ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
I ran 64.8 miles last week, a new high for the cycle (though not an all-time high), including the Journey of Hope 5K which...did not go as planned. I am 0 for 2 in race selection, apparently )

Recap of the rest of the week )

Actually, I have a lot of things I want to post about. In addition to heart rate nattering, I want to talk about racing weight (and why some people gain weight when they run, and others lose it, and what my weight has been doing this year), and about my core routine and hip strengthening exercises, and of course about race strategies and goals for my upcoming half marathon. So, um, watch this space!
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)

AHAHAHA.  So the bad news is, I did not come even close to my goal for the 10K.  I ran 49:06, which is my slowest 10K since 2008.

...the good news is I was third overall human, and first woman.  There were about a hundred runners, I am not really sure.  So why, you may ask, the relatively slow time?  The answer, my friends, lies in two images.

First, this is the map-corrected elevation plot; for your information, the climb from the low point shortly before mile 3 (the turn-around - the course was out and back plus a second out-and-back section from mile 4 to 5) was 145 feet in 3/4 of a mile.  Oog.

Run for the Wine 9-14-2013, Elevation

 And the second photo.  As you know, it's been raining a lot in Colorado.  The course was on dirt farm roads.  What happens when you have rain + dirt roads?


 Needless to say, it was NOT a fast course!  There were a half-dozen serious mud-holes (each of which we had to traverse twice) and although the worst puddles could be bypassed, that meant  zig-zagging and heading off into uneven grass or slick mud. 

I lined up pretty much at the line and followed a small pack of men through the first mile and a half.  My pace was a little hot to start but I consciously let them pull away, and I lost the time negotiating the mud-holes and the grassy sections, so my first mile was 7:13, pretty much what I was aiming at...though at that point, I didn't realize just how hilly the course would be!

I slowed a lot climbing in the second mile (there were no markers, but I had my Garmin) and my only consolation was that I could see I was gaining on one of the men who had dropped off the pack.  I passed him about at the crest of the hill, where a water stop was located, and then tried to make up time on the downhill, but my split was 8:15, and looking at the long downhill ahead of me I knew coming back up would be a bear.

I had not counted the guys when they took off, so I was astonished to discover, as I approached the turnaround, that there were only three of them ahead of me.  The next woman was not that far behind me, though, so I knew I'd have to keep pushing.  My Garmin ticked off mile 3 at 7:20, not bad.  But by then I was going uphill, and it just got steeper and steeper..  I had never thought I'd see paces north of 9 minute miles on a 10K!   The only thing that kept me from total despair was seeing that I was gradually closing on the third man - I figured 9:30 pace must be okay, if he was moving even slower than that!

At the top of the hill we passed the water station again, and the third man stopped to take some water.  I slowed but didn't stop, and passed him as I drank.  Then it was time to fly downhill to try to make up some time, and I was able to claw my way back to an 8:21 on mile 4. 

Then came the second out-and-back section with another downhill I was not excited about having to climb back up.  The two guys ahead of me looked strong and comfortable and much younger than me.  I was just pleased to see, when I made the turnaround, that the second woman was a bit farther back than she'd been before.  I made 8:05 on that mile.

Where the second spur rejoined the main dirt road the route was a bit unclear, and I was worried I'd chosen the wrong path until I hit a mud-hole and saw all the running-shoe prints.  This stretch was the muddiest, and on the way back it was uphill.  I could no longer see the two men ahead of me, and all I could think of was that I had to stay ahead of the woman behind me.  I put my head down and chugged in, with 8:24 in mile 6 and an 8:10 pace for the last .2, to finish in 49:06 - nowhere near what I had targeted, but a good effort in these conditions.

I jogged back with my cellphone to take a few photos of the course, and caught the second place guy jogging back with his wife - who was pushing their kid in a stroller!  Talk about a serious workout!


Oddly they didn't do overall awards, but my satisfaction in coming in third overall and first female is its own reward.  I did get first in the 40-49F AG (the second woman was also in my AG), and so won a bottle of wine from the winery that hosted this event.  Finishers also received T-shirts, Balega socks, and a wineglass we could have filled at the tasting room. 


