A new day

OMG what a gorgeous morning! Who knew it's the 2nd day of summer, it feels so much like spring today. The butterflies are out in full force and the flowers all look so pretty.

Got out this AM to run with my SERC gals. We did a new loop for me which ran us through an extremely nice and private neighborhood. Supposedly one of us knew someone that lived there in case they called us on trespassing. While running through we caught up to a gentleman that actually does live in the neighborhood. We ran with him for a few miles before he offered us a drink at his drinking fountain next to his tennis court! Holy cow. We run into his drive appropriately labeled Paradise and it was just incredible. He even had a putting green in the back! What a nice guy to share his fountain with us! He said we are welcome to use it on any of our runs.

Finished up our 8 miler and I headed home to shower then hopped on my bike and rode to work. Nothing like some serious aerobic exercise to clear the mind! I'm feeling much better and the girls have all assured me that this lawsuit will never even go to court and that all I will probably have to do is give a statement on the phone. That doesn't sound too bad to me.

I think the air show starts tonight so I should have an interesting ride home! I am so looking forward to this weekend! Sunday it's another Buckeye trail run to get ready for the 50K coming up in July!

It's Our Anniversary

I've got that damn cheesey R&B tune stuck in my head because, you guessed it, it's mine and David's 4th anniversary.

Time does blow by!

Today was hectic at work, we've got a ton of projects with looming deadlines and it seems like I play a part in all of them. While working like a madwoman to finish up a report my phone rings. On the other end is a lawyer from my old insurance company informing me that she needs my new address because I have been named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Well actually she first tells me she is calling about my accident. Since I haven't been involved in a car accident since September 2005 I ask her what the heck she is talking about and proceed to get really upset as she doesn't seem to know what the hell is going on and keeps naming people that I don't know. She has the claims person call me back who then informs me that the bloke I rear ended in 2005 filed a lawsuit against me beginning of June and I haven't heard about it because they sent a letter to my old address which got returned to them. I proceed to get all worked up because that's what I do when I feel threatened. The lady apologized multiple times but I just can't get over the fact that this guy thinks he can make a buck off of me for an accident in 2005 which resulted in my truck being completely totaled and his SUV had a scratch on it. People SUCK!

Yeah so crying at your desk while trying to accomplish actual work. It blows.

Thank God for my husband. I am awaiting his arrival and he plans to take me out to a fancy dinner with plenty of wine to hopefully chill my nerves. If it wasn't for him I would probably be in freak out mode 24/7.

So to leave you on a happy note here's some fun pics of us the past few months.

Love you David. Thanks for keeping me sane(ish) ;) You mean the world to me.

New Shoes

DSW how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I have never been so excited to get a new pair of running shoes and let me say new running shoes are always cause for celebration.

I was on slow twitch for some reason Friday and saw a post about Wave Riders. Those are my shoes so I read further. The post was about good alternatives for the Wave Rider 9 but I noticed a post that said you might be able to find last seasons shoes on the cheap at DSW. My riders are getting pretty close to retirement, so I looked up the nearest DSW and headed out yesterday.

Well I was discouraged at first since the running shoe section appeared to be for those with feet size 9 or bigger. Not going to work for these 6.5 babies. But I headed back to the clearance section just to be sure. After looking through 3 rows of 6.5 shoes I finally notice what I am looking for, a mizuno brand shoe. Closer inspection shows it is the Wave Ascend which I also need as my trail shoe mileage is getting up there. I look a little further to the right and there is a pair of shiny new Wave Rider 9s waiting just for me.

I think the cashier thought I was nuts but I was so ecstatic. Not only that I found both the shoes in the size I needed and the brand and type, but that they were both 40% off. That's right kids. I ended up getting two pairs of brand new shoes for what I would normally pay for one. And that makes me and my feet super happy campers!

