 5 miles; not too sreo from plyopower, just a little tired from yesterdays workout.

Wednesday: 45 min elliptical, good cross training.
Thursday: 10 slow, stiff miles along westport road. Lots of cute cows though!
Friday: 3 mile TM, lackluster effort, new mizuno sneaks -pretty tight but light. will save for spring.

Saturday: 4 miles rail-trail with greg and griffin; brisk morning, added a couple strides...
Sunday: LIL RHODY 8 Mile Trail Race, RI

I wasn't feeling real confident going into the race on Sunday and really had no expectations. I've been a little off in reading how I'm feeling when it comes to running and fitness lately.  Sunday morning, Greg and I still woke pre-dawn and headed to the beach with Griffin and Jimmy for coffee and the sunrise (pictures eventually). That made for an early breakfast and gave us something to do while waiting for the later than usual 11am start.

At 9:45 we headed to Burlingame State Park for the race, which is an 8-mile course around Watchaug Pond (a little over a mile on roads).  We got registered and hung out with his friends and family waiting for the start (again, pictures eventually).  A perfect day for running - brisk and sunny.  Still at this point I had little expectation or idea of what I could do.  I figured under 80 should be a no brainer, but I wasn't sure, and would shoot for 75 minutes for a 9:30 pace.  Greg kept saying this was a fast trail race and FLAT compared to the trail races I have done all fall, but I was still skeptical.  Finally, at 11am we were gathered at the start and were off.  The downhill start was tricky when someone took a spill and was almost trampled.  I had Glenny in my sights for about 10 seconds. 

I didn't have much plan of attack except to get to the singletrack trail in a group that wouldn't be too slow.  I'm done feeling sorry for people who get stuck behind me, so really worked hard not to get stuck in the back.  I made it to the first trails confidently and think I was in a good spot- only one or two erratic runners passed me and I could keep up with those ahead.  We shifted grouping a little through the campground and I got ahead of more people as we went into the trails again.  LOTS of tripping and wiping out in there!  Now I know what I sound like to Greg when I am running behind him in Pisgah!  I did not falter however, and after a mile and a half or so I realized Pard (Greg's Dad) was just ahead and picked off a couple people so I could settled in behind him.  I knew he knew all the little steps around any obstructions and followed intently.  I planned to do that the rest of the way, but he stopped for some water just at the halfway and I went on ahead figuring he would catch up again (my stomach wanted no part of a water break).  At the "half" I thought I was doing ok at 34 minutes.  I forgot to throw the Mrs. Hammett's my gloves as they apparently directed traffic at the road and took pictures (below).

I had heard the second half might take a little longer than the first, so when I started to poop out a little bit I got discouraged.  I wish I had taken in a few more calories right before the start as we had such an early breakfast or I wish I would toughen up a little bit!  I settled in behind a girl that was going my speed. I felt bad being right behind her, but knew if I passed her she'd just have to pass me again.  I'm not very good at navigating yet so I chickened out and stayed right where I was.  There was some gnarly, rooty trail with slick leaf cover,  but no steep hills.  It really was a pretty flat course (whew). 

We made it to the road and I felt it was only fair that I pass this girl early and give her something to chase since I had just spent 3 miles on her shoulders.  I went ahead while telling her she did a great job in there.  We drove this part of the raod on the way in to the race, but I still had a hard time judging the distance and how tired I'd get!  The first part was downhill, then a SLIGHT uphill that almost stopped me dead in my tracks.  I panicked that I'd be a huge jackass when that girl passed me, but I held it together and made to the downhill finish still ahead.  I crossed at 1:08:20 (8:33 pace), covering the second half in the same time as the first.  Greg won overall and Pard came in only a minute behind me to win his age group.  Jonny, Glenny, and Justin were all happy (Boj was not) and it was fun to hear everyone's account of their race (I can't wait to read the blogs!). 

I was happy too.  Happy not to get my butt kicked by some ridiculous mountain like I have been all fall!  But also liked to think about the fact that this time last year I couldn't have run an 8:30 pace on roads- not even a 5K.  I was 8th in my age group and around 21st female.  Next year will be faster as I get better at trail running and running in general.  I'll have to try to take on that role of navigating more often, but as my first season of trail running comes to a close, I think I did alright overall.  I got a couple blood blisters on my big toes, but really feel good considering all the things that have been bugging me this month.  We hung out for a bit so Greg could bonk on his cooldown and then headed home for "Thanksgiving" with the Hammett's.  It was a great post-race meal! 

This week we head to NY for another Thanksgiving with my family and a 5K in Corning, NY.  I don't know what to expect for a time there either.  I think last year I ran a 26 or 27 something....yikes.  My last 5K was at Yankee Candle in mid-august and ran 22:51.  I think the courses are similar, so I guess that's my goal.  I hope Greg wins a pie since I don't have time to bake anything to take home for Thanksgiving (no pressure)!  It's hard to plan through the holidays, but this time last year is when I really started to make improvements.  I hope I can do it again, you know what's coming - "it's a process, and I love it!"  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here are the halfway pictures Gina took and the start I stole from the race website...lots of orange out there in hunting season! Results are here:

Greg, notice the orange hat flying through the air on the right.

Jonny, black gloves in the air

Glenny, about to throw his gloves





  1. Jen - good job out there and nice write up. It was a fun weekend!

    The pictures are hilarious....