 Anyway, not remotely a PR, not any sort of fitness gauge, but a fun time and a solid workout. ETA: And to point out how solid a workout it was, I wanted to add that my HR average was 160 (86%WHR), for the last 30 minutes averaged 162, and for the last 10 minutes averaged 164, maxing out at 166 or 91% of HR reserve (working HR). So even though my average pace was just under 8 minute miles - slow for a 10K for me, the same as in my PR marathon - the effort was the level I would expect for a 10K.

ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Ilana running canyonlands half marathon 2013 Friday afternoon Britt and I drove out to Moab with the bikes in the truck; we had a pleasant dinner at Miguel's with our friends Kevin and Nora (as per tradition) and I drank a margarita (also as per tradition), then went back to the motel (the Gonzo Inn, where Karah and I usually stay) and took a soak in the hot tub (you guessed it). It was a lot more fun to have Britt along, which was not not as per tradition, but I hope it becomes one.

In the morning we got up and had coffee and breakfast cookies with Kevin and Nora (yep), then caught our respective buses for our respective starts. I was running the Canyonlands Half for my fourth time, and Britt would be running the five-miler; he's not really into racing, but he runs four miles with me a couple of times a week, so I figured he'd be fine.

It was a relatively warm but cloudy day, with only a light breeze - welcome weather after the ferocious headwinds of 2011 and 2012. After a quick porta-potty stop, I found Karah and the rest of the Grand Junction girls, and we chatted, resting among the red rocks while waiting to be allowed to move up the canyon to the start.

I lined up a bit in front of the 1:40 pacer; based on my last few tempo runs of around 7:32 pace, and my average mileage of around 44mpw, I figured 1:38-ish would be a good goal. Maybe I had a shot at a PR, under 1:37. My plan was to go no faster than 7:20 for the first mile (it's sharply downhill and oh-so-easy to go too fast - last year I ran 7:20 that mile, and the year before, 7:18) and no faster than 7:24 (1:37 pace) for the next three miles, then play by ear.

The race )

And then we went mountain biking. And eating. And biking again. )

Anyway, it was a fabulous weekend, A+ would run (and bike) again!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
I know, I said I was so over the Moab races. Expensive, headwinds, long drive, blah blah blah, not running there again, find some other damn race. Except that I kept getting email from the Moab race management telling me that there was still space available in Canyonlands (on March 16h, one month from now); ordinarily it's a lottery, but I guess enough people have been put off by the winds that it didn't fill this year. And I am weak. So I signed myself up for the half marathon, yet again; and I signed Britt up for the concurrent 5-mile race, to give him an excuse to come out to Moab as well! Maybe we'll bring mountain bikes and make a weekend of it.

So as a tune-up race, yesterday morning I ran the Community Cares 5K. I ran the same race last year; at the time it was a PR by 30 seconds, but in April I ran another 5K on a downhill course and took off another 41 seconds. I knew I was unlikely to beat that mark, but hoped to beat my previous time on the same course.

Which I did. By ONE FREAKIN' SECOND. I...guess that means I'm in the same shape I was in last year? Last year I came in second woman OA, though a pro triathlete beat me by two minutes; this year I came in fourth, but all three women ahead of me were either 20 or 21, less than half my age, so I don't feel too bad.

This time I decided to set my Garmin so I could not see my pace as I ran. Ordinarily I have it set to display total time, total distance, average lap pace, and heart rate; I changed it to show only heart rate, so I could see if I was slacking off. As it turned out, it didn't really matter, because I hardly looked at it - I just ran. Really hard. And just like last year, I ran too fast on the first mile and had a hard time holding pace after the turn-around. Of course, the route is more or less flat and downhill to the turn-around, and then flat and uphill, with an uphill right at the finish.

Here are my splits compared with last year:

mile 16:396:42
mile 27:117:08
mile 37:257:22
mile 3.10:280:32

Total time was 21:43, as compared to 21:44 last year.  Woohoo.

So what does this predict for Moab?  Well, last year I had my worst Canyonlands ever (and my worst half marathon since getting serious about running) on a hot and windy day.  My PR came on a windless day one month after a 22:14 5K (then a PR), though with higher mileage than I'm running now. I think it will all come down to conditions; I might be able to PR (though not by much) if it's cold and calm, but if there's a headwind I'll probably run slower than 1:40.

I guess I'll find out in a month!

ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
TOH silly pic

I'm about to head out of town for our Grand Canyon raft trip and so I don't have much time for a report. In brief: 1:38:37, not a PR but my best time on this course, 2nd AG (16 seconds behind the winner, who I tried in vain to catch up with over the final 4 miles), 9th OA woman. I was running really well and feeling good, covered the first 6 rolling miles at a 7:16 pace; the next two were a bit slower because of the big uphill, but when I topped out at mile 8, the wind hit, and the last 5.2 miles were into a ferocious headwind that slowed me down and sapped my will to live. I was expecting to give up a little on the uphills but make up most of it on the downhills, but I couldn't even run fast downhill. (The woman who beat me ran a 1:35:xx last year, so obviously she was affected by the wind as well.)

I did have to post the photo above, though, because it makes me giggle. I fell in with this guy in the cheerleader's outfit somewhere in the middle and we chatted for a while. He had a French accent and said that when he discovered how comfortable skirts were, he decided to run all his races in a skirt - and besides, people always cheered for him when he went by. He took off ahead of me on one of the hills, but I caught up with him and passed again near mile 11 and ended up finishing about a minute and a half ahead of him.

As beautiful and well-organized as the Moab races are, I think I'm done with them for a while. The last three half-marathons I've run there were brutally windy (as well as the last 10K, although that wasn't bad since it's not in a canyon), and it's just not fun running into a headwind. Time to move on and find some new races.
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
...or, taper is overrated. :-)

After running the 25K of the Durango Double on Saturday, I got a quick leg massage, drank a couple of beers, and then went home to rest up for Sunday's half marathon. (I should add that I got to the race start - and home again - by bicycle. Needless to say, I rode home SLOWLY.) I did a little stretching and foam rolling, and I iced my calves.

My legs were starting to ache by evening, and when I woke the next morning DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) had set in. Oddly, the part of my body that hurt the most was my butt! Walking around the house in the morning helped loosen up my muscles, as did the hike to the start, about 3/4 of a mile - and 350 feet vertical - at the college on top of the mesa behind my house. It was quite cold, and I wore a jacket and gloves along with my short-sleeve top and running skirt, intending to send them to the finish in my drop bag. I ended up keeping the gloves on, and in fact didn't take them off until mile 9 or so.

I said hello to several of the people I'd run with the day before, and other local runners I knew, and we all jockeyed for position at the start. Both the half and full marathon were starting together, as had the 25K and 50K on Saturday. And we were off! )

ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
This is it! The weekend of the Durango Running Festival, resurrected from the ashes of 2006 by race director Matt Kelly and the sponsorship of the Animas Surgical Hospital. When I ran the marathon portion (only) in 2006 I thought that it might be fun the following year to do the "double half" - the 25K trail race on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday - but then the race went out of business. When it was announced that the Durango Double was being revived, I jumped at the chance.

So today I ran the first half of my double, the Horse Gulch 25K. Read more... )


Final stats: gun time 2:21:54, chip time I was the 5th woman finisher (out of 71), and won a pint-glass trophy for 1st in age group 40-49F, but actually the 3rd woman overall was in my age group (she is 41, though, and I am 49!) so I'm really second - but they don't "double-dip" the awards. I was the 25th human being to finish, out of 116.

Tomorrow: the second half...
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
The morning of the 39th Annual (and my fourth) Imogene Pass Run dawned clear and surprisingly warm in Ouray. In previous years I'd worn arm warmers along with my short-sleeved shirt, as well as fleece hat and gloves, and kept my rain/wind jacket on as I lined up for the start, stuffing it into my pack at the last minute. This year, it didn't matter that I had forgotten my arm warmers back home in Durango; I wore a headband instead of a hat, and the jacket stayed in my pack as my friends and I headed for the start line.

A few photos and a whole bunch of babbling )
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Yesterday morning I ran the Kennebec Challenge, a 14.75-mile trail race I did three years ago (although running the lollipop-course in the opposite direction, as it switches every year). I didn't bring a camera this year, nor hang out with anyone who did, but here are some photos from 2009, and the GPS track overlaid on Google Earth - this year we went counter-clockwise instead. It's a pretty serious mountain race, and in fact this year all runners were required to have Colorado Search and Rescue cards - I figured I should get one anyway so I didn't mind! (It's $3/year or $12 for 5 years, although it's included in hunting and fishing licenses. It pays into a fund that pays for SAR services, so you won't get a bill if you have to be e.g. heli-evac'ed. Spoiler alert: I did not need to be heli-evac'ed.)