Flag Day 5K

A few weeks ago while trying to set up the next Girl's Night Out we chose June 13th only to find one of our GNO participants had a flag day race to do that night. With intentions of racing and going out for drinks with my gals afterwards I signed up. Well GNO got pushed back to the 20th and I totally forgot about this little 5k I had signed up for until oh Monday.

Crap. I took Sunday and Monday off running and ran light Tuesday on the track, but my legs still felt like toast from this weekends relay legs. Four runs totalling 23 miles on pavement/sidewalks over a 30 hour stretch will do that to you I guess. Despite getting a few full nights sleep I was still feeling like a zombie and feared as my best friend remarked that "I was indeed getting old if I couldn't recover from a 41 hour running/driving/drinking binge with one hour of sleep". So it was with trepidation that I made my way to the race last night.

Traffic was bad and I arrived later than planned. I walked about a half mile from my car up a monster hill to the packet pickup and start. They had fun mini flags and a cookbook in our goody bags and a nice cotton T (perfect for gardening!). My stomach was not feeling great but I was unable to find relief for it and made my way back to my car.

Out of clean clothes I was down to my red Boston running shorts and a gray cotton sports bra. Not ideal racing clothes and I had to put up with the over sized number bib on my shorts leg. I forgot to put on sunscreen but thankfully did not end up with a fun burn last night. I located BB and we headed out to warm up. We got in a little over 10 minutes and spotted the "Salty One" on our last loop. I was pretty sure it was her but waited for our second sighting before calling out her real name. I couldn't bring myself to calling out "Salty One" no matter how sure I was that it was her on the off chance I was wrong :)

B and I finished out our warm up and lined up. This was a no frills no chip race so I got as close to the start line as I could justify. My stomach was still feeling crappy but I was hoping for a strong race. My goal was to be around 7 minute pace since after the relays this weekend it is obvious I can hold that even under stress. Chatted with Salty a bit before they started into the pre race announcements. Her personality was polite and fun just like in her blog. I am glad we finally got to chat in real life.

The national anthem was sung into a microphone while the color guard held their flags and before you knew it we were headed off downhill. The hill was steep and I was a bit worried about my start line placement but only one runner went flying by me. I was in a decent size pack of girls all much younger than myself and was feeling strong. The first half mile or so I was forced to play dodge'em with a girl wearing an i-pod. I was more than a little frustrated. The girl would run in front of me then slow to adjust her i-pod. I would speed up to get around her and she would pick it up, only to dodge in front of me and adjust her i-pod again. I was seriously ready to elbow her. But I restrained myself and luckily she was not able to keep up and I was finally able to get past her when we came around the first hair pin turn.

The race started to thin out and I was now in a long line of runners with about 4 or 5 younger gals within my sights. As we neared the mile marker I heard the timer guy calling out 6 minutes and thought "Shit" way too fast. But his watch must have been fast as I took my split at 6:23. I didn't think I could hold that but I was fairly confident I wouldn't pay for that pace with the quick downhill start.

I kept the pace strong and I started to pass a few of the girls on the first uphill. It is always nice to feel strong on the hills. Obviously the suffering at Cinci has paid off as I felt strong on all the uphills last night. As we neared the top of the hill the top runners were passing us going back. The first woman was up with the top 5 guys. Can you say wicked fast? I looked for Salty but must have missed her in the crowd. As we came around the second hairpin turn the man yelled out that we had 1.9 miles to go. I did some quick math and figured if I could hold 7 minute pace I should be able to come in at 21 even, but it would be close.

We made our way back down hill and I got passed by a girl probably in her early twenties. She looked strong and I wasn't ready to pick it up that early in the race. I just held my pace and kept my eye on a few younger gals in front of me. I saw SG ahead at the two mile mark and tried to give a wave but the pace was forcing me to keep focused. I hit mile two in 6:51 at 13:14. The pace felt holdable and I was fairly confident I would come in right at 21 but knew I had at least one more hill ahead of me. I looked for my husband as we passed the finish line but didn't spot him. As we turned right and started to ease up hill I passed another young gal.

It was such a nice feeling to be the passer and not the one being passed. I was happy that I appeared to be running a smart race and had no intentions of dying. Once we turned onto the path (this was a nice sharp turn at a steep angle) I caught another female. I recognized the surroundings and knew that the steep hill wasn't too long and we would have a bit of a climb before making the turn back towards the finish. I stayed just behind the new girl and tried to pick her off but she picked up the pace. As we crested the hill I knew we were getting close and I just told myself to hold on. I knew I had less than 5 minutes. I spent the next 5 minutes attempting to pass but being cut off by this girl at every attempt.

We came out of the woods and then headed back down the initial downhill from the start. I started to quicken my turn over and let gravity do the work. The girl with me would glide into every spot I intended to run and finally started pulling away. I thought there was no way I'd catch her. As we neared the bottom of the hill someone yelled at her that if she cruised she could get 20:30. I wasn't so sure of that but 20:30 sure sounded nice so I picked up my pace considerably. I heard my husband yelling at me and realized I just might be able to catch the girl ahead of me. I turned it on as hard as I could and cruised by her just as the chute to the finish started. It is always nice to pick someone off at the finish, especially when your husband is watching.

The push gave me a post high school PR and is the second time since I was 16 that I have run under 21. The races official time for me was 20:44. My watch had 20:42, but I'll take it. I think I was 6th or 7th female overall but the girl that snaked by me before mile 2 was in the 20-29 group so my fast splits were only good enough for 2nd in my AG. Seems crazy to be in the top 6 or 7 and not get 1st in your AG. All the girls between myself and the top 3 were 29 or under. On a side note I found it interesting that every age group last night was split into 5 year groups but mine was 20-29. What's up with that?

Considering how toasty my legs felt before this and my upset stomach I couldn't be more happy. This has me a bit more confident that sub-20 is doable if I actually train and taper for a 5k properly. (Says the girl with an ultra and several marathons on her fall plate) I think this course was a typical 5K maybe trending towards fast with all the downhills but the turns and up hills slowed you down a bit. I absolutely prefer night races if I can find them so I'd definitely do this race again.

Quickie Stats

My legs went surprisingly well. I was pleasantly surprised on the first 2 and wasn't too disappointed with the third.

Leg 1- 6.61 miles at 5:23 PM. 7:05 Pace (I am convinced this was short as I timed 3 of the miles around 7:40, this means I probably ran the first few miles in sub 7, yikes)

Leg 2 - 4.0 miles at 3:05 AM. 7:06 Pace. I felt like I was flying on this leg.

Leg 3 - 8.97 Miles (Actual Mileage 9.59) at 2:12 PM. Official Race Pace 9:04. Actual Pace 8:28 Got a little lost on this one but was using a Garmin. Until we got lost we were between 8:10 and 8:20. I was hoping for closer to 8 but I was just happy to be running at all by 2:30 PM on the one hour of real sleep I got.


We finished. It was definitely harder than I imagined. Quite a few of us got lost and did extra mileage. Navigation was not always easy. Sleep was in short supply and a lot of whining was to be had by all.

More details to come. I am vegging at the Jayhawks while they take back the vans. The couch is awfully tempting after about 1 hour of actual sleep since 9AM yesterday, but I think I will stay up until after Karaoke is done tonight.

We did manage to do some podcasting along the way and snap quite a few fun photos. Be sure to check everyone's blogs and the GMR blog for updates.

Awesome job to Lunchbox, Jason, Leah, OOSG, Lisa, Dawn, Taylor, Mouse, Ryan, Running Jayhawk, and Dice! Hope you all had as much fun as I did.

First Quote of the Weekend

"I've got explosive diarrhea" I'll let you guys guess who it was from, hint it wasn't me.

We get started in a little less than an hour, my leg won't start until about 5:30.

2nd quote which just occurred "aND I just farted" and on that note I need to move.

This may be the last update for awhile.