In 2009 I ran 3:19:20; this year I ran 3:03:49, an improvement I'm quite happy about even though I did not make my sub-3 goal. Oddly, both times I had an emergency bathroom break at exactly the same place; according to my watch this year I wasted a little more than three minutes on this, so I was awfully close to my goal without it! I also came in second in the 40-49F age group, about three minutes (again, those three minutes! argh!) behind a 43-year old (let me remind you that I am almost 49) who incidentally just ran the Hardrock 100 last month.

Play by play )

Final stats: 3:03:49 official time, 2nd AG. 7/23 women, 19/49 overall. (Yes, it's a tiny race!) No woman older than me finished ahead of me, although a 54-year old man did.
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Short version: I ran the Steamworks Half Marathon this morning and made most of the goals I listed in my last post - not only did I come in under 1:40, I ran a 1:38:10, my second-best time ever, on a hillier course at higher elevation than my PR from 2+ years ago, so I'm happy. I did not win my age group, but I came in second - this small race (300 runners) has 10-year AGs, and the woman who beat me by a little more than one minute just turned 40; I'm 48. So there. And I got this cool trophy:


The one on the left is the finisher's glass everyone gets when they cross the finish line, and the one on the right is my trophy. So now I can drink twice as much! Speaking of, I also got a $10 gift card to one of the local coffee shops. Not that I'm planning on drinking coffee out of these. (Hint: Steamworks, the title sponsor of this race, is a brewpub.)

Not too gory details )

I wasn't expecting a PR, so I'm not disappointed I didn't get one. This is still my second fastest half time by two minutes, and more than six minutes faster than the last time I ran this course three years ago. I think with more training and/or a flatter, lower-elevation course I can get down to the 1:35 range.

Ilana with Kevin O'Brien after the Steamworks Half 2012

Here I am with Kevin, a friend who lives in Paonia and came down for the race. He has run this race three times now, and ran a 1:28, good for first place in his age group!
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
This morning I ran a 5K I'd been wanting to run for years, but have never managed to be around/healthy for: the "Fastest 5K in the West" put on by our local college, Fort Lewis, as a fundraiser for their cross-country teams. And by "fastest" they mean "ludicrously downhill". The first 1.5 miles of the course are pretty much flat, but the next half mile drops about 50 feet toward the access road on the edge of the mesa on which the college sits. Then it plunges off the edge, dropping 250 feet in 3/4 mile of switchbacks, after which it mostly levels out again to the finish.

There were about 60 starters, and we lined up on the college's dirt track, as the course began with a loop and a quarter before angling off toward the mesa rim road. I was briefly caught behind a slow guy but managed to slide out and inside, staking my place in about the #15 spot and the 4th woman, behind a wiry blonde I thought to be about my age (later I found she is 10 years older than me!) who looked pretty fast. I didn't look at my watch at all, just kept pace with the people around me. We looped the track and then hit the access path, which had a short, steepish uphill right around .5 miles; the blonde slowed down and I shot past her and another guy, putting me in 3rd. We hit the rim road and started stringing out along the edge, and I passed another guy, which put me directly behind the first and second women but still a ways back. I looked at my watch for the first time about .7 miles in and was shocked to see my pace was 6:35 at that point, but hey, if I could keep it up...

Passed the first mile marker with a 6:49 split. The course took a right turn and began to drop, fairly imperceptibly at first, but I often run on this road in the other direction which is most definitely uphill, so I knew we were going down! Two women passed me here, including the one who eventually won, and I was in 5th for a short time, but then I passed one of them again just as the road started to head down in earnest.

I missed the second mile marker, but my Garmin has my second split at 7:00 flat. I was not looking at my watch here as well as it took all my concentration not to trip over my own feet! There's a single really steep and sharp hairpin switchback which forced me to slow down a little, but then it was just easy curves and a solid downhill the rest of the way into town, where the road finally flattened out through the neighborhoods. I was pretty much just keeping my relative spot - the three women ahead of me were visible but not close, and nobody passed me.