Blossom Time

Memorial weekend in Chagrin Falls is a huge affair. It's their Blossom Time festival and everyone and their mom who has ever lived in Chagrin Falls comes back for it. This year was even more exciting because my husbands brother and wife were bringing our niece for her baptism and 1st birthday party.

Friday night I rushed out of work to go see the baby and upon arrival confirmed she is an absolute doll. She got the Hansen blue eyes, without which I would never have met my husband, what can I say I am a sucker for dark hair and blue eyes. She looks like her mother when she smiles (who is beautiful) and has the Hansen profile. She's laughing a ton, talking a bit, pulling herself upon onto furniture, and has mastered mischievous looks. Obviously the most perfect one year old ever.

I thought for sure Saturday would be a rough day for her with the Baptism and Birthday party, but she handled it all wonderfully. She didn't mind one bit being passed from relative to relative and reacted perfectly to all the right presents. Her face lit up with joy when she and grandma opened her first baby doll, which could not have pleased grandma more. She napped during all the right times and even ate a bit of her smash cake, with a little help from her mom.

I, of course, just want to play with the kid so we pushed around her Elmo vacuum and danced on the floor with her musical phone. The day had so much excitement for her that getting her to fall asleep required a chorus of lullabies ending in a long rendition of "This Old Farmer" having a cat, dog, sheep, cow, and pig. These are the memories you cherish.

When she was sleeping I was kept busy making a water balloon arsenal for the kids. They had a blast and I got some running around in as they chased me and everyone else in the yard. Also mastered my Boccie skills and even won a game of Corn Hole.

After the kids party we stayed up and played Buck Euchre. Because of cushioned seat placement I ended up sitting at the table end with the other Hansen significant others. We made an alliance and nicknamed ourselves the "S.O's" For some reason this struck me as hilarious and I laughed more that night than I have since we saw Jon Stewart Live. I claimed slap happiness but everyone else seemed to think beer and margaritas. Oh well if you can't make a fool of yourself in front of relatives who can you be a fool in front of?

Sunday morning came much to early and I definitely was dehydrated. I got around and threw on my running clothes. Blossom Time has their own annual race which is a 5.25 mile course that runs around the outskirts of Chagrin. Very pretty and pretty hilly. I've done this one once before and managed to place first in my age group. I wasn't feeling too fast with the Cleveland Marathon being one week before but I figured I could treat it as a good hard run. Warmed up with the girls to get in some extra miles then we headed to the start. No chips so if you are relatively fast you want to be towards the front. I spotted MT and wished her luck. She just PR'ed at the Cleveland Half so I was expecting she felt a bit like me, not fresh!

The first mile I kept my sights on MT but felt strong on the hill so I pushed ahead. For being primarily uphill it was a fast first mile around 7 minutes. MT and EM passed me shortly after the hill. It was hot and humid. I partook in the first aid station and dumped water over my ahead. I kept MT in my sights and just held her there. I wasn't feeling great but my pace wasn't bad so I tried to hold it. Nearing the last mile there was a stretch of downhill and a few women passed me. Somewhere I found the energy to hold them for a bit but then let them go. Deciding a moment too late to go after them. I pushed it up the last uphill stretch and passed MT. Ladies were handing out water bottles here and they were tempting except they would be heavy. I prepared for what I thought was not going to be a very fast kick to the finish. Reached the 5 mile mark and tried to turn it on, surprising myself with a 1:30 quarter. Finish time was 37:49. About 10 seconds faster than my first Blossom and good enough for 2nd in my AG.

We had to get in some more mileage for Solar Squirrels marathon training so we headed back out before finally getting ourselves to the carnival for some food. I got my vinegar fries and we wandered around waiting for the awards. Since there were no chips it takes awhile to tally those but eventually they occurred and I grabbed awards for myself, MT, and Solar Squirrel.

Headed back to my in-laws pretty pleased to have run so well one week after Cleveland and after a long day before and a beer filled evening.

No rest for the weary though, it was time to get ready for the big Blossom Time tradition, the Blossom Parade. Every single home lining E. Washington has a yard full of people partying in it as the parade goes through. It's a mad house of people wandering up and down the street saying hello to old classmates, looking for free beer, and meeting all the new babies. This was our nieces first parade so it was fun to watch her reaction to it all. She had a very serious look on her face the whole time, as if she wasn't quite sure what this was all about but she was going to be certain not to miss anything. She had her first sucker which she was very unwilling to give up, she had a death grip on that thing. I got a great picture of her where she resembles one of the Lolly Pop Guild Munchkins from Oz gripping that sucker tight!

My husband always gets to the parade late since he has to work. This year he made it for a bit more than my favorite, the Calliope, at the end. I met some of his classmates before the parade ended and I went inside to play with my niece. She was having a great time playing with some of the other babies and didn't seem to mind me chasing her around when she wanted to crawl away. (I have bruises on my shins and knees from crawling around after her that weekend, kids are resilient!) It was nice having some one on one time with her while her parents were out stopping at other Blossom parties.

It was an awesome weekend which ended for me with yoga in the park Memorial Day morning with Trisaratops. It was lovely to look out on the lake while we worked through a series of sun salutations.

Definitely a Blossom Weekend I will remember for a long time!

And the festivities have begun

I arrived in Chi-Town pretty close to on time and was swept up by my RBF chariot and it was off to the bar for some grub and beer before dropping Mouse and Dice off and coming back to the Jayhawks for some Wii Mario Party.

So far so good. This weekend is going to be a blast. Of course my camera batteries died as soon as I tried to snap my first photo so I will need to purchase some batteries or threaten other RBFers with bodily harm if they don't send me all their pics!

The Jayhawks have outdone themselves again and I feel like a princess. I am set up on a queen pull out right now with a laptop and wireless Internet. Does it get any better than that?

I am very much looking forward to the next few days. Hope everyone else enjoys the rest of the work week ;)

Doing That Track Thing Again

Last night it was back to the track. MT showed up and we upped the mileage a bit. In addition a new CTCer came out so I got to play coach and modified the workout plan a bit to accommodate for the different running levels.

MT and I got in a 10 minute warm up then some drills: High knees, Butt Kickers, and Grapevine

Then we started into our set.

We did 800, 400, 400 twice then wrapped it up with another 800. Our new friend is just starting his first tri season and started in with us on our 2nd 400. After that I had him do 400, 200, 200, 400 and we would meet up in between and walk the rests. We were aiming for 3:20-3:30 on the 800s and 1:30-1:35 on the quarters

800- 3:24

Then we did a mile cool down walk. It was fun to get in a good workout while also getting to help a new triathlete. Now I will have to start planning workouts accordingly to accommodate all levels. Should be fun!

Cleveland Marathon Recap

So if you had asked me the Wednesday and even Thursday before the Cleveland Marathon to consider racing it I would have told you no. I spent Monday through Wednesday in Kansas City, got stomach issues again, and just generally felt flat on the two runs I did get in. I got in a lovely hike with views of the Missouri River and a nice 4 mile run with Dice, but I just wasn't recovered from Pig, not to mention that it was getting hotter everyday and more humid.

Well Saturday morning I woke up early to meet Daisy and MT for breakfast. I had a large cup of coffee before leaving. Figured I would treat myself. I've cut way back on coffee opting for tea the past few months. Well by the time I got to Bob Evans I was on a serious jittery coffee high and getting pumped for Daisy's attempt at a BQ the next day and MT aiming for a half PR. So we head to the expo where I was just intending to pick up some freebies. And instead forked over $95 and signed up for the marathon the next day. I felt great and hey running with Daisy would be a blast! I figured Cleveland was so much flatter than Pig the pace would feel fine. Heck if I felt really good maybe we could even drop the hammer the last few miles!

So after frantically searching for my salt tabs until about 11 PM Saturday night I finally gave a desperate call to Risko and went to bed. Let me just say sleeping in your own bed the night before a marathon, priceless! It was wonderful to wake up to everything in its normal place and I slept so much better.