I looked at my watch again at the third mile marker and it was funny, because I saw 20:25 (for a third split of 6:36, OMG!), and my brain thought, "well, a tenth of a mile takes about a minute, so I should come in around 21:25, yay, a PR!" Then I went around the corner and was shocked to see the finish clock at only 20:55! I had kind of forgotten that I'm a bit faster than 10:00 pace when I'm racing, duh.

I crossed the line at 21:03 for a 41 second PR(!!) over my February 5K - I suspect most of the difference is due to the course, as the other one was an out-and-back with an uphill second half. But maybe I'm a little faster, too. I don't care - I'm taking the PR!
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
Or get blown. And not in a good way.

My original plan was that after a week of total rest and a couple of weeks of ramping my mileage up again after the Houston Marathon, I would have five or six weeks at 60mpw and some good tempo runs under my belt as preparation for the Canyonlands Half. But between a persistent calf strain and a very bad cold that still hasn't cleared my system, this did not come even close to happening. I averaged 30mpw and the only speedwork I did was one 5K race.

And then there was the weather. In a way I was happy that the forecast was for a reprise of last year's horrific headwind, as it meant that my lack of preparation wasn't going to be the only factor costing me a PR. As it happened, the weather was even worse. The wind was probably about the same (NOAA says 22 gusting to 32) but it was warmer, 64F by the thermometer but feeling even hotter due to the bright sunshine. I was feeling nauseous before we started, and pretty much ran the whole race feeling like I was going to throw up, pass out, or both. (I ended up going straight to the med tent at the finish, where they gave me an anti-nausea pill.)

It was an incredibly horrible race. I felt awful from about mile 2 on. I know it wasn't just the conditions, because my placement within my AG (9/160)was much worse than it was the previous year. I was the person everyone was passing at the end. The splits tell the dreadful story )

Total time 1:46:04 1:45:50 (I guess the official results were different!), my worst half marathon since I started seriously racing (I went from a 2:03 to a 1:44 when I started running more than twice a week) and a slower average pace than my marathon in January, and a thoroughly miserable experience.

Next half marathon is in June. I hope I can get my mojo (and fitness) back by then.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
(The subject line is probably more entertaining when considered along with my previous post.)

That old race-day magic came through, because I ran 21:44, a PR by exactly 30 seconds. I came in second woman overall (about 2 minutes behind the first woman, but that's okay because she is a local pro triathlete and 14 years younger than me), but there were no prizes - it was a fundraiser and very low-key - and I didn't even win a random draw prize.

I ran 1.5 miles to the rec center to register, but the race was not for an hour after registration "closed" according to the flyer (it didn't really close, though, and I should have just shown up later) so I did a rather long warm-up, totaling just under 5 miles before the race. It was a lovely day and I stripped down to a singlet and my "crazy shorts" (the ones I wore at the Winter Sun), and lined up just behind the fast kids.

There were some obvious slowpokes right on the line, but fortunately they were mostly on one side; I squeezed between the others quickly enough and settled in behind a guy I know is a bit faster than me, letting him slowly pull away (he finished in under 20 minutes). I could see I was the third woman right from the start; I passed #2 (a middle school girl) a bit more than a mile in, and at the turn-around I could see that I was now #2 and the next women were far behind. After the turn-around the line was pretty strung out. I managed to pass a couple of guys bit by bit, and a couple different ones passed me.

The splits are ugly. Obviously I don't know how to race 5Ks, although I can blame part of it on the course. The first mile drops about 50 feet, the second drops 20 then climbs 20, and the third retraces back up. By my Garmin I ran 6:42, 7:09, 7:22, and 7:19 for the last fraction. My HR pegged right at 167/87% WHR and stayed there the whole time, which is kind of weird because that's supposedly 10K pace (that is, too low). It didn't spike at the end or anything. On the other hand, my other 5Ks, other than my first (where I set my max) have been similar in terms of HR pattern, and I wonder if that's due to the altitude - that a true 5K effort at 6600 ft doesn't allow my HR to climb as much, now that I'm relatively fit. (Whereas the first one I did, I wasn't as fit, and maybe that let it spike more?) I certainly felt on the edge of puking in the last mile and a quarter or so, and after I crossed the line I curled up in a ball on the woodchip mulch and just breathed for a while.

Here is my HR (and elevation and pace) plot, for kicks. Um, the weird exaggeration makes it look like I fell off a cliff and had to claw my way back up, but I assure you it wasn't that bad.