I got to the race early enough that the tent where I would store my goods wasn't set up yet. I wandered around until I found Daisy. It was warmer than I anticipated but I left my throw away and my gloves on anyways. Made one last pit stop before wishing BW and my FIL good luck. Daisy and I weaved our way up to the 3:30 group. Found our gals and chatted until the start.

I didn't realize until we started that MR was our pacer. He is a great ultra runner and I have known him for a few years from track workouts and the ultra scene. I was so pumped to be running with MR as our leader. I cheered loudly and assured everyone around we were in good hands. I generally just got everyone around me pumped up for the first mile.

Then we headed up the first hill. Hmmph, I thought Cleveland was flat. We were stuck in the crowd a bit back from our pacer but we just kept the balloons in our sights and pushed forward. Daisy looked great, she was running easy and chatting was no issue. I on the other hand wasn't feeling so hot. I hadn't exactly behaved as though I was racing a marathon the week leading up to it. I rode my bike to and from work Friday for the first time this year, and didn't get much sleep Friday. I could tell I was about to pay for it.

Mile one had been slow at 8:29. Two was right on 8:00. Three was fast at 7:39, I was definitely feeling this. Mile four had to be short at 6:57. Some man with longish hair made us laugh here on the lakeshore as he ran by hollering for some high five lovin from the kids on the sidelines. By mile five again right on pace at 8:00 I knew I wasn't going to last much longer at this pace. I wasn't sore but I was tired and pretty tapped. I was ticked but didn't want to say anything. I didn't want to bring anyone down with me. Just before 6 Risko came running onto the course with a pack of salt tablets for me. I was so grateful but felt bad that I would not be using them to race, only to help me get through the day. I held on for one more mile and told Daisy to go on without me, I just couldn't hold that pace so at 6 I stopped for my first chat with Trisara. I dropped my visor with her and sucked down some water, tried to help and hand out some Gatorade before moving on. I thought for sure mile 6 was my last sub 8 at 7:46.

After my chat I moved along deciding I would try to ease the pace and just have fun. Mile 7 was 9:57 and that sounded perfect to me. B caught me here so I did my best to stay with her, she was running the half but had fell back due to a bathroom stop. The pace definitely didn't feel comfortable and at 7:57 for mile 8 I urged B on and walked through the aid station. I ate some pretzels, took a salt tablet and drank some water while walking out of the aid station. Mile 9 had a hill where I stopped to encourage a runner who was having trouble breathing. She didn't want the help though so I moved on coming through 9 at 9:50. Somewhere before 11 the 3:40 group caught me so I stayed with them for a bit. Cheering on Trifolk loudly as I hit mile 10 at 8:42.

Just before mile 11 I heard JT cheering. I hadn't seen her in forever so I stopped to chat. This was where I was cheering last year so it was fun to stop and reminisce. I figured I would wiat here a bit and look for someone I knew to run with. I found a buddy in my towpath trail friend and moved on with him waving goodbye to JT, even with the stop I covered mile 11 in 11:16.

At this point I was trying to decide how slow I would have to go for certain friends to catch me. I realized it wasn't practical to just stop and stand still for 30 minutes so I decided to move ahead with friends and just keep the pace easy. I stopped to walk for a bit before 12 and ate some of my snickers bar. I heard cheers from the crowd and encouragement to get in my nutrition! We all know I am good at that! I missed mile 12 but got to run for a bit with MC before he split off to finish the half. I picked up a new friend here who was aiming to break 4. We were still ahead of the 3:50 pace group here and I was sure if he kept running like he was then he would be fine. We were having a good chat but as we came around the corner I heard good tunes and I told my friend to go on with out me I had to stop and dance! The church choir was out and they were grooving. I ran over and bounced around with them, got my photo taken by someone in the choir before turning to jog out, almost ran into the tent poles and then proceeded to almost get hit by a car. Guess the traffic cop wasn't expecting anyone to come running out from the choir tent! Oops. Thankfully I was okay and moved along. Hitting mile 13 at 18:03. I was having so much fun. The rush from the choir kept me going for a bit.

It was hot and sunny and this part of the East side was a bit barren. I traded walking and jogging and was about to walk a bit more when the 3:50 group led by my ultra buddy BH caught me. I picked up pace to chat with BH and his pace group for a while crossing 14 in 8:37. I let them go ahead and was caught by my friend T from JFK. At JFK we had leapfrogged our way through the towpath so it was nice to see him and get caught up. He had just had a great run at Bull Run and was looking good. We got a surge from a band singing "Cleveland Rocks," I swerved to the right to high five the bassist before coming to a large cheer group where I high fived everyone. What a rush! I stayed with T for a bit longer hitting mile 15 in 9:03.

My stomach started to feel iffy so I let T go ahead. We were now nearing Little Italy and the Case Western Campus. I wasn't feeling great so I just eased pace and enjoyed the views. It was nice to be running in an area I knew well. BM passed me here. He has run every single Cleveland Marathon. He looked great. Mile 16 came in 9:47. Now we were headed down MLK. I spotted a TNT cheering crew and swerved to the side to give K and big sweaty hug. Who knew she would be so grossed out :) I stayed on the sidelines and chatted and cheered for a bit to let my stomach settle. When I saw the 4:00 pace group I decided to jump back in to the race. Mile 17 was 13:26. This was starting to feel like an Ultra!

I decided to stay with the 4:00 group for a bit. I am sure the group thought I was nuts. I was smiling and just paying attention to everything, taking it all in. The pace felt okay and I located Mike in his Gomer shirt and decided to hang with him for a bit. We hit mile 18 in 9:12. I was just getting in a groove when I spotted my neighbors. They already think I am nuts so of course I stopped to chat. Found out that the previous owners of their house were also running the race and were probably just behind me. How exciting! After the brief chat I headed back out hitting mile 19 in 11:41.

We came up a short hill as we made our way off MLK and onto the bike path on Lakeshore. I spotted a lady wearing a U of M hat and shouted "Go Blue." I started to run with her and her friend and found out they had come from Detroit. I was telling them about how I ride my bike along this path to get to work when B50 caught us and I went nuts. I haven't seen B50 since JFK and it was so nice to see her out on the course. I informed everyone around that she had just run 50 miles in November at 50 years old and that she rocked. We hit mile 19 in 9:05. B50 and her friend were not feeling great and I could tell. I tried to cheer them a bit by talking but they didn't seem to be in the mood. So we ran on in silence when we came up on some photographers. I asked B50 if it was okay for us to get photographed together and she said yes. So I shouted ahead to the photographers that "Two hot ladies are coming through and we want good photos!"

Shortly after that I spotted RF cheering. He joined me as I started to walk. He told me not to slow for him and I told him I wasn't, I wanted a break! He said he had just seen Wild Bill who had snuck by me without saying hello (he was in the zone), RF pulled me through a half mile or so before we spotted GH on the sidelines where I stopped to chat, but after learning I was in the marathon and not just doing a cool down after the half he hollered at me to get back to running, LOL. Mile 20 was done in 11:06. At the next aid station I spotted my new friends from Detroit again. I started to chat with them and after realizing they both were in some sort of pain I decided to be their personal guide through the rest of the marathon. They were neighbors and had trained together for a few marathons. One was having trouble with her leg. I could tell she was in bad pain, especially when we would stop to walk through the water stops. I decided it was my duty to distract her from her pain. We made it through the next few miles as I told them about where we were on the course, where we were in comparison to my work, how I had got to Cleveland, who people were cheering on the sidelines, anything I could think of to keep their minds off the pavement. Mile 21 was 12:02, 22, 10:04, and 23: 13:05. As we rounded Browns Stadium I decided we better try to avoid walking as much as possible. My new friend literally needed a physical pull to get her leg running after the walk stops so I urged the girls up the hill on W 3rd. We were nearing my office and the finish so it was easy to keep them moving. I saw the 25 mile marker but for some reason didn't hit my watch split. Shortly after this a traffic cop stopped us and all the runners around us to let traffic through on E. 9th. I was in disbelief. For me it didn't matter but for those around me who were trying to PR or who were in pain my heart was breaking. There was no excuse for that. Shame on the Cleveland drivers for not reading the paper and finding an alternate route. That was my only disappointment in the day was the drivers impatience. I just felt it made Cleveland look like a bunch of road raged jerks.