After the race I jogged around a little, and then ran home the long way to make a total of a little under 12 miles for the day.

PS: I understand that there have been problems commenting here with OpenID - I've been having the same problems on your blogs, too! I answer the Captcha and it just keeps refreshing. You can comment here anonymously if you like, just be sure to include your name so I know who you are.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
I have been nattering about my injury recovery and training and race goals all over the internet, and the Houston Marathon runner tracking was amazing, with splits every 5K and interactive maps and whatnot, so a race report feels a bit like overkill.  But do I ever let something like that stop me from writing pages and pages?  Of course not.  I am not going to do a mile-by-mile report, but here are a few highlights.  Okay, more than a few.  Photos, too. If you're only looking for the numbers, scroll to the end.

Gory details! )
ETA: Larger versions of the "synchronized running" photo (only) is at Flickr, but in order to see the photos on Flickr you need to click through with this "guest pass": The others are taken from Brightroom's previews. (I am going to buy a print of that last one, though, despite the stupid ridiculous price, because it makes me smile!)
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
It has been, frankly, a rather sucky year for my running. In February I ran a 5K hoping to break 22 minutes, but instead ran 22:24, ten seconds slower than my PR set the year before on the same course; in March, I missed a hoped-for half marathon PR by over 3 minutes, although quite a bit of that can be blamed on a ferocious headwind that ruined pretty much everybody's day. And then injury was added to insult, so to speak, as a metatarsal stress fracture not only forced me to bail on my planned spring marathon (at which I was anticipating a huge PR) but all my planned spring and summer races.

In October was happy just to be able to run a half, with no hopes of anything close to a PR. But as I ramped up my running through November I was feeling pretty good. I'd been running every day, 2-3 times a week on hilly trails and the rest on the paved rec path or roads, almost all easy, comfortable miles. As I posted last Sunday, I had some solid runs, giving me hope that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to get a PR out of 2011 after all.

The Winter Sun 10K in Moab is definitely a PR course. It's mostly downhill with one moderate and a few minor uphills, and it's about 2500 feet lower than where I live and train. This latter fact makes it critical for me to run by feel rather than by pace: because I can't train at anything close to my race pace, I really have no idea how fast I can run it until I actually do. Last year, every time I glanced at my Garmin I boggled, thinking, "OMG, I can't run this fast! How am I running this fast?" (Here is last year's race report.) This year, I hardly looked at it at all.

Pre-race )

Race )

A little [embedded] video of the finish )

Numbers and analysis )

ETA: Have some photos! (via the Flickr "guest pass")
at the first turn
finish line

Or all the race photos that I'm enabling through this system:

Of course my real goal race is Houston, six weeks (yikes!) from now. I've played a little with various race-equivalency calculators, including some that adjust for elevation and terrain, and come up with 3:25 to 3:30 as a reasonable marathon goal (which, of course, is exactly what I want). This is supported by my friend Jim (, who last month ran a 10K two seconds faster than I managed today, and a 3:30 marathon yesterday (congratulations again, Jim!) so I am fairly confident I can get my goal if I can stay healthy and keep running good volume.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[pre-race report]

Cliff notes version: 1:43:54, my worst time on this course and only 23 seconds faster than my spring 2009 half, my first race after getting serious about running, but I'm happy with it as a comeback considering I only started running again after my stress fracture ten weeks ago. (Also, it barely qualifies me for the NY Marathon for the last year before they tighten their standards considerably. I might have to run it next year.) 6th in my AG (out of 123), 30th woman out of 1144, 127th human being out of 1733.

The play-by-play )

This was my third Other Half, my sixth race put on by the Moab Half Marathon organization, and the first in which I did not take home a trophy or medal[*]. And I'm okay with that. Comparing my run this year with the previous two years, I don't see anything I could have done differently. I paced reasonably. I worked at an appropriate effort level. I raced with what I had on the day, and that is all I could do.

The post-game analysis )

So I know that this year's racing season is a work in progress, and it's barely begun. The Winter Sun 10K is in seven weeks. We'll see what happens.

[*] Well, actually, I did get a medal, as The Other Half gives finisher's medals to everyone who runs. This year's medal is not only attractive but useful, as it's a combination race medal/bottle opener! (Photo courtesy of my friend Paul, [ profile] paulbe.)

Took me a while to realize that The Other Half finisher's medal has a built-in bottle opener.

And that reminds me that in fact I DID get a PR this year. One reason I love this race is because the Moab Brewery supplies free beer (in souvenir pint glasses) at the end. I learned last year that all Utah beer is 3.2 (that is, relatively weak) due to Utah's bizarre alcohol regulations. But I don't mind, because that means I can drink a whole lot! I had three pints direct from the tap, plus two other people decided they didn't want to drink and I got half of each of their beers, for a total of four. That is a post-race Beer PR! (And I still felt entirely sober driving home.)
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
After 13.1 miles of it, I can now report that "running against the wind" really sucks. I was feeling good, well-trained, at a good weight, and healthy; in other words, I was ready for a PR, but the weather had other ideas. Strong south winds that funneled up the Colorado River canyon made the race a lot harder than it was last year. Still, I ran 1:40:25, which exactly ties my Other Half time from October (2 weeks after a marathon and a hillier course), and as the wind indiscriminately affected everyone, I ended up with 3rd in my age group, same as I did last year with a 3+ minute faster time.

Gory details )

It was still a great weekend. Dee, an imaginary friend from RWOL, flew in from the midwest to run this race, and ended up taking first place Masters female even though she was disappointed in her time. I had margaritas at Miguel's the night before the race, and beers at the Moab Brewery after, with a bunch of other RWOL friends, including my usual race roomie Karah and our friend Kevin. (Karah's report has lots of great photos - I stole the one above from her - and is here on her blog.) The next day Dee and I visited Arches National Park despite the continued miserable windy weather, and it was fun hiking to the pretty arches even though the sky was cold and gray and the air hazy.

Despite the lack of PR, I still feel fairly confident about my upcoming marathon on May 1st. And I'll be running another half marathon, the local Steamworks Half, in June, giving me another chance at a PR.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
On Saturday I ran the Winter Sun 10K in Moab, UT. This race is put on by the same crew that runs the two half marathons there, The Other Half in October and Canyonlands in March. Three hours is a little far to drive for a mere 10K, but if you run all three races in one calendar year you get the "Triple Crown Award" which includes a guaranteed entry to the next Canyonlands (which is otherwise a lottery). I actually got my guaranteed entry by winning my age group at TOH, but I had already registered so I figured I might as well run. Besides, I'd already promised my race roomie Karah that I'd come out and split a hotel room with her.

The Winter Sun is known to be a fast race. Except for a slight uphill at the start, a long uphill in the third mile, and a flat finish around the high school track, it's downhill all the way. "Just go bombs away," said Karah. "You're going to surprise yourself." I was pretty sure I'd PR, since my most recent 10K was shortly after restarting running after injury time-off, 47:22 on a hilly course. Based on my last half time, the altitude difference, the downhill, and what my training had been feeling like, I figured I could run a 45:30 - 7:20 pace - with my seekrit stretch goal being under 45 minutes. With about 600 total runners, I figured my chances were reasonable for top 3 AG, even though age groups were 10 years and at 47 I'd be competing with a lot of younger chickies.

Gory details )

Cut to the chase for results )

A couple of photos )

Analysis, more nattering, future goals )
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Cliff notes version:

toh trophy 2010

I was 1/95 F44-49, 14/1025 women, and 85/1573 people. No older woman beat me, and I came in just 12 seconds behind a 62-year old acquaintance from my running club (who won his AG).

Details )

I really can't complain. I paced horribly, I had actually less mileage base than I did for last year's race, and I ran a marathon two weeks ago. So all things considered, I probably did better than I deserved. But after a month or so off after my December 10K (sub-45. You heard it here first) I am going to ramp up the miles and go for 1:35 at Canyonlands.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Cliff notes version: 3:35:57, a 6-minute PR and 10/256 in my age group, on a seriously gravity-aided course, on a stupidly hot day, wearing a tiara, on pretty much no sleep and the least amount of fuel ever, feeling good (for values of good that are possible while you're running 26.2 FREAKING MILES) the entire time.

Epic novel version )

The official photos are up here. Yep, I'm the woman with a manic grin and a sparkly tiara.

ETA: Barb's husband Pete took pictures at the finish line and after the race, including several of me.


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @



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