As we neared the finish I realized I had just run over 25 miles on pavement and felt no worse than I do after a 20 miler. It was exciting to know that it is possible to run a road marathon without beating the absolute crap out of yourself. I had my wits about me and knew what block we made the turn at to head back where we came from for the finish. As we neared the finish chute I let the girls know I was going to pump up the crowd. For all those spectators standing there there sure wasn't much noise so I waved my arms and hollered at them to turn it up a few notches. What a rush! The girls must have been over the pain because with the finish in sight they picked up the pace to finish strong! Miles 25 and 26 in 21:21 and the final .2 in 1:56. Official Finish Time 4:13:09. And at the end of the day I averaged under 10 minute miles. Not too shabby!

My slowest road marathon so far, but by far the most fun. I stocked up on Popsicles and chocolate milk before finding my way to warm clothes. I found Daisy and was elated to hear she had BQ'ed. I had felt like such a jerk for not being able to run with her the whole way, but sometimes you have to check your ego at the door and just do what's best for your body and for me that day it was best to relax and enjoy the ride.

I was shivering like a maniac and finally got into the tent to change. I found out later that 9AM was the hottest time of the day. I hung out and chatted with friends from TNT before cheering my FIL to the finish. He was ahead of schedule and I just caught him as NA heard his name over the loudspeaker.

It wasn't exactly how I thought the day would go. But I wouldn't change a thing. I had a blast and respected my body, and got a cool medal to boot ;) I would highly recommend partying your way through a marathon if you get the chance. It was the perfect way to spend the day with all of my Cleveland running friends.

Event Horizon

"A spatial boundary around a black hole inside which gravity is strong enough to prevent all matter and radiation from escaping."

I was listening to "Says You!" this morning on my way home from my rainy long run and one of the questions was to define Event Horizon. In laymens terms it was the point/time at which matter can no longer escape a black hole.

After a huge year of racing mileage last year I swore to myself that I would back it off this year. Focus on one fast marathon and a few 5ks. Hah. I think I may have been sucked in.

I've already got one 5k, two 5 milers, two half marathons, 2 marathons, and a 50K under my 2007 belt.

On tap we've got the Great Midwest Relay next weekend, my anchor legs will tally 19.6 miles.

Next after that a 5k as promised on Flag Day.

Then Buckeye 50k in July. Followed the next week by a 4 mile night race.

After that it's the North Country Trail Marathon in September.

Edit you can add another trail marathon in September to the mix now after NCTM (Solar Squirrel has a date conflict with NCTM, but I am already signed up so I will be heading north by myself, unless Mouse can make it!)

Then towpath or Columbus Marathon in October, I owe a friend a BQ paced race so I may be running with her here, but would like to chase after the 3:25.

Next is most likely the Detroit Marathon pacing around 4 hours. Then if I don't race towpath likely an attempt at 3:25 at Richmond.

All of this while I am trying to up my weekly mileage.

I have two plans to get up to consistently running 50-60 miles a week. (Currently I average 30 but have some cross training mileage to back it up) One gets me there in a few months, the other by December. I am going to see how my body responds to the quicker (but still gradual) increase and if I get worn out or tired I will go with the back up plan that includes more back off weeks. Both plans stick to the 10% rule.

So that's what's on the horizon. It 's going to be an interesting year! Hopefully lots of trail running, lots of mileage. And hopefully I will be able to throw in a few tri's too on the